When we all need a little help…

Sometimes, as an Asian, it can be difficult to ask for help, because we are scared of “losing face”.
It has got to do with a 3 letter word starting with “E”…
Yes, that’s right, our ego! This is especially pertinent, during difficult times, when we are struggling with how to keep afloat.
I found it hard to ask for help at times too. This is when I felt that people will judge me for being foolish/silly/hasty.
Break through came when I realized that people were willing to help me, if I even bothered to ask! Of course, when people offered to help, we should remember and show our thanks in practical ways.
There are also certain issues which are more private, and not as openly discussed. It also begins with an “E”… 
Emotions. Or emotional struggles. 
We all have difficulty expressing our emotional struggles at times. This is especially true if you are undergoing depression. 
Depression is usually associated with a traumatic life event, for example, losing someone or something, being on the receiving end of something nasty. 
I was depressed for a period of my life, after the loss of a relationship of 3 years. And I did what most people would do: retreat into my own shell for a significant period of time. 
I was really thankful for my family and close friends, who rallied around me and helped me to walk out of my shell. This painful lesson also taught me how to ask for help, when I needed to. 
If you need help, please reach out to me, or anyone who may be able to help. You are not alone in this journey. I love this saying, “Joy shared is joy doubled; sorrow shared is sorrow halved.”
Let’s also be sensitive to people who may need help. The world will be a brighter and warmer place, if we could all show a little more grace and sensitivity to people around us. 
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How to get out of your comfort zone in 2020

Staying in our comfort zones is one of the biggest reason why we can’t find motivation to achieve our goals and dreams.

Do you remember the story of the frog in the pot?
Yes, he got too comfortable in the pot of gradually warming water, and before too long, he was cooked in the pot. I haven’t actually tested if this is true… but you kind of get the idea.
Frog in a pot

If Covid-19 hasn’t already affected you by now, you must be living in a different planet!

I have seen how some of my friends closed their businesses, or have their income severely affected by the crisis. I myself have also closed down one of my businesses due to the changing landscape.
Here are some steps which I have used to help myself get out of my comfort zone:
1) Be crystal clear about your “Why”
Write down what are your goals in the near future (2-5 years) and possibly a longer term goal (10 years). 
Many people aren’t sure of why they are doing what they are doing, and this stops them from putting their 100% behind what they do.
This is also why work feels like a dread and not a passion.
2) Find out the obstacles that prevent you from achieving your “Why”
Be clear about what are the areas of growth that you need to achieve, in terms of your mindset and skills, and perhaps even the value of your network.
Obstacles make us feel uncomfortable.
They stretch us and force us to grow.
Focus on how it feels like to overcome these obstacles.
Focus on the “pleasure”, and not on the “pain”.
What are some of the “negative” self-talk that you have? Or the negative thoughts?
It is time to thrash those self-talk and thoughts!
3) Break it down
I love to trek and climb mountains. Every hike is a minimum of 8 hours, and takes a lot of effort to prepare.
One of the trick I used is to break down the hike into chucks and check points.
Similarly, achieving our goals requires us to break it down into smaller chucks, so that we will not get discouraged even before we begin.
How then do you climb Mount Everest?
That’s right, one step at a time!
4) You will never walk alone!
Yes, that’s right. 
When I go trekking, I seldom do it alone. I always do it in a group, with my spouse and my friends.
Of course, on some trips, we have guides as well.
Similarly, find a mentor and find an accountability partner to help you along.
This will shorten your learning process, as well as give you encouragement and will to keep on keeping on.
5) There will be failures along the way…
But with every lesson, you learn to become smarter and stronger.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 
If you don’t make any mistakes, it means that you have not tried enough.
The failure of my business taught me many things on how not to run a business.
Yes, it was painful and emotionally draining, but it also taught me many valuable lessons.
6) Learn to enjoy the journey!
Have fun along the way! Learn to enjoy the birds and the bees. 
Breathe the fresh air as you embark on your journey, and treasure the many unique and interesting experiences that you encounter along the way!
Ask Yuantai
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How to be Happy in 2020


People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. The first thing about being happy is really, being helpful.

Let me share with you the MOP framework on being helpful:


Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment.

Mindfulness is about being non-judgmental.

Living in our fast paced fast food world, we tend to lose focus on being in the present. We love to cast our judgment  and criticize.

The first step to being helpful is to be mindful.

If we cannot be mindful, there is no way we can even think about helping others.


Focus on others over self.

It is natural to think about ourselves. We are born that way, through the fight or flight instinct.

However, if we first focus on others, of seeing to give or add value, we realize that which ever station of life’s stage we are at, there is always someone that we can help.

Have you ever encountered “salesy” people? Those who are only interested in making a sale and not at all in you?

How do you feel?

If you are in the sales line, remember this: Always seek to build a rapport and add value first, before asking for a sale.

Positive Influence.

There is just too much negative news nowadays.

Violence, dispute, corruption and death…

If each and everyone of us can be deliberate in being a positive influence, we can really be helpful!

The reason why I don’t post negative things is not that I do not have my complaints (our national hobby!) or challenges , but that I want to create a positive experience.

Even when I share about my challenges, I will always end off on a positive note. It is not about what we are going through, but where we are going to.


The GIVE framework to cultivating an abundant mindset.


Make giving a lifestyle.

If you do not have the habit of giving, you can start small.

Give of your time, energy or finances to help a good cause.

It can be as simple as giving thanks and showing appreciation to people.

Imagine abundance!

We have to be aware of the “scarcity mindset”.

The scarcity mindset tells us that resources are finite, and if we give to people, we will put ourselves at a disadvantage. The scarcity mindset is actually a very dis-empowering belief that holds many people back from pursuing their goals and dreams. This is because instead of focusing on possibilities, they are focusing on what they do not have at the moment. Instead of asking,”What are my options?”, they say, “I am not ________ ” or “I cannot __________”.

This is absolutely not true!

God created abundance in this world, we just need to learn how to be resourceful.

Value adding

See to always add value to others, before taking.

We are born to take resources from others as a young, defenseless baby.

However, as we grow up and mature, we can then start to add value to others before taking.

This leads to the last point.

Everybody wins!

Always seek to create win-win situations, or even win-win-win situations.

Gaining an advantage doesn’t mean that somebody else has to lose something.

It is not a zero sum game.

In the 1976 Special Olympics in Seattle, Washington, one of the child fell down at the start of the race. He began to cry bitterly. Two of his fellow competitors, upon hearing his cries, stopped, turned around and helped him up. To loud applause, the trio finished the race together.


According to the “ikigai” definition, passion is what you love and what you are good at.

Your ikigai

If you can’t imagine not doing something, it’s a passion. It doesn’t have to be a moneymaker. Make your money some way that will give you the time for what you really love to do.

Finding your passion could be easier than you think. By answering these questions honestly, you could work out what to do with the rest of your life.

3 guiding questions to ask ourselves:

“What subject could I read 500 books about without getting bored?”

“What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?”

“What would I spend my time doing if I had complete financial abundance to do anything?”

Spend 20 minutes each day thinking about the things that have interested you recently, or any opportunities that you have spotted.

Imagine yourself waking up early, jumping out of bed in enthusiasm the moment you open your eyes!

Imagine yourself pumped up and ready to make a positive impact on someone else’s life in your area of expertise!

That is your passion.


Purpose is about your “why”. (Read Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why”)

It is about why you exist, and what you are created for.

Many people are not clear about why they do what they do. As a result, many people will just “cruise” through life, living up to the expectations of others and never really discovering their true calling and fulfill their true potential.

There is an exercise that I like to do on a regular basis. It is called the “re calibration“.

While goal setting at the beginning of the year is good (SMART goals come to mind), it is important to constantly re calibrate and make sure that we are staying on the right track.

Take a blank piece of paper, and write down what we believe about ourselves.

For example, “I believe that I can overcome the fear of heights.”

“I believe that I can be more caring and kind.”

So on and so forth…

Examine the beliefs that we have written, and take note of any dis empowering beliefs that we hold on to, for example, “I believe that I cannot be promoted this year.”

Rephrase it, and make it positive and empowering.

Pin this paper where you can see it everyday, to remind yourself that you have a clear purpose in your life.


Your identity. Yourself. Your esteem.

At the core of happiness, is a ready acceptance of yourself.

Accept who you are, and work towards a better version of yourself.

There are 2 groups of people that you need to learn how to forgive:

1. Yourself

2. People who have hurt you.

Many people cannot forgive themselves for having made mistakes in the past, that resulted in consequences that they have to bear even today.

Know this: each and everyone of us is uniquely created, and treasured by our Creator. Each and everyone of us is precious in God’s sight, no matter which God you worship.

If you have learnt to forgive yourself, the next step is to forgive people who have hurt you.

This may not be an easy process, and you may need to seek help for this. It will also take time, but that’s OK. Reach out to someone if you need help, and give yourself time to forgive.

Forgiveness definitely helps tremendously with our mental well-being. 

Un-forgiveness is like carrying a baggage from the past around. It is smelly, heavy and prevents you from chasing your goals in the future.

If you need some clarity, feel free to text me. 

Ask Yuantai


What Jack Ma’s commencement speech at NYU Shanghai has taught me

Jack Ma’s speech at NYU (Shanghai) contained a vital message for students who are graduating this year, and for the rest of us. 
There are 2 things that struck me:
Being resilient and resourceful in difficult times, as well as having the right values. 
There are always opportunities amidst danger, and those who know how to find opportunities, adapt and adjust will have an edge over those who don’t. 
Having graduated more than 10 years ago, and transiting from full time employment to being an entrepreneur 3 years ago, I realize that no university education can guarantee you success in life. 
I used to think that all you needed to succeed is a good university education.
I have learnt many things from my time at university, as well as made many good friends. However, I realized that learning doesn’t stop there. In fact, the real learning hasn’t even begun!
When I took a leap of faith into entrepreneurship, I realized that I was under equipped to deal with having to run a business. It was a really steep learning curve for me, as the path that I chose has little overlap with where I used to come from.
I had little network, little relevant knowledge. That is why Jack Ma’s speech deeply resonated with me.
Jack Ma mentioned IQ, EQ and LQ. I want to add another LQ (learning quotient). As long as you remain passionate about learning, you will survive, and perhaps even thrive. The moment we stop learning and growing, we die. 
What I have learnt since, through trial and error, has helped me to grow as a person and my business to grow. Today, I am extremely proud to be able to help many others on the same journey, transiting out of employment into the world of entrepreneurship.
Please take 10 minutes to watch this video, and I would absolutely love to hear your takeaway on it.
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No Fear! Fear Vs Faith

I stood at the edge of the slopes. The wind brought a fresh chill to my face.

The instructor said in a gruff voice, “Ready?”

“Yup, I guess…”, I replied with a tinge of apprehension.

“Let’s go!”, he barked, and we ran off the slope, towards the yawning valley in front of us. The parachute caught the wind, and we took off. This is my first tandem diving experience!

3 years ago, when I leapt off the comfort of my pharmaceutical job, there was the same apprehension. And perhaps that F word: Fear.

And today, that very same F word is evident all around. People are fearing for their jobs, their health, their livelihood. There is apprehension, there is worry, there is despair and resignation.

Fear Vs Faith

Fear comes through knowing, while faith comes through believing. 

Fear is about knowing what you have tried and not succeeded, and being hesitant and uncertain about making the next move. Faith is about believing that the next time you try will bring you one more step closer to success, and is about not giving up in spite of.

Fear focuses on lack, while faith focuses on abundance.

Fear is about what we do not have or what we are not. Faith is about what we have on our hands, and what we can give to bless or help other people. You remember the biblical story of David and Goliath? If David was a fearful man, he would cower in fear like the rest of the Israelites and back off from Goliath and his giant brothers. But David was a man full of faith. He knew that he had certain useful abilities and armed with the 5 stones and slingshot, he marched off with confidence into the battlefield. He firmly believed that he had more than enough to defeat the giants.

Fear pushes you away, while faith drives you on.

Fear will cause people to run away from their problems and their pain, or seek temporary solutions to long lasting problems. This is how addiction comes about, when people indulge in the sensory pleasure to avoid tackling deeper, longer term issues. However, faith will drive you on to tackle problems at its roots, and summon up the courage to do so. During the Covid crisis, you can see how faith and fear operate to drive different outcomes. Those people who had faith would  bite the bullet, take the loss and re-organize their businesses and strategies. They would seek out opportunities to learn and upgrade, and come up with creative solutions to earn an income. Those who acted out of fear will always blame their circumstances, or do the same things expecting different results.

How can we overcome fear?

3 steps to overcoming fear: JAR!

Right focus

If we focus on the right things, we will get the right results.

Focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.

Focus on the future possibilities, rather than your current limitations.

Ask yourself,”What if I succeed?”


The glass is half full? Or half empty? 

I would say the glass is half full, but there is another half to fill!

There is potential and possibilities! 

Most people believe in a zero-sum game, that you win at the expense of somebody else.

Or vice-versa.

But that need not be true!

You can collaborate with people and tap on each other’s expertise and network!

Also, it is such a joy and delight to be able to help someone freely…

Just do it!

Sometimes we overthink and we suffer from “analysis paralysis”.

Or we don’t feel confident, or good enough to attempt something.

Like my maiden tandem dive, sometimes it pays just to take a daring leap off the slopes!

David's 5 stones and slingshot


Chow Yun Fatt takes the MRT

If Chow Yun Fatt takes the Mrt with you, you will probably not notice him.
Many of you may be familiar with Chow Yun Fatt. He is a huge Hong Kong star, and has also appeared in several Hollywood movies. I myself am a huge fan of his.
What many don’t know is that he started from humble beginnings, at the age of 17 doing odd jobs like bellboy, postman and taxi driver. This humility has carried on till today, and he frequently uses public transport and dresses simply.
Guess how much he reportedly spends every month?
$140. Yup. That’s right.
And he is donating his entire fortune of HK $5.6billion away to charity.
Please share this, if you find it helpful!
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Find your why

Most people ask “What can I do to become better?”, but they forget about the “why”.
If you do not have a clear picture on your “why”, you will constantly end up going around in circles, without making concrete progress towards your life’s goals.
This was exactly what happened to me, until 3 years ago, when I finally figured out my “why”. I realized that what I really wanted was to help people discover true joy and passion for their “why”, and in turn pursue happiness.
Hence, I gave up a comfortable job as a pharmacist and pursued a career as a coach. The happy coach!
Of course, there were numerous challenges along the way. There were times I felt extremely discouraged when coachees do not respond in the desired manner. But I never lost focus on the “why”. It is really easy to give up if you do not have a strong sense of purpose. 
One of the most common issues in my line of work is helping people to find clarity and purpose. And this involves digging deep and helping people figure out their “why”.
Recently, I finished 2 runs of “circuit breaker”. Would you like to guess the part that most people struggle in? No prizes for guessing! 😅
Now, write down your why, paste it on your mirror, or somewhere you will always see the first thing you wake up in the morning. 
If you haven’t figured it out… 
What are you waiting for? 😁
If you find this helpful, please share it! 
Top 20 Simon Sinek Quotes That Reveal the Hard Truths ...

The greatest act of forgiving

For many years, I was not able to forgive myself for the breakup of my relationship.
That happened many many years ago, when I was together with a lady.
We were together for 3 years, and I had proposed to her. We are supposed to get married in 2010.
However, just a few months before our wedding, she decided that it was time to part ways.
I was absolutely shattered.
I went through different phases of the break-up. At first, denial.
I tried all ways and means to salvage the relationship. But like a fish out of water, flopping helplessly around, the relationship was dead.
Then, I blamed myself.
I blamed myself for being too insensitive to her needs.
I blamed myself for being sarcastic and using hurtful words whenever we had disagreements and fights.
For the first time in my life, I sank into depression.
I only managed to slowly get out of it as I realized there were people around me who genuinely cared and reached out to me. My parents, my close friends and buddies.
I realized that to forgive someone is hard.
But the hardest person to forgive is yourself. It is never easy to forgive yourself and blame yourself for something which you have done/have not done. 
I have made mistakes, I have done wrong. But it is OK to make mistakes. 
If you are reading this, I want you to realize this, that we are all imperfect people.
There may be things that you have done or could have done in the past, to prevent something bad from happening. However, that is all in the past now. We can’t turn back time and change anything.
We can only live in the present and look to the future.
I have learnt to forgive myself. That is the first step of a very important healing process. I have learnt to be more mindful of my words, and I have made effort to spend more time with my partner and best friend. 
Is there something that you cannot seem to let go? 
Something that you cannot forgive yourself for? 
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Make a difference

Let me share a short story. 
There was a young girl who lived in a remote village. Every morning, she has to walk half an hour to the nearest well to fetch water on two buckets, across a stick carried on her shoulders. 
It was really hard work, with a load of close to 30 kilos!
One of the buckets has a crack on it, and on the way back, water would leak out. When she reached her hut, less than half of the water would remain in the bucket. 
The cracked bucket said dejectedly, “I am broken. Why don’t you repair or even replace me, so that I don’t waste your effort?“
The girl smiled, and replied,”You are perfectly fine!“
This went on for several weeks. Each time, the girl returned with a full bucket, and a half empty bucket. 
But then, the cracked bucket begin to notice something amazing! On one side of the path, it was barren. On the other side of the path, where he came back on, there were the most beautiful and amazing flowers.
If you can make a difference in someone’s life today, no matter how big or small, what would you do? 
The cracked bucket made a difference in the lives of the plants, as well as people who passed by and were able to admire the beautiful flowers. And he did it, one drop of water at a time.
If this message deeply resonates with you, join me in this #behelpfulbehappy movement! 
Simply drop me a text here.