be helpful be happy find your why happiness hope purpose self help

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

encouragement faith fear hope

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