I think my quest to improve and develop myself really started when I was in JC. I had found reading a chore for the past few years, because I did not know what novels to read. This was in stark contrast to my primary school days, where I read so voraciously. Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene were some of my favourite authors. I competed with my friend to see who read the fastest. I could manage to finish a Nancy Drew book in 20 minutes, so I guess my speed reading skills developed from there.
Coming back to self-improvement, I was attracted by Daniel Goldman’s Emotional Quotient. It was just released then, and the ideas really made me start thinking about EQ. I had reasonable good IQ, but I found it difficult to interact with people sometimes. I can’t really recall the content – I definitely need to read it again, but I guess it was the first step. My tyrannical GP tutor, whom I am very appreciative of, asked what we were reading at the moment, and I told her I only read non-fiction, and I was juggling between this book and Hitler. She was extremely surprised as I did not appear to be someone like that.
The few other non-fiction books I read were related to education, happiness (which can be elusive at times) and horoscope (though some may disagree about this). When I started working, I was exposed to many leaders (some are international figures) in the personal development arena. They include Abe Wagner, Tony Buzan, Spencer Kagan, Ron Kaufman, Adam Khoo and Stuart Tan.
Over the years, I have bought a lot of non-fiction books, and at the same time, I’ve picked up novels again. I’m also constantly trying to apply what I’ve learnt to work and my personal life.