Read 1 Book A Day To Be An Expert

Do you always complain about not having enough time to read books? And you marvel at people who are able to read a lot even though you struggle to finish one? One simple way is to cut down one hour of television each day, just like what Jack Canfield (the Chicken Soup guy)  said, and put the time to good use.

If you are able to read one book a day, you will be able to be an expert in the field within a short period of time. For example, I’m definitely no expert in choosing wedding gowns, but due to necessity, (I’m taking my wedding photos soon), I read up on various books on how to choose a suitable one. I now know the difference between sweetheart and Contessa necklines, and which one is suitable for me.

To take this further, spend one week reading a subject that you are totally not familiar with. Break out of your comfort zone and read something different. There are plenty of Tattoos books available. For example, you can tell a kid why he must learn to colour within the lines, because that is what Tattoo artists are supposed to do. Different colours are absorbed differently by the skin, and you can use that to teach a child about colours in physics lessons.

When you break out of your comfort zone, you can learn to apply the new acquired knowledge in your current field. For example, if a person who loves to cook decides to read and learn about photography, he or she can simply bring the dishes to life through photos. Or if the person reads about architecture, he or she may be able to serve the food in amazing ways.

The first thing to do is to stop watching that extra drama serial which will suck away 20 hours of your life when you get started on it. With these 20 hours, that’s 20 hours of knowledge to be gained.

Make Time for Exercise

Do you know why employees at Google get to swim, play basketball, work out at the gym or play any other games while they are still at work? The swimming pool and basketball court is actually inside the Google Complex. Do you know why you are always feeling tired and bored of life? It all boils down to a simple maxim: exercise brings about a radiant life.

If you are already exercising, you are on track to lead a great life. If not, you can always get started. There are ten rituals expounded in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. These ten rituals, which include reading, meditating, listening to music, speaking and so on, are some simple tasks that promise to transform your life. One of them is to exercise.

Exercise helps to train your body, and when you body is fit, you are able to train your mind too. It helps you to feel refresh and rejuvenated, instead of tired and lousy. At the same time, when people exercise, it helps them to focus better. They can become more creative. Because of exercising and of course other reasons, the Google employees are constantly creating new things and improving on their present products.

While not all of us are in tip top condition now, some form of exercise is definitely necessary. I’m glad to say I have an exercise plan which I am committed to, and this took me quite some time before it really took off. I am certainly very glad that I am now very eager to exercise. In the beginning, I accompanied my mother to yoga classes. As I had learnt ballet when I was young, it was quite easy for me to learn the poses. Unfortunately, I was unable to continue with it due to time and location. Classes were held in town, and I usually could not afford the time to go down.

However, I had a target last year and that was to look good for my ROM, I started working out in the gym at my workplace. With a clear focus in mind, I felt my pants were not as tight as before and I was glad with the results.

After discovering that exercise actually helped me feel refreshed and happier, I decided to search for a proper gym. At the same time, I felt that I wanted to mix yoga and pilates with cardio-exercises. A convenient location was extremely important. I found one that was midway between my workplace and my home, so I could work into my schedule to go to the gym at least 3 times a week.

It has been almost six months since I had started with my gym, and I’m glad to say I have managed to work this into my routine. It has become a habit to go to the gym, and I am glad that I am able to stick with this.

Therefore, if you wish to bring positive change to your life, start with some simple exercises. You do not need to jog if you hate it. Yoga is beneficial and depending on your fitness level, there are many types of yoga that you can consider that caters to your needs. When you have become fitter, you can start to explore other types of exercises, just to make your exercise regime more varied and interesting.

Magic Rule of 21: Kicking A Bad Habit

Boy In Trouble

In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destinyby Robin S. Sharma, it talks about the Magic Rule of 21. You apply this rule when you want to have a new habit.

It is very tough to get rid of old habits because old habits die hard. However, what we can do is to have a new habit that has so much energy that the old one will go away. This is when you replace your bad habit.

In order for this to work, you need to apply the rule. You need to spend 21 days in a row to permanently have a new habit. You need to make it like a ritual, doing it at the same time, same day and same place.

For example, I have a major problem with tidy desks, so my bad habit of allowing my desk to become messy should be kicked. I want to break this habit by having a new habit, which is to tidy my desk daily, so that things will not pile up and go missing. I will have more space on my table and I will feel happier with a neat table.

However, as I have not applied this Magic Rule of 21, my table is constantly in a mess. Perhaps I have unwittingly applied the Magic Rule of 21 by putting things on my desk everyday, and leaving my things there without putting into drawers or acting on them.

Hence, to get this to work, I shall spend 5 minutes every day, early in the morning when I get to work, to tidy my table. I shall put away all books, and stack the papers properly. Things that need to be filed should be filed. My pens should go back to the same containers I had taken them out from.

By the end of 21 days, it should become a routine for me to start my day, and I will not have to waste huge amount of time on finding papers.

Visualising where you live and how you look

Visualisation is a very successful tool that helps us to be successful. Think of how big your light-blue three-storey semi-detached future house with full length windows on the second and third storeys is. The garden has a small pond with koi swimming inside and it is surrounded by many pink flowers. Butterflies are flying and your pet puppy is running around the garden chasing its tail.

As you remove your shoes and walk into the house, the floor is made of marble and abstract art paintings are hanging on the wall. The 42-inch plasma TV is nicely placed on the sideboard and you have cable TV connected. As you go to your room, up the stairs with timber covering, you see the light shining in from the small window.

When you enter your bedroom, you see a king-sized bed waiting for you. The luscious 500-thread count purple bed sheets are extremely soft on your skin as you relax on the huge bed. From your bed, you switch on the music using a remote control and your favourite tune comes on through the Bose speakers at the corner of your bedroom.

If your idea of success is to own a big house, don’t just think of a big house. The words will mean nothing. To successfully use the method of visualisation, put in detailed information. If you can pictures from magazines, cut them out and paste them onto a big piece of paper and put it up your wall. It will serve to remind you. When this is done, you will be more inclined to work towards your goals.

If your idea of success is to look good, think of how you can look good. Do you need to learn how to put makeup? Do you want to wear clothes from certain brands? Picture yourself wearing a black-coloured pantsuit with red fine lines. Think of how actresses smile and cut out beautiful pictures of them. If you want to look as good as them and are thinking of nose surgery, you could try Photoshop to make your nose sharper, just like Jennifer Anniston, and see whether you like the results. Perhaps varying the way you put makeup would suffice. This is much better than constantly whining about how ugly you look and not taking any action.

Whatever your picture of success is, take time out to think through it by using the power of visualisation to help you reach your goals.

In Her Shoes


Would you walk down the same small stretch of road for the entire day until the movie directors get a good shot? A group of active senior citizens from either a retirement village in Florida or some nursing homes in New York City became actors for the first time in the entire life, and they are enjoying every moment.

I caught In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette recently. Cameron Diaz acted as someone who could not hold down a proper job and had problems scouring a job due to her dyslexia. After upsetting her sister and being kicked out of her home by her stepmother, she ran to find her longlost grandmother.

What amazed me was that the grandmother was living with many active senior citizens, and they led active lifestyles. They did not stop learning, or exercising, and it was something very different from the nursing homes in Singapore. I was very impressed with the interviews with the senior citizens, and some of them wanted to hire agents so that they could continue with their Hollywood career.

It is never too late to have a dream or even a career change. It is important to find out the passion in your life. Diaz finally found what she was looking for when she had to look after people at the hospital. A retired professor forced her to read to him, and when he discovered she had a reading problem, he taught her skills. That realisation that she was not stupid made her increase her self confidence tremendously.

Many of us spend a lot of time on work, but we do not take time off to improve ourselves, relax or even do exercises. Sometimes, we only regret when it is too late, when our bodies protest from the years of abuse.

Meeting Successful People through Dining

There are many people who wish to be rich, but they surround themselves with the wrong type of people, who think that only a select few can ever be really rich. One simple way I found was to go to a fine dining restaurant, though this is an expensive method. On my birthday, just one week ago, my husband brought me to a lovely French restaurant by the Singapore River. We were the first to arrive, so we had full attention. We had champagne and the sun was setting. It was a really romantic sight.

After some time, more people came in, and they were mostly people in the corporate world. They were all smartly dressed, and they talked about their companies and other things in the financial world. They could have been from the Forbes meeting held at Sentosa, or they could be other highfliers. What struck me was that they acted rich and confident. They certainly did not appear to be boastful, unlike some of the people you hear over coffeeshop talk. They certainly were having fun chatting, and definitely not complaining about how everyone in the world owed them a living.

Granted, since a dinner at that restaurant I was at cost at least $200 per person, these people must have been very successful to eat there on a normal working day. Of course, at their level, they would be able to charge the dinners on their company expenses. By being there, it spurred me on to be even more successful in whatever I do in order to be on par with them.

This reminded of the movie I watched last night. While watching Maid in Manhattan starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes, one scene that struck me was Jennifer’s mum only wanted to find her daughter a cleaning job after she was fired for wearing the client’s clothes. The daughter had dreams of being a manager in the hotel industry, but her mother did not seem to think she would matter much. Jennifer told her mother to stop thinking that she was incapable of bigger things. True enough, one year later, she worked her way up to be a manager, and she launched her own newsletter in the hospitality field. You might say it is a movie, but it shows us that nothing is impossible.

The people we choose to surround ourselves are very important, so if we need any reminders that we can excel and choose to lead the life we really want, we could go out and meet successful people. Even if you do not know enough successful people, being in their presence should not deter you, but they should inspire and motivate you. This does not mean we could become snobbish and only hang out with people of means. It so happens that people of means tend to have winner’s mindsets. Whether they can be found in Singapore restaurants or San Diego restaurants, do go and eat at fine dining restaurants once in a while. The law of attraction will help us reach our goals in a shorter time.

How Thoughts Affect Our Success

Have you ever tried to arm wrestle and found it difficult to win? If you change your the way you think, you may be able to win. 

What we say and what we think affect our body. According to Jack Canfield in The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, he mentioned a technique known as kinesiology which tested people’s muscle strength when they say different phrases.

I had personally tried out this technique before. When you push someone’s left arm down, get them to say ‘I can’t do something’ and try to resist your push. You will be able to succeed pushing the arm down.

If you say, ‘I will try to pass my driving’, you will get pushed down too.

However, if you say, ‘I can pass my driving’, or ‘I will pass my driving’ you will be able to resist that push.

You should not worry about what other people think of you. Are they the ones who are leading your life? Or are you the one leading your life?

Believing in yourself takes a lot of work, especially if you have been brought up to think that you amount to nothing much. It is not too late to change your mindset, because once you are able to overcome the difficulty in thinking about what you could do, it can become something really great!

Go ahead, get someone similar in built to try this out.

How I started in Personal Development

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.

Hi everyone

Hi everyone! I’m Sarah and I’ll be talking about things that I’ve read or watched, and some of my comments about them. There are always some positive messages or learning points to be glimpsed from movies and various books.

I just like to observe people and see how they react in various situations. Do take a look at what this blog has in store for you.

Remember, we have a choice in whether to be happy or upset or angry. The event is still the same. Our response will determine our state of mind and ultimately, our health.