Living in today’s metropolitan world of cellular phones, mobile computers and other high-tech gadgets is not just hectic but very impersonal. We make money and then invest our time and effort in making more money. Does it end? Not usually because we are never satisfied. How many times have we convinced ourselves that if only we had some more money, life would be so sweet? But then, after receiving a substantial raise, we realize that it wasn’t enough and that we need more?

What Should You Do?

You may have read many books on life such as Robin Sharma’s Monk says this and the monk says that, and they all seem to say that money is not necessary. But it is. Can you do without cash and a lot of it? I know I can’t.

There was this man who went to the neighbourhood Rabbi and asked for advice that will help him find his true way in life.

The rabbi nodded and took him to the window. “What do you see?” he asked him.

Promptly, the man answered, “I can see people walking to and fro and a blind man is begging for alms at the left corner.”

The Rabbi nodded and guided him to a big mirror. “Now look and tell me what you see?”

“I can see myself,” the man answered.

The Rabbi smiled. “Now you can’t see anyone else. The mirror and the window are both created from the same raw material: glass, but because on one of them they have applied a thin layer of silver, when you look at it all you can see is your own reflection.”

The Rabbi placed his arm on the man’s  shoulders. “Compare yourself to those two pieces of glass. Without the silver layer, you saw the other people and felt compassion for them. When you are covered with silver, you see only yourself.”

The man looked at the Rabbi and stared. “I don’t understand.”

The Rabbi continued. “You will become someone only if have the courage to remove the silver covering over your eyes in order to again see and love others.” He patted the man on his back and sent him on my way.

I have thought of what the rabbi said and come to the conclusion that he had a point. Yes. We need money and we should not aim to lead a moneyless existence; it’s pointless and will only cause us and our families many heartbreaks in the future.

Instead, I suggest that we should follow the advice the Rabbi gave the man. When we approach life through a silver covering, all we are able to see is ourselves. But discard that covering, and you will be able to see and feel everyone else.

Conclusion:
In life, we are allowed to and should be able to look at both kinds of mirrors, but we should remember that a mirror reflects only us; a window is the door to compassion, health and true wealth. In other words, seek wealth by all means, but don’t let it dissuade you from life, people, children and the poor and needy.

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What are your treasures?

What are your treasures?

The cheerful girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

“Oh, please, mommy, can I have them? Can I have them? Please, Please, mommy?”

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face.

“A dollar and ninety-five cents. That’s almost two dollars. If you really want them, in no time, you can save enough to buy them for yourself. Your birthday is only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, the little girl emptied her penny box and counted out seventeen pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and went to the neighbors and asked Mrs McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she was swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother had said that if they got wet, they might turn the back of her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she went to bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he had finished the story, he asked Jenny.

Do you love me?

Do you love me?

“Do you love me?”

“Oh, yes, Daddy, you know I love you.”

“Then give me your pearls.”

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls, but you can have Princess, the white horse, from my collection. The one with the pink tail, remember daddy? The one you gave me. She is my favorite.”

“That’s ok, honey.”

He brushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after the story, Jenny’s daddy asked again.

“Do you love me?”

“Daddy, you know I love you.:

“Then give me the pearls.”

“Oh, daddy, not my pearls, but you can have my baby doll and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”

“That’s ok, sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.”

And as always he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. A few nights later when Daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed in Indian style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear ran down her cheek.

“What is it?”

Jenny did not say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy and when she opened it, there was her pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said,
“Here, Daddy, it’s for you.”

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace and with the other hand, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was waiting for her to give up the dime store stuff so he could give her a genuine treasure.

What are you holding on to that is preventing you from getting the genuine treasure? What limiting beliefs are holding you back? What misconceptions about money are you clinging to? It is time to let go.

Have the courage to seek out change. Change is painful.Most people won’t change until the pain of where they are exceeds the pain of change. When it comes to money, we can be like the toddler in a soiled diaper. “I know it smells bad, but it’s warm and it’s mine.” Only when the rash comes will we cry out. If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. You are where you are right now financially as a sum total of the decisions you’ve made to this point.

If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

(Note: The above story and key points are from the book “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.)

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This is a hilarious Evian mineral water video ad  featuring roller babies.  This particular video on YouTube has been viewed more than 6 million times! Sit back and enjoy……..


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Derrick VanDyke just released this amazing software that will automatically add thousands of new followers to your Twitter account… And the best part is it’s 100% FREE!

Derrick VanDyke...Twitter List Explosion

Derrick VanDyke...Twitter List Explosion

He’s also giving away a free “Twitter Trick” report that shows you how to generate clicks, leads, and sales from your Twitter account.

Twitter is a MASSIVE powerhouse for generating targeted traffic to your website, but 99% of Twitter “advertisers” are doing it all wrong…

The special report you’re about to read will show you how to use Twitter the right way to build a massive following and get people out of Twitter and on to YOUR LIST!

The one-click software you’re about to access will work around the clock to add thousands of new followers to your Twitter account on complete autopilot…without cluttering YOUR account with Spam and random tweets.

This is very cool…and get ready for a Twitter List Explosion! Go create an account below to get instant access to the list-building software and the “Twitter Trick” that will change your whole perspective on using Twitter as a list-building tool. And I know you will LOVE it!

http://twitterlistbuilder.com/senyi88

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An 11-year old boy has really caught the media’s attention.  This is no ordinary kid…..he is really gifted……and on July 11, he recited one of his poems for Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the prime minister’s residence under full media coverage. Due to the wide media coverage, the boy’s blog was unaccessible on July 11 due to bandwidth being exceeded. This boy is Gloson Teh.

Gloson Teh reciting his poem....this photo is from  The Star.

Gloson Teh reciting his poem for the PM & his wife....this photo is from The Star.

And on July 13, he appeared on TV3 ‘s “Malaysia Hari Ini” performing 2 of his poems. His mum and brother also joined him in the show after he had recited his 2 poems.

That's Gloson on the far right.

That's Gloson on the far right. On the far left are his mum and his brother.

Gloson started his own blog in July 2008.  You can view his blog at http://www.glosonblog.com. And mind you, you can learn quite a lot of tips from him from his blog! At a blog carnival in June this year, he won the first prize in the quiz contest beating contestants much older than him.

That's Gloson in the white T-shirt.

That's Gloson in the white T-shirt at the quiz contest.

Gloson has written over 100 poems and you can view them at http://www.poetrytalents.com. He has even launched his own poetry book “Creative & Funny Poetry For Kids” which you can buy for USD9.97. This might be a good birthday gift for kids.

You can also catch him on YouTube. Just go to YouTube and make a search for Gloson Teh.

I can see a very bright future for Gloson. Hmmm…who knows, he might become the youngest internet millionaire in Malaysia! Keep it up, Gloson!

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Have you ever heard of Socotra Island? I bet you haven’t. The name Socotra is derived from a Sanscrit name meaning “The Island of Bliss”. Socotra is like an island from the Lost World, millions of years old. Known for decades as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, it is the world’s tenth richest island for endemic plant species. It is the biggest and the most beautiful island in the Middle East, 125 kilometers in length and 45 kilometers across. Everything is strangely different on the island: wildlife, nature, flora and fauna and the  bizarre rock formations.

Socotra Island.....the Lost World

Socotra Island.....the Lost World

Amazing Socotra Island Scene

Amazing Socotra Island Scene

The island’s landscape is one of contrasts with isolated nature preserves and picturesque sandy beaches.  If you walk around the island, you feel yourself being transported into a whole new world….like a world that you see in fantasy movies…or some of you may feel that you have travelled back in time to a different era. The island is teeming with 700 over extremely rare species of flora and fauna, about one third of which are endemic and can be found nowhere else in the world!

Stunning!

Stunning!

What A Sight!

What A Sight!

What an unusual landscape!

What an unusual landscape!

The plants look so alien, like a science fiction creation. Probably the most famous plant is the Dracena Cinnibaris or Dragon’s Blood Tree.  The branches spread out and appear like a flying saucer hovering over the landscape.

Dragon's Blood Tree

Dragon's Blood Tree

Weird Looking Trees!

Weird Looking Trees!

How Beautiful!

How Beautiful!

There is another weird plant known as adenium obesium or the Desert Rose. Doesn’t  the trunk look like an elephant leg?

The Desert Rose

The Desert Rose

Looks like a giant species of our local "fook kui hua"

Looks like a giant species of our local "fook kui hua"

The plant's roots seems to penetrate into bare rocks!

The plant's roots seem to penetrate into bare rocks!

I am lost for words!

I am lost for words!

That looks like the lower torso of a man diving.

That looks like the lower torso of a man diving.

This is the “butcha” vegetable.

Looks like an ancient jar to me!

Looks like an ancient jar to me!

And this is the dendrosicyos socotranum or the Cucumber Tree……..doesn’t it look weird?

Cucumber Tree

Cucumber Tree

The island has been declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Although the island has over 40,000 inhabitants, there are almost no roads on the island.  The island is geared towards eco-tourism and sustaining the local economy and way of life.

socotraisland15

socotraisland16

Paradise?

Paradise?

Di Gob Cave

Di Gob Cave

Seeking shelter under giant umbrella?

Seeking shelter under giant umbrella?

Welcome to Dream World!

Welcome to Dream World!

The island is a bird paradise with over 180 species of birds, 6 of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

Bird Paradise

Bird Paradise

Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis

Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis

If you are into diving, you should try the diving spots of the island. There are interesting shipwrecks for you to explore apart from the usual coral reefs and bountiful fishes.

Shipwrecks awaiting your exploration

Shipwrecks awaiting your exploration

Oh gosh……what a paradise.

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By now, all of you would have watched the MJ Memorial or caught glimpses of it from the tv. I stayed up to watch it live early this morning. My time zone is GMT +8 so it was early Wednesday morning here when the memorial started.

090629_michael_jackson

What a memorial it was! There were great performances from Mariah Carey, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Shaheen Jafargholi (“Britain’s Got Talent” star). I find Usher’s performance particularly touching when he sang “Gone Too Soon”.

MJ’s brother Marion also tugged at my heartstrings with his speech. He alluded to the controversies that surround MJ in death. “How much pain can one man take?” Marion asked. “Maybe now, they will leave you alone.”  How poignant!

To me, the most memorable part of the memorial was at the very end when MJ’s daughter Paris Katherine Jackson took to the microphone and said, “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.”  She broke down in tears after that and buried herself in the arms of her aunt Janet Jackson. I don’t mind admitting that tears just welled up in my eyes after that.  She touched the hearts of millions worldwide with that short tearful tribute. RIP, MJ!

Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.
Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.

Paris Katherine consoled by her uncle Marion
Paris Katherine consoled by her uncle Marion

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July 7 2009……will Michael Jackson stop the world?

The MJ public memorial scheduled for today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will indeed bring the world to a stop! It is likely to become one of the most-viewed events of all time.

michael_jackson_memorium_956f

The world has lost one of its most famous entertainers. There will never be another MJ.  The frenzy over his death is almost unparalleled in history.  And who will ever forget his Moonwalk moves?

michael_jackson

And what a catchy tune ……Billy Jean!

billie-jean-jackson_l

I will be staying up tonight to watch the memorial on tv.  Farewell, King of Pop!

michael-jackson

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This heartbreaking plight of 4-year old Charmaine Lim was brought to my attention by my wife who suggested that I do a blog post on this little girl. After reading her story on Karen Cheng’ s blog (http://karencheng.com.au/) , I feel so sad and I really hope I can do something for her. I know a lot of people have the attitude that they cannot do much but at least we should try!

This is the story of Charmaine Lim, a four year old in Singapore, who has just had her birthday. She has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer and is slowly dying UNLESS we can help raise enough money for her to go the USA for treatment as soon as possible. Right now she is doing her 5th chemo. This has bought her some time, but the cancer has already spread beyond her abdomen. She is currently in the 4th stage and fighting hard. We are greatly saddened that such a sweet and cheerful little girl has to undergo so much pain and suffering at such a young age.

Feisty Orincess Charmaine

Feisty Princess Charmaine

Charmaine’s chance at survival will be improved to 50/50 with a treatment only available in  USA. However the cost for the treatment is over USD350,000.

This is a terrible ordeal for Charmaine’s family. Her mother Cynthia is a single parent who has already given up her job to care for Charmaine. They do not have any medical insurance to cover this.

You can read the heartbreaking appeal by Charmaine’s mum Cynthia Lim here.

Charmaine’s family are fighting for the life of Charmaine.  Lots of people have already given their time and money to help. But there is still a long way to go.

It will be so tragic if Charmaine dies, but it will be much, much more tragic if she dies without having had this 50/50 chance of survival if she were to go to USA for treatment. I urge you all to help, on matter how small your donation may be. Just reach out and touch Charmaine’s life!

I have put up an exquisite beaded basket for auction on eBay. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Charmaine Lim. You can view the auction here.

You can donate here .

And you can read all about Feisty Charmaine’s fight here.

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