Every single year, I spend the night before my birthday celebrating and cheering the night away. However, this year, I’ve decided that I wanted to spend the night with no one else, but myself. And I asked myself 3 simple questions:
“Did I really live?”
“Did I really love?”
“Did I make a difference?”
It was a very different set of questions compared to the other years where I’ll reflect and review upon what went right and what could have been improved. The standard training and coaching questions.
Review of Year 2017
This year has been yet another turbulent year for me in my career and business. We have been fire fighting since January. Earlier this year, I stepped down my role as the CEO and started focusing on my role as a trainer and speaker. However, things weren’t moving as fast as we wished we could.
And, in July, a huge chaos took place in Owners Circle.
To cut the long story short, Owners Circle was burning cash faster than before. The company couldn’t sustain. The entire sales team decided to leave (and set up their own company). I made one of the toughest decisions of my entire career when I informed my business partner whom we have started and worked together for the past 7 years that our vision and values weren’t aligned and I am going to take over the role of the CEO of Owners Circle.
Upon taking over the leadership role in the month of July, I worked 15 to 20 hours day, non-stop for 30 days with the remaining of team members I had. We pivoted the direction of Owners Circle. Reshuffled the team. And rebuilt the company which was at the brink of shutting down.
In mid of August, I attended a seminar organized by EO and they invited a guest speaker. This guy is just a year older than me. But he is WAY MORE SUCCESSFUL!
Whether it’s business and career, health and fitness, family and friends. He had it all covered. And I was truly impressed. I’ve never seen a person who had such a balanced life!
What impressed me further during the talk was when he kept giving praises to God and gave all credits to his Higher Power.
Later on, I got his number and we got together for dinner. During that dinner meeting, I was truly impressed with his composure and clarity in everything he does in life.
During dinner, he continued praising his Higher Power and shared that whatever he has is the blessing from The Lord above.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. I started asking myself, “Isn’t it obvious the message that I’m getting here?”
That Sunday, I decided to go to church.
Honestly speaking, I was born in a Catholic family. However, since my University days, I’ve not been a very regular church-goer. I was basically a part-timer. I only visit church during Christmas. Or whenever my parents nag at me.
When I was in church that day, I felt my heart was very much at ease. It was a feeling of peace. A feeling that I’ve not had for a long time. A feeling that I very much yearned for.
From that day onwards, I made my time with God on Sundays the top of my priority. And I’ve not failed since then unless I had to be overseas giving talks or conducting workshops.
The month of September and October has been really challenging. My team worked really hard and yet we just didn’t seem to get the results we were hoping to see.
During one of the Sundays in the month of October, I broke down and I prayed really hard. I prayed, “Lord God, please fill within me the fullness of your spirit. Take everything away that may hinder my relationship with you.”
That day, something in me changed. I was in a mode of giving up. I decided to surrender. Not to surrender and give everything up in life. But I’ve decided that my arrogance was killing me. I continued praying, “You’ve given me so much gifts in life. Yet, I’ve failed to make the best use of them all. Lord, please make me your instrument. I’ll surrender it all to you to decide how should I move forward from now on.”
The Turning Point
It’s been only 2 weeks in the month of November. And guess what? Our sales for the past 2 weeks has surpassed the results of what our team have been working on for the 2 months. Yes! 2 weeks in November has surpassed results of September and October combined!
Besides that, we have been given opportunities that from December 2017 onwards, it will be a brand new ballgame for our team at Owners Circle and for myself as well!
2 years ago, when I celebrated my birthday in Verve Suites. That marks the end of my career in alternative investments. And today, as I’m preparing to head down for my birthday party with my team members and closed friends, we are heading towards a brand new beginning.
(I’m holding back on the good news for now because everything has been agreed verbally and we will be signing the papers in December 2017.)
Steve Jobs once said, “You cannot connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking backwards.”
Looking back to all that has happened over the past 2 years, I must say that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you learn to appreciate them when they are right.
Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can come together.
My Greatest Gift of Year 2017
Today, I ask myself these exact questions.
“Did I really live? Did I really love? Have I made a difference?“
As I look back, I guess the greatest gift I’ve had at the age of 32 was the gift of finding my new purpose in life.
The purpose of my time here on Earth has nothing to do with acquiring possessions, accomplishments or status. Those are secondary issues.
Life is all about love. With God and with other people. You can be successful in many areas of life. But if you fail to learn how to love God, love yourself and love others, you have missed the reason why on Earth you’re here for.
And to you who is reading this article. Regardless what religion or faith. I pray that you too walk in the grace of your Higher Power. Whatever trials and tribulations that’s placed in front of you, remember that everything happens for a reason. And have faith that your Higher Power is always there with you to pick you up, turn you around, restore you and make you whole.
You’ll be complete in boundless love when you walk in the never-ending Grace of your Higher Power.
My Wish for the Year
For my 32nd birthday, I wish for a life in his name. A life that truly matters. A life filled with love. And a life that allows me to be a difference maker. Through his power and his words.