Thursday, October 18, 2012


I read somewhere that we are all born with a single emotion: Love

In time, circumstances, upbringing, society, basically life, hits us with experiences that form other emotions. Fear, joy, anger, jealousy, satisfaction, hurt, the whole nine yards.

Since reading that, I've wondered why love and not anything else?
Why not courage to face the new world?
Why not joy that we have finally arrived?
Or even patience to outlive our early days of pissing and soiling ourselves (some of us never outgrew this phase though)

Why, of all things, love?

While I don't claim to be an expert, this is what I think is the reason: Love is the only thing that makes you grow.

It's as simple as the more you love, the more you grow.

Parents for example, loving parents vs crappy parents.

Loving parents are easy. Loving parents tend to breed loving children.

I grew up thinking I had crappy parents. Too strict, too square, too hard to impress. As a result, I started by loving myself. I loved myself so much that I told myself I am never wrong. I am the best and I'm going to show my parents that I know how to live life more than they do. For many years, it worked. I went through life thinking how to make the best out of it. Improving myself constantly for better job, better pay, better everything.

Still, it never seemed to impress my parents. Sure, they smiled when I said I got that promotion or got that dream job. But nothing ecstatic. Still, they rained on my glory with comments like "be careful" and "do whatever you like, just remember to come home" and of course "do you make enough? don't spend so much".

Life became different when I turned 30. Somehow, I realised while I loved myself completely and have achieved many things in life, I was still not satisfied. In fact, I was getting tired.

I didn't want to slow down so I just pushed harder, thinking I would be happier when I achieved more.

I also started to notice that my achievements have fallen on deaf ears. Parents weren't really listening anymore. Over time, all I got was "uh-huh" and "well, that's nice".

I finally got some energetic response when I started racing triathlons. Suddenly, they were excited. Suddenly, they were proud. Suddenly, they love me! I mean, of course my parents love me but boy I've never felt love like this.. ever!

Suddenly, they traveled miles to watch me race and all the talk about when they see people is how great their daughter was.. every second of that full-on-16-hours-plus, plus (plus) out there during Ironman.

So what changed?

Nothing on their end. That's for sure.

They'd loved me all along. Proud of me, all along. I was just too preoccupied with loving myself to notice.

When I started racing, I was suddenly humbled by the fact that I am truly physically challenged. I also realised that I was now in a community of nut jobs just like me. Most importantly, I started to love more than just myself. I loved the sound of clicking cleats just before dawn as we set out to ride. I loved watching steam rise up from my shoulders after a night swim. I loved my friends who shared my race jitters and post race meals. I loved everything about it so much, I was fiercely protective. I looked out for my friends on the road and I gave assistance to anyone in the community whether or not I knew their name. Ensuring the well being of the people in this community meant more to me than knowing their name. I encouraged strangers to join the community, shared my experience with friends thinking of taking up triathlons. Strangely enough, even though I wasn't exactly a star racer, people found my journey inspiring. With this inspiration, they usually push themselves and become better racers than me.

After racing for a couple of years, I found out why my parents seemed more interested in my non-achievement as a racer than my personal achievements. It was because they started seeing me as a responsible person, loving more than just myself. Friends are always excited to see my parents at races. They've become somewhat like a celebrity at races. Especially dad. Mind you, not because I'm such an inspiration (unless you consider my persistence to finish any race, injured or not, an inspiration!)  but because they are usually the only parents around on race day!

Being part of a triathlon community taught me first hand, what it's like to love others above yourself. It taught me how my life can be enriched by enriching others either through inspiration or guiding a newbie. Doing things that do not benefit me eventually gave me more joy and satisfaction. Nothing beats knowing you have touched somebody's life by helping them achieve something they didn't think they could. Things that you may not think of but profoundly nests in their memory as one of the greatest feat achieved because of you.

And you can only do this, with love.

Parenthood is the purest kind of love. And to me, parenthood is something everyone can experience whether or not you actually have a child.

Parenthood means loving unconditionally. It means protecting, nurturing, and giving without any expectations of something in return. If you give but expect something in return, you're not giving, you're trading.

Being a parent can be a lot of hard work. It can also mean a lot of heartache. But it is the most rewarding experience in life, and you will grow the most as a parent.

Whether you're that geeky parent beaming with pride, complete with camcorder in hand because your child made it as a tree at the school's annual concert or you're standing below looking up at your disciple on stage receiving an award you mentored him to achieve; you would have experienced parenthood.

In life, success is yours for the taking. And the view is pretty awesome once you get up there. But the view is never as awesome as when you have somebody up there to share it with you. True success is not what you can achieve on your own. It is what you can help others achieve.

True success is being a loving parent in whatever you do.

And seriously, how hard can it be to be a loving parent?

After all, we were all born with the single most important emotion: LOVE.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meanie the Poo

Meanie the Poo, is basically the shit that happens in our lives.

And common sense will tell you that in order to wipe any shit away, we must first acknowledge its existence.

Meanie the Poo differs from the famous saying of "when shit hits the fan". See, shit hits the fan when things brew wrongly and you can actually sense it coming because things have to start going pretty bad before it happens. You will have time to stop it if detected early.

Meanie the Poo, is a different ball game altogether. Usually when you least expect it and when things appear to be going fantastic. Meanie the Poo does not brew, its basically shit thrown at you - unprovoked, unpredictable and definitely uncontrollable.

Meanie the Poo comes in the many forms. It could be your friend, your spouse, a family member, even your boss. It's usually a single effort and usually at close proximity with lethal accuracy making it futile to duck. That is why it stinks the most and sticks the longest as well.

We're talking about an in your face, direct hit.  And because it comes from someone close, the impact shocks you, leaving you confused. It's also the reason why many people stay with partners who are emotional bullies. The longer you stay in company with Meanie the Poo the deeper you'll be in it until one day you're so covered with honey coated shit you don't even recognise yourself anymore.

When you release yourself from the grasps of Meanie the Poo, you often remain in a state of denial. You back rationalise everything, make excuses or straight up deny it ever happened because:
1. your Meanie the Poo is someone close that you care about
2. when you care for your Meanie the Poo, they become important to you and therefore you try to keep them close, usually by keeping them happy
3. to keep them happy, you close an eye on the occasional shit they initially throw at you
4. when you finally acknowledge that they have been continuously raining shit on you, you realise it's not you, it's them! This acknowledgement affirms that you were wrong about them and that they ain't that great a person after all for going all psycho diarrhea on you and let's face it, no body wants to be wrong.  

So you stay in denial and let the shit dry up on your face.

I've met many Meanie the Poos in my life time. Some more harmful than others. The ones I regret most are the ones I fail to acknowledge and clean up before I began my chapter in this business.

After over a year in the business, I hear a very confusing statement "Your group is not at it's fullest potential because you have not accepted the fact that you are in this business"

How can this be?

I left my then best paying job to date, just as I was peaking. Started from ground zero again. Braved all odds. Stuck to it till it meant something. And yet I wasn't accepting it?

Apparently so.

And it's not as simple as going on stage and announcing to the world "look guys, this is what I'm doing from now on". It's about saying it with full conviction, no reservations. If you say it and winced for impact, it doesn't count. If you whisper it, it doesn't count. If you have to take and hold your breath when you say it, it doesn't count. It only counts when you can say it bluntly with no apologies to someone who absolutely thinks this industry sucks, let alone the super successful mega rich friend because you know that, with high respect to their personal achievements thus far, this is one platform that can truly give them what they are missing - be it more money, or more time, or a more fullfilling life of enriching others, or simply to retire in style.

To be honest, I have winced, I have whispered and I have definitely held my breath. But that's ok. After all, it's not the most glamourous of industries at surface value. But after knowing what it can give me, I rather that than entering agency life when I was younger thinking that it was glamourous only to realise there is nothing glamourous about carrying a portfolio bag under the hot sun to get shot by the client who rejects work that doesn't have his favourite shade of blue or  the client who spends hours hammering just because the white on their spot colour print ad is not "white-enough".

To be honest, many great leaders have winced, whispered and held their breath too. But my journey today is not reflecting how I have delivered the message with confidence. It is WHY have I not been able to continuously do so even after knowing awesome facts like the company behind me has the highest number of USD Millionaires ever created by any single organisation. I may not wince or whisper or hold my breath anymore but I can always learn to deliver with more excitement.

Acceptance is key. Without acceptance, I have not even begun my journey in this business. If you have decided that something you're doing in life is worthwhile and shows signs of hope for a better tomorrow, how do you expect to receive its full reward when you don't even accept it completely for what it is to begin with? - y'know what i mean?

My journey of acceptance started this morning by first cleaning away layers of hard dried shit in my life. Each pedal was done with purpose. Each downward stroke a closure of negative preconception flung at me that I've nurtured in the past. Each upward stroke a planted seed of hope. Every rotation, a new me. 

Vooo! There goes the feeling of always needing approval
Whoosh! My values are strong enough to stand on their own
Vooo! There goes paranoia of what people thought of me
Whoosh! I am important. I have people who trust me. I will not let them down.

And this went on for 45 minutes and I ended with a great sense of self-empowerment.

I'm not sure if I'm squeaky clean for rediscovery. There may still be some shit left that were too hard to remove in one day. But that's ok, I'll get those tomorrow and will continue till they all disappear.

More importantly this morning, I learned that sometimes Meanie the Poo throws the entire jar of honey coated shit square in your face when you weren't looking and knocks you out cold. It's not about how hard you fell backwards on impact, or how much shit you're covered in, it's about what do you once you've regain consciousness and that empty jar is in your hands.

Well, I say,
Don't get angry. Get even.


Senn would like to send a personal message to all the Meanie the Poos in her life:

Whether you truly believed your actions were for my benefit and you really cared or actually knew, as well as I do now, that they were basically honey coated shit to make you feel superior over me, I forgive you.

And I thank you.
Because you truly believed in the greater good of making me feel small, you have made me bigger, better, stronger.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Making a Come Back

So it's 2:02am and I'm sitting in my hall thinking what the hell happened to me.

My cat Sammy is lazing at the corner hoping to be invisible enough to not be kicked out.

Arif's asleep upstairs but not before setting Tortue up.

I'm writing in short sentences because I truly am quite lost.. and I'm sick of it. I've been reading my old blogs on Beyond Cut Off and thinking, where the hell did that courageous girl, full of spirit and life disappear to? And I know she's still in me somewhere.. just suppressed. And of late it's getting pretty crowded inside so she's fighting to be free again.

So what did happen?

Today is 8.10.2012. In 2 days I would be married for two years to my soul mate. We had a little celebration dinner last night and got into talking what we have achieved in our two years. Quite a fair bit. On my end, I've completely retired from employment and became a full time network marketeer. I've helped many friends become healthier, younger, more energetic and able to fit clothes they couldn't for years! With their success, I've helped their friends achieve the same thing as well. In less than a year, I was recognised as one of the higher pin titles in the business.

So things are going great, right?

Well, yeah. But something was missing.

Something's been missing for months now.. I just haven't figured out why till our celebration dinner. It was bugging me for months but it came out so naturally from Arif. He had noticed it but had never voiced it out, hoping that I would notice it myself. He said very simply "Your drive got murdered.".

And it's true.

Somewhere during that two years, I have allowed my drive to die or be murdered as Arif plainly put it and in its place grew self doubt. I easily compromise, I see opportunities I reject in fear of rejection and I am timid to the extend that I no longer have the courage to voice out when I bloody well should.

I bottled this up well, but it is beginning to take a toll on me and my organisation. I am unable to effective lead people who trust me to the success that they deserve.

During the course of dinner, Arif set me straight. he told me, "Just do the 90-10 rule"

90% of the time, we can't control or change what has happened to us. Shit just happens. But we can use 10% of that to change the shitty outcome.

So that's why I'm doing this.

I'm gonna rediscover myself the best way I know how.

On my bike.

With a little faith, and a lot of courage, I'm going to rebuild myself.. one pedal at a time.


Senn is pledging a journey to rediscover herself starting 6am on 8th October 2012. Friends are most welcome to join her journey through this blog.