Yesterday I conducted a coaching demonstration.

I struggled.

Striped bare.

Wintry cold.


Thank you for the feedback

Oysters cry

Cliched Caterpillars die

Wrapped in White

I wiped away tears of humiliation

I am an island

For whom the bell tolls

Today I celebrate my weakness

In my weakness

I will be made strong.

I can see no way out but through

For whom the bell tolls?

It tolls for me.

Dont feel sorry for me.

At Tajimaya during Restaurant Week

Tip: Best cure for feeling sorry is to celebrate. And feed off another’s creativity. Shout out to the young chef who cooked tis meal. Notice the handcrafted mushroom from radish.

I have been singing the Singapore national anthem for years and recently embraced its beauty.

“Majulah, Singapore” means Onward, Singapore.

Such a beautiful wish for a young nation struggling to its feet in 1965. No blaming. Looking forward

To a nation of immigrants, Zubir Said, the composer of the anthem described his inspiration from a Malay proverb “Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung” (“You should hold up the sky of the land where you live”)

Zubir is also remembered for his composition “Semoga Bahagia” (“May You Achieve Happiness”) which was aimed at primary-school students, advising them to work hard for their future. 

As we celebrate Children’s Day this week, let us remember that Happiness is not about doing well in exams but the many qualities expressed in Zubir’s song. A life worth living.



Source: Wikipedia

Poem by Ann Lee Tzu Pheng

No one Ever knows
when it’s Time to Go,
There’ll be no Time
to enjoy the Glow,
So sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

Life is too Short but feels pretty Long,
There’s too Much to do , so much going Wrong,
And Most of the Time You Struggle to be Strong,
Before it’s too Late
and it’s time to Go,
Sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

Some Friends stay,
others Go away,
Loved ones are Cherished, but not all will Stay ,
Kids will Grow up
and Fly away,
There’s really no Saying how Things will Go,
So sip your Tea
Nice and Slow.

In the End it’s really
all about Understanding Love,
For this World
and in the Stars above,
Appreciate and Value who truly Cares,
Smile and Breathe
and let your Worries go,
So, Just Sip your Tea
Nice and Slow

Today, I’m sipping my tea nice and slow. Alone. My favourite is the WenShan Bao Zhong Cha.

The weather is erratic. Heavy rainstorm, then hot and sunny. I’ve not been feeling well. Am I selfish, when despite my not feeling well, himself asked me to visit his mom, and I declined. A friend who suffers from high anxiety and much angst asked to grab coffee.

As I sipped my tea and surfed the net, I chanced upon, “Sip your coffee, nice and slow”, “Sip you whiskey, nice and slow”.

How about trying my hand at poem writing from a different perspective?

“Sip your tea nice and slow


Savour the subtle notes

The different tones.


Tea bushes drink moon dew

Nice and gently

Lightness of being

Refill your well

Nice and slow

Before it becomes empty”

As I reflect on the day before, recognising me and being grateful for the opportunities to encourage others, I’m emboldened to say “not more”, sans guilt. The self I bring

“Desirable Difficulties”, first coined by Psychologist Robert Bjork.

Increasingly, I find myself unable to focus, distracted by many possibilities. Creating a podcast, learning Zoom, MS Teams, Collabultra, Kaltura. Skype? Not any more.

As an educator in Covid-19 world, I have had to learn new tools, and suddenly a world of technology tools to engage my students emerged. I can now ask Questions, and my students will respond via “Chat” function. They are not as shy as I thought, but not willing to be rude to interrupt a class with their hands raised. Chat function is different. I can choose to look at their comments when I’m ready. They’re not interrupting anyone.

Soon I began to discover other tools such as “Wooclap”, “Padlet”, “Nearpod”, “Mentimeter”, “” “Google Forms”, “Kahoot”. And I’m able to test their learning, instead of having my students be passive. Open your mouths, let me pour the knowledge in.

Gamification, the new best friend of Education. Where teachers can set up friendly competitions to test knowledge of their students. But what if in the midst of all that fun, students are merely clicking at answers. Not processing them through pen and paper.

First, struggle helps. Move aside rote learning.

Cognitive Psychologist Nate Kornell found that students who struggle to generate an answer on their own, even a wrong one, enhances subsequent learning.

(P85- Kornell and psychologist Janet Metcalfe tested sixth graders in the South Bronx as well as repeated an experiment on students at Columbia University found that “being forced to generate answers improves subsequent learning even if generated answer is wrong.

Second, solve unexpected problems.

Education Economist Greg Duncan, a foremost education professor in the world opined that focusing on “using procedures” problems worked well forty years ago when the world was flush with jobs that paid middle class salaries for procedural tasks like typing, filing and working on an assembly line. Increasingly jobs that pay well require employees to be able to solve unexpected problems, often while working in groups.

Third, broad application to different scenarios

These shifts in labor force demands means knowledge needs to be durable but also flexible – sticky and capable of broad application – known as “interweaving”. We need people who can hunt for and connect contextual clues.

Dedre Gentner, Northwestern University Psychologist and one of the world’s foremost authority on analogical thinking, ie practice recognising conceptual similiarities in multiple domains or scenarios that seem to have little in common on surface. Analogical thinking takes the new and makes it familiar. As well as take the familiar and apply under new light and allow humans to reason through problems they have never seen in unfamiliar contexts.

Example explaining light as billard balls or Einstein explaining relativity using train travel.

Fourth, MORE

Creativity researcher Dean Keith Simonton showed that the more work, eminent creators produced, the more duds they churned out, BUT also the higher the opportunity of a “supernova success”. Thomas Edison held more than a thousand patents, BUT rejected for more.

There is a chinese saying, the more you do, the more mistakes you make. Do nothing, no mistakes. As leaders, when we pick out mistakes, rather than applaud those who try, we inadvertently, encourage a “Fixed mindset”, rather than a “Growth Mindset”.

We learn who we are, by doing, by trying new activities, building new networks, finding new role models. – Hermina Ibarra, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD

Her timeless advice: Test and learn vs Plan and Implement. Which among my various selves should I start to explore now? Create tiny experiments for yourself today.

Plan experiments from technological innovation to comic books. That experience is not wasted. Be willing to learn and adjust as you go. Allow mental meanderings and personal experimentation. Accept interdisciplinary exploration and diverse experience building.

#range #specialist #generalist #experiment #problem solving #21st century competency #competency

You’ve received countless whatsapp by now.

Two golds for men high jump.

Can we have two golds without a tie-off jump?

He got it.

Barshim (Qatar) and Tamberi (Italy) share high jump win although both did not clear 2.39.

Internet right now is trending that they are sharing their gold.

But examine carefully, Barshim of Qatar has never won an Olympic gold yet.

Ask the right questions. Think win win. You never know. Instead of a leg injury, they got two golds.

Recently, my 90 yr old mother in law received orders to be isolated in a hotel room with her son. They were detected to be in close encounters with someone who had contracted the covid virus.

Thankfully she tested “negative” in the 14 days.

Resilience of the human mind. I am so impressed that she pulled through. Reading the Chinese newspaper, albeit missing her daily walks. She is a “quarantine orders survivor”!! Thats quite an achievement for a very active person.

Although 14 days zoomed past for me, time crawled for them. Time is relative.

The biggest surprise I had was how fast the 14 days went.

I asked myself, what did I achieve?  Did I build habits?

Was I a good steward of my time, my voice, my emotional energy?

*I had a lot of wins*

Quality time with family. Brought them to zoo and river safari.

Toyed with a podcast

Participated in daily prayers

Learn cords on guitar

Debunked myth of “the greatest romance of the century”. (ok, I was derailed by youtube)


How do you measure your time on earth?

Whats something small you can do daily to cumulate into big impact?

Today I visited the art exhibition Soul of Ink: Lim Tzepeng at 100.

Did you know that Singapore artist Lim Tzepeng started his career as a farmer, then teacher, principal before turning to full time painting at 60 yrs old when he retired.

Initially he mostly did calligraphy and we bought a few pieces of his work 10 yrs ago when he was relatively unknown.

Lim inspires me as one who constantly reinvents himself. As the curator Low Sze Wee describe him, Lim “continues to seek progress and breakthroughs with the spirit of a young man”.

Happy Birthday Mr Lim.

Soul of Ink: Lim Tze Peng at 100 is open to the public at The Arts House from 15 to 30 June 2021, 11am to 6pm.

Admission is free but registration is required.

Photo credits: himself

#limtzepeng #art #creative #portfoliocareer #retire #retyre