How to Rescue Failing Software Projects: Practical Proven Methods That Work

IMG_1712 My book is finally available as an eBook, on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon. I wrote this book to share my experience in how to rescue failing software projects. When I was going through such a situation, I had no one to turn to. My hope is that the information in this book will be useful to those in similar situations. Although the information in the book pertains to software projects, I have come to realize that the techniques can be used in many other situations. I have personally used these techniques in business and technical projects.

You can read more about it here.
My book can be purchased here at
Amazon Kindle version is available here at

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Achieve your dreams in 2008

Do take this holiday period to clarify your goals, dreams and needs. Spend some time by yourself for yourself to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit. Spend quality time with your family and friends, cherish the times you have with them, for one full year has passed since your last Christmas holidays. Time flies. We are all one year older since last Christmas.

What have we done? What have we achived? For me, its not so much about what I have achieved. I look at what action I have taken. Whether I achieve my goals is immaterial, as long as I continue to take action and learn from mistakes. I know that I will surely achieve my goals this way with less stress. Achieving my goals is not an end point, its a journey and I intend to enjoy it.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Enjoy the ride of life

I just came back from a wonderful vacation in a neighbouring country with very cool weather. There was a theme park with several roller coaster rides. I'm really not one for roller coaster, but after riding on one, I was eager to go onto another ride!

My first ride was filled with fear and apprehension. Lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, positive and negative G-force.

I noticed something about myself. I need control over the environment to stay secure and safe. When the roller coaster dropped like a rock, my heart felt like it was going to come out of my mouth! After a while, I got used to the sensation of falling and began to enjoy the rides tremendously. I began to let go (not literally), site tight, go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Isn't this true in life? We all go through ups and downs. Going up, we can take. Downs, we can't. Same in the roller coaster example. WHen we get used to going down, we begin to take it in our stride.

If we take action, there is always a result, either positive (up) or negative (down). After taking action several times, we will get used to such results, whether up or down, modify our strategy and move on. The point is that we have taken action and achieved a result to know our limitations or limitation of our strategy. This is feedback for us to modify our strategy and take action again until we achieve success.

Enjoy the ride. Ups and downs are part and parcel of life. The only time we do not have ups and downs is when we are dead! Take life and its results in our stride. Learn to live life, do not squander our time. Plan your life, plan your month, plan your day and have a wonderful life!

Just a note to those I have not replied to your comments or emails. I have received emails in my Bulk folder and removed them. If I had missed your email, I do apologise. I do appreciate your feedback and will reply. Better if you leave a comment to my posts. Any which way, comments always appreciated.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Focus your thoughts and enjoy your journey

I recently went to a water theme park where there were different water slides of different heights. The ride on each slide was exhilarating. I learnt something during this trip.

On my first trip down a water slide, I was tense and adjusted myself as much as I could in order to relieve my fear. The more I attempted to adjust, the more tense I became, the worse my trip down the slide became. I didn't enjoy my first ride down.

On my second ride, I decided to relax. It worked. Instead of adjusting myself for perfection, I simply went with the flow of the water and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey on the slide.

I realized that in life, we tend to be very tense and plan to perfection before we execute. Perfection will never be achieved for one simple reason: We are only human. However, we can adjust our positions during our execution to move towards our goal. Relax during the journey and enjoy it you will experience this journey only once. When we look back, the memorable experiences we have are the ones that required our inner strengths to be tested. This is how we grow and become better each and every single day.

Enjoy your journey towards your goals.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Everyone has a story to tell

Do you like stories? Stories of strengh, stories of triumph, stories of good over evil, stories that warm your heart?

We all do. We all love to listen to stories. Believe it or not, we all also love to tell stories, especially when the stories belong to us. Ask anyone a simple question, " How did you have fun when you were a child?". You will hear endless stories of happy, sad, angry, disappointing childhood. THese are all stories.

Do you have a story to tell? Our story is being writen every single minute in the pages of time. Do you notice it? What's your story going to be at the end of today? Have you done a random act of kindness, helped someone, helped yourself to improve and move towards your goals, or done a small kind deed that help light up the eyes of a child?

As our story is being written, I'm sure you would want to be the author of your own story. Do not allow your story to be written by others. This is where goals and time management become critical. Without clear goals and action that follow, we drift and our story is written by circumstances.

So, take charge of your life now. Write your goals down and make good use of your time to create the greatest story you can ever tell to others...your very own story that you are proud of.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 01, 2007

Grow Up!

A few days ago, I watched a group of ladies playing with a baby. The baby was only a couple of months old and could not crawl nor do much by itself. As I watched, I was reminded of noneother than ... myself!

No, I'm not saying I am a baby. I was reminded of how I used to be. I was reminded of my childhood days at the age of 5, 9 years old, 11 years old, 12 years old etc. Talk about your life flashing right before your eyes! :-)

I realised how much I had grown physically. I tower over the baby in height. I then asked myself a question, "Had I grown in wisdom and capability?"

Boy, that was a scary question. I would have liked to say "YES!" immediately. However, I paused and reflected before I answered "YES!". Why the pause?

I just wanted to be sure. We read so much bad news in newspapers today and I can't help but wonder whether we have really grown up at all.

As the baby grows, we see so many physical changes in height and size. We see changes in attitude and capabilities such as speech and thinking/reasoning capabilities. Up to a certain point (like when a person reaches the age of 21 or 31 or 41), this growth somehow doesn't seem that apparent anymore.

We see limited physical growth or if we do notice, its called aging. It is the inner-self that we do not notice. While we grow physically, it is imperative that we continue to also grow mentally and in our capabilities to make ourselves whole.

How do we grow our capabilities?

Reading a book helps. Taking action and doing something that takes you closer to what you want or want to be, is a definitely a surefire way of growing capabilities. As I had written earlier, taking action will produce a result. If its the result you want, great. If its not, chalk it up as a learning experience. You will be richer with the experience and continue to move on, take the next step. This is how we grow.

What can we do now?

Well, take the first step. For example, as you read this message, pick up a piece of paper and pen now, and write 3 things you need to do today and go do it. This is a simple first step to help you cultivate the habit of writing things down. If you can't do a simple step like this, how do you expect to take on the world?

So continue to learn, continue to have experential learning, GROW!


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 28, 2007

You distracted me from my goals

Goals, goals, goals. An overused word? Everyone talks about it. Every achiever talks about it. There is much more talk than action. Strong words, but words from a shrewd observer nonetheless. :-)

We are often disappointed about goals, about setting them, the trepidation of thinking about them. No one wants to fail. How often do we set goals, get enthusiastic about it, take action. A few days later, a friend, colleague, relative tells you that you shouldn't waste your time on such futile pursuits. They may tell you that the goal is not lofty. Rather, you should consider doing this other 'thing' that can surely accelerate your growth, they would say.

These are all distractions. This is one reason why many do not attempt at taking action, or take action and keep changing their targets until there isn't a clear target anymore.

Its like a platoon of soldiers at the frontline during a battle. The commander says the objective to capture 'lofty goals hill'. The platoon commander plans for it, disseminates the plans to his troops. Before they move off, a change in plan. 'Lofty goals hill' doesn't look that lofty anymore. The new objective is 'More lofty goals hill'. So, the platoon commands plans and disseminates the plans again and the troops move out. Halfway though battle, 'More lofty goals hill' is not the objective anymore. Its now 'Ultimate goals hill'. While holding the fort at the frontlines, the platoon commander re-plans and disseminates the plans for his troops.

What do you think his troops will do? If I were his troop, I'd probably shoot the commander myself! :-)

This is an example where the goals change often that it confuses you, makes you lethargic, makes you demoralised and stop taking action. You get disillusioned with goal setting and taking action, and say that its all too esoteric and doesn't work. Its all hogwash. Let's take a look at another scenario.

The objective is again 'lofty goals hill'. The platoon commander plans for it, disseminates the plans to his troops. The troops move out. At the base of the objective, they realise that the intelligence gathered is not very accurate. They need to do a flank around the base and find another gap in. The command re-plans his next move and disseminates the plans to his troops. The troops move to the other side of 'lofty goals hill' and spots a potential gap. They breach that gap and gain foothold at the base, while the other troops fan-out left and right of the gap. The troops on the left continue to move upwards towards the top of 'lofty goals hill'. The troops on the right face strong firepower. They re-plan their next move and decide to hold their position, while a small crack team flanks and overruns the enemy. In time, the troops on the left overruns the enemy at the top of the hill while the troops on the right kept the enemy so busy they didn't notice the troops on the left.

What's the moral of this story? Its that the strategy to achieve your goals can change as circumstances keep changing everyday. The goals or outcome should remain the same, unless there is a strong compelling reason to change the outcome. This doesn't mean that goals are cast in concrete. On the contrary, if there is a strong enough reason to abandon the goal, do so, only after you have thoroughly clarified its impact and you are true to yourself that its in your best interest to change your goal.

So, do not be easily distracted by mere heresay. Everyone has opinions, but there is only you who has to take action and bear the results. Its just like buying a car. You will hear differing opinions. Some will say buying a larger more expensive car is value for money (I don't see how that can be true). But the ultimate decision lies with you and it is you who will bear the result. In this case, you will bear the cost of the car and car loans, not the person who recommended his opinion about which car you should get. Everyone will see you in a nice brand new expensive car, but you will only see yourself footing the huge bill that's burning a hole in your pocket.

Distractions are good in that when they are evaluated against the context of your goal and your values, they provide a test to your resolve. It can be used to clarify your actions and thoughts, but not to be taken at face value.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 21, 2007

Impatiently achieving goals

How fast do you want to achieve your goals? We go around in life and only remember life is a blur.

We always talk about taking action. Taking action is what enables us to achieve. The key phrase in the statement is "always talk". We always talk about it. How many of you really do something about it? How many really take action?

I have realised that taking action is difficult. There is always the aversion to inertia. Difficult to start. However, once started, it keeps going. There is a caveat to this. If action is taken with a small step with no follow up, the second step will not be taken. This is one reason why we do not achieve.

Another reason why taking action is difficult is due to the fact that we want results fast. To succeed in achieving a goal, it can only be done one step and a time. Each step may take a day, a week, a month, sometimes a year. When that first step is taken, we do not see the fast results we are after, and we quit. If we constantly see the end-goal in our minds, and constantly review daily, that goal will continue to be fresh in our minds and we will continue to persist in our actions.

So,when action is taken, always review at the end of each day. Look at the result with respect to the goal you are after. This is why so few of us continue to achieve goals. We need to persist with passion and stamina. This can only happen if we keep reminding ourselves of the outcome we are after and why its important.

You can check out my previous blogs about the power of writing and review.

So, take action now, review, and take action again, and again and again. This is known as taking massive action, one small step at a time.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Perception versus Realization

What is the difference between perception and realization? This subtle difference is very important to how we go about achieving our goals. Let me explain in more detail. The following explanation is my own opinion and observation.

We all know many things. We may have read books that teaches us certain concepts or techniques. In this case, we know content of the subject well. We understand the content well.

Realization is the experience we get after taking action based on this understanding. As we gain this experience, the knowledge we have becomes ingrained as part of our DNA, in our experiential base for us to draw upon when the time and need arises. It affects the way we think, it affects our belief system, it affects the way to do things.

For example, many of us would have read books or magazines about time management. We are able to expound the benefits and pitfalls of cetain techniques. Without practicing these techniques, we are simply walking libraries, able to quote benefits but unable to speak on the subject with much authority.

Actually practicing the techniques enable us to encounter the difficulties associated with the techniques. We may find that the technique in theory is simple, but to take action on it is difficult because of personal habits that inhibit us.

All this chalks up to learning experience. We become better after practice. When we speak on the subject, we are now able to speak with much authority as we have "been there and donen that", or "we walk the talk" and not simply "talk the talk".

This experience base makes us smarter and stronger as we are able to draw on our experience to help us when we encounter similar difficulties. The more small difficulties we encounter, the better and many of these experiences will help us in diffusing larger difficulties in times of need.

So, do not be afraid of difficulties. We can only get smarter with it. This is the difference between perception and realization.

Do you perceive this point or do you really realize it? Take action. I've written about several techniques. Pick one and practice. The simplest of all is to write things down. Look through my blog and you will find the entry for it.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 07, 2007

Act Now!

How difficult can getting into an elevator (also known as a lift in Asia) be? Can we learn simple lessons about getting into an elevator?

I had a eureka moment this morning. It may sound really foolish, but I'm putting myself on the line by sharing my insght here. So, no flaming please. Haha! ;-)

Early this morning, I left my house with my mind occupied on an important assignment. I had put on my socks and shoes, one foot at a time. My mind deep in thought about my assignment. I opened my front door and walked out into the brave new frontier, called "a new day". Step by step, I got closer to the elevator. I could hear the sound of my shoes as it hit the ground with each step. My mind still occupied with my assignment. I stood in front of the elevator, looking at the display above on which floor the elevator was at. My mind still occupied with my assignment. As I waited, I mulled over my assignment. I waited some more.

I began to wonder why the elevator hadn't reached my floor. I thought this was going to be a long wait, that there must have been many people taking the elevator down to the ground floor this morning. So, I waited some more.

Boy, did I feel foolish. I realised that I hadn't pressed the elevator button. There I was, dressed smartly, waiting for the elevator to arrive, and stood there wondering why it didn't arrive. All this while, I had not pressed the elevator button.

I sheepishly walked forward, pressed the elevator button to go down, and Wa-Lah! Within 15 seconds, the elevator arrived. How long was I standing in front of the elevator? About 5 mintues, 5 long minutes or 300 seconds!

What's even more amazing was the simple lesson this episode reinforced in me. The simple lesson was this:

"If you take no action, you get no result". Or to spin this positively, "If you take action, you will definitely get a result".

Let's dissect the statement "If you take no action,you get no result".

Isn't this true? If you take no action, there will be no result, as shown in my example of not pressing the elevator button, I get no result.

What about "If you take action, you will definitely get a result"?

As in my example above, I took action by pressing the elevator button, and the elevator arrived. I got the result.

However, does taking action mean that you get the result you want? Definitely not. If it were that simple, everyone will be wealthy, healthy and happy because everyone will be taking action every minute. The only guarantee we have is that we will definitely get a result when we take action. The caveat is that the result may not be what we want or expect, but its still a result nonetheless. Is this good?

Yes it is. If you have a goal, you need to take action to get closer to it. By taking action, you get a result. If the result is not what you expected or want, take action again with a different method and review the result again. The result simply tells you that the action taken will yeield the result. If its not the result you want or expect, change the action and take action again. You will then learn what works and what doesn't. This will definitely drive you closer and closer to your goals. Sometime, taking action will not yield a result at all. The result of having no result is a result in itself. It means that you have to change your tactic and take action again.

The opposite is also true. If you have a goal and do not take action, you will definitely get no result. 100% of the time. This is the only guaranteed result...of getting no result. THis is the only sure thing.

So why is it so difficult to take action? Let me list a few reasons I have heard:

1. Its too difficult.
2. It takes too much effort.
3. I started taking action, but lost the fire in me to continue because I'm not getting result.
4. I don't know what the outcome will be. I'm afraid.
5. I'm afraid I will fail.

All these are e-x-c-u-s-e-s. Repeat after me. All these are EXCUSES. If the action does not produce the result you want, its not failure. It simply tells you that your action may not be appropriate at this point in time. Change your tactic and take action again. Life is a learning experience. The more you learn, the better you will be, the more confident you will be, the easier it will be to take more action.

Its also a matter of momentum. The first few steps are the most difficult. Once the first few steps are taken, the rest will follow. Its will rolling a ball down a hill. It rolls down faster and faster. The hard part is rolling it down in the first place. Its a matter of inertia.

So, take action now. No matter how small, you will definitely get a result. This result will tell you if you are on the right path or not. If not, change your tactic, and take action.

Wishing you a successful journey filled with joy and learnings! Don't be too serious. Have fun while you learn and take action.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

No Time? Whom are we kidding?

I have not been posting for the last month due to my hectic schedule. Yeah, its probably just an excuse! :-) You are absolutely right and I plan for fix that. Now on with my observations.

Have you ever heard others telling you they have no time? Whom are they kidding? Let me rephrase that. Have you ever heard of you telling yourself that you have no time? Whom are you kidding?

Many of us go through life in a daze. Somewhere down the road (like 10 years from now), we will wonder where all the time went to. Time seemed to zoom past us. Life seemed to pass us by in the blink of an eye.

No time?

Everyone has the same amount of time. Yet, some are able to achieve so much, others not much. Strange isn't it? You may guess that I am alluding to time management techniques. Well, yes. However, I'd like to also show you and make you realise that you really do have the same amount of time as everyone else.

We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, about 30 days a month. Think about it. 24 hours a day, that is 1440 minutes a day. By the way, a few of those minutes has already gone by. We all have 168 hours a week. Only 168 hours, including time for sleeping. How much can you do in 168 hours? Let me do some calculation here:

1. Number of hours a day = 24
2. Number of waking hours a day = 16 (assuming you sleep 8 hours a day)
3. Number of waking hours a week = 16x7 = 112

Only 112 waking hours a week, or 6720 minutes a week that you are awake. How are you using the 6720 minutes?

Its really interesting when I hear the phrase "I have no time". But then, who has? We are all busy, we all have many things to do.

Those who accomplish much isn't simply good at time management. They also have a strong goal, a goal that has become a MUST for them to achieve. That goal is so compelling that it drives them to use every single waking minute in taking action. That's the trick. Taking action.

I have included a sample schedule for you to look at. Believe it or not, your entire life for 1 month is on this schedule. There is no other life outside of this schedule. Take a look at it. It starts from 6am to 12am (assuming you sleep from 12am to 6am), and every day (day 1 to day 31) is mapped out. All your available time is on this simple piece of paper.

Dare you crumple it and throw it away? The whole sheet of paper is your entire life for one month. What you plan to do is all on this sheet of paper. Whatever is NOT on this sheet of paper is what you will NOT do because you will not have time to do it. Its as simple as that.

As I had written in previous posts, always write your activities down. Schedule time for it. I hope this give you a good glimpse into how precious time is and how fleeting it is. Time is ticking away. Waste not, for it will never come back again. After the month is gone, this sheet of paper is worth nothing and can be thrown away because the time has passed. You will start life on another brand new sheet of schedule for the next month.

Here is the schedule:

If the image isn't too clear, you can always drop me a comment requesting for the original spreadsheet and I will gladly send it to you. If you need more clarification or explanation on what the symbols mean, do drop me a comment and I will be happy to explain it.

Remember, time it ticking away. Make full use of it. Live life to the fullest.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learning to excel?

Very recently, I was an an optometrist, you know, the guy who tests your eyes and gives you a prescription for lenses so that you can see better.
I noticed a lady in the store and overheard her conversation with the optometrist. No, I wasn't eavesdropping. :-) I just happened to be nearby.

She had long-sightedness in one eye, and short-sightedness in the other. Her right eye never needed any prescription lenses until it become short-sighted. All the while, she used her left eye to look at things far away (with a prescription lense), while her right eye was used to read (no lenses). This was done automatically as the brain adjusted and compensated for the distance.

This time, her right eye was more short-sighted and needed a prescription lens. WHen she put on the lense, she felt like the world had gone topsy turvy. It felt uncomfortable. Reading was difficult and slower.
The interesting observation the optometrist made was that the brain had not yet learned how to adjust to the correct eyesight in the right eye and the neorological connections in the brain were not yet made. It would take time. I'm glad to say that her brain has already made the neorological connections today, and its been only a few days.

This proves one premise that I always held. The human mind is very intelligent and adaptable. It will do whatever it takes to survive. This also proves that nothing is unlearnable. In this instance, the brain did the neurological connections automatically.

What about time management and effectiveness?

As I had written in my previous posts, effectiveness can be learned. It is a skill that must be cultivated into a habit. This example clearly demonstrates that we can all learn anything and be good at it. It only requires the willingness in our mind to want to learn, to want to excel, to want to achieve. Without this passion, nothing is possible. The brain makes neorological connections because it has to in order to survive. It had become a 'MUST'.

Is being effective a 'MUST' to you? How much do you want to achieve? Why do you want to be effective and achieve your goals? Why?
Ask yourself 'why' three times to help you clarify your goals. For example, if you want to have a net worth of $1 Million, ask why. Having $1 Million is only an objective. Why do you want it? After you answer the first why, ask a second why to your answer, and later a third why. This will draw out the real reason to your goals, then it becomes a 'MUST' with passion.

You can learn to excel and achieve anything you wish for. The ability to learn and adapt is within everyone's DNA. Unleash your power and shoot for the moon!

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Do you know where you are going to?

As the song goes, "Do you know where you're going to". Think about it. Do you REALLY know where you're going to? Every day, we have a deluge of tasks and activities.

Sometimes in the morning, I feel over overwhelmed, nervous, agitated. Nervous about what the day will bring. I replay the activities I have to do in the day. THen I replay it again, and again and again, reminding myself of what I have to do today. Sometimes, the sequence of activities get rearranged and I replay it again. Then I feel nervous about it, hoping I will not forget my tasks for the day, and to do it in the correct sequence. I used to have all these feelings. I used to do this when I woke up in the morning, during my shower, on the way to work. That was then, this is now. All this miraculous went away after I used the techniques I have described in this blog. The simplest of all is to write things down, everything you need to do have to be written down.

Another important step normally forgotten is to assign a start time and end time for each activity, otherwise the list is only a to-do list, and a to-do list without the time element is a wish list at best.

Imagine yourself swimming out at sea and a boat comes along. Someone from the boat throws a float with a rope attached to it. The person on the boat is holding on to the rope. If the sea has strong currents, you will be bobbing to and fro at sea, and will be unable to carry on in the direction you wanted to go.

However, if you caught on to the float, it will help to steady your position and you can pull yourself along the rope to the boat, even though the sea currents may be strong.

The rope is like your activity list with the time element. It helps you navigate through strong and rough currents of the day without gulping sea water or feeling helpless and tired.

No matter how busy you are, always practice this habit. This is the simplest and most basic habit in time management, yet many neglect it. Many choose the path that will have them thrown about helplessly in the sea of overwhelming activities in the day, rather than spend 15 minutes at the end of each day,planning for the next. Let's not even talk about planning for the month or the day, or even about goals yet. If you cannot even plan a day and follow the schedule, how can you plan for a month and begin to achieve your life dreams?

Take one step at a time. All it takes is one step at a time. Have patience, practice this simple habit, and your dreams will slowly manifest themselves as you take consistent action daily.

Carpe Diem!!! (Sieze the day!!!)

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 02, 2007

What are you doing NOW?

We all have many activities we perform every single day. When asked, you will normally get the reply, "I have a thousand-and-one things to do today". Really? How effective is that?

What you do today or now is an individual's decision. What you do not do today or now, is also an individual's decision. So, is not doing anything bad?

Not at all. You would have read in many books that we must take action, we must be effective. Lest we forget, we also need rest to recharge.
I was in a cab today. The cab ride was to be about an hour. I felt really restless as I wouldn't have any internet connection to check email etc. I didn't really want to read a book for fear of getting carsick! :-) But doing nothing for an hour is a waste of time. Well not really. I decided to write this entry as relaxation and take a break from the hustle and bustle of my schedule. I decided on that action. I repeat, 'I' decided on taking that action. I felt really good. We would normally just go with the flow and do stuff. Once yo are aware and fully conscious of your decision on an activity, whether it be for work or play, somehow, you get more focused on it, and put in 100% effort, instead of simply doing it. Sounds really mystical? Not at all.

Many of us walk around in a daze, as though we are sleep walking. We need to practice the art of being in-the-moment, being here in the present, being aware of the present. Do this experiment. Do you notice your breathing?....Now you do. And I bet you took a deep breath when you noticed. That single breath provided some calmness to you. Because you were aware. We need to cultivate this habit in our daily lives. Yes, its a habit. We are normally caught up in our own world of problems that we forget to smell the roses...till its too late.

Make that decision. Take the responsibility. Give yourself permission to be fully in the present for 5 minutes. You will feel your energy levels increase, you will feel calmer and more focused.

One way of making this a habit is to keep a time log (see my previous posts). A time log forces you to notice what you HAD done and rate yourself. When it becomes a habit, you will tend to notice the present.
Just a small piece of the effectiveness puzzle I'd like to share.

Go on, smell the roses, and record the activity in your time log.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 26, 2007

Good luck? Sieze it now!

I am currently reading a book titled "The richest man in Babylon" by George S. Clason. This is an amazing book written in the 1920s. It is written in a story form about the richest man in Babylonia and the conversations he had with others who wanted to learn about how to be wealthy.

It talks about the rules of gold, how to accumulate it, how to invest it, how not to invest, and what how those rules help. One particular paragraph caught my attention (among many others!). It states:

"I had thought of it as something most desirable that might happen to a man without effort upon his part. Now, I do realize such happenings are not the sort of thing one may attract to himself. From our discussion have I learned that to attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities. Therefore, in the future, I shall endeavor to make the best of such opportunities as do come to me"

Why did this paragraph stand out?

It is so basic that we may have forgotten. It is about taking action NOW! Not later, not another time, not after I finish my lunch. For the goddess of good luck smiles upon those who take action...NOW. (THis is my interpretation of several other paragraphs)

So what have I been posting about the past year? Its all about taking action. Its all about planning. Its all about being structured in your time management to unleash maximum effectiveness, in order to take advantage of such opportunities when they arise.

I must say, this is an amazing book, a small and short book, but amazing nonetheless. I highly recommend it. It should not be read as a story book. After the first reading, reflect and contemplate if you have put into practice any of the principles. The laws and principles are so simple, yet we do not do them.

I wonder why.

For fear of failure? For fear of starting? For fear of not knowing how it will all turn out?

Get out of this undesirable mental state. What's it going to cost you to to take one principle and apply it for 30 days? One of the principle is to save at least one-tenth of your income. Believe it, even after saving one-tenth, you must make the adjustment to your lifestyle. Its worth it. Its possible, because our desires for material things always grows beyond our income. Control it!

Take charge. Set your goals. Do your daily planning to take advantage of the opportunites that come your way when the goddess of good luck smiles upon you. :-)


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why goals fail

Goals do not fail. We fail goals.

I've been really busy with work and working towards my goals. Its been a tough ride, balancing my time between work, personal goals and family...And its all worth it. I can see my achievements gaining strength, day after day. As I had written in previous posts, it takes one small step at a time. If I take 365 small steps, that puts me 365 steps closer to my goal.

Many do set goals but do not follow through. One very glaring reason is that we live in an instant world. Instant noodles, instant TV using a remote, instant messenger, instant communication. When we set goals, we also expect instant results. If we do not achieve our goals in 24 hours or 48 hours, we get bored with it and the goal fades away. We tend to forget, we cannot have a tree unless we take the time to plant the see and continually nurture it...and this takes time. If we see a seedling and wanting for it to grow quickly, we decide to pull it out of the ground, the seedling will never grow into a tree. This is the same for our goals. We must have patience. As long as we know we are taking one step at a time towards our goal, we have to wait to see the results.

Do, do not be afraid. Go forth and set you most ambitious goals and dreams. Then begin by taking one step at a time. Write it down and paste it on your wall or planner and update it everyday. You will see that this will be your motivation. This motivation comes from your internal self, not from any external influence. Motivation from your internal self last much longer than from any external stimuli.

I am pumped up with my goals and steps I have taken. You should be too. So enough typing and reading. Just go write your goals down, write down the first 3 to 5 steps, and JUST DO IT. (See my previous posts for techniques on doing this.)

Go, go, go....!!!

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved