Principles and Patterns of Excellence



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Discover Patterns and Principles of Progressive Living

It is them that will bring you closer to the path of personal development, prosperity, power and peace. Everything in our life can be seen as patterns of certain principles. If one takes the principle of success, as well as the patterns of it, I would dare say that one person will be more likely to achieve success compared to another who doesn’t, regardless of how positive-minded and persistent the second person is.

Patterns and principles doesn't discriminate. It's like the principle of gravity – all things in the atmosphere of the earth is subject to it, regardless of how positive or negative you feel or think about it. Even if you're absolutely positive you can fly, I assure you as you are, you can't fly, except if you're in a helicopter, airplane, wind gliding or somewhere along that line.

Seek to find and understand these fundamental principles and patterns, and it will be a strong asset to you in your path of personal development and success in life. There are six chapters altogether, take your time to read them, don't rush them. In fact, as you read, ponder and mull over them, perhaps ruminate and internalise them as much as you can, and put them into practice as soon and as much as you can. Test what works for you, and keep the best that works for you.

Understanding The Fundamentals To A Great Life

Everything in life is based on principles. They are fundamental and basics of truths of the universe and the basic building blocks of life. One of the laws, the law of gravity, is a principle. As Sir Isaac Newton discovered this principle, it changed the history and the world sciences then, even until today. Uncovering principles will be a lifelong love and passion of those who succeed, and are succeeding.

Those who live thinking their personality, absolute preferences (choices), prejudice and luck to get them through in life, they will have no basis or fundamentals on which their lives can be build and grown upon. This is the reason why these principles are called basics and fundamentals – without them, one may end up failing and struggling. Without them, they, having no fundamentals, become unsteady, easily shifted, and lost. Those who live by “just choices” or “my strong personality” will one day be swayed to do something else…”because they feel like it.” Those who live on prejudice can be super prejudicially wrong, yet don't accept or believe it, and end up in nothing.

The more you build your life based on principles and patterns, you will grow from strength to strength, carried from higher to higher places and the greater your life will be. I can assure you of this truth.

Find The Right Pattern

As all of life is based on principles, they are lived out and acted upon through patterns. Patterns are how things move and work based on its principles. Night and day is a pattern. Tide rising and falling is a pattern. Planting seeds and harvesting fruits/plants is a pattern. All things operate and move on patterns natural to the world in which you and I live.

You can only become rich, successful, increase in personal development and engage in progressive living when you base all your life on principles and patterns of excellence that works for you, and not against you. When I decided that I don't want to work any longer at a job which environment I dislike, as well as its limited value I can deliver and receive, I sowed a seed of independence and entrepreneurship. Because of that seed, it slowly grew as I nurtured it, watered it, fertilized it, and it's growing steadily, and its fruits are sustaining me. Some of the seeds of the fruits that sustains us we are re-planting, and we know that in due season, there will be more and more fruits. This is the pattern of seedtime and harvest time. We learnt a pattern of delivering personal value and services to our clients, who in turn, enjoyed the service we provide, and we still practice the same pattern today.

The patterns you learn and live will determine the outcomes of the life you live. The better the pattern and its execution, the better the life.

Books and Information Are Your Best Friend

What you have right in front of you now, these reading materials will be your most important and valuable information and data today, because it has the principles and patterns that will enable you to grow in your personal development journey, that will empower and enable you to live the best life that you dream of, be it in finances, the way you think and feel, health and relationships. Learn to understand, recognize and practice these patterns.

This information is better than anything you have, other than salvation, as these principles and patterns will not fade away like stocks, houses, relationships. It even speaks without an accent in our own voice. Reading helps you build concentration and focus, paving the path for greater wisdom and understanding, alertness of mind and the enjoyment of your life.

To understand and learn life's principles and patterns, it's best to discover what others before you had discovered. No point trying to discover them on your own, because why do that when it's already discovered? No one still tries to discover the laws of gravity today after Sir Isaac Newton's discovery. Gravity is taught in schools! Patterns and principles are crucial to personal development, and yet they are readily available for you, if you could see them.

When the student is ready, the master will appear – Ancient Chinese Proverb.

Reading is an art, and every reader is enabled to be a co-creator, a co-artist of sort. Nothing can compare to reading, be it the great big screen, the small screen, dramas and plays and audio CDs, but they cannot compare to the skill of reading. Why this is so is because reading engages the mind actively, growing newer connections of neurotransmitting conductors in the brain, whereas in the others, it's more passive and less learning is involved. Common people stops reading after they stop schooling, and if you look all around you, you'll realize that most of the time, only 1 in 10 people reads, and that one person will be more predisposed to winning the game of life by uncovering life's patterns and principles of successful living, personal development and progressive living.

Reading will make you uncommon, make you stand out, and unique. It is adds to your relevancy in all your being and thinking, hedging you against older, aged and more unusable theories and knowledge or preferences. The love for reading (and not only this, the active pursuit of personal development and progressive living) should be encouraged and instilled in every individual, family unit, organization and society. As parents or older guardians, we under-represent or mis-represent our roles to the children and younger generation if or when we leave their education and discipline only to the teachers and academic educators.

On top of that, sometimes, not wanting them to go through the pain of learning patience and wisdom and knowledge through undergoing and breaking through problems, we may rush them and try to solve their problems for them, rather than letting them learn. Worse, we only teach them retrospectively when a problem or crisis happens, rather than teaching and imparting wisdom first for the prevention and management of problems before they even happen.

Only the truth can set people free. Information gleaned from NigelChua.com as well as other books have unlimited shelf life expectancy because truths within will never and can never die. Even as one's physical books or digital reading products such as computers and iPads or Kindles wear out, truth will never die – it is timeless. But like soap and water, it is only good when applied.

You will need to act on what you learn. Just one principle can change your life, finances, career or marriage. Because of that, I will not spoon feed or water down truths, but I will reveal to you patterns and principles direct. Whatever I had written, from now on, its ability, life and capacity will transfer into your hands – it's not about the dollars and cents. Patterns and principles are a matter of life or death.

Patterns, Levels and Principles

Business is not just about making more money, buying more toys or owning more things – it's about ownership of the level of life you'd like to live. The better your business and/or life, the higher level of living and of life you'll have. This is a pattern. Understand that life is lived progressively on levels and each level is broken into stages. At each stage, you can choose to stay your ground, fall back or press on forward. An example is at Level 1 of your life, you may have to undergo Stage 1.1, 1.2….and stage1.9 before you can reach Level 2. That's 10 stages (it's just an example, it may be more or less depending on your situations). And at some points and stages, you may have to fight a stage boss to Level Up.

I've been in the private practice of hand therapy, and my wife in physiotherapy with me since 2008. When we began, I'll call that Level 0, we had to undergo a lot of learning curves, in three general areas of business: personal development, clinical development and business development. That means that on a personal development level, we need to learn how to better manage our time and emotions, rest well and be rested spiritually, we need to learn how to communicate better with referring doctors and visiting patients. Clinically, we need to learn how to expand and deliver the best clinical outcomes in the least time and effort, and ensure our patients learn and be compliant in best practices. At a business level, we need to learn how to manage finances, marketing, administration, book keeping, advertising and much more.

They all add up and they can overwhelm, which is why, when recently we both received job offers as senior positions with relatively good pay and remuneration, we were tempted (I'll be upright honest), seriously. Perhaps it was a tough time or year. Perhaps working with good fixed pay and bonuses without the overwhelming need to manage and lead sounds good. But we decided that doing that would result in a "Levelling Down" of where we were at, perhaps from a level 2.2 to a Level Negative. And that was not what we wanted, as we knew what we want to go and do. So in a way, this episode invigorated us to let us know that ‘we're doing okay to be asked to lead' and decided to press in more.

You determine the level of life you want to live. You may be at a place where you think you've climbed quite high, secured a space and now live quite comfortably, and going to a new place may be tough and uncomfortable, and prefer to stay where you are or scale back, it's your call. Not mine, not anyone's. People do this all the time, doing the "I-remember-my-greater-glory-days…" as a high school debate king, or managing director of a certain company, rather than being willing to start at the bottom of a higher level (means that they'd rather be at Level 2 Stage 9 than at Level 3 Stage 1).

Passing through each stage takes us to higher stages and levels is a pattern for life that is a standard pattern for all those who actively pursue personal development, progressive living and successful living. The only way one can avoid starting at the bottom of a newer and higher level is by telling himself or herself to avoid success and growth, effectively stumping oneself.

Freewill and Choice, Your Greatest Power

Like I mentioned in my Go back to Start Where You Are article, the level that you live now and in the future is all under your control, your choice, your determination. Why this happens is because when you make a decision, be it by commission (making a decision actively) or omission (choosing to ignore a decision to make), you become a slave to that choice. We are all slaves to our choices that we have made, or are going to make – what kind of decisions should you make today? If you're not sure, go back to my Go back to Start Where You Are article, and read it and determine the kind of life you'd like to live.

Life is made of your choices and decisions. Circumstances do not determine the level of your life and living, though it may influence it to a small degree, but it is what you do with circumstances that dictates and determines your level in life.

I have had many experiences with people, associates and friends alike, who have so much energy to complain and participate in people-bashing (this is one of the things in life that I have an extreme distaste for, and will often walk away or avoid the conversation if I can) that they can spend hours after hours complaining and bashing their supervisors, friends, family members or anyone poor soul who had stepped on their toes, conscious or not. And I realize that many of them are often stuck where they are in life, in a rut, not-going anywhere, and huddled together to feel safe together through their negative habits.

If they have put in as much into personal development for progressive living and into their lives, they will grow personally and level up into greater living, fruits and success. They will have opportunities after opportunities to level up but give in to a welfare, woe-is-me and I-hate-them mentality, effectively stumping themselves. When we underwent major challenges and setbacks in our business, we could have chosen to fall back, or opt to return to employment, and stay with friends who have no more ambitions than that. But we made a choice, a conscious one that will change the rest of our lives.

Throughout my life, I found that every higher stage and level require more and more of me than the previous stage and level than I liked to. But, the more that is given, the more I receive in the end, and it becomes a positive upward spiral. At each stage, we have to make the critical and crucial choice of backing down or pushing in to a higher position.

If you don't like the life you're living right now, or you don't like the future that you're seeing right now, then you have to take a side. You have to make a choice, and take massive action to steer yourself in the right direction. Your choices determine your actions, which makes habits, habits make character, and character, your destiny. Seriously, the only insurance you have against your future tomorrow are the choices and actions you make and take today.

The day I realized that my decisions change my destiny is the day I gained my life back. In the past, I didn't think much about things, thinking that things happen "because they happen". All I could do then, was to just pick up pieces or react to what has happened. I have broken that bad belief system and replaced them with better ones (to find out how you can do this read this article on values and beliefs). Avoid the victim mentality, or you-owe-me mentality, both of which disempowers yourself. There is no excuse. You alone are responsible for the choices you make, so please make them wisely.

Choices have consequences. It can be negative, or it can be positive. I know because of my past experiences, mistakes, and I evaluated them (some of which included social smoking, pre-marital sex, angst) and have since dropped all of them. Many of them still retain as memories in my mind, reminding me of how my choices then had interrupted my life then. It became my responsibility alone to change my choices to change my future.

If you refuse to exercise this power of choice, then you are empowering others to do it for you. Allowing others to make choices for you allows them to create your world and future, at your expense, good or bad. Plus, they tend to make it rather too limited and small. No one can see or fully understand your full capacity, your mind, your heart, your passion. That's what only you and God only can. Choose well.

Your Second Tool

As life is made of our choices and decisions, it is made and contructed or deconstructed by the power of our words. Once you've made the decision to build or expand your life, change the words you use. You are only committed as much as what you confess. If you don't speak it or say it, you will not become responsible or accountable to do what you had thought to do, and no one will be able to have heard it to help you achieve it.

Repeating phrases, metaphors, chanting mantras and making positive affirmations and confessions have fast gained popularity because today's leaders and coaches have realized and understood the power of words that build confidence, faith, relationship and ultimately, actions that brings about the changes they want. The Japanese has been doing this for years, leading their employees in morning exercises which includes shouting the company slogans and philosophies.

Understand that our words creates and constructs our lives, every single word. We release our creative power through our words that shape our situation and our worlds. How our business came about because Louise and myself used the words to speak it from our desires to build our dream practice. Our worlds are framed and created by our words. Words have creative power. Use it poorly, breaking your words or taking your words lightly will yield in poor results in life. Use them wisely and surely you will develop and grow in your personal development and progressive living.

Today, Choose To Change

Change is inevitable. It is permanent. It is important. You will experience change at every and any stage in your life. It may be difficult to live with change…but it is impossible to live without it, my friend. It may be uncomfortable, life is full of change. Life goes on despite what we think should happen. Refusing to change doesn't stop change, just that we stop changing, and life will pass us by. I'm not saying that's bad, because some people like that, but it's limited in it purpose if you choose to just become a floatsam in the sea, floating.

As the internet era began, those who ignored the power of the internet, the businesses and corporations, will begin to lose out an entire community that is connected. Those that did not move quickly will fall very back, losing ground. Like I mentioned before, some chose to stay that way because they have a plan (ever noticed retro shops e.g. retro café, shops selling retro inventories and antiques) and a tested market for it.

To change from one stage to another higher stage or level will require more effort, energy and commitment than the current stage you're in. It will require you to step out of your current comfort zone. It will require an old vision or dream to die. If you want a different way of life, we have to change what we're doing now, which will only yield what we've always gotten.

To get something different from doing the same old thing…that's not going to happen. You've got to do something different, my friend.

Be Willing To Learn

The person who knows how to do things will always have a job…but the person who knows why will always be his or her boss. You can always learn how to do something e.g. taking a new skill, a new technique, but if you choose to master a pattern by which it works, or the principles that it stems from, you will always rise above the company you're in. Principles are the keys to unlock the locked doors, the blueprints to larger maps and rooms, which will guide you from one level to the next.

Seeking, learning and understanding life's patterns and principles for personal development and progressive living, like the statement, is a progressive process. It is a lifelong activity and process that allows you to progress forward. You can never be too old, or have learnt everything, or too young to learn. It is not common for a person to have more than one career or business in their lives. I left the world of being an employee at the age of 26 and went into a physiotherapy/hand therapy support contractor. Two years later, we left that to have our own store. Then I ventured into a digital world where you are at right now, in NigelChua.com | Personal Development for Progressive Living.

It's not how available or how rich or patient you are that matters, it's how teachable you are. You may be rich, you may be free, you may be patient – but if you're not teachable, you will always be where you're at. To be able to learn, and learn freely, you need to have a pursuit and desire and a heart for the truth. It's very hard to tell someone something if they think that "they already know." Be open to new ideas and innovations. Learn to adapt to emerging trends and technologies. There's more to what we know, because we don't know what we don't know!

Learn the principles. Master the patterns. Muster courage to take actions persistently.

Dream Your Compelling Future and Take Action

The most powerful thing you can do in life is to create an image, or to visualize one. Visualization is everything. In fact, the Bible clearly writes about this when God says "My people perish without a vision", and this happened thousands of years ago. Everything is envisioned first before they come to fruition. Images compel, propel and stimulate us.

The images in our minds are what that drives us to our destinies…or away from them. Dreams and visualizations are the basis, the substance of every achievement and promotions in life. Richard Branson's dream started with music. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream to unite people. Rockefeller on oil. Bill Gates on overtaking IBM. Steve Jobs on the best technology by design.

People's dreams of promotions, achievements and destinations are the fundamental reasons of what they do and behave, directly or indirectly. Micheal Dell built the Dell system from his room and garage. Micheal Jordan was initially rejected from his school basketball. FedEx was written off as "undoable and unrealistic." None of the people who dreamed their dreams above let go and gave up, they all pressed in and achieved their goals.

Unfortunately, many people don't dream. Those who do, don't dream big enough. They allow others to destroy and influence the image of their visions and dreams in their own minds, to achieve what they could have achieved. The most powerful thing you can do is to create an image. The next most powerful thing is to destroy one.

You would have seen or experienced for yourself first hand, meeting and seeing people who are the "should-have," "could-have" and "would-have" crowd in your life, who had allowed others to poison, steal and destroy their dreams. When their dreams had died, they stopped dreaming, and opt instead for a mediocre life. Dreams can die, they can vanish, and they can be stolen…but no one can or should live without a dream, ever.

See Into Your Future

Dreams are the basis and fundamental building blocks of promotions and achievement in life. It is a principle in life. The images you hold in your mind are what that will shape and determine your future. Like a magnet, it is what that will draw you forward, pulling you closer to it. When your dream is very specific, its magnetism and power increases substantially. A dream that has been shattered and stolen, and replaced instead with a negative disempowering statement such as "you're just like ____", if you hold on to it, your future will be changed because you'll be influenced by that image in your head.

If you had a dream, but it was poisoned, destroyed or changed into something negative, you must re-create it into a positive vision of your future. A positive vision and dream creates hope, brings a sense of purpose and destiny.

Sometimes dreams have to die by becoming negative and shattered, but only to die to ourself, then revived into something stronger, more positive, and time-tested. A vision is very powerful, and because our visions are our future, then someone without a dream becomes someone without a future. Without a vision, all one will know to do is to return to what he or she had always done, which is their past. That's why when our vision is threatened, we always look back at what we had done and can see. If our visions die, we'll go back to our past.

That's why I was tempted to go back into life as an employee again when things got tough. When my vision is threatened or lost, I look back to where I'd been. Thank God I resisted it and renewed my sense of direction, vision, purpose and dreams. This is true in every fabric of society, be it in business, relationships, marriages or work. It's a principle and pattern of life. That's why often when marriages have difficulties, one spouse tends to go back to the former. In work, one tends to go back to the department we were at. In business, same thing. Don't do that.

Write Your Vision Clearly

A dream cannot become a goal until you write it down. Once you write it down and speak it out, then it becomes something you are held accountable to, and you will be committed to it. So write down the vision and dream you have for your future, speak it aloud and write it on paper, and it will become achievable.

Fred Smith may have had his "FedEx" project dismissed, but because he envisioned it, spoke it out, wrote it down, and believed in it, FedEx is still around today, and is one of the strongest international logistical solutions company in the world.

You must believe in your dream. If you don't believe it, who will? That's what people like Richard Branson, Micheal Dell, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, the list goes on – did. Dreaming without taking action on it will prove useless, because dreams without actions remains as ideas in the skies, but dreams with actions becomes flesh and concrete, to the touch, sight and function.

You need to believe in your dream. Do what you dream. What you believe will be the greatest good or the greatest bad in your life, because dreams gives your mind unquestioned command and power. Good beliefs does wonders for you, energizes you and makes you super-resourceful. Bad beliefs disempowers and disarms you.

All wrong behaviors and conduct is based on a bad or wrong belief. I've friends and associates who believe that they can do bad things without bad consequences. Things such as extra-marital affairs. Fraud. Embezzlement. They all had bad consequences.

There is no one else to blame. No one else to take responsibility for our life. We are responsible for our own life. If you want to change your future, change your behaviors. If you want to change your behaviors, you've to change your beliefs, and if you want to change your beliefs, you've got to select ideas/values you prefer and substantiate them with references to build positive ones, or de-construct negative ones (go in depth into belief construction and deconstruction here).

If you believe you're stupid, you'll under-prepare. If you think you'll be poor, you'll overspend your money. If you think people wont like you, you'll avoid talking and meeting with people. But if you believe you're going to be rich, you'll invest and invest wisely. If you think you're going to be successful, you'll look for opportunities. If you believe you can achieve your dreams, you will pursue them actively.

Perspectives and perception creates your personal realities. Regardless of what you believe, you're going to be right – it will come to pass. The more our perspectives, perceptions and actions are aligned with good patterns and principles, the more successful, prosperous and good our lives will be.

Attracting What You Believe

The world is full of disappointments, and some successes. What you believe in your head and in your heart will determine what you become. If you think and believe you will be successful, you will behave and act successfully even if you're undergoing tough times. If you believe you're a failure, then you'll act like one even if you live in a super luxurious home and office.

Understand that whatever you believe will attract it to you. A super luxurious home cannot fight your own belief that you're a failure, and you'll end up in tough times. Believe that you're successful and you'll likely end up owning several of the luxurious penthouse, fully paid for.

You become a slave to your beliefs. Your beliefs will determine the life and future you will have. If you believe in "I can become successful", you become a slave to the power of success. If you believe "I can't be successful" and you will become a slave to the power of failure. Positive beliefs encourages, stimulates, excites and energizes, and it will be one of the determining factors between success of failure.

Faith and fear are of the same definition, just different facets of the same coin. Both have to do with seeing things coming to fruition or pass. Faith believes that things unseen/not yet will come to pass. Fear or disbelief don't believe that things unseen will come to pass. Faith attracts positive outcomes, fear and disbelief attracts negative outcomes. The sum total of our lives is based on us living and operating based on fear or faith. Of course just faith by itself without good, productive actions on a persistent basis is useless.

Faith and good beliefs attracts energy, life, love and hope. Fear and disbelief on the other hand, attracts negativity, cynicism, destructions and downfalls. When a crisis occurs, people with faith and good beliefs extends their hearts, heads and hands to help others in a "what can I do for these people" mentality, whereas people with fear and negative beliefs will withdraw into a "why me", "I'm jinxed" or "I'm doomed" mentality.

In our businesses, careers and finances, when one puts faith and good beliefs to work, it attracts increase and promotion. People with faith and good beliefs launch out there and not waiting for perfect conditions that never arrives and refine themselves and what they do in the process of gathering data and experience. The very same people are the same one buying investments when everyone else seems to be selling. People of faith and good beliefs work with the little they have rather than waiting to have an abundance first.

Every single person has a token, a measure of faith within them. When we put our faith and good beliefs to work for us, it often only takes faith the size of a mustard seed (this is a size of a dot) to see our greatest dreams and goals come to pass. Good beliefs and faith are like the wind, they cannot be seen, only felt and heard. The evidence that we have faith in as we use them in our works – faith is good beliefs in action.

Your Best Friend

Your best friends are the choices that you make today, based on your beliefs, good or bad. It will make you your best friend or your own worst enemy. It doesn't matter what you do, where you come from, who you are and how you live your life now. It is your own choices that makes you or breaks you.

Water often seeks its own level. This means that you can only rise up to the level and measure of your beliefs and faith. If you believe that you can make six digits per year, and currently make four figures per year, you will find ways and means to grow that income into six figures, I assure you. If you have faith for four figures per year and you get a business or income that earns you six figures per year, I assure you as well that you will find ways and means to downgrade that to a four figure per year income.

This is why our belief system is of such importance in our journey of personal development for progressive living. Bad beliefs wont be able to support a progressive living; it can only lead to regressive living. The level of faith and belief within your head and heart will determine the way you live your life and the resultant outcomes. No one shares the same level of faith, nor the same vision. You must guard your vision from the thief, the destroyers and the naysayers. To guard your vision and dreams, you must guard what you allow to enter into your mind and your life.

As you rise up in levels and stages, your intimate circles of relationships and friendships must change. Clinging on to those relationships and friendships whose people refuse to grow will end up stumping and frustrate your own personal development and progressive living. Your closest friends, families and loved ones, when they don't share your vision and dreams, may very well become your worst critics and dream-destroyers. Note: I do not advocate for divorces or break-ups of marriages or severing ties with families – herein, I'm suggesting that if the people in your life at this point in time doesn't grow and seem to be left behind in your personal development journey, perhaps in only that aspect of your life can you consider adding newer friends into your life. An example is if you are married to a wonderful spouse who doesn't care for your finances and love you just as you are, stay faithful to him or her. Just find a good mentor or friend who can help mentor and teach you in your financial journey. That's all.

Internal Beliefs Becomes External (and Public) Information

Guard your belief systems and beliefs very well, because if you accept another person's philosophy which basically justifies their failure, you subscribe to their beliefs. You may then take in their failure philosophy, and that's not what you want.

Let's say for example, if you're about to start a business, and you meet two business owners. One has been steadily making six figures per month serving more and higher quality customers, whereas another says that because he believes in serving the poor, he can only make four figures per month. If you believe in making four figures per month because you're serving the poor, it is likely you'd end up like the second person. And if you subscribe to the first business owner's philosophy, you may likely end up like him, six figures per month serving more and higher quality customers.

Guard your belief system and beliefs very closely.

The sum total of all your internalized beliefs will create your internal philosophy that guides your daily actions that leads to your public achievements. What we believe and do in private will affect our public lives. What beliefs you subscribe to are the ones you currently serve and obey.

The Difference Between Good, Better and Best

Good is really the enemy and stumbling block of best. Best can only come when you can do no better. If you know that you can do better, then you know that you hadn't done your best. That's what that drives people like Donald Trump, Micheal Jordan, Richard Branson and Samuel L Jackson, and more. That's what drives Bill Gates. Steve Jobs.

Why settle for good when you can create and have the best? Most of the time, most of us could have had more if we don't settle for less. Go for gold, go for greatness. It all begins with you, so make it great. Dream your dreams, write your dreams, live your dreams.

You can do it.

Look For True Wealth

Wealth and riches are two very different things. Likewise, being wealthy and rich has two very different meaning entirely. Wealth will get you rich, but riches can never make you wealthy.

True wealth comes as a by-product of your character. If you succeed in business at the expense of your health and/or family relationships breakdown will not make you any happier living in wealth then. Yes, talents, skills, capabilities and wisdom helps you get wealth, but true wealth can only be obtained or achieved with a healthy spiritual, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

We have heard of many individuals quitting large corporations to start their own small businesses and having the ball of their lives. Likewise the individuals who previously owned large corporations who "downsized" to firing everyone and everything and doing business with a few persons that mattered. In both situations, many of them achieve a state of peace and a truly wealthy life that brought about riches.

When I decided to leave the corporate world to venture into my own private practice, my future wife then, Louise (now wife =p), family and friends were worried. But they were supportive as I resigned and started the new practice. I got multiple small contracts, worked at them, got to know more people, and started landing bigger jobs. Good profit, and we grew a little bigger. Louise joined on board, and we could serve more, and landed bigger jobs. Good profits, and we grew a little bigger. Got some setbacks, and slid back a little, but we're inching and growing forward, progressively.

Today, we run a small but fairly successful and happy business with partners and referring doctors and loyal patients who support us. We're not ultra rich yet, it'd be gradual but we're pretty sure it'd come. The peace we get is priceless. We have wealth now.

Finding Your Gifts and Talents

Cheating in business creates curses rather than blessings the cheaters were chasing when they cheated. In the same line of thought, working and producing riches by doing something you disagree, dislike and hate is also a form of cheating yourself, by telling yourself "it's okay, I need to pay my bills anyway, so I'll do it a while longer." This will not yield the riches and wealth that you seek, because you're out of alignment – as you dislike/disagree/disalign from it, you will not be at peak performance and at your best, and because you're not at your best, you will not achieve your best outcome and results. On top of that, even if it pays well, money cannot compensate for a lack of living a life purposefully and with personal fulfilment.

God created each of us unique and different. That's why I can write and communicate well to help people in their personal development walk. That's why I'm quite good as a hand therapist and business owner. But likewise, I'll be honest with you – I sing like a frog. I jump like a brick. I'm good at many things, but not good in those two areas I mentioned. Each of us have the capacity for excelling at what we do, but not by using or exercising the same gifts as everyone. The earth is a testament for this – there is so much diversity in everything!

You're not like anyone else on this earth, you're not supposed to be like anyone else. You're supposed to be uniquely you.

Here, you can be in the same line of work as someone else, for example, like I'm a hand therapist in Singapore but there's a good 30 more of them in Singapore; or you're a real estate agent, and there's more than 10,000 of them in Singapore – you can succeed at it, but you'll do it as yourself, in your own way. No two persons in the same line of job will do a job the exact same way. An artist may paint a bowl of fruit, but I assure you if you put two artists together to paint the bowl of fruit, you will very well get two very different pictures and paintings. It's not that one is bad and one is good, they're just different (unless its realllllly bad, but you know what I mean =p). They're supposed to be different.

It's like how Coca-Cola one day changed their drink to taste like Pepsi, they wanted the same smoothness of drink that Pepsi had. It created such a furore and public outcry that within the same season itself it immediately had to go back to its own unique taste, because they had customers who wanted that original taste of Coca Cola.

I use modelling for my approach in learning and applying to life, but I don't use their exact steps – an example is if I realized that I want to run better, and one of the persons I'm modelling using a certain brand, I wont take his exact shoe and size to run with because I'll end up with very bad pain of wearing a shoe that has poor fit to me. I'll get the same brand, but my size. You can follow the principle and pattern, but you must cater it to suit your own talents, gifts and abilities and your own strengths! Celebrate your uniqueness and diversity.

Understand You Need Help from those whose strengths are your weaknesses. An example is I'm not very good in book-keeping and accounting, and whenever I do it, I take forever and it still never tallies. Yet, to my accountant, it's smooth sailing and quick to be done, and it always tallies. That's why it's hardly surprising why I'd rather pay him money to do my book-keeping and I focus on what I do best.

Weaknesses need not lord over strengths and strengths needn't be tainted by weaknesses. If you cant seem to see your own strengths (because we often think that they're common), then seek an alternative perspective from your family and friends. Just ask them what they think your strengths are. Draw from at least 6-10 subjective friends and family, and tabulate the data. My wife is an amazing person, and most people who speak with her, receive physiotherapy sessions from her, receive her cooking and time with her always speak positively of her, and she is always able to draw out their personalities. But when asked on her strengths, she always looks lost and unsure. The greatest strengths she has comes to her so naturally that naturally, she forgets that it's her gift.

Here’s an advice for you: if what you do seems like anyone could do it, then it’s likely that that is one of your strengths.

If you're still unsure, try asking yourself better leading question. What stirs your creative side? What fills your mind as you're awake? What you think of as you relax? Those will provide some ideas and clues to finding your strengths, and when you find your strengths and work from them, you will pave and create and find your pathway to true prosperity, peace and power.

Life is dependent on relationships. You need people to not only help you discover and uncover your strengths, but also to cover your weaknesses. Find people whose strengths are your weaknesses, and your strengths their weaknesses, and work together for a greater good and partnership. Chris helps me with accounting. No big deal for him. Big deal for me. Why? Accounting and book keeping is his expertise and strength, not mine. When he needs help in his advise for rehabilitative matters, he consults us. No biggie for me. Big deal for him. Because it's my expertise. It's not what you know but who you know.

Focus on your strengths, and look for nice people who can complement you, and vice versa. Studies show that people who are rich and wealthy often have the five success factors: communication stills, intelligence, integrity, experience and a positive attitude.

What Are The Setbacks to Wealth?

There are two main setbacks – pride and greed/covetousness. These are the fundamental basics of all evil in human life.

Pride is broken by humility

Humility is the opposite of pride. Humility leads to blessings. If you have difficulties with pride, it doesn't help to try to "out-think" or ignoring it. Try to practice humble actions and it will naturally phase pride out. Humility doesn't mean you step on yourself, depreciate yourself, talk bad or negative about yourself or denying your skills and talents. It simply means to be willing to remain as anonymous. There's a lot of ways you can start this today – give a bigger tip to the waiter serving you. Help someone across the road. Give to an non-profit organization. Keep this knowledge to yourself.

It is the willingness to remain anonymous that is true humility. Most of the time, many "overnight successes" are the result of someone who had spent time on something that no one noticed. It takes humility to admit what you don't know. It takes humility to admit need. It takes humility to try again. It takes humility to change. The capability of humbling yourself to learn, to keep trying, to change keeps you upward mobile and ready to progress to the next stage and level of life. It takes a lot of courage to admit that we have not yet learned.

If you can overcome pride and embrace humility, it will open doors for you to start over on the next stage and level. There is always a greater mountain, a higher level.

Lust and Covetousness

Lust is basically love that has been poisoned and perverted. The opposite of love emotionally is hate. The opposite of love legally is law. The opposite of love morally is lust.

Love desires to benefit others at the cost of self, as love seeks to give. Lust seeks to gain and get at the expense of others, as lust seeks to take and get.

Anyone is capable of lust. Companies can lust. Nations and countries can lust. What other words for it when companies sacrifice their workers and relationship to acquire another business? Or when they make it big and refuse to share with their consumers or staff? Or when they take a great selling product, and repackage it into a smaller package so that they can sell more at the same price? There is no higher cost involved, but their desire for personal gain at the expense of their customers often results in being removed from first place.

There are many countries that receives aid from another country, but these aid may never reach the people it was intended for, as it is often absorbed by the top level of institutions, so the people who really need it would never receive the aid they need. The same countries which do this will do this again and again, and will never prosper and recover from poverty because of their greed and covetousness.

Yet, there are countries such as South Korea and Uganda that has changed by leaps and bounds, and increasing in their economic growths and improving the lives of their citizens by working with what they had. As a result, they prosper.

Love Your Way To True Wealth

Love is easily satisfied…but lust is never ending. When we lust, we can go to the ends of the earth for it. We can lust after anything and everything – the new car our neighbours have, the woman in the shop, the pizza in the shop down the road, the food someone else ordered, the list goes on. Lust has no limits and no ends. Love is from heaven, lust is from hell. Hence, to live a life based on lust is to produce a hell of a life.

Today's society and culture depicts the level of lust in our culture and civilization. It can be seen in every level of society, such as working only for yourself. Employees start to use every sick day they have. Take home supplies from work. Go late to work. Leave early. Spend time wasted at the water cooler. Managers take credit for worker's jobs and shift blame.

To lead a life in personal development for progressive living is not like that. We live to exhibit love. We work for someone else's highest good and benefit. Loving managers understand and know that if they help every employee to increase productivity and morale, ultimately the entire company will benefit.

Stay Alert and On Guard

Don't let your guard down. Learn your strengths and capitalize on them. Complement your strengths with other people's strengths to cover your shortcomings by building a deep relationship with them. Be on guard against the setbacks.

It's Okay To Develop and Have Character

It's always easier to "get and acquire" as compared to "keeping and maintaining" things well. It's always very easy to get a shiny new car. It's always very easy to get a position in a company. It's always very easy to say "I do" and get married. It's always easy to make money than to maintain and keep it. Ask anyone, and you will find this a common pattern, consistent in any given area in our lives.

Why this happens, there are many reasons and supporting factors that contribute to it, but there is one fundamental principle that leads to it: it is possible for your talent to bring you to a place where your character cannot sustain you.

That means that your gifts, talents, skills and abilities can bring you places in life, but it is your character that will determine if you can stay there, or go higher…or sink under. An example would be like this: if you take two very talented workers, and they have the exact same position in two different companies, and because they allowed pride of life get to their heads, they began to party, slack and drop in their work and delivery. For that, both of them were laid off. One returned back to his "pre-glory days", networking with people, updating their CV, doing research on the companies they'd want to work with or even start their own business, and gradually, someone wanted them and they took their new team to a higher level. The other, thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed of his being laid off, was unable to network, unable to resume work, and unable to move forward in life.

Good and strong character helps enhance and supports one's talents, skills and gifts. Not the other way around.

Character is always more important than gifts, abilities or talents. The whole world is filled with talented people who don't achieve or do much in life. Why this happens is because people can commit to character…but they cannot commit to talent. If you have two colleagues who work along side with you, one of them is super-talented in their work and when they get the job done, it's often superb…but they're always coming to work late, often absent from work, creates tension by slandering others and speaks condescendingly to their "juniors". And the other, not that super-talented, maybe just "okay", but is hardworking, coming to work on time, handing in work on time, meeting clients regularly and on time, easy to get along with, and encouraging to the team. Who do you think will be promoted? And who do you think will be axed?

Maybe you can say that the super-talented one might leave to be a star-consultant, but the other one, I would say that will be deemed as a trustworthy employee with greater responsibilities to be entrusted upon (promotions).

Character

Character, when broken down to its basics, is simply one's internal pillar/quality that is supported/enforced by external sources. Character, by-itself, is not creative, nor does it carry any abilities to self-correct at any given time. It requires an ongoing checking to balance itself from an external environment – in fact, it is honed through experiencing external sources which mould and strengthen its strength.

The books/blogs/articles you read as well as the people you meet whose ideals you allow to influence your mind and your life today are the externals which will either help to build or destroy your character. By this token as well, you can roughly tell the character of a person by the type of company she or he keeps, or by the books/blogs/article they read.

The quality of one's character is always determined and influenced internally, never externally. The world has it the other way around – cheaper products are ultra-treated with buff, sheen and chemicals to make them sheen and shine, and look expensive. Cheap furniture is painted with gloss and paint and lacquer to make them shine. Cheap stuff are made to look more expensive by adding accessories to them to try to make them look right. On the other hand, high quality products and services need not the special packaging and accessories, and they still look as good as they deliver. Real quality in character needs nothing to gloss or cover it up.

The main principle: the higher the quality, the less the gloss. It's true of products, it's true of services, it's true of men and women. Good characters need not fake its way through, there's no need for any fronts, facades or shows. The internal quality shines.

Truth Is Gold

There is only one foundation, truth, which makes for good moral, ethical and strong character. It is the building block, and it's either you have it, or you don't, at this point in time. The best way to build good character is to start with a great base, upon strong, good and positive beliefs about God, yourself, humanity, responsibility and truth.

Opinions has no hold on truth. Truth needs to be sought, studied, pondered over, learned and rehearsed, to develop deep and good character. It is our backbone, our spine, of which our being rests upon. Good character results in good and long-term good accomplishments and results.

It's like the story of the restaurant that got famous. In the earlier stages, in its humble beginnings, it may have started out as a push cart, and slowly building up it clients and regular patrons, it took its earnings and grew to a side stall, and later onto a small diner, and later onto a restaurant with long queues. From a personal front, they gradually changed to be a negative capitalistic approach, they now have a large number of overworked and underpaid waiters and captains, to crowd that has to queue for long time and overpay for an okay-standard meal. Sooner or later, it will fold onto itself, because its character deemed it to failure. But a competitor, who does the same but will not compromise on patron's satisfaction, priced adequately and staff who is well taken care of, will not only survive but thrive.

trust is proportionately extended to the proportion of truth. Nothing more, nothing less. If someone is only willing to trust with you $1, would you trust that person with $100? Likewise, the same in marriages, businesses, relationships, friendships. Your measure of trust received is the measure of truth given. If leaders do not tell the truth, or show the truth, how can you trust them to lead you? Worse, if they or other people give you a half truth – a half truth is still a full lie.

We should seek truth, embrace it, study it, learn it, hold on to it like a treasure – it will develop your character, and be a strong asset to you in your journey of personal development for progressive living. That, in turn, will lead to progressive living, moral and ethical living, and a peaceful and prosperous living.

Lies Kill Truth

Lies, be it a white or black lie, is still morally wrong and focusing on un-truths. Lies can never be right, no matter what and how the perspective of it. It destroys character, moral and society.

Yet, lies are still persistent in our society, from public relations companies doing "spin" work to take care of companies' public images and politicians, parents lie to their children by making promises they don't keep, employers lying to employees about benefits etc. Ever heard of the massive reality TV Survivors, where participants are rewarded for "outlasting", "outwitting" and "outplaying" each other mainly by lying and backstabbing…in front of an international audience of more than 60,000,000 viewers.

If one is honest, people get shocked, because they're so used to living a world where lies are predominantly everywhere they are. They think nothing of it anymore, and even expect it wherever they are.

Is honesty so important?

Yes, it is. If truth fails, nothing can stand. Morality then fails. Ethics then fail. If truth fails, one's personal character and personal development fails. Social ills and economical barriers increases, and societies and countries will fail. A nation and its people's greatness are not measured in the virtue of their wealth…but in their wealth of their virtue.

Truth Is Evergreen, It Withstands The Test Of Time

Truth stands through time. It doesn't disappear. This is something I wished I had learned earlier in my life. Here's what I found out on my own – I had been trying to gain everyone's approval by saying "can" to anything that they offer, I became the "yes" man. I thought it'd open doors for me – yes, it did open doors for me but I assure you, the doors that opened for me were doors filled with much pain and trouble to learn and undo.

It felt so troublesome and painful to do so. And so one day, I was given the opportunity to partner with a larger healthcare group to provide rehabilitation solutions for their patients, and then one of their partners, in fact, their number 4 man, spoke with me over his table. Grimly, he asked me "Nigel, can you provide a short session of therapy for a very low price?" and he named his price, which was very low, even by our standards (we don't believe that medical or rehabilitation services should be sky-high prices, they should be affordable, but they also shouldn't be taken lightly or for granted."

Those few moments that I took to think about what he has said and what he wanted me to do seemed like so many hours. But I knew I need to be honest, real and truthful. And so I replied him:

"Doctor, I don't think I can do that – that will only result in poor functional and rehab outcomes for the patient."

He nodded his head, and the next week he dropped me one SMS, saying that he's keen to work together with us. I'm pretty sure my statement wasn't taken lightly, because I didn't give it lightly either. He knew that we could be trusted to the limit of the truth that I set before him. All things are run and accomplished by trust. The rewards are more trust, and you become more trustworthy.

I understand that telling the truth might be one of the hardest decisions that you will ever make and take in your life, but once you've decided to be truthful, and take the effort and time to tell the truth (be tactful), it will be one of the best moments in your life, a moment that you will likely never to forget. How your heart's capacity grows, the joy you feel from being free from guilt and the honest clarity is very, very, very worth the price of that short moment of discomfort.

No lie can or will ever help someone to achieve wealth and prosperity. Maybe in the short term, but the price one pays for the corruption of character, moral downfall, and short term gains is not worth it, ever. The destructions lies causes are too high, not only on an individual level, but on an institutional and societal level as well. We have the option of conforming and adapting to this dishonest culture that we live in…but we also have the option and freedom to choose a life that is truthful and honest.

No matter how you look at it, the truth is always right and the lie is always wrong. Embrace truth in every thought, every mind, every core of our being – there need not be any room for untruths or dishonesty. There is nothing good or trustworthy in a person who lies, regardless of the circumstances. The person who knowingly choose to believe in a lie is a foolish person.

Our Hearts Carry The Truths of Life

When it comes to personal development for progressive living, and winning in life, it's all about the heart. It comes first. Your heart can believe what your mind cannot imagine. When you dream your dreams and write down your visions and capitalize on your strengths that you will develop in your personal development journey, that you will have a progressive life, a successful life, and a winning life, it's your heart that will be the main factor to help you or hinder you.

No matter what you believe or think or speak, if your heart fails you by disbelieving you…you'll like not be able to go far. Envy begins in your heart. Jealousy too. Adultery begins in the heart as well. Likewise, wealth too, begins in your heart. Success. Love. Life. They all are issues that spring forth from your heart.

Your heart becomes the litmus test of your character.

What you think and feel in your heart is what you are or will become. What you focus, concentrate and think about in your head will eventually move into the intimate spaces of your heart. Whatever that moves into the intricate spaces of your heart will determine the outcomes of your life because your heart is the one that will be the heart of all your life and actions. If you have the heart for good, it will outpour in your character and your actions, into your habits that creates your destiny. The converse is also true.

Do you know, that whilst we are being formed in the womb, it is our hearts that are made first, not our brains? The heart has its emotions and memories that runs deeper than our mental mind can think or recall of. You can call our brains and minds the CPU of the computer, and our hearts the core processer. Or call the brain the engine of the car and our hearts the GPS of our lives.

In the end, our thoughts matter. What we stand for, what we believe in, matters. Our beliefs feed into our hearts and program it to propel or repel us towards or against the matter of our hearts desires in our journey of personal development for progressive living. Truth is the gold standard for good character. It is the fundamental basis, and it is non negotiable. You can ignore personality, though personality can spice up situations…but when personality wears out, when charms wear out, all the remains is your character. It's your heart.

The Nature of Money

Many people buy things that they don't need with money that they don't have to impress people that they either don't like or don't really matter in the first place.

It's true. How we use our money is a representation and reflection of the way we value money internally. If you would like to see where you prioritize your life and values, take a good look at your cheque book, bank book and account statement. Say anything else to yourself, but where you put your money is what you really cherish or treasure.

Money really represents our life. We give our time, our efforts, our abilities, experiences, talents and gifts in order for us to get in return, money. The money we receive represents our life, time and effort in our careers and businesses. By placing our time and effort, we get money. So if we get money in return for our life and time, that would mean that whatever we spend money on, we have decided that is worth it for our life and time.

If we want our lives to count, we have to make our money count first. We need to master the principles that master money in our lives.

Our Work Ethic

Most traditional work ethic can be summarized into one statement: if you don't work, you don't eat.. Today, work ethics has changed and become perverse by humanity's increasing fascination and focus and pre-occupation on getting rich quickly. Getting rich quickly by means of gambling, inheritance and fraud or something along that lines is illusional and delusional, and at best, short term windfall. Most gamblers and lottery winners or heirs to an inheritance are often back to broke within an average of five years. Why this happens is because amassing one's fortune and wealth slowly increases our capacity to manage it as we grow it as well. It allows us the learning curve to learn how to handle an ever-increasing amount of money. A person who has handled $10,000.00 will be more predisposed and experienced to handle and increased amount up to $15,000.00. A person who has at most handled $1,000.00 will likely to be overwhelmed with an amount of up to $15,000.00 at a go, if not slowly increased in capacity over time and experience.

It is very easy to obtain and acquire, but it is often very difficult to keep and manage well. If we win something overnight in an inheritance, by a roll of a dice or by a stack of cards, though it may be nice, but it may be difficult to handle it because we hadn't managed to skills, emotions and mentality required to maintain our newfound wealth and riches. We grow from glory to glory, strength to strength, through each financial levels increase; we first must be able to successfully pass each stage of each level before we can level up.

Learn to meet a need, and the money will come. Profitability in every sense of business and career is this – serve clients properly is the number one way to make money. Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad shared that his rich dad would often say that if you want to get rich, you need to learn to meet a need, and if you want to get rich quickly, you'd need to meet a lot of need in a more leveraged fashion. In Malaysia, my family, especially my mother, frequents a stall which sells a particular dumpling noodle, owned by a husband and wife team. All they sell is noodles plus a condiment, which can be dumpling, roasted duck or pork meat, and some slices of blanched vegetables. One day, I saw the husband arriving in the latest Mercedes Benz, shining white and smooth; and then I realize the extent of their wealth – and they sell only noodles with condiments. Actually, if you dig deeper, they don't only sell noodles with condiments – they sell quick and nutritious breakfast and lunch solutions to their patrons who pops by their stall on their way to work or for lunch.

In a business or a career, you're never selling just a product or just a service, but essentially, you're providing an answer to a need. Learn to listen to people speaking and talking, they often will tell you what they need, and then you meet their needs.

Poverty's Death Grip

If we take encouraging words, good truths and love, and place them in our hearts, minds and mouths, our hearts and minds will start to be filled with good truths, encouraging words and love, and be ready for prosperity. The converse is also true, that if we put poverty in our hearts, it will be ready for poverty.

To achieve richness beyond our dreams, we first must experience prosperity in our hearts and minds – it's not about chanting mantras, or mumbling some quick words and hope that we will be rich. Good intentions or hopes are not enough – we need to take action to meet needs, and do that well, and know and believe that as we meet needs, the money will come, and come in abundance. People who hoard money or are misers live in poverty, and will remain so until they choose otherwise. They will live in poverty minded lives, in fear of lack, living miserly and miserably…because the fundamental is such: love money, you'll never have enough; love needs, you'll always have more than enough.

New Masters and Kings in this Economy

Today, "easy credit" is propagated everywhere in Singapore; actually, it's not only in Singapore, but widely practiced all over the world. Financial institutions are giving out "free credit cards" to whoever who "wants the quick cash", "just in case."

Today financially, many people are in fact working for the banks and not for their bosses or businesses or families, by having to work to service debts and loans that they have. I'm not against all forms of debts, just against bad debts (there are such things as good debts and bad debts). Some of the wealthiest and richest people I know tells me that it's all about discipline and managing debt well – by doing so, we will become rich. It requires us to have self control, to be able to manage and control our emotions, rather than the other way around.

Bad debts is modern slavery. Because of bad debts, we become bound and tortured, having lesser choices to move, to stay onto a job we hate, to take two or three jobs to pay the bills. Bad debts causes one to be servants to the ones who gives the loans and debts. Bad debts is a fundamental evil that has a false front of providing comfort, pleasure and excitement…but we end up paying more for it in the long run, be it in interests, binding contracts, working in a job we hate or work a couple of jobs just to pay the bad debts. It is a poor way of life – if you're not good with managing debts, you're better off staying away from them. If you're savvy, eliminate bad debts and replace them with good debts.

Note: bad debts are debts that takes more money away from you; good debt places more money into your pocket.

Wisdom and Prosperity Mindedness

Bad debts is all around us, it's a financially stagnating culture which has become deep rooted, and in order to overcome this culture and pattern, we ourselves need to increase in our financial level (we need to level up in financial wisdom and management). We need more financial wisdom and strategies in order to break bad debts. It takes wisdom to not incur any more bad debts, to make sacrifices, to make decisions that will put one on the path of prosperity, to celebrate with each step closer to prosperity.

Once you've decided to break all the bad debts and the habits that lead to them, focus on developing wisdom-driven prosperity strategies to cancel all bad debts and live in prosperity. Every level of life is achieved incrementally, through stages in life. One day a time, one step a time, in the direction of prosperity. Cut bad debts, increase income and good assets that make you more money.

Stewardship Is Crucial

Our lives can be summed up into three broad categories (yes, it's a little simplifying, but bear with me) – stewardship, relationship and leadership. Stewardship fundamentally shares that we do not really own what we have – we are merely caretakers of them. We don't own our families' or spousal love, our children's affections, your colleagues and peers' respect. We are just stewards of them. Everything is subject to change…especially if you're a poor steward of them.

If you take your wife's talent, love and time for granted, one day she may leave. The father who never took time out for his children, may one day find that his children don't want to spend time with him anymore. The employee who thinks and behaves like he's the superstar may one day be axed or replaced. The examples go on.

Stewardship is key to every aspect of life, and it is especially obvious in our finances. One of the greatest mistakes in our financial stewardship is in the lack of our giving. One of the fundamental principles to abundance is that "givers gain." Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Osman, Tony Robbins – they all share this principle of giving as a source of power and one of the means to achieve not only financial abundance, but also to unlock the keys to personal success.

It is true.

"Give and you shall receive" is one of the most powerful affirmations that you can commit to remembering. If you think that "I'll start giving once I have more money" or "I'll start giving once I'm out of debts" – you won't. If you don't start giving when you have $10, what makes you so sure you'll give when you have $100? Yes, debt-free living may allow you to give more, but if you don't start giving, you'll never start living. You have to give before you can get.

How and where to give

Guide #1 – give away from yourself. If you have a charity that you control, great! But don’t make that just your only avenue of giving. Choose some charities and organizations that has values and work that you personally value.

Guide #2 – take care of your family. Remember to take care of your own family before increasing your giving to others, even to God. Start to give them money, and as your capacity and finances increase, give more.

Love is the desire to benefit others, at our own expense. See a need, meet the need. Two things in life will always make a person more happy – receiving a gift, and giving to someone. You can only actively control the giving aspect, so exercise your power of choice and give! Enlarging your giving capacity always enlarges your life and business capacity.

Give through your hospitality. Give to the widows. Give to the poor. Give to the orphans. Give to your family. Give food to starving countries and nations. Give to those who teach you. Set aside a portion of your money and give.

What Givers Really Gain

What many people may not understand so far about how givers can actually gain more than they give is because they are often stuck at this thought process: if I have $100, and I give $10 away…how can I have more when I actually have less than before, which is $90 instead of $100?

So what happens is that they choose to hold on to what they have instead and not give.

What givers really gain from giving, be it from tithing, free will giving and offering or planned giving is really they overcome scarcity-thinking and gain an abundance-thinking, making them more open to abundance and receiving. They also gain a satisfaction from giving to a worthy cause that they believe in and stand for.

The Trick To Receiving Is Really Through Giving

But giving simply open the doors for abundance and opportunities – you have to accept them. The willingness to receive is as important as believing in abundance because if you don't believe in receiving, even when the blessing or item in right in front of you, you won't be able to receive it. And note that the answers to your needs and requirements will always come through people that you meet in your life.

Faithfulness for Success

If you are faithful in the small things, you will be faithful with the big ones as well. You qualify for more in life by how you deal with less. You can only go as far as your faith and faithfulness brings you, so keep stretching and growing your faith.

If you can be faithful with another person's prosperity and properties, I assure you will be able to handle and be faithful to your own prosperity and properties. The entrepreneur and business owner who serves his or her clients faithfully will find themselves serving many, many customers.

You qualify for more in life by how you deal with less.

People who wants to have their own businesses and want to achieve success, but if they are unfaithful whilst working for others, they have already disqualified themselves from success in their own business or company. You really reap what you sow.

If at this point in time, you are already faithful and prospering, then, what next? Invest. Prospering financially is not really just about how much you can make, save or prevent from wasting, but by how much you invest.

Simple Guide To Investing

  1. Invest in people. You invest in the person running the business or the company. Look for the person running the show, and get to know what they do and who they are before you decide.
  2. Research and investigate before you put money down. You can take calculated risks, but don't gamble.
  3. It must be in black and white. Ensure proper documentation.
  4. If one of your investment sinks, drop it. It's ok.
  5. Invest in people who produce. First class producers create first class stuff. Second class producers create third class staff.  Go with the best producers.
  6. Don't fear the shadows – switch on the light by researching and seeking the truth. Sometimes, shadows seem big.
  7. Funds from friends – be more concerned about making friends and meeting needs, not just making money or customers.
  8. Don't give up.

Take Care Of What You Get

Fame and fortune can come in the blink of an eye. Or for short moments…but it is greatness that is long-lasting and eternal. The world is not short of great world leaders, sportsmen and women, entertainers, educators and others who had suffered massive collapse – people who had been adored and revered during their "time" of fame.

How can you avoid the fate they had?

There is fundamentally three primary prerequisites for success: plan adequately, use common sense and be strong in things that you know is right. For these three, get help from people who are better.

Counsellors determine the destiny of leaders and kings. In ancient days, before kings make major decisions such as going to war, or allocation of supplies or problem solving of national importance, they always sought counsel. One king of the old times sought counsellors who had served his father, the king before, who helped his father grow the kingdom's wealth and influence. At the same time, he also sought counsel from people who were seeking positions and wealth from the kingdom, who gave advice not based on what is good for the kingdom, but what were good for themselves – the king lost the kingdom.

A common problem that we have is thinking that others are always smarter and "more right" than ourselves. Yes, we do need to be humble, thinking there are always better and smarter people, but we need to be mindful and wise that NOT everyone is smarter than ourselves. People, like ourselves, make mistakes too. It is unwise to listen without understanding. Seek out counsel, wisdom and advise, but also, seek out what the advisors had done before (looking for their track record), how they achieved what they did and what they learned in the process. There is safety when there is numbers, especially by those who had been where you're now at and learnt what you need to know.

When you allow people to influence your choices and decisions, you must know their value, wisdom and pedigree. Not everything people say to you deserves to be listened nor followed. If their counsel or advice doesn't have your importance/welfare at heart, their counsel can be very dangerous and detrimental. Similarly, if they are negative and toxic in nature – that can shave and negatively influence you. For such people, it's best to remove them from your life, or by moving away from them. Take time to listen shows respect for others. Listening and following to foolish counsel shows disregard and disrespect for self.

You are never too old to look for advice and counsel. The wisest king in the world in his time and even until today, King Solomon's shared in one of his proverbs that "Really, it's better to be a poor and wise youth than an old and silly leader who no longer knows how to receive counsel."

Relationships: our lives can be summed into three main things – stewardship, relationship, leadership. In this blog I've shared much about stewardship, so let's look into relationship. For a relationship to work, it's got to require one person or more relating to one person or more. It's communicating. If we don't relate, we can't have a relationship.

Listening is the fundamental art of communication. The way to success is not influenced by your ability to speak, but by your ability to listen. Listening gives you the power to heal. The parent who listens heals and prevents his children from frustration and allows growth. The man who listens becomes the man for his wife. The service provider who listens to their clients is able to meet their clients needs. In a relationship, it's all about communication – if there is an absence or a poor ability to communicate, it's doomed to failure.

Reliable communication presents opportunities for growth and progress. Unreliable communication steals and destroys opportunities for growth and progress. Learn to relate by learning to listen. Relate at home. Relate at work. Relate at church. Relate.

Leadership: the purpose of leadership is really to influence, motivate and help better another. Leaders plan to influence, followers happen to influence. Three foundations of leadership: character, integrity and influence. As leaders, we cannot influence trades, industries or nations – we only influence people.

Influence is one of the world's most precious commodities. It is wise to use it well. There is much, much money that is spent on influence than any other commodities today – think designer wear, political campaigns, media and religion.

As a leader, you must choose your followers and/or employees who you will lead through influence, and they must be faithful in turn. Being faithful, or faithfulness is the fundamental of character. Being faithful is more important and treasured than being talented. I do not commit or worship the talented, I commit to the faithful. If one is talented and faithful, then I am blessed. =)

Faithfulness is comprised of constancy, loyalty and submission. Constancy is the same as consistency – steady, unchanging, unwavering. Loyalty means to stand your ground for the cause. Submission means the willingness to subject yourself to another, liken to accounting to another.

The only way one can attract one with character is by having character ourselves. We reap what we sow. Influence always flow top down, out from our hearts first. What's within our hearts will often show itself in our business, our relationships and the way we carry ourselves. That's to emphasize the point of we reap what we sow. Yes, people is always the problem in our lives and business and relationships…but they are also the solution. If we plan to be successful, then it becomes our long-term, maybe life-long duty to find, train and keep such people in our lives.

Sightless Poison: people who undermine authority and seeks to discredit. Such people are poisonous to people and systems, and should be dealt with by immediate removal. There is no need to feel sorry or bad – in the eyes of the law, such acts are known as sedition and treason, and are very, very bad, even criminal.

Nature of Time: success is having the right people, the right products and the right season. Life is really all about season management – we cant change seasons, but we can only adapt to them at most. Like a fruit, if it's picked too early, it's too sour/tasteless; too late and it'd spoil. Time is very worthy of our respect. To procrastinate and/or waste time is a sign of disrespect of time – not everything is worthy of our time, and not every spoken word is worthy to be listened to. To organize our time is to respect our time, as organizing shows respect. We never “find time” for the important – we make time for them. Resist unimportant, unnecessary, illegal, illegitimate and non-vital commitments.

Overcome Hurdles: the difference between people who succeed and those who fail are simply their ability to manage pressures and failure. To those who understand, success is born out of failure, hardship and problems. Without problems or hardships, there is nothing to succeed, that's why in front of every problem is an opportunity.

Winners look at what and where they're going to, losers look at what they’re going through.

John Maxwell

To improve your life, work on you. It does absolutely nothing to complain about others. Many people love to complain and find fault with everything else but themselves, blaming others for their problems, leading to no good thing at all.

Epilogue

Patterns and principles to personal development, progressive living, life, and success are not entirely my own, despite the fact of me ruminating, seeking understanding and wisdom, the revelations and epiphanies that arrive in my head. They were set in motion way before I was born, and will continue to be here way after I'm long gone from the earth.

These patterns and principles are set in place by a Creator God. The only thing people can do is to either discover and acknowledge them, ignore and dismiss them, or perverse them. Perverted principles lead to perverted lifestyle and living. Living by good and timeless principles always leads to personal development, power, prosperity and peace, nations and societies to flourish and grow.

The ultimate standards of human behaviors, rules and principles are found in the words of this Creator God, in the Holy Bible. This is more than opinion, it is my personal belief, upon which I've based more than thirty years of my life (as of 1982) and my future and all eternity. You are free to form your own ideas and opinion.

The world's greatest book for learning successful living, personal development, prosperity and progressive living is not in any textbooks or handouts or courses, but in the Bible. We're all free to choose today because we're given free will at the point of creation. Our freedom of choice is the true freedom that we have – we can choose to to ignore this power and live as though we have no choices, or we can live empowered and live life with choices.

The greatest choice a person will make in this world is what they will do when they leave this world. I take on a verse in the Book of Ecclesiastes "A wise man thinks much of death, while the fool thinks only of having a good time now" (Ecclesiastes 7:4).

The principle herein is, "what is your exit plan today?", "think of the end first but start at the beginning" and "bearing in mind our end goal as we live day to day." When we have a job, we think first of how we want to get a promotion, think of the strategies and plans and actions we need to take consistently to get a promotion. In the same understanding, when we plan and prepare for our own lives, we must look at and to what we want at the end of our lives to determine what kind of lives, strategies and plans we need to choose and how we live it.

I believe the bible leads us to right choices, good principles and good patterns to successful, peaceful and prosperous living.

If you've never read one, I encourage you to invest in one and read it today (or you can access one online, free of charge at Bible Gateway). Read it, and learn to live it.

Where to next?

  1. Back to NigelChua Home Page

  2. Contact me by email at (even just to say hi) nigel@nigelchua.com

  3. See the latest articles and updates at the blog

  4. Check out all the resources and tools I use

  5. See my top two resources below: Wealthy Affiliate (left) and Solo Build It (right) - both have very specific strengths and functions

Wealthy affiliate: #1 to learn how to build profitable wordpress online businesses

Wealthy Affiliate is my recommended for WordPress online businesses.

I've been a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate since 2015 and there are a number of pros to be with them, which you can read at my Wealthy Affiliate review here.

One of my favorite points of WA is that they have a try-before-you-buy forever-free membership which you can sign up here for free. No credit card needed.

solo build it (sbi): #1 for offline businesses local search engine ranking, traffic and lead generation

Solo Build It (SBI) is my #1 tool for local search engine optimization (SEO) domination as well for online marketing which I've been using since 2010 personally for multiple projects.

Read why I chose Solo Build It...

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Name: Wealthy Affiliate

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I've been a premium Wealthy Affiliate member since 2015, read my Wealthy Affiliate Review here.

I recommend them if you want to learn how to make money online.

Better still, you can try Wealthy Affiliate for free here.



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Solo Build It!

Solo Build It is my #1 tool for local search engine optimization (SEO) domination as well for online marketing which I've been using since 2010 personally for multiple projects.

Read why I chose Solo Build It...and more importantly, why I still stay with Solo Build It (SBI) till today and use them exclusively for all my SEO, traffic and e-lead generation.



GetResponse Email Marketing

Building a relationship with your audience, customers and readers are highly important for any offline and online business, and I recommend GetResponse for their services, great price, ease-of-use.

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Google Suite

Google Suite (GSuite) is THE recommended Google tools for email, calendar, documents, sheets - for productivity  and communication.

GSuite/GMail one month free trial available here.



Shopify

Shopify has made it very easy to start an ecommerce business, solving most of the tech and logistical barriers and even has product suppliers with Oberlo!

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Books I'm Reading

Holy Bible

Tribe Of Mentors

Seneca Letters From A Stoic

Seneca On The Shortness Of Life

See my full book/read list here.

Blogs I Follow

Tim Ferriss

Pat Flynn

Tony Robbins

Ramit Sethi

Richard Branson