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# Issue: Dec 2010

The Asia HRD Congress 2011

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Dear Learn & Perform subscriber,

Greetings for the season and a very Happy New Year.

Here is the December e-news.

As we complete another year, a year the world experienced some great as well as tough news; it is the right moment for taking a few minutes to reflect upon the past year and our own lives.

2010 was the year when Aung Saan Suu Kyi was released by the Myanmar military junta, President Obama lost the Congress to give the Republicans a majority, a year when the wealthiest in the United States got their Bush tax breaks extended getting me to wonder – is there fairness in this world at all. And, the world continued to experience many natural disasters.

It was a year when I read some great books: The Law of Attraction, The Law of Connection, The Power of Less, The Magic of Thinking Big, How the Mighty fall, Branson’s Business Stripped Bare and Seth Godin’s Tribes. Learning not to repeat the mistakes is a key to growth. I learned from so many of my mistakes and yet sometimes I repeated the mistakes. Peter Drucker remarked: “Mistakes occur, never let them recur.”

This was the year when we took the company to another level of achievement after a very disappointing 2008 and a tough 2009. It was a year when we secured contracts that took the company to the global level. One 90 million contract and several other large contracts cemented the company’s turnaround and growth. This was the year when we succeeded in newer markets and found some great new customers. A year, the best Asia HRDCongress ever was organised in Kuching, Sarawak.

This was the year when some close relatives and friends went away from this world. Again, a year, when I found some new friends and I lost them very quickly. It was a year when some old friends moved away and we lost some. It was a year when we found some great staff and lost some.  I learned again death and separation gives meaning to life. The work of the famous Austrian psychologist Otto Rank on the Fear of Life and his separation trauma made great sense.

This was the year when both my sons went on their own, to climb Mount Kinabalu. My wife and I were stressed for the entire week when they were away. My mother continued to advise me. My four year old daughter and niece studying at the medical school were the only ones who chose to go with us on the long walks in our new resort home. Letting go is not the easiest task, I guess.

Change is on the horizon all the time and stress is a common place in all of our lives. It was yet again another year of extensive travel culminating in a quiet November and December. This was not the 2010 I had envisaged last year yet it was one heck of a travel schedule. And, as I embark upon completing another programme with the University and finishing another book, I look back on 2010 with a sense of gratitude to what life offered us. It was an eventful year, yet a successful one.

I also look forward to 2011 with a commitment to stay close to the purpose of my life and the firm that we founded. Do we know what we want in life? That seems to be a question haunting most people? I am getting more and more surprised that very few people have the clarity of their life’s purpose and the will to stay persistent.

Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is a book worth reading or listening to as we reflect upon the past year. The difference between the manifested and the unmanifested life is an important one. The manifested life includes the many forms of life subjected to birth and death while the unmanifested refers to the one life beyond form, the being.

He recalls his own transformational experiences. "Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the 'I' and the 'self' that 'I' cannot live with.” To him, the ego is a sense of self that is obtained from the content and activity of the mind. We create mental pictures based on our own personal and cultural condoning. As we live "the voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on." It may be reliving the past or rehearsing imagined future situations. Tolle calls for a conscious presence. He asks for each person to listen to the voice. When a person is aware of this deeper self, we can then experience what he calls "the joy of Being.” Tolle traces the various consequences of living a life under the power of the ego: separation, resistance, emotional pain, loss of being and externalization. Tolle calls for us to be free of the egoic mind and become aware of the NOW, the present moment.

Tolle wrote in the preface to the 2004 edition of The Power of Now that "the more the dysfunction of the human mind plays itself out on the world stage ... the greater the number of people who realise the urgent need for a radical change in human consciousness.” 

As I go away to the Gold Coast, Australia for the year end vacation with the family, I hope to become more aware of the NOW. I have at least promised myself the Blackberry and the emails that have taken me away from the NOW will be forgotten.

I look forward to 2011 when we can touch people’s lives and live true to the purpose of our lives. Hope you do get a quiet moment to reflect, recharge and live out 2011 purposefully.

Enjoy the moment.

Best wishes for 2011.

Regards
Palan

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