CC#6: A Love-Hate Relationship

Have you ever loved and hated something or somebody at the same time? Do you develop a love hate relationship with your best friend, your kids or your wife? Or how about some guilty pleasures like taking a cigarette? and drinking? : ) huh... I believe most of us do. This evening i'm going to share with you the one thing that i love so much and hate as much at the same time.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Do you know why i chose architecture? It is because Architect is named the most attractive male profession in the world. Don't believe me? You can google it.

Anyway, that was not the main reason. When i was a teenager i love visual arts. I enjoy sketching and painting. At the same time, i performed well in my science and language subjects. I told my parents, i want to be an artist. My mom said No! No! No! My dear boy. Trust me, you don't want to be an artist. You have good results. You can be a doctor, a lawyer or even an astronaut. So in order to not disappoint my parents. I chose architecture. I wanted to be an Architect.

I thought, architecture is the perfect combination of art and science. It is the art of designing and constructing buildings. Hmm.... After working for 3 years. I seriously doubt that.

Fellow members and guests,

Let me guide you to see architecture from another perspective, i.e from a perspective of an architecture student.
Architecture is better known as Archi-torture in the universities. My university life as an architecture student was a nightmare. What was your longest hours of staying awake? I clocked my personal best of 36 hours. Solid! You know what? If i say this in front of a bunch of architects. One of will jump out and say, Hey i did 72 hours! And yes this might sound funny and stupid to you but this is really what an architecture student has to go through.

You see. Art is very subjective and sometime very personal. Architectural design too is the same. There is no best design. Your job is never done until the time is up. So, very often, when we were given a design project, we had to work to the very last minute. Burning the midnight oil was never enough. Because we would work from sunrise to sunset and then continue to sunrise.

Because of architecture, I picked up the habit of drinking coffee. I had my breakfast, lunch and dinner 3-in-1. I mastered the skill of sleeping in sitting position, with my head on the drafting table. I didn't shower for 2 days. I accidentally cut my fingers. I slept at 4am and woke up at 8am to attend a lecture and ended up sleeping throughout the lecture.

And the best of all, i lost 8 kilograms. :)

Despite all the hardships, I don't know why? I somehow survived.

As a designer, nothing is more happy then seeing your ideas turn into a series of presentation boards that communicate, that can tell the story of your design. From concepts and sketches, they slowly take form and transform into 3d models and rendered graphics. You know that you have accomplished something after all the sleepless nights.

Just when you thought my job is done and i can go back to my hostel and sleep. Hold on! Wait, wait wait. The job is not done. We still have a presentation to go through. In architecture, we call is a crit session. The is the time that your work is open for assessment and criticism. Many a time, you will be treated with all the harsh comments.

My lecturer once told me, Do you know why you got C? Because nothing is perfect. A is for God, B is me, your teacher. and C? That is for you!
Imagine that is what you get after not sleeping for two days.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Because of Architecture, i learned that in life, 1+1 is not always equal 2. Sometimes, you may get more than 2 if you are lucky. It taught me to be okay when 1+1=1/2. You just need to hit harder next time.
But there is one thing i know for sure. 0+0 is always 0. No pain, no gain.

CC#5: Going home

Every year on 24th of October, i go back to my hometown to be with my family. It is my mother's birthday. I will make sure, be it rain or shine, i will be home on that particular day.

This year, there was no exception. 2 months before my mother's birthday, i booked the flight ticket back to Alor Star. Thanks to Airasia zero air fare promotion, i got my return air tickets with less than 50 ringgit.

2 weeks before the very important day, i went to shop for my mother's birthday present. I bought her a Gucci handbag... from Petaling Street. And i wrapped it with her favourite colour sugar paper, and sealed it with a ribbon.

1 day before 24th October, after i came back from work, i web checked in my flight, and printed out my boarding pass. I packed my hand luggage and put them all together with the birthday present on the table. I had to make sure everything was ready as i needed to bring them all to my work place on the following day. I would have to leave my office at 5pm and go straight to the airport to catch my flight at 8.30pm.

The next morning, as usual i walked in the office 15 minutes late but with a hand luggage and a present. Everything went on smoothly until I received a call from my client at 4.00pm. Something bad happened at one of my projects construction site and I had to be there.

By the time i came back to my office, it was already 5.30pm and i had to catch my flight at 8.30pm. Without wasting any more time, i wrapped up and rushed to the nearest bus station to catch a bus to the airport. I managed to hop onto the bus at 6pm.

Just when i thought i can sit and relax throughout the journey, the nightmare has just begun. Heavy rain started to pour. In less than 10 minutes, the traffic came into a standstill situation. Imagine you are trapped inside the traffic in Friday evening with thunder storm, and you can do nothing.


After a 2 hour bus ride that seemed like forever for me, i finally arrived at KLIA 2. I looked at my phone, the time was 8.03pm. The boarding gate was scheduled to be closing at 8.10pm. I quickly grabbed all my stuffs and dropped off the bus and ran to the domestic departure hall. I only had less than 7 minutes. to not miss the flight.

For the first time in my life, i ran like there hell? like i had just stolen something? like there is no tomorrow.

Thanks to the so called "user-friendly" airport design of KLIA2, I had to run for about 2km i believe and rush through 6 escalators safely without hitting on others, in order for me to get to Boarding Gate A, B, C .... M, yes Gate M. I made it in 8 min. It was my personal best i believe. And thank God, i managed to join the last low of passengers to board onto the flight.

Do you what i did first when i entered the flight? I dashed to the toilet to burst out the pee that i held for more than two hours. Huh... What a relief?! I told myself.

When i finally seated, I started to feel the pain of both my legs. The muscles cramped. I could do nothing but to sit and try to relax throughout the 1 hour ride.

Finally, I reached Alor Star Sultan Abdul Halim Aiport. When i stepped out from the arrival hall, i saw my parents already standing there and waiting for me. Looking at their happy faces, i forgot all the sweats and tears. I quickly ran to my mother, hugged her and wished her, "happy birthday, mom. Here is your present. Wait?!..."

I left the present in the bus!

Back to you, TME.

CC#4: Do you know what you want?

Good evening fellow members and guests,

Do you know what you want to do with your life? Show me your hand if you think you do.
Thank you.

I started to think about
what I want to do with my life, when I realized that
I don’t know what I want!

When I first discovered that
I don’t know what I want, I doubted my dreams, I felt insecure. The feeling of sailing alone in a choppy ocean and not knowing where you are leading to is scary.

But now I realize that
that was a turning point in my life. Since then, I gradually learned that nobody can teach us what we want. You just stumble upon it. The more you stumble, the more you get to taste the actual experience of things that you

Of course, in the process of  trial and error, there will be hard time.
There were countless times when I was lost, confused and helpless. There were times when my dreams just seem to be too intangible and unattainable. There were times that I wished a fortune teller could just pop up and tell me what to do next? Though, i believe life is not that easy and it never works that way.

If you
ask me now, do I really know what I want to do with my life. The answer is NO! Not yet.
But I’m not going to just sit and wait. I need to take my fate in my own hands.
So I try to be open-minded whenever an opportunity presented at my doorstep.
Like an opportunist, I take advantage to opportunities and I’m receptive
towards new suggestions and ideas.

Who says
an architecture graduate has to be an architect for the rest of his life?

But what
if opportunity doesn’t knock? You go ahead and build a door! You prepare yourself for future opportunities. You never stop learning and improving yourself while you are
waiting for your time to shine. This is how I think I should get myself ready. Because I remember, i will never be ready for
anything but i can be ready enough. That is also the reason why I join
Toastmasters. I believe by the time a real opportunity arrives, I can be ready
enough to take the chance, make a change and breakaway.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In order
to know what I really want, I practice the Elimination by Aspects model. It is
a very easy and yet efficient method like what you do when you are given an
objective question with multiple choice answers. You evaluate each option one
characteristic at a time, and  eliminate the
option that fails to meet the criteria you have established. Eventually you will
arrive with just one alternative.

in our life, whether you realise it or not, we do the same thing. When you were a young child,
your parents would probably send you to drawing class, piano lessons,
taekwando lesson, calligraphy class, so on and so forth. As you grow older you get to know
things that you don’t like. You started to giving up on your piano lesson,
calligraphy class and others and you venture into new hobbies, new sports, new
things. You get to understand where your passion lies after you really taste it.
And hence you get closer to what you want in your life.

 Fellow members and guests,

Like most of you, I’m slowly but surely
learning what I want, and I only began to learn, really learn, once I discovered that I don’t
already know what I want.

So now
think about this again, “Do you really know what you want?”

CC#3: You will never be Ready

I can still remember it vividly. The round of applause, the cheers, the whistles, the hand clapping.
For a moment, I felt like a star shinning bright like a diamond. I told my self, Yes this is where i belong. This is what i'm going to do for the rest of my life.
Fellow toastmasters and guests,
I was standing on a stage in front of the audience of 500. I had just finished a performance. For a few seconds, i stood still just to immerse myself in the sea of applause. Then I put up the microphone and i shouted, thank you! i love you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm sharing to all of you tonight about my passion towards singing. I love singing. I knew it since when i was a small boy. Unfortunately, i had never got the chance to prove it because i was too shy. I had no confidence. I could sing out loud in the bathroom during shower but i just couldn't do it on stage. So for many years, I kept the voice within to myself.
However, things started to change when i first entered university. It all started with a performance during the Freshmen Night which happened at the end of the Orientation Week. 3 days before the Freshmen Night, i bumped into to a senior, named Karen. I politely introduced myself to her and ask for her signature. You see, as freshman, i was required to acquire at least 50 signatures from the seniors and another 50 among the freshmen by the end of the orientation week. So She asked me to sing her a song before she could give me her signature.
Here was how it goes...


She told me, Hey, you know what, you have got the voice. You should go on stage for the Freshmen Night. Come to MH370 tomorrow at 5pm. We will be rehearsing for the Night we need someone like you. See you there!
So, the next day i met Karen and the others at MH370. I first thing i told her when i saw her is, I'm so sorry. I don't think i'm ready for this. I need more time to practice before i can go on stage. I never perform on a stage. I'm not sure if i can do it. And bla bla bka... Karen stopped me and said to me, Sansit, trust me. You're never going to be ready for what you have to do. You just do it. That makes you ready. Come on man, just do it.
Because of her words, which i remember it until today, i took the chance for the leap of faith. I went on stage for the Freshmen Night. And to my surprise, I nailed it. I owned the stage. Since then, I went on to improve my singing skill by leaps and bounds. Now, I occasionally perform as a singer in cafes and weddings.
Fellow members and guests,
If you have a dream, never wait until you are ready for it, because you will never be ready for it. You will learn to be ready for it when are actually doing it.
If you’re waiting for the stars to line up and everything to fall into place before you leap and make your dreams your reality, I'm sorry to tell you that you’ll never get there.
We can never be ready but we can be ready enough.
If you think that you just need a little more time to be good enough or smart enough or ready enough, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of paralysis. You’ll never leap. You’ll never change. You’ll never do anything but wait and plan and talk about it and write about it and think about it but never actually do it.
That’s definitely not what you want, is it? It’s not what any of us wants.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A friend of mine once told me that,Always aim higher. Aim for the moon and stars. Even if you couldn't reach the star and you fall down, you might end up on the cloud.

Part of the article is inspired and adapted from Jodi Chapman's "You'll Never Be Ready"

CC#2: My Hobby

I'm going to share with you the speech i drafted for my CC#2 assignment. The title is 'My hobby'.

My hobby
Good evening fellow members and guests, take a look at this little coin in my hand. This is a 50 cent Malaysian coin of 1977. Believe it or not, this coin may worth more than 10 thousand ringgits? Ok, this is not a magic show. Let me tell you this.
On 19th October, a new record for the most expensive Malaysia circulation coins sold in auction, was broken when a 1969 50 cent milled edge coin was sold for RM10,253. Now you can check your pocket to see if you are lucky enough to own one of this coin.
How did you get started?
Fellow members and guests, I’m a collector. Collecting is my hobby. I started collecting since I was 9 years old, after my cousin showed me his stamps collection albums. I can still remember it vividly that how amazed I was to see the many different types of stamps from countries of all over the world. So I pleaded my father to buy me a stamp album. To start collecting stamps, I cut used stamps from envelopes. I bought mint stamps, or new unused stamps with pocket moneys. I exchanged stamps with my classmates. And, I stole.
What do you collect?
Collecting is a slow hobby. Patience is developed when I look for new treasures. I learn how to care, store and organize my collections.
For the past 20 years, I’ve tried to collect collectibles like stamps, first day covers, postcards, coins, phone cards, bus tickets, bank notes, books, magazines, posters, models, bottle caps, tissue paper and the list goes on. However I gave up most of them. Nowadays, I collect philatelic collectibles, coins and bank notes.
How do you do it now?
From a novice collector, I have learned and grown so much to be an intermediate collector. I buy new stamps from post office and  I buy old stamps and coins from flea markets. Whenever I have a chance to travel to another country, I look for post office and flea market. In KL, I go to Amcorp Mall in PJ. The flea market which operates only on weekends is a haven for collectors.
In this era of technology advancement, communication has made simple and more efficient. Email has gradually replaced snail mail. Writing a post mail has become a hobby. For me, I write become it is the most economical way to obtain stamps and cards from other countries. So, I joined an internet based philatelic campaign called Postcrossing. Postcrossing is a project to allow people to send and receive postcards from all over the world. The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world. Isn’t it interesting? For every postcard that I sent out, I really look forward to the arrival of the little piece of surprise from the other part of the world.
I have a group of friends who share the same hobby like me. Whenever there is a new stamp issue, we notify each other. We help each other to buy new stamps and we exchange.
Why do you collect?
I have a dream. I hope that when I reach the age of retirement, I’ve collected well enough to allow me to set up a stall in a flea market, selling my collectibles to the next generation.
So my dear friends, get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby like collecting. Remember, a hobby can be hugely rewarding.
Thank you. Back to you, TME.

Chasing your dreams

One of my senior member in toastmasters club shared with me that, "you see, the problem with the youngsters nowadays is they are not sure of what they want to be. all they want is the explore life and look for their dreams. so while your are so called "chasing your dreams", you are actually wasting your time!".

What do you think?