From KUL to AKL to AOR to SGN

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"