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No One or Thing Can Intimidate You

“No one or thing can intimidate you. Only you can.”

My mentor once said.

With that, I went from:

Being reluctant to apply because the criteria for the award intimated me,


Embracing growth mindset and applied for it anyway.

The result:

An awardee of the 2018 SkillsFuture Fellowship.

This award is presented by the President of Singapore which honors individuals as masters of skills and mentors of future talent.

This afternoon, I am privileged to be an invited guest for the 2019 SkillsFuture SG Fellowships and Employers Award.

I would not be here if not for the wise words of my mentor.

Three things I learnt from winning the award:

☀ Ask “why not?” whenever we feel intimidated
☀ Be audacious and yet patient. Courage allows you to dream bigger while having patience enables you to forge ahead.
☀ Ignore the naysayers. Seek those who motivates you with encouragement and practical suggestions

What are you intimated by?

#skillsfuture #growthmindset

SkillsFuture Fellowships Award 2018

As an advocate for lifelong learning, it was a delight receiving Singapore’s highest skills award – the SkillsFuture Fellowships Award last evening. Presented by the President of the Republic of Singapore, the award honour individuals as masters of skills and mentors of future talent. 

It was awesome meeting fellow awardees and hearing their inspiring stories. Love the many engaging conversations about growth and development. Here is the list of fellow awardees:

During the dinner, I took the advice of Nike “Just Do It” and bravely made my way to present my book Fly Free to our President. I never imagined that I will have this opportunity to gift a copy of my book to our President. 


Thanks SkillsFuture SG for the wonderful evening and congratulations once again to all recipients! Continue to inspire. Also special thanks to my publisher and friend Phoon Kok Hwa for supporting the nomination.

Indeed, with a learning mindset, all dreams are possible.



Celebrating Learning

“Stories that Inspire – Celebrating Learning”. As a lover of #lifelonglearning, am absolutely delighted to be part of this publication that celebrates learning!

The publication features stories of ex-St Joseph’s Convent gals. Grateful to my English teacher Mrs Dolly Chan who was then the Vice-Principal, for her encouragement to stretch beyond my comfort zone. It ignited my love for reading and writing, as well as public speaking.

Educators certainly play a critical role in shaping the future of their students!

Building A Growth Mindset

An awesome afternoon facilitating conversations and learnings at the Building a Growth Mindset workshop, a project supported by the @LearnSG Seedfund. The more we share and tap on collective wisdom, the more joyous and rich is the learning!




Future Education – An International Conversation



Future Education – An International Conversation, a closed door event organised by SMU Wee Kim Wee Centre. It has been an exhilarating two days and privilege to be included as part of the group invited for this conversation.

The 20+ participants came from different parts of the world with varied experiences and backgrounds. We have strong views and dreams of the future of education. It is a topic that resonates with me!


Prior to starting Dream Catalyst, my time was spent mostly in some form of educating and mentoring. Working with youth and parents, and then moving on to the corporate sector as a training consultant.

On reflection, even when I was an events management executive and advertising and promotions executive, what gave me the greatest joy was personal development and helping others to do likewise.

The love of learning and learning how to learn changed my life, and also saved my life. When life was in a dark phase, learning equipped me with the tools and strategies to manage my emotions, shift my mindset and take critical action steps for positive change to happen.

Tobring-forth-the-beauty-that-is-withinday, as Dream Catalyst, I have the joy of continuing to make a difference by journeying with businesses, teams and individuals to create a positive work culture. This happens when they embark on a journey to learn, relearn and embrace what’s learnt.

As I engaged in the conversations and soaked in the presence of collective wisdom gathered in the room, my heart sang in a joyous tune.

By desiring to bring forth the beauty that is within, we shine our brightest with harmony and peace.  And that’s what I believe in, embrace fully and seek to achieve each day. 


I thought it was apt and poignant that the event ended with us being invited for the 2nd Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture: Re-thinking ASEAN, the problems and prospects for regional peace. The speaker Dr Leticia Ramos Shahani spoke on the future of our ASEAN community.


No Natural Talent? Grow your Ability. It’s more lasting.

The Heart 11 Sept 2012


Read “Mindset, the new psychology of success” by Carol S Dweck recently. Wished I had read this in 2006 but hey, awesome to have read it now. 😊

Mindset BookThe author Carol Dweck, a Standford University psychologist, shared how having a growth mindset as leaders, teachers, parents, coaches etc can motivate people to reach their goals and success. That by praising effort rather than talent has long term positive effects.

I like to share about my art teacher Diana who demonstrates this growth mindset when teaching her students and the immense impact it has.

I was terrible in art in secondary school and believed that I had no talent. Then in 2012, a friend connected me with Diana as I was interested to learn how to paint.

The Heart (main picture) was completed at my first lesson. It was only possible because Diana shared that everyone can learn how to paint. So I focused on picking up the techniques required rather than on my past experiences of scoring low marks on art.

Through the subsequent lessons, I discovered that the times when I could be immersed in the learning process was when I enjoyed it the most. During the moments when I focused on whether the painting was pretty or not, was when I became stressed and felt like giving up (fixed mindset came to play).

The more I became interested in the painting process rather than questioning myself if I’ve talent or not, the more ‘in flow” I became. I would choose a different focus each time in order to learn different techniques eg painting koi fish, the sea or lace curtains.

The fixed mindset believes that intelligence is static which leads to a desire to look smart and therefore, a tendency to:

  • avoid challenges
  • gets defensive or give up easily when faced with obstacles
  • sees effort as fruitless or worse
  • ignore useful negative feedback
  • feels threatened by the success of others

As a result, they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.

On the other hand, the growth mindset believes that intelligence can be developed which leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:

  • embrace challenges
  • persist in the face of obstacles
  • see effort as the path to mastery
  • learn from criticism
  • find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

As a result, people with growth mindset reach ever-higher levels of achievements.

And we may have a growth mindset for one aspect of our lives, and a fixed mindset in another. For example, we may have a growth mindset as a manager but a fixed mindset when it comes to our relationship with our spouse.

Twin babiesTo me, the most important information is that we were all born with a growth mindset! Babies do not stop learning to crawl, to stand and to walk because they decide it is too hard and not worth the effort. They fall, they get up and barge forward.

As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart.

Carol studied thousands of people and in one of them, she and her researchers offered 4 years old a choice: they could redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or they could try a harder one. They found that even at this tender age, children with the fixed mindset – the ones who believe in fixed traits – stuck with the safe ones. “Kids who are born smart don’t do mistakes” they shared with the researchers. They want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed.

Children with the growth mindset  – the ones who believe you could get smarter – chose one hard one after another. They thought it was strange that why anyone would want to keep doing the same puzzle over and over again. Success is about stretching themselves. It’s about becoming smarter.

Understanding about the growth mindset has many useful applications for us both on a personal and professional level.

The way we self-talk/ self-coach, handle situations and relate to people will be totally different depending on the choice of our mindset. The way we motivate ourselves and others will also be entirely different.

Much food for thought and great insights for moving forward.