An Important Distinction

A few days I ago, I touched on how wisdom lies in the ability to ‘see the difference.’  And one of the distinctions to pay attention to, is the difference between what’s important and what’s unimportant.

This is so fundamental and crucial, yet often most easily neglected.  As a result, we get caught up with a frenzy of activities that call for our attention, and ended up with being busy without necessarily being effective. I’m often guilty of doing that too, like checking my emails and updating Facebook frequently when I could have channelled those time and energy to writing, blogging or connecting with people  whom matter most to me (like you boys).

Also, sometimes, even when we KNOW what’s important, we don’t necessarily DO anything about it. We slack off, and pretend that it’s OK. Take health for instance. Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for health, but few make time to exercise … even if it is as simple as taking a brisk walk or using the staircase instead of the elevator.  How absurd?

What gets in the way or causes the gap between knowing and doing?  I suspect the culprit is that we don’t actually know enough of the cost of non-doing, because the effect is usually felt or experienced only further down the road.  People don’t fall sick because of the lack of exercise for one day.  But the prolonged habit of passivity can lead to a decline in the immune system, and makes us more susceptible to fall victim to virus attack.

An Important Reminder

Once you begin to examine carefully the cost of not doing something about what’s important, it will become obvious to you that there is absolutely nothing more important than knowing what’s important and doing something about it.

With that insight in mind, try starting your day by naming the 3 important things that you will attend to that day, and make sure you do something about them all by end of day. I am pretty convinced that developing the discipline of bridging the gap between knowing and doing will bring you some extraordinary success in life.


Your Insightful Dad

Be good, do good.

At last, I found the answer to the one burning question that your mother has been asking me repeatedly over the past few weeks.  She even stuck a giant post-it note on my desk while you guys are away on vacation in Malaysia.

“What are you teaching your children?”, she wrote. I guess she has always felt that there is a lot that I know which would be beneficial for you both.  And I’m guilty of not spending time to impart them to you.

Alright, let me start with my new found mantra for 2012: BE GOOD, DO GOOD.

“Huh? Be good, do good?” You probably wonder, “Where does that come from?” and “What does it mean?”

I suspect it came from the words I wrote some months back, framed in the cheap IKEA picture holder that has been sitting on my desk all this while.   It’s kinda funny that sometimes, the answer that we hunt high and low for is staring right at our faces (the same thing happened when I found the love of my life – am saving that story for another day).

OK .. it works like this.  I want you to consider this carefully … at some point in your life (may be not at the age of 11 or 13), you will begin to question the purpose of your life, the meaning of your existence, and what on earth are you here for.  These are big questions with no easy answers, and I shall not attempt to answer them for you either. But what I want you to remember is that as you strive to discover what holds true for you, consider the following:

You are here to manifest goodness – possibly in ways that are unique to you.  Who you become, what you do, how you do it, and who you serve, is all up to you. But above all, be guided by a simple principle: be good, and do good.  Being good begins with seeing the GOODNESS in yourself and in others.  Look, and you shall see.  And when you fully embody the goodness you see, you will naturally do good. Who you are being   shapes your doing. It’s as simple as that.

Now, give it a try.  You don’t need to wait till existential crisis hits you.  Be good, and do good to someone today.


Your Good Dad