Dr. DARREN CHUA

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17October

2015

Your attitude, not aptitude, will determine your altitude. –Zig Ziglar

Are you at a place in life where nothing appears to be moving? Worse still, does the situation appear to be getting darker with every passing moment? Or perhaps, you are at a crossroad where every possible option appears to be simply just a choice between a step towards the devil or the deep blue sea?

Here are 5 simple tips that may change your destiny!

  1. Be courageous and be strong
  2. Take responsibility in all that you endeavour
  3. Appreciate the smallest things in life
  4. Be willing to receive advice, and act on the good one
  5. Always look to at the good in every situation

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26January

2016

Power to Win

Recently, I had the privilege to speak to 43 members of Beckman Coulter (Hong Kong) on the topic of “Power to Win”. They flew me up to inspire their staff and set everyone aligned to the goals for 2016. Naturally I was excited and privilege to have this platform to be at impact to this wonderful group.

The 3 hour session had me sharing with them my life journey from a stroke survivor to inspirational speaker, private educator, author and a mindset coach. And while I was humbled that they felt my story moved them, I am glad the activities we had together helped them realise that indeed, the power to win was in each and every one of them.

For I am of the belief that ‘winning’ is in all of us. The time I spent with them was not in telling them what they do not already know. After all these were individuals who were experts in their own domain. What I helped them was to just let them be aware of 2 fundamental truths about winning.

The first is of mindset. None of us can win if we cannot fathom the reality that we are winners. Take a look at how Usain Bolt swaggers his way into the track or how Ma Long dominates the action around the table tennis table. These people know they are winners and they behave like one. Not out of pride but of a certain assurance of who they are. Without this mindset, all victory is short and all failures are merely temporary setbacks.

The second truth is that it is never about the effort of winning but the effect of winning we should be constantly be reminded of. A relentless pursuit towards the effort of winning ultimately wears down the best of us. On the other hand, the effect of winning is not sustained by the will. In fact it is done by the natural effect of wining. And because dopamine is the major neuro-receptor that is secreted when we win, and it is also additive, it is clear why all of us have an innate desire to win. Therefore, it is vital for us to take every moment, even when we ‘lose’, and view it as a learning opportunity and thereby transforming a lost to a win, and a win to a habit.

When I was ending my workshop at Beckman Coulter, I left everyone with a phrase which I would like to share with all of you here as well. And that is, “The Power To Win Lies In (M)indset).(E)ffect”.

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26March

2016

Taking The Road Less Travelled

March 26, 2016Art of DeterminationEmpowermentHopeNo Comments

MANY people mistakenly believe that any form of vision-setting should be the CEO’s responsibility. That is erroneous thinking and not only limits the growth of any leader, but also makes his career much less exciting.

All leaders in any organisation, community or team are able to effectively manifest their vision (that is, “see” what they want to be) as long as they create specific and achievable goals while initiating positive actions and enlisting the participation of all relevant team members.

Of course, to reap maximum synergy and motivation from his team, a leader’s vision should be congruent with that of the company.

However, there are a few questions that beg to be answered.

As a leader, how important is it to set a vision? How should leaders rally their team behind that vision? What is the role of the leader in communicating and bringing out that vision?

Vision

A visionary paints beautiful scenes of the future and articulates them with great enthusiasm.

A visionary leader, on the other hand, brings that vision into reality and, thereby, impacts the space others dwell in.

Even though he was asked to leave the company he helped build, Steve Jobs never threw away his vision of what Apple could be. Instead, he dug deep, persevered and returned to Apple as its leader, impacting the company even more in the process.

As leaders, how ready and enthusiastic are we to share a piece of our dream with our team? More importantly, how determined are we to see our vision bear fruit?

“Buy-in”

Successful leaders should also be able to get positive “buy-in” from their teams. Therefore, we should concentrate on the various aspects of the buy-in process and manage them accordingly to reach maximum leverage.

As a business leader, I have had to invest time and effort to secure “buy-in” from various stakeholders.

I have come to realise that just because two potential partners have similar visions, it does not necessarily guarantee “buy-in” because the two parties may have different goals, and vice-versa.

It is good for leaders to help their team members “see the big picture” and understand how their involvement will help the team reach goals and also result in the growth of each team member.

After all, leaders are dream makers who know that dreams are made from future probabilities and never from past liabilities. The more we nourish our teams with possible visions of what they can achieve, the more dynamic and motivated they will be.

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Step-in and step-up

A successful “buy-in” process will often result in committed relationships within the team.

Engagement (step-in) is the primary product in all fruitful relationships. As leaders, we should steer our teams towards active participation and assimilate everyone into the culture of the company.

A healthy relationship between leaders and the rest of the team ultimately results in empowerment (step-up) of all involved. For empowerment to occur, constant feedback is needed. Gallup research conducted in 2009 shows that teams need constant feedback — not just yearly — from their leaders about how they are performing.

Effective leaders also need to receive feedback and to mentor their teams in a way that increases engagement and commitment.

Motivation

For teams to be highly motivated, everyone should be speaking about the same vision. It is essential for information to be received and transmitted in a clear and accurate manner.

It is useful to remind ourselves that the success of the team only occurs when everybody wins.

Here are some handy reminders:

* Always take into account your boss’s point of view

* Focus on the solution rather than the problem

* Communicate “upwards”; inspire “downwards”.

Many of us avoid the responsibility of visionary leadership primarily because we are too sensitive to criticism and failure. But all these fears may fade away when we realise the impact our vision has on the organisation.

As American poet Robert Frost once wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Article by Dr Darren Chua, the chief empowering officer of DC Empowerment. He was awarded the Young Outstanding Singaporean 2011 and Successful Entrepreneur Award 2011. For more information, visit www.drdarrenchua.com

from: http://www.stjobs.sg/career-resources/workplace-success/take-the-road-less-travelled/a/85888

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7May

2016

What is Performance made of?

There is a simple equation of performance and it reads somewhat like this:

Our Performance =   Our Can’s      X         Our Want’s    X         Our May’s

OUR CAN’S

Whether or not we can do a task depends on our expertise. The good news is that expertise does not depend on paper qualifications. Rather, our expertise in our work is related to our focus. You see, to be an expert is to build depth around a certain topic or subject.  The very act of focus is like building depth. If we were to take two people of similar intellect and abilities and charge the first with building a business with a broad focus and the second with building a business with a narrow focus, we would find that the second person would build a depth of expertise exponentially greater than the other. He could not help but do so, for when we narrow our field of thought we think deeper. We need not be smarter or more creative than our competition. We just need to be more focused. Focus is powerful.

OUR WANT’S

Whatever we desire, we are motivated to achieve. And one of the better ways I have found to be better motivated is to be purposeful about our goals. Instead of doing things that you feel like you “should” do in 2016, work towards the resolutions that you genuinely care about. When you do this, you tap into a different part of the brain that uses less willpower to take action and make progress.

An inspiring purpose does not need to be an over-the-top goal of curing cancer, solving world hunger, or becoming the CEO of your company. In fact, it can be as simple as changing perspectives.

OUR MAY’S

While our “Can” and “Want” are compelling, our current life conditions play the final leg in propelling us to our peak performance. Making sure that situations are optimal in our environment, emotional state, sociological, psychological and physiological makes it easier for us to reach the performance we desire.

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1October

2016

The 7 Habits of S.S.S (Successful Stroke Survivor) for Victory!

I have been a stroke survivor since 2000. I remember my brain haemorrhage, which occurred when I was 24 years old. It was a life-changing event. Almost instantly, I was reduced from a doctor who had dreams of becoming a topnotch neurosurgeon to someone who could hardly speak (I lost the ability to communicate as a result of my stroke). I also lost my right visual field and was completely paralyzed on the right side of my body. Like many survivors, I asked, “Why must this happen to me?”

In my minibook, The Art of Determination, I share about how I refused to let this incident direct what desires I was able or unable to pursue. I believe as stroke survivors, we are all free to still chase our dreams and, more importantly, continue to expect success to come our way.

My experience with my condition has taught me seven habits that have been pivotal in helping me transform from someone who suffered a major disruption in life, to where I am now: an international inspirational speaker, a mindset leader, an educator, an author and national para-athlete.

Here are my seven habits that I’d like to share with you.

Habit 1: Start the day with visualization
Because I conduct mindset clinics, talks and workshops on leadership and empowerment, I am aware of the awesome power that comes from visualization. In fact, most elite athletes and peak performers in almost all professional fields use it now.

The reason why it is so effective is because of these reasons:
1. It activates our subconscious which will generate creative ideas that will achieve our goals.
2. It builds our internal motivation to take the necessary steps to achieve your goals.
3. It activates the law of attraction and thereby draws into our life the necessary resources that you need to attain your destiny.
4. It programmes your brain to a desired mindset needed to achieve our goals.

Habit 2: Live an inspired life
As stroke survivors, we can still expect and demand success in our life. After all, we are not defined merely by our abilities — or lack of. Rather, we are defined by what we do to each other and how we add value to those around us.

Inspiration is the force that drives things not only forward and upwards; it also elevates us to a newer and better place. It creates positivity, possibilities, and fulfils our purpose. Starting today, let us ask this question to ourselves continually, “How can I make the situation better?”

Habit 3: Be committed to self-respect
When we commit ourselves to have self-respect (and not respect from others), we naturally take pride in what we do and exude an aura of confidence. I believe this is the key commitment we need to have for ourselves. No matter what people may think or feel about the condition and how it has affected us, we must remain steadfast and know that in order to be successful stroke survivors, we must make the commitment to remain at the top of our game in every aspect of life.

Life may have changed. Our road to success may now have a few more detours, but our destination to wherever we want to go can still be reached. We just have to take daily steps to refine what is it that we want to achieve in an effort to be ready for decisions that needs integrity and forethought.

Habit 4: Thanksgiving
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness endures forever” – 1 Chronicles 16:34

As a stroke survivor myself, I know it is easier to lament about what has been robbed from us. Yet it is more beneficial if we focus on what we still have and to give thanks for them.

I find that such a mindset allows us to have a better perspective over our situation. I find that the more I focus on thanksgiving, I have more courage and determination to carry on with life’s journey. And this is because I realise that giving thanks is the fuel that builds up our hope. And I realise that to be successful stroke survivors, all of us need to be “prisoners of hope”.

Habit 5: Organize our priorities
Time management is crucial in achieving our goals. This is especially true for stroke survivors who aim to still catch their dreams. The key to time management is organising, planning, and prioritizing.

Prioritizing our work helps us to identify what things need to be done first. My pace of work has slowed down significantly after 2000, and it is more necesasry than ever that I make this habit of organizing my priorities in order to remain efficient and productive.

Habit 6: Re-education
As stroke survivors, we need to embrace learning. And depending on the extent of neurological damage due to our stroke, a certain degree of re-education is needed.

I have found that with this habit of re-education, the one thing that is necessary is a spirit of humility. As C. S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”.

It is with this spirit that allowed me to ask for more help, expose myself with new experiences and dare to change certain fixed mindsets that I had.

Habit 7: YOLO
You Only Live Once.

While some may view the above catch-phrase as a reflection of a reckless living among the youth of today, I believe as mature adults who understand the value of life, we can use this manta for living a meaningful life after stroke.
By the grace of God, I am given a second chance in life after my near-fatal stroke attack. And rather than living life being overly cautious, I am determined to live life and experience the possibilities that may come my way.

It is with this spirit that I went into wheelchair table tennis. I was never a sporty person in school. Yet after my stroke, I was determined to push myself and test my limits given my physical limitations. And together with all the other habits listed above, I am privileged to have been able to clinch the gold-medal in the 8th ASEAN Games in 2015.

In conclusion, with these 7 habits of starting the day with Visualization, living an Inspired life, being Committed to self-respect, Thanksgiving, Organize our priorities, Re-education and YOLO; we can be confident of living a meaningful life in V.I.C.T.O.R.Y as successful stroke survivors.

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16January

2017

In The Pursuit Of Purpose

Mankind is facing a tipping point. In almost every culture and social systems, we are struggling to find our place in a fast-changing world. In many societies, dramatic changes at the workplace has left a significant number of people discontented, disconnected and disillusioned. Indeed, in our current world which is internet-driven, our postmodern world can be so easily caught in a worldwide web of confusion.

Change is often the cause of uncertainty. And this uncertainty can very often lead to fear and anxiety. The 21st century has brought upon us an unparalleled acceleration in knowledge and information; and has led us into a maze of new paradigms and uncharted waters of social and cultural convergences.

I find that the key to stabilising our lives is in finding our purpose. Purpose is the key to life. Without purpose, life has no meaning. We find that it is so easy to be busy making a living even though we may be experiencing very little in life. Without knowledge of purpose, life becomes an endless string of activities with little or no significance.

Everything in life has a purpose. Everyone who is reading this blog post is born with and for a purpose. Finding this purpose creates our source of meaning. Purpose, therefore, is the original intent in the mind of the creator, in the mind of God. And it is this reason why I believe we are all hard-wired and we have an in-built system that tells us that we are born on purpose and with a purpose.

I have come to realize that nothing is truly ours until we understand it. In other words, we will never be fulfilled until we find out what is the reason for our existence. Vague goals such as “I want to be rich,” “I want to make the world a better place,” or even “I want to be happy” are not helpful and nearly useless. In the final analysis, our life purpose must be answered with the question, “What is the reason for my existence?” and the answer always invariably is linked to our talents, ability, gifting and inclinations.

Recognize that we are unique, special and that God did not make a mistake in creating us. This ought to give us confidence and assurance in living out our lives. Be determined to pursue our aspirations, dreams and goals deliberately and consistently.

Once we have found our purpose, remember to cherish it. In life, there will be many people, including well-meaning friends who may try and remake us according to THEIR plans, purpose and intention. Let us remind ourselves, today, not to let anyone prevent us from becoming, being and doing all that we are born to be and do.

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