The Woman Behind My Success

My mother turned 48 on 14th October. This post isn’t about her birthday though. It’s about her.

It is often said that behind every successful man is a woman. I would consider myself to have achieved substantial success by now, because just not too many years ago and long before that, I only dreamed of it.

And it seemed very impossible at that time.

Many guys my age would think it’s macho to say that their girlfriend or a hot chick is behind their success. But I am not ashamed to say that the woman I owe my success to is none other than my very own mother. It would have been ungrateful of me if I didn’t acknowledge her on my blog at all, so here it is.

Mom came from a very poor family and is the 2nd eldest among 4 of her siblings. Life was simpler back then and she had the blessings of many relatives. Life was hard though; her father was a taxi driver and her mom was a dutiful housewife, like most women at that time.

My grandfather died in a car accident when Mom was in her early 20s, and later my grandmother would succumb to diabetes along with other harsh illness in the hospital ward. That being said, I never had the chance to see my grandparents alive.

Since my mother is an introvert by nature, she hardly associated with other relatives as she grew up. As a result, for many years I believed that my family was very small indeed. I knew of only 2 family of relatives and a single Uncle. It was only last month that I learned, to my surprise, that I actually have more relatives and cousins than I even imagined. I am happy to say that they are doing incredibly well with their freight forwarding business in Klang. It’s a pity that I will probably find it hard to communicate with them – apparently my family is the only “banana” whereas my relatives speak Hokkien and Mandarin, and are Chinese educated at large.

But I’ll save that ‘interesting encounter’ for some other time. 🙂

Anyways, life for my mother had been a fierce struggle right from the start. The poverty in her family was just but a small beginning. Eventually, she got to know my father and they got married even though my father had been notoriously know for having a bad temper. Later Mom and my uncles would go on to discover that my father is also a compulsive liar and committed polygamy.

My mother’s marriage with my father had endured a long history of verbal and social abuse until my father finally ‘let go of the chains’ in 2003. In spite of learning that my father had a secret affair with 2 other different women (and moving on with the 4th later), my mother still chose to forgive him. And it didn’t take her much effort to do that, to my surprise.

Everyone who knew of my father’s gross actions, myself included, were already flared with anger. But Mom still chose to forgive. In 1996, she accepted Christianity as her faith and the 3 of us – my mom, sister and I – were baptized in a Catholic Church.

Though Mom gave him many chances to change, my father became more bold. He would go home with wearing another woman’s engagement ring in one of his fingers, and still took advantage of my mother’s kindness. Because my father was running an above well-to-do business at that time, and shoddy I must add, my father would use my mother to create fog screen and lies for him when people and clients would call our house. She couldn’t help but comply because ultimately, we all depended on him for money and Ashley and I were still schooling toddlers.

It seemed like the whole world came crashing down on us when my father finally declared a divorce on my mother after a night of quarrel, but little did we all know that it was the start of a journey to better life. But it wasn’t without its own perils.

My mother’s meager academic qualification and age made it very difficult for her to get another job. I was only 16 going 17 at that time, and Ashley is 2 years my junior. We already lost one family member right from the very beginning so the challenge was to hold everyone together, or there wouldn’t be what’s left of us if we didn’t survive the ordeal.

Admittedly, Mom had made some not-so-bright decisions even though she had good intentions for her children. I had been rebellious, needless to say, and sometimes we stood on opposite ends in our discussions that could affect the family’s future.

But casting those differences we had aside, I still acknowledge that my mother single-handedly pulled us all together. Her abundance of patience is still beyond me even to this day. I hope I will find out one day. It’s not easy confessing this: I have a short temper like my father, too. And when things go wrong or not as planned, man, I could really speak colorful words. 😉 Only my mother had the magic touch to calm me down.

Now that I am reviewing it all… it’s really amazing. My mother didn’t have the benefit of going to college let alone university. Even I think she’s not that academically brilliant. She doesn’t read Self Improvement books. Yet she is still one of the wisest people alive that I know. “Faith in God,” she says.

I remember eating at the various dining tables, accompanied by family of my friends. It was always interesting to observe my friends’ parents and I couldn’t help but make comparisons as a million thoughts would fleet in my mind. I won’t deny that I used to be jealous of friends who had both parents when I was in school. Though little did I know myself, I am actually blessed and lucky after all – right from the start.

Most mothers today are joining the trend of going out to work like their male counterparts. So most parents outsource their parenting duty to babysitters, caretakers, tuition teachers, etc. you name it. Subsequently, many children today grow up without developing a closer bond with their parents.

That is why I am thankful that my mother never gave up her responsibility to teach me and my younger sister to anyone else. The most capable hands already belong to her. And in the face of adversity, she never once thought of giving us up. I know of single parents who resort to taking shortcuts like consuming drugs, giving away their child and even committing suicide.

Her unshakable faith in God is another wonder to me. While I have my own opinions on God and religion, which differs from that of my mother’s, her strong faith has earned my highest respect. She never once doubted God when life was in the pits, or when everything came crumbling down on us like a house of cards.

When we had little money and were poor, my mother would cook porridge for dinner. I know many kids would say that their mom’s cooking is the best, and I share the same opinion of my mom’s cooking.

Although porridge is actually a poor man’s food.

While we could afford to buy better food today, my mom’s porridge remains my no. 1 favorite at heart. And she can now add more ingredients to spice up her porridge! 🙂

As I am writing this, my mother and sister are about to leave for an 8-day holiday trip to Beijing, China which begins tomorrow morning. One of my uncles will be joining them, too.

Mom had always told me of her dream that she wanted to see the world. And she had been telling me that for as long as I could remember. This is also one of the many reasons that motivated me to work hard and become successful. What my father failed in his duty as a provider to the family, I would fill in.

Not counting Singapore and her brief journey to London, she has yet to see the rest of the world. I’ve been to a few different countries this year alone and Ashley has seen Japan the year before. Now I want to give Mom the same privilege to experience different cultures. I honestly think she deserves more than that after enduring more than 40 years of suffering and trial by fire. But this is a good start and I know there will be more good things for her in life to come.

There will be. 🙂

Mom at the RAF Museum

Mom at the Royal Air Force Museum, London

The Two Pieces of Paper That Changed My Life

Affiliate Video Brander

(Be doubly sure to see this video on the first Life Changing Party Event)

I’ve been hearing a lot about this thing called “Law of Attraction“. When I first heard of it, I found it – in one word – ridiculous. Especially when I first heard of it, a friend of mine said along the lines of: “Edmund, did I tell you about the time I was driving to work? It was veeeeeery jam-packed, with heavy traffic and al’, so I started visualizing an empty parking space up ahead the road and… VOILA! That’s Law of Attraction to you, buddy.” 🙂

Cock and bull?

Hmm… come to think of it, it’s not that ridiculous after all.

Okay it sounds absurd yet there is a lot of truth to the Law of Attraction being applied and in effect in our daily lives. When was the first time you started meeting the type of people you want to hang out with? At what point did you realize you were surrounded by unwanted people and did you analyze the cause of it?

In many instances, ruling out pure luck, it was seeded with sub-conscious intentions and thus applying the Law of Attraction. It can work in your favor. Or even against you. It depends on how you use it on sub-conscious level. (And the sub-conscious mind is always more powerful than the conscious one)

I attended a Catholic Church for the first time in my life when I was 9 years-old. My mother told me that God grants everyone a petition for three wishes upon entering a new church. Without questioning at all, I quickly whipped out a piece of paper and wrote down my three wishes I wanted so much at that time.

Fast forward Year 2006…

I’ve forgotten all about that piece of paper until almost 11 years later when I dug out my priceless treasure of memories, packed into boxes. For a brief few years, I lived the life of a vagabond with my family, going to different places and living on merely traveling bags. As a result, I was forced to discard a lot of things and items from my previous house to move to the next. However, I was ‘stubborn’ enough to keep my personal items collected from my life journey, that no money can buy.

When I discovered the same piece of paper I realized how much had changed since. And so much it was. On it, I wrote the 3 wishes: to get a computer and to be able to pay my bills on time. The third wish was blurred out due to age (and partly owing to my bad handwriting) and I couldn’t remember what it was either.

The most important thing to me when I discovered the paper I wrote 11 years ago was that the wishes had become self-fulfilled.

Owning a computer today may not be a ‘big thing’ especially in civilized parts of the world but I remembered how much I craved for a computer at that time. I thought it would be cool to have one and keep up with my friends from well-to-do families. I had also wanted to enjoy the latest computer games – Red Alert, Quake 1, Starcraft… ah, those days 🙂

I was also wondering why my mother kept worrying about not being able to pay the bills on time and she never looked happy about it. I didn’t understand about working life at that time but I just knew it wasn’t easy for her to get more money so I wished the problem would go away.

While the two wishes had been accomplished on their own merit eventually, I realized that I had gotten more than what I initially wanted. Today I don’t just own a computer; I have two laptops, a PlayStation 2 and PlayStation: Portable. I still sweat before my paying bills though; can’t help it that Malaysia is a hot country but at least I pay my bills on time now without worries. 🙂

Yet I’ve achieved more and beyond. Living in an age of social competition and the desire to gain more in wealth, materials and self improvement, the discovery of that piece of paper reminded me of my more humble days and life was once simple.

It also reminded me of yet another direction-altering paper that I stuck to the side of my room mirror in 2004, which little did I know, would go on to change my life. The paper was aptly written Mission: Financial Independence.

I am no fan of sticking notes on my wall, wallet and steering wheel (well I didn’t have a car then), etc. but I had my focus written on… yep, that piece of paper. I wanted to be financially free, get my mother out of Johor Bahru and move her to Kuala Lumpur, and be able to fund my sister’s college when she goes out of high school.

In as corny and less-detailed as it sounded, those were exactly what I wanted. I didn’t know anything about starting a business and I certainly was clueless on how to become enterprising at that time. I was working as an office boy and going to college on weekends to take the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) Course.

Again, all of what I wrote in that piece of paper had come true today.

Alright my mother isn’t staying in KL now but well, I did move her out of the sub-urban house didn’t I? 🙂 As far as being financially free is concerned, I found my solution eventually through a strike of million brainstormed opportunities. And as they said, the rest is history. I’m also still in a state of surprise on how I managed to fund my sister’s college in a short notice of just less than two years too. I’ve heard of parents working for years to fund their children’s tertiary education. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull off in a shorter notice since I didn’t have the benefit of ample time. But I’m glad I did.


I was more than happy and wish I could see myself smile when I saw that piece of paper which marked the point of what I call life changing. The simplicity of my core desires from then reminded me never to make my head swell in size as I go on to accumulate bigger success in life.

What if I had planned bigger goals?

Bigger dreams?

My story isn’t unique to the application of Law of Attraction and I have personally experienced more examples.

Quick LOA Tips

Now if you’re shy by any chance to express yourself (I was too), but deep within you know that you aren’t an ‘extra bolt or nut’ in the universe by a long shot, I strongly recommend taking any of the following small steps – it will just take you closer to your big goal. 🙂

1. Start visualizing what you really, really want. Don’t worry about the ‘how to’ or whether it’s possible or not. That’s not important for now. Start asking yourself what you really want in life and most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it. If you really crave owning a luxury car, so be it. Big house? Good. Help the needy? If that is what you really, really want to then go for it – just don’t do it out of guilt or just to please your friends.

2. Write them on a piece of paper. Now you may not be able to pull off the above mental exercise in just five minutes. It may take days, weeks or even longer. But don’t worry about whether you’re taking too long or too short – you’re your own judge and boss. YOU decide what you really want. Remember: The sub-conscious mind is the most powerful part of the human brain. You want to form desires on a sub-conscious level FIRST – then on conscious level i.e. starting with the act of writing them on a piece of paper. I also recommend throwing in printed pictures to make it more visual – then stick the note in your house or work place, where you spend most of your time in the day.

3. If you’re from Malaysia or Singapore, I highly recommend attending the Life Changing Party. The premise of the party is that you don’t attend it as you are right now BUT as you are five years from now. Come dressed as your ‘future self’ whom you visualize to be in the next five years. They are hosting the next party in June – brief details below:

Where: MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre
When: Saturday 7th June 2008
What Time: 6pm – 12 midnight
Why: To Dress, Walk, Talk and Behave Like The Successful Person You Want To Be In 5 Years’ Time For The Entire Duration Of The Party.
Benefits: When you act and behave like the future you, as if you’ve already achieved all your goals and dreams, your vision will be totally entrenched into your entire being. Following the Law of Attraction as seen in the hit movie released on DVD, “The Secret”, you will then start to attract all the things, people and help that you will need in the weeks and months ahead to create the future you!

What You Will Get: Full Details Here

4. Start networking with a healthier group of friends. Had ‘friends’ who pulled you down instead of pushing you up? It’s probably time to get a new batch of buddies. You will do well to start actively networking with like-minded people who not only share the same passion as you do but would also be preferable to mix with those who are already doing what you want to set out to achieve.

Admittedly, Starting to Visualize Isn’t Easy…

… Even if you do it on a few pieces of paper. Not especially when you entertain the thought of the papers and notes being seen by your friends, and God forbid, cynical family members and relatives.

I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t been mocked or teased at for even daring to think of wanting something better in life. It was as if I was committing a state criminal offense. But I continue to hold on to the belief that I am meant for bigger, greater things in life – and so do everyone else as long as they believe in themselves and that they aren’t in this world just to live on status quo.

Don’t you, too? 🙂

The Loooong Awaited Wrap-Up of 2007

Okay, okay. I know, I know. I’m practically 30 days behind in wrapping up my yesteryear. And my lack of updates didn’t help either. I think that this year is going to be more challenging for me, than my past 3 years combined.

That’s correct. I expect to meet MORE new challenges and obstacles this year – not just in business, but also in personal, social and relationship growth. If life is like a game of Monopoly, I’m certainly drawing more OPPORTUNITY cards than I can handle.

Anyways, to move on into the New Year (yes Chinese New Year is coming really soon) won’t be complete without a formal wrap-up of my 2007.

Let’s start from the beginning shall we? 😉

The 2007 Grand Wrap-Up!

January 2007
In spite of the Taiwan Earthquake that occurred in late December 2006 when the cables were affected and half of the world was severed from Internet access, I had to push the PLRGold4 launch date forward. The launch was a success, nonetheless, in spite of the setback! Thanks to my family, JV Partners and Customers who supported me in executing the Product Launch!

April 2007
I had moved from Johor Bahru to Petaling Jaya alone to pursue an Advanced Internet Marketing Apprenticeship Program, offered to me and Khai by Sen Ze. Thank you for the experience and the ‘insider’ exposure of an E-Commerce Company! 🙂

This was also the time when I got to know more and more new people gradually such as Foo (a.k.a. Fuu Fuu), Karan, Jesper, Nalini, Thulasi, Azhari, Daniel Chin, and more.

We had fun playing at the cyber cafes and board games in friend’s houses after a hard day’s work (at the Apprenticeship Program) – Khai and Yuenn proved to be good buddies.

This was also the same time I started my Personal Blog. Here’s one of the earliest post (test post didn’t count).

May 2007
Malaysian Internet Marketing Troopers stomp the Singaporean yard! Khai, Gobala, Melvin, Vince Tan, and I took a trip down to our neighboring country to attend the World Internet Mega Summit event at Expo Hall!

For the first time, we get to meet so many Internet Entrepreneurs from other countries face-to-face! Two of whom I met along the corridors of the Expo Hall had made a great impact on my life. You know, Email and MSN can be boring sometimes.

There are too many awesome chaps to name but check out the awesome people we met here.

September 2007
A lot of interesting events took place this month alone, some of which are worth mentioning. I pulled off my best Product Launch for the year with PLRGold5. I decided to remain in Petaling Jaya even after Apprenticeship contract had ended, and moved to a new place (to set up my Bachelor’s pad) :-).

This also the month I chilled after feeling burnt out, and was glad to have the opportunity to get to know the great minds behind Mindvalley Labs better.

Vishen, Akshay, Khai Lee, Mike Reinings, Xin-Ci, Meike, Vincent Liew, Timothy Su… All great and fun people. 🙂

Don’t just take my word for it. See it all here.

November 2007
This has to simply be the best month of my life to date! Previously, I had never taken celebrating my birthday seriously but my 21st birthday had to be exceptional. It was also the same day my friends Khai & Yuenn were married, and I attended their wedding in the shoes of their best man.

Things got more interesting when our friends from abroad such as Indonesia and Iran came down to join the fun, and our Internet Marketing ‘comrades’ took time off their busy schedules so they don’t get excluded!

Cool pics and detailed journal on The Great November is here.

December 2007
It’s coming to the end of the year! 😛 I spent the last days of 2007 joining the Life Changing Party at Genting Highlands with a group of friends.

These are just some of the greatest highlights of 2007 for me, though of course there’s more to this fruitful year than a summary of a few lines. I have no regrets but I only wish I have the memory to name every single one of the great people I’ve met – new and old – on this blog; they truly deserve honorable mention.

(If I didn’t name you by any chance, I apologize but that doesn’t mean I’ve totally forgotten you.) 🙂

2007 presented a wealth of opportunities for me to reunite with old friends and meet new people. When I looked back, I’m glad that I return to my original hometown even though against my initial better judgment. If not for that simple decision, none of these would have ever happened – at all.

So what’s in store for us in 2008? I can’t wait to find out myself. 🙂

    *** SIDE NOTE *** Okay sorry, no pics and photos this time but I promise there will be, in the next blog post. Thank you for your continuous support and please check back often! 🙂

Year-End Adventure and a Glimpse into 2012

** UPDATED 3rd JANUARY 2007: I will be updating this post occasionally for the next few days as I am waiting for more photos to be uploaded. In the mean time, do check back often for cool updates and new photos! ** 🙂

*** Oh, and check out my next post on New Year 2008! ***

It’s been a blast AGAIN! I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said that but hey, life’s too short to be ordinary. 🙂

Here’s how I’ve spent the last days of 2007…

Aliens vs Predator 2: Requiem

Aliens vs Predator: Requiem

The new film launched into the cinemas nation-wide on Christmas day and as an avid fan of sci-fi horror – especially that of the Aliens and Predator franchise – it is my duty to check out the latest installment to the highly anticipated sequel to Aliens vs Predator.

So I grabbed a ticket seat.

Truth be told, the first movie, directed by Paul HS Anderson, left a lot to be desired and it didn’t fully stick true to the original ‘winning’ elements set by the solo films of the Aliens and Predator franchise. In my opinion the second installment, now directed by the Strause Brothers made up for what the first show lacked. In fact, the show started from where the last film left.

I won’t spoil the plot here due to time and space constraints but take it from another sci-fi fan: it’s worth watching. REALLY.

Trip Up To Awana Genting Resort

Like the previous year, I took a trip up to Genting Highlands – Awana Genting Country & Resort Hotel to be exact. Compared to the yesteryear, the highlands was not as cold as it used to be. At the same time one year ago, the temperature was 14-15 degree Celcius; this time it’s 24-28 degrees.

Still, the view from the top was great (26th floor).

Awana View

Yep – and I could see Genting Highlands from my hotel room’s balcony! 😉

Edmund Loh

That’s me in the hotel room.

Edmund Loh

That’s me in the cable car this time.

Cable Car @ Awana Skyway

Magnificent view from the cable car on Awana skyway!

The Life Changing Party

Life Changing Party

This was the main reason why I went up to Awana Genting – to attend the Life Changing Party, hosted by SOLOBIS. It was held in the same hotel I was staying in.

Now this party is ***NOT*** a costume party. In fact, there had never been quite any party like this before (not that I know of). When you walk into the party, it’s Year 2012 – 5 years from now. You come in all ready – as you aspire to be 5 years from 2007 – wearing, dressed, behaving, acting, and talking as that person.

For example, if you aspire to be, say, a rock star, then you come in as a rock star – from clothes to “props” to personality.

The main mission of the party was to apply the Law of Attraction and help the people visualize and gain deeper focus on their dreams and goals in life. That’s the jizz in the nut shell, but you should check out the official website for more info.

Having said that, who did I come as?

“Agent” Loh

‘Signing’ the Autographs

That’s me greeting the ‘fans’ when I made my entrance (with my friends following before and after one by one). You’re welcome to take a guess at what I aspire to be 5 years from now. I want to rule out one guess, though: I DON’T want to be Agent Smith from the Matrix trilogy (like I said, this is NOT a costume party!).

Victor Tang & Me

That’s me with Victor Tang.

Jesper, Foo, Azhari, Karan

The SOLOBIS gang.
Clockwise from top left: Jesper, Foo, Karan, Azhari.
Missing from picture: Fung, Thulasi, Nalini.


As soon as my group of friends and I entered the party during the arrival of guests at 6.15 PM, we were greeted by a group of ‘fake’ fans and ‘fake’ paparazzis. You see, The “Party of Future” sees its participants being already successful in their undertakings and thus become the limelight of the media. Which is really a unique welcome on red carpet because every participant – 120 participants in all – were celebrated in blazing techni-color! 8)

There were also ‘fake’ reporters going around table to table interviewing the participants of the party. The thing is, the people have to speak in terms of present tense instead of future tense. For example, one doesn’t say “I will be a rock star” or “I aim to be a rock star” but “I AM a rock star”.

This is not to be confused with “fake it ’till you make it” but from experience, every success story we have come to know and heard of today were at one time, believe it or not, seeded with very simple (and sometimes innocent) self-believes.

This party witnesses 120 participants seeding their believe for greater heights!

There were a host of cool programs and agenda for the next 6 hours into the party like buffet dinner, booth games, and socializing. For the record, everyone was given 1 million LCP notes (think Monopoly money) to be spent or invested into any booths of their choice.

Jarrett Rogan

One of the participants and attendee at the party. Jarrett Rogan was notably one of the more outstanding people at the party and he won 1 BILLION LCP (Life Changing Party) dollars from the “Who Wants To Be A Billionaire” on-stage game, hosted by Karan Dhillon!

Sen Ze

Sen Ze the host of the event giving a briefing to the participants on stage.

Me on Stage

Got interviewed by Karan on stage for his talk show.

Green Fingers on Stage

Ms. “Green Fingers” being interviewed in Karan’s talk show too. I cannot recall her name but I distinctly remembered that this woman is unique from the rest because while many aspired to be ‘tycoons’ in monetary terms, she leans more towards the environmentalist side for her mission! 🙂


Fern talking about her B-Male software. 🙂

Ladan with Shades

Ladan wearing my shades!

Props Props Props!

Amazing display of props from the participants!

Billionaire in the Making!

Who wants to be a billionaire? 8)

Lost? Hmm…

Playing one of the games at the party: How to lose money in the stock market – the Edmund Loh style. (It’s obvious that I don’t have any plans to dabble in stock market even for the next 5 years.)

Old Man - Sing Your Heart Out!

Dream… and then, sing your heart out!

Last Game with Sen Ze

Playing the last game of the night – this time dealing with the ‘big boss’ Sen Ze himself!

Late Night Drink and Hang Out at Genting Highland – First World Plaza

We drove up to Genting First World Plaza in two cars, with me joining Daniel Chin, Karan and Foo in his Fuu Fuu Mobile (Karan calls it ‘Auto Fuu’ though I think it’s not a right name for a manual car). Victor, Bryan Wong and Ian Kwok tailed behind in another car.

The Gang

“The Gang” @ Starbucks, First World Plaza, 2:00 in the morning.
L-R: Victor Tang, Foo, Karan, Daniel Chin, Bryan Wong, Ian Kwok

Sleeping Racers

SMOKING GUNS! “Sleeping Racers” taking a bunk at closed amusement arcade – waiting for their turn to roll the dice at the casino. 🙂

To listen to Foo’s side of the story, click here. (Thanks to Foo for some of the cool pics!)

2007 had been, for most parts, a very fun and educational year for me and I trust the same goes for my friends and family. I wish you all a Happy New Year and to your pursuit of dreams! 🙂

Let’s Ride!

The Start of a New Chapter

I believe I have adequate rest and am ready to steer full speed ahead in the next chapter of my life. I wonder what new challenges await.

Fascinating that in a twist of fate, I now see myself spending more time in PJ/KL now than in Johor Bahru as initially planned. Most of the time, I make very firm decisions especially when my mind is locked on it. And I was sure I would be making a retreat to Johor Bahru last month in the aftermath of the PLRGold5 launch. However a series of small events led to a BIG outcome, which resulted me in staying in PJ/KL for most of the time now, and I have no idea how long this will go on.

Unseen forces at work?

The PLRGold5 Aftermath and Post-Launch

As you can well tell, this isn’t the first time I was doing a Product Launch – and it certainly won’t be the last.

But this time, I did something I have never done in the aftermath of my previous Product Launches. Something SIGNIFICANT: taking a break.

In as simple as it sounds, it meant A LOT to me. Like a friend of mine said, “Who actually has at least 5 minutes to himself?”

No, I am not talking about short, 1-2 day breaks. They don’t count. I took a REAL break this time (yes, I am such a workaholic). It meant spending less time at the laptop and taking my mind off Internet Marketing for 2-3 weeks. It also meant taking the time to cool down and rest – mentally and spiritually – and did my own soul-searching.

I don’t recall taking a rest this well for several years. I was always on the move even way before the advent of my parents’ divorce. And after this significant event, it was a reaaaal, bumpy roller coaster ride for all of us – Mom, Ashley and I.

And in trying times, it meant making a lot of unwilling sacrifices. For me, it meant giving up the best year of high school with the organizations I gave my highest commitment to such as Scouts, Computer Club, Nostalgia Magazine, and more going down the drain. And later, giving up my social life and college education among a gazillion of other things.

Things got at its worst at a later stage of our trial by fire – a lot of drama followed. We knew what it was like being homeless for a few days, moving from new location to another like nomads, constantly encountering new environment and challenges that at the time seemed almost impossible to tackle, living on less than a meal a day, counting every cent yet being in-debt financially and favor-wise, and more.

You could say in a literal manner that I was biting the shit of life more than I bargained for.

Thank God, I saw an end to that awful ordeal 2 years ago.

Looking Back…

I have come to realize that I have had come so far from being a nobody to somebody.

And what a looong journey it was – from hometown to numerous places to working at my first and last full time job as an office boy, and then to starting my Internet-based Business in my humble home, which later took off to a height I never thought was possible.

In more ways than one, I still am, to this day, amazed by this “transformation” I have had gone through owing to the tough years left behind; I felt as if I was gold forged by fire.

Amazing that not too long ago, I was wearing my high school uniform and cracking out silly jokes at the back of the classroom. Now here I am behind sitting behind my lap top, receiving emails from around the world, people calling me “The PLR Extraordinare”, “The PLR Prince” and “Top Internet Marketer” followed by a list of Joint Venture proposals and Project reports. Not self-proclaimed.

I have had come so far a journey I would be insane if I actually think of turning back at this point.

Not too long ago, I secretly wished I could change some events in my life if I possessed the foreknowledge of what will happen. That I could save myself some of the horrors and miseries of life.

But then after a long thought about it, I decided that it is best left unchanged after all, EVEN IF the privilege presents itself. for I fear I will not turn out to be the man I am today. Had I not go through the trial of fire, I would have probably been another typical college-goer with no personality and strong drive to boot, making trivial chat and rants the order of everyday life. And I would have been less stronger and less aware of other people’s issues, problems and challenges.

On many counts, I really, really am glad the silver lining behind the dark clouds have offered me an abundance of generous rewards that money cannot buy.

Not That I Am Perfect All The Time, Of Course…

And so far from it.

If you would check out one the earlier posts I have recorded to my Personal Blog, I have openly declared Year 2007 as my “Expansion Year”. I have not forgotten my New Year’s Resolution let alone my overall goal as a whole.

In the first 2 quarters of the year, though, I was leaning towards the unhappy mood, not so much because of business challenges and competition but I was declining in person and character.

I met more and more new people in person in this year alone as compared to my previous years. My scarred experience (and little social exposure) taught me not to trust new people easily and on many occasions, I had been known to be blunt . In an act of defence, I behaved tough and arrogant on the exterior too.

There is a saying that goes “the tongue is sharper than the sword”, and only God knows how many people I have already offended, because I lost count.

For many reasons, I shouldn’t be keeping friends. I should be losing them. But the contrary happened: a few key people was all it took to change my life.

I had been forgiven and offered so many chances to try again and it continues to amaze me how the people around me could actually tolerate my crude behaviour, and stuck with me long enough to drum the facts into my already thick skull!

At the risk of testing their patience for too long, it was a clear sign I had to make an attitude check. And I certainly didn’t have a lot of time to make amendments.

I was shy – I still am – and I was really afraid of making a drastic change in my character and attitude towards people. But heck, I kept telling myself that I had nothing to lose (except more friends, if I continued to carry on with my attitude unchanged!).

In the early stages of implementing the change, which meant being softer, less serious looking, more friendly, relaxed, and less being a fundamentalist, I have heard a lot of surprised remarks and comments such as “Edmund, are you okay?” “Why are you so nice all of a sudden?” and even “Are you being nice… only to me?”

Well, definitely beats being crude and rude all the time, no? Just today at least two friends have acknowledged my improvement in character, saying along the lines of “you have improved a lot today compared to when I first met you”.

Ah, music to my ears! I wish I can replay those lines over and over again – they are so encouraging and motivating. 🙂

Reaching Out to Others…

This new experience also meant making changes in my perception and belief in other social areas, one being that of a listener. Previously, I had loathed the idea of being a listener. Long story on that one but to cut it short, I thought it was me acting as a “rubbish dump” for other people to pour their wails and complains about their problems onto me.

Then I have come to learn that there’s a lot of positive PLUSES to being a listener. Not only did I learn a lot, it had made me acutely aware of other people’s problems and challenges and made me constantly think of solutions to help them achieve a better life; even a small change would be a tremendous achievement.

So, the result? I have been sworn to secrecy but a number of friends and people whom I have come to know have shared some of their private, inner-most challenges and/or problems with me. And on many counts, I am usually one of the few, and sometimes the only one, to know to such inner detail.

What did I learn? While money can solve most of the problems today, there are still problems that money is NOT the solution to. There’s another wise quote that goes “money is the most important in things in which it is required, and the most useless in which it is not required.”

Personally, I am not one who can stand around doing nothing or even sleep soundly at night knowing that someone I know is in seriously trying times.

Will this be one of my new challenges?

My gut feeling tells me that I may have found my genuine mission. I have yet to phrase it out properly in a line just yet but definitely along the lines of “giving hope to the hopeless”. Sounds corny at the moment, I know, but I will be able to paraphrase it better in due time.

One thing for sure, my new challenge will not be just about bringing my business to the next level, but also helping people while building my character – there is still so much more room for improvement.

VERY INTIMIDATING GOAL, but I am game for it.

Now that I have rested well and enough, this marks the wrapping of the previous small chapter of my life (with HUGE significance and impact) and starting a new chapter with new challenges, new location, new goals, and new people to move forward with.

I am so thankful for the people whom I have met – past and present (especially present 🙂 )– and in spite of grim and setbacks, I know I can count on some people to fall back on confidently. I am also thankful for the positive impact that my family and friends have delivered and shaped me in today.

I look forward to not only improve myself further, I also aim to be a very dependable and reliable friend myself, alongside with growing my business into an empire. There are still many more exciting new people to meet and who knows? I may just find my first girlfriend.