by Lucy Chan, IBM Vice President, Growth Markets Business Development & Global Services
The Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in Vancouver brought back many memories from long time ago, yet so near and so dear. Mom and Dad left their homeland to begin a new life in Hong Kong, determined to build a better future for us. Perhaps you inherited their spirit when you left Hong Kong alone at 16 to begin a new life in Canada, determined to give yourself the best opportunity to realize your potential. Those teenage years in Canada taught you well. That you didn’t have to wait for external circumstances to shift before a transforming experience overtook your life. What you needed was to Have Faith in Faith. It was your inner transformation that caused circumstances to shift. It was your faith in your true identify that would create space for you to move from living in the past or future to being present. And at the present, your responsibility was to make wise choices with your soul, to intend with your heart and to act with your mind and body.
Now in your late 20’s, married, mother of an adorable baby boy, and a promising professional career with IBM, let me (the older and wiser you) share some life lessons that will serve you well.
Tap Into Your Greatest Talent – It’s a funny thing. What you excel at, what is your greatest gift, may not be obvious to you. It comes so naturally for you that you think it comes just as naturally for everyone else. Therefore, you may be oblivious to your special talent, your unique gift that is your birthright and purpose in life. When you are “in the zone” in the present moment of being and doing, you are engaged. Your energy level is abundant and unlimited. The more you do, the more energy you generate. Your experience flows effortlessly. You experience joy. Your gift is vital to the positive and ever expanding life experience of all that you touch. Own it. Embrace it. Shine it upon your personal stage, your life expression.
Knowing what is important in life is probably the most difficult question you would ask yourself – Your life is the results of your choices. The power to create quality of life is within you. Use your own inner compass so that you can act with integrity in the moment of choice. To hear conscience clearly often requires you to be “still” or “reflective” or “meditative” – a condition you rarely choose or find. Stand apart from your dreams. Look at them. Write about them. Wrestle with them until you’re convinced they’re based on principles that will bring results. Then use your creative imagination to explore new applications, new ways of doing things that have the principle-based power to translate dreaming to doing. If you understand and live your life based on principles, you can quickly adapt; you can apply them anywhere.
Adversity can be an ally, an opportunity to show greatness – In the next decades, you will continue to encounter adversity. You will learn that in order to overcome adversity, you must first to encounter it. Fear, anxiety, chaos, disappointment, shock, surprise, anger, hurt, pain, bewilderment, discomfort, concern and so on is what you need to come face-to-face with. The other side of naked hardship of life is the feelings of gratitude, peace, satisfaction, freedom, pride, hope, trust and happiness.
Cardinal Virtues of Business – During your very busy professional life, you will ask yourself what gives you greatest pleasure, and what, at the end, will give you greatest satisfaction? You will come to realize that many of your friends chose business as their vocation (calling) because in coming together and forming a task-oriented community, they could make contributions to society that no one person could make alone but must be made by many together. They enjoyed the challenges business offered.
They liked the feeling, toward the end of life, that they were severely tested and accomplished something – something that they could see, and that they knew had made a contribution. They took pride in their quality. But I think that most of all, they had enjoyed going through the hardships with their teams and their association with them.
Fuel your goals with inspirations – I am certain you will have experiences where you find yourself deeply moved by a theater performance, a great song, or the stunning beauty of visual art, only to be transported to another place that connects you to your highest potential. It is the energy of inspiration that you will use as divine fuel that keeps you moving in the right direction. Keep inspirations close to you. Make a deliberate attempt to fuel your goals, resolutions, and dreams with regular inspiration. Make a list of things that inspire you and resolve to have one experience every week. If music, movies, books, or great conversations provide you with inspiration, make it a daily habit. When thinking about inspiration, keep this formula in mind: Inspiration = Motivation and Motivation = Realized Dreams.
Citizenship is not some part-time spasmodic affair. It is the long duty of a lifetime – Serve others. Live your purpose and give your talents to the world around you. Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. The difference lies within yourself and how much you want to change for the better. From time to time, ask yourself, “What does it mean to be me at the present time? What are my rights, obligations, and responsibilities? What does it mean to be a citizen of my community/my region/the planet? What do I owe others, and especially those who –through the circumstances of birth of bad luck – are less fortunate than I am?”
Last but not least, love yourself and others, have courage to pursue the art of the possible, and determine to live your best life!
Love – “The ideal relationship is one in which you mutually aim at a great future goal, encouraging and helping each other develop.”
Courage – “Through the power of strong inner resolve, we can transform ourselves, those around us and the land in which we live.”
Determination – “This lifetime will never come again; it is precious and irreplaceable. To live without regret, it is crucial for us to have a concrete purpose and continually set goals and challenges.”
Now, live each day to its fullest, as if it were the only one you had. When you were my age, you would look back and know that you got and delivered good value out of living. You took advantage of the opportunities that you were blessed with for yourself and your family. You created good balance in your life, enjoyed it, lived well, and enhanced the lives of others in the process. You loved and were loved in return – how glorious!;