Four Decades of Reinvention

Serenading Reflection

‘Understanding others is knowledge, Understanding oneself is enlightenment; Conquering others is power, Conquering oneself is strength’ -Lao-tze, legendary philosopher.

Without self-reflection (muhasabah), it’s a strenuous effort for us to thrive.

How do we get by? Maturity is one of the biggest challenges in shaping who we are as a person, followed by good mental health. Without the sense of alertness, concious and maturity, we are open to an emotional and mental breakdown. According to Ministry of Health in 2018, there are 4.2mil Malaysians living with mental disorder. Just December last year, Ministry of Health launched Mental Health Guidebook (which is available free at with very good info-graphic to aid the knoweldge with comprehensive information.

It’s about meeting the unexpected obstacle and the readiness to adapt. I am in utmost privileged to be surrounded by kind and wise souls to shower me with sanity, forward-thinking, patience, and whilst keeping myself imperfect so I can continue to stay grounded and agile.

We often lost our way or skidded from our path and true goal. Often we get distracted by the most unwanted desire that assassinates our goals and focus. We often feel dissapointed because we kept comparing with others instead of being grateful how our encouragement and perseverence have eventually shape us, reinvent and empower in many ways instead of finding so many excuse not to modify our obnoxious behaviors.

How do you define success?

We often look at the wrong direction. It makes us dwell in the status quo. It’s always been stereotype with materialistic achievement. Success is unported. But most importantly, you must master your vision. You can create success from small to a massive outcome. It does not neccessarily be in a form of an award nor a title. Avoid from being desprate for entitlement simply to seek exclusivity and superiority to shun others. Don’t be obsessed about dream jobs and popularity. Stop being extremely ambitious because it will crush your humility. Remember, patience is a virtue. Look for that small satisfaction with high impact and great output. It takes stairs to reach success, never take shortcut as you may never sure if the lift if working or malfunction.

So when someone ask? “How do I pull it of?”

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Profound things happen in the past year of journey as an artist and designer. At the age of 40, I am able to look back with satisfaction that I have actually made it. I stick to my true self of becoming a designer. I always reinvent myself.

Self-awareness. Our consciousness. Our mastery in willpower. Understanding the balance and the fundemantals of what we desire to achieve in a long run. It’s always about outcome and impact.

Being proactive instead of reactive. I am just like anyone else who gets fed up of people telling me what’s best for them through me instead of me identifying, learning and knowing how I could gravitate and maximize my true potential without depending too much on others. This is my know-how. I pay attention instead of ‘nodding’. At times you have to be meticulous. It’s also about readiness to make things happen.

I am an agent of change. I have a responsibility not just to myself but everyone around me. As someone who constantly inspire most young and old generation of designers and artists, I should be able to empower change. We should embrace change. Change of mindset. I’m bored at routine works.

Self-care. Because no one will be able to keep on holding on your shoulder for that extra push. Stop getting spoon-fed. Stop relying on others.Be independent. You need to find the deepest value of worthiness and being coherent. Honour your vulnerability and imperfection. Bring out the best in you. Self-care is self-love. How can you expect people to care and love you, if you don’t even care and love yourself?

Faith. Believe in the higher power. When you’re at your lowest point of life, no matter how screwed you are, find back to our Source of Faith. I believe in small steps takes us to great destination. Focus on the growth and rewards will come in gradually even in silver-lining. Having faith helps to motivate our energy and spirituality.

Agility. To withstand negativity and intoxicating surroundings. To decent those unnecessary voices that distrupt our very focus in reaching our goals and direction. Remember, the more you hold on to negativity, the more you invite desolation. Focus on abundence instead of challenges. Be a champion instead of having a defeatist attitude.

Integrity. Something we need to ponder upon, and understand about our principle and honesty at work, not to be corrupted and defaming others. The totality of being whole while having good ethics and principe. Don’t abuse integrity by carrying viciousity to overthrown and overrule others by threat. I witness extreme fault-finders who not only created destruction towards others but destroy people’s well-being for the sake of saddistic pleasure. Breaking integrity will lead to kleptocracy. It gets worst.

Facing anxiety and fear. Fear is a territory where no one wants to anticipate. Fear of stigma. Fear of asking or discovering of knowledge. Don’t be embarrassed to reach out to others alike and non-alike. You may ask questions but don’t choose to be ignorant whilst refusing to accept answers and facts. I recall the time I met fear of failure. Then I learned you can accept failure but never to idolize failure. Understanding of our hardship shapes us to be stronger and wiser. Face your fear of failure will enlighten your depression. Always seek advices and make the best out of it instead of self-destruct. Based on a research survey conducted by Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA) in 2019. 67% or over two-thirds of youth were embarrassed to seek help.

Humanising communication. At this juncture, social media networking and WhatsApp has been one of most unstable form of communication where interpretation have been often being abused and misunderstood resulting more speculative than clarity. It invites unhealthy discussions and worst, throwing tantrum towards one another. Technology can be very futile if it’s being abuse. The lack of empathy and being extremely objective assasinated compassion of a person. Above all, disrespecting personal space is deem unnecessary.

Openness. Don’t sell ourselves short. Always be open. It’s the mindset. Read more, listen more and open to collaborations. Being open welcomes diversity.

Above Influences: Role models

Phil Cleaver, Joshua Davis, Michael Paul Young, William Harrald Wong, Kamil Yunus, Asri Ahmad, Oon Soon, Hashim Hassan, Yaman Ahmad Mus. These are some of the creative power-household names who are above my age, legends of our times especially in the creative industry. Their leadership, passion and mastery in the things they do makes me value my worthiness. That’s why legend moves in silence because they let their works speaks volumes. They inspire more to do more, to become competent and reach out to others who are in need of motivation. They continue to shower with great wisdom. I am here because of them, and I am here because of you. We compliment and treasure each other.

Participatory: Inclusivity, not isolation

Never work in silo. Avoid saperation, instead heal and engage as much as possible. Being inclusive creates equality and harmonize participation among your peers and associates.

Measure the trend of your progression through good analysis. Chart and keep track of your milestone and forcast your future to empower stability and longetivity.

So what’s next? Being financially stable. It means that those past mistakes and poor financial management will be more better when you avoid repeating debts because it’s something you are able to manage. A part from our life goals are also to eradicate our debts so we could live better, prosperously. Imagine your CCRIS record show such a healthy result.

Increase of work performance and productivity. I always believe that anyone is replacable no matter how special or exclusive you may think. When we partner with resillent, we will be able to recover, heal and be more prepared in adapt new things. Don’t pamper yourselves with petty things, enforce yourselves with innovation. Be industrious.

Pay attention to growth instead of self-destruction. Be with people who really want to change their perspective in life and to embrace positivity. Take constant care of yourself. Watch what you eat and occassionally work out to have a vital, healthy life.

It may not be picture perfect to achieve such life, but when you put your best effort, your sweat and tears to get to where you are, you will have a good reflections and see your hardship as a pillar to your strengh. Don’t give up and if you must, stand up.