Category Archives: Family

Death of my grandmother

My grandmother on my mother side passed away today. According to my mom she died at the age of 90 years. My grandmother wasn’t a Muslim, so the customs and traditions are different to what I am used to, my grandfather died about 10 years ago, I have a vague memory of the rituals. What I do remember that was interesting was he was buried in his best clothes and his belongings and a few items were buried with him.

My grandmother’s body will be kept at her home a few days before being buried. Giving a chance for relatives from afar to visit her. As we arrived my mother sat beside her mother’s body and cried. In islamic and malay culture it is generally not acceptable to wail aloud for the dead nor shed tears, but in this culture it was allowed.

My stepfather tried to calm her down, while my aunts comforted her. Interestingly I had a glimpse of what it would be like if it was my mother that died and I was the one on the side. My only regret was we haven’t visited my grandmother as frequent as I would like, and even as last week we heard the news she was sick, my sisters and I couldn’t find the time to visit her in Limbang. I was actually thinking this saturday was the only time I could, unfortunately today was the day that she had passed.

I couldn’t understand the dialect that my aunts and uncles spoke, but as they explained, the body will be buried tomorrow afternoon at around 2pm. I can’t help but to think how I can fit in my grandmother’s burial with attending a few planned open houses tomorrow.

I was not that close to my grandmother, but thinking of her I do feel a sense of love and respect, and knowing that it felt like it should be enough, but it didn’t. I wasn’t sure if she felt that she was loved and cared for at the end of her life. Most of her kids had migrated from Limbang to Brunei and only visited her occasionally. Sometimes bringing goods, if she asked for money they would give her, she even asked me a few times and I gave what I could, she would appreciate it when she was gifted with a carton of cigarettes as well.

My grandmother was a heavy smoker, despite that, she lived a long life of 90 years. If genetics played a part in that, I would be very fortunate if I was to grow as old as she did, unfortunately on my fathers side, he had lung cancer from just being a passive smoker. So my chances are 50:50 on that one, a chance I won’t take to become a smoker.

As I drove back home, I was pondering on what legacy I would like to leave, on how I would like to live before I die. How I would like to be treated. I think it is important to visit those who are dying and the dead, to remind us ourselves that we won’t live forever, and to remind us what we want to do in this life right now.

As sad as I was seeing my grandmother dead, I was a lot more sad seeing how sad my mother was at her mother’s death. I think it was 2 main factors, 1. Was that she hadn’t visit as frequent as she liked recently, and 2. My mother hasn’t been able to speak to my grandmother in the last 8 years since my mother had a stroke that had impaired her ability to speak.

It seems that I care less on my conditions of death, but I care more on conditions of my life and relationships. I think we should treat each other as if not just everyday was our own last day, but as if it is the other person’s last day as well. As if it the last day for everyone, treat each other kindly while we can.


Review of my 2013

The following is a point form of my successes in 2013. After listing them out, I managed to categorize them to spiritual, Physical, Intellectual

  • Spiritual
    • Finished reading conversations with God volume 1, 2 and 3 – Despite understanding that it is based on the author’s perception of god, it god me to realize everyone has their own perception, we can only see through our perception, and thus we interpret god as we see, through our limited perception. Pondering on the truth of our knowledge of God.
    • Explored Pantheism – the notion that god is everything, and the universe is defined as everything in existence, therefore god is the universe. ended up realizing that god is greater/bigger then the universe, because according to science, the universe may decay, or freeze.
    • Deeper understanding and appreciation of god and the universe, noting that we probably can and will only see at best 1% of the universe. the universe has expanded in a way that light coming from other stars will never reach us. 
    • Watched The movie of Life of Pi – choosing a story of a universe with a God or one that has none.
    • re-examining the things that were taught in religious school or by our tradition or culture.
    • Understood that the meaning of Allah is literally “The God” from the phrase “la ilaha illa allah”. which means “there is no other god than The God
    • Installed iQuran on my iPad, occassionally reading through translation(s).
  • Physical
    • Completed the 5.4km Open swim from Labuan to Pulau Papan and back. without getting sea sick!!!… much… thanks apple xin for the distraction during the swim.
    • Picked up cycling again and went for and completed Individual Triathlon (inspired due to 2012 MnY mastermind)
      • ABDB Triathlon, thanks to fadilah for reminding me.
      • Panaga Triathlon, 
      • Serawak Triathlon in Miri, (due to weather, swim leg replaced by run instead)
    • Ran barefoot for most of the runs that I did (except for SME run)
      • National Day Run in Temburong.
      • SCB Run – helped train my sister for the 5km run.
      • Pusat Ehsan’s The Run
      • Business School Charity Run (to be honest I crashed it, I didn’t manage to register and get the shirt)
      • Signed up for His Majesty’s run, but did not run due to scheduling, I went to AYPVC cambodia
      • Did not run BIBD run due to scheduling. had leadership camp at the same time.
  • Self Development – Intellectually, Mentally, Financially, and Creatively
    • Moved house.
      • closer to work place, feel more independent, more customization due to wife’s feng shui interest.
    • Bought a Guitar, finally bought a replacement for my broken guitar by my nephew a year ago. Gonna learn to play contemperorary songs with the guitar again 🙂
    • Attended the Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar,
      • got reinspired to get passive business income and attain financial freedom.
      • Understood who I was in respect to money and vice versa  (I’m a saver)
      • learned the 6 jars money management (I’m going to enjoy the play jar)
    • Helped create mastermind from the graduates of the seminar.
  • Career and Professional Development
    • Toastmasters
      • Got my Advance Communicator Bronze
      • Appointed as Vice President of Education
    • LiveWIRE
      • Organized SME run for the LiveWIRE Brunei SME Promotion.
        • from the marketing, registration,shirts, refreshments, and volunteer management.
      • Organized LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards
        • from judging process to prize presentation ceremony.
        • some problems, some were overcome, others will be handled for next time.
    • Being involved with ASEAN Young Professional Volunteer Corps (AYPVC.
      • Delegate to Cambodia in the agriculture,
        • Made/met new friends from ASEAN community
        • Learnt about agricultural practices, 
        • helped locals solve their own issues,
        • inspired to see and help the rest of the world.
      • Committee for AYPVC Seminar in Brunei.
        • helped organize and welcomed most delegates at the airport.
        • Became tour guide for delegates.
        • Made new friends
        • learnt about Volunteer Organization Management.
        • more ice breaking games.
      • involved in the national youth day parade/line up representing AYPVC.
  • Others
    • Won an iPad – from a scratch card at, I am now an iOS convert… nah! more like iOS/android hybrid :p actually lost a waterproof camera in cambodia, but the universe replaced it with an iPad.
    • Supported my sister in attending landmark, she admits that it has helped here with coping with life issues a lot better 🙂 yay… she doesn’t need much consulting and consoling anymore 😀

Typing this up kinda reminds me of making a CV. 2013 just gave a worth one page of CV. I should add picture to this post, or links to facebook or other resources, but i’m not gonna bother. simplicity is key. next up is my aims for the year 2014, that one i’m gonna add pictures.

Keeping an Open Mind for Love, Peace and Harmony

I have kept my mind open after landmark forum. When I shared with people about landmark forum, some responded that they have joined other self-development workshops as well. Among those I’ve heard about were Tony Robbins, T Harv Eker, “money and you” and Core Values Training or CV for short.

When I ask other people about these workshops some had positive views, and there were those who had negative views. I’ve heard people say, that Landmark was a cult. Interestingly I’ve also heard people say that  CV was a cult.

When someone commented in my initial post on landmark, that I had been “Fully indoctrinated into Landmark (AKA EST) Cult“, I was initially defensive, but then I recognized my desire to be right and not to be wrong,so I looked into the words. And in doing so, I accepted that the statement can be true, but not necessarily wrong (read my reply in that post) I came to accept that some people are allowed to have their opinions or interpretations. I am being open to accept (not necessarily condone) what people have to say.

Recently I was invited to a CV power lunch, they shared their experiences after taking their CV. I found that their results were similar to the experience of my wife and I from landmark forum. They shared that they learned “change” has to come from within, their spouses stated they experience the changes, and found that their relationship have improved.

Later when the power lunch was concluded and everybody was about to leave, I managed to talk to a few more people on their results and on what they had learned. What I found some answered clearly on what they had experience, others were more cryptic and often say that people have to join to really understand what they got. This experience was similar to those if you asked anyone else from any other self-development program including landmark :p

Unfortunately in some cases, I’ve noticed that some graduates of these workshops may exhibit a tendency to be… Arrogant. Holding so strongly the belief that their program is the best program, and any other program are not. So much so that they were not open to attending any other programs. This was apparent when I asked some CV grads about attending other courses such as landmark or money and you. Some landmark grads had shared that they discovered they had reservations about attending anything else.

When I shared with my wife (who also attended landmark) about this finding. She exhibited the same behaviour. She was defensive maybe even slightly frustrated that these people did not have the open mind that they should have if these courses were that eye opening.Then she realized that she had a racket against these people, I helped here to pull her through. She realized that though she no longer worries about looking good, she was now more into being right. That other people who had belief that their program is the best, and those who think that landmark was a cult was making her feel wrong. She realized that those people are just expressing their opinions and interpretations. That IT made here feel wrong. So now she created the possibility of being open.

A similar event actually happened to another landmark graduate I met in Singapore, he shared that he attended a different program that expressed different views from landmark, he became frustrated and left. It was later with the help of other graduates that he realized he had a racket with that program.

What I have realized that the whole world had a racket against each other, not just individually, but also as group, country, sect and religion. That all these people believe so strongly that what they have or what they believe in is right and everyone else is wrong. That in turn made others felt wrong, and those who felt wrong in turn were compelled to make others wrong to make themselves feel right. Some (not all) believers of a religion may believe that their religion is right, and other religions are wrong, and these also happens the other. That countries belief that their neighboring country or state is invalid. I am inclined to believe that if everyone and every leader could accept everyone for who they are,including accepting themselves as they are, and not label anyone as right or wrong. As it is what it is. And so the world would be truly at peace.

And that is my racket, that not everyone is working towards peace, love, and harmony. But if I continue to believe so, I will not achieve it. I realize that I cannot expect everyone to do the same thing as I do, to be open, to be patient, and to be compassionate. So now I am truly open for people to be open. I can only BE what I want to BE, to Do what I want to DO, and to HAVE what I want to HAVE. and in the process I can only hope to enroll people to realize my reality of love peace and harmony.

I have found that most what I hear from these programmes have existed for a long time. I first thought that most of the techniques used are similar to what I learned in educational Psychology. Mostly Carl Roger’s Person Centred Approach on Being true to yourself, and Albert EllisRational Emotive Behaviour Therapy on examining our beliefs on what happens in the world and how it makes us feel. But after further research I found that they also built their studies on ancient eastern philosophies.

All these different programmes may or may not have the same vocabulary, but I would like to believe that all these development programmes have the same goals, but in different techniques, which is to know ourselves, to accept ourselves and others for who they are, to find what we really want and achieve in life, to be present in the moment and to ultimately live our lives to the fullest.

It seems to me, that what we have learn is often in a short time, what took our predecessors a ages. What we learned in school or in these programs in a short time. Took philosophers, Scientists and researchers from a  life time up to several generations. We are in a time where the Information flows freely, where the culmination of human knowledge can be found in books, on the internet, in wikipedia, youtube and can be found by searching google. Reminds me of the Age or Renaissance where they were searching for what the philospher Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) stated “a man can do all things if he will.”  We are living in the age of Tranformation.

May we all achieve Love, Peace and Harmony

Landmark Forum Notes

I would like to take this time to note what I have learned in landmark forum in this blog. This is to remind myself and others what we have learned from landmark forum, as well as to share with others so that they may be open to take up landmark forum.

But first I would like to assure the organizers that I will not reveal too much of the course. I believe what I share will urge people to be inspired or moved. And if they would like to join Landmark forum, then it would be a bonus for both those people as well as the Landmark forum. There is more value in understanding these words through the forum, then just reading them from this blog. Words in brackets note where I have heard or read something similar before. but I admit that after attending this course I have a deeper understanding of them and their proper applications in life.

  • Have Integrity – Part of Integrity is being Authentic to others as well as yourself, especially your word. (Your word is your wand, Laws of Success)
  • Separate Facts and Interpretations – Life happens. How you interpret it, and how you interpret other people’s interpretations has affected your beliefs and actions. Once you accepted this and let go of your past and persistent interpretations, you are open to new possibilities in life and take charge of how you see things in life. (REBT – Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy)
  • Be aware of “IT” – “IT” is a part of human nature that can be described of Inner chatter. “IT” often stops you from doing anything. If you do nothing you will definitely fail, but if you do something you will have a chance to succeed (Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor on “stroke of insight” and Eckhart Tolle on “A new earth“)
  • Be, Do and Have – People often want certain results, and they do actions to create this results, but they only do actions based on their view. But being open to a bigger picture, allows people to have more options and choose the right actions. (Bruce Lee)
  • Be aware of Rackets or Persistent Complaints – Complaints that come with fix way of being causes people to lose ownership of their life, and sacrifice their Life to satisfy “IT”. So let go of “IT’s” interpretation, and gain full life. Accepting events does not mean condoning it. (Eckhart tolle on “a new earth”)
  • Issues in your life may affect other parts of it. e.g. family conflict can affect love relationships or working performance, and vice versa.
  • Change Versus Transformation
  • Truth about life that will give you power
  • Meaning of Life (My own introspections and self reflection. I thought I had the answer before, but I didn’t, and now I do)

For the points that have no brackets are were new to me, and yet it may have been present through out history as the tools successful people have used intentionally or inadvertently to become powerful and remarkable. Please Comment if you want.

Patient, Loving and Compassionate,

Bobbyofbrunei 🙂

Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful stroke of insight – 39 Translation(s) | dotSUB

Finished Translating A TED Video to malay. I need someone else to sign up and review my translation before its displayed on ted website.


via Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful stroke of insight – 39 Translation(s) | dotSUB.