FINDING THE ‘GEM’

I’ve both a subject and an experience to share.

First, on the subject. I’m really into knowing more and skilling myself up with this incredible phenomenon called Appreciative Intelligence. In case if you’re thinking whether I’m adding to the confusion by adding another type of intelligence to the already many out there, I’m not. In fact, if you had time to study only one type of intelligence, then I’ll highly recommend this one only as it is at the core of all the others.

Appreciative Intelligence or AI, in short, has 3 parts to it:

•     One, it is about powering up our mind to reframe to perceive people, events, things, etc in a more empowering way that the normal mind cannot see.



•     Two, spot strength, talent, advantage in people, things, situations; again, where many people will pass it off as nothing.


•     Three, grow that strength into a big goal.


Now, on my experience. I had this rare chance of working with Sarah Lee and Ping Lian also at the same Allianz conference where I worked with Janet and Colin whom I wrote about in my ‘THE BIG POWER OF LOVE’ blog post. Why I write about Sarah is because she exemplifies someone who has high AI in growing her autistic child, Ping Lian, into an art genius. This formidable pair of mother and son team is about to conquer the world of art.


Ping Lian, her son, is a very famous artist despite his deficiencies. In fact he is among the handful in Malaysia whose art can command a price from RM10,000 to RM100,000. So what is the great value of his art? It is unique, as it goes ‘against the grain’ of his autistic deficiency. People with his sort of deficiency are restless, do not have long attention span and have no focus. If you see his painting, it is just the opposite. It shows creativity, uniqueness, dexterity, patience, concentration, and certainly the work of a genius. His paintings have been exhibited in all the famous galleries in all the big cities of the world.


Janet reframed the way she looked at her child as a less-than a normal child. In this frame, she spotted his talent at an early age where many would have passed off as nothing, and systematically grew him to be what he is today.


So now you know why I’m into knowing more about AI. A coach, with AI becomes a ‘maestro’ who can shape and grow people to what they want to be. You see what others do not see, and help them pursue their dreams till they become a reality like what Janet has remarkably done for Ping Lian.


Do you agree this AI is something we ought to have? Do you have an AI experience to share?

THE BIG POWER OF LOVE

 I am sure many of you are like me, hearing and reading about the power of love but never really had encountered with someone with a big power of love. I had this opportunity to meet them, shared the same hotel with them, had supper with them and shared the same platform at the Allianz Conference that was held recently in Penang.

 I was an invited speaker on a subject called ‘Appreciative Intelligence’ to 300 insurance agents, and I had Colin and his mum, Janet Ng, to support my talk. I was there to talk; Colin was to demonstrate his pianist skills; and Janet was to share how she raised a blind son and build his musical talents.

Forget about my talk, that’s not the objective of this blog. I want to talk about my experience with this ‘loving couple’. You see I had to know about them beforehand as I needed to talk about them a little before I introduced them on stage.

That gave me quite a bit of time to be with them and to know their ‘love story’. I spent an evening with them before the conference. The story of Colin and Janet is not only touching but it really shows what Love can do. I began to realize that true love is the biggest and most powerful force that really can conquer the unknown, the impossible, anything!

Colin is 26 years old.  He was born with a skull deformity. This skull deformity caused a premature stop to the development of his eyes (so he’s blind), ears (so his hearing is affected), nose, mouth and brain.  Many people, including the doctor who not only tried to persuade Janet to give up on the child but actually tried to take away his life without the mum’s knowledge, thought that it would be best not to have Colin around. Somehow they could not succeed for Janet’s love for Colin was too great that nothing could stand in her way. God was there, and is still there for them, forever!

From that point, she raised Colin almost singlehandedly to where Colin is today – an accomplished pianist with a degree in Music, and the only blind person in Malaysia with such a proud credential. He is now playing not only at Bangsar Village in Kuala Lumpur but is well sought after by individuals and organizations to entertain them at their functions.

That’s on the surface only. For behind this successful man is his mum. She learned Braille first to help him learn. She collected all his college books in advance, got them converted to Braille and painstakingly took Colin through years of studies. Not only that, she has with love till today, attend to all his needs although Colin is much independent and quite a character to be with.

So we ask ourselves, what is it that can’t be overcome? Can our odds, disadvantages be as great as Janet? Indeed she is my inspiration and role model as well.

And, what Janet has to say when she read this blog post really sums it all: “Yes, I fully agree. Love overcomes everything. Without love, there is no meaning to life, no relationship, no interaction, nothing to look forward to as each day unfolds.”

Do you have a similar wonderful story to share, or any comments you like to make on this story? Do login to your email account (gmail is best) and click on Comment, type in your comments, and click on Post.

That’s all for this post. Keep well and “see you” in my next post, 3 weeks from now.