Category Archives: Spiritual Reminder


1 Jan 2020 in Fátima, Portugal as a pilgrim on a pilgrimage to pray to Our Lady of Fatima was indeed a dream came true for me and my family who came too.

Choosing this day to do wasn’t only meaningful but purposeful as well for this was the sacred place where Mother Mary appeared to 3 shepherds and revealed 3 life changing secrets of the world to them. The feeling was indescribable to be here on the first day of a new decade in my life.

Instead of delving into the details of these 3 secrets, I rather share with you the common theme that i discovered in all of them. It is really about the need for love, compassion and appreciation – the giant pillars of good relationship and life fulfilment that we can do with much more. The secrets reveal the increasing turmoil and turbulence in the world that only can be cured with them.

Love is the opposite of hatred. Compassion is the opposite of acceptance. And appreciation is the other side of arrogance.

This is the message I gotten from here. A super reminder that I need to be always mindful of. They are my treasures that I took back from this sacred place of Fátima.

I share them with you too. Have a blessed and fulfilling 2020!


Excerpt from Keynote Address by Dr Michael Heah at
14th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking 2019

Thank you for your presence at this 14th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking ceremony. This is one of our biggest gatherings, and still continues to be the only kind in the world where we formally pay homage, recognize and celebrate the success and achievements of coaches on a grand scale, year after year.     

Going by what we are witnessing here today, our vision of ‘growing a vibrant coach community in Asia has already being fully realized. Today’s gathering is definitely one of the clearest evidences of this.

With another 150 leaders becoming certified coaches this year, this brings the total to 2000 certified coaches that we have built over our 16 years to grow very good coaches with the skills and passion to touch and make a big difference in people’s lives.  And of course, your own lives as well.

I still remember our first convocation 13 years ago. It was a humble one. It was held at the pool side of a condominium for only 10 coach graduates. Since then, it has evolved over the years to be what it is today.  Look how it has grown in size, in elegance and in pride.

Thank you all for your support, your trust and belief in us that we are the best coaching school to build the best coaches for the coaching industry.

However, your coaching journey has not ended yet. This is why I wish to speak on this subject called: ‘Your Real Coaching Journey Begins Now’.   

You see, to become certified coaches is indeed quite a journey by itself, and I’m sure you will agree with me, don’t you?

All of you have had put in many hours of learning, and getting your coaching hours (till yesterday). Your efforts, sacrifices and the discipline are highly commendable for successfully staying on course to reach this far.   

Hats off to all!  You are all now not just certified coaches but very good certified coaches of the ICF (International Coach Federation) brand name!

Dear coaches, the truth in getting this far is still not far enough. The final point is yet to be reached. In mountaineering, it is said that you have arrived at the base camp. Now is to take your climb to the peak of success. This next path might be more challenging and steeper than the first part of your journey.

And when you have the drive and stamina to move on to the top, you are then called Coach Movers (and not Coach Forgetters who back off and return back home).

Coach Movers are coaches who always keep to the 5Ps of Success.
They are:  Purpose, Positivity, Perseverance, People-centeredness and Playfulness.

Firstly, keep to your Purpose. This is your rock that grounds you, spurs you on and guides you firmly to the peak of becoming a successful coach.     

Secondly, Positivity is your daily motivation to carry on even when the going gets tough; be it about getting clients, retaining them or dealing with competition. Craft out your own self-talks for it to be your mantra of staying positive always. What is yours?   

Thirdly, Perseverance is the iron inside that gives you the mental strength to never say die, never give up on your purpose. Every hurdle you cross; every failure you wake up from; they all give more strength to your perseverance.

Fourthly, People-centeredness is about building your character and social skills to build and expand your network, be it: clients, fellow coaches, stakeholders and good friends. You will succeed well when you have the support from every corner for you are nice, trustworthy and interesting.

Finally, Playfulness is the fun, the sense of humor and the lightness you put into your life to enjoy every moment of whatever you are doing. Work hard, but make sure you play hard as well. Remember the old adage, all work with no play makes Jack and Jane dull persons. So be playful is to be game and interesting to everyone, and ourselves too. Make the world a happy place too!

On this note, from my bottom of my heart, I sincerely wish you coaches, all the very best in the next stage of your journey. Stay connected always, with CCA (Corporate Coach Academy), MACC (Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches) and all your coach friends.

To the friends and guests, thank for being here to share this celebration with us; to the convocation team, thank you for the coach-mentoring support you have given to our coaches, to MACC for providing a lifelong coaching support to our coaches.

Stay on top of the game, and be the best coaches in the world!

Thank you!

Michael Heah, ICF-MCC, PhD

Don’t Tell People You are a Coach!

The word ‘coach’, or the verb in the sentence ‘I can coach you’ can be very intimidating words that can put people off or make them defensive.

Why? People don’t like to know that they need the help of a coach. They don’t like to know they are a weakling, or they have a problem and that a coach is their ‘saviour’.

I know of coaches who get nowhere with their clients when they pitch their business this way.

The tip is not to be too eager, even too loud to say you are a coach or they need coaching from you. Be gentle, even polite to use other more accepting words like a trusted or professional friend, a close partner, or collaborator to help them find brilliant ways/solutions for their issue or goal.

When in the conversation, be patient, respectful, and show curiosity and deep interest in their issues instead of being anxious to push them to find solutions.  Make them always feel that it’s their session and that you are there with them because it is their decision.

Doing it this way makes them feel that you are a trusted partner, and not a coach who is there to coach them.  Such nice feeling helps them to open up to share, resulting in them achieving their goals faster and better.

What Makes A Good Coach

Although John and Sam are both coaches who have been in professional practice for a while, they have different measures of success. John is enjoying far more of it than Sam who is still struggling to make ends meet.

5 factors attribute to this disparity.

The first is purpose. For John it is a calling. He wants to a difference in people’s lives. He loves to give a helping hand to someone who either wants to grow or overcome an issue in their lives. The authenticity in him is obvious. People are naturally drawn to him.  As for Sam, he got into this profession out of ‘no choice’ option as according to him ‘there’s nothing else better to do. So for him ‘its just a job’. It’s obvious how he would behave when he’s with his clients.
The next factor is the sense of responsibility. John is highly responsible in many areas. He does everything to improve himself for he wants to do more for his clients. He keeps his words and delivers on his promise. His clients trust him greatly.  As for Sam, he works more like a ‘clock watching’ employee. He does little to improve himself. He’s calculative and gives the minimum to them.  His clients see him as someone who’s only waiting for his fees to be paid and nothing beyond this.
The third factor is the firm and fair way that John engages with his clients.  He holds them accountable to what they promise to do and is assertive to take them back when they fall off the line; yet he’s fair when they need some breathing space at times.  His clients respect him and this enhances his influencing abilities on them. The results tell it all. Success rates are high too.  Sam, on the other hand, is too relaxed and too compromising on almost everything. Whether they succeed or fail, it makes no difference to him. He has no performance standards to guide his practices. As expected, results are few, with disappointments more.
The fourth factor is John’s process mindedness where smart game plans are built with clear pathways to the goal.  As for Sam, he has none because he’s not all rounded in his thinking. His clients have no clear direction on how to move forward.

Lastly, the fifth factor is being observant with the ability to self-observe himself to know what feelings and emotions need to be managed for greater self-awareness.   Sam, on the other hand, doesn’t have this which explains why he’s temperamental without knowing how to be in control during challenging times. He loses credibility in the eyes of his clients. 

Things I Learned After The Storm


Since my school days, there were many axioms that depict the saying in this picture that stayed in my memory all these while. Some of them that I learned since young were:  ‘No venture, no gain’; ‘Faint heart never won fair lady’; or ‘Strike while the iron is hot’ ‘. 

Although it meant little then except for the ‘fanciful’ way they have been written, I got this feeling that there is someone up there who must have told me silently that one day these sayings would become my tools for happiness and fulfilment. 

So for this intuitive reason, I kept them close to my heart and they have guided my growing up over the years where times were indeed very challenging at almost all fronts. 

One of the greatest lesson to me is to never be afraid of failures; I find that it has proven to be so true. 

I knew what it was like, trying to pick myself up after a failure or disappointment; indeed it was really tough.  One could go reeling down and down and never be able to stand up again.  I have had seen so many people going down this route, sadly including even my loved ones. 

I have been able to change some of my circumstances that reset me again to walk the right path. Although it had been very tough, it was not really impossible!

Today I teach this in my coaching classes; coaching people to strengthen their self-image to overcome their limiting self-beliefs.  I am glad I have these life experiences to share with people, changing them and the world in whatever humble ways I can.

The Greatest Show of Love and Sacrifice

Laura 1

I feel so touched meeting up with Laura Tan after some 6 years.  We had so much to catch up when she stayed at my place, narrating about her life on what she was actually doing.  It was tales of a different kind.  She was not holidaying in some exotic parts of the world, nor was she in some high paying jobs that required her to work with no opportunities to meet up with old friends like us.

The ‘occupation’ she had been doing for the last 6 years was devoting herself full-time to single-handedly care and attend to every need – from kitchen to toilets –  of her ageing parents.  Although she is still young with more than 2 decades of hospitality experience at a very senior level, she chose the route of being a unpaid caretaker in the house, instead of working and getting paid handsomely in some corporate organisation.

Laura and Mum

She has now finally completed this mission of hers as the last part of her responsibility ended after her dad’s passing on to meet his wife (Laura’s mum) in heaven who went there 2 years ago.

To me, this is the highest order of love that one rarely gets to hear these days.  More so, when it’s a professional who is still in her active working years who took up this responsibility which is often regarded as unproductive, boring, taxing and very heavy.  In fact, such onerous tasks are often relegated to nurses or actual care givers for a fee. However, Laura certainly demonstrates this ‘live’ by action, and not just word

This is indeed a love that is hard to describe especially when we hear of children who send their ageing parents to old folk’s home instead of allowing them to stay with them.  What is even disheartening is that these children, aside from paying the monthly charges, seldom or never visit their parents after that.

Laura’s family values of love to her parents is something that I can emulate although my parents have already passed on.  She has taught me something that is not taken from the pages of a novel, but from actual real-life experiences.

We need to teach our children so that they embrace such values when it is time for them to care for us when we can no longer move around much.

Thanks, Laura, for showing this greatest love. I’m sure your parents are sending their blessings of success and happiness to you as you get onto the mainstream of life again.  May God bless you always!



Some People Need To Be Rehabilitated



When I was the HR Director in the travel business, my instruction to my HR Managers was to look out for basic qualities in job candidates no matter what job they were applying for.

One of the basic qualities I was referring to is the willingness to serve.  Serving people basically means wearing a smile on your face; displaying polite mannerism, staying calm and be willing to help.  Employees without these basic qualities can badly destroy any company’s good name.

There was one ‘misfit’ whom I had the unfortunate opportunity to encounter.  The person was an Air Asia ground staff at KLIA 2 airport, when I was there the other day to send my wife, Angeline, and my son, Jeremy, off to Melbourne.  What would have been a good sendoff became otherwise when this young and pretty lady (who belied her good looks) turned ugly by shooing me off with a stern voice: “Go check with the Information Counter” when I asked her how to get to the Skybus station.  It would only require her to point to the correct direction (a 3-second job).

I wouldn’t let her off so easily when she displayed another round of rudeness in falsely accusing me of molesting her for wanting to get her attention, when all I wanted to tell her was what customer service should be!

I’m glad the supervisor was cooperative in giving me her name as I intend to report her to the Customer Service Department for their follow up action on how to rehabilitate her and staff like her!

Don’t get me wrong – while we should always be reasonable and understanding customers, we should assertively put things in order when these staff misbehave beyond reasons.  Never leave it unattended. Only with this can we correct what is wrong by getting them to realise bad attitude doesn’t pay.

Furthermore, it is also to teach them to make a positive (and not a negative) difference to someone’s life.  Only then will there be a chance for us to help make this world a better place with
nice-natured people around us.