2020 Blog Posts – Part 1

This page is the first of two pages that lists the posts I have written for 2020.

1. What Should I Set For New Year Resolutions? (1 Jan 2020) – I wrote on my thoughts on making New Year resolutions and wrote about setting goals instead.

2. Settling On A Goal Race (4 Jan 2020) – A post detailing some reflection questions I asked, in order to set a running goal for the year.

3. Public Speaking Is Tough: How I overcame challenges along the way (8 Jan 2020) – I gathered my years of experience delivering short messages in school and shared some general principles on public speaking.

4. Is There One Item You Cannot Lose? (11 Jan 2020) – I shared what happened when my daughter lost her phone and how there is actually a blessing in disguise from the incident.

5. Why Club Med Remains Relevant (Part 1) (15 Jan 2020) – this is the first of two posts about my experience with Club Med and why I feel they are still relevant even though the brand is more than 50 years old.

6. Why Club Med Remains Relevant (Part 2) (18 Jan 2020) – second post about Club Med, focusing on how the company innovates to solve pain points of a customer’s experience.

7. I Can Do This: what writing has done for me (22 Jan 2020) – I took a look at the readership statistics for my blog in 2019 and learnt something in the process, including setting out my goals for 2020.

8. Why Chinese New Year Is About You, Not Just The Cultural Practices (25 Jan 2020) – I reflected on my thoughts on Chinese New Year, and how the meaning of this festival has shifted for me.

9. What Half Life Taught Me (29 Jan 2020) – I shared what I learnt about the concept of half life in science, applied to the world of knowledge and facts.

10. Tough Love: four principles for navigating student issues (1 Feb 2020) – I shared my thoughts on managing a child with various issues and how I derived principles on hanging student issues.

11. When You Feel Frustrated: frame your mind, embrace living and be like water (5 Feb 2020) – After several recent frustrating running experiences, I learnt from these experiences what I could do better, and shared in this post three key reflections.

12. Three Suggestions On Working With Parents (8 Feb 2020) – I shared a story of one case I dealt with where the parents were upset over some comments I wrote on their child’s report card, and why.

13. What Exam Results Can Mean For Students, Parents And Teachers (12 Feb 2020) – I shared in this post a message that I always deliver to my students before they collect their national exam results.

14. When Covid-19 Meets Total Defence (15 Feb 2020) – I shared my thoughts on the Covid-19 crisis and how Singapore responded with Total Defence.

15. Having Music In My Life: what music did for me (19 Feb 2020) – I shared my experience learning to play the piano, and some lessons I drew from this journey.

16. Who Is Left Behind? (22 Feb 2020) – I wrote about my encounter with a woman in McDonald’s and my mother’s experience with her boss, and how ageism features in them.

17. Living With Dementia: growing my awareness on health issues (26 Feb 2020) – this post is an update of my father’s condition, and some surprises I found along my journey.

18. Four Lessons I Learnt From Managing Students With Special Needs (29 Feb 2020) – I shared about my experience working with a pair of students with special needs and their parents in helping their children engage in education, and what I learnt.

19. Studying Is Unnatural: why knowing more about yourself is important (4 Mar 2020) – I wrote about my experience during my younger days trying to improve my studying skills, and what I feel works for me.

20. Two Advertisements I Like (7 Mar 2020) – I wrote about two recent advertisements created by SingTel and the Singapore Government, and what I consider as key elements of engaging advertisements.

21. Three Lessons From Managing My Weight (11 Mar 2020) – I described my weight management journey and the key ingredients of what works for me.

22. Let The Sickness Be Gone! (14 Mar 2020) – I wrote of the different ways I managed my health over the years, the little things that worked to maintain my health.

23. What I Learnt From Your Appearance, Covid-19 (18 Mar 2020) – a short post reflecting on some takeaways from the covid-19 situation in Singapore.

24. What Children Love About Birthdays (21 Mar 2020) – I wrote this post in response to what my son said during his birthday, and how birthdays are symbolic ceremonies for human beings.

25. When Workers Swim Less (25 Mar 2020) – I wrote about two stories of workers’ performance and what they helped me learn about employers, employees and the world of work.

26. I Don’t Like This: time to be aware (28 Mar 2020) – I talked about discrimination in the context of covid-19, how the association of the virus to specific ethnicities is problematic.

27. That Ten Days When My Toilets Were Out Of Bounds (1 Apr 2020) – I shared my experience with renovating my toilets under the Home Improvement Programme, a nationwide movement by the government to refurbish toilets in apartments that are more than 30 years old.

28. Learning Can Happen Anywhere (4 Apr 2020) – I captured my thoughts on how online lessons can be prepared in this post. I also shared how these could be general principles in engaging students online or offline.

29. When You Wake Up: what using a calculator taught me about unfreezing, changing and refreezing (8 Apr 2020) – There was a day when I couldn’t use a scientific calculator correctly, and that led me to muse about the idea of unfreezing, changing and refreezing.

30. Public Governance Is Important: what I learnt from going through a housing upgrading programme (11 Apr 2020) – This is part two of my experience going through a toilet renovation project. Such a programme is not common in many countries, and definitely makes for some thinking on the importance of public governance.

31. Staying Fit In A New Environment During Covid-19 (15 Apr 2020) – I started a job in a new work environment this year, and while in the midst of adjusting, COVID-19 forced workplaces to close down. I shared how I got myself to a routine of exercising well during this time.

32. I Could Not Hear: the ability to hear is a gift (18 Apr 2020) – Recently I had an ear issue which I solved by going to the doctor. Not everyone has it easy though. I wrote about a colleague who has profound hearing loss in this post.

33. Using Swim Lane Mapping To Improve Processes (22 Apr 2020) – I picked up this useful tool called swim lane mapping recently. It allowed me to visually identify the process flow and issues that can be resolved. Of course the clarity over the process is needed for solutions to be generated.

34. Five Practical Steps To Telecommute Well (25 Apr 2020) – COVID-19 has forced me to telecommute for a month now. I have adopted five steps that helped me to telecommute without losing productivity, which I outlined in this post here.

35. Three Things I Learnt About Data Collection (29 Apr 2020) – An encounter I had with a colleague helped me pick up three ideas on data collection. They are basic, but key to data integrity and analytics.

36. On Career Moves And Aspirations: why horizontal and vertical moves depend on your aspirations (2 May 2020) – A recent conversation with a junior colleague got me thinking about career progression. We are fairly used to the idea of vertical moves, but what about horizontal moves?

37. Change Involves More Than Structures, People Are Involved Too (6 May 2020) – I wrote on my experience introducing and managing change in one organization, and the lessons I learnt from going through this experience. Change management is not easy, and requires a bit of thinking in relation to work relationships.

38. Musings Of A Father During Covid-19 (9 May 2020) – Covid effected a circuit breaker for my country and led to many to work from home. It was because I had to work from home that I get to spend more time with my children, compared to normal days. That led me to 10 observations about fatherhood in the process.

39. A Night’s Run: urban sights while running (13 May 2020) – I wanted to motivate myself in long distance running, which is a challenge because of the covid situation. So I thought of this idea while running long distances, which surprised me a little.

40. Giving: why altruism is important in society (16 May 2020) – A social worker called me one day to bring me good news about my ex-student. I was very happy that she kept in touch with him, and also with me. Altruism is essential for a society.

41. What A Data-Driven Culture Really Needs (20 May 2020) – It was a meeting to help identify how data should be presented. That turned out to be a good meeting to reflect on how a data-driven culture should be like in the workplace.

42. Learning Chinese Is Possible – 3 factors at work (23 May 2020) – I grew up in a Chinese-speaking environment. My children grew up listening and speaking in English more. Yet for all of us, we got a comfortable grasp of Chinese despite growing up in different home environments. This is my story of what makes learning Chinese possible.

43. My Daughter Wants To Cook: how learning and application are distinct (27 May 2020) – Learning to cook in school is one thing, actually doing it is another. My daughter learnt to cook different dishes a few years ago but only started cooking for the family this year. That led me to think about the difference between learning and application.

44. We Want Psychological Safety: the chemicals we need (30 May 2020) – I picked these ideas from reading Simon Sinek’s book, how we rely on four chemicals for our psychological safety. Very useful ideas that we can apply in our workplaces, including ways to forge teamwork in the organisation.

45. I Missed My Flight And Learnt About Service Excellence (3 June 2020) – If you have missed a flight before, you would know the hassle of trying to reschedule your itinerary. It is a nightmare. This one time I missed my flight was not exactly that bad, and I learnt about service excellence at the same time.

46. Appreciating What We Went Through: vignettes from teachers in Special Education Schools (6 June 2020) – Singapore schools went into home-based learning in April for one whole month. It is not an easy manoeuvre to make as it involves more than 30,000 Teachers and half a million students. Yet they did it. I wrote what I hear teachers in special education schools appreciate from this episode, and what they learnt.

47. Three Tips Candidates Should Remember In A Job Interview – Part 1 (10 June 2020) – I have interviewed many people for different jobs in various organisations in the education industry. There are three things candidates should avoid doing in an interview. I share about them here.

48. Three Tips Candidates Should Remember In A Job Interview – Part 2 (13 June 2020) – This is the second part of a post on job interview. Instead of talking about the negatives, I write about what impresses me from candidates who cleared the bar, attitudes that candidates bring out during an interview.

49. What I Learnt About Positioning From Visiting A Barber (17 June 2020) – This guy is not my top choice, but since I really wanted a haircut, I went to him. And I learnt about positioning in the process, who our competitors are and what we should do in light of global competition.

50. Spending a Time During Circuit Breaker In Learning (20 June 2020) – The circuit breaker period for Singapore meant we have to occupy our time in the home. That meant a lot of opportunities to tap on in learning, especially in accessing online modules and webinars. I share some of my thoughts from the learning during this period, and what I resolved to do thereafter.