Our Two Cents

Jan 02, 2015 1 Min Read

Photo credit (above): Leland Francisco | Flickr


Trials, tribulations and thousands of words later

The editorial team, as curator of leadership content, takes great pains to identify contributors who are experts in their fields and articles that bring value to our readers.

In the process, we have learnt a great deal about ourselves and important lessons that have transformed our lives – as much as we wish it has transformed yours.

In 300 words or less (we’re pretty compliant with word count requirements!), we share our innermost thoughts, revelations and lessons learnt, in the hope that you can also benefit from them as we all embark on a bright shiny new year.

Prema Jayabalan

Change of thought

I can conclude 2014 in three words: a roller-coaster ride. A year that brought upon changes that forced me to break out of routines that I had been following for years.

Being a first time mom to a toddler was something very new to me. Exciting yet intimidating.

It was an entirely new experience; handling a child who has a mind of her own and always up to mischief with her newfound skills.

Not to forget the sicknesses that pop up from nowhere when you least expect it. Juggling work and a child is a different ball game altogether.

It’s indeed true that a child totally changes your life!

If that was not enough, I found myself in a situation at work whereby I needed to take a different route from my usual path.

Turning point

At first, I did not want to give it a shot as I saw no point in it and felt that it would weigh me down.

However, the tiny voice in my head, influenced by some of the articles I read on embracing change, said otherwise. Having read on how change is good, I decided to put it to test. I am glad I did.

This year has truly pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me realise that if you want things to change for the better, you have to change first.

I discovered skills which I did not realise I had and my eyes opened to the vast opportunities available around me.

To my beautiful family and wonderful friends, thank you for being my pillars of strength.

To 2015… I am ready to take you on. Happy New Year All!

Hyma Pillay

Of trials and hope

2014 seemed to be a year of world-wide tragedies. We were being hit by one disaster after another. It was very devastating to read the news. Barely moving on from one tragedy, another one struck.

As I reflect on the past year, I thought about how horrible the year has been. Even though I wasn’t personally affected, all these deaths and tragedies wore me down. It wasn’t a very pleasant feeling.

We’ve had articles talking about change, failures and crisis, and how we can turn it around and make good lessons out of it.

Love, kindness, humanity

So I decided that I will not let this year end on a negative note. Even in the darkest of times, we can find hope.

If you look back at all the tragedies that happened last year, you will find beautiful and amazing stories of love, kindness and humanity.

Focusing on Malaysia, with the airline tragedies, we witnessed the whole nation coming together to support the families of those affected.

Social media was filled with positive, encouraging messages to those who lost their loved ones.

News agencies, both online and print, took the time to research the people on the planes, and shared their life stories for the world to know.

From the recent flooding situations, we see selfless volunteers from all over the country, working as one to help the flood victims in whatever way possible.

So, if you ask me, I would say that 2014 was a year of hope. There is no promise of how 2015 will be, but we can choose to bring out good (or even better) stories to be a part of the story. Wishing you a beautiful, wonderful year ahead!

“Sometimes, in darkness, we find clarity.” – Hyma Pillay

Lay Hsuan, Lim

“Dis” is not the end

Dispute, disease, disruption, distress, dissent, discomfort, disarray, disappointment, disengagement, disillusionment, discouragement, disheartenment.

These words pretty much summed up 2014. From water dispute to Ebola and dengue disease, it was a challenging year for most of us as individuals, and as a nation.

The desert road

On a personal note, there was a dry season when redundancy came knocking unexpectedly at my door (an entirely different story if one consciously makes the decision to quit).

Thus, to be relieved from an employment, with friends you’ve grown attached to, without Plan B in sight was a daunting experience. It threw me into disarray as I grappled to make sense of “what now?”

Repositioning and restoration

I believe that there is a reason for a season of valley experiences. When a door slams shut on you, a window of opportunity will eventually open up at the appointed time.

Likewise, the loss of a job brought me to a place of deep soul-searching and a journey of discovery.

The experience taught me that things don’t always pan out the way we wanted them to be. Instead, there is something bigger than ourselves that holds the times and seasons.

The lesson here is that if we are willing to humble ourselves to acknowledge that statement, we will eventually see things repositioned and restored for a new chapter in our lives.

With this, I am grateful for more great adventures to come!

Special thanks to family members, friends and confidante who stood by me through thick and thin.

Karen Neoh

From the ashes

At the risk of revealing my age (yep, old) I quote the only lyrics I remember from the British band which rose to fame in the 1990s with their hit Tubthumping, “I get knocked down, But I get up again, You’re never gonna keep me down!”

For my two cents, I had intended to wax lyrical about the great lessons I learnt from leadership gurus, but just as the year drew to a close, a dear friend reminded me the importance of…


In times of tragedy, I have observed the reactions of the many people in my life – from misery and defeat, all the way to great optimism for a new beginning.

Our past articles have addressed the topics of conflict management, bouncing back from failure, managing stress, and even what mistakes one should make.

Reading and internalising these lessons help us prepare and hopefully not have to rely purely on trial and error to learn.

I firmly believe that resilience, like perseverance, is a critical element for achieving our life goals. Too often, I have seen brilliant minds equipped with limitless resources crumble in the face of adversity.

And while we all work on building on our strengths and our ability to cope with setbacks, here are some points you might want to ponder:

  1. Recognising when you are on a downward spiral
  2. Recovery – reaching out for support and making changes where necessary
  3. Resume your growth trajectory!

Well one other thing I learnt about myself in 2014 – I tend to get a little goofy about grouping words with the same starting alphabet!

Rock on, readers! Rawr! May you be guided by love for your fellow human beings and all God’s creation!


Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 3 January 2015

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Lay Hsuan was part of the content curation team for Leaderonomics.com, playing the role of a content gatekeeper as well as ensuring the integrity of stories that came in. She was an occasional writer for the team and was previously the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is still happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader's Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.

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