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What a week it’s been! It started off with many challenges. And at the end of the week, it was back at my old work place, a reminder of why I do what I do now. I was there for over 10 years so there were obviously more good times than bad. That is life, isn’t it? The mountains and the troughs. I didn’t leave on a bad note but a different note. I was singing a different tune.

So I come back 7 years later giving a talk for International Women’s Day with the theme “Make It Happen.” I got to speak next to Malaysia’s favourite comedian Harith Iskander. The fact that I was asked back to me must have meant I didn’t burn any bridges! I never do. I don’t intend to. I am grateful for the years and opportunities it gave me. It was and is one of the most forward-looking companies when it comes to gender equality; flexi-hours, working from home, a nursing room and many other perks.

I shared about how much has changed in the last 7 years of my life having started a “new” career in radio and writing. How did I “make it happen?” It was a journey that started when I began my career in the last century with my first job (after graduation) at a public relations consultancy while working part-time as a news presenter on radio and TV.

It was a journey that continued when I decided to join IBM despite a better offer from an international bank but had restrictions on my movements like not being allowed to read the news. IBM gave me the liberty so long as it did not disrupt my day job. If it was only money I was after, I would have missed one of the best times and learning opportunities of my life.

I figured if the bank was so restrictive before I started work, how more restrictive will it be when I join? Freedom and diversity were values I cherished deeply even then, not realizing until now. When I joined the radio station, it was an unproven entity and coming in with a pay cut. However, I liked the concept and the opportunities available. Plus it is very close to my house. Time doing meaningful things instead of being stuck in traffic is also another value I cherish.

To this day, I seriously believe if I can do my small part in changing the business community, more people will choose to stay in the country because opportunities are abundant. The first few years were really scarily exciting as I had a part to play in the direction the station was heading. It was an unproven entity; an underdog. Technology is the buzz but personal development (which is my thing) is an important element in enriching our lives. Segments I thoroughly enjoy on the Enterprise show.

Along the way, I can complain about a lot of things. I wished I made more money. I wished I had better bosses. I wished I had more children. I wished, I wished, I wished. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Are we victims or victors? Do we blame your state of your life on others and how everything didn’t work out as planned because you married the wrong man, had too many children, stayed in the wrong neighbourhood or chose the wrong boss? The grass always look greener on the other side but is it really? I could go on and on.

We all make decisions and make the best of these decisions. What I have right now were decisions I made many, many years ago. Short-term sacrifices for long-term gains and sanity. There is no such thing as an overnight success. I also had to make corrective adjustments along the way. I still do. I don’t have all the answers but with God as my guide, it’s a work-in-progress. That’s how you learn.

Get solution-focused and keep your nose clean. Don’t affect people’s reputation or rice bowl in the process. Choose to build a tall building or work with someone who wants a tall building but don’t destroy buildings around you just to be the tallest. I have been around long enough to see the repercussions too. Don’t choose to be a victim because it’s an easier thing to do. Choose to be a victor because it’s a better thing to do.

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