Saturday, 22 December 2018

Muslim Fasting Calendar 2019

Click on the graphic below to download a copy of the Muslim Fasting Calendar for 2019.

The calendar features the standard Gregorian count with obligatory and supererogatory fasting dates highlighted according to type.

EnSync Learning wishes all Muslims a blessed year ahead and may your worship be accepted by Allah.


Monday, 17 December 2018

Appreciate His Servants

Nobody ever asks Santa what he wants for Christmas.

And so it goes for everyone who has dedicated their lives to service whether personal, social, industrial, academic or others.

As servants of God, it taps into a basic need to give more than we take. To attain a satisfaction that few other activities can provide: Love.

Because service is a choice of self-sacrifice, and it's a step towards humility that not many people can achieve.

So, when someone does something for you, appreciate them, because you never know if you might be able to do the same.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Developing Your People One Layer At A Time


An organisation that is dedicated to enabling their employees should pay attention to three layers of development:

1. Cultural development
2. Talent development, and
3. Operational development

Cultural Development
Cultural development refers to the emotional Introduction, Inculcation and Immersion of the employee into the culture of the organisation to synchronise core values, build loyalty and create a sense of belonging.

Most clients I've met skip the introduction and inculcation and go straight to immersion, in the hopes that new joiners get socialised by the current employees.

Often, these clients say things like "We value feedback", but in practice, their managers don't want to hear the truth, deeming it as insubordination

What ends up happening is that little napoleons build loyalty within their own departments, creating sub-cultures that don't reflect any of the company core values they hope to inculcate. Whatever passes for cultural development is usually restricted to the employee orientation program.

Instead of celebrating their being part of the organisation, reinforcing their importance of being selected, it's usually a boring spiel of how do you punch-card, where to get your company-issued laptop and what will happen if you steal company supplies. Oh joy.

Talent Development
The second level, Talent development, covers almost everything that falls within the purview of workplace performance skills. A simple breakdown of competencies are four skills levels of Thinking, Performing, Connecting and Leading.

Under Thinking are the basic applications of analytical, critical, creative and lateral thinking in problem solving, strategising, stress management and decision making.

Under Performing falls everything from productivity and performance, to business and creative writing, process management and more.

Under Connecting falls every interpersonal skill needed for speaking, empathising, listening and facilitating. This includes emotional intelligence and influencing.

Under Leading falls every application of all prior skill layers to deal with large groups of people or complex interactions such as public speaking, managing, leadership, negotiation, sales and learning facilitation.

Operational Development
Finally, Operational development, which deals with the functional requirements of our employees. This includes the policies, processes and procedures that they need to master in order to carry out their functions properly.

In many cases, organisations do this very well, because they view it as the most important training to be provided. This is where problems can start.

By focusing their budget solely on this effort and deeming Cultural and Talent development as secondary in importance or worse, unimportant, organisations will see higher turnover due to lack of loyalty and growth opportunities.

In the end, the same or more is spent in further recruitment or fire fighting anyway.

So, if you find your organisation is imbalanced in how they view this, I'd recommend you bring it up to management quickly.

Unless, of course, feedback isn't part of your company culture.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Empathising Empathy

How should you develop empathy in others?

Ironically, one way is to ask yourself how you would like others to develop it in you.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Travelers

We are all homeless, because we are travelers on the path to Jannah and our teachers are our tour guides. Let's all be nice to one another during our travels.

But while we pass through this realm, take good care of the planet you walk on. It will soon be a temporary home to others after you're gone.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Trillions in Change

I want to be a millionaire, no a billionaire, no a trillionaire.

No, whatever the number of stars and planets exist in the known and unknown universe. I want that number.

Yes. I want to have that many good deeds.

Join me?

#TamakPahala

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Honour them or Lose them

When you have a dream, chase it.

When you have a love, cherish it.

When you have a responsibility, fulfill it.

Once in awhile, stop and ask if you are doing only the first, which is selfish, or only the second, which is careless, or only the third, which is cold.

Always find a way to honour all of them. Or eventually lose all of them.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

PLF Recognition

Image may contain: text



Who recognises the Take Charge! Learning Facilitator System®?

The Professional Learning Facilitators (PLFs) recognise themselves!

We appreciate outside recognition but we don't require it. We hold ourselves to a high standard and help each other to continuously improve daily within the community (the PLF Family).

We prefer to let our achievements speak for themselves. Ever since its humble beginnings in 2010 by founder Mohd Rizal Hassan, we have upskilled 1600+ people to PLF level in Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Cambodia.

We have organised local and international learning showcases that have shared knowledge for free with public audiences.

We count over 300 lecturers in public and private universities and colleges as PLFs.

A national fitness body has made it compulsory for ALL of its senior instructors to obtain a Master Certification as a PLF to be allowed to operate.

A private school insists that ALL its teachers become PLFs.

Banks, consultancies, training firms, random businesses, now have stray PLFs running around. It's difficult to pass through KLIA without bumping into one.

And! PLFs recognise each other, literally. When they attend a learning event and the facilitator has coloured bells, a bangau and balls among their props, and the activities engage all senses, they know a kindred spirit.

The PLF Program isn’t a TTT. Take a TTT if you want to learn how to drive. When you’re ready to learn how to be a stuntman, be a PLF. It's not a TTT. It’s a grade higher than a TTT.

The PLF Program is not JUST for trainers. It is a powerful, high-impact program that will change how you view, manage, develop, persuade and upskill people.

So, whether you are a parent, leader, entrepreneur, teacher, engineer, student, anything. The PLF will help develop you personally, professionally and purposefully.

It changed my life. Let it change yours. Register today at www.plf.com.my

Monday, 10 December 2018

Tests: The Real and the Simulated

There are simulated tests and there are real tests.

A simulated test is designed by a human being to approximate a real-life situation but a real test IS the real-life situation.

A math test is calculating how much one number minus another number is. A real test is figuring out how much change to give back to a customer while other customers are complaining about the long line while keeping a smiling face.

Only real tests have real consequences and emotional anchors that scar or strengthen us for life.

As a parent, we have to balance between the simulated tests we create for our children and real tests we allow them to survive to innoculate them against life.

Too much of one and they become booksmart but not streetsmart. Too much of another and they become streetsmart but not booksmart.

The balance. Find it.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Live & Learn a Language

Learning English is not a guarantee you will be understood in other countries. The next step will always be to adapt to and adopt the local usages.

Because "heaty" is a description of health (Malaysia)
And "barbie" isn't a doll (Australia)
And "ocular" isn't medically related (The Philippines)
And "shifting" is not staying (India)

Even if you master the Queen's English in class, you'll still sound like a foreigner on the streets of London until you speak what the people speak.

But all is NOT lost. Language is a communication medium between human beings. The best way to learn it is to use it to build relationships.

A love of languages will get you through these adventures of learning. So, talk to someone today and let's learn!

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Choose To See Happiness

Happiness can come from good experiences. Good experiences can come from things. Things can be bought with money. Money can be earned.

This is only one path among many where money leads to happiness. But the chain can't be broken. Buy something, but don't use it correctly, it becomes junk and creates regret.

Experiences viewed with the wrong perspective become bad. Kids messing up the house can be awful or funny. Choose to laugh and it becomes good.

Money doesn't equal happiness. It is the decisions we make that lead us to it. Make good decisions. Enjoy them or learn from them. Then make better ones in the future. Or, laugh at all of them.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Stan Lee: Creating Brand Loyalty Through Engagement


Stan Lee was never just a great story teller. He never just told stories.

He was a great story involver. Even if you were reading his comics alone, you felt like you were with friends. And Stan The Man was your best friend.

Lest you think I'm being philosophical, Stan actually used several tools to connect with the fans and make Marvel seem like a real place populated by warm, funny, crazy, creative people. And he did this LONG before comic cons or social media.

How did he do this?

1. The No-Prize: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_No-Prize
Even decades ago, Marvel Comics had continuity errors, and eagle eyed fans would pick up on them and write in to the letter columns to report them, and later, offer explanations for the errors. Stan created the No-Prize, which eventually was an empty envelope sent to the 'winners'. Gamification!

2. How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way: This book was available at the KL Library, now next to Dataran Merdeka, but back then it was too expensive to photocopy. So I just bathed in it. It made me feel like I was a part of Stan's world.

3. 4th Wall Comic Captions & Editor Notes: Stan used to love writing comic captions that spoke directly to the reader. Things like, "Did you think we were going to let Spidey off that easily? Hang on to your hats, because the best is yet to come!" and notes from the editor like "Stan didn't like that colour so we changed it - Ed)

4. Stan's Soapbox: I was the generation AFTER Stan Lee, but I had access to a lot of his earlier work, and I LOVE that after finishing a comic, I could still enjoy reading his editorial, oftentimes about things coming up, what's happening around the office, etc. This voice helped me to appreciate the creative team, not just the products they churned out. It's because of Stan that I memorised writer and artists names: David Michelinie, Peter David, Frank Miller, John Byrne, John Romita (the OG one), Peter Saviuk, Todd McFarlane, Sal Buscema, Mark Bagley and so many more. Yes, these were all Spider-man talent.

Stan Lee BECAME the face of Marvel because he was consistently the VOICE of Marvel, and it spoke to and WITH the fans. It never talked down to the fans, and always gave them what they wanted, an experience with the characters they loved.

You made my childhood a vibrant place of love and empowerment. And for that, I thank you Mr Lieber.

Good bye.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Solve Something Every Day

Solving problems is a thinking skill that can be practiced.

Find friends who have problems and solve them.

The more you solve, the sharper your skill becomes.

The more people you help.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Help Others Be Better, Not Worse

Correcting your enemy's errors is helping them become better enemies.

Otherwise, you are correcting a friend.

Would you correct a friend with hatred, sarcasm and spite?

Or would you correct them with love?

Leave your enemies to continue bathing in their ignorance.

Help your friends learn to be better.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Solving Together

Find a problem that you are passionate to solve.

Find others who are just as passionate as you are.

Band together and solve it.

You will affect many lives with your small effort.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Speak To Invite

Is there free speech in Islam? Certainly not, as our Prophet (Peace be upon him) teaches us to speak only truth with sternness, with kindness, with humility and with invitation to Islam.

Never with rudeness.
Never with wickedness.
Never with vengeance.
Never with sarcasm.

Let's become better.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Leave the Illusion for the Reality

Imagine that for every Lego brick, every Marvel and DC movie, every Netflix show, every Star Wars edition, every video game and song, every Levi's jeans and Uniqlo sweater, every chocolate frappΓ© and tower burger, there is an infinite, undescribable, ultimate version of these happinesses in Jannah.

Forever.

Focus on the forever.

And leave the here for the after.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

See The Soul

The soul is not suited to live on this plane. Thus it needs a vessel, the body, to contain it.

Just as a fish who sees a submarine, does not see the pilot inside it, so too do we look at a human body and not see the soul inhabiting it.

Look. See all the way to the soul.

If you can't, then believe that all souls are beautiful anyway.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Human Rights vs Duties

Human Rights is about demanding what is fair. It was born to protect us from injustice. It requires a change of thought and behaviour in others to benefit us. It is essentially self-ish.

This is only half the narrative.

Human Duties is about offering what is fair. It is ignored in favour of its more popular sister. It should be developed to protect others from injustice. It requires a change of thought and behaviour in us to benefit others. It is essentially self-less.

The Giving nature of Duties discounts its ability to talk about itself. This is why it remains quiet. In contrast, the Expecting nature of Rights ensures that it is loud and seen.

It is time Duties speak up and take charge of the story.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Work@School

Imagine if your boss gave you, without you asking or approving of it, work to do after you get home which will probably take up an hour or two of your time every day for 11 years.

He says, it's to build your skills, get experience and become better at your job.

How would you react?

Have a care, because that's exactly what happens to our children at school.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Ask of Him

We crave achievement, as evidence of our abilities.

We crave recognition, as proof of our worth.

We crave goals, as direction for our energies.

We crave knowledge, as fulfilment of our curiosity.

What we crave, only Allah can give. So, ask of Him. Then go out and find it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Lover Creates Art

When you fall in love, you become an artist. No accreditation, no certification, no recognition programs.

Just you connecting with yourself, and together, exploring the universe.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Solve The Now for Now

Ever heard of "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for life"?

There are two categories of Problems: Risk and Issue.

For those with Issues, they require the fish. After that is solved, then upskilling, awareness and compliance are required to manage the coming risks.

For those with Risks, they require the knowledge of fishing. This will help mitigate future issues.

When someone comes to you with a problem, identify first whether they are in need of a fish or fishing.

A dying man can do nothing with your motivational speech about learning how to manage their problems.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Mutual Respect In Business

I am a supplier of service. A client is a requester of service. I provide service for remuneration. A client provides remuneration for service.

In this, we are exchanging value. A barter, if you will. It means, we are peers and deserving of peer status.

Treat a client well and build a strong relationship of trust and respect.

What do you do if a client begins to treat you like $#!+? What if they want a master-servant relationship instead?

If that happens, and no amount of effort or goodwill brings you back to peer, then excuse yourself and find someone else to work with.

No amount of money should be worth your pride.

Therefore, do your best to build yourself to a position where you can choose your client instead of just the other way around.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Choose to Empower

Reading about other people's difficult lives, I am grateful that mine has been easy.

Those of us who have it easy can choose to take up the responsibility to help others.

By helping them start their journey, by keeping them pumped while they work on their dreams or by celebrating them as they achieve those dreams one at a time.

I choose to do it by empowering people to learn, learn, learn.

I am a Professional Learning Facilitator. I am a Learning Coach. I am a Culturalist. I am a WordSmith.

To those who have helped me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To those I have helped, I pray for you and yours.

To those I haven't helped, how may I assist you today?

Friday, 23 November 2018

Be Woke. Be Smarter

There are woke people in Malaysia, but they've all woke to different things. Some to spirituality, some to democracy, some to environmentalism.

I would like to see them wake each other up to what they learned WITHOUT crashing the other person's values.

"You don't post about ______, that means you don't care"

"(Read biased headline) What is this idiot politician talking about???"

"Oh, you posted about _________, that means you are a ______ist!"

"You still patronise __________? That means you don't support the _________ian cause! What kind of _______ are you???"

"I can't believe there are so many stupid people in Malaysia"

Making people angry will only make them smarter about taking you down.

Be smarter.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Judge Ye Not

Don't judge a book by its cover. That only tells you about the designer.

Don't judge a book by its typos. That only tells you about the editor.

Don't judge a book by its printing. That only tells you about the printer.

Don't judge a book by its sales. That only tells you about the marketer.

Don't judge a book by its content. That only tells you about the writer.

Don't judge a book. That only tells you about the judge.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

You Are Formed by Information




Everything you hear, read, watch or experience from another human being has been designed by them in the shape that they want you to perceive it. According to Tad Waddington in The Lasting Contribution, this is one of the meanings of the word 'inform', which is, to give form.

Language is a formatter. Experiences are formatter. Fields of study are formatter. Each formatter creates an attitude, a perspective, an opinion, a bias because each one of them were created, mandated and sustained by people who think a specific way.

Therefore, the study of culture, just like linguistics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, design, education, politics, history, religion, are all studies into how human beings are formatted and how to control the processes.

What is bad, what is good and what is in between them are all formats from other people.

In the Arabic language, the sun is female and the moon is male while in French, the moon is female and the sun is male. In China, red is the colour of prosperity, but in America, it denotes danger.

In 2018, the awareness that we are being formatted every single day is becoming more and more important. Even neutrality is a format because the line moves depending on what you believe. There can never be true neutrality.

Even the fact that the formatting no longer needs to be true and that fake news is now just another perspective instead of being factual should shake us to our very core.

Thus, today it is more critical for me to investigate why I believe what I believe. To decide what is true based on that investigation and live in integrity with what I've accepted.

We will all disagree on something, and that is what we individually believe and accept. I pray we still love each other regardless.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Right of Context

In a world of so many contexts, who owns the right of context?

WTF used to safely mean World Taekwondo Federation.

Once, anyone named Najib wouldn't have problems.

My late grandfather labelled everything he owned with his initials, BJ.

I love Nips. Better than M&Ms.

And I participate in jihad every day.

When did my context become wrong and yours become right?

Monday, 19 November 2018

Real Superheroes In Our Midst

There are real superheroes. They are our mothers, our fathers, our teachers, our police, our fire and rescues, our leaders, our janitors.

Every one who speaks up for the right and takes action to make this world a better place. Who fights their desires for evil and champions the rights of others above their own.

Every one who loves even when it's easier to hate. Who forgives even when it's easier to punish. Who proves there is a better way than giving up. To every one.

Every day.

We can be superheroes. We just need to realise we already are.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

I Don't Care?

People who say they don't care what other people think of them usually do care. They only say it to reassure themselves.

The people who really don't care aren't even offended by this posting. They just go, "meh".

If you are offended, it means you care what I said. Which means, you really do care what people think.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Find out Why

For a teacher to discipline her student, there must have been cause to do so.

For a parent to report an incident involving their child, there must have been cause to do so.

For a child to play truant, sniff glue and behave badly, there must have been cause to do so.

For a cyberwarrior to want to comment, there must have been cause to do so.

I am interested in the causes and how we can improve ourselves and our society.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Love Your Heart

Medicine for jealousy of another person is admiring them, benchmarking your efforts, matching their performance, exceeding their success, helping them catch up and praying for their best.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Save Yourself

Of course we have heroes. But heroes serve as examples, not limits.

When we heroise someone else, we take on either the role of hero-in-training or the victim.

The victim will always complain, expect to be saved. They will always want a fish, not a fishing rod. They never think that they could be their own hero. The one that saves themselves.

The hero-in-training looks to their hero as a path to emulate. They don't wait to be taught to fish, nor be given a rod to use. They see their hero's struggles to succeed and make them their own.

My Intercultural Communication students used to lament about the state that Malaysia is in compared to other countries.

I asked them to name a country they admired. I then gave them certain key words to search about that country, and the veneer of beauty fell away.

Everyone has problems, and we have our own unique ones, as an individual, as a family, as a community, as a country, as a planet.

Let's expect less to be fed, and do more to teach ourselves and others how to feed each other.

At the end of the day, if the victim doesn't become the hero, they become the villain.

Be a hero. Save yourself.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Learning from Emotions

Learn from the emotions of other people. See what it does to them, for them, to others, for others.

Become better like them, or despite them.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Teach to Build Society

Without the iPhone and Android, Facebook, IG and Twitter would never have been what it is.

But do we blame Jobs, Page & Brin, Zuckerberg and others for the evil our hands create online?

We can't. These are tools. We choose to use them in wisdom or passion. We are responsible for our own actions. They are responsible for theirs.

But, if we allow them to continue being irresponsible, we become irresponsible too.

Those who claim to be wiser than others, teach those who live with destructive passion how to become better versions of themselves.

Those who have learned to control their passions, show them how to do it and become contributing members of society.

Those who fear for their safety to do the above, support, promote and create avenues for those who aren't afraid to do so.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Teach to Change the World

Teacher: Where did you learn about trust?
Me: From life.

Teacher: How is life a teacher when it isn't even alive?
Me: I learned from my own experiences trusting people and being betrayed.

Teacher: Has someone betrayed your trust before?
Me: Yes. And I've never trusted him since.

Teacher: At which moment did you learn it was correct to not trust him after he betrayed you?
Me: After the first time he did it.

Teacher: Who told you it was correct to decide so?
Me: I did. I told myself I'll never trust anyone who betrays me. They will lose my trust forever, as I'll always be suspicious.

Teacher: So, you taught yourself that this was true?
Me: Yes.

Teacher: And this principle applies to everyone you trust?
Me: Yes. But it was strengthened after other betrayals.

Teacher: So, you created a principle and allowed it to colour every other relationship after?
Me: Yes. What are you implying, that I have been unfair?

Teacher: I am merely asking questions. Why are you offended?
Me: Your questions are tinted with negativity.

Teacher: And your distrust is not?
Me: I trust myself to make the right choice.

Teacher: And have you betrayed yourself before?
Me: ...

Teacher: Why do you continue to keep yourself as counsel if you have betrayed yourself before?
Me: That's different.

Teacher: The truth is, you have trusted your nafs, and not your intelligence. You have learned from it, not from your mistakes. Your principle is born of error, not virtue. You apply one standard for others and one for yourself.
Me: But that's how I protect myself from being hurt.

Teacher: A warrior is never afraid to be hurt. You have a responsibility to correct behaviours, not leave them be. Helping others realise their errors is not dependent upon trusting them, yet you must, in order to help them.
Me: Why?

Teacher: Because you are a teacher, like me.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Help One

The fact remains.

However much we comment, debate and write articles on social media, people die every day, of slavery, hunger, suicide, oppression, genocide, disease.

Writing about it won't change the world.

Replace all that time spent and spend it helping one person.

It'll change their world.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Cycle of Confidence

There is a typical cycle to Confidence and I trace it through the following stages: Knowledge > Practice > Experience > Skill > Confidence.

In the very first stage, a discovery, whether through structured or unstructured learning happens in the brain. Let's call this stage Knowledge. Maybe you had a realisation, observed a behaviour, read a book or attended a class. This is where you encounter new information that be put to use.

The second stage is Practice. Here, you apply what you learned. The more you practice, the more Experience you gain. A couple of conditions need to be present. There should be keen curiosity, interest and observation.

Every time you practice, your brain gets a new data point that will be compared against previous ones, creating a reference framework for you to call upon when making decisions in the future.

Throw a ball against a wall a thousand times and the ball will always leave your hand at a slightly different angle, speed or trajectory. Naturally, the brain takes this all in. But if you are attentive, the process becomes leaner and more inspired.

When you can control the process of how the ball leaves your hand, aim for a particular target or have the ball land with hard impact or grace, this is the Skill stage. Basically, the more control you have over the process and intended outcome, the greater your Skill.

Finally, this leads to Confidence, an emotional reward for reaching a new level and an encouragement to continue improving. All this new information feeds in as new Knowledge and the cycle begins anew.

So, if you're not confident of doing something, step through the stages and ask yourself, where are you stuck?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

5 Elements to Have If You Want To Move To Self-Employment

Image result for self employment

People in employment have the relative safety of a salary while people in self-employment have the relative freedom of choice.

Trading a salary for choice (i.e moving from employment to self-employment) requires a clear vision, enough information, community support and the courage to jump.

In some cases, having only one of these is enough to take the exit. However, to sustain for the long term, the other 3 are absolutely necessary.

Personally, I shall add a fifth, which is faith in Allah, which helps me round off the four.

1. A clear vision is crucial to know the general direction in which you are heading. How do you know you're going to Pulau Pinang if you don't even know what it's called or where it is or what signs to look out for to indicate that you have arrived?

2. Enough information gives you the ability to simulate experience by learning from others' successess and setbacks. Engage people who can train, mentor, coach and advise you along your path. You will recognise and avoid mistakes they made while making your own unique ones.

3. Community support is essential in providing the emotional, physical and financial backing to carry you through the ups and downs. Nobody goes it alone. Neither should you.

4. Having the courage to take risks that feel worthwhile is usually the difference between a seller and an entrepreneur. The ability to trust your gut and jump will get you there first and fast, but it might also get you rock bottom. Choose your jumps and be responsible for them.

5. Finally, all of your efforts are nothing more than that. YOUR efforts. Having faith in Allah allows you to realise that you are a small cog in a larger universe.

When your courage is gone, and you stand alone, when everything you know is wrong and you've lost your way, Return it all to Him and He will provide from His bounty.

Yes, I don't get stuck in traffic daily anymore. Yes, I get to go for Jumaat with my boy. Yes, I get to have breakfast and lunch and dinner at home. Yes, I choose when and where I want to work. Those are the good days.

But when the bad days come and I'm like a train through a tunnel, and I feel trapped, cold and scared in the dark, that's when the five elements become the torch to guide me back to the light.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

How to Avoid Being Misunderstood

Behaviour isn't you. But it is how other people measure you.

Different people measure people differently based on their standards.

Therefore, you can choose to behave according to other people's standards to get what you want from them.

Or.

You can choose to surround yourself with people of the same standards who understand your values, motivations, speech and actions.

Or.

You can choose to share your values and motivations with others to better help them understand, and ask others about their values and motivations to better understand them.

Or.

You can choose to teach others your values and motivations so that they, too, will believe what you believe and want what you want.

Or.

Just complain.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Travelers of Thought

The human brain is an inter-dimensional traveler. It can transport its owner into various worlds.

With earphones on, in a deep song.

With head down, in a rich book.

With eyes glazed over, in universal contemplation.

With body burning, in a blazing marathon.

At these times, we are alone in a world only we know.

But sometimes, sometimes, we look across a room, and that look, we recognise, of someone we have met before, but never on this physical plane.

A fellow traveler. Who recognises us too.

In that fleeting unspoken moment, a smile ignites on both faces, and suddenly, we know we are not alone.

And we pass each other by, to continue exploring, never knowing if we'll meet again. But never forgetting we did.

This is dedicated to all the travelers out there. You will know who you are.

Because you will know exactly what I mean.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Being Productive on Facebook

πŸ˜€ Facebook is a tool. Use it. Don't let it use you.

πŸ˜‡ Set a time to read on FB. 30 mins in the morning. 30 mins during lunch. 30 mins in the evening. Stick to it. That should sate your hunger but no more.

πŸ˜™ Begin noticing useless posts that make you feel like $#!+ after reading them (the endless Brangelina commentaries) and unfollow those friends who shared them.

This filtering process will eventually leave you with a positive newsfeed. Eventually. You'll get there.

😍 Shift from being a consumer to being a producer. Ask yourself how you can contribute to your friends' newsfeeds positively.

πŸ˜‰ Share a funny joke, an inspiring quotation, a personal story or practical tips to help in daily life. However, mix it up and have a variety or risk being known as the 'positive quote' person.

 Above all, have a giving attitude and not an expecting attitude and you will spend more time enjoying entertaining your friends and less time complaining about what other people post.

Have a great life, everyone!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Face It or Learn From It

When a challenge enters your life and you're not ready, you only have two options: Answer the challenge or prepare for the next time it comes around.

The third option isn't really an option at all: "I'm not ready"

"I'm not ready" is an excuse to not take action nor learn from the unpreparedness.

Once upon a time, I wondered why there were so many good-natured people who wanted to help others, and also bad-natured people who didn't.

I realise now that the good-natured ones were those who once had negative thinking and are now passionate about helping more people transform their mindsets to change their lives.

I also figured out that those who didn't want to help change mindsets are those who don't want competition. If everyone thought proactively, they'd lose their advantage.

So, the next time a challenge comes, stay and face it or learn from it. Because walking away is too expensive a mistake to allow happen.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Teacher and Student

A teacher is someone who sees clearer than a student.

When a student sees clearer, it is their turn to become a teacher.

There are days when we see clear, and days when we don't. Sometimes we teach, sometimes we learn.

Knowing when to do which is important.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Why Am I a PLF?

Image may contain: 2 people, including Mohd Rizal Hassan, people smiling, text



My life as a Professional Learning Facilitator is one filled with meaning. It is those meanings that I want to pass on to those I come in contact with every day.

A detrimental man is one whom you meet and gain nothing from him, but instead lose something. You become sadder, dumber, more demotivated, more sinful.

A beneficial man is one whom you meet and gain only good from him, and lose something bad. You become happier, more knowledgeable, more motivated, closer to Allah.

I want to be this man.

This is why, as a Professional, I want others to learn how to manage their emotions, and choose how to respond instead of reacting, finding the good in people and helping remove the bad from them. When that can't be done, to not fret or worry because they have done all they can, and move on to someone else who needs their help.

This is why, as a Learner, I want others to constantly become better through the knowledge that they learn and apply, and teach others how to become better themselves.

That is why, as a Facilitator, I want to make life easy for others and not make things difficult. At home, at work, in public spaces, everywhere. To become someone who facilitates instead of impedes.

THIS is the reason I no longer call myself a trainer, because I find deeper meaning in what I do and how I do it.

When you are ready to join me as a Professional Learning Facilitator, attend the PLF Program 15-17 Sept 2018 at Kuala Lumpur.

Whatsapp me at +6016 3085 789 and let's chat.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Be A Professional Learning Facilitator


The Professional Learning Facilitator program is an immersive 3-day experience that uprades trainers to embrace 21st-century learning facilitation skills.

What is Learning Facilitation?

What Will I Learn?

Who Recognises The PLF System?
The PLF Program has been conducted in Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Cambodia and is the preferred learning & development enabler by organisations such as the International Islamic University Malaysia, Bank Muamalat, PETRONAS Chemical, INSTEP, Akademi Audit Negara, Kolej MARA, Zafina Fitness, Manulife Cambodia

Start Your Engines!




What Is It?
START YOUR ENGINES! is a 2-day seminar aimed at brand new Kulliyyah of Engineering students who want to start their academic life with a powerful advantage. It develops their thinking, managing, socialising and performing skills to arrive, survive and thrive in the challenging world of Engineering.

Who Is Involved?
The seminar is conducted by Assoc Prof Dr Maan AlKhatib of Kulliyyah of Engineering and PLF Mohd Nadzrin Wahab of EnSync Learning Sdn Bhd. Both of them have vast experience facilitating learning at the academic and corporate levels, creating impact and results that are deep and measurable.

Why Should I Attend?
Well, it's FREE OF CHARGE, but what you will learn is EXPENSIVE. Both speakers normally charge their clients thousands of ringgit to learn the same. However, as amal jariah, they will be contributing to YOU, the Engineering student, to help you be better prepared for student and later, work life.

What Should I Do Now?
1. Lock in the dates 22-23 September 2018 in your calendar,
2. Set a clear and powerful NIYYAT to become a successful Muslim
3. Invite others to join you, and
4. Come early to get as much learning as possible.

For further information, WhatsApp Nadzrin at +6016 3085 789.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Credit For All

Image result for chain of people

While I was conducting a course on problem-solving, I asked my participants why Malaysia became a big player in oil & gas and the expected humorous answer came, "Mahathir!"

I agreed and smiled. I also took the opportunity to spread the credit a little more. Here is what I said to them, as taught to me by my silat teachers:

For every complex effort there are four phases of people involved: Pencetus (the Inspiration), Penyokong (the Supporters), Pendokong (the Executors) and Penyambung (the Sustainers).

Yes, due credit is given to the person who first mooted the idea. But if that's all an idea needed, then all ideas would survive. It needed a Supporter to agree that the idea was worth carrying out and convince Executors to want to make the idea a reality.

After all the concepts, roles, systems and objects had been created, it was now the responsibility of the Sustainers to continue the good work of their forebears.

For everything that succeeds, there were those who made it happen, whether in the beginning or otherwise.

They all deserve credit. Give it fairly.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Voters United

Image result for undi malaysia

When we were children, we were friends. Good friends. We were one in the oneness of the universe.

We knew not ideas imposed upon us by others. But we gradually grew apart.

Grew apart in race, in religion, in politics, in behaviour, in opinion.

We knew each other before we knew the leaders and teachers we idolised. We were like brothers, like sisters, yet we allowed people we've barely met to rule our lives and separate us.

We heed their call and call each others' leaders names and get offended on their behalf. And we argue, shout and divorce while they sip coffee together after purporting to represent us.

They leave us divided, broken and in pain and we still say it was your leader's fault, not mine.

They will leave soon, maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe in five years. But their hopes and dreams aren't our hopes and dreams.

Because my hope and dream is to be your friend, not their slave.

Live well, and prosper. I love you.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Be The Hero

Image result for hero villain victim logo

The biggest lie politicians have sold us is that we are victims, and they are heroes coming to save us.

We participate in the lie by believing them. So don't blame only them. If we really cared about this country, let's do something every single day to change it, to change us.

I look up to my friends and colleagues who use social media to spread education, positivity and power. You know who you are.

I remind myself and others, complaining puts us into the victim hole, giving up responsibility for our salvation to someone else.

No Najib, No Hadi, No Mahathir, no one human being can change Malaysia, except us.

Let's vote, and tell them what we want them to do, every day, every week, every month. Not just every few years.

And.

Let's help them do it. We aren't victims. We are the heroes.

Because if we aren't either of these, we become the villains.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Complain & Act

Image result for complain

A government that wants to keep control, allows their citizens to complain and allows many avenues for complaints.

Complaining keeps the people negative thinking and reduces action, putting burden on action on other people, or the government.

This creates dependence on them and fosters the illusion that someone else can solve their problems.

It also serves as a release on the pressure cooker. After they complain, they feel better.

Then pressure builds up again, and they are allowed to release it, and the people calm down again.

No more complaints. Only action.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Choose

Image result for choose

Different people vote differently.

Some vote based on past performance.
Some vote based on future promises.

Some vote by facts.
Some vote by feel.

Some vote because of charisma.
Some vote because of potential.

Some vote due to similarities.
Some vote despite differences.

Some vote the person.
Some vote the party.

Irrespective of how you choose to vote, it's your right, even if someone else thinks you voted for the wrong reasons. Who's to say their reasons are the right ones?

If someone insists you follow how they vote, it means you have the right to insist they follow how you vote too.

Vote for someone who shares your values.
Vote for someone who shares your race.
Vote for someone who shares your religion.

Vote for someone who you've never met
Vote for someone who is your friend.
Vote for someone who is your enemy.

Vote for someone good looking.
Vote for someone good speaking.
Vote for someone good moving.

Vote for someone you think is stupid so you can control them.
Vote for someone you think is smart so you don't have to teach them.

Vote for someone who will bring change.
Vote for someone who will keep things the same.

Vote. Don't vote. It's your right.

If you do, your voice will be heard. If you don't, your voice is muted.

It's your choice. Choose.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Independence While Dependent

Image result for independence

When someone becomes Wakil Rakyat, your representative, they listen to your voice.

How is it then, that they also listen to their President, their party and their component parties?

In an ideal world, every Wakil Rakyat is independent from influences other than their constituents. But we don't live there. We live here.

The fact is, as long as they belong to a party, there is a group agenda, whether published or hidden, and there are power plays happening within.

There is the Wakil Rakyat who bravely stands up to their own colleagues and leaders to deliver your hopes and dreams and there is the Wakil Rakyat who only walks the party line.

Keep that in mind when you vote.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Play Fair By Playing Smart

Image result for fairness

Nothing's fair in politics. Someone will always have an unfair advantage. No two parties are the same, which means their target markets will also be different, even though they overlap.

One party tracks better with a particular religion, another with a particular position, while others just love following the lead.

Even in martial arts, we're taught that someone who is ill, or just off their game a little bit, can cause them to lose the fight or even their life.

There is no absolute way to predict an outcome. Even where movies are concerned.

I didn't enjoy Black Panther, but the money keeps rolling in. People say to earn big, you have to spend big. Tell that to the producers of Blair Witch Project, Get Out and A Quiet Place.

Conversely, also tell that to the Badang producers.

So, just because one party has more money to spend on more expensive campaigns doesn't mean they will win. Prior elections have proven this.

Have hope.

However, that being said, put in the work, leverage off of free services, tools and efforts, and you can technically make up for all of the money that anyone can throw around.

It is better to be smart than rich.

--

This article is part of a series written in the run-up to the 14th Malaysian General Election on 9 May 2018. The series intends to foster critical thinking, positivity, understanding and fair-mindedness among voters to create a mature space of political discourse.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

When Coaches Take Cash AND Credit



There is a danger to being a coach. Sure, your client might badmouth you, or you spend so much time on the road you become statistically more liable for an incident. But I'm not talking about these kinds of danger. I speak of the dangers of the heart.

Of course, coaching is a noble profession. A coach is often paid to ask the right questions at the right time in the right way to the client to allow her to gain insights into her own situation. Certainly, this helps her to clarify her own problems and generate solutions.

A good coach will remain highly-conscious throughout the coaching conversation to listen to the structure of what the client is sharing. Then, the coach analyses and selects the next question that will help her think deeper.

When the client reaches a block, most often an emotionally intense "I don't know", the coach clears the path by having her think out of the box and gather more information for the next conversation.

Finally, when the client comes to the powerful conclusion, "I got it!" and starts profusely thanking the coach out of gratitude, the immediate effect is the coach realises the role he played. Well done.

Then, he begins tracking his clients and gets good reports of their improvements in life, performance or business. In the beginning, a sense of pride in the client gives the coach meaning in his work.

Then, one day, a shift happens, and the coach begins to believe that every success of their client is now their own success. The pride OF the client is now pride FOR themselves.

It's a dangerous feeling you won't want to give up. It gives you importance, validation and an inflated sense of self. That's the day a coach becomes worthless; when he becomes nothing more than a person asking questions.

Of course, the coach played a part. True. But so did the parents, loved ones, business partners, bosses and friends of the client. Together, they too, helped her to succeed.

But when a coach thinks that, "She's successful because of me", he takes credit for being nothing more than the key in the ignition of a car that traveled from Perlis to Singapore.

"The car went a long way because I started the engine".

Truthfully, if the client wasn't willing to drive the car, take the risk of driving that far, put in the effort to stay awake throughout the journey and continue deciding to drive instead of stopping or turning back home, there would be no success for a coach to claim at all.

It's alright to claim we sparked an effort. A coach has a challenging job to guide her clients towards clarity. Not everyone has the patience and perseverance to do it, and a coach's role is important to catalyse that change.

But please, if you were the passenger, never claim you were the driver.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Stop Assuming

North American wild donkey

"He's from that political party? Must be an idiot"
"We're getting a millennial? Arghhh. What an entitled bunch"
"Is that him posing with that guy? He must be corrupt too!"

Human beings have the capacity to analyse and make conclusions. It's an integral part of our survival mechanism. We see rustling in the grass; experience has taught us that a tiger is waiting to pounce. We observe, we process, we decide, we do. Run like the wind.

While driving, we see a ball bounce across the road. Without experience, our minds seek a cause. Colourful ball. More likely to belong to a child. The ball doesn't belong on the road. Therefore, it likely wasn't intended to be there. Therefore, a child might be looking for it. Therefore, a child might be following it to catch up to the ball.

There is absolutely no data to suggest that this is true. All of it is conjecture; assumption. Yet, we slam on the brakes because better safe than sorry. After a few seconds, no child comes running. Instead, a small head peeks out from the side, because he too thought, better safe than sorry. Both of you had made assumptions that saved lives.

Strangely, there's an area where assumptions don't do so well; the social realm. In social interactions, we make assumptions to help us navigate our relationships. "Oh, she's wearing blue today. It's her favourite colour, She must be happy today. I can probably ask her for a favour".

We base our decisions based on our experience with individuals we know well. This is how wives can predict their husbands' behaviour and course correct and its how husbands can hopefully predict when to stay out of their wives' way. That's pretty much workable.

Potential problems arise when we apply our assumptions on people we don't know very well. A manager on her new team members. A teacher on his new students. A trainer on her new participants. A coach on his new client. In fact, among all of these professions, a coach has the most to lose by assuming too much about her client and the most to gain by not assuming.

Whenever you try to coach someone and your client raises a 'familiar' situation, your brain tries to go into "ball and child" mode, to piece together an answer based on your own disparate experiences. The danger is, instead of allowing the client to arrive at her own solution, you begin to ask leading questions that will guide her towards your preconceived solution.

As experience tells us, most often, the client won't take up the solution because she didn't build it. The coach did.

So, how do we solve this within ourselves as a coach? The answer of course is to clarify. When you think you understand something the client is telling you, validate it by asking about it. However, keep the question open-ended enough to ensure that you aren't putting your preconceptions in her brain.

Not "So, you mean you're looking for a way to live comfortably?" to a statement "I want to be rich" as she never used the word 'comfortably'. Instead of probing her definition, you are creating your own, which will interfere with the coaching process.

Better this, "You want to be rich? That's interesting to me. What do you mean by rich?" This way, she's free to define the terminology she just used.

Educate yourself to better frame your questions so that it is easier to get clearer answers. Clearer answers lead to clearer solutions. Clearer solutions are those the client is willing to attempt.

If you can't do even that, then, just stop assuming.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Learning Facilitators vs Trainers



“You see, trainers, tend to promote a person who is a knowledge downloader. A person who is there to impart knowledge and skills for the immediate gap closure.

“A trainer also implies a kind of programmed approach which is very inflexible and doesn’t sit well with the new generation. See, in PETRONAS, we have evolved from a training focus, that means to say, addressing immediate skills and functionalities and medium of the workforce in the 70s and 80s.

“Then, in the 90s, we said, we don’t have enough development focus. The conversation is not rich enough. The involvement of the line managers, the involvement of the staff itself, in wanting to partake of learning and focusing not only on the immediate learning needs, but also in the future, or the career development is not there.

"So, the conversation needs to move from training to learning, and in the 1990s, we shifted from training to learning. And with that shift, we started calling our trainers: learning facilitators. We dropped the word ‘trainers’. And that was the reason for it.

-Yasir Abdul Rahman, CEO PETRONAS Leadership Centre

“The knowledgeable workforce, they come with a lot of knowledge already. So how do you leverage? Pull out the tacit knowledge that is already there and work it into what you are there to deliver. It’s very difficult to do.

“Not so easy. Alright? It’s much easier to go slide by slide, slide by slide. Very easy. When you have to really work and marry those two, that’s a real challenge.

“And you really got to come ready into the room to really have Murphy’s Law hit you straight in the face and redesign the session and be comfortable with it. If you are a learning facilitator, you’re really focused on application.

“What you have shared, how is this going to be applicable, for the individual, as an individual, as a person, and also as an organization.

-Dr Faridah Marican, President, MAFa

Friday, 5 January 2018

Closer Every Time, Every Day

Image result for solat

Salat is an experiental engagement. If you are not emotionally excited by the prospect of connecting to the Supreme Being, then something is lost.

Khusyuk is about being engrossed in the conversation. Old friends who meet after 20 years over coffee don't notice the other patrons because they are so involved with each other.

You are deeply in conversation with the One who loves you the most, and you're just lagging behind trying to reciprocate that love, but you always take more than you can give.

So, you just give everything you have. And there's nothing left. And you give yourself. And He takes you. In. And allows you to do all the talking. Yet when you're done, you realise He was talking, too. And you feel listened.

And He gives you back. And let's you go about your day. As you did with your kitten after patting him and playing with him and making him happy with your attention.

And you give salam. And you're done. But you shouldn't be the same. You mustn't. You can't. Because you just had a conversation with Him. It must have changed you.

And if it didn't, feel sad. Feel bad. And do it again. And again and again. Until you feel the change. The charge. The choice.

To be better than before.

I never understood it. Today, I felt a little of it. Let's want more.

Thank you, Teacher. You taught me a lot about my relationship to Allah today and my responsibilities. I pray it lasts.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Survive The Next

Image result for malaysia

There are people who complain about the state of Malaysia today. I agree with most sentiments. Things don't seem to be getting better.

The thing is, Malaysia has not suffered a tragedy, not yet, not for a long time.

We are overdue for a civil war, an invasion, an occupation, a natural disaster, a zombie epidemic, something, anything that will harden our resolve, thin out our weak links and test our survival skills.

Corruption, toll hikes, inflation; these are comfort complaints, not survival issues, nothing compared to what Gaza, Syria and Antarctica is going through.

Once it happens, it happens big, and only then can we understand the suffering of our fellow human beings.

Now, you're committing suicide over exam grades, deepening debts and lost romance.

It's not the End I'm talking about. No one knows when that will be, especially not some pseudo WhatsApp scholar.

It's the Next. Are you ready to survive the next? Can you survive the battle within yourself to win the war outside?

Are you strong enough?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

21 Organisations Recognise PLF System

Mohd Rizal Hassan (light blue Baju Melayu) and Yazid Abdul Rani (orange Baju Melayu) celebrating the graduation of the Persatuan Sukan & Kecergasan Zafina Malaysia instructors recently.

3 Jan 2018, KUALA LUMPUR - An international-class program that has been actively upgrading corporate trainers to become learning facilitators in the last seven years has today been formally recognised by 21 organisations as being effective and impactful.

The Take Charge! Learning Facilitator System® (PLF System), founded by Mohd Rizal Hassan is an innovative system that provides educators, trainers and professionals the ability to influence people, generate meaningful change and drive performance.

The PLF System which evolved with Rizal's experience in the learning & development industry, has created more than 1700 fully-capable Professional Learning Facilitators from all walks of life. They are allowed to use the identifier "PLF" before their name in their profiles. They can then proceed to attain their Mastery certification by having their performance audited for quality.

Irrespective of subject matter, the PLF System has enabled trainers, leaders, teachers, lecturers, working professionals, customer service, engineers, medical doctors, housewives and husbands, entrepreneurs, parents and more to deliver their content accurately and memorably.

The PLF System is founded along the principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Presentation Skills, Body Language Reading, Motivation and Comedic Performance. The locally-founded program has been run in Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Cambodia.

The 21 organisations recognising the PLF System include private schools, learning services companies, technology startups and even a fitness association. Persatuan Sukan & Kecergasan Zafina Malaysia, founded by PLF Yazid Abdul Rani, made it compulsory for all their instructors, now called Zafina Learning Facilitators (ZLF) to attain Mastery level in the PLF System before being allowed to represent the association. The association has 500 active instructors and 75 ZLFs.


To register to be a Professional Learning Facilitator, email nadzrin@ensynclearning.com

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Unrideable Beast

Image result for islamic art

Someone who respects you is someone who will speak to you as a peer. No one, in my opinion, is better at this than my loved one, Rasulullah SAW.

He interacts with adults, children, bonded people, animals and his belongings with kindness and respect.

He never pulls rank, nor reminds people of how much more experience he has (The Awal Makan Garam Effect).

He never uses sarcasm as an emotional play to fufill his own passive-aggresiveness (which he doesn't have to begin with).

He talks straight, without guile, and you love listening to him and are excited to accept what he says.

He doesn't play the tit for tat game.

I pray I learn to do all of this, and I pray you do too. The nafsu is a beast which is unrideable when it's fed with hate. Learn to love, and we will learn his sunnah.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Make Our Teachers Successful

Image result for islamic art

Our murabbis tolerate our errors, not because they're okay with them but because we are stubborn, and if they bend us anymore, we will break.

In the background, they are profusely asking Allah to save us, because they can't.

Their tolerance is not our license to sin.

If we love them, and their murabbis before them, then make them successful teachers.

Let's become better people, and all of us win.