Category Archives: Words

Reading Life’s Journeys … (completed)

I spent most of my time reading ~ even when I am shopping, munching pastries and sipping coffee, lazing about in my apartment, waiting for BK to finish his wind-surfing during weekends while in Singapore, in between actions …

This is a simple book that caught my eyes yesterday, found it in a half price book store at Rice Village:  Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers… by Fred Rogers 

Selective phrases resonate in me –  which I strongly believe in in living my life , and some which set me thinking ~ which I will hold them dear to live my life.  These 2 I did not separate…

Foreword by Joanne Roger

1.   …  always allowed each other to have own space … but even when we were apart, we were connected ~ pp4.

2.  …  had a heart that had room for everyone, and … fascinated by other people’s journeys ~ pp5.

3.  …  “we” and “our” – … so much a part of my ongoing journey ~ pp6.

As late Fred Rogers shared:

Who You Are Right Now

1.  … that I’m more able to accept myself as I happen to be, rather than as somebody thought I should be ~ pp 13.

2.  … the discovery of “who I am” in each of us – the “who I am” in relation to all those whom I meet ~ pp 14.

3.  … we all need to feel that we can bring the whole of ourselves to the people who care about us ~ pp 16.

4.  … if we can allow ourselves to be gentle with ourselves no matter what our feeling may be, we have the chance of discovering the very deep roots of who we are ~ pp 25.

5.  … “~ (need to refer again, can’t understand what I wrote too)” Quoting Dalai Lama ~ pp 26.

6.  … “I can do almost anything, but I’m still myself, I’m still myself, I am still myself inside…” Quoting song I’m Still Myself Inside  ~  pp 28.

7.  … people can like you exactly as you are  ~ pp 29.

8.  … nobody else can live the life you live… we always have the chance to bring what’s unique about us to life  ~  pp 31.

9.  … we were never made to feel that we had to be somebody that we were not, yet we were always encouraged to choose to be the best of who we were at the moment ~ pp 35.

10. …  there’s a part of all of us that longs to know that even what’s weakest about us is still redeemable and can ultimately count for something good ~ pp 36.

11.  …  And one reason we feel shy is that we’re not sure people will like us just the way we are ~ pp 37.

12  …  It’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more important than what we are.  Of course, it’s the opposite that’s true:  What we are determines what we do! ~  pp 44.

13.  …  people of all ages have deep feelings, and if we have the patience to wait through the silence, it’s often astounding what people will tell us  ~  pp 45.

14.  …  some of us must have forgotten how nourishing silence can be … whatever it’s called, it’s time away form outside stimulation, during which inner turbulence can settle, and we have a chance to become familiar with ourselves  ~ pp 47.

15.  …  “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” ~ The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery  ~ pp 54.

Loving and Being Loved

1.  …  anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person – and often many – who have believed in him or her.  We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others  ~  pp 65.

How true.  With my persistence held strong, I made one attempt after another … I ventured new grounds ~ all ‘coz someone believed that I am better than the self I judged, all ‘coz I heard “you can do it”… Joy

2.  …  as relationship matures, you start to see that just being there for each other is the most important thing you can do …  ~ pp 68.

3.  …  the best gifts are often wrapped in the most unspectacular way … isn’t it the “heartsurprise” that lingers in your memory and serves to nourish you from year to year?  ~  pp 69.

4.  …  there is something so comforting to realize that life goes on one way or another – even when those we love are way beyond our sight  ~  pp 71.

(con’t from my break…)

5.  …  coz deep down we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves.  What really matters is helping others win, too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then  ~  pp 73.

I hold this close to my heart ~ I smiled when I saw the smile from her eyes from the small wins in class, I smiled wider when I knew how the wins made her day – I was happy and I scored a bigger win too.  It is definitely more satisfying than the solitude of winning all alone.  Joy

6.  …  every human being has value … through living each day as it is given to me, I’ve learned that.  It cannot be “taught”, but it can be “caught” from those who live their lives right along with us.  What a privilege to be able to look for the good in our neighbour!  ~  pp 76.

7.  …  we speak with more than our mouths.  We listen with more than our ears  ~  pp 79.

8.  …  feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others  ~  pp 86.

9.  …  it’s so great that people can be in a relationship with each other for the now and not a whole lot of baggage from their past and a whole lot of anxiety about the future to the present moment  ~  pp 90.

10.  …  there is a close relationship between truth and trust  ~  pp 93.

11.  …  where would any of  us be without teachers – without people who have passion for their art or their science or their craft and love it right in front of us?  What would any of us do without teachers passing on to us what they know is essential about life  ~  pp 94.

12.  …  the receiving in life to me is one of the greatest gifts that we give another person.  And it’s very hard.  Because when you give, you’re in much greater control.  But when you receive something – you’re vulnerable  ~  pp 97.

This is one area I need to continuously work on.  I love to give, and it is more natural to me …  By being a poor receiver, I made things awkward for the giver sometimes.  I have improved, I learnt to smile and say “thank you” for each compliment, each gift, each blessing… I learnt to let the giver know I truly appreciate the gift.  Joy

13.  …  all of us – were created by LOVE.  Love with a capital L.  And we spend our lives trying to recognize that we truly are lovable and capable of loving  ~  pp 100.

BK and I believe in living our lives with Love.  Love drives us crazy sometimes, or do we call it passion?  Love resonates in us like a rhythm, it moves up and down  … it gives the heart beat to every friendship we value, every action we took.  Joy 

14.  …  if you’re trusted, then people will allow you to share their inner garden – what greater gift!  ~  pp 101

Guided Drift

1.  …  there’s often a tendency for us to hurry through transitions.  We may feel that these transitons are "nowhere at all" compared to what’s gone before or what we anticipate is next to come.  But you are somewhere … you’re “between”  ~  pp 106.

2.  …  isn’t it mysterious how so many wonderful things in life come to us seemingly without our planning?  We start travelling down one street, and we find ourselves interested in something we never expected on a side street; and as we explore it, the side street becomes the main road for us  ~  pp 107.

I came to understand, from each present position I set my future, I only continue in my present position.  But if I start moving along and explore beyond, I find new inspirations, meet new people who share my journey, break the rules and savour the present moments.  Joy 

3.  …  “what do you think that means, ‘ the past is prologue’?” … I think it means, “Man, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”  ~  pp 110.

4.  …  when you can actually integrate what you’ve learned with your own personality – when you can actually use your education to be who you want to be, to choose out of that mixed bag of explorations what you want to call yourself.  That’s when your education adds an extra measure of excitement!  ~  pp 115.

5.  …  there is much more to independence than learning to master new skills.  One fo the most important parts of independence is learning to form new relationships with other people  ~  pp 120.

6.  …  there are time when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don’t seem to help  ~  pp 122.

7.  …  it may be that the most important mastery we achieve early on is not the mastery of a particualr skill or particular piece of knowledge, but rather the mastery of the patience and persistence that learning requires, along with the ability to expect and accept mistakes and the feelings of disappointment they may bring  ~  pp 123.

8.  …  try your best to make goodness attractive.  That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given  ~  pp 136.

9.  …  we don’t always succeed in what we try – certainly not by the world’s standards – but i think you’ll find it’s the willingness to keep trying that matters most  ~  pp 139.

10.  …  in fact, no one gets to be a graduate without the investment of other people:  people who have loved you all along the way  ~  pp 147.

I believe in living my life journey and in sharing this journey with all who trust me – I have been inspired by great individuals and in turn I seek to continuously inspire & give.  Joy


What Will Happen to My Journal Entries?

Interesting question … I was asked this Q a couple of times today.  By Chef Kris, by Jean-Luc, by Mr LeNotre…  I have never given myself a conclusion.

I gave myself an official last day to be at the Culinary Institute ~ I guess today was the last time I bid farewell to Mr & Mrs LeNotre, my Chefs, most friends and individuals at the culinary institute.  Each time I stepped into the Culinary Institute, my emotion got complex … these are the familiarities I grew so accustomed to for the past 20+ weeks in Houston which gave me a sense of belonging and comfort, these are the friends and individuals I have come to know halfway round the globe and may never see for some years to come.  The emotion itself is not something I want to deal with openly.

When Chef Kris asked me the Q this morning, …

I told him I am unlikely to continue my entries.  I was never a natural writer before Houston, I started this journal as a platform for me to park my thoughts and document my precious moments in Houston, for my family and friends to reach out to my inner space without me repeating myself.  So when I leave for Singapore, is Baking Joys In Houston still relevant?

As I thought more about it now, I start to have conflicting thoughts.  This really happens because my mind is cluttered and unavailable to process clearly.  Relevance?  Yes, because it continues to document my Baking & Pastry Art journey from where I began ~ in Houston  … now the journal entry serves as a platform to update the individuals in Houston who care about me  and my journey in Singapore post Houston – these individuals become my adopted family I am leaving for my family back home in Singapore.  It was exactly why the journal entry started in the first place – to update my family and friends in Singapore when I left for CIAML on 30 June.  Oh, has my thought become clearer?  Seems so … Or should the Baking Joys be uprooted and be planted in Singapore instead?  Goodness, why am I going in circles again.

Chef Kris believed I can write, and I can write simple and strike a connection.  His belief in me is stronger than mine of me – I judged myself to be limited in vocab and thus the use of simple expressions.  He repetitively drumed the belief in me, much better than my year 1 GP (General Paper) tutor ever did for me.

When Jean-Luc asked me the Q this afternoon, …

I told him No, the site is just going to crash without warning … My last message to all on 13 Dec 2008 will be titled Arrived Home Safe, Take Care … and the site will just vanish on Sunday, 14 Dec 2008.  Jean-Luc must have taken me seriously because he told me he needs to save some files before the site disappears, especially the last entry I wrote on My Tributes to the Important Individuals upon My Graduation.  I laughed.

I am not so crazy and irresponsible to just vanish and erase all my memories.  I always believe it is easier for me to pack and go than to stay behind and experience the missing bits and pieces.  My entries were connection to my precious times in Houston and the inspirations I travelled the world over to find and will always remain so. 

When Mr LeNotre asked me the same Q this afternoon, …

In fact, Mr LeNotre did not ask, he assumed so.  He told me to continue to update my progress updates in Singapore on my journal entry and he believed I will be successful.

Many times, I was driven by the expectations and faith important individuals placed on me, rather I was inspired to achieve or even exceed my own limit… I am not sure if it is because I do not want to disappoint or I never did, it is a blur.

The conclusion for now is that it is going to stay, as a channel or a memory bank, I do not know.

748 Hours Later ~ I Graduated. My Tributes…

This post is super long, I started and still not completed, but I am posting it or it continues to sit unpublished.  Then I will enjoy my weekend first …


About 20 weeks and 748 hours later … On 21 November 2008 I graduated with a Gold Award Diploma in Sous Chef de Patisserie. (It was also my Mum’s 62th Birthday over in Singapore on 22 November, Singapore being 14 hours ahead of US Central Time, Daylight Saving.)  Six of us were also awarded with The Steven K. Schultz Awards in recognition for Perfect Attendance.

Perfect Attendance.  As far as it is within my control, I will continue to maintain the base expectation of being early and being present.  As far as attendance goes, I had perfect attendance during my schooling years … it must have been my Mum, no missing of classes and there was no question about it, I was brought up to understand it should be so.  I drifted quite a bit during university years but I am glad it was just a short 3 years.

Attitude.  I enjoy the art of learning, the art of enjoying the present moments, and the works of nurture and inspirations.  I remained steadfast in my goal to learn and grow as an individual as well as to inspire growth in people around me.  I believe strongly in staying focused on positive perspectives, for things happened for great reasons in life.  As far as I am concerned, I hold strongly my respect for authority and my peers.  I got better over the years – I learnt to question,  I learnt to accept some decisions, I learnt to let go of my own opinions when they were not crucial or another suggestion made better sense, I learnt to give in when it meant making the other person happier without compromising the end results … I continue to be curious and enjoy learning from the individuals around me. 

Savour.  I am blessed to be here in Houston, even though I was leaving apart from my husband and my family for the past 20 weeks.  It is a gift I treasure a lot.  BK made it possible – he agreed to let me come, and encouraged me to pursue my dream.  It is almost unreal.  Truth be said – I enjoyed and valued my environment, the people I have come to know, and the lessons I learnt beyond the recipes.  Very few things or people bothered me, I accepted what happened, I learnt to take in, chew on it and some I let go, the great ones I held them close to my heart.

Friendship.  I made good friends in Houston – At the culinary institute, some Singaporeans I got to know in Houston, and from Houston Dessert Meetup Group.  To all I have come to know in Houston, I am thankful I got to know you in this part of the world and for some, I believe we will remain friends regardless of where we move on to.  I also accept that some are passer-bys in my life, nevertheless, they contributed to my life journey and played a role while I am here in Houston, and formed my memories.  I am also happy to meet Vivian and Lilian (thanks for hooking us up!) in Houston, have not met both for nearly 2 decades in Singapore.  For all my friends, as the saying goes 有缘千里来相会, 无缘见面也不知… if we are predestined to meet, we would travel great distance to meet and know each other, otherwise even when we meet face to face we would also not be acquainted.  How meaningful!


Graduation signifies the beginning of a new journey for me.  It is only a beginning.  I will continue with the same attitude I brought to Houston.  Dream.  Believe.  Love.  Inspire.


My Graduation Day ~ 21 November 2008,  Central Time

grad-display-with-gold-band_rim1My pix was taken at my graduation display table in the pastry lab, where I worked for the past 9 weeks (lost a week to Ike) – a corner in the back of the pastry lab.

The table display had my wedding cake, pastillage, sugar art, choc icing mousse cake, and choc box.



with-chef_rimMy Chef.  This is is my Level 2 & 3 Chef ~ Chef Philippe.  This is the first time his pix appeared on my journal entry.  And this was why

22 Nov 2008, PM

I just had a chat with my dad via skype earlier, he congratulated me on my graduation.  I told him I am going to finally post a picture of Chef Philippe on my journal entry, and he can get Pei San – my sis-in-law, to print out for him to see how my Chef looks like.  I told him Chef just gave his permission to publish his pix on my blog on my graduation day, my Dad laughed.  Weeks earlier when I just moved into level 2 Baking & Pastry Arts class, during my weekly skypeout update with Dad,  I told him I was “warned” by Chef Philippe not to post his picture on my blog or “you will get points deducted from your grades” … Then it was the evening of the Gala, 5 Sept 2008, I was to complete level 1 the following week and move to Chef Philippe’s Level 2 class.  For every week after that, Dad always asked how I was doing in Chef Philippe’s class and how was Chef that week.  Ha

Seriously, I didn’t think Chef Philippe was serious, but I did not post any.  😉

I enjoyed and learnt a lot from Chef Philippe’s class … I enjoy specific, exact, precise, detailed (do they all mean the same? hee …) methods of instruction… Chef was also watchful and observant to how we performed, and quick to be at our sides to rescue us, even though he expressed it differently in words.  In his class, I learnt to understand the hows and appreciate why I did them the way they were.  … I became more confident in choc and enjoyed choc (specifically mentioned choc coz my feel for it significantly changed and it got cleaner each time) … yes, all the cooking that required specific temperatures (eg vanilla sauce, choc icing), I managed so much better.  Like he said, we have a choice.  I chose to enjoy his sessions and appreciate him as an individual as well as my Chef. 

Every morning for the past weeks, Chef and Sandra drove me to the culinary institute, and back to my apartment on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.  We live across the White Oak Bayou across each other ~ so they are my neighbours…  Pai seh (Chinese dialect, loosely translated ~ shy) … but I am really grateful for their thoughtfulness!

Through Chef Philippe, I got introduced to my first French teacher and gotta know another friend in Houston.  Merci beaucoup, Chef!


Also My Chef.  Chef Sebastien is my Level 1 Chef.  Never had a pix taken with him during my level 1 final as the finals ended abruptly on Day 2 instead of the usual 3 days, due to Ike.  There was no proper closure then.

Chef Sebastien integrated me (I speak for myself…) well into the introduction course at the culinary institute and got me to love and enjoy what I do and learn, and I got to make mistakes and learn from them… along the way, I laughed a lot and remained blur blur.

I remembered Chef Sebastien didn’t like sweet stuff and he is a Pastry Chef, I didn’t like sweet stuff too so I got some reassurance.  Nearing the end of my Level 1, he asked how many of the recipes I liked for the hundreds we had completed, … 4?  OK, now maybe more as my taste buds are changing  … he was “appalled” I only liked the taste of 4 recipes after all he had taught.  Ha.  I really enjoyed the taste of 4, but I could appreciate and memorize the tastes of the others.

Chef Sebastien gave me the reassurance and the calmness I needed that all is well, and would be well.  No words needed.

with-mr-lenotrePresident cum Owner.  I was researching online on culinary programs, read about LeNotre, then about Mr Alain LeNotre and his school in Houston, decided to enrol into CIAML, and was introduced to him during the school tour on my day 2 in Houston.  BK commented he spoke with a lot of passion, assertiveness and sincerity when we met.  

A week into the course, we had an orientation session with Mr LeNotre.  His advice was very practical and direct – he said matter of factly the Chefs in school are good and experienced Chefs, we should learn from them and find out about them and their motivations as much as possible and to do it now…, coz he accepted that they will not stay with the school forever.

About 5 weeks into my course, I blasted my blog address to my friends back home in Singapore and some parts of the world, Jean-Luc found out and soon I got called to Mr LeNotre’s office.  He rounded up our conversation with “Joy, my door is always open“.  I appreciate that he spoke with me, advised me and treated me like I am – a mature student.  I enjoyed his straight forward advice, and he was generous in sharing them.  Through his recommendation, I completed Leadership Lessons from A Chef.  Finding Time to Be Great by Chef Charles Carroll by week 5 of my course, and got started on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a title I knew more than 10 years ago but never got down to reading it … I started and this time I can appreciate what was written).  He had said Joy, you should read this, and I did.    

You should roll down your sleeves … Didn’t your chef ask you to roll down your sleeves? … He showed genuine concern when he noticed I had burnt marks and bruises on my arms … or maybe he was disgustedHa, I couldn’t help it sometimes I was really blur. 

Joy, you are too proper … during a chat we had on being upfront with my personal goals when working for establishments back home.  I remained so, indeed.  Still very proper.

with-chef-krisChef of Chefs.  I got to hear from Chef Kris in my Level 1 a lot, and I heard and appreciated every advice he gave.

Chef’s Topic on Misen Place, 7 July.  3 days into my course.  On preparedness of the mind, on preparedness to start the day.  To be on time means to be early.

Chef’s Club, 23 July.  2 weeks into my course, the first I volunteered.  I still remembered the purple cabbage in reduced red wine sauce, the forced meat and the garlic incident.  We had fun prepping, learning, and … taking lots of notes

Lessons on ServSafe, 4 & 6 August.  4 weeks into my course.  I dreaded sitting still, but my ears were up each time Chef shared his experience, and loads of them.  Even in the most awful working environment, I can learn good lessons of what nots and what I should do when I am in controlMore notes taking.  But his sharing also put me off eating certain food :~

In Pastry Lab Level 1, 27 & 28 August.  After feeling a little disoriented for day 1 due to cups and spoons, I enjoyed Chef Kris’s sessions and his cool and practical ways he confronted each situation.  He taught us to think recipes branching from a basic recipe, to be adaptable, to move it move it …

To the Chefs’ Office, 16 October.  A couple of days earlier, Chef asked if I have been updating my blog entry … it appeared it had been some time since I interacted with Chef Kris, but I realised it was due to Ike as school was disrupted for 2 weeks, and it was 2 weeks since lessons started proper.  Chef soon read my blog updates and I was called to see him regarding my career plan.  I still have not read the 3 books he advised me to.  I graduated but I will be seeing him on Monday for a discussion and complete my ServSafe certification.  I am committed to doing it, because he bothered to.


with-bkMy Buddy, My Hubby.  During my graduation day, I joked that I  finally gotta stand as tall as him.  Smile.  

BK has been constantly there for me … when I first came to Houston and totally disoriented – he made sure I got better in my directions; Then nearly everyday after, we updated each other how our day went virtually;  He was here so that we could celebrate his birthday and spend time together; Then my Graduation week, again he was here even though we were both pre-occupied, he was busy with work and I with Finals… and on my Graduation day, he was there for me every moment I needed him.  He made it so matter of fact, so unconditional…  I am really blessed, really really

He told me just a couple of days ago after he left Houston – he was speaking with someone about me being in Houston and he in Singapore – he wanted me to enjoy what I do, he knew for sure I am focus and I would be heading home to Singapore once I am done… for me, there is no doubt about it.   Like Sarah said about Charles, the same for BK, I would not give him up for the world.  Period.  Ha.


More about my pals later, I should stop somewhere and enjoy today.

To The Chefs’ Office

Thursday, 16 Oct 2008

I just burst a plastic full of air right behind Chef Philippe’s back.  Didn’t manage to scare him, but Rafaella who was talking to Chef got scared instead :~?  Jennie went with me to the break room as Chef’s work station is right next to it – she was my “accompanying person“.  Usually Rafa would be with us, but she was already in the break room and didn’t know what I was up to.  Earlier, Jill had helped me blown a plastic-full of air for my mission.  The plastic was already punctured from a previous burst??!!  Nobody agreed to be my accomplice though whoever present (names left out) readily chipped in ideas for me to execute – that was so kind?  But I was scared I scared myself instead … err … ha.  Chef Pierre walked into the lab just then, and wondered why he was involved.  Let’s just say without provocation, I would usually not initiate such plot.  But I really felt playful today.

At the end of class, I told Chef Philippe we enjoyed his class that day … “… this the first time you enjoyed my class?”  Oops … no!  Always do ~ disclaimer.  Really enjoyed the class, and I guessed I expressed it also because I was feeling light – likely the class size and what we got to do that day really made me felt so therapeutic.  For once there were only 5 of us – Sarah, Jill, Elizabeth, Quin and me – in class instead of 9 … each of us got to prep a double recipe of different kinds of bread from ingredients to kneading to first proof.   In between we prep Grand Mere Tarts, I had prep 2 recipes of apples and pears to sautee thinking April would come but she did not come to class that day.  Then croissants with bechemel sauce.  Later that morning, we had to shape the bread – flatten, weigh, rest, slap to flatten, shape.  I loved to slap down the dough ~ I guessed it was the only time in lab I can legitimately bang on the work table, and I slapped it hard indeed.  My classmates joked that I displayed signs of internal rage.  The more and the harder I slapped, the more therapeutic I felt.  It was a great way to release bottled stale energy, maybeHa!  I joked “I am feeling bitchy today“, they laughed even harder.  Apparently, my tone got too high and my pronounciation was off and sounded like “beachy”.  I loved the aroma and taste of freshly baked bread, but I haven’t thought of baking bread … maybe I should …. once a while.  And we really felt good at the end of the class.  Even though we were quiet most of the time, there was a lot of smiles, laughters and light chatters that day.  I highly recommend Dough Slapping for therapeutic purpose … and freshly baked breads come as a bonus!    

Chef Kris wants to see you in Chefs’ Office …”  For a moment, I didn’t think Chef Philippe was serious.  I had just exploded the bag and was feeling too playful to be serious.  Oh it was for real.  Chef Kris asked me to take a seat and pulled a chair next to him.  I felt like a student who was called into the Principal’s office for playing a prank on a teacher??   In fact, the scenario fitted what I just did.

Chef Kris had read my blog – about what Chef Philippe spoke with us regarding our future.  I had expressed that it was scary even though I have to confront it.  He shared with me the 10-year plan he usually got his Associate Degree students to complete, and he believed I would complete mine.  Know what I want at the end point, and the path I need to take to make it happen… research, put it down and make it happen.  If I really believe a particular place is where I believe will take me to where I want to be, I just have to make it happen – email, call, send by snail mail, fax, pack and appear in front of the door(?).  He emphasized the 10 year plan doesn’t mean it is fixed, as I progress I would make revision to chart my path.  His advice was “don’t take up any job that come along, and realise you are wasting your time“.   

It was a thoughtful 40 min consultation.  And I really appreciate that he bothered to.  I just have to do my part.

I shared with Chef Kris that the 10 year plan reminded me of the 10 year product plans I did in the past.  Due to the variables along the way, the 10 year end result usually looked totally different from the plan.  As the years went, the 10 year plan in corporate was shortened to 5 years, then to 3 and in some companies to 2. 

I understand his point though – Set A Vision and Purposefully Work Towards It!

When I was writing this entry, I took out My Mission and Vision folder from my box for the first time in Houston.  Now I am amazed with myself – other than a few pieces of clothing and some miscellaneous, I had really brought in my 2 luggages my books, my stationery and my folder containing My Life Direction notes and my laptop – I need so little to live comfortably. I completed My Mission and Vision during a Life Direction Intensive session with T. Harv Eker in Singapore back in 31 January – 2 February 2008.  My Mission and Vision were completed on the spot then and I had never given prior thought to it.  Harv had advised feeling it in us and to identify words that inspired the energy in us to spell out My Mission.  Instead of spelling out our Vision, we drew our vision then – about My Life – as words may not accurately expressed the images in our mind.  I just re-read My Mission and it continues to hold true in my heart.  We were then supposed to work out a year, month then week calendar to purposefully live toward our Vision.  I am still procrastinating on this calendar. 

My Vision back in January 2008: (Shan’t attach my drawing here ;p)

1.  My Family Life.  Quality, Leisure Time with Financial Freedom.  My family has always been my priority.  If God is willing, we would love to have 2 beautiful children.  As a family, we have quality time together to explore continuous learning and growth as individuals, and as a family.  

2.  My Other Life.  Truth be told, I have always wanted to be an Educational Psychologist and there was a lingering regret till I came to the Culinary Institute.  I don’t think there is any connection, but that feeling had become a past for me, for now.  I went into marketing and I believe my skill is transferable.  Back in Jan 2008, I had no idea I will be attending a Baking & Pastry Arts program with the Culinary Institute, I had not planned to be in Houston – one day it just became possible, I arrived and started living life here, then at times started to find out what’s happening.  My vision then:

~~~  Worked with *Happy and Highly Motivated Associates.  Be it for my employment or my business.

~~~  Have a *High Traffic Blog to share Motivational and Inspirational stories with the World.  I imagined but was never motivated to start a blog.  I didn’t know where to start, what to write.  The only time it became a reality was when I came to Houston and I needed a place to jot down my notes of my journey, and I started writing for myself, from my heart … and it was still a procrastinating 3 weeks after I set up my blog page address before I wrote something for myself.

~~~  I will have something *Published by a Well-known Publisher to inspire Life Greatness in People … the funny thing is I never write much to others except emails and messages, … technical writing bores me.  I wrote often to myself to set aside my thoughts, my fears, my dreams, my ideas, my research … but they are often in my scribbles.  I wasn’t sure why I wrote in My Vision then I would have something published.  … During our conversation, Chef Kris suggested “food writer“.  I told him I couldn’t write well and I was so so in vocabulary, taste description etc, he said “not food critic” … he said it is the same form of writing, from my experience … from my heart.  I am not sure if I want to write with a deadline, after I read Julia Child’s journal about the years she spent on her first book Mastering the Art of French Cooking I.  Chef Kris suggested 3 titles for me to get inspiration.  I love finding inspiration from reading, research, flipping pages of books.

~~~  *Creative Development for Children – Inspire, nurture, encourage motor skill development, laughter & fun in learning & development. … I believe this will still be a reality one day, as I love training and teaching, and I can incorporate this in Baking & Pastry Arts.  

~~~  *Provide Employment to the Deserved but Disadvantaged.  This can be a reality too.  I believe in giving back to where I take from.

~~~  *Passive Income.

On my wall in my apartment, I have a Vision Board I scribbled couple of weeks ago, it was not dated.  On it includes “… aPastry & Baking Lab to accomodate 20 students (describing space more than the absolute number of people) at any one time …” … ” I start my own Pastry & Baking coaching class in my own lab!”.   

The time out to the Chefs’ Office … was a gentle reminder I have not completed my plan weeks ago to revise My Vision.  I do not have many weeks left at the Culinary Institute – 5 weeks? … it appears that each time I put up an entry it is another week gone … Chef Kris said some of his students worked on their 10 year plan over 6 months, I jokingly reminded him he was not thinking of giving me 6 months as well?   This will be sorted before I complete my program, after that there will be no one to remind me, or I can’t just step into the Chefs’ Office as I wish when I am back in Singapore.

Before I left the office, he gave me 2 examples of 10 year plan for reference.  Thank you, Chef!