Do what you can to make the world a better place

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  • Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014

Goodbye, 2014: A child in Penang celebrating the arrival of the year. — filepic

This has been a bad year”, my mother told me on the phone when I broke the news to her, about a certain development in my life.

“Next year will be better,” she said, trying to comfort me.

So has 2014 been a good or a bad year for you? For me, it has been extremely challenging. And a very fast one at that. I feel as if I only just stepped into 2013 and now I am on the verge of entering 2015.

Have I been living on fast forward?

Some people think time passes slowly when there are no new challenges or happenings.

Imagine having nothing to do at work, every day. You will be watching the clock and wondering why the minutes go by so slowly.

Perhaps there has been so many adventures, heartbreaks and new joys that happened to me this year, that I did not even notice the passing time.

And time did fly past, as it has been two years and nine months since I started writing this column. And it has been a great journey so far. Thank you to all who wrote to me after reading my articles, including many of the veteran and seasoned entrepreneurs whom I should be calling “sifu”.

In my previous column, I wrote about change and how changes make us uncomfortable.

There is this dilemma for us business people. As much as we fear change and the uncertainties it bring, we know change is a certainty in the business world. And because of this change, it looks like this will be my second last column here.

Just over a week ago, a writer from another English business paper who met me in my client’s office suddenly asked me, “So, you write too?” She then went on to tell me she had been reading my articles even before she became a journalist. She said she could not remember my face of course, but when she saw my name in my client’s email, she recognised me.

“For some reason, your writing speaks — as though you are speaking to the reader and you are writing about real issues,” she said, as she explained why she enjoyed reading my articles.

I was pleasantly surprised and honoured at the same time to hear this from someone who is a trained writer (because I deem myself not a trained one).

When I wrote about change in my previous column, little did I know that one of these changes would include this column. Admittedly, I am sad but we must move on. Because in life, nothing lasts forever.

As a proverb goes, “Our days may come to 70 years or 80, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

Things will continue to change and time will continue to speed past. I believe that whether we are working people or entrepreneurs, whether we are young or old, we need to make our life and what we do count.

If our lives are meant to be lived in the pure pursuit of wealth, will it count? Can our wealth last forever?

If our lives are meant to be in pursuit of self-fulfilment, then why do we complain about injustice, corruption and the uncaring society of this world?

If people live only for themselves, then they only care for themselves and not for you and I.

Business folks, we have been given a powerful mandate. As a provider of products and services, we can make this world a better place for our customers with our good work.

As a boss, we can give our employees more than just a salary every month but helping them to become good in what they do. All of us have been given an opportunity to make an impact. What is the impact we want to leave behind?

We know our customers and employees will not stay with us forever. Our empires and companies may not be here forever, but because we know nothing lasts forever, we should make what we do count and make it last.

¦ Jeanisha loves writing because she believes much of our thinking these days is influenced by the writings of people in the past (be it about philosophy, ideology or stories). She can be reached at

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Jeanisha Wan , change , challenge


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