Challenge The Status Quo (Featured On The Straits Times – 18 Aug 2017)


You need to be unconventional to make waves.

As a professional speaker, I have to challenge the status quo every single time I am on stage. My personal belief is that either I be thought provoking so that I can shift mind and ignite change, or I don’t speak at all.

Years of speaking and training including being an entrepreneur myself, have shown me that the only breakthrough we have to make is to challenge our own mindset and comfortable beliefs.

Breaking through and opening up new opportunities and new possibilities come only by being unconventional. Challenge yourself to be unconventional by dispelling these myth about staying where you are.


Myth 1: Don’t Fix It If It Is Not Broken.

This was a typical statement raised by a participant in a conference I was speaking in. My response was direct and straightforward: “If you don’t fix it, how do you know it is not broken?” The majority of the time, we tend to use a common phrase like the former that hinders our creativity and courage to challenge.

For example, we might have a new idea that can lessen the time it takes to do something. But faced with “don’t fix it if it is not broken”, we stay silent.

Ask what can be done and not what has been done. If you don’t fix it, how do you know it is not broken? Maybe something had already been broken.


Myth 2: It Has Always Been Done this Way.

Never fall into a trap like this. Anyone who says it has always been done this way is trying to do less and never thought of doing anything more. To make new waves, people and organizations have to get away from this disempowering notion that is implying to people not to waste time trying to make it better.

Habit can be a good thing, but when it is no longer working, it becomes a bad habit, and people glorify the bad habit without consciously knowing it is no longer useful. Challenge the bad habit by bringing it into consciousness.

When someone says, “it has always been done this way” you know that it is time to do it the another way.


Myth 3: I Have More Experience Than You.

 Yes, experience is important, but not every time in every context. A person with years of experience is credible but someone with multiple times of different experience might be more accurate and intuitively correct than the former.

There is a notion that when we are making our decision, our intuition is a reliable resource. Bu tit has been found that intuition is useful and accurate only if the person is making a decision that he is familiar with (such as his industry). However, when it comes to making a decision that is on unfamiliar terrain, a person’s experience, which gives him or her the intuition, do not work.

Be unconventional today by challenging your mental blueprint. Ask not what has been done, but what can be done. Challenge bad habit when you hear “it has always been done this way.” And most importantly, rely not on years of experience blindly, but the multiple times of different experience, and that is where intuition proves to be more correct than wrong.

Want to make waves? Be Unconventional.