We’ve all been to birthday parties, especially the 21st ones. What I’ve always found striking was how there’d be this unstated routine where people would gather, eat and/or hang around while waiting for something to happen, then applause ceremoniously, sing birthday songs and take photos at cue – Usually the relative of the birthday person’s shouting.

So I thought to myself if I could experiment with something different; something that I could actually present as a “gift” to my friends in attendance, something like a series of mini-talks on how to succeed in life. Tentative, I threw the idea to Mr. Wong Meng Weng, who was really supportive. THANK GOD. I’d probably not have the balls to go forward if not for his nod. He suggested the topic “What I wish I knew I was 22” (in the spirit of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig) and a number of speakers… Then I was on my way sending out a flurry of emails, trying to get everyone’s RSVP and seeking out that ideal venue; all of which took off only about a week before the day of the celebration which was slated for May 30th!

Some speakers had a family event the whole day, some others couldn’t make it, some had something on last minute… Thankfully this was the final speakers list that we had: Mr. Ben van der Merwe, Mr. Hugh Mason, Mr. Jack Sim, Mr. Nicholas Chan and last but not least, Mr. Suresh Keerthi who was very kind and generous to host us at Sapore Italiano. It is worth bearing in mind that the LinkedIn personality is but one aspect of their individual selves…

Just to illustrate the kind of crazy stunts that I was pulling: Jack replied me on the 28th, same day that I fixed my venue FINALLY. Before that I was trying to choose between Hackerspace/ Blue Jaz/ etc. and it was hell because I didn’t have a budget for this and I wanted a centralised location. Friends told me that they have received upwards of 5 notifications from me on Facebook regarding the changes in venue and time, because at the time I wasn’t aware that everytime I do a real-time update, they’d receive a blast right away… And that’s about all that you have to know of my haphazard event planning skills. I would like to highlight bits and pieces of the speakers’ pointers which spoke to me especially in subsequent blog posts, so for now, please enjoy a wiki listing of their “tips” and photos from the event itself! :)


Coming up next, I will produce a series of posts…

  • On routines.
  • On being yourself.
  • On the sexiness of a sense of humour.
  • On how insignificant I am, and how unimportant you are.
  • And as pointed out by Mr. Suresh, on the uselessness of all the things that were taught to us in schools. 😉

P.S. I may have purposely rephrased their points a little according to my personal interpretation, for the purpose of dramatisation.

Also, in relation to life goals, if you’re a young person contemplating a University major, Meng has written an excellent article offering advice on precisely this.


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