My reflection at 87 years old

Koon Yew Yin 6th Jan 2020 

I am 87 years old. Life is empty if I do nothing to pass the days. But life can be great and wonderful if I do something for the betterment of mankind. 

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I have decided to live a life true to myself, not to live a life just to please others. 

When I realise that my life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of my dreams along the way. From the moment that I lose my health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

After having lived through 87 years, I think I have learned quite a lot of things which I would like to share with you tonight:

1. The ultimate aim in life is happiness. Even if you are poor, you can be happy if you can develop your sense of contentment, always feel satisfied with whatever you have.

2. Everyone is born to do some work. Most people work for a living. Even if you born from a rich family, you need to do something to while away your time, otherwise life can be boring. Always do the work which you like even for less money. Working for fun is like a hobby. Studies have shown that those who did nothing after retirement, died soon after retirement.  

3. As you go along, you can always learn new things. You are born with 2 ears and 1 mouth. You must always listen more than you talk. You can also learn some something new from opposing opinion.

4. Life is not fair, but it is still good. Never give up if you want to achieve your goal.

5. Satisfying your taste bud has always been a great pleasure ever since you were born. But do not over eat or drink. To be healthy, you eat to live and not live to eat. Of course, you can over indulge occasionally to be happy.

6. No one can win an argument. You can always find reasons to justify your argument. To avoid unhappiness, you don’t have to win every argument. If you continue to argue, you will lose a friend.

7. Besides the holy bible, the best book to read is ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie. After reading it, you will know how to win friends and influence people to corporate with you to achieve your goal much easier. When in doubt, just take a small step forward.

8. Make peace with your past so it won’t mess up the present.

9. Don’t compare your life to others because you don’t know what they have gone through.

10. Get rid of anything that is not useful so that you are free to move forward.

11. At every moment, you are making some decision. As soon as you get up in the morning, you have to decide what dress to wear or what to do next. If you want to be happy you can always find reasons to be happy.

12. When you are in great difficulty and you cannot find a solution, remember that time will cure everything. Nothing is permanent, time will change everything.

13. You cannot be always right. Be humble to admit your mistake.

14. Forgiveness is the key to happiness.

15.To be happy just ignore other people’s opinion of you.

16.Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what your friends have.

17. It is better not to expect anything from your children to avoid


18. Always believe the best is yet to come. Believe in miracles

19. Always be honest and sincere. Treat people with kindness and help them in whatever way you can.

20. How I prolong my life?

I had a hereditary familial hypercholesterolaemia. 3 out of my 8 siblings have the same blood disease. My elder brother died before he reached the age of 50. My younger sister who went with me to London to have the same bypass operation in 1983, died about 5 years after the operation.

Why I am still alive? Here are my secrets:

My wife’s loving care and affection are most important. Physical and

mental exercises are important. I usually spend about 8 hours on the computer every day watching the stock market or writing something. I must take short walks as frequently as I can to improve blood circulation.   

When I wake up in the morning, I drink 2 glasses of water. I always eat about half a pineapple on an empty stomach and I do not eat anything before lunch. It is like washing and brushing my 27 feet of intestines. As a result, I do not have constipation. I usually have an hour nap after lunch. 

21. To reduce stress, I always try to be happy by ignoring other people’s opinion.

22. Always remember that you cannot take with you any of your collections, antiques, houses, money when you die. You are just spending your children’s inheritance. I have written in my will that my executers will use all my remaining wealth to help poor students.

23. Currently I am enjoying in investing in the stock market. With my long experience in doing business and in share investment, I am making more money than I can spend.  

“The Conquest of Happiness” 

A famous British Philosopher, Lord Breton Russell, Nobel Prize winner for literature wrote the book “The Conquest of Happiness” in which he described the few things that make a man unhappy and what makes a man happy. The following is a brief summary of his secrets of happiness:

The secrets of happiness 

1. Cultivate zest

Get into the habit of taking a lively and friendly interest in everything. The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities he has to make himself happy.

An introvert cannot be happy. Outside working hours, you must have a lot of free time to make yourself happy. Make new friends, have more hobbies, play games, surf the Internet, watch football and movies, etc. 

2. Be affectionate 

Do not be afraid to show kindness and affection to people e.g. tipping waiters and the jaga kereta. You cannot be happy if you do not have the feeling that you are doing something good and people love you. You will feel happy if you can make someone happy.

3. Be a good parent  

Give your child time and not too much money.

The bond between parents and children is often one of the greatest source of happiness. But in many cases, it is also a source of unhappiness to both parties. In fact, studies show that in most cases, at least one of both parties is unhappy in the relationship. The reasons for this phenomenon are too many and varied and would

be outside the scope of this article. 

4. Do interesting, varied and constructive work

Living in a competitive world, one is born to do work. Everyone needs to work. Work prevents boredom. Even uninteresting work will make holidays more enjoyable. Work offers the opportunity for you to achieve your ambition. Try to find interesting work so that you can enjoy doing it.

5. Cultivate plenty of relaxing minor interests

Enjoy as many hobbies and pursuits as you can; make sure these provide a difference from your day job. For example: Keep a dog, read, surf the Net, play games, watch TV or contact your friends more frequently. You must realise most of your enjoyment is generated from the people closest to you – your friends, children and your spouse.

6. Find the right balance between effort and resignation

A man occupies almost all his time in worrying about his wife, children, his work and his financial position. All these burdens are bound to depress and tire him. Very few people have never quarrelled with their spouses. Very few parents have not endured grave anxiety when their children are ill. Very few businessmen have

never met financial difficulties and few professional men have not faced periods of failure. It is at such times that the wide variety of cultivated interests provides an outlet for amusement and happiness.

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