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When I received the call, I could relate to the voice on the other end of the telephone. The voice was reminiscent of that of my mum – maternal and yet concerned at the same time.
 
If there’s anything in this world we should treasure more, that would definitely be the love among family. A mother’s love for her son knows no bounds. Indeed, it is unconditional. A mother gives and expects nothing in return. A mother loves and is prepared to go the distance for her son.
 
On the other end of the line was a mother who after doing her research online, felt I would be the best person to help her son. As a mother who agonized over her son’s plight, she sought professional help.

Enter style coaching, one of my personalised services designed to help individuals achieve breakthrough results fast.
 
Her son, let’s call him B, was disillusioned with life in general and had little interest in moving out of his hermit shell. More importantly, he lacked a life direction. Sounds familiar to those of you who have read my life story? Yes! 

As an ex-carbon copy of her son, I was asked to style coach B and put on the cheer in his life. 
 
If you ask me, style coaching is very rewarding as it allows the coach not only to help the client get back on track, but also to instill confidence and self-belief, two qualities which clients often lack.

As strangers meeting for the first time, it certainly isn’t easy to enter another person’s world. But with perseverance and the right rapport built, it isn’t an impossible task. Armed with my arsenal of techniques gleaned from the world of HR, plus my years of training; it felt good to hear B talk about himself. Indeed, in my life coaching, the client is given plenty of airtime to talk about himself or herself. It’s about him or her expressing the own identity. There are no right or wrong answers. Just like brainstorming, all answers are respected but can be further refined along the way to make them better. That’s how a coach adds value. 

Once B started to open up and talk about himself, it was like watching him peel away the layers of the onion till he got to the very core of his existence and what made him happy. Many a times, it’s not money or position that makes us happy. It’s the dream we had when we were young but somehow that dream got overlooked, cast aside and forgotten over the years.
 
We all have dreams. Dreams are what make us powerful as they give us the ability to construct the abstract. Nobody can steal our dreams away from us. But dreams will only remain dreams if we fail to take action to concretize the abstract and turn them into reality.

When we discussed B’s dream, his eyes lit up and he became more animated and excited. Of course, that’s a given! When you speak of your dream with passion and fire, that’s when you truly start to live.

With a list of short-term goals prioritized, I felt gratified that B is now on his way to becoming a happier person who is able to live life to the fullest and dream the impossible dream. 
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I feel many people have misconceptions about others who work out in the gym. Okay, if you see someone prancing around in front of the mirror and hording it perpetually, that it’s probably because he is vain. But for the majority of us who work out often in the gym, the cold iron weights have certainly not made us a less feeling person. In fact, I would like to share with my readers the three lessons of life that my gym workouts over the years have instilled in me.
 
Many times in life, we attempt to juggle so many projects and deadlines that something has to give. Thinking back on my days in the corporate world, I cannot help but shake my head each time my boss shot me yet another arrow. Multitasking has become a dirty word in the new world economy. In the name of multitasking, we begin to take on more responsibilities and spread ourselves thin.

The first lesson gym workouts have taught me is the importance of focus. Regardless of free weights; machine weights; cable weights or body weight; keeping a laser-targeted focus in the gym is of paramount importance. Forget about trying to lift the weight while talking to someone else and listening to your iPod. It does not work. 
 
Instead, focus helps me to maintain full concentration on the lifting, pushing or pulling motion and most importantly, getting the task done. It doesn’t matter whether the weight is heavy or light. All it needs is a slip in concentration to result in injury which is the last thing we need to impede our fitness journey. 

The second lesson gym workouts have taught me is the importance of belief. It is both surprising and sad at the same time that many people lack self-belief. The mind is the one that keeps telling us we cannot do it and this sabotages our progress. 
 
Using an analogy, the mind is just like the general. Even before the battle is fought, the general tells his soldiers to surrender to the enemy. How we reprogramme our mind is the key to success in overcoming the ‘I cannot lift it’ or ‘it’s too heavy’ mind frick. Only when you believe will the great universe string along and help nudge you in the direction you want to go. 

The final lesson I want to share is the importance of discipline. For most males who have completed national service, we did learn a certain amount of discipline back then while serving the nation. Yet ironically, it was because of an avoidance of pain (in the form of extra guard duties or detention or push-up punishments) that made us conform. 

But gym workouts are totally different. While I cannot dispute the fact that delayed muscle soreness syndrome 
does kick in a day or two after the completed workout, it’s all about adjusting our bodies to become stronger so to overcome it. Each time we tear our muscle fibres and build new ones, our muscles become stronger.

Till date, clients who signed up for 
personal training lessons continue to turn up for lessons. Nobody has ever absented or gave excuses not to turn up. In order to sculpt your dream body, the value of discipline cannot be over-exaggerated. Should you choose to give up and stay at home for the next few days instead of reporting to the fitness centre, then you have only yourself to blame if you fall short of attaining your fitness goals. Rome certainly wasn't built in a day. The more consistent you are (keeping to at least two workouts per week), the faster you will see results.

So to sum it all up, there's much more to gym than just pumping iron. Personally, I'm really grateful to all the gym workouts which have helped shape my character :)
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