Long Way Back to Wisdom

Written by Joanne Ng, Character Institute


 If my heart can become pure and simple, like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this. ~ Kitaro Nishida


I remember when I was small, about 5 or 6 years old.  I was absolutely sure that Honesty is the Best Policy, Truth is Everything, and Goodness is most Beautiful and Love conquers ALL.


I childishly expected that my future would be so BRIGHT. Learning was so fascinating and gaining knowledge felt better than receiving “ang-pows”. I felt a strong connection to the Nature World, I really love animals and plants. I can still recall I actually enjoyed singing, dancing and believe it or not, even drawing. I love fairy tales…..cos in those stories…… any Dream is possible. I had believed that this is a Wonderful World of LOVE.


I would glow whenever my parents or teachers or any adults would say to me “Clever Girl”, “Good Girl”, “You are So Helpful” , “You are so Special”, etc I cannot forget those “pat on the shoulders’, those loving eyes looking into mine……… those were the happiest moments of my life. Encouragement is so powerful, I felt like a ‘winner’, born to win.

I had asked many students in my tuition classes ……”what were your thoughts when you were in nursery ?”. they usually agreed with a cheeky grin and nodded their heads…… “we all had those beautiful dreams once.”


As soon as I became a teenager, RRReality hit me. I discovered that Things were not what they seemed to be, at all. My world shrank completely……. What they call…… being practical, street-smart and facing Reality. Sadly, many of our worlds grow smaller as we grow older.

Even in the working world…… doing very well in our jobs, or even delivering a project on time…. is something not what EVERYBODY wanted us to do. “Why do people or system tend to honor the Actors and not the workers ?”. Why is ’naughtiness’ and complacency so acceptable ? For years …. my questions were left unanswered. In my heart, and in most children, I stubbornly believe that there is absolutely NO BRILLIANCE in ‘pretense’ or ‘cheats’. This is an educated world….. Truth will eventually find its way in us.


It was only until I have my own children, my own freedom in life …. that I realized I am allowed to live my ONE precious life fully. . . . .after all, I am the captain of my ship……”I Can” live the way I want. The choice is entirely mine. I started searching, reading and taking important notes……..seeking anything that builds people……. the sky is indeed the limit. Thank Goodness ….. Truth and Goodness is still valid and highly valued amongst most people. I began to find several precious gems around, wonderful friends.


Brilliance is simply about removing the haze, and letting our light shine through. About us, maintaining clarity in our hearts and soul.
Search and you will find the answers : books, movies, tv, travels, internet, prayers and those long long walks. A simple decision of “wanting to live my life on purpose”, and my life changed completely, I am so HAPPY now, I am so thankful. Many of my impossible dreams are coming true.

Guess this is what they mean by “finding yourself”, the answers have always been here deep inside our hearts and soul. All we need is to give ourselves permission, to allow ourselves, not the circumstances, take over us. Free to be the BEST that we can be, to express and stretch our God-Given talents.


Bertrand Russell “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

A wonderful quote from somewhere I read “people tend to prefer to stay in a crowd of Wrongs than to stand out Right alone”.

Robert Fulghum wrote a book “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”.

“Listen to your heart, you heart tells no lies” . . . . . a song lyric by 98o and Stevie Wonder “True to your Heart”………….

The movie, Ghost “you are not your body, you are your mind, you gotto put all your emotions, heart and soul in your belly and push it through…..”

The move, Harry Porter “you are not your talents, you are the DECISIONs you make.”

Nike’s famous slogan “Just Do It !”

There are tons and tons of wonderful Works of Arts out there, many had helped me changed my life, expanded my world of possibility and set me FREE to SOAR .. . . . . . along with my soul. This is indeed True Freedom.


Here goes, the 5 * * * * * books I read……

Super-Motivation and Achievement
“Enthusiasm makes the Difference” by Norman Vincent Peale
“The Positive Principle Today” by Norman Vincent Peale
“The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale
“How to Attract Good Luck” by A.H.Z Carr

“The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew” by Lee Kuan Yew
“The Charisma Factor” by Robert J Richardson
“The Charismatic Leader” by Jay A Conger
“Passion, Profit & Power” by Marshall Sylver
“Decision Power” by Harvey Kaye
“Power Principle” by Blaine Lee

Happiness and Life Purpose
“Flow, The Psychology of Happiness” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“The Road Less Travelled” by M Scott Peck
“Success with Soul” by Doris Pozzi and Stephen Williams
“True Success” by Tom Morris
“A Better Way to Live” by OG Mandino
“Man’s search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

Mind Power and Energy
“Unlimited Power” by Anthony Robbins
“Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins
“Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz
“Mental Dynamics” by K Thomas Finley
“I Will” by Ben Sweetland
“Managing Your Mind” by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope
“Awakening Brilliance” by Pamela Sims

Concepts of Money and Wealth
“Think Rich and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S Clason
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
“Business at the Speed of Thoughts” by Bill Gates

“Talking to Yourself” by Pamela E Butler
“What to say when you Talk to Yourself” Shad Helmstetter

Youth and Vitality
“Find the Fountain of Youth inside Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter
“The Friendship Factor” by Alan McGinnis
“Ageless Body and Timeless Mind” by Deepak Chopra


Important Tips about Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom :
You got to first ardently seek Knowledge and study them. You then got to practice what you learned to test how your new knowledge can be put to good use. Finally, you got to teach them. Why teach, because, as you teach you learn even more when you share and when you connect. All 3 steps will lead you to true Wisdom. It is important that you do not skip any of these 3 steps and to go back to step 1 again and again. It is a journey.


Decide to Be that Happy Child again……you already have True Wisdom.


Best wishes to your Wonderful Journey of Self-Discovery.

Most Sincerely,

Joanne Ng
Founder & Director
Character Institute
Tel (65) 6546 5801


“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor

and attended to with diligence.” Abigail Adams, 1744—1818