Background photo courtesy of Monty Peter / Freepik
Loh Hoon Sun, aged 74, former Managing Director (now Senior Advisor) of Phillip Securities, a major Singapore stockbroking firm with operations in 16 countries, wrote a letter to his grandchildren when they were small about how to get the right start in life.
Dear Natalie, Aaron, Zachary, Jeremy, Katie and Karl,
I have gone through a long and eventful journey in life and would like to share with you my experience and thoughts:
- Having strong family ties is key to success. Family is the nucleus and foundation of life. It provides you with love and care, support and confidence. Family members have to look after one another. You must enjoy a happy family life before you can concentrate and do well in your work. Everyone must play a part to have a happy family. Then you help your friends, society and country.
- Loh Hoon Sun
(Photo: Mr Loh)
- Friends are very useful and essential in your life, whether professionally or socially. Build up as big a circle of friends and as few enemies as possible. No man is an island. You need interaction with people.
- Good education and qualifications are very important to your career and success in life. Learn not just what you like but also what will help your future career.
- You must be resilient. Your life will have its share of failures. The real test of character comes from how you deal with failures. Acknowledge your mistake and learn from it. Every failure is a chance from which to draw valuable lessons. Pick yourself up and move on.
- Build your life on integrity. Live by the simple dictum that honesty is the best policy. Be natural, true to yourself and do not pretend to be what you are not.
- Good attitude, whether socially or professionally, is important. In addition to your own work and responsibilities, you must also help others.
Do not be calculative and do only the work assigned to you and no more. You help others and others will help you when you need it. Similarly, if you are nice to people, people will be nice to you.
- You must look beyond your immediate surroundings and take an interest in matters not directly related to your work, so that you will gain a wider horizon, broader knowledge and outlook.
- Be confident and positive in your outlook. Difficulties can be overcome. Problems can be resolved. Be a team builder and leader all the way. Leadership is earned and not given. Keep your eyes on the stars and aim to reach the top in your pursuits.
- You must be enthusiastic and passionate in your work. Interest can be cultivated. Put all your soul and heart in whatever you do and make a success of your projects.
Natalie, you are now in primary five and can follow what I have written. You will understand it better as you grow older. Your brother, Jeremy, and cousins Aaron, Zachary, Katie and Karl, are still young. When they grow to your age and beyond, they will appreciate the contents of this letter.
Mama and I wish all of you every success and happiness in your lives.
This letter is republished with permission from the National Library Board.