Monday, 31 August 2015

In The Limelight: Wesley Chan

When I finished my SPM, I knew at that point chemical engineering is what I wanted to do and I worked my way hard to achieve it. But along the way, I started to discover a whole new passion. I realized that one of my best strength is that I am able to connect to people fast and that makes it easier for them to open up their issues to me

With that I realize I was able to do something about their situation and help guide them through making better choices. I was able to change people’s life. That ecstasy feeling I got every time people come and thank me for guiding them was something I never felt before and I was loving it and wanting it more

But how can an engineer keep doing this. My professional career wouldn’t allow me the space to do so. I knew I couldn’t be the only engineering student feeling this way. It was at that point where I met this guy, Wesley Chan.

“Wesley, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?” With the usual smile of his, he said “I am Wesley Chan, a trainer, speaker and author from my own company called Vision Alliance. I help youth to discover their passion and vision and in the past 3 years I have reached out to 30,000 people in more than 40 schools and universities. The reason that drives me to do this is because I imagine seeing a world where people are driven. I see a world people where they a vision and goal and they are passionate.” 

I was just stunned hearing what he was saying, because I am similar to Wesley, an engineering student who wants to change and inspire people’s life. Yet I haven’t found the right path to make my vision come true, but this man across the table, having his tea is already living his dream. At times point I knew, I wanted to be just like and I got curious to know how he did it. 

“Wesley, how did you made all these possible, from being a UTP Gold Medal winner to a motivational speaker to an upcoming author, how did you embark on this journey. What is your secret?” 

 “I’ll bring you back to my memory into 2009, it was this called Professional Communication Skill (PCS), there were about 40 students and we were all dressed formal to do a persuasive presentation to convince the crowd about an idea, product or a service. I was about nervous because I was about to present about “The Secret” while the rest were doing topics like “Why we should have more car parks and hostels.”

I was the last speaker of the day and I was very passionate about my topic. At the end of the 7 minutes, half the crowd was silenced and at the back of the room stood this lecturer of mine who is a little short, tanned skin and built and he said this one sentence, “Wesley, if you fail to be an engineer, be a motivational speaker.” 

That was the spark to my career and not only that, I was very obsessed with what makes people successful. I started to read a lot, attended seminar and search for videos on YouTube. It was in my final year where I decided I won’t be an engineer but I wanted the Chancellor Award, because I knew that with that Chancellor Award I could get more speaking engagement.

Many of us had dreams and passion but we often don’t pursue it because we are already doing something else. For example in student’s case, they have enrolled in a course not of their passion and they can’t tell it at home they want to do something else. I realized Wesley too was in this position and I wanted to know how he handles that situation

“You knew you wanted to be a speaker and not an engineer, but not those around you. So how did you break that news to them and convince them that this is the right thing for you”. 

“It was 2013, it was in my house, in my living room and across the room was an older version of me, my dad and he told me to sit down. I knew what was it about and he asked what happened to my job while I told him I had rejected all the offers. He couldn’t believe that I didn’t want to be an engineer despite being the best student in UTP and one of the best students in Malaysia and I told yeah, I want to be a speaker. He stood up, slammed the table and told me he don’t want to see me anymore in his life. 

At that point, there was an angel and demon in me and the demon will say “Just give up lah, become an engineer” but I remember just like yesterday the angel whispering into me saying “Stay faithful to your dreams.” I listened to my angel and continued and after a year my dad called and he said “Son I am sorry I pushed you too hard. I will always be proud of you in what you do.” 

What I want to share here is that I believe when you do the best, god will handle the rest. Listen to your own angel and do it. Results won’t come in a day but you must initiate the results. Nobody is going to believe you at first but just start doing it."

Wesley is this guy who always has a smile on his face and is always energetic. The expression he gives when he talks always shows that is ready to go on and chance the world. You look like a guy who is full of positivity. Looks like there is nothing in the world that can take away this amazing energy you have. But have there been a point in your life where you were not this positive. Was there a moment where you were a bit negative, not full of confidence? Can you share with us how you made that transformation from being negative to positive?”

“When I was young child winning a few national championships in Taekwondo, I was told that I was arrogant and trust me you don’t want to be called arrogant when you are a kid. I isolated myself, became very lonely and put a fake smile. 

I was about 13 and at the peak of my Taekwondo career. I did not have much friends and even my coach told me I was arrogant. People use to talk to me behind my back and I felt lonely. What kept me going and positive was sports, because I was happy and being original when I played sports. 

That was my passion and when you do your passion, you become original and that’s the real you and that how I make that transformation. I love what I do and there was no room for negativity. You will find joy following your passion and you will find that positive energy. 

So when you are negative, find things you like to do, find joy. When you like sports and play sports, you put all troubles behind and become so hype up and that is because you love what you do. All you have to do is find something you love to do and just do it"

In most of Wesley’s training's and talk, you will see him speak a lot about Chemical X and that got me curious to know what is Chemical X. “Wesley, what is Chemical X, where can we get it?” 

“The story of Chemical X started when I was 7, me and my mum use to watch television together and on Sunday morning, my favorite cartoon will be played and it is Powerpuff Girls. It is still my favorite cartoon today. At the start of the show there will be this song which mentions the professor accidentally pours in CHEMICAL X. I knew that it is because of chemical x, they became superheroes. 

I went to school and universities asking teachers and lectures what is chemical x, but they couldn’t tell me. It was until after I graduated when I went to a home in Kapar, Klang. There was this lady who is a dialysis patients and she has to go for her treatment through her stomach with a tube the size of a pen, 3 times a day and 20 minutes each and you become very tired after each session. 

Can you still imagine helping other people despite being in that position? Here is this lady named Ms.Yoges and she was helping others by setting up a home for some girls and to these girls, Ms.Yoges is a superhero. In my mind I knew she had chemical x. I asked her and she told me “I don’t know, I just love what I do”.

After that I have had many opportunities to meet successful people like Amber Chia and many more and when I asked them what made you become who you are today and they told me I just love what I do. I wanted to find a way to map that “I just love what I do” as chemical x. In other words chemical x is your passion and when you find your chemical x, you will become a superhero and I believe we all have that chemical x.”
Clearly Wesley knows what his Chemical X is and that is why he has been so successful in what he does and by doing so he is changing people’s life. “If you could offer one advice to the younger generation what will that is?”  

“Find for what you love to do, that makes you alive and go ahead. It is learning about how to dream. Have a vision but not a rigid vision. Learn how to dream instead of having a rigid dream. Don’t close other opportunities around you. Find something you are passionate about which drives you. It maybe weird to your friend but not to you ”

Meeting Wesley Chan was definitely a life changing moment for me. He helped me understand what my Chemical X is and I am starting to see already how my life is changing in the right direction. With this I would end this story on Wesley Chan by sharing a quote by Wesley himself

“Live life to express not to impress”

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