Girls, Do Not Underestimate Your Power & Influence, Over Men, And On The World

There is a saying that goes:

“Behind every successful man, there is a woman”

THE STORY OF HOW THE WOMAN MAKETH THE MAN

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There is also this fictitious but interesting story that has been circulating around the internet about President Barack Obama & his wife at a restaurant that goes something like this:

One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the President’s secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private.

They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner.

Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle,

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“Why was he so interested in talking to you?”

She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her.

President Obama then said,

“So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,”

to which Michelle responded,

“No. If I had married him, he’d now be the President.”

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THE POWER & INFLUENCE WOMEN HAVE OVER MEN

The above story and quote both imply that women have a huge and significant impact on the man they choose to be with and who their man will become.

Personally, I can see why that is true, and actually agree with it to a large extent.

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THE EXTREMELY CHALLENGING ROAD TO ACHIEVING GREAT THINGS

As a man with big dreams to build multi-billion dollar companies that could positively impact the world in a significant way (read more here) and having an elaborate & detailed plan to help Malaysia fulfill its full potential (read more here) myself,  I can tell you that the journey is a long, hard and often lonely one.

You will face plenty of roadblocks, challenges and setbacks.

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DOUBTERS, NAYSAYERS & JUDGMENTAL EYES

People will doubt you, your family & friends will doubt you, they will think you are crazy, or naïve.

They will judge you, they will think you’re arrogant, they will think that you’re just after fame or to satisfy your egoistic needs, when the reality is that you ask yourself whether you are good enough to do this in the first place every single day, have panic attacks in the middle of the night worrying if you’re ever able to pull through, whether this passion of yours to make the world a better place is worth fighting for, worth sacrificing so much for.

You are also constantly trying to learn, from your own mistakes, and from others; hence you actually listen and carefully analyze each piece of advice people give you, you actively seek for advice & mentorship; and try all of them, until a point where you have tried enough to know that most of the advice people give are not true, only a small portion of those that you’ve tried, tested and corroborated are, and you will be able to fully understand the logic and reasons behind why some advice are true and some aren’t.

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THE BREAKING POINT & PERIODS OF INTROSPECTION

At some point, even you will start to doubt yourself, your ability, your intentions, your actions, and your choices.

Each time, you will go through the whole process of introspection, repeatedly asking yourself whether you’re wrong, whether you made any mistakes, and how you can be better; because the fact is that you’re actually very humble, because after seeing and learning so much, you know that there is just so much that you do not know, and from all the successful people you’ve learnt from, you’ll know that you need to be humble and constantly learning, constantly challenging yourself and be open to the idea of being proven wrong to keep getting better and in order to achieve success.

NEWFOUND CONVICTION AFTER EACH PERIOD OF INTROSPECTION

At the end of each session of introspection, you’ll find newfound conviction, that what you know and believe in so far is right, that what you’re doing is worth it, and that you’re on the right path, and know exactly what you need to do, what you should believe, and what you should disregard because you’ve tried and analyzed them and they are not true.

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THE PILLAR OF STRENGTH AND SUPPORT

In my personal opinion, I see myself as a rather confident individual. I’m sure of myself and what I know based on the experiences and achievements I have so far.

My friends seem to see me the same way. Many of the greatest and most successful men in history like Lee Kuan Yew, Abraham Lincoln or Obama would seem to be extremely confident too, sometimes even over-confident.

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MOMENTS OF SELF-DOUBT WILL COME NO MATTER HOW CONFIDENT YOU ARE

But the truth is, no matter how confident you may be, there will come a point where you will have moments of self-doubt, because trying to achieve something of a certain scale and impact is always going to be challenging and full of naysayers, be it starting a business, or trying to change the world.

SPIRITUAL MOTIVATION & INTROSPECTION

Of course, these moments of self-doubt can be overcome by drawing strength from God, praying, re-visiting your spiritual inspirations (whatever they may be), or through a period of introspection or meditation, where you will emerge stronger, refreshed and with newfound conviction to soldier on.

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BUT IT IS DISTRACTING & TAKES TIME

However, having too many of such sessions is distracting and takes time to happen. It takes time for one to fully recover from a moment of self-doubt through these ways, especially when a long string of fundamental setbacks happen consecutively, during which time the person’s performance would drop significantly, hence delaying the amount of time needed for the person to achieve success in whatever they may be doing.

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A SIMPLE HUG OR “YOU CAN DO IT, DEAR” CAN ACHIEVE THAT IN A SECOND

This is where a simple hug, a pat on the back or some simple words of encouragement and re-assurance by someone who truly know you, understands you, supports your dreams & is constantly rooting for you and standing by your side can shortcut the entire process of introspection and spiritual recovery.

Believe me, it makes a huge difference.

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THE IMMENSE POWER OF A WOMAN’S TOUCH

Although drawing strength from God, passion, introspection or any other spiritual form works; a physical hug or words of encouragement from the woman you love remains the most direct, simple & efficient way to get out of a moment of self-doubt.

It will transform your day, and if you’re on a daunting journey full of challenges trying to achieve something significant, you will need as many hugs as you can get.

ALREADY SUCCESSFUL MEN CAN PROBABLY GO MUCH FURTHER WITH THE RIGHT WOMAN’S SUPPORT

Sure, a man can achieve success on his own.

But the journey is probably going to be much more fulfilling and enjoyable if they have someone to share it with, someone who understands them, loves them and constantly roots for them.

If a man has already achieved some degree of success by his own might and ability, finding the right woman later on would probably give him even more strength and motivation to do even greater things, for example changing the world and saving lives through philanthropy, or take their companies to the next level, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

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THE STORY OF LEE KUAN YEW & HIS WIFE

Despite his high-handed and iron-fisted tactics that some of you would disagree with, you can’t take away the fact that Singapore is what it is today largely because of Lee Kuan Yew.

If you are a young person reading this, I urge you to read up on the various historical accounts of Singapore’s journey, corroborate them, and make a well-informed judgment for yourself on whether it was easy to build Singapore to what it is today.

Sure, today, with the relatively comfortable position that Singapore is already in, Singaporeans have the luxury of criticizing things like there is not enough freedom of expression, that Singapore is not democratic enough, the income gap is still wide etc. And yes, of course, all these needs to and should be improved on as well.

IT WAS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO BUILD SINGAPORE TO WHAT IT IS TODAY

But we need to bear in mind that Singapore was a small island with no natural resources to support itself (not even water) back then with their main industry of servicing British naval ships diminishing.

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THE THREAT OF COMMUNISM

Furthermore, there was also a strong threat from the communists who draw their influence from the communists in China who wanted Singapore to be like China (China Pre-Deng Xiao Ping & Pre-Capitalism is an incredibly backward, corrupted, poor and very very different country from China today, in fact China learning from Singapore’s success as a result of Deng Xiao Ping’s leadership was the first step in helping China become what it is today).

THERE WAS STRONG OPPOSITION ON MANY OF HIS POLICIES, ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE

The Chinese community wanted Chinese to be the official & administrative language of Singapore, and also wanted to preserve their ethnic Chinese vernacular schools.

Lee Kuan Yew faced strong opposition in trying to make English the administrative language of Singapore & the standard medium of instruction in its schools.

IT TAKES GREAT VISION & GUTS TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT INSTEAD OF WHAT IS POPULAR

If Lee Kuan Yew just wanted to be popular, he could have just made Mandarin the standard medium of instruction and satisfy the demands of the majority ethnic Chinese Singaporean population.

But he knew that in order for Singapore to survive and prosper in a world where English is the language of trade & knowledge (when China was still a poor and backward country), Singapore’s standard medium of instruction needed to be English for it to even survive, let alone the threat of communism from the communist ideologies associated with Chinese education at that time.

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WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

You have to ask yourselves, if you were in his position at that time, facing the challenges & oppositions he faced at that time, and knowing the consequences your decisions would have on the future of your country, what would you have done?

Would you have done the same? Can you do better than Lee Kuan Yew did?

Was it easy?

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HIS WIFE SUPPORTED HIM THROUGHOUT

Many of us succumb to peer pressure easily. It is much easier to do the thing people want you to do even if you know it is wrong than to do the thing you know is right and you should do.

Lee Kuan Yew had to make many such decisions, and the opposition he faced and gravity of the decisions he had to make are on a much bigger scale than what any of us would have to face.

HIS WIFE & SOULMATE WAS THERE FOR HIM THROUGHOUT

Lee Kuan Yew & his wife met in a special class in Raffles Institution when they were still in high school.  They were both extremely smart people and from his memoirs and books, you’ll find that his wife was able to understand him completely and their love story is quite a touching one.

I can only imagine the amount of stress & challenges Lee Kuan Yew had to go through during the early years of building Singapore, and I suspect his wife played a huge part in giving him the strength and support needed to stay sane and make the right decisions instead of the popular ones.

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THAT IS PROBABLY WHY LEE KUAN YEW LOVED HIS WIFE SO MUCH

His wife was his soulmate. She was there for him each part of the way, during his most difficult struggles and most daunting parts of his journey.

That is why when his wife was bed-ridden, he spends each night reading poems and literature to her, and when his wife passed away, it was noticeable that his will to live on has somewhat weakened and passed away himself 5 years later. Her death left a void in his life.

I suspect that it was also because he knew, deep down within his heart that he could probably have never been able to persevere, and do what he did for Singapore without her constant support throughout.

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A TRUE STORY OF HOW A WOMAN MAKETH THE MAN

This is another true story that I know of from my circle of friends that shows us how a woman helped a man become who he is today.

This man is now a very successful businessman. But when he started his business years back, it was really though. He did not come from a wealthy family, and it was a huge risk for him to decide to venture into business.

The infrastructure for the business he was starting in Malaysia at that time wasn’t really ready and it was also the nature of the business that he was in that takes a long time for someone to establish a presence.

His wife was just a humble office worker, but she supported his dreams throughout.

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For long periods of time (about 10-15 years), his wife was essentially supporting the family, putting their children through school and keeping his business afloat (because it kept losing money in the early years) from her meager salary as an office worker.

But her support and his perseverance eventually paid off, and his business finally took off, after 15 years.

15 years is a very very long time, their children grew from being babies into a teenagers in that time. It takes great capacity for love, perseverance and support for his wife to be able to do that, but it all paid off in the end.

Nowadays, business is easy for him, and they are living a very good life.

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BE THE WOMAN WHO IS A MAKER OF MAN

From the above stories, you can see how powerful the influence and support of a woman can be. These men would probably never be able to achieve what they have achieved, or even if they did, not as much, without the constant support & encouragement from the woman in their lives.

One wonders what would have happened if his wife left him halfway when times were tough, when she had to pay the bills & put their children through school, or gave up and asked him to find a steady job instead of continuing to invest in his business somewhere around the 10th year before it really took off?

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THE STORY OF A HOMELESS MAN VS MULTI-MILLLIONAIRES

In fact, I think I do have an idea of what would have happened.

During one of the Feed The Poor & Homeless Sessions that I organize from time to time, I chanced upon a homeless man who used to be a wealthy business owner of a chain of restaurants. However, when the financial crisis of 1997 struck, he faced financial difficulties and went bankrupt, at which point his wife took his children and left him.

As a result, he lost his will to fight and live on. That is why he chose to just live on the streets until today, simply because he has lost hope on humanity, on family, on love and has lost the purpose of living.

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THE WOMAN IN THEIR LIVES BEING THE DIFFERENCE

I know for a fact that bankruptcy is not the end.

I personally know quite a number of very successful individuals today who went bankrupt or almost bankrupt and went on to become multi-millionaires. They were able to achieve it because they never lost the will to fight on and recover from their predicament, and more importantly, they had the never-ending support of the woman of their lives.

Therein lies the power and influence a woman can have over a man’s life.

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GIRLS, USE THAT POWER OF YOURS

So girls, it is clear that you have the power within you to influence and determine the success of the man you choose to be with, and your own too, by being such a woman.

Do also bear in mind that by doing that, it is not just your own life and your man’s life that you’re impacting, you are also impacting the employees of the businesses your man is running, the impact the business or organization has on the consumers, society and much more.

If your man is running a restaurant, you will be bringing good food to the masses; if it’s an NGO, benefits to the groups that NGO is helping, if it is someone like Mark Zuckerberg  Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, to revolutionize entire industries, change how people connect with each other, or save millions of lives annually by providing malaria vaccines.

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If you become one such woman, your man would also love you deeply and thoroughly, just like Lee Kuan Yew did for his wife, because you would be irreplaceable to him.

Put that immense power of yours to good use girls!

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT MAN

But of course, it is also important for you to choose the right man.

If you choose a man who is already in ruins in the first place, it wouldn’t work as well. This is because being on a rescue mission is one of the “8 Types Of Relationships That Won’t Work”. Your man would be more like your project instead of your lover.

If the man you choose is the type who doesn’t have much ambition, then the effect might not be as great as well; but you will still be able to bring out the best in him; or maybe inspire him to do something in the future. Just make sure you don’t try to change him or hope that he will change, because then you will be “Falling In Love With Your Partner’s Potential”, which is another one of the “8 Types Of Relationships That Won’t Work”. But if what you really wanted is just a quiet and simple life, then that’s fine.

Trust me, it’s true.

(If you’re interested in more tips on choosing the right life partner & building successful relationships, you can follow this guide that has been proven & verified to be true over 7 years here)

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TAKING ON THE WORLD YOURSELF

At this point, I know some of you might be thinking:

“Hey Johnson! Girls can be leaders and take on the world themselves too! Our power is not only limited to a supporting role!”

That’s exactly what I think too!

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WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO TAKE ON THE WORLD THEMSELVES TOO!

I fully agree that women are fully capable of taking on the world themselves, just look at the woman who’ve changed the world like Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Mother Theresa & Aung San Suu Kyi!

So girls, if you’re really passionate about something and are willing to go through the challenges and make the sacrifices required to achieve it, do go ahead and pursue your dreams and passion!

Never underestimate your own power and influence!

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BUT DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER AND IMPORTANCE OF A SUPPORTING ROLE

While we always celebrate great leaders and people who are credited with achieving great things, let us not forget that most of the time the people who deserve the most credit and are most important are those behind these great leaders who have been their pillar of strength & support through their entire journey, without which they would have given up long ago and would never have been able to achieve the things they’d achieved.

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MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE SUPPORTER IS MORE IMPORTANT & INFLUENTIAL THAN THE DO-ER

The truth is, more often than not, the person behind these great people who have achieved remarkable things are the truly impactful, powerful and influential ones, and the person who have achieved those things would certainly know.

This most powerful and influential role, is also a role where most women thrive in, because of your capacity to love, to support, to persevere and to have faith.

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It is also probably because this role not only allows you to influence & support your man in doing great things, but also your entire family, and provides a better opportunity for you to build and nurture a family, which just happens to be what a larger percentage (of course, there are also women who prefer to change the world themselves or have different priorities) of women want and view as a priority.

So, do not underestimate the power and influence you have in a supporting role, it is actually more important and meaningful.

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THE STORY OF MARGARET THATCHER

Margaret Thatcher was the first and only woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom till date. While many criticize her iron-fisted tactics, you can’t take away the impact and influence she had on the United Kingdom.

She was one of those leaders who was not afraid to do what she feels is right for the best of the country instead of what is popular and as a result ushered in a period of prosperity and recovery for the United Kingdom.

IT WAS A LONELY AND HURTFUL JOURNEY

But her journey as the first woman Prime Minister who had to implement unpopular policies for the good of the country was often a lonely one.

Everyone would seem to hate and oppose you because you truly cared for the country. Sounds ironic right? But that’s what usually happens. It’s just like a parent disciplining their child for their own good, and it hurts you so much that your child hates you for disciplining them but you still do it because you truly love them and know that it is for their own good.

They would only learn to appreciate what you did and thank you later on in life when it became obvious to them that you were right.

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SHE HAD HER HUSBAND’S SUPPORT THE WHOLE WAY

In her case, she was the one on the frontlines; while her husband played a crucial supporting role; otherwise which she might have went insane or cracked under pressure (a man would’ve faced the same).

To understand how important a role her husband might have played in her success, watch the 2011 autobiographical film “The Iron Lady” and you’ll get a better idea.

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When her husband passed away in 2003, she wrote this as a tribute to him:

“Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend.”

This gave us an idea of how important a role he played in her life.

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FIND A MAN THAT LOVES & SUPPORTS YOU DEEPLY

So girls, if you have decided that you should be the one being on the frontlines leading the way pursuing the cause that you’re deeply passionate about and are willing to face the numerous challenges and make the necessarily sacrifices like Margaret Thatcher did, then I urge you to find a man that loves and supports you deeply, someone like Margaret Thatcher’s husband did for her, because it’s probably going to be an adventure, and a long and challenging journey full of ups and downs, which is much better and much more meaningful & enjoyable travelled with a companion.

But please choose carefully and make sure he’s the right man, otherwise he might destroy you.

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AUNG SAN SUU KYI HAD A LOVING & SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND TOO

Being a leader trying to achieve significant feats because you believe it is the right thing to do is never easy, that is why it was no surprise that Aung San Suu Kyi, another amazing woman who has dedicated her life to a cause she strongly believed in also had the support of a loving and supportive companion.

You can read up more about it or watch the film “The Lady” to get a better idea of her life.

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HAVING IT ALL THROUGH BALANCE LIKE SHERYL SANDBERG

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of facebook, is another powerful woman who is impacting the world in a significant way through what she does with facebook but still manages to have a fulfilling family life. She achieves it by being efficient, finding balance & standing up for her rights for family time.

But unfortunately, her beloved husband just passed away unexpectedly while exercising just a few days before I wrote this piece.

Nevertheless, here is her tribute to her husband from which you can see how important a role he played in her life, and vice-versa.

You can read more about her thoughts and views on women, work & the will to lead from her book “Lean In”, which I think is a book that every woman should read.

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GIRLS, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD

So girls, after reading about all the stories above, it is clear that you have the power within you to change the world!

Never underestimate the power and influence you have over men and the world, and rock on!

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“Most women want a man that’s already established. A strong & amazing woman will want to be part of his struggle, survive it, have an adventure of a lifetime, succeed together, and build an empire.”

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