Wednesday, June 27, 2007


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too can become great.” Mark Twain

In 1978, I started becoming 'close' with a childhood friend of mine. We didn't want her family to know of our closeness. Not that we were doing anything wrong. Just didn't want them to know. The explaining and one would believe there was nothing going on. In the ensuing years of our brief and sweet friendship, we had long conversations just about everything. I always wondered why of all the guys that hung out at her house, it was me she was most attracted to. (the guys were at her house because of her brothers actually...just guys hanging around after work).

As years went by, we saw less of each other. Then one fine day, I received a form in the mail. It was from a Bible College. To my amazement, my friend applied to study at the Bible College and put me down as one of her References. She wanted to serve the church full time. When I read the mail, I thought for as if I should determine what's right for her. What audacity. I did the negative. No! was my reply. She was not ready. As if I knew. I was not even sure where I was heading in life and here deciding that my friend was not ready to serve full time in a Church. Of course God's ways are higher than mine. She was accepted into Bible College and till this day serves the Church.

Back to the here and now, it is evident everywhere. We have people wanting to pursue a dream only to have their friends even their love ones discouraging them. Giving reasons why it will not work for them. In the realm of motivation, these people are called 'Dream Stealers'. One of my mentors, Ms Eva Lawrence, one of the richest woman I personally know says of these 'Dream Stealers' away from

To those out there, if you have dreams, goals, wishes, go and fulfill those dreams, goals, wishes. Run away from those who do not encourage you in your pursuit of these dreams. If we do not have them, let us not discourage those who have. Yet I've been told that if we help people fulfill their dreams, we will fulfill our dreams as well. That's the way the universe works. Only great people and achievers know where they are now and where they came from. They know the journey because they have traveled that road. Only small poeple think they know. That's why they have not moved anywhere. They are still thinking.


J.T. said...

And I believe...the real great people and achievers rarely flaunt that they are great and know everything.
The great ones are those who keep encouraging others, while they continue to fulfill more dreams, goals and wishes.

So inspiring. Thanks! :)

zorro said...

Strange huh Tony, notice how fast we run when friends ask us to:
smoke less, drink less, exercise more, eat less, eat greens, practise safe sex, give to the poor etc. And these are all good advice.
I only run, run, and run fast when politicians and religious zealots try to teach us to be good. What the fugk do they know about being good.

Kak Teh said...

something moved me to come here - perhaps your comment in my blog. And I am glad I did. I need to fulfill my dream SUP. I just dont know how.

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Yes JT. If we are still alive, it ain't finished yet. Great people never 'call it a day'.

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Zorro sir,
Yet I still keep the friends. Sometimes they mean well, in ignorance maybe.

Kak Teh,
Its an honour to have you visit my blog. Reading your blog sometimes makes me feel I'm travelling around using your eyes.
And about you fulfilling your dream yet do not know how. It's the most honest thing anybody can say. Yet I know you'll figure it out.

Raden Galoh said...

Bro Tony, I realize too that because we have been 'harrassed' by dream stealers so much, we in return become one of the dream stealers too...thank you for reminding...i should not block my sons' vision and dream and be one dream stealer!

Pls do the tag...we need more contribution to make it materialise by aug 26th... Pls refer to Idham's blog:, you'll find how to go about doing it.

Take care and have a nice weekend bro!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Tony,

What a wonderful story...I think it is one that every person (esp. the 'young' ones) should read, to remind them to not let people stand in way of their dreams...It is also a reminder to us that we should not belittle the dreams of other people...After all, without dreamers, this world will have nothing =) Oh, btw, can I call you Uncle? ;)

PS: Have finally had a chance to add you to my blogroll!

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi RG,
Thanks for visiting. Sometimes we become dream stealers ourselves. Just have to be sure by being encouraging.

Hi Daphne,
Oh no! Don't call me uncle..not yet at least. I'll be more comfortable with just Tony.
Thank you for your comments.

winniethepooh said...

hi Tony, hop over from j.t's blog. it is so true, we hv to constantly remind ourselves not to be dream stealers of others.

Am always happy to know others found their I try my best to encourage and 'push' them to achieve their dream. For me, I dont even know what my dream is hehe..sometimes feel so old already still dunnoe what my dream is :)

you have a great weekend!

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi winniethepooh,
Nice of you to drop by.
Its not that you don't have dreams. Everyone has. Most of the time we convince ourselves that its not attainable. That's why we give up even before we attempt...And of course the presence of dream stealers who convince us that its not possible, or we are too old. As long as we can still breath, the job ain't finished. Take care and go fulfill your dreams. Its not too late. Don't let anyone convince you of that.

Mat Salo said...


It is human nature to have a little "ego", and as such, even when we become mildly succesful we start believing that we "know" more.

Being the "charitable" sort, we then start dispensing advice to close friends and loved ones who we think are in dire need of them.

Most of the time, we're probably wrong, and we often find this out the hard way..

I suppose for any change to happen, a lot has got to come from within...

Really enjoyed this one Tony - made me think. Thanks.

kna said...


When I first met you in 1988 when I joined NSTP as marketing trainee, I did not realise that there is a philosopher in you. All I saw was a joker :P.

Ran into Mutalib and Maimun some weeks back in KL. All the oldtimers are gone huh except for Zorro and Wan Rafilin.

Btw, I am still searching for my dream.


tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Kna,
Nice of you to drop by. After I left last year, I thought that's the end of all my dreams. Not until I met Herbalife, that I began to dream again big time. We all have dreams. Its just whether we are willing to put in the extra effort and fulfill them or just give all sorts of excuses why we cannot fulifill them. Call me and we'll catch up for old time sake.

JBingkasan said...


Yes we run to chase our dream but sometimes distructed by others who are not only willing to run with us but running to run us down.

Reading your posting made me run to see you at the place we used to meet years ago.

You are invited to visit

elviza said...

Tony dear,

This one moved me. This posting inspired me.

That road less travelled still looks bleary to me. Wish I cold chuck my day job right now and just write away.

Thank you friend. Really, thank you. I need this once in a while.

Radical Scope said...

my god! it's tony! god, didn't expect it to be the same tony i knew from the T-Square group. how are you, buddy?

well, couldn't agree more about the "dream stealers"; they come in all shapes and sizes, and could even be the person closest to you (as close as you can ever imagine). which means, they can be your mom who had carried you who 8-9 months, your spouse whom you married for the past century (exaggerating, of course), or the best friend you'd die for.

one way to be saved from these "vampires" (john van uden's word) is to, of course, RUN. another way is to be an "inverse paranoid". an inverse paranoid is a person who instead of thinking that people are going against him or his dream, thinks that they are trying to help him achieve it. no small task to master it, but it works. jack canfield in his book, "the success principles" talks about it in depth. in fact, his mentor, w. clement stone was an inverse paranoid.

well, good to read about you here, tony. come and visit my space as well, okay.


tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Mat Salo,
Very nice of you to drop by my blog again. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Will we catch up again at Tuesday's lunch? Hope to see you again.

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hello Bro JoBingkasan,
Glad to hera from you ba! Was wondering where you went. I'll check your blog immediately after this. Keep in touch.

HI Ismat,
Why don't see you at T-Square any more? Come by. Lot of things happening now. Will check your blog also. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Your posting on pursuing your dream is so timely for me. I have been thinking, a lot more than usual, about pursuing this particular desire I have had for a long while and that is about all I have been doing - just thinking and not going any further. Even my husband kids have been telling me to do something about it. I sometimes wonder if I am my own dream stealer.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tony,

Beginning to love your blog..."you may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one..."

cheers Bro!

zorro said...

Tony, time to give us another inspirational piece.....OR I WILL SEND YOU TO THE DETENTION CLASS!!!!

tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for dropping by. Cheers to you too.

I know its been a while since i last posted. I've been away and laptops when on a seminar. Just got back and ready to roll. thanks for the reminder.