Alex Butt Wai Choon: Wise Words of ‘Successful Happiness’ from a former Microsoft Chief

Great minds think alike… Bill Gates (left) and Wai Choon

Happiness in life is something many of us yearn and, in some cases, a few lucky ones have come to terms with true happiness.

Alex Butt Wai Choon, author, speaker and managing partner at Glides Consulting Partners is one of those few. Wai Choon was also a former Managing Director of Microsoft, whom Bill Gates had turned to at times for guidance and advice.

At various times in his life, Wai Choon has been a successful corporate executive, entrepreneur, and even Buddhist monk. Very recently he shared the key to success in happiness during a live interview with Money FM 89.3 – that success is the result of being happy.

“A lot of people are still pursuing and looking for other things – material, money – to define what success is at the end of the journey to actually don’t find happiness. Yet it’s the other way around. When you’re happy that in itself is success and the material elements will come along,” said Wai Choon.

He observes that, in many people’s minds, the progression towards happiness is very linear. It starts with a desire for something, the process to obtain it and the perception of happiness in the obtainment.

“That’s a flaw. That’s the condition we have been told and unfortunately it almost takes a lifetime for us to reach the end of the journey to find out it’s wrong,” he said.

Great minds think alike… Bill Gates (left) and Wai Choon

Three Roadblocks to Happiness and Success

Wai Choon believes that there are three key impediments to finding happiness or success.

They are ego, desires and ignorance. In his mind, desire leads to greed which leads to obsessiveness. Although people think that they want more and one day when they have enough, they will stop, in truth they will never stop.

Along those lines of thought, it is desire which leads to unhappiness and discontentment. He also mentions that ego is the route towards a lot of things such as anger, jealousy, and shame, and creates a mind that is unsettled.

“Kind of like water that’s boiled; you cannot see through it. When the mind is angry, you get directionless,” Wai Choon said.

With these impediments in mind, Wai Choon authored the book “A CEO and entrepreneur, a tourist and the monk: Finding the balance between success and happiness”.

So, What Are the Secrets to Happiness?

Having defined the impediments to success and happiness, Wai Choon knew that the answer will be something that was simple, yet difficult to achieve. To that end he envisioned a formula as simplistic as possible, what he called his ‘happiness and success’ equation.

“One end of the equation is time. We need to know how much time we have and how we allocate the time to pursue the ‘four M’s’ that will lead to happiness. The four M’s are; Making money, making merits, recognition that beyond the body there’s a mind, and mindfulness,” said Wai Choon.

Making money and merits are relatively straightforward, but Wai Choon feels that it is important to recognize the power of a nourished mind.

He alludes the similarity to athletes who recognize that there is mind over matter. Finally, mindfulness is the art of being present and enjoying the fruits of your happiness.

With those key pillars in mind, Wai Choon shared practical steps that individuals could take up to work towards the goal of happiness and success.

“There are the three things that I would recommend people to do, which I do it for myself. Number one is build good habits as a practical step. Second is meditate daily and the last one is mix around with the right kind of friends,” he said.

He recommends meditation as a useful activity to help clear the muddied waters of the mind. Just ten minutes in the morning to prepare for the day ahead, and ten minutes at night to clear the stress of a day can work wonders.

“Building good habits is to repeatedly do the good things and stop doing the bad things. We know certain things are no good. We don’t do them. Mix with the right kind of people who support your lifestyle. Get rid of some friends who are no longer supportive of your lifestyle,” he adds.

Staying True to the Path

Using the metaphor of riding a bicycle, Wai Choon reminds us that there’s no manual that can let you magically ride one.

The key is in the practice. So just as practice is necessary to be a good rider, being happy also needs continuous practice.

“Hopefully you understand that there’s the four elements that help you be successful, and you start working on them. Otherwise you think that there’s only one thing that is going to make you happy, which is making money”.

Learning truth the hard way, Wai Choon gave up his possessions and became a monk for 45 days, living in a forest.

On his path to knowledge, he meditated constantly and upon reflection, realised that he had found something that was different.

Ultimately, he is steadfast in his formula to success: time equals money, merits, mind and mindfulness.

To know more about life’s lessons, please visit https://theceomonk.com/ .

The book is available at the site and plus Amazon (printed) and ebooks on Kindle, Apple iTunes and Barns and Noble.

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