National Achievers Congress 2014

What an amazing 3 days it was.

I admit that, like probably most of the people who attended, the reason I went there at all was to see Nick Vuijicic. And best part of all was that I had free tickets (thanks to POPULAR bookstore).

So daddy came along, which was the reason I could stay for all 3 days in the first place. No program list was ever released, so initially when I thought I’d be going alone, I had the problem that I didn’t have enough money for me to stay for all 3 days; and I didn’t even know when Nick would be speaking.

So we left Kuantan at 4am, and arrived a little past 8.15-ish at MIECC. Registration was from 7.30am-8.45am, so I wasn’t too worried. Buuuuutttttt….

 

Yup. The line went all the way outside the hall, and inside was a long zigzag line as it is. It was a huge crowd. I read though that it was a free seating, so I could only hope that most of the ones in front of us in the line were from the VVIP/VIP/Gold section. xD So then we finally went in the hall:

 

 

I wasn’t too far, but I wasn’t very near either. So I guess I can’t complain, eh? So when I pulled out the ‘Success Toolbook’, as they called it on the website, there was the list of speakers for the 3-day duration, BUT, there wasn’t a program list. We guessed that because if they did print the program, most of the people would only turn up for Nick’s speech. That, and because they had mainly highlighted Nick in their ads.

This was the page I was linked to in the email POPULAR sent me.

 

I didn’t know who Tom Hopkins nor Brendon Burchard was, seeing as I never took interest in anything relating to business matters. But I thought Brendon looked pretty dapper, if I do say so myself. xD So since seeing that, other than obviously being eager to see Nick in a flesh, I was also interested to see how Brendon would speak.

Anyway, back to the scene at hand..   Before this, I didn’t really pay much attention to who else would be speaking; I only knew for sure that the 3 ‘moguls’, if you will, and only paid attention to their details. So I opened the book and there were pictures of the other speakers:

 

 

So I will talk about each speaker individually, as much as I remember. See the numbers and dates I’ve scrawled? Those are the dates and order in which they spoke.

So first up was John Burley. Nice chap, fairly humourous. He had 2 sessions, I dunno why. One in the morning, and one later in the evening. Anyway, the morning session was fine; he spoke about the more general stuff, and I understood fairly well. The evening one, however, was a different story. Because I had been up since 4.30am that day and only got about an hour and a half worth of sleep the day before, I was trying very hard (and failing) to not nod off. I felt bad; because it made it seem like he’s failed to capture my attention as an audience, when in fact I was just really tired and I couldn’t relate to the subject.

 

Me & John Burley. If you would kindly avert your eyes from me

and turn them to John instead… that would be great.

 

Next up was Andrew Matthews, who would also have a second session the next morning. I didn’t know who he was, but I knew of the books he wrote. As he spoke, he would draw these little cartoons on the spot. The audience audibly gasped as he did, because he drew GOOD. And then we broke out into applause, of course. The thing that really stood out about Andrew, to me, was how he was able to set his mind to do something, and actually be successful in it. I will never forget the next morning when he spoke. He told us of a story where he was invited to speak in Beijing, and because it was a Chinese-speaking country, he thought he’d learn some Chinese to be able to connect to his audience more. He figured that if he learned a bit everyday, he’d hopefully be able to speak some conversational Chinese. But then at the last minute, his Beijing event was canceled. And that was when he surprised the entire hall by speaking in Chinese. It was not a few words, it was not a few sentences. He carried on his speech in almost an entire paragraph’s worth of Chinese, earning a massive and impressed applause. Another time, he drew on the flip chart a character on a ledge. He then drew a sign below and wrote ‘Lubang Besar’ (meaning ‘big hole’ in Malay). Then he drew another sign, and wrote it in Chinese characters.

 

Taken from NAC’s Facebook Page.

 

Also, because Andrew’s idea was to be happy with what you have instead of saying, “When so-and-so happens, then I’ll be happy”, he asked us to write this down:

 

Happiness is the key to success.

I took a photo of it because someone once scoffed at me when I told them that my goal in life was to be happy. This person’s opinion was that ‘being happy’ is not gonna pay the bills or support a family, and that it was not a realistic goal. Well OF COURSE I knew just ‘being happy’ was not going to make me financially stable or help me pay bills. I’m not as stupid as this person thinks I am. But I did have a little doubt if I was doing the right thing; to prioritize being happy, above all. So I can’t tell you how smug I felt when Andrew Matthews, International Speaker and author of these famous, brilliant books, thought so too. Also, he said this:

 

 

I couldn’t tell you how happy and smug and satisfied I felt after hearing that. No offense, but the person who scoffed at my beliefs were, and still is, nowhere near Andrew’s success. So who should I believe more, hmm? ;)

I’m a firm believer that attitude is everything. That, and tone of voice. I’m very sensitive to people’s tone of voice when they speak to me, in the sense that the slightest hardness in a tone, if used carelessly, can put me off. And often, people have told me that those beliefs of mine are baseless; stupid, even. So it was nice hearing that all I’ve stood for and believed was, in fact, true.

 

Also, got my copy of How Life Works signed by Andrew himself. ;)  

Anyways… Next up was Peng Joon. Oh dear, dear, dear Peng Joon. He started off alright, and I was actually pretty interested in what he has to say. But I’ve never seen a speaker who was able to piss off at least half the hall in the last 20 minutes or so of his speech. About an hour into his speech, it seemed that he had shown the audience a ton of video testimonials of other famous speakers praising his method, to the point it sounded as if he was boasting. That was still tolerable. When he promoted his program at the end of his speech, he literally demanded to know why those who hadn’t signed up for his program, hadn’t signed up. He kept incredulously saying how those who hadn’t stood up and signed up were ‘not taking action’, and ‘if you don’t take action now, when will you??” I dunno about the rest, man, but he annoyed me pretty bad then. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand the sight of him. >< I mean COME ON, you don’t FORCE people to sign up for your program! That’s like, I think, the #1 DON’T rule of being a speaker! Some, like me, may not have the money to sign up. And some might just not be interested. So what? Are you demanding that the entire hall get up and sign up?? Good God.

 

Next we had JT Foxx. JT… Oh JT… Now THIS, I meant in a good way. ;p Apparently he used to have a stutter as a kid, but BOY can he talk now. His stutter is completely gone, and he’s so tall and handsome and… and… GUH. I instantly developed a crush on him the moment he stood on the stage. =p He’s 33 years old too. xp He was the first speaker to even come down from the stage and interact with the audience. When I saw just how tall he was, MAN I think I got even more attracted to him then. xD His talk was good, and if no one told me, I wouldn’t have even guessed that he used to have a stutter. Also, at the end of his speech, he said that the first 50 people to sign up for his program would also get his personal contact number and email in case they had anything they wanted to consult him with. Shadi and I were literally silently screaming.  Unfortunately though, I couldn’t afford his course. ='( I have no idea how he managed to go from that to speaking so well now, but I couldn’t help imagining him with a stutter. A tall, burly man with an adorable stutter. UGH. I LIKE MY MEN TALL AND BUILT, OKAY. DON’T JUDGE. xD Ok, I think I’ll stop gushing now before half this post ends up being me gushing about him. ^^;;

 

 

Yes, this is him. There was a little story behind the picture too.  When I approached him to take a photo, it was just after the thing ended, and I wasn’t the only one wanting a picture with him. Daddy came along because I had asked him to help take the picture for me since Shadi has gone back. He was talking to someone when I came, and no one approached him because it seemed like he was discussing something with someone at the back. Even his… CEO? I dunno, it was some guy that was with him, but that guy said to wait. So me and a bunch of other people waited. When he came forth, I was the first to ask if I could have a picture. He said okay, and I looked around for daddy. JT then said, “Nah, I got it,” and proceeded to take my phone, flip it to the front camera, and snapped. So yes, the picture you see above was taken by JT.

*grabs pillow and screams in it*

Ok, I’m good. xD

I dunno if a lot of people took photo with him, because he had this really strong presence about him. Call it his aura or whatever, but even by just standing close to him, you could feel that he was someone who is.. well, dominant. xD Also, I sent mummy the pic of him above, and she said he looked like Benedict. xD Well, the following day, I came across THIS picture:

 

HE DOES THE POINTY THING TOO! HAHAHAHAHA xD

*cough*

 

Ok, so then the next day, we have Adam Ginsberg. I was pretty interested in what he had to say, because it involves selling stuff on Ebay and Amazon. Before he began, he asked all of us to remain standing, because he wanted to ‘do 2 things’, as he put it. First, he asked us all to put our hands in the air as he wanted to take a panoramic view of the entire hall. When some people waved their hands, he commented that it was a picture, and not a video. xD The second, he asked us all to take a selfie, with the stage as the background, and post it to twitter with the hashtag #nacmy to try and get it trending.

 

P/S: That’s Shadi beside me. ;) Link to the actual tweet here.

About 5 mins into his talk, he paused suddenly and asked, “Is it me or does it feel a little hot in here?” The audience responded that yes, the hall was a little hot that day. He then asked if it would be okay if he took his jacket off. When he didn’t get much of a response, he asked again if it was okay with us if he took his coat off for the rest of the presentation. When he got an okay, he took if off. and dayuuuuum, he had dem pecs! I had to look at his picture in the book again, because in it he looked like this nerdy, skinny fella, and here was this buff guy. Then my conversation with Shadi went as follows:

 

Shadi & Me: Oooh, he’s hot. He has a nice body!
Shadi: *whispers to me, looking at Adam* Can we get your number? *grins*
Me: But he has a girlfriend already…
Shadi: It’s ok, we can sell his girlfriend on Ebay! 

 

I swear I never expected that coming from Shadi. AT ALL. It was hard trying not to laugh out loud at that. xD After his talk, Shadi and I wanted to get a photo with him. He was eating his chocolate when we approached him and asked. He said sure, but that we would have to eat some chocolate first. =p So he gave Shadi and I one, then took a picture with us as promised. We thought that it was really nice of him to offer us some of his chocolates. ^^

 

 

Ok, before I continue with detailed description on the other speakers, let me just mention those who spoke, but which I had nothing much to say about. Let me make one thing clear though: it is NOT because they sucked or that they didn’t leave an impression; in fact, I admired all the speakers for being able to speak so fluently and get their message across. I, on the other hand, tend to have trouble speaking according to the points I’ve arranged if I don’t look at my cue cards… I tend to jump from point to point before realizing I missed out some. >< So yes. Some of the speakers didn’t really interest me simply because of the topic they were speaking about, which I either had no interest in or didn’t understand, but I have no doubt that they were all good; otherwise they wouldn’t be speaking at the congress in the first place.

So the people are: Kathlyn Toh, Caroline Claydon, Shiv Khera, Cayden Chang & Sean Seah, and Daniel Miller.

I thought Kathlyn definitely managed to get her point across, though as most of the speakers I’ve listed above, I didn’t really take a fancy to her topic (The 4-Step Formula to Success in the Stock Market). I’ve never been interested in stock markets. =/ Caroline was a sweet little petite lady. She definitely didn’t look like it on stage, but when I got a photo taken with her on the third day, I realised just how small she was! I mean that in the most flattering, cute way possible.

 

I’m 171cm, in case you were wondering.

It was the same with Shiv Khera. Unfortunately the only things that I remember from his speech was how he used to be a vacuum salesperson who later went into Life Insurance business.  =p I also remember a part when he was saying how he broke the record at the insurance company he worked with, and we all clapped. He then looked at us and said, “I haven’t even told you what record I broke, and you’re already clapping.” He then said he broke the record by making 0 sales. xD

Cayden Chang & Sean Seah presented as a duo. I wasn’t interested in their topic either, which was Win Constantly in a Volatile Stock Market. That, and Shadi and I actually left the hall and went walking in The Mines for a bit while they were speaking, so we didn’t get to hear them much. ;p As for Daniel Miller, his topic (Domain Investing) was rather interesting, but I just couldn’t find much to write about. Also, he must’ve used an old picture for the booklet, let me just say that. xp

 

Then there’s Kieron Sweeney from Canada. His talk was intriguing, and it got Shadi and I interested. As usual though, when he quoted the price for his program, it was far from what we could afford. Shadi suggested that we go talk to him about it to see if he could possibly suggest alternatives. So we approached him after his talk. We waited until there were no one wanted to speak to him anymore at that time, and went up to him. He looked at us, but Shadi was not saying anything, so I spoke. I told him that we were interested in his program, but that sheepishly, we couldn’t afford it. He smiled. “Don’t worry!” he said, brightly. “You are already taking the first step by taking action and coming to see me. We can work something out. Come see me after this. Don’t worry!” He then pulled me into a warm hug, which I returned. It felt so nice, and good. I dunno if it was some ‘strategy’ to make people feel comfortable around you so they’d have a higher chance of being convinced, but it was nice nonetheless.

 

 

 

And then we have Tom Hopkins. He was one of the 2 that was pictured with Nick on the flyers and books and whatnot, so I guessed he was pretty big though I didn’t know him, to be honest. Maybe I’ve heard his name somewhere, as it sounded a wee bit familiar. Anyway, I liked his tone of voice throughout his talk. It had various tones to it, and not just the loud/soft ones. He did, in my opinion, sounded like a gruff-voiced Owen Wilson. xD The entire time he was up on stage, I kept imagining if his voice was a few octaves higher. xD

AND THEN came Brendon Burchard. I remember taking a photo with Shadi just before then, and I held up the toolbook like so:

 

 

*cough*showing who I belong to HOLLA xD And HELLO DADDY. (Yes, that is my dad over there in white. He doesn’t smile much. xD)

I kept raving on about JT so Shadi knows very well that I like him, but then she reminds me not to ‘book’ my man so quickly… That Brendon was up next and he was not-too-shabby-looking himself. I told Shadi that if Brendon was not up to my expectations, that she could have Brendon and I’d have JT, so we wouldn’t have to fight over the same guy. xD

Then they announced Brendon, and let me tell ya that from the moment he took to the stage, he owned it; right up until he left. We stood up and clapped to welcome him, as Terence (the emcee) had ‘taught’ us, and that boy relished in the attention. He jumped up and down and danced about. He really knew how to get a crowd going, that’s for sure. ;)

And then he began his talk. And I swear the whole hall was quiet and hanging on to his every word. He had me almost in tears as he spoke of the lessons he learnt and of his experience, and his suicidal thoughts years ago. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about most ‘famous’ people who are suicidal, it’s that the one thing that stopped them from taking action was the thought of how much they’d hurt their loved ones if they did. For me, it hadn’t been like that at all. I knew at that time that no one would be upset if I had gone; except perhaps my best friend Ann.

Anyways, back to the topic. The more Brendon spoke, the more I felt drawn to him. He was devilishly handsome, and right then I knew I’d prefer Brendon over JT. xD In all seriousness though, I felt that Brendon had been the best speaker so far, because all the previous speakers, even when they had the hall silenced, it was-… how do I put it… a regular pause kinda silence. But when Brendon had the hall silenced, I looked around to find that Brendon had the entire hall’s rapt attention; that they were hanging on to his every word. No speaker had that power before him. I was in complete awe. And in love. *cough* I knew I HAD to have a picture with him after, but no such luck. *cries* A chinese lady that I didn’t know who (Malaysian publicist?) kept trying to drag him away. I later found out that he had a plane to catch, but to me, that wasn’t a reason to drag him off so rudely from the people who had, like me, obviously been entranced by his talk. The course he had promoted at the end seemed reasonable too, but I was really depressed about it because I couldn’t afford to take it. I was moody by the time the next speaker was announced, and I told Shadi glumly that I had no mood to hear anyone else but Nick speak now.

I didn’t have my picture with him, but I did record Brendon answering questions during his private Q&A session. Watch it and TELL ME YOU AREN’T IN LOVE WITH THIS MAN.

 

 

As I also found out after searching him up on the internet when I got back to Kuantan, turns out Brendon is married. Oh well. =/ wouldn’t expect someone as good looking as he is to stay available in the market for long, to be honest. =/ OH WELL I still have JT. xDD

 

As they would have it, the next presenter was Gerry Robert. And that man was hilarious. xD It was raining heavily when it was his turn to speak, and he happily told us that it was God’s way of saying that he agreed with him, and that the thunders were ‘sound effects’ that God was sending to dramatize his presentation. xD It had been raining the entire 3 days that the congress was on, but on the last day, it was the heaviest, with resounding thunders which could be heard even in the hall. I remember one time the thunder came too soon, and Gerry paused mid-sentence, and mentioned that ‘That Guy’s’ timing was a little off.  ;p He managed to lighten up my mood considerably, and by the end of his talk, I was bouncing in my seat anxiously waiting for Nick to come on.

 

AND THEN HE DID.

It was amazing seeing him in a flesh; I’ve only ever seen him on videos on the internet. The last time he came to Malaysia, I couldn’t see him. Nick’s speech was nothing short of inspiring and touching. It felt as if throughout the speech, I had to concentrate on holding back my tears more than I had to concentrate on what he was saying. I remember vaguely thinking that if I had been watching this from home in the privacy of my room, I’d be in tears by then.

He also said something that really tugged at my heartstrings. I’m not saying this word-for-word, but a gist of what he said was how some people become bitter, guarded, and mean because they’ve experienced a bad relationship, but how do you expect to let ‘the right person’ in when you’ve put up walls around you? I sat and thought for a moment. He’s right, no doubt about that. But I admit that I’m gonna have a real tough time breaking down those walls, because it was built over and over again by bad experiences that I daresay the bricks have become concrete, for all I know. But I’ll try. Because I know Nick’s right. As Tennyson said, better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

 

So yeah, that was my 3 days worth of experience at the NAC 2014 crammed into one blog post. I dare say it’s my longest yet? I took about 3 1/2 days to write it all down, partly because the day after coming back from NAC, I had to go to KL again in the wee hour of the morning for a ballet workshop. So yeah, I came home last night and was poofed beyond belief; I couldn’t even recall falling asleep in front of my laptop with the lights on. I just knew the day after that I must’ve fallen asleep at some point while using the laptop. =p

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