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you can't connect the dots looking forward

<photo: somewhere along the trek to Everest Base Camp>

The history of the world is filled with explorers and the epic journeys that they took. Often these expeditions took years of determined wandering into uncharted territories fraught with danger and unknown risks.

All journeys start with the proverbial first step, which is always the toughest part of any journey. Taking the first step involves Leadership with the vision to venture into the vast unknown. Zheng He, the legendary admiral of the Ming Dynasty, sailed thousands of kilometres in his seven voyages to reach as far west as Africa. Each of the seven voyages involved thousands of soldiers and hundreds of ships, some of which were reputed to be far larger than any other wooden ships in history.

Difficult journeys also require Knowledge of the paths to take. The mission to land a man on the moon, known as the Apollo programme, involved years of planning, employed hundreds of thousands of people and gave rise to many new inventions that benefited mankind. The lost of the lives of three astronauts early in the programme resulted in Wisdom to learn from experience.

The novel Journey to the West (西游记) was inspired by the pilgrimage of Xuanzang, the Buddhist monk who went on a 17-year journey to India in search of the original Buddhist scriptures to bring back to China. Crossing the vast Gobi Desert alone to reach India, Xuanzang faced countless encounters with fierce bandits and extreme weather. Written almost a century after Xuanzang’s epic pilgrimage, Journey to the West gave us memorable characters such Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing. It also taught us to draw Strength from friends and alliances and the Perseverance to recover from hardship and failures.

The journey for Singapore to be the leading global accountancy hub started in late 2008, and we are the first country to embark on such a journey. Although in the last 8 years we haven’t encountered the same extremes as faced by Zheng He, the Apollo programme and Xuanzang, the challenges we faced have still been immense.

Since the beginning of our journey, the Singapore Accountancy Commission has been guided by Leadership, Knowledge, Wisdom, Strength and Perseverance. The accountancy sector in Singapore has rallied behind us on this journey, and for that I would like to express my gratitude to everyone. It has been an incredible journey for me.

It is also by no coincidence that the SAC’s logo looks like the Chinese character for jǐng or well. The idiom 临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng) exhorts us to dig a well before we become thirsty. Together with the accountancy sector, the SAC has built deep wells that will provide us with water for years to come.

"You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path." Steve Jobs

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