I’ve been tagged by Chris Brogan for this meme:

“Who had a big influence on you and how did that affect the direction of your life or career?“

We don’t have Thanksgiving here in Singapore, but I think this is an awesome meme, and I’m honored to be included. Thanks Chris – but more on that later. I’m always up for promoting others, and for writing about relationships. So, here’s the people who’ve influenced me, and who have changed my life. If not for you guys, I truly wouldn’t be who I am today.

My mum – Kind of obvious. She’s always been supportive of what I’ve done, even when it’s way out of the norm and really risky. Like quitting school. She’s given me enough space to explore the things I’m interested in, while teaching me good principles for life.

Simin – One of the most (if not the most) important people in my life. Yes, we’ve had disagreements and fights and all. But she’s always been one of the brightest sparks in my life, making me laugh, and just being a great friend. She was the main inspiration behind my temper improving, and basically, I became a better person because of her.

Samantha Wong – She’s always been there for me. Whenever I’ve been down, I could turn to her. She’s someone who I can talk to about anything. The times with her have kept me going in some of my lowest points in life, and ultimately to get out of those points. [edit: for those of you who might know her, no, this does not refer to the Samantha Wong from NUS High.]

Kai Hui – If not for her, I might not even be alive right now. Literally. When I was really at one of my lowest points (even toying with the idea of suicide – I don’t think I would have done it, but it was on my mind), she pulled me out of it.

Grace Huang – One of the first true friends I had, who I could really open up to and count on. She’s been my friend longer than anyone else, and even until now, I know I can count on her. Helps me to keep my head on straight and not get too emotional when stuff happens, and has been a great reminder that some friendships can last the distance, and that there are people who really will always be there.

Lihsia – I’ve blogged about her before a few times, I think. She’s been a huge encouragement and support, and an awesome inspiration. One of the smartest people I have the honor of knowing personally, having her as a friend has helped improved the way I think. When I first started this blog, she was my sounding board for a lot of my ideas, and she helped me sort out my thoughts for my first posts. More than that, on a personal level, she’s someone who I can trust, someone who’s always been willing to listen. A truly great friend.

Joshua Chan – He’s one guy I look up to a lot, and someone who’s influenced the way I think. He was more or less the one who cemented my opinion of the formal education system (that it’s broken). Great with words, always witty and often controversial, he was the first person who got me to start thinking about breaking out of the status quo.

Wei Min – Keyboardist and musician extraordinaire. He was the one who pushed me forward in my keyboard playing, and in my musicianship in general. He was a great encouragement, giving me good tips, and being harsh enough when required. Awesome musician, even more amazing mentor.

Natalie Yeo – My group leader in my first Megalife camp, and a great inspiration ever since. Haven’t really talked much in recent months, but she always helped me keep my eyes on God, no matter the circumstance. Even just seeing the way she lives her life is a great encouragement. She kept me firm in my Christian walk whenever I felt like giving up.

Chris Brogan – I emailed him for suggestions when I first started this blog, and I’m really glad I did. He gave me great advice, and even went on to promote and link to my blog. And he’s continued being a great encouragement – including me in memes like this, inviting me to PodCamp Boston 2 (and helping me in getting there), among others.

And last, but definitely not least….You – Yes, I know this sounds cliche. But without you guys, my awesome readers, this blog wouldn’t have lasted this long. Your encouragement has really kept me going, pushing me to continue posting, and to keep trying to write better posts. Your comments have thoughts keep me on my feet. Your own blogs give me inspiration and ideas to write about. So, thank you, all of you.

What about you? Who are your influences? Feel free to consider yourself tagged by me if you think it’s a worthwhile topic. Or you can share here in the comments. Specifically, I want to tag Sarah Deutsch, Jean Browman, Kabren, Tom O’Leary, Lynn, Esther.