Nov 17

Live Full, Die Empty

Speaker: Karen Woon

I am sure by now you realized that I am not a humble person.

It is critical that you are aware of my achievements.


Good evening Club President, District Officers, Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests.


If I tell you that there is a place where the greatest treasure is buried, where do you think it will be?

ANSWER: It is the cemetery.


The cemetery is the richest place because there you will see

–       The books that were not published

–       The ideas that were not harnessed

–       The songs that were not sung

–       The buildings that were not built


Greatest treasure of untapped potential is buried in the cemetery.


Every one of you is full of incredible potential.

There is seed of greatness in you.

You have something to offer that nobody else has.

But too often, we allow adversities, disappointments, and setbacks to keep us from moving forward.

We are not stretching; we allow ourselves to remain where we are.



I fear public speaking.


There was this experience that I will never forget.

When I was 17, I had to make a presentation to a group of 10 people.

My heart was beating fast. My mind was blank, empty because I forgot to breathe.

I looked at the board, my friend, the audience = blank

I looked at the board, my friend, the audience = still blank

I looked at the board, my friend, the audience = screensaver mode

And I looked at my friend, “why don’t you do it?”


Can you imagine how I felt when I “simply gave up”? I felt like a failure.


Another time where I felt huge sense of fear was March last year at the Area Contest.

I forgot my speech halfway through.

I simply stood there and my heart was beating fast. My mind was blank.

And the silence was awkward.

After my speech, I sat down and I had this terrible stomachache.

That’s how much fear I have.


I fear public speaking. But I have a fear greater than public speaking.

I fear that I will live my life with regrets.

This fear compels me to constantly work on myself.


You see, like everyone else, I have a dream. A vision for my life.

It’s lies within me; it is a knowing.

A knowing, that one day I will be successful enough to speak to a large audience about how they too can achieve success.


It’s hard changing your life.

In the process, you are going to incur a lot of disappointments, a lot of failure, a lot of pain.

There will be time when life is going to beat you down and keep you there if you let it.

There will be moments where you are going to doubt yourself.

The rough times are going to come but they have not come to stay.

They have come to pass.


I have been told that:

  1. No one EVER listens to me – But you are listening to me right now
  2. I have no leadership qualities – BUT I became your Club President
  3. I have no perseverance (STARTER NOT FINISHER) – BUT I am constantly picking myself up and readjusting my strategies to become better person. I may not have reached my destiny but I am not done yet.


It is necessary that you get the losers out of your life if you want to live your dream.


Most people will see you for who you are now.

But you need to see yourself as who you are becoming.


I’ve DECIDED that I was not going to allow anyone to be right about me.

Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t have to be your reality. You can create your own reality.


The key to succeeding is picking yourself up from where you fall.



On many occasions, I felt that I am not ready for the challenge that is right in front of me.

It was not my intention to become Club President. I only wanted to be a VPPR to clear my DTM Credit.


When Walter asked me if I wanted to become a President, I smsed my best friend, should I or shouldn’t I?

And she replied, “Go for it. I have faith in you. I am sure you can do it.”


People who have your best interests will want you to be your best.


What fear is stopping you in your track and burning the soles of your feet?

What if you can unleash everything great in your life?

Would you do it? Would you say YES to that?



Courage is not the absence of fear; it is acting in spite of it

Feel the fear and do it anyway.


Don’t allow anyone, friend or family, acquaintance, teachers, whoever it is.

Don’t allow anyone tell you what you are dreaming for yourself and your family is not possible.



If someone had told me that we would double our membership, I would have doubted it.

If someone had told me that we would have more people in our EXCO, I would have doubted it.

I could never imagine that OUR efforts could bring forth the results that we are seeing now.


Sometimes, the Vision for your life could be larger what your imagination can hold.

I have given up on the need to know what will happen tomorrow.

I have stopped analyzing what is possible or impossible to achieve.

I will go for whatever my heart desires; give my best and let GOD do the rest.


Now, I think of myself as a pilot.

I decide on my destiny.

I DO NOT THINK ABOUT WHETHER I will reach my destination or WHEN I WILL REACH there.

As long as I make the necessary preparations, I WILL get there.

Along the way, there will be turbulence, strong wind, stormy weather that will steer me off the course.

All I need to do is to focus on my destination and steer the plane back to its course.



The moment your life turns around is NOT when you hear this inspirational speech.

The moment your life turns around is when you DECIDE that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.



I hope you will live a full life and die empty.

Leave some love below! <3