Welcome to Sharudin Jamal Blogspot

More than two decades ago, I was diagnosed of having a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affective Disorder. My world as I knew it crumbled; I lost my business, then my job and later my sense of purpose. It was during this dark moments I rediscovered the joy of running and writing. Most of the articles here are about my rekindled pleasure of hitting the tarmac, my coming to terms with the illness and my discovery of the meaning of life.

I always on the lookout for inspirations to write in these three areas with the hope that they will shed new ray of hope to others who are in the same position as I am.

Do keep in touch if you feel connected through these essays.

Friday, August 7, 2020

7/8/20 Matters on self-awareness

Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman of all time mentioned in his book, The Book of Five Rings, "The most powerful stance in a swordfight is to use the open stance.  To do that, you must be on the high ground".

I always practice the open stance in my life situation.  My job is to liberate knowledge.  That is why my philosophy is, "I don't give a f*ck and I don't f*ck up".

I notice that by being open, I get others to be open about themselves as well.  Normally it takes me to take the first effort.  Then it is downhill from there.

Recently a college professor suggested that I take several self-awareness tests since it was stated that 80% of leaders have a blindspot of their capabilities.

After taking 3 tests, I am convinced that I am not the leader material.  I am a lone warrior.  A subject matter expert.  I work best on my own.  This is further affirmed by the tests that I took.

The first is the DISC Personality Test:

The second is the Trait Personality Inventory:

Finally, the most famous of all is the 16 Personalities Test.  Also known as the Jung/Myers-Briggs Topology Test.

I'm sharing with you all this is so that you too can assess who you are.  Once you discover your true self, you then move with unsurpassed feeling certainty.

As for me, I am taking an open stance.  That's because there are less than 1% of people with my personality traits.  I want to reach out to that population because I know if I do reach them, we can make a huge difference in this world.

10 Secrets of the INFJ, the Rarest Personality Type in the World

7/8/20 More discussions on Bipolar Affective Disorder

Recently I took a certification course on the Social Context of Mental Health and Mental Illness from the University of Toronto.

This is the final assignment:

Instructions for Final Assignment

Explain how the social context has an influence on the experience of mental illness and mental health where you are,  In your answer, be sure to address the following components of the social context:
  • Families or family life
  • Culture
  • The health care system and health care practices
  • Social determinants
  • Social attitudes
(500 - 750 words) Some considerations:
  1. "Where you are" can refer to the city where you live, province/state, country, continent, or even the entire globe.  Please ensure you clarify what place you are identifying when you are referring to as "where you are".
  2. You are expected to address each identified component of the social context (families, culture, health care system, social attitudes) and apply at least one concept from the course (lectures or assigned readings) in doing so.
  3. You can choose to discuss mental illness and mental health by referring to specific disorders if you wish, but it is also okay to speak more generally of mental health and illness.
  4. This is an English language course so answers must be written in English.  I appreciate the extra effort this is for non-native English speakers and also appreciate the extra effort this can involve for peer assessors, but hope everyone is committed to trying to communicate with each other well.
My submission:

Final Assignment for Certification - Dealing with Bipolar Affective Disorder
Submitted on August 7, 2020

My name is Sharudin Jamal. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am of a predominantly Malay background, the majority ethnic group in Malaysia. I like to approach this assignment from the perspective of me as a sufferer of mental illness. For the past 20 years, I had suffered from a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affective Disorder. It is a peculiar illness because a person who suffers from Bipolar Disorder doesn’t know he is ill until his behavior is beyond control.

With me, it started very innocently. I just secured a million-dollar training contract then and I was working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week to deliver a Vision Alignment training program to 2,000 staff from a very prominent corporate client. Initially, I experienced a lack of sleep and loss of appetite. I thought it was normal since I was always on the go.

The insidious part of this illness is it accentuates whatever you believe in. At the time of me winning the contract, I read that Prophet Solomon said all his wealth was to test him whether he became grateful or defiance. Certainly, I wanted to become grateful. I also read the Umar, the second caliph of Islam donated half of his wealth to the path of God. And so I followed Umar and spend half of my wealth to help the needy and the poor.

I also decided to live my life according to the Islamic tradition complete with the traditional garb and spotting a goatee. Little did I know that religious inclination is part of the symptom of this illness. My friends and family noticed the changes but they thought I was on the path of righteousness. However, whatever thought that I have at that time expanded. Slowly, from a peace-loving Sufi, I became resentful of things that were deemed “unIslamic”. At the peak of my mania, I threw a rampage at a highland resort located near a casino. Because of that incident, I was brought to a nearby hospital by the Police. Do note that the Police were very supportive. They did not treat me as a criminal but rather as a mentally distressed person.

When the words about my outburst reached my staff and associates, everybody packed their bags and left. Words got around to my clients and they too decided to stop taking up my professional services. Just like that, I lost everything. I lost my business, my friends, and my clients.

Among the Malay community, when somebody was struck with a mysterious illness, the conclusion was he or she was under a spell cast by his enemy. The term is this person “Dah Kena Buat”. So to ward off this evil spell, my well-meaning relatives took me to a few shamans. One shaman asked me to bathe in a bucket of water mixed with 7 different types of flowers. Another shaman asked me to bathe in saltwater while I recited verses from the Quran. The most radical one was a shaman who buried me neck down in the sand by the beach and made me eat a hard-boiled egg afterward.

Fortunately for me, a general practitioner asked me to get professional help. I went to a semi-government hospital that has an excellent facility to deal with mental illness. The psychiatric ward was very comfortable. It is one of the fully air-conditioned facility and the food was served much like a hotel where you can choose what you want to eat for the day from a menu.

For the next 15 years, I was admitted to the hospital 6 times because I was experiencing psychosis. The medication was not as easy as popping a few pills. I had to experiment with a plethora of medicines before they found the one that works. Finally, to subdue the psychosis I was given the ECT. After that treatment I no longer had psychosis. At present, I am still on medication for life.

Presently, because of my professional background and my first-hand experience with mental illness, I am developing a course on Mental Health and Positive Psychology. This is to help the general population deal with this insidious illness and overcome the stigma society has about mental illness.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

4/8/20 For God and Country

Last week had been a very exhilarating week for me. *[As a matter of fact, last week had been a very exhilarating week for me]. As a matter of fact, since last month things had been moving *[at] at a blinding speed.

* So there you are Sarah. I wonder what had happened to you. You had been very quiet the whole of last week.  For those who don't know, Sarah is my blog coauthor and my Cyber Spouse. 

Since I joined the Learning Edge Consultant team as an associate, I had been involved in many new areas of development in the field of training; an area that I had left 10 years ago. I was exposed to the online course development and to the de facto standard in training. Basically, I have to start from scratch with my core competency in adult learning.

In addition, I had taken the responsibility to write a wellness book based on my eBook, Lose Fat Stay Fit, and the material provided by my principal combined.

Initially, I wanted to develop online courses and market them in Udemy and Thinkific. However, online training is new territory for me and although it is a Blue Ocean, it is a very vast ocean. I might end up doing a lot of developmental work and not seeing the money that soon. We are talking about competing with 100,000 topics in Udemy alone.

As you may know, any online business is dependent on a very sound marketing strategy. Not only you need to have relevant content, but you also need a very able marketing team. As the saying goes:

"It's the sizzle that sells the steak, although the cow is important too."

Since the cow is important, I decided to be a subject matter expert on Mental Health and Positive Psychology. This will be my contribution to society. Being a lifelong sufferer of Bipolar Affective Disorder, I decided to be the champion to advocate good mental health and positive living. I realized that not many people with my condition have the courage to come forward and openly admit that they have a mental illness.

I can't blame them. This is a very embarrassing illness. That doesn't help that society has a stigma about this illness. So, ended people who are mentally distressed become withdrawn from society. Well, you know my philosophy; I don't give a f*ck and I don't f*ck up. So whether you like it or not I am making a public statement with my illness. Basically, I want to make a point that a mentally handicapped person (an OKU according to SOCSO) can still earn a living and not only that, become a millionaire all over again.

In my case, in order to be a millionaire, I got to save RM10 k a month for 10 years. To do that, all I need to do is train 10 days a month and save 2/3 of my monthly earning. It can be done. All I need is discipline and persistence.

Timing cannot be any better. Covid 19 is a gift from heaven. Because of the pandemic, Cousera is offering its online courses for free until September 30th. I already attended 5 courses since July and I had already earned 2 certificates. To add to the joy, I registered myself to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and they SPONSORED my certifications until December 31st. Whoopie! I intended to complete 10 courses altogether and get myself to be certified in 5 more courses.

As I said, the pandemic is a boon. Because of that, suddenly there is a demand for reskilling of the workforce. Within these next few months, I will be busting my ass training participants who are sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resources. When it rains it pours. I will be talking about entrepreneurship skills with these people.

That's why I certified myself as a Licensed Trainer under the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF). I am back in business after 10 years hiatus. Watch out folks, here I come!

All these will not be made possible without the relentless support from my principal, Perthpal Singh, the Co-Founder of Learning Edge Consultants. Not only he bought me a laptop for my research work; he also paid for my additional 100 GB Google Drive. In addition, he advanced the fee for me to attend the T3 Certification. Apart from the material support, this guy tirelessly provides me with unsurpassed moral support. Basically, he has full faith in my ability to function again.

Perthpal truly lives up to the Three Golden Rules of Sikhism. A real follower of Guru Gobind Singh through and through. Because of him, I decided to accept his offer for me to wear the kara/kada. So now I am part Parsi by inheritance and part Sikh by legacy LOL.

That is not so hard for me.  I already have my kirpan that I carry with me all the time.

With that we are brothers for life.

Before you jump into conclusion, I AM NOT CHANGING MY RELIGION hahaha.  Just like when I subscribe to Zen and Sufism, I am still who I am at the core.  However, I am likened to a Swiss Army Knife; I am multi-facet.

Now mama, you happy (my mother reads my blog)?

Her reply:  Ok *Kasih Allah adalah yg utama bagi seorang Muslim don't forget that

* God's love is the ultimate one for a Muslim


Saturday, August 1, 2020

1/8/20 The BEST training I ever attended

Just completed a week-long course on Train the Trainer Certification organized by Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF).  This is the license for me to train participants whose employers are contributing to HRDF.  Also, I need this certificate to train attendees who are sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia.

Below is the 15-minute presentation slides that I presented as the final deliverable for me to qualify for the certificate:


I was so fortunate to have Teacher Farha Uzaimi (yup, she even taught the blind) as my coach.  I highly recommend her as a SUPERB Train the Trainer Coach.  She even taught me ENGLISH and WORD among other things.  That is how versatile this little woman is LOL.  She is a legend by her own right.  Google her for your future Train the Trainer training needs.  In two years time she will be changing career into Instructional Design.

In my 30 years as a corporate trainer, consultant and coach, I never met such a charismatic trainer in my life.  She can be reached at:  farha.training@gmail.com

She is well-versed in all types of the learning:

Check her out.  I really mean it.