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What is the book about?

Dr. Soh Jian Yi’s “The Ownership Cycle”

Partridge Singapore introduces Dr. Soh Jian Yi, who discusses The Ownership Cycle – his new book about success, leadership, learning, and happiness.


Please briefly describe your book . . .

This book, The Ownership Cycle, describes how to live a successful and fulfilling life, no matter who and what and where you are. This is based on the specific, self-perpetuating Cycle of observation, reaction and learning that occurs in all human beings throughout their lives. What is interesting is that this Cycle has two distinct patterns. The first, Ownership of Reality, is seen in the most grounded, effective people who live joyful lives filled with humility, empathy, “nothing is impossible” attitudes, healthy relationships and gratitude. The second, No-Ownership of Reality, is seen in people who struggle to succeed, have few or no allies, and live in a self-created bubble of denial and recurring failure…leading to lives riddled with negativity towards others, conceit, self-deceit, “anything difficult is impossible, so don’t bother trying” attitudes, unvoiced regrets, jealousy and hatred.


Moreover, each of us has different roles in life: we are members of a family, we can choose to learn new things at any stage of our lives, we can teach others anything, we can give a speech, we can be leaders, and so on. Another interesting aspect of this is that the same person can have Ownership of their career and be a successful professional, yet also have No-Ownership of their failing relationships at home and thus have ongoing conflict with loved ones.


The third main point is that the two Cycles tend to be reciprocated in interpersonal relationships and parenting; continued contact with No-Ownership people can cause a person to likewise adopt the failing No-Ownership mentality…and vice versa. The book covers this danger and how to put yourself and others you care for, in the healthy Ownership Cycle.


And can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a paediatrician and allergist in the National University Hospital of Singapore, and an academic with the National University of Singapore. I have had the fortune to move myself from the No-Ownership Cycle to the Ownership Cycle early on in life; I know well the seduction of living in a personal fantasy universe as well as the long difficult journey of taking charge of my own life and future. Observing the same Cycle in all kinds of people and learning about them was what allowed me to start the journey; engaging in various roles that require grounding me, such as voluntary service (I am a volunteer with TOUCH Community Services, Singapore) and understanding my fellow teachers and students gave me added insights into the two distinct Cycles. I also write articles for the national newspaper – The Straits Times, Singapore – that span doctor-patient issues and health. I subtly incorporate elements of Ownership in those articles.


Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject, and style?  What inspired you to write your book?

One of the points of Ownership is knowing how and where to find help. I began reading books and found myself drawn to the variety that discussed elements of Ownership, though no one ever used the word to describe those books. Those books come from various genres: science fiction, leadership, self-help, economics, history, and medicine.


The inspiration came from an event in May 2017. As Core Faculty of my department, I was tasked to discuss a topic I had in mind. I have been using the Ownership Cycle to break that invisible impenetrable bubble of fantasy for our doctor trainees – the bubble that makes teachers call these learners “unteachable” because the best teachers’ coaching and constructive feedback, in any school in any part of the world, is ignored. I could do this breaking, because I had made the personal journey between the Cycles myself. When I presented my topic, my fellow teachers were puzzled and tremendously excited at what I was describing. Intrigued, I then mentioned this briefly to some of the leaders of education in our country, and got the same response. I then ran a search online and realized no one had ever described Ownership, let alone the Cycle of 3 questions I had come up with…which could be applied to any human being, anywhere in the world. I realized I might have a unique perspective that could benefit everyone. Hence I decided to write this book.


Are you working on a sequel to your book?

Yes. I wrote this book for personal use and gave a glimpse of higher-level applications, such as controversies and problems that plague society and our world. (See the Further Questions to Ponder section, near the end of the book). If I do do a sequel, it will be the Ownership Cycle solutions to those far-reaching issues we face in our troubled world today. Examples include climate change, terrorism, and creating Creativity – that single, rarest, most valuable human trait that deserts most of us by adulthood.


Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book? Please feel free to mention any accolades you have received.

We will be placing an advertisement in the New York Times, giving away free copies on the Goodreads website and having the book showcased at the international book fairs.


What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Partridge Singapore?

I decided to go with self-publishing as I was confident of the quality and impact of the concept I was describing. As a first-time author, I made several additions and corrections. Partridge Publishing was very professional and took Ownership of their part in the work; I was pleased to interact with them. I also had to apologise a lot for the work I gave them!


Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?

The same as The Ownership Cycle itself: Own your concept/message/story and your book. Do your homework, research your niche, brush up your writing and grammar skills. Before publication, run the book by your friends and people who will give you honest, blunt feedback on how to improve it. And don’t give up.

The Ownership Cycle

The Ownership Cycle