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Ismail Gafoor


t i m e l e s s


Your Ultimate Guide To A Meaningful Life

First Published: December 2011 Published by: Ismail Gafoor Email: ISBN 978-981-08-9466-5

Copyright © 2011 Ismail Gafoor Typeset and Cover Design by: Silicon+ Editing by RedWordTree ( All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information retrieval systems – without written permission of the author. Conditions of Sale: This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent publisher. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Printed in Singapore

Acknowledgments Many thanks to my lovely wife, Nooraini Noordin, who has been my constant pillar of support and inspiration all my life. Without her, I would not have arrived at where I am today. And my three children – Noorisha, Nooris and Natasha Gafoor. They are the jewels of my life, without whom, my life and achievements would not have meant anything. And my three friends – Lee In Cher, Fazilla Nordin and Lui Natasha Amanda – for helping me define and clarify my thoughts about this book. Dedicated to those who choose to live life wisely.











Part 1

Through My Eyes The Three Lives IÂ Wish I Had Changed


The Timeless Gift

This is a story of the 4 Quadrants. This is a story about you. You might be Dean, Peter or Tom. It doesn’t really matter. I am here to guide you through. Having lived through time, I have seen the rise and fall of many individuals like you. Many of their mistakes could have been avoided, if they have had the wisdom to avoid them. And that’s why I am here today. The wisdom you are going to encounter did not appear by accident. Nothing happens by chance. I have been waiting for you since the beginning of time. Now is the time for timeless change.

The Timeless Gift


The 4 Quadrants At one moment, they were kids in elementary school, and the very next moment, they are old and reminiscing their childhood days. Yet, if you wish to make the best of your life, you will have to consciously live it. Living consciously and being aware will allow you to make the right decisions in the different stages of your life. Viewing your life in quadrants will give you the clarity to handle the different phases wisely. And I shall now give you the Wisdom Of Life’s Priorities©. They have withstood the test of time. The successful have paid heed to them. The failures have totally disregarded them. And here you are, presented with the same wisdom that has been presented to many before you.


The Timeless Gift

Wisdom of Life’s Priorities© (In 4 Quadrants)

The Timeless Gift


All of life begins and ends with the 4 Quadrants. As a traveller through time, I have seen how individuals like yourself live through the 4 Quadrants. You might be Dean, Peter or Tom. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you have a choice.


The Timeless Gift

DEAN Along Forlorn Street is Dean, a 33-year-old man manning a corner newsstand selling newspapers, snacks and sweets. Despair is written all over his face, but it was not supposed to be.

Like most other children, Dean had it cosy as a child. His parents worked hard for him. Dean never had to worry about food and shelter.

But as life would have it, those who have it cosy are likely to simply take it easy.

Having no ambition, Dean was all about arcade game centres, the sun, fun and the beach. And the babes. And the babe gave birth to a babe. At 21, Dean was already a father. The girl’s parents insisted on responsibility. At 22, Dean was married and dad of one child. The Timeless Gift


Possessing no proper educational qualifications or skills, Dean could only take on menial jobs. And having no discipline, Dean would travel from one menial job to another. At 29, Dean was jobless, with a homemaker wife and a growing child to feed. A relative took pity and offered Dean a job at the corner newsstand for a meagre pay. Beggars can’t choose; Dean took on the job. There was nothing to look forward to – for him, his wife and his child. There is a price to pay for not putting your heart into your studies during your formative years.


The Timeless Gift

PETER In Hall Street, the financial hub of The Great Country, is Peter in his office. At 33, Peter is a Senior Investment Analyst of an investment firm managing the portfolios of high net worth individuals. Considered a high flyer, Peter earns a salary that is the envy of many.

A swinging bachelor and a carefree soul, Peter is the man about town. Life is a constant party, with lots of booze, babes and banter. And while Peter is a good advisor to all his rich clients, Peter is his money’s greatest enemy. Having worked hard in school for the first part of his life, Peter resolved to have as much fun as he could the moment he came out from school. But having too much fun in the 2nd Quadrant is the perfect recipe for disaster.

Yet, through his wanton ways, Peter is laying the foundation of his own doom. The Timeless Gift


Like the many educated ones before him, Peter made the mistake of beginning his enjoyment the moment he started working. As an investment analyst, Peter should have known the perennial rule: The 2nd Quadrant is all about investments. It is about sowing the seeds for a better future. As a traveller through time, IÂ know what Peter will have to face in the future.


The Timeless Gift

At 55, Peter will have to continue working, not out of choice, but necessity. Having failed to invest while he was younger, Peter will not be able to reap the fruits of his labour. Also, as he is older, his income will be lowered, thus reducing – not obliterating – the possibility of him making any substantial investments for the future. If you fail to invest in the 2nd Quadrant, you may never get a chance to properly invest ever.

tom At the busy junction of the City Centre, and emerging from his office building while shifting his tie uneasily is 60-year-old Tom. Unlike Dean and Peter, Tom has had it right, most of the time. Educated, sophisticated but conceited, Tom grew up as the elite of the country. Schooled in one of the best institutions, and working in one of the premier organisations of the nation, Tom was savvy enough to invest the moment he started working. As a head honcho, Tom made enough to save, invest and live comfortably. He started a beautiful family by 30 along with his supportive wife and grew it with three adorable children.

At 44, Tom decided that it was now time to enjoy the fruits of his labour. The temptations of pretty flowers were hard to resist and Tom learnt this the hard way.

The Timeless Gift


His weakness for pretty young things spelled trouble and it was not long before it brought him to his downfall. Endless colourful nights flanked by his favourite mistresses in exotic getaways, along with those reckless gambling nights in casinos saw his savings and investments fly out the window as he clamoured to finance his guilty ‘pleasures’. Frittering everything away for fun in the 3rd Quadrant is unwise. You might just have to start from scratch in your later years. At 60, while others are reaping the fruits of their labour, Tom is gearing himself to return to the corporate world.

Retirement has to wait as Tom struggles to get back on his feet financially all over again. Good things come to those who wait – reserve your 100% fun to the later part of life for greater fulfilment.


The Timeless Gift

The Timeless Gift


MY ASPIRATION These are the three lives that I wished I could change. So much potential – But the lack of Guidance to the Wisdom Of Life’s Priorities© has led them astray over the course of their lives. But this has to stop somewhere – I am going to take charge, take a boy under my wing. I will show him the great successes and failures of life.


The Timeless Gift

Let him see the lives of these three men who were oblivious to the Wisdom Of Life’s Priorities© that could have completely changed their lives for the better. That chosen boy will not only have a life well-lived That boy will break the cycle of living life oblivious to the essence of the Quadrants. But who will that boy be? Oh yes, I know just the perfect one...

The Timeless Gift


Part 2



The Timeless Gift

The warm afternoon


Caused restlessness


Amongst the 14-year-old students

All combined into One huge uneasy feeling

In the stuffy classroom. In his gut. Mr Joseph Tan, Even though The biology teacher He did see Seemed to be droning The bad results On for hours. Coming – Amongst the class Well, those hours Of 40, That he frolicked Andrew was the most About town with Listless. His clique, Having just received Empty chit chat His semester’s Sessions at Starbucks Exam results, That stretched way He could not help but feel Into midnights, A twinge of And of course Disappointment, The Timeless Gift


The days lost

At their favourite

Flitting across

Fast food joint


In town.

Distracted by Facebook

Feet dragging,

And YouTube

Head down,


He left the school

Building and


The school bell

Made his way home.

Woke him

The thought of

From his stupor.

His parents yelling

Still reeling

And reprimanding him

From the

For the bad

Heartache from

State of his results

His results,

Accompanied him the

Andrew was too

Whole journey

Demoralised to


Join his friends

Without noticing,

For lunch

He bumped into


The Timeless Gift

A figure.

An old man,

Hello young one, did you not see where you were going just now? Oh, it is alright – young people these days have too many things on their mind. Well, since you are here, can you please help me? I am looking for Marigold Street – silly me, I have lost my way.

Friendly eyes,

Andrew blinked

And smile

To register the old man’s

On his face.


Clothed plainly and

There was something


About his voice;

The only distinguishable

It was too soothing,

Thing of his entire outlook

Kind of hypnotic

Was his golden

As well.

Sturdy cane

Suddenly, all the

That seemed to be

Worries of his

Supporting his

Results seemed

Whole weight.

To disappear

Andrew looked up To see who it was. In front of him –

At that very Moment. The Timeless Gift


He nodded,

Each question

And patiently led

Volleyed by the

The old man

Old man,

In the direction

One big question

Of Marigold Street.

Popped up in his mind:

Since he was frail,

Wait a minute – how did you know my name…I haven’t even told you what my name is!

The old man took Quite a while to

Nervous, Walk and that And slightly afraid, Was when Andrew removed his The conversation started. Arm from supporting Andrew, do you feel that you are doing something wrong in your life right now but you cannot put a finger to what it is? Don’t you wish to turn back time and change something very important that you did wrong? Do you have big dreams to fulfil but have no idea how to at all? As Andrew Was digesting


The Timeless Gift

The old man. Don’t be afraid, I am just an old man – how could I possibly harm a strong 14-year-old boy like you, Andrew? Treat me as your friend because I am here to take you on a great adventure to help you in your life. So, stop worrying about your exam results and come and follow me.

Andrew flinched.

A ghost?

At the mention

Andrew shuddered.

Of his

Don’t be silly. I am definitely not a ghost! Stop imagining the worst, will you? Well, since you need me to drag you along…

Exam results, His next instinct

The old man Told him to Came nearer Look around To Andrew For a way out – And all the poor frightened Away from this Boy could do Old man, a weird Stranger who not

Was to stay rooted to the ground.

Only knew his name,

The old man

But knew of


His results

His golden cane

As well.

And tapped

Who was this man?

Andrew on his shoulders

A wizard, magician

Three times

Or worse –


The Timeless Gift


The Timeless Gift  

An extract from The Timeless Gift, an inspirational classic from Ismail Gafoor, about getting your priorities right and living a meaningful...

The Timeless Gift  

An extract from The Timeless Gift, an inspirational classic from Ismail Gafoor, about getting your priorities right and living a meaningful...