Wisdom of Living: Dr. Jade Kua

by Susanah Cheok

The multi-gifted Dr. Jade Kua, medical professional, life coach and author is Blancpain’s leading woman of wisdom, she who epitomises the watch brand’s elegance, grace and perpetual innovation. While Blancpain carves out a new milestone by reinterpreting its 38 mm Women Quantième Complet with moon phases, a timepiece that’s at once past, present and future in terms of stark elegance and intricate movements, it celebrates Dr. Kua’s artful wisdom of living.

Blancpain’s Women Quantième Complet timepiece is multi-dimensional – at once exquisite, classic, yet innovative. Streamlined, minimalist, yet precious-looking, the timepiece marries distinguished quietude with elegant sportiness. White face and strap denote the quick tempo lifestyle of its wearer, but the coronet of diamonds, and more sparklers marking the hours between 12, 3, 6 and 9, reflect an appreciation for the finer things, a deliberate enjoyment of enduring beauty and values.

Not just a beautiful face, the stunning Women Quantième Complet timepiece belies complications par excellence: the stupendously successful complete calendar that combines form and function – with slim apertures that serve to display the day of the week and the month, while a quirky blue steel serpentine hand indicates the date. Blancpain’s complete calendar is combined with a moon phase, which enchantingly reproduces the cycles of the star (the sun), a beguiling complication that has been reprised and put back in the spotlight and rightly so.

To mark these horological achievements is to present the hard-won accomplishments of a woman who embodies the brand’s continuous pursuit of progressive excellence, a woman who describes herself as “a mother to many and mentor to more.”  Through her healing and nurturing work as a paediatrician, who specialises in emergency medicine, and a life coach, Dr. Jade Kua encourages her patients, charges and clients, to embrace life fully, and to build experiences through mistakes, and she does so by always showing them kindness. She has a big, giving heart, after her father’s, saying, “He taught me the importance of forgiveness and letting go of the past and moving forward mindfully.” 

Purposeful Living

Dr. Kua is a media veteran known to wear many hats. Varied though her roles are, there is meaning and purpose in everything she pursues and they all dovetail into a singular resolve and devotion, whether as an emergency medicine paediatrician, life-saving-skills advocate, life-coach or author, and that is to care for those in need of healing in a wholistic way.

Dr. Kua maintains a blog in which she writes about art, family history, caregiving education, fitness, wellness, food and wine, even gems. Written in Dr. Kua’s typical authoritative yet approachable style, her blogs aren’t casual musings on life’s observations, but meaningful discoveries and investigations that deeply benefit her readers. She has also created a children’s book which she describes as “not just a bedtime story, but an opportunity for intentional conversations between caregivers and children.” 

The multi-gifted medical professional is also adept at multi-tasking. Becoming a doctor is an arduous, gritty enough journey for most, but Dr. Kua deems being one even harder. “There are so many challenges when you’re a working parent, especially if you’re pursuing excellence,” she says, that is, pursuing excellence in a multi-disciplinary career, caring for her family and reaching out to, and helping the wider community. The paediatric emergency specialist and mother of 3 teens, 3 tots, 2 dogs and many residents, modestly admits that she’s still trying to figure it all out.

Wholistic Healer

While she spent a good part of her life firm on being a caring and intrepid paediatric emergency specialist, she feels strongly that taking care of someone’s mental and emotional wellness are equally important. Dr. Kua shares that “With coaching, I am able to reach out to a wider community than those who are critically ill,” and fill the needs gaps. “I’m grateful for the chance to contribute as a coach, to be a catalyst for positive transformation in someone’s life.”

In a world, where everything is important, she stays centred on the art of giving precedence to persons and situations that require urgent and immediate attention. “I’m very focused on prioritising my goals and this is similar to how we triage patients to emergency cases, versus those who require less immediate care. Eventually, everyone gets attended to with love, but the priority has to be for those who will deteriorate in minutes. And that’s pretty much how I manage all my personal and social tasks too, I suppose.”

And nowhere else is it more crucial for a leader to lead by calm example than in life or death situations. Dr. Kua’s style is at once nurturing, humble and mutual. In her books, “the leader is just one member of the team, so my leadership style is largely collaborative and always inclusive.”

She deems this such an exciting, emancipating time to be a woman leader. “Many shackles that used to hold us back have been broken, thanks to the hard work of many women leaders before my time. For example, it was due to previous presidents of the Association of Women Doctors, Singapore, that the quota on female medical students was removed. Although I had already graduated by then, I’m grateful for the impact on future generations of female medical students. Hard change and good work takes time.” 

Wisdom of Time

How often do you check the time and why?

“I check the time constantly! I’m always on the move with my work on the frontline at the public hospital, my life-coaching private practice and my family. As some of my stepchildren and clients are overseas, I’m always mindful of what time it is in the UK and US as well.” 

Where do you check time – watch, phone, clock?

“I always wear an analogue watch. I stare at the second-hand, as it ticks, when I manually verify my patients’ pulse or respiratory rates.” 

How is your work similar or different from the process of watch-making?

“A career in watch-making is an apprenticeship, an art and a science, much like medicine and even coaching.” 

What do you look for, when you shop for a timepiece?

“The nerd in me admires complications, while the multi-tasking mum requires something practical that isn’t too bulky.” 

How does time play a part in the wisdom you’ve gained and in your personal and professional growth?

“As time passes, and I go through more adventures, I’ve become so much stronger, not just because of my successes, but especially because of my failures. Time has honed my resilience.”

What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to do so far, and what was the wisdom behind overcoming it?

“It was difficult putting myself through coaching school while working full-time on the frontline. Many times I had wanted to quit because of the rigours of the course, but I pressed on because I knew I would be a more effective coach to my clients if I received structured training. Prioritising my clients’ needs helped me focus on the goal of graduating.”

This feature is produced in collaboration with Blancpain. Artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.

Related links:

Art of Living: Jessica Wong

Blancpain Classics: Villeret 2020

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