A lot of things I did in 2018, which when I think about it, if I have gone back in time and told the me in December 2015, I would have said you must be nuts. (I did this through looking at my photos 3 years ago and thought about the me back then.)
Invested over 5 figures USD in my personal education
3 years ago, I was living with a lot of pride in the banking industry. Going to nice restaurants frequently, travelling a lot for both business and leisure, buying many things that I didn’t really use. I didn’t really look at the bills when I was paying for things. I was going through things randomly to look for happiness. But pride and ego stopped me from reaching out and I was never going to step out of my comfort zone because I was doing so well already.
But deep inside I know things were missing. Going to work feels numb, it was hard to feel motivated and excited so it was hard to perform. A lot of the times the food was tasteless even if it was expensive, so I tried paying for more expensive food. I searched around looking for more expensive things to buy as well but even that only stimulated my feelings for a very short while. It was really strange.
As I looked around, most of my peers are complaining about their jobs and bosses, negative sentiments were all around.
As I dig deeper, I started to find what makes me happy was spending time with my family and myself alone. Going to shopping malls and supermarkets with my parents and seeing them happy just because we were there with them gave me great joy. Spending time with myself playing Football Manager or FIFA, watching a live football game alone or with friends and playing football gave me tremendous joy. These were all things I used to do when I was a lot younger and without money anyway.
As I was contemplating a career switch for a less stressful job, I started joining programs in fintech, entrepreneurship and mindset. I came across this video Dan Lok did that told me the best investment I could make was in myself. And I thought I actually stopped learning several years ago. I never did a master or MBA so maybe it is time to go back to school. However, I was reluctant to do a master or MBA as I didn’t really want to go back to a 9-5 job if I can. So I started doing a lot of personal development and entrepreneurship programs instead.
My second daughter was born
3 years ago, if someone told me I would be feeding my younger daughter in my bedroom in 3 years time, I would have said you must be insane.
My wife and I had try to have children for years but without progress. I am not sure if it is due to the travelling and/or stress.
I also watched my seniors failed to have children or don’t enjoy or spend time with their children for some of those that have them.
I was thinking to myself. Do I want to be like them? I think it was then that my mindset started really changing, which led to me eventually leaving the industry altogether.
I have so much respect now for my friends that are around my age but have children that are like 5-10 years old. Back when I was late 20s/early 30s I was so much more immature so I have no idea how they got through that period.
Even now with our parents helping out and I struggle. I am not doing very much yet I still feel exhausted just simply playing with them.
That said, sleeping next to my daughter the other day, I was already missing this precious time. Thinking in just 5-10 years she will no longer wants to sleep next to me and that is so so quick.
I remember I watched a Chinese drama once and one of the characters said you miss the person the most when you are missing them when you are looking at them. That’s the feeling I am having with my daughters.
When I get asked what’s the difference in my life after having children, I always say it is like adding an extra dimension to your life. Before children, I lived in 2D but now I am in 3D. The joy your children brings to you, language as a medium simply is not sufficient for sharing that emotion with another person. So you must try for yourself.
Before I had children, a friend told me he would tell me more kids story later when I have kids, I used to get offended now I completely understand why.
Started my entrepreneurial journey
This is probably the craziest and most unimaginable thing to have happened because for the first 2 events, most of us get some form of education and have a family although both are probably getting increasingly difficult.
However, not working full time in a 9 to 5 job and doing my own business was way out of the natural path for me. I didn’t know many business owners. How do I even start or who are the people I should talk to? It was overwhelming.
And to sell my car to fund my startup, to live in so much fear each day, to get into so fierce fights with my family, to go so out of my way to doing something was simply too challenging and crazy. Why would I ever want to do that?
But to imagine myself, learning so much each day, growing so much spiritually by meditating daily, to ask myself deep deep questions what makes me obsess and happy, to be able to share this experience with my daughters as they watch their father goes through this journey, and the fact that I would not regret the day I die since I know I at least gave it my best shot, I genuinely believe there is no greater reward in life.
In the end, I am not like a pirate where I am risking my life looking for riches. I am merely going online, talking to a lot of people about how I could help them to better their lives and what I could do to reach more people. Every day, I see my daughters and family, it is really not at the same scale modern day compared to historical times.