Sometimes hearing all these news about dot com millionaires, how much money that app made overnight, and oh here are some sure-to get-rich ways…
And it really makes me jaded.
Well, it’s not like I am rich, I am actually nowhere near there! Hahaha. I am just a regular person who also has a fair share of struggles in life, I have to make ends meet and I have my dues to pay, of course.
I may not grow up with a silver spoon in mouth but I count myself very fortunate to be blessed with great families. But honestly, growing up in a family of 5 with my dad as the sole breadwinner made our lives tough financially. Hence, I learnt that money was truly a basic need when I was young and if I were to make my family’s livelihood better, I had to grow up quickly.
When I was 16 studying in upper secondary level, I really found studying the then syllabus a total waste of time. I never understood why on earth we had to memorise Chinese words forcefully and treated ourselves like machines to practice A Math questions in the ten-year-series. Also I witnessed my classmates haggle over little issues in their test paper so that our teacher gives them that one point for that better looking grade in their report book. Sometimes I pitied the teachers who had to entertain my argumentative classmates. I did enjoy class activities with my friends but I never felt quite in sync with most of them in terms of what they were after at that point of time. I lost my motivation to study because I couldn’t see any fruitful purpose in what seems correct. All in my head was just to get out school and start earning my own keep.
Instead of heading to a junior college, I opted to enter a polytechnic and that gave me at least 6 months before I started school. I was thrilled! (Even though I didn’t think my mom was, initially, haha). I was like hell yeah, woohoo, time to look for a job and make some money from my own abilities! I was excited though a little scared cause it wasn’t something that most people will expect me to do.
My first job was a cashier at MOS burger and then I also found jobs as a part-time tutor. I was doing these two jobs at the time and then later I realised being a tutor makes more money and it was more satisfying interacting with children for me. Lessons then started at my polytechnic but I still continued tutoring cause of the money was good to pay my own personal expense. I stopped taking any allowances from my family ever since I started earning on my own and I was really happy.
At one point of time, I was earning about $800 a month, but I was really stressed. There were more school assignments and projects and I often struggled to find more time. I also met up less with my friends because my time was either study or work. I wasn’t happy. Then I decided to cut myself some slack and be less diligent in studies (I couldn’t give up my tutees and the money, hehe). I wasn’t sure why I was actually more hardworking in poly than I was in secondary school. Perhaps there was more meaning in what we were studying. I didn’t do as well as I did in my Year 1 but I was no doubt happier in Year 2.
I wanted to find a proper job after my studies in poly, but there were many talks about getting a degree. So like others, I also jumped onto the bandwagon and sending in applications for university. However, I decided to take a degree in something different. Even though there were people who felt unexpected at my choice, I didn’t feel as scared as before about taking a different step. I was totally cool about it this time and happy at my choice. After you do something different for the first time, you will realise how easy it is the next time, haha. I fully understood that I had to make a choice and embrace the consequences.
When I was in university, I continued tutoring and then I even worked as a assistant manager in two tuition centres owned by the same boss. Those were great lessons leant in one year. I worked on some weekdays and over the weekends. I found so much joy and knowledge in managing a business and providing great services for others. I was earning about $1800 per month and that was pretty much a decent amount for a student. Then again I was also neglecting my studies. So for Year 2 and 3, I decided to concentrate on my studies and quitted my job at the tuition centres. But I still continued private tutoring… HAHAHAHA
My experiences made me realise that, as long as we have the initiative and willingness to work hard, earning money is actually not difficult. Earning money at the expense of your happiness is also not worthwhile. Being happier beats being richer. Sometimes you would rather be $100 poorer than to be 100 times sadder.
Today I am older and people around me are still going on competing salaries, looking for pay raises, climbing up the corporate ladder, wanting to be the next hype and millionaire… This never ends. That’s why I am jaded. People usually think that money motivates but many don’t realised that it is not money that motivates overtime. If you have a pay raise, the only time you are happy is when you receive your salary in that one miserable day in the month, what is going to motivate you for the other 29 days in the month?
There are better things to think and do. I figured that I just want to be happy, contented and grateful for what life brings.
Annual #cny games with hard earned money. May the odds ever be in my favour. HAHAHA
Let’s slow things down on Friday and have a good break. Can’t go wrong with awesome food. #sushiburritosg
Well, it will be New Year’s Eve soon in a few hours’ time. Like everyone else, I will attempt to pen my thoughts before they go away…
A few things are going on in my head right now:
1. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt duet of “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” YouTube video
2. “Father and Friend” by Alain and Dane Clark song that I am listening to right now
3. Random reflections about the year that has just flashed past, my life in general and what’s next
This year has certainly been very meaningful and eventful to me in many ways. With regards to work matters, I had decided to undertake more responsibilities in our company as I aspire and strive to bring harmony, unity and strength to my team. I guess I didn’t fare too badly, I hope! We are still around with more work to do, with an addition of new members and we are moving into a bigger office! Haha, I guess my partners are better people to judge it. I know in my heart that there are still many more challenges ahead of us. Regardless what come what may, I will always dedicate my heart and soul to make things better every single day that I am in the team. If not now, then when? :)
Going to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to visit my team never fails to inspire and educate me. I was there twice this year and I certainly enjoyed both experiences, and I would love to be there as often as I can.
Even though language is sometimes a barrier, I can see and sense the potential in every member and anticipating possibilities that could happen excite me greatly. It really does not begin with the mechanics or money. In my opinion, it is about people and desires. When people desire to get to a place because it matters to better themselves, what seems impossible is actually possible. Nobody will believe in it until we see it. But I believe we always need a vision before we can make it happen.
On the part of “educating” me, I was taught that life can be simple. We don’t have to eat a lot, to eat expensive food or have expensive hobbies and things to keep us entertained. A humble and simple life can fill our hungry stomach and make us laugh and smile. I am used to eating raw mint leaves and other raw vegetables and they go so well with noodle soup! I attest to it! And I think they are pretty healthy too. We don’t need fancy supplements or expensive salads to have a healthy diet. A hot piping noodle soup accompanied raw mint leaves is cheap and good! Thinking of it makes my stomach rumble. The pace of life there feels slightly slower than Singapore and better too, that I could better focus on work and not procrastinate. Perhaps away from family and friends aren’t a bad thing once in a while.
Because we run our own business, we usually get a lot of interest from friends, clients and people in general. There are people who cannot imagine what it is like to be like us, there are people who find it rather silly for us to be our own bosses (true owners know that there is nothing called “bosses”), there are people who think that they can run our company better if it were in their hands, there are people who raved about other companies making tons of money, and the list goes on…
It dawned on me yesterday that I actually don’t give a sh*t.
And it really doesn’t matter. Naysayers will be there, as 90% of the time people don’t support new ideas. I don’t follow news to keep up with who earns the most money in the world, how huge those companies are (or seem) and what they are doing and why we should follow them.
I would rather use my time and choose to make a meaningful difference to people and to the world. And it is not about being different just because we want to be different and stand out. It is about choosing to put other others beforehand and think innovative ways that would serve people better. And that’s a meaningful difference! I would rather spend my time advocating the proper use of technology to improve the way we live, work and play. And when I make tons of money, I will make sure that I still continue donating to charities. You have my word.
Perhaps it would seem like I am being naive. Being enthusiastic doesn’t mean I am naive. It means that I choose to focus on the good, even though I know the bad can happen too :)
I really hope… that Chardy and I will start our family in this year to come! :)
Even though I am not sure how it will work out, I know as long as we trust and believe that we have a solution for every problem, we can make it. It is not easy… I guess it is never easy for anyone to be anyone’s shoes. Our company’s growth is always on mind and I am always thinking of how we can craft it to a stage whereby there is an excellent automation and income to keep the team well-oiled. I know we need to be patient, because if it is that easy, it probably isn’t going to be a great accomplishment worthy of mention.
Hopefully when that day comes, I could “semi-retire” and be a working-from-home geeky mom. I don’t know if many people know, but I am really not an ambitious career woman. I would really love to take care of my family’s well being, their breakfasts, dinners and planning holidays and weekly activities like picnics, sports, etc.
Alrights, time to spend quality time with my beloved… Also this is something I need to constantly remind myself.
Happy New Year to all! New year, new dreams!
Mojito and Waffle fries for supper with a late night film on Netflix. Let’s forget about calories in the last few days of this year and remember them again when the new year comes… Heehee
Three’s a crowd, but this is such a sweet crowd :) #starbucks #frappuccino
I just happened to chance upon an email that I had sent to a writer from The Straits Times. Wow! I was surprised myself, I didn’t know I was rather self-righteous! Haha, I am now surprised that the back-then me actually hold such strong opinions and then I would speak more openly and directly.
It’s strange that we grow older, we become more cautious about what we say and do. We become more logical and rational and less likely to speak our mind.
Anyway, I shall post it here since I still share the same views as before. Please note that these are merely my opinions and it does not mean that I am right.
See the disclaimer that I have just written…
Speaking of a guarded attitude when we grow old, see the precarious position we get ourselves into feeling. Told you! Haha!
I couldn’t help but nod profusely when I read your article “Religion is private” dated August 23, 2009.
I guess that’s because I could relate to your stories and situation very well to myself. Similar to you, I do not consider myself as a religious person. I studied in Anglican High School, where I attended Bible knowledge classes, which is like storytelling lessons. I also learnt Christian songs during chapel sessions in school. I enjoyed these activities pretty much even though I am not a Christian. I pray occasionally, only when my mother asked me to help her with it.
I don’t have religious beliefs but I do not forbid people from believing beliefs that they want to believe in. I believe in freedom. The freedom to choose. Whatever the faith it is, that they believe in, keeps them going in life in a positive light, I would say go with what you feel.
But I do get very annoyed when the extremists love to enforce their beliefs onto others. What they insist has to be always right and what others say is definitely wrong, in their own perspective, obviously. Some claimed “Oh it’s not a religion” and there they are, worshipping statues. I would like to emphasize that I am not and never against what they are doing. I dislike to attend religious sessions not because I have anything to do against them but really, it just simply does not interest me. And I just don’t understand why they fail to understand.
If they think that what they do is really right and beneficial to all beings in the world, then please show it through results. Start loving people and accept them for who they are. I’m sure religions will teach their followers to be a loving person.
I was really glad to read that you mentioned “Don’t impose your religious beliefs onto others just as you wouldn’t want others to do that to you.” It made so much sense. I really hope these people can get a wake up call.
Like you, I try to be a good person too. I believe in using my own strengths and capabilities to help others whom need help. I find it more meaningful to help out as volunteers in homes for the aged or those with disabilities, or sometimes merely helping the people who matter so much to me, than to spend my time with a “higher being” or spiritually. If the religious people could spend their time “spiritually” so well and do not even have the least courtesy towards people or loving people without prejudices, I don’t see how their religion is of any benefit to me. I live in the present, where I love people for who they are and I give what I can to help them to the best of my abilities.
Thank you for reading this and sharing your thoughts in the papers and allowing me to feel that I am not alone. Thank you so much for your article. It was really comforting to read.
Do take care and have a good day ahead. :)
What’s a celebration without alcohol? Happy two years of marriage to us! ;)
Sometimes we just have to let go of expectations. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. No matter what you do or how you try, sometimes outcome isn’t what you expect. Events don’t happen as expected. People don’t turn out as well as your faith brings you to believe.
Disappointment can really be overwhelming because you have put in your heart and soul into believing and working towards something that had turned out otherwise. Disappointment robs us away of the very energy that keeps our life going.
Besides saying that it’s part of an experience or just another life’s hurdle, what else can we do or say? Nobody gets over with something depressing in an instant flash. Time will pass but time isn’t a remedy. Time is only a vehicle that brings us from the unhappiness to a place whereby we finally let it go.
As I grow older, my expectations are no longer with things or events, but with people, with friends and family. And this also forms the ascending order of importance in my heart. Sad to say that it is also the increasing order of how easily we get hurt.
Sometimes I have the urge to run away or close my eyes and get to somewhere without noise. Maybe go missing for a while and see if that helps to make others understand that I’m really affected.
Anyway on a lighter note, I suddenly recall that I read a quote somewhere that goes, Stage your own kidnap and see pays the ransom.
Haha ok I still have a forced sense of humour and I can still laugh. Perhaps things aren’t that bad after all. Sleep and tomorrow will be a great day again. My favourite song in my head:
"Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrows. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow."