Rogue One: Do This When You are Feeling Small or Not Good Enough in Life

We are creatures that love to compare.

It’s easy to look at someone else’s achievement & possession and feel that we are not good enough (especially if the person is our peer).

It’s in our sub-conscious to peg our current situation with our goals and target in life and feel that we are too small for our goals.

It’s as if we have never made any progress forward, right?

To be honest, I felt like that most of the time. 

Comparing myself to the friend that is earning much more than I do. The friend that seems to be traveling and eating good food all the time. The friend that seems to have won it all in his/her life.

I think there’s no way for me to ever run away from these emotions as we progress in life.

But what I’d do whenever I sense these self-defeating emotions, is to stop comparing myself to them.

Yet we are creatures that love to compare, right?

At some of my worst days, I'd lift myself up by comparing myself today to the person I was a few months ago, or even a few years ago.

Whenever I feel small, I'll compare myself to the person I am in the past.

Likely, I’ve found better clarity in certain aspects of my life. Certainly, I’ve learned some new skills. Surely, I’ve grown past the most challenging times of my life thus far.

I may not have all the answers and achieve my major goals (yet), but I am definitely making progress.

I give a good pat to myself on the back.

We are creatures that love to compare.

Do that with other people and we’ll be a miserable human being. Do that with the little progress that we made a few months/years ago and we’ll always find liberation.


Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.


Would we ever be ready in the pursuit of life?

It has almost been 2 years since I left my first job in a startup which paid me handsomely as a fresh-grad to explore my own path in trading and writing.

To be honest, it is one of the scariest decisions I’ve made in my life so far.

I knew nothing about trading at all when I first started.

I had no clue on how I could build a website at all, other than my neglectable experience with free website builders back in university times.

So, I did whatever I could – take a deep breath, leap, make tones of (noob) mistakes, and keep learning.




Fast Forward to Present Day

2019 has been a challenging year – and an amazing one as well.

This year, I had the opportunity to embark on many great adventures.

For one, after months of effort and painstaking mistakes, I finally made some significant breakthroughs in the skills & mindset in my trading journey (read: strategy with edge, disciplined routine & risk management, strong desire to succeed).

As someone with the goal to pursue a professional career in proprietary trading firms, this massively boosted my confidence to keep going.

Not only that, No Money Lah also opened me up to various great experiences.

First radio station interview? Done. First podcast interview? Done. First REIT investing knowledge-sharing workshop (and another 2 more after that)? Done.

Even better, I got to know and meet many like-minded readers and equally, if not even more enthusiastic folks of the personal finance & investing scene.

The best of all?

I learned a ton and enjoyed most moments in this adventure.


Gathering with other personal finance folks in 2019, courtesy of the StashAway team.




Outcast of the Norms

Whatever I am doing, I guess that made me an outcast of the societal norms with ever reliance on certainties.

I have a clear goal, but I can’t be 100% certain where exactly I will be by the end of 2020.

For sure, I can’t be 100% certain that I will have a fixed amount of income by the end of every month (Do you really think that No money lah is just my website’s name?).

When it comes to trading, it is even more obvious that I can’t be 100% certain of the outcome of my trade results every month.

In short, the only thing that is certain in this journey is risks and uncertainties.


REIT Investing Workshop – September 2019 Intake Group Photo




Lessons Learned in 2019

With that in mind, I have to take aggressive actions and mindsets to keep me going on this journey.

It is easy for one to slack off when you have no one to be accountable to. Hence, to progress in my journey, I have to:


  1. Follow a very disciplined routine to optimize my productivity (more contents about routine in 2020).
  2. Create a systematic workflow around my trading and content creation work.
  3. Be mindful of my personal expenses & financial decisions.
  4. Develop a very strong purpose and desire to succeed to keep myself motivated, and whenever needed, pull myself out of challenging times.

Most importantly, I have to embrace the fact that uncertainties are the only certainty in my journey, and make this to my advantage.


The Future Belong in Those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams.




What are your goals in life?

To be more specific, what is the ideal life that you visualize yourself in whenever you close your eyes?

For me, I want to give my parents a retirement life where they do not have to worry about money at all. I also want to have flexibility in time where I can explore the world of experiences.

Even more so, I want to be in peace and happy in my very own way of living.




Are we ever truly ready in this pursuit of ‘life’?

Why do I ask and share with you this, you might guess?

The reason is simple.

This is because I’ve seen and talked to people that want to wait for the ‘moment’ when they are ready to take the necessary actions to pursue their goals or ideal life.

But would we ever be ready for life?

If there is one key takeaway that I got in my nearly-2 years’ journey pursuing my goals, I am almost certain that most people are never truly ready for the adventure.

The fact is, you will always find hundreds, if not thousands of excuses on why you are not ready to start.

For me, it was the fear of not being enough. Not enough of a writer, not enough in knowledge, not enough in relevant experiences.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Truth is, you only need one of these reasons to make you feel overwhelmed to start. But since we are creatures with imagination, we flood ourselves with even more reasons for why we will not succeed.




You Don’t Have to Know Everything, and You Only Need One Reason to Start

Give this a thought:

Our parents never really asked if we are ready for school – we just adapt and learn along the way.

Our university never really asked if we are ready for that damn tough paper – we (most of us) just grit our teeth and went through it anyway.

Isn’t it obvious that for the most part of our lives, we have never really been fully prepared for anything at all?

Yet, we still make it through and conquered life like a pro – until now.

Now’s the time to decide if you really want to be ‘truly ready’ or ‘fully prepared’ to pursue that goal or ideal life in this new decade.

You will find strong mental resistance and excuses as it would be deeply uncomfortable.

But you only need one, and only one strong ‘WHY’ to go take the leap.

I wish you the very, very best – and I would love to hear your journey someday. 😊



2019 has been a great year, and it would not be possible without my supportive parents, 2 of my lifelong friends (Victor & Eddie), and of course – you.

Thank you for being such a great supporter and motivation to me – be it if you are a reader and/or attendee of my REIT Investing Workshop in 2019.

This journey is much more meaningful and fulfilling with all of you, and please accept my gratitude from the bottom of my heart.

Wishing you a great year, and the decade ahead!

Yi Xuan

 


What Steve Jobs taught me about Life & Death

If there is one defining individual that has a heavy influence towards some of my biggest life decisions, it would be Steve Jobs.

If there is a trigger point, it was Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address and his last words that have helped me made up my mind to pursue the realm of uncertainties as a learn to trade full-time and start No Money Lah.

With that, here are some key pearls of wisdom that I’ve picked up from the legendary Steve Jobs:

p

(1) Death is a destination shared by everyone.

If you know that you are going to die tomorrow, what would you spend your last remaining day doing?

As hypothetical this question might be, this may be the hardest question that you’ve ever have to answer in life.

And if you have this question answered without a second doubt, chances are you have found the most important purpose in your life – the answer to your miseries and doubts all this while, may be just right within you.

The moment when we truly acknowledge and embrace the fact that we are going to die, our priorities in life will change drastically:

All of a sudden, the morning jam to work isn’t so frustrating anymore.

All of a sudden, getting a new luxury car may not be so important anymore.

All of a sudden, expressing your feelings towards the important someone (with the chance of getting rejected) may not be as intimidating anymore.

All of a sudden, having to have dinner with your family members every day become a precious moment in your daily life.

Once you embrace death as a part of life, things that you used to think were important aren’t as big anymore. In contrary, things and people that you have taken for granted all these while become the most important thing in life.

If knowing that death is a destination that we all share together, what would you do differently compared to what you are doing right now?

p

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there.

And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.

Steve Jobs


(2) When in doubt, follow your heart and intuition.

The irony of all misery is, deep down, we already have a decision or answer within, yet we still do the exact opposite in reality:

When you do something that you truly have no faith in, you will suffer within.

When you sell a product or services that you do not believe in, you will not find fulfillment within.

When you go for a career or degree that does not connect with you, you will not be happy within.

If you are struggling between your inner voice and what you are doing in real life, always follow your heart and intuition. They somewhat already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

p

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"

And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Steve Jobs


(3) Embrace love.

At the final moments of death, the only thing that we can bring with us are the memories precipitated by love, not all our physical riches and wealth gained throughout our lifetime.

Hence, be generous with love.

Love the people that are important to you. Spend time with them. Talk to them. Listen to what they say. Never take the people that you love for granted.

Even more important, love yourself. Be genuinely happy inside and out. Take care of your health. Fill your heart with purpose and fulfillment. Make self-love your biggest priority in life.

p

Nonstop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

Steve Jobs


Side note...

This week’s article is truly a hard piece to produce. Seeing the tragedies happening around the world (Shootings, Plane Crashes, Earthquakes) saddened me, and I can genuinely feel the fragility of life in the moments of death and crises.

If you are reading this, I hope that this article could ease some of the pain and misery that you are going through in life. If you feel any better, even by a little, it would be the happiest thing in my life.

By any chance, do SHARE this article with your friends and family members if you find that they could benefit from it!