Rogue One: What's Your Edge?

What's the difference between a cook and a chef?

A cook prepares meals.

A chef, on the other hand, creates experiences.

Notice both are doing about the same thing, but the perceived (and charged) value is significantly different. 

A cook could be extremely hardworking, following all the methods being taught and still be replaced by someone else that's even more hardworking. But it's way harder to replace a chef that creates a unique food experience (say, an omakase master).

In a world where almost everything is being automated or SOP-ed, you are rewarded by thinking and doing things differently.

In short, your edge lies in your unique thoughts and perspective, which led you to create your value and masterpiece in your work.

The next time you are in a position of the majority, consider this:

What can you think, do, and create differently?


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.


Rogue One: We Can Still Win the 2nd Half of 2020

All the odds were against Liverpool on the 8th of May 2019.

The day was the 2nd leg of the 2019 Champions League semifinal with Liverpool hosting Barcelona.

The Reds were already down 0-3 against Barcelona in the first leg. To make things worse, the key men for the team – Salah and Firmino were not playing that night.

It seemed nearly mission impossible for the Reds to pull off a comeback.

But they still accomplished it – beating Barcelona on a 4-3 in aggregate to seal their place in the Champions League final (which, they eventually won).

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Photo credit: Talksport.com

For many, what Liverpool has experienced during the 1st leg is a direct reflection of their 1st half of 2020 – a huge 0-3 punch to the face.

Heck, even the start of the 2nd half of 2020 is eerily similar:

Some may have lost their job while many would have experienced a huge cut in income.

Simply put, many of us are likely not in the best condition as we head into the 2nd half of 2020.


But does that matter?

Can we change the fact that we step into the 2nd half of 2020 being handicapped in one way or another?

Can we change the fact that we are forced to start 2nd half of the year unfavorably?

Did Liverpool whine, complain, and give up?

Liverpool players persisted and they won.


Now, I am not guaranteeing that all of us will stage a huge memorable comeback as Liverpool did.

But one thing I do know, for sure, is that complaining, looking for excuses and expecting that it is the responsibility of the government/parents/[insert person here] to help you is definitely not going to bring you anywhere near to a comeback.

You are 100% in charge of your life.

You can give yourself a fighting chance. 

You owe it to yourself to try.

Looking forward to seeing your comeback, wherever you are and whatever you are facing right now!


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


Confession: I Experience Social Media Anxiety Attacks At Least Once Everyday Since MCO Started

Hey everyone! First of all, so sorry that I have not been able to come out with new articles/content for the past month during MCO.

Ever since MCO started, social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have become the only place where people can get connected with each other.

As a result, there has been an influx of content on social media for the past few months.

Whenever I log on to social media, I felt like I am served with a buffet of marketing, financial and investment-related FB Lives, ads, YouTube videos, and content.

While it was exciting at the start, it eventually became very overwhelming to me.

Simply put, just like how most of us would overeat and become too full in a real-life buffet, I realized that I have been suffocating from the ‘content buffet’ on social media as well.




A Blogger with Social Media Anxiety

Aside from being stuffed with content as a social media user, I also experienced major anxiety swings when it comes to content creation:


I am losing out! I should come out with more content every week! (FOMO)

I should start making Youtube Videos! (FOMO)

I need to go Live because everyone is doing so! (FOMO)

I am afraid that people would not like to read about this topic. (Self-doubt)

I am worried that people would judge me for posting about a certain topic. (Fear over criticism/judgements)

Without me realizing, social media has become my main source of stress and anxiety during MCO.

Be it a content consumer or a creator, I am overwhelmed with the urge to consume more and create more.

Soon, I started to experience social media anxiety attacks whenever I log on to social media. Any form of new content from a fellow creator friend can become a trigger of breathing suffocation: HOW are they able to come out with content so fast! The Watch Party notification that I cannot make it becomes a daily dose of self-judgement and mental abuse.

Despite already being a Work From Home person for 2 years, it is crazy how my routine and mental clarity can be demolished by a change in social media lifestyle.



Social media anxiety is real



Creation Paralysis

Throughout the whole MCO period, there were many times where I attempted to write something, which ended up as drafts that went into the recycle bin due to fear of judgement and self-doubt.

I do not lack ideas, but I have slowly lost confidence in my own capability to create and share.

Honestly, I think I have done a bad job adjusting to the new norm and the pace of the social media lifestyle.

 



Short-Term Escape

If the internet is the escape from the real world 10 years ago, now it seems like the real world is the escape from the internet.

For the past weeks, I tried to stay away from my phone whenever I felt overwhelmed by the virtual space of social media. Disconnecting from the internet helped me find peace and give me space to breathe.

That said, this only worked as a short-term escape as anxieties tend to strike again when I am back on social media.




Long-Term Solution: Re-evaluating My Relationship with Social Media & Creation

As I took a break from creation and minimize my time from social media, I got the opportunity to reflect upon my relationship with social media & creation:


(1) You do not need to consume everything on social media

Just like many, I experienced the urgency and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to participate in as many FB Live and consume as much content as possible at the start of MCO. As a result, I ended up overwhelming myself with those contents.

Moving forward, it is important for us to understand that it is impossible to learn and consume everything by ourselves in a short time.

By all means, go pick up new knowledge or skills, BUT stay focused and have realistic expectations.

Do not expect yourself to master investing AND digital marketing together by binge-watching all the FB Lives and content out there during MCO.

If any, skills take time & practices to develop and it is definitely not within a few weeks of MCO.

Most importantly, be selective on the content you consume and learn to allow yourself to miss out on certain FB Live or content that is not of priority to you.



You do not need to learn and consume everything.



(2) Focus on value, quality & consistency, not a sudden burst in quantity

In hindsight, I realized that I have likely drawn into the urge to compete when it comes to content creation during the past month.

In other words, I judged my ‘performance’ by comparing myself to the speed of content output by other creators – which really drove me nuts.

Moving forward, I want to focus my energy to produce consistent quality content that I either genuinely enjoy sharing, or find great value to learn and share with my friends and community of readers.

It’s not about competing, it’s about creating the most value to the people that matter: me and my community of friends and readers.



Focus on giving value.



(3) Be in peace & creative around my limit and boundaries

Ultimately, I am working on my own when it comes to content creation.

I love writing and sharing, but I can only produce and write so much content by myself.

This is a reality that I was not accepting the fact myself during MCO, which gave me a huge load of stress and anxiety.

As I take my time to reflect, I started to find peace with this fact. If I have all these boundaries, why not be creative around them?



Find peace and creativity in your limitation and boundaries.


(4) Specify Specific Time to Go On Social Media Daily

On a daily basis, set a consistent time for you to go on social media and participate in the virtual world.

I find this method extremely effective as it forces me to only engage what’s important to me in the virtual world, and filter out unimportant interaction and content on social media.

With that, I can spend more time in the work that truly matters to myself and my readers, while not overwhelming myself.



No Money Lah’s Verdict

Covid-19 has changed the way of living for many of us. If any, our relationship with social media in 2020 has definitely experienced a huge shift.

In one way or another, Covid-19 and an MCO lifestyle turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it forced me to re-evaluate my behavior with social media. As a creator, it also helped me recalibrate my purpose and mindset when it comes to writing and creation.

On the other hand, as social media takes up more of our attention & time in our life, I am very sure that health issues caused by social media are going to get more widespread and intense.

Like myself, I believe that more and more people are going to get overwhelmed with social media anxieties, which could lead to more problems if not handled properly.

Perhaps, another good question that we can think about is this:

Are you weak if you are experiencing anxiety issues due to social media?

No. You are not, and let no one tell you otherwise, including yourself.

What you need to do, is really to take your time, reflect, and re-evaluate your relationship with social media and online content.

 


The Cheetah and How a Struggling Trader/Investor can Learn from It

 

Many people that traded and invested in the stock market (or any market, in this case) experienced great volatility for the past few weeks.

Some made a kill, nailing their yearly return goal in a week. For many, though, it was an overwhelming time filled with emotions and anxiousness.

You are (were) probably in the red. You are (were) probably underperforming. You are (were) probably beating up at yourself for this outcome.

The reality is, this is a path that every investor and trader MUST experience in his/her journey. The difference is how one handles this hurdle that makes up to an amateur and a consistent investor/trader.

 


 

How to Climb Back Up from a Slump?

To be clear, it is NOT EASY to recover from a slump. Mathematically, it is hard (eg. a 50% drawdown will take a 100% gain to breakeven). Emotionally, it is even tougher to get back on track.

In times like these, it is crucial for one to go back to the BASICS.

Stop looking around Facebook groups and investing/trading forums for tips for the NEXT big opportunity.

Quit those groups if needed – these are noises that hardly contribute to your recovery anyway.

The point is, stop making investing/trading so complicated and difficult.

 


 

Back to the Basics

What are the trades that work the best for you? Make a list and focus on only taking these trades for time being – with smaller size.

If you are a long-term investor that has just dumped your holdings due to panic and fear, look into your investing process – have you followed your entry & exit strategy? Do you have one? Work on them one by one.

The point is NOT to remake your losses immediately. Rather, it is for you to rebuild the mental confidence towards yourself FIRST.

 


 

The Cheetah

 

 

“The cheetah, while the fastest animal on the African plain and can outrun any of the prey it feasts upon, always chooses to go for the young, weak or sick.

Once identified, it attacks with laser-guided focus and effectiveness. It is only then that the kill is most likely. That is the epitome of a professional trader.”

This is one the of most resonating trading analogy that I’ve come across lately in an article by Mike Bellafiore of SMB Capital (one of my favorite role models in trading).

As extraordinary as a cheetah is, it still focuses on the most basic kills which are also the most effective ones.

Likewise, the goal for us as an investor/trader is not to try to be smart and predict whether the market is bottoming. Rather, it is to understand our strength and take the best opportunity with probability in our favor.

Know your strength. Go back to the basics. Be a cheetah.