Rogue One: Living Intentionally

At the very core, I found that the habit of sleeping earlier, meditating, exercising, and yes, even becoming a better investor boils down to one thing:

Being intentional with the process. 

To build towards a habit or a goal, the simplest way to actually be intentional is to start writing down our focus and intention daily. This needs to be extremely honest and something that we’d actually fulfill.  

I like this particular quote from Brendon Burchard (author of High Performance Habits):

“First, it is an intention. Then a behavior. Then a habit. Then a practice. Then a second nature.

Then, it is simply who you are.”

Whatever habits or milestones that you want to achieve, participate in the process with great intent. 

In other words, live intentionally.  

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: The 24-Hour Asset

Generally, we are quick to spot when the price of certain food or items are raised.

But for most of us, we are extremely slow to realize the increasing value of our time.

A simple lunch meetup in university times could just mean skipping a boring lecture. But today, it could be the time that we can use to work on a side hustle, get a well-deserved rest from work, learn to invest, and more.

Clearly, our time has become more valuable – and yet we are still giving them out like free candies.

Time is truly an asset that appreciates with age. 24 hours today means so much more than 24 hours when we were a kid.

Hence, protect your time. Spend them with people that truly matter, invest in goals that’ll drive you forward in life.

But to do that, you’ll need to first identify who are the people that truly matter to you (make it less than 5), and the opportunities that are significant in your journey of life (don’t have more than 3).

Most of you know how to do fundamental analysis for companies. Now, do a fundamental analysis for your time.

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

Knowing WHEN to Pat Yourself on The Back is the Key to Personal Breakthrough

As a table tennis enthusiast, I have been coaching on and off since my time at university. Now, as a certified coach by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), my focus is mainly on coaching children during the weekends.

Having interacted with children for more than a year now, I have come to realize that acknowledgment, when done properly, could be one’s key to lasting breakthroughs.

Melvin is one of my youngest students during my weekend session. At 6 years old, Melvin has been with me since early this year.

As a relatively new coach, I have been facing one major challenge when it comes to interacting with kids:

Being pretty new with children, my initial assumption was that the more you acknowledge them, the faster they’ll improve. In turn, I have been using words like “Well done” and “Good job” too frequently during my coaching session.

As a result, I actually ‘Well-Done-d’ and ‘Good Job-ed’ Melvin way too much, even when he was only hitting 3 rallies in a row while he could already do more than 10.

In short, what followed was a series of stagnation in progress and improvement.

Praises & acknowledgment are like sweets - as much as we like them, too much of them are, well, not exactly helpful.


Frustrated with my initial approach, I started to give fewer to none praises. I thought by being more critical, Melvin would eventually improve.

Well, as it turned out, Melvin did not achieve much progress. Even worse, he started to show less interest during the practice.

Luckily for me, I eventually found a crucial balance between when to acknowledge and provide critical feedback for Melvin.

So, knowing that Melvin could hit at least 10 rallies in a row, I set goals that are a little over Melvin’s comfort zone (eg. 11 rallies).

Then, I proceed to acknowledge him whenever he managed to achieve his goals. On the flip side, at times when he is unable to hit his goals, I will provide more constructive feedbacks rather than overpouring him with unconstructive praises.

When that happened, Melvin (along with the other kids) have been able to show steady breakthroughs and interest during the practice.

Finding the right mindset and balance between constructively critical and acknowledgment are the key to breakthroughs.

Alright, so what does that mean for us all?

You see, very much like the story of me coaching Melvin above, we tend to face similar ironies in our daily life:

As a human, we tend to be over-critical with ourselves when it comes to our goals. It could’ve been the failure to achieve your yearly goal of losing 5kg in weight, or missing an important career mark for the year.

Regardless, we tend to self-talk ourselves into thinking that we are ‘not good enough’ when we make some mistakes or fail in our attempt to achieve our goals – a.k.a. demotivating ourselves.

Being overly critical is killing our morale and motivation - don't you agree?


On the other hand, on a daily basis, many of us are also prone to making it too easy for ourselves when it comes to the effort of pursuing our goals.

Remember the days when you tried to convince yourself that you have ‘done a good job’ for swimming 3 laps instead of the pre-planned 10? Or the times where you call it a day when you just made 1 presentation rehearsal instead of a decent 3?

In return, so many of us are denied our full potential – not by anyone else, but ourselves.  

In life, you become what you tolerate.

Now, let's face it: In life, we don't always get what we want, but we are most likely going to get what we tolerate. On the flip side, being overly critical to ourselves could also lead to demoralizing self-talks.  

Essentially, everyone's tolerance towards mediocrity and desire towards breakthrough is different. As such, we got to find a balance and the right timing on when to acknowledge our own effort – and pat ourselves on the back.

The problem is, it is easy for us to know when to acknowledge and be constructively critical to someone else. However, it is definitely not the case when it comes to ourselvesYET it is not impossible to do so:

Pat Yourself on the Back to Personal Breakthrough

  • Set realistic goals that are a little over your comfort zone

Firstly, whenever you set to start something – be very realistic with your current capability and dedication.

If you are new to running and you can only practice once a week, you cannot expect yourself to complete your first full-marathon below 4 hours, right?

That said, you could always test your capability by starting with a 5km run, followed by 10km and then 21km before really pursuing a full marathon.

Setting mini targets in line with your final goal is a great way to achieve breakthrough in stages without being overwhelmed.


  • Strive to do your best – every single day

I consider this a mindset and attitude in living our lives. Imagine the satisfaction if you end your day knowing that you have given it everything you got – at least it feels much better than the opposite.

Regardless of the outcome of our effort throughout the day – we could have the best day ever, or we could screw up here and there, yet no one could deny us from giving our best.


  • Keep a journal on your progress

Very important. Keep your goals in writing and your action plan towards achieving them.

On a daily basis, write down what you are on to do before starting your day, and check them out throughout the day – it is very satisfying!

Keeping a written journal will ensure your focus with your own progress – and appreciate your own effort along the way.


  • Once you have done your best, give yourself a pat on the back!

Last but not least, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

Repeat this daily, I am confident that you will achieve some form of breakthrough in terms of progress, skill or mindset real soon.

Hey Wait…

Here’s the thing:

You do not always have to be making huge progress every day. In fact, you should not expect yourself to do so.

At times, there are circumstances where things are simply against our favor regardless of our effort.

That said, doing our best is a mindset. Doing our best is our attitude towards life. Doing our best is a promise that we made to ourselves that, no matter how things turn out to be, we make it a point to not disappoint ourselves by giving everything we got.

Live up with that attitude, and you deserve a huge pat on your back – including the personal breakthrough that follows.

6 Morning Rituals That Have Transformed My Life in 2018. (Plus: The Best Christmas & New Year Gift??)

I used to have terrible self discipline.

This has cost me my productivity, focus and happiness when I first started No Money Lah and work on my own as a full-time financial trader earlier this year.

Luckily, it didn't take long for me to realize that I would need to develop a set of discipline, or rituals to hold myself in check

Coincidentally, I came across the book 'The Miracle Morning' by author Hal Elrod, and it changed my life forever:

The tone of our morning has a powerful impact on the tone of the rest of our day.
Hal Elrod, the author of ‘The Miracle Morning –The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am’

'The Miracle Morning' by Hal Elrod

In his book that has helped thousands of people around the world find fulfillment and purpose in life, Hal has proposed 6 rituals that will help you set the tone to your morning – and your day and subsequently, your life. He calls it the Life S.A.V.E.R.S:

(1) S is for Silence (5 – 10 minutes)

Silence, or purposeful silence in the morning, is what Hal described as ‘one of the best ways’ to reduce stress, build mindfulness and maintain clarity on our goals.

Typically, a working adult’s morning would be either sluggish or hectic. Starting the day with these moods would affect the rest of one’s day to be either unproductive or more impulsive.

As such, waking up 5 - 10 minutes earlier every morning and practice purposeful silence such as meditation would help to set a peaceful tone to our morning and day.

For me, meditation is a no-compromise daily ritual, where I will meditate for 5 - 10 minutes in the morning and before sleep improve my focus and sleep quality.

More: 5 Simple Steps to Meditate for a Focused Mind & Better Sleep. (click on the picture above)

(2) A is for Affirmations (2 – 3 minutes)

“I am the greatest!” Muhammad Ali affirmed these words over and over again – and then he became them.

According to Hal, every individual has an internal dialogue that runs through our head, almost non-stop. The thing is, we do not choose these dialogues consciously as most of it happens unconsciously in our mind.

Our self-talks are either working for or against us, depending on how we use them. Hence, it is important to consciously design and choose our affirmations.

As such, Hal suggested 5 steps to help us design them:

  • Step 1 – What do you really want?
  • Step 2 – Why you want it?
  • Step 3 – Who you are committed to being to create it
  • Step 4 – What you are committed to doing to attain it
  • Step 5 – Add inspirational quotes and philosophies

For me, I find self-affirmation extremely powerful. Being a full-time trader requires patience and confidence to overcome the steep learning curve.

By reaffirming myself every morning, it has helped me brace through the toughest days in this journey.

My trading affirmation goes like this:

I will become a successful trader, and I am committed to do so by being patient and discipline with all my trades. I am also committed to make quality decisions while executing all my trades.

Lastly, to feel the lasting impact of affirmations – you must be consistent! This means that you got to practice it daily  – no shortcuts!

Affirmations are the key to becoming the person we need to be to achieve everything that we want in life.

(3) V is for Visualization (2 – 3 minutes)

Visualization is a form of mental rehearsal that practitioners use to construct a mental picture of specific outcome from their actions in life.

As we visualize daily, we align our thoughts and feelings with our vision. This practice has been especially useful in helping me overcome self-limiting beliefs and habits.

Every morning, I combine the practice of visualization with my affirmation session. As such, I will visualize myself being the successful trader that have the time and flexibility to travel to places and experience new culture during my affirmation.

(4) E is for Exercise (5 – 15 minutes)

In his book, Hal, a yoga practitioner, suggested exercise as a staple in our daily rituals.

Of all the benefits, exercising in the morning can help maintain our emotional well-being and concentrate better during the day.

For me, the least I would do is to go for a walk around my area in the morning. 

Surprisingly, many amazing creative content ideas that I have come to me during my morning walk!

(5) R is for Reading (5 – 15 minutes)

Reading is the fastest way to acquire the knowledge and methods needed for you to achieve what you want in life.

According to Hal, the idea is to learn from those who have already done what you want to do.

Even by just reading 10 pages a day, we would be 3650 pages better off than those who do not read in a year time!

Just like how humans need food to fill up our tummy, the mind also needs to be fed by knowledge and ideas to improve. So, start reading!

(6) S is for Scribing (5 minutes)

Scribing is essentially the habit of keeping a journal in our daily life.

By building the habit of scribing, it will enable you to document your thoughts, ideas, breakthroughs and learnings.

For myself, I keep a journal to record my daily To-Do’s, the things that I am grateful for during the day.

Keeping a journal in life has kept my life in check and organized.

No Money Lah's Verdict

As far as I am concern, the S.A.V.E.R.S. morning rituals are the most effective way to live a fulfilling life.

With just 20 – 30 minutes of my time in the morning, I’ve been able to keep myself in check and focus on the important things in life in 2018.

I’ve find this book extremely helpful that I’ve lend this book to many close friends of mine. In fact, I frequently revisit the book to internalize the knowledge within.

For those who seek breakthrough in life in 2019, definitely check out ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod!

The Best Christmas & New Year Gift: Purchase 'The Morning Miracle' by Hal Elrod at 31% Off Via Book Depository Through No Money Lah!

Personally, I believe that 'The Miracle Morning' would make an amazing Christmas and New Year gift to your loved ones and even yourself!

Hence, specially for No Money Lah's readers:

Get 'The Miracle Morning' at just RM36.82 (Ori. Price @ RM54.11) with free delivery when you purchase through my link today! Your purchase will help support No Money Lah in producing quality content like this.