Self-leadership

Learning to learn is a key part of how we manage our lives on a daily basis. Most of us tend to view learning as academic but it actually can be the way we live our lives. In essential, learning also means making the effort to develop self-leadership and knowing more about the people around you.

Recently, I had some really frustrating moments at home and faced challenges in parenting. I had been losing my cool and yelling at my kids when they misbehaved. At the rate it is going, my approach is not going to be healthy for my family’s physical health, mental health and emotional well-being. So I am making the effort to change. After all, as a wealth builder and being the head of the household, it is important for me to develop self-leadership so that I can be effective role model for my children. To improve the situation, the change has to start from myself.

Previously, I have shared with readers on my family’s wealth journey. Feel free to read the articles again:

  1. My family’s wealth journey
  2. SG Wealth Builder’s journey
  3. Build wealth with property

I found the guiding light in Dr George Kohlrieser who spoke at the inaugural lecture of the Lifelong Learning Council’s World Speaker Series held earlier this month. There are important life lessons that can be gleaned from his speech and so I am sharing the learning points with my readers. I also hope that in years to come, my children will read this article and appreciate the journey I am going through.

Self-leadership

Better version of yourself

Learning is about how we deal with the good things and bad things. An interesting sharing from Dr Kohlrieser was how the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, emerged from prison after 27 years during …

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Stroke of Calamity

Since 2013, I have written articles paying tribute to my late father during Father’s Day. This year will be no exception. Dad passed away at home after 20 years of struggle with a major stroke that resulted in him being half-paralysed. It was really a stroke of calamity for our family and the last 20 years were like “lost decades” for us. Dad had played a major role in shaping my values, character and life’s perspectives. I cannot claim to remember everything that he said but most of his important teachings still live in my heart. I hope that by walking down this memory lane, my children will appreciate and learn from his legacy.

As a child, I had very little opportunities to spend time with Dad because he was always working. In fact, he even worked on weekends because in the late 80s, there was a huge construction boom in Singapore. Dad was a self-employed lorry driver and business was thriving back then. He was a typical baby-boomer – hardworking, thrifty and disciplined. Every morning at six, he would wake up and had quick shower and breakfast. Then he would do some quick calculations using the Chinese abacus and then promptly left for work.

personal finance

As the sole breadwinner, Dad had to work really hard to support a family of six. So when he was down with stroke, we were totally caught off-guarded by this family crisis and did not know how to handle the situation. We did not send him for treatment at hospital because in those days, awareness of stroke was really low. We thought that by letting him rest at home, he would recover in due course. We only send him to hospital after a few days when his condition did not improve. By then, the damage …

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Chinese New Year 2016: Cherish The Tradition

The first day of the Chinese New Year 2016 fell on 8 February, which is a special date for my wife and I. Seven years ago, we met on this day and fell in love with each other. We were amazed that time really flies and it seemed like yesterday we first met each other.

Our relationship has evolved over the years and as a result, our love has taken a slightly different dimension as compared to seven years ago. We don’t really need little gifts or expensive meals to strengthen the bond between us. In the past, we would fret over how to celebrate this special day together as a couple. Now, with two kids, it is definitely not easy to plan for a date, especially during this festive season.

We had our reunion dinner with my mum and brother’s family on 6 February (Saturday) instead of Sunday because my sister and my brother-in-law wanted to go to Krabi for holiday this week. This is the second time that my sister is travelling during the Chinese New Year and frankly speaking, I had some misgivings about it because my family hardly got any opportunities to get together due to our busy schedules. It is only during this time of the year that we have the chance to catch up and bond together as a family. This is all about family tradition and if we don’t make the extra effort to sustain and pass it down to the next generation, it will be lost.

photo (16)

My wife lamented that nowadays, Chinese New Year carries very little significance to Singapore kids. To this, I do not disagree because they get to buy new clothes, shoes, toys and get to eat good food on almost daily basis. For most of them, money always …

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My family’s wealth journey

After blogging for more than 5 years, I suddenly realized that I have written very few articles on my experiences as a young Daddy. On looking back, one of the motivations of starting this blog was to document my thoughts and insights so that my children can benefit from my wealth journey.

I guess 20 years down the road, it will be interesting for my children to know what I have been through and how they have played a part in shaping the person I am. So starting from today, I will make it a point to blog about my parenting experiences.

2015 has been an incredible year for me as my boy, Jovan, was born. We were very excited about his arrival because my wife and I had always wanted another child so that my daughter, Jovita, will have a playmate at home. Our plan was also to stop at two kids, so having a boy is perfect!

My wife, daughter and son
My wife, daughter and son

We did not, however, take the decision to have the second kid lightly. Prior to his arrival, my wife and I were worried whether we can cope without domestic helper’s aid. In the end, we chose to give it a go and decided not to hire a maid given the recent spate of maid abuse cases and horror stories of maid mistreating babies. We thought that perhaps my mother or mother-in-law can sometimes help out a bit.

Whilst it is true that my wife is a full-time housewife, taking care of two kids is not an easy task as what many people may perceive. A weekend would go like this:

  1. Baby woke up from sleep. Feed him milk and change diapers.
  2. Make milk for elder daughter. Change and shower daughter.
  3. Play with the two kids.
  4. Go
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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is approaching soon. In the past, this date has always held not much significance for me. My family would usually have a dinner celebration for Mother’s Day. But not for Father’s Day. It is not that my family don’t love my Dad or whatever. Just that it’s not my family’s style to express our appreciation for my Dad in such manner.

But this year is different because it will be the my first Father’s day without my Dad, who passed away at home a few months ago. I think I haven’t really gotten over his death because when he passed away, I was not at his bedside. I was on a business trip in India and could not make it back in time to see him for the last time.

financial destiny

 

For the past few days, I missed my Dad a lot. I reminisce my childhood times spent with my Dad. He was a hardworking man who spent a lot of time at work, so my siblings and myself don’t often get to see him at home. Once in a blue moon, when he was free, he would bring us to amusement parks. I loved those trips because I would get to ride in his 6 wheels Nissan lorry. He would often show me the direction and told me name of this road and that road. He also liked to tell me, with much pride, that he was involved in most of the developmental projects in Singapore during the 90s.

I could not remember many of my Dad’s teachings, but the key ones he always espoused were to lead an honest life and to save up for rainy days. My Dad was a thrifty man who unfortunately suffered from stroke at the age of 38 years old. He

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A tribute to my Mother and Father

Today is Mother’s Day. Me and my siblings planned to give her a treat but she felt that the restaurants would be very crowded today. So we postponed our celebrations to next weekend.

My mother belongs to the generation of baby-boomers. She is someone who don’t express love on their lips and believes in tough love, hard work and sacrifice. Mother is a great person although I am not close to her since young. This is because I used to be a very mischievous brat who liked to talk back. Of course she wasn’t pleased with that and I was disciplined by her numerous times.

One of my mother’s qualities is her love for my family. When me and my siblings were still studying in secondary schools, my dad suffered from a major stroke and was unable to work till now. It was a very challenging chapter in my family’s journey and we struggled tremendously to get by.

Mother

Mother took on part-time jobs to supplement family income and also looked after my dad and my elderly grandmother. Those were dark days for my family as money was really tight at home. Before the stroke, Father used to be the sole bread-winner. So you can imagine the kind of stress my parents went through, trying to support 3 kids and an elderly. It wasn’t easy and my parents quarreled frequently over money issues. Nevertheless, my mom became the de-facto head of the household and became a major pillar of support in the family.

Twenty years later, we managed to pull through and my siblings got married and eventually set up our own families. I guess tough days do not last but tough people do.

But deep in my heart, I will never forget those lean times and as I look back, …

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