Reflections at Thirty

As I hit the big thirty, I took some time to look back. See how I have changed, learn, the people who helped me. Taking that perspective, and see the possibilities that lie ahead. Then, lean into it. 

Personal Evolution

How are you different?

  • I’m an entrepreneur, podcaster and writer
  • I see work-life as a series of projects
  • I am more interested in alignment instead of manipulation
  • I’m in tune with my physical wellbeing
  • I’m more introspective
  • I’m better with words and grammar 
  • I’m giving more compliments 
  • I’m less interested in owning things than experiencing its beauty
  • I eat lesser meals


What were the notable wins, milestones, and experiences?

  • Hit my saving goals of 50K 
  • Hit weight goal of 71kg 
  • Fell in love in Chiang Mai 
  • Wrote an article every week 
  • Wrote a newsletter every bi-weekly
  • Improved relationship with my parents 
  • Started a weekly book reading with my parents 
  • Experimented with moving out for 4 months 
  • Wrist injury is under control 
  • Relaunched the blog 
  • Celebrated my birthday with friends and parents 
  • Began intermittent fasting and got comfortable with the 24 hour fast 
  • Hired a coach and learned about my emotions


What were your key learnings?

  • Good relationships are slow and compounding
  • Habits changes are hard, focus on one at a time
  • Family relationship takes a lot of foundational work. Be prepared to put in one year of work before seeing results
  • Relationship commitment is a trade-off between desire and intimacy 
  • A pause button is useful to prevent argument outbreak
  • 5 language of love can be applied for family and work
  • If you assume someone else’s Love Language is similar to you (without experimenting), you’re probably wrong
  • Writing is thinking out loud, which leads to learning. Publishing is the forcing function
  • Emotions are the basic units of life
  • In order to optimise life, I need to understand my emotion and how each task leads to different emotions
  • It’s okay to feel bored if not doing anything 
  • Doing an (art) project is both a selfish and generous act. It’s selfish because you have the opportunity to engage, learn and dance with possibilities. It’s  generous because the result is a gift that might affect others
  • Happiness is peace in motion
  • I’m living on borrowed time, no one owns me anything
  • Working backwards is the only short cut
  • Ask (to understand and earn trust) before sharing

Expressions of Gratitude

Who helped along the way?

  • Dad for being there at every moment when I needed support 
  • Mum for caring about my diet and her courage to try different things and improve our relationship
  • Jake Chiam for being my partner in crime in gadgetry and Faturday 
  • JR Hinds for being a sounding board and supporting my health journey 
  • Christina Monson for holding up a mirror and believing in the possibilities for me
  • Ilone Grinberg for providing refuge outside my home
  • Alice Zong for putting care in creating a container for my creative endeavours 
  • Ng Yi Qing for inspiring me to be a student of life, bringing the zest to learning
  • Natalie Tan for being a friend and design collaborator
  • Nancy Xu for supporting me through my transition
  • Yasmeen Kassim for being my emotional learning partner as I own up to my emotions 
  • Glo Yong Wei for guiding my movement journey 
  • Marilyn Wo for being generous with her contacts and supporting my website relaunch
  • Michelle Alexis for being a delight to work with and trusting my creative judgement 
  • Elmey Lilaw for being a resilient support when things are falling apart
  • Stella Mandehou for being a friend
  • Vignesh Vasuthevan for being my eyes keeping my writing understandable to everyone else
  • Coco Liu for giving time and holding me accountable to be better
  • My coaching partner for allowing me the privilege to serve and guide you
  • Seth Godin for holding the bar for what an amazing human being could be 


How do you want to show up next year?

  • Understand my emotion and use that to make decision 
  • Find comfort in saying no 
  • Serve people with their emotion in mind 
  • Deepen my skill to listen
  • Create a practice for creative projects 

[Thank you Steve Schalfman for inspiring this post]

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