Lessons I Gained in 2017

Yearly, I would crack my head condensing the year into a single word – preferably swashbuckling. My friends and I still argued the actual meaning of the word. Yet, to think that all the highs and lows can be perfectly encapsulated into one word – defining whether you had a good or bad year is funny.

There are bigger context. And for 2017, I want to share the lessons I gained in separate themes.

  1. Coming to Terms with Aging

I remember vividly asking my father’s age.

30 years old.

Came the reply. And I remember thinking – Wow, that’s old!

Because of that, I have huge expectations of how much someone of 30 years old should have accomplished.

My father seemed to be able to do everything.

He can weave a wau bulan in a notice when I needed to turn in an art pieces the next day. I was deadwood with any tools. Still am.

He can speak to large crowds. Back then the schools decided to send the smartest kids within the vicinity deep in the jungle. There’s about 300+ wide eyed kids. And my father (he’s a headmaster at some point) was addressing the audience of the whole district! I still shivered if I had to present to 4 people.

In my mind, he knew quite a lot being 30 years old.

I felt I’m still young and hence clueless about life.

Until 2017 came and I’m forced to wake up to the harsh truth. I won’t be able to push myself during exercise without a nasty backlash in form of shoulder injury or fever.

I couldn’t get out and see my friends on the same day of my travelling day anymore. It took too much energy. And I valued winding down little bit more. Me in 20s would have smirked in shame.

I noticed more wrinkles on my face and I’m terrified. I couldn’t claim that I’m the youngest at my workplace. In fact, quite the opposite, I am the oldest at most meetings as our company keep changing personnel and I tend to stay.

If 2017 was the year of noticing this subtle but an on-going process, 2018 will be the year I come to terms with aging.

  1. Enough Travelling

For the past 2 years, my work & life is effectively from two locations. I’d either be at Borneo (Miri/Bintulu) or KL. I’d travel every two weeks alternating between laid back Bintulu & Miri (which I love) and crazy rush of Kuala Lumpur (which had its moments).

Now that my attachment projects completed, I longed to be living normally again.

One could imagine that staying at fancy hotels and jetsetting every fortnight is an appealing proposition.

Got my Enrich Silver card with dedicated check-in.

I knew precisely how every hotels within KLCC vicinity served their breakfast. And which ones are the best (answer: Traders Hotel for their sashimi spread every morning).

I knew which hotel boasted the best gym setup (answer: PNB Darby for their 24-hr entry pass with solid incline bench press although their squat rack is stupid).

There’s powerful benefit of having roots somewhere on earth. By constantly on the move, I suffered with less meaningful relationship.

For me that roots is home, wherever home is. I’m boring that way.

In 2018 I look forward to be having more stable base.

  1. Don’t Judge (Even if You Do, Please Keep it to Yourself)

I am at the receiving end of abuse and ostracized at my workplace. Somehow, my values greatly differs with the other team members and I received a lot of stick for that.

Luckily my ability to tune out whatever I don’t like is proving handy.

But, that’s not the point.

For things we cared, it’s easy to judge people seemingly beneath us. Those people might be clueless in your little world of expertise but they might kick your ass at other things.

In 2017, I learned to appreciate every types of people. 2018, I hope to stand up or not participate in belittling others.

  1. So so Effective Savings Rate

My number one metrics when it comes to finance is how much I can save monthly. Started with 5% and now closer to 37% (I wish).

I thank God for making me realize the importance of automatic deductions. If there’s only one advice for a better finance – it is that.

I don’t need to decide to save – it’s done every month automatically. I’ll update the figure once a year when I get my increment.

It frees up energy. It allows me to have the remaining balance for whatever I need to buy – guilt free.

The problem is, there’s too much occasion where I need to dig in the capital that I had saved and reducing my saving rate to less than ideal (I don’t know the figure now – yet to do my financial analysis for the year).

However, I’m still on target to my own projection which hopefully will enable me to take the time-off by end of 2018.

  1. Selling the House at Net Loss – The Best Decision

What do you do when you fed up of paying monthly rent?

Yes, you buy the house.

I thought it is a good decision until I had to move away from Miri after 3 years. I sold my house at RM230K, which should give me a measly 20K for I bought the house at RM210K.

It’s good until I factor in the additional costs (modification to the house for my devine space project – 13K and lawyers fee – close to 20K). So, I lose money on my second endeavor in properties.

It sucks.

But deciding to sell it is good. I love the house, but one thing I learn for now is that owning a house where you will be possibly staying is much better. I’ll had no business staying in Miri apart from my working.

I lived in Bintulu now and I learned again that renting is surprisingly great. I’m happy that I got 2-storey house with the same price paying for my own tiny house.

In future, I’ll make renting as my default mode.

  1. Shortcut to Fitness Journey – Having a Coach
I normally busy with bicep curlz for the gainz.

After two years of tinkering weight lifting, achieving no more than a slight muscle – I signed up for a 16 weeks online coaching. Every week, I would upload half naked body pic to his google drive to be criticized. Together with what I ate for the whole week. Oh, and the measurements too.

Calm the fuck of yourself! Your body is full of fat! is the normal feedbacks.

I get better result within 16 weeks over the 2 years figuring it out alone.

It’s tricky if I need to justify it. It’s not about knowledge – you can easily search ‘how to do the bench press’ in Youtube.

It’s about accountability and the superior system implemented by the best in the world for staying lean and fit. It couldn’t hurt that I peeked their secret right?

Beyond that, I’m actually still hazy of the reasons, but I’m hugely considering coaching in other areas of my life too in 2018.

  1. Half Assed Interview Went Bad

This is the same promotion interview that got me double promotion back in 2012. Since then, I slowed down. Of course, there’s other unrelated projects and focus.

Over time, I believed that I can wing it with less than ferocious preparation.

Shit habits that started since my university days.

But I got my lesson, the interviewer was appalled and called me out on my bullshit. I wish I can hide. Or go back studying to be better.

2018 need to be the year I buckle up.

  1. Let’s Be Less Harsh

Just like that. We had a baby.

6 years and counting, Lana became the sweetest girl I ever knew. I know I’m biased here.

But, we never teach her to giving presents for her friends all the time or asking what our dreams are every single night.

The world will be harsh and I want to prepare her the most I can. The only way I knew is being tough on her.

Until I realized recently. She had a hard time understanding the concept and timing of solat. She couldn’t explain it the way I can be satisfied. I’m frustrated but pressed on.

Ultimately, she managed to explain it with much difficulty. And I hugged her.

At this point, she started to cry – I’m crying because Daddy is not angry at me anymore!

Am I always angry? Is it so hard to be gentle & patient with her until she had to cry? Maybe of happiness or relief – I don’t know. It’s twisted and meta.

2018, I want to practice much more patience and be gentler to my daughter.

  1. Cryptocurrency Redemption

If you see any way to make 1000% gain within a year (it’s a conservative estimate) and it’s not a scam, what would you do?

I believe it warrant a closer look and research.

I started learning Forex trading back in 2014. My ultimate aim is to be able to reduce dependency to my main income. Give or take, 10% return every month (this is a wishful thinking). I go through many courses of technical analysis, back testing and sifting through never ending charts in MT4.

I learned that to have the skillz to get consistent return, a steep learning curve is required. And I simply don’t have the time to improve further.

Needless to say that the Forex endeavor stalled.

Until cryptocurrency explodes. Looking back, me studying forex is a way to prepare for the cryptocurrency journey. I am grateful I started to look into indicators, interpreting charts, executing pending orders and performing stops way back before I could use the skill now.

2017 is the year I got 50% of my investment. Hope (and work) for a better result in 2018!

  1. Fallacy of self-improvement.

There are minimum items I need to do every day to enable a truly productive days.

If I don’t do the following;

  • read,
  • hearing my podcast fix,
  • go to the gym/exercise,
  • meditate for 10 minutes or more,
  • write/create –

my day sucks.

2018 will be the year I piece it together.

I want to know your thoughts of 2017. How does it goes? What do you want to improve? Hit me up here in comments or FB.

Currently I’m doing a pilot for online coaching program – that I wish to price at RM500/16 weeks. I’m opening this for only 2 people who like to change their body to be better. If you’re interested, let me know.

Update: 4/1 : Slot taken.

2 Comment

  1. Very valuable experience to share with other. The content is very interesting, simple and easy to understand. For the investment part, it is very informative. Keep it up bro!! Really caught my attention

  2. thanks Dean glad that u find it useful. i’ll be sure to write a lil bit more on crypto as well

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