A decade in review – my wonderful 2010s

As the decade is coming to a close, it’s time for a bit of reflection for these wonderful ten years. Come to think of it – A LOT has happened to me!! I will try to keep this short as each lesson I learnt deserve a separate post but this is a start!

Meaning of work

I left my corporate job/life back in 2014. What a decision. There is so much to dissect here but if I have to pick the biggest lesson out of it I must say it is the realisation of the meaning of work. When I was in big corporates, I was dying to get to the day when I can retire and start doing nothing. After not doing anything for about a year (before I get to what I do now), I learnt that there is no way in hell I would want to “retire”. I want to work. I want to be relevant. I want to be impactful. By the way, the whole wakeup without alarm (睡到自然醒) is truly overrated. So keep on working!

Meaning of success

Following the previous logic, I don’t really see success in stages anymore. Most people think of set goals/ending like retirement, financial freedom, or simply get to any random level/status. Well, it actually never ends. You should not want it to end. Ending is not fun. This is when you start lose the meaning in your life. So keep pursuing success!

Meaning of understanding (and being understood)

I started reading (with more steady frequency) and blogging at around 2015 (as well as completed my doctoral program in education). This has really changed me. Yes, I may have gained a wider perspective and knowledge on different things but key to reading as well as writing is to appreciate the art and science of understanding. Reading is like having a conversation with the writer (that’s why reading those 5-min summaries is a totally different experience) and writing, oh, it will make you understand how difficult it is to get to the real feeling/meaning of yourself. So keep on reading and writing!

Meaning of logic and love

We got married in 2010. My wife and I are so different yet so similar. And I have learnt so much from her. Most of all, I learnt what love is and what having a big heart means. Yes, love trumps all. So keep on spreading more love!

Meaning of fairness and happiness

The thing with fairness is we start with asking the question “why” too often. Life is like playing the game of Mario Bros. If you keep asking why there are turtles and tunnels getting in your way, you are asking the wrong questions. The game itself is not designed to be fair. It’s easy for some and difficult for others. But the whole concept is about having fun, not asking why. Life itself is an impossible question. So just go out and have some fun!

Meaning of control

I quitted smoking at around 2012 after a couple of decades of rather heavy smoking. No, I still don’t believe smoking cause cancer (correlation and causation are different) and I still think smoking is awesome (especially after drinks or a big meal). The reason why I quit is that I don’t like being controlled by it. I drink. But I only drink when I want to. Smoking is different. Once you start smoking, you will smoke even when you don’t want/need to. So take control of your life!

Meaning of power and fear

I started having my little fish tanks a couple of years ago. It taught me a lot of things, not just on how to take care of fish but life in general. More about that later on (e.g why on earth should I spend time/effort/money on life that is not relevant to myself?). One of the things I observed is fish sometimes pick on others for no reasons. Not because they are bigger or have sharper teeth. They just do. And the ones being picked on are just willing to be picked on. There is a lot more choice in life than we think. So ask yourself, what really scares you and why?

Meaning of life

The biggest question of them all. Having my son Ryan back in 2013 really changed me. It gave me the real meaning of life (and the life of others). First, I learnt that it all depends on the question one asks. We get answers through the questions that we ask. Also, I really don’t understand why people keep saying we should live our lives as if it is the last days/weeks of our lives. That’s horrible! What we should do is to live our lives as if it is the first few days/weeks/years of our lives. So live on everyone!

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