Categories
mission purpose self help time management twenties

What are some of the lessons one should definitely learn in their late teens/twenties?

I have encountered this question in various forms, so here are my thoughts on it:
1) Money management
Learning how to manage your finances is one of the most important things that we should learn.
In my opinion, our financial education should start as soon as we learn basic arithmetic!
The younger we start, the more time we will have to make mistakes.
The one thing that I am thankful to my parents is that they taught me how to be thrifty.
My dad was a marine engineer, and my mum has been a home maker since my brother and I were in primary school.
We often lived below our means, and that meant that my parents became financially free when my dad retired.
Most people nowadays prefer to live on debt, and today’s “consumer” economy encourages taking on debt.
However, one of the most important lessons that my parents taught me were to live simply and live humbly.
We still traveled overseas every year.
Spending time with loved ones is so important, which leads me to the second point.

2) Priorities
Getting your priorities right is important for growth.
While we were younger, we tend to have more time and energy.
Hence, it is important that you invest the time and energy wisely, in the right things.
Another area which I felt that I would have done better would be in terms of getting my priorities absolutely right.
My priorities are: God, family, job, ministry and all others.
There was a period of time when I was not sure what I wanted to do, after failing to get into medicine.
You see, it was my dream to get into medicine in university.
During that period of time, I was serving the nation in army, when I was called up to serve the nation for 2 years. (All Singaporean males have to serve the army for 2 years)
Hence, I was under prepared for the interview, and flunked the interview.
That was also a period of time when I was searching for a purpose, and I felt that life can’t be just about getting a good grade, getting married and settling down.
This leads me to my next point!

3) Purpose (Your “why”)
Why do you do what you do?
When you are in your twenties, you may or may not have figured out your purpose in life.
If you have already figured out what is your purpose, congratulations!
I didn’t figure out my purpose until I was in my thirties, when I got out of employment to start on my own entrepreneurship journey.
Now, my purpose is to help people discover their purpose!
#behelpfulbehappy
This is why I founded the Happy Man Club!
The Happy Man Club is a community of people happily helping one another, and it is a growing online/offline community.

4) Mastery
Once you have figured out your purpose, it is important to spend enough time to gain mastery of the skills that are needed to help you fulfill your life mission.
It will also be really helpful if you can identify someone more experienced to mentor or coach you along the way, as it will help you to shorten your learning curve and identify the blind spots that you have.
It is important that you remain disciplined and spend your 10,000 hours to hone your skills.
It is easy to let time slip away, but if we are not careful, we will find that we have reached the end of our twenties, and youth is no longer on our side.

Do you agree with the above?
What do you find helpful/not helpful?

Categories
business events networking social media marketing

Yuantai the Happy Coach

The beginning
Let me share with you my story, and hope that it will encourage you in your own journey.
I was born in a middle income family. My father was a sailor (no, not Popeye! but close, haha!) and my mother quit her job as a bank clerk to take care of my brother and I when we were in primary school.
(Yes, I have a clone of myself, and I am the Evil clone… haha!)
My mother was a strict disciplinarian, and she made sure that we behaved ourselves. She made sure we studied hard, and she kept telling us that success in life is through getting good grades, getting into good schools and graduating with a good degree.
And so I did exactly as I was told.
I went to Montfort Primary, did well in my PSLE, got into Raffles Institution, did well for my O levels, got into Hwa Chong, did well for my A levels, got into Pharmacy in National University of Singapore.
I finally graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) and practiced as a community pharmacist in retail chain.
Yuantai NUS graduation
Yuantai as a community pharmacist
Graduation, and…arriving?
I seemed to have everything that people would have wanted. Good grades, a cushy job.
But yet, deep down, I was not happy. And I did not know why.
(I felt like Neo when he was plugged into the Matrix.)
And hence, I started to embark on a journey of self discovery in the pursuit of happiness.
I decided to quit my job, and start a business. But what business can I start?
The first business I started was a venues portal. It was in an area that I am totally unfamiliar with.
I did not have the experience, the knowledge nor the network to do the business.
And I was struggling to bring in the income to feed myself and my family.
To make myself feel better, I told my wife that I will look after the house. Mop the floor, scrub the toilet, do the laundry, groceries etc (Yes, Caleb Low, I can fully empathize with you!)
Even though I believed that I had something of value, but nobody valued what I had.
Nobody knew. Nobody cared.
I was broke and unsure of my direction.
Doubts begin to creep into my mind. Was I too hasty and too foolhardy?
I’ve been going the wrong direction!
But then, something was happening to me.
I was slowly discovering happiness.
Why was I happy?
This is because when I was on the seemingly lonely journey, I realized that I was not alone.
I had support from around me.
My favourite super hero, my spouse and partner, my wife.
My parents and my close friends.
And even people whom I have met along the way, strangers like yourself, who have generously extended a helping hand to me.
And I begin to look around and see that there are also people who are on this journey, trying their best to start a business or keep their business going.
Even though I don’t have much, but I was able to help some people along the way.
And then it occurred to me…
that this is indeed the happiness that I have been looking for:
The secret of happiness lies in helping others to succeed.
The secret of happiness lies in the generosity of the heart.
And I believe that if I can inspire 1,000 people to do likewise, I can create a positive impact in the community.
This is why I decided to start the Happy Man Club.
My mission for the Happy Man Club is to create a community of men and women who help each other and spread happiness.
On top of that, I have been involved in Grassroots work for 8 years, organizing house visits and health screening events for the lower income families in the community. I believe that it is indeed truly blessed to be able to give, rather than just receiving.
And here I am now, as the Happy coach, helping jaded professionals rediscover passion and joy for what they do, and find clarity moving forward in their career and their lives.
This journey has taken me to places and faces that I would not otherwise have known and met, and I truly consider it to be my honour and privilege to create a positive impact on the lives of people, helping them to achieve their goals. What other job allows you to create such a meaningful impact on a daily basis?