Sunday, May 22, 2011

What Kind of Relationship Do You Have With Money?

Silly question, you must think. Because before this weekend, I have never thought that I am having a relationship with money. Eh wait, not true. I did hear this phrase before, from my "momma" Oprah. She didn't pose the question but she briefly mentioned in one of her show that from the early age, she has always had a good relationship with money.

That sentence stuck on my head with more questions for almost a week. What does she mean by that? Do I have a good relationship with money?

Then, on Friday, one of the speaker from National Achievers Congress 2011 in Singapore - Kerwin Rae, a joint venture expert who loves to sky dive nude; posed this question - what kind of relationship do you have with money? Do you talk to your money? Do you tell your money about your goals and dreams? I seriously thought he had lost it or I have lost my mind to not understand him.

He continued by giving me one of the best analogy that to this date is a profound realization. He said imagine money is your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or even your best friend. As money is just a thing and by nature it is abundant and available, it has a positive vibe.

If you have the negative vibe by always being needy, always wanting the attention from money, always think money is "lacking"; soon or later, just like any relationships between human beings, one of them will leave as they can't stand the insecurity that the partner exudes.

I tried my best to depict the analogy with a doodle but I think I did a horrible job but still decide to show it off anyway. :p

Now, I understand better what Oprah was saying. She has never come from the place of lack, as her conviction is strong with The One who provides, she has never worried. As for Kerwin Rae, he has lost all his money 2x in his life but each time he bounced back, he had more than before. Not sure if believes in higher power or not but in my observation it is because he knows he can always get more money by doing more joint ventures and cutting some deals. He just needed to make sure he kept on learning and not to fall back to his previous mistake.

The theory sounds easy indeed. One needs to come from a place of abundance in order to be abundant. But in practice, like any relationships, it takes time. Being aware that one needs to change is a huge step to begin with. Next, is to move forward and be committed to the change. If it works out, the relationship will flourish and create a win-win situation. If it doesn't, the relationship falls apart and some may end up with ugly break-ups/divorces. Or, if one chooses to not have any relationship at all with money, nothing is wrong with that too. Life is after all filled with a series of choices after another.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

What Can I Get Used To?

There is something about hotel rooms that I love. Sitting in this room with the to-die-for view on the 38th floor of Marina Bay Sands, makes me miss doing what I used to do with myself.

I am well known (among a few close friends) to be able to just book a hotel room for one night with no one else but myself. It was a ritual.

I love the tranquility. The availability. The amenities and most importantly, the silence and disconnected-ness.

I haven't been doing it for a while now and I think I should be doing it real soon. Life has been full of "stuffs" and "distractions" that I haven't been in touch with my inner self.

It may sound non-sensical and selfish to you. If so, you don't know me well yet. But to those who get what I just said, thank you for getting it and for accepting the way I am.

Looking out the window, I think to myself, I can get used to this. Full length window with the best view of Singapore. The serenity and awesomeness they provide are priceless. I am grateful to be where I am now by being who I am. And I am really thankful to the people who have made this possible. Even though at this moment my view is accompanied by an orchestra of snores, they are still magnificent.

Looking forward to more breathtaking views to come for the rest of my life. And even more looking forward to share my experiences with you, my beloved readers.

Hope you enjoy what I'm seeing now as much as I do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Legacy Effect - National Achievers Congress 2011

Thanks to my friend and mentor, Dennis Ng, I have the chance to attend the National Achievers Congress 2011 at Singapore Expo.

The first speaker was Adam Ginsberg (speaker and trainer on making money online using eBay, Amazon, etc). And as I am typing now, the second one is some forex trader - Greg Secker, which I am not really interested so I'd rather blog what I have learned from the first speaker.

Two of the important messages by Adam were:
1. I matter
2. What kind of legacy would you want to leave after you die?

I thought it was funny that an Internet entrepreneur was sharing about legacy. But then I understand, he just wrote a book that has not sold yet in the market which he was generous enough to give everyone in the room a copy. Voila, mine as shown in the photo.

Grateful. That's how I am feeling right now.

So, what else do I learn from this generous author?

1. It is possible.
Quite straight forward. Whatever you think or not is possible. A motivational start to my sleepy morning.

2. What you talk about, happens. If you don't want it to happen, don't talk about it.
This is my most favourite quote or lesson ever. Give it a thought, cause I will try to internalize it every day. I hope you will see some profound truth in it.

3. When you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.
Quite similar to lesson #2. If one keeps complaining about their shortcomings, when will they ever improved? They have no time to think about solutions or to move forward because they are addicted to the attention they get by blabbering about what they can't do something.

4. In life, you may have the most grandiose goals and dreams. But unexpected things may happen that caught you off guard.
Life, as fragile as it seems already, may throw you some challenges here and there when you don't expect them. For example, a few years back in late August (can't remember the exact year), Adam was talking to his mom in the morning. His mom looked a bit tired so he asked her to rest and take it easy. The mom said okay. He said,"I love you, mom." and his mom replied,"I love you too." 3 hours later his father called and told him that his mom has passed away.

Now I understand what he meant when he said,"Today is the last day of my lasting legacy."

Because every breathing and heart-beating moment, you are creating a legacy. Whether your legacy will be remembered and provide certain value; they are really up to you. This sure gets me thinking.

On random note, sharing a snapshot with my not so good phone camera of Mr. Incredible Hulk - Lou Ferrigno who made a short appearance for today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Belle du Berry & David Lewis in Singapore

Alliance Francaise de Singapour was proud to present French Groove event and one of the memorable guest who closed the series was A Concert by Belle du Berry & David Lewis (Saturday, 14 May 2011 - @ 7.30PM) presenting most songs from the album, Quizz. I am truly honoured to be part of that experience. Thanks to my ex-French classmate who is always in the know of interesting things, I was present for one of the most enlightening experience in my life.

When I found out about them, I did a little bit of homework before the concert by visiting their youtube videos. But seriously, none of the videos did justice to the real experience of simply being there and be lost with the experience. Though most of the time I have trouble understanding the lyrics (I bet they are great too), but the music and the musicians did my confusion justice. I was automatically transported to an imaginary land where everything is cryptic and hypnotic.

Belle du Berry - singer, song writer and also accordion player, has proven that she has more talent than just those 3 areas. She has her charm or some kind of "law of attraction" to make audience who has been 99% of the time glued to their seats, stood up and danced to the beat at the very last song. She didn't give up on that idea throughout the concert and she nailed it. She got what she wished for.

As you can see in the photo below, my view was blocked by the dancing crowd.

David Lewis - plays the trumpet and piano (sometimes both at the same time). I don't need to elaborate more on his talent. He does know how to maximize the value of his trumpet by combining method that is not traditionally seen. Here, he dipped the trumpet into a bowl of water to create an eerie and mysterious sound that can only be imagined if you are alone in the dark and watching some old detectives' movies.

There are indeed differences between artists who create and perform from their souls and those who are out there for commercial reasons. The experience they create will linger on. I did wish I was able to have the entire concert be played again. Unfortunately, such unique performance, there's no DVD available. Even CD won't do justice to it. It's the moment and the experience that count. Just like life.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How Do You Manage Your Money?

Managing finances may come naturally to some and not to others. So how do you manage yours? Do you use any budget software or simply has a chart of your own? Do you actually know how much you earn, spend and save? Or every time you simply take it as it goes?

Personally, I simply use my own DIY excel chart to keep track of my finances. Though it's not really perfect but at least I know where my money goes to. Many books and techniques have been written in this area but I think one of most important feature of any personal finance theory will be - Pay Yourself First!

Paying yourself first simply mean, when your income hits your bank account, you automatically decide an amount to not be used for anything else but for your savings. And this Pay-Yourself-First amount shall not be spent on things but may be used for investment, retirement, etc. It trains one to be disciplined but most importantly, by paying yourself first you are safe guarding your money from the unnecessary spending - unless emergency. Subconsciously, you will also be telling yourself that your well being matters first.

The typical amount that has been advocated by most books is to set aside 10% of your income for a start. When you are able, do increase it. Those in the higher income brackets are even able to do between 50-70% of their income. For me, it has been a steep learning process. I did start with 10% inconsistently but now I have been seeing fruits of my labour when I consistently pay myself minimum of 30% every month. Though sometimes when emergency strikes, it will eat into what I've been saving but as long as I'm disciplined in paying myself first, I have created a safe amount of emergency fund.

What this process has taught me throughout the years are the following:
1. I matter.
2. Nobody is responsible for your money but yourself.
3. It delays instant gratifications
4. It creates a pool of emergency fund
5. It's not about how much you earn but how much you save

I hope you may benefit from this little sharing of mine. In this uncertain times, you may not know if your income will still be there one day. But when you are still in control of that, you can make a difference by protecting and growing your wealth through baby steps. Unless of course, you have rich parents, then feel free to squander your money. Just make sure you are in their wills. :p