Monday, June 30, 2014

Buay Kan Buay Tua Han as a methodology for success.

Translated from Hokkien to English "Buay Kan Buay Tua Han" means that you can't grow up unless you get fucked first. It alludes to phenomenon that many of us do not experience growth without going through a period of pain first.

I think that there is a sufficient evidence that this is a very credible success methodology. Most folks simply do not have the willpower or conscientiousness to perform feats like lose weight or to save money. Pain can thus become a useful ally in such endeavours.

Personally, I experienced successful weight loss when I used a blood test to keep me from taking foods with too much sugar. Society is full of similar success stories, the gangster becomes a great cop after the government put in place a career with a proper structure to enforce conscientiousness.

Here's some useful application of this principle :

a) Improve Weight loss using a system of donations to Roy Ngerng.

Make a bet with a friend by giving him $50. If you do not lose weight over the next 3 months, your friend can donate money to a cause you absolutely hate. ( In my case, it will be toward's Roy Ngerng's legal defense fund )

b) Place monthly expenses budget into an envelope. Then freeze your credit and ATM cards.

One brutal approach to forced savings is to place your budgeted expenses into an envelope and keep the credit and ATM card in the drawer ( or freeze it in ice ). If you spend it all before your next pay-check. You have to tough it out for the rest of the month or thaw your cards.

Just some watch-outs - Do not apply this to investment returns. It's not fair to penalize yourself over events that you do not control.

Applying this principle to society in general, it means that governments need to create and maintain a career track for non-conscientious citizens. Traditionally this should be uniformed services where workers will have a stable structure to support them if they do not have the willpower to help themselves. The government should also create an alternative remuneration program which pays less over the short-term but pays a pension after they leave this service.

I bet most of you have heard of many ex-SAF staff who blew their gratuity into some crazy F&B setup.

We need a pension system to preserve a warrior culture which has been eroded by capitalist and scholar virtues.


  1. I may not address your blogpost directly which you set out to address societal issues by starting with a general observation.

    Though I have to say I agree with the general sentiment of pain preceding growth.

    My current accelerated growth spurt as an individual occurred after one too many setbacks in my life.

    People have no idea how important feeling deep pain can be. Deep pain is liberating (now you've hit rock bottom so you have nothing to lose) and seemingly permanent source of motivation.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Agree with you that to obtain success, you need to experience failure first. Many Singaporeans are afraid of making mistakes, so they don't dare to embark on the investment journey. They don't realize that making mistake is the vital part of the process of wealth building.

    SG Wealth Builder