Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays - Personal thoughts as I turn 48 !


There's less than a month before the Year of the Tiger ends, and as I reflect upon my 48th year in this world, what a dramatic year this has been.

The year has not been easy. 

Invasion of Ukraine. Rising interest rates. High inflation.

My business turned for the worse, and my portfolio, while better than most folks who invested in Tech and China, did not do that well over the year.

My only consolation is that I can't think of a better way I could have conducted myself this year.

When I knew that business was getting worse, I tried to launch a crypto course, but the collapse of the Terra blockchain put an end to stable-coin yield strategies. In the grander scheme of things, I was lucky because I had zero exposure to FTX after that. 

As folks born in the Year of the Tiger are still on Fan Tai Shui, which metaphysically means that the Universe is observing youI did not give up after multiple attempts to boost sales revenue for my training business failed. I took the opportunity to start something in the legal industry and finagled an option without a fixed salary but with plenty of exposure. I've only managed to get a couple of hours on my timesheet as my birthday is around the corner, so not everything I've done so far has come to nought. But the sheer stuff I'm picking up at work reminds me of that scene in the Matrix when Neo gets uploaded kung fu moves directly to his brain.

Even though the year almost took a lot away, it gave a fair bit back. 

There are some small achievements of note. 

I finally can put CFA after my name after passing Level III of the exams 19 years ago. On top of that, four years after being admitted to the Singapore Bar, I can finally start clocking my Post-Qualified Experience. I started cold swims in the morning and used my condominium gym. 

Autumn is not the easiest or happiest time of our lives. There's still a lot of uncertainty as we get older, but we're still not done with Imposter Syndrome. As I could finally tell folks I work in a law firm, I no longer reject the call to volunteer in my secondary school to give career talks. Many middle-aged guys are worried that they don't make good role models for their juniors because their careers do not conform to the linear narrative that the Singapore Dream demands. 

Now my approach has changed. I tell myself that now I'm a lawyer, I should just grow a thick skin and show my juniors my career with warts and all. My senpai, who patiently guides me in writing representations and mitigations, is less than two-thirds my age. My peers are Zoomers half my age and use various apps for work productivity ( which I fully intend to master ).  

Also, I think I've reached a point where I don't need a lot of hobbies to proceed into the next phase in my life. I finally tried Advanced Squad Leader and enjoyed the company of my new pals. Perhaps I've declined culturally or become jaded, but there is no need to watch movies that do not have superheroes, world-building, or great CGI. In this current life, real life and some cases I read about can be more interesting than fiction or fantasy. My only motivation to visit a friendly local game store (FLGS) these days is to molest the cat that hangs out there.  

If I can get philosophical on my birthday, I want to ask at what age a person should pivot from getting accomplishments to cultivating relationships? If life is a Euro game, accomplishments score well throughout your existence, but only relationships matter on your deathbed. 

I leave this as food for thought and I will update everyone again over the New Year on my projections and priorities in 2023. 

[ Art generated by Dall-E ]


  1. hey chris, what are the various apps for work productivity that people are using nowaday ?

  2. For me, I think my legal work is greatly improved by a paid Grammarly subscription. Otherwise, I'm reviewing a tool called Notion which junior lawyers in their 20s have introduced to me. I also make it a point to play with ChatGPT because it will disrupt every profession out there.