Friday, February 09, 2024

The Year of the Dragon ! Huat ah !


I get three opportunities to think about my life every year. The first opportunity was on my birthday, Christmas Day. The second opportunity arises when considering the new year after the holiday season. Finally, about a month later, I got to use some Chinese metaphysics to think about my year ahead. I don't just contemplate my Tiger Horoscope; I'm born on the day and month of the Rat, so I need to think about that, too. The year of the Dragon would be, at best, so-so, but it is a year of change. I must proactively deal with some of my problems and grab each opportunity for 2024 to be good. 

This means that, for Tigers, financially, I can expect little gain. My real estate valuation will be meagre, as most capital gains have already been earned in 2023. While REITs will do well when interest rates start to fall later, this will happen quite late, and I'm not sure US Office REITs would have capitulated by then. I made bold moves on Keppel Pacific Oak REIT, and then they delayed their results until the end of February. This will hurt the value of my portfolio. 

Business-wise, it looks better for us. I'm stabilising my cash flow with more side gigs to deal with even lower revenue on my training business. The final result is fewer work hours than a full-time worker but more cash flow predictability. This arrangement also allows my health to get better. There should be some positive news and collaborations with new partners soon. 

I'm glad I have fought off any temptation to take on vanity mega projects; as I reach 50, I'm putting more time into simplifying my life. From my examination of the literature, pursuing a Simpler Life is complicated because it requires a deep analysis of our lives and priorities.

The School of Life series has something quite profound to say about friendship. Why do we need friends, and what should we expect from them? 

There are three answers to this:
  • Friends understand what we go through and give us a sense of normality despite our struggles and idiosyncrasies. 
  • Friends help us clarify our vagueness and help us understand ourselves better.
  • Friends ease us out of our defensiveness and point to a way out in a non-humiliating way. 
My problem with this framework is that if I apply it to my life, I may have no friends at all, and I would not be a particularly good friend to others either, so I can't complain.

This may reflect the metaphysical struggles of a Tiger facing massive changes this year. You have to put in more effort for the folks who can meet this high bar, but then you need to try to meet this bar yourself. It takes a lot of effort and personal development to do this. Doubly hard for ENTJs.

But a slight tilt in this direction will result in massive changes in your social life that will pay dividends for the rest of your life because loneliness is an epidemic in modern societies. 

I will be headed to Malaysia this CNY, I will resume blogging when I come back next week.

Huat ah !

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