Author: 35 is the defining age

My Equanimous Mind – My 10 day silent retreat experience

Recently I had the opportunity to partake in a 10 day silent retreat organized by Dhamma Malaya (http://www.malaya.dhamma.org/), which was something that I had always wanted to do since I chanced across ‘The Equanimous Mind’ in 2015, a book that chronicled the experience of a McKinsey consultant in a similar silent retreat that took place in India.   I had dithered on my decision to attend the retreat but somehow ended up making a decision sometime back in July / August to go for it. Perhaps it was because taking 10 days off the crackberry / emails / calls...

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Monday Musings

Life! Monday feature I like the Life! feature story that comes out every Monday, typically featuring someone that has achieved a certain measure of success in her life, doused with nuggets of wisdom and reasons behind that success, including her motivations and background. Today’s article is about the founder of The Projector, an indie film lifestyle operatorship based out of the top levels at Golden Mile Tower. Just 35 years young, Karen Tan has managed to establish what long time operators have failed to do – a sustainable indie arthouse filmhouse. While I have not watched a screening at...

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Captain Fantastic

Was introduced to this show by a close buddy of mine. And it was totally fantastic. It basically revolves around an American family led by a Dad that has a contrarian approach to life and raising his six children. Instead of going through the public education system, Dad has decided that the best way to raise his kids would be to foster education through both experiential and textbook learnings, in the forest where his children will learn to build up physicality, mental smarts and a thought process that provides for critical thinking, coupled with a strong resistance against the...

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Thoughts on Scholarships

Arrived home yesterday to find the annual “Scholarships” edition of tucked between the papers. It’s the season of the year again when the GCE A Level results are announced and the scholarship application frenzy officially kicks off. Just thought I’ll provide my perspective on taking on scholarships, that might hopefully lend some use to the hopeful 18/19 year old folks out there who are considering taking on scholarships. My perspective is obviously shaped by my journey through the education system, and my employment as an investment banker for more than 8 years where I have had the opportunity to work alongside...

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Man’s search for meaning

When I first started out in the work force more than 8 years ago, I came across the aforementioned statement but did not really pay much heed to that.   Goals back then were pretty simple and revolved largely around trying to get as far up the learning curve as possible and grab on to those handrails on the gravy train without getting flung off. I shudder at the thought off getting thrown off a train moving at more than 200km/h. Yikes. It has been more than 3 years since I started riding a motorcycle, but to this day,...

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Review – Singapore Marathon 2016

Cognizant that my last post in relation to taking part in the Singapore Marathon was in end July (c. 16 weeks away from race day), and the goal back then was to focus on the process instead of the end goal. August and September came, went and bam I got swamped with loads of work, literally all the way till early part of October, which meant a stop start training runs, and I didn’t manage to get my act together till the 2nd week of October, which left me with about 8 good weeks of training, which was when...

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Being comfortable with uncomfortable

Came across this great article online from Pocket recommendations sometime this week and it resonated loads with me. It was on exercising and the gist of it was how exercise could be one of the many keystone habits that help improve one’s quality of living. The quote that stood out was how important it is to be “comfortable with uncomfortable”. Instead of constantly grasping for aversion of pain, how embracing pain and a lack of comfort might actually lead to greater tolerance levels, build resilience and strengthen relationships. What it takes is recognizing your thoughts, that say for example:...

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Self talk and the transient nature of all things

Been a while since I last posted. Things have been extremely busy  and it’s been a challenge sticking to the fitness goals. Feels somewhat like a first year Analyst all over again but with better coping mechanisms (that’s the only way to survive – sink or swim). To cast things in a positive light – when things are busy and the industry isn’t doing well, you’ll double down on experience and “level up” much faster. To look at things from the other side, you can feel like you’re being put through the juice wringer, where every ounce of omph...

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A Guide to the Good Life – William B Irvine

Just completed a first read of the aforementioned book and thought it might be wise to jot down a few quick observations and notes. As the title suggests, William B Irvine espouses the formation of a personal philosophy of living, that helps guide one through his daily life. His choice of philosophy is that of Stoicism, but he, unlike some of the other ‘philosophies of life’ isn’t dogmatic about that choice, and heartily declares that the everyone has his own path that he has to individually find, and that Stoicism, though which forms the foundation on which he attempts...

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The Best Part about Summer

You know it’s the start of the summer holidays when you see a bunch of bright eyed college undergraduates swaddled with clothing that looks a tad too formal for them walking down the hallways of the trading floor, looking a little too enthusiastic for the countless beatings that will come over what may be the longest months ahead of their lives to come.   Yes, the best part of summer isn’t the part where the big swinging dick MDs head off for a couple weeks break, although that comes pretty close. The best part of summer is internship season,...

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Update after the hiatus

Have had a hiatus on this blog as I face a struggle on penning down thoughts that seem pretty much repetitive in context. Have had quite a bit going on in the first 6 months in pretty much all aspects of life. Best buddies getting hitched, the ever changing work environment and also some developments on the personal front took up much effort and prescience over the first six months.   I’ve pretty much adopted the mindset that a good life lived probably isn’t much one that is full of creature comforts nor that of enhanced hedonism, but one...

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Patience

On stretches of weeks like these, it seems that the only thing I’m living and working for is to F.I.R.E. A lull in motivation requires an increased level of patience with the bullshit that’s constantly perpetuating in the workplace (it’s like the freaking Kraken – the more you try to kill it, the larger it grows), and an added dose of naivety could certainly help in paving the way forward. These are times when I blame my seemingly hell bent analytical ability in calling management bullshit, and could certainly benefit from being a greenhorn believing in all that management...

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The Limited Use of Willpower

When I was a teenager, I used to have what seems like a copious amount of willpower – waking up before 0500 to put in a good hour and a half studying and catching up with the school work; losing up to 30 kg in a short 8 months time frame, and generally just coping and adapting well to the demands that school has placed. When I started doing investment banking as an Analyst, well I didn’t really need to call on my willpower given the pervasive use of the why that I constantly dangled over the top of my...

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Beware – The Ego Trap

One of the pitfalls that many people encounter when embarking onto something novel in a bid to for self improvement is this very thing called the ego trap. The more commonly used abbreviation could be something along the lines of “one-upmanship”, or constant comparison and thinking that one human being is better than another because of [x]. Here is an simple example: “I ran 10km today while you sat on a couch walloping the entire bag of kettle-chips when you should have been doing kettle-bells. Chips are not bells. I ran while you snoozed, therefore I am superior to...

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Nostalgia

Was digging up old photos for one of my best friend’s wedding that’s coming up real soon and wow, those memories back in JC and secondary school sure came flooding right back into my life. Close friendships that were formed previously, and of course the sweet budding relationships that couldn’t last the test of time and the lack of maturity. Add a strong dose of the Cranberries belting out their ever enduring tunes in the background, and voila, one enters into an overwhelming sense of nostalgia :) More than 15 years have passed since my sec school days, and...

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