Author: 35 is the defining age

Of Mountain Climbing and Practice

“Some people say that mountain climbers are really wasting their time. They have nothing better to do so they climb mountains, tire themselves out, and come back with nothing to show for it. Yet a person who climbs a tall mountain sees the world in a very different way from someone who never leaves his own front door. Genuine mountain climbers do not struggle up great precipices for the glory of it. They know that glory is only a label given by others. A true climber climbs for the experience of climbing. And this is an experience no one...

Read More

Expenses – March 2019

Total – S$2,569.51 Alright, short round up this time. Total for March 2019 was S$2,569.51, and this was a bit of an aberration, as I spent the first 13 days in North Asia, and cashed out most of my vacation expenses in the prior month. The largest category was attributed my upcoming North American adventure in June. Started to book out essentials such as accommodation and transport in March, and this involves paying some part of it upfront via credit card, and the remainder over the next few months, so I reckon this will be the largest contributor to...

Read More

Hyflux investors up in arms – any justification for this?

A lot has been said about the Hyflux saga thus far, and if its investors have their say, they would be talking till the cows come home, even if the barn is now empty and the cows have bolted into the sunset.  In fact, there is even going to be a planned protest by retail investors tomorrow at Hong Lim Park, whereby the objective is to appeal to the Public Utilities Board (“PUB”) to reconsider its intention to takeover the Tuaspring Desalination Plant (“Tuaspring”) at donut. Well I suppose even Tuaspring can’t desalinate any bit of saltiness these investors...

Read More

Expenses – February 2019

Total – S$3,219.40 First full month in Singapore since I left the workforce last August. Despite that, or probably because of that, spending this month fell within my budget of S$4,000. And this was CNY month, which typically sees the maximum monthly outflow in the year, because of traditional red packets that are given to my parents. Top category was “Gifts – given”, which took up c.35% of total monthly expenses. This was attributed largely to CNY as explained above. In addition, my partner’s birthday is in February, and we went out to have a nice memorable dinner, plus...

Read More

Expenses – January 2019

Total – S$3,424.04 Happy New Year 2019! Massive expenses month to kick off the new year. Largest expenditure category was Vacations. Spent a little more than a week in Thailand with my entire family this month, and went a bit over the top with the requisite complementary expenses such as alcohol over there and the duty free shop. Speaking of which, the duty free shop at the Airport isn’t exactly that cheap… I can find better duty paid prices in local stores, which is surprising actually. Anyhow, a large majority of the expenses of this category was contributed by...

Read More

Expenses – December 2018

Total – S$2,863.78 Expenses came up to S$2,863.78 in Dec 2018. Boy oh boy, it was a “decadent” month from an experiential standpoint. Flew out to Thailand and Indonesia thrice this month, and was away for 19 days. Majority of the expenses for Vacation / Diving were already front-loaded in November, given this is a cash accounting concept of expenses, so let’s see what contributed to the bottom line in Dec 2018. Largest category was Diving. This involved front loading diving expenses for a diving trip in Jan 2019 to Khao Lak, where I wanted to check out Richelieu...

Read More

Expenses – November 2018

Total – S$2,948.31 Expenses in Nov 2018 totaled S$2,948.31. Diving took up c. 42% of it. Decided to embark on my Advanced Open Water Diving certification, and headed to Indonesia to complete the requisite dives. That was a pretty good few days, and it was fun to be underwater after more than 12 years again. Vacation was the next big category. This involved hotel expenditure and envisaged expenses as I went over to Chiang Mai for a meditation retreat and a short holiday thereafter. Retreat was great, and Chiang Mai is certainly a really livable city. It does seem...

Read More

Expenses – October 2018

Total – S$1,332.49Spent much less moolah this month, largely because I headed off for silent retreat during the last week or so of October . I didn’t quite intend it to be this way, but spending time working on the mind at a meditation center seems to jive with saving monies, as its mostly donations only concept, at least at those centers I’ve been to in Asia. And its a double win, cos you’ll work on yourself at the same time and imbue simplicity into your daily life. Eating Out and Alcohol were the two main contributors this month....

Read More

Expenses – October 2018

Total – S$1,332.49 Spent much less moolah this month, largely because I headed off for silent retreat during the last week or so of October .  I didn’t quite intend it to be this way, but spending time working on the mind at a meditation center seems to jive with saving monies, as its mostly donations only concept, at least at those centers I’ve been to in Asia. And its a double win, cos you’ll work on yourself at the same time and imbue simplicity into your daily life.  Eating Out and Alcohol were the two main contributors this...

Read More

Expenses – September 2018

Total – S$2,650.53 First ever expenses post even though I’ve been monitoring expenses since mid 2015. I reckon it’s mostly motivated by my new found situation and to see if I can maintain my personal budget of less than S$4,000 monthly as I wade into the post F.I.R.E lifestyle. Total expenses tallied at S$2,650.53 and have been split into various categories. I use cash accounting for my own standards, albeit taking credit card payments as “cash payments” even though they are due c. 1 month later. Vacation expenses contributed almost c.50% to total expenses this month as I spent...

Read More

Random thoughts on gratitude

Sometimes I just need to remind myself of what a lucky guy I am, that there’s so many things to be grateful for in my life. The past 5 days have indeed been a huge wake up call to show more appreciation to what I have, instead of constantly desiring for even more. Here’s a song / poem I’ve had the chance to come across over the last 5 Days. “In gratitude, you have watered the seeds of love in me in gratitude, In gratitude, I will water seeds of love in someone too. I know you’re there for...

Read More

Project Django Unchained – Pulling the Trigger

I’m penning this as I watch Hans Zimmer in Concert – Prague 2017 on Netflix. For the uninitiated, Hans Zimmer is one of pre-eminent composers for movie scores of all times. He’s written scores for movies such as Black Hawk Down, The Dark Knight Rises, Crimson Tide, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, etc to name a few. I’m a big movie fan, and a closet fan of symphonic music given my teenage influence from playing in the band for 6 years – I’ll strongly urge you to check out Hans Zimmer. You might actually like his music! I digress. It has...

Read More

Project Django Unchained – Conceptualization

Long time readers will know that attaining freedom from the corporate world has been a particular favorite project of mine for the longest time. It started way before I even joined the corporate world on a full-time basis. Talk about unhealthy obsessions :) For years, I’ve been scrimping, saving, investing and busting my hump to achieve this elusive target, and over the past couple of years , like a ragged marathoner hitting the wall enroute to the finish line, I’ve struggled. I’ve struggled with the below, and I have arrived at a stage where I feel like I’ve adequately...

Read More

Being Happy and Finding Meaning

I’ve noticed that the closer I’ve gotten to my targeted “escape velocity”, the stronger the rumination on the big picture narrative of “finding meaning” at work and how work doesn’t provide much meaning to my lithe nondescript existence. Some days I just feel like deploying the FU card, but deploying it as a means to “retire from something” as opposed to “retire to something” just doesn’t quite make sense to my rational mind, especially when there’s no real strong push factor. Cognizant that I actually enjoy the process of “suffering” that has yielded practical benefits (even if it in...

Read More

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...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter