Author: cheerful.egg

Creating Isn’t Easy

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time comes from the film Limitless. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie – a down-and-out loser who’s struggling in his career as a writer. He comes across NZT-48 – a “smart drug” that lets him access 100% of his brain instead of the usual 10% (this is a myth, but hey, it’s a movie). He swallows the pill, and suddenly he’s the most productive, creative and prolific person in the world: A lot of people think that the act of creating is like taking NZT-48. For example, when my friends ask me about what it’s...

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Two Readers Share Their Money Struggles

Okay people, it was International Women’s Day this week. We male financial bloggers aren’t known for our social skills around women, so I decided to try something a little different and let them do the talking this week. Last week, I asked my female readers to share their biggest challenges about money. I picked two stories that really stood out to win one free ticket each to The Future Is Female women-only conference on 8 Apr. So congrats to “Y.” and Linda H. for submitting the two winning entries! (cue confetti, party horns, and a cycling bear). I thought their stories were too inspiring to stay...

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Two Readers Share Their Money Struggles

Okay people, it was International Women’s Day this week. We male financial bloggers aren’t known for our social skills around women, so I decided to try something a little different and let them do the talking this week. Last week, I asked my female readers to share their biggest challenges about money. I picked two stories that really stood out to win one free ticket each to The Future Is Female women-only conference on 8 Apr. So congrats to “Y.” and Linda H. for submitting the two winning entries! (cue confetti, party horns, and a cycling bear). I thought their stories were too inspiring to stay...

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Upcoming Event: The Future Is Female

I have a love-hate relationship with email. On one hand, I love getting emails from my readers. I love your insights, your comments, and the great questions I get every week. However with the volume of emails I get, it’s also super hard for me to carry out a decent email conversation with any given person. Email is awesome when your question can be answered with 1-2 sentences. However, it sucks when you’re looking for in-depth advice that will truly help you. For example, I get plenty of emails from readers who ask questions like: “How do I get started...

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The Easiest Superpower To Learn

Last week, I found myself standing in front of a crowd of ten people. Everyone was staring at me. One guy was frowning. I was feeling a little jumpy. I wondered whether my fly was open. Crap – I couldn’t remember my opening. I had no idea what to do with my hands. I remembered that “thought leaders” usually touch the tips of their fingers together, so I did that. “Okay,” said the coach. “You have two minutes – Go.” I was attending a course: High Impact Presentations, conducted by Dale Carnegie Training. This was the first session, where we were...

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A So-Called Singaporean Love Story (Told In Corporate Jargon)

“FYI pls,” Mr Tan said, “I’d like to introduce Siew May, who will be joining our headcount as per today. Tks.” Siew May implemented a smile as she shook hands with her new colleagues. “It’s a pleasure to establish introductions with you,” she beamed. Boon Keong received a notification on his shoulder – it was his buddy Tim. “Bro,” whispered Tim, “She’s not wearing a wedding ring. There is a potential opportunity to proceed with merger negotiations. FYNA pls.” Boon Keong observed Siew May, who was still saying hi to everyone. She was beautiful – in a geeky sort of way – the kind of girl he could see...

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What I Learnt From 4 Weeks Of Personal Training

I’ll let you in on an embarrassing secret. Last year, I really wanted to build some muscle and “get fit”. I was too cheap to pay for a personal trainer, so I got hold of a copy of the Bikini Body Guide (BBG). As you can tell from the name, it’s a self-run fitness program. For ladies. I tried the first session and almost died. Somehow, I managed to stumble through 6 weeks of hell training, but I hit a wall when it started involving weights (I was too cheap to buy them). Over the years, I’ve tried to get fitter on my own....

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Teach Your Kids To Gamble

This Chinese New Year, one of the coolest things I saw was watching my 6-year old relative play blackjack. She played hand after hand, elbows on the table, her brows furrowed in concentration. Whenever she hit 21, she would smile, proudly show her cards and go “YAY!!”. I was fascinated by this young lady who could quickly add up the values of her cards, strategically decide to hit or pass, and bet reasonably. As someone who only really got interested in gambling and statistics in college, I clearly missed several important life lessons from not learning to gamble as a kid. I’m not a parent yet (and to...

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Which Air Miles Card Should You Get First?

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. Sometimes I like writing about the specific tools and resources that I use. Email me to let me know if you’d like more posts like these! Last year, I blogged about how I redeemed a Singapore Airlines Suites ticket to Zurich. Since then, I’ve been getting requests to blog about more tips and tactics anyone could use to earn miles and redeem them for free flights. Let’s start with this basic, open secret: You earn the most miles on the ground, not in the air. A lot of people believe that to earn lots...

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SMART Goals Are Sooooo 2016

Ugh, I swear if I read another life-coach blogpost talking about “SMART goals”, I’m going to stab myself in the eye with a plateful of ikan bilis.  Today, SMART is THE cliche of the personal development world. It’s the equivalent of a student ending his essay with, “…And then he realised it was just a dream.” It makes us all roll out eyes. All my life, I’ve been setting SMART goals like “Get a six-pack by the time I graduate” or “Get promoted by the end of this year.” Sometimes my readers email me with questions on their SMART goals like, “How do I grow my portfolio by...

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New Talk: Money Or Love?

Check out this NUSWhispers post from a girl who’s torn between two guys: Guy A: A rich gentleman who drives a BMW and wines and dines her at restaurants Guy B: Her boyfriend who’s serving his NS and takes her to Swensens and Ajisen On the surface, it’s easy to judge the girl for even thinking of leaving her current boyfriend. How ungrateful! He’s doing his best to save money now to afford a BTO! But if we dig a little deeper, maybe it’s not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, money plays a bigger role in our relationships than we’d like to...

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The Ultimate Guide To Achieving An IPPT Gold

It started with a T-shirt. While trying on T-shirts at Uniqlo, I realised that not a single M-sized shirt could hide my proudly protruding belly. Aren’t these changing room mirrors supposed to make you look more attractive than you actually are? Ugh. It was time to do something about it. I didn’t want to do the usual “join a gym, pay lots of money, fall of the treadmill (literally)” cycle that plagues so many people today. No. If I wanted to overcome this belly-crisis, I needed something concrete. Something motivating. Something like… Getting an IPPT Gold. Ah, IPPT: The Bane of NS Men...

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What A Hip-Hop Dance Group Taught Me About Rejection

A friend randomly texted me this week saying that he watched Jia Jiang’s TED talk “What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection” and he thought of me: (If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s about this introverted Asian guy who wanted to inoculate himself against rejection. So he did an experiment where he filmed himself asking ridiculous requests from random people for 100 days). It just so happened that at that moment, I was reading a book written by the exact same guy: Obviously, this was a sign that I should write about rejection this week. Ahhhh rejection. Most...

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Maybe You Don’t Have To Be Number 1

So part of my new Sunday housework routine (#marriedlife) is that I listen to podcasts while mopping the floor and washing the toilets. Last Sunday, I came across this excellent 3-hour+ episode of the Tim Ferriss Show with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH). Who? His name may not be immediately familiar to you, but he created the programming language Ruby On Rails, is the founder of collaboration software Basecamp, and is a Le Mans class-winning racing driver. (As if being a friggin’ programmer wasn’t enough, right?) I got really excited by this episode when he started talking about his philosophy of skill acquisition...

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The Power Of Enthusiasm (Or Why Aunties Make The Best Promoters)

So the wifey and I were at the supermarket this weekend (because that’s what married Singaporean couples do on weekends, amirite?). As you know, I’m fascinated by the psychology of sales. So while we were shopping, I started to observe the promoters who were scattered around the supermarket. You know the ones I’m talking about: Those earnest-looking folks who have a little pop-up stand next to the aisle, hired to give out free samples and convince passing aunties to buy a particular brand or product. I’d never paid much attention to them before, but today, I started wondering: What’s their job...

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