Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New year resolutions redefined

Seeing everyone doing their new year resolutions, I thought of doing one too. However, it's a serious thing to me because I want to do one which I intend to complete, so a fair amount of thinking and planning is involved. I don't like dreaming of big things and waiting for it to happen to me - it can be quite demoralising if it didn't come true.

I was thinking about the project that I did in 2009 - which is my 50k challenge. For the uninitiated, it's my 12 months long plan to save 50k for various things that will happen this year.

Now, I'm thinking whether this is being short sighted on a long term goal. While the long term picture is of course to save more money, I'm wondering whether breaking the 50k target into monthly target is making me forget the bigger picture. Why save more money? To have a better life! However I don't seem to have a better life while trying to have a better life - thus the irony of ironies.

Here's some of the things that I observed:

1. There are months that I had suffered greatly while trying to achieve my monthly savings target, and I wondered whether it's worth my life to achieve an arbitrary number set by myself at the start of the year. While it provided me the motivation to persevere, my thoughts are always - is it worth it?

2. My temper became worse with occasional mood swings. Lessons can be quite boring and there are times that I snapped at students for sloppy work. I don't like doing this but try hopping from one place to another, walking under the hot sun, working for 12 hours and when you reached the student's place, he/she had forgotten what you had taught them the last lesson. I'm bad tempered and sarcastic - that is so unlike me. I never wanted to do this to my students again.

3. At the pace I'm working at last year, I was constantly tired and sleepy. While I did not sleep during my lessons, I really had to close my eyes for some time while my students do the work that I gave them. Again, this is not what I want to do in my work, but to reach my target, I had to put in classes very early and very late to get in more income.

4. Surprisingly, my income for 2009 is lesser than 2008. I took 1.5-2 month leave after reaching my goal to recover from the ordeal. In summary, I worked more intensely because I worked a shorter period of time.

Is it worth it? Answer is no. It's good enough to know that I can do this again if I want to, but no thanks, I won't do it in 2010. Having zoomed in to see the ugly side, I shall zoom out this year to see the bigger perspective. Having this 50k goal restricts me and confines me and I shall have none of it.

Thus, my goal for 2010 is simple - Re-learn the joy of teaching, have more group classes and have fun doing it. I figured that if I keep to these redefined goals, hitting 50k is part of the reward of that journey, no longer the end. That being said, there is still a number that I had to achieve by end of the year and hey, I'm no longer bounded by it. If I can reach it, 'tis good but if not, so be it.


Patrick T. said...

Remember bro, reserve sometime to look for that flat of yours. The time invested for that will ultimately return many folds, in years to come, when you set up classes to maximize earnings per hour.

dream said...

we'll have cigars for your relaxation.

dream said...

buy neptune court. I heard that place not bad.

Createwealth8888 said...

Work until on fire. That is really bad.

financialfreedom said...

don't want to work so hard?

You can pass your students over to me =)

PanzerGrenadier said...


I can understand how you feel.

The lesson began to sink into me while I was reaching about half-way through my goal of financial freedom.

I realised that having passive income was not the be-all and end-all of everything.

Family, relationship with my spouse and daughter as well as parents became as important as I moved nearer to my goal.

Thus, I've decided to delay the goal but to enjoy each moment spent moving on a longer, slower but more enjoyable path towards financial freedom.

Hence, I'll be upgrading to a new place soon and would have to top up additional home equity but I am fine with that.

Be well and prosper.

Admin said...

"However I don't seem to have a better life while trying to have a better life - thus the irony of ironies."

Remember the fisherman & businessman story? ;)

Reminds me of a quote I read somewhere, that goes something like this:
What's the point of making a living if you are not living the life that you are making.

Createwealth8888 said...

The fisherman said, "Isn't that what I am doing right now?"


I will be the fisherman soon.

Gohsip said...

Bro... prepare for your wedding la! lol

Dream Ge will bao you big ang bao... don't need to worry about saving 50k.

Bolt said...

millionair are not the most happy people in the world.

I am learning to focus on the process then the results.

Anonymous said...

LP getting married?

Congrats in advance!

la papillion said...

Hi pat,

Ya bro, I understand that. Will be focusing on that soon. That is my getaway ticket.

la papillion said...

To dream, bro8888,

Don't think I'll work so hard for 2010. At least the goal is not to earn that 50k again. Enough already, work like that can die.

la papillion said...

Hi FF,

Thanks for your congratulations - yup, me getting married this year.

The offer to help you look for students still stand. You just have to email me. Not a problem really.

la papillion said...

Hi PG,

Ah, you felt it too. I guess it's really a good idea to step back and reflect on what we truly want. Seriously, I'll do the same as you and delay the utopian financial freedom status too.

la papillion said...

Hi Dancerene,

Yup - I remembered you mention that story before. It's amazing how a simple story conveys such deep truth.

I've heard of that quote too - liked it very much.

la papillion said...

Dear gohsip,

Wedding I outsource to my gf. I hope she derives more pleasure from it then me. Most likely i take the 'pressure' rather than the pleasure in such things. Oh well..

la papillion said...


You're right. Happiness and richness are quite different things indeed.