Monday, April 26, 2010

Whose Dream Is It?

I just read an article on the Straits Times by Grace Chua titled "Whose dream is it anyway?"

It is interesting to note that many points she raised resonates with what I feel about the unspoken Singapore Dream.

It is unspoken because deep down inside, most young working adults still desire the 5Cs that was popularised about a decade ago even though nobody really talks about it. Most people just hide behind a mask and give the one-liner that goes: "Oh, money isn't important to me." But deep down inside, I guess we have all been subconsciously programmed to gun for the 5Cs.

It is difficult to unlearn things that we have been taught since young. Learning new things is never difficult but unlearning is a whole new level. Try unlearning to ride a bike!

When we start work, we inevitably hear comparisons of who has been promoted, who just bought a new car, house or who and who is now working in some big MNC with a lucrative pay package. Even when we return home, the comparisons do not stop. We hear of relatives who are doing well, we hear of the recent purchases of so-and-so...

All these affects most people subconsciously. And at the end of the day, many Singaporeans end up desiring wealth or riches or the 5Cs. The Singapore Dream. Not really our own dream but rather a dream that has been "forced" upon us.

Suddenly, it seems that if we do not attain the 5Cs, we have failed in life. How wrong can we be...

I think a lot has been mentioned about the 5Cs already so I will not delve into it further.

When I first started this blog, it seemed like my focus was on being financially free. When I say financially free, I don't mean being rich or anything. I just meant being able to live a life where I know all my expenses can be taken care of even if I do not work. I do not aspire to have the 5Cs. Why do I need a country club membership when I don't golf or swim?

Some people once asked if I am obsessed about being financially free everyday....Ermm....the answer is NO.

The reason why it seems I am so obsessed with it is because this blog is about financial freedom so my topics must be about personal finance =)

Believe me, I would rather be writing about something more interesting like my travels and stuff. But because this blog is about personal finance, I need to feed my readers a daily dosage of personal finance information. If I could make an analogy, I am like the journalist writing on the Invest section of the Sunday Times. Is the journalist crazy and obsessed about investments? Maybe, maybe not. For all you know, the journalist could be bored stiff of writing and talking about investments. But it is a job so he/she has no choice but to write about investments.

So when you meet me (if you do ever meet me), please talk about more normal stuff with me. I am not some crazy person who is obsessed with becoming rich. I enjoy playing my new ukelele much more than I enjoy writing about personal finance (well, at least for now). I am a normal person with normal dreams just like everyone else.

Back to the 5Cs...

The question that I would like to ask is this: "Are you still pursuing some dream that involves the 5Cs or are you trying to live your own dream first?"

P.S. My CPF IMSavvy profile is already up. Do check it out at the website.


  1. Some people's dream is 5Cs and that is living their dreams

  2. Uncle8888,

    That is quite true indeed. I guess they think that the 5Cs will bring them happiness.

  3. Hi FF,

    For me, 5Cs are out. Because if i chase after 5Cs, it will not be a dream but a nightmare.

    Good article.


  4. 5Cs popularised only a decade ago? Thought it was 2 decades ago when I was still a teenager? ;-p

  5. The 3Cs of Singapore nightmare : Cancer, COV, Carpark :)

  6. "we hear of the recent purchases of so-and-so" i don't think everyone necessarily wants to purchase the same things as so-and-so..we all want to have more options in life. If we are rich, we can work if we want to, if we can afford it we can buy whatever so-and-so did if we want to. It's the idea of having no choice that's a bit sad....e.g "i want this, but i can't afford it..etc..."

  7. We need people who aim for 5C so as to distinguish those who don't and be happy.


  8. I don't aim for 5Cs. If it happens, it happens. :)

  9. I always wonder why people are aiming for Credit Cards =)

    How does it fit into the 5Cs? Is it just an image thing?

  10. Hi FF,

    If you have a card, then you won't realise the disadvantages of not having one :)

    It's certainly not for showing dumb is that? Just a piece of plastic with your name on it.

  11. Heh...

    When I got my first credit card many years back, I was actually quite happy. Looks good especially when I bring my girlfriend (now my wife out).

    Perhaps I was childish then...

    Yeah. I guess being self-employed means it is really difficult to get a credit card. I wonder what the bank is really looking out for. I wonder whether the same problem arises when you are looking for a housing loan?


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