Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Little Steps You Take and the Decisions You Make

It is past midnight and I can't seem to sleep. My brain is like in SUPER overdrive mode with lots of random thoughts. This posting might be of little interest to most of you but I just needed an outlet to express my innermost thoughts and feelings. I am not sure whether some of you can relate to what I am about to share next.

Over the years, I have been increasingly aware of the little steps that I have taken that have nudged me on in a certain direction in life that I would otherwise have not taken if not for some small decision on my part. Sometimes, this decision tend to be big and sometimes, small. But nevertheless, they have all contributed to where I am today.

Studying Locally or Overseas

For one, the decision to study locally or abroad has shaped my life in many ways. I can only think of the "what ifs" of the time when I had the opportunity to go overseas and study. In fact, I had sent out a few applications and had managed to secure a place in universities like University College of London and Brown University. Alas, things did not come to pass due to the small steps I took and the little decisions that I made. And this has probably affected the way things have turned out and the way my career has panned out. Whether they have turned out for the better or for worse, I will never be able to tell. Only God knows.

The decision not to pursue my studies overseas remains one of my deepest regrets in my life. It just seems that people's perception of you are formed by them knowing which school you have graduated from. And apparently, graduating from a good overseas university is very important in traditional Singapore. At least that is my perception...

Blogging My Life Away

Just take the example of me starting to blog just for the fun of it. This has already nudged me in a certain direction and little did I know that in the span of two years, I would have made so many online friends and gotten to converse with them on many sensitive topics. Many thanks to you guys and girls! You know who you are. Again, the small decision to start a blog rolled my life in one direction and led me down a path which I never knew I would take or could take.

At the same time, I wonder whether I should quit this blogging business thing. It brings me little real income and I don't really find myself adding value to the tons and tons of information already out there on the internet. Could there be better use of my time?

Missed Opportunities

Then there are those missed opportunities in life which I keep asking myself the "what ifs". Many years ago, if I had just taken a small step in a certain direction, I might have had the opportunity to enter a business venture with a friend. That was over 5 years ago. If I had just taken that step, I could be financially free now. Seriously. And now, I can only wonder about the "what ifs". It makes me feel like kicking myself.


At the same time, I cannot help but wonder whether my present life is actually better off or that maybe God had some other better plan installed for me and I ignored his promptings.

But I guess life is not worthwhile thinking about the path that was not taken. It is the path laid out in front of me that matters most. And I need to seize it and make it count while I am still here on earth.

The little steps you take and the decision you make will lead you to some place in life. Don't underestimate the decisions that you make today.


  1. Hi FF,

    Perceptions will always persist, but it's our job to ignore them. Trying to fit other people's image will make you very miserable. This is coming from a pure 100% local grad who is proud to be a local grad in every sense of the word. Yes, both my Bachelors and Masters were from local universities and there's nothing "wrong" with not being an overseas grad. In fact, I think if I had gone overseas (e.g. Aussie) I may end up being a lot more sloshed ("drunk") than I am now!

    Small steps do indeed pave the way for big things. Think positively - these small steps are what made you aware of financial freedom and you are now pursuing it. Just like when I reviewed my net worth and realized that it was the small steps taken over 5 years which had resulted in my growing my net worth, and not any 1 significant event. That should be encouragement enough for you.....

    Blogging is supposed to be an intellectual pursuit and a personal hobby, so I'd advise you not to think too much in terms of income, otherwise trust me you'd feel miserable! I earned only $500 in 3 years of blogging, but I'm not complaining. Blogging has allowed me to crystallize my thoughts and articulate my views - it's a kind of liberation.

    As for missed opportunities, I used to be like you - always wondering "what if"? You'll seriously drive yourself nuts if you carry on - no kidding and I don't mince words. Life must be lived forwards and if you have any "regrets", learn from the mistakes and avoid repeating them. Not much use trying to turn back the clock to change things. In this respect, I would recommend a movie "The Butterfly Effect" about a guy who can go back in time to change his childhood, with devastating results! So it's not always as rosy as it seems....


  2. Unless you go to overseas uni on scholarship or you have Bank of Papa or Bank of Mama behind you; otherwise you should spare a thought for your parents' retirement fund.

    Unless you can add some form of eSelling of goods or services in your blog, you can't make serious money out of it.

    It is not moneywise to wait for visitors to click your ads. BTW, too much clicking by too "helpful" visitors may also land you into trouble with Adsense.

  3. Hi FF,

    I had difficulty sleeping last night too. Mind too active. This was the last paragraph in what I posted earlier last evening:

    If we keep doing the same things the same way, things will never change. So, what do we do? Make plans to change the way things are done or make plans to do different things. I know we might not have a choice sometimes but if we have a choice, we should remember that we have only one life to live and we owe it to ourselves to live it well.

    Tea with AK71: Pillarised.

    Look on the bright side. At least you did not "pillarise" your car like I did! ;p

  4. this post come at the right time. i'm actually having a difficult time moving forward in terms of career.

    more on my background, i am a computer science graduate. only come to realized working is that comp eng esp the high income jobs in the banking industry are in the hands of the india indian, which is of no wonder since they're way better.

    looking into further study, i'm in a dilemma since the course financial engineering did not exactly have a lot of position in sg. looking into other course does not allow me to diversify into other industry. its such ironical sg providing courses but in the end one can't find job when graduate.

    looking into oversea study is really a burden for normal citizens. actually further study in singapore can also be quite costly. it can easily set u back by 30-40k on top of studying loan for degree.

  5. Yep. Your choice of what and where to study is one of those little decisions that has tremendous impact on the future of your life.

    At the same time, there are those small little decisions which could have made one become a millionaire now. Those are the missed opportunities that are most painful I guess.


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