3 Precious Things to Pursue for a ‘Richer’ Life

In episode #69, we share 3 things you should pursue to create that life you can love. Optimising your finance is important. But that alone may not be enough to create that life you can love. A life you can love is made up of many other aspects. Join us today as we share about what are some things you should pursue to make your life more fulfilling.

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podcast Transcript

Creating a life you love while managing your finances well — this is something that I talk a lot about. Like every week you hear this in the introduction. So during this one week break that I took, I spent a lot of time to ask myself, so how do I create a life that I love? Out there today there are so many things that you can pursue, so many things that you are trying to pursue and I myself, I’m also exploring a lot of stuff. So then I asked myself, is it all about money? Is it all about more investments, more savings? Blah, I don’t know. Pretty sure it’s not all about that. So we’re going to spend some time today to talk about some things that I feel you should pursue that is not directly, you know, finance, finance, but some ways related. So welcome back. 

Good morning, everyone. I welcome you to another day with the Financial Coconut. In our podcast, we are debunking financial myths, discovering best financial practices and discussing financial strategies that fits our unique life–you get it–ultimately empowering us to create a life we love while managing our finances well. And today we’re going to spend some time to talk about three precious things I view you should pursue beyond money.

Okay. We are coming to the end of the year. And I thought like, okay, we should wind down a little bit, not everything about investments, not everything about savings, everything about finance. And honestly, many people are taking a break. You are probably taking a break yourself. So thanks for tuning in every Tuesday. But I decided that okay, since the end of the year, and I took some time to kind of review my life and ask myself, what do I actually want? That I am going to dedicate the next two episodes, you know, today and next week’s episode on things that are not directly related to personal finance, but a lot more focused on creating that life you can love.

 Of course, in a personal finance circuit, right, there’s always this idea of optimization, or trying to optimize your investments, optimize your savings, optimize your budget. You know, everyone is trying to like kind of squeeze out more from whatever they have. Which is not exactly the problem, but if everyday you’re just thinking of how to optimize your finances, like making more money, how to make better investments, save more, reduce your debt and whatnot.

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Sometimes we forget the big picture, right? Sometimes we are like, so why are we doing all these things? Like, our finances are getting better and better but our life is not getting better and better, right? Because in my view, you must always manage your finances aligned with the life that you’re trying to pursue.

Before we begin, I’m going to just kind of congratulate everybody for surviving 2020. I think it’s been a crazy year. I’m sure you, you know by now la, I don’t need to tell you more, but you survived, I survived, then that’s good. Let’s head forward. But 2020 has definitely shown us this idea that nothing is permanent. Everything is changing all the time. So then what are some of these things that we want to spend a lot more effort on going forward? At least these are some things that I want to do more, and I hope that you can do more because I feel these things kind of help you create that life you can love. 

And the very, very first precious thing that I feel you should pursue is deeper relationships, you know, where you can be vulnerable and still feel safe. And I feel that this thing has changed my life. I know many people are pursuing your life, trying to, you know, get your career together, trying to fight through promotions, work through all the politics. There’s politics everywhere, just saying, and sometimes you feel like too many people are like a bit fake la, right? They’re all putting up a front, like they all friend-friend you in front and then, then you don’t really know what’s going on and you can feel it because we are humans, right. We have that kind of emotional capacity to kind of feel what’s going on and in my life, over time, I’ve come to appreciate people that are very honest with me, very comfortable with me and, can be vulnerable with me because to me that is where social relationships really thrive and prosper.

So what are some hallmarks of a deep relationship? Essentially it is when you can be vulnerable and tell them your problems without feeling like, you know, hey, this guy’s going to use this problem, and whack me, you know, and come after me. So being able to have that kind of vulnerability in your group or in your social life is very, very powerful because that is like the social rigor, right. You know that, okay, I am safe. That is important. And I know a lot of people caught the Harvard study on happiness, which I think has done a good point to kind of prove that, you know, some of the happiest people out there today really have great relationships. And, you can just go and search it, right. Just “Harvard study on happiness” and it’s everywhere, like the whole Google you can find it. And they have found that there’s a strong association between happiness and close relationships. People like your spouse, your family, your friends and social circles. But I wanna push it one step further to recognize that these are not a given. It is not because someone is your spouse or someone is your kid or someone is your friend that you have close relationships. Sometimes there are accidental friends, accidental kids [laughs], you don’t actually, work on those relationships. Sometimes we take it for granted. So building that kind of deep relationship is not about just spending a lot of time, but really building that safety to understand each other and not judge each other, and accept each other for who we are. So since the year is coming to an end, I hope that you can just kinda think about some of these relationships and let them know that you’re thinking about them. 

And this brings me to point number two, which is to find fulfilling work. For lack of a better way to put it: work that you would do without getting paid. I know it’s very cheesy, right? A lot of people talk about like, eh, you must find the work that you would do when you’re not paid. And at first I was like, uh, rubbish, another one of those like guru talk. But over time I’ve come to, you know, recognize it — of course, because I come from a privileged ground. I’ve already sorted out a lot of my finances and I don’t really have a lot of debt because I don’t buy a house yet, but soon, soon, right. I think I can envision myself owning a house very soon. And, by then you will know, and by then my experiences will change and I may inform you otherwise. But from now till then, I thought about it and I feel like one of the hallmarks of a great life, a life that you can love, it’s really about work that you feel fulfilled, you know, and fundamentally it’s work you will do if you’re not paid la. Which is, for me, it’s like podcast, right? Like talking to you guys and, you know, interviewing people, doing story-telling, these are the things that I love.

And I thought about it over the break. And I’m like, dude, how many people can be paid to do something like that? You know, eh, how many  guys can be paid to tell stories? And I feel like, okay, pretty privileged in that way. And if I make money from this, okay, cool. That’s what we’re trying to do, right. But if I don’t make money from this, I will still do it because I like it. You know, I feel this innate sense of joy and excitement, and I feel like I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m getting fulfilled by doing what I do. And that is not to say that you need to quit your job and then go and find something else. I’ve talked about this extensively, right?

If in a job setting you have worked ABCDEFG, right? And maybe ABCDE is what you like, FG may not be what you like. And there are other aspects of your life that you want to have. So if your job is not giving you the creative growth, go and do something creative. If your job is not giving you the kind of social progress, then go and do something social out there, not everything needs to be on the job.

But that is not to say that you shouldn’t be on the search for a better place to go, you shouldn’t be on a search for fulfilling work. If along the way you find something like a job that is super fulfilling, then do it. And you never know where that brings you. And honestly, I think that is a good reminder for myself because now I have a job, I’m sure you guys know. So I work for a cloud computing company and I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. And you know, I really like TFC, but it’s not paying the bills. So then I talked to the team and together we decide that, okay, yeah, let’s, let’s just, you know, double down on this and let’s see where this brings us.

So that’s why I’m going to eventually quit my job and just focus on this. And it’s going to be very, very soon. And I hope that this brings me somewhere. But it’s a ball of question mark, right? I don’t know if I will like this, I don’t know if I will, you know, be able to make this work, but I’m willing to pursue it because that is what I believe to be the life that I want. So, I’m not saying that you must be all crazy and quit your job, but I’m also not saying that you got to suck thumb and, you know, stay where you are, but sometimes you’ve got to take some bets and sometimes, yeah, you got to recognize that it’s not all about just keep accumulating your wealth because it’s so easy to accumulate wealth while you’re working a job, right. Just do, and then you just make more money and then you just compound, compound, compound and all these are like very “smart” wealth advice. Just compound la over time. 

But if you reach a cross mark, you know, like, you feel like you want to take a leap of faith, then do it la. Because if you think about it, right, why are you making all these money? You’re trying to make more money for more money, buy a bigger house, bigger car, you know, wealthier life? I think for me, I’ve reached a point where I’ve accumulated all this wealth to precisely do the thing that I want to do, which is to embark on the life that I enjoy and find fulfilling work. And now I finally found something that I’m enjoying and I’m finding fulfillment out of it. Why am I not taking a bet on it, right? What’s the worst case, you know, if a year, time, two years time, it doesn’t work, okay. Let’s head back. Everything is ever changing, nothing is permanent.

Which brings me to the third precious thing that I feel you should pursue, and that is knowledge. Specifically in this case financial knowledge, because we are financial podcast mah, I must say we must pursue financial knowledge, but it is not all about finance for sure, but why I have a specific emphasis on financial knowledge is because I feel like it is because I understand the game. That’s why I play it better. For a very long time, I’m like you, I’m like many other people, just trying to figure out this life, trying to figure out like how much money do you make, how much you spend, how much do I need and why do I do all these? What is the price tag? And you know, what is my spending habits? What are some consumption behaviors and all of these different things. They overwhelm me. Much like they have probably overwhelmed you at some point of your life. And over time, when you learn more little, little bits here and there you feel like, okay, maybe I don’t know enough, and I continue to learn. The more you learn ah, the more you kind of find out that, okay, maybe there’s some things that you still don’t know and it’s fine, but the pursuit of knowledge is an endless cycle and you should keep doing it.

Like when I do this podcast, I realized that, okay, actually, there are a lot of things that I still don’t know. And meeting all these guests, talking to all these people, this has kind of broadened my mind and allowed me to see more things and recognize more perspectives. And that’s why I love doing it and that’s probably why you like listening, tuning in every week to listen to this guy, ramble about different aspects of personal finance. Much like compounding your money, compounding your knowledge is very, very powerful. Over time, you start to get a better idea. I know sometimes it’s a bit dry, certain things are like, ah, you really, really want to talk about inflation? You really want to talk about like, um, I dunno, like insurance, you know, investments and all these different things. I know certain people are like more interested in certain topics. And some topics are not popular, but all these little aspects they add up to make your life better.

You cannot be making so much money and then you don’t know how to manage it, and you don’t hedge your risk. And you cannot be buying so much insurance that it impedes your life to, you know, invest in other things or to buy something that you like. You know, some people, they buy so much insurance that they don’t even have money to, you know, just kind of go for a short holiday.

And some people they go for so much holiday that they don’t have savings. They make so much money, but you know, ain’t no shit is going to come together. So because there’s no one way to live your life, and things are ever changing. I feel like the pursuit of knowledge is an inevitable cost. You have to pursue knowledge, you have to learn more things over time. So then that enriches your life. And that gives you a better standing as to how do I manage my life through all these different changes? Some changes you’ve made the call, some changes, are, you know, just put on you, like what happened recently, like COVID, so read more, learn more, ask more good questions. Explore, observe, meet more people. I think all those things are great. And if in doubt, if you have some questions, definitely come and ask us, you know, ask me, and I’m happy to just kind of help you along to understand different aspects. But I always say this, I’m not a professional, but you know, if there’s something that you need or I feel there’s someone that can help you I’ll link you up.

And yeah, I’m going to keep this short today, we’ve come to the end. And to me, this episode is really about me reviewing my life and recognizing that, okay, actually right, money is one thing, I’m pretty good at it, but there are these other things that I’m also pretty good at. And I have actually spent a lot of time to harness them.

So then I’ve reached a point where I quite like my life. So I feel that these three things you should pursue. Three precious things to pursue. And I’ve gonna sum up to date. Number one is deep relationships where I can be vulnerable and feel safe around. It’s not all about having a lot of friends. It’s not about, you know, having very long term friends. It’s not about the length. It’s not about the number. It’s the quality of the friendship. It makes a world of difference. You want to have friends that you can be safe and comfortable and be vulnerable. You can tell them your shit and not be afraid that they will use that against you.

And number two is to find fulfilling work. Fulfilling work are things that you willing to do without getting paid. I know it’s extremely cheesy. I used to be on the fence about this, but the more I think about it, yeah. If I’m willing to put in my life to do this thing, you know, that means essentially I’m willing to do it even if I retire today, I don’t make money out of it, I still do it. Then yeah, it’s pretty fulfilling. And I like it. And in five years’ time, if it’s different, I change la. That’s about it. 

And number three is the pursuit of knowledge. Okay. For lack of a better way to put it, the more you know, the more you don’t know. But if you keep pursuing, you just get a better stance of what’s going on. You get a better sense of what is going on and you can, you know, make better decisions. We’re not about making the perfect decisions. We’re not about not making mistakes, but as we learn more, as we see more things, we make more informed decisions and I feel all these are part of making a good life or creating a life you can love.

So I hope you learned something useful today. See ya.

Hey, I hope you learned something useful today and truly appreciate that you took time off to better your life with the Financial Coconut. Knowledge is that much more powerful, interesting when shared, debated, and discussed. I hope you would share what you’ve gained with people you love, and I want to hear from you. Give me some questions and help me along with building a community of financially savvy coconuts. I hope together we can fulfill a curious mind and a desire for clarity. Join our community Telegram group, reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for our weekly newsletter–everything is in the description below. If you enjoyed the podcast and if you want to keep us growing and stay independent, do buy us a kopi at ko-fi.com. With that, have a great day ahead, stayed tuned next week, and always remember: personal finance can be chill, clear, and sustainable for all.

Test test. Okay. I hope you learned something useful today, and these are the things that I am pursuing. I think maybe you want to pursue them too. If you have some other things that you’re trying to pursue, that it’s not like directly personal finance, feel free to share it on the Telegram group. Feel free to reach out and talk to us.

And in the whole theme of reviewing the years, since we’re coming to an end, next week, I’m just going to share with you guys some powerful practices to review this year, right? I think this year is a little bit unique. It’s very different from other years. It is not just about checking, did I meet my goals? And actually did I meet my goals is a very simple thing, got meet you meet la, never meet,  never meet la. So, I think it’s… we need a better way to kind of review our life and our year, right? So periodic check-ins are good. And once a year, I think that is the bare minimum that we can do to review our year.

So while you enjoy the holidays, while you, you know, wind down to prepare for next year, I think we should spend some time to look at how are some ways that we can review 2020. And that’s a topic for next week. If you have any other interesting things that you hope to have, or if you have any other interesting people or if you yourself, you’re interesting person and you want to come on and share some perspectives, feel free to reach out to us. Facebook, DM, Instagram, email, whatever you’re comfortable, Telegram, DM, come on and just, we’re happy to have you on the show if you’re interesting and yeah, let’s just have a discussion and see where we bring it. So, stay healthy, we made it, 2020 is coming to an end. See you next week.

Bye.

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