Investment is not only about money

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Investment is not only about money. True enough, there are things more important than money. That is where you should invest.

When I was little, I would beg my grandfather to buy me a clown fish as a pet. ”Clown fish are bad for my fighting cocks!” he would tell me. He was quite superstitious.

On the other hand, sometimes he would bring home flying fish, but not as a pet of course. It was the most abundant fish in the market and the cheapest. By the way, a flying fish is not a pretty fish.
It is only now that I understand the lessons behind grandfather’s actions. First, it's more practical to buy flying fish for food than to buy clown fish for pets. In fact, one clown fish is more expensive than 1 kilo of flying fish. For the second lesson, let me tell you a story.

A long time ago in the deepest sea, there was only one kind of fish. They all looked the same, black tail and white scales. Nemo and Bangs were best friends in school. After their graduation, they were to choose their new destiny.

”I want some colorful scales, with a little line around my belly as if I were wearing a black belt,” Nemo wished. “And oh! I want my tails and fins thinner and softer.” Right there and then, he became a Clown fish. Everyone was amazed at Nemo’s new elegant look.

“I want wider, longer and stronger pectoral fins,” Bangs wished.

“That's it?” Nemo interrupted. “How boring! What would you do with your boring side fins? Why would you want them bigger?”

Before Bangs could respond to Nemo, his black fins grew longer, almost up to his tail. Nemo started laughing so hard he almost choked. Their classmates also joined in the mocking laughter.

When the laughter abated, Bangs opened his new fins and zoomed to disappear in the middle of everyone.

After the ceremony, Nemo and Bangs met again. “You know, I had a wonderful day swimming with my elegant scales and soft fins and tails.” Nemo looked at himself lovingly and admired his new self. ”So, how were your wings?” Nemo giggled.

“Oh! I had a blast!” Bangs said as he flexed his wings wide. “For the first time in my life, I saw the world. I flew up above the water and I tasted the air. I saw the sun. I felt the waves of the sea. I saw the birds, the trees, and everything was beautiful. I can’t wait to go back there again.”

As Bangs went on and on sharing his experiences of the day, Nemo was silent.

Just like Bangs in the story, invest in things that will allow you to fly, rather than make you look flashy. Invest in education, in improving your skills, in developing your well-being, in honing your talents, in memorable experiences, etc. They are more important than buying things just to impress others.

Please check out my book available in Amazon, How to Survive Mondays.

 How to Survive Mondays

Get Recharged - Have A Date with Yourself

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I may have experienced being an emcee or a host of events and delivered speeches in front of hundreds of people quite a few times already, but I still haven't mastered recharging my energy in seconds. After every event, I always get inexplicably exhausted. Sometimes, my tears just fell from my eyes and I didn’t know why.

Then I met the term Introvert in Susan Caine's book Quiet. I realized I was not crazy and that many people also experience my weird experiences. Perhaps I was just experiencing other introverts were experiencing. I learned that I only needed me-time to get recharged.

I believe that me-time is not only for introverts. It is for everyone. When we become drained by work or any stressful activity, our souls seem to separate from our physical body. It is only during me-time that we can put them back together in harmony.

Me-time is a special time you allocate -- like a date with yourself. It is the time when you reconnect with your core values and listen to what your soul is telling you. Some use it to meditate, to pray, or to take a short walk. It doesn't matter, as long as your mind is focused on your inner voice, and not on the voice of the outside world.

Here are some of the me-time activities I enjoy doing, which you may also want to try:

1. Go to a Videoke bar alone and sing. Don't worry; I also love to go there with friends.

2. Do solo exercise like hiking, biking, or swimming. I also find that snorkeling is a great me-time activity. Just make sure you're not swimming in a shark-infested sea.

3. Enjoy the sunset. It is also a good me-time activity that allows you to appreciate the magnificent display of colors painted in the sky.

4. Pray and reflect. Me-time is also a good time to pray, which you can also do while at work.

5. Get disconnected for a while. While having me-time, it is best to disconnect from any devices and social media. Relax -- the world won’t collapse if you miss opening a couple of Facebook notifications. I used to open my Facebook every other minute because I thought that something would come up that urgently needed my attention. While I was writing this book, I tried to avoid Facebook for 24 hours, then 48 hours. When I opened my Facebook after that, there were 50 notifications telling me that someone liked or commented on my posts. But I was still fine. The world did not collapse.

6. Consider going to work 30 minutes earlier than everyone else. That way you will have ample time to sort your mind out. You will have a clearer view of how you want your day to unfold. You may not be able to control every external factor that comes along, but you will have a sense of being in control of what you can -- which is yourself.

7. Schedule me-time before or after work. Do what you enjoy doing -- like painting, writing blogs, reading books, taking photos, playing with kittens, watching movies alone, etc. It doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy what you're doing. Just let your mind drift away from the problems at work. 

During me-time, let go of any worries about work and just focus on your inner self. Listen to what your inner voice is saying.

Thanks for dropping by.

Grab a copy of my book in Amazon, How to Survive Mondays