March 2, 2014

Thinking of the Future: Do I know Where I am Going To?

By Aldric

A place I find myself frequenting a lot is the future. Over and over I ask: where am I going to? Am I getting any closer?

Brian Tracy says that “acting intelligently” is “action leading you towards your goals”. Acting stupidly, on the other hand are actions and omissions that brings you further from your goal, or when you are acting without any goals.

Where do I want to go?

Here are what I have in mind:

  • I have time to meet people: friends, family, and partner. When I meet people, I would be able to share win-win information: connecting talents to opportunities. I would like to be and feel empowered; in turn, I would like to empower.
  • I’d like to build better bonds with family members. No one can be more awkward than me! Enough is enough! I’m fed up of not knowing my own relatives. I’d like to improve my social skills with them. Maybe host a high tea with my aunts. Or visit my cousins no matter where they are: Perth, Chicago, Doha, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Vancouver etc.
  • I am able to go for holidays and vacation: whether it is spending two weeks in London, followed by another two weeks in Paris in the same year, or just a weekend retreat to our family home in Betong. Not only that, when I do go, I have the option of going alone or with people who I respect, admire or enjoy their company.
  • I am able to pursue my Bachelor’s degrees, my Master’s degree and subsequently my Doctorate at a university of my choice, because I want to and because I can.
  • I would like to have time to attend check-ups and follow-ups without worries. At the same time, I would like to have my medical bills covered or subsidised so when I am hospitalised, I would have the choice of a single-bed room among the many private hospitals in Sarawak, Australia, the United Kingdom or the United States.
  • I would like to be able to celebrate my family and friends through the many celebration. I would love to bless them not only with prayers but also opportunities, gifts and momentos.
  • I would like to speak to young people – in schools or the youth. I want to share with them my findings on working, entrepreneurship and other pleasures of life (material, spiritual, relationships etc) I want to inspire and encourage just like my family members.
  • When it comes to work, I want to feel challenged. I want each day – though having some degree of routine is needed – to be different. I want to be in control of where I am doing business. At the same time, I want to test out and prove that online businesses do work – even for us in the East. We don’t need to wait to be in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong. We, as Sarawakians, can create the global/international opportunity from where we are. I’d also like the option of having multiple streams of income – especially capitalising on my love of reading, writing, learning, travelling, meeting people etc.
  • I’d like to make RM7,500 per month from my primary job. From my other streams of income, my aim is a modest US$250,000 per month.

Ultimately, when I depart this world, I don’t want to leave it without knowing I have done many things, touched many lives, gave and cultivated hope in people, encourage, and contribute to other people’s success.

How Much Closer am I?

Taking some steps back, I am glad that I can share with you how much closer I am getting:

  1. Currently I am pursuing my degree – the Bachelor of Art (Hons) Psychology – from Wawasan Open University. It’s my first semester and I am taking the Introduction to Psychology.
  2. In terms of salary, I am making a basic of RM1,100 per month – except last January. In January, thanks to the ASB, I made an extra RM10,480. In December 2013, I made none. For October and November 2013, I took home Just under RM1,200 combined.
  3. I had to cancel two trips this year – one to Sematan and another at Damai. Working half-day on Saturdays is a disadvantage.
  4. Work gives me different challenges. In my role as HR Admin, I attend meetings and trainings, organise the documents, conduct and call interviews.
  5. I’ve taken up two insurance plans to supplement the one my late mother did for me years ago. For serious illnesses – God forbid! – I am better covered.
  6. I’ve managed to squeeze into family functions – memorials and birthdays – thanks to my office hours. While I was on shift, it depends on the available slots.
  7. Where e-commerce is concerned, I am severely lacking.

By being where I am, can I get closer?

I have nothing negative to say about where I work now. If anything, it is a wonderful environment! However am I getting closer to the destinations above? I cannot say it is possible in the next few years.

I am putting a lot of expectations on myself. Needless to say the above goals are not fixed for the short term. It took John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, and more at least three years. I plan to attain all the above in 5 years time. Five years is the time it took Brian Tracy to get out of the slums to being the COO of his corporation.

Here’s the thing: many of my peers and contemporaries have entered the RM3,000 to RM5,000 salary range. A lot of those who I see as “equal” had their Bachelor’s degree years ago. Some may be pursuing their Master’s degree.

Maintaining the current route, it is impossible to catch up with them in such short notice. At the same time, for someone with my background and shortcomings, there is no salaried position out there which allows me to make the kind of money that I want. Or giving me the freedom and opportunities that I have in mind.

Returning to the Road Not Taken

Years ago I wrote about the Road not Taken – It resonates within me. I like to find ways – new ways – of doing similar things. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Just new or unprecedented in the family.

After many years, I restate the poem here:


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost