Income, Money and Being Rich.

Most people assume that in order to be rich, you need to have high income. Guess what? That is not true. Earning a high income helps, but that isn’t the pivotal deciding factor.

You could have a high income. But if you have equally high expenses, then you cannot be rich. Because you are spending beyond your means. A businessman could very well earn $30,000 in a month, but if he spends $35,000 from that, he is essentially $5,000 poorer after each month, which amounts to a deficit of $60,000 a year!

The reason why high income doesn’t equate to richness is because people tend to adjust their expenses according to their level of income. It happens. When people get a pay rise, they become intoxicated with thoughts of getting a new car, a new TV, a bigger house etc. which are all liabilities. Toys to bring you joy? Nah. When you get a pay rise, you should be buying assets; not liabilities. Even if you can’t afford to buy certain assets, never ever splurge on liabilities!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that it is easier to get rich with low income. But, the truth is, a person who knows how to manage his finances, even if his income is in the low-middle range, is way better off than than the financially-illiterate businessman above.

ImageI agree with Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad Poor Dad and other groundbreaking books) that too many people have the wrong ideas of money, which comes down to misguided advice from teachers, parents and other people who have no clue about money themselves, who pretend that they know it all.

From young, we are told to study hard in school to get a safe job, work hard and get promoted etc. It is really sad that we are programmed to work for other people, it’s as if we don’t have a choice. When that notion gets repeated again and again, people become convinced that it’s true. Conversely, if a child is continuously exposed to entrepreneurship skills and taught to think out of the box, they will do wonders in life!

It is not surprising that only 10% of the population make 90% of all the money in this world; because the other 90% are clueless when it comes to money. Well, the 90% might say that it’s unfair, but if you do not put in effort to achieve financial enlightenment, then you don’t deserve to be in that 10%. These 10% are not necessarily the smartest, most technical or knowledgeable, but they are smart in hiring smarter people to work for them. If you are a boss and you hire people who are not smarter, or not equally smart as you, then you have issues with your ego.

The real secret of the 10% group is to generate passive income. Which means money keeps coming in even if they do not work. They don’t chase the money; the money chases them. Which is why out of all the job offers which I had, I chose an e-commerce company even though it is the worst offer from a salary viewpoint. I’m not chasing the money. Rather, I’m deciding which company can offer me the best education in terms of enhancing my skills in business (other than allowing me to utilise my writing, advertising and marketing expertise), even more so with online business, which hasn’t hit the boom yet in Malaysia. I see this as a big opportunity.

While I’m still young, I want to take up a challenge. I don’t want to join companies which are already the big players in their industry. I want to join an uprising company that is hungry, that tries to stand on equal footing with the big players. I want to be part of a revolution. After that, I will try to get into self-employment, so that I can be my own boss!

And, this brings me to my last point. I plan to retire at the age of 40, and let passive income do its work. Some may laugh. Some may say it’s impossible. Or whatever. Even if I fail to do so, at least I made efforts to steer towards the 10% group; and not be stuck with the losers in the 90% group.

If you think that you can get rich by being an employee, you might as well go buy a nice, big kite and fly it during every sunset. At least you have a priceless moment to look forward to every day. Which may be on par with being rich!

* The ideas which I am presenting here have to be credited to Mr Kiyosaki. The world needs more people like him to educate fools like us, to make us less money-blind.

The Link Between Extroversion and Listening Skills.

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Listening is easy. For me at least. All that’s required is patience and attention. Nothing more. If so, why do so some people have poor listening skills? I believe one of the key reasons is the curse of extroversion.

The thing with extroverts is that their brain functions in such a way that makes active listening impossible. Once extroverts are done expressing their views on a topic, their minds automatically wander off in search of another topic, preferably one within close proximity to the previous one.This leaves the mind with little or no capacity to listen.

Because listening disrupts the flow of the brainwaves. Listening becomes a hindrance. It is unwanted. Unwelcome. Get rid of it!

Sure, they may appear to be listening to your response, but the truth is, they don’t really give a shit. You are already left behind. Like a fool, oops.

Once you have done your share of talking, extroverts will shift gears and proceed to a new topic.They will not acknowledge whatever that you have said because they weren’t listening in the first place. Which is the reason why I don’t really enjoy talking to people who are overly extroverted, because they have literally zero attention span. People of these kind use conversations as platforms to assert their viewpoints to make others agree with them, without committing to the listening part. They expect you to listen; but never do so themselves.

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This is why it is very hard to get deeply engrossed into a topic when you are chatting with extroverts. Because they are wanderers. It is not their nature to stay still and go deeper. Think of a digger. They are the type of diggers that will scan the surface for gold, and keep moving on. Not the ones who will find a spot and dig deep.

Extroverts take pride in their ability to multitask. And they are undoubtedly good at it. If only they add listening to that set of skills.

*This is not a post specifically aimed at bashing extroverts. Of course, extroverts have their unique side and strengths which makes the world go round.

My Take on the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

I’m pretty damn sure that I’m not the only one who got exposed to the “Dunning-Kruger effect” term by playing DotA 2. Yes it’s true, games are educational tools too! Just spend over a thousand hours on this silly game and you’ll be wiser than ever!

Anyways, the Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias. What the heck is this?

[cognitive bias = the tendency to think and interpret information based on one’s experiences]

Back to topic. The Dunning-Kruger effect makes people inaccurately assess their own level of knowledge/skill. Which tricks people into believing that their skill level is higher than other individuals; when in fact, such a belief is untrue or completely biased. The scary part is, people actually think themselves to be better than others, even in scenarios where the other person is clearly superior.

Why does this happen? Ego. People need ego to have high self-regard. Which boosts self-esteem. Which builds an admirable self-image to impress others.  Level up in happiness, woohoo!

What I’m trying to say is that when it comes to evaluate our self-worth, people will naturally err to the side of kiasu-ness. Nobody wants to be seen as weak or being inferior. Unless you don’t mind.

With ego in place, people go on to place themselves at a higher pedestal than others. Practice makes perfect. The more they do it, the better and more natural it gets. As a result, the false sense of pride builds up. Pride and prejudice. Pride leads to prejudice. Prejudice serves to reinforce the feeling of superiority, so much so that it gradually takes over a person’s judgement – clouding it, creating thunderstorms of thoughts which will not hesitate to zap away feelings of inferiority. This leads to the failure to recognise and give credit to the true skills of others.

Now you know why people overrate themselves all the damn time.

Final words: thank you DotA 2 for matchmaking me with the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Pun intended.

The Most Memorable Datuk Quote!

This is one of my all-time favourite quote(s) by an infamous Datuk. I personally think that the joke is best comprehended in Malay – the essence of the joke is somewhat lost in translation in English.

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Here it goes:

Datuk: Kita akan bina rocket pigi matahari.

“Tapi Datuk, matahari terlalu panas untuk didekati.

Datuk: Itu tade masalah. Kita hantar waktu malam.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Datuk: We will build a rocket to reach the Sun.

“But Datuk, the Sun is too hot for anything to get close to.

Datuk: That’s not a problem. We’ll send (launch) the rocket at night.

Feel free to share the ‘best’ quotes that you have come acoss in the comments section below. Cheers.

10 Myths About Writers and Writing

#5 is very true. A lot of people seem to think that writing is easy and that no effort needs to be put in to come up with a material that has nice flow and coherence. The truth is good writing requires time and patience.

P.A. Moed

In order to write creatively, we need to exercise our free-spirited and impulsive right brain.  It might take a while to “liberate” this side of the brain especially if we have worked in fields that are linear, concrete, and require rationale thought.  This is what happened to me many years ago when I switched from a career in teaching and publishing to full-time writing.   As I began my apprenticeship in the creative arts,  I had to dispel several myths about the writing process and writers.

"Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait" by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum. “Lost in My Life (Price Tags) ” by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum.

1.  Myth: Writers Are Strange.

There is an element of truth to this!  Writers (and other creative people) must be willing to look below the surface of everyday life and explore the world and relationships like a curious outsider.  This perspective sets us apart, but at the same time, it allows us…

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Choice vs Choices.

 

I have always been fascinated by the psychology of choice(s). How often have we heard of people who complain endlessly about not having enough choices in their lives. That they do not have the luxury to make decisions due to a lack of choices. At the same time, there are people who are spoiled by the luxury of choices that they wish their lives were made simpler by fewer choices. You can’t have it both ways!

Logic assumes that a person with ample choices is in a better position compared to another person who is deprived of that privilege. The reasons are: i) choices empower people; ii) choices grant freedom for people to dictate their future, and iii) by comparing the different choices, people gain valuable insights into  what the future holds. Nevertheless, this superior position comes with a psychological burden.

Funnily enough, it seems to me that the more choices a person has at his/her disposal, the more likely he/she is going to struggle, or maybe it is just me suffering from this dilemma due to my indecisiveness. Anyway, I put this down to opportunity cost – when people have more choices, it becomes more difficult for them to make the ‘right’ decision, because
they become afraid of taking the wrong step, which means missing out on the opportunities that the other choice(s) presents. It is only human nature that we are always afraid of losing out on something – which is the very root of success of  mega sales as they capitalise and tap on our feelings of insecurity. In contrast, a person dealing with a sole choice need not worry – obviously, things are pretty straightforward because there is nothing to lose.

This can be related to my own experience. Having just graduated recently, I am lucky that my job hunting process has been relatively smooth-sailing. As of now, several companies have kindly offered to take me on board, which I feel grateful for.

The unfortunate part is, my nights have been rough.My mind just refuses to be put to rest as I weigh up the options while lying in bed. Instead, it goes on to jot down mental notes, and make calculations and adjustments by jumping from one algorithm to another, to figure out the best offer in a precise numerical order. My train of thought can be compared to that of a ping-pong ball that is continuously bouncing back and forth on two different sides of a table in a restless manner, as I struggle to break the code of my first successful employment.

That said, this experience has taught me to savour the times where we are left with no choice but to do or carry out something. At the very least, that particular course of action can be done without being held back by feelings of apprehension or potential regret.

Beggars cannot be choosers. In that case, I choose to be a beggar. Only this time.