As I sit by the beach here in Lombok, Indonesia, for my short getaway on my birthday. I begin my annual ritual where I’ll have my alone-time to review and reflect on what a year it has been as I add another year to my spiritual time here on this physical Earth.
Year 2018 has been the year I’ve traveled the most in my entire life. If there is 3 words to summarize my year, it has been learning, traveling and working.
Between January to July alone, I’ve traveled from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi, Siam Reap, Phnom Penh, Singapore, Suwon, Seoul, Washington DC, Dubai, Jakarta, Beijing, Bangkok. Some of these cities were regular monthly travels and I’ve not included my local travels in states like Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Malacca.
As I hardly get to sleep on the plane, that gave me lots of time to read, think, and Netflix. I’ve read tons of books from business to futurism, from blockchain to personal development, from relationships to spirituality. So this year has been quite inspirational and transformational for myself as I continue soak myself up with new ideas to challenge my existing reality of business and life.
So, these are the 3 lessons as I turn 33:
1) The ROI of the New Economy
I believe that we are living in a transition period just like the time when the Internet was introduced to the world. Internet changed the way we communicate and it made this connected world a lot ‘closer and nearer’. An hour call from Malaysia to China would have cost a fortune 10 years ago. But today, it’s practically free!
It also means that while I’m having my holidays here in Lombok, I’ll still be able to have meetings over Zoom calls, anytime my team needs me.
Just like how the Internet has changed the way human’s communicate, exponential technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing will change the way we live.
Most of these exponential technologies are still at the ‘distraction’ stage, just like where the Internet was in the 1990s, when there were so many Dot Com companies that were created but only very few that lasted till today. However, I do believe that these technologies are bound to disrupt our businesses, the way we work and the way we live.
While the ROI in the old economy is Return of Investment. I believe that the ROI of this new economy is Return on Imagination.
Ideas, Information, Inspiration and Implementation will be the 4 major currencies of the new economy.
In order to gain ideas, information and inspiration, you’ve got to travel, read and meet the relevant people. Who you’ll be in 10 years to come will be determined today by the books that you read, places that you have visited, and the people that you meet.
2) My Best Practice In 2018
I was having a discussion with a friend when I shared that I was able to achieve more focus in Year 2018. This is probably due to the extra time I had during my flights to read, review and reflect.
He then shared with me his secrets of success. He said, “Do you know why most people rarely achieve their goals?”
That’s because they look at their goals once a year. By then, they would probably be setting the same goals, all over again.
As for himself, he spends the first 30 minutes every day sitting on his own, reviewing his goals, journaling his experiences and aligning himself towards his goals.
I was so impressed and I started journaling almost every single morning since then.
Today, I spend my morning by myself at my balcony asking myself these 5 questions:
1) What Am I Grateful For Today?
2) What Have I Done Right Yesterday?
3) What Should I Be Doing Today to Improve Towards My Goals?
4) What Is The 20% Goal that I Must Achieve Today To Bring 80% of Results?
5) What Are My Top 3 To Do List?
6) What Is That 1 Thing That I Must Ignore Today?
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and father when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you achieve happiness and peak performance when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are constantly in a balance. As a leader, you’ve 3 major responsibilities. Craft a vision. Create alignment. Champion execution.
3) True Wealth In Any Economy
While technology create new jobs, it also replace current jobs. Think about it… In the past, 85% of people are farmers. Today only 3% of the world are in agriculture business. But they alone can feed the entire world.
Technology do replaces jobs. But it also frees humanity into finding our greater purpose and live our passion. Thanks to the advancement of technology, you no longer need to be a farmer or hunter to crave your hunger, but you can be out there fulfilling your purpose and passion.
As we move into this transition period, I am extremely excited as we will be living in an exceptional time where all mundane, routine and boring jobs will be replaced. Individuals will empowered to do what they truly love to do.
While the thought of robots and AI taking over our jobs sounds scary, you’ll be very blessed to know that robots and AI cannot replace 2 tasks; creativity and love.
I may not drive Ferrari or Lambo. I may not wear an AP and Hublot. But I am truly happy with the birthday week as I celebrated my birthday with my friends and family. It’s these deep friendships and relationships that brings true happiness.
One thing good about growing older is you tend to know what you want and what you don’t want. You become clearer with what you can do and what you won’t or cannot do. Your network of friends will become bigger but your circle of close friends get smaller.
As you grow older, you’ll begin to realize that the wealth that brings true happiness is not more dollar, gold or bitcoins. True happiness comes when you start becoming rich in relationships.
One of the prayers I’ve made over the year was to be able to spend my birthday with someone whom I love. And I’m very blessed that this year, my Lord above has decided to answer my prayer and gave me one of my biggest blessing of 2018.