Over the years of operating my own business, going through the ups and downs of trading and investing (how much will I make this month? when can I end this losing streak?) as well as observing how individuals operate, I come to believe that individual success may be determined by how hungry we are. Many individuals claim they want to do whatever it takes to make more money. Yet many put off by saying that they are not free, their careers too demanding, got family commitment etc.
I suspect that many individuals do not realise that their response were besides individual traits, cultivated by family upbringing and social values. Therefore I came up with a set of questions for readers to ask.
What comes to your mind if you see a piece of cake left unattended?
Individuals brought up in societies that treasure correctness and hygiene, are well-provided for in nourishment, education and employment, or believe in social equality, or the existence of safety nets, might ask questions like:
- Whose cake is it?
- Why leave it here?
- Did someone drop it?
- Who is going to dispose it?
- Can I eat it?
- Nice or not?
- Is it still fresh, will I get sick?
Maybe you are putting off because you are just not that hungry or you believe that another cake will always come by later.
May I suggest that a person who is truly hungry will not wait. Mai tu liao! (Singlish for ‘don’t wait anymore’)
Eat first talk later
Substitute cake for opportunity: will you do whatever it takes or will you put off ?
Here is a set of questions for one to ponder.
- Have you set a goal?
- Do you have more ‘talk’ in you or do you have more ‘action’?
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes?
- Are you willing to defer enjoyment?
- Are you easy to satisfy?
- If you look at the story of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’, which one describes you more closely?
- Do you blame someone else for your failure?
- Is your failure due to lack of effort or misfortune?
- If success was a journey, have you set off yet?
- What will you do if someone stood between you and your goal?
- Did you stop yourself or did someone stop you?
- When your ‘cake’ comes, are you ready to grab?
And to share an anecdote
A pair of teenage boys stopped outside my flat one day last month to sell me some notepads. Each cost $10. One glance told me that this would be a tremendous rip-off since stationery shops sell each for $1. As part of their sales pitch, they appealed to me that both had troubled background with the law, no employer would hire them because of their lack of qualifications. At this point a kindly neighbour who overheard asked them if they’d like a permanent job at Tuas (Western end of Singapore). She is a business owner. Oh no they said. That would be too much distance to commute.
And a Chinese proverb ‘Guard a Tree Stump, Wait for Rabbits’.
To depend on a fluke, to expect to succeed without working.
During the Spring and Autumn Period, in the kingdom of Song there was a farmer. He would go out to plow and sow very early and return home very late. His life was very hard.
One day around noon, the farmer had finished his chores and sat down on the bank next to his paddy to rest. Just then, he saw a rabbit, which seemed to have been frightened by something, leaping out of the underbrush and rushing forward with all its might. The rabbit was running so quickly it didn’t look where it was going and ran straight into a tree stump next to the field. It fell over.
The farmer ran over to investigate and found that the impact had broken the rabbit’s neck. He was thrilled. “How about this for a bargain?” he thought. “It didn’t take me any energy and now I have a big, fat rabbit. I can eat meat tonight!” The farmer decided to leave off his chores for the day. He picked up the dead rabbit and, singing, headed home. Once there he skinned the rabbit and stewed the meat. That night he had a delicious supper and a new rabbit skin to line his boots with besides.
The farmer, however, couldn’t help but wish for this accident to repeat itself. When he went to bed that night, he though “If I could catch a rabbit like this every day, I could save myself all the trouble and exhaustion of farming.”
After that he wasn’t willing to go down into the field. He abandoned his hoe, and spent the whole day sitting next to the tree stump, waiting for another rabbit to come and knock itself against it. A day, two days…before long more than a month had passed, and no more rabbits had knocked themselves to death against the stump. But the farmer’s field had filled up with weeds and his crops had gone to seed.
Get a second income, make an investment, make more money
Because what is sufficient today may not be enough tomorrow, applies to individuals, applies to entire economies.
Singapore CPI 2009 – 2012; paying more every year for housing, transport and health care
Bouazizi: The Man Who Set Himself and Tunisia on Fire – Time Magazine
Spain youth unemployment reaches 56.1%- The Guardian
Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families – The Guardian
Job seeker, 21, with 3 A-levels and 10 GCSEs, kills herself after she was rejected for 200 jobs - Mail Online
Investment bank intern, 21, on £45,000 worked ‘until 6am for three nights in a row’ before he was found dead in his London flat - Mail Online
Lop Buri Thai parents sell daughter 13 for $60 USD - News Pressed
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Soh Tiong Hum is Director of TerraSeeds Market Technician Pte Ltd. TerraSeeds is a trading educator in Singapore since 2005.
Soh's Twitter account @sohtionghum
was ranked #23 out of The Top 70 Twitter Accounts To Follow In 2015
"I do not have a financial advisor's license. I am not qualified by any regulator to give financial advice. I do not know you the reader. Your investment means and motive may be different from me. My posts here are based on observations and meant for education. I am not responsible for for any consequence from your actions."