Jan 2017 Reflection

Did you know that 80% of people fail their new year’s resolution by February? I think there are multiple factors that play a role into that, but the big ones being that their goals were not very realistic, their goal was not very clear, and their goal was a pretty big deviation from their normal life.

As for me… I didn’t create goals! As mentioned in my 2016 review, I decided to focus on systems for living instead. Even though I don’t have any particular goals to put myself against, I’d still like to look back on the month to reflect on my growth and relive the small events that made January great.

Black Magic with Finances?

The first thing I learned in the new year was about a concept that has to do with money. My immediate-short term goal is to get my passive income to cover my monthly basic expenses (which is sitting just under $2000 / month). This will essentially be reached after I finish my renos and have the house rented out. But looking beyond the immediate-short, my goal is to have a solid foundation where my money will be able to provide for my other expenses (rent, food, entertainment, personal development).

Anyway, I was digging around early January and stumbled onto something called Infinite Banking (the other common term is Bank on Yourself). The general premise is that you are able to have your money earn you a dividend AND have it able to be used to finance purchases or used for investments. In other words, you’re getting your money to be in two places at once.

The reason the term bank gets used so often is because this is exactly what the banks do. They take your deposits and are able to loan it out and, poof, they just created money.

I’m not going to get into the details here since I’ll write about it on my other blog sometime, but the arguments for how and why it works is sound and so I’m in the process of creating my own.

Expectations and Employment Insurance

I also looked into my expectations around employment insurance. Though it was a bumpy ride throughout the process, I’m glad to say that I was qualified for the maximum amount for the maximum time. After tax, it ends up being $470 / week (about $1880 / month). I’ve also looked into it, and having rental income will not affect my EI which means I can view it as getting paid to learn (renos, books, seminars etc) while applying to work abroad.

Home Renos

What can this January reflection be, without talking about home renos. I’ve noticed that my drive for wrapping up home renos has dropped significantly since the holidays. But things are picking up again as I should have a tenant taking it by the middle of February – just what I needed as motivation to get this done!

But it wasn’t as if I went from 14 hours to 8 and spent the 6 gaming or binge watching Netflix. I actually started taking care of the rest of my life, such as seeing friends, reading and doing more daily reflections. The four big thoughts I had this month are:

Idea Muscle

I discovered a person by the name of James Altucher. At first, I respected him for his style of writing. Then that respect turned into being a fan of his after reading many of his blog posts. This man has done it all – made millions, lost millions, had everything, decided to sell it all, and has lived a very experience-rich life. In fact, James was ranked as the 3rd or 4th most influential person by LinkedIn a few years ago.

Now, there are many things I have no interest in going through, but there are many gems in the way he’s lived his life, the big one being working out your idea muscle.

Every day, James exercises his idea muscle by creating a list of 10 things related to a specific subject. He brings up a really good argument that good ideas can only happen if you’re willing to have bad ideas. The way I see it is finding a needle in a haystack will only be possible is there was a haystack for the needle to be in to begin with. Most of these ideas will have no merit, but once you find one that does, you can run with it.

So now, I try to write down a list of 10 every day (new habit in the making). In fact, the content for this post came from one of the lists I did!

A Unicorn or Lifestyle?

Living in KW, it was really easy for me to fall into the trap of working in tech and then talking about when companies will become a unicorn (valued at over 1 billion). Although I never thought it, I think a part of me was always dreaming of becoming the father of a unicorn. But after listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts while doing renos, I realized that being the CEO of something like that will suck.

Although my vision of impacting one billion people will be much easier to achieve if the company was a unicorn, the rest of my life would not conform to the life of a unicorn CEO.

Instead, I see myself much happier working closely with a few dozen people and living out the rest of my goals. But who am I to say, I’m not in that situation just yet.


I don’t remember where this originated from (problem of not writing right after having the idea), but I have insecurities around perception and confrontation. I don’t know where this is coming from, but one of the famous questions that Tony Robbins asks in I’m Not Your Guru, is who’s love did you crave growing up, your mother’s or your father’s? His follow up question is who did you have to be to be for them?

For me, it was my dad. In fact, I looked forward to boxing day growing up because we would typically leave the house at some outrageous time to line up in the cold. It would only be us two, and I don’t think we ever had any real conversations, but I enjoyed those moments nonetheless.

Answering the second question, I think I had to be obedient. I had to avoid getting on his bad side, and the easiest way to do so was to shut up and obey. Taking that into the rest of my life, if I’m caught in a conversation with people I don’t really know, or am talking to someone I don’t really know, I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, not willing to risk ruffling any feathers.

I don’t really know what to do with this insight, but the first step I’m trying to take is having more opinions. To take that one step further, I want to practice having an opinion and back it up with reasons. What better place to do it than on this blog.

February Goals

With January now over, I will actually put a few goals for February. In fact, I created a 10 list of goals for February. The ones that I’d like to commit to are:

  • Vegabond 5 of 10:
    I created a list of 10 things I can do to reignite my wander-lust
  • Create my video application for Mindvalley
  • Read 5 books:
    With renos expected to be done early-mid Feb, I’ll have days back where I can just sit down and enjoy a good read
  • Finish Final Fantasy 15:
    My sister got me it for my birthday, so I’ve been gaming on weekends again
  • Write 2 pages daily:
    This isn’t so much of a goal, but more of a habit I want to instill. That said, to increase the changes of habits sticking, I need to make it easy to win. 2 pages might be too much, but we’ll see.
  • Reach out to all the Netherlands leads:
    I was given probably just under 20 leads for companies I could potentially want to work with.
  • Get back in shape:
    Home renos have helped develop some muscle, but the rest of my body is in terrible shape