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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

What if you fxxxed up the end game?

Singapore's road and traffic management is one of the best in the world! Just travel to any 1st tier Asian cities and you can immediately see why we stand out - and that's a key competitive advantage in the mind-share of entrepreneurs and top company executives.

Now look at Changi Airport. Immediately we have a new terminal there are plans for the next terminal or runway. We are always building in anticipation of future demands. Big daddy did say they are willing to sacrifice SIA to retain Changi Airport's status as a regional hub. Now that's focus!

How about our PSA ports? Can anyone remember PSA were caught with their pants down with a bloated body after losing market share to our friendly northern neighbour some years back? Now with a lean and mean body, nobody in PSA will make the same mistake twice as they know heads will roll. Anyone been to Pasir Panjang recently? Big, bigger, more right? Try losing our status as the premier transshipment hub in South East Asia!

Now contrast the above with the challenges we have experienced in recent years:

1.  Public transport infrastructure as in MRT breakdowns and overcrowding of our buses.

2.  Public housing not keeping up with population growth and influx of foreign workers.

3.  Shortage of hospital beds in our public health care system. 

Use your imagination to figure out why some sectors are more prioritised and we are willing to plan for some redundancy in anticipation of future demand, while in some sectors, we rely on "crash got sound" - you cry we give you; no cry no milk.

Of course to be fair, big daddy made some remarkable recoveries once they realised that you can hit every economic KPIs all you want, but what's the use if you fxxxed up the end game by getting yourself booted out of office?

This post is not about politics - its all about you!

I used the above public examples so that Singaporean readers can verify for themselves and use them as a mirror.

Now look at yourself. The goals and plans you are pursuing today. 

Are you not acting in similar manner as big daddy?

P.S.  In case you are wondering, yup, I am using the same technique as my Zebra story for those who have heard my first public talk

For those who are confused or catch no ball, I highly recommend you read this excellent story by the Butterfly man: The Inattentive One.

We have used different vehicles to essentially say the same thing. Different readers; different vehicles. 


  1. Nowadays, I trying out how to make earnING from the stock market to earnED.

    Ya. Don't fxxxed up the end game! You are right!

    1. CW,

      Yup, we have learnt the hard way all those pretty unrealised profits can disappear in an instant!

      You stuff money in your pillow; I take money off the table.

      Bulls and bears make money; pigs get slaughtered ;)

  2. Hi SMOL,

    Haha, thanks for the link :) I think the path to the right endgame is often fraught with situations that can make or break that game. I think the right end game is also a matter of how we navigate these obstacles and come to sense with the actual game itself.

    It'll be a very different outcome, if say, a person A who had always wanted to be a businessman and had never failed once in his entire life, as compared to another person B who failed and failed but kept trying until he hit a big one. The question I'll ask is not whether person A is a genius in what he is doing, but rather if A had never failed or has yet to fail. B had failed multiple times, so I know how he will react. He'll likely, as history shows, just pick himself up again.

    I want to see the battle scars of past mistakes to know a veteran. Don't tell me you won this medal and won countless wars without a scar - I'll wonder what kind of war you fought in and how you conducted yourself.

    So, really, the way to win the endgame is to f it up along the way. Experience small failures that you can recover and walk away from, rather than to have a clean streak until you reached a fatal mistake.

    1. LP,

      I laughed out loud when I read what you wrote in Facebook that some parents have xxxx in their heads.

      When I was growing up, when one neighbour's kid got chicken pox, the other moms will quickly bring their kids to be "infected".

      Better to get it over as a child than to have chicken pox as an adult... (OK, now we have vaccinations, so don't do it new parents!)

      I think the Taiwanese have a term for over pampered kids who grew up - the strawberry generation.

      Can't take stress; can't handle failures.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    Hohoho, that's a topic very close to my heart :) It boils down to whether I'm teaching a subject or teaching a person. If I'm teaching a subject, it matters not what the student is doing, as long as I did my work and the student submitted his. But if I'm teaching a person, it always comes with a value system that I subscribed to. If our values don't match, or if the parents and I have a different value systems, it'll be hard to teach that person, nevermind the subject.

    I used to be one of those tutors who will just quietly get my fees. But I'm proud to say I no longer have to do it. I feel much lighter and can fly higher ;)

    1. LP,

      I hear you.

      Same for corporate guys like me too. Starting out I'll say yes to any job offers that pays more. When my feathers are fully grown, I start turning down job offers and promotions.

      That's when I know I am ready to "let it go" ;)

      P.S. I think those tutors that do homework for students would wear paper bags over their heads. Not exactly something they would brag in their resumes....

  4. Hi SMOL

    Similar to the intention of a salesman, CONvince and convince have two greatly different meanings to the end :)

    Same with investors, great philosophy about the beginnings but getting swayed in the middle of the bull run :D

    1. B,

      Some investors review and re-balance their portfolio annually. Calculate their performance in $ and %, and set new goals and milestones.

      Guess what? They skip on their annual medical reviews....

      What's the poiint of all those millions if you got late stage cancer?

  5. i am rather confused and dont know what you are driving at
    it seems like you are trying to say that the biggest mistake of an investor is not enjoying life much and not spending and treating themselves well. as all their life they have been leading a frugal life, saving money and investing the excess. thus missing out the little wonders and beauty of life.

    1. Jimmy L,

      If this is what you have reflected after looking into the mirror, who am I to question you?

      Everyone's reflection in the mirror will be different; there's no standard answer.

      Do read LP's story as its a lot more beautifully written. You think why I sigh so much in the comments at LP's blog?

    2. I read LP few times already
      Some people paid too much attention to their career and neglected their family. Guess your post has diff answer for diff reader
      I not used to this I need straightforward answer haha guess I am trained to avoid ambiguity and go into details haha

    3. Jimmy L,

      Different strokes for different folks ;)

  6. Hi SMOL

    What about people trying to act big when they are small ?

    There's a saying don't wear a big hat when you don't have a big head !

    1. Small Time Investor,

      Interesting question from an angle not considered in my post when it was written!

      If a person proritise the need for looking successful (eg property or insurance agent - would you give your business to a person who looks down and out?), that means he has to re-invest a big chunk of his income into wearing a "big hat". Is this acting too big for his head, or merely investing small money to get big money?

      Now consider another person who prioritise friendship or kinship. When someone needs help, he would not hesitate to deplete his own savings to lend a hand whenever needed. But his wife may think own family never take care still wants to help others?

      I know what you meant ;)

      To me, the more interesting question is: if others want to wear a big hat, WHY do we feel not happy?

      Is it because we have low self-esteem?

      Or maybe we wish we could be like that flashy person but can't?



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