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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Seize The Day

Yesterday, when I wrote my piece: Financial Advice From Spiritual Leaders, it went off tangent in the comments section (it happens a lot with me).

I like to write in Chinese with Sillyinvestor as he one of the few whom I can banter with when it comes to Chinese literature and Oriental philosophies.

I would like to share the equivalent to what I quoted in Chinese: 人生得意须尽欢.

And that's: Seize the day!

It's best expressed in this short clip from Dead Poets Society:


OK, for those who like to split hairs, literally translated its not the same. But the spirit of the words are most apt!

If you are cynical, you can explain, whine, and complain why its easy for some to Seize The Day, but not you.

But deep down, you know what and who you are today are the decisions you have made (or not made) yesterday.

If you have "outsourced" your decision makings to others in the past, have you wondered why you are so eager to do DIY investing/trading now?

Or maybe the DIY part is another one of those little lies you often tell yourself?



  1. DIY?

    Two thing here.

    Either you go to Mountain or Mountain says it loudly you come to me!

    1. CW,

      It's like spirituality.

      When there's a recession and lots of retrenchments, attendances of places of worship increase.

      Economy good and when our careers or business doing well, we say we are masters of our own fate...

  2. what do you mean by 'outsourced' as in unit trust and RM etc? Btw, how do one reply under my pseudo name?

    True Spirituality has no co relation with GDP, Economic Trends etc no? :)

    1. Ping Ping,

      1. Those who "outsource" to RM, unit trusts, passive indexing are those who are more honest to themselves. If we do not have the interest, time, nor competence, why DIY?

      But when all we do is to follow "others" and pretend that we are DIY, that's "outsourcing" independent thinking in an intellectually dishonest way.

      That's what I meant ;)

      If we have never or seldom made independent decisions in our daily lives outside of investing, how can it be we suddenly can do so in investing?

      2. Your comment on Spirituality is exactly how I feel when I said: Investing/trading to achieve is not the same as investing/trading to escape.

      There are those who are drawn to a spirituality because it just connects with them, Period. This is synonymous with those who invest/trade to achieve.

      Then there are those who join because they need a temporary refuge, a sanctuary from their disappointments. To escape.

      And there are those "predators" who are there to network, to promote, and to sell...They are physically there, but spiritually?

      3. See this link if you not familiar with Open Id:


      You can create a new pseudo name account under Google plus or change your existing one to one with a new pseudo name.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    When do we seize the day and when do we let go? For every advice out there, there is a counter advice to negate it. If there's a book that list down all the advice for a human, it'll be extremely confusing they are all contradictory. Seemingly. Because when you've enough life experience, then we will know when to listen to who. Either way, I think we should all experience both extremes to know which path is the right one for us.

    Seize the day, but choose which day to seize it, LOL

    1. LP,

      Ah! The tavern master is in the house!

      Chanting carpe diem all day without first internalising it within us just makes one a parrot. And there are a few within our community. Shh...

      Yes, some things need time and personal experience to figure out the nuances and to resolve the contradictions all on our own.

      When the sun is shining, we enjoy! We don't stay indoor and plan how we would enjoy "tomorrow".

      There's all the time to do so on days when its pouring cats and dogs outside ;)

  4. I remember my teacher showing the movie to the class back in the days in school. I didn't quite catch what it was trying to convey then, but along the way it slowly made a little bit of sense.

    Better late than never, huh?

    1. Kevin,

      It's the same with investment/trading books.

      Each subsequent reading after a lapse of time and with the addition of new experiences, bring forth new insights that we may have missed during prior readings...

    2. I am still reading investment and finance book at NLB shelves. It is like tio "horse-shit" to find one that I haven't read.

    3. CW,

      You go for breath; I go for depth ;)

  5. Replies
    1. Your welcomed!

      You may want to check your typo with "Qute" ;)

  6. what typo? :) no typo....lol

    What about those who read up tons of bank analysts reports, are these also 'borrowed' or 'outsource' intellect as you put it? but at the end of the day after reading they still have to make their mind how best to execute what they have learned....no?

    Religion for the escapists may not be a bad thing, at least R keeps them sane or happy and help them cope with strife in life. Predatory...tsk tsk...no comment..as one of my scraps from a Christian Newsletter on my fridge door - don't judge too quickly and yesterday I went to temple to offer a Lotus for Buddha...

    I am quite a mild person....

    1. Ah!

      It's a play on "Cute" then!

      Taking counsel and seeking other people's opinion are some of the best ways to leverage on Other People's Time and Talent ;)

      I do that all the time!

      That's why I only wrote about decision making. It's also another way to say I take responsibility for my actions (or non-actions).

      No judgements. Just sharing my observations ;)

      Mild is an interesting word. I've only known you for today. It will take time for me to "verify" whether it meant you are a gentle person, or you are just afraid to make a stand ;)

      I'm always curious about people. I'm a people watcher.

  7. Hi SMOL

    So, what has you seized yesterday and what you planned to seize today?

    If today is the last day of the world, everyone will not report to work. So, what will happen to the world if everyday is the last day of the world and it is never the last day?

    Seize the day, Seize the right thing in the right day!

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      Words are powerful, but beware they entrap too ;)

      There is no "seize" and there is no "day".

      Letting go is seize the day. Make merry when life is good is seize the day. Do what comes naturally is also seize the day.

      If a person has discovered he/her ikigai (reason for getting up in the morning), even if today is the last day of the world, that person will still do what comes naturally.

      You know you are doing something you do not like when you'll SEIZE any excuse not to report for work ;)

      I'm sick mom! Can't go to school today.... Remember this next time you try to skive from work. LOL!

  8. Hi SMOL,

    How to seize the day?

    Position yourself for positive energy!

    I realised there are 2 types of reframing or so-call positive exercises.

    The most common one is "it could be worse" or I am "better off than most", then you fill in the blank as details.

    This type of reframing and seizing is akin to kicking the can down the road. Using a sponge to absorb dirty water. It will bubble out again especially if u have plenty of dirty water...

    Seize the day by just living the day and smile, cry, hate, eat, shit and sleep.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I cringe when i think of my "cheerleading" corporate days... Let's say I don't exactly buy-in to all those positive thinking BS I dished out...

      Awareness - that's neutral. I like that.

      If I am blue, upset, depressed, I let it be. From experience, I know it will soon pass. I don't try to "fix it". I let it be. But if I am still depressed after several days, or weeks, I I hope I have the awareness to seek help!

      How often do I think of sex each day? (Those surveys on men are hilarious!) But if that's all I think about each day... I have issues!!!

      Similarly, if all I think each day is about money, and my mood is dictated by the ups and downs of the market, is that really LONG TERM investing?

      Let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be ;)

  9. Mild in temperament But can definitely take a stand ... If I am bother enough that is...hence Mild. :)

    Carpe Diem .. Shouldn't it be used for more philosophical musings...? unless of course, you are playing with the words too.

    1. Ah! A smart girl ;)

      Wait! Shit!

      You're a .......!

      OK, I better don't wave my axe in front of your door.

      My philosophical depth is only as deep as piss on a sidewalk.

      I'm the great pretender :)

  10. Can dissolve into the grounds is deep....indeed.

    您过奖也谦让了La :)

    1. Eh?

      A girl who knows her cheena?


      My head speaks in English; my heart sings in Chinese.

  11. I think most Singaporeans are quite effectively bilingual no?

    But I always say, the language u converse in ur dream is your language of understanding.....what do you think?

    1. Qute Clueless,

      In real life and in my dreams, the language "spoken" mostly depend on to whom I am speaking to.

      I noticed when I "talk" to myself:

      1) I use English to express thoughts and ideas.

      2) Use Mandarin to convey feelings and emotions.

      3) And Teochew when I am in prayer or meditating.

      Which is kind of weird when I use Teochew in Catholic cathedrals, Protestant churches, Hindu/Taoist/Buddhist temples, Muslim Mosques...

      But then, it kind of makes sense since my prayers are often on my family, and when it comes to family members, we use Teochew.

  12. You ask your ancestors for blessing?

    1. CW,

      Yes I do.

      Twice a month, mom will ask me to burn 3 joss stocks and say hello to my grandparents - 3 I've never met as they were gone before I was born.

      I only knew my maternal grandmother. I'll drop by Mount Vernon from time to time to chit-chat. And complain how her daughter can be impossible to live with sometimes!

    2. Hmm ..

      Same same. Guessing how you are back to Singapore

      Your mom might have dropped by Mount Vermon and complained loud: "Ah Di has good times in Shanghai and then in Athens and leave me suffering in Singapore. Blessing. Bring him back!"


    3. CW,

      I learned a good trick from Chow Yun Fat.

      Always complain about wife in front of mom. And show exasperation with mom in front of wife.

      Keeps both women happy :)

  13. again sell my own koyo!

    Dunno urself how to seize the day?

    U will then seize the wrong things in the day, or seize the things on the wrong days.

    Before u seize the day, seize yourself first!

    1. Rolf,

      I know where you are coming from.

      Yet we have to be careful not to put too many conditions and/or boundaries.

      If it's self, there's no "right" or "wrong". Just you not me; I not you.

      And sometimes seizing the day can be to discover ourselves.

      It's a bit like the job requirement 3 years experience; if we never give the young a chance, how are they going to have that 3 years experience?

      Imagine I have 2 grown children.

      Daughter comes home and says she has found herself and wants to do what she likes - and wants to quit school to be a model. What!?

      And son tells me he is unhappy and lost... Wishes to take a year off university to backpack around the world to discover himself... I spilled coffee on my papers.

      What do I do!!!???

      Do I insist they "seize the day" according to the paths I've laid out in front of them?

      Or do I encourage them to take responsibility for their own lives?

      Yup, that's why married people look longingly at singles, while singles envy the family togetherness of married couples with children...

    2. Agree on not too many criteria.

      well... many of my friends or business associates at older age are successful but facing problems of kids.

      Recently my elder daugther told me she wanted to learn guitar and buy a guitar. Personally I think Music is a waste of time. (yes for me).
      and she probably just buy play and throw it aside...

      Instead of telling her yes or no.. or laying the path for her, I ask her reasons, which of her friends r playing, ask her to find out her fav guitar player, what type of guitar she like n more questions..

      Eventually I m convince that she is really interested base on my EQ sensing her body language ... but I still think it's a waste of time. But I say go ahead but I will not buy the guitar for her bcos for things she really want, she have to get it herself to understand The value.

      She said she agree and will save money slowly to buy it...

      just an example..

      It's not about teaching n laying the path, it's about understanding a person... many pple probably get me wrong when I say I write blog to teach my kids.. but frankly my wife always feel I have my way with my kids which she does not..

    3. Rolf,

      I see you know your coaching chops too ;)

      Once a person has tasted the joy of taking responsibility, they'll never give it up!

  14. Yes!
    We must seize the day for we must always remember if "Tomorrow never Comes".
    Cry or laugh, the days will soon pass.
    In life, you have to cry but please don't forget to laugh too.
    There is always a time for sorrow and a time for healing.
    There is always a time for everything.
    But seize the day (enjoy the present), for you don't know when your future ends.

    1. temperament,

      You are the North Star. The bedrock of stability and reason.

      Thanks for coming back! You saltiest of them all!

      Crazy coconut has gone AWOL. CW is now drunk with the attention he is getting from whiney mei mei. Letting her scold him "38" in public!? LOL!

      Yes. Thanks for the reminder.

      When hurt and in pain, we seize the day by being conscious of how we feel. Not doing silly things like suppressing or pretending we are happy or we don't care...

      Then we let it go.

      Those who suppress or pretend merely store all the hurt and pain in their bodies; their bodies will one day manifest these pains in a physical or psychological way...

    2. Ya! As if I believe you.

      Wait your daughter tells her mom some lady is giving daddy love emails then you'll know!


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