Sunday, 28 August 2016

You are not a hammer

This Malaysian ad good!

They call it reaching out...

I prefer to call it - Listen.

I find this judgemental behaviour quite prevalent in our community.

Just because you seek "financial freedom" as a panacea to fill the hole in your heart, it does not mean everyone else are "nails" who need "hammering" too...

You can almost hear the seething anger as some share their frustrations when they failed in their attempt to evangelise the gospel of prosperity to their love ones or friends.

Don't they get it?

Money will solve everything!

Of course we know its crass to put money on our lips all the time; so we use euphemisms like financial freedom or independence to sugar-coat and hide the shallowness and emptiness we feel in the still of the night.

Next time you feel the urge to share your unsolicited supreme master of the universe version of how to save and invest your way to Nirvana 30 years into the future - stop.


To listen, we must observe.

Maybe you'll discover this person is a screw?

And you only a hammer; not a screwdriver. Wink.

Yes, that's also probably why you struggling with your day job, or relationships in general.

First seek to understand; then to be understood.  

(7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey)


  1. When we think we are nails we begin to look at hammer for inspiration and guidance. No?

    1. CW,

      This is the thrill of blogging!

      You have directed us to another angle which is most thought provoking!

      Yes, if you are the "real thing" hammer, nails will come to your mountain ;)

      The 2 local hawkers that got into the Michelin guide, they got in without them "paying under table money" to the publisher or food critics right?

      Now contrast it with wannebes eateries that "pay" food bloggers to "talk up" their shop. A bit of promotion is good; but we can smell desperation when you promote too hard...

      Like that girl who tries too hard to impress you...

  2. Need a swiss knife, screw or nail doesn't matter

    1. Yaruzi,


      I think we know people who are like Swiss Army knife.

      Everything they know; like to tell everyone what to do.

      The Indian Chiefs ;)

  3. Hi SMOL,

    I like the video. I always believe in second chance, where we can make amends. Try to right our wrong.

    Given my "iron teeth", I wonder why videos like to stereotype only the rich can "make amends"?
    Poor always victim? I think poor or rich is just one of the many factors is KNS or nice.

    My post on "between rock and a hard place" is also about not to place all our bets on the future. Be responsible, but dun forsake today for tomorrow, at least not totally

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Brilliant! That's why I am a lot harsher on you! You do and can see what I see!

      Yes you are the champion when it comes to "iron teeth" and self-denial...

      This post is meant for you ;)

      Instead of listening to your student, you were more concerned on WHY she didn't apply the techniques you taught her. Hence my use of the word "interrogation".

      Were you really concerned for her; or more concerned on how she is letting you down - its all about the results?

      Why poor always victim?

      Well, you just note your own reactions when you read about asset rich cash poor old guy living in landed bungalow asking for govt assistance...

      In 99.9% of the time, its better to be born or become rich.

      However, there are exceptions in history:

      1) The French Revolution

      2) The Russian Bolshevik Revolution

      3) The Communist takeover of China

      Nope, you don't want to belong to the landed class during those times :(

    2. SMOL,

      OK OK regarding my pupil, I saw it after the tide goes out...

      But this post for me???
      "Just because you seek "financial freedom" as a panacea to fill the hole in your heart, it does not mean everyone else are "nails" who need "hammering" too...

      You can almost hear the seething anger as some share their frustrations when they failed in their attempt to evangelise the gospel of prosperity to their love ones or friends."

      huh?? When did I do that??

    3. Sillyinvestor,


      Don't focus too much on each and every single word. It's the sum of the parts. The essence is in the video.

      I merely extended it to poke those who are still struggling up the mountain yet are ever so eager to tell others what to do financially as if they themselves have already reached the summit ;)

      One of the better example of empathy I can remember was the unfortunate SIA crash at Taiwan airport many years back.

      One elder sibling of the victims was on live TV wailing and demanding SIA management for answers...

      Instead of explaining and giving logical reasons, the ang moh top management just hug the distraught sibling. The whole press conference went silent.

      That's the equivalent of what my form teacher did. Just show me concern and let me have your attention will do.

      Can you imagine Buddha going round to his slower disciples and saying, "Aiyoh, why still no enlightenment yet? Got follow the meditation techniques I taught you or not?"


      Own time; own target.

    4. Smol,

      I am another who do not take "no" for an answer. I get your point about caring without string attached. I want to push the concept further.

      Going back to the SIA example, I do think what is needed there and then is a hug. But if there is no answers, no compensation, on inquiry finding, do u think a hug is really "caring" enough.

      How do u know I did not ask about my pupil before asking about her studies?

      What do u think she work so hard for? I have told her umpteen times, I saw effort and attitude, and she is a gem and An A student in my eyes. After a while, all these become talking "male chicken" if I cannot help a highly motivated pupil achieved. Progress should at least be present.

      Of course, I do not pretend that I only care about their well-being ONLY and nothing about results. I do not see them at odds with each other.

      But I felt bigger satisfaction seeing them smile when they can get their result and also that unforgettable big smile when We spotted right on for the national exam. She so happy, I also happy. Luck do smile on the lucky ones.

      If fact, if u read carefully, my post is about "not breaking them" further.

      U say u are harsher than usual on me, I appreciate it, same here.if it someone else, I might not have bothered to explain, because we see what we want and people are entitled to their values.

      I do not see it as self-denial. I see as u having cast on your wane and wax form of zen and saw nothing else.

      Zen is a branch of Buddhism, not the other way.

      Again your example of Buddha asking "have u chant? Have u apply the techniques" is YOUR interpretation of MY situation, and I can easily counter it.

      Why do u think monks need the hard and fast rules of 十诫,and even just devotees 五戒? why not understand can Liao?

      Look forward to your reply

    5. Sillyinvestor,

      A simple "I get your point about caring without string attached" will suffice.

      But nooooooo...


      That's why you are the champ!

      It's gloves off when I talk to you for 2 main reasons:

      1) You are a teacher; HOD some more!

      I've come into contact with a little bit of pedagogy from my days as a facilitator.

      2) You have knowledge of our Chinese heritage wisdom from Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism - not many Singaporeans can teach Chinese nowadays!

      "Zen is a branch of Buddhism, not the other way."

      If it will make you happier, I can call Zen cow dung. Zen practitioners couldn't care less.

      In Vietnam its call Thien. In China Chan. In Japan and in the West, its popularly known as Zen.

      A rose by any other name is still a rose ;)

      Beginners like to split hairs and draw demarcations - this is Northern Transmission School, that is Southern Transmission, and that is Tibetan. Pure Land easier; Zen harder; Tibetan so voodoo...

      I know what you want. And I can give it to you. No need to debate over technicalities...

      I'm a man-whore remember?



      You win :)

    6. This is indeed disappointing... SMOL,

      This is not what I what. So much for sparring.

      It's ok. I will keep my mouth shut next time we have a "disagreement". I mean it when I say, for others, I would not bother to explain.

      So much for your talking about nail need a hammer?

      I have little regards for "winning", I just like to hear what u think and if shift me positions, I am happy too, like u would usually would .... I would like to be convinced.

    7. Btw, I am not talking about technicalities. I would have thought of all people, u are one that I need not sugarcoat my words?

    8. Sillyinvestor,

      There you go again!


    9. "why videos like to stereotype only the rich can "make amends"? Poor always victim? I think poor or rich is just one of the many factors is KNS or nice. "

      Can't help but just feel like to kaypoh here....

      Actually, u may have focused too much on $$ therefore u concluded it that way.

      A racist will ask "why Chinese.. and not... "
      A chauvinist will ask "why man.... and not woman... "
      A father will ask "why the father.... and not the son.. "
      An employer will ask "why the employer... and not the employee..."

      Relax ;)


    10. mm2,


      Welcome our Malaysian friend!

      There's no kaypoh here; we only talk 3 talk 4.

      I am now taking Conversational Malay for free thanks to Singapore's big daddy's Skills Future Credit.

      My chikgu is a 71 years young Indonesian Malay Singaporean who has been teaching Malay for 50 years!

      He share with us the secret to his "longevity".

      And that's what you shared - relax.

      He never brings "work" home ;)

  4. this is good video! by malaysian standard its world class haha
    we always live in our own world and many atimes have been insensitive to other people living around us
    this serves as a reminder to us
    this video boleh!

    1. Jimmy,

      It's self interest.

      We do want to be happy right?


  5. How you find all these videos?! Good one, just like previous one with the rain and the little girl. I like it. Once in a while, we all need a little nudge. Yes, not everyone needs to be "saved"!

    1. Kevin,

      From my Facebook feed.

      Not all my friends are interested in financial freedom ;)

      Some are very spiritual - devout Buddhists or Christians. What happens in the next 30 years is not their main concern; its the life after...

      Some are health nuts! They can't understand why more people aren't interested in healthy diets and exercising!? Sound familiar?

      We also have dog lovers versus cat lovers.

      And then we have the weird ones who like to "sambayang" their food by taking a picture and sharing to all before eating them...


    2. Hi SMOL,

      I like your response. It's very difficult to stand in someone else's shoes and view reality from their perspective.

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Thanks! It's so much easier to offer instant, cookie-cutter, ready-made, off-the-shelf "solutions" (we have read) than to spend the time to really listen ;)

      Eh? You're a new blogger!

      Welcome to our little community of snakes and dragons!

      How did you guys come up with these power nicks?

      I thought I'm already quite self-deprecating... Calling myself a man-whore and being as shallow as piss on the sidewalk.

      It seems there is a race to the bottom with nicks nowadays?

      We already have Sillyinvestor and PassivePeon...

      You win liao lor!


    4. I'm still trying to learn from you. My default mode is to view reality from my own perspective.

      Thanks! What's with the snakes and dragons? It's always enlightening to read your blog posts, but sometimes I think I'm too dense and am unable to catch the underlying points you are trying to make :/

      LOL! See, I didn't even realize that. Truly I am Unintelligent. HAHAHA! Need to bai ni wei shi. A greenhorn like me still has a lot more to learn

    5. Unintelligent Nerd,

      No, don't learn from me, that's not fun.

      Let's banter, and if we see something we like, wait till the other party is not watching, we steal with pride!

      Snakes and dragons is 龙蛇混杂.

      Don't let your guard down as I'm one of the snakes here. But if you are patient and observant, you can find dragons that comment here.

      Then you stalk and follow them back to their blogs ;)

      And you never come back ever again :(


      I don't friend you oredi!

    6. Won't one lah. I have been secretly stalking your blog for the past one year. Oops, I said that. :X

      Now that I'm a blogger, I must be ready at all times for your philosophical "pokes." But I admit defeat first. You ask some very thought-provoking questions which, until now, I don't have answers to *points to your chapter in the "Investing your first $20,000 book*

      Good thing I blog about politically correct topics so far. Harder for you to poke! Just kidding! XD

    7. Baby steps.

      Have fun and don't forget:

      Youth, your strength is you don't know what cannot be done!

  6. Hi Jared,

    I tend to agree with CW that it's the nails who are seeking for the hammer or screw driver.

    The hammer may be only talking to himself or people he knows.

    We can write what we want, but we cannot control what the readers want to think. Likewise the readers also cannot control what the readers want to write!

    Hey.... r u refering to me? LOL

    1. Rolf,

      No. This song is not about you...

      This post was the inspiration from my exchanges at Sillyinvestor's latest post on between a rock and a hard place.

      Eh. Don't you play that "gu niang" victim role with me. Be a man!

      I loved the way Yeh girl-slapped you at your blog;)

      (You go girl! Yeh, you have my respect)

      If you want to write strongly opinionated posts, don't hide behind that silly talking to yourself excuse... A bit lame leh!

      It goes with the territory.

      If you can't stand the heat of the kitchen, you can put your blog to access by friends only; switch off commenting; censor comments that displease you; ignore certain commenters; and the final nuclear option:

      I stop blogging liao!

      Song bo?

      (Don't hit the face!)

    2. Jared,

      Monday morning roar... menses calling...

      Before I continue: I just want the clarity that we don't hit faces.. and still be friends no matter the comments!

      I know well I m a man, and a tough one! People call me gu niang, no problem. I can call back but I will not, bcos I focus on myself while clarifying my stand.

      For that gal, it is solely out of kind intention to shy away from stocks and focus on health more. We all know the health issues she is facing.

      When our kind intention is not well received, I stopped. I do my own, but she reacted to my post that has nothing to do with her. Then when more and more personal and emotional attacks come right at my doorstep, I defended our stand. That's all. I could have been more harsh but I remembered my initial intention. No point. So I didn't.

      I stopped n wish her well. I move on. I think one day she will realize as the heart is kind that she also deleted several her own comments after posting.

      Here u r supporting for your own emotional sake and not seeing the overall picture!

      We can see who is gu niang more?

      Come slapped me in real life, I matched one-for-one! Just words... I trust I can stand the heat and the word-slapped of a woman plus a man or more...

      Thanks for the informing about the blogger banned function. I am unaware of that..

      hahaha... should be utilized as necessary especially on vulgarity and personal attacks that is not constructive.

      It is not a matter of song bo, but who is reasoning with truth, facts and respect, n not just want to protect our brittle soul deep down.

      I prefer to be hit first in the face, then I bounced back, admit that I am hit, and hit back stronger and more powerful.

      So, when are we meeting again? Hahaha...

    3. Rolf,

      Oh! Look what my little fart wind has blown over?


      Thanks for not hitting my face! I need it to "pian chiak" one OK?

      Yesterday, one auntie promoter colleague looked at my face and recommended me (unsolicited) a face cream to lighten and remove the old age spots on my face...

      Lucky I am now at peace with how I look. I accept me - warts and all.

      Do this to me during my vulnerable teenage years, I'll cry buckets full of tears :(

      Why are there so many clueless people out there who think they are being "kind" and ever so "helpful":

      1) Try this to lose weight...

      2) This cream good for removing your acne...

      3) Wear this to make you look taller...

      And they wonder why people avoid them? Whatever happened to mind your own business?


      Want to meet up again? Anytime!

      Sword no use will get rusty ;)

  7. Hey Jared,

    Others will have already ended up in "war", but not us who cross swords so many times.

    hahaha... rusty swords need practice. Agree!

    Will be good to meet up. LP has mentioned he wanted to arrange something. I will liaised with him and let u guys know.

    Looking forward... :-)

    Ur auntie face cream story reminds me of another incident I encountered at a petrol kiosk....

    Normally when we only pump petrol n pay, the receptionist will always asked if u wanna buy extra items like mooncake, birdnest etc on promotion.

    So the receptionist auntie courteously asked this young man in his late 20s who finished his petrol fill if he wanted to buy the extra items on promotion. He was on ear piece and did not answer.

    Auntie asked again politely...

    The guy got pissed off and shouted at her... "why u asked so much?"

    Auntie say "cannot ask meh".. the guy started cursing and intimidates her.

    I was beside, and my wife was like "oh oh..."
    because I will never mind my own business... when I witness such incident. I took on the young man... He left at least on surface peacefully...


    So is it really true that we Auntie cannot even ask or share first time? If the guys upon asking by the auntie, say no and walk away... wouldn't it be fine? I doubt Auntie will keep persuading him to buy...

    If don't want to buy, it's ok! Why need to shout or personal attack on auntie? Just because he had a bad day at work maybe?

    At least I did say "no" to the auntie with a big wide smile!

    And at least I did not mind my own business only when the guy reacted dishonorably.

    Remember the mrt incident between the Caucasian, the boy and the Indian man?

    At least we still have hope in this country...

    Imagine this whole world is only minding their own business...

    Fortunately for me, this is one trait my wife like about me....


    1. Rolf,

      I remember LP said school holidays is his busy period. Try to avoid the Sept holidays ;)

      Ask is not the same as tell.


      Hey, thanks for the idea for another post!

      How to get rid of pesky hard selling salespersons who can't take no for an answer ;)

  8. LP replied he is busy, so maybe sometime mid or end Oct.

    Let's leave it to face to face friendly constructive conversation later.


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