Tuesday 4 December 2018

When I started to sing...

No lah!

I'm not so bad. I'm not tone deaf OK?

I can sing in tune; most of the time anyways... (hee, hee)

Its around secondary 3 that I first discovered I can sing.

And it was in my Gan Eng Seng School's toilet... Of all places!!!

During the previous night, I was watching the Country Music Associations award ceremony on TV, and Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind" won the song of the year.

The chorus was very catchy so as I sat down in the toilet cubicle doing my no. 2, I started singing it out loud thinking I was alone.

You know why we love singng in the toilet or shower?  

The echo acoustics!

So imagine my surprise and embarrassment as I flushed and opened the cubicle door, there stood 5-6 schoolmates clapping and cheering me on!?

Yah, I was blushing like a little school girl while washing my hands... 

It felt good. Its always a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged for a competence or ability we have.

Over the years, as I kept singing for the fun of it - usually in the shower and in the toilet - I noticed I've become better at it. (Mom may have another opinion though)

That 10,000 hours thing is true.

From mimicry to experimentations, I've discovered singing techniques like vibrato and falsetto on my own.

Now I'm trying to sing like those Japanese enka or Taiwanese hokkien song singers. I tell you, those voice transitions are damn hard man! 

But that's what makes it fun and challenging! No?

When was the last time you felt proud doing something that anyone and everyone can do?

Its good to have hobbies and other interests. 

Danger signs should be flashing if you have no interests or hobbies outside of work. Especially if you are nearing your retirement.

Double-confirmed if you are one of those who often question what to do after retirement or achieving financial independence, early retirement (FIRE)?

Seeking FIRE without hobbies and interests is like setting a goal to have landed property or private condominium.

Contrast this with someone having a cherished dream of having a home of their own.

If you can't tell the difference, never mind.

Oh! Why do I sing?

Because I feel good doing it!



  1. Can't sing well never mind.

    Still can sing along during singing sessions

    1. CW,

      Like in church, I only sing during the chorus part ;)

      Don't know the hymns mah...

      What to do?

      Atheist but friend that matters jio so I go lor!

      Relationship more important ;)

  2. ....And it was just yesterday I was telling the rest that I have not heard you sing before!

    Yup yup. Agree on the "Danger signs should be flashing if you have no interests or hobbies outside of work."

    Imagine my incredulity when I read another blogger who has a more successful career and higher net-worth than myself bemoaning the inferiority of their spouse when compared to another blogger's spouse.

    Some people really need to work on their emotional maturity first before their inner demons starts appearing post-FIRE.

    Just today, I kena thrashed quite badly in my company's team bonding event involving some physical sport. Former me will be bitter; current me is less bitter and more at peace with myself. Losing sucks. So how? If it matters, train lor!

    I don't want to be king of an empty castle who "only knows how to collect money" when I retire. Self-determination through hobbies adds colours to one's life. =)

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      The worst combination or outcome is when a shallow person becomes rich...

      Everything must compare and benchmark :(

      What that blogger is saying between the lines, is that his spouse is now "beneath" him. With his new found social economic status, he would prefer a trophy wife to pair with now.

      Yup, don't sweat and focus on people and stuffs that don't matter.

      Do the activities that you can't wait for tomorrow to come!

      Without some maturity in life, it can be difficult to tell apart the means from the end ;)

      Telling everyone you have achieved FIRE is like sharing you are married - its just a description of your current status.

      What people really care about is are you happy?

      Are you at peace with who you are?

      Do you know why you are here on earth?

      That's why we have religion for believers and philosophy for atheists :)

    2. Hi Intelligent Nerd and SMOL,

      You 2 have triggered my kay poh instincts. Did a financial blogger recently announce he achieved FIRE? Interesting. Can drop some hints so that I find this blog article myself? No need to be too direct.

    3. Hi HYOM,

      Quite a long time back. Not "nice" to allude to if it is recent. The blogger hasn't achieved FIRE yet but good progress nonetheless.

    4. My kaypoh nature got the better of me. Shouldn't have asked. It was an inconsiderate request to dig for info as it puts other people on the spot.

      FIRE(financial freedom, retire early) is a status to be envied but not to be bragged about. It is not how rich a person is, it is how he earns his riches that really matters. It is not how many straight As and paper certs a person gets, it is how he applies his knowledge to do useful things that really matters.

      Nerd: If you are a winning champion in sports events and still call yourself nerd, you better change name. I've always been a loser for most sporting events. Didn't care since it is a self-acknowledged weakness. Hope you find a queen to keep you company in your castle in future.

  3. Danger signs should be flashing if you have no interests or hobbies outside of work. Especially if you are nearing your retirement.

    No problem if work is hobby, hobby is work.

    There are engineers who write software at work for a living and write software at home after work as a hobby. Android operating system is based on Linux kernel which was written by open-source software hobbyists. Apache web server which powers most of the world's websites today was written by software hobbyists.

    There are investment professionals who do research on how to invest their own money during their free time because they love the activity.

    Work pays money and makes one feel useful. A blessed person is one who can blend work with hobby. A person who is constantly yearning for FIRE hates work. That's sad. If possible, I wish I can be the person who has no need for hobby outside of work because work is hobby, hobby is work.

    1. hyom,


      Those wear FIRE goals on their lips all the time are easy tell for folks who hate their day jobs. Everyone knows they are investing/trading to escape...

      Especially when they seek short cuts, minimum effort maximum rewards that sort of holy grail chasers ;)

      When one seeks investing/trading to achieve, there would be no financial goal or end date to stop. Why quit when the activity brings us pleasure?

      Is that why Warren Buffett is having so much fun? Because he is rich or is it because he loves his work?

      I am envious of those who knew what they wanted to do with their lives at an early age, and is able to stick with it and enjoy what they do till the end.

      I had to wait till after my 30s to find it out. Well, better late than never!


    2. Alamak! I like what I do but I so-so at it only. LOL!

      Recently, I am creating an investment app and have been sharing the app with our friends. One of them encouraged me to broaden my perspective and consider monetizing it.

      Now, I am thinking of the app all the time and looking forward to after-work hours to work on it. I shared with them my cognitive dissonance. If I liked my day job........why am I looking forward to my app-building time more than my day job? Recently, I had the (rare) opportunity to take home work over the weekends. I did not do it. Why? I thought I liked my day job?

      I think I am a hypocrite, lol.

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Who knows?

      What started out as a hobby may become the seedling of a wonderful business?

      Many big companies started out in the garage of some nerdy engineers - HP, Apple, Microsoft, etc.

      Eh! If you need a marketing and sales snake-oil in the future, I'll work with you for "free"!

      Just give me 10% share can oredi. If your company turned out to be the next Razor, with my 10% cut, I can buy lots of landed properties!


  4. Smol

    I knew it when you started off a speech with singing few years back in the financial seminar.

    1. Small Time Investor,

      Young self-conscious and worried about making a fool of myself.

      The good thing about being "young at heart" is now every chance I get, I'll step up and volunteer to sing!

      OK, jumped the gun a little bit according to Confucius'



      What good is a man of leisure if we can't have a bit of fun ;)

  5. Hi Smol,

    Hobby and interest, can be just lie down and sleep a not??? Hahahahaha

    The whole holiday is either I am sick, or at hospital with dad. All I want to do is stone at home with my family

    Well, even if we like our work, there will bound to be aspects that we dislike. But If we not so hard up on Monday we have the option of stepping aside

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Then lie down and rest!

      Tired rest; drowsy sleep.

      Take care of yourself. You need to be healthy and strong for your dad and family.

      Space and matter. Dark and light.

      Unpleasant things we dislike are there so we can appreciate the things we like more!

      If everyday Sunday, then Friday will not feel special anymore...


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