Not this one. Cause he keeps my wife awake at night. Not me. LOL.
I was back in camp for this year’s in camp training and the boys and I were talking… I mean, these guys are the guys that I’ve known for more than 10 years. We spent time sleeping together (I mean you know, literally under one roof), doing silly things together, trained together and now we just gather once a year and catch up. I wouldn’t say these guys are like brothers to me but these are the guys that I have spent a good part of my life with whether I like it or not. Our topics these days range from reminiscing the good old days, to parenting (yeah, we are all old men now lol) and, of course, work. Gone are those days where we talk about partying and who has the latest fling. I guess life has taken a toll on us. LOL.
I had a late night recently (no, not at the new Zouk at Clarke Quay) and one of our conversations came to mind.
“Smith, why do you always spend so much time working? Why are you always on the go doing something and not embracing work life balance? Do you even spend time with your kid? Life is short leh, remember to rest well. Kids grow up too fast and you will regret one day.”
I love my life now. (I mean besides the fact that I’ve broken my ankle. LOL) And yes, I love to work. Of course, when I say work I do not mean that I am always typing a proposal or drafting an invoice every single moment. There’s a lot more to that than just being in front of the computer. To me, work can be meeting people, having good conversations, broadening your network, catching up on news articles to see what’s happening in the industry, thinking about new ideas and last but not least, picking up new skills that might or might not directly impact your current job.
I used to spend a lot of my time “doing nothing” when I was younger which I kinda regret now. I did not put in 100% effort when it came to practising my basketball fundamentals, I didn’t spend enough time reading those books that I should have, I didn’t spend enough time traveling and seeing the world when I had the time. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of time that I could have used and would have put me in a better place in life now. (I’m not complaining about what I have now but why stop at good when we can get better?)
Acting cool recently while we were out covering a story about our RSAF turning a public road into a runway. Nope, not the runway for me to walk down but the one for our F15s to take off from.
Of course, I didn’t go to sleep one night and woke up wanting to change my life. I met some people and I was inspired. I see this group of people having their lives all put together not just simply because of their privileged backgrounds but because of the hours they put in to achieve the things they want in life. It’s a matter of mind over body I guess. I asked myself why am I settling. Why am I happy with what I have simply because it feels like I’m getting it better than my peers? Is this my maximum potential? Can we ever be too comfortable with life? I mean even McDonald’s who seems to be the best fast food in Singapore (I’m saying “seems” because I’ve no stats on this) is constantly innovating and improving. They introduce new burgers, they introduce new technology such as new apps and self-paying counters, they do delivery, they do new collaborations (I mean yeah they still do the Hello Kitty crap but that’s cause people still want them lol) and they are constantly working on their marketing and branding game. If a giant who is on top ain’t stopping itself from improving and innovating, what’s stopping you and me from upgrading ourselves? Simply because we think we are “good enough”?
The need to upgrade and innovate is real. You will never know when disruption will happen and just knock you off from your position. If you are well-prepared even for the unknown, you will always be ahead and ready isn’t it?
What happened next?
So I started reading more, I started to pick up new skills, I started making my minutes count every day. I still spend some time on random shenanigans but it’s got to count as well. (I mean, if it makes a good Instagram picture, that counts too right? #everythingforthegram)
I guess I get motivation when people see the difference? (I know, I’m an attention whore like this.) People telling me that the things I’m writing, although a bit less goofy/funny/entertaining these days, they feel like there are more thoughts to it. When I meet new people and they ask if I’m a professional photographer when the truth is I’ve only been doing it for a few months? My campmate was telling me how he feels inspired by the fact that I’m brave enough to start businesses and stuff while he just thought about it but never had the faith to do it. And erm, people also tell me that they are very inspired by me being able to pass my IPPT. LOL.
Haters gonna hate
“Say of course easy lah.”
“Not everyone also so heng and bump into good people so easily leh.”
“It’s easier when you are handsome lah” (Okay fine, I don’t think anyone said that)
That’s probably what you guys are thinking. I can’t deny that, I guess I did have a bit of luck but I guess sometimes in life, luck can only bring you so far.
I recently caught an old movie – The Mechanic. In this show, there’s this line engraved on the pistol which means “Victory Loves Preparation” which I really liked. The whole idea of this show and its line serves as a reminder to us. In order to win, we always need to be prepared.
I brought this movie up because it reminded me a lot of the recent Labour Movement Leaders dialogue with our PM. PM Lee shared quite a fair bit of thoughts and one of the takeaways that I can totally relate to was on the “Future Jobs, Skills and Training Department” aka FJST. The whole idea of being prepared for the future. (Truth be told, I’m always worried about my future and career. What if all of these businesses I’ve started don’t eventually work out? 40 and unemployed? HOW?)
F what? What FJST?
The FJST basically a new department in the Labour Movement. It has already begun operations from 1 Jan 2017, and is led by NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay. This initiative taps on NTUC’s extensive network with companies and Government agencies to identify market trends, and serve as a signal and guide to working people like us to better prepare ourselves with future skills for future jobs.
I think this is needed! What’s the point of learning new skills and attending courses if you are attending the courses and acquiring skills in areas and sectors that nobody has any future needs for? For instance, if there is no one to seek, analyze and share precious information like what the next growth industries are, what if you attend a popular course now long only to realise 18 months later that those skills are no longer needed in the job market?
So starting from Jan 2017, FJST will be in operation to ensure you guys when seeking for upgrade and upskill, go to a course that has demand instead of wasting your valuable time and also your SkillsFuture Credit.
So while some need luck to turn their life around, most just need to research a little and be prepared.
Yesterday a friend asked me, “What’s keeping you up at night?”
(I mean I wish I could reply Anne Hathaway lol) But is it my kid? Is it as simple as just work? Or is it the fear that I will be irrelevant one day?