Assets and Liabilities

There's some quote out there that says the things you do in your free time are the things that will either set you free or enslave you.

This is a powerful idea. For me, in order to live a long and meaningful life, I need to manage my resources well. Resources include abstract things like time and energy, but may also include more concrete things like money, collectible trading cards, and bananas.

Resources are managed by balancing two things:

1) Assets - things that help you gain more resources
2) Liabilities - things that cost you to lose resources

Assets help me earn more resources, i.e. financial investments, and rental properties. Liabilities cause me to lose resources, i.e. mortgage payments and unhealthy relationships.

So what are the biggest assets and liabilities in my life?

Time is my most valuable asset. With enough time, I can do anything. Absorb knowledge, assemble teams, enjoy life, reproduce, leave a legacy. In fact, I can actually turn this asset into other assets. Life experience, career capital, valuable relationships.

On the flip side, wasting time is my biggest liability. Watching TV, browsing Reddit, hesitating. Doing things I don't want to do, just because they're easier to do than the things I actually want to do. Procrastinating.

If you want people to like you...

You just have to do two things:

1) Be the best human being you can possibly be, and
2) express genuine interest in other people.

I've seen my dad putting these two points into action over the years, especially at dinner parties or on family vacations. Take tonight for example. We were strolling through some night market streets, and my dad goes up every other booth -- with no intention of buying anything -- and starts asking about the products, the seller's background, and other random things. Soon, he's laughing or teasing everyone around the booth, and then we either have a discount on the product or a smile on our faces. It's a win-win.

Self-reflection

Self-reflection is an important part of my normal routine. Everyone has their own medium of reflection, and for me it's journaling.

I want to share an overview of my year:

2018 spanned across 200 college-ruled pages. Flipping through these pages, I can see that I've traveled, experienced, and achieved a bit more than I would've expected at the beginning of the year -- mostly because I hadn't set any direction for myself that early on.

Travels

  • Cancun
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Japan
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Italy, France
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • China

Experiences

Achievements

I want to highlight: This year wouldn't have been nearly as awesome as it was without some key people influencing my life.

My brother, Alvin, and my parents, have supplied me with infinite amounts of love. My old bosses/mentors, Bhavin, Melanie, and Zack, all taught me more about what it's like to grow up and do useful work in the real world. Codeology, full of youthful, smart, and motivated students inspiring me to be a better role model. Matt, my bromigo, never failing to remind me about staying true to myself and having a good time in life. Steven and Jason, The Hodlers. Jade and Andre both independently called me out for being a bad friend to them, which really helped me reflect on what kind of person I've been shaping myself into. Asumi with the clutch mock interview that landed me 5 jobs. The list goes on and on... And of course, I've saved the best for last. Catherine, has been my dearest, my biggest supporter, and my partner-in-crime for the past 3 years. Without her, I wouldn't have been able to keep my head screwed on straight. She does frustrate me at times, but those times are rare, and ultimately, she inspires me to be a better person than I could've ever been on my own.

Overall, this year was full of exploration and quality family time. I think the next few years will be full of hard-work and career progression. One thing I've learned is that I love surrounding myself with amazing people, and I love to help spread that love.

I'm looking forward to continuing my explorations, consolidating all my learnings, and finding a satisfying long-term life path.