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April 17 2015

January 06 2015

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KLCC Fireworks 2015

April 08 2014

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KL Car Free Morning April 2014

January 27 2014

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Touring KL, Beyond Cycling

January 26 2014

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Evolve Skateboards: Riding in Putrajaya

January 25 2014

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Evolve Skateboards: Fun @ KL Car Free Day

December 31 2013

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2014 KLCC Fireworks

October 26 2013

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Compound Bow Shooting Practice - Mission Craze

September 27 2013

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Evolve Skateboards - Land Surfing in Singapore

September 26 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboards - Carbon AT

August 16 2013

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ABEC 11 Flywheel & Evolve Wheel Spin Test

June 17 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboards | HIll Test @ the Library, Shah Alam

June 03 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboards - Singapore Tour

May 27 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboards @ Putrajaya Challenge Park Skate Bowl

May 19 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboard - My Realtime City Commute

March 20 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboards - Inner City Test Ride

March 06 2013

Education Vs Financial Freedom

In the “About Me” section of my blog (which I wrote 5 years ago), I spoke about how “if you want to get rich, don’t go to school”. I think this point is worth bringing up again. Especially at a time when US Student Loans has exceeded the US$1 trillion mark!

Its quite worrying that such large numbers of young adults are barking up the wrong tree when trying the make their way in the world. I assume that most rational young adults go to school and choose careers because they eventually want to achieve financial freedom. If that is their true objective, then a key strategy is to spend less than you earn and to invest the difference over time.  So it alarms me that the majority of young people are doing the complete opposite. I can’t think of anything worse than starting a working career in debt.

I was watching this Ted Talk below by Sugata Mitra over the weekend. Its a fascinating story about how to design the school of the future and how children have the ability to spontaneously learn if given the opportunity and encouragement.

But the most memorable part of the talk for me was in the introduction when Mr Mitra explained the origins of the modern education system. It was a designed about 300 years ago during the time of the British Empire. In order to control the vast empire without computers, telephones with hand written notes and ships, the British Empire required large scores of people who could read, write and do simple mathematics. This education system was designed to create identical graduates so that they could be integrated into the “bureaucratic administrative machine” that keeps the British Empire running.

Mr Mitra goes on to say that that this education system is still working fantastically well today, except its completely obsolete. We’re not going to school thinking “hey, I want to be part of the bureaucratic administrative system”. But that is exactly what we’re doing – learning to be a rat in the rat race.  Somewhere along the way, we have programmed into our collective thinking that more education means more income. I think this myth is easily debunked when you look at the chart below:

student loan Education Vs Financial Freedom

The chart shows that despite massive growth in student loans, the rate of growth in household income is actually declining. Also, most people by now, can see that the riches people on the planet today are mostly college dropouts. The usual examples include Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson ..etc

Today, people are paying top dollar to schools, colleges and universities that teach a lot of “stuff” but does not specifically teach a person how to make money or live a successful life. Most school programs teaches you the “stuff” you need to get a job. And sadly, a job where you trade time for money is not how you get rich or achieve financial freedom. Is that really what you want to get into debt for??

Getting a “Proper” Education

So what’s the best way to get a “proper” education? I don’t profess to have the ideal answer but I have 2 young kids of my own (5 and 3 years old) and the answer to this question is extremely important to me. So here’s what I think…

I think the best education starts at home where we teach our kids that they can do ANYTHING they want to. Not just things that make money but anything that helps other people and makes them happy at the same time. If you didn’t get this nurturing belief instilled in your childhood, get over it and teach it to yourself! Don’t blame anyone or anything and take responsibility to change it now.

Here’s a video that expresses this idea very well:

jd bookeeping 224x300 Education Vs Financial Freedom

My son doing his own personal book-keeping at age 4.

I also believe in apprenticeship. As an entrepreneur and information marketer, I do want to expose my kids to all that I do every day. So I hope that by the time they are 13 or 15 years old, they would be at a higher level of proficiency in what I do currently.

I have them play in the office while I work. I introduce them to my clients whenever the opportunity arises and have them talk to them too to learn communication skills. I teach them about the value that we provide to our clients and why they happily pay us some money back in return. I’ve already taught my elder son keep a ledger of his income and expenses and teach him how to always set aside a of his income (mostly gifts and payment for chores) as long term savings. I feel that all of this IS their life education. And so, whether they go to college or university, is entirely optional.

So I think that if you are doing well at something, teach it to your kids. If they do display a keen interest (quite likely), then encourage the to learn that skill that they would then use for life.

If you are not already an entrepreneur or have already achieved financial freedom, then find a growth area to expose them to. A very obvious one is in creating a business in the information age.  Whether you have young kids or even if YOU want to learn something new, learning to code or making a business in digital information marketing is a great area to start. Here’s another great video explaining the opportunities in the Information Age:

 Conclusion

If you’re a young adult or if you have kids, please teach them the principles to achieve financial freedom. Teach them how to become investors and business owners. Please do not rack up student loans thinking that a job will make you financially free. Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Start by monitoring your income and expenses.

If you’re already a product of the education system (like me), you need to “unlearn” the “stuff” that does not bring you life success and start focussing on learning new things that do. I went back to school to study nutrition to start a wellness centre and I taught myself to create ecommerce websites and build apps to market digital products (among many other things).

Find something you love to do and that adds value to others and get really good at doing that. Then monetize it. If you have the propensity for it, learn to code or create a business in information marketing. This is a very obvious growth area in the Digital Information age. Heck, I know people making a lot of money selling ebooks on knitting! You could turn almost any interest into a great digital product if you really had the passion for it (e.g. apps, ebooks, software..etc).

Above all, take responsibility for your life. Choose to unlearn disempowering beliefs and adopt new beliefs that empower you towards your life goals.

February 22 2013

I’m Moving To The Jungle…

So it’s been a while since I updated my blog. Sorry for that. Let me update you on what I’ve been up to.

janda baik 300x168 Im Moving To The Jungle...You see, I bought a piece of land in the remote jungles of Malaysia. I am in the process of building a small eco-friendly house and I am planning to move there with my family in the next 12 months. Its a big move and a fun and exciting process that’s been occupying a lot of my attention. I’m learning a lot about solar power, rain water harvesting, aquaponics, permaculture and many other subjects that are truly new to me.

Now you (like many of my friends), might think that’s a pretty radical thing to do. Its not something that I’ve planned on doing at all. I’ve never really been much of a “greenie”. Heck, I’ve been the total opposite! I’m currently living right in the heart of the city. But its just something that makes common sense to me based on what I see around me and what I see coming in the near future. So on this post, I wanted to explain a few of my thoughts that’s motivating me to move out of the city.

We Are Connected To Our Environment

I see a very clear and direct link between every human being and the environment we live in. The current rate of development is not sustainable and will be bad for us in many ways. Most people know this but choose to ignore it for one reason or another. Most people just don’t want to think about it and would rather defer that responsibility to someone else or maybe leave that to the governments to fix. That’s a dangerous way of thinking because what affects our environment, affects us all.

Here’s an analogy of what I mean – you can say that the majority of the people in developed countries behave very irrationally. They smoke, drink, eat processed foods laden with harmful chemicals…etc. They consume so much resources and produce so much waste that ultimately destroys the planet. Similarly, cancer cells are normal cells that also behave irrationally exactly like people in developed countries. They multiply and grow uncontrollably until all the normal cells (the environment) are overwhelmed and the host organism dies. Can you see how our outer world and inner world mirrors each other?

space view 300x163 Im Moving To The Jungle...There was a recent viral video on Youtube showing satellite images of earth. Most viewer comments remarked how beautiful the images were. And they are. But those pretty lights actually represent unnatural man-made structures. At the rate of growth to date this looks alarmingly like a cancer spreading uncontrollably over the planet. That video clip scares me. I get that same feeling when flying into any major city at night. Just looking down from the plane as we get a view of the ground shows how extensive the destruction of our natural environment really is.

What this means is that if we continue living the “normal” lifestyle in developed countries today, we are going to get sicker and sicker. And the quality of life will become poorer and poorer. There will be very high levels of stress and less time leading to broken relationships and a generally unpleasant lifestyle to say the least.

I believe the cure for cancer and many of the chronic illnesses is not going to come from some drug or treatment. Its going to come from a radical shift in the general mindset leading to different choices and different habits. In the same way, the cure to our environmental problems is not going to come from some radical technological advancement or government initiative. Its going to come from each individual taking responsibility to live sustainably.

I  know I’m probably sounding like an idealist but I think its the truth. It may not happen in my lifetime, but  being a father of 2 young boys I’d like to at least get the ball rolling for their sake.

Be The Change You Want to See In The World

This is a philosophy that I believe in very much. It was Gandhi that said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This is a very profound statement and something that I have pondered upon a lot. There’s really no better way to change the world than to start by changing yourself.

So instead of joining environmental groups or lobby groups, I’m taking Gandhi’s advice. I’m going to change myself and my own immediate environment. I hope more people find value in consuming less and enjoying more instead of consuming more and enjoying less.

I hope to be able to show that a simpler way of living is not only possible but actually more pleasurable. As Cicero said “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

That’s All Very Nice But How???

So I know some people would be reading this and say “oh, that all sounds nice in theory but how do you balance work and family life? What about school education and so on?”.  It’s a long topic to tackle so I might leave that to future posts as we progress with our plans. What works for us may not work for you so all I can do is share our own approach for your own consideration.

In the meantime, I do encourage you to read a blog post I shared in 2010 about focussing on “congruence” to achieve a happy and fulfilled life - http://brianwong.com/blog/congruence-versus-balance/ .

In short, over the last 10 years, I’ve focussed on aligning my income, family life and health in a singular direction. I believe anyone with a similar intention can create enough passive income to allow them to live a very comfortable life. A life that is not excessive but allows them to focus on the things that really matter like their health, family and mental and spiritual growth. You just need to have a clear picture of what that ideal life is like and then work backwards to see what you need to do.

Embrace minimalism. Be very clear about what really matters in your life and don’t be influenced by the consumer trends. You will find that what you really truly need is so easy to fulfil.

Take some baby steps by getting rid of the TV, avoid processed foods and chemical and eat more whole foods. Having mental and physical health will be a major advantage for you to achieve your other life goals. Continue working working on passive income sources. Spend less than what you earn and invest the difference.

So that’s all I got for you for now. Stay tuned for more updates about our move in the near future.

January 16 2013

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Evolve Electric Skateboard - Test Ride @ KL Lake Gardens

December 31 2012

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2013 KLCC New Year Fireworks (HD & Uncut)
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