Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2018 1Q

It's been awhile since I last blogged. Apparently, this is only my 2nd article this year. My priorities had changed drastically since awhile back.  Some of you may know. No longer is my happiness or joy derives from the material success or personal glory, but instead for the true purpose in life. Anyway I took this Labour day rest day to update based on my 5 priorities in life that I blogged about before- H2F3. Things have changed so much since then. 

Health

Generally very good with no major sickness except for some small hiccups due to the drastic hot and cold weather lately.

Financial

Career
Despite primarily in the O&G industry, with so many changes including several rounds of retrenchments over the past 3 years, I managed to survive in the same job of more than 5 years. Never have an industry be so depressed for so long. And it is not over yet. Frankly, it is no joke and very tough mentally. You may be laughing over it, but to tell the truth, people I know had been losing sleep for the last several months already due to the stresses, and had even sought help from IMH.

Without the blessings of God, I will never have endured through the oil crisis and even still have a job that pays the same as during the heydays. Not only that, I manage to spend lots of time being physically there for friends with listening ears and mentally encouraging them, so that they will not fall into depressed condition, resulting in health problems. Simple treats of meal to them also help. This is the joy I have by giving and helping.

Sadly, I had seen so many friends who were retrenched and heard many are driving Grab now, even including those of director level in the past. Those who are still in the jobs are often stressed out or really unhappy. It may not be just in the O&G industry, but I feel that the general “job culture” in this country is really not the healthiest. Everyone is chasing the wrong things in this present age that the world had manipulated and misled us.

Investments / loan
Portfolio wise, I had >40% cash, 40% metals, with the rest in stocks and bonds (cpf excluded). This year, I had also paid down a substantial amount of my outstanding housing loan. My only loan now is housing loan. This is now comfortably less than 50% of the value of the house. Me and wife also own another flat providing regular rental income. Although I did not profit much with the global stock rage, I am joyful and stress-free, sitting pretty comfortable with my current portfolio with no intention to invest it on stocks in the short run.  My salary savings were accumulated in cash earning meager interest.

Charitable acts
The more you give, the more you receive. This includes not just money but time. It is easy to understand, but to put in practice, you have to deny yourself, something that I am still trying to improve as time goes. I had also apportioned a part of money for charitable acts each month. That said, I am careful that the monies given will channel to those who are truly in need, and not to the undeserved people or institutions.  

Family
I am now living happily with a household of eight. Me and wife are supporting our 4 kids, parent and helper. By God’s grace, we are managing really well, although it is not as easy as it seems, both financially and mentally. The fourth junior member of the house just turned 1 year old. He brought so much joy to the house that money cannot buy. Of course, lots of personal time is sacrificed but it is all worth it. My mum, siblings and relatives’ relationships are relatively good also as we organized regular gatherings.

Not to be boastful but to be truthful and hope that I do not offend anyone. I have to say humbly that it is so easy to talk about financial freedom when you are only supporting yourself or your wife or just a small family. But when you have a big family of loved ones to manage, the stress level is really different. That said, the intangible joy of a well-managed family could never replaced by how big your portfolio or your business is. So many rich and powerful while having worldly successes, had failed to taste the true fruits in their family lives. Of the list, includes Steve Job, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk or perhaps even our very own Lee family. So why are we chasing the worldly things that we had been chasing all our lives?

Perhaps the day you attain your financial freedom after many years of pursuing, may just be the day you are diagnose with an incurable disease that may make everything you have been pursuing futile? 

Friends

I try not to neglect my long time friends as we still have gatherings now and then. My new friends are also expanding at a rapid pace as God opened  many doors for me to do His work, by offering my time for those who are experiencing problems pertaining to career, health and family. Relationships at work place for me continue to be very good, although it is really harder to maintain when politics are abound due to the so many changes in the top management.

Hobbies

I still go gym but with less intensity as I do not want to injure myself when age is catching up. Swimming is usually with the kids for bonding. I did a lot of reading, researching and writing still, but almost all is related to the bible almost every day.

LIFE
Please note that I am not preaching here, neither going to make this a controversial blog. I am just sharing my own truthful experiences as follows, hoping it will be able to shed some light about the purpose in life.

The bible is without doubt one of the most startling book I ever read and it does not matter how many times I re-read it, every time it refreshes and never fail to give me the true wisdom and the important messages to make the most out of lives. For all the time I use to spend in investing and blogging, I am spending it in bible reading etc for the last two years. 

In essence, the bible is actually like a mirror. When I am reading the bible, the bible is actually reading me helping me to re-examine my mistakes, and helping me to become a better person. And not just for myself, but also to the lives of many others who needed help regardless of race, religion or social status. I am thankful that my own family was often used as the instrument of righteousness to help those in need, and often in the most miraculous way you ever can imagine.

It is definitely not about just going to church or having a religion, or just being spiritual as many mistaken. In fact, the day when you truly knows the contents of the bible is the day when you stop being religious. My family is not member of any listed institutional churches. The focus is truly living the right way of life. The bible wanted us to put our faith in the Word, and to lead a life that is humble with selfless love, and having a mind that is always hopeful on the right thing, and always doing good and to share. And it is not just a set of doctrinal teachings, but the Word in the bible has supernatural power and authority.

Then there will be some who called themselves a faithful ones, who never fail to go to a certain church/temple, or never fail to follow a set of rules, and “think” that God is always behind them, when they are truly only motivated by their own interests all the time? Is this correct? Or is this the truth in today’s society where all that matters is about the love of self and pride of life? 

Seeing the light, is the real reason why my life change so much. This led to the growing of fruit in my life via many trials and sufferings to humble me, to reexamine myself and to repent. Thereafter, all glory to God as He had consistently led my family, indiscriminately and miraculously to help ourselves and the people around us. By God’s grace, He also used me humbly to preach to many senior pastors with decades of full time pastoral and missionary experiences, in their understanding of the truth. Likewise and of course they also helped me when my family and myself faced with problems. It is always mutual, as we need one another. Many will be skeptical and but it is hard to explain here.

Ok, enough said. I prayed for the blessings of love, peace and joy be upon all my friends and readers here. Bye. :-)