16 June 2015

You Are Who You Choose to Become

In my previous Awesome In Progress blog post, I shared about Nick Vujicic who decided to live life positively although he had no arms or feet.

This morning I was greeted by a heartwarming article about a local entertainment artiste. Irene Ang is well-known for her comedian roles in the Singapore television screen, but she had a difficult childhood.

There are many of us who believe that our parents are a reflection of who we will grow up to become.

And if your mum was a drug addict and your dad was a gambling addict, it is likely that you would grew up to become an addict too. Such was the case for Irene, but she did not go down the same path as her parents.

Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame was fortunate to have two sources of advices from his "rich dad" (best friend's father who was a very smart businessman but not educated) and his "poor dad" (very educated father on government payroll). Their very different advice put him on a forked path since young, forcing him to make decisions on a daily basis whether to take the left path or the right path.

Both my mum and dad started out as blue collar workers. Mum eventually worked as a white collar worker in the latter part of her life in a  prestigious MNCs. She worked long hours especially on report submission days. However the company did not appreciate her. After a nasty episode at the workplace which brought much agony and pain to the family and of course mostly to her, Mum is now semi-retired working home-based with a foreign-based company.

Dad served in the naval forces in the earlier part of his working life. He went into sales after, and eventually became a Christian missionary. Other than travelling to third-world countries, Dad also lived a semi-retired lifestyle where he traveled some months, and stayed home on others. In the months he stay home, he would spend his hours fruitfully to read, transcribe church recordings or learn new skills through odd jobs/interests like taxi-driving and bird-cage-making.

Like Robert Kiyosaki's educated dad, my parents told me to study hard, get a degree (done), get a good job (done, with much frustration) and now get my masters (still contemplating). Despite their lifestyles in the later years, I don't remember them telling me to get a home-based job or build a business to become my own boss.

I'm not saying their choices are bad, but I learnt from my personal work experience that you are not always rewarded when you work hard. And that of course I suck terribly at office politics, or rather, that's just not my game.

For now I am still a salaried worker, I am still on the journey learning what works for me and what don't.

But I know I am given a choice -
I am who I choose to become.