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Minimalist Sanctuary Posts


my watch

A watch-wearer for most of my life, I decided stop wearing them about a year ago.

In the past, watches play a very important role in helping us tell the time. Today, this role has been replaced by our smartphone. Essentially, we are carrying two watches with us everyday.

I never enjoyed wearing watches. It binds uncomfortable around my wrist. It’s clunky and weighs like half a kilogram. Watches are prone to knocks and scratches. They’re vulnerable to water ingestion. Wearing them obstructs my writing. Watches also require regular maintenance, cleaning and storage.

Once I was able to let go of the need to wear them, I’m absolved of all the perturbance that comes with it.

These days, watches have also evolved into high-tech smartwatches. Not only can they tell the time, they can perform almost everything that a smartphone does.

And of cos, to many, watches are more than just watches. They are also an accessory. People collect and wear them to feel good and impress people around them.

Why do you wear a watch?

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My Minimalist Desk

my desk

This is my desk. Although it looks clean, sometimes, it can get really quite messy. After all, my wife, who is a “maximalist”, tends to leave her belongings on it quite often.

I am always conscious of keeping it clutter-free. Clutter blocks my energy streams and if prolonged, it will leads to lethargy and restlessness.

Removing the unnecessary stuff will unblock these energy streams and keep my days positive and energetic.

Having a clean and tidy desk also improves my creativity and productivity. And not to forget, the peace and serenity that it brings.

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3 Ways to Get Rid of Your Debt

Once upon a time, my financial situation was in an abysmal state. Broke, but stuck in an endless loop of spending and trying to impress others.

Anyone who has ever experienced drowning in the sea of debt will tell you how painful it is.

However, being in debt is not a permanent situation. Getting out of it is very possible. Here’s 3 proven methods to help you get out of debt.

Set Aside a Monthly Portion of Your Income For Debt Payment

The most important part of debt payment is , actually, paying it. Your income, at this point of time, should only fulfil two roles- survival and paying your debt.

You should not be setting aside money for holidays. You should not be attending any parties. You should not be at the shopping malls.

Set aside a reasonable amount of your income for your debt payment. Set a timeline that you want to pay off your debts. Be realistic. If you owe $24,000 and is only able to set aside $1,000 a month. Then stick to it and expect to pay off your debt in 2 years.

Do not forget to factor fees like minimum payment and interests into your plan.

Get Rid of the Small Debts First

You may be owing money to a few loan companies. One way is to get rid of the small debts first.

When we are able to overcome one obstacle at a time, we find motivation to keep going. This is called, “winning small victories” or “chopping down the monster”. It keeps us hopeful and help us see that the possibilities of success.

You will also have to factor in which loan company is charging you the highest interest. If there’s a company that is charging you a much higher interest than the rest, then it is advisable to tackle that first.

Dave Ramsey

I am fortunate to come across Dave Ramsey at a time where I found myself in a messy financial state. I found his satirical way of educating his audience captivating.

If you are looking for get rich quick methods, perhaps you may want to look elsewhere. But if you are trying to find an escape route out of the lybrinth of money troubles, his message is clear and concise.

At our lowest point, it is vital that we find the proper support and guidance to help us navigate through the stormy seas.

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I consider Guangzhou, China, my second home. I could still remember vividly the first time I went to Guangzhou 3 years ago and how I fell in love with her immediately.

One thing I love about Guangzhou is how it is able to construct such a beautiful metropolis in such a historical city. The architecture in Guangzhou exudes a sense of beauty and simplicity.

I love how the un-missable Canton Tower, the world’s second tallest tower, lit up with it’s vibrant rainbow colours at night. The local affectionately calls it 小蛮腰, xiao man yao (translate: slim waist). And I also love how minimalist Guangzhou CTF Centre, the world’s seventh tallest building, is built.

One of the best experience of staying near the city area is to be able to go jogging in the city. Here’s some photos that I’ve taken during my stay in Guangzhou.

Canton Tower
Guangzhou International Financial Centre
Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre
Guangdong Museum
Guangzhou Library
view from our balcony (Canton Tower lighting up)
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Our Limited Capacity

We often forget that our capacity, no matter how vast it may seem, are limited. Take a look at your own capacity, how much negativity are you holding on to? 10% maybe? Negative thoughts, negative people, negative stuff, negative job, negative environment, negative activities, negative memories, etc.

Ever asked yourself,”Why am I holding on to these 10% negativity?”

Ever imagined how much a better person would you become if you are able to make space for more positives by letting go most, or even all of the 10% negativity?

Don’t deprive you of the best version of yourself. Don’t let the negativity impede your journey to unimaginable greatness.

Life in today’s world is truly depressing. Even being 90% positive seemed to be insufficient.

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We Come With Nothing

… and leave with nothing.

Accumulation is a survival instinct given to us. To be able to survive on the stuff we hoard through thin times.

But in present times, what are we hoarding? Not the food and necessities to keep us alive, but stuff to keep us entertained and comfortable. Perhaps a little too entertained and comfortable, to the point of becoming uncomfortable.

Failing to realize what is sufficient is making us waste our energy to accumulate more than what we require. Accumulation doesn’t come free. It requires fuel. Fuel like our time and energy. Our relationships. Our money. Not learning how to cope with the failure of accumulation and managing of losses have also brought much sufferings to many.

We think everything that we have accumulated belongs to us. They belong to us for eternity. But do they? Of cos not. It is a huge misconception.

When we leave this world, we have to return everything back. We can’t keep a single thing we have ‘owned’. Not even the clothes we wear to our graves. We leave this world cold and naked.

Just like how we came.

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Being Contented

Contentment is the key to happiness

How many times have we heard of this old adage, yet we choose to turn a deaf ear to? Choosing to seek happiness outside contentment, outside of what we already have.

“Does it mean that I am supposed to be contented being a pauper?” That’s such a misconception. I can’t deny that being financially wealthy is better than being broke and constantly having to worry about food and shelter. But the correlations between being contented and being wealthy are few.

Someone who earns a million dollar may not be as happy as compared to a contented average-incomed person. This is true.

One of the happiest moments I ever witnessed was two children playing in the rice padi field while their mother was harvesting. The essence of happiness lies in how we value what we have. No doubt, the family may be wishing that they were millionaires, shaking their legs hard at home. But could there also be millionaires wishing that they were able to spend more time with their young children, especially during their startup days, where they have to slog harder than most people, and sacrifice family time?

We all desire to be more successful. But we all see success differently. Some see success as being the richest person in town. Some see success as being able to provide 3 meals for their families everyday. Whichever it is, that’s fine.

But while we are all working towards our own success, take a breather, and take some time to pause and look at what we have already achieved. It may be good health. Or it may be a happy and united family. Always remember to remind ourselves to be contented, and cherished what we already have.

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I still remember during one of those sleepless nights where my wife and I would be awake to feed our hungry newborn son, we would often be gazing with amazement at how beautiful that little one was.

There was this particular night where I asked my wife,”If someone were to offer a million dollar in exchange for our son, would you agree to his offer?” My wife replied,”Of cos not.”

I asked her again,”What if he offered a billion dollars?”

Without hesitation, she replied,”I wouldn’t exchange him for anything the world can offer.”

At this point, it struck me how rich we all were. We were already even richer than billionaires.

Yet, so often, we only noticed the wealth that we already possess after we lose them.

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