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There is risk involved…

In being different.

As a continuation of the previous post on being different, I feel like I should point out something.

Yes, being different, doing things differently from others, is where your wins are going to come from. I’m a firm believer in being different and doing your own thing; anyone who knows me should know that. But note also that it’s where your losses will stem from as well, if you make mistakes. And we all will make mistakes at some point.

It’s a risk, for sure. But the alternative is stagnation. I, personally, would rather take the risk.


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Being Different

I came across this poker article, on reciprocality. The premise is this:

In the world of reciprocality, it’s not what you do that matters most, and it’s not what they do. It’s both. Reciprocality is any difference between you and your opponents that affects your bottom line. Reciprocality says that when you and your opponents would do the same thing in a given situation, no money moves, and when you do something different, it does.

It’s not necessarily what you do, it’s what you do differently from others. It’s how you set yourself apart that matters, and where the profit comes from.

And it’s true not only in poker, but in all of life, I think. If you’re doing the same things as everybody else, you’re not gaining an advantage. You’re not pulling ahead. What matters the most is what you do differently from others.

What are you doing today that’s different – that help sets you apart?



I’ve been watching a lot of old Arsenal DVDs, including the season review of the unbeaten season. That was an amazing team; they had such elegance and flair. But while watching the highlights of those matches, I noticed something. So many of their goals came from rebounded shots.

The same can be said of the current NBA champsions, the LA Lakers. When they’re at the best, they get plenty of offensive rebounds and second-chance points. That’s one of their biggest strengths, their rebounding. And it’s so important – last year’s NBA Finals were pretty much won on rebounds. As Basketballogy writes, “Champions rebound“.

I think the principle applies in most of life, actually. It’s often not about the first attempt. Often times, if you take a first shot at something, you’ll fail. That’s just how life is. The differentiating factor is whether you can keep your head up and follow up that miss.

Every time you feel like you missed an opportunity, you really haven’t. You’ve just given yourself a chance for another – it’s just a question of whether you take it.

The question then is: How do you put yourself in the best position to capitalize and build off mistakes/”missed” opportunities?

Photo by Malkav


I’m Still Alive

And I’m on the verge of coming back to all of this,  I think. It’s been an interesting, and difficult, few years of my life – the army, then going to college, all interspersed with various ups and downs with friendships and relationships. That said, I’m still here, and I think I’m finally ready to get my shit back together and get back to well, my life.

So what’s ahead for me? 5 main things, in no particular order.

  1. I’m going to be building my resume/portfolio site and attempting to do do some freelancing.
  2. There are a couple of web services/projects I’m working on, that are almost ready to be launched, and should be launched sometime before this summer.
  3. College. Pretty self-explanatory, I think.
  4. Poker. My goal now is to become a professional poker player. So I’m going to work towards that, and probably spending most of next summer (once I’m 21), playing poker.
  5. Helping individuals (especially some of the amazing students at Hampshire) realize that they can make money doing what they love, and attempting to help them with that process.

I’m also just going to keep my eyes open to any opportunities which may open up. But yeah, for now, I think I’m just focusing on getting things together and getting back in a proper position to move forward.

It’s been a tough few years, for sure, but I’m ready to go now.


How to Beat the System: Step 1

A while ago, I was having dinner with a friend. She jokingly mentioned that my biography should be titled “Beating the System” or something along those lines, because of all the stuff I’ve managed to get away with.

And in retrospect, she could be right. I’ve gotten away with a lot of things. Given the stuff I’ve done, I should have got into way more trouble than I have, and I should have been far from where I am now. But I’m not. Why? Partly, I think it’s because I’m capable of bullshitting my way out of most situations.

But that’s not what I want to focus on now, because I don’t think it’s the most important thing. I think the most important things is this: I’m willing to try and push the system. I’m willing to go against the system, to test the limits, and to take the leap and see what happens.

And I think that’s the first, and arguably most important step in beating the system. Having that willingness to take the risk, to stand by what you want, and go for it. Too many people, especially here in Singapore, worry about getting into trouble. They worry that if they test the rules, or the authority, that they will get completely screwed over and things will be horrible. But more often than not, that’s not true.

Of course, you don’t just break the rules for the sake of it. But if you see a rule that you think is pointless, if there’s a part of the system you don’t agree with, have the courage to go against it. Once you get rid of that fear (of getting into trouble, of being outcast, etc), you’re halfway there.

Taking the leap is half the battle won.

What’s stopping you from going against the system, and living life on your own terms?


Living My Dream

Those of you who know me would know that I’ve been playing music for a long time. I’ve never given myself a shot at it, though, basically because I’ve always felt I wouldn’t be good enough.

Now, that’s about to change. I’ve finally decided to step out and go after this dream that I’ve had for the longest time, and as such, I’m putting up my very own concert. I’ll be doing 5 originals – which I’ve written over the past 2 months – as well as a few originals, from John Mayer, Bon Jovi and the like.

So, for those of you in Singapore on 30 April, I would love if you could come and support me. It’ll be at 8pm, at the HSR auditorium. Maybe you’ll be inspired that you too can live your dreams as well.


My Latest Song: Out of this Mould

As some of you may already know, I play guitar and keyboard, and am very much a music person. Most of you probably don’t know, though, that I do some songwriting as well. And well, I just wrote a song over the past week, a message to myself which I feel fits in well with the theme of this blog, so I thought I’d share it here.

No recording yet, though, but that’ll come in time. In the meantime, here are the lyrics to one of my latest songs. Let me know what you think?

Out of this Mould

I stare blankly at this page before me
Every word I think of just seems so cliche
It’s a striking image of my own life
Where there’s nothing new, and everyday just seems to be the same

I’m tired of the same old story
The same old excuses and worries
And I know, that it’s time to make a change

I’ve got to break out of this mould
Step out of this comfort that I’ve been trained to live in
Got to break out of my routine
Follow my heart, and start pursuing my dreams
Can’t just keep doing what I’m told, no, no,
I’ve got to break out of this mould

I take two steps forward,
Then one step back
Struggling to find my way
On this brand new track
I search for a sign, or a path that I can follow
But there’s none,
And I’ve got to go on my own

I’m tired of being just another face in the crowd
It’s time for me to stand up up and finally be myself

So yeah, that’s it. A reminder to myself to be true to myself and not let anyone else dictate my life. If you have any comments/suggestions, I’d love to hear them. =).