in tribute to the universe – part #1 (Keep Believing)

Oh yes, it’s time. Annual thanksgiving posts – to close  2014 and start 2015 with recognition of  the various factors that built up the year. It’s been an absolutely  amazing year, my best thus far in fact.

Let’s recap the year –

January – Joined Gushcloud, Went to Vietnam
February – FMFA, THG launches the Roadmap for 2014
March – Cambodia Trip
April – THG 1st Year Anniversary
May – Start Work at DDB, Train of Dreams
June – Cameron Highlands, Birthday series
July – Farewell series, Handing Over of THG, MP3 Experiment 2014
August – Summer in Europe
September – School Starts in Northwestern
October – November : #77breaths
December – Winter in Europe

There’s a lot more items I’d like to  list down but they’re generally secretive in nature, not PG, and some just forgotten ; but it’s been a series of definitely adventures this year.  Again,  I’ve been incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to have so many doors opened for me. I’m born into a middle-class family, with parents that only taught me to love God, work hard and gave me an important foundation – yet I stand here today a product of the consequence of pivots. When an opportunity presented itself in front of me , I didn’t just grab it, I decided to ride it like a bull. You come off tired, but a different man .You have pivoted in your perspective.

Adventure-living is all about the pivots. Seeking important pivots in your life that will define where you see yourself in the future, will put you in a position to receive more opportunities. Most people know I reflect heavily and publish my thoughts and aspects of my life online – it’s really to document the process and show my friends who have complained about a meaningless life that it’s definitely within one’s reach to do what you love, have a sustainable life and be happy. There is no reason to continue a mundane life – take calculated risks , meet new people, create memories.

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so as always this will be a multi-part post divided as follows:

Part 1 – The Hidden Good
Part 2 – Gushcloud/DDB
Part 3 – Travel Buddies
Part 4 – Northwestern
Part 5 – Friends, Acquaintances & Encounters

Before everything else, I’d like to thank God for his providence and wisdom throughout this journey, my family for their unconditional love (I’m a tough cookie to love) and anyone who has ever valued me enough to give me a chance to be a part of their lives. I hope I added as much to yours as much as you added to mine.

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The Hidden Good is my proudest story by far. It’s a story of ideation, of dreaming , of hope and also of overcoming problems unique to youths and society. It wasn’t an easy journey – when Leon decided to leave and focus on other aspects of his life, I was honestly left with a huge burden to deal with – shut down the  organisation or keep working at it. It was only with the amazing team I had that I managed to pull things off – and I’ve only been grateful for the journey. Still maintaining that if you learn as many things about yourself and society in the fastest time possible – start a company ; you’ll be shotgunned into it.

Let’s start with Leon  – for starting this with me, and still standing by my side throughout the process. We’ll never know how THG would have been like had we both stayed in together, but we did what we could and we made the best of it. It was a difficult transition but we made it through , and it’s a testament to our original promise : there’s a longer road ahead for us , and it’s no use spoiling that for anything else.

The Old Guard – Bella, Aiysh, Jethro, Viren,Vishnu Matt Soh for being a part of this from the beginning and helping to maintain sincerity in the group. I know some of  you guys have moved on, but that will never take away the value you brought to the organisation.  You were an important addition to the initial formation of the team – you helped set the foundation with us.

Boon – My favorite go-to guy. I’m glad you joined us (I’m glad you had a van, that was what brought us together) , and I’m even more glad that opened the door for so many crazy adventures in the Boon-mobile and wicked nights.  You were a great listening pal, I valued your advice incredibly and was appreciative of the moments in which we tackled important issues with a sense of rationality. These memories will last.

Darren – Darren, oh Darren. From the first time we met, all the way till now – I look back at the series of events that embellish the path we took and I can only smile and laugh. We had our difficult moments, but I’m glad we both decided The Hidden Good was bigger than us and important enough to see room to change individually. You’ve become an important part of The Hidden Good, a SME in The Hood Factory and I can only hope that you continue to live your heart out through it. We do good work – and good work is hard to come by. Thanks for being there all this time, and for being reliable and capable – traits that will become valued more as we grow older.

Frank – You would think being in the army for so long would make us sick  of each other , but it only made us better at working with each other. We both know we’re difficult people, but we accommodate each other so well it’s crazy. I’m glad you offered to step in, and you’ve been an important operational asset to the team, and more importantly a key player in the future of the organisation. This organisation is built on a combination of dreams, grit and people – and you embody those aspects in a way that is admirable. Looking forward to catching up with  you soon.

Damien – We both knew ON would be an experiment in itself – to challenge the way programming is done on YouTube in Singapore, and to challenge the way people consume the news. With our bright mix of people, it was not easy to manage so many things on a tight budget, but I’ll always be grateful that you helped push the vision through. I was afraid our friendship would crack because of our  work relationship, but I think eventually our strong friendship set the foundation of an understanding work relationship. We could speak honestly, as we always have, and still hang out the next day. 2014 was defined by the work we shared in The Hidden Good, and in a lot of ways I’m glad you helped me shape a new type of show on our channel – we became pioneers and I think that experience was worth the trials. See, no hyperbole – all true .

Ana – It didn’t take me much time to shortlist you for a Project Manager role, you were the kind of person I knew would help manage the detail intensive nature of The MP3 Experiment capably and I wasn’t disappointed. As I’ve mentioned, it wasn’t easy pulling it off the first time, and it probably will never be easy as we set new more ambitious goals for ourselves – but we grow with every challenge. I only wish we had had more time to develop our friendship after not seeing each other for so long – but I’m glad I had the opportunity to be in close contact with you throughout the year. You are essential, valuable and a key person in the history  of The Hidden Good.

Jon –  I have a tendency of chasing wild dreams, and the Train of Dreams had no precedence in Singapore. There was no reason for it to exist other than the social utilitarian goals we set for it – and yet I always have been grateful that you agreed to dream along with me. It took a good balance of being crazy and well organised to pull it off and you had the perfect mix. You gave the Train of Dreams the soul it needed , and we pulled off the first public organised Public Commute performance set – thanks for being awesome.

Tat Hsiang – The Special Forces Team – tackling new projects that required a whole new level of thinking – that was the concept behind the team we set up. And although we never executed some of the projects that we had in our arsenal, I think we rocked a few boats with our ideas. Thanks for coming along, and for sharing my vision for this group. You’ve been a solid bud, and a great leader.

JJ and JX –  Pixelrife has been a huge partner for The Hidden Good. We speak a similar language, and our relationship has blossomed so much because of the projects we work on together. It’s an interesting relationship we have, but I’m grateful for the support and understanding that we’ve developed between ourselves. When I walked into Starbucks and laid out the grand roadmap for The Hidden Good , and we shook hands on the deal, I knew we were going to be on a fun journey together.

The ON Team – Anurak, Dominic, John, Gabriel, Baoxin – I look back at the journey with good memories. We all knew the challenges of a show we didn’t even have the format tied down for but we agreed on the cause – to bring rationality back to the  mainstream audience . We went through a lot of storming, and challenged a lot of norms, but we made something we can be proud of. When we closed the show, we had people messaging us saying they were sad it ended – we made good products and we can always be proud of that. Thanks for working with me, and for creating this vision together.

The MP3 Experiment Team –  David, Nicholas, Nicole, Jonas, Chloe, Rishi –  What an amazing turnout the event was, wasn’t it? 1300+ people who decided that Singapore was worth making a better place have you to thank for, for making the effort to make this even a success out of your own time. Thanks for taking the time to understand the longer time needs of  the organisation and event; and even more for working alongside – I greatly enjoyed the journey.

The Train of Dreams Team – Wen Chuen, Charmian  –  To this day, I wish that you guys weren’t so awesome that you had so much to do – you guys were a great addition to The Hidden Good and pulled off the Train of Dreams so nicely even though we faced so many roadbumps. It took a lot of faith, and at one point even I had to be reminded to Keep Believing but we made it work and we set precedence. And we can do a lot with Precedence.

Soak – my favorite artist for being along this journey with me. You should know to this day you’re one of the rare few I feel comfortable opening up to, and I’m glad we had so many conversations and good memories together. We’re both emotional people, believe me a lot of what I do has more emotion than rationality behind it, but we channel those differently and I’m glad I got to learn how to let things go better from you.

Shiharn – Thanks for being so committed to the next stage of The Hidden Good – we needed a way  to continue engaging our audience and you took up the challenge. Social media is a tricky  world but we who learn to harness its strengths end up reaping a secret that many struggle to comprehend. I love your dedication and sincerity and enjoyed working with you  a lot – I only wish we got more time to hang out ; we should do that when we’re back.

The Team at Large – Wayne, Adila, Sylvester, Arthur, Andre, Christopher, Nick, Sherilyn, Nurul, Shawn, Zhen Jie, Ted, Robinson, and especially all  the new people involved – you guys are honestly amazing. Really. For even taking up the mantle of a Hoodie and deciding that Singapore is worth it – as a youth, that will make a  huge impact in how we carry our  nation forward. Our society forward. For most of  you, I had the chance to work at some level with you; for others I only wish we had more time to take on projects together.  But I hope the organisation that is standing now speaks to the values that are the foundation of The Hidden Good and will propel you to find new ways to Build a Better Society.

Jiezhen –  New Blood has a lot to deal with – it must live up to  the expectations of the past, and create new memories in the future – and like I’ve told you many times I’m glad you continuing the legacy. The Hidden Good stands for so many things and as much as we’re defined by our past, we are also given the opportunity to define our future as we wish it – that’s the very premise of The Hidden Good – we decide our future, no one else. You’ve done amazing stuff with the team so far – and it’s so evident. I can only hope that you find The Hidden Good being a huge part of the change you wish to see  – we make our own adventures. Thanks for being so capable and a truly inspirational leader.

Vincent, Althea, Louise, Willie, Isaac , Aaron –  for mentoring the various aspects of The Hidden Good. Thanks for believing in me, and for believing in the company, and the vision. I’ve learnt that that’s one of the biggest boosts someone can receive, to be told they are believed in – and the faith you place in The Hidden Good and the future we chart together for it can only mean great things. I am excited for where we can move ahead with this, and am excited to make that journey with your help.

Friends of The Hidden Good –  Our YouTube friends, TreePotatoes (Aaron, Janice, Elliot, Clifford), NOC (Ryan, Sylvia), Jianhao, Julian, TGIS (Daniel, Hakim) , Munah and Hirzi, UXM , Keiji, Cheok, Trev – thanks for making us part of your  community and helping us to create content that will entertain and influence Singapore. We’re not  heavyweights in YouTube but we definitely gained a lot from being around you.

Our Partners –  SKM ( Dr Wan, Michelle, Zoe, Cesar) , FairPrice Foundation, Ogilvy (Liyana, Claudio, Chan, Cheryl) , Great Eastern (Daniel), National Youth Council (Jacinta, Shawn) , Our Better World (Noelle), SMRT, SCAPE, LTA, Gardens by the Bay, Gushcloud(Xeun, Freda, Fai, Sheena), and anyone else that helped us at some point become who we were – thank you for believing in us.Thank you for choosing us to be part of your journey and thereby helping us make leaps and bounds.

Our fans and subscribers for always believing in us as we believed in Singapore. Your fervent sharing and belief is what helps us grow and take on new challenges. 

I feel like I missed out so many other people and organisations – The Hidden Good had so many people make it what it is now, and I had the chance to meet so many new people and friends through it. I cannot imagine how my life would have been different had I not picked up the phone and called Leon with my idea. But I did and that made all the difference. That was a pivot that changed my life.

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rest of the parts coming soon

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geronimo

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