i eat giants for breakfast

be absolutely ludicrous.

Somewhere in my life, a fire erupted …. no, an explosion occurred inside of me causing me to be always craving adventure. Nothing was ever going to be enough but I was not going to sit down and eat brunch every Sunday. I was not going to waste my breath on a life mediocre.

So I wrote, I built my adventures in my head. I explored made up worlds, with lives of characters that represented  ideals of mine. I was a mercenary, and then a old sage on the brink of death. I was death, and then I was life. I built the Last Saloon and recreated the Moment of Revelation.

And then I couldn’t just write. I had to see, I had to touch, I had to be. No one was going to tell me what I could or could  not do. I had enough of that in school, especially in an education system designed to “assign” people to the lives they are supposedly fulfilled to live. So I began eating giants for breakfast.

I began by saying yes to more things. I was kayaking on the Saturday, and training for a marathon on the Sunday. Is that for me? Yes? I’ll do it. No? Who says so? I’m still doing it.

And then I started dreaming. I started seeing friends explore lands I had only seen on the television. I saw friends championing causes; making the world better. I also saw people complaining about their lives, how they wonder how they got stuck where they were.

So I ate another giant and asked What If? I asked What If I made this a priority. What would I need to do? I put it on a piece of paper, stuck it behind my door and saw it every morning I woke up. I’d do push-ups while looking at it – I was getting mentally synced to achieve my goals. This was happening – this was not a wish, this was a desire and that’s something that’s derived deeper. A desire lives in the depths of your soul, it claws at you from the inside till it can be realised.

I broke away from the  people that said “Let’s stick to what we know” and started hanging out with the dreamers and believers. These were the people who said “We can build something”. I valued the people who kept me grounded, but I was not going to around the people who kept me floundered.

And one day, I started “winning” the game. Fruits of the seeds were starting to show. I was able to open doors to meetings with people of influence and convince them to support me. I was able to learn how to play the game of life; how to navigate some of the pitfalls that open themselves up to the wayfarers. I was able to build teams, share my vision and bring them on the journey with me. I was building on past successes to achieve more.

I failed many times too, but every fail was a fail forward. I stood up, dusted my knees and ran on (I imagine my marathon taught me a lot about that) .

My lifestyle changed. I was high-octane. Testosterone and adrenaline are concentrated in my blood stream. From the music I listen to, to the sports I participate in, I’m living a life of energy.

I stand here, a veteran of stories. I’m only 21. Let me say that again. I’m 21. In the past 3-4 years I’ve probably seen more than some people can afford.

I’m more privileged than most, and I recognise that privilege. But the money I spent was all money I earned. I used my stories to make money by adapting them. I made my life a story – a manuscript of a journey tirelessly threaded.

Having said that,  I have a lot of people to thank , my family especially, but I also want to recognise that a lot of this process was started from that explosion. That was something internal. One morning, I woke up and just decided to eat a giant.

Giants still roam this earth. Giants still intimidate people. But I want others to start waging battles against these giants. I want to ignite that explosion in others. I want people to travel, to start organisations and companies, to go on YouTube , to convince world leaders to take on a policy stance, to live extraordinarily.

Find your giant, look it straight in the eye and then begin to chew at it. It’ll wriggle, it’ll try to run away from you, but you know you’re stronger than it. Why?

Because now you’re larger than life.

geronimo.

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on turning 21 : in singapore, in 2014

Turning 21 was great – I’m a big fan of birthdays because you give yourself the opportunity to celebrate life. It can get easily abused into a day to celebrate “self” and “narcissism” but I’ve made it a particular focus to enjoy the people, events and moments around me.

From various meals and getaways , I had an amazing birthday week. I won’t bore you with the details of how I celebrated it although I thought it’s interesting how the older you get, the more displaced the notion of a birthday gets from the original day itself , but rather a certain milestone in life that can be celebrated over a longer period. We’re either too busy , or as I prefer to accept, more involved in the spirit of the  birthday itself.

But the reason for this blogpost is very simple. I’ve discovered that there are indeed fears that I’m facing moving forward with life – in Singapore and in 2014. With my humble experience as well , I’ve learnt that there are a few discoveries about life that I’m making. So I decided to write a bit about them – in hopes that I can revisit them sometime when I’m older and see how far I’ve fared.

 

3 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT LIFE

1. There are only decisions

I used to be afraid that the decisions I would make in life would turn out to bite me in the ass. Worse still were those supposedly moral decisions – those that if you chose the wrong option you would end up damned for life. I’ve learnt that decisions don’t tend to be supremely right over others. Yes, there are inherently better decisions than others. But every decision has it’s complications , it’s own nuances and it’s own consequences to deal with.

Suppose that you were to choose between starting a business when you’re young or working at a reputable firm as an intern. Now to different personalities, each decision seems inherently better. To the risk takers and independant personalities – starting a business seems the mark of a true wayfarer. But to the ladder climber and career seeker , working at a reputable firm definitely makes sense. But to each, there it’s own difficulties.

Working at a reputable firm ,you tend to lose a lot of freedom working for someone else , and you’re working to make someone else’s dreams. Having said that, starting a business you also tend to be on new strange ground and the amount of uncertainty can tend to be overwhelming. There is no “better” decision. There are simply decisions . The question has to be then – which risks are you willing to take, and which joys are worth fighting for.

2. Characters evolve, principles don’t

It’s not surprising to me that I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about my newfound constant presence on media. It’s true – The Hidden Good is doing well and as a result I’ve become more prominent online. I’ve also become bolder with my statements – wanting to encourage others to truly champion the causes they believe in by seeing what we’ve achieved. It’s only because I’ve become positively reinforced with the successes we’ve achieved as a bunch of under 30s that I’ve been shouting it out. I’ve always believed in empowerment of the community and allowing for collaborative models. That’s a principle that I’ve always kept to – even internally for The Hidden Good.

But my character has changed. I’m a lot more plugged into what’s happening in society and I’ve become a lot more aware of how society operates. There’s exuberance which I have unabashedly indulged in – and I’m severely trying to reign in. I’ve become a lot more aware of society’s pain points and am trying to find ways I can apply myself to them. From a silent fighter, I’ve become a prominent advocate. My strengths are flexed, but I am also very aware my flaws are exacerbated.

My ego has always been my biggest stumbling block, and with the friends I have around me , I’m able to regularly keep it in check. Ambition and ego are character traits that tend to be associated with one another – and it’s a constant battle to grow the former while keeping the other to a healthy level. I’ve been very honest about my struggles though. As a youth, it’s important to get the right steps forward. Where my character is allowed to change, my principles cannot. Those of collaborative models, those of loyalty and compatriotism, those of risk-taking – I won’t let go.

 3. Anything’s possible – if you put your mind to it

The most remarkable thing a person can discover for himself is that his own limitations were just that – his own limitations. Having surpassed them , he discovers a new version of himself ; one that is able to achieve more and seeks to discover whether other misconceptions he previously had still hold true.

I started out loving YouTube , and more importantly wanting to be a part of society. The various projects I’ve embarked on thrashed any fears I had of being able to positively influence people , as well as making a mark. With the support of an amazing team , without which The Hidden Good can never be what it is today, we managed to make a space in the online content-sphere for our experiments.

We managed to build an organisation that empowers youths. We managed to champion messages that organisations don’t have the courage or expertise to champion themselves sometimes. We partnered with amazing brands , agencies and organisations to produce meaningful content. It’s amazing how much we’ve achieved and I still remain humbled at the distance we have to go before we can properly make deep impact in society. I keep asking myself – what else do I not know about myself yet? What can I grow in?  That drive helps me stay on the edge – and it’s why I’m looking forward to college. I want to unlock the next treasure chest in life.

2 THINGS I’M FEARFUL ABOUT

1. Financials

The thing that worries me about current policy stances is that they tend to encourage Singaporeans to reach high , to  innovate, to compete and succeed – but when it comes to our needs we’re encouraged to keep them low. I can appreciate the need to be frugal and careful with expenses and desires – but I honestly think the minimum I would need as a working adult is a house, the ability to have a beautiful marriage and family, a mode of transportation and safety/security. These costs are costs that I have to consider as I grow up, because I need to save up for them – and the honest truth is that I don’t think our generation has been educated enough on how the systems and processes work in Singapore. Some of the PSAs that I see throw numbers so magically that they fly past me – and I’m an A Level Graduate.

I’m honestly a bit cautious on how I move forward because I have to take care of so many financial needs – and the last thing I want to do is to fall into debt. I want to have a good quality of life as well – and I don’t think that’s a privilege – I think that’s a basic human need. To live without fear or unwarranted worry.

2. Morals

I’m probably not the best person to talk about this but I’m learning the need to appreciate the shades of gray we exist in. Relativity is probably one of the biggest obstacles we’ll face as we grow up, because relativity is the greatest escape to accepting that there are struggles in this world we need to be concerned about.

I just found out that one of my Secondary School teachers lost the battle to cancer today and passed on. However as I saw as a bunch of students wrote memorial posts to him, myself included, I imagined how proud his family must be of the soft impact he created and left behind. He cared, beyond his need to, and that made the difference. We can be remembered for many things – principles included. But our moral decisions define our lives a lot more. And in this changing society, where morals are constantly being debated and redefined , I as a youth have to truly figure out what my morals mean and what I stand for.

My faith is a good indicator, but I have to ensure I practice my faith because I first believe in it – and not take it as simple rule of law. It’s definitely a struggle.

1 THING I WILL ALWAYS APPRECIATE

People Matter

From family to friends, I’ve realised the value of deep and meaningful relationships. As I’ve always believed, there’s no point scaling the tallest mountain if you don’t have someone by your side to share the sights with.

To abandon the people in your life for anything else would be a dangerous and unwise move – unless it contravenes your principles or morals. People make mistakes – it’s a empirical fact – but we never should let that affect the value we have in the relationships we’ve built. We’re able to build emotional and intellectual connections that cannot be replaced.

I’ve loved the people that have made my past 21 years truly remarkable. I’m indeed grateful to so many people for loving me back.

Here’s to many great years ahead.

geronimo.

truly.

the tribute to the un-imagined – we will dare

Image

it’s time to write something personal, as opposed to something vaguely political or social. we’ll have plenty of time for that. it’s time to look into 20 year old adolescence thing-a-majingums.

i’ve been pondering over what I should embark on in the six months between my trip to the US, and my matriculation to Northwestern. It’s crazy exciting – knowing that I’m going to be studying , living, fulfilling dreams and ambitions overseas. New friends, new campuses, new topics – these are things that excite me. “Potential” is a very energising concept.

there’s of course the regular response – get a job, or an internship. And that’s great and all. I  probably can get a job very soon – but with an A Level degree I’m looking at $800 a month.. unless I do a basic job and rack up $1600 for countless hours of work. It’s a value for money issue. I want to have time to work on The Hidden Good, learn German, travel and discover new skills. And I need money and time to support these.

So , I’ve gotten a few friends who’ve asked me to tap into my entrepreneurship abilities and start something of my own. and I discovered this post I made on my old blog (http://ilovelifeinc.wordpress.com) . and it’s crazy because the wishes are still the same. these are things I still care about. now the question is, one year later I’m in the position to capture the attention of people around me and attract them to work with me. So i’m putting a shoutout now – if anyone wants to help me with the below, especially 1&2 , let me know. We can plan things out. 

I like planning. I like doing. I like winning. And everything in between. 

I’ve started five funds – small ones each with a dollar in them. Now this isn’t  ask for donation – tho i’d gladly accept any. These five funds are to achieve five goals of mine by the time I die – and to do them in a manner that over-rides stereotypes and common problems with the industries. They’ll evolve as I go along but essentially they’ll remain (and have been for some years) the core of my goals for life.

 

1) Start a Talent Management Company that respects talent and grows them

2) Start a News Agency that respects facts and opinion with a divided line.

3) Start a School that respects children and education – learning and reading

4) Write a book that re-imagines a theme that has consistently been associated with the human consciousness

5) Travel the World – 2-3 countries in each continent and maybe Antarctica for a pit stop

 

I promise you I’ll achieve these goals – and I’ll probably blog on my WordPress more about each one but this is a declaration to shape my world.

 

Idealistic, naive, young. Go ahead. I’ll still do it – and I may die trying. But I look forward to the process of trying as compared to nothing at all.

i think best when i’m drunk

It’s all over now

so let me write 10 random things here –  because they float in my mind like incessant rats pecking at the edges of my sanity. these things are part of a whole, these things all make me feel cold.

  1. this is an exciting process. my mind goes numb again, i sleep late and wake up early. i skip breakfast, i drink to tone down the ringing noise, i let my ideas just run off onto paper and then into reality. i’ve had such highs before, and I know i must run the race to make best use of them. Yet, the day will come – when I die once again. everything will have a game-end – and this time I will be the cost.
  2. partnerships are tricky business. there’s a line you have to draw between being a friend, and being in business. but honesty has always been our key- and I’m a clinical liar with anyone else.so let’s keep this torch lighted- let’s not let metaphorical illusions get in our way. let’s fight , because I’m a warrior at heart.
  3. my body is dying. the heat load i’ve taken upon myself , together with the fitness regime I must endure to get back to shape and the emotional stability I must portray have taken its toll. geronimo, i sleep and wake up in a wink – and my body carries the pain for me.
  4. i’m glad my life is become so fulfilling. i’ve met new people (celebrities, experts, activists) and as I stand at this point – I know I’ve become 10x better than the person I was 3 months ago. God has shown favour on me. This is high intensity- high impact.
  5. Where I used to be afraid I was losing friends to time and travel, I’ve begun to treasure the few that I care about.  To me , I’m utterly loyal to those who believe in me and vengeful on those who try me. It’s not Christian , yes. Moving forward, I think I’m pretty happy with the posse that I’ve managed to discover, and am glad for the nights out I have with these individuals.
  6. Where the heart used to yearn for a relationship and a romance with someone , now lies a romance with life and God. Yes, I still go for random dates and meet with old flames but I’m happy that I’ve become satisfied with a pace that is God-driven and confident in a future that will unravel on itself. Boy, am I looking forward to college also.
  7. my music playlist is a lot more interesting now. as is my hidden finds. catalogue. as is my good reads. catalogue. as is my business ideas. sheet that i carry in my wallet. lists are great. they help me keep track of the fascinating things I encounter along the way.
  8. leadership is a lot more dynamic now. am i a good leader? I hope to be. I hope to inspire, to overcome, to take charge. yet, more importantly I want to groom, I want to unleash potential, I want to explode people to new heights. Mentoring is an investment – it’s not as easy as speaking words. Having over 90 people looking to you in total for a say or instruction is a hefty thought for someone who hasn’t entered university or work yet.
  9. I’m a purveyor of good things – talent, awards and skills. When I ORD , i don’t just hope to take a picture of all that I’ve collected in my time here in army – but a picture of the lessons I’ve learnt and the abilities I’ve gained. I don’t know how to capture it.
  10. i will have a hotel in my name called the rovik. this is my ambition speaking. and it’s proven to be a force not to be reckoned with.

there, my mind is a lot clearer now. i can stop drinking now.

to the rest – check out our facebook page here http://facebook.com/thehiddengood  – LIKE AND SHARE PEOPLE. I DEPEND ON YOU.

to the sleepers in the day,

rovik.

geronimo.