Reading your old diaries and writings could be an embarrassing experience when you tap into the brain of a more naive version of you.

What bothered you when you were 10 years younger?
How did you find the solution back then?
Do these issues and struggles keep coming back to your current life? Why?

As I’m purging some old stuff in my house, I found this, a draft version of my Final Year Research Project before I graduated in 2007.

My Final Year Project Title HKBU

Research topic: The Growing Trend of Lifelong Learning: How To Balance Work, Study and Life?

And I suddenly realised – my obsession with balancing the work-life-family conflicts and turn them into fulfilment, and my passion for lifelong learning has ALWAYS been there for over a decade.

Even before I joined the workforce and experienced the career dilemmas, multiple times.

Afterall, I did not change as much as I thought.

This has always been my WHY – that stems from my core values.

So why did I feel the urge to begin a life purpose quest, quit the job dramatically at 27 and went to India to volunteer?

Yes, it’s a quarter-life crisis. I was chasing my own tail, knowing there is something bigger in me deep down but cannot put together WHAT EXACTLY would that be, and feel so lost and disconnected, in career, and in life in general.

I hit an upper limit.

Looking back, I’m now able to connect the dots.

My life’s mission/purpose/ calling that I was searching for is always within me, I just didn’t realise it because I was focusing too much on the HOWs. (Sounds familiar? The classic plot of Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist!)

The struggles and frustrations I’ve experienced was there for a purpose  – a purpose of creating contrast.

Because without the contrast, I would have never understood what it means to use our power for good.

If I have never felt lost, I would not have experienced the beauty of the quest journeys – externally to explore the world, and internally within our souls.

If I were never bullied at work, I’ll not understand the impact it could have with the misuse of power, so that I’ll never become that narcissistic, manipulative person when I gain access to more influences one day.

If I were never the busy-bee hiding behind my busy work, handling workloads worthy of 3 headcounts (and feel proud), I would not have gained the efficiency doing what I do and equipped myself with all the competencies and soft skills that support my work today.

If I’ve never felt muted in the workplace, that I’m too scared to speak up and get myself heard, then these struggles would not push me to overcome them so finally I can step back into my personal power, and feel comfortable to relate to other human beings as equals.


As we are approaching the end of 2018, and given this year has been uncomfortable for many, I would love to invite you to find the lessons in them.

How did that unpleasant experience make you better off moving forward?
How did a frustration in life uncover some old wounds to be healed, some ancient stuff under the rug, so that you can become a complete version of you?
Fast forward to 10 years from now – what will you regret NOT STARTING this year?

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