Not wasting time on small stuff

Following a decision to get happier, one of the items that popped up was to not waste time, energy or effort on small stuff.

Small stuff here refers to minor life decisions that will not make any impact in your life in the mid to long term.

Examples of this:

  • should I eat rice or noodles? Really, it doesn’t matter. Unless you’re doing paleo, like me, then don’t eat any.
  • should I drink coffee with 25% sugar or 50% sugar? Please, it’s not going to make like a million difference to you.
  • should I watch this movie or that? Again, what’s the big difference?

These are some of the more mundane ones, and you can add in slightly more complex but equally mundane ones such as:

  • trying to impress people who’s not really important 5, 10 years later
  • a million brands of salt/sugar/whatever
  • _______ add in your own here

Here’s the crux: don’t waste time on things that don’t really matter. It doesn’t matter to bother maximizing or doing your best to optimize on things that are too minute to matter for the mid to long term.

Being decisive helps a lot, and for you control freaks out there (or those of you who have too much free time).

It’s very easy to be a control freak and zoom into details that don’t matter – and by being a control freak all you achieve is annoy the heck out of your co-workers and family, just because you think you’re doing it perfect.

And it’s really hard for control freaks to understand and even admit that all of us human beings really have limited time, energy and focus, so we cannot afford to waste time bantering and being stalled by mundane stuff that don’t matter. And actually spend good time, energy and focus on stuff that actually do matter.

Things that don’t matter? It doesn’t matter, just pick one.

…and if you make a mistake choosing the “wrong” one? It’s fine – it’s normal, and part of the price you pay for focusing on things that matter. Let’s see it this way – do you prefer to potentially make mistakes on things that do matter because you spent too much time/effort on things that don’t matter?

I could spend my whole life wondering why things go wrong, or planning the “perfect” life…or I can just start doing things that do matter, and lead to me having a better life.

That’s why I simplify my dressing and food – no need to think so much and hard on stuff like that. That’s why I try my best to not waste time going for things that aren’t important. And why I often go back to the same eateries and places – it’s easy and I get to spend more time on things that are more important.

And I’d like to pass it back to you too – do you find yourself spending hours on doing things that don’t really matter, the small stuff? Like choosing brands of sugar. Or spending 10 hours to buy socks. Or harping on a problem and complain about it again and again and again for 20 million hours, without doint a single shred of shit for it.

Let’s progress and grow, and do things that truly matter. Things that don’t really matter, just pick anything and move on.

I Want To Be Happier

A couple of weeks back, my lovable wife asked me an interesting question.

She asked:

Do you think you’ve grown increasingly unhappy since the changes in 2014?

I stalled for a bit, and let the question sink in.

Yes, I’ve been complaining and upset about several matters that seems to have kept me irritated and pissed off, and I wonder if she’s right.

The business decision and strategy is sound; and losing my dad was indeed a traumatic event that I can’t control; and facing people who could only blame another for what they’re experiencing was driving me nuts.

So I decided – I’m going to be happier, and I’ll achieve this by focusing on things that truly matter, and slowly and steadily ignore the minor issues that doesn’t. Looking back, it’s easy to fall into a system of complaining about everything and nitpicking, that in the end amounts to little.

Examples include:

  • getting annoyed by people and their nuances – their nuances is theirs, not mine, and I’ll remind myself of that.
  • trying to search 20 companies to find a 5 cent discount – someone, please kill me.
  • worrying about something I can’t control – if I can’t control it, I might as well let go.

I’ll write a bit more about focus.

Pa, Happy Fathers Day 2015

Pa, it’s been more than 13 months since you were called to heaven – time flies so papa and brownquickly.

I’ve missed you.

Your quiet assuring presence.

Your silent presence.

Even our last meal together was quiet.

But pa, you’re my hero.

And I love you lots.


Happy! My first trial of dividend stocks – 0.9% yield in 3 months

I’ve been reading up and experimenting on dividend/income stocks since end 2014, and I am getting more and more convinced that a long term perspective of dividend investing is one of the ways to go to build an income for life, and I started experimenting with researching some potential income stocks and taking the plunge to invest.

So far, within 3 months, I’ve gotten a modest yield of 0.95%, so perhaps estimated over 12 months the yield could be 3.8%, assuming status quo (0.95% for 1 quarter, hence 4 quarters will be 0.95% x 4).

The goal here is to build a six-figure dividend portfolio over the next 15 years, so I’ll reinvest as much as I can of the dividends (tithe 10% on the dividends) plus with regular capital injections.

Of course, I’ll keep researching better and better companies, and ensuring I buy them as fair a value as I can – keep you posted!