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My Experience And Thoughts During 2018 Sabbatical

I started a sabbatical at the end of December 2017, and at this point of writing, it's 23rd June 2018, about 6 months had passed already - time really flies.

Of course, if you factor in that I provided pro bono advising work for the next new leadership of the company I exited, which ended at the end of March 2018, that'd mean that my sabbatical has been around 3 months or so, more or less.

I'd like to share a little about my sabbatical experiences - it's not complete yet, I am still taking my time, but I am very grateful to God, family and friends, to have this opportunity to take this personal time out:

  • to spend time with children and family
  • to meditate and read His Word and bask in His presence more
  • to catch up on the piling books that I've been wanting to read
  • to start online publishing (which includes NigelChua, which is why you're seeing more updates and changes here too) - and I've published 5 Kindle books to date in Amazon
  • to take time out to think, pray and plan for the next phase of my life (which is still unsure/uncertain of what I'd like to do and where I'd like to go - or where/what God is leading me to)

Spending time with family and children

This is by far one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences in the world, in my world and limited life experiences to date.

  • taking Olivia to school and back (easily knocks out 3+ hours a day, as I try to save money by taking taxi with her one way, then taking a bus back)
  • taking David to the playground, outings, walks (this takes anything from 1-2+ hours a day, but it's more "as and when")
  • spending time with my wife just hanging out, bonding, making out (wonderful)
  • reading books to Olivia at night (and occasionally in the day)
  • playing with children at home, at church

This can take up so much time, and sometimes, it can be very tiring (I love you kids, just sometimes it's tiring la) - but I really enjoy it.

Sometimes I think about how I had missed the earlier years of Olivia's during age 0-2, and I get sad/annoyed at the same time, so I'm trying to spend more time with them now.

meditating and reading His Word and basking in His presence more

This is sometimes a challenge, as I do get more tired as the children stretch out my days (late nights 11 pm - 12 am+) and then mornings to school, so it's a challenge here an now BUT I've been able to spend more time

  • reading the Bible and His promises
  • meditating over His Word and Promises
  • praying
  • speaking out His goodness and promises over our lives
  • basking in His presence

I manage to also have additional Christian books to supplement the quiet times, to help read and see what Christians who are on fire are doing for the Lord.

catching up on the piling books that I've been wanting to read

Wah this one I got no words - my pile of books-to-read just keeps getting more and more and piling on my desk and cupboards.


  • Tim Ferriss' Tribe Of Mentors and Tools Of Titans
  • Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad (re-reading)
  • Ricardo Semler's Maverick
  • James Hollis What Matters Most
  • Ray Dalio's Principles

...too many.

I love reading and understanding (or revisiting) new and old concepts to renew and sharpen my mind.

Now that I'm writing this, I also need to take some time to go through the online courses by Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn and Chris Lee that I have for building and growing passive income businesses.

online publishing

I've written this in an earlier post:

  • Affiliate Marketing

    NigelChua.com, focused on teaching/sharings on passive income, early retirement and affiliate marketing

    BeePollenForHealth.com, niche site marketing specifically Xtend Life Bee Pollen supplement for energy, health, sexual health/libido, vitamin B etc

  • Amazon Kindle Publishing

    WisdomOfSeneca.com, which I started with self-publishing with Seneca The Younger's works and to date I've published 5 books, with a few more kindle books in the pipeline as well as a physical product. It is already making money from early stages of publishing but it is really small (will share a report on this later)

  • Shopify e-commerce (coming soon) - this is an extension of the Nalcohealth component of Nalco Group, which is a simple business with a simple website where I sell high quality therapy, health and wellness products, but I want to bring it towards a Shopify ecommerce platform to increase its reach =)

Read the full post on my online publishing pursuits here.

taking time out to think, pray and plan for the next phase of my life

This is one of the most fun activities that I participate here-and-there: just taking some time to sit down, pen-to-paper, to write out and think and plan and pray what I would do with my life next.

I am not exactly sure what I would do next, and am waiting on the Lord to reveal more to me of what He'd like me to venture on next.

But taking the time to sit down to think, pray, draw, visualize, map out, cross out, crunch out, and do it all over again is nice.

I don't have that much time to do that, but it's good whenever I can.

some thoughts

I know, am acutely aware, that, at 36 years old, and being able to take a sabbatical and not worry about finance, is a great thing.

Ok first thing, I am always worried about money, given that I am on sabbatical means that I've close to zero income except for the affiliate income that is paid to me (see more of that in my passive income reports) but it isn't enough la.

However, because we pushed for our HDB flat to be paid off since 2014/2015, it cuts out a big chunk of expenses and worry from our head. But as we have stashed some funds aside and have some dividend income here and there, and keep costs low, we're still ok =D

Nonetheless, I am very grateful that I am able to do this, and ideally, moving forward, I want a 30-days sabbatical every year if I'm working full time.

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Books I'm Reading

Holy Bible

Tribe Of Mentors

Seneca Letters From A Stoic

Seneca On The Shortness Of Life

See my full book/read list here.

Blogs I'm Following

Tim Ferriss

Pat Flynn

Tony Robbins

Ramit Sethi

Personal Goals

SGD 2,000,000 invested in dividend stocks with average 5% returns per annum by 45

SGD 2,000,000 in cryptocurrency

Owning, affording and living in a landed property in Singapore (or relocated to another country without worry of money) by 40

Publish at least one book by 40 years old

Online businesses serve readers and clients well (ie readers make more money, have happier/freer life etc), and website makes SGD 10,000 per month

Ongoing: spend more quality time with children, wife, family, bible, God.