Earning the life that you want

One of my favourite quotes is by Naval Ravikant on earning the things we want in life.

“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love.

These things cannot be bought - they must be earned.”

Naval Ravikant

I believe that the best things in life must be earned, every single day.

In my life, there are so many things which I had to work for and continue to pay rent for.

One of the things I have earned is autonomy.

When I was working remotely in Taiwan, I thought to myself that the Jeraldine from just a few years ago would really look at this life and think it is a privilege.

In my first few years of my work life, including internships, I felt stifled.

I had to come to work at a fixed time each day. If I came later even by a few minutes, I would be called out.

I learned early on that autonomy was super important to me.

I refused to accept a future with little flexibility. It was non-negotiable.

From there, I began thinking about how I could earn the life I want.

I began to brainstorm about:

  • How can I increase my bargaining power?

  • What kind of companies will provide more autonomy than others?

  • How can I put myself in a position where I can choose companies like that?

If you think about the labour market, it is all about demand and supply.

If your skills are more valuable, then you have a higher value and get treated better.

You can also choose your job, versus having to settle.

Over the years, I doubled down on hard skill acquisition. I also started to learn many other things like network; soft skills and building my personal brand.

This helped me get into companies which gave me a lot of autonomy and a higher income. I started to enjoy hybrid work arrangements in 2019 and was almost fully remote when I was in my past two companies.

Looking ahead, I hope to stay competitive so that I can keep this privilege.

We earn the kind of life we want every single day.

Dating as a driven woman

I was having a lunch with a friend over dim sum. She shared some woes about dating as a driven woman.

Here are some reflections I had after speaking with her

⭐ Everyone has different sides. It is about knowing how to behave according to the situation

We all bring a different side of ourselves to work and home. My dad is super humorous with me, but brings a different vibe at work.

It is strange to assume that women who are leaders at work, will dominate, control and lead at home too.

⭐ The skills to be successful in one’s personal and work life are the same

This includes the ability to manage one’s own and other’s emotions well; time management skills; handling conflicts with grace / rationality; positive mindset and being growth oriented.

It is a false assumption to assume one can only be successful in personal life or at work. These two domains of our lives are more closely linked when we think.

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