Did you notice that there are only 37 days left before we march into 2017? Before we enter the celebratory month of December, I see November as the month to reflect and to review – for things we have done during the earlier 11 months. I’m very grateful for a very product year. I have definitely achieved more than what I have planned. Guess I will have to dream bigger and aim higher for next year.
I see life as a giant maze. Sometimes, we get caught at the cross roads, and don’t think which path in life to take, because we are so afraid of making the wrong choice. I would say, take a leap of faith! There is no right or wrong in life. If we take a long detour, eventually we will arrive our destination with the benefit of exploring the scenery from the extra miles we have travelled from the detour. Life is like a glass of fine wine, we should take time to enjoy every sip instead of rushing through and move onto the next bottle. Life is not about ticking boxing, it’s about having the thrilling feeling of chasing your dream; sharing a moment with your best friends; exploring the world with your loved ones…I can think of a million things that would bring colours to our lives.
I’m a big believer of everything happens in life for a reason. Here’s a little story I want to share with you, which actually happened just a few days ago. It all started from a very random moment at the money exchange at Ho Chi Minh City airport, a small talk started when I saw 2 Austrian guys complained that one of the notes they received was too old. In my mind, I was like, those guys are so picky since they will need to spend it anyway. It turned out that want to keep a new VND1000 note as a souvenir because they don’t print that anymore. Later that night, we bumped into them again at one of the rooftop bars during our rooftop bar hopping and they ended up stayed with our group to party for the rest of the weekend. You must wonder how boring this story is! I apologise for the long prologue. The story begins when I started to get to know Markus after I came back from Saigon: we started to talk about life over whatsapp when he was suffering from his jet lag. He started telling me that the reason for his trip to Asia was to search for answers for his life. He felt quite stuck with his current life and don’t know what to do with it, probably just like what most of us feel every day – feeling stuck. For someone who has never been to Asia before, he had no expectation of what to expect, and meeting our group have shed lights on him of how fun the expats lives in Asia could be and what other options he might have in life outside his usual box of square.
I feel quite blessed in a way that I have a decent job (I’m a banker by day) that allows me to pretty much do anything I want in my life. Sky is the limit. I get to fly to Vegas for a weekend just for a party; I get to pursue my dream by starting my own businesses (not just one) and I get to blog about fashion and travel, and share my experiences and inspirations with my audience. However, those things didn’t fall down from the sky from nowhere. I was once stuck just like Marcus did. It was almost 2 year ago, when I lived in Beijing for work. I had a great job with the 4th largest commodity trading company in the world, and I was travelling around the world for work and leisure. However, something was missing in my life. I wasn’t sure what the purpose of my life was and I had no motivation to wake up each morning. I felt empty inside and Beijing made me very miserable. It wasn’t a very livable city. So the day after I returned from a long holiday from Europe, I resigned from work with no plans so ever for the next page of my life. My packed my life into 6 cardboard boxes, stored them with one of my girl friends’ place, bought an one way ticket to the States, and began my journey of searching a purpose for my life.
Through a serious of events and incidents, one day I woke up with a clear vision of my life. It was a very strange feeling of somehow I just know exactly what you want for your life and you are ready to channel all the energies toward that one ultimate goal. It took me a few hours to pack and booked an one-way ticket to Asia (it seems like I’m such a regular of buying one way ticket. Why lock something down, when you aren’t sure about your own life!). That was the moment where a new chapter of my life embarks. Last year, was the year I build the foundations of my work and networks in Hong Kong and I worked hard for it. I barely travelled and all-in-all I probably had only 3 holiday trips. 2016 has been a great year for me when my hard work came to fruition. Many people asked me (Including Stylelullaby and theluxilook) how do I manage to have a very demanding day job (on a normal day I work from 7am to 7pm the earliest), being a blogger, launching my own label and manage my newly launched business Taki Mai in Hong Kong and China. My answer is – Sky is the limit. When you put your thoughts into it, you can master almost everything and you can almost make time for everything! You just need to believe in yourself.
Markus messaged yesterday saying that the best part of his trip was meeting me at the money exchange booth and hearing out my life stories have made him thinking about life and he now has found the answer he came to Asia to search for. Afterall all things happen in life for a reason. I’m glad that I was able to help someone who was stuck in life and struggled to find the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s sad to see that many people feeling lost at this stage of our lives. If you are one of them, my message to you is – be brave, eventually things will work out. It may not be exactly as what you have pictured, but God will always open another window for you when a door closed on you.
Here’s a list of sample questions you can use to help you reflect, appreciate and get excited for 2017
For your 2016
- If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?
- What new things did you discover about yourself?
- What single achievement are you most proud of?
- What was the best news you received?
- What was your favourite place that you visited in 2016?
- Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
- Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
- Which new skills did you learn?
- What, or who, are you most thankful for?
- If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
- What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2016?
- Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
- What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
- What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
- What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?
- What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
- What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
- Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
- What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
- What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
- Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
- What experience would you love to do all over again?
- How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
- What was the biggest problem you solved?
- What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
- What one thing would you do differently and why?
- What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
- What activities made you lose track of time?
- What did you think about more than anything else?
- What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?
- Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
- What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
For your 2017
- What do you want the overarching theme for your 2017 to be?
- What do you want to see, discover, explore?
- Who do you want to spend more time with in 2017?
- What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
- Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
- What do you want your everyday life to be like?
- Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
- What do you want to achieve career-wise?
- What do you plan to tick off during 2017 from your travel bucket list?
- What is your number one goal for 2017?