Life has no meaning, you just build meaning into it. That is my favourite rule and insight of life. That means I get to shape and mould life any way I want. What a luxury, what a joy!
One principle of my life is to put myself in uncomfortable situations (willingly) and figure a way out. This helps with the risk loving side of me. At the same time, when I put myself in the uncomfortable situation, my plan B of a safe space is there, which speaks to the risk adversity side of me. It’s a fine balance!
Think like An Immigrant
Anyway, this specific principle is to think like an immigrant. I realised this during my call recently about this guiding principle. Firstly, immigrants are more likely to become entrepreneurs than a worker. Secondly, immigrants are more likely to outperform local born natives.
And if you know me, you know I like those probabilities on my end. At the same time, I am also relatively afraid of risks, that’s why I am willing to take more time to get the first principles right. Time will always pass, it is what you do with it. Being young(er), I can afford to use time to learn the right principles and scale from there. It is with everything in life, get the foundations right and you can do anything.
Back to immigrant — looking at the background of many entrepreneurs, those self-made ones come from humble immigrant backgrounds. I don’t know what about it — but it builds grit, tenacity and resilience in how these people think, move and behave. These are values that I respect.
Perhaps it is an unconscious thing, but in hindsight, I realised I have been thinking like an immigrant. Or perhaps I am have lived in quite a few countries and even being back in my homeland, I have lost the cultural adaption of “being born here”. Instead, my expat/international friends have also helped me to hone the skills of thinking like a foreigner. That is a good balance, again because being back in my homeland, I am always a first class citizen. And thinking like an immigrant helps me to look at opportunities and risks differently.
I am very appreciative of this balance. And again, this is nothing new. Everyone can literally do this, as I am doing now. I am clearly placing myself in very challenging situations by thinking bigger and bigger each time, looking for new challenges and solving massive problems. You’ll always find a way out, depending on the time invested. But it will always be alright.
So yeah, think like an immigrant in your home country. You leverage the best of both worlds. I am grateful for being born in Singapore, and being able to enjoy this unearned privilege of this beautiful country.