A Balance of Grit and Laughter – 38 Years of Riding Through Life
On my 38th birthday this year, I reflected on the past 14 years I’ve spent in Malaysia. I moved here at 24, with no plans, no clue how things would turn out – armed only with my guts and curiosity.
But 14 years later, here I am. And I’m still enjoying the ride. Here are the eight biggest lessons I’ve learned.
#1 It’s the little things that matter
People often celebrate the big things – that promotion, closing that deal, getting married. Sure, those are important. But it's the day-to-day grind, the laughs, the coffee breaks, that really write our story.
Sure, big moments are great and all, but life’s mostly the small stuff.
Like the time I biked 120km with my pals. It wasn’t a race, we didn’t have a fixed destination. Just the open road and good company.
But despite all that "nothing" I somehow found a sense of deep, overwhelming gratitude.
It's these snapshots in time – the sound of rubber on the empty road, the quiet company of close friends – not the headline events, that really fill up the memory bank.
Be present in those moments – you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
#2 Being able to sleep soundly is a must
In the high-stakes game of sales, hitting your numbers is key. Quotas and KPIs are part of the job – there’s no running from it. But how you hit those targets is your choice.
Will you cut corners, take shortcuts, and step on others just to get ahead? Or will you embrace the grind and create success by providing value?
I’ve always played it straight, and let me tell you, nothing beats the peace of mind that comes from doing right by others. It's the secret ingredient for restful nights and guilt-free days.
If you’re gonna do things, do them right. A big part of happiness is knowing you made it – without putting others down.
#3 If I’m not having fun, what’s the point?
Life's too short for a dull grind. If I can’t work hard and play just as hard with my team, then what's the point?
We work hard for the payoff, sure, but if your days are all slog with no play, you're just counting down to a joyless jackpot.
Life’s not just about the big wins, it’s also about the high fives and the small wins today. Because if the journey's a drag, the destination won't be the paradise you're picturing.
So, here's the deal: Make every day count, with or without the big bucks, because fun's not a retirement plan – it's a daily goal.
#4 Money doesn’t equal fulfilment
If all you’re chasing is that cash money, you’re on a fast track to a dead end. At 38, I’ve learned that you've gotta have your own compass – your real 'why' behind the daily grind.
Money should never be the captain steering your ship. It's just the wind in your sails. Use it to chase down those sunsets, those belly laughs, those 'heck yes' moments.
Life's about those snapshots that stick, not the balance in your bank.
So, what's my mantra? Cash is cool, but it's just paper or plastic at the end of the day. It’s what you do with it that counts. Invest it in living, in a life teeming with tales worth telling.
Because when you're on your last call, you won't be counting the cash – you’ll be counting the memories.
#5 Giving trumps taking
The real high in life? It's in the giving, not the grabbing. Fifteen years in sales taught me that the magic doesn't come from closing deals, but from opening doors for others.
My clients aren't just signatures on a contract – they're people I've helped hit their stride, and that's where the satisfaction's at.
It's not about what I get. It's about what I can give. Helping someone become their best, watching them outshine their own expectations – there's no greater win.
Because at the end of the day, the joy that lasts comes from knowing you've ignited a spark in someone else's journey.
#6 Step outside your comfort zone
Cliché or not, it's true: comfort is the enemy of greatness. Every day, we face a choice – stick to the easy road or dare to take the leap into the unknown. That's where the magic of growth happens.
I've learned that pushing past the cosy corners of life – be it in my job, my relationships, or my friendships – is where I find real progress.
Playing it safe is the same as standing still. Want to learn to swim? Get started in the deep end.
The journey to greatness happens when you start narrowing the gap between who you are and who you want to be – and you can't do that from inside your comfort zone.
#7 Discover your why
Every day I reflect on what matters to me, drilling down to my 'why' – because honestly, it's the fuel that keeps me blazing trails.
People often get hung up on the 'what' and the 'what if' and they shrink back to their comfort zones at the first sign of danger.
But here's the kicker: when you're dialled into your why, the what becomes part of a bigger mission. It's no longer a mundane task – it's your crusade. This mindset is a game-changer.
Sure, the thought of failing can send shivers down your spine, but remember, even if you take a nosedive, you're still lapping everyone on the couch.
When you're crystal clear on why you're putting in the work, the stumbles and falls are just steps on the journey forward. It’s far better than standing still.
#8 Work seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you need to pour your heart into your work, whether it’s becoming an e-gamer, an athlete, or being the best damn salesperson.
Commit with everything you've got. Learn relentlessly, train tirelessly, and seek wisdom from the best.
That's non-negotiable when it comes to your career.
But here's the thing – don’t let your missteps knock the wind out of you.
So you fumbled? Join the club. Everyone does.
Every stumble? It's not a failure. It's another stripe on your arm to show that at least you tried – wear it with pride. Those slip-ups don't define you. They refine you.
Shrug it off, crack a joke, and saddle up again. Because at the end of the day, the journey's a lot more fun when you can laugh at the detours and keep your eyes on the prize.
Want to talk about where you’re stuck? Drop me a DM on LinkedIn!