• Casper Yeow

Broken down to be rebuilt

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

"Things don't go wrong and break your heart so that you can be bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be."

- Chris "Tremendous" Jones

A great start

When Teena and I got married, we couldn't have asked for a better start to our lives together. I got a job very soon after, just before graduating from university, and we were able to purchase our first own home in a nice suburb very soon after.

The undoing

A few years down the track, I got approached by a friend to join her in a multi-level marketing venture. While it didn't work out, it ignited the desire to be my own boss. This then led me to purchase a 'franchise'. That didn't work either. At the time, I felt cheated and blamed it all on the franchiser for selling me a 'dodgy' business, when in fact it was on me to do all the checks and balances to ensure it was a viable business before pulling the trigger. In my haste to get started, I didn't.

About another year further down the track, I started a technology consultancy business with two colleagues. It went well for a couple of years before we started to get ahead of ourselves, hiring staff and committing to a lease on premises before we were ready. It all fell over when our two biggest clients merged and the work dried up. All we had in the bank was owed to the taxman. Again, I blamed it on my partners. They should've known better. Again, in hindsight, it was on me, as a partner in the business, to be more aware of our finances and general running of things.

When things go bad, it's always easier to blame someone else. I had that down pat.

Greed is NOT good

Through all this, I had extended the mortgage on our house a couple of times and didn't curb our spending despite taking a salary ranging from zero to half pay from the businesses. We eventually had to sell our home to make ends meet. When this happened, instead of being more cautious, in a desperate attempt to recover our loses I became more careless, impatient and greedy, diving into ventures I knew very little about (shares, real estate, foreign exchange), losing big chunks of money at a time. This downward spiral continued until we literally had nothing left.

Arriving at rock bottom - Time to rise

With all the worry and stress, I started to develop bad eating and sleeping habits causing my weight to balloon to just under 90 kg (I'm only 5' 6"), as well as show signs of hypertension. One day, it dawned on me that there was a good chance that I'd be working until the age of 75. If that was the case, I'd need to get busy to extend my working shelf life.

Coincidentally, about that time, while interstate in a hotel on a work assignment, I came across an exercise program that took 30 minutes daily, from a late night infomercial. It was an impulsive buy. I remember experiencing buyer's remorse as soon as I put down the phone. Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Over the course of the next two years, my weight dropped to a respectable 75 kg and feeling healthier than ever.

Your identity = Your Core Habitual Rhythm

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

- Will Durant

Experiencing the compound effect of just 30 minutes of exercise a day, I started to look into what other parts of my life am I able to apply this principle to, as well as how to do it in an effective and sustainable way. What other parts of my life could I give some attention to, a few minutes a day, to make a significant change in my life over the course of years? I landed on the quintet of Relationship, Physical Health, Faith, Lifelong Learning and Finance. Our habits (both of inclusion and exclusion) in those areas form what I refer to a one's CHR or Core Habitual Rhythm. At its essence, it defines who we are; our identify. This figurative heartbeat of life, whether good or bad, ought to explain why were are where we're at in life.

Through The Life Boss I'm excited to share what I've learned and be taught in my pursuit for a healthy CHR and a peaceful meaningful life.

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