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Jun 20

How to Deal with Rejection – and why It Is a Good Thing

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships

No matter how much charisma you think you have, or how you alter your behavior, a good portion of people you meet isn’t going to be interested or available at that point of time. Dating is a numbers game to a certain extent.

There are a lot of dating advice out there that sells you a foolproof technique to get around dealing with rejection. Unfortunately, that is just marketing. The man who gets rejected the most often gets to most results as well. This doesn’t happen by chance. It saves you hours, days and years of time sink. Our job is to get to the point whether someone either is going to move forward with us or not, in the shortest time possible.

Incompatibility in Life Circumstances

If you’ve made a value of not going out with someone who doesn’t value your time, then the girls or people that reject you become immediately incompatible. If you’ve drawn the line of not hanging out with people who don’t value you as a person, then you’ll no longer need to play the chasing game.

The majority of times, you get rejected not because we did something creepy or obnoxious, but because of mere circumstances. There is a ton multitude of external circumstances that prevent someone from moving things forward romantically or sexually with you.

External factors can range from being already attached, the number of days you have left within the city, her cat dying, her friend’s opinions on how you look like the ex-boyfriend that cheated on her. Basically, factors that you can’t control. This is when are conversing with someone who looks at your longingly and deep into your eyes but holds back giving you her number. She probably has a boyfriend or a husband.

It is also a perfect example of the limitations of attraction and how most women or men at any given time won’t be available to you no matter what you do or say, or how attracted he or she is to you at that point in time. There’s nothing you can do when if you’re out with a virgin that has sworn off sex till marriage. It’s not about your ability to be charismatic anymore, it’s not about ‘persuasion’ anymore. No expert, line or ‘frame’ can help you, it’s a simple statistical incompatibility.

It’s only when you approach your dating life and actually INVITE rejection, you’ll be moulded to expose your values in the shortest period of time possible. You cut out the mind games, you expose your needs, desires and you establish clear boundaries. You stop wasting time and moves things forward efficiently.

Psychological Projection

Projection occurs when someone projects one’s own unconscious judgment onto others in everyday life.

This often comes in the form of character judgments. In dating and relationships, it can occur when you meet partners who for whatever reasons, are uncomfortable with their own sexuality, and they lash out at you for having attempting to move the interaction forward sexually.

These people may harbour trust issues or are completely uncomfortable with their own sexuality or the sexuality of the opposite sex. They may have a history of some sort of emotional, sexual abuse or had a string of disappointments or anger from the opposite sex.

Their belief systems on sexuality are negative and when confronted when with a sexually confident individual, they end up lashing out. They may accuse you of being demanding, sexist, overbearing, horny, untrustworthy and etc. They aren’t lashing out for a lack of attraction, but because they are attracted and that attraction scares them.

These accusations usually have little to no connection to reality, and a truly confident individual will simply ignore these accusations. The more forthright and authentic you make yourself, the more polarizing response you’ll invite from others.

Redefining Rejection and Success 

How do you define yourself as someone successful in your dating life? By having three romantic partners at a go? By committing to one partner? Who’s more successful? The guy who dates 10 strippers at one go or the guy who commits to a long term relationship with one girl who he really enjoys being with.

It’s easy to get sidetracked into the ego boost or validation. After all these years, I’m still amazed at how poorly I choose my romantic partners at times, after all, our minds are filled with unreliable biases.

Take the average guy improves this area of his life by learning social skillsets. Not before long, he understands that dating and romantic relationships can be generated through his own actions and it’s not something that’s left to fate or circumstances.

“Self-development” is working out for him.

Through his newfound social skills, he goes around pursuing women who he isn’t genuinely interested in but for the sake of bragging rights. Is it an improvement after all right? He went from zero dates to many dates that he’s shit bored of. Forget about the fact that he isn’t really enjoying himself on these dates.

Unfortunately, this, is a failure in itself, although he went from not dates to dates with girls that he feels “meh’ about. He’s still avoiding feeling vulnerable and at risk of being rejected by women that he’s genuinely interested in. The avoidance of this feeling is a failure it itself.

“It’s better to fail on a date with a girl you like, than to sleep with a girl you don’t enjoy being around with.”

 – Marcus Neo Kai Jie

You and I have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators when it comes to our dating lives. External motivators such as physical beauty cannot be the only metrics of success. In the long run, internal values such as respect, trust and empathy make healthy and meaningful relationships. Even though I value physical beauty, it is not the only metric that I hold in my dating life.

This is why it’s important to define your own metrics of success in dating and relationships, not some arbitrary metric defined by society, self-development or pick up artist communities.

The Art of Presenting Your Ideal Self

There’s probably this one girl or guy at work or school that you’re obsessing or thinking about. You probably do not dare to ask him or her out… and it has been months. You start dreaming of a perfect scene… you and her walking down the wedding aisle and you so desire that ONE person as your boyfriend or girlfriend.

I, like you, and millions out there once spent the good part of my teenage life fantasizing over ONE partner. Taking months to speak to her, and then taking years to ask her out. The better way to tackle this is not to obsess over one partner but to constantly present your ideal self. It is to constantly focus on becoming the ideal version of yourself.

That’s where self-improvement comes in. When you focus on presenting the best version of yourself to the world, something that is immediately controllable, when the right person at the right time comes into your life, you’re more than prepared.

When you’re out on a date, instead of worrying if she likes you, sit back and evaluate if she has the values and traits you’re looking for. This way you relieve pressure on yourself. You actually enjoy your dates and don’t have have a need to impress him or her.

Jun 17

Why You Fail: Self Esteem as the Fundamental of all High Performance

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships

I’ve been on both ends of human performance. I’ve been last in class and first in class, in multiple disciplines in my life, from academics, martial arts, business, relationships and pursuits. Through the years, I always wondered what are the key principles of high performance. Is it motivation, is it discipline or is it willpower?

Initially, I bought the idea of willpower, after all, with psychological studies that showed that the environment shapes behaviour, as opposed to willpower. I also looked into argument taking into account of childhood development: The Freudian approach.

I’ll argue that high performance boils down to multiple variables, from the environment and your childhood experiences. Dan Pena makes an argument in his content that self-esteem is the key fundamental of all high-performance behaviour.

Ultimately, your behaviour boils down to your self-esteem. How much you believe you’re worth, deep down. If you believe you’re worth it, you’ll have higher expectations of both of yourself, and others, you’ll have high boundaries, you do not take shit form anybody, including yourself.

I currently run a dating consulting business and manage advertising projects for a couple of companies and individuals. In this small sample size of pursuits, it’s hard not to notice some of the self-sabotaging behaviours and lack of accountability of individuals that come through my way.

Self-esteem is how you perceive yourself and how the world perceives you.

In an idealistic world, everyone is going to see the best virtues in you. However, that’s not to be, in fact, real-world often pans out in the opposite of our ideals.

I remembered 8 months ago in my formal employment where I borrowed a couple of books from the little office library and finished it overnight. My superior thought I was bullshitting him. That I couldn’t have possibly finished it in one-night right? Yet on the other hand, in one of my last projects for them, they demanded that I finished 2000 words sales page for them in a short period of time. I managed to produce it within a day.

Other than a couple of quips that they wouldn’t give in to my requests for a more flexible working arrangement, I knew deep down that they didn’t see me the way I perceived myself. Every day that I stayed there was a detriment to my self-esteem.

You could say this is true for all of friends and family.

Your self esteem is going to be compromised if you attempting to lose weight and the people around you don’t believe that you are capable of that.

In my entrepreneurial career, I quadrupled my price overnight, that’s because I believed that my product and service is worth that price. Yet, it sold. Of course. However, a higher price comes higher pressure, intensity and a willingness to make it work. It goes to show that a of our decisions and success in life is based on self-esteem.

The student who believes he’s smart is going to put in the work, whether he’s really actually smart or not. I found that to be true in my short stint in America. I traditionally wasn’t a good student in Singapore. However, for someone reason, I had the freedom to flex my identity in another culture. I ended up performing.

Your Parents Fucked You Up

Unlike 99% of personal development material that’ll try to play nice. I’ll give it straight. In fact, my thoughts are a lot influenced by Dan Pena and psychology itself.

Your parents fucked you up. It’s as simple as that.

It’s hard not to notice the parallels between self-esteem and your childhood experiences.

The issues also come often in two main spectrums: you either had it too tough or had it too easy. Hence, you lack true self esteem.

It’s also hard not to notice that most parents have high expectations for their children, yet, they didn’t and are unable to replicate similar expectations and behaviours in themselves in the past or present. To quote Dan, children don’t see what you tell them to do, they see what you do. This is the similar of leadership, your troops only follow you when you’re able and willing to execute upon similar tasks. If a sales manager isn’t able to make a sales call and only makes his employees do it, he’s not going to be a manager for long!

I truly believe that one of the best things an upwardly mobile individual can do is to leave home. To detach himself from his family and strike out on his own. It’s one of my priority within the next 12 months (assuming I do not fall into default behaviour).

Your ‘Friends’

First, your family is your detriment, second, it’s your friends. I’m not going to bore you on the cliche that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. However, it’s true.

It’s weird that the majority loosely define friendships as people that subtlely put you down, or let step over you. If you studied the philosophers from Plato to Socrates, friendship to them is defined as a constant open debate, growth and an introspect discussion into their lives.

There’s one occasion where I took part in a football match where there’s one bully that has gotten away with unruly behaviour in the group for years: physical and verbal. Yet, that group defined themselves as ‘friends’. It took an outsider (me) to set him straight. It took a couple of scuffles, but I do think there’s mutual respect after those!

Over the last couple of years, I have been increasingly tough on the people around me. My Mum says I’m too tough on people. Some of my friends say I am too tough on myself. However, let me tell you something about being tough: it works.

I have single-handedly travelled to multiple cultures all over the world solo, built profitable ventures and am armed with multiple real-life skillsets. I did it all as a one-man team. How did I do it? I was tough on myself.

People ultimately do not lack knowledge, they lack accountability and self-esteem. The majority of my friends are much more formally qualified than me. They have master degrees from finance to technology. I am currently a private Diploma graduate from a private University.

Yet, I have actual skin in the game through a real-life stock portfolio (unlike many financial ‘advisors’) and am able to be profitable in most business pursuits I get into (proven by my track record inexperience in the financial education industry, dating advice industry and music industry).

I have also approached hundreds of women in cultures all over the world. I’ve had a dating life that the average man can dream about. I’m not writing this to boast, I’m writing as a reminder myself and impress upon you that self-esteem leads to courage and eventually leads to an expanded life.

The Solution: Mentors

Your expectations and standards for yourself are going to largely fall to the quality of people around you. For a Singaporean, you spend most of your time with your family and close friends. Unless you have high-performance parents and friends, the majority of them are also going to be your detriment.

If your family and friends feel like a detriment, then drop them and go off by yourself. Eagles fly alone. To quote Dan Pena: ‘Buffet only has one friend: Charlie Munger. Gates only has one friend: Melinda.’

I did it by myself for the first 6 years, from 21 years of age. I spent my first year mostly by myself writing articles like this one attempting to figure digital marketing out whilst everyone was with University.

I also understood one major principle about most friendships. They come and go in accordance with the current 1) social setting and your 2) current self-image.

That’s why I am able to hit the gym by myself, fly to countries by myself, run the business by myself. I learned the business skillsets from web design, copywriting, paid to advertise, SEO all by myself. I learned from people who were more experienced than me, but not ‘friends’.

If you feel like you’re stagnating here’s why: 1) you probably lack standards for yourself 2) the people around probably lack standards and expectations in themselves and this bleeds through their social interactions with you.

The best person you can have around is a mentor, someone who is upwardly mobile. You either are lucky to have one or pay up for one. Through the years, I’ve procured mentors both online and offline, by PAYING THE FUCK UP for it. Ridiculously, I have met entrepreneurs who aren’t profitable AND REFUSING to pay for knowledge or guidance. Yet they proudly brand themselves as ‘CEO’ on their social media profiles.

Better Human Being

If you don’t respect yourself, you’ll never be able to respect others. These are the people that constantly show up late, say something, and do otherwise. I once told a friend that if he couldn’t respect a dollar from my pocket, I didn’t give a fuck, I told him I wouldn’t lend it to him. It’s non-negotiable I didn’t. He kicked up a fuss and today we aren’t on speaking terms. Today he’s broke, and I am in a much better financial position.

Self-esteem is the foundation of all success, and also for one to become a better human being. I truly believe that he or she first must respect him or herself, build fundamental self-esteem, that leads to integrity and then accountability.

Jun 12

How to Get Good at Dating Fast – Models of Learning

By Marcus Neo | Journals

There are two different ways to learn: 1) I am going to learn how to code. I am going to learn to build a program. 2) The former, you start with a guidebook. The latter, you reverse engineer the process, and you learn to code on the go. The former is intellectualization, the latter, is skin in the game.

However, in modern life, you’re forced to start with the guidebook. You’re measured and judged by the guidebook. However, in the real world, you get real-world results through a guidebook (that may or may not be helpful).

To quote Elon Musk:

“Another principle is that it’s important to teach problem-solving or teach to the problem rather than the tools. Let’s say, we’re trying to teach people about how engines work. You could start by teaching all about screwdrivers and wrenches, having courses on screwdrivers and wrenches, and that’s a very difficult way to do it. A much better way would be like ‘here’s the engine, how are we going to take it apart? Well, we need a screwdriver, and a wrench, and so on.’ And then, a very important thing happens, which is that the relevance of the schools becomes apparent.”

The Bottom-Up Approach

I don’t buy the entire argument that learning can only be done from bottom up. However, bottom-up is one of, if not the best way to learn. Philosophy and psychology became a lot more interesting when I had skin in the game. I desired the outcome of being a thought leader in the dating advice industry. Reading David M Buss’s book on evolutionary psychology with academic graphs became a lot more bearable.

Fundamental probability and statistics came alive after I had to construct a model for my paid advertising campaigns (real hard cash). I also started tracking the financial performance of the company month to month, making use of financial ratios in my first year in accounting school: return on assets and return on investment to name a couple. Finance and accounting became alive overnight; not some paper you do just you’ll make an A for your paper.

The Value I Place on Research and Science

My views on have changed on researched advice. There are many coaches or authorities with stellar academic backgrounds and theoretical arguments. There is much advice dished out based on ‘science’.

However, I’ll argue a lot of them lack skin in the game. I define skin in the game as the bridge between advice based on research and real-world outcomes. I started out this blog documenting my personal growth and hoping to monetize a skillset I was passionate about.

For a period of time, I decided to remove my personality from the writing and bank on psychologically researched advice to do the talking. If it’s researched, it must work, right? I even signed up for a psychology degree in hopes of furthering my authority in this area.

However, the social sciences are arguably ‘soft’ and you have authorities like Nassim Taleb labelling disciplines such as Economics and Psychology total b.s.

Nonetheless, I don’t place too much emphasis on academic research, even though they can act as useful heuristics and guidelines.

Ultimately, my readers and clients have rarely commented on my ‘lack of research’. They always bought from me because I reasonated.

May 08

Statistics, Love, Dating and Relationships – Don’t Take Things Personally

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships , Journals

If you’re actively attempting to better your dating life by approaching and trying to get more ‘leads’ into your phone. Sooner or later you’re going to realize that dating is a numbers game. It’s a game of statistics.

Statistics and Love

If you make it a point approach 3 women every day, that’s 90 women a month. Let’s assume out of 10 women, you get a strong ‘lead’. That’s 1 out of 10. That’s also 9 strong leads to work within a month, just from approaching 3 new women a day. This can be from your social circle, cold approaches, Tinder or just about any avenue.

It’s in human psychology to overvalue the bad than the good.

A couple of months ago I had a friend told me he’ll never be my business partner because I was too profit driven (I was profitable and he wasn’t). One week later, another friend told I’ll make the best business partner because I was accountable would ensure the company makes a profit. Statistically, that’s 50%. However, due to human psychology, the first person’s opinion hurt more than the second.

I find this human effect similar in business and other areas of life. If you went out and approached a 100 women, 10 of them that you’re extremely attractive and 90 of them told you that you’re an asshole, you’re going start thinking that you’re an asshole without valuing the fact that 10 out of a 100 though you’re extremely attractive. That’s just human nature.

Don’t take things Personally

These days I learned not to take things personally, in business or in dating.

I get rejected a ton (if any tells you otherwise, they are bullshitting you) and I get labels and opinions on me as a person. They can range from miserly, to foolish, to smart to ‘X’ personality trait.

In social psychology, there’s an argument that people behave accordingly to their situations, as opposed to their innate personality trait. They may be reacting in jest, or merely under those circumstances. There’s nothing you need to take personally, especially so if it’s from a stranger.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to go out being an asshole. However, a basic grasp of statistics can help you behave wisely and accordingly. Through the years I get a couple of negative comments on how I handle certain areas of my life. However, if I looked at feedback objectively, half of the people I interact may think I’m an asshole, half of the world is going to think otherwise. Statistically speaking, if half the world thinks you’re an asshole, you’re still doing fine. You can’t please everyone.

Emotions and Dating as a Skillset - a Philosophical Rant
Apr 28

Emotions and Dating as a Skillset – a Philosophical Rant

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships , Journals

I get many different kinds of clients coming to me, attempting to better their dating life. Some have even taken programs from mainstream big names companies overseas. Some of them even attempt to give me dating advice during my free consult sessions. Some request for only a specific area of coaching. Some disregard theory. Some are committed and some are not.

Here’s my take on clients that eventually get results. They are humble enough to put in the work and learn all aspects of social dynamics. I recently had a client go out cold approaching almost every single day. He’s only a month old into the program, and he has gone out on two dates. That’s a good outcome, considering he’s completely new, and he’s tackling the completely cold market. I have clients that don’t come for classes or are inconsistent in making this a priority in their life. To get good at shit, you need to stretch yourself.

It’s no different for me either. I had to stretch myself to grow the business. I had to stretch myself in school to get the grades I desired.

The Value of Social Dynamics – Philosophical Rant

Teaching dating dynamics in Singapore is a weird thing. I think I’m one of the only guys that might have successfully normalized it. I’m not a pick-up artist. I don’t label myself like that. I’m just a guy that is able to talk to strangers if I found her attractive. That’s it. In fact, recently, I’m a lot more open in stating that I’m a dating consultant in Singapore in my personal life.

I get clients that perceive me as a pick-up artist. They are usually obsessed about mass approaching. I can usually figure out a couple of minutes through the phone. I guess the quantity problem is larger than I expected. That’s because they aren’t able (or willing) to use other aspects of their life to meet women. I can empathise with that.

Now, I’m not disregarding that approaching isn’t a skillet to get down, or that you should not be technical in how you approach dating as a skillset. There are certain concepts such as a frame that is extremely useful to understand where you are at in any interaction. However these days, I don’t put too much value on trying to objectify every single interaction. There’s a ton of value in getting other areas such as self-esteem, emotional issues sorted out. It also saddens me when clients aren’t taking exactly the holistic approach in getting figured this area of their life figured out.

Philosophical Rant

Getting good at dating as a skillset is getting good at your emotions. I recently adjusted to a more technical approach in my own dating life. However, I quickly found out it’s pretty exhausting if you’re always putting up a front or if you’re trying to say something in order to be smart or witty. This is where vulnerability comes it. There are no more smart or witty things to say, just emotions to express through actions. This requires you to be good at pushing through despite feeling the fear of rejection. Trust me, no amount of money, achievements or good looks is going to help you in this area.

This is why it’s difficult. This is why it’s also a life long process or getting good at emotions. This is why most people don’t do it.

To sum up this short rant, I am at a strange point in my life. I desire to be a 100% open with my profession and not have it perceived as a negative thing. I don’t do so because of the possibility of ridiculous expectations that come along with this industry. The guru business especially. I am not a guru. I am not a master. I hate to be called either. In fact, I’m the most anti-guru guy you might come across. I don’t identify or hate to perceived as a player or pick up artist. So don’t call me that. I’m just an average guy that rationally figured out how to get more choice and control in your dating life if you’re not in some extra privileged position.

I’m just human.

 

Apr 23

One to Write, Another to Do – Kantian Values Don’t Scale 

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships , Journals

In the last 6 months, I explored different modes of living and learning by 1) leaving my 9–5 job, one which I felt extremely restricted in terms of mobility and creativity 2) by making academic pursuits in Singapore a priority and 3) growing my business a lot more aggressively that resulted in quite a good result.

Okay, disappointingly, I decided that I didn’t enjoy sitting in classrooms learning psychological theories. I didn’t enjoy one bit having to memorize and regurgitate theories for examinations, that makes up a huge percentage of the grading system. I learn a lot better by trial and error, by doing my own research, according to my needs at any one point. I learn the best by having skin in the game. Something that I’ll talk about later in this article.

Kantian Values Don’t Scale

I remembered reading a dating advice book, Models by Mark Manson at a tender age of 22–23. That book introduced me to a basic philosophy. Like it or not, dating and relationships are closely related to basic life philosophy. To name a couple: how you handle rejection and how you choose your life values, ethics and virtue.

Mark proposed the idea of vulnerability as a central theme in his book. He’s also an advocate of Kantian values and proposed that one should act towards everyone universally as a means and not an end.

I bought that philosophy for half a decade. On the dating side of things, it worked out alright, In fact, I accredit a lot of my motivation and success in my life by chancing across books such as The Game by Neil Strauss and Models by Mark Manson.

However, as I got deeper into the ‘self-improvement’ world, you can’t help to think that some of the philosophies that work nicely on paper or theory, don’t scale in real life.

For E.G. Mark argues that in relationships, the best way to change your relationships is to change yourself. That’s also loosely based on the ‘assortment theory’, a psychological researched theory that suggests that your behaviour determines other people’s behaviour. Yes, that sounds nice on paper. Yes, you should change yourself for a better outcome. However, no matter how much you ‘change yourself’, there are going to be assholes in the world. One should be more careful when interpreting such advice, for he may fall into a mode of constant self-blame or criticism.

There came a point in my life where I decided I didn’t need to be ‘a better person’, more virtuous or a ‘better version of myself’ to anyone. I simply decided that some people are just assholes and that the majority of human beings (including myself) are self-centred creatures.

No matter how virtuous or moral, you can’t be universally nice to everyone. No, let’s put it another way, you aren’t universally nice to everyone.

The former is a belief, the latter is an observance. Kantian values don’t scale

If psychological theories suggest one way, then why does one have adverse results in real life?

Enter Nassim Taleb — a Clearer Way to Do and Think

Enter Nassim Taleb and his work: Skin in The Game. Like all good books, I went through it a single setting. Like all good books, you can relate to them in real life, hence taking your full attention for the next couple of hours (or days).

Taleb argues that the majority of the social sciences from economics to psychology in general lack real-world application. He argued less than 40% of psychology studies are replicable. In simple terms: they don’t work, or may even work in reverse in the real world.

He also proposed the central idea of skin in the game. The idea that one should be connected to reality and take be made to take up a proportionate amount of risk for their actions and decisions.

Skin In The Game

In academia, there’s no difference. In the real world, there is.

You take this heuristic and apply it across all of the self-help, fitness, business, motivational advice industry. How many of them operate within the skin in the game?

For one, I never liked business students that used buzzwords such as ‘venture building’ or bankers attempting to sell me on financial jargon that I can explain better than them. I never liked employees that get paid regardless of performance. I never liked women that demanded everything to be served to them on the first date. I liked people that operate with skin in the game as I have attempted to operate (or get others to operate) in my life.

You start studying up on evolutionary psychology theories only when you’re interested in bettering your chance with the girl next door. You take statistics and probability a lot more seriously when you’re option trading with real cash. Concepts like statistical significance suddenly click when you run a digital advertising campaign and you have to make decisions based on data such as 100 uniques.

You don’t hire a fitness coach who is overweight. You don’t hire a dating consultant that can’t talk to women. You’ll rather have a business partner that has done 700 deals compared to a student with first-class honours in a Harvard business degree.

Academia in Singapore

I found out really quickly that academic pursuit in Singapore is dry and mechanical, both academically and culturally. Everyone goes to class, nods their head, goes home and attempts to memorize for examinations. The students are more interested in scoring for assignments as compared to having an active discussion of the course material.

Not to mention that the examinations are structured in a way that promotes regurgitation as opposed to real-world application. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed reading the research in academic textbooks. However, I found myself refusing to memorize and regurgitate content for examinations. Content that can be Googled in a couple of minutes. I don’t disagree with Universities, however, the heavy emphasis on examinations in Singapore that are based on rote learning, essays assignments that promote style over substance makes my eyes bawl.

Now that I’m a lot older (hence, giving less of a fuck) I’m persuaded that the education system and education culture in Singapore aren’t equipped for real learning. It’s no surprise that a huge percentage of successful Singaporean entrepreneurs that I know of didn’t come from stellar academic backgrounds.

I didn’t learn my lesson. The academic system and culture in Singapore never worked out for me since I was a teenager. Perhaps ac-ing and b-ing my grades in a Summer program in Berkeley persuaded me otherwise, I naively thought that the Singaporean and US education system (and culture) are similar. I’m currently deciding if I should put the books to rest, go to Russia, get drunk with Russians, have skin in the game and finish up a pursuit I quit on a couple of years ago (solely for bragging rights).

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