Thoughts on the Pursuit of Wealth and Happyness

When In Manila, you can find lot of business opportunities. Especially in this day and age of internet, achieving financial freedom and working in a more non-traditional workplace is becoming more realizable; everything is possible.

I got curious when I saw the National Achiever’s 2016 Congress that featured the main speaker, Chris Garder, the guy Will Smith played in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness“.  Then I saw Andrew Matthews was going to attend!  I was excited.  I’ve had Andrew’s Being Happy books since I was in high school.  In fact, I have all of his books and follow him on Facebook.  I was excited to meet Andrew more than any other speakers, which includes Kevin Green, Peng Joon, Sean Seah and Gerry Robert.

The day started early and, great, the first speaker was Andrew Matthews! The only speaker I was looking forward to. I was so excited as I am familiar with his story and his books. Listening to him was very relaxing. He has a soothing voice. He sounds encouraging and really humble. He is a cartoonist, so he draws while he teaches. He talked about being happy and how happiness is a choice. He pretty much talked about the ideas he advocates in his book. Like how misery is an option, too. He said we need to choose to be happy by ourselves. It’s a dumb idea that the movies and fairy tales have instilled in us that happiness comes when we meet that special person! It is foolish to rely your happiness on someone you haven’t met yet, someone you’re not sure is coming, or someone who is coming in the near or far future.  You have to choose NOW.

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He also talked about success and how starting small helps. We need to do what we love, even if it’s in a small scale, because with that, we can develop a success pattern, making success a habit!  He says it is good to divide a big goal into little bits so they don’t look so impossible.  You don’t need to be a genius; you just need a plan.

He was once invited to China to speak, and when he got the call to be a speaker, he just started learning Mandarin. He decided right then he was going to give the seminar, which was 272 days away, in Mandarin. He divided the number of phrases he needed to say into 272 days and turned out that he just needed to learn two Chinese sentences a day. Who can’t learn two sentences a day right? So after learning his whole speech 2 days ahead of his seminar, he got a call saying it was cancelled as it was during the height of the SARS epidemic. He didn’t get to do his Mandarin speech in front of an audience. But then, just this year, he got invited again to Malaysia to give a talk to a Chinese audience, and HE DID IT!  Completely in Mandarin! AMAZING.

There really are no excuses. Just do it.

wealth-and-happyness3Candie with Andrew Matthews

Andrew Mattheww also stressed the importance of choosing the right people to spend time with because you eventually become the people you are around. When you are with business minded people you become so. When you’re with positive people,  you become more positive, and around negative people, you become more negative–so on and so forth.

I am generally a happy and positive person, but, of course, like any other people, I have my ups and downs, too. And for the past few years since I have had Andrew’s books, I find myself flipping through the books and reminding myself that things aren’t as grim as I feel. And, honestly, each time I read it, I feel realigned and positive.  I also always quote things from his book. Since it’s cartoons, it’s easy to understand and relate to. When friends tell me about their problems, I find the right chapter and send them because it’s succinct, straight to the point, and it just makes sense.

wealth-and-happyness2Audience shouting: YES! YES! YES!

I attended only the first half of the event and got to listen to Kevin Green and Peng Joon as well. Kevin Green and Peng Joon weren’t like Andrew at all, though. They were more on the “wealthy” part of the seminar.  I noticed that both of them had the same pattern.  They both sell a kind of “lifestyle” that one only dreams about, which is to get rich without even doing anything. I didn’t agree with some of the things they talked about in the seminar; some felt a bit unethical to me, or it didn’t sit right with me. Their talk felt like a sales pitch for their seminars. It was too hard sell and just really dodgy for me.  They were very charismatic and can get a room full of people to stand up and make them do whatever they ask them to.

I am from an immigrant family; and an immigrant Chinese family believes in honesty and hard work. We believe in getting a good education and believe that nothing comes from nothing. I just felt their programs were too good to be true and was like a quick-rich scheme. These are just my opinions after attending the event, but as I’ve said again and again in this article, Matthews’ talk was as inspiring as I expected it to be, and that made the whole thing worth it.