life goal

[Personal] Figuring Out My Next Life Goal

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“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” they say. I agree, and that’s why I feel a bit lost right now. I can’t decide on my next life goal.

This post compiles a series of potential life goals that I’m considering, and what I’m doing about them. Please indulge this blogger’s ranty, word-vomit post. It’s cathartic.

Life Goal That I Achieved

I didn’t always have no goals in place. Completing my education was one, but that was nothing to shout about. Compared to other people, family and PTPTN backing made that easy for me.

Post-studies, the life goal I picked was simple – to live independently without depending on my family or a man to take care of me. Happy to say I achieved that. I guess if you put it in a list, the mini-goals would look something like below:

  • Rent my own place, pay my own bills – tick
  • Sort out my own financial problems as they come – tick
  • Have an idea of what kind of retirement I want, and regularly contribute towards it – tick
  • Have a healthy emergency fund – tick
  • Have multiple sources of income – tick
  • Pick investments that work for me – tick
  • Decide on a career that I love and earn my living from it – tick
  • Have insurance coverage – tick
  • Keep only good debts, better if none – tick
  • Always spend less than I earn – tick

Achieving this was hard but ultimately extremely fulfilling, and one can’t be stagnant, can one? I have a lot of options – all enabled by my fairly stable financial position. I need to figure out what to concentrate on next.

congerdesign / Pixabay

Life Goals That I Eliminated

The natural way for me to decide what I ultimately want is to eliminate what I don’t want, at least at this point in life. For me, these are:

  • Save money for a wedding/a family – Not in a hurry. I’m attracted to the DINK lifestyle – Dual Income, No Kids – so I don’t have a ‘must marry/pop babies before age xx’ rule.
  • Save money for a house (own stay) – I’m pro-renting. This deserves another article, but basically I like the idea of living in different places and countries throughout my life, until I can’t.

Many people choose the above as their life goals. Good for them. Just don’t insult my choices and belittle me over not wanting the same things in life, and we’re cool.

Life Goals That I’m Considering

“You can have anything you want, but not everything you want,” goes another saying.

I think this is true as well, which is why I want to limit myself to just one, max two life goals at once. If you chase everything, you can’t focus on anything. I’d rather focus on one or two things and do that well.

These are seven options that I’m considering, all listed below along with what I’m currently doing about them. It’s like trying out potential side businesses – try a bunch of things when you start. When one or two of them show more potential than the rest, concentrate on those and ditch the rest.

#1 – Pursue an education related to the financial sector

I already have a Masters in Corporate Communications, and I don’t regret going in the communications line at all.

However, I do feel envious of people who graduate in the Economics/Financial sector line. I do like finance an awful lot, it makes sense to go back to school and pursue a degree in something I’m passionate in.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Regularly check ASEAN Scholarship Opportunities. I’ve never had a scholarship (lucky enough to have FAMA and PTPTN financing), it would be cool to get one.
  • Actively look for places I want to study at. Ivy League would be nice. I don’t know if I’m clever enough for them though.
  • Keep myself updated with the Islamic Finance field. Very high in demand, but very limited places offer this. There’s INCEIF in Malaysia, so that’s a good and convenient option.
PIRO4D / Pixabay

#2 – Buy a house for investment purposes

Having a property and AirBnB-ing it out is a very attractive option. From browsing around the forums, if done well this option can give incredible return on investment. Plus, bonus: always having a place in case I need one or if I can’t travel.

This would also present an interesting new challenge. I know almost nothing about properties. It would be fun to learn as I go along. Nothing like hands-on learning right.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Read property blogs. I like for this.
  • Window-shop properties on Mudah when I can.
  • Try to make time to schedule appointments with property agents and view some potential places.

#3 – Build my own tiny home

I’ve always liked the concept of tiny homes – the less space you have, the more mindful you are about choosing the things to bring into it. Recently I was re-inspired by 20-something Atiqah, who is building her own tiny home on her own freaking land.  She offers a free ‘Buying your first land’ guide as well, documenting what she learned in the process. Woah woman you rock. Mad respect.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Browse, select and choose suitable tiny house plans (to save on architect design costs) from  They have to be suitable for Malaysian weather.
  • Follow Atiqah’s adventures and find more blogs of people doing the same thing so I can learn.
StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

#4 – Start a startup

Probably the least likely life goal that I want to pursue in this list. I have ideas, but I don’t have the skillsets to develop it to its fullest, and I don’t network enough with people who can.

Doing it by myself is not an option. Have learned this the hard way. I have a failed business – or rather, a business that I gave up on. While I don’t regret it, I don’t intend to repeat the same mistakes. Mentorship and skilled team members are a must. I had a lot of ego back then and thought I could do it all by myself. It was a painful experience, but it was also a humbling experience.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Nothing much. Just network as usual, and if the right people making up the right team falls into place, maybe we’ll do it.
  • Maybe bounce off my ideas with some people, at least. Like everyone else, I hate my ideas criticised. I need to woman up for this.

#5 – Be a Digital Nomad

Digital nomad – someone who earns 100% of their money through online means, and location-independent. They can travel anywhere in the world and work anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access.

What a dream, right? I’ve explored this, and the reality is that it’s not all roses. People who pursue this lifestyle have their own troubles and worries. Short-term rental accommodation and all those flights can be expensive, and work can be irregular. Can you imagine being at amazing places but lacking the money to properly experience it? Sad wei.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Earn as much passive income as I can, so I don’t have to worry about lack of work while travelling. Not at this stage yet.
  • Introduce my cats to as many people as possible and hope that one of them will fall in love with the cute buggers. I want to ensure that Yoshi and Lemon are in loving homes if I leave.
Comfreak / Pixabay

#6 – Write a book or a comic script

EDIT: We did this after 1 year this original post was published! We actually willed Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1 into existence, from our thoughts into a physical product!

Lol, for the longest time I have this erotic plotline in my head. It’s steamy AND feminist af. Finally writing it down would be awesome, if just to get it out of my system.

What I’m doing about this option:

  • Plot out character development. The sexy stuff is good but the storytelling must be better!
  • Keep a list of potential illustrators for the book/comic.

#7 – Grow my writing business

And start a team of writers under me.

This is a hard one – my biggest hurdle is myself. I’m lucky enough to get nice comments over my writing work, but every time I read my own articles, all I see are mistakes and sentences that could have been written better, points made clearer.

I also notice that I can be too nice with my constructive criticism to others. Not a good way for people to benefit from my leadership, and definitely not a good way to run the business.

What I’m doing about this option:

  •  Help aspiring writers who seek advice when I can, and learn from the process.
  • Continue writing and keep improving it. Sometimes I still get grammar and spelling wrong. Thank God for proofreading software and sharp eyes of other editors I work with.
  • Continue networking with other writers. They’re a great bunch, super helpful.

Last words

Writing all my options down made me realise three big things:

  1. I can combine some of them, get a two-in-one kinda deal. For example, I can both write the book, turn it into passive income and be a digital nomad. Or both build that home and AirBnB it out.
  2. I want to sleep on all my options a bit more before making a (rash) decision. At the same time, I will keep doing what I can for each of them.
  3. I’m so lucky even to be able to choose among these options. That’s the best thing financial security can give you – the freedom to choose what you want to do, instead of just limiting yourself to what you have to do.

Thanks for reading this far. My head is much clearer than when I started. And now, back to you, dear readers. What is your life goal, and what are you doing about it?

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  1. I have a friend from uni went to INCEIF for a Master’s degree in Islamic Finance!
    What I can see is he gets to network with lots of big people in the industry in Malaysia, classmates from all around the world with unique background. I heard there isn’t many uni offering Islamic Finance, so you’ll be the pioneer if you able to get a related cert now!

    All the best to u 🙂

    p/s: I’m almost 1 year working in my field after grad (finance in an IT company).
    next life goal: have multiple source of income < Did not paid much attention to investment course in school, have to self-study now. Saving hard to have enough capital.

    Able to improvise my work. < Learning coding

    Master a new language. < Taking Japanese course now, self revision is very much needed.

    Master a non-finance-related hobby as a skill for side income.

    lots lots more that I lost focus. Went to yoga class for a semester and quit. Did not self-practice since then. Flexible body = dream 😡

    How do u pick which one to focus now? :/

    1. Oh thanks, all the best to you too!

      It’s hard to do the actual picking, isn’t it? You always wonder if that path is the right one, or the best one.

      I’m having fun in the decision making process though, so hey, it’s cool.

  2. Interesting post 🙂
    I like the one “be a digital nomad”.
    I am aiming that in my life. I watched some cool video on YouTube on how people around the world live by trading (stocks, curency, etc).
    There is one channel “Timothy sky” on YouTube teach people on how to pick stocks.

    1. Thanks Amkan 🙂

      Re: Trading. Making a living from it sounds cool, doesn’t it? From the statistics that I know, only 5% of traders make money from it though. The majority lose money. But I’m sure you know that already haha

      Cool, I’ll check out the channel when my heart open to stocks 🙂 finding cryptocurrencies more interesting now lol

  3. My life goals are to survive long enough to see at least the next 5 Marvel movies, to play at least the next two Far Cry games and the next big Tom Francis project, and to not die alone.

    I’d also like to own several kilogram bars of gold someday and join the prepper community in Scandinavia but that one is more of a fantasy.

    As for your goals, I think the best one listed is the book one. Dedicate an hour each day to it and see what happens. 365 hours will get you a pretty decent first draft, I think. You could publish it online and see if it takes off 50 Shades of Grey style. Or just make it a YouTube (or Vimeo since they allow nudity, lol) series with a bunch of local collaborators; you’re bound to make headlines that way.

    What I’d do if I was you sounds like a joke but it’s actually an honest suggestion: play the Sims. I believe Maxis released Sims 2 with all expansions for free to promote the launch of Sims 4. Sims 3 is the best Sims but this is RinggitOhRinggit so the free option is obviously the one I recommend. As a bonus, you can run it on any potato PC since it’s so old.

    Create yourself. Set your life goal to be any of these. Play it through over a weekend, see if you like how it goes. If so, cool! If not, try another life goal. It’s very abstracted and a lot less complicated than real life, but it will help give you an idea of whether it’s for you or not. Plus, it’s fun! You could give yourself a roommate who is your ideal man or perhaps just your favourite celebrity if you wanna make things more game-y and less serious; you’ll still get the insights you need on life plans but it’ll also result in amusing anecdotes.

    At normal speed, it takes around 6 hours to go from child to dead in The Sims 2. If you’re starting as a young adult and dedicating a reasonable amount of time, you should be able to get through two lifetime ambitions each weekend.

    My other suggestion would be to make your goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, two other things I’ve forgotten and am too lazy to Google. But yeah, something like “Visit 3 countries from each continent before menopause”. Bonus goals are also nice, for that example it’d be something like “Chill in low earth orbit for a while” or “Visit a research station in Antarctica”.

    1. Oh man your comments are damn funny la. You have a gift for comedic writing!

      I used to play the Sims a loooong time ago. My goal was to max out their careers as effectively as possible lol. After that got boring, I burn, drown and make them die of insanity. Then I stopped playing :/

      I’m actually working on the first chapter of the book now. Will see how to best publish that as a teaser.

  4. I am really interested in the point you mentioned for the little achievements where you said “Pick investments that work for me – tick”.

    Mind to share some as I am looking for some investment options that can provide me healthy return. Am a moderate-high risk taker.

    While I’m happy enough to be working on both #4 and #5. Hoping for the best to happen!

    Early wishes of Delamat Hari Raya Aidifitri to all the muslim friends!

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