Tell us a little bit about what you do for work and what you like most about it.
I manage an equity portfolio, and I’ve been in this line for quite a while now—about 15 years (laughs).
I kind of like it because the work I do is very global in terms of the politics and the whole industry in general. It’s just think it’s nice to keep in touch the kinds of things that I normally wouldn’t care about. I mean, I’m naturally artistically inclined, so if not for my job, I wouldn’t care as much about business politics, geo-politics, or the business world. I would know nothing about that if not for the job.
What made you want to go down this path instead of pursuing a job in the arts industry?
Well, the arts industry doesn’t pay in Singapore. I couldn’t really do anything with my painting talent or my musical talent. I mean, I still play the piano and do other stuff on the side—I’m an astrologer as well—so the arts is still very much in my life. I’ve just chosen not to pursue a living in that area.
What do weekends look like for you?
I just stay home actually. I’m mostly vegetarian, so I cook quite a lot. But actually, I wouldn’t even call it cooking, really, because I make really simple stuff like steamed or boiled vegetables (laughs). It’s just boiling stuff, you know, so it’s not real cooking.
But when I eat out, I do have Japanese food every once in a while. I eat fish, so that’s probably the only non-vegetarian part of my diet.
What’s one piece of advice you live by?
Don’t take life too seriously, because life is really short.
I’m a practicing yogi, so I believe that we are not our bodies. To me, our bodies are just machines that we’ll use for a little while in this life, before we drop it off and pick up new bodies again and again in our subsequent lives. I mean, this life is so transient, right? It’s 80 years, 100 years, but the stuff inside of us doesn’t really die. No matter how much you want it to, it just doesn’t die.
So I guess the fun is that as we’re trapped in this body, we’re searching for something that’s more lasting and not as transient as worldly things like our body, thoughts, emotions, friends, or income.
That’s an interesting perspective. When did you realise this?
It was in 2015 when I was walking around in Gardens by the Bay. I suddenly realised that what I had always thought was me—the body, the mind, and emotions—wasn’t me. So I basically experienced being outside of my body and mind, and was in a more expanded state of knowing.
That was when I realised that I had to find out more about what this is, and since then, I’ve been on this journey of discovery. And you know, whether you’re practicing an active path like me, just trying to earn an income, or meeting friends, unconsciously, you’re actually also in the same search as me. It’s just that yours, for now, is unconscious, while mine has become conscious. That’s the only difference, if that makes any sense ah.
It’s a little bit mind-blowing, and you have to go out of your body for a little while, even just for one microsecond, to understand what I’m talking about. Of course, you have to already be wondering about these kinds of things for that to happen. You have to wonder about life, think deeply about your own life, and reflect, and then when the moment comes, you’ll know. But it’s a fun thing actually! It’s not all doom and gloom.