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The Decade Ahead

I took my time in writing a new entry into this blog and I wanted to give an update on what's been going on. 2012 has been a good year for me and I hadn't been writing a lot since the start of that year. I'm not suddenly going to change this as I've found different outlets for expressing myself -- there's the exercise, my open source work, being effective at the work I do, and service in church. In this post I look back at 2012 not in a comprehensive manner but in a high level. I also set up the coming decade with a theme and direction that more suits my passions and strengths.

There are a few things in 2012 that stuck out in my head. There were a lot of firsts for me that have to do with health and fitness. I ran City2Surf and did it under my target time which was my first ever running event. I lifted weights that I never thought I could do. There's a lot of things I did at work that I cannot share but were very significant for me. I bought my first electric guitar which I've been using to play on a regular basis as part of my church's worship team.

2012 was also a year which gave me and my family a chance to get together and try new things. It's the first year where we didn't celebrate Christmas and New Year's eve in the Philippines. In fact we spent these days with our church family. We were slowly expanding our comfort zone and are getting more and more accustomed to life here down under.

Julia turned 3 and I've started to be more and more present in her life. I'm now learning better to appreciate the time we have together and start building a solid relationship while she's still young and I'm still capable. Jeni's recent birthday has given me perspective on how I should be focusing on the long game instead of the immediate concerns and challenges. I've realised that I should shift my focus now from the short and mid-term (now that we've achieved the debt-free status and are well on the way to being able to start investing again) to the long term. I should stop looking to the year ahead but rather come up with a plan and strategy for the next 10 years.

This year I will be turning 30. That's a big deal. This is usually the time when they say I'm ripe for a quarter life crisis. I'm realising that the past 7 years I've been doing a juggling act and was not really thinking much about the future. I've always been thinking about how to earn more, how to achieve more, and how to be more. I had been taking on too many things and too many efforts not being as effective as I should be in any of them.

At this stage in my life I'm shifting my focus from being able to do a lot of things to focusing on things that I can already do. Practically speaking and more specifically, I've chosen and resolved to focus on the following areas in my life in the next 10 years:

  • Financially: I am confident when my financial state is stable. I'll be focusing on building a solid foundation of investments with an eye on stability rather than large returns. I'm playing the long game here with the goal of providing the most solid foundation I can for my family financially. This means I'll minimize my risks and focus more on steady returns. I dream that someday I'm not going to worry about my financial situation and enjoy the fruits of my labor without hesitation.
  • Career: I am at my best when I play to my strengths. I know I am not a good people manager. I however know I am a reasonably good teacher and mentor. I understand that I have unrealised potential for leadership. In this coming decade I plan to develop my leadership skills and work my way to a position of leadership. It's not going to be easy to do in a company that's filled with lots of great leaders. I dream that someday I'll be in a similar position to be able to effectively achieve results as part of a team sharing the same vision and passion.
  • Family: Fatherhood gives me joy and being a husband gives me purpose. Just as I use my family as my inspiration I shall aim to inspire my family to become the best they can be. In 10 years Julia will be 13 years old while Jeni and I will be in our 40's. I will make changes in my life to spend more of my time with my family and making our time together thoroughly enjoyable for everyone. I dream that someday my family will be filled with joy and harmony, where each one has a healthy relationship with each other.
  • Health: I am happy when I'm healthy. I've already started to get my weight under control and I will continue to optimise my bodily functions to give myself a better chance at living at my full potential. In the next 10 years I will achieve my goals of finishing a full ironman triathlon event, getting to and maintaining my weight targets, and maintaining a healthy diet for optimal bodily performance. I dream that someday all my bodily functions (liver function, heart function, and kidney function) will be at an optimal level to sustain me for another 30 years.
  • Spiritually: My soul rejoices when I touch people's lives. In the next 10 years I hope to inspire more people through my personal testimony and through sharing my blessings. I find that being part of the music ministry at my church brings my heart joy and lets me serve God and my fellow man through the gift of music. I dream that I shall be able to inspire my other musically inclined brothers and sisters to serve God and fellow men through music.
  • Intellectually: I am fulfilled when I learn new things. In the next 10 years I shall strive to broaden my horizon and learn as much as possible about a specific area of study. I've long loved the study of computer science and software engineering. It is then my goal to gain a deeper understanding of the field though conscientious study and continuous learning. I dream that I may be able to inspire the next generation of would-be computer scientists and software engineers to push the boundaries and continue the search for deeper understanding.
I am optimistic that the next 10 years of my life will be one filled with excitement and purpose. I've learned a lot and achieved a lot to get to where I am now. I've been blessed immensely with opportunities and skills to be able to get to where I've gotten so far. I look forward to being able to use my skills and passions to greater effect in affecting more people's lives for the positive.

I only hope and dream that I may be able to make a significant impact in the lives of many people in the years to come. I hope you will join me in my journey to becoming a better me and making the most out of the next decade.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to share more of my life and what I do on a more personal level. If you think I can help you with anything also please don't hesitate to reach out.

In the meantime I hope you will also look to the future with great optimism and hope that individually you can make a difference to your life, your family's life, and other people's lives.

Thank you for reading and I certainly hope you'll walk with me in the next 10 years.

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