This is a guest post from authors of “Migrating to Australia: Good Meh?” Ken Soong.
DIARY OF A FATHER 20 February 2014 5:30pm in Melbourne, Australia

Son, especially since you were born not too long ago, I have been working hard and thinking hard how I could earn more in order to give you and your mother a more comfortable life – a life not overly constrained by the lack of money at least.

I may not be able (or even want) to give you the best toys, most expensive pair of shoes, the latest gadgets, frequent meals at the fanciest or most happening restaurants in town, but I will do whatever I can to make sure you have a reasonably decent quality of life that money can buy. Of course, I will try my level best to improve our financial position – not so much for the love of money itself but more for the love of life itself. Money is good when it gives its owner a better life. Better means more time and freedom to do whatever he or she thinks is meaningful, worthwhile and interesting.

Another thing I want to make sure that I will succeed in doing is to be able to give you a very special gift. This gift is called the “joy of learning”. When you discover the joy of learning, you will always want more. You will spend your time in the most rewarding way.

The joy of learning how to manage one’s finance, the joy of learning how to invest, the joy of learning how to deal with people, the joy of learning how to help others, the joy of learning how to connect with friends and families, the joy of learning from travelling, the joy of learning to have empathy on others, the joy of learning how to be a compassionate fellow human being, the joy of learning how to think more critically … I can go on and on, but once you have found the joy of learning, you will continue this list on your own accord because you will always want to learn new things. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing?

Melbourne home

As you can see from the paragraph above, learning has to come from not only books, schools, but also from very life itself that we are living everyday. With this gift, if you were to live up to 100 years, you will have 100 years of really exciting learning and a journey of constant new discoveries.

I can see now you are always very keen to know and to learn how to use the keys to open doors, how to turn the cap of the bottle open and closed, how to put food onto your spoon and then spoon onto your mouth and so on and so forth. I will try my best to defend this what I see as ‘birth right’ and not some ‘special privilege’ of yours right through your school, formative and adolescent years. Once I get through these stages, I will very confidently know that this GIFT will stay on with you forever for as long as you live.

What does that mean to me now? That means in order for that to happen, I will have to instill a level of DISCIPLINE in you in such a way that when you grow up you will be happy that things has happened the way it did.

My definition of discipline is not about achieving the best results at all cost even though this may be the case with many of your classmates and their parents, but do not worry, I will not subscribe to this herd mentality. Rather, it is about giving your best shot in whatever you do and be absolutely honest to yourself about really giving the best! That is all I ask. Many parents can say this too. Like everyone else, I am saying this here. Yet, I know time will prove if I would really practise what I have preached here. We will see, OK?

Before I end, I want to go through the joy of learning with you very quickly again. The joy of learning how to earn money. The joy of earning, saving, and investing is so much more enjoyable and rewarding than the joy of spending money on material things that are costing more than what they are functionally worth in the most basic sense.

When you have tasted the joy of learning, there will be no more keeping up with the Joneses, swiping cards constantly to spend future money that you may or may never make. When you have learnt joy of saving, you will know that money saved is actually money earned. This way, you will not have to work any more than is necessary. This way, you will free yourself up even more time to be learning more new things in your life!

Everyone is learning all the time or at least, SUPPOSED to be learning all the time. We might as well enjoy the process right? For example, as we speak, I am learning how to write now, I am learning to get in touch with my own thought process, I am learning to be a good parent, and most of all, I am learning to become a better human being, yes, even through writing, and then through setting out to achieve those things I have written down which I have decided to do.

Alright son, I will do my part to pass on this gift to you.

See you at home soon : )


Personal finance author and trainer

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