A couple of weeks ago, I left everything I knew back in Canada. I wanted an adventure. So I sold, threw out, or gave away most of my possessions (with the exception of some irreplaceable valuables put in storage) and jumped on a one-way flight to Asia. I’ve spent the last two weeks living in Singapore.
Everything is so different here compared to back home.
The animals are different, the trees and vegetation are different, even the sights, sounds, and smells are all different. It’s a lot to adjust to when you first arrive. But the experience has been one I’ll never forget.
And even though I’ve only been here for two weeks, I’ve already learned a lot. Here are a few things I’ve taken away from living in Singapore.
Lack of Decision is a Major Cause of Failure for Most People
You’ve most likely heard the expression, “Burn the boats.” But do you know where the old adage comes from? The expression originates from the story of the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez.
In 1519, Cortez cast his eyes on the Yucatan shores.
Wanting the treasure possessed by the Aztecs, Cortez dispersed 11 ships with hundreds of soldiers. However, he was significantly outnumbered and outpowered by the Aztec empire. To meet his objectives, Cortez ensured everyone was committed to the same plan (victory over the Aztecs) by burning their ships and making retreat impossible.
The plan was ingenious. And it worked.
They succeeded because they made a definite decision. It was not a haphazard, vague whim. The decision to win by burning the boats was what they committed to—there were no other options except victory.
The Power of Decision
Moving to and living in Singapore has taught me the power of decision. To really commit means to give yourself no other option.
The word ‘decision’ has Latin roots and its meaning entails the “cutting off” of all other options.
When I decided to leave everything behind in Canada, that required a definite decision. Meaning I was giving myself no way to retreat. I informed my company, my friends and my family, and I sold almost all of my possessions. I gave myself no other choice but to follow through—I decided!
If you allow even the slightest possibility of you returning to your old ways, you haven’t made a true decision.
When you decide to do something, it means cutting off all other options and making retreat impossible! Making true progress toward your grandest goals and dreams requires that kind of resolve.
A New Environment Unlocks Different Sides of You
Relocating to Asia and spending time living in Singapore has changed me. It has revealed different sides of me (both good and bad). For example, I realized I can focus and work harder and longer than I initially thought.
As a result, it’s helped me understand I’m capable of so much more than I’ve been giving myself credit for.
Back home, I was constantly distracted by:
- Text messages
- Social media
- My fridge, etc
These distractions made it challenging to work as hard as I knew should. Living in Singapore has made me more productive.
It’s too expensive to text, there’s too much to explore to waste time on social media or email, and I don’t even have a fridge at the hostel I’m residing in. This setup forces me to focus my efforts on the things that matter most to me: Writing and training.
How a New Environment Changes You
Living in Singapore has been incredible so far. And even though I’m only a couple of weeks in, I know this experience will remain etched in my mind forever. And with that being said, I have a challenge for you. Think about your life and what you want to do with it.
Are you living in alignment with that desire?
If not, why not? And don’t you think it’s time to start honouring that internal compass? You never know where it will guide you and the experiences you’ll have as a result.