On the 27 of May 2012, my maternal Grandpa passed away at the age of 96 and I would like to pay him a very special tribute. I was especially close to my Grandpa because he used to bring me out with my cousins every weekend when I was a young boy and led my entire family and I on his many travels around the world (including Nepal, Kashmir, the US, Japan and all over South East Asia.
He was also a remarkable man who taught me many life lessons that have made a huge difference in my life. These are just some of the lessons he has taught me.
Live Your Life to The Fullest
My Grandpa was somebody who truly lived his life to the fullest and I believe that he has no regrets at the end of it all. He has literally travelled to every part of the world, visiting 140 countries including South Africa, Egypt, Portugal, Brazil, North Korea, Kashmir, Nepal etc…). He was also extremely fit for his age. At the age of 76 (20 years ago), he was climbing mountains in the Himalayas, when the rest of my family and I were panting away to catch up behind him.
Kindness and Generosity
Grandpa was also an extremely kind and generous man. When he worked as a supervisor (in his much younger years), he would give part of his own bonus to his subordinates because he felt that they deserved to share in the rewards of the company, even though they were junior staff who were only entitled to a fixed salary.
Although my Grandpa never started his own business and was a supervisor working for a Malaysian Company, he was an astute investor who invested everything he had in SIngapore Blue Chip stocks since the 1950’s. Simply though his investments, he accumulated millions of dollars.
Humility and Patience
Despite his wealth, my Granpa was extremely humble and lived very simply. He drove a beat-up old Suzuki Swift, wore the cheapest clothes and ate the simplest food. The only things that he spent on was on his travels around the world and sponsoring the rest of the family to travel together with him. He also gave generously to the less fortunate and helped many families when they were in financial need, even though they were not even related.
He was also the most patient man I have every met. He was an extremely positive and optimistic person who never ever got angry. Everyday to him was a happy and beautiful day. That is what I believe was the secret to his great health all the way to such a ripe old age.
In fact, I believe it was his extremely positive mindset that overcame many of his few bad habits which would probably have killed most people years earlier. What bad habits? Well, my Grandpa loved to smoke and continued to smoke 4 packs of Benson & Hedges a day. He also loved softdrinks and would only drink coffee with 4 table spoon fulls of sugar.
He always laughed and joke that the only Doctor he needed was Dr. Benson & Dr. Hedges and that his smoking killed all the germs and bacteria in his body and that kept him healthy. Of course, the truth is that it was again his positive mindset that kept him healthy despite, the smoking, fatty foods and Coke.
Finally, my Grandpa was also the one who introduced me to the world of investing and the stock market when I was very young. From the time I was 16+, my Grandpa would give me (and all of his many grandchildren) share certificates for our Chinese New Year Ang Pows. He would then explain to us that the secret of becoming rich was to save and to invest. So, that is where it all began for me.
Sharing His Wisdom
My Grandpa would also always take the time to share with us his life lessons and philosophies. Many of his ideas are what shaped my own writings and lessons that I impart in my seminars.
In fact, my Grandpa, has written three small books (on his life lessons and his collection of success quotes) on his old typewriter and gave it out to all the family members. He never published them. One of the things I want to do is to publish his books and to give away the proceeds to charity, in remembrance of him. I am going to miss you dearly Grandpa.