Today, I turn 46.

My sneaky (read: awesome) team posted about my birthday on my Facebook, and overnight I was flooded by a flurry of birthday wishes.

I am extremely humbled and touched by all the birthday greetings I have gotten from all of you. Thank you for taking the time and effort to send your blessings and love. I am very lucky to have so many friends around me and am very happy to know that my life has positively touched yours in some way.

To show my appreciation, I have written down a list of some of the principles in life that have guided me for the last 46 years. These are principles that have allowed me to live an exceptional quality of life and I hope that it can empower you to live your best life as well.

Many of these life principles are lessons I have learnt from the many mentors that have inspired and guided me in the first half of my life…


I. On Achievements and Life…

1) Take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to me. If I am happy, it is because I am creating my own happiness. If I am depressed, it is because I am choosing to be depressed. When I take ownership over my own emotional states and results, I am in absolute control and have the power to change it. Never blame others, never complain and never give excuses. Blaming others makes us victims… and there is no such thing as a successful victim.

2) Be 100% Committed towards my goals. When I am committed to ‘Do Whatever It Takes’, I will always Find a Way

3) I attract what I focus on and think about every day. As I focus on my blessings, I attract more blessings. If I focus on what I lack, I attract more lack. Whatever we experience in life everyday (happiness, luck, bad luck, depression), it is because we are attracting it subconsciously with our thoughts.

4) Whatever is Possible for Others, Is Possible for Me. There is always a strategy. Success leaves clues. By modelling the success blueprints of others and by learning from other people’s mistakes, I cut short my own learning curve and achieve success faster.

5) There are no failures. There are only results. When I take massive action towards a goal, it is impossible to fail. I either get the results I want, or I get results I don’t want. If I get the results I don’t want, I learn something from it and get better, stronger and smarter in the process. The only way I can ‘fail’ is if I don’t act on my goals. The greatest failure in life is the failure to participate in life.

6) Dream big and have a plan for everything. If you don’t purse your goals in life, someone else will employ you to pursue theirs. If you don’t have a plan for your life, someone else will have a plan for you… and you will fall into someone else’s plan. The biggest tragedy is not in setting our aim too and falling short… but in setting our aim too low and achieving it.

7) Never compare yourself with others. We are all on our own spiritual journey and have our own lessons to learn along the way. Everything that happens, happens for a reason…to teach us lessons we must learn… to bring us to the next level of spiritual growth.


II. On Happiness and Fulfilment

8) Laugh often and much everyday! Find humour in everything, even the ‘bad stuff’. Laughter changes our perspective and puts us into a resourceful state to find solutions. Get others to laugh! I make my wife, my children, my colleagues and my students laugh everyday in everything. After all, if we don’t laugh at tragedies, we will cry instead.

9) Forgive all who have wronged you, even your detractors, critics and enemies. To forgive is to release all emotions of resentment or anger towards others. Harbouring anger and resentment towards your enemies is like drinking poison and hoping your enemies die from it.

10) Happiness comes from focusing on how to be of service to others and helping others who are in need. Depression comes from focusing on yourself.


III. On Relationships…

11) Everyone has a different model of the world. Always respect the other person’s model of the world (different beliefs, values, perceptions).

12) Always find the good intentions in others. No matter how much of an asshole someone is being to you, understand they are hurting inside and they are only doing what they think is best to meet their emotional needs and to protect themselves. Instead of anger, show sympathy and understanding. Accept the person and help them find a better way to meet their needs.

13) At the end of the day, love from family and friends is what truly matters.


IV. On Money…

14) The world is abundant with wealth. Scarcity is merely a limiting mindset. We can all create wealth together. If you want be rich, help others become rich in the process… rich in knowledge, rich in experience and rich in resources. Focus on how to create more value for others and money will flow to you. Focus on making money itself, and it will forever escape you.

15) Spend much less than you earn, invest the difference into positive cash flow assets regularly and let the wealth compound

16) It is much better to be be rich than to look rich.

17) The purpose of accumulating money is to give us freedom, security and the ability to contribute and change the world. Money should never be used to show off. Money should never be used as a source of happiness because it never lasts. Lasting happiness comes from the depth and love of our relationships with others.


What about you? What are your guiding principles in life?


– Adam Khoo