回顾 2012 :: the year in retrospect

As the year comes to an end, I wanted to take some time to reflect and share some thoughts. I start with something Steve Jobs once said.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

 
Dots

2012 was a year of consolidation. I had been running hard and fast since Dec 2009 as a one-man band. I worked across time zones and saw to all things big and small. I constantly toggled hats as labouring oar, husband and father. It’s exhilarating and exhausting all at once.

But I knew something needed to change when I couldn’t recall the last holiday I had, or the last time I spent a whole day with my family without checking email or thinking of work. My wife’s been incredibly supportive the whole time and my son is the pit stop I go back to many times each day amidst the madness. I’ll still be busy in 2013 given my plans for Silicon Straits, but I think it’s high time I rebalanced my life. I wish that I’ll find myself in a better place, refreshed and renewed at the end of 2013.

I’ve spent the past 3 years filling my life with dots – dots big and small, of all shapes, sizes and colour. Many of you were a part of that process – a BIG thank you. I look back at my canvas with pride, but think it’s time I made fewer new dots and took more time to connect them together. It’s hard to slow down the dot-making, because life seems really uncertain and it’s always good to have more dots on my canvas to count on, but I think it’s something I must do before I burn out and lose the dots I’ve worked so hard to accumulate.

I hope my belief in serendipity can temper the fires of impatience and insecurity that comes with my relative youth, and keep me on course to always connect the dots looking backwards. The world’s in a shitty place, with mass killing of children in Connecticut, political and economic impasse in the US, Syria in shambles, civil riots in India and more, but I’m confident we each have lots we can be happy and thankful for.

Here’s to a good 2013 for us all – ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! 新年快乐!

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.