The Night I “Sacked” My Boss

by Patrick Liew on April 10, 2017

In 1992, I was standing alone at the window of my office. It was about 10 pm, almost the end of another long day at work.

In the distant, the horizon was dotted with many blinking lights. They were shining from ships that were docked at the coastal waters of Singapore.

They reminded me of how successful our nation has become as one of the busiest ports in the world.

That night, I also realised how busyness had crowded my life and was gradually squeezing the life out of me.

When the agent first found me the office, she sold me on the beautiful sea view.

Little did both of us know the Government had embarked on a massive reclamation project.

The government did such a great job. Shortly, the sea view became a largely reclaimed land view.

At the rate the reclamation was going, I told my friends all over the world, I would eventually be able to drive to their countries. I’m kidding of course.

The landscape right in front of my window was changing rapidly. It became what is known today as the Marina Bay – the new Central Business District.

That evening, I felt the pace of change all around me. Time was somewhat running ahead of me.

It was like the train of life had left the station without me. I was still standing on the platform with my luggage – not knowing where to go and what to do.

As I stood – all alone – thinking about the fast-changing landscape, my heart was very troubled.

Looking out of the window, what I saw was not just the darkness out there. I saw the darkness within me and how it was reflected in my future.

In that darkness, however, there was a glint of divine hope.

I had an epiphany – a light bulb, as they said, had just lighted up in my mind.

At that point, I was running the regional operation of a reputable multinational think tank. I was well-paid, given lots of freedom, and managing many exciting projects.

Despite all that, I had become unhappy.

I realized my job was going nowhere and in fact, it was leading me to a dead end.

I was never going to get what I wanted in my life – True Freedom.

True freedom is not about having everything that you want.

It’s about having whatever you need so as to achieve a worthwhile dream.

True freedom is not just about being rich and wealthy.

Many people pursue wealth without having a proper understanding of wealth.

Wealth takes on a narrow and materialistic perspective.

For them, it’s all about having as much money and other possessions as possible.

To me, wealth is a condition of well-being from our Creator.

It includes not just financial but also physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being.

Being wealthy is to be in a position to have the requisite resources to fulfill worthwhile dreams.

It’s to be in a position help your loved ones and others live a meaningful, exciting and fulfilling life and live life in a healthy environment.

The blueprint to creating wealth should therefore include having a heart of gold, a sound character, and an exemplary lifestyle.

It’s also about having the wisdom to fulfill priorities in life, and that is to love and serve your Creator, family, and the people, animals, and environment around you – in that order.

The worst poverty is not a poverty of money but a poverty of worthwhile dreams.

Therefore, true freedom should include the following:

– Financial freedom, having the money you need to fulfill a worthwhile dream,

– Time freedom, having the time to fulfill a worthwhile dream,

– Contribution freedom, having the resources to give to your loved ones and to others so as to fulfill a worthwhile dream, and

– Lifestyle freedom, having overall well being and other resources to fulfill a worthwhile dream and live a meaningful, satisfying, and fulfilling life.

Together, financial freedom, time freedom, lifestyle freedom, and contribution freedom form what I call purposeful freedom.

Think about it.

Money is of no use unless it’s being used for a worthy cause.

Time means nothing unless it’s invested to fulfill a worthwhile dream.

Life is not our own because it can be taken away from us. Anytime.

We are but custodians and stewards of our lives so that we can use our lives to make a positive difference to the people and environment around us.

The true measurement of our lives is not in having more of the good things in life but in being able to use these good things to bless others.

Life is not about the quantity of possessions but the quality of contributions.

To use a business and investment term, together, we can leverage on our freedom to maximize our spiritual, social and environmental returns on investment.

That’s purposeful freedom.

That’s life.

That evening, I realized my job and company would always stand in the way to achieving true freedom.

They have become my prison – and it’s a prison that’s more frightening than the prisons with bars and locked doors.

I would never have all the money that I needed to fulfill worthwhile dreams. Neither would I have the time to turn the dreams into a reality.

I would never be able to do the things I wanted to do and achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. I could not enjoy everything I wanted to enjoy in life.

More importantly, I would never have contribution freedom. I would never have the freedom to provide the best of life to my loved ones and the people around me.

I could not pay back what I owed to society. I could not put to right the many wrongs in our world, and leave a positive legacy for future generations.

That night I “sacked” my boss to embark on my entrepreneurial and investment journey to achieve true freedom.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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