All The Small Things

Hi gang! Back for another dose of TheFrugalSamurai? Of course you are!

Last night, one of MrsTheFrugalSamurai-to-be’s close friends held an event which consisted of a splatter party followed by an intimate dinner (intimate as in with other close friends, not just with MrsTheFrugalSamurai-to-be).

Give us 5 minutes, we’re just cleaning up after the last group.

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the splatter party because a) I had something on which I couldn’t get out of and b) I was mis-informed by MrsTheFrugalSamurai-to-be:

“Hey, come to a splatter party on Saturday”.

“What’s that?”

“You know, a party with paint”.

“NICE – you mean paintball?! I LOVE PAINTBALL!!!”

“No, its not paintball, it’s a party with paint, you paint”.

“… so like a renovation?

It was only later when I was kindly informed that a splatter party is where you paint people with paint, a most bemusing concept.

Stand still so I can paint you.

At dinner, the men were left in the corner whilst the ladies excitedly mingled and chatted amongst themselves.

One of the guys there just returned from an overseas trip where he was scouting potential manufacturing sites to create his own fashion label. A pretty out there thing to do, I thought seeing as his normal day job is in real estate.

A couple of things he said really struck me though:

“You know, it’s all about the small things – I mean, I’ve had this thought for the best part of 2, 3 years and never did anything, just kept on saying I will do it.

At the same time as I was planning to go on my trip my friends also planned a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to South America for 5 weeks so it was really a case of one or the other.

I thought I’ll probably never get the chance to act on this dream ever again and decided to just start to do something – basically bought the plane tickets and locked myself in”.

And he continued:

“I have a friend who is always grumpy with life – he always gets jealous with other people’s success.

Someone creates a successful app – oh I could have done that, someone becomes a YouTube star – oh we can do that, this is how, someone makes a lot of money from starting their own business – oh it’s so easy, anyone can make a lot of money doing that.

But he has not done anything forever, and that’s it though, people don’t do anything, they say this and they say that but they don’t do it – you just have to do something, anything”.

Please don’t do this.

Such profound words – I couldn’t believe it, this guy stated exactly what I was thinking!

Or this.

Now hang on a minute – what if you don’t want to create a successful app or become a YouTube star or make a lot of money from your own business?

That’s perfectly OK, no one is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, you gotta do you.

To quote another scholarly friend “I just want to earn $150k per year and live an easy life with a loving wife, two kids and good friends”.

But if you want to, as in really want to – please do yourself a favour and stop talking about it, take action, do something, anything to just get started.

You’d be amazed how things snowball from there with a small step.

Snowballs are usually made of snow.

Shit, but I don’t have the time, I’m scared of losing money, I’m so comfortable where I am, I don’t know where to begin.

All so true and so valid. I learnt a long time ago that us humans are motivated by two feelings, either running towards pleasure or running away from pain.

Out of these two, the survival instinct of running away from pain is exponentially more stronger than running towards pleasure. Would you have sex in a burning house? Probably not.

Just. Why.

Changing the status quo means moving out of our comfort zone – that means pain.

What you’re feeling is normal, hell when I first started this blog, I had no clue what I was doing, whether people would enjoy my posts, what people would say about me, if I could sustain blogging.

But you know what, I started and to me that’s a win. That’s all that matters really – I said I will start blogging and here I am.

Believe me, I am more technologically challenged than the majority of people so if I can churn out content on a blog, you can create an app, become a YouTube star, make a lot of money from your own business.

You just have to begin to do something. Anything.

Surely I know more than this guy.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower. This way, you’ll never miss my words of awesomeness!

P.S. I’ve decided on mixing up the posts between the journey with anecdotal pieces of events which have transpired in the current day. So forgive me if you were expecting another installment of the journey – I’ll definitely be continuing that series.



  • Innocent Bystander

    To me, it’s always about dream BIG but take SMALL steps to realise the dream. Personally I’ve been guilty of not dreaming big enough (risk/reward factor) or haven’t done enough of those small things (consistency and persistency) to make the dream big. I realised certain dreams is timeless, as long as you put in the time, you should be able to get something out of it. But other dreams have an expiration date, say if I wanna be a pro-athlete, it’s probably too late no matter what little things I do to make it happen – unless I start training for the Masters’ Game (old fk I am).

    • The Frugal Samurai

      So true – the most important thing is to dream big AND take those small steps in tandem, neither works without the other if you want to reach your life goals (unless you want to earn that $150k p.a. and live a comfortable life), but for many of us it’s about reaching as high as we can.

      • Innocent Bystander

        The problem with monetary goals is that once you reach it, sure you will be happy for a while, but inevitably you will see inadequacy again because you have changed your lifestyle from a 100K p.a. one to a 150K p.a. so suddenly there are expenses coming from different directions and you don’t get up with that much more savings than before. So I think whilst this can be a primary objective, it’s well worth investing time and effort into other secondary objectives and you never know, one day one of these secondary objectives may become your primary one because it may be a passion of yours, it may be a hobby… or it could very much make you feel alive.

        • The Frugal Samurai

          I agree, perhaps something like fantasy sports! Although the point you mention about expenses keeping up with your earnings is extremely valid. Lifestyle creep holds many of us back from early retirement or even to achieve our financials goals, no point earning $150k and spending $150k – much rather earn $100k and save $50k as an example, at least you’re getting somewhere.

      • Innocent Bystander

        There is a slightly different school of thought – mainly by people who like to earn as much as they earn…. The original Aussie mantra you can say… The argument for that is if you squeeze so much of your earnings into your savings and not really enjoying life in the process, then what happens if you have an accident one day? I think a balanced approach would be most ideal so you can live for both “now” and for the “future”.

        • The Frugal Samurai

          of course! not many people can save 50% of their income, life just gets in the way – but on the flip side you can’t expect to get ahead financially if you squeeze every last dollar from your paycheque on “life”

  • Hao Xiong

    i think having a financial target number in your head is good. I find it puts everything into good perspective. i think of lifestyle as just cream on top, doesnt have to be lavish but it should be pretty darn pleasant 🙂

  • Jing W

    A great post. Better do the small things well than to dream and talk of the big things that you never get off the ground on.

    My favourite line “I learnt a long time ago that us humans are motivated by two feelings, either running towards pleasure or running away from pain.” So true, despite both potentially being seriously detrimental to your well-being.

    Also enjoyed the blink182 clip. Exactly what I had playing in my head when I read the title.

    Keep it up!

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