Working for self-satisfaction


Why must we work for self-satisfaction? It’s because we want our life to be successful, happy and satisfied. In fact, our working time accounts for more than half of the usable time of our life. Usable time is, I mean, the time available for us to do things at our own discretion. Such time excludes the time for sleeping, eating, excreting and bathing. As the usable time makes up most of our life, we have to make it enjoyable. In other words, only when we derive satisfaction from our daily work can we have a joyful life. That is why we must work for self-satisfaction.  


Let me say it on my part. How can I can get satisfaction from my work? This question is so important for my life that I have been thinking hard about it. I am not a wise man, I know. So, below is only a self-representation, rather than an advice to anyone. I write it down just as a constant reminder to myself. I put it on my business website because I want every reader to bear this in their mind whenever they read my tax tips and my other writings. Although I am not wise, I must say that I am determined to be honest. Having lived my life till now, I wholly hold that integrity is my basic principle. Indeed, this is the credo of my business, which is stated in Chinese as正直為本.


To those who patronize my website and also to those who just happen to be there, I would like you to know that I am doing my website chiefly for self-satisfaction. Of course, I also do it for making money; but I never take money as the number one factor. I would like to tell you this: Had I done it mainly for money, I would not have left Inland Revenue Department. In fact, many people say that the civil servants are much better paid than their private-sector counterparts!


When you know I work chiefly for satisfaction, you will have a rough idea about what my work is. To say it in a nutshell, I do my website to my best. I will use all I know to make my tax tips helpful. I will make all my writings simple and useful. And I must endeavour to make my website to be the greatest achievement in my life.


My website is my life-time accomplishment. So, I have been working my utmost to perfect it. So, if you ask me what is meant by that? My answer is one word: Self-satisfaction! Indeed, self-satisfaction glorifies my whole life!


Life is a game. It must be a happy game. I believe every life must aim at having happiness. To make life happy, you must enjoy it all the time. Indeed, only when you play the game of life hard can you get the maximum satisfaction from it. I do as I think. And I treat my life as a game, a game for joy.


No one wants his life filled with worries or sadness. Even if one's life is miserable at one time, he must work hard to make it enjoyable in the immediate future. That is also my attitude towards life. I hope you share my attitude too.


Since the game of life is to get excited, it should never be aimed at defeating anyone. If one takes the winning somebody else too serious, he will not get the greatest excitement from his life. At times, defeating others makes reprisals and hatred, resulting agonies rather than happiness.


Life is ephemeral. Within such a short span of life, we must focus on such things that give us the greatest satisfaction. You may wonder what are such things? To discover such things, I looked into myself. I searched my soul. I tried many different things. Then, I discovered my talents. I believe everyone must have a talent. There is a Chinese idiom that most Hongkongers know: We are all born with talents天生我才. In my view, this is absolutely true. Indeed, everyone must have something that he can do better than "the others". What I mean in this context, "the others" refers to "the other things" of himself and not to "the other people".


When one finds out his talents, he must develop them, focus on them and work hard on them. For my part, my talents, as I can see them, are writing tax tips and running a website to help people reduce their tax burden legally. That's the thing I do best. So, I develop it with endless time and effort. I worked very hard: day by day, month by month and year by year until I made it.


How do I develop my talents? I like reading and writing. So, I do a lot of reading and writing in order to upgrade my writing skill. I have been learning and working with taxation for more than 20 years. I completed the professional examinations of ACCA and HKSA shortly after I got the Higher Diploma in Accountancy at Hong Kong Polytechnic. I worked as an assessing officer at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for 18 years. Indeed, through so many years of hard working and continuous learning, I have developed my talent of mastering a Hong Kong taxation website. When I was self-confident, I left IRD in 2006 and then I started my own business.


Setting up a taxation website is never easy. Although I could provide clear, concise and useful tax tips, I knew very little about the information technology required for running a website. There was still a lot to learn. When I made up my mind to run a website, I started reading tons of books. I studied a varety of softwares, such as Microsoft's Windows, Frontpage, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Server and also a lot of softwares on making sound, pictures, videos, auto-run CDR, and publishing books, and Chinese data input, web-design, web-hosting, computer security, search engines, e-commerce, intranet, internet...etc. The learning process was really a tough challenge to me. That was because I was only trained to be a taxation assessor, not a computer professional. I encountered so many technical problems in setting up the website. But I have never given up. Indeed, had I given it up, you would not have seen my website now! 


I must confess that I was not a successful assessor during the last two years with the Inland Revenue Department. So, I must say sorry to my bosses, my peers and my subordinates. The main reason was, as I saw it, I could not fit in the IRD's politics. That made me frustrated. That made me think hard how I could get my job satisfaction. As I was thinking hard, I found that being an IRD assessor was not my best talent. Since that was not my talent, I would never get job satisfaction. To put it in another way, that means: If I want job satisfaction, I must refrain from doing what I have not a talent. That's why I changed my career in 2006. That is also my advice to you: As you find your talent, you must develop it and follow it; it is the only way to get job satisfaction. In fact, when I found my talents, I developed them hard for decades. Perhaps, the chief reason why so few people can succeed in getting job satisfaction is that only few people work hard enough to develop their talents to the best. Perhaps, that is also the reason why even some people discover their talents, they still cannot achieve the greatest possible success and satisfaction. To enhance job satisfaction, I believe we must climb every mountain in the course of developing our talents. We must try every new thought. We must learn every skill required for development of our talents. We must execute our talents again and again until we make it. As long as we are doing it, we are enjoying the greatest job satisfaction during the course of our working life.


Executing one's talents requires toil. Realizing one's dreams needs guts. Making a difference means you have to leave your comfort zone. So, all in all, you must be courageous. You must tell your loved ones that you are going to do what you can do best. You must tell yourself that you must realize your dreams some day. Of course, before you execute your dream, you must be well prepared and also, be responsible. In my case, I planned a lot: I learned all the required skills very hard; and I saved enough before I left IRD. 


Running our own business is executing our dream. We become the master of our life. We do things in our own way. We no longer follow our stupid bosses. Instead, we follow our hearts. We carry out our talents. And we make our own fortune and happiness.  Most of all, we get self-satisfaction!          



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