Property Insight > Strategy > What Does It Mean To Be “Rich”? What A 6-year-old Boy Taught Me

What Does It Mean To Be “Rich”? What A 6-year-old Boy Taught Me

In the pursuit of wealth and property investment as well as riches, we sometime forget what matters the most to us. Hence, I would like to share a personal story with all of you

  • I still remember that Monday morning. It was a public holiday but I was already up early to prepare for my speaking engagements whilst writing articles at a frantic pace and doing lots of planning work.
  • I was in my study, deeply focused in my thoughts. There were tons of notes, books and reading materials all over the oor and table. And, I was driven to achieve my goals and dreams.
  • I didn’t realise it, but my 6-year-old son Colin crept up behind me and gave me a hug. I was startled and it messed up my concentration. Not only that, Colin managed to make a big mess of the notes that were scattered on the oor.

Colin looked at me meekly and said, “Daddy, please play Lego with me.”  

  • I screamed at him. I shouted at him for messing up my notes and for disturbing me while I was working.

My 6-year-old son walked away with tears in his eyes.

  • My wife Lauren walked into the room and looked at me with such sheer disappointment. I still remember the words she said to me:- “Mark, 20 years from now, you would do anything for those little arms to come up to you and give you a hug. You’ll do anything to have him wanting to come into your room.”
  • I bowed my head in shame and quickly came to my senses. I ran out of the room and hugged my son. I apologised and wiped away his tears.


  • What have I come to realise from this incident with Colin? Many people these days are busy making a living but they are not really “making their lives”. We want to be rich but we may not spend time enriching the relationships that mean the most to us.  
  • I’ve learned that in my last days on earth – my career or property portfolio won’t keep me company. It’s my family, loved ones and children who will do so.  
  • Hence, I’ve got to make the time for them, and not just give them my leftover energy.
  • I’m not suggesting that we should slack off and not be goal- orientated. By all means, we should work hard to achieve our dreams. But, I don’t need to feel like a supreme failure if my new career as an Author, Coach or Speaker doesn’t work out.


  • Life is a journey. Life is not really about getting to a destination. There is no such thing as a finishing line. Some people spend their whole lives trying to reach their goals – only to find out that it’s not quite as “happening” as they thought it would be.
  • The reality is that life is mostly just routine. Most of us get up every morning, go to work, come home, have dinner, go to bed and do it all over again the next day. There are very few “mountaintop” moments such as graduating from university, earning that big promotion, closing that big real estate deal or the birth of your child.
  • Don’t just live for the “mountaintops”. Many are so focused on earning those promotions that they work night and day. Many are so focused on building their tangible wealth but they neglect their children. They are so caught up in solving daily problems that they don’t enjoy the best moments of each day. 
  • My friends – don’t make the same mistake I made with my son. The real joy is in the simple things. It’s about spending quality time with your family or loved ones. It’s about taking your son or daughter out for lunch. It’s about getting up early and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. It’s about calling your mum to tell her that she prepares the best meals in the world. 

By Mark Chua :

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