Alright! Time to get back into the groove of blogging!

Finding inspiration on what to blog about tends to get a little harder as this website continues to mature. I still thoroughly enjoy blogging and sharing my thoughts with my readers though. A really big thank you to readers and clients who have reached out to tell me my blog has somehow made an impact in their lives – it really does mean a lot to me and it’s hard to express in words how I feel about this. Perhaps it makes me feel like whatever I had to go through was worth it and that is comforting (I think I said this somewhere in my blog before but I’ll say it again).

One of the things that I enjoy most about being a practitioner is that it gives me new perspectives. These new perspectives do end up benefitting me quite a bit as the distinction between a good decision and a bad one becomes quite clear. I’ve realized over the years that the lens in which I view the world with has slowly changed and I have a rather different from my peers. This is also partly due to that fact that I’m a chess-player who thinks really long term. During the rare occasions that I have time for myself, I often ponder over what makes a good life and how do the different BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu charts, be it good or bad ones, manifest in the real world. I’d like to think that my career as a practitioner, in my humble opinion, has allowed me to form a more holistic opinion of what a “good life” means. Yes, it’s a very traditional and old-fashioned way of looking at what a good life means, but I feel it’s still relevant today and its something we don’t think often enough about, especially in a fast-paced country like Singapore. Let’s see if you agree with me after reading this post.

You’ll often hear that good charts are called 富贵 charts in the olden days which literally translates to wealth and nobility. We often associate it with exactly what it means, which is wealth, riches, and a high title, but have failed to dig deeper into what 富贵 truly means in this day and age. How “wealth and nobility” are defined using the lens of Chinese metaphysics needs to adapt to the modern world. If you had wealth and a title in the olden days, then a practitioner can say for certain that you indeed had a good life – society was not as complex as it is now. But now, even if you seemingly have a lot of money and you hang on to a high title at work, you may still have a miserable life.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts on what I feel is a ‘good life’ how we can better assess where we stand and what decisions we can take to make our lives better. Please note that these are just my opinions to encourage everyone to think a bit differently, and as always, I’m not saying whatever I say is the right way of viewing the world.

1. Buying And Living In A Condominium

I’m not sure if this is a Singapore phenomenon, but it feels as though buying and living in a condominium is every middle-aged Singaporean’s dream. It’s not that buying a condominium is a bad thing – by all means if you like it and can afford it, buy one and move in.

What I disagree with is the notion of buying one for the sake of buying one, and thinking that one’s life is better just because one has bought and will be staying in a condominium. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I’m a sour grape because I’m not staying in a condominium myself, so hear me out. If I find a condominium that I really like, but all means I would buy it, but I think everyone knows by now how I find condominiums these days a bad deal with horrendous feng shui: https://www.masterseanchan.com/blog/feng-shui-flaws-modern-day-apartments-condominiums-in-singapore/

The reason why I listed this reason as one of the false positives of a good life is because of what I’ve consistently witnessed during my feng shui audits. Some of my clients who purchased these overprices accommodations clearly have challenging BaZi charts which theoretically do not fall under a 富贵 or high-quality category. These observations made me challenge the assumption that buying or staying in a condominium automatically equates to having a better life.

As morbid as it sounds, not many people are willing to see the house they bought as a burden, but they actually are and this epiphany came to me when I was working on my home finances.

A lot of my clients end up purchasing condominiums and they easily cost over a million Singapore dollars. When I look at their astrological charts, objectively speaking they fall under average to below-average charts and some of them are even moving into negative 10-year Elemental Phases (大运)。 What I eventually found out was that many of these clients actually not as financially comfortable as I first thought. Yes, their current level of income allows them to service the mortgage, but they are hardly able to save up and they are constantly living under the fear of losing their income. A lot of them end up being trapped in a state of having to chase after that next paycheque in order to service their mortgage and they end up being slaves to the house they purchase instead. There is going to be immense pressure of these homeowners the moment a recession hits and retrenchment occurs and it’s already happening to a lot of people.

What I’m trying to say is this: Do not make such decisions lightly and don’t assume that living in a condominium means you have a better life. You can sell off your previous home for a profit, but if you end up with more liabilities, you aren’t actually becoming wealthier and the people with the truly high-quality, wealthy BaZi charts know this.

2. Getting A Promotion Or Payraise

This is probably going to raise a few eyebrows, but what’s ‘fun’ about this section is challenging everyone’s assumptions and making everyone see things in a different perspective.

On Wealth & How Much You Earn

There were moments during my consultations where I pointed out that a certain year was bad for a client, but the client would reply saying that they got a promotion that year. I did have some self-doubts the first few times I encountered responses like this, but I know for a fact that the charts will not lie, so I dug a little deeper to find out what was really going on.

Many of us live in a society that measures success superficially. Having a good income is important of course but there is so much more to having a good life than just income. I know some readers would be thinking this is something easy for me to say because I’m not financially struggling (anymore at least). I’m not saying we shouldn’t be practical and I’m also not saying you should settle for less than what you deserve.

Imagine this: Let’s say you do get a promotion and receive a 20% to 30% increment in your salary, but if this increment comes with moving into a toxic environment, having 200% to 300% more work, or requires you to sacrifice your health and your time with family – is it really worth it? The people with the best charts I’ve seen do see their income increase multifold, but it is not just a 2x or 3x increment. On top of that, the effort and the time have they have to put in remains the same, if not, easier. That being said, these people have, of course, put in the due effort and sacrifice to get to where they are. I know it’s hard to believe that you can make more money with less effort because we are told to work hard, but we often forget to need to work smart and make plans for ourselves as well which is exactly what these people with good charts do.

If your strategy to a better life is to blindly (keyword being “blindly) chase after that next higher paycheque, I personally don’t feel it’s going to work out. You will need time to upgrade yourself and time for other areas of your life to progress as well. I’m also not asking you to be a bad employee and job-hop like a grasshopper, or threaten your boss for a higher paycheque.

Whatever it is, please remember a balanced approached is everything and that you need to grow – holistically. Don’t forget – in metaphysics theory, if one area of your life goes down, it drags all other areas down with it.

Being a practitioner really changes your perspectives. I have many friends who are lawyers and bankers who earn a really good salary, but when I look at their BaZi charts, surprisingly they aren’t classified as high-quality charts. It’s either that they aren’t able to hold on to their wealth, or there’s some drama or unhappiness in their lives that people can’t see and no amount of money can remedy that. It made me question what “wealth” meant in the eyes of metaphysics, and whether it was really just about the numbers you bring home each month.

No one would mind having more money and the number still matters of course, but what I’m encouraging here is for everyone to take a step back so that we can think more clearly and critically about what progress and a good life means to us. There will come a point where the intrinsic meaning and value of the amount you bring home will be determined by the other intangibles you have in your life, such as your health, family, emotional well-being and many others.

You may be the highest-earning person in the room, but at the same time, the emotionally and spiritually poorest one with the lowest-quality BaZi chart.

On Nobility, Status & Power

We often just associate it with a high title in a modern context. But to me, this has never been the case. To appreciate what 贵 or nobility means, we need to go back to the era when Chinese metaphysics was first developed. A high title means working for the government or emperor, and the people who get to work there are respected for their knowledge and morality (assessed through imperial exams). 贵 or the nobility that we often hear of in metaphysics, in my opinion, is whether you are worthy of being respected or not. You can have the highest title in a company, but if people do not respect you and feel that you do not deserve that position, you are nothing but a clown on stage. I can register a company and give myself the title of “CEO”, but that doesn’t mean my BaZi chart becomes a good one just because I named myself “CEO” of a one-man company.

The people with a ‘noble’ chart make extremely good leaders and they are able to win people over and want to do things for them just because of who they are. There is just something about them that makes them so and it is no easy feat to be at a level that can invoke emotions in people. This very fact alone makes their lives better because things will definitely go smoothly for people like that because people fight alongside with you.

Imagine being a leader of the team or organization, but your everyone secretly hates you and their hearts are somewhere else – it will just end up burdening you. Your title will just end up being a burden and eventually a mockery.

3. Getting Married

I am going to be absolutely brutal here and I believe I have all the right to do so seeing how my parents handled their marriage. Not everyone is marriage material and by virtue of that, not everyone should get married.

Looking at my parents: Two people with unresolved issues and who completely lacked self-awareness came together, gave birth to two children and everyone suffered for almost 30 years before the family completely split apart. It’s sad to have to say this as an Asian, but my life became absolutely better when I severed ties with my family. Good things literally started to happen to me and I guess that’s what moving into a positive 10-year phase had in store for me. So please trust me – marriage is not for everyone.

I don’t have to give examples of the consultations that I’ve given. Just read the news – we have people killing their spouses.

Assuming that marriage automatically makes your life better, or relying on your partner to be happy is extremely foolish and naive. I can assure you that such relationships don’t last and my consultations only prove that this is the case. I’m pretty sure everyone can observe this through some of their friends as well. Please don’t mistake my intent here. I’m not discouraging people from getting married and neither am I trying to be a wet blanket – I’m a married man myself after all. I’m just here to remind people of the other side of the coin and to always keep your perspectives balanced.

The cliche saying of learning how to be happy by yourself first is important before wanting to be in a relationship is real and I can vouch for that.

I’ve blogged a lot about the topic of love and relationships before, and I don’t wish to be a nag. if you wish to attract someone amazing into your life, then you must make sure you are ready for it. There is one post that is well received by people looking for answers related to relationships and you can check it out when you can: https://www.masterseanchan.com/blog/love-marriage-spouse-good-luck-bazi-zi-wei-dou-shu/.

4. Becoming A Parent

I’d say the same thing here as I did above.

Not everyone is meant to become a good parent. I mean, just look at my mother. She couldn’t stand that my life was getting better and sent me death threats. She went as far as to post on Facebook page saying she should have killed me when I was still a baby because it would have been good for society. I still keep that comment as a screenshot in my phone to remind myself of how far I’ve come.

Mine is an extreme case of course.

You don’t automatically become a good parent just because someone calls you “mother” or “father”. You have not ‘made it’ just because you’ve become a parent, and neither do you automatically deserve respect just because someone is calling you their parent. I understand it’s a lot of work and I’m not invalidating the struggles of a parent – I just want to let everyone know that an innocent child will suffer if you do not try your very, very best.

I don’t know about you guys, but all my achievements would feel like a joke to me if I weren’t a good parent and that my children don’t look up to me.

5. Graduating From A Top School

Perhaps to make things sound a bit less morbid in this post: What I want my young readers who stumble upon my blog to know is that the school that you come from really doesn’t matter.

Yes, it’s a good stepping stone and opens up doors, but I think I’ve experienced enough in my life to know that graduating from a top school really means nothing. Some of the most successful people I’ve met in the course of my life didn’t even finish university or didn’t get good grades and they have lives that most of us can only dream of. On the flip side, some of the worst charts and most disgusting people I’ve met come from top schools, and trust me, they have lives no one will envy for all sorts of reasons. They benefitted from the fact that they were born under the influence of scholastic stars, or they had the fortune of experience a positive start to life, but some of these people eventually crumble the moment they step out into the real world when they are no longer shielded.

I’m not saying education isn’t important. Not everyone can be a Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. If you are given an opportunity to study and learn, please do so. What I’m trying to say is that if you didn’t get the privilege of studying in a top school, or you were never a straight-A student – it’s OK. It’s really not the end of the world and I can tell you the universe and stars aren’t going to forsake you just because of this. A lot of us are made to grow up and believe that good grades are everything, but trust me, it is not. I am glad that the government is slowly starting to see this too. Your life isn’t going to be defined by a few exams you take.

If you graduate from a top school, please allow me, as a practitioner, to remind you that it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t make your life better than those who graduated somewhere else. As for the ones who didn’t have that privilege: Well, you have me on your side. What’s most important is still what I advocated here: https://www.masterseanchan.com/blog/difference-between-good-bazi-chart-and-bad-one/.

Your attitude and how you deal with life’s challenges are what matters, and as argued in the blog post on good chart vs bad charts, it can be seen in one’s chart.

6. Starting Your Own Business

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions during a consultation.

In the eyes of metaphysics, there would, of course, be charts that are more suitable to start a business and those that aren’t. A lot of factors need to be right in order for one to start a business, grow it and finally sustain it before one can truly start to have a better standard of living and I’ve seen this in a lot of my really successful clients. As cruel as it is to say this, it’s not something one can pull off with just sheer will alone even though society advocates grit and tenacity. We see the success stories on media but we fail to take into account those who have failed and had their lives spin out of control.

Starting your own business is often seen as a way to improve the quality of your life – it gives you back your freedom, the returns are proportionate to the effort you put in, so on and so forth, so it’s no surprise everyone has thought about it every now and then, but please bear in mind the risks associated and what it can potentially do to your life and even your family.

I wish to remind my readers is that not everyone is able to pull this off. It’s not so simple.

I do not advocate letting metaphysics make life decisions for you, but rather, one should use metaphysics to make better decisions. No one can stop you from wanting to start your own business because it is your right to do so, but what I’m trying to say is to be prepared for it. Theoretically, from a metaphysics perspective, and statistically, few people will succeed. It is not as simple as it looks and I’ve been there. Unless you come from the right family, have enough money, know the right people and was in the right place at the right time, it’s going to be a gargantuan task to start a business and have it improve the quality of your life. The last thing you want is to start a business and end up having to stress about it and not get a single night’s worth of good sleep.

***

I personally do not like seeing other practitioners ‘sell’ Chinese metaphysics as a panacea to life’s issues – it becomes ‘toxic positivity’ in my opinion. Just because you know BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu isn’t going to make your marriage blissful or 10x your income or business revenue – the only person who is going to 10x his/her income is the ‘practitioner’ who is trying to sell you his or her workshop.

I have always advocated a balanced approach to everything. Balance is in the core of Chinese metaphysics. Metaphysics is supposed to get you thinking more deeply. Yes, it can be seen as a self-help tool in some sense, but to use it the right way requires you to read and think about topics that are beyond Chinese metaphysics itself. Going for a water-downed conducted by a ‘practitioner’ who pretends to know what he or she is doing is not going to do anything. I have nothing against other practitioner setting up workshops to teach Chinese metaphysics (hell, I’m doing it too), but what I’m against is the way it is being packaged by some of them.

Do you agree with what I said above? Is there anything else you feel that looks positive on the surface but with certain caveats? Let me know what you think in the comments! I’ve not started sleeping over at my new place but I’m slowly starting to move my things over. I also want to take this opportunity to give thanks to my clients once again, because if not for everyone’s trust and faith in me, I really would not have gotten this far and I wouldn’t have this beautiful new home or mine. Hopefully, with this new house and a proper place to rest, I can do more with my life and I hope others benefit along the way.

– Sean

 

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