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Thank You Simu Liu

My personal reflection on Simu Liu's post on Instagram

"You did for me what I never had the courage to do myself; you destroyed a life that I was building for someone else, so that I could finally begin to build a life for me."

~Simu Liu, a Canadian actor and stuntman known for portraying Shang-Chi in the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Photo credit: South China Morning Post

I recently came across Simu Liu’s post on Instagram and it really resonated with me.

I understood his story and the underlying message. It was powerful to say the least.

For many years as an employee, I too was laser-focused in building and achieving successes for others. I associated my personal success with achieving success for others. Yes, it was good to help the companies I represented to succeed, but they kept demanding more from me.

I guess many will understand this- Once you’ve succeeded at work and have gained the trust of your bosses, more projects and deliverables will be passed to you, regardless of whether they are under your scope or not.

“We trust you and your capabilities…”
“You’re the best person for this project!”
“This is a great opportunity for you!”

That’s convenient. Sure, I had the opportunity to learn new things, hone my skills, meet new people etc, but all this came at the expense of my personal time and mental health.

Work stress led to burnout and eventually depression. No one knew what I was going through. I didn’t share. Too embarrassed to share, I guess. I suffered in silence for 2-3 years. It was horrible. I hope no one has to experience it!

I neglected other important aspects of my life- family, friends, mental health, physical health, emotional well-being etc. They played second fiddle to my work. Sad but true.

I relentlessly kept at it (always laser-focused even at my low), often using the excuse “I’m doing this for my family” etc. I guess my insecurity got the better of me.

Getting out of my comfort zone (full time employment with steady income and year-end performance bonus) had stopped me on many occasions to pursue my dream of starting my own business.

I guess an apple must had fallen off a tree and hit my head (kidding, no apple trees where I live!) one day and I felt sure and determined to pursue my dream. I finally gave myself an ultimatum- “It’s now or never!”

When I felt at ease (heavy load lifted from my shoulder) leaving my full time employment, I knew I was ready.

Filled with hope and determination, I registered my company (yay, a key milestone in my life!) and began from scratch. Nothing fancy initially and mostly basic. No time for branding, communication, publicity etc that I’ve been used to. It wasn’t easy starting and running my own business. Then again, nothing in life is easy. I’m glad I stayed positive and managed to view every challenge as an opportunity.

I’ve come a long way since. I feel proud of myself and what I’ve achieved so far. I feel happy as I have the luxury to pick and choose suitable projects to work on. I am selective and prefer working on projects that resonate with me. It’s quality over quantity.

I am finally building a life for me. Thank you Simu Liu for triggering this personal reflection.


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