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Strangers Again

Strangers. Friends. Lovers. Strangers again. It was one of those unremarkable business trips on a Friday, outbound from London to Vienna. The morning rain dazzled outside as I dragged my tired self to the Business Class lane. Throwing the Financial Times copy on the...

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Selfishness

He could not remember how long it might have been since she was gone. The thoughts of her came in waves of varying intensity, often happened once every few weeks. This time, his stream of thoughts were overwhelming, leaving him defenceless like a bird without feathers...

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Optimising Love

"Have you ever thought about optimising love?", she asked, after a few drinks. We were in a quiet Victorian bar with a high ceiling, wooden and leathery decor. "I don't think this is a rather appropriate topic." hesitantly, I replied. "Setting morality asides, there...

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All posts on this topic

Strangers Again

Strangers. Friends. Lovers. Strangers again. It was one of those unremarkable business trips on a Friday, outbound from London to Vienna. The morning rain dazzled outside as I dragged my tired self to the Business Class lane. Throwing the Financial Times copy on the...

read more

Selfishness

He could not remember how long it might have been since she was gone. The thoughts of her came in waves of varying intensity, often happened once every few weeks. This time, his stream of thoughts were overwhelming, leaving him defenceless like a bird without feathers...

read more

Optimising Love

"Have you ever thought about optimising love?", she asked, after a few drinks. We were in a quiet Victorian bar with a high ceiling, wooden and leathery decor. "I don't think this is a rather appropriate topic." hesitantly, I replied. "Setting morality asides, there...

read more

My social network dream, five years later

Very few people know about this story of mine. These narratives are indeed the stories less told, just because, who’d like to publicise their failures, right?   It was my first shot at entrepreneurship when I was still a final year student at LSE. I remembered a...

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Citizen of Everywhere

I have been travelling recently and lost my identification documents. It was a surprising event because I, being the proud experienced traveller, have undertaken hundreds of trips and been to dozens of countries. I even had Bluetooth location trackers (i.e. this one)...

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11 cold hard truths about helping others

Some brief thoughts came to my mind over the last few months about helping others that I jotted down in my journal. I thought it might be worth sharing. Before you are quick to impose a judgement of my cynicality; or write to me in horror "Who damaged you?!", let it...

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My Personal Finance System – Part 2

Last month, I pondered over the idea of writing about the various systems I have in place in my life to automate and reduce its mundanity as much as possible; since some readers seem to be interested in the practical steps of how I manage different compartments of my...

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Earn vs. Make

The vivid memories come back to me of a winter night in the Alps when I was skiing with a group of friends in finance and banking a few years ago. At that time, I wanted to apply for a Master in Computer Science but could not afford the international tuition fees. I...

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Follow The Money

The below is a guest article for the LSE blog. ***** I had a call today with someone who's in her final year at university, coming to doing an internship with GS this summer, but also working on her start-up venture. She was offered £50,000 for 20% of her company...

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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt in 2017

Every year-end, I write a post about the 10 ultimate lessons I have learnt throughout the year. This is the fifth sequel to the 10 lessons I have learnt in 2016, in 2015, in 2014 and in 2013. 1. The law of nature is always to optimise for the whole and support natural...

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$100,000 and the price of freedom

A long while ago, when I was on the first date with the Señor, I was admittedly quite tipsy because I had been in my boss' BBQ gathering for the whole day earlier. His wife was an excellent and charming host who kept pouring us more and more wine throughout the day....

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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt in 2016

Every year-end, I write a post about the 10 ultimate lessons I have learnt throughout the year. This is the forth sequel to the 10 lessons I have learnt in 2015, in 2014 and in 2013. 1. Everything I do in life represent an opportunity to earn various forms of assets,...

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One hour at a time

“I don’t have enough time”, said I to the Señor when he asked why I didn’t exercise daily. “Everyday I work until really late, average out 12-14 hours a day. Subtracting sleep time, I only have about 3 hours for myself every day”. I continued. “There are many things I...

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Yes and No

Growing up, I said "Yes" to everything that comes my way. Every opportunity, every offer, every introduction, every meeting, every invitation, every event, every employment, every phone call, every book, every school of thoughts, every request. This approach has taken...

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Know what I don’t know

Over two years ago, I said farewell to LSE and embarked on the journey of a working adult. Immersing myself in excitement and the partial relief that my formal education was finally over, I looked forward to a life engineered under my total control. "Here comes my...

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“This, too, shall pass” – A Brexit story

It was 4:32 am on Friday 24-June-2016 when Southampton has just declared for Leave. Although there were a few more counties to go, the result had now been apparent. The Prime Minister looked out through the bright glass window from his office, only to find the street...

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23 things I learnt by 23

The following list is in no particular order: Everyone’s deepest desire is to be loved. Give it to them. Regardless of how I treat my family, they are always the kindest, most honest and most available to me in a time of need. I must not forget to treat them well....

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About Broken Heart

"Why did you choose what you do?" asked the Monsieur. I was surfing on my computer while he was folding his work shirts and cleaned his wardrobe. I looked at him. "You meant why I chose which job to apply for when I had no clue?" "Yeah. It's not like you want to be a...

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Power is like a lady

Last month, I purchased a Netflix subscription. I then certainly did what everyone else presumably did when they first had their Netflix account: Starting to watch “House of Cards”. In compensations for my late-night hours finishing all 5 seasons in one week, the show...

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I made associate

It was in the middle of a busy afternoon last November when I had back-to-back calls on a live transaction. After I just hung up on a colleague, my dealer board rung of an internal number from Paris. “It’s Mai speaking. May I ask who’s calling?” I picked up the call...

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Alone together

On love, power, sex, self-esteem and independence. As some of you may know, I am born on May 31st. Coincidentally and interestingly, May in French is also Mai. My parents had no idea of such coincidence when they named me.  “May special” is a series in May every year...

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What would I do if I weren’t afraid?

I remembered the years of the 1990s when I grew up in a small village in Vietnam. In those years, one of our childhood’s trophies were Coca-cola - the soft drink. The soft drink was considered a “treat” to kids, reserved only for special occasions such as weddings,...

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True Love

At 00:24, I finished watching The Danish Girl. My brother and The Monsieur refused to watch it with me so I watched it on my own. Admittedly, I have cried. Since I last watched Les Miserable the musical for the fourth time last year, no other performance has made me...

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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt in 2015

Every year-end, I write a post about the 10 ultimate lessons I have learnt throughout the year. This is the third sequel to the 10 lessons I have learnt in 2014 and in 2013. Shout-out :  Some lessons here may have already been obvious to you. That probably means you...

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Be kind sometimes

One late afternoon over the weekend, I was sitting on a crowded underground train on the Piccadilly line heading home. There were six more stations until my destination. As the train door opened, countless people rushed in to fit into the already-crammed space. A...

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I am not …. enough

Five years ago, as a high school senior, I applied to study Economics at universities in the UK. Despite having predicted grades of A* A* A* A* A in Further Maths, Maths, Chemistry, Economics, and Physics, a senior leadership position in the school Student Union, an...

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My Three Principles

Toan, the founder of "How I Got My Job in the US", reached out to me after discovering my website. I've been immensely impressed by the inspirational stories showcased on his platform. To further ignite the passion of dream-chasers worldwide, here's my story. This...

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Can the excitement in love last forever?

On this unique occasion, I've chosen to write about romance, a topic change that's somewhat perilous due to its highly subjective nature. Nevertheless, I'm addressing it now because I've recently found a meaningful answer to a question that has long troubled me. Can...

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Want to be stronger? Introspection and Repeating Fears

People don't mature simply with the passage of time. They mature through experiences, particularly by managing those experiences. In this article, I'll share insights on strengthening oneself and deepening self-understanding. Our ability to handle life's adversities...

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Why you’re the smartest when being alone

You've probably encountered this quote or many of its paraphrased versions: “You're the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” - Jim Rohn, Businessman, Motivational Speaker I have long agreed with this sentiment, but I previously underestimated...

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On Life Options And Three Steps To Become The Best

Many people aspire to become millionaires, dedicating a significant portion of their lives to pursuing various routes to achieve this goal. When we admire millionaires, we often hear captivating tales about their journeys to success. However, there's a distinction...

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If Someone Had Told Me These Things About Working Life…

I graduated and embarked on my work life almost a year ago. The transition from being a student to a full-time employee wasn't as smooth as I had imagined. In my third year at LSE, I was eager to start working and had several fantasies about being a working adult. I...

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How Can You Have A Lot Of Time And Money At The Same Time?

I have been traveling a lot lately. One observation I've made, especially true for long-haul and international flights, is that many elderly people travel. In fact, on most long-haul flights, you'll often find more elderly individuals (50 years old and beyond) than...

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(The Improved) “Student Seeking Advice”

The post below was originally written and published in April. I have since made editorial improvements and obtained the consent of those mentioned. I hope you enjoy this revised version. Having shared my email address online and actively cultivated an online presence,...

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Ambition, Discipline, Purpose

Written at Zurich airport I remember the day I left Vietnam for the UK 5 years ago: 8 September 2009. I was 16 and had never been on a plane before in my life. Although I had lived by myself for 7 years prior, since second grade, it was still somewhat frightening to...

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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt In 2014

The lessons below are those I learned in my personal life in 2014. For lessons related to my job, I have penned a separate blog, which you can find here. On Identity: One's job and background form a part of their identity, not the entirety of it. We often hastily...

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How Do You Know What You Want In Life?

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from readers of the blog is, “How do I know what I want? How do I know who I need to become?” Recently, I received a letter from a confused gentleman in his mid-twenties, expressing that he feels lost. I dedicate...

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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt In 2013

Here's a corrected version of your text: Think First: No matter the song on the guitar, no matter its difficulty, you can always find an easy tab to work with. The same goes for most things in life. If you pause and reflect for a moment, there's usually a simpler way...

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