Week 16 — Striving For 20/20 Realistic Thinking

Adriel Fong
4 min readDec 31, 2020

2020 has been a crazy crazy year.

Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. Life, death, love and heartache, this year has thrown everything at us. In times of uncertainty and doubt, our thoughts pull us in a million directions. We become anxious and we run the risk of going down the rabbit hole of over-thinking.

What we need in times of trouble isn’t just creative thinking, more importantly, it’s realistic thinking that pulls us through. Having realistic thinking not only grounds you, it provides you with a target and a game plan to navigate through uncertain times.

Some might say that realistic thinking weighs people down and it kills the creative inside of ventures. But the truth is far from that, there’s a difference between realistic thinking and doubt, with doubt telling you that you think can’t do it compared to employing realistic thinking laying down the worst case scenarios and the mapping the whole problem out properly.

Yesterday, Sherman and I had a quick meeting with our mentor Edward. One of the things Sherman spoke about was dealing with self-doubt throughout this venture building process. Starting a business or a new project is uncertain and there’s so many things you don’t know. Saying the words “I don’t know” becomes like second nature sometimes.

So when Sherman asked what was the best way to deal with self doubt, Edward told us realistically that it doesn’t ever go away. We’re all going to get into situations where we’re so far removed from our comfort zone that we can’t compute the possibilities that might happen.

That’s okay, but what we need to do is to turn that self doubt into intuition. Lean into that intuition that’s in built into our systems, learn to exercise it and replay the times where we’ve used it. Once you can turn that self-doubt into a bullshit detector, it becomes a valuable tool that will save your ass from bad situations. Combine a strong intuition with solid realistic thinking, you become an absolute juggernaut of a leader.

This week we had an interview with a 16 year veteran in the entertainment industry. He told us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed only converted from one form to another. So, although it’s not possible to remove the bad shit that happened to us this year, we got to take all of the bullshit the universe gives us and channel it into rocket fuel to propel you to even greater heights.

So how do we make this rocket fuel last? Through realistic thinking.

Here’s some ways you can do it:

  1. Appreciate the truth

Often times, the media fails to report the whole truth about things. Why? Because people can’t handle the truth. The truth will set you free, but more often than not, it will piss you off and take you away from your comfort zone.

Want to become a realistic thinker? Learn to deal with the truth and face it.

2. Do your research

You can never make informed decisions with poor or incomplete facts. In the internet age, people always say you can find everything online. But that’s really not the truth, most of the time, real facts are established by talking to individuals in the industry. Don’t rely 100% of your knowledge on the internet, get out there and talk to people to get a more in-depth idea of the topic that you want to find out.

3. Go through the worst-case scenarios

A few years ago, I put in some money into a loan crowdfunding platform called funding societies. It made me good returns for about a year or two until covid-19 hit. I had lost half the money that I had originally placed into the platform.

Why? Well, on the surface you could just say that it is what it is and these are the risks that I signed up for. But during one of our meetings, Edward mentioned some of the issues that the loan crowdfunding industry faces. He said that when things are all rosy and the users are getting their returns, everything seems great and hunky dory.

But, what happens when things … Don’t go your way? What happens when your loan defaults, what happens when the borrower refuses or is unable to make good on the loan?

What is your process of debt collection and subsequent legal action? Take a look at their team, do they have individuals that have vast experience in debt collection field?

When I heard that, that’s when I knew … I royally messed up. I had gone into this venture without asking the right questions. I didn’t go through the what-ifs. I acted on my greed, rather than the process of employing proper realistic thinking.

Laying out the worst-case scenarios could be the thing that saves you from a loss of credibility as a leader and an entrepreneur.

In the case of another Singapore based crowd funding platform CoAssets, they’ve already gone bust due to the crazy amounts of debt that have piled up even before covid-19 and the management of this company was not honest with their customers and they failed to deal with the situation adequately.

Looking ahead to 2021

We look to 2021 with hope and positivity, but let us not forget the lessons learnt and the pain that we’ve all gone through. 2020 will go down in the history books as one of the most perculiar years in history and let’s move on to a brighter 2021.

Till next year.