9 years ago, I graduated at the top of my class in high school.
I got into my dream university (Cambridge).
I had the best circle of friends one could ask for.
This was my first day (yes, I know how geeky I look).
And that’s when it all came crashing down.
In my first year at university, I felt lonely and isolated.
I didn’t know if I was meant to be here.
I had my first intimate experience with failure.
Phase 1 – Failure
University was the first time I had to actually study.
It was a humbling experience to say the least.
I just wasn’t used to having to try so hard.
All my classmates were just so smart and talented.
Looking back upon it, I realized I was so flustered because my sense of identity was built upon my grades and my performance at school.
When that was taken away from me, it was as if I didn’t know who I was anymore.
This sense of loss was worsened by my lack of close friendships.
There was even a moment when I cried in front of my mom when we were Skyping just asking to come back home because it was so hard.
I couldn’t believe how lost and lonely I felt.
Yet despite all this, I had this vague sense inside of me that there was a reason for all this.
So I chose to persevere.
I clenched my teeth and just carried on doing the best I could.
Phase 2 – Rediscovery
It was this point in time that I entered the rediscovery phase.
This was the time where I was starting to redefine who I was as a person.
Like a phoenix from the ashes, I was in the hatching phase.
I chose to explore many activities from juggling to gymnastics and even did volunteering.
(I even helped make this pyramid of balloons).
These activities were random and haphazard but they were actually … fun.
And I knew that slowly I was discovering who I was and redefining myself.
I realised that I wasn’t just Eddie the geek but that I could be Eddie the ______.
I could create and craft my own story from this failure.
I could be anyone who I chose to be.
This was actually the most liberating feeling and the moment when I realised that this failure was actually a blessing.
Never before had I had the opportunity to become someone different because I was tied too strongly to who I currently was.
Failure gives you the permission to do this.
I could grow out of my shell because my shell was completely broken.
It was this subtle shift in perspective that taught me the most important lesson I learnt in life – embrace failure.
Phase 3 – Ascension
Because of this redefined perspective I was able to graduate.
Granted I wasn’t top of the class (in the bottom half actually).
But … it seemed to matter less.
I was revelling in this new found freedom of being able to define myself on my own terms.
My next goal was to overcome my fear of talking to girls.
So during my masters I took the plunge into the deep end and joined the university cheerleading team as the only guy.
(Yeap – no jokes! I’m the only guy in the picture!)
Over the year that I spent with the cheerleading team, I managed to up my game.
Granted I’m no Casanova but I now know how to hold my own in a conversation with girls.
Thanks to this experience, 4 years later I’m now in a loving relationship with my beautiful girlfriend (no pic unfortunately – she’s shy).
I’ve now shifted my focus into business.
In Feb 2020, I created an ecommerce store that made $12,327.97 in a single month.
This success came after 5 failed stores and sparked my interest and vision in creating multiple streams of passive income.
My vision now is to spend time with the people I love and care about by having these businesses work on autopilot.
This is why I started my blog Passive Income Tree. It’s my personal business diary (and hopefully someone’s guide).
And that takes us to the present.
Looking back on my journey I’m so grateful that I experienced failure early on.
It gave me the opportunity to change myself.
By being so broken down, I could choose to be anyone who I wanted to be.
My journey doesn’t end here.
I experience failure on a day to day basis and in all honesty it still is scary.
But I’m so grateful that I learned how to use failure as fuel.
If you just take this one principle and apply it diligently, I’m sure you can change your life for the better.