Everybody Gets What They Need


Yesterday, one student reminded me of a familiar statement: the early bird gets the worm.

You’ve probably heard that expression more than a dozen times. It simply means you wake-up earlier than others to seize your day.

When you give yourself extra time early in the day, you can squeeze in a workout, journal a page or two, and even do some laundry before heading off to work.

Going to work earlier will save you a seat on the subway, give you a fresh mind before starting your task, and sometimes, insurance or safety net in case you get lost on your way to the office.

Even small businesses will benefit by starting early. The bakery that opens early in the day may seize the first round of customers - the students and the workforce - before they go off to school and work. But, if it opens later, it’ll have to wait for the later rounds of people to buy their breads and pastries.

Of course, being my nature as it is, I like to counter the statement for the sake of argument. “What about the night owls?” I asked. “Will they miss the worms?” Oh, I forgot. Owls don’t eat worms. Owls prey on everything from small mammals, to birds, lizards, insects, and fish. You see, owls do not wake-up early, but they are able to obtain sustenance later in the day. Where is the fallacy here?

It turns out, there are also countless people who don’t wake-up early, and yet, are able to sustain themselves, and even generate more income than the early birds.

Think graveyard shift. Overnight workers get paid one-and-a-half times more than daytime employees. There is always a need for doctors and nurses in the ER department at night.

What about stock brokers and fund managers who are living in Singapore, but have ties with and trade on Wall Street? They need to stay up until 4:00 a.m. and sometimes later. These people are indeed, nocturnal. Night owls.

Nowadays, more and more people are working from home. A recent survey claimed that people who work from home tend to be more productive than those who commute to the office. In this case, they have all the time they need.

Even your author is guilty of this act. For the past seven years, I never had to race time to teach a morning class. Even when I have to teach an early class, I would always take my time.

People are so caught-up in the daily rat race, they forget the true essence of life, of beauty, of peace.

Shanghai is twelve hours ahead of Manhattan, but it doesn’t make Manhattan slow.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at the age of nineteen, became a millionaire, and never finished college. While Jeff Bezos graduated at twenty-two, but waited eight years before he founded Amazon.

Steve Jobs died at the age of fifty-six. While Donald Trump became president at seventy.

Sandra and I are still working on our first child. While my brother and his wife already have two kids.

People might seem to go ahead of you, and some might seem to be behind you. But everyone’s life is tailored around their own pace.

Life is about waiting for the right moment to act.

Slow down!

You’re not LATE!

You’re not EARLY!


The world is an efficient place. There is always something for everybody. It is constantly giving us opportunities. We just have to be aware enough to notice them.

The world often doesn’t give you what you want. But it gives you what you need.