Tag Archives: doctor

What You Do With Money Reveals Who You Are

Me and my cousin TA were diving into various monetary topics such as tipping, spending habits, and power control issues during my birthday outing.  We briefly touched on the topic what you do with money reveals who you are.  I had some more alone time and this is what I came up with.

  1. For people who work, money serves as a counter of how much time, energy, and other sacrifices they you have accumulated in the past.  Money is usually used to fulfill their needs.

  2. For some workers, work is meaningful and therefore money serves as a bonus to what they inherently enjoy doing.  There are doctors out there who enjoy helping others so much that they would still stick with the profession, even if their salary is halved.  They are in it because of the meaningful work, money is secondary.  Of course, there are those who would change profession if they knew they would only be making half.

  3. For others, where passion is absent from work, money serves as an investment into a better or different future.  People who work meaningless hours at the local gas station, in hopes of saving up and one day starting their own restaurant belong to this category.  They put up with things they don’t enjoy now, so one day they can be able to do what they enjoy.

  4. Some people put up with work so others around them can reap the benefits of having stable income to support their lives.  Most parents who start out with nothing, don’t have a choice in what they want to do.  They put up with doing dirty, physically straining, low-paying jobs that no one else wants.  All the time they wasted on doing something they don’t enjoy is actually an investment into the future of their own kids.

  5. People who gamble have the belief that they can multiply the amount of money they have.  No one walks into a casino thinking that they will probably lose all the cash they brought.  There is even the chance that they will lose even more than what they intended to gamble with.  For one person to walk as a winner, there will probably be multiple others that must walk out as the loser.  Everyone wants to be the winner, yet the number of people who lose always outnumbers the number of people who lose.  For some reason, they are unconscious to this.

  6. People who are handed money, don’t see meaning in the things they buy.  With someone else’s money, they can buy anything they want.  Anything they want is easily thrown away because it was so easily attained.  There is no need to cherish or be grateful for something that they gave up nothing for.  If they lose something, they can always buy another one without putting out anything.  They only need to put out their hand and a rich mom or dad will provide more money.

  7. People who take other’s money, are extremely short-sighted.  They only see what they could do with that money.  When you take someone else’s money, its like unleashing a demon that will haunt you.  People will investigate, they will become suspicious of you, they will want to know the truth.  They will be relentless, they will demand justice, and they will raise their guard.  They won’t forget.  If you take money and it becomes public knowledge, you have essentially closed all doors to a bright future.

  8. People who borrow another’s money and return it, are opportunists.  They see borrowing money as an opportunity to help them out of a rut.  They see it as an opportunity to take advantage of a prosperous business endeavor.  Regardless, of whether the borrowed money serves it’s purpose or not, returning it strengthens the relationship between you and the lender.  Whether it be a bank or a rich relative, when you own up to what you say, you build credit for the future.  A friend is more likely to let you borrow $1,000 down the road, when in the past you have been good on repaying the $500 you owed them.

  9. People who borrow another’s money and don’t return it, are slowly burning down all the bridges in their life.  Every single time you borrow someone’s money and don’t return it, you have closed off that person from your life.  You don’t want to see them, because you don’t have any money to pay them back.  Every time you do see each other, it’s the one thing that will be on top of everyone’s mind.  Conversations may start on any topic, but it will always end on “where’s the money you promised to pay back?”  Your relationship has been put on hold until you can pay them back.  No meaningful conversations, life experiences, or memories will be created between you two until you have fulfilled your promise.

  10. People who lend out money to help others, transforms the lending process into a charitable act.  They realize that their money does more good in the hands of others as opposed to having the money just sit there in the bank.  They enjoy lives of plenty and prosperity, and wish the same outcome to all those around them.  They hope that with some extra cash, you can start walking down the path of your own dreams.

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FB Status Update: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

My brother Nghia Nguyen had this uneasy look on his face and asked me, “Hey you ever get this tightness sensation in your chest?”

Me: “Hmmm, sometimes I get it … but I’m not sure what caused it.”
Nghia: “Yeah, it’s really uncomfortable.”
Me: “Maybe you pulled a muscle or something.”
Nghia: “No it’s definitely not that. I asked Dr Chuong about this sensation and he told me it’s a female thing.”
Me: “What do you mean it’s a female thing.”
Nghia: “Well, Dr Chuong say’s that girls have hormones that concentrate around their chest area.”
Me: “Yeah, that’s where their boobies are.”
Nghia: “Exactly.”
Me: “You do realize that we don’t have boobies right?”
Nghia: “Dr. Chuong say’s the painful sensation in your chest is related to the fact that we lack boobies.”
Me: “Are you trying to say that this pain I get in my chest is my female hormones yearning to develop into nice firm breasts?”
Nghia: “That sounds nasty, but it’s pretty close to what Dr. Chuong said.”
Me: “And you just admitted that you had this pain in your chest, so that means you’re going to have big boobies!!!”
Nghia: “Nooo. Not me. What? So did you!”
Me: ” … I don’t remember admitting to having any chest pains …”
Nghia: “Liar!”

So my brother just admitted to me that he has chest pains and that the cause of the pain is his female hormones going haywire on him.

Not the most masculine thing that has came out of Nghia’s mouth.

Now I don’t know if I should believe anything Dr. Chuong tells me anymore.

How can he tell my brother something like this?

Even if it’s true, I wouldn’t want to hear that about myself.

Couldn’t Dr. Chuong have said something like, “Oh yeah that pain, it’s your inner Hulk trying to break free.”

Discovering female hormones inside of him could traumatize Nghia for the rest of his life.

He could end up being like me when he’s over 30.

And nobody wants that, because the world ain’t big enough for two Thao’s.

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FB Status Update: Started From the Bottom, Now I’m Here

Dad told me recently, “Taking pictures is a hobby. You need to stop bumming around and get your ducks in a row.”

What this usually means is he thinks photography is a dead end job with no prestige and honor. I should go back to being a teacher or engineer. Or maybe go back to school to be a doctor.

Friend told me recently, “You can’t make a living off of photography. It’s something you do on the side, after you have a career in something else.”

Which is true, because most of the well-known wedding/event photographers I know, do weddings on the side. They have a tax firm, electronic store, or cell phone service business that they run on the weekdays.

My Aunt told me, “Here’s a business loan for your photography business. You have to promise me that within one year, if things don’t go well you have to move onto something more stable.”

I only got 40 more days until my year is up.



People were getting to me and I was letting them get to me. I wasn’t going to give up photography up completely, but perhaps I would be able to sustain my photography passion with a stable income like librarian or computer lab manager.

It didn’t matter much what I did during the week, as long as during the weekends, I got to do what I loved the most.

Perhaps everyone was right all along. Perhaps last year was a waste. Perhaps I shouldn’t have put my life on hold and poured everything into photography.



Last Wednesday, replied to Craigslist post. Friday got called in interview. Left interview as a full-time architectural photographer with pay comparable to a full-time teacher.

Literally, had tears falling from my eyes because I was so happy. It felt like I just won the lottery. Similar to waking up from a beautiful dream only to realize that it wasn’t just a dream, it’s reality now.

Now, I don’t need to work, save money, and then to go spend it on something I truly love. I can do something I truly love, save money, and then chill until I can do something I truly love again. This is truly my dream job.



I appreciate all the friends and family who have supported me along the way. Friends critiquing my work. Family referring photography business to me. Inspiration and creativity were allowed to flourish with companions like you guys.

At the same time, I got nothing but love for my dad, aunt, and friend. They told me what they knew to be true. It was there own way of showing me love. Full-time photographers are unheard of. Well at least now, they can say they know one full-time photographer.

No photography courses/classes. No photography degrees/certificates. Learning it the hard way by just doing it. Definitely helped to have so many experienced photographers around me to give me tips/advice. Couldn’t have done it without them.



Started from the bottom, now I’m here.

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