1. Thanks for your reply, Wan Wei! Tim Walker here. I’m understanding your perspective better and I wish you all the best in Finland, Singapore and beyond! Also, I’m reaching for chocolate right now. Hope you get to enjoy a slow moment with a cup of coffee sometime soon. 🙂


  2. great argument that you are having you two. well documented too. thank you for this.

    as a foreigner in Finland, i understand both your viewpoints.

    i also understand you are at different stages in life: one is free of bounds while the other is tied to a family.
    i often tell my friends to live their youth in usa, singapore or Hong Kong where the life runs hundred miles per hour. but when my children came, i had to choose if i want to see them grow or see my work grow.
    it turns out finland allows for compromise leaving room for both.

    and very importantly, regardless of my choices (choices that can turn into success or failures), my children will be little affected. more precisely, if my engagements turn into success, they will benefit well. if they turn into failures, my kids will still have same very good opportunities in their own life. they will not pay for my mistakes. that’s a big safety net that finland offers.

    having this issue (and others) removed from the picture, anyone is free to experiment wildly. this in my opinion is the root of Finnish innovation talents: really anybody can try. wealthy or supported, educated or less, old or young.
    but it is also true that the lack of pressure takes away the hunger and urge to win and conquer that can be seen in other more competitive cultures. iam not convinced that it is a big loss in a world more and more governed by rules and laws anyway aiming at leveling the playing field.

    written from a phone, i apologize for the typoes.

    1. Hello Iem,

      Thanks for your comment! I feel your heart full of love as a parent. 🙂

      When I have kids I’d definitely want to stay in Finland too. But I think it would be wise then, to work towards a business model that allows female foreigners to have kids and still sort of have a highly productive career. (i.e. work less and earn more per hour)

      Apart from the welfare state system, I think there is another part of the system that can be addressed, that is, “the societal expectation of having to always do the ‘right’ thing” in Finland. It seems to me that my Finnish friends are terrified of being judged. To me, this is what I term “the system of perfection”. For instance, where does the fear of success come from in Finland? In Singapore, there is a strong sense of failure (like Finland), but I think Singaporeans are not restricted by a fear of success. In FInland however, there is a strong fear of success and I can’t understand it.

      What do you think?

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