A Short New Year Message That Quickly Got Out Of Hand

christmas morning

The Grinch reading his emails on Christmas morning
Photo Credits: Awesome Father

Here’s the little New Year message that I emailed to my subscribers a couple of days ago.

For those who already saw it, thanks for all kind replies you’ve been sending me! Flattered that it had such an impact on you. I’ll respond to each of you very shortly.

(BTW, if this is your first time here and you’re impatient to learn some Sinhala, you might want to skip this particular post as there’s nothing about learning Sinhala in it).

Click on “Continue Reading” below to go to the letter.

Once again folks, Happy 2014!



January 2nd, 2014


My dear Lazy But Smart Sinhala Tribe,

I just felt like writing a New Year message to all of you. For once, I’m not promoting anything, I’ve not written a new blog post, and I’ve not produced another “subscriber-only” download. This time, I just felt like writing to you.

WARNING: This will probably be a looooong email so if you’re not in the mood to read my random ramblings or you don’t have the time or you just have better things to do, let me cut it short for you and sincerely say “Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and I wish you all the best with everything in 2014!”.

Now, for the rest of you who are still here…

Of course, I should’ve sent this “New Year” message on January 1st, right?


Why would anyone in their right mind send you an email on a day when it will certainly get buried under all the other new year wishes? Or when you might be recovering from that hangover from hell? Or when you’ll be heading to the gym while lying to yourself again that “This time it’ll be different”?

So that’s why I’m sending this to you today.

I think today’s a good day to stop, breathe, look around, and take in everything that’s going on in one’s life, don’t you think?

As most of you know, I started this blog on April 1st 2013, just 9 months ago. And in such a short time, I’ve discovered so many things (one of them being that when it’s your blog and your rules, you can start a sentence with “AND”…). More importantly though, I’ve discovered that when you take a genuine interest to help someone achieve something in their life, regardless of how small or big that goal may be, it can lead to amazing human connections.

In the 5 years that I spent working in Finance, not once did I receive an email from a client who said “I just wrote to say ‘thank you’, that’s it really” or “I’ll be heading over to your country soon, what can I get you from here?” or even “You may not know me so much but you are a big part of our household my friend”…. and these are just some of the heaps of appreciative messages I’ve been getting from all of you.

You’ve also been so generous with sharing parts of your lives with me. I’ve got to know most of you so well, that I even know your children’s and partner’s names, your birthdays, your careers, the problems with your careers, and sometimes even the problems with your partners (yeah, it’s about time I started “Lazy But Smart Relationship Advice”). I’m quite sure I’ve responded to each and every one of you individually (or your mails are still in my “To Be Replied” folder) but I wanted to once again say “thank you” for taking the time to share your feedback, your suggestions, and your stories with me. In short, thanks for reaching out and connecting with me on a human level and not just as a boring old “subscriber”.

I also got this sudden idea of making a list of things that I’ve learned (or things that I already knew but which were reinforced) since I started this blog. It’ll probably be more fun and useful to me than to you, but when has that ever stopped me, right? :) Skip over to the end if you find it boring.


Here they are in no specific order:

  1. I can’t please everyone, and I’m glad that I never even tried.
  2. I underestimated how helpful this blog can be to you. Literally, every day I hear a new way my work is helping one of you and it humbles me. Humbles the crap out of me.
  3. My biggest enemy when producing material is my own lack of patience to get it out there. If I can be a little more patient, I probably can make it better.
  4. But I was also right not to chase after perfection. If I had, I’d still be choosing the “right” color for my logo. I wouldn’t have published 29 blog posts, video tutorials, flash cards, an audio podcast, and (if I may say so myself) a “kick-ass” phrasebook…
  5. Most members of my tribe are just simply good folks with great values. They check on me when I’ve been quiet, they ask how they can help my blog through donations or purchases, and they invite me (a complete stranger!), to stay at their place if ever I visit their city. Amazingly kind people.
  6. However, some readers (a very few) think that I owe them something. Regardless of how helpful my reply to their questions are, some readers just can’t seem to find the “Thanks” button on their keyboard. That’s fine but their subsequent requests usually get sent to the bottom of the pile. Then there are those who don’t ask for help… instead, they DEMAND it, and mind you, some of them have not even subscribed! They give me orders and it makes me smile in disbelief. Forget the bottom of the pile, these mails are never answered and instead are stored in a folder I’ve aptly named “Freeloaders” (I am not even kidding).
  7. Other Sri Lankans (who speak Sinhala) seem to love my blog! This was an unexpected surprise considering what a tough crowd they can be. It feels good knowing that I’ve got their vote of confidence and that they’re proudly showing it off to their friends.
  8. My tribe is my best resource for good ideas. Whether its a blog post, a paid product, or just suggestions for the blog, you’ve told  me exactly what you want. If I feel like I’ll enjoy doing what you’ve suggested, I’ll do it. It’s as simple as that.
  9. This blog is something I can see myself doing for a long time ahead. It brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment. It ticks many boxes.
  10. I’ve learned how to be vulnerable in front of others. I’ve made a conscious effort to be brutally true to myself in all my communication with you and have fought the urge to exaggerate even a tiny bit that might make me look better than I really am. Scary experience but worth it.
  11. It’s OK to say “Sorry, I don’t know”. People know I’m not an expert and they’re fine with it.
  12. Most of you actually like my sense of humor. Go figure.
  13. And finally, I’ve discovered that there are many “lazy” people like me out there who understand and like my approach. So I guess the gamble I took 9 months ago to start this blog with ZERO market research paid off. Glad I got that one right. Would’ve been awkward if I only had my family as subscribers…

Let me wrap up by saying that 2013 has been an ‘interesting’ year for me. Like most of you, I too have had my share of challenges. Fortunately, I’ve had the right mindset, the right support from family & friends, and the right amount of self-confidence to overcome them. At the same time, I’ve also had my share of amazingly positive things. Common sense tells me that 2014 is most likely going to be quite similar and it’ll probably be the same for you too.

So, I know that you and I have built our friendship on the basis of learning Sinhala but let’s put that aside for second. You see, I could wish you continued motivation to learn Sinhala, quicker understanding of new material, and confidence in yourself to start speaking it fluently. But I won’t.

Instead, for 2014, I simply wish you to have the necessary state of mind, the support from family & friends, and the confidence in yourself to overcome any challenges you may face. But MORE IMPORTANTLY, I wish you the presence of mind to recognize when something good is happening in your life and that you’ll remember to stop, breathe, look around, and take it all in… But just don’t put it all in a long email and waste everybody’s time, ok? :-)

My dear Lazy But Smart Sinhala Tribe, thank you for all the kindness, support, and encouragement you’ve shown me in 2013. You’ve made me look towards 2014 with a lot of enthusiasm and child-like glee. I couldn’t think of a better way to start this year.

I wish you all the best.



Enroll for free in my new Sinhala email course!

Click below to begin a personalized 8-lesson course that'll teach you the most useful concepts to get you started on your Sinhala adventure.
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply