What I Learned From ‘Billion Dollar Whale’

5 min readOct 12, 2018

I’ve finished reading this interesting book by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope and suprisingly I had my own non-political reflections. I’ve always interested in looking at underlying emotion that drives any motivation. I loved how the authors were able to incorporate this aspect in their book by describing Jho Low’s underlying emotional lack as the need to feel belong. Brilliantly written!

Self-reflections and Lessons from Billion Dollar Whale 📌📌📌

A) If there is only one thing that causes disaster in life and/or damage on earth it would be:

👉 Lack of or no self-love. 👈

Self-love is not about getting material things for oneself. It’s not even about achieving success. Self-love is accepting yourself as you are, feeling ‘full’, enough, contented, complete. There is nothing outside you that you need to acquire or achieve to feel complete.

B) Two damaging “needs” birthed by lack or absence of self-love:

1) The need for parents’ love, praise, approval and acknowledgment (even in adulthood, even when parents are no longer around); and:

2) The need for people’s approval: obsessive need to own a status in one’s social circle/community/world and be applauded, celebrated, loved, seen, liked, admired, approved, honoured, respected, praised, acknowledged by people/friends, colleagues, followers, bosses, etc.

C) Money and religion are the most sought-after statuses by people who lack self-love and who are needy of parents and/or society’s approval. Some typical ways through which they are attained:

1) Money (wealth/financial/career status):

- By having a successful business venture not to serve but to be recognized and to show others one’s worth and entitlement;

- or by having certain material possessions to attract parents’ or society’s approval or to prove one’s worth;

- or by working at a prestigious organization and getting a certain job title; or by organising social events to show off one’s social or financial standing in order to buy people’s respect and admiration.

2) Religion (piety/knowledge/association/religious status:

- By getting religious education and qualification;

- or by getting a special job title in the field;

- or by simply dressing up as one to feel worth;

- or by using own children to achieve and share the religious status;

- or by organizing events to show off one’s position of spirituality, religiousness, piety and rank to earn respect and admiration.🎭🎭🎭

- or by being close to the religious “elites”, which brings the next point:

3) Relationship/friendship/marriage/family status:

- By marrying, or befriending someone or people who have or can give you the status;

- or by bearing children;

..all for the sake of wanting to be known as the friend or bestfriend or spouse or daughter or son or the mother, the father or the student or whatever of some important, successful, or famous people; or to earn the title of ‘the best’ or examplary or the super mom, dad, spouse, worker, student, daughter, son, etc.

D) Typical result of needing love through seeking a status:

False pride or if failed: jealousy (where “happiness” is seen on the outside or only felt when one is loved, praised, celebrated, liked, acknowledged due to status attainment — whereas when this is paused or taken away i.e. when alone at home or when there is no event or “achievement” to show, one feels lonely, down, depressed, worthless, fearful, insecure, unloved, left out, forgotten, etc).

👎 Worst result when needs are not met: DESTRUCTION OF SELF through addiction, depression, emotional issues, mental or physical ailments, violence.

👎 Worst result when needs are “met”: DESTRUCTION OF OTHERS through deception — lying; stealing from others (other people’s money, ideas, products, contents or intellectual property); spreading lies/falsehood to the extent of causing others’ downfall — achieving “success” by stepping on others or putting others down, violence.

# Jho Low was described in the book as someone who needed to feel belong. He was a minority in his hometown (I assume) and when sent to a boarding school abroad, he again was a “minority” in terms of social status and perhaps in terms of look. (Wanting to be seen as cool = self-rejection = low self-love.)

# Rosmah was said to have tasted growing up in an aristocratic environment and exposed to its lifestyle but never belonged there, implying there was a deep yearning to belong to that world. (Feeling left-out = self-rejection = low self-love.)

# Wanting to feel belong somewhere reflects a lack of self-worth and lack of self-worth is a result of lack of self-love.


As parents…

1. Teach our children to love themselves first. Our love for them should be given UNCONDITIONALLY: love them for who they are, not for what they achieve or are able to do. They really don’t have to do anything at all for us.

2. Teach them how to appreciate, celebrate, make people happy and give love without having to give gifts. Teach them that money, gifts, status, looks and intelligence do not bring any good or happiness if there is no self-love.

3. Teach them that they belong to the human race, that no one is superior or less than anyone else due to their gender, race, language, look, ability or disability, or their being minority or majority, their family status -religious, social or financial status; that those are only socially-constructed LABELS that do not make anyone less or more, and are not at all needed for them to feel loved or feel belong.

As children…

If we don’t feel loved or acknowledged by our parents or others or we feel it insufficient, we should not look or long for it from them or from someone or something else. What we should do instead is to discover self-love, love for us from us that has been there all along but often blocked by false and erroneous beliefs we have about life and how it works.


✓ Lack of self-love started as merely a feeling but when ignored or fed, may lead to jealousy and/or false pride (lying to oneself and to others), stealing, abuse, and many other evil things one would do out of desperation. 😔

✓ When what you need is only self-love but you think money or status or love from others is what you need, you will find yourself never having enough, never feeling complete. So you will then be continuously looking for more and more wealth, higher and higher status, more and more love from others.

✓ To love yourself means to accept yourself for who you are, accept your flaws, improve yourself, help yourself, to be able to pick yourself up without needing to depend on other people, to know and be able to feel, draw and receive God’s love continuously and to know that that is enough and is all you need.

✓ When you love yourself, you don’t need anything from anyone and so all your time is filled with serving others, not serving your need to be seen, loved or accepted.

(Thank you Wright and Hope. Thank you too to my favourite you for bringing this to me.)




Knowledge and experiences on energy clearing by Shaya @emohealing.com