We all know the story about Cinderella, a classic fairy tale which we all grew up with. But Cinderella is no more. She has been replaced by Elsa.


From a poor girl who dares to fight for her dream to a princess who was born as a queen. It is a reflection of how rapidly the world has changed in the past decade and how wealth has transformed our perspectives in life.

Let’s read the story again.

Once upon a time, there was a pretty young girl named Cinderella who lived with her wicked stepmother and two selfish stepsisters. Then one day an invitation arrived from the palace. The King wanted all the young ladies of the land to come to the royal ball. Cinderella could not go because she had no gown to wear.

However, with the help of a fairy godmother, a golden pumpkin and six grey mice, she turned into a beautiful princess for one night where she went to the prince’s party and fell in love with him. Then when the clock turned midnight she had to go and she lost her glass slipper. The prince then went to find the owner of the slipper and found her and they lived happily ever after.

Why we love fairy tales even though we all know they are not true?

That is because most of us have a dream.

If you like to dream, you are one of the 83% people who dreamed that they can fly.

Life was much tougher for most people twenty years ago than it is today. The technology wasn’t so advanced, money was not easily made, resources were scarce.

But everyone knew that

If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.

So our pioneers were motivated to fight for our lives and families, and to achieve our dreams.

Now most Singaporeans have access to most of the things which would only be luxury in the past. Everybody has good food, shelter, clean environment. Every child has access to good education.

But why today’s children love Elsa

I am sure many parents would agree that many kids now are obsessed with Frozen and worship Elsa, much akin to how the Cinderella story was popular when we were young. Why?

I guess it is because children today can only relate themselves to Elsa, who was born as a princess and only have to worry about her own power.


“Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone… “

Today’s children are born into a world where they hardly know about working for what they want.

Many parents have spent too much on their children with material things which they did not have when they were young. The idea of having a life like Cinderella is unthinkable to the majority of kids in Singapore today.

Just think about it, isn’t it increasingly difficult to select a birthday gift for your children, just because they already have everything they want?

Could all that wealth and prosperity which the older generation achieved become a burden on their children?

Rich people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates certainly think so. That’s probably why they have pledged a large portion of their wealth to charity and leaving (comparatively) little to their own children.

Wealth contains the seeds of its own destruction. – Ivan Guan

How does “a kingdom of isolation” sound like to your children?

Without dreams, without the purpose of life, why do we even need wealth?

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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