Geng Metal is aggressive, extremely hard and tough. It is often compared to unforged iron ore, raw metal or more popularly, a sharp and powerful sword. For iron to be useful, it needs to be forged by fire. Similarly, Geng Metal individuals are tough souls who can endure any kind of hardship and will emerge the better for it.

Action-driven, solid and persevering, these people have the innate drive to triumph against all odds. Within them lives a do-or-die attitude that will never admit defeat. Even when others around them have thrown in the towel and gone home, you can expect the Geng Metal to keep soldiering on.

These individuals will frequently appear cool and aloof on the outside. When their emotional equilibrium is balanced, their thought process is systematic and methodical. But watch out when the Geng Metal gets all fired up! In fighting mode, rage takes control and they may find it hard to remain detached. This strong fighting spirit which is such a boon for the Geng Metal becomes a bane when emotions cloud rationality.

Geng Metal always wants to win.

They love a good challenge and always want to be the first across the finish line. This enduring nature becomes a strength in their careers when the Geng Metal chooses a hard nut to crack. Go for something challenging that not everyone can handle. Something that requires endurance and dogged determination, with room for autonomy and minimal office politics. If it’s one thing the Geng Metal will not tolerate, it’s power games within the office.

Being an independent business owner will also appeal to the Geng Metal. If a partnership or joint venture is necessary, the Geng Metal’s partners should ideally be silent partners or clear boundaries of responsibilities have been drawn right from the start. Geng Metal individuals will find it hard to relinquish control.

To operate at their best, it is always advisable for the Geng Metal to map out their battle plan before the fighting starts. Clarity is power for the Geng Metal. To be at their most effective, they must first figure out what their objectives are and how to get there. Without this battle plan, the Geng Metal can be like an aimless sword slicing at thin air.

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In this coming week, many in the Chinese community will be celebrating the annual Dumpling Festival or also known as the Dragon Boat Festival. No, this is not a ‘How To Make A Dumpling’ type of post. Sorry! I won’t even know where to start! However, I’d like to introduce you to the reason for the Dumpling Festival.

Before I begin my story, I should probably explain that I have an insane love for ancient history, particularly ancient China. I find them fascinating, especially the fact that their work from thousands of years ago still survive to this day. So every once in a while, expect me to share some stories on my favourite historical characters. For that reason, I’m creating a brand new category in my blog. We shall call it ‘Useless But Fun Information’.

So back to the reason for the Dumpling Festival. Meet Mi Yuan, a minister from the state of Chu during the Warring States Period. He is also often referred to as Qu Yuan or Chu Yuan, meaning Yuan from the state of Chu. Today, the state of Chu is known as Hubei in Central China (yes, Wuhan is the present-day capital of Hubei).

To make it easier for you to place the timeframe of the Warring States, I will use the First Emperor of China (Qin ShiHuang) as reference. Mi Yuan served as Left Minister of Chu during the time when the First Emperor’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was King of Qin. That means he lived and served before the First Emperor unified China, more than 2000 years ago.

Most of what is known about Mi Yuan today comes from the Records of the Grand Historian written by Sima Qian during the Han Dynasty. In the book, Mi Yuan was portrayed as an extremely idealistic and patriotic minister, surrounded by greedy and unprincipled colleagues and serving a weak king. He was often slandered by the other ministers and was twice exiled from court.

During his time in exile, Mi Yuan was said to have roamed the countryside and collected folklores, but his most enduring work would be the anthology Chu Ci (Songs of Chu) in which the poem Li Sao (Encountering Sorrow) is probably one of the most famous.

Here’s a translated excerpt from Li Sao: “I marvel at the folly of the king; So heedless of his people’s suffering; They envied me my mothlike eyebrows fine; And so my name his damsels malign; Truly to craft alone their praise they paid; The square in measuring they disobeyed; The use of common rules they held debased; With confidence their crooked lines they traced.”

While Mi Yuan struggled to stand tall and cling to his principles in the rapidly weakening state of Chu, he faced a formidable opponent in the form of Zhang Yi, the premiere of the Qin state during the Warring States Period. Where Mi Yuan was blunt of speech, Zhang Yi was famed for his silver tongue, able to weave together alliances from a string of words. Zhang Yi’s work as a strategist set into motion events that would eventually weaken the other states.

Unfortunately for the state of Chu, Mi Yuan’s warnings fell on deaf ears. Exiled and in despair, Mi Yuan walked into the river with a rock in his arms. Here’s the thing about Mi Yuan, though. While the court hated him, the general populace loved him. He was seen as an incorruptible government official, which he probably was.

Legend has it that the villagers raced their boats into the river but were too late to save him. That was how the Dragon Boat Festival began. To stop the fishes from feasting on his body, the villagers threw their rice dumplings into the river. That was how the Dumpling Festival came to mark the passing of a patriotic man.

Little else is known about the personality of Mi Yuan. In the drama series The Qin Empire, poetic/creative license had him portrayed by Yang ZhiGang as principled but lacking in people skills. In the drama series, he often scoffed at the opinions of his fellow ministers, sometimes pushing his views to the point of shouting at the Chu King. Fists balled and jaws clenched, he barged his way through delicate diplomatic situations like a bull in a china shop.

If I were to put it into Bazi terms, he was like a thriving Jia Wood Structure, rigid and unbending to the extreme.

In the series, the Chu King once said to Mi Yuan after a prolonged bout of shouting, “Mi Yuan, you have no idea how lucky you are to serve a patient master. Any one of my fellow Kings would have relieved you of your head by now.”

I guess the King finally lost his patience.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein

If there was a lesson to be learned from Mi Yuan’s story, I guess it would be the importance of learning to be mindful of how our own behaviour play a part in eliciting response from others.  That it is okay to cling on to our principles, but we all need some flexibility in delivery.

But here’s a thought to end my self-gratifying post, more than 2000 years later, only hard-core fans of ancient Chinese history would know about Zhang Yi. But everyone is still ‘celebrating’ Mi Yuan. So how’s that for legacy?


Pliable and adjustable, the Ji Earth individual is the most tolerant and lenient of the 10 Day Masters. Highly adaptable, Ji Earth Day Masters have no problem coping with different situations and circumstances. This is the bunch that will instinctively make lemonade when life gives them lemons.

Ji Earth personalities are nurturing and accommodating by nature. In many organizations, they are often the one people run to for help when things start to go awry. As leaders, Ji Earth managers will tend to be very protective of their subordinates, always on the lookout for their well being and won’t be the type of leader who throws their team members under the proverbial bus. At the same time, Ji Earth managers require a large dose of autonomy before they can operate at their best.

The Ji Earth’s first instinct is to serve.

For a variety of reasons, the ideal outcome for the Ji Earth Day Master is to form their own business.  First, of course, it is easier to follow your own principles and beliefs when you are the boss. Doing things that run counter to their beliefs is an absolute no-no for the Ji Earth.

Secondly, the Ji Earth individual has the ability to automatically bring people who share their same beliefs and values into their circle of influence. These friends also become their customers. 

Finally, a business that serves a greater good and is aligned with your interests and passions, will be the ultimate motivator for the caring and nurturing Ji Earth.

Ji Earth individuals should also consider leveraging on their resourceful nature into a sound business plan. They always know where to get the right help, at the right price for the right people. The problem is, the Ji Earth does this so naturally that they take it for granted. It’s high time they recognize this resourcefulness as a part of their own self-worth and learn to bank on these resourceful traits to help them get ahead.

While the Wu Earth procrastinates, the Ji Earth’s number one problem is that they often need other people to work on them before they can produce anything. Therefore, Ji Earth Day Masters rarely become independent business owners. They prefer strength in numbers and tend to like partnership and joint ventures where they can feel more secure. If this is what it takes for you to get started, be sure to choose the right partners who will also pull their fair share of the weight.

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Think of a mountain and the characteristics associated with it. It is a towering presence, mysterious, solid and unmoving. Similarly, Wu Earth individuals will project the same sense of stability and safety.

They are rarely mercurial or unreliable. Wu Earth people don’t reveal their thoughts or feelings easily and can give off the vague feeling of being enigmatic and reserved. Most importantly, Wu Earth, like the mountain, is self-defining. They don’t care what other people think about them. What they perceive is the most important.

In this respect, Wu Earth does not separate reason from emotion when it comes to their thinking process. Every situation is weighed against how they feel or their own interpretation of moral principles. This is something that the Wu Earth must be mindful about.

Wu Earth is immovable.

The mountain doesn’t go to anyone. Instead, people flock to the mountain. In terms of career, Wu Earth must be able to turn this sense of safety into their primary asset. The key word is trust. As an employee, your employer must be able to trust that you can bring stability into an unstable situation. As a freelancer or in terms of your second career, your service or product must bring about a feeling of safety and security for your clients. Wood brings growth, Fire brings hope, you, Wu Earth, is all about stability.

Think of it this way, when someone falls into a river, they may try to cling to branches or vines, but those could break. The best thing to prevent from being swept away is to try to cling on to a boulder. That boulder, which the Wu Earth also represents, is the rock that people cling to in times of turmoil.

Wu Earth individuals are self-generating. Highly self-sufficient, they able to cultivate their own talent and achieve success on their own. However, Wu Earth will not enjoy ‘talky’ roles. Those are best left to the chattier day masters. In that respect, building up a reputation of being an expert in their field will be best for the Wu Earth. A position where people come to you for solutions instead of you going out to the market to try to hawk your services.

The Wu Earth’s biggest weakness is their ability to turn procrastination into an artform. Usually, this is done in the name of laying the groundwork. Wu Earth individuals will not be comfortable moving until their plans are perfected. While this is good, too much perfectionism in planning can lead to missed opportunities. But when the mountain decides to move… watch out world!

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The Yin counterpart to the blazing bright Bing Fire, the Ding Fire is usually described as a gentle candle that lights up the night.

Gentle and refined, Ding Fire Day Masters are discreet and elegant souls, not given to loud personalities and rough characteristics. Sensitive and receptive, the Ding Fire enjoys absorbing new knowledge and is particularly keen on inspiring others.

A single candle may not present much of a threat, but when given the right tinder, that same candle is able to burn down a house. Similarly, the Ding Fire Day Master does not reveal his or her talents quickly. Always unassuming, understated and subtle, the Ding Fire transforms into a trailblazer once their passions are ignited.

Ding Fire is transformative by nature.

People-centred, one of the Ding Fire’s biggest skills is their ability to influence through logic and reasoning. This does not mean that the Ding Fire is cold and purely logical. On the contrary, the Ding Fire has the rare ability to bring warmth and empathy to hard, cold facts.

By that logic, anything that helps people become a better version of themselves, both physically, mentally or spiritually, would be an ideal career or side business for the Ding Fire. The spectrum is extremely broad, but just for the sake of throwing in some examples, think along the lines of personal fitness trainer, self-development gurus, trainers or teachers, are just a sliver of the myriad options available to the Ding Fire.

A sales-driven career will also capitalize on the Ding Fire’s immense persuasive powers. This is especially true when the products or services are intended to aid the customers’ self-development process.

But things are never always that serious in the Ding Fire’s world. Your super power is your ability to inject fun into your projects. ‘Fun’ is a very persuasive selling point and one in which you hold the advantage. So let the sparkling side of your personality shine through!

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In the study of Bazi, the Bing Fire is visualized as the sun: selfless, illuminating, dependable, and optimistic.

Bing Fire individuals exudes confidence even as you give off the impression of being relaxed and laid-back, carefree and jovial. This can only be pulled off by someone with an intrinsic belief in themselves and their abilities.

Nothing keeps a good Bing Fire down. Just as the sun unfailingly rises in the East every day, the Bing Fire individual is dependable and perseverant. Unfortunately, this also means that Bing Fires have a tendency to become very habitual and routine-driven. 

The glass is always half full for the Bing Fire person. An eternal optimist, you can find the silver lining in even the darkest clouds and the pot of gold beyond every rainbow. This positivity is a double-edged sword for the Bing Fire. On the one hand, there are very little regrets in a Bing Fire’s world. You rarely wallow in self-pity because you are constantly looking forward. But this same positivity makes the Bing Fire view the world through rose-tinted lenses. This belief in the good of every one and everything, means that the Bing Fire lack the ability to probe beyond the surface of any issues.

It is a rare Bing Fire individual who will be able to completely step out of your comfort zone to go beyond the tried-and-tested formula. Risk-averse and conservative by nature, a free-wheeling, loose and easy style of business will tend to be uncomfortable for the Bing Fire. While risk-management can be learned with one mindful step after another, in the creation of a second career, it would be easier for the Bing Fire to stick to his or her basic nature.

And the nature of the sun is to give.

Social entrepreneurism where your success contributes to the betterment of society would be a good fit for the Bing Fire’s magnanimous and generous nature. There is, however, a need to build some internal barriers against those who would take advantage of the Bing Fire’s generosity. Most Bing Fire individuals radiate an almost child-like naivety, unable to realize the darkness in people. Mindfulness of this inherent trait would go a long way towards preventing the Bing Fire from being taken for a ride.

The eternal optimist who shines bright no matter what will also make a good motivator. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the various unrests taking place around the globe, what the world really needs now is a ray of sunshine to light the way. Think about what you have to offer, focus on adding value, how your product or service can bring joy or hope to your customers. Be the Bing Fire that carries a message of hope.

Bing Fire individuals are also well-respected as mentors. While others may resent the success of people around them, the Bing Fire, like the sun, rises above all that pettiness. In fact, you will go all out to unearth the true talents and capabilities of others. Therefore, a second career as a professional mentor may be right up your alley.

If there is one caution to be laid upon the Bing Fire individual, it is to constantly evaluate your plans and objectives to avoid falling into a routine.

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In our last article, we spent some time with the straightforward gentleman, the Jia Wood. Now it’s time to meet his sister, the flexible and adaptable Yi (乙).

While the Jia stands firm against the winds of life, the charming Yi Wood knows how to sway with the breeze.

The Yi Wood is visualized as a flowering plant in your garden. It may look delicate, but its roots are widespread. Pluck a flower and another grows in its stead the next day. Though not as deeply rooted as the Jia Wood trees, the Yi Wood’s roots are literally a tangle of networks just beneath the surface.

Similarly, the Yi Wood Day Master is charming and adaptive, the ultimate networker. They can get along with almost anyone. It is a rare (read: nasty) individual who finds himself unfriended by a Yi Wood!

Yi Wood Day Masters exude an elegant and sophisticated air, and are often pleasing to the eye. Usually well-mannered, Yi Wood people are also quick-witted, charming and smooth conversationalists. It’s so easy to succumb to the magnetism and allure of their silver tongue.

Like the soft growing plants that can bloom where they are planted, Yi Wood individuals are less resistant to change. You possess strong survival instincts and possess a ‘never-say-die’ attitude. It’s hard to keep a good Yi Wood down.

People are your wealth. Anything that requires networking would make an ideal second career for the Yi Wood individual or anyone who has Yi Wood in their Month pillar. You will enjoy and succeed in situations that require you to go out and make more friends, wheeling and dealing, connecting diverse groups of people to each other.

In particular, look out for opportunities to create a business that combines your personal passion with something that you have a lot of knowledge about. This gives you room for creative improvisation that will enhance the value of your services to your customers.

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In my previous series, I focused on helping you stay relevant in your organization by using your manager or supervisor’s Bazi profile. Now that you are on your way to having your job secured (of course, barring any external situations outside of your control), let’s start thinking about creating a second career.

To continue on our journey, let’s spend some time understanding the core characteristics of the 10 Stems. In doing so, we will understand the core of our personalities and start building a career that is attuned to our basic nature as opposed to bending ourselves out of shape.

So let’s start with el numero uno, the Yang Wood, Jia (甲).

The Jia Wood calls to mind a tall and sturdy tree. It is competitive (which tree stands tallest?), it is deeply rooted, it is upright and straight. It is also the most protective of the 10 Stems. Think of a tree spreading its branches to provide shade for those who choose to shelter under it.

Like the majestic trees he or she represents, the Jia Wood individual is steady and reliable. Just as a tree stands straight and tall, Jia Wood individuals can be stern and forthright. Deeply rooted, Jia Wood individuals can be rigid and resistant to change. They prefer environments where they can feel anchored.

They grow, but their growth can be almost imperceptible. Have you ever seen a tree grow without the help of timelapse camera? If you said yes, please drop me a note. I’d really like to meet the most patient person in the world!

But back to the magic of the Jia Wood individual. Trees can turn a single drop of water into branches and leaves and flowers. Similarly, a Jia Wood Day Master will also possess the ability to take a single idea and adapt it into multiple products.

Building on that, the key here is to create a single product or service that can be endlessly adapted to suit different environments or requirements. For example, a simplified accounting system that can be easily used by all small businesses regardless of their industries.

Jia Wood makes for great teachers and even better critics. As a trainer, the Jia Wood individual thrives at presenting their thoughts to people and showing others the right way (even though they can barely figure out their own mistakes). Jia Wood needs to be aware of the tendency to be subjective thinkers and learn the difference between genuine guidance from nit-picking.

Even if you are not a Jia Wood Day Master, this principle can also be applied if the Jia stem is present in your Month Pillar.

I’m sure you can tell by now that with the Jia modus operandi, the outcome may require some time before it comes into fruition. So start now!

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Quirky and eccentric, the Indirect Resource profile is often known for their insights and wisdom. The external image of a unique intellectual matches a naturally curious bend in which creative exploration is key.

Oprah Winfrey is a great example of a successful Indirect Resource profile. She mashes her unique insights with her vast source of knowledge into a very successful talkshow that has helped earn her billions.  

Recognizing Your Indirect Resource Boss

The most unique clue about an Indirect Resource profile is their minimalist lifestyle. By this, I mean that they try to live a baggage-free life, free from an over-reliance on external stimuli. Your Indirect Resource boss would be open to all sorts of mental and creative explorations.

While other profiles may walk around with blinders on, the Indirect Resource is constantly absorbing information from all around. This is where those unique insights are derived. At times, all this sponge-like absorption causes the ‘too much information’ syndrome, leading to anxiety.

At healthy levels (like Oprah), a high-functioning Indirect Resource profile can turn weird into a personal asset. At unhealthy levels, however, this eccentricity could run away from them and become a liability.

At work, your Indirect Resource boss would prefer to work on a strategic level. He (or she), will always try to understand the project at hand from every angle before deciding on a particular tactic. He will also be a very independent character, preferring to be self-sufficient instead of relying too much on other departments or individuals for support. He will also need to be autonomous in order to function at his best.

As a leader, the Indirect Resource boss tends to fall into the task-oriented category. His philosophy would be to just get the job done, with very little concern about the feelings of his team members or the relationships with others. This style makes him ideal in high-pressure situations where impromptu strategic planning needs to be mapped out and carried through fast. Certainly less ideal when the work requires input and participation of others.

Your Indirect Resource Boss Under Pressure

Like his Direct Resource counterpart, when under pressure, the Indirect Resource profile may resort into thinking mode. All thinking but no action. When the pressure becomes unbearable, Indirect Resource profiles are most likely to turn to sardonic humour to deflect the problem.

How To Deal With Your Indirect Resource Boss

With an Indirect Resource boss, it would be best if you can also be as independent as he is. While he is always open to new ideas, he dislikes double-talk and long convoluted embellishments.

Multi-task for him. For the Indirect Resource profile, one of their biggest strengths can also be their biggest weakness. They can bring supreme powers of concentration to bear on a particular problem (a strength), but at the same time, this level of focus means they will lack the ability to multi-task (a weakness). If you can take on the multiple tasks and brute practical work, thereby leaving him free to play at the strategic level, you will automatically become indispensable to your Indirect Resource boss.

Collect information. Collecting information is almost like a lifelong obsession for the Indirect Resource profile. They are great at conducting research and deriving unique and out of the box creative solutions from data. To be invaluable, be the source of information or data for your Indirect Resource boss.  

Note: If you’ve missed my first post for this series, plot your Boss’s Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required) Key in the name, gender and date of birth. You don’t need to key in the time of birth. That information is not relevant for this purpose. Scroll right down to the bottom to find the profile.

In all this, I must stress that you cannot ‘fix’ another person’s chart. Only the owner can do so, if he or she wishes to. The strategies offered here are designed to put you in a position that either complements the strengths or fills in the blind spots of that particular profile.

Disclaimer: The Bazi Technical terms (Direct Wealth, Indirect Wealth, Eating God, Hurting Officer, Direct Officer, 7Killings, Friend, Rob Wealth, Direct Resource and Indirect Resource) are copyright property of the Joey Yap Mastery Academy. If you wish to learn the art of Chinese Metaphysics for yourself, please visit for more information.


Gentle, quiet, soft-spoken, the cultured demeanour of a Direct Resource often hides a razor-sharp mind. Frequently reserved, it can be hard to know what is on a Direct Resource profile’s mind. Most important of all, the Direct Resource firmly believes in the power of knowledge.

Jack Ma’s attitude towards lifelong learning has been the key to his success. As a young boy, he taught himself English by learning by conversing with English-speaking staff at the Hangzhou International Hotel. He practiced his skill by conducting tours for English-speaking tourists. He graduated with a degree in teaching and was a lecturer when he first learned about the internet. He taught himself how to build an ‘ugly’ website (his words, not mine!). Every step of the way, he learned and then he pioneered.

Recognizing Your Direct Resource Boss

Your Direct Resource boss would tend to be highly analytical. He (or she) would always want to know the why and how of things. He would be a veritable font of knowledge with a sensitive barometer for other people’s emotional changes.

He can study intricate processes with absolute attention to details. He will always strive to be thorough in order to achieve as high a level of perfection as possible. He would be the first to invest in knowledge because he firmly believes that knowledge is the only avenue for advancement.

As a leader, your Direct Resource boss would tend to be bureaucratic. He goes firmly by the book, giving little leeway for creative exploration.

Your Direct Resource Boss Under Pressure

Under pressure, your Direct Resource boss would display a tendency to isolate himself. He may become so wrapped up in his own problems that he ends up alienating the rest of the team. He may spend too much time analyzing the problem, to the point that important decisions may be delayed.

How To Deal With Your Direct Resource Boss

A Direct Resource boss can be a great supporter to have on your side as you work on simultaneously keeping your job while creating a second career.

Bank on his knowledge. Many Direct Resource profiles tend to know a lot of things, but they may not do anything about that knowledge. Sitting high up in their ivory tower, many Direct Resource profiles simply lack the will to turn theory into practice. If you can position yourself as a recipient of said know-how, and turn those academic ideals into pragmatic solutions, you will be indispensable to your Direct Resource boss.

Help him share his knowledge. As the Direct Resource profile is all about knowledge – gaining and sharing knowledge – another way to become indispensable to your Direct Resource boss could be to help him create a platform or a system where he can share his knowledge with others.

Note: If you’ve missed my first post for this series, plot your Boss’s Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required) Key in the name, gender and date of birth. You don’t need to key in the time of birth. That information is not relevant for this purpose. Scroll right down to the bottom to find the profile.

In all this, I must stress that you cannot ‘fix’ another person’s chart. Only the owner can do so, if he or she wishes to. The strategies offered here are designed to put you in a position that either complements the strengths or fills in the blind spots of that particular profile.

Disclaimer: The Bazi Technical terms (Direct Wealth, Indirect Wealth, Eating God, Hurting Officer, Direct Officer, 7Killings, Friend, Rob Wealth, Direct Resource and Indirect Resource) are copyright property of the Joey Yap Mastery Academy. If you wish to learn the art of Chinese Metaphysics for yourself, please visit for more information.