Category Archives: Reflections

YEARNING for Home

YEARNING  for home.

Definition of Yearn:

Have an intense feeling or longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from

For me, I believe I’m yearning for wanderlust, seeking for connection, for consistent ties to a place I could call home.

As I become more “wordly-wise,” I see myself becoming more scattered, amazed and awed by the infinite opportunities outside, but less focused and confused on picking the right direction. Paradox of choice.

The relationship between home and yearning is a common one. I can use Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows and the characters Mole, Rat, Toad, Badger to identify with.

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Mole is a responsible citizen that all of a sudden wanted to abandon his home and his springcleaning duties to go adventuring one day. As he goes on his journey, the feeling of homesickness prevails.

It starts off as “is this it? Or is there more out there?” to “what am I searching for?”

Rat lives a gentle life of hedonism and is confident that his home by the riverbank is the right place to be. And that nothing else is worth exploring. Rat is immune to deeper yearning because he’s already found home.

“I know what I want and I know what I like.” “What else is there to explore when I am perfectly content here”

Toad’s never really fully present with how good he has it and throughout the story is getting into trouble as he’s restlessly seeking external stimulation.

“I’m bored…let’s go onto the next adventure!”

Badger is the “wise hermit” who watches over the lives of others and is comfortable with both the world and his place in it.

“This is life. This is where I am. I’m at peace with it and myself”

Aren’t we all Mole’s, Rat’s, Toad’s, Badger’s at one point in our lives?

So is it valid to say that most people when you are young and naiv yearn to get away from home. It’s too comfortable/boring. I want freedom!

As you age, you yearn to find home again- wherever that may be. Maybe it is returning back home to where you could reminisce when things felt right/were easy/they were taken care of. Homesickness, feeling of belonging

But as you go back you’ve realized that its no longer the same anymore. Home has changed. YOU have changed. The pace is not the same. The familiarity you had once associated with feels “off” as the materials you had accumulated in that past life. The things and even the people that you thought once made up YOU have now seemed detached.

Ex: Me stripping myself from 90% of my possessions in New York. No more ties. Simplicity. Removing excess. I am not my things.

I’m happy to leave New Jersey and moved past my decision to leave my beloved New York. I wanted to go back “home” to Taiwan where I was born and where family is. It took a couple of months for me to realize that the restlessness I blamed on New York’s fast pace was really something I had in my mind/heart that will stay as long as I’m in “explorer” “couchsurfer” mode no matter where I go.

It’s hard to feel “settled down” somewhere when I feel like my roots can detach themselves so easily from one place to the next. But because i’m never fully settled down, when it comes to a hobby or to a new relationship, i have a tendency to just run away when things start to get real or complicated.

It’s like I know I am still a Toad but I’m forcing myself to evolve into Badger! Why can’t I just evolve already…

To yearn is to evaluate your current being and find it wanting/needing for the familiar/unfamiliar. For something you can’t even name. Mole was yearning for adventure and throughout his journey realized he just wanted to go back home…wherever that may be. To yearn is to simultaneously realize that there is more to your life ..and in some aspects that its not enough. Yearning messes with the tempo of your life…in both a good and bad way. It depends on the outcome I guess.

We all may give in to yearning at one point. A yearning for a new adventure. A journey we began because the concept of not leaving would leave you even worse off. The concept of the “what if?” and “I’ll never know if I don’t go out and do it now”

Sometimes I do things just to see how I would react. Saying “yes” opens up more doors. But it’s what you do after that is the real kicker. The extent of involvement. How deep you are committed to something throws you over the edge into “I’m ready to go all in” or “I’m ready to come back home”

Yearning for me was triggered by meeting random strangers and having amazing conversations about worlds unexplored.  It’s worth yearning for adventure…but at what cost?

When Mole yearned for adventure and then finally felt it was ready to go home, did he feel content and at ease ?

If a yearner is by nature propelled by inner restlessness, when will they ever stop?

At what point does contentment happen? Some say when people have found “home” in the form of “true love”. But shit, I’m way too cynical for that.

As I change and evolve over time, watching the world in a blur as perspectives shift around me, I hope to be like Badger and just go with it…experience myself as part of this evolving blur.

But I can’t stop asking myself….When am I ready to come “home?” Where is “home?” “Should I stay or should I go?”

 

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Saving Face in Taiwan

SAVING FACE

Saving face implies a situation where someone’s reputation is under question, or has already been lost, and is undergoing restoration. Saving face is an action whereby one is able to prove that they were not wrong, or show that the degree of their wrongdoing was only very small – not such a big deal.

For those who don’t know what “面子” or the concept of “face”- its  an asian custom based on combination  of social standing, reputation, influence, dignity, and honor.  I’ll use Mulan (Disney movie) as an example. When Mulan’s father gets called to join the War, he trudges on despite his bad limp and his old age to accept his fate and show face to his town. Mulan stubbornly interferes causing him to lose face among his peers and bring him shame (you’ve bought shame to this family…#burn). She struggles with her principles overnight..a slash across her shiny black hair later…she ends up fighting for her country and ultimate saving face for her family. Kickass right?!!? I think what’s especially badass is that she still defies all realms of stereotypical conventions in the process. Ironic. Very not chinese traditional huh?

I’m experiencing this whole “face” thing on my own right now and its given me much headache and heartache.

Why? Because I’m a customized Asian, with a dash of oriental zen, a twist of western creation fervor, and a sprinkling of personal philosophizing.

I think everyone is unique and I’d rather be different, self-expressive, and stand out than fit in. Yet I respect my cultural heritage, emphasis on filial piety, generally not making anyone feel uncomfortable.  Can you understand the clash?

Stressing too much about showing “face” already implies that you care too much about what other people think of you. You can’t please everyone and even if you try, you’ll just have an even harder time identifying with yourself.

So here it comes…my introverted Saturday night identity crisis rant of living a life for you versus living the life that’s expected of you.

Saving Face Correlates with Confidence/Sense of Self 

I apologize to my family and peers for being erratic, moody, hyper-sensitive, insecure, flakey, distant sometimes…i’ve had highs and lows the past few months in this island of Taiwan.

After much thought, I’ve realized that my environment (how I behave when I am most natural/authentic to myself) has a direct correlation with my confidence.

Confidence is the ability to affect the world around you, it’s a feeling of empowerment, it’s feeling good about yourself, and it’s the thing inside that allows you to show yourself to the world.

For the past 6 years, I’ve lived independently in NYC surrounding myself with unique/independent/creative/ambitious types….wandering around carefree on my own terms and conditions…I’ve reached all-highs living very hedonistically. If I wasn’t having fun, stopped learning, or hit a plateau, it would be a matter of me running/biking away to latch onto something/somewhere/someone else. Granted, this fleeting defense mechanism had given me a falsified high sense of confidence because hell i wasn’t really putting myself in any vulnerable position where I could have a low ever. Happy go lucky scatter-brained escapist. I was restless…

Right now, while I am in mother land, I am trying to tackle vulnerability and fear. And sticking to something no matter how uncertain. Hence, my decision to stay here for at least a year.

Being in Taiwan, living with family (3 generations in one household) for the first time, being a student again, of course has its perks. I’m living very comfortably right now. I have time to explore my passions and learn for the sake of learning. So then why the intermittent lows? 

I oftentimes feel babied like I’m constantly being scrutinized and evaluated for every decision I make…and sometimes for just being the way that I am.

And its hard.  I’m not used to being called out on on my flaws. The Chinese culture is not to compliment but to point out weaknesses to improve on. This could help me in the long term (maybe)… but could also leave me feeling a bit insecure with my sense of self for the time being.

For one, I just can’t get over the fact how superficial it is here. Having “face” as a 24 soon to be 25 yr old single girl in Taiwan means I have to care a lot about how I look. And for those who know me, I could give less of a flying fck.

Over the past few months, I’ve had to evaluate the following about myself

– For “Being too muscular” (girls shouldn’t lift weights/exercise all the time) to “you look fatter/you’ve gained weight” (once i had stopped working out as much..uh OH)
– For not dressing more like a girl or having any fashion sense (i don’t even know where to begin as i struggle with materialism and also working with what I have- post backpacker…)
– For being too hasty, clumsy, with my actions and having no tact with my words (i have to apologize for being too overly excited, be smart with my words at the risk of hurting someone’s feelings)
– For having too many scars/bruises/scratches on my legs (i should hide and remove my battle scars/stories for the sake of disgusting people…and should thus quit jumping on and of things/parkour).
– For being really unstable “hot and cold” at the whole relationship/intimacy front (meanwhile grandma tells me to “open my eyes” to find a tall Taiwanese boy from a wealthy family..uh oh)

Obviously, I take all of these “things i should work on” aka hits to my “being” with a grain of salt…but i can’t lie, it gets to me. I’m highly sensitive to criticism…

Who is that girl I see…staring straight back at me….

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I guess to some people on eye-level, I’m a disheveled misfit who wanders parks alone scouting for old people and little kids to talk to/practice Chinese with. Who can be seen sporting a bright green sharpied backpack filled with chinese books, a camera bag that carries my Nikon D500, and Google Glass. This backpack ultimately clashes with everything I wear..its also covered with doodles by 5-7 yr olds…but its full of stories and cherished memories..and is the only semblance of me saying “i’d rather clash than fit in” so 面子can be shoved aside..for now.

In all seriousness, appearances and jokes aside, my level of confidence has a direct impact on how much I get done, whether I follow through with my goals, my values, my beliefs, my “ideal self” and whether I take opportunities that present themselves to me…

I seek inspiration and understanding and can only measure it by something tangible. I’d like to empower communities to get out of the defeatist 沒辦法 mindset and to show that life is much “more” than just 表面上(on surface shit).

It’s time to have conversation about life/dreams/hobbies/interests/taking risks and less about hello kitty/yellow ducks/stinky tofu/bubble tea/overworked low salary dead end jobs. gosh. am i right?

HENCE, me sharing myself. my “unique” voice. my personality. my eyes. my tools. my Glass.

First step- master language
Second step- understand culture/people
Third step- empower communities

The medium is the message. SO CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO ROFL.

Just Start

I acknowledge that I am my own worst enemy.

For months now, I’ve been working on myself. I mean isn’t that the point of traveling? Couch/bed/floor/beanbag surfing 19 different cities on 20+ different surfaces with +20 or so different modes of transportation in a span of 2 months? Ridiculous…these numbers mean nothing to me now and in fact paint an entirely different story to what I can recall was an amazing well use of time/budget. Numbers just seem like a point of validation. And I’m beginning to understand that validation is what ha(s)(d) define(s)(d) me (middle child Taiwan-born American-raised born in unconventional family circumstances seeking for attention/understanding?) for the majority of my life.

“Life is full of beautiful yet fleeting moments” That’s the mantra that I had chanted on my independent travel abroad prior to coming to Taiwan (to study Chinese for 3 months/reunite with family). Fleeting is right. Yet right now on this cold rainy night …I’m kicking myself for feeling this creeping inexplicable emptiness…its a sense of shame and guilt that this phase of my journey may be considered “the beginning” or “the end” …and its this uncertainty that I don’t know exactly how to react to anymore. At first, I thrived on it, but now i’m not so sure. The emotion of “emptiness” had just left me as I am writing this sentence. Because as soon as I’ve done typing…i’m looking back and just literally scoffing at myself for how pathetic it sounds. There you go. fleeting. its ups and lows here. its weird.

i think it’s because this is the 4th month i’m in Taiwan yet I feel like I have nothing tangible to show for it.

Wonder/Ponder Moment: Why is it so easy for me to be the highest ideal of myself when I know that I’ll be leaving within a week span? I pride in myself that I have the ability to connect with so many people on so many levels and feel completely free…to be the weird little kid captured in awe over everything new about my surroundings …to revel/shake people up  to see and appreciate their  environment with new eyes.

YOU HAVE STARS! INFINITE STARS ABOVE YOUR EYES” – I scream, to my CS host in Queenstown, NZ. It was a beautiful moment and an amazing sight, walking uphill for 10 minutes back home gazing up at the pitch black starry sky…Having lived in NYC for the past 6 years, you begin to forget that theres another universe out there….all you have to do is look up.

 

SO…i’m starting over. Taiwan is a really interesting place to live right now. But i find the Taiwanese don’t understand. I want to explore this further. How? Well, thats thinking too much already. I need to just do for now.

I think the first 3 months was a lot about me adapting to something “Stable” “routine”..but I’ve taken many personality tests and even the DISC (a dedicated post on that later) to see that i demand a fast paced environment where I’m encouraged to constantly learn and inquire. I seek freedom from routine, control, and minutia ….so why fight it? My lifestyle is comfortable right now…and i struggle with that.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone (emphasis on ambition/risk/adventure) vs Be content and happy where you are right now. Live in the present (emphasize Mind Zen). i fight both constantly.

but i digress….(shit i think this whole post has just been a lot of digressions huh?)

Back to the point of writing “I acknowledge that I am my own worst enemy”

I’ve been meaning to write for a long time but there would always be something holding me back. Another “busy” task I add onto my list. A friend/mentor/lover said “Just start” With a notepad in hand, I’m doing just that.

What I’m working on:

Generally: To focus. To channel my interests. To learn for the sake of learning. To be present and aware of my surroundings. To create. To commit. To ask questions. To observe. To listen. To see with new eyes. To write

Specifically: My website. My photography. My videos via Google Glass. My chinese. Piano. Cultivating relationships. Saying “no” . Priorities. Myself.

ah, its good to get that out of there. 

I acknowledge that I am not the best comprehensive writer. That i am a bit scatter brained. That I do tend to think too much…and can sometimes find myself lost in the infinite abyss of my endless mind….but then again, this is me, for me….

You have the option to x out whenever you want.

tomorrow, i’m sure i’ll read this and shake my head in embarrassment. but then ill bask in it. and move on.

you gotta start somewhere. What are we without our words? You declare something to the world and its one step closer to making it happen.

start

such is life.

 

Multipotentialite- Passionately Curious

quote

I stumbled upon this blog by Good.Co this afternoon titled “Are you a Multipotentialite?”

The first sentence basically sold me.

“If you were to draw out your ideal career path, would it look more like a tree than a straight line?”

A tree…a jungle gym…a grapevine. I’m nodding vigorously at this point.

This is the Wiki definition of a Multipotentialite:

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

I don’t think that I am “intellectually gifted” by any means, I’m more of a generalist than anything, but I do resonate with the nothin that I can be successful in many different professions unlimited to one lifetime.

REFLECTION:

Looking back, I don’t remember much from my academic career at NYU Stern. I can say coming out I had the yellow string on my grad cap, B.S. in Marketing and International Business/minor in Business of Media, Entertainment, and Technology. But what does all that even really mean or translate to? Affirmation that I will come out knowing more about myself and my career decisions in the business world? LOL.

If there is one thing that I enjoyed about my college career, I’d have to say it was going to my internships. When I wasn’t in school busting out 20 credits/semester worth of study time, I’d devote 20 hours/week to provide some sort of arbitrary value to a company. It was what I looked forward to.

I’ve worked for 11 companies the past 6 years. Dabbled in PR/Media Planning/Brand Management/Office Manager/Retail Marketing/Market Research/Digital Marketing/Product Development/Social Media/Operations/Project Management. I say dabbled in for a reason.

Here’s my resume

Someone in an interview last year had called me out for being a “generalist.”

I have now come to terms with that.

I LOVED the non-commitment temporary exposure, knowing that it was a “no hard feelings if I leave” “I’m going to get what I put in” sort of contract. Being labeled in the office as “the intern who had just biked in the rain to rush back to 6 PM class..that girl cray.” I would make myself remembered. But at the same time, it would be a “on to the next” sort of process for me.

During my last day on the job, I’d receive my praise/thank you’s from my colleagues/managers, would give the “thank you for xyz, exposure to kdz, keep in touch mkay?”. Meanwhile, I’d think to myself “WELL that was fun while it lasted…not sure if I would ever want to work their full-time…love the people, but I can’t envision that this is what I want to be doing for a  looong time..”

Which makes me then think “What are people driven by? How can people just stick to one thing without thinking about the road not taken? What do I do when I want to do everything?”

Was I really caught up in that NYU Stern ratrace to find a good paying job at a reputable company so that I could prove to my friends and family that “I’M WORTHY”? Yes, in a way that was why I approached my first internship. But it was really because of boredom and this passionate curiosity to explore the infinite unknown that made me want to “go on to the next” without any consequence or acknowledgement to what it could mean for my past, present, future.

I didn’t come out post-grad knowing exactly what I wanted to do but at least I didn’t pigeon-hole myself into a career that I didn’t want in the first place either.

I just do things just to do them.

I’m going to end with the fact that the whole “What do you want to do 5 years” interview question is complete bullshit and everyone knows it.

NOBODY knows what they will be doing 5 years from now. And if they do, they’re lying to themselves. I could see myself in San Francisco being a LYFT driver, working in public relations at a nonprofit, being a personal trainer or SOULcycle instructor, teaching English in Japan, being a photographer and capture dynamics among generations in Taiwan, leading my own bike tourguide service in NYC, volunteering in South Africa, owning a small jazz cafe/bookstore/bikeshop in Denver, being this treeman and starting a movement to create genuine reaction. I want to integrate and connect people.

i can do anything

I’m a scanner. A generalist. A Plate spinner. A polymath. A Multipassionate.

It’s true. I refuse to specialize in, or subscribe the world’s view that one must commit to only one goal, one dream, one profession.

“But”.., Sher advises, “at some point, Scanners who never finish anything should sit down and look at what’s really going on,” “When a Scanner hits a certain wall, they stop. Often, it’s because they’ve lost interest. But sometimes, boredom is actually just a manifestation of subconscious fear. I tell people that they must, at least once a year, push through that anxiety and stick with a project until completion. They need to experience that discipline. And there’s a chance they’ll experience twice as much joy from experiencing that unfamiliar degree of depth.”

I’ll explore this further when the time comes, I’m just too excited that there is now a term to discuss what I am and have been feeling for years.

You have a new passion every week and you wonder what is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong.

The world needs people who can integrate and connect

Your unique mishmash of talents allows you to see what no else can see

Give yourself permission to do it all.

We are not mad, we are not lazy

We are not confused or aimless.

We are MULTIPOTENTIALITES

 

PuttyTribe Manifest0 16x20b

WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH MY LIFE?

First of all, let me preface by saying my TypeSeven- The Enthusiast. personality seems clearer to me than ever.

Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over- extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness.

At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.

  • Basic Fear: Of being deprived and in pain = FOMO. BREAKING BONES
  • Basic Desire: To be satisfied and content—to have their needs
    fulfilled =  SPIRITUALLY, MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY

Key Motivations: Want to maintain their freedom and happiness, to avoid missing out on worthwhile experiences, to keep themselves excited and occupied, to avoid and discharge pain.

As long as Sevens can keep their minds occupied, especially with projects and positive ideas for the future, they can, to some extent, keep anxiety and negative feelings out of conscious awareness. Likewise, since their thinking is stimulated by activity, Sevens are compelled to stay on the go, moving from one experience to the next, searching for more stimulation. This is not to say that Sevens are “spinning their wheels.” They generally enjoy being practical and getting things done.

On a very deep level, Sevens do not feel that they can find what they really want in life. They therefore tend to try everything—and ultimately may even resort to anything as a substitute for what they are really looking for.

“If I can’t have what will really satisfy me, I’ll enjoy myself anyway. I’ll have all kinds of experiences—that way I will not feel bad about not getting what I really want.”

On the positive side, however, Sevens are extremely optimistic people—exuberant and upbeat. They are endowed with abundant vitality and a desire to fully participate in their lives each day. They are naturally cheerful and good humored, not taking themselves too seriously, or anything else for that matter. As we have seen, the Basic Desire of Sevens is to be satisfied, happy, and fulfilled, and when they are balanced within themselves, their joy and enthusiasm for life naturally affect everyone around them. They remind us of the pure pleasure of existence—the greatest gift of all.

We can see this in action even in the most trivial areas of their daily lives. Unable to decide whether he wants vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, a Seven will want all three flavors—just to be sure that he does not miss out on the “right” choice. Having two weeks for a vacation and a desire to visit Europe brings a similar quandary. Which countries and cities to visit? Which sites to see? The Seven’s way of dealing with this will be to cram as many different countries, cities, and attractions into his vacation as possible. While they are scrambling after exciting experiences, the real object of their heart’s desire (their personal Rosebud, as it were) may be so deeply buried in their unconscious that they are never really aware of precisely what it is.

^People who have gone out to eat with me or travel by my side can attest to this..I love my options and will exhaust myself in the pursuit of life to try everything…

Reflection– YES, I am impulsive. YES, I like to seek new experiences.

I acknowledge that by doing so much that I spread myself too thin and can never form concrete long-term relationships/commitments.

Currently, this is my level 4/5 as a Type 7. I’m hoping to get to Level 1

Level 4: As restlessness increases, want to have more options and choices available to them. Become adventurous and “worldly wise,” but less focused, constantly seeking new things and experiences: the sophisticate, connoisseur, and consumer. Money, variety, keeping up with the latest trends important.

Level 5: Unable to discriminate what they really need, become hyperactive, unable to say “no” to themselves, throwing self into constant activity. Uninhibited, doing and saying whatever comes to mind: storytelling, flamboyant exaggerations, witty wise-cracking, performing. Fear being bored: in perpetual motion, but do too many things—many ideas but little follow through.

Level 1 (At Their Best): Assimilate experiences in depth, making them deeply grateful and appreciative for what they have. Become awed by the simple wonders of life: joyous and ecstatic. Intimations of spiritual reality, of the boundless goodness of life.

I acknowledge my security blanket of having encouraging, free-spirited, “we support your decision to do whatever you want as long as you are happy, healthy, and treat other people with kindness/respect” parents gives me the support to take on higher risk for career/living situation exploration.

I’m undisciplined and scatter-brained. I’m privileged. I’m appreciative. And I am loved.

Also a point of inspiration-
Life is simple. Do the things you love and do it often.

https://i2.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/holsteemanifesto.jpg

So…..with that all in mind. Literally, all I have been thinking about past month^, I feel wholeheartedly justified in my decision to quit my job.

What spurred it to action was when I had started reading Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg over the weekend. One quote stuck to me “The cost of stability is often diminished opportunity for growth”

I thought of my values, my options, my energy, my passion, my integrity, my time, my commitments and my own definition of “stability”

The next day, I gave my notice.

Your career should be about growth or utilizing your strengths and skill set to better yourself, company, society in the process.  I went for a well-paying job knowing that it was good income, low stress, great people to work with, but soon found out the actual position was not demanding of my self-worth. I worked hard throughout high school and college for a reason…how can I live up to my word and integrity if I’m being inauthentic to myself and compromising my love for learning in the process. The opportunity cost for me is time. The time I could have used to acquire more skills on a professional and personal level.

I feel justified in my decision and walked out of that authentic conversation with my boss feeling more liberated and excited for new possibilities than ever.

I could have stayed longer and may have had a possible promotion (maybe in like 5 years..), but project management and following “process” isn’t for me. Hell, I’m beginning to think a typical 9-6 isn’t for me anymore.

I had my “one year” benchmark to reevaluate my progress/potential for job growth. Assessed the situation. Understood the consequences of my decision.

Now I’m onto the next.

Check out this article by Penelope Trunk, career adviser for 20-something’s

Make life more stable with more frequent job change

Moreover, my understanding of stability is knowing you have a life where you can do what you love, during your whole life, not just at the end.

“Your career is a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

What does “stability” mean to you?

If it means killing yourself to retire early. Get a house. 2.5 kids. dog. pool. backyard. Then by all means, sprint to get there. Who am I to judge?

Studies show that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. A successful career is one that stirs up a certain level of excitement, passion, and happiness in a person. Every person’s exact definition of a successful career is different.

Without adding money or salary into the definition, every person is going to be inspired by a slightly different occupation because individual interests, morals and values vary from person to person. So, ask yourself, do you love what you do or do you just do it to out of fear of being UNreasonable or vulnerable.

Out of fear that if you quit your job, your dream of being x and doing y will be one barrier/excuse less to pursue your dream.

I recognize I’m a job hopper. But don’t worry that my time will be wasted.

So, please when you ask me “why?” or “what are you doing after?”, just know that I’m going to respond by saying “why not?” and “i’m figuring it out now…LIKE RIGHT NOW.”

But really though, I’ll be staying within WeightWatchers until the end of June. Going to California for a week to visit friends/determine whether I should live there in 2 years. Thinking of going on a biking Shikoku pilgramage in Japan in August to gain peace of mind. Go to Taiwan to study Chinese at Shi Da University with my sister from Sept-November to get back to my roots.

Come back, with a fresh mind, and start climbing that jungle gym all over again. STARTUP STYLE.

WISH ME LUCK.

How to be “Great”

I’ve been positively gleaming or glowing these past few days.

The conversation usually starts off as something like this

A: How are you doing?

B: Great, just GREAT!

I can’t even articulate how great it has been which is why I have a goofy smile on my face all of the time.

So I’m going to try this…

What does “great” even mean?

For me, being great or capable of “greatness” means you’ve overcome being “small”

To be great means that instead of asking for “fish”, you’ve requested “fishing”

if I request you to teach me “fishing” I have the power to create much more, albeit potential of failure/rejection/shame.

To be great, means you’ve achieved a breakthrough in performance..whether that be getting recognition/promotion at your job, or finally coming to terms with your sexuality, or being able to run 5 miles without stopping. You’ve come a long way and even when there is nobody on the other end of the finish line to say “hey man, you’re awesome.” You know it in yourself that you’ve achieved something “great.”

I’m in the process of mastering my life to achieve “Greatness” and here is my outline.

1. Making a difference and contribution

  • To be powerful, means you have the ability to inspire “groups”
  • By starting with the individual, you can conquer anything in the world.
  • Take the time to think of what matters to you in your community and dedicate some time to just think of what YOU can do to make a difference, small steps = big changes
  • INDIVIDUAL (alter one’s feelings/emotions) -> RELATIONSHIP -> FAMILY -> GROUPS -> COMMUNITY -> ORGANIZATION -> SOCIETY -> WORLD

2. Mastering reality

  • Being with something exactly the way it is instead of adding/deleting from a statement and constructing a story based on assumptions- adding meaning to nothing.
  • To separate your thoughts, feelings, intuition from what’s real in front of you : What’s happening versus the story
  • To be present instead of letting the past determine your future

3. Mastering identity and ultimately the self

  • As “identity” you can either be part of something or not something. As “self” you are the space in which it all shows up. You are who you show up to other people and your actions are correlated with what is occurring for you…directly influencing how you occur for yourself in dealing with those situations
  • Be unreasonable – Being reasonable means being controlled by your reasons. You may feel compelled to find reasons before you can do something. Being UNreasonable means doing something simply because you are doing it, taking responsibility for it, and enjoying it as it is.
  • Be vocal- Ask and you shall receive, knock and the door will open. Just say it/do it and know that whatever the outcome, its better than just sitting around and waiting for “something”
  • Be expressive – To communicate that you are happy instead of saying “I am happy” by self expression is a skill. Perform to your hearts intent without fear of judgment.

Ending with a quote:

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” – Lawrence Persall Jacks

Live, love, learn,

TIFFLIN(ning)

Social Media: Connect vs Disconnect

Some of these slides I feel are too extreme. I’ll choose to ignore those and focus on the one’s that interest me ..

we are so connected that we are starting to become disconnected

Society is being shaped by the perception of others to form our social self

Social media allows people to empathize their positives. And delete their negatives.

When online we choose what we want to reveal and what’s left out. In order to project the image we want people to have of us.

 

First of all…

I acknowledge that I am guilty of checking-in, Instagramming, texting, checking my email, playing WWF in front of friends/family at a dinner table.

– Why do I do this?

To feel connected? To share my location to the world that I’m here, alive, existing, living life?

Shouldn’t I be connecting to the person who’s right in front of me?

Why is it so important to project the image we want people to have of us?

To show up as carefree, when I’m still trying to battle my self-doubt

To show up as “i don’t care what people think”, when clearly I still am pining for validation for my self-worth 

At the same time, I still believe in the good power of social media and how it can connect communities and people. See Facebook groups/events. Meetup.com, OKC, LinkedIN, Yelp.

But so many people are stil so concerned about living life in a status update. Me included.

Right now, I’m working on being concerned with how my life feels rather than how it looks.

I’ll Instagram to show the world that NYC is not always hustle/bustle, and it is possible you can find moments where people of NYC to stop in moments of awe

I’ll check-in on FourSquare with the intent of finding tips left by locals and even leave a few tips for recommended dishes

I’ll write a great Yelp review because I want to see this business thrive and feel good about contributing to their success after.

I’ll Facebook status update an inspiring quote, a TEDtalk, or maybe a Spartan WOD with the intention to evoke action/reaction

I won’t even care how many times I mupload/tweet/check-in because my actions dictate who I am. I don’t give a fuck.

 

Awareness of Self

Awareness of Self:

Here’s a fun exercise. Go into your room and take note of what is present around you

For me….

  • A cluttered desk piled with papers/receipts/plastic bags/concert tickets
  • An ironing board I took from outside the street with dirty/clean clothes piled on top
  • Mismatched socks on the floor
  • Posters/colors/pictures/decorations covering every inch in my room

Let your awareness take in everything

Ask yourself:

  • Do I see order or disorder?
  • Do I see my uniqueness?
  • Do I see how I really feel?
  • Do I see what I really want?

What does this stand for?

  • inner disorder
  • fear of meeting one’s obligations
  • accepting too much responsibility
  • ignoring mundane details

Conclusion: The environment I surround myself in as I wake up and as I sleep is not conducive for me having peace of mind.

Now step into your social world. When you are with your family or friends, listen with your inner ear to what is going on.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I hear happiness?
  • Does being with these people make me feel alive, alert?
  • Is there an undertone of fatigue, boredom, saying things just to be saying them?
  • Is this just a familiar routine, or are these people really responding to each other?

Are you being authentic with yourself? We fear to be seen as inauthentic sometimes out of fear of being judged/shamed/rejected, so we do things that we don’t really care about doing and say things we don’t 100% believe in saying…and then we end up being, sincere, at best. However sincerity is NOT authenticity. Take a moment and reflect on whether your intuition can pick up on whether a “wow, funny bumping into you here! We’ll have to catch up soon!” is just a sincere go-to response or if there’s a voice of authenticity behind these words…

Feelings

  • At my worst: I feel antsy, restless, want to have more options and choices available. Become adventurous and “worldly wise” but less focused. Uninhibited, fear of being bored, in perpetual motion, but do too many things–many ideas but little follow through
  • At my best, I breathe in my environment and feel totally present and emotionally deeply grateful and appreciative for what I have. Become awed by the simple wonders of life: joyous and ecstatic. Feel connected with the world and everyone in it. Love of people and boundless goodness of life make me want to scream with joy. I’m satisfied with the results that I produce.

Thinking

  • “I know more than I think I do”
  • “I have the tools and the resources to live my dreams but fear of uncertainty is holding me back”
  • “I need to find out what I like and what I don’t like”
  • “I need to get out of my comfort zone”
  • My mind is becoming restless and I want to calm down
  • I need to love and trust myself before I can love anybody else

Actions

  • I am acting out of complete integrity
  • My actions symbolize who I am and why I am here
  • I gave up having control and will react to what will come to me

Being

  • I realize that I am cared for and loved
  • I realize that my life has purpose and that I matter
  • I sense that random events are not random
  • I see that I am unique
  • I realize that life has the ability to run itself
  • I realize with wonder that life is infinitely worthwhile and full of possibilities

– Influences from LandMark Education, The Book of Secrets, Enneagram tests.

10 Aspiring Qualities for Daily Existence

My aspirations is to pursue one quality per day or to do as many as I can.

Striving not for self-improvement or to write in a way that i am weak or inadequate (i do that enough in my mind) but to extend my body’s comfort zone into behavior and feeling.

Higher Purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. I am here to find my true self.

Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed.

Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone.

Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do.

Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them.  I will invent something in the mind that the world desperately needs.

Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible

Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently.

Bonding: when I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger.

Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him or herself.

Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.

– Taken from “The Book of Secrets” by Deepak Chopra

Burn-out Phase

I’ve been nonstop in my hustle since my last post about moments of influence that keep me moving.

I look like I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours in the past few days. My brain feels like scrambled eggs. My eyebags are getting darker. I still have acne on my chin. My mind is never in the right place..ESPECIALLY when I’m in front of a computer. I have 20 tabs open right now and can’t focus on one task at a time. My heart is beating so fast. I’m not on any drugs if thats what you’re thinking. I’m beginning to feel cough sick so I’m taking Dayquil/EmergenC to prevent sickness before I leave for California/Coachella this weekend.

I realize when I’m with my friends, I talk nonsensically about nothing/everything all at once. it’s like regurgitation of the mouth.

You: “How was your weekend?”My mind processes this: “3 frenchies . maple syrup..Thai dinner..La Caverna..5 AM..$ pizza..longboard..zombies…williamsburg…bazaar..free food…bridge..Frenchies/swede..13th step..$ pizza..5 AM…Day trip with Swede..Unisphere..Met Stadium..Flushing…Jackson Heights…5Pointz ..the boil..crawfish..street chair..what was the question?”
What I end up saying: “uhhhhh” weird smile on my face.
I just end up mumbling..and saying stupid shit. People either think i’m stoned because I talk too slow (cause: sleep deprivation) or that I’m high on crack (most likely just ran/biked and you’re experiencing aftermath of biker high)

Anyway great weekend.

Highlights:Walking around Queens Zoo seeing kids run around picking up Easter eggs
Me: “Babies. Toddlers. Describe in one word. Go.”
Swede: “Drunk midgets”
We see a kid skating belly down on skateboard pass by…”yes…yes..”

tonight is the last night i have until i set a new challenge for myself..still figuring that one out. after i complete my post 6 PM wunwun task, im going straight home to clean my room/declutter my life. Watch Walking Dead..greet a new AirBnb guest…and pass the eff out.