This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

suck

Your first 50 blog posts will suck.
Your first 20 presentations in public will suck.
Your first 60 paintings will suck.
Your first 30 essays will suck.
Your first 40 YouTube videos will suck.
Your first 70 runs will suck.

Yes, I made all of those numbers up. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is to understand that everyone will suck at everything in the beginning. It all takes time, persistence and patience. Most people rush through life. So they don’t have enough time. Most people believe in overnight success. So they just stop when it doesn’t happen over night. Most people get everything they want right away. So they don’t even try, they just want something else. So most people just give up.

There you have it – the secret of life. If you want to be good at something – practice. Do whatever it takes to get there. At first you’re going to stumble, perhaps even injure yourself really bad and almost give up. And that is the crucial moment where you have to decide: do you want to go back to your normal life and remain a failure? Or do you want to keep trying till you get there?

If you’re an athlete and you’ve lost miserably in a championship, it means that you’re destined for success. All you have to do is to put in more effort. Below are some real life examples. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor. Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Walt Disney was told by his newspaper editor that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. And Stephen King’s first book Carrie was rejected 30 times before it saw light of day and spawned a franchise.

So wherever you are and whatever you do, if you want to be successful, you’re going to suck a lot at first, but don’t let failure get you down.

It Is Later Than You Think

Dear Doctor,

Please don’t be too surprised in getting a letter from me. I am signing only my first name. My surname is the same as yours.

You won’t even remember me. Last year I was in your hospital, under the care of another doctor. I lost my baby the day it was born.

That same day my doctor came in to see me, and as he left he said, “Oh, by the way, there is a doctor here with the same surname as yours who noticed your name on the board, and asked me about you. He said he would like to come in to see you because you might be a relative. I told him you had lost your baby and I didn’t think you would want to see anybody.” But I told him it was all right for me.

And then in a little while, you came in. You put your hand on my arm and sat down for a moment beside my bed. You didn’t say much of anything, but your eyes and your voice were kind, and pretty soon I felt better. As you sat there I noticed that you looked tired and that the lines in your face were very deep. I never saw you again but the nurses told me you were in the hospital practically night and day.

This afternoon I was a guest in a beautiful Chinese home. The garden was enclosed by a high wall, and on one side, surrounded by twining red and white flowers, was a brass plate about two feet long. I asked someone to translate the Chinese characters on it for me. They said:

Enjoy Yourself – It Is Later Than You Think

I began to think about it myself. I had not wanted another baby because I was still grieving for the one I lost. But I decided that moment that I should not wait any longer. Perhaps it may be later than I think, too. And then, because I was thinking of my baby, I thought of you and the tired lines in your face, and the moment of sympathy you gave me when I so needed it. I don’t know how old you are but I am quite sure you are old enough to be my father, and I know that those few minutes you spent with me meant little or nothing to you, but they meant a great deal to a woman who was desperately unhappy.

So I am so presumptuous as to think that in turn I can do something for you, too. Perhaps for you it is later than you think. Please forgive me, but when your work is over, on the day you get my letter, please sit down very quietly, all by yourself, and think about it.

Marguerite

The Hardest Truth In Life

hideo

It’s New Year again; did you make you New Year’s resolutions? When looking back, how many New Year’s resolutions did you actually achieve? There are always regrets in life that some dreams cannot be fulfilled; some people cannot be let go.

In a Japanese variety show, a group of elders were asked what they would say if they had a chance to speak to their younger self. There was a 76 years old man named Hideo, he talked to his 18 years old self:

Hey Hideo, I know you are planning to apply to a top university in Tokyo.
In order to motivate you to study harder, I’ll tell you the outcome in advance.
You’ll make 2 attempts but both fail and you will end up going to a less famous university.

The audiences laughed, they thought Hideo was funny … until the second part when he talked to his 24 years old self:

Hideo, you will meet and date a girl named Hana at work.
Due to your introverted personality, you’re not sure whether you should get married or not.
But I tell you, if you love Hana, just propose to her.
As 2 years later, she will get sick … then pass away.

OMG! The audiences were now sad with tears in their eyes while Hideo continued:

Also Hideo, please tell Hana that I love her very much.
And you will still be single at the age of 76.

Breakups, divorces and affairs happen everyday. But there also exists a pure relationship that people only love one person in their whole life, despite that person is still around or not. Hideo reminds me the movie dialogue from Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West”:

There was once a sincere love in front of me, but I did not cherish it. When I lost it, I can only regret. There is nothing more painful than this in life. If I can have a second chance, I will tell her these three words: “I Love You”. If I have to give a duration to this love, I hope it will be a thousand years.

This is voted as the most touching movie dialogue in Hong Kong. Although I feel it’s overpraised, it illustrates the hardest truth in life. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make. If you love someone – love them now. Don’t wait until it’s too late, you might not get another chance. We won’t have a thousand years.

remember

  1. The past cannot be changed.
  2. Opinions don’t define your reality.
  3. Everyone’s journey is different.
  4. Things always get better with time.
  5. Judgments are a confession of character.
  6. Overthinking will lead to sadness.
  7. Happiness is found within.
  8. Positive thoughts create positive things.
  9. Smiles are contagious.
  10. Kindness is free.
  11. You only fail if you quit.
  12. What goes around comes around.

The Birthday Parrot

A guy named David received a parrot for his birthday. The parrot was fully grown, with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren’t expletives were, to say the least, rude.

David tried hard to change the bird’s attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of to try and set a good example.

Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird and the bird yelled back. He shook the bird and the bird just got more angry and rude. Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer.

For a few moments he heard the bird squawk and kick and scream. Then suddenly there was quiet. Not a sound for half a minute. David was frightened that he might have hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto David’s extended arm and said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I will endeavor at once to correct my behavior. I really am truly sorry and beg your forgiveness.”

David was astonished at the bird’s change in attitude and was about to ask what had made such a dramatic change when the parrot continued, “May I ask what the chicken did?”

The Suitcase

suitcase

A man died and when he realized it, he saw God coming closer to him with a suitcase in hand.

God said: Alright son its time to go.
Surprised, the man responded: Now? So soon? I still had a lot of plans.
I’m sorry but its time to go. God said.

What do you have in that suitcase? The man asked.
God answered: Your belongings.

My belongings? You mean my things, my clothes, my money?
God answered: Those things were not yours, they belonged to the earth.

Is it my memories? the man asked.
God answered: Those never belonged to you, they belonged to time.

Is it my talents?
God answered: Those were never yours they belonged to the circumstances.

Is it my friends and family?
God answered: I’m sorry they were never yours, they belonged to the path.

Is it my wife and son?
God answered: They were never yours, they belonged to your heart.

Is it my body?
God answered: That was never yours, it belonged to the dust.

Is it my soul?
God answered: No, that is mine.

Full of fear, the man took the suitcase from God and opened it. Just to find out the suitcase was empty.

With tearful eyes, the man said: I never had anything?

God answered: That is correct, every moment you lived only for yourself. You never lived for somebody who is not related to you in any way. Life is just a moment, a moment that belongs to you.

Although it doesn’t make sense to have a suitcase to keep the emptiness, there is a moral we can take from the story.

Live now. Live your life. Don’t forget to be happy and make others happy, that is the only thing that matters. Enjoy this time while you still have it.

Connecting the Dots

dots

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement speech said that giving this speech the students was the closest thing he came to graduating college. He’s never finished college. He recalls that the working class savings that his parents had made their entire life was being spent on his tuition on a college that was as expensive as Stanford. After 6 months, he couldn’t see the value in it and dropped out. Not knowing where to go in life, he decided to take a class in calligraphy. He, however, didn’t see any practical application for it in his life.

Ten years later, they were designing the first Macintosh computer, and it all came back to him. He used the ideas that he had learned in the calligraphy class, including the different types of typography, and put it in the Mac. It was the first computer to have beautiful typography, which has affected the different types of typography that we use today. If he had never dropped out in collage, he would have never taken that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do today.

Sometimes when we’re trying to reach a goal, it’s impossible to connect the dots where we currently are. Just like when I start a new job, I don’t know what challenges I will need to face and how long the job will last. Somehow you just have to trust in yourself, and have faith that you will reach your dreams, despite not having the slightest clue or the perfect layout to where you are going. No one can connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them when you’re looking back. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. Trusting yourself is the first step towards feeling inspired and having the motivation to move forward.