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

6 Life Principles

life

1. One day you will be gone.
Embrace the fact that life is short and unpredictable. Live fully today and give your very best. It is a reminder for you to live your best self in each moment. What if tomorrow you’ll be gone? What will others speak of you? What can you do to leave a lasting, positive memory in the lives of people around you? Be lighthearted, knowing that in the end, none of this stuff matters. The only thing that ever matters is: how you made others feel and how you felt.

2. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have.
If there has been someone that had done it before, this means you can too. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it means that it is possible. As long as it is possible, you can work towards it. You can make a plan. Learn what needs to be done for your life.

3. Nothing is worth it, if it doesn’t make you happy.
If it doesn’t make you happy or make you better, it most likely is not worth to make time for it. Almost anything worth fighting for is going to require a real fight to win a great prize. You will have to sacrifice for almost anything worthwhile. But you should ask yourself about everything you do in your life: Does this make me happy in the end? If the answer is no, letting it go is an alternative.

4. Be yourself.
The only way you can live happy is when you be you. You will never be truly happy in life if you are constantly doing things to please others, to compete with others, or to be like others. You are unique and that is your greatest gift. Follow your own path, regardless if that fits in with others. Make your own decisions and it will lead to an abundant life.

5. Everything you need is already within you.
Things and other people will never complete you. There is a saying: Needing nothing attracts everything. When you come from a place of seeking nothing outside yourself to make you happy, you open up space for amazing things to come into your life. Happiness is a state of mind. Do what feels good, the rest will follow.

6. Whatever you focus on, you will find.
If you search for negativity, you will find plenty of it. The same is true on the opposite. If your only intention is to search for the good, you will find only the good. The meaning you give your life becomes your life. Life is against you to make you stronger. There is no such thing as reality. We choose our own reality by the meaning we give each moment in our lives. Make your intention to look for the good in life and in others. Be grateful for everything you have and see challenges as opportunities to show your true character.

Leave who you were, love who you are, and look forward to who you will become.

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Why Older is Better

  1. You really have watched a lovelier sunset, eaten a sweeter peach and seen a more beautiful baby.
  2. You can say, “When I was your age …” to more and more people.
  3. You don’t have to feel compelled to know all the answers. Or all the questions.
  4. If you want to change your mind, nobody thinks anything of it.
  5. When you decide to do something on the spur of the moment, nobody thinks anything of it either.
  6. There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.
  7. You’ve seen it all before, even if you don’t remember where and when.
  8. No more pregnancy scares.
  9. Senior-citizen discounts – reduced motel rates, airfares, movie tickets, etc.
  10. You can relax, quit trying to impress people and be your best self.
  11. Enough time to give blood, forget a grudge, pray for someone you don’t even like and do something kind for someone who’ll never know who did it.
  12. Lying about your age is easier now that you sometimes forget what it is.
  13. Instead of counting sheep when you can’t sleep at night, you can count your retirement accounts, friends with hip replacement, pills you forgot to take and the birthdays you had celebrated.
  14. You will probably be among the first hostages to be released.
  15. Drivers are more likely to stop for you when you’re in a crosswalk.
  16. More body parts can be medically replaced.
  17. Taking time out for a walk is no longer considered a luxury but an essential.
  18. Most of life’s major disappointments are behind you.
  19. You have developed a new appreciation of old things – old friends, old books, old values and old ideals, old wine … and yourself.
  20. You have gained the amazing insight that the faults of others are no worse than your own.
  21. Personal experience has proven that spending time with loved ones is far more meaningful than spending money on them.
  22. You’ve learned that enjoying the journey may be just as important as reaching the destination.
  23. You realize that the gifts of life, health and love outweigh anything mere money could buy.
  24. You’re finally accepting the reality that you won’t live long enough to do all the things other people want you to do; so you’re beginning to select priorities that matter most in the long run.
  25. You know that lighting someone else’s candle in no way diminishes yours.
  26. You change the things that can be changed, accept those that cannot and pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
  27. You minimize preoccupation with the negatives in your life and concentrate on your gratitude for all the positives.
  28. You listen more, learn more, laugh more, love more, lend a helping hand more and live more.
  29. Leaving a legacy of love, integrity and good deeds is far more valuable than a great estate of material wealth.
  30. Finally, good enough is really good enough.

5 John Lennon Quotes

john

  1. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
  2. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.
  3. You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are.
  4. As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
  5. Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

1% Better

Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, just make small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change you want. Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you’re trying to improve. That’s it. Just 1%.

The quest to become a better version of yourself often feels like a roller coaster ride. It’s hard. And it’s usually so uneven. You can end in failure. But life is a journey, not a marathon, so you always have another opportunity to restart and improve. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. When you are up for change, you have to start embracing change in small ways. Aim for small, consistent change. Not rapid change. Small changes that’ll make a big difference. It’s the only way to be successful at habit change. Self-improvement isn’t a destination. You’re never done. Even if you have some success, and you want to maintain it, you have to keep doing the things you were doing that got you that success in the first place.

It’s easy to follow the crowd and to be great in a small pool. If you don’t want that, go places where you know you will be at a disadvantage. Step outside the line. Competing against superior performers. Watch, read, listen and analyze what they’re doing differently than you. The secret to success lies in the very thing you’re avoiding. Those things that seem to break you down and humble your spirit. Be deliberate about doing things that push your limits magnificently. Difficulty helps us to grow. So stop avoiding what’s hard and embrace it now. If you’re truly pushing yourself to improve,  you will be uncomfortable. Devotion to the right things is the difference between those who are living a complete, meaningful life and those who are just reacting to what others require of them. Pick a target and move towards it despite the obstacles. Aim to push boundaries. Break your own records.

Tackle the fear that has kept you from living your best life. Your mind has a way of rising to the occasion. Challenge it and it will reward you. Be good at making time for what matters to you  –  especially when you don’t feel like it. Recognize the possibilities of living with courage and taking action right now in the direction of your dreams. Give yourself permission to pursue what’s important to you. Don’t just talk about wanting to do things or try a thousand different things and then abandon them. Make something stick. Become a master at them. No one ever came to this planet to take a back seat, play second fiddle or make it small. Push the impossible. Life is short. Your time here is so freaking valuable. Pursue your best self today.

The Last Runner

The annual marathon usually occurs during a heat wave. Lisa’s job was to follow behind the runners in an ambulance in case any of them needed medical attention. The driver and her were in an air-conditioned ambulance behind thousands of athletes waiting to hear the sharp crack of the starting gun.

“We’re supposed to stay behind the last runner, so take it slowly,” Lisa said to the driver, Doug, as they began to creep forward.

“Let’s just hope the last runner is fast!” Doug laughed.

As the runners began to pace themselves, the front runners started to disappear. It was then that Lisa noticed the woman in blue silk running shorts and a baggy with T-shirt.

“Doug, look!”

They knew they were already watching their “last runner”. Her feet were turned in, yet her left knee was turned out. Her legs were so crippled and bent that it seemed impossible for her to be able to walk, let alone run a marathon.

Lisa and Doug watched in silence as she slowly moved forward. They didn’t say a word. They would move forward a little bit, then stop and wait for her to gain some distance. Then they’d slowly move forward a little bit more.

As Lisa watched the woman struggle to put one foot in front of the other, she found herself breathing for her and urging her forward. She wanted the woman to stop, and at the same time, she prayed that she wouldn’t.

Finally, the woman was the only runner left in sight. Tears streamed down Lisa’s face as she sat on the edge of her seat and watched with awe, amazement and even reverence as the woman pushed forward with sheer determination through the last miles.

When the finish line came into sight, trash lay everywhere and the cheering crowds had long gone home. Yet, standing straight and ever so proud waited a lone man. He was holding one end of a ribbon of crepe paper tied to a post. The woman slowly crossed through, leaving both ends of the paper fluttering behind her.

Lisa does not know this woman’s name, but this woman became a part of her life since that day – a part she often depends on. For the woman, it wasn’t about beating the other runners or winning a trophy, it was about finishing what she had set out to do, no matter what. When Lisa thinks things are too difficult or too time consuming, or she gets the thought of “I just can’t do it”, she thinks of the last runner. Then she realizes how easy the task before her really is.

Be an Outlier

We are all habitual creatures. You can’t simply change if you’re not prepared for the change itself. You are what you repeatedly do. Many people are just going through life. Letting time tick away. Fast. Letting things happen. Letting every day be just like the day before and the day after. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing unique. Just average. Can things be different for you? Of course they can. You just need to start taking control of your life.

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

You are you. Your challenge in life is to become the best possible version of you. Not an imperfect approximation of someone else. Define your most important role in this world and start shaping your reality based on that. Purpose fuels your motivation. What do you look forward to achieving tomorrow, next quarter or in the next five years? Imagine waking up every day excited for what you’ve set out to accomplish. That passion alone will propel you to the next level. Raise the bar, crush your goals, and make a dent. It’s never too late!

Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.

Many people are living their entire lives without ever standing up and stepping out. But it’s exciting to witness the rare few who dare themselves and step out of their personal bubbles to work on achieving something worthwhile. Most of us live with a stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. We consistently hold onto this belief and keep procrastinating until work becomes a heavy burden. We always default toward a more comfortable path. Outliers seize opportunities and run with them. People who realize how little time they have and are driven to make the absolute most of it. Those are the ones who really live the awesome and extraordinary lives. Be an outlier!

Along With the Gods

When people died, they will enter the afterlife and stand 7 trials for murder, indolence, deceit, injustice, betrayal, violence and filial piety over 49 days. Only those who can clear all 7 trials will be reincarnated and start a new life. If not, they will be punished in the afterlife. This is the story layout of the Korean movie “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds”. Firefighter Kim Ja-hong, died in the line of duty, was escorted to the afterlife by 3 guardians. As a hard working firefighter when he was alive, Ja-hong was regarded as a paragon – the chosen one who had potential to pass the 7 trials. The movie wisely applies the legal system in the real world to the afterlife. His 3 guardians would defend him in each trial, in return, they would also get their reincarnation after they served 49 paragons, Ja-hong was the 48th. Why not 49th, the last one? I’ll tell you later.

So the journey in afterlife began and the trials started. The truth of Ja-hong’s life was also revealed – layer by layer through each trail. He was accused of leaving his colleague in a burning building, working only for money, writing fake letters to his dead colleague’s daughter, and beating his younger brother. Worst, he once planned to kill his mute mother. Behind each of this was a touching story that would cause you heartache. Be prepared, most of the audiences were sobbing by the end of the movie. To further complicate matters, Ja-hong’s trials was interfered by the death of his younger brother in the living world who became a vengeful spirit. Although I don’t quite understand the logic, this brought lots of amazing actions and special effects to the film. I mentioned before in Train to Busan that the special effects of Korean movies are closed to Hollywood and “Along With the Gods” raises the bar again – the visual effects in afterlife and the living world are top-notch.

“Along With the Gods” is a combination of fantasy, thriller, action and drama. All the chemicals work fine, it’s fun and also a tear-jerker. It will stay in your mind and you will feel like experiencing the trials together with Ja-hong. The leading roles of the movie are actually the 3 guardians instead of Ja-hong, each of them has a unique character, especially the little female guardian (Kim Hyang-gi) – she looks so cute. The only critic is the subplot of Ja-hong’s younger brother in the living world is unnecessary long and it will be much touching if Ja-hong appears in his mom’s dream at the end instead of his brother. So why Ja-hong is the 48th paragon? Because his younger brother is the 49th paragon and the 3 guardians will defend him in the upcoming trials. Part 2 of the movie, “Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days”, will be released later this year.