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Archive for May, 2013

two dandelions

As many of you already know, I live in California now. Compared to New York, I am working twice as hard at my job to make half as much, which effectively means I’m making 1/4th as much. At first I was miserable, I’m not going to lie. Since I didn’t believe I could fatten up my bank account anytime soon, I chose to pursue my happiness without it. It took me a while to get here, but I can now say that I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. There are actually many reasons for this, but for now I’ll just discuss my top 4.

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one against the crowd

Unexpectedly, I’ve found that the longer and harder I work on my blog, the more frequently and intensely others discourage me. I say “unexpectedly,” because I always assumed that all of my friends would be interested in encouraging me, as doing so would only embolden themselves in the process. Whenever I have supported a friend in their own journey, whether it was going back to school, or getting back into the gym, I have gotten back twice as much by way of my own motivation to be better. Regardless, I got to thinking about how most forms of discouragement arise from only 2 premises. I want to take this opportunity to debunk them so that you will have the antidote to these mental poisons should you need it:

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lemonade

Writing is my passion, my love. But I didn’t really feel like doing it this month. I was sitting here today trying to understand why I would ever not want to do something that I love to do! I mean, if I can’t get my brain to engage in what I love, how the heck am I going to endure what I hate? As you can see, dear readers, this was a very important question for me to answer.

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a determined dog

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
-Mark Twain

Human beings neither have the strength of the gorilla, the speed of the cheetah, nor the plumage of the peacock. Our distinguishing feature as a species is of course our intelligence. It’s no wonder then that no other topic is as emotionally charged and as hotly debated as IQ. Though not the same as intelligence, IQ still remains our best approximation. The problem with studies on IQ is that they mostly describe populations, not individuals. To say that a high IQ population vis-à-vis a low IQ population will tend to be wealthier is like saying a group of big dogs will tend to overpower a group of small dogs. That doesn’t really say anything about the capabilities or motivation of any single dog.

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24k gold sake cups

Have you ever made the mistake of only working on one aspect of your life at a time? I know I have. And every time I make this mistake, I get pain. Insecurity. Restlessness. A depletion in my reservoir of positive emotions.

If you use this kind of strategy, you will always be stuck doing damage control. While you’re busy getting your body exactly the way you want it, your finances may begin to slip. While you’re busy trying to make enough money (does such a thing even exist?), you may find yourself hugging your bank account, instead of the woman you love. If you have to rebuild any part of your life from ground zero, you are creating unnecessary stress for yourself. Not only will progress be harder to come by, but you will have to work your butt off just to restore an area of your life back to its previous state.

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a swirl of colors on a canvas

He spins around and walks back toward his room. I hear his laughter echoing from down the hallway, “Haha-haa!”

I turn back, but I can’t resummon the mental image I had created. There’s nothing but a vast emptiness to my small room.

“Bui, get ready!” Goethe yells from inside his room.

“For what?” I yell back.

“We’re going out!”

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moonlight

Nearly 2 years had gone by and all of the guys had moved out, all except me and George. Ever the people-connector, he recruited a new member into our fraternity. He embodied the dynamism of Jake, the carefree presence of Brady, the conviction of George, and the passion of Manny. He was big, larger than life, and his name was Goethe.

*****

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