Roller Coaster Life

I was never a big fan of theme parks. I think they are cheesy and corny. Disneyland is a place for kids or adults who still believe in fairy tale, who lack of depth to see what’s real because everything is flawed. There is no fairy tale.

Now that I hit 30+, I admit that I changed. I start to see the value of being a kid, of being simple, and letting go of how you see yourself and how others see you. I try to let go of certain judgements. I actually start to enjoy theme parks. After all, it’s designed to bring happiness. Eventually it’s just like what I do. Marketing is about happiness.

After letting go of judgement, you begin to see things as what it is. We are all at heart a child longing for happiness, freedom, beautiful things. Theme parks makes them visible, touchable, and of course, consumable.

The best part of a theme park is Roller Coasters. They are usually design to bring adventure. Day to day life is so bored. Some of us travel, run marathons, dive, hike… we all need some novelty. Roller Coaster is an intense shot of novelty and adrenaline. They are design to make you crave more.

Somehow sitting on a roller coaster is like looking at life. Since you are on the ride anyway, why not sit at the front row? The only thing you can do is to tell yourself is relax and enjoy the ride. When it goes up, enjoy the amazing view because it’s usually high high up there. You see things other people cannot see. Don’t get consumed by the thought that it will come down because it certainly will. And when it does, it’s fast and furious. You can scream. You can kick. But there’s nothing else you can do except to sit tight. It will eventually goes down. But the best part is it will not stay there forever either. Nothing will stay forever. Everything will change.

When you master one, you level up and want higher, better, more scary coasters. So there are more intense, more difficult ones ahead of you. It will certainly bring more adrenaline and pain. Accept it. Don’t try to fight. Knowing that no matter what, it’s not going to last forever.

Life is just a ride. Roll with it.

A Better 2017

I went to an event with a few speakers on a subject very interesting to me: Mindfulness.

First time I heard about this is on a magazine, TIME, a few years ago. It doesn’t make much sense to me. A year ago I bumped into a secondary school classmate who is studying this subject and I was still not getting much of it.

Now, it makes more sense to me.

We are living in a world that we constantly using our brain to solve problems. Brains creates thoughts, thoughts creates emotions, emotions creates reactions.

However, the brain can’t solve all them, especially the ones that’s very important to our lives. It often gave us thoughts thus actions that’s not helping us, but destroying our happiness. Changing thoughts and mindsets is the most difficult thing.

Mindfulness is essentially being aware of the thoughts created by your brain, aware of the emotions generates from the thoughts so that better control your reaction to it.

We can’t control the world, but we can control our reaction to it.

After moving to Hong Kong, I love the offering here. However, the negative sentiment towards the future affects the most optimistic, positive person, especially I am not one of them. I constantly feel unfulfilled and insecure. I try to use a lot of ways to deal with it — build a nice home, start a relationship, rekindle with old friends, be more with family, create workout routine, travel thing world, challenge myself with career goals, races and adventures… everything that helps me to have a positive mindset.

They brought me a lot of fun time so I wouldn’t say I failed, more like half failed. I am still unfulfilled, unhappy.

Until I read the book “The Power of Now”. I was constantly living in the past and future. I wasn’t present.

Life will nudge you if you don’t wake up. The book is like a wake up call. At this point, I had a glimpse into being aware of my thoughts because it’s the source of all the emotions and reactions.

Awareness. Presence. Gratitude. Kindness. Mindfulness. By practicing these attitudes I can help myself to live positively.

So I will set the goals and action plans to be a better self in different aspects.

  1. Physical
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Relationship
  5. Spiritual

There is no finish line

Life seems to be a constant process of this: want, set goal, work work work, get it, let go.

From the grade in school, the approval from your parents and senior, the job or project or new business deal, the girl or boy in your dreams, the large home with 3 bedrooms, the happy family, the social status that people look up to etc etc.

Want is the first step, it’s probably the difficult part because, well, a good start means half of the success. When I grow up I used to hear people around me saying – I don’t know what I want. (Well, I said it too) Want something isn’t exactly easy. It requires understanding yourself and the situation around you.

Then, people who are clear of what they want set a goal. In the Law of Attraction, it’s called “making a wish to the universe”. When you set the goal, you need to come up with a plan to reach it. It’s the part to test if you know yourself or the situation well enough.

Coming up with a plan is creation. A plan needs to be executed and acted upon. Again, is the plan realistically executable? Are you devoted enough to realize it? The difficult part is that you need to give up something to realize it. Most of the time people get procrastinated, because they don’t want to give up their time on crouch or in front of the video game or TV, or the muffin or ice cream, another glass of the drink. At the end of the day it isn’t about the plan or the action, it’s about how much you want it.

There are full of traps on the road to the finishing line, external and internal. The most diligent people may not realize the goal. In Chinese, we say “plan by people, succeed by god”. You need to take a leap of faith. Any success requires taking on the uncertainty. The uncertainty of jumping into the unknown, of falling so hard that you thought you can never get back up again. Without the leap of faith, you will never get there.

When we are running, we endure much pain in the body. Sometimes excruciating and you don’t know why you are doing it. However we keep running because knowing that I am running and enduring the pain makes us feel alive.

“There is no finish line.” One of the famous line and I’ve never understood why this is good. Isn’t that getting there the ultimate goal? Don’t we run for the joy of reaching the finish line?

The real fun is that, it never ends. If you are someone with the drive, after you reach the finish line, you let go of the glory and start running again.

If you never let go, then you are stuck there. No matter how good is it, you cannot stuck at one place for too long. You got left behind if you do.

Life is a journey. Take a breathe, sip some water, let go of the past, get set and run again.

Happiness is knowing that you are always on the way to achieve what you want.

Running

Blog - Shoe Dog

“Running. It’s hard. It’s painful. It’s risky. The rewards are few and far from guaranteed. When you round around an oval track, or down an empty road, you have no real destination. At lease, none that can fully justify the effort.

The act itself becomes the destination. It’s not just that there’s no finish line; it’s that you define the finish line.

Whatever pleasure or gains you derive from the act of running, you must find them within. It’s all how you frame it, how you sell it to yourself.

Every runners know this. You run and run, miles after miles, and you never quite know why. You tell yourself that you’re running toward some goal, chasing some rush, but really you run because the alternative, stopping, scares you to death.

So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy… just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”

Phil Knight. Shoe Dog.

 

I think this is so far the best writing about running I’ve seen. It makes me think about work, about passion, about life.

I’ve always wondered, what keeps a person going. Determination? Passion? Belief? Where does ones motivation come from?

Sometimes you don’t even know what you are chasing, that the goal isn’t monetary, not material, not even recognition.

It comes from inside, a desire that you have to satisfied, because if not, the fear of emptiness that you are going to carry the whole life. It keeps us going, running, working for the meaning of life.

What drives you to run?

Myself

I’ve been struggling about how to introduce myself. Because whenever I think about it, it goes to another much deeper question: How do you define yourself?

Where do I come from. What do I do. What matters to me. What do I want in my life.

These aren’t easy to answer. But I will try my best.

Asian. Female. I was born in a small city and my family moved to a more modern, progressive and international city. I am forever grateful for their decision. There was identity crisis at a young age. I am not always proud of my country. Being an immigrant, my family lived in poverty, discriminated, treated unfairly and unfriendly. So I always had a mixed feeling about the city I grow up. It made me and my younger brother grew quickly.

Growing up I am always interested in History. Literature. Art. People. I love to read. I could spend hours and hours in a library or book store (usually where my parents left me unattended) reading every book I could get. I love stories and novels, big thick novels. I love poems too, especially ancient ones because it’s more fun to interpret them. For a long time I thought I would become a writer until I found out it doesn’t pay well and I need money.

I loved drawing too. Loved art classes in school. I was the art director for my school magazine. I think any form of expression of one self is fascinating. Music, dancing, singing.. it’s all about art. After I went to college, I picked something more practical, but I never ignore my creativity.

I’ve been through many different jobs in the last 10 years. Mostly different form of communication to talk to people, to share ideas, to tell a story, to generate interest, desire and demand. At work, I like CHALLENGES. I like NEWNESS. I like CHANGES. But I don’t like to do it for the sake of change or being new. I think communicating an idea is both an art and science. Engagement is key. Data is essential. Sales is a result but not the goal.

Passion. Love. Value. Humanity matters to me. Follow your heart. Choose what and who you love. Always choose them. Do the right thing. Make a difference. Make a mark in the world.

What do I want to do with my life. All of the above. And I am still in this journey.

Myself