note to self

Today was an excellent reality check. I met up with a current student and spoke to them about reality, how people think, and values in life.

It was a wonderful surprise because I learned that about different life style perspectives. America– more capitalist driven (pro-$) vs. other cultures (pro-appreciating the everyday). Hmm, and you wonder why the rate of depression of is so high in the U.S. compared to elsewhere!

Being wealthy has a bad tinge.

Read the world news; follow what’s going on around the world. Care about what’s beyond yourself.

How to better understand others? Travel and mingle with the people— don’t do the stay in the hotel route.

In order to do things, you have to start with confidence, coupled with passion, and hard work.

And I think the one thing I realized after talking with him (and probably something I’ve noticed in general).

What helps for a developing/unstable country: a homogeneous population.

politics is not something you learn in school. You learn by doing.

There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, as long as you’re well spoken.

It’s so nice to talk with smart people who care about the welfare of the world, who are not driven by money.

That and I need to work on making a convincing argument on why i want to go into medicine.

G was right. For where your treasure lies, there your heart lies as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self: thanks, reflection, and on focus

Today was exhausting (and confusing) in its own way after a five hour exam. But never have I felt so much love from and encouragement from You (receiving texts and prayers from all sorts of people). I think I put in all my effort in these past couple of days. Some thoughts I’ve gathered over the past couple of months of focused study.

1. It takes a long time to learn to focus. Like weeks. But you have to believe it will happen and so you have to incrementally increase how long you can sit still for and focused. You have to believe it’s going to happen if you put in the effort…and 

2. And suddenly, you’re focusing and reading things like Theory of Literature for (semi-fun) and it definitely carries over into other areas of your life (like your eating habits, and exercising).

3. Being healthy feels good to the brain and to the body: note, I avoided (mostly) processed carbohyrates with a few exceptions (mostly eating blueberries, blackberries, salmon, and lots of azuki beans), cooked meals by the Ma <3. And despite not exercising for over a week, I was suddenly able to bike for at least 1.5 times longer (at a rapid pace). Diet —> you (and often how you feel about yourself)

4. Minimizing sugar. Today was the first day I ate an Oreo in 2 weeks or so. It was the first day after 7 days of eating peach gummies. I ate an almond cookie for the first time. And afterwards, I felt sick. Like, sugar was kind of repugnant. 

5. And on top of that, I think my sleep is improving. (more on this later, we’ll see…)

6. You have to believe it’s going to happen, and then you have to put in the effort, and keep believing that it’ll happen if you put in the effort. Along the way, try to reinforce with little treats. Like ‘yay!’ i did a little. But keep going. Keep going! Cheer Cheer! 

***7. The only way you can do 6 effectively is if you truly believe that G really really cares for you, wants you be who you are meant to be. At the same, He does not encourage laziness. So he will reward you, encourage you, but HE wants YOU TO GROW.***

8. Something I learned tangentially, you have to be a self-assured, self-defined. And do interesting things that occupy your time. And really trust that G is working. You can’t always see it, but HE is really there. He is always there. He’s not loud, not obnoxious, but he is there. And making things happen, in his way to MAKE YOU GROW. Always ask, What is HE trying to teach me here? At this moment?

9. Dedicate more to talking with HIM. think about all the joy and wonderful(ness) you’ve experienced through with HIM. 

10. Be grateful (and express your gratefulness) via remembering other people’s test days, and focusing on other people (in a not dependent way, but in a ‘hooray, i am really excited for you kind of way’.

11. Humor is awesome. And makes things more bearable. Seriously. Joy is kind of. Awesome. Like totes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self (on jealousy and why it’s stupid)

During a conversation with my parents over a discussion about a particular someone. I asked, “does that person know or ever consider that their behavior is making them miserable? Or doesn’t make them happy?”

“no, if they did, they probably wouldn’t be doing it.”

“probably. Oh, and why are they particularly jealous of xyz in the sense that xyz is better than them. There are a like a billion people out there.”

And that got me thinking, if I’m ever angry, upset, or want to glorify someone, put someone on a pedestal, I should probably stop. and think. There is probably someone who did something even better and more efficient and is generally more awesome. It’s like eating a pocket apple pie from mcDonald’s and saying, “wow, this is what I want to emulate”

It’s honestly ridiculous. But I don’t think I’d be able to grasp the concept if I illustrated it alternatively.

In other words, when someone is like, “Damn, they are awesome. I’m jealous” or something of that derivative. It’s stupid because, honestly, sure maybe it’s good that it temporarily irks you ONLY in the sense that it makes you want to be better (not in a comparative sense in ‘no, i’ve one upped them’.” it’s more like a ok, here’s a standard that someone else has done. can i achieve that? Or better yet, am i in the direction of reaching that (as some kind of benchmark), not as in ‘wow, now i’ve reached it and i’m done.”

Haruki Marukami said it best when (to loosely paraphrase his expressions), that when he ran or did anything, he set internal goals because what if one day, ‘poof’ those standards disappeared and they no longer existed. would your motivation to do such things also evaporate? hard to say, but honestly, that’s the mentality to adapt that’ll help you grow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self (road rage, thermometer)

A good friend of mine once commented that road rage is a good indicator of spiritual health and how angry you are. I realized, ‘huh, makes sense’. I’ve been having issues with my roommate all year long and today (and in connection to the friend’s comment), I read, Ephesisans 2:1 – 2:3, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedienceamong whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Honestly, sure it makes me pretty upset when I think about my interactions with her, but I think I have also to realize that, ‘hey, I was once a pretty darn angry person too.” Now, not as much. And I can’t applaud myself for this change. And so, with people who haven’t gotten to that point, I should realize ‘hey, they haven’t gotten there. It’s really akin to arguing with an infant. 

Also, unrelatedly, I think if I have big projects in mind, it’s a great distraction (and really, not so much distraction) as it’s a great relief and a great use of my prefrontal cortex, my time, and my mental energies on BIG projects. I really need to remind myself more frequently of this…. BIG PROJECTS. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self (kindness, cheerfulness, and narcissism)

Thanks be to He who provides all things.

Yesterday, I went onto Fbook and I noticed a couple of things: there was a friend who had posted a delightful picture of “mock all powerful” picture with a cupcake. Ha! I hadn’t expected to smile.

I was studying today, and I saw on one of the questions–written on the side, “dum-dum. Look at the figure”. (I kind of heard in Tina Fey’s voice).

And then another poster who had a picture with the co-workers. And how this person probably do any work. “I carried bags”

Each of these examples made me smile. And I’m really grateful for the wonderful people in the world who make it so. And so I realize, seriously, “Why so serious?”

It’s a lot more fun to be around when you aren’t 1) super serious/stern, 2) must show off intelligence/wit/etc. 3) True, genuine smiles. Are the best.

Also, when I noticed that the theatrical adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” is happening when I’m preparing for this study. Makes me so. sad. last time, i missed Screwtape. This time?

Yeah, I can’t say anything more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self (on somewhat “magical things” and sprezzatura)

I’m often intrigued by people who know a lot, or s someone who is able to fix or explain things flawlessly. Or even someone who has a normal sleep schedule. I think they are geniuses or something.

But deep down, I know and I shouldn’t kid myself. They are all focused and they spend a lot of time mastering their craft. There is a beautiful old (Chinese) saying that goes like, “3 minutes on the stage, 3 years of hard work”. 

Therefore, with that idea in mind, “talk less and go do more”.

Let’s see what there is to achieve. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

note to self (little things and focus)

Choosing what to think about, focus, and what your default setting is 

-focus is associated with happiness (M. Csikszentmihalyi)

-A close connection between the children’s ability to control their attention and their ability to control emotions. (D. Kahnemann)

learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience (D.F. Wallace). 

If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. (D.F. Wallace) 

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able to truly care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over again in myriad petty, unsexy ways everyday. (D.F.Wallace)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment