A Reminder to Quit My Deferred-Life Plan6 min read

by | Feb 13, 2018 | Blues Dancing, Contemplation, Motivation, Philosophy

What is life?

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Life is the aspect of existence that processes, acts, reacts, evaluates, and evolves through growth (reproduction and metabolism).

The crucial difference between life and non-life (or non-living things) is that life uses energy for physical and conscious development. Life is anything that grows and eventually dies.

I have a confession today: Most of us have been taking life for granted, including me.

Eight years ago, I quit my deferred life as a typical Malaysian Chinese. I was hungry for more experience in a country that I hadn’t been before. I was thirsty for knowledge and wisdom from the greatest minds of the modern civilization. I wanted to think, speak, write, and act like them.

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It was one of the best decisions I have made. I am very grateful for the Great Books Program education I have for my undergraduate studies. Besides learning some elementary Ancient Greek and how to study math and science philosophically, the program thought me how to think for myself.

Somehow after right before I graduated. I became sick of reading and I wanted to run away from it. I graduated and I became too hasty to pursue my entrepreneurial career.

I had the time, opportunity, and all the resources I needed. I executed many spurs of massive actions. But, I lacked consistency. I forgot to slow down my pace. My soul and my mind couldn’t catch up with my actions. Before long, the consequences of the inharmonious body, mind, and soul caught up with me.

The last three years passed by so fast. It was so fast not because I was busy, but because I was trapped in the scarcity mindset. I am a lot better now.

Albeit, that scarcity mindset haunts my present from time to time. I have to remind myself not to go back. I have to remember that this world is full of happiness and abundance, more than misery and poverty.

It was miserable then, even when I had shelter, food, clothes, and transportation. It became more miserable when I was almost homeless; I had to depend on the generosity of a Chinese restaurant to feed me. It was so hard that I could hardly see any hope in life. Fortunately, I had friends who supported me along the way, with no strings attached.

It took me a little less than a year to change: my physical fitness, my inner beliefs, my attitude, and my spiritual fitness. From being jobless and almost-homeless, I became a sales and marketing consultant. I succeeded in the automobile business without any prior experience in the industry.

It felt great because I was able to but I knew I had to quit my job. If I were to stay at the automobile industry, I would probably be making more money than I ever have. At the same time, I knew I would have lost my soul by now. There’s nothing wrong with selling cars to those who need it; it is ethically wrong for me to not pursue my vision and contribute my maximum potential to the world.

Ever since I quit my deferred-life as a typical Malaysian Chinese by coming to the United States of America and enrolled in an unconventional¬†liberal arts college, I’d never wanted an ordinary life. Ever since I became the student of philosophy and life, the roads not taken are the only paths that will bring me excitement and happiness.

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Ironically, as much as I have the talent of striving in the midst of the unknown, I am afraid of it. I have to remind myself of the law of impermanence, that the unknown will be known soon enough. And my life mission is to be a traveler of the unknown, and soon to be the lighthouse for those after me.

I want my life to inspire others to live their own authentic life. I am so happy now and grateful today that I am able to express my thoughts.

Due to my enthusiastic personality and passion for life, I have always been very expressive. Yet, the fear of my own fears has limited me to express my true self.

Thank you, Universe for giving me guidance.

And thank you, Dr. David L. Weatherford, a child psychologist who wrote this poem, which I found it in Tim Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek”.

I hope my confession and this poem is enough to kick you in the butt to quit your own deferred-life plan.

Here it is.

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask: How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say, “Hi”?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do not take it slower.

Hear the music
Before the song is over.

As a sincere reminder for both you and me:

“Stop procrastinating and start manifesting your life vision now!”