A Reminder to Quit My Deferred-Life Plan

A Reminder to Quit My Deferred-Life Plan

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!”

 

Help me get one more

Help me get one more

It’s 12:04 AM on a Wednesday midnight, or you can call it Thursday morning. I was going to upload some of the essays I have written for this blog.

Instead of doing that, I decided to write a fresh essay instead.

There’s something about magical about writing a fresh piece. It’s embracing the present. One idea at a time turns into one full sentence; sentences turn into one full paragraph; paragraphs turn into one full article that channels my one complete message.

What is the one idea I have then?

Some of you may have guessed it from the title if you know some history from WWII.

I got it from the “punchline scene” from the most recent Mel Gibson’s movie, Hacksaw Ridge. I didn’t watch the whole movie. I literally caught the last 30 minutes of it during my work break when my housemate was watching it in the living room. There was a specific scene that gripped my attention from a quiet break. (spoilers alert)

Before I show you the scene clip, it would make more sense to understand the backstory a little. The scene is set at the battle of Okinawa; one of the final battles of WWIIs Pacific campaign and Hacksaw Ridge.

Every inch of the Japanese home islands was soaked in blood, and nowhere more so than Okinawa. Hacksaw Ridge was a vertical bluff where the Japanese were entrenched at the top in a series of bunkers and tunnels. To reach them in the first place, you needed to climb a vertical cargo net up the ridge, and at the top, you were immediately met with the full resistance of the Japanese.

The only way to get them up was to have naval ships hammer the area with artillery fire and give them a window to get enough men up the ridge to begin a “battle”.  The quotes indicate the level of success the Allies had in staying on the Ridge, as wave after wave of death forced them back down the net.

Desmond Doss, a medic private who took a vow before God to never touch a gun for the rest of his life because he never wanted violence to swallow him the way it did his father, who was a shell-shocked WWI veteran. Surprisingly, Doss prevailed his crusade to serve without touching a firearm after a court-martial hearing.

The scene I am going to show you takes place after a long battle between the Allied forces and the Japanese army. Gibson doesn’t shy away from the brutality of war at all.

Hacksaw Ridge is given a horror movie vibe similar to the tension-filled opening of Saving Private Ryan. here’s a sensory desensitization about the experience as you’re powerless to look away. It’s relentless as war doesn’t provide an opportunity to mourn or provide certain contemplation.

Everything is reactionary and as much as war is a physical exertion, it’s a psychological one as well. The battlefield is covered in fire smoke and debris, an almost mystic and atmospheric appearance where the enemy is impossible to see.  Scenes of rat covered dead bodies or dismemberment showcase the ferociousness of the encounter.

Some soldiers didn’t fire a round from their weapon, brutally gun downed by the opposition before having that opportunity. Confident men reduced to nothing but shells, fearfully unable to deal with the destruction they see.

If you thought the battle wasn’t harrowing enough, you have bodies used as human shields in order for soldiers to progress forward. Private Doss went into this charnel house completely unarmed.

Treating his fellow soldiers to the best of his ability, Doss was left behind when the Allies were forced to retreat once more as night fell.  Doss was not alone, as Allied wounded were littered across the battlefield. (Now, you are ready to watch this scene.)

As you saw in the scene, during the course of the night, Doss went from man to man, triaging them, then literally dragging them to the edge of the ridge where he would lower them down in a jury-rigged rope sling.

This is the film’s triumph. It’s an astounding feat of courage and faith, and it’s impossible not to be moved as Desmond prays constantly, “Help me get one more.,” and heads back out into the uncertain night.

When I was watching this scene, it reminded me of my practice of staying in present and focus on one thing at a time. The more overwhelming life becomes, the more we have to stay in the present and focus only on one thing that we can control.

Desmon Doss didn’t have any control over how many he could have saved. Many died in his arms despite his efforts to save them. The only thing he could control was saving one at a time.

Over that one night, Desmond Doss lowered 75 men including wounded Japanese soldiers he came across.  He was injured four times during the battle and was the first conscientious objector to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

In retrospect, I am fortunate to be living in a relatively peaceful era where I do not have to fight a war as a soldier. I don’t have to look over my shoulder to stay alive. I don’t have bayonets, bullets, grenades, or mortars threatening my life from all directions. No matter what life throws at me, there’s nothing can compare to what Doss had to put up with at Hacksaw Ridge.

Sometimes, I get very frustrated with life just because I haven’t achieved my goals in different aspects of my life. That is a reasonable reaction from one perspective.

But, what if I am living in a place where war and death are daily common occurrences? What if I am born in a place where clean water, food, and shelter are rare?

Would I have the opportunity to study abroad at my dream college?

Would I be given the opportunity to serve more than 4,000 families by selling educational and Christian literature door-to-door?

Would I have the resources I have to build location independent businesses that generate sustainable passive income?

I would probably be dead by now.

“Just to put things in another perspective other than being in a war, in 2016, 5.6 million children under age five died, 15 000 every day. The risk of a child dying before completing five years of age is still highest in the WHO African Region [76.5 per 1000 live births], the mortality rate in low-income countries was 73.1 deaths per 1000 live births.” – World Health Organization | Under-five mortality

Yeah, if I were lucky, I am pretty sure I would be either suffering from some kind of PTSD or some chronic disease. If I were to live in one of the poorest countries in the world, I would be working for less than $1.90 a day. (reference)

If you are reading this, you are fortunate enough to have access to the internet, unless someone printed this essay and share it with you.

The next time you find yourself tackling a huge project, don’t overwhelm yourself with how challenging it could be. Believe that god, the universe, your guide or your higher-self will help you, and say, “Please help me get one more.

You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day, and soon you will have a wall.

~ Willard Carroll ‘Will’ Smith Jr.

 

What does it really mean to live a happy life?

What does it really mean to live a happy life?

Here’s the GT’s Formula for Happiness

“(Heart + Motivation + Inspiration + Action)(Personal Legend) = Happy Life”

I feel great now, right at this moment, this second,

not because of any materialistic gains,

nor is it due to any specific event.

Any material or intellectual objects I have are merely tools to the life that I have manifested for myself.

If I don’t use these objects to advance at least one step every day towards my personal legend, I would never be able to feel as content as I am now. I feel total presence and calmness. I am fully aware of the physical sensation I have in every individual cell in my body.

It used to be, but it is no longer strange to me anymore, for whatever I feel or experience.

It takes willpower to take the first step without fully knowing what lies ahead of the next step.

It takes motivation to do whatever one sets out to do.

And it takes courage to express one’s heart truthfully albeit facing the fear of judgment and criticisms from others, especially from the loved and the beloved.

No one cares about what you actually do in your life.

Every one of us, including the saints are thinking about themselves 99.99% of the time.

Be it you save lives with your extraordinary surgical skills and vast medical knowledge;

Be it you put smiles and laughter on others’ faces with your sunny warm smile;

Be it you code the best software or phone apps to improve the technological generation’s daily life experience with your unbeatable logic and memory power;

Be it you create the next medicine to cure incurable disease with thousands of tedious hours in your under-budgeted laboratory;

Be it you make peace and humanity possible with your shrewd political and public speaking skills;

Be it you educate the engineers of the future to come with your highly creative teaching methods;

The most inspiring stories are not confined to what you do exactly on the daily basis, but doing what your heart truly wants.

People are inspired by witnessing the actions you take are directing towards your personal legend, even while you are still stumbling on your path.

The key to happiness is to take actions every day towards manifesting lifestyle that you truly want to live.

This is what it takes to be authentic.

This is what it takes to be happy.

This is what it means to be alive.

this way

Everyone has their own path.

And every path has its unique challenges and rewards.

Observe well with your God-given eyes.

Listen carefully with your God-given ears.

Think wisely with your god given brain.

So that most of your actions will direct towards what you truly want – your Personal Legend.

Be mindful of your thoughts, your reactions, your feelings and the things that you say to yourself out loud.

They will guide you to reach the pinnacle of your vision.

The vision that you have imagined for yourself, with personalized surprises and detours.

Start taking action now before you regret lying on your death-bed, six feet underground.

Every single baby steps matters, even if it’s just spending a few minutes thinking about what you really want.

May all of you be happy, be merry and be ALIVE ~!

Good morning November 16

Let’s get it on with our exciting, marvelous and phenomenal self-designed lifestyle together.

Your future is yours’ to write.

Share in the comment box below to share what actions are you going to take to manifest your happy life.

~ From the heart of Guan Tyng

Living your own personal legend (A humble tribute to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)

Living your own personal legend (A humble tribute to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)

It has been a while I have ever read any fiction for pleasure.

At least for the past 3 years I have been in St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, thanks to the enormous reading list that I am required to read for class, reading great fiction works by Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf had become more of a task rather than a means to lose yourself in the world of imagination.

Fiction is a form of art that allows us to dwell in the deepest realm of our human imagination in enriching our life experiences in the reality without living the imaginative world ourselves.

Just recently on Christmas Eve night, I had met a very attractive and interesting lady named Aletheia, who is a huge fan of fiction reading. Only at the night when we went out for blues dancing in Albuquerque, I found out that her father is, in fact, one of the fiction bestselling author who is currently residing in Santa Fe (due to the privacy, I am not mentioning his name).

Unfortunately for her that I am not a huge follower in any kind of fiction in these recent years, I was quite oblivious to any of the fiction author she was excited about. However, her passion for fiction was so great that it rekindled the fire in me to pick up a fiction to read them for pleasure again.

On April 10, 2013, thanks to Willard Carroll Smith aka Will Smith, who is one of my most respectable celebrities in the entertainment industry, I had bought a book named The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho that was highly recommended by him when he was interviewed by Travis Smiley. Due to the immediate duties and obligations, I had to deal with as a college student and as a student manager in Varsity International, I failed to get myself into the right mindset to read that book.

Just this past week, I already had a strong desire to pick up that book again. And thanks to Aletheia’s infinite passion for fiction, I finally sat myself down to read that book. In 3 hours, I was totally immersed in Coelho’s phenomenal description about the beauty of life through Santiago’s adventure pursuing his Personal Legend. Here, I shall dedicate my next few blog posts as a tribute to Paulo Coelho’s life-enchanting work that has been a huge impact on me.

[…]

“Why do you tend a flock of sheep?”

“Because I like to travel.”

The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. “when he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

“He should have decided to become a shepherd,” the boy said.

“Well, he thought about that,” the old man said. “But bakers are more important people than shepherds. Bakers have homes, while shepherds sleep out in the open. Parents would rather see their children marry bakers than shepherds.

The boy felt a pang in his heart, thinking about the merchant’s daughter. There was surely a baker in her town.

The old man continued, “In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own Personal Legend.”

The old man leafed through the book and fell to reading a page he came to. The boy waited, and then interrupted the old man just as he himself had been interrupted. “Why are you telling me all this?”

“Because you are trying to realize your Personal Legend. And you are at the point where you’re about to give it all up.”

[…] (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, pg. 22 – pg. 23)

This is the part where it struck me the most. The baker chose to be a baker not because his utmost desire is to bake and serve people around him by means of the bakery.

He became a baker due to the common notion of his time to save money and to be seen as a good candidate for marriage. Instead of looking for the best path to live his Personal Legend, he gave it up due to immediate challenges and social obligations.

Consequently, the baker ended up becoming a baker for the rest of his life and never left his duty post. Hence, he never even had an opportunity to experience what he might like about traveling. Traveling might not be his Personal Legend but it was definitely something that he genuinely desires for himself.

Instead of taking actions that would lead him towards his desire, he gave it all up because he is afraid to lose the comfort zone he had: a baker who earns money with a good reputation to be a good husband. He has chosen well for his own life rather than great.

How many of us are the baker in disguise in our lives?

How many opportunities have we given up because of fear of failure, fear of missing out and fear of the unknown for the path that we know we have to take to be great?

Are you taking any step every day striving towards your Personal Legend or are you lying to yourself that you will never reach anywhere close to the life that you truly desire for yourself?

Ask yourself now, “What kind of life do you really want to live?” Don’t worry about how to get there, as Paulo Coelho says, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.” ~ Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson

For those who have already read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, if the book or my post has made a positive impact in your life, why don’t you share it to your friends who you think might enjoy it?

You never know what kind of impact you could have in their lives.

Sharing this post with them would be a good start! ^^

Disclaimer: This post does not claim to fully explain the philosophy behind Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist but an article for the sake of its author’s mean to share his thoughts and to receive more contribution for those who are about living their greatest version of life. For those who are interested in getting them a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, click here.

The book is an international bestseller. According to AFP, it has sold more than 30 million copies in 56 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author.

If you enjoy reading this post, share it with your friend and family.

And again, don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment box below! ~