People are just people

People are not problems to fix.
You don’t need to figure them out.
They are not right or wrong (according to who anyways?!)

People are just people.
All we need to do is be with them.
See them.
Hear them.
Show them they matter.

Keep your identity small

I read Paul Graham essay on Keeping your identity small, what a great read and a wonderful insight! Here is a small excerpt from his essay.
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The most intriguing thing about this theory, if it’s right, is that it explains not merely which kinds of discussions to avoid, but how to have better ideas. If people can’t think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.

Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.
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It resonated with me.

You can’t lose if you don’t play

It might be true depending on the game you’re playing and the rules of that game.

It might be that ‘not playing’ in itself is loosing the game.

Remember, you also can’t win if you don’t play.

I was wrong

A few days back I was wrestling with this question: when someone born and raised in the US is having a conversation with someone born and raised from a non English speaking country, who should do more work as to making sure the conversation goes smooth? Here is how I answered this question in a previous post and after listening to Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The story of Success, I figured why I answered this question the way I did: those who are born in the west (US,…) believe that it is up to the speaker to make sure everyone else understands what she is saying and those who are born in Asia (China,…) believe that it is up to the listener to understand what’s being said.
I answered this question as someone who has similar cultural background as someone from Asia!
Maybe there isn’t one answer to questions like these, maybe it’s not either/or, maybe it’s both/and,… choosing between binary answers might not be the right way to go about cultural, social, identity questions.

Practical Intelligence

Practical Intelligence is learned. What is practical intelligence? Robert Sternberg, psychologist, says that it includes, “knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect.”

Great phrase from the outliers book by Malcom Gladwell

English as a second language

In my experience with learning English, it is a very easy language to learn and to master, but sometimes our main language doesn’t make it easy for us to get the accent right. Most people I know who learned English after their 15th birthday, all have an accent.

Does having an accent, make you not worth the time to be listened to? Does it mean you don’t have interesting things to talk about? Of course not. I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations ,in English, with people who don’t really speak English.

Who needs to do the extra work then?

The one learning the language and trying to express their ideas or the one with perfect English and wishing they could understand what’s being said?

I think both. Those of us who are learning needs not to try and get rid of our accents because we probably won’t be able to (and it’s what makes us, us) but we need to try and do a lot of work so that we can explain our ideas and have meaningful conversations, and for those with English as their primary language (they need to do a lot more work), they need to be able to extend some grace and be patient with us, they need not to assume what we mean by what we are saying, but ask us questions to fully understand what we actually mean, they need to applaud the courage of those trying to excel in an other language, they should be willing to extend their hand further more, after all, it’s their language!

“No problem” is a problem

I live under the illusion that not having problems is how life is supposed to be. I want to go to bed knowing that my family and friends are happy and healthy, I want to wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the day, I want to have a clear calendar so I can do things that I enjoy doing like reading, listening to podcasts, walking, talking to friends, writing,… I want to go through the day with a clear mind and no bad thoughts of any kind, I want to feel safe and to know that I’m loved and adored by my family and my friends,…

I just described what I think would be a perfect day for me, and I have no idea if it would, since I have never had a day like that. I realize that having a day like that might bring happiness and joy but waiting to have a perfect day for me to be happy and joyful is insane, having a perfect day isn’t the destiny, it’s not something to strive for and maybe one day to reach; but the destiny is in the pursuit.
I should strive for happiness and joy while working towards what I think is a perfect day.

Cheers to this amazing journey!

On Doing Your Best

We do our very best, but sometimes it’s just not good enough. We buckle our seat belts, we wear a helmet, we stick to the lighted paths, we try to be safe. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Cause when the bad things come, they come out of nowhere. The bad things come suddenly, with no warning. But we forget that sometimes that’s how the good things come too. – Meredith Grey