0231 – All we'll all float on ok. Happy Birthday.

Bye bye to the second decade. Say hello to the 20s. Best years of my life? Life defining decade? Maybes.

I’m 20 now. Goodness. I’m getting old! In a way, it doesn’t matter, because I don’t think I’ll ever grow up. I just love the pete that is always childish and annoy everyone like there’s no tomorrow. I love the pete that is so strange and quirky and loud. And of course, I love the pete that is embarking on this happiness revolution.

Loving yourself seems easy enough, but it takes a lot. It takes a lot to accept you as who you are. What I heard today: Do not let the you society thinks you are be the you you think you are. It takes a lot to simply be you, believe it or not.

Looking back on my first *quarter* (I hope) of my life, I have, in a way, achieved nothing and many things. I’m proud of myself. I’m so glad for the blessings that I’ve received this semester. I’m still here, but I’m fighting, and I’m being me. I’m still in the paws of the society, but I’m, as always, fighting. That now gives me the next three quarters of my life to go over my dreams. Pretty good eh?

You know I’m reminded of one common Buddhist quote that one should be mindful of death with every breath. Sounds morbid, right? But what it truly says to me is how lucky we are that we are here alive and kicking and bitchin(g). How lucky we are to be in this beautiful but troubled world. There is nothing better than life. Nothing.

Realize this. Realize that we’re so fortunate. Realize that life is in fact a rewarding journey, and we’ll all float on alright.


0230 – Thank you

Life, you surprise me all the time. When I least expect it, you give me the added boost and inspiration to go on. Maybe this really is it. Is this what I’m supposed to do?

It’s crazy:

how lucky we can be

how things can just completely change overnight

how powerful words are

how rewards will come when you’re just about to give up

how this journey that I’ve undertaken has already been so rewarding, and yet I’m just at the beginning. Really just at the beginning, and I am looking forward to the future.

What a difference I am making. What a life I am living. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself all the time. Maybe life is really about this – learning and failing and restarting, getting buoyed by the rewards and joys of friendship and support that pull you through.

It’s amazing that I don’t have to pretend to be happy anymore. This gives me peace. I now see a clear distinction between the views of society and mine, and I know that I’m gonna move towards my own lofty lofty goal. I may not get there – more than likely not to – but this journey has taken me to the most amazing people in the world, and I am so glad that I’m here.

Thank you life. For teaching me how to live. For teaching me how to inspire. For teaching me how to move forward. For teaching me how to simply be.

There is no time like the present. Do it. Go for it. Go for what you truly care about. Go for your very own fulfillment and happiness. What are you waiting for?

0229 – Impatient optimists

This is the first time I’m reading something from Melinda Gates, and I am impressed.

‘Impatient optimists’ huh? A very thought provoking term. Am I one?

I considered myself a pessimist, but not the nihilistic/fatalistic kind of pessimist. A patient pessimist maybe. Does that work?

In any case, jumping ship to the ‘impatient optimists’ category sounds like a good idea. Seeing things like the article and the TEDxChange makes it easier to do so. Maybe society is corrupting everyone. Maybe we all are inherently good after all.

Impatiently optimistic,


0228 – Fight for humanity

So I decided that, sitting inside this epicly boring class, this is the best time to write a new post. It’s been an eventful two weeks with ups and downs, highs and lows, desolation and hope, and dreams kept in check by reality.

Here is a speech by Bill Deresiewicz addressed to the entering freshman class at Stanford. Best fifteen minutes of my life. I was literally jumping up and down my chair, because the speech embodies what I truly stand for.

You know, sometimes this fight gets lonely. This fight gets overwhelming. Sometimes, giving up seems like the best option.  Rather, giving up seems like the only option when I face other struggles as well.

That raises the question: How do I keep the fight alive? The fight that is larger-than-life, so worthwhile, so meaningful, so momentous yet so burdensome and endless?

We all have many fights that we can take on. We have to choose our fights carefully. We choose fights and we believe we can overcome and triumph. We choose fights that we deeply care about. And yes, we might not win, but hey, what you learn from them is so much more important than the ultimate outcome.

I’ve been fortunate enough this semester to have friends that care. I’ve been blessed to have presented to me inspirational materials – like the Martin Seligman talk and the article hyperlinked above – whenever I feel like giving up. Our hearts need the inspiration, love and support. We seek meaningful relationships, be it friendship or family or love. I used to not have faith in humanity – so much genocide, terrorism, egocentrism, jealousy, enmity and discrimination. Are humans intrinsically evil? Yes, I still believe so. But. I believe we all fight. We all can fight. It is a fight for humanity. It is a fight that is worthwhile. It is a fight that we can all take together.

As I’ve said so often, so many things have happened in the past 2 months that have changed my life in ways I never thought they would. I’m starting to believe. I’m starting to have faith. I’m starting to feel good about this world. I’m starting to feel that great things can happen. I’m starting to believe that this world may actually be something beautiful.

And if you cannot see this yet, don’t give up. Some day, life will surprise you when you least expect it to. It really will. So keep fighting. Fight for humanity.


0227 – The Thing Called Fate

Aloha!!! Long time no see. You’ve caught me at a very very happy mood. Ten hours ago, it’s a totally different story. How quickly things change. How quickly life happens.

To me, things happen for a reason. Life hasn’t had the most perfect timings, but somehow things got placed in ways that they speak to me and start to make sense.

Tell me that it’s just pure chance that I got a scholarship to do chemical engineering only.

Tell me that it’s just pure chance that I got into Michigan, but not any other Ivies so I can be at a place where there’s so much diversity and endless possibilities.

Tell me that it’s just pure chance that I have to be Asian and feel the heavy societal pressure.

Tell me that it’s just pure chance that I have to love sciences out of school, and be intrinsically competitive and driven that I was here determined to do the very best academically.

Tell me that it’s pure chance that I have to realize that there’s so much more to life than that in Fall 2010. Fall 2010. As in the theme semester What Makes Life Worth Living Fall 2010.

Tell me that it’s pure chance that right before this semester I attended Leadershape and it changed my life.

Tell me that it’s pure chance that I was ‘assigned’ to go to listen to Dr. Maura Cullen when she came to Michigan.

Tell me that it’s pure chance that Martin Seligman came to Michigan to speak, and I summoned the courage to ask him a question.

Tell me that it’s pure chance that I met so many awesome people, yet experience so much pain.

Tell me that it’s pure chance is my life is full of struggle, confusion, introspection, depression, attachments, more attachments, more depression, then inspiration, and – ultimately – the pursuit of happiness.

It’s not pure chance. Everything happens for a reason. Neither your life, my life, nor anybody’s life is wrong. We’re here to journey together. And this journey – it’s such a great one. It’s one that may initially fill you with desolation and hopelessness, but then there’s that light at the end of the path that we all look forward to. We take many different paths. we past through so many different things. We interact with countless beings. Yet, in the end, if we summon the courage, we can all find that light.

The light that is peace and happiness.

0225 – The Happiness Revolution Update

An overdue update on my new take on life:

– Again, I need to stress on how amazing it is to have a new outlook on life – a welcome and refreshing change to my life. Making life just a little more about me and less about the society just makes life worth living.

– I might have just found what I’d love to do. Potentially. That deserves a smiley. 🙂 Just thinking about ways to integrate different fields together, talking to different people about life, having meaningful conversations, and – most importantly – knowing that I can still make a difference, just keeps me going.

– This does not mean I’m significantly happier. These are very tumultuous and depressing times. I’m depressed, but inspired. One can’t have worldly happiness all the time. Just gotta make the best of the moment. No time like the present. 🙂

– Perhaps it is time I tweak my viewpoint of mankind too. Might make me smile a little more.

– As much as I want to disagree, this is a very painfully slow and gradual revolution. Well, come to think of it, revolutions are slow and gradual anyway. But big things will come of this. I will make it happen.

– I still worry about the little things in life. Too obsessed with classes, friends, society, fame, doing ‘what’s right’. I can’t get rid of it – yet. You all can fight it. Fight with me. Fight for happiness, the most worthy cause.

– I dream to one day become a TED speaker. I dream to one day stand in front of a crowd of 100,000 people and receive a standing ovation. I dream to inspire.