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My Proudest Achievement

This is kind of an embarrassing story …

Last year, I wrote a book.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For anyone who has attempted to write a book (or even a Blog post), you can likely relate.  The emotional resistance and fear of failure is so great, it can paralyze you into taking no action.

I wrote about this experience here: Fear and How to Beat It

Anyway, so everyday I forced myself to sit down at 6am, and to not get up until I had 1000 words or more written down. The writing each day wasn’t always great, in fact most of it wasn’t good and had to be removed during editing.

How to Make Dreams Come True

Photo by JUCO
Editor’s Note

Pssst... 'Discover You Now' is here. Have a peek here. :)

This week, my husband resigned from his job of 12 years at Amazon.

It’s been an exciting and scary few days…okay, a few weeks… filled with various waves of emotion–anxiety, fear, but also wonder, fulfillment and exhilarating joy.

It reminded me of the emotional ride shortly after I left the comforts of my corporate job, 4 years ago. The emotional struggle was mostly in my head and it whispered words of fear to me, and convincing arguments of why I would fail.

This time around is no different. Perhaps, that sense of fear and uncertainty is further heightened by the fact that we have a son, and both of us will be without the comfort and security of a “real” job to catch us if we fail.

How to Lose Weight Fast

Photo by JUCO
Editor’s Note

This article details my recent adventure into how to lose weight fast. Even if you are not interested in losing weight, check it out. There are some useful thoughts on the power of self image embedded within.

Losing weight is hard.” ~me “Anything worth having in life is hard.” ~my husband

I admit it. I am not the most active person. I sit for more than 8 hours a day, and actually prefer to sit than stand, and drive rather than walk. To say that I am adverse to exercise is an understatement. In fact, the last time I visited a gym was over three years ago, for a burst of about 5 days, around New Years.

I always took for granted the gift of my tiny frame, Asian genes and fast metabolism. I was, for most of my life, naturally skinny. To the outside, my body gave the illusion that I was fit.

How to Set Goals – To Create the Best Year

Photo by Kevin Russ

For New Year’s Eve 2011, Jeremy and I sat down and made our goals for the year. We made sure the goals were measurable, challenging, and lead us in the direction we wanted to go. After all, the experts say to set SMART goals. As diligent students, we complied.

Well, I accidentally opened up this document last week, for the first time since we created it (more than a year ago). I had completely forgotten about it. Reading through every line of the document, I felt a surge of guilt and disappointment.

You know that feeling in your stomach, almost ashamed that nothing on the list—of supposedly important items—were achieved. I didn’t end the year with 30K facebook fans, I didn’t do yoga everyday (In fact, not even once for the whole year), I didn’t become an early riser, and my living & working space is still messy.

Gift Ideas that Inspire

A few years ago, when I first started this site, I used to do posts on gift ideas around Christmas time (like this one and this one). I haven’t done another post like that, mainly because the gifts I like to give are quite boring (to the outside) and are usually non-fiction, inspirational type books.

Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I feel that “things” don’t last, but books do. A good book will move us, it will motivate us to take different action, and it will inspire us to see the world differently. In essence, a good book will change us.

If you’re been reading this Blog for awhile, you’ve probably already head of me recommending “The Power of Now“, which I believe it’s a must read for everyone (the audio book doesn’t count). That book changed my life and was the basis upon which this site got started, but that was over four years ago.

Since then, there are other books I’ve fallen in love with and do highly recommend. I thought to share some of them with you, just in case you were curious and/or was looking for gift ideas.

How to Stop Negative Self Talk

Photo by aeschleah

Do you know what makes life difficult?

The answer is simple: it’s us. :)

It is us, and that large and complex brain of ours that seem to seek out drama, repeat negative self-talk, create false illusions of fear, and generally makes our life difficult in almost all situations. Seriously.

Every single struggle we experience on a daily basis; every complaint, every dissatisfaction, every problem can be drilled down into a single source of root cause: our brain and the stories it tell us.

Because our brain’s job is to keep us safe, it is constantly acting from a place of fear. Its job is to ensure our survival. As such, its job is not to ensure that we have a blissful experience while we are alive.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

I just got back from Marie Forleo‘s business conference in New York, during which I experienced THE MOST inspiring talk I’ve ever heard: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

It’s kind of hard to express in words why it was so moving, other than to say that by the time Simon finished his sermon, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Everyone had tears in their eyes.

Perhaps it’s true, as Simon explains, that the part of our brain that control emotions doesn’t control speech. Thus, when we truly feel something that clicks with our hearts, it’s hard to justify in words, or finding words that accurately expresses how we feel.

How to Be The Luckiest Person

Photo by Anna Gay

I have a confession to make. And that is…

I am the luckiest person in the Universe.

This is my little secret. It’s a secret because it sounds like magic fairy dust and flying unicorns, and generally makes me sound crazy.

When I moved into my first apartment in college, I remember telling my flat-mate Tanya I am the luckiest person in the world and she looked at me like I was a weirdo. Now, ten years later, if she hears me repeat this to someone new she will nod her head in agreement, while saying “Yup! I’ve seen it. It’s true.”

Somewhere in my teenage years, I had picked up this simple concept: that perhaps, if I viewed myself as a lucky person, good things would happen to me. In a way, it has become this self-fulfilling prophecy that feels incredibly calming. At the same time, it has brought a lot of good fortune into my life.

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

Photo by Simon Pais

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of life and the impermanent nature of it all. Observing how we do what we do, the struggles we put ourselves through, the drama, the pain and the suffering.

While thoughts about life, death and purpose drift in and out of my consciousness on a regular basis, the seed of this post was planted, when Pooja sent me a link to “The Last Post” by Derek Miller.

I was just getting on a flight when I opened that link on my phone, and by the time I had finished reading it, tears were streaming down. I spent the rest of that flight, and weekend reflecting on the meaning of life.

What is the point of life, when we come to the end?” I wondered.

Fear & How to Beat It

Photo by Simon Pais
The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. ~Steven Pressfield

For the last two months, I’ve been working on a mini book project I’m tentatively calling Life on Purpose [Update: It’s called Discover You Now. Read about it here.]—my first of hopefully many more to come. It’s been such an interesting process of self-reflection and discipline, exploring the multifaceted manifestations of fear.

The hardest thing isn’t to come up with great ideas or create time to work on it. The hardest thing is the constant battle with this invisible, but powerful force that seems to work against me. You know, that same force that whispers in our ears with convincing arguments on why we should delay action and (forever) procrastinate.

I’m sure you’re familiar with its luring voice, convincing you to do something else, anything, except the projects that you need to be doing—usually the projects that mean the most to you and will result in profound positive change.

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