6/28/13 - Progress Report
I want to write this little blurb today to express how I feel at this time and point in my life. It will be interesting to see how experiences in my life influence changes in my personality, opinions, etc.
One of my biggest beliefs at this perplexing age of 26 is that we should live life on our own terms. I’m sure life doesn’t become more “clear” or “understandable” as we get older and achieve some sort of success. Constantly, we try to find the meaning of our life, the purpose of our being here. We can’t just be here because of our innate need to stay alive and continue our species, can we? Is our motivation rooted in the need to procreate? I think it is. I trace everything back to this one root cause. Our need to thrive in our jobs, our want for love, etc. It can all be traced by to our necessity of survival. Due to the development of agriculture and technology, we no longer have this need to merely survive.
So our purpose in life is to stay alive and keep our species alive. For some, that may be really depressing. For me, it is relieving and somewhat exciting. If our only purpose is to continue our livelihood, we have nothing to worry about. We are born, and in the end, we die. The time between those two points are up to us. We are responsible for for our enjoyment and our suffering. Sometimes, I think that rules are too binding, suffocating. We listen to different forms of authority, whether teachers or parents or whoever, and we follow some given path. It is good to listen and be a “good” person. Why? If you’ve live enough, you will know that things rarely go as planned. Regardless of how much we try to control the outcomes, there are a million, billion, bajillion factors involved in getting us to where we are. While we are responsible for the choices that we make, we also have to learn to accept the unexpected. Life is a wave that we must ride.
Being raised by Vietnamese parents, I was under the impression that work was something that we didn’t really enjoy. It was something that our society considered prestigious, like a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer. This was reflected in their thoughts about their own profession. They worked a blue-collar job to provide a white-collar lifestyle and kept it a secret from many people because it wasn’t a “respectable” job.
I vehemently disagree with the rule that we must do what sounds the best and most secure, which is essentially what is going on. We should do what we love for work, and then find a way to profit. Ultimately, I think it is our responsible as human beings to help others and to enjoy our time here. And since every person has a different person of what is “right”, then the only notion I can suggest is that each person should live by what THEY believe is right.
I’m currently pursuing a creative degree, one in industrial design. In a little over 1.5 months, I will be moving down to San Francisco to pursue my new career. It will be fascinating to see the changes that have progressed in the five years following this post. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
4:40 am • 30 June 2013
Have Patience, Young Man.
Things don’t happen instantaneously, whether they are achievements or recovery. The more people realize this, the less people will have to be medicated. People expect to come out of a 5-year relationship and be okay within a month. That’s not realistic. That’s absurd. Every day, little by little, you recover and learn to love yourself again until one day…you’re fully you again.
The same goes for success. You can’t expect to put in 6 months worth of work and expect to be successful. It takes years and years of work, countless hours, sacrifices. Step by step, you work and work and keep throwing bricks on until you get a wall. And then you build a house.
Patience…it’s a lost virtue. We expect instant gratification, but the best things come to those who are willing to wait. A saying so old, but so true.
1:24 pm • 25 May 2013
Just got the shirts I designed! Smoke says “Blazers”. The flame is the blazers logo. Will be selling these for $17! Anybody wanna cop? Hit me up!! 😍
1:47 pm • 2 May 2013 • 1 note
Success Is A Habit, So Keep Working!!
Success in anything is a result of cumulative action. It happens slowly and organically, like a sweet romance. There may be moments more memorable than others, but each action is as important as the one before it. A snowball does not magically appear; it must be rolled to size. Is one roll more important than the next? No. All of them are necessary. That is the meaning of the quote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
3:01 am • 24 April 2013 • 1 note
Mindset: Anybody Can Do It
In September of this year, I will be studying at the California College of the Arts, focusing on Industrial Design. I made the decision earlier this year and applied in February. One of the things that I did to keep myself motivated was post my drawings on Instagram (username: dus_le).
The continuous posts earned me more attention as an artist. People gave me a lot of useful feedback, which helped me drastically improve my craft. But this wasn’t without hard work and time. I put hundreds of hours into drawing compressed into about 3 months. I could easily draw for 12 hours a day. It wasn’t at all rare for a drawing to take 20 hours to complete, especially the more intricate pieces.
After a continuous stream of drawings, people began to ask me how I drew so well. People also said things like, “Wow, you have a natural talent for drawing”, implying that somehow I was born with these innate drawing skills. In response, I tell people this: anybody can do it. Anybody can draw. All it takes is patience and practice. The thing is, when people start on a drawing that is complex, they want to finish as soon as they can. After merely an hour, they compare the unfinished drawing to the desired image, and because it doesn’t look right, they give up. They think that it is too ugly. What they don’t realize is that you have to trust the process, and be patient enough to realize that all the ugly details will add up to a beautiful end result.
This is very applicable to life, and in a way, also metaphorical. People start on projects and expect instant results. They want to see huge changes in their body after working out for only a month. They want to be rich off of 6 months of hustle. That’s not fucking realistic. They get to these stopping points, and because it doesn’t look like how they imagined, they give up. It doesn’t look right. Just like in drawing, they don’t realize that continuous patience and hard work will create a successful end result. You see, anybody can do it, as long as they are willing, patient, and persistent.
1:25 pm • 16 April 2013 • 2 notes
When I first meet someone, I generally want to efficiently find a topic we can both relate to in the fastest time possible. But in the process, the search for this subject could take 30 very awkward minutes.
"Oh, how about them Seahawks"
"I don’t watch football. How about those Blazers though?"
"David Stern is an evil owner. I hate Starbucks too."
"Oh, do you drink coffee?"
Yeah that’s pretty much how it goes. This also happens sometimes when I meet up with old friends that I haven’t seen in a while. We want to talk about every significant event that has occurred in our lives since we saw each other last. The thing is, when we try to do that, we end up talking about everything, but also talking about nothing. We never really connect on any one topic, because we’re trying so hard to just talk about everything. This is where my theory of the “conversational niche” comes in.
The most meaningful conversations I’ve had were those that tended to go in depth. We dive into a subject headfirst, letting it take its own course, not being afraid to go too deep. In fact, this one topic could be an hour-long discussion in itself if we let it. But if it changes topics, it should transition nicely, most likely related to something that was previously mentioned. The tangents should grow out like a tree that keeps growing branches on branches on branches. These are the best. The flow is nice, it’s not all choppy, and every person involved has their say. This is the best, when at the end, everybody has said what they wanted to say about the topics that were brought up, and everybody feels like they were heard.
I don’t really know what the lesson is for this post, but it’s a random thought I had after having happy hour with my two good friends. We had a good conversation. At least I thought so. Okay, goodnight!
3:08 pm • 12 April 2013 • 1 note
Information: Do Like Legs…and Spread!!
The greatest thing about the human species and the reason that we continue to thrive is our ability to share information and subsequently build on older ideas. Think about it. Cell phones came from home phones, which came from the old telephone, which came from telegraphs, which came from news print, and so on. Music was live performance at first, then it was recorded on a physical format, and now it is accessible anywhere.
Due to this sharing of information, we have developed agriculture. Because of agriculture, we no longer have to worry about whether we will have food for the next day. Farms now mass produce everything, making survival a simple matter. In this case, survival is having shelter and having food. Everything else really isn’t a necessity as we may think it is today. Because we are no longer required to worry about our survival, it would make sense that we do things that help progress the human race. I’m not one to define what “progress” means in this case, but something along the lines of developing more technology, doing exciting things with our lives, enhancing our lives spiritually.
For some reason, we are stuck in a rat race. We get money to pay for things we don’t really need. We complicate everything in our lives. We stress over car bills, credit card bills, and everything in between. We work to pay for bills that keep us alive so that we can keep working. It would be acceptable if we enjoyed that work, but the majority of us HATE our jobs. In fact, I was even told once that we are not supposed to like our jobs. That is the craziest thing I’ve heard yet. If that is the case, then what is the point of living? Is the point to live as long as we can? In other words, are we only trying to survive for the purpose of surviving? Or do we want to do something more with our lives?
I think people are too worried. About what? I don’t know. But I know for damn sure that we’re all worried about something. Hell, I worry sometimes about tiny risks I take, like “Should I put my money into a savings account or a CD”. Who the fuck cares? What does it really matter? And when I say it doesn’t matter, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t make a smart decision in these things. I mean that it is pointless to worry. It’s so trivial.
My point is this. Our basic needs are covered. We have food, we have shelter, we have love, we have clothing. The rest of it is just the cherry on top. If we think about it that way, it’s easier to not stress. When I think of it that way, it eases my mind.
Now go out and do something great, and have fun while doing it!
10:40 pm • 10 April 2013
Money Is a Flipping Tool
The goal in life isn’t to horde money. The goal is to experience the things that money can get you. Money should only be earned in order to pay for necessities and security, while the rest should be used to build new projects or experiment and embark on an adventure. Life is an experience, not a money-saving contest. I think if people were more willing to take chances to step toward the edge of their comfort zone, they would be live happier lives (albeit scary at first).
Once you realize that life is more than survival, the Universe opens up.
10:03 pm • 5 April 2013
Talk First, Type Second
One of the books that I am reading right now is “Like A Virgin”, written by a great businessman and adventurer who I humbly admire, Richard Branson. It’s funny how things happen in my life that are synchronized with what I read.
The section that I read today was titled “More Walking and Talking, and Less Typing and Griping”. In this section, he was talking about how technology has led to us communicating mainly using email or text. Instead of walking over to a person in a different room at the office, coworkers send texts. And then when a quick response isn’t sent, tension builds up, leading to frustration, etc. This also applies to long, characterless emails explaining details that almost always have issues that need to be cleared up. He goes on to say how these are a waste of time, because a simple phone call could clear the matter up in minutes. This is compared to writing a lengthy email, which could take 30 minutes or more.
How does this relate to me? Well, right now I am currently working on a couple logo projects for a friend of mine. Today, he texted me to specify a detail he wanted. I replied back explaining the reason why I thought a different way would be better. Both he and I didn’t understand the other person’s situation. This actually continued for a good 30 minutes to an hour before we just decided to explain over the phone. In less than 3 minutes, it was cleared up.
This led to a lesson that I will forever keep in my head. I’ve decided that if face-to-face communication isn’t possible, then the next best form of communication is a good old fashioned phone call. In this way, the voice sets the tone, and questions can be answered and clarified immediately. This removes any misunderstandings or uncertainties. Sometimes the best way is the old way. Think about that next time you’re sending hate tweets out.
2:07 pm • 4 April 2013 • 1 note
Niche Site Update #01
Ahhhh yes, the frustrations begin! Yesterday, I began doing research for my new niche set (which I have yet to reveal) and came across a few bumps in the road. Luckily for me, I’m no longer the hot-tempered skateboarder kid who broke his skateboard because he couldn’t get the kickflip right.
So I’ve narrowed the topics down for my website to: (1) Billiards, (2) Meditation, (3) Body Language/Communication, and (4) Basketball. I have to do some further soul-searching in order to find one that I can commit to for a year. Which reminds me! My girlfriend and I will be at our one year mark soon. Time flies!
In addition to narrowing the topic options down, I have been researching how to rank my site at number #1 on google. The internet is flooded with so much information and so many infoproducts that it’s kind of overwhelming. I’m just going to stick to the simple methods, put in serious hours for that, and then try different strategies as I progress. I’ll talk about my simple methods in a future post when I actually start it. I’ll tell you if they fail or succeed.
Now, the next step for me is to narrow down my niche from a topic to actually say something about the topic. For example, if I picked “Basketball”, I would want to narrow it down to “How to play basketball” or “Basketball training”. Then I would have to make sure that it will rank in google, and that it’s not so competitive that I cannot rank #1, but also competitive enough that people are actually searching for it. Of course, I’ll also have to scout out my top 10 competitors and see what point I can beat them on. After that, I would have to create some good content.
This is an interesting game for sure. I’m excited to see what kinds of things I will learn in the process. Also, if you want to join, visit Niche Site Duel for the process and examples.
11:12 pm • 1 April 2013