Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

– Howard Thurman


Build Up

Things are going smoothly. But its never completely what it looks like on the surface. I sense things building up, but I’m still stuck. I’m scared to take that leap of faith. People say, leap and the net will appear. But will it really? What if it doesn’t?

Despite of my travels and crazy adventures, I am still risk adverse. Its so hard to break away from the status quo, to challenge taboo.

I feel it building up. Quietly, but its gaining ground.


The Draw of Comfort

The most common addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. It wrecks dreams and breaks people.

After I started working full-time, I found myself feeling complacent. I would come home at odd hours exhausted and jaded, wanting nothing more but to curl up in bed with a good book or movie. It felt good that way, but as the days and weeks went on I realized how many friends and opportunities I had shut out of my life for the sake of crawling back to my comfort zone every night after work. I’ve had many conversations about this with several of my working friends, and it appears to be the common trend. Now that we are starting out in our careers, everyone wants to do a good job at work. But when we come home, that urge to just flop onto the couch and do nothing becomes so powerful. Before we know it, our days are filled with all work, eat, sleep, and maybe the occasional hangout. The drive fades. The need for self-improvement gets put on the back burner. We put things off for ‘tomorrow’, thinking that it will always come and there will always be time.

Today, I went out to HanHai Investments, a top US-China VC Firm in San Jose for a Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Toastmasters meeting. I volunteered as a timer and sat in the front row as I listened to speeches, Table Topics, and evaluations. There were speeches about awareness and meditation, personal tales of saving lives in Africa, and anecdotes about teaching English on a remote island near Siberia. There were amazing eloquent speeches, and there were beginner speeches with a slew of ums-ahs-and awkward pauses. But overall, it was enlightening. Here were people rushing in on their lunch hour from all walks of life, united with one goal in mind – to improve themselves. Improve their presence, improve their engagement with the audience, improve their speech content. Improve their confidence. It was wonderful.

I don’t want my dreams to fade over time.


[Insightful Words] 32 of Life’s Perfect Moments

This is the cutest list ever. My favorites are #3 (so many spontaneous and unforgettable nights <3), #15, #32, and of course, #28.

1. Finding an outfit that is on such an incredible sale you briefly question whether or not it’s even legal to pay eight dollars for a high-quality shirt, only to realize that the only one left is your size. (Try not to sob tears of joy as you bring it to the cash register.)

2. Calling someone you really need to talk to and having them actually pick up.

3. Running into old friends while out for the evening and (after the screams of “OH MY GOD HEY OH MY GOD”) having them seamlessly join in with your group and have an amazing adventure together.

4. Nervously trying something new on a menu (instead of your reliable usual) and having it be absolutely delicious and become a new favorite.

5. Going shopping for an outfit for a specific event (the most exhausting of all shopping excursions) and having the first thing you find be both perfect for the occasion and fit you as though it were tailored.

6. Finding out that your favorite television show is bringing the entire cast back together for a movie.

7. Going on a first date that goes so smoothly and contains so little silence that it feels as though you two have known each other for years.

8. Introducing your new significant other to your friends and having them all adore them as much as you do (but not too much because, step off, it’s your boo).

9. Getting an unexpected-but-adorable text message from someone you are so profoundly into that you refuse to text them first for fear of looking “obsessed.”

10. Getting a birthday card from grandparents with a sweet note and a little bit of money to go buy yourself something special with. (Or, as it is known when you hit your 20s, 1/25th of your rent.)

11. Having the train pull into the platform right as you arrive, on a day that you really need to be on time (without having to do that insane-looking flail-run to catch it as the doors are closing that you then have to play off once you are actually in the subway car with everyone else who saw you).

12. Being late to something and freaking out about it, only to have the other person text you first and say that they, too, are going to be late.

13. Thinking (and dreading) the night before that you have to work or go to school the next day, only to realize that it’s a holiday.

14. Dancing with someone in the kitchen as the two of you make dinner together.

15. Receiving an unexpected package from parents or friends (the best of these, of course, are the ones that feature snack foods).

16. Finally working up the courage to confess to someone that you like them, only to have them reciprocate your feelings and potentially kiss you (at which point “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer starts playing and the director yells “Cut!” on the CW movie that is your life).

18. Eating dinner or watching a movie over Skype with your best friend back home.

19. Making a recipe that seems incredibly difficult/daunting for your limited skill level and having it come out perfectly.

20. Having someone that you’re really, really into turn out to be an incredible kisser. (Nothing is worse than a bad kisser. Nothing.)

21. Going to a concert and having every live performance of the song live up perfectly to your expectations of it based on the studio recording.

22. Introducing two people that you imagine would hit it off really, really well and then having them end up dating (this is the moment that you pat yourself on the back and forever after consider yourself a matchmaker on par with that terrifying fat lady from Mulan).

23. Unexpected 2 for 1 deals at your favorite bar. (“More of anything?” “More of everything!”)

24. Coming up with the perfect Halloween costume, and finding all of the perfect elements for it.

25. Singing karaoke and, despite being several sheets to the wind, singing on-key and getting all the lyrics correctly and un-slurred.

26. Going back to your parents’ house after you’ve been away from them for a long time and realizing just how much you love and missed them, and how much better food is at their table.

27. Dinners where you get just the right amount of wine-drunk to make everything funny and interesting, and nothing sad or irritating.

28. Taking a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and having that drop in your stomach as the plane takes off where you feel the perfect mix of nervous about living up to your expectations and excited that you’re finally doing something you always said you would.

29. Going to see an awesome movie by yourself and getting to hog the popcorn, candy, and armrests like you always wished you could during movie outings with other people.

30. Going to animal shelters/pet stores and getting to play with all the tiny little puppies and kitties, even though you cannot actually afford to buy one (yet).

31. Getting the prime seat in the coffee shop right next to the outlet on a cold day when you have nothing to do but drink lattes, eat muffins, and work on your personal projects while occasionally flirting with the cuter baristas.

32. Listening to a thunderstorm while you cuddle with someone under a blanket, also known as The Only Thing Possibly Better Than Sex.

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