PROGRESS REPORT

I usually write one of these at the end of every school year. First year’s was pre-mature. Second year’s was too vulgar.

This year’s might be, too.

The past year of my life revolved around one big epiphany and several smaller ones. My mind’s been running marathons so I neeeeded to put together a collection of loose thoughts.

People

People are the most important part of your life. We’re all humans, homo sapiens. We share the same basic necessities: nutrition, shelter, social interaction.

You are a synthesis of your closest friends. I live by that. Without meeting X and Y in 2017, I couldn’t imagine what I’d be doing, thinking, or saying right now.

Be aware of when you use people and when you’re being used. Don’t let yourself turn into a toxic person, and cut those types of people out of your life.

The people closest to you are sometimes the most reluctant to see you change.

Meet people. I’m not talking about networking. Make friends not connections. Simply interact with people and share stories. Ironically, you find the most consistency in your own personality only by meeting others.

Friendship is an intangible relation between people. In other words, it doesn’t necessarily exist. Just vibes. You could’ve known someone your whole life but if you don’t vibe, you aren’t friends.

Seek help. We all have scattered perceptions of reality so it’s reassuring when you find common ground. Take advice and give advice.

Treat your mentors with respect but don’t shower them with unnecessary flattery. It’s annoying. They know what you need, just ask. Be casual.

People appreciate authenticity. You can’t say no to someone who’s unapologetically themselves.

“Dude in the last 5 months all my worlds collided”. Every person you meet can benefit you at a later point in life. I can’t explain it, but you’ll notice that you tend to gravitate towards different people over time who are on the same wavelength in the body and soul.

Yourself

Clichés are clichés for a reason. It just takes time and experience to realize how valuable they are. “BE YOURSELF,” they said. The hardest part about this is knowing what the hell you really are.

Don’t force yourself to be someone or fit a mould. Be careful how you idolize your reference groups. They probably have no idea what they’re doing, either.

Many of us are caught in the looking glass self, in that we see ourselves only through the lens of other people. Make your life decisions based on love, not fear. Self-love, not fear of missing out.

“Being yourself” means doing what you want and not what other people want for you. Consider everything, but remember you can only choose one. Don’t let anyone hold you back except yourself.

I can’t tell you how to find yourself. Nobody can. Everything is from within. Reading philosophy, religious texts, self-help books—you might think that’s what causes change. But it’s really just your brain putting literature into context. It’s more about digesting than consuming.

No one is going to believe in your dreams unless you do first. If you’re not full of yourself, who the hell is going to be? Chase your dreams and others will follow you. Know your flaws and use them to your advantage. Learn to take care of yourself before worrying about others. Meditate and daydream a lot. In silence.

Design everything you do and with good intention, but proceed with caution when thinking about how to design yourself. Some things come out better unplanned.

When you publicize your goals everybody holds you accountable for your word and suddenly you can’t let anybody down. Be careful who you tell things to. Information is currency.

Be patient. Our attention spans have degraded with the evolution of media. Scrolling gives us serotonin. Be mindful for what the universe has gifted you over time. Some of your old dreams become true without you even realizing it and you’re just onto the next thing without being thankful. Thanksgiving is every day.

Final Thoughts

What’s important to remember is not let anyone tell you how to live your life. Don’t let the definition of other people’s “success” divert your attention from your own goals and ambitions. Remember money is just a materialization of time — and let’s not box ourselves in with this concept of “time”. It’s just another way of measuring existence that we don’t need, just a framework designed for us to operate on. We all exist on the same plane so we don’t have to conform to ideas of meeting goals before we’re 30, or whatever.

So, third year was really crazy. I’m slowly seeing all the dots connect and there’s no better feeling than being mindful, grateful, and connected to your planet in every dimension. I hope you can use whatever you got from reading this to go out and do something.

signed April 2018

Like what you read? Give Eric Chen a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.