Whistle as you go

Tina He

The below is an excerpt from my weekly letter for my newsletter.

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Hi Beautiful People —

Happy holidays!

I almost felt obligated to write something holiday-themed, but I’ve never been a festive person, so I’m not gonna bother trying. But this is the last issue of 2018; I’d like to share the three lessons that I’ve learned in the past years and remain the guiding principles for my restless mind moving forward.

# 1 Do something useful

  • Become a useful member of a community; bonus point for becoming indispensably useful. Solve real problems or make real people feel better with your skills or stories. When you feel like what you are doing isn’t useful, ask yourself why you are sticking around.
  • When usefulness became my guiding principle, I’m forced to be more honest with myself. I stopped doing things that I thought were meaningful, but they neither solve any problem nor make anyone feel better. I’ve tried packaging it to seem useful, but the truth came out eventually.
  • Quick moral judgments, criticisms without constructive feedback, irrational activism are all antithetical to usefulness. These are toxic but addicting. Treat them as perspectives, not emotional catalysts.

#2: Do something consistently

  • We overestimate the short-term effect and underestimate the long-term impact of almost everything.
  • I used to write out very concrete goals (etc. getting a job offer at X, create x many products, design x things, etc.), but ever since I established a daily routine, those goals became merely side products of the journey that I love.
  • The best way to stay consistent is to tell yourself stories until you believe this has become part of your identity. Now reading, exercising, or writing that day would feel like not showering, eating, or sleeping to me. It’s all mind game, and you have the right to make it crazy.

#3: Do something for fun

  • Majority of my time in an elite university has been dedicated to living the mantra “fake it til you make it.” Entitlement and prestige have made things unnecessarily serious; because many people who demand being taken seriously.
  • This attitude sometimes gets carried over into one’s adult life as a shield for insecurities and fragilities.
  • The reality is that the world is a chaotic place with countless souls demanding solace, and one of the most desired and scarce resources is quality humor, delight, and play.

There are still many issues I’m working on such as becoming more present and spending more time with people I love. We are all work in progress, and we are growing together here. I feel incredibly grateful for you to be a part of this journey — cheers to another great one. 🥂

Stay real,

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Tina He

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Tina He

Making sense of the future with people & pixels

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