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Nowadays, people are told they should and can make a difference. Not just any difference, but a big difference. Failing at doing so would mean you haven’t lived out your life purpose. In the past few decades, there seems to be a trend where the likes of entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, and life gurus sell the idea that we should impact millions, change people’s lives and revolutionize the world.

Sounds good, isn’t it?

I mean, doing things like ending poverty, improving people’s lives and building a better future are very noble ideas. Right? It sure does.

But I’d like to make the case that instead of thinking that the world needs us to make it a better place. We should just mind our own business. We over inflate our individual importance and this gives birth to us heavily doped with the Messiah Complex. …

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The Faces of Greatness and Success

Have you heard something along the lines of: “We are all born to do great things!” or a variation of some sort? My guess is most likely yes. These words tend to fire us up into a motivational rage, believing that anything is possible.

These statements usually come from “high-performance”, “successful” and charismatic individuals of various professional disciplines. They often have inspirational stories of their humble beginnings and their ascent to “greatness”. …

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Have you ever wanted to slack off, but then have a mental image of an authority figure telling you off that it’s bad, pointless and unproductive? Overcome with guilt, you’d then shake yourself up and go be a good productive child.

I would argue otherwise, and challenge you to do the opposite.

Not that I think slacking off is good or bad, but the question is: Why not?

We live in a time of “productivity”, “working hard” and “getting busy”. I have a strong disdain for all three, not because I’m an advocate of the opposite, but because that’s how we’re conditioned to live and behave. …

“Heal the world, make it a better place. For you and for me, and the entire human race”

- Heal The World by Michael Jackson

I’ve been listening to this song since I was a kid, and each time I play it I get shivers down my spine, my eyes tear up and I get inspired to do precisely that — Heal the world and make it a better place.

As much as I sincerely, truly and genuinely want to heed my childhood idol’s words to make this world a better place, I have for all my life been wondering….how?

In my 34 short years wandering this earth in search of the one answer, I ended up being convinced there are as many versions of “making the world a better place” as the number of human beings on the planet. …

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At some point, every one of us has looked back and wondered how we got to where we are at this moment. We think about the past critical periods of our lives and wondered how we managed to survive them and move on. Could it be luck or our masterful maneuvering of the game of life? or could it be simply just our own minds playing games with us?

We, humans, are a worrisome bunch. We worry about every conceivable thing on the planet: We worry about the weather, the stock market, the children’s exam, the health report, whether your boss is going to give you that promotion you deserve…

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https://blog.usejournal.com/the-start-of-my-journey-as-a-reader-27994d14d27b.

Minutes leading up to the New Years, I made a resolution — to read a grand total of 52 books in 2019. I was inspired by reports stating that CEO’s read 52 books a year. I figured if ultra-busy people like Bill Gates could do it, I’d be ashamed if I couldn’t. It was also one of those new years resolutions that I made anyway never really expecting to follow through.

But lo and behold…I did it! I finished off the last pages of my 52nd book just minutes before the new year bell struck 2020 — Yup, I spent the new years eve holed up with a book on hand. …

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https://www.istockphoto.com/illustrations/taking-the-plunge

On a fine summers day in 2017, I received an urgent text from a New York based Oud player. He was in quite the dire straits and desperately needed help. Turns out, he was scheduled to play a show in China with his percussionist brother in 4 days, but for some reason, his brother was on the plane to China and he wasn’t — Definitely not good. He asked if I knew any Oudist or any middle eastern instrumentalist in China. Unfortunately, there weren’t. If there was, I’d probably be the only one.

After some back and forth, we both came to realize that if there was someone, it could only be me — There simply was no other. He then proceeded to ask: “Hey, would you be willing to do it?

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https://www.amazon.com/Busy-As-ck-Karen-Nimmo-ebook/dp/B07JG8ZTRN

Nowadays, there seem to be two kinds of people in this world: Those who just live and do stuff and those who are busy as f**k. The latter kind loves jam-packing their schedules and overwhelms themselves with activities.

The droopy eye bags, stresses, and never-ending notifications are proof of social significance.

Having more messages than time to read, work till they drop, multitasking, endless hangouts, shows to see, movies to watch, events to attend and to be seen at, etc makes a social badass.

It’s not just a badge of honor. The lack of busyness makes them insecure. Staying in or being still is the antithesis of an awesome life. They can’t for the love of God be or be seen idle. It is as if not being busy as f**k, or being seen as such makes them lose social value or wasting life. …

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http://yannickhiwat.com/?event=so-whats-next-festival

Imagine your dreams, career, and aspirations crumbling before you. How would you react?

There was a time I believed if I tried hard enough, I could realize my dreams in one straight, uninterrupted line. It wasn’t until this belief was tested time and time again that I learned a valuable life lesson.

When you’ve invested so much hope and certainty on things that fail to materialize, limbo is certainly the way to go…at least for awhile. But it’s not about going into the limbo that matters, but rather, what we do about it and move on.

This is my story of how I danced with limbo. …

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Yes, you, I’m asking you that’s reading this. What is “success” to you?

I once believed that being a success was about doing big shit, getting rich and being influential. Just like the three gentlemen below.

About

Kian How

Visual Media Audio Specialist in Shanghai. Writes about his philosophical rants when not indulging in Roman history and Ottoman Music. www.kianhow.com

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