Fight or flight. As perfectionists, we almost always choose flight. We avoid. We run away. We escape because it is easier than facing the risk of rejection, abandonment, and failure.

We escape trying new things because we don’t know want to be bad at something. We escape subjective activities like painting and writing because we don’t know how to receive criticism. We escape from people and ideas we care about because we don’t want to be rejected or abandoned. We escape from ourselves by pretending to be someone else rather than having our true selves be rejected. We escape by…

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Indeed, the weakness of this picture, from this reviewer’s point of view, is the sentimentality of it — its illusory concept of life. Mr. Capra’s nice people are charming, his small town is a quite beguiling place and his pattern for solving problems is most optimistic and facile. But somehow they all resemble theatrical attitudes rather than average realities. And Mr. Capra’s “turkey dinners” philosophy, while emotionally gratifying, doesn’t fill the hungry paunch.” –The New York Times, December 23, 1946

“The picture would have been greatly improved by some judicious editing. It turns too long for its own good.” …

The amount of things to see, read, and hear are now infinite. Each day, more than 2 million blogs posts are published, The Washington Post alone publishes around 1,200 pieces of content (once about every 2 minutes), 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram, 576,000 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube, and almost 5 billion pieces of content are shared (as of 2015) on Facebook.

You could spend your entire day reading the articles from any major news website, and not get through the content. …

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a question we were asked countless times as children.

We dreamed of being astronomers, teachers, cooks, and mailmen. We played all of them as children with pretend stethoscopes, fake mail totes, plastic food, and a kid telescope. Our imaginations ran free. We could have been anything and anyone.

Where is your mind as your head rises from your pillow?

Is there clarity?

Or are you lost in your thoughts? Adrift in your list of meetings and to-dos?

Consider this scenario:

“He jumps out of bed early and sets off only if his mind is clear, his heart pure, and his body as light as a summer shirt. He doesn’t take any food or drink. He’ll be drinking fresh air and sniffing healthy scents. …

“Will it be on the test?”

This was my favorite question during the first two decades of my life.

I was the stereotypical Asian who sat in the front of the classroom, taking notes on everything and nothing. My attentiveness was deceiving. I didn’t care very much about what I was learning. And almost minutes after the last exam, the facts were forgotten.

Mastery of cram and dump gave me what I wanted: a perfect GPA. A perfect GPA meant a perfect me, which equaled acceptance and ultimately, love.

Looking back, I remember the moment that triggered this mindset. After…

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president during the worst year of The Great Depression. There were unprecedented levels of unemployment and homelessness. Morale was low and a deep fear spread throughout the country as many lost their life savings, homes, and hopes for the future.

Many Americans anticipated FDR’s inaugural address with the hope that he would take immediate actions to respond to the economic crisis. FDR delivered this speech on March 4, 1933, but over 80 years later, its lessons still apply:

  • Lesson #1: Fear only stimulates more fear which paralyzes progress and growth. …

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Fear is essential to our lives. Without it, we would be deprived of our basic needs. Fear is biologically ingrained in all of us. It protects us by giving us an adrenaline response in dangerous situations, allowing us to survive.

Fear is also necessary for our progress. It has motivated our greatest inventions and most creative endeavours.

But much of the fear we face today is a different kind of fear. It’s the fear of the unknown. The fear of failure. The fear of being called an imposter. The fear of rejection. The fear of not being good enough. It’s…

“Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.” -Dan Harris (10% Happier)

In 2016, I meditated every day. It wasn’t easy. I planned to meditate for months before I first tried it, and it took me years to develop a daily practice.

Trapped in a cycle of busyness, I never had enough time. I didn’t understand that 5 minutes a day could transform my day and change my life. My never-ending stress and anxiety were caused by my thoughts and not by others’ actions. …

In 2016, I took over 22,000 photos in six countries, 15 states, more than 30 cities, at least a dozen state and national parks, on mountains as high as 2,500 meters, at 20 meters under the sea, and at more gardens than I can count.

On average, I shared about 5 new photos a week except for a one season break that I took to reset. During this break, I changed my priority from taking photos to sharing photos. I’ve been on a photo taking diet, focusing on editing photos I’ve already taken. I’m left wondering why I didn’t share…

Saeah Lee

Insatiably curious. I read. I write. I make pictures.

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