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“Information is not knowledge.”- Albert Einstein The information revolution that the Internet has ushered into our lives has brought so much good to the world. Information is no longer hoarded by few powerful individuals and people have now the means to educate themselves, gain insights into what’s happening in the world and change their lives in the process. However, this democratization of information have also brought various problems: hoax, piracy, responsibility, racial disharmony, riots and the biggest one: differentiating good information and necessary information. Let me break down the problem for you: Human have very limited attention span. There is so much information out there, and all of it sounded urgent, important and personal.  We try to consume those information faster, and as a result, we forgot why we consume those information in the first place: To gain new insights, or as Albert Einstein like to put it, to gain…

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”- Christina Baldwin Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group has a very fascinating habit. After making important business decision, he would open up his journal and write the reason behind the decision he just made. According to his biography, this exercise will help him reflect the ‘whys’ behind his every decision. It turns out that he was not alone in this. People like Emma Watson, Mark Twain, Lady Gaga, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie and the great emperor Marcus Aurelius have kept some sort of journal to evaluate their life decisions, day and values. According to the stoics,  journaling is one of the fastest way to improve oneself. Journaling can give you awareness to your inner thoughts and feelings; remind you to what matters most and help you measure your life’s progress. So starting a journaling habit is probably one of the best…

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne Few weeks ago, I ended my article by describing the dilemma of being yourself: To be yourself sometimes means to be rejected and shunned by others. To give in to social pressure and don a social mask means to lose touch with your own identity, your soul. What then shall we do? I realize that the advice “be yourself” is not that simple and is usually only applicable to successful people and the ultra rich who have amassed enough power and fame to be themselves.  Most of us works in a 9-5 job, has a boss to please. customer to wow and office politics to survive. Hence, I would argue that being yourself is the fastest way to lose your…

“Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life”- Chris Guillebeau The great psychiatrist, Victor Frankl once said, “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” In other words, one of our most important task as a human being is to answer this question “How do we want to live our life?” Because the answer to that question will help us find what makes your life worthwhile, and how to prioritize our lives. Answering this question is important because in a world full of entertaining distractions (Game of Thrones, Avengers Endgame, Mobile Legends and Instagram stories), it is really hard to focus on what matters…

“If you wish to have a leisure for your mind either be a poor man or resemble a poor man. Study cannot be helpful unless you take pains to live simply…” – Seneca In an age where religion was viewed with deep skepticism,  people delve deeper and deeper in to individualism and consumerism has become a way of life, many people have made the pursuit of pleasure as their purpose of life.  However, the pursuit of pleasure according to most Stoics, is a very dangerous thing. Seneca argued that pursuing pleasure is like pursuing a wild beast. On being captured, it can turn on us and tear us to pieces. He then elaborated that this was so because the more pleasures a man captures, the more masters will he have to serve. Thus, the stoics were very adamant about keeping their pleasure level in check. They used the following two…

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. – André Berthiaume One my favorite TV show as a kid is a film called Masked Rider. The very first installment of the Masked Rider series introduced us to a man called Takeshi Hongo. He’s a kind hearted gentleman who loves motorcycle. One day, as he was practicing some motorcycle stunts, he was attacked by a group of men dressed in black. And after beating the shit out of him, the men in black brought Takeshi to a secret laboratory and turned him into a cyborg (gasp)… As the men in black were about to erase his memories and turn him into a full cyborg, Takeshi was rescued by a professor (who apparently is his friend) and escaped the facility. However, just as they were about to successfully escape the…

“ The idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. ”- Mark Manson One of the most thought-provoking revelation about human desire is that the fulfillment of it, takes away every ounce of happiness and meaning it promises.  To put it in simpler terms, the fulfillment of desire creates an empty vacuum that should be replaced by another (usually bigger) desire. According to Psychologist, Dan Gilbert, this is caused by our mind ‘s emotional homeostasis system- an emotional regulatory system that constantly neutralize our extreme emotions. This is why heartbreaks don’t feel as painful as time goes by. This is why lottery winners’ joy doesn’t last long. This is also why the happiness we get from fulfilling certain desires does not last long. So if fulfilling a…

“Death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured. Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.”- Mark Manson Living in a modern world, far from dangerous animals, wars and threatening diseases, it’s easy to think that we’ll live for a very long time. It is no surprise then that many modern human squander their time on empty pleasures and meaningless stuffs; like a son of a rich businessman squandering his parents’ money on a 3 days trip to Las Vegas. A life of safety creates an illusion of immortality, and this is a very dangerous belief to adopt. Here’s why… Although modern medicine have increased human’s average life expectancy to 79.3 years, average human will spend 7.8 hours/day sleeping, 1.8 hours/ day on household chores and 1 hour/day on eating and drinking. While our life expectancy…

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others”- Dalai Lama Remember that time you told yourself to be patient the next time your girlfriend said something stupid, only to lash out hours later when your girlfriend said something stupid? Or, remember that time you reminded yourself to talk to your staff with grace, only to act like a mad dictator when you found out that they make an insignificant presentation error? All these are strong signs that you don’t understand how compassion actually works… The Dalai Lama once said that you can’t love others well until you can love yourself well; and you can’t give other compassion until you can develop compassion for yourself. Hence, the key to become a more compassionate person is…

“Desires are only the lack of something: and those who have the greatest desires are in a worse condition than those who have none, or very slight ones.”- Plato. The pursuit of desire is a very tricky subject. Too much and it will burn you with obsession, too little and you will not get what you want. How many times have we seen one man’s or woman’s obsession to achieve something great end up hurting them? These people sacrificed their health, family, friendships, happiness on the altar of success; believing that eventually, the end will justify the means, but they ended up miserable, lonely and sad… Or consider the old cynics who live a very sedentary lifestyle, asking you why you worked so hard to achieve X when everything you do will eventually be pointless. As annoying as those people sounded, they are actually pretty spot on on this subject.…