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What it means to try

Andy Sachs: I’m just saying that I would just like a little credit… for the fact that I’m killing myself trying.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining.

- From The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

I feel truly blessed and happy today. I want to focus on what’s really important in life from now on. And even in tough times, I want to be able to look back and say I’d put up a damn good fight. I don’t want to become that ‘normal’ person who always talks about ‘normal’ things and is knocked down by those same things. Even if it means I’m broken by the smallest and most trivial of matters in life, I want to maintain my unique way of being.

On confidence

people envy my confidence, but they really don’t need to. all they’ve got to do is decide to have it. it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

Sometimes failure fares better

I guess it would depend on the person but for me failure has always been my friend, a liaison to success.

It is probably due to my lazy foolhardiness that what appeared to be continuous success always ended up in unproductive mannerisms.

Success is a very loud noise, see, and if not focused it drones out a lot of everything else.

Failure is on the hand like a still silence, so albeit a little lonely it provides a good opportunity for inspiration.

Why men are successful

It’s because they let their emotions get in the way less. Blessedly, they feel less. They are less prone to overthinking.

So if you’re a woman, and you are wondering what is keeping you from being successful, stop right there.

Stop wondering, and worrying, and fretting.

Think like a man. Or, rather, don’t think.

Who the fuck cares where you stand right now, and how many failures you’ve experienced on the way. Don’t think it must mean you might not be up for it. Who gets to say that?

Who cares if relationships are complicated right now. Don’t rationalize that you might as well drop out before the scene gets ugly.

Really, stop giving a shit.

Stop worrying, because nobody will ever come and thank you for being the person with a soft heart who favored everyone. They will be too busy stepping all over you and will have forgotten about you already. Just like that.

I’m not saying you should be a nasty bitch. I’m saying fuss less over things. Don’t think gooey thoughts. Don’t think nasty thoughts. Think about your objective, which at the end of the day is what pays the bills and feeds your ego.

Simply put, you can’t be successful with so much on your mind. If you want to succeed, train yourself to focus on one thing and disregard everything else.

Beware Series: Disappointment

Most of the time we accommodate feelings that we often cannot define.

We say things like “mixed-up emotions” or “something just ticked,” then move on to feel other emotions we again don’t bother to put a finger on.

Well, certain emotions need to be understood specifically if we want to reduce our anger level. Anger is a destructive distraction, and a chronic dose of it pretty much takes control of our whole lives.

The emotion we need to understand to do away with anger is disappointment.

And in particular, disappointment following a good-natured intent on your part.

For example, when you genuinely wish something good for somebody, and you suggest that to the person, and that person refuses, you feel disappointed. You feel angry, because it was a good thing you offered to them; you wished them well - but they just didn’t accept it.

You feel misunderstood. You feel frustrated because they don’t understand what they’ve turned down. You are especially upset, because you just know how much better off they would have been had they listened to you.

Say you have a little brother. He’s come to visit you in the city for a day, and you’re excited to show him around campus. You have a little tour planned out for him.

But he’s too busy meeting up with his friends. He’s bent on entering high-end bars and clubs with them, although (or, rather, because) they are underage.

He doesn’t come home in the evening, he doesn’t return your calls.

Feel angry? Yup. You are disappointed that he disregarded everything you thought up for him. You’re angry about his thoughtless choices. You are so sure he would be better off had he picked your version of a good trip.

Well, here’s the solution to disappointment.

Don’t be so sure. Don’t be so certain that your scenario was the best one, since you really can’t be absolutely right on outcomes unless, of course, you are God.

That’s the first step to ridding anger. You can shrug it off as, hey, so he chose that path. Maybe he was right to, maybe he wasn’t. I gave my input, and we’ll see which turns out the better. Actually, it’s not my responsibility in the first place to live my brother’s life. Getting angry on behalf of him without the power (nor the will) to live his life for him will only buy remorse from him anyway.

You’ve done what you can. Let him do his thing. And focus on your thing.

Trust me, it will do you wonders.

On Lasting Relationships & Self-expression

"If you love someone tell them, because hearts are often broken by words left unspoken."

It’s true you should let that person you love know in order to get your relationship (fingers crossed) started.

But to maintain your relationship once it’s begun, to what extent should you express your adoration?

Many girls worry they will scare their guy away (or, worse, bore them to death) by giving too much approval.

And it often is the unfortunate outcome.

So what’s the secret to keeping a guy’s heart for good? How can you be an affectionate and exciting girlfriend at the same time?

Well, for starters, quit worrying about whether you’re doing it right or not.

Uncertainty and doubt really aren’t the greatest look to go by, see.

By mentally ordering yourself to quit incessantly judging yourself, you can clear your mind to conjure up better, more productive, and immediate results to your problem.

Shutting out the negative you will also formulate inner confidence, which really is very attractive.

The fact that you’re already in a relationship should be enough of proof that he is attracted to you.

Don’t succumb to the impulse of constantly needing confirmation every step of the way.

Don’t overthink and plant the seed of doubt in your guy’s head in the process.

Just be happy and confident that he loves you.

Why wouldn’t he, right, is he dumb?

That’s the spirit.

On Liking Someone

Frankly I find genuinely liking somebody harder than liking them fifty percent (or less, only you don’t care enough to think it through).

I know it sounds messed up, like I’m traumatized over relationships or something like that, but I find it strangely relieving when someone disappoints me. I gain that much more reason to care less.

So, yes, admittedly, when I truly like and respect someone, it’s to a hopeless degree.

I blunder more often; I care too much for the both of us.

It’s to a point that I really (not just in pretend or politeness) don’t care how much sacrifice is required of myself, which make things incredibly painful. The thing is it’s like I’m numbed to the pain, like I’m superwoman or something.

In fact I think it is in this sense that love makes you strong (not weak).

Tips on writing articles

1. Remember: an article should be in the structure of an inverted triangle.

In other words, the important and/or weighty things go first.

A reader should be able to understand the overall message just by reading the first paragraph.

2. Include 1h + 5w in your first paragraph.

How, what, who, where, when, why should all be covered in the first part of your article.

3. Adopt a neutral tone.

Be careful not to put emotion into your writing. An article should be informative, not sentimental!

4. Keep your sentences short.

Long sentences are better for essay writing. Try to keep your sentences short and succinct when for article writing.

The secret to happiness, in light of failure

Truth be told, failing the exam wasn’t as groundbreakingly devastating as I made out to be. I didn’t “flunk,” it’s just that I won’t have the liberty of choosing a certain major. (After all, I don’t know anything about the new major, because you are only allowed to be taught it if you pass the exam. I know. Illogical system, eh?)

In an absolute sense, flunking (i.e. being served the latter major) is not an ounce more negatively significant than the opposite outcome.

But in Seoul, nothing is considered in an absolute sense. Everything is comparative, you see.
Am I happy - comparatively?
Am I successful - comparatively, as in compared to the person working across the aisle from me?

Let me explain a little further.

The guy who dropped out of school to pursue his heart’s passion.
The professor who wears hippie clothes despite his outstanding insight in his field.

You’re probably wondering, so what? And you’re right to think so. I haven’t given you much of a description.
Who knows, say, if they’re happy, right?

Well, wrong.

These people aren’t happy, nor successful, not in Seoul, not comparatively.

Because there’s always the guy who a) didn’t drop out of school because why would he when he’s got the highest GPA in his form, or b) didn’t have to go to uni in the first place, he’s about to inherit a fortune from his multibillionaire dad.

There’s always the professor who despite his genius abilities, wears a different suit at each lecture. He might have a celebrity wife, who personally makes sure her husband looks presentable each day. He himself might have an eye for fashion, or it might all just be a portion of his effortless picture-perfect life.

Comparatively, these people aren’t happy.

Now you get why people are so careful to say they’re happy in Seoul, right?

That’s why I should in all probability be unhappy with my exam results. Because compare how my reaction would have been had I passed.
Comparatively, which would be happier?

Compare how my reaction is with that other girl in my class who did pass, who will be going on to learn the new major.
Comparatively, who is happier?

And there you go.

On Parent-Hating

Throughout my life I’ve hated my parents fairly regularly (to a moderate degree).
I guess it’s widespread. People say it’s a phase, one that you get over somewhere in your teens.
However for me it has become noticeably frequent over the years that I feel this hateful impulse towards them, more intensely in degree.
Let me introduce my parents. They are deeply religious. But at the same time they are deeply human.
This used to be one of the tough things for me to get over in the past. But that’s not the case anymore. Sure they’re only human. They can hate people and are entitled to go on the occasional childish rant, too, just like everybody else.
My unhappiness about them stems from something deeper.
I find them stubbornly hurtful. Yup. And more importantly, stubbornly hurt.
They act like the most hurt people on the planet, not realizing that’s the most hurtful thing of all.
It hurts them. It hurts me.
So I wish they would just stop and let it go.

What it means to try

Andy Sachs: I’m just saying that I would just like a little credit… for the fact that I’m killing myself trying.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining.

- From The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

I feel truly blessed and happy today. I want to focus on what’s really important in life from now on. And even in tough times, I want to be able to look back and say I’d put up a damn good fight. I don’t want to become that ‘normal’ person who always talks about ‘normal’ things and is knocked down by those same things. Even if it means I’m broken by the smallest and most trivial of matters in life, I want to maintain my unique way of being.

On confidence

people envy my confidence, but they really don’t need to. all they’ve got to do is decide to have it. it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

Sometimes failure fares better

I guess it would depend on the person but for me failure has always been my friend, a liaison to success.

It is probably due to my lazy foolhardiness that what appeared to be continuous success always ended up in unproductive mannerisms.

Success is a very loud noise, see, and if not focused it drones out a lot of everything else.

Failure is on the hand like a still silence, so albeit a little lonely it provides a good opportunity for inspiration.

Why men are successful

It’s because they let their emotions get in the way less. Blessedly, they feel less. They are less prone to overthinking.

So if you’re a woman, and you are wondering what is keeping you from being successful, stop right there.

Stop wondering, and worrying, and fretting.

Think like a man. Or, rather, don’t think.

Who the fuck cares where you stand right now, and how many failures you’ve experienced on the way. Don’t think it must mean you might not be up for it. Who gets to say that?

Who cares if relationships are complicated right now. Don’t rationalize that you might as well drop out before the scene gets ugly.

Really, stop giving a shit.

Stop worrying, because nobody will ever come and thank you for being the person with a soft heart who favored everyone. They will be too busy stepping all over you and will have forgotten about you already. Just like that.

I’m not saying you should be a nasty bitch. I’m saying fuss less over things. Don’t think gooey thoughts. Don’t think nasty thoughts. Think about your objective, which at the end of the day is what pays the bills and feeds your ego.

Simply put, you can’t be successful with so much on your mind. If you want to succeed, train yourself to focus on one thing and disregard everything else.

Beware Series: Disappointment

Most of the time we accommodate feelings that we often cannot define.

We say things like “mixed-up emotions” or “something just ticked,” then move on to feel other emotions we again don’t bother to put a finger on.

Well, certain emotions need to be understood specifically if we want to reduce our anger level. Anger is a destructive distraction, and a chronic dose of it pretty much takes control of our whole lives.

The emotion we need to understand to do away with anger is disappointment.

And in particular, disappointment following a good-natured intent on your part.

For example, when you genuinely wish something good for somebody, and you suggest that to the person, and that person refuses, you feel disappointed. You feel angry, because it was a good thing you offered to them; you wished them well - but they just didn’t accept it.

You feel misunderstood. You feel frustrated because they don’t understand what they’ve turned down. You are especially upset, because you just know how much better off they would have been had they listened to you.

Say you have a little brother. He’s come to visit you in the city for a day, and you’re excited to show him around campus. You have a little tour planned out for him.

But he’s too busy meeting up with his friends. He’s bent on entering high-end bars and clubs with them, although (or, rather, because) they are underage.

He doesn’t come home in the evening, he doesn’t return your calls.

Feel angry? Yup. You are disappointed that he disregarded everything you thought up for him. You’re angry about his thoughtless choices. You are so sure he would be better off had he picked your version of a good trip.

Well, here’s the solution to disappointment.

Don’t be so sure. Don’t be so certain that your scenario was the best one, since you really can’t be absolutely right on outcomes unless, of course, you are God.

That’s the first step to ridding anger. You can shrug it off as, hey, so he chose that path. Maybe he was right to, maybe he wasn’t. I gave my input, and we’ll see which turns out the better. Actually, it’s not my responsibility in the first place to live my brother’s life. Getting angry on behalf of him without the power (nor the will) to live his life for him will only buy remorse from him anyway.

You’ve done what you can. Let him do his thing. And focus on your thing.

Trust me, it will do you wonders.

On Lasting Relationships & Self-expression

"If you love someone tell them, because hearts are often broken by words left unspoken."

It’s true you should let that person you love know in order to get your relationship (fingers crossed) started.

But to maintain your relationship once it’s begun, to what extent should you express your adoration?

Many girls worry they will scare their guy away (or, worse, bore them to death) by giving too much approval.

And it often is the unfortunate outcome.

So what’s the secret to keeping a guy’s heart for good? How can you be an affectionate and exciting girlfriend at the same time?

Well, for starters, quit worrying about whether you’re doing it right or not.

Uncertainty and doubt really aren’t the greatest look to go by, see.

By mentally ordering yourself to quit incessantly judging yourself, you can clear your mind to conjure up better, more productive, and immediate results to your problem.

Shutting out the negative you will also formulate inner confidence, which really is very attractive.

The fact that you’re already in a relationship should be enough of proof that he is attracted to you.

Don’t succumb to the impulse of constantly needing confirmation every step of the way.

Don’t overthink and plant the seed of doubt in your guy’s head in the process.

Just be happy and confident that he loves you.

Why wouldn’t he, right, is he dumb?

That’s the spirit.

On Liking Someone

Frankly I find genuinely liking somebody harder than liking them fifty percent (or less, only you don’t care enough to think it through).

I know it sounds messed up, like I’m traumatized over relationships or something like that, but I find it strangely relieving when someone disappoints me. I gain that much more reason to care less.

So, yes, admittedly, when I truly like and respect someone, it’s to a hopeless degree.

I blunder more often; I care too much for the both of us.

It’s to a point that I really (not just in pretend or politeness) don’t care how much sacrifice is required of myself, which make things incredibly painful. The thing is it’s like I’m numbed to the pain, like I’m superwoman or something.

In fact I think it is in this sense that love makes you strong (not weak).

Tips on writing articles

1. Remember: an article should be in the structure of an inverted triangle.

In other words, the important and/or weighty things go first.

A reader should be able to understand the overall message just by reading the first paragraph.

2. Include 1h + 5w in your first paragraph.

How, what, who, where, when, why should all be covered in the first part of your article.

3. Adopt a neutral tone.

Be careful not to put emotion into your writing. An article should be informative, not sentimental!

4. Keep your sentences short.

Long sentences are better for essay writing. Try to keep your sentences short and succinct when for article writing.

The secret to happiness, in light of failure

Truth be told, failing the exam wasn’t as groundbreakingly devastating as I made out to be. I didn’t “flunk,” it’s just that I won’t have the liberty of choosing a certain major. (After all, I don’t know anything about the new major, because you are only allowed to be taught it if you pass the exam. I know. Illogical system, eh?)

In an absolute sense, flunking (i.e. being served the latter major) is not an ounce more negatively significant than the opposite outcome.

But in Seoul, nothing is considered in an absolute sense. Everything is comparative, you see.
Am I happy - comparatively?
Am I successful - comparatively, as in compared to the person working across the aisle from me?

Let me explain a little further.

The guy who dropped out of school to pursue his heart’s passion.
The professor who wears hippie clothes despite his outstanding insight in his field.

You’re probably wondering, so what? And you’re right to think so. I haven’t given you much of a description.
Who knows, say, if they’re happy, right?

Well, wrong.

These people aren’t happy, nor successful, not in Seoul, not comparatively.

Because there’s always the guy who a) didn’t drop out of school because why would he when he’s got the highest GPA in his form, or b) didn’t have to go to uni in the first place, he’s about to inherit a fortune from his multibillionaire dad.

There’s always the professor who despite his genius abilities, wears a different suit at each lecture. He might have a celebrity wife, who personally makes sure her husband looks presentable each day. He himself might have an eye for fashion, or it might all just be a portion of his effortless picture-perfect life.

Comparatively, these people aren’t happy.

Now you get why people are so careful to say they’re happy in Seoul, right?

That’s why I should in all probability be unhappy with my exam results. Because compare how my reaction would have been had I passed.
Comparatively, which would be happier?

Compare how my reaction is with that other girl in my class who did pass, who will be going on to learn the new major.
Comparatively, who is happier?

And there you go.

On Parent-Hating

Throughout my life I’ve hated my parents fairly regularly (to a moderate degree).
I guess it’s widespread. People say it’s a phase, one that you get over somewhere in your teens.
However for me it has become noticeably frequent over the years that I feel this hateful impulse towards them, more intensely in degree.
Let me introduce my parents. They are deeply religious. But at the same time they are deeply human.
This used to be one of the tough things for me to get over in the past. But that’s not the case anymore. Sure they’re only human. They can hate people and are entitled to go on the occasional childish rant, too, just like everybody else.
My unhappiness about them stems from something deeper.
I find them stubbornly hurtful. Yup. And more importantly, stubbornly hurt.
They act like the most hurt people on the planet, not realizing that’s the most hurtful thing of all.
It hurts them. It hurts me.
So I wish they would just stop and let it go.

What it means to try
On confidence
Sometimes failure fares better
Why men are successful
Beware Series: Disappointment
On Lasting Relationships & Self-expression
On Liking Someone
Tips on writing articles
The secret to happiness, in light of failure
On Parent-Hating

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Introduction to Life in Seoul

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