carpe diem?

Fortunately for me, I’ve had the chance to reconnect with various friends throughout the past few months. One of the comments that I wasn’t expecting was people asking me what happened to my blog, if I was still updating, because I haven’t updated in a while. That touched me, because I didn’t know people actually read my blog.

It’s been a wild few months since I last updated, so here’s the SparkNotes summary of significant events in my life from then:

1) I graduated pharmacy school.

2) I passed my board licensing exams, and am now a full-fledged pharmacist.

3) I am 5 months into my residency, and absolutely loving it. It’s hard work, but it’s good work.

4) I recently upgraded my snowboard boots to the new Empire limited edition Lash by 32:

They use fancy words like heat-molded, but it DOES feel better if not by virtue that they are actually size 9 (whereas my old boots were a bit too big for me at size 9.5).

5) I fell out with EDM music in general (with a few exceptions), and am really feeling ‘chillstep’ type of music.

So it’s definitely been a big few months for me, growing up and figuring out what life is like now that I am finally done school.

I think one of the things I’ve really been thinking about these past few days is the concept of carpe diem, or seizing the day.

On an intellectual level, everyone knows what it means: don’t let opportunities pass by – take advantage of every one of them. We often use it in conversation when we try to tell someone – hey, you should do this! Don’t miss out!

But on a practical level, it is often hard to implement.

I think one of the most common tactics we use to counter our own attempts at carpe diem is the phenomenon of self-justification. I’ve blogged about it before, and it has definitely helped me be more aware of when I am clearly trying to self-justify myself. But essentially, self-justification would be you trying to convince yourself of something. Usually that’s not an issue, but when you’re essentially trying to convince yourself of an excuse for why you’re not trying something new, then that self-justification is definitely hindering your progress.

A lot of times, an opportunity presents itself, and even though we have good intentions of carpe dieming the heck out of that opportunity, our ‘rational’ mind reminds us that maybe we don’t have the time, or the know-how, or the capability, or WHATEVER it is that we need to do it.

We are literally paralyzed with inaction – paralysis by analysis – and next thing you know, the opportunity has passed us by.

literally paralyzed with inaction

One way I’ve been trying to counter this is to say yes to every opportunity. I think there’s a good movie with this premise, where the main character is forced to say yes to everything? I don’t remember.

But for me, I think to myself – life is short. Too short to let opportunities pass me by. Given an opportunity, I probably have the tools to handle it. And even if I don’t have the right tools right now, it doesn’t mean I will never have the right tools: I have a support system – a way to get the right tools. I’m not worried – all of that will come; there is always a way. But this opportunity, it may never come again. Better to say yes, to seize it, and then figure out the rest later because we always figure things out. Better that, than to let this opportunity pass by.

carpe diem, ladies and gentlemen.

 

 

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worth your while

“Some people come into our lives and then leave, ephemerally. Some stay for a while, and leave footprints on our hearts. But either way, we are never, ever the same again”

When talking about friendships and relationships, this has never held more truth. I’ve had friends come and go, whether it was undergrad badminton friends where the only thing we shared was varsity badminton, or going-out friends that only ever called me up to go out. Or it could be the relationship you had that lasted 5 years and was getting stale near the end, or the one that only lasted a month but was one of the best times you’ve ever shared with someone.

People come and go, but too often we attribute their impact on us based on how long we’ve known them. Today, I want to say it isn’t about that. Today, I want to say it’s about the quality of the experiences we had.

Granted, statistically it does make sense that the longer you know someone and interact with them, the higher your chances of having the kind of experiences (not just the Special Sundays, but also the Boring Wednesdays) that add to your sense of self and teach you about life.

But all too often, we attribute quality purely based on quantity – how long you’ve known each other.

I know some friends that I have known half my life, but are acquaintances, whereas some people I have only known for a short amount of time comparatively, but can call life-long friends.

Likewise, I’ve known of relationships that lasted years and were as stale as they come, and some that lasted months and were some of the most fulfilling and learning experiences.

Of course, this is not to say that long relationships can’t be fulfilling and learning (and statistically speaking, as mentioned before, they should be the ones most likely to be fulfilling and learning); I’m saying don’t discount the short stuff.

who your sig other should be for you

shown: your significant other

Someone once told me: just because it’s over doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while. And I agree completely.

Regardless of if it’s a friendship that ended all too soon because of geographical reasons, or a relationship that didn’t pan out because of timing issues, just because it’s over doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth what you invested into it.

Because regardless of how long or short it was, your lives intersected for some length of time, and you gained/learned/LIVED. And we are never, ever the same again.

Definitely one I could frame

Definitely one I could frame

Tune of the week: the new ‘Falling Back’ by Cosmic Gate and Eric Lumiere.

Lyrics, the beat, the drop, the singing. Perfection. I’ve definitely repeated it enough that I know most of the lyrics LOL.

this one’s a dedication – to you – you all know who you are.

pz out for now.

it’s raining outside

It’s 2 AM and it’s raining heavily outside, so apologies in advance if any of the above factors affect the mood of this post. I’m sitting on my bed hammering this post out (so much for proper sleep hygiene, the bed is reserved for only sleep and sex right?), and it’s all over the place so bear with me.

There are conversations, and then there are the 6 am conversations that happen just because, and make you really THINK.

There are conversations, and then there are the 6 AM conversations that happen just because, and make you really THINK.

This blog is always about what I’m thinking about, and what interests me today is a stark realization of the huge difference between KNOWING, and DOING.

In all aspects of life.

It’s very easy to know things; all you have to do is read! In our generation, with the Internet at our disposal, reading up about something just simply requires you to have the interest, have access to Google, and have the attention to read what comes up.

You can actually read about anything: pharmacy, medicine, love, relationships, how to change tires, how to tie a tie, do cats really always fall on their feet (yes, but only if they fallen from at least a certain height!), what is loose leaf tea (I’ve read so much about tea…XD), how to lead a more fulfilling life, how to be happy, who’s a good fantasy basketball pick up, what REALLY happened with the Malaysian flight, who is Taylor Swift singing about now, how to shoot a jump shot, how to cross-over defenders, actually ANYTHING!

Patrick Beverly – I’ve actually been reading a lot about playing good defence lately, and I’m hoping to incorporate it into my game ASAP. Let’s go PharmaBeasts, next semester is our last chance to win a championship!

I read a lot – anyone that knows me knows this. I’m also quite indiscriminate about what I read too, so I read a lot of random things – so overtime, things stick. Yet, I’ve found that I am not very good at translating what I read into actual practice. I mean, this seems obvious, but upon closer introspection, I realize how hard it actually is.

I mean, gosh, if I could translate even 5% of what I read into practice, I’d be a basketball star with the knowledge of journals at my fingertips, and also know how to tie at least 5 different types of knots while effortlessly (and stylishly) wearing my scarf in over 35 different ways.

SCARVES! Please come back winter =(

I’ve read a couple of pretty insightful things recently, and they’ve made me think a lot.

First up is an article about asking the right questionshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/the-questions-that-will-save-your-relationships_b_4618254.html.

I always ask people how was your day, or what’s new, or update me on your life. But if you really care, or you really want to know someone, then we need to ask them better questions and then really listen to their answers. If you don’t want throwaway answers, then you really can’t ask throwaway questions. I don’t want people to think I’m just asking them questions because I have to or because it’s polite; it’s because I actually want to talk to you, because I care about what you have to say and how that makes you feel.

So after reading this article, I decided to put it into practice. For about a week or so, I carefully watched the questions I asked, and tried to live this philosophy. I got a couple of weird stares, someone asked me why I was asking weird questions, and so a week later I abandoned this one. But the thing is, I truly believe in it – and yet despite reading all about it and reading it several times, I couldn’t put it into practice.

And another one I read, and this one is a HUGE article, absolutely amazing, insightful and bookmarked for ages to come – an article on relationships and life partners:

Part 1: http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

Part 2: http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner-part-2.html

Please, if I ever tell you anything and you ever decide to follow through, let it be my recommendation for you to read these 2 amazing pieces.

PWETTY PWEASEEEEEE

One thing in these articles that just struck me – I mean it’s pretty obvious, but it’s one of those things people don’t think about usually so that when you read it, it just strikes you so strongly because it’s so true:

A good relationship isn’t about the epic love story or the poetic romanticism or the grand gestures and the cliche lines. It isn’t about the flowers or the amazing trips or the butterflies or the awesome social excursions…

It’s about having lunch together for the 1047th time, it’s about that quiet Sunday night where she watched TV and you read a book, but you were together, on the couch. It’s about getting stuck in a traffic jam on the 401, about the routine good morning texts you both send and receive.

A good relationship is 20,000 Forgettable Wednesdays, together

There is just so much in these 2 articles, and I absolutely find myself agreeing with their bottom-lines. Yet, even though I KNOW these fallacies, I still find myself unable to get out of them. Why is that?

Even in pharmacy and medicine, I see this disconnect between literature and practice. So there’s a drug, metformin, which is basically the best drug for diabetics, PERIOD.

Who’s a good drug, yes you are!

One of the rare side-effects that pharmacists always counsel on or mention is lactic acidosis (long story short, its basically a build up of lactic acid in the body and it’s pretty bad for your health, you might even die).

Yet, we have learnt that from a meta-analysis on the topic (what is the incidence of lactic acidosis in metformin users) that compared to placebo, metformin actually does not statistically significantly increase your risk of lactic acidosis. That this myth is actually perpetuated by the fact that metformin’s precursor (phenformin) was the one that was actually associated with lactic acidosis, and was pulled off the shelves.

So even though we know this, why do we – as practitioners of evidence-based medicine – continue to remind people of lactic acidosis?

One reason that comes to mind is that it’s the safe thing to do – I mean, what harm is there in adding on an extra complication to our monitoring plan? Or counselling patients on it? Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

I have no easy answer for this, but again this is another example of where it’s easy to know what you read, but hard to put it into practice.

I guess the whole point of this post is that I recently read something else that really resonated, and something I also want to put into practice. But at this point, I have these doubts as to whether I can really do it.

Courtesy of reddit:

You are in control of your own happiness. Stop for a second when you feel offended or hurt and ask yourself these questions:

1. Why does this bother me?

2. Was it intentional?

3. Is there a solution?

4. Do I really want to be mad about this?

Then make a CHOICE to ALLOW it to bother you or not, it’s up to you. But don’t waste sweet precious moments of your life. Forgive and forget and you will absolutely be happier.

All we can do is try. 

Alfred to Batman: Why do we fall, sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Music time:

I’ve been moving away from EDM lately – and maybe even trance – and into music like this kind of genre. I’m not exactly sure what genre it is (I think colloquially it’s been referred to as chillstep?), but all I know is the things uploaded by Fluidified – Best Serve Chilled has been just amazing for me, and I can’t stop listening to it.

pz out for now.

lately I’ve been I’ve been losing sleep

Recently, I was asked about some of my personal interests, and I mentioned that I was a blogger. After giving them the URL to this blog, the interviewer immediately asked – how often do you update? I told them the truth – it really depends on whenever something strikes my fancy. If something interests me or happens in my life and I want to blog about it, then that’s when I blog. Fortunately, I had blogged very recently (2 weeks ago?) so if the interviewers ever decided to visit my blog (which I highly doubt they will), then at least they would be treated to a fresh corner of Victor’s mind.

pictured: victor's mind.

pictured: victor’s mind – cluttered mess as always.

Lately, I’ve been I’ve been feeling rather unmotivated and lethargic – complacent is the word. And so this blog is going to be about complacency.

I need to frame this and put it where I can see it everyday when I wake up.

I need to frame this and put it where I can see it everyday when I wake up.

Complacency is my worst enemy.

It’s that feeling of ‘good enough’, of being comfortable, of losing ambition and fire. It’s defined as staying in the comfort zone. And complacency is so dangerous – not just in my academic life, but also in relationships, my experiences, heck the way I approach life.

I know I’ve definitely been complacent with regards to my academic life lately.

I remember I used to be so fired up about trying to know EVERYTHING; even things that I could look up, I would want that knowledge to be in my brain and on the tip of my tongue, ready to be recalled at a moment’s notice.

Every co-op, I would review previous IPFC notes and make Anki flash cards out of them, and then review those flash cards whenever I had a spare moment.

Yeah I'd say I was a bit of a keener

Yeah I’d say I could be a bit of a keener at times

Then something happened.

I got complacent.

I was pretty happy with my current knowledge base (even though it is anything but broad), and secure knowing that anything I didn’t know, I knew where to easily look it up (UpToDate, you are my bible).

UpToDate: Waterloo, y u no hav UpToDate???

(Props to SY for being my UpToDate supplier!!!)

I must say, this co-op has been my laziest yet.

# of IPFCs reviewed: 0

# of Anki decks created: 0

# of Anki decks reviewed: 3/7

Complacency: 100%.

Funny thing is that I actually seem to be doing pretty well on co-op, making therapeutic interventions left and right. And that only further feeds my complacency – the illusion that I am alright where I am right now. Clearly, this whole academic complacency thing needs to change, and fast.

Complacency is so dangerous because it is so insidious – sneaking up on you and keeping you stuck in your comfort zone. I hope writing my thoughts down here in this post will motivate me to break free of my academic complacency in the upcoming term.

Escaping is just the beginning

Escaping is just the beginning

Complacency isn’t only apparent in academics – but also in relationships too.

How many times have you seen a relationship that just seems so stale and listless :(?

Of course, a relationship doesn’t always have to be passion and fire 24/7, but I’m sure you know of some relationships that just seem like there’s nothing going on. At that point, it seems like one or both parties are hanging on just for the sake of hanging on; because it’s already been such a long relationship, it’s easy to go for familiarity and comfort even though it’s stagnant and complacent.

Complacency can also occur in the way we approach new experiences too. In fact, any time we are able to just stand still and bask in what we’ve achieved, in what’s comfortable, that’s when we stop growing. 

This is no time to dwell on how far you’ve come. 

“Luck is the last dying wish for those who believe winning can happen by accident. Sweat, on the other hand, is for those who know it’s a choice.”

This is so tremendously inspirational – I think I might just download it and save it on my laptop lol. 

Old, but I’m not that old // young, but I’m not that bold. 

Said no more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars.

pz out for now.

how can I // stand here with you

Hopefully, this is going to be one of those posts I write that stay with me forever. The ones that I read 2 years from now and think: wow – I needed this reminder; good thing I wrote it down years ago.

The catalyst for this post kinda came about after I read an excellent article by Pop Chassid. So, some of you may recognize some of his themes in this post, but I’m definitely going to be expanding on it and putting the victor twist on things.

I was listening to Everything – Lifehouse as I wrote this, so click this:

So.

The Happiness Equation.

The Happiness Equation.

What is happiness? I feel like it’s quite simple – it’s reality minus expectations.

If reality > expectations, then you are getting more from life than what you expect, and you are happy.

If reality < expectations, then you expect more than what your life is giving you, and you are unhappy.

The problem with LOVE in our society nowadays is that our reality is not matching up with our expectations – not even close! Think about it – what does society tell us about love? WHAT IS LOVE?

Look on TV, look in the movies, listen to today’s music, and it tells us that love is something that we feel. It is an emotion:

– my fire, my one desire.

– a flippy-floppity feeling I get in my chest when I see you.

– when I can’t go through my day without stopping and staring at you, awestruck in your beauty.

– when I stop sometimes and think about how your day is going, because I’m missing you.

– when all I can think about is you, want to know everything about you, want to share my world with you.

– when I look into your eyes and whisper…I love you.

*eugh that last one was so cheesy I need some lansoprazole for it…har har (:P).

Sounds familiar right? I mean, when you’re brought up in a culture where this ideal of what love is runs rampant, it isn’t surprising that this emotional fire is what we EXPECT when we fall in love.

And this is compounded by the fact that during the dating phase, the excitement of dating someone who seems perfect for you naturally brings out this emotional fire in us. The infatuation, the shared laughs, the quirky things about them that you love – we’ve all felt it. This must be love, right?

The 8 phases of dating.

No.

Some people like to categorize love – that there is a romantic love, and also a familial love. Makes sense right? – that the love you feel for your girlfriend is going to be different from the love you feel for your family.

But right now, I think differently.

I think there is only one concept, and that is love. Dividing love into these 2 categories is feeding into our society’s whole misconception of love, resulting in the ~50% divorce rate in North America.

The root of the problem is that we are taught to believe love is a noun: an emotion – something we feel. This burning fire, this emotional desire – that must be love. Which is why they tell us romantic love is different from familial love – because it’d be weird for you to feel this burning love for your family, right?

But really, what I’ve come to realize these past few weeks is that love is actually a verb. Love isn’t an emotion; the fire that you feel when you’re dating and maybe even when you propose – that’s just that: emotional fire. But that isn’t love.

I believe that love is a verb – better defined as giving. As in: putting someone else’s needs above your own.

They say actions speak louder than words, and that’s what I believe. Love is measured by what you are willing to do for them – what you are willing to sacrifice for their happiness.

Are you willing to put their happiness above yours?

I’m not necessarily talking about grand gestures like jumping in front of a bullet or anything – but sometimes the measure of a man is seen in the small things.

Like when you’re sick, and they remember to bring you something for it (congee? chicken noodle soup?).

Like when they’re stranded somewhere, and you drop everything and take time out to rescue them.

For the married ones, maybe love is when they offer to do the dishes because they see how tired you look.

Or maybe when they offer to pick up the kid even though it’s your turn, because you’ve had a tough day.

My experience is obviously limited, and the possibilities are endless. But what I truly believe is that love is defined by how much of my comfort I am willing to sacrifice for your happiness

And because this is what I believe love to be, then familial love makes sense. Because if you think about it, our parents’ love for us is the ultimate demonstration of this concept. Because parents are willing to sacrifice almost everything for our happiness.

They say a kid costs a million dollars to raise from 0 to 18 years; $1,000,000 could have bought them a lot of material comforts.

As babies, our parents regularly put up with us vomiting everywhere, spitting out food, throwing tantrums.

As kids, our parents give up so much of their time to drive us to all the sports or other extra-curricular things we did.

As teenagers, they put up with all the hurtful and spiteful things we say, the stupid things we do because we want to act grown-up. And they still love us unconditionally.

As young adults, they’re our safety net – ready to catch us when we fall. Who’s the first person you call if you get into a car collision?

To me, parental love is the purest, most ultimate demonstration of love. It is a love that is purely for you – their offspring.

The kind of sham love that is promoted in our society nowadays is a mockery of this concept. Many people get into marriage thinking that swoon-inducing fire from the dating phase will last forever. After all, Disney does promote that. And when the fire inevitably burns out, they get divorced.

Can you really expect to feel that burning, emotional fire throughout your entire marriage? Love as an emotion is selfish – because it isn’t for her. It’s for me – an emotion I have in my chest.

Love is an action – it is giving, without expecting in return. It is what you are willing to do for someone else. It is in facing the grind of everyday practical life, together, that love blossoms.

Being sappy isn’t love. Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean you do.

I can’t imagine a bigger lie. We’re living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.

victor, I hope you don’t forget this.

how can I // stand here with you // and not be moved by you?

would you tell me // how could it be // any better than this?

pz out.

Dated September 29, 2013.

the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

I feel like every time I blog, it’s either because I’ve just finished another co-op term or another school term. Well this time it’s because my 3rd year just ended. I’m sorry – I swear I’ll update more frequently (god knows how many times I’ve said that 😛)!

Aka why I continue to blog

AKA why I continue to blog

Somehow, the older I get and the closer I get to finishing school (and entering the job market), the more scared I get. It helps that I get a chance to reflect and think about all this while I run (for the uninformed, I’ll be running the Tough Mudder in a month and have been training for it for a while – support me!). As a side-bar, here is an AMAZING comic by the ever-hilarious Oatmeal that a friend linked to me about running and eating Nutella straight from the jar.

So as I do with anything that I’ve been mulling over, I put it down on paper here in this blog:

How I feel about my next few years.

I wonder whether someday in the future, there will be one moment where I think to myself – today, right now, I just started living [what my 18-year-old-self labelled] ‘the real life’.

To the 18-year-old-me, ‘the real life’ consisted of many important, daunting responsibilities. This list included fun things like: filing my own income taxes, paying property taxes, figuring out how to get the best [automobile] insurance rates, planning out my savings (stocks? mutual funds? GICs? I DON’T KNOW!) and contributing to my RRSP, planning out my financial future so that I would be able to fully buy my own property, etc… etc… etc…

You can tell I wasn’t that excited for the real life.

18-year-old-life was simpler. All I had to do was make sure I continued making top grades, making new friends, and keeping healthy. Even back then, I wondered whether it would hit me one day (but one day that was far far far far off into the future) that I had transitioned into real life. Or would it rather be a shift so slow that I wouldn’t notice.

Saddest part is, even now at 23 and one year away from graduating pharmacy, I still don’t think I am ready for the real life. How pathetic is that. I thought for sure, by 23, I would have my shit together. But perhaps my scale is off – it seems like in my generation, real life is starting later and later for a variety of reasons.

1.) Job market. Let’s be dead honest here, boys and girls. The job market in general is shit for our generation. Between the current labor force retiring later and later, and the huge influx in University-trained grads, it is now basically a prereq. to have a bachelor’s degree before even THINKING about applying for ANY job (that’s right, ANY job, not even jobs related to your discipline). Heck, if you are a science undergrad and you want to find a job related in your field, good luck – you’re probably better off trying again after you get a Masters!

2.) Property. As we become more and more developed and the housing bubble continues to expand, the price of property is simply too high for fresh grads to reliably purchase. We all know that the ultimate investment is in property (not stocks, not mutual funds, NOPE) because it always demonstrates a positive ROI. It only makes sense for my generation to live with our parents (cost-efficient, allows us to save money and hopefully invest it wisely) until we accumulate enough to maybe purchase our own place.

MA THE MEATLOAF

So the whole moving out and property tax part of real life definitely starts much later for my generation.

3.) Over-protected. This one’s hard to explain, so I will let the organization ‘Young Leaders’ phrase it more eloquently:

Where did we go wrong?

• We’ve told our kids to dream big – and now any small act seems insignificant. In the great scheme of things, kids can’t instantly change the world. They have to take small, first steps – which seem like no progress at all to them.

• We’ve told our kids that they are special – for no reason, even though they didn’t display excellent character or skill, and now they demand special treatment. The problem is that kids assumed they didn’t have to do anything special in order to be special.

• We gave our kids every comfort – and now they can’t delay gratification. And we heard the message loud and clear. We, too, pace in front of the microwave, become angry when things don’t go our way at work, rage at traffic. “Now it’s time to relay the importance of waiting for the things we want, deferring to the wishes of others and surrendering personal desires in the pursuit of something bigger than ‘me,'” Elmore says.

• We made our kid’s happiness a central goal – and now it’s difficult for them to generate happiness — the by-product of living a meaningful life. “It’s time we tell them that our goal is to enable them to discover their gifts, passions and purposes in life so they can help others. Happiness comes as a result.”

In conclusion, I feel overwhelmed because where I am now and where I want to be are so far apart. 

Lots & lots & lots of work.

Lots & lots & lots of work.

I think this is a good place to be, because now I have the next 4 months of co-op to work on life.

For those who are wondering how to tackle this, let me share a secret – ask your Dad.

Because while you were still in diapers, he was already trying to figure out ‘the real life’ world 2.0 – having a kid. If there is anyone who would know everything about life, it would have to be him. Big shout-out to Pappa Tsang!

If running has taught me anything, it’s that if you’re faced with a long, arduous journey, the best way to tackle is to just focus on hitting it one step at a time. Because when you’re faced with what seems insurmountable, it’s easy to just quit it and fall victim to the bleurgh right away.

But if you just focus on small steps, the next thing you know, you’re done.

Go Team Victor!

pz out for now.

Music Mondays! (erghmagawd it’s actually Monday this time!):

I thought I was done with kpop, but B2ST releases a pretty awesome song – catchy and haunting:

Shadow – B2ST

Vicetone is an artist I am very excited about. Their style is EXACTLY the kind of genre I’m looking for in EDM – fast-paced, strong base-line, and always huge drops into a sweet chorus:

Hold On (Remix) – Vicetone

ARGH so excited to be seeing them soon. Even if they’re just the opening act for Nicky Romero.

Of achievements and appreciation and skills

It’s been a solid 2 months since my last blog – and life is good. Finished another co-op, school in the summer term, chilling out maxing relaxing all cool while shooting some b-ball outside of school…what could be better?

If that didn’t make you laugh and remember how awesome the Fresh Prince was, then you’re too young 😛

On a more serious note, I’ve read a couple of pretty insightful articles (CREDITS: the material in this post comes from David Wong at cracked, and Gregoris Kalai at Huff Post) this past year that I have been meaning to blog about, but never got the chance to until now. So LGI baby lets get it lets go (David So fan here :P)!

Take a second, and name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or list it in your head. But here’s the kicker: you cannot list anything you are (e.g. I’m a nice guy, I’m honest, I’m funny), but instead can only list things that you do (e.g. I can cook a mean eggplant dish, I am good at basketball, I made the 99th percentile on the MCAT).

Done?

Did you find it hard?

Welcome to life. Confused? Well imagine this scenario…

Your dearly beloved mother has just been shot. She is lying in the street, bleeding and moaning in pain. A guy rushes up and says, “Step aside. I will handle this.” He takes a look at the open wound, and flicks open a pocket knife – he’s going to operate right there in the street.

boom gutshot

boom gutshot

You ask him, “Are you a doctor?”

The guy replies, “No.”

You’re worried now, but you say, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re a nurse, or a paramedic, or…”

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

he's a NICE GUY.

he’s a NICE GUY.

Confused, you say, “How does any of that fucking matter when my mother is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”

Now the man becomes agitated – why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn’t you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend’s birthday? In light of all of he good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

CAN YOU DO SURGERY OR NOT

CAN YOU DO SURGERY OR NOT!?!?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, “Yes, I’m saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole.”

Welcome to life.

Where everyday YOU are the confused guy with the pocket knife, and all of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

POCKET KNIVES

POCKET KNIVES

Society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need this and they need that. Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

You are defined not by who you are, but what you are able to do. Because family notwithstanding, no one gives a shit who you are. They care about what you can DO. That is why surgeons make the big bucks – their job is hard to do. That is why TTC drivers make good money too – no one wants to put up with godforsaken hours and rude public. And that is why unemployed people are unemployed – they can be the nicest and greatest people ever, but if they have no marketable skills, no one wants them.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness – don’t those things matter?

Of course.

As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can’t get elsewhere. Are you smart? Are you funny? Are you nice? Ambitious? Creative? Romantic? That’s great. Now, what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy – that’s the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 50 times a day. What you are on the inside only matters because of what it makes you do.

The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?

You always hear “How can I get a job?” when it should be “How can I become the type of person employers want?” It’s always “How can I get pretty girls to like me?” instead of “How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?” See, that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality.

“But why can’t I find someone who just likes me for me?” you ask. The answer is because humans need things. The victim is bleeding, and all you can do is look down and complain that there aren’t more gunshot wounds that just fix themselves?

Alec Baldwin brilliantly explains all of this in this little clip – warning: lots of vulgar language so definitely NSFW.

“Nice guy? Who gives a shit? If you want to work here, close.”

Couldn’t have said it any better.

So, can you name 5 impressive things about yourself – things that you can DO?

Music Mondays – sick remix.

pz out for now.