What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done? What was the biggest risk you’ve taken? What was the scariest thing you’ve put yourself through?
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t really be able to tell you any fun, exciting, or crazy stories.
Because I’ve been playing it safe.
Up to this point, I have always just let life happen to me. Sure, there have been certain events that have had a huge impact on me and who I am, but they were mostly guided or influenced by someone or something else. Overall, my life has been safe and autonomous in order to save enough money for retirement.
But now I’m thinking, that doesn’t make sense. Why do I have to wait until my body gets way too old and tired for me to have fun doing what I want?
I feel like I’ve been awoken.
Growing up, I wanted stability so much I would look down on people who weren’t “normal” or didn’t get a regular job. I saw freelancers and contractors and I thought, struggling artist.
Now, I envy them because they are actually doing what excites them. They didn’t let anyone tell them what to do, or scare them from not exploring what they were most curious about.
I used to love writing. I loved the creative expression of human emotion. I even wrote a 40,000 word children’s book in middle school (that I’m too afraid to publish) somewhere in my Google Drive. But as I grew older my focused shifted to becoming more practical. I joined the tech world because it was lucrative and…everyone else was doing it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love tech, but not when it’s just to make a piece of software 4% faster at the expense of the user experience or help a company marginally improve their annual earnings.
Plus, I thought, I’m not as talented as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, so why even try? But now I realized, that was just an excuse that came from fear. And instead of fighting it, I ran and looked for a simpler path.
And I don’t think I’m alone.
You’ve “done everything right” according to the people around you. They might even be throwing the word “proud” in there somewhere. But you still have so many more questions, so many interests, so many ideas for how you can help the people of this world.
I’m with you and I believe in you! You have the capability, you just need the right weapons to bring into the battlefield.
So I write. I write to help us think more about our own lives and to help us find the right questions to ask. I write so we can start paying attention to what really matters to US and to wake up and go after it.
But most importantly, I write to be a better communicator to you, to tell better stories for our personal history books, and to help both of us better connect with our humanity.
I’m excited to use writing as a way to improve the way I communicate and to untangle this mess that I have in my head. I want to practice clearly articulating my thoughts and perspectives on the world, our people, and our relationships.
I personally struggle with putting myself out there, letting my guard down, and speaking my mind in an engaging way. I am a great listener, but talking is not my strongest suit, which is a problem because human communication is a two-way street.
I just have so much I want to express, but it’s been stuck inside my mind getting all mixed up.
It makes sense though because growing up, I was never allowed to. As a man and the oldest son of Asian immigrant parents, talking back to elders, showing emotions, and asking for mental help was very much looked down upon. I’ll dive deeper into that in later posts, but the short story is that I was not given the proper channels to exert myself, and it’s time to let loose.
I’m excited to write in order to document my version of my history and get better at storytelling. Stories are the most impactful way to pass along knowledge, information, and inspiration because it sparks stronger emotions. And we remember emotions.
That is how we remember details about our past that help explain who we are today. We shouldn’t be dwelling in our past, of course, but we should definitely remember the sequence of events that got us to this point in order to practice gratefulness and inspire growth.
Right now, I admit, I’m terrible at telling stories, but the practice is in the writing, and there’s a lot I want to tell.
I’m excited to write to relate to people in a more mindful way. And I might seem passively selfish here, but I’m definitely writing to make myself feel better and to reach out for a more human connection.
Because to be honest, I don’t know how to completely connect in person yet. I dread being completely vulnerable in front of people. I know I may be taking the easy way out by “being vulnerable” behind a computer, but it’s a step, right?
A voice on paper (or an electronic screen) is still a voice, and hopefully I can create a space where others feel comfortable to speak up too. Maybe that way, we can create something deeper and more meaningful that brings us closer together as human beings.
I don’t like telling people what to do, because most of the time, people are going to do what they want. There’s often more than one way to do something anyway. I get it, 2 plus 2 equals 4, yes there are objectively right and wrong answers, but when it’s your life, whatever you do is up to you.
I’m not one to preach or lecture and have everyone do as I say. Instead, I’m just going to share what I learn as I learn it and maybe that can inspire your own self-discovery and personal development.
Along with that, my goal is to break down the stigma around emotional and mental health. I want us to let go of the barriers most of us either consciously or subconsciously putting up just because it feels better in the short-term. We as humans and as individuals need to spend more time solving problems from a higher, big-picture view for the long run instead of wasting our energy on the more trivial “band-aids.”
And that all starts with being vulnerable, taking calculated risks, and working on our emotional intelligence. Let’s do it!
I collected 11 ways we can tap into our own existing wisdom to start living more meaningful, connected lives with better relationships and purpose.
Originally published at theascent.pub