the 100 day project

L1003241hakone sunset c/o chuen seng teoh

One hundred is not a huge number. You can count to one hundred quite quickly if you concentrate and speak very quickly. A commitment to do something for one hundred days however can be quite intimidating. In aiming for perfection and for fear of failing, we usually prefer not to start instead.

The 100 day project isn’t new. I first saw it a few years ago when it introduced to it by Elle Luna on instagram, encouraging people to one hundred days of creativity and creation. I finally took the plunge and did it this year. So here we are on post number one hundred.

It has been a great experience doing this, creatively exciting and at times extremely stressful when life happens. To be able to stick to this promise to myself to make a post each day feels fulfilling and gives me confidence in my ability to achieve what I set out to do when I put my mind into it.

What’s next? Serendipitously, my family is arriving tonight in Europe for a two week vacation so I will probably not post daily for the next couple of weeks. I also do intend to write more long form post and share some of my other creative endeavours. Incidentally, I’ve also written on the last page of my daily journal today which I started doing in January this year. How things just coincides with each other some times.

Thank you for following and reading this blog. I look forward to continue sharing my work with you. Until the next post, have a good day and hope this inspires your own journey, in any way at all.

With gratitude and love.

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tokyo c/o chuen seng teoh

“Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

– Kahlil Gibran

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family death

There was a death in the family today. Recent blog posts has touched on the topic of life and death but I promise it wasn’t by design and I surely did not intend to be morbid. Life, and death just happens you see.

I am reminded of this quote from Seneca.

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today…

The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”

– Seneca

Live life to the fullest. Leave life with no regrets.

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irony that is life

memento-mori-18.jpeg c/o scene360

I read the following passage from Daily Stoic and found it a poignant reminder how easy it is to get too carried away by one’s ideals. Sometimes, all we need is really to chill the fuck out and lend a helping hand. Here’s the passage:

Pagan Kennedy has a wonderful piece in the New York Times about the ironic mortality of those who believed they were immortal—or at least radically less mortal than the average person. There was Dr. Clive McCay who discovered that a low-calorie diet seriously elongated the life of rats, so he follow their lead…and died at 69. There was Dr. Roy Walford who believed a 1,600 calorie a day was a key part of his “120 Year Diet.” He died at 79 of ALS. There was Euell Gibbons who pushed a plant diet and died at 64. Adelle Davis didn’t eat refined foods and died at 80. Nathan Pritikin avoided fat and died at 69. Dr. Robert Atkins ate lots of fat and died at the same age. Perhaps most unbelievable was Jerome Rodale, the health publishing magnate, who actually died while on the Dick Cavett show moments after he had just predicted he would live to be over 100. He was 72.

Each one of these well-meaning folks would have done well to remember this beautiful passage from Marcus Aurelius:

“Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds. How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others’ ends. How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality. How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves. How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal. How many whole cities have met their end: Helike, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and countless others. And all the ones you know yourself, one after another. One who laid out another for burial, and was buried himself, and then the man who buried him – all in the same short space of time.”

That is not to say that we shouldn’t try to take care of ourselves while we’re here on this planet. Marcus Aurelius had a doctor, Galen, who did his best to keep the old man alive. Seneca experimented with vegetarianism and exercised regularly. Good for them. Life is a gift—treat it well. Just don’t be so vain and self-absorbed that you forget the truth: Memento mori. We will die. Fate is unpredictable. We can go at any moment, no matter how good our genes are or how regularly we’ve taken our vitamins. A 100 year old can still get hit by a bus or a meteorite, you know. Have some goddamned humility about it.

And there is a final important part of Pagan’s piece in the Times. The best advances we’ve made in increasing life expectancy haven’t been selfish pursuits of the individual: It was eliminating the spreading of germs in hospitals. It was banning lead paint. It was reducing pollution. It was low-cost vaccines and the invention of antibiotics. That is, as the Stoics would have put it, doing things for the common good,not the individual.

So that’s the trick. Remembering your own fragile mortality and doing everything you can to help your neighbour and your unborn grandchildren live another day.

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yes lawd!

c/o anderson .paak

Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals have been my favorite bands in recent memory. Their sound, a mix of sleek grooves, strong beats, smooth rhythms and energetic vocals, is uniquely theirs and is refreshing compared to the other songs that I normally hear on the charts.

Yesterday, I had the chance to watch them live. And it was amazing! It took quite a conviction from my part to go see them, this being a Tuesday in Berlin some 300km away. But I’m glad I made the trip and would do again.

The show was in an intimate venue, the Columbiahalle with a capacity of about 3,000 people. Right from the moment when Cheeky Andy asked Berlin how’re they doing, the energy level in the hall went through the roof.

Between playing some of their best hits, the band and the crowd created a fun and memorable live performance experience together. A dynamic performance impossible without one or the other. It was the most fun I’ve had at a live performance and inspires me seek out and make time for more events like these.

A note to self to close: Let this serve as a reminder to collect experiences, not things. Yes Lawd!

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Poetry Tuesday – happy birthday Oliver


oliver sacks c/o bill hayes

FOR OLIVER’S BIRTHDAY, 1997
by Stephen Jay Gould

This man, who’s in love with a cycad
But once could have stared in bike ad
King of multidiversity
Hip! Happy birth-i-day
You exceed what old Freud, past head psych, had.
One legg’d, migrained, color blinded
Awak’ning on Mars, and hat-minded
Oliver Sacks
Still lives life to the max
While his swimming leaves dolphins behinded

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on falling in love

johnsteinbeck5.jpeg
john steinbeck 

I read this letter by John Steinbeck to his son Thom over at Brain Pickings and could very much relate to the feelings of young Thom. Which made his advice so relatable. Bold sentences are my favourite. May this guide you in some way, in your own journey in finding love.

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa

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