It's already tomorrow in Hong Kong, it's the future.....& other important life lessons!

I have no patience for douche-bags, the mean-spirited and terrible people. I have no patience for those who do not bring me joy but rather suck out all my energy through cynicism and skepticism. I have no patience for those who do not have time for me or misuse our time together with irrelevant and unnecessary one-upmanship. I don't say these things to be mean, arrogant or rude. I say these things because they are true and because over the years I have learnt that one of the easiest ways to self empower is to be your own advocate. Being your own advocate starts with understanding 4 very basic concepts;

(i) losing the 'excuse me for being alive mentality' - have you ever met someone who is just so scared all the time? They are constantly scared and worried that they will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, offend or step on toes. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you live out your life in fear of not being enough for people this is exactly what will happen as people see you as weak and lacking intention.

(ii) learning to separate guilt from remorse

"Remorse is when you feel bad about what you did. Guilt is when you feel bad about who you are" ( There are those who dwell on their mistakes and 15 years later they are still unable to forgive themselves from that one thing they did in 1995. I emphathise because I am also very prone to massive bouts of inconsolable guilt. I've had to learn to remind myself that feeling guilty all the time is not virtuous. If you mess up; acknowledge that you have messed up, ask for forgiveness, take corrective measures, learn from this and move on.

(iii) learn to love yourself to such an extent that you do not need outside validation to make you feel like 'you're doing ok'. When you love yourself, you are more comfortable with yourself. By loving yourself you've just created a space which allows you to be self-critical while being self-compassionate. At this point you're not placing your happiness on outside forces. Once you get that, you realize that you deserve a certain level of respect and it becomes very difficult to allow others to take advantage of you, disrespect you or treat you poorly. When you understand that you are worthy, you simply cannot allow yourself to be taken for granted. The beauty behind loving yourself is that it makes life far easier & far more enjoyable since you have to spend the rest of your life with yourself. 

(iv) Knowing and understanding that you may at times experience fear. If you allow it to grow and flourish you become a slave to it but if you learn to master it, you get to push the boundaries, learn, grow and move closer and closer to great human accomplishment. There are four fears which will get in the way of you flourishing; fear of being judged, fear of the unknown, fear of getting started and fear of letting go (I learnt this concept from brothers Tom & David Kelley of Ideo)

On 'fear of being judged': I wish I could tell you to be confident in living your truth because people won't judge you, the reality is that people will in fact judge you. This is a good thing because facing judgement allows you to do one of 3 things; (i) evaluate your beliefs and stand by what you believe with even more conviction because you have been challenged to an extent where you have some level of comfort with your intentions. (ii) evaluate yourself based on these judgements and realize that your initial views or thoughts were flawed and therefore change your behaviour or (iii) re-evaluate and realize that some of the judgement is warranted but you are willing to live with the consequences of what you deliberately choose to pursue.

On 'fear of the unknown'- When we experience this we tend to 'discount' the future from our current experiences. What we fail to do is to 'compound' our current realities. The unknown could imply that things turn out really, really badly or really really well. That's the thing with the future though, literally anything within the realm of possibility (however improbable) could happen. My mantra for when I experience this fear is 'that's future stuff dude. Things will unfold as they should. It's already tomorrow in Hong Kong, it's the future!'

On 'fear of getting started' - "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now." - Chinese proverb.

On 'fear of letting go' - You are not fully formed and therefore constantly evolving, however you are enough! Once you get this, like really get this, you start to understand that there is no person, no project, no amount of money or level of status or anything at all that can complete you. If you are enough, you don't need any of these to complete you and therefore when the time comes for you to let go, you should!

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