Today, choose not to believe every single one of your negative thoughts. Then watch your day become better.
I don’t know myself well enough. And I have hidden thoughts that I don’t always articulate or bring to the surface.
For example, I only recently realised I have this thought that I should be special.
But why should I be?
I know, because if I am special (if I am especially talented or especially brave, for example) then I can justify my self-worth. Because I somehow believe that my self-worth is tied up with being more successful or being more talented than other people. But of course, this is a terribly weak and flawed idea, because there will always be other people who are smarter and more talented and more successful than me.
The thing is, I’m really not more special than other people. And that’s perfectly fine and natural. No human being is more special than another human being. And no human being needs to be special in order to be loved.
This is part of my ongoing effort to rewrite the flawed scripts – such as this one – in my head.
A (half) secret place.
35 today and counting all my blessings! Thankful for friends, family and fried chicken. And thank you earth. Thank you sky. Thank you clouds. Thank you Jesus, Buddha and Guanyinma. Thank you universe. For all of this brilliant life to live. It’s so so so wonderful to be alive!
For my birthday, I have also started my first ever fundraising campaign for Charity Water! We take clean water for granted, but many people around the world don’t have this basic need covered. Without clean water sources, people are prevented from living a healthy, full, dignified life.
The beautiful thing about Charity Water is that 100% of the money we donate is used to build clean water projects. After they are built, Charity Water will send us photos and GPS coordinates and update us on the positive effects our donations have made to the specific community we helped.
The link to donate is here. I ambitiously set USD$1,000 as my goal. But come to think about it, it’s not ambitious at all. Let’s give the gift of clean water to people who need it. Let’s go!!! And thank you so much for your kindness in supporting the campaign in advance.
PS: We have already raised $688 so far!
This is why I will continue to be a photographer.
- Be less preoccupied with figuring out what REALLY matters and spend more time just doing whatever it is you like.
- It’s entirely okay to make your art in private.
- Reminder: The current moment is an intensely interesting place to be.
- To reduce conflict in our lives, we need to fully accept the truth that other people are not meant to think the same way as we do, since we all have fundamentally different thinking systems, informed by our past experiences, upbringing, education, the things we read, etc.
- Soul > technique.
- Money-making is not and doesn’t have to be evil.
- We don’t need more well-written essays in the world. But we do need more blog posts, more journal entries, more people sharing about what’s going on in their lives, what’s making them happy or sad…
- Action precedes inspiration / motivation.
- Try doing something while genuinely NOT caring about the outcome. Can you do it?
- To be contented is to realise that you already have everything you need to be happy, and everything else is just a bonus.
Make both art and money with equal joy and panache.
“I have a deep-seated distrust and even contempt for people who are driven by ambition to conquer the world … those who cannot control themselves and produce vast amounts of crap that no one cares about. I find it unattractive. I like the Zen artists: they’d do some work, and then they’d stop for a while.”
– Saul Leiter
Poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:
“Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.”