inspiration

knowledge for love

reposted from yesdarlingido — though I’m not this exclusively, I can totally relate

APPETITE

People say they’re hungry for knowledge, and I’ve always wished I could say the same without feeling like I was lying. Sure, I love learning and what a gift it is to be both a learner and a teacher, but I have struggled with knowledge. I don’t crave it like good students do. I am hungry for love—and I’m not talking about romance. I am hungry to love you, and everyone else. I don’t always feel this way—I’m not claiming selflessness, but this is the ultimate theme driving my life. I only feel fulfilled in life when mine is actively demonstrating love. I’m starving when I’m not extending or receiving it. I am hungry for love that welcomes, engages, nurtures, and frees. And so, my desire is for a specific branch on this tree of knowledge. Knowledge with a purpose—that’s the only kind I’m after. Wisdom values knowledge, but not on the basis of itself. I’m not interested in knowledge alone. I want to grow in knowledge because as we shed ignorance, opportunities to utilize our knowledge in ways of love allow us to be a gift. And being a gift means having more to offer than a good GPA. Our external form encases heart and mind, so being a gift to this world means using both for the benefit of others. Heart—the source of compassion; mind—the source of action. Compassion is where justice and mercy collide and wisdom is learning how to balance between the two. This is a worthy pursuit.

I’m a daily seeker and gatherer of knowledge that equips me to feed a deeper hunger. I want to feed my brain to mature my heart; I want to feast on knowledge that builds my character. Maybe this is why I struggle to make time for things that don’t immediately gratify my pursuit of love. Maybe this is why I’ve been such a mediocre student all my life—struggling to care about generic knowledge that I couldn’t connect with. I’m sure if I pondered this long enough, I’d realize that all knowledge can equip me to love in some way or another, but that’s hard for me to accept when I think of the power-points and deadlines. I have a deep appetite to grow in knowledge that awakens my understanding of people’s needs, emotions, longings, fears, and struggles. I crave the knowledge that strengthens an awareness of injustice, inequality, and suffering so I can know the oppressed and stand against the oppressor. I want to know the brokenness so I can be a propelling force towards healing; I want to know truth so I can live as a banner exposing the lies. People say they’re hungry for knowledge, but be specific. What is it you want to know, and why do you want to know it? Knowledge without application is powerless. Knowledge without love is empty. Knowing without growing is worthless because it generates potential without implementing purpose or cause.

also:

“As you get older you start doing things in reverse. You start cutting people out from your life. Your Christmas list becomes practically nonexistent. You don’t need to be the first in line for everything. You take less pictures because some memories are best kept in your heart and not your hard drive. And instead of looking for love, you dig for it from within.”   — bookmarks in my life 

the enemy of progress is perfection

…therefore, strive for PROGRESS, not perfection.

(So…I definitely missed the obligatory New Years post. But since it’s Chinese New Year, that’s pretty much the same right? 🙂 PS, I haven’t forgotten about the last 2 days of Chile…the rest will resume shortly!)

I have recently come to recognize that one of my greatest weaknesses is how accurately the first part of this quote applies to my life. A mantra that used to appeal to me was, “Shoot for the moon, and you’ll land among the stars”, which people use to motivate them to dream. Landing amongst stars isn’t bad at all; the problem is, for a perfectionist, this mantra is terrible. For a perfectionist, once we reach the stars, we realize that what we really want is still the moon, and anything less is devastating to our perfectionist EQ. So, similarly, for a time, I got discouraged from not reaching the moon. And, instead of forgetting about it, I reacted in the most unhealthy way: by thinking, “if I can’t reach my moon, why even try at all? It is all pointless, and society can produce great people that don’t have to be me.”

It was pretty bad.

Thankfully, I knew I couldn’t keep that mindset for long. People do not function by operating at extremes, either the extreme right or the extreme left.  I know I wasn’t happy trying to be perfect, but I still got stuff done, and I was DEFINITELY not happy NOT doing anything. Early on 1st year of med school, failing embarassingly on a project I signed up for taught me an important lesson: I needed to learn to say NO. I needed to learn my limits, learn to prioritize things I can do and forget things with low yield, and find that balance between underwork and overambition. In short, I needed to learn to be MATURE.

Self discipline is something many people struggle with, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t struggle to keep up with it. Self discipline is a vital skill in order to progress in life. It is also the bane of my existence. However, I learned the hard way that ignoring self discipline and trying to do windsprints to nowhere gets you to precisely that location: no where. Training for a half marathon was my first practice in self discipline and literally changed my life. I went from thinking I could never run more than 2 miles to running 13.1, from having no $$ to raising $1400 for cancer with the help of awesome friends and family, and realized that when there is a will, there IS a way. That way just means a PLAN, and what one needs to remember is that you NEED to have a plan, not just a will.

Two articles I read at the end of 2013 were reminders of my need to continue to progress on this life lesson of self discipline. I realized in 2013 that it is ok to have dreams, and you CAN reach them, but you need to be kind to yourself during the process and KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Make realistic dreams, so that 1. You can actually reach them and 2. You can go beyond them when you do reach them!  Two articles from waitbutwhy, on how to beat procrastination, and the Business Insider, on the secret behind Google’s productivity, were extremely useful in helping me establish this plan to accomplish my resolution for this upcoming year: to be consistently PROGRESSIVE. Progress does NOT happen overnight, but huge progressions in society DO occur OVER TIME. That’s all they need: time, and patience. No, I’m not going to be able to post 10 blog entries in a matter of one month, but, if I consistently progressively post at LEAST a couple a month, over the course of the year I have this whole collection of posts that didn’t take that much effort to begin with!

So there lies my new years resolution (albeit 2 months late :P). Yes, there are many more specifics, but my main resolution this year is to strive for PROGRESS, in multiple areas of my life, and not get discouraged by PERFECTION.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but at the end of this year, I want to look back and be proud of the progress, whatever size it is, that I’ve made with self discipline.

PS:

A brief slideshow of pics from my phone/point and shoot:

2013, the year I learned what it meant to listen to my limits, love myself, and fully rely on and give my career to God (now, just to trust Him completely for everything else :))…you’ve been so good. Thank you for providing people to get in the way of my overambitious goals and keep me in check. And thank you everyone for being  part of my 2013 🙂

Cheers to an equally awesome 2014–the year of the horse! 新年快乐!

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –1 Corinthians 12:10

 

lessons from Dr. Pizzo

Today’s Great Teacher lecturer: Dr. Philip Pizzo, former Dean of Stanford Medical School

-Tenacity, tenacity, tenacity. If you encounter obstacle after obstacle but truly believe in your cause, KEEP GOING. All you need is passion; the rest will fall into place.

-Find your mission. In every encounter you have, especially as a leader, have a missions statement, continue REMINDING yourself of that, and have that be the thread throughout all your talks. Focus on your mission, and it will be accomplished. One source? Your patients.

-Listen. listen, listen, listen.

-You’ll never revolutionize unless you take risks.

a case for fiction and libraries

Transcript: Neil Gaiman on the importance of reading

Excellent, convincing argument by Neil Gaiman about the importance of reading, particularly fiction, and of access to libraries. Some of my favorite points include 1. fiction is important to expand the imagination, by promoting thoughts of escapism that will have us readers desiring more, and therefore, being motivated to MAKE more in real life, and 2. libraries being important as havens from children to be exposed to and grow a hunger for reading, without distractions of other things.

To play devil’s advocate, here‘s a commentary/criticism from Lee Seigel written for the New Yorker. Seigel comments on the very real possiblity that we are seriously overthinking the benefits of fiction…or really, of anything in general. As Seigel points out, it is fair to say that you cannot assume ’empathy’ always means the ‘good’ kind of empathy, or that the effects of fiction as argued by Gaiman are attributed purely to fiction. Correlation does not equal causation. In the end however, Seigel’s essay came off more as almost bitter and overly cynical, whereas Gaiman’s is open and welcoming. I mean, I certainly see no HARM in reading fiction vs nonfiction 😛 So I will keep my stance in agreement with Gaiman…the importance of reading must be maintained!

the world is your oyster

IMG_5503

Travelling (nearly) emptyhanded: The article title aside, this essay is pretty much ‘backpacking’ at its extreme: “Traveling with no luggage and no plans was much more than a minimalist lesson in living well with less. It was an intense, in-your-face invitation to the unknown. There’s a truly magnificent side to the unknown, but we aren’t taught how to welcome it, let alone explore the breadth of its possibilities.” To be honest, really tempted to try this myself…anyone want to join me? 😛

In somewhat tangentially related news, this guy traveled with no plans…just in the other direction. Crazyyyy story, reminiscent of a real life slumdog millionaire: Indian Orphan finds his way home via Google Earth

And finally, kudos to google 🙂

this week on the interwebs…#1

I think I’m going to start a compilation of interweb articles that are not necessarily from news sources, or related, but just gems in and of themselves. Here’s my first list of articles I’ve come across (most from fb haha), in no particular order, 1st edition! There is no real reason I am putting these here, other than the fact that I want to come back to them later. Is that so bad? Enjoy! 🙂

Theory: How the brain creates personality

Revolutionizing heart transplants…literally an ‘out of body’ experience – YAY technology!

SPEAKEASY’s IN NYC!!! – to come back to for reference

Hilarious comics on the differences between HK and Taiwan

History behind the plane in the desert — the fact that this is real is mind blowing. In the most awesome way 🙂

math in real life!!!

my people

“i heart you”, said heart to the gut 😛

You know that feeling when you meet people that totally just click with you? That you can be yourself around and not be judged, or be judged but still tolerated? That you might not even know that well yet, but you know you have so many things in common already, and totally hit it off?

Or when you just love the people you’re surrounded with?
Reason #howeverhundred I’m so happy I chose medicine: my classmates and peers are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, or will ever meet, and though not everyone creates that same feeling felt above, there is a pretty darn high percentage of them that do. It is true that you may just meet some of your best friends in med school.

Absolutely love the people I’m meeting, the people in my life, and the environment I’m in. Trust me, it wasn’t always like this, and won’t always be like this either. But man, does it feel good, and this moment deserves recognition in a post so that if I ever doubt or feel lonely, I am reminded that I really am not. Another reason I think this is possible is because I feel like I’m finally being honest with myself and who I am. Med school taught me the hard way that you can never please people, but hey, the lesson is learned. Also, I’ve been slowly coming out of my introvert shell–opening up a bit more, letting people in a bit more, being confident in who I am and getting away from the ‘pleasing’ mindset that has been in my head too long. It is amazingly liberating how good this feels.
Thanks be to God for always being so amazing and providing 🙂