I want that kind of face with a huge smile. I admire her gentle heart. Her smile reminds me of autumn sunset.
Cindy was sitting and waiting for me to meet up for a coffee that morning. She was looking at her phone and reading something. Even from the distance, I could see her kind eyes and lips were forming my favorite shape. Smile. I approached to her and she looked up. Her smile got bigger and that made me choke. My throat got tighten and my eye welled up. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.
She is a great hugger too. She held me the way I wanted to be held (of course, I didn’t realize that until she did). As soon as I started hearing her soothing voice, my emotion got flooded. I told her my struggles. She showed her empathy, understanding and shared her own struggles. She was there. I mean, she really exited and showed up to heal my broken heart. She did not lose her smile even when we were talking about rough subjects. Then, I lost it and started sobbing.
“You are enough.”
Cindy said that to me twice sincerely when we said good-bye. She went through rough times, challenges and difficulties, but she embraces all of it. That makes her such a strong and resilient human being. Because of that, she possesses the tenderest heart and she is a person who tell others “you are enough.”
Those three words are so powerful and beautiful to me.
I will keep them with me each and every day. Thank you for your gift, Cindy. You are enough also.
I saw someone was writing what 5 thing that make her happy on her blog. I was inspired by her and here are 5 things make me happy at this moment, 10:56am on April 7th Tue (it changes slightly & often J)
The fact that my longtime friend Rika will be joining me in Kyoto this next week for 1.5 days. I haven’t seen her since December 2008. She is such a caring, kind, classy and beautiful (inside and out) person. When I was younger, I always wonder why I didn’t grow up like her. She has my highest regards.
Going to visit Kyoto in 1.5 days. I am not completely excited yet but it makes me happy when I think about all these food I can eat (I will pig out when I am there!) and temples I visit just spend some time with myself.
Oh my god, I can’t believe I am writing about this. This Japanese TV show called “Dr. Koto Shinryojo” is actually making me happy? Yes it is. Don’t judge. It is a great human drama. This one young genius surgeon arrived this small little farthest West island of Japan where takes 6-hour ferry ride just to get to the main land from the huge and prestigious hospital in Tokyo. The island has a population of only 1,500 people and they have never had an established clinic with quality medical staff and services. He struggles hard at first because people living on that island don’t trust him. They are very resistant and not welcoming. Because of his never-give-up personality, chill-ness and his talent, gradually he starts to earn everyone’s trust. I did a Dr. Koto marathon this past weekend and watched 13 episodes in 2 days. I feel like such a loser but what can I say? Season 2 is waiting for me when I go home tonight (crap, I will have to pack for the trip!). Again, please do not judge.
My Ginger. Especially when she leans over in my bed and starts to snore. She is almost 10 years old, stubborn and independent. She loves corn kernels and white rice. She also farts a lot.
Archie. My best friend, my person and partner in crime.
I found this post through my Tumblr. and it was so fascinating to me. Especially because I grew up in a culture where you don’t showcase who you really are. I always had a hard time to understand what “being yourself” really means. I have to admit I sometimes misunderstand being authentic from being fearful (→please read #2 below).
My life is my practice. Everyday.
As the world threatens us at every turn to conform, to become mindless, to act as something we are not, like the caricatures of greed and indolence on television, we must grasp tightly the value of authenticity. We must demand of ourselves that we act from our own truth and fully express who we are and who we wish to be.
But let us be weary: Not all forms of so-called ‘authenticity’ are… well, the real thing. Keep these points in mind:
1. Be Authentic, Not Abusive: Some people use “authenticity” as an excuse to be socially abusive. They say something rude or demeaning to others and then justify it with a flippant, “Well, I was just being real and honest.” No, you were being rude and oblivious. In each of our hearts there is an authentic desire to speak our mind but also care for other people. Being discourteous flies in the face of the divine drive for connection. Not all your interpretations of others – and your opinions are interpretations, not truths – must be spoken. The good news is you can always be who you are, authentically, without discounting others. You can be supportive, kind, inspiring, compassionate, and empathetic to people and still be genuine about your impressions, opinions, and ideas… when you are genuinely asked for them.
2. Be Authentic, Not Fearful: A lot of people use genuineness as a shield or mask. They exclaim, “That’s just way I am!” or “Don’t tell me what to do! That’s not authentic tome!” or “I know what I like and who I am – I just don’t like that!” But there’s a difference between being authentic and being fearful. Boxing yourself into a belief about who you are and what you are capable of can diminish your growth. Being so “set in your ways” might seem authentic, but it can prevent you from learning, developing, evolving, attaining new skills and competencies. To learn new thoughts, feelings and behaviors means pushing outside the comfort zone of “me”. It’s requires focus, discipline, effort and habit until the uncomfortable becomes comfortable, until a new you, a more true you, emerges.
3. Explore Who You Could Be. If you are stuck in life because you are too proud of who you are, maybe it’s time to explore who you could be. Ask yourself, “Who would I truly be if I were more courageous? Who would I have to become to grow into my highest self? What uncomfortable thing might I have to attempt in order to stretch and attain my dream? Stretching the conceptual boundaries of your belief and behavior is how you open yourself to the next level of success.
You can choose to develop new ideas, skills, abilities, interests, and relationships in order to become your highest self, a person who attains greatness. When you do, you choose a growth mindset over a fixed mindset, push through your self-labels, and start to live what we call The Charged Life!
Does authenticity ever suck?
Yeah! I think it probably does, once in a while. Good question. I think authenticity is so celebrated. Which it is, it should be!
Be authentic, be real, be the true you. It is the oldest and best advice still in all of life philosophy, personal development, psychology, neuroscience, happiness studies; you name it. It all comes down to, BE YOURSELF.
And that’s so critical in a world where it’s just constantly threatening for us unless we conform that when the world wants to make something of you that you’re really not:
That’s when we feel the pressure.
That’s when we feel tyranny.
That’s when we feel oppressed.
That’s when we feel so frustrated and trapped in other people’s expectations and rules.
That’s an awful place to be in. So, I think that’s the best advice ever. Be yourself.
My father who I lost to leukemia, many of you guys know, in 2009; that was his advice to us. Be yourself.
I love that.
It’s what made my whole career, my whole success with these 20 million people watching these videos along with you. That’s happening because they know that I’m just doing this. I don’t have a script, I don’t have notes. I get the question, I go. I have the note, I talk. You know, whatever it is. And so, here it is.
I think this idea though that authenticity is always a good thing—some people take it in a weird direction.
Be authentic and authenticity is such a buzzword. Some people use it as an excuse to be socially rude.
“Well I’m just telling you, I’m just being real and telling you how I feel.”
You’re like, “No, you’re being an ass.”
There is a difference between being real and authentic, and being an ass. And I think that’s really important to realize, isn’t it true?
Like authenticity, you want to know how people really are. You want to know what they really think, what they really feel.
When they act, you want them to know that’s our true intentions and true actions—not doing it for manipulative basis. We want to know is that, “Oh, that’s really who they are.”
But, it’s just like, you know what, someone might say, “Who I am is I’m a someone who doesn’t take a shower.”
And they show up at your house stinking. And they show up all around stinking. And at some point, you’re like, “Yeah, that’s genuine. That’s authentic. You stink.” But come one there’s also social appropriateness.
We live on a planet with seven billion other people. A lot of people, it would be authentic for them to say very-very rude things to people. To point out someone’s weakness, isn’t that being real? When someone is weak and hurting; to comment on it.
“Well I feel, my natural inclination, what’s genuine for me is that you suck at this.”
We could dash a lot of dreams by being super authentic and genuine all the time. I mean, there is this thing called social intelligence—the idea that we can support and inspire other people—that we can also be kind, compassionate, empathetic human beings.
Could you imagine if someone has lost their parent and you’re like, “Well, when I lost my parent didn’t mean much to me”. Because if you had that situation where you had a bad parent and you didn’t have a relationship with them and you could say … sure you could say that. It’d be genuine for you. “Didn’t mean anything to me, don’t know why you’re crying.”
That would be genuine for you but it could destroy them. It could be so rude to them.
So there is that appropriate thing. And I hate the word appropriate in general but I think it’s important when we start talking about the power of authenticity. It’s like yes,
Be you, and also
Be compassionate to other people.
Recognize that other people might not have:
The same journey,
The same feelings,
The same reality as you.
And if you can understand that, then you’ll know, well what is appropriate to share and not to share. And if you think about it, some of the greatest conflicts you’ve had in your life is when you said what was true for you but someone said, “Well that’s not what’s true for me.”
They had a different interpretation so you battled and it’s not that they weren’t being authentic and you weren’t being authentic. It’s that we interpreted things different. We have different values, different meanings.
And so, if your authenticity is this, “Well this is just the way I am.” And you push yourself to the world it’s kind of a little bit … immature.
That the other people are also doing their best to be themselves and we have to be honoring and respectful of that.
So, I think authenticity only really fails when we fail to realize and to accept other people and to be compassionate to other people. To never allow our authenticity or our genuineness to be rude or discourteous because I also think we have a lot of people right now, I mean, I don’t know about you but our culture has gotten incredibly critical, incredibly rude.
And those people would say, “Well, I’m just being genuine with my feelings”. No you’re being an ass and let’s learn the difference so that we can all be honoring and respecting of each other while we maintain our own individuality and authenticity.
I would say the second place that authenticity gets in the way of our lives is when we define who we are and we stick to it and we stop evolving and growing.
People say this all the time, “Well that’s just the way I am” and they say it with a great medal of pride after they’ve done something maybe wrong or after they’ve done something that wasn’t appropriate to the social context they were in.
“Well, that’s just the way I am.”
Or they say it like, “Well that’s not authentic to me.”
And what the reality is, it’s a challenge to them. It would require them to gooutside their comfort zones.
A lot of people use genuineness or authenticity as a shield, as a mask, as a thing that would prevent them from:
Developing and learning,
Attaining new skills and competencies.
And so it’s an excuse. “Well, I just don’t like that.”
Well, how do you know you don’t like that? Have you tried it?
“Well yes, I’ve tried it when I was nine years old and I didn’t like it then.”
Hmm…well…maybe it was authentic for you as a nine-year-old but you’re an adult now. Could we give it a try again?
It’s like, come on!
If you are stuck in your life because you are so proud of who you are, maybe it’s time to explore who you could be. Maybe it’s time to explore.
Gosh, could I learn some new thoughts?
Could I develop some different senses of feeling and presence?
Could I learn some new behaviors that may be with it push me outside my comfort zone where I don’t feel like that’s me?
But look every great growth that ever happened from every great person, they were required to do things that they didn’t want to do:
In order to attain their mastery.
In order to attain their degree.
In order attain their greatness.
Look, I never wanted if I went back to my younger self, I never wanted to do these videos. That wasn’t even in my mind, my concept. I was terrified of speaking. Public speaking terrified me like it terrifies most of the public. I would … if I had to present something in class in like middle school and high school, I was terrified.
But after my car accident, after I realized that we all get second chances in life and I wanted to share that message, I thought “If I want to share a message that inspires the world, I’m going to have to become a different person.”
And I don’t mean that in a negative way, I mean that is we have stages of our own development.
I hope that you’re a lot different today as you were when you were 18. If not, unless you’re 19, I know you’re still at it but I mean come on if you’re the same person, if you haven’t developed:
Any new ideas,
Any new skills,
Any new abilities,
Any new interests,
Any new relationships
In the last decade then you’re not growing; don’t fool yourself. You’re not being authentic, you’re being fearful. And there’s a big difference between the two.
And I had to do that for myself. So, I’m not challenging here. It was the same thing for me. I used to say okay. Back then it would have been easy to say, “Well, I’m just not a public speaker.”
It’s just real for me that that’s uncomfortable.
It’s just real for me that I’m not good at this.
I wasn’t born with that so it’s not going to be a talent. No, no, no, no, don’t fool yourself. Everything we have learned in talent development is that:
It is about focus.
It is about discipline.
It is about hard effort and a habit over and over and over again.
Until those things that we find uncomfortable become comfortable. We learn to gain a confidence in things that are uncomfortable because we know we will figure it out. And if you’re not willing, it’s like, if you go look at your dreams—sometimes to achieve those dreams, you got to become the next level of you to get there.
And if you’re just like, “Well that’s not my style, that’s not who I am. I’m so authentic in my bubble of competency and reality today.” Then I worry for you and it’s time to have a different mindset as we learned from positive psychology there’s two ways to approach the world:
A fixed mindset, and
A growth mindset.
And that growth mindset allows you to push through your own self labels to say, “Who would I have to become to deserve that dream? Who would I have to become to move toward that dream?”
That is real for me.
That is authentic.
That is in-line with my values.
But it’s allowing myself to stretch myself to go there.
Because if you won’t stretch yourself, your concept of yourself, your own boundaries of belief and behavior; you’re never going to reach that next level of success.
I know that it’s not nice to say because I’m the inspiring guy on YouTube but let’s be honest with ourselves.
Sometimes we limit our own definition of ourselves and we call it authentic and real and genuine and what we are is scared. And we need to look at ourselves and say, “Okay, let’s go to the next level.”
What’s it going to take?
What new thing would I have to develop?
What new part of me would I have to find?
I had to find the communicator within. It was there, I never had saw it before but I knew if I’m going to deserve this dream of making a difference, if I’m going to get to follow my passion, to be a writer, and to be a trainer, I’m going to have to teach myself to do those things.
If I want to reach the world, those things are important to me. I better learn them, even though that’s not me now.
I would never have said, “I’m going to be the YouTube guy.” I never meant 30 million people to watch my videos in the last 12 months. I never have thought that would happen.
It happened because I said years ago, “This is important. This medium could be important for me to serve and to make my difference in the world so I’m going to challenge the style and the person who I am that says I can’t do this and I’ll become the person who can. It’s that important to me”
I hope that you’ll follow that same idea in your own life because the real you is a much stronger you than you probably ever anticipated.
Like this? Please share it with your friends so that your loved ones can stretch their conceptional boundaries of their belief and behaviors and reach their next level of success. – Brendon
Ayako was making fun of my homebody-ness today at her store, Marigold and Mint.
It is taxing for me to work with bunch of people in so many different level during weekdays so I limit my weekend just to see very few close friends. I sometimes don’t even see anyone but Archie.
Sunday started with Starbucks Reserve, Kenya Sangana, very blight and juicy coffee in bed. This is one of my favorite moment of the day. Then, I met up for a coffee at Milstead in Fremont with a couple of friends who will be traveling to Tokyo and Kyoto with us.
Last stop of today’s outing is Marigold and Mint. Ayako showed me this French tulip called “La Belle Epoque” and I fell in love with the vintagey color of this flower. She made a small bundle of these tulips that are looking so lovely in my living room now.
All I will do this afternoon is read. Nothing else. This is my favorite way to spend my Sunday with Archie and my chunky Chihuahua.
It is raining in Seattle. I actually get so relieved when I hear sound of the rain. This one tiny little thing has been bothering me for a while so I decided to have a very lazy Sunday. Pajama all day Sunday. My quality life however can’t be affected so I had:
Almond Cherry Pie from Seattle’s finest, High 5 Pie
And Ginger, my overweight Chihuahua
So I have to say, I still had a lovely Sunday. I stayed inside all day but I am not regretting a bit. It is raining in Seattle. I kind of like it too.
Millions of emotions were going through out my body when I saw this photo. This kid in the photo most likely doesn’t have any understanding of KKK or what his parents are doing. He doesn’t see any difference between this African American State Trooper and him. He doesn’t see the color. He doesn’t see the reason why he is wearing this funny looking head thing. However, this kid more than likely will be raised to hate non-White people. I hope he doesn’t.
By looking at this photo and thinking about my friend, I thought that we, adults are responsible to teach young children true freedom. Giving them knowledge to decide what they want to do and to be in the future. Parents of this kid in the photo are raising their kid to be KKK (I assume). But if he didn’t want to be that? What if he wanted to play with African American neighbor kid?
1992. It’s just 23 years ago. Has our society gotten any better since then, I wonder?
“Books are the most wonderful friends in the world. When you meet them and pick them up, they are always ready to give you a few ideas. When you put them down, they never get mad; when you take them up again, they seem to enrich you all the more.”-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
They are also emotional. They can be mad, sad, lonely, happy, glad, scary, apprehensive, shy, wonderful, helpful, merry, confused, relieved, amused, crushed, curious, nervous, fearful, annoyed, hopeful, funny, brave, numb, safe, loving, confident, quiet, blue, angry, stressed, tender and loving.
Sometimes you can’t even handle how emotional they are. However you can never stop being friends with them because you feel alive when you are with them.
Spending hours on reading books at my favorite café with some kind of espresso drink on sunny day or rainy day means contentment to me. When taking a short break from reading and happen to look out to the window of the café, you realize you are the happiest person on the earth. Books are the most wonderful friends because they teach you that life is beautiful like that.
Q – Question you’re always asked?: Where did I put that?
R – Reason to smile?: Chocolate, my overweight chihuahua, many, many, many good books, Billie Holiday records, my mom’s cooking, quote like ““Maybe we should all just listen to records and quit our jobs.” by Jack White, smell of freshly opened bag of Sun-dried Ethiopia Yirgacheff coffee beans, oranges, dog paws, depressing music grabs my heart, English accent, movie like Liberal Arts, independent bookstores like Shakespeare & Co., tasty pastries at Crumble and Flake, Joseph Leonard, New York City especially East/West Village, Rent, Stomp, handwritten letters, text message saying “i love u,” holding hands, Paris, Paris, Paris, Staub pots, vintage housewares, Bangkok, warm and cozy bed, sound of rain drops, sound of cello makes, Picasso painting, Maria Kochetkova, point shoes, stylish looking glasses, snow, flower bouquet made by Ayako, Emily Dann, the Corson Building, Autumn, claw-foot tubs, old wood chairs/tables, well-polished shoes, home cooking, chopping vegetables with my Aritsugu knife, beach, ocean, sunset, I can go on for about 2 days to list what makes me happy so I will stop right here. And, Archie.
This is the square footage of living space of my house. Some people think it’s to0 tiny and wonder how I live in it. I am a 5’-2 Asian woman so my house is the perfect size for me. I am a purger. I’m always looking for something to donate or let go. When I buy one clothing item, for example, I donate at least 2 items. One pair of shoes purchased, one old pair will go. I have 2 things I dislike in the world, life drama and “stuff.” I don’t like to have lots of thing and I don’t like things filling up my personal space.
There is this house. A big house. Maybe 4-person family plus one friendly Labrador living in that house. The house has a 3-car garage but it seems like only 2 people in that household can drive, husband and wife. Kids are maybe like 4 and 6 years old. The 2 cars that they own are always parked on the street. One day, a garage door was open when I was out walking my dog and I saw that garage was full of “stuff.” I mean it was PACKED. This is actually what I saw in Atlanta. The big house was right next to mine. Do they even need that many items? It seems like it was almost impossible for them to take stuff out because it was SO packed. You buy a bigger house because you are running out of space to put your stuff? I really do not see the point in that.
I don’t get indecisive on what to wear to work in the morning because I only own what I wear. I don’t worry about which purse I use today because I only have one laptop bag.
I do like a very simple life. I don’t like to complicate things (because I am a complicated person). I don’t call myself a complete minimalist but my wish is to lead a minimal life. Food, books, my dog, handful of precious friends, music and travel. That’s all I need to complete my life. If someone tells me “you need to move to Thailand tomorrow”, the things that I would bring are my overweight Chihuahua, Archie, my favorite book, and my passport and I will say “let’s go!”
Like Oscar Wiled said, “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” He is genius, right?