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.
Watching the snow falling is one of the beautiful things in the world, but it is not really my favorite thing to do. It makes me feel a bit blue and depressed. I think it’s because I know this peaceful quietness would disappear very soon.
Yesterday, Sunday November 5th 2017, it was a bit snowing and intensely cold for November in Seattle. I love Seattle autumn, but I guess I was not ready for this weather. However it turned into one of the most delightful days.
Here is list of how I make those cold and blues go away.
Classic Vietnamese repertoire, beef noodle soup. Noodle have gotten better now at Ba Bar. It won’t get bundle up and like a giant mochi any more. Broth tastes exactly how I wanted it to taste like. Combination of savoriness, tons of umami, a tat sourness and slight sweetness. Make sure to breathe in the complexity of this noodle soup before digging in. Then, you taste the meat falling off from the bones and noodle at the same time. It warms your belly and heart at the same time.
Strolling stores in cute neighborhood like Fremont is essential especially on a chilly day like this. Looking at those pairs of shoes that cost way more than you can afford but it’s so nice to dream. Someday in Paris 🙂 You can do it yourself but it would be much more fun with your trusted and honest friends who are not afraid of saying, “No, you look ridiculous in that dress” or “You look amazing. You must get that sweater.”
I don’t call people “friends” very easily. Honestly, I only have several friends whom I gave my respect and the highest regards to. I got to go out and eat pho, drink coffee, shop, talk, make fun of each other and laugh. Most importantly, love. Since I have a few friends, I can easily open up my heart and show who I am when being with them. I show how important and precious they are to me. I share my life, small and big with them. They give me so much hope and strength to keep going. It’s pure happiness. There is no better way to fill your soul.
Dark, rainy and cold days are coming in Seattle soon. However, as long as I have these things, I don’t need to go seek for antidepressants. When your heart is open, depressing days can easily turn into happy days just like I experienced yesterday. That’s instant and long-lasting at the same time.
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.
Ethan Stowell is beloved, down to earth kind of guy. He owns 9 restaurants and 1 pizzeria all in Seattle. He will be opening 3 more this year. Yes, he is beloved and down to earth kind of guy, but he is also crazy.
He is crazy about food. He is crazy about connection and relationships between food and people who eat his food. Most of his restaurants are intimate settings. Some have community table and some only seat 30 people or so. Kitchens are not hidden, usually open. Today is April 4th and it is a special day for me. Archie was successful not to disclose where he was taking me this last Saturday night until we were almost there.
Here is mkt.in Meridian neighborhood near Green Lake in Seattle. When I opened the door, first thing you see is an small and open kitchen with 5-seat counter. Very close to people sitting next to you. We were seated right in front of Alvin. Perfect. I was able to see what he was cooking and how he prepares the meal. His expression and his voice. I was feeling his and his crew’s energy flowing through this intimate restaurant. They use Pacific Northwest Ingredients. Alvin puts lots of care and just right amount of Jaconsen Salt and care. American fare without any pretentiousness. Great balance of boldness and sensitivities.
My favorite restaurants always have great balance of 3-pillars, chef, service crew, food. This place has food and chef covered. OK, service crew. Awesome. Seth was our crew who tended to our table and he was so much fun, cracking jokes, laughing with us, fist-bumping us, and cursing appropriately (yes, we curse a lot). He is one of those people you actually want to eat dinner and share a bottle of red wine with.
I am happy to say I found another excellent Seattle eatery that I want to go back many times more. My April 4th was fulfilled with joy.
I’m overwhelmed with happiness when I am with you. I am so madly in love with you. I wish there was a better way to say it. I am not the most eloquent when saying this but I know what I feel. When I think about you or about us, the emotion build up inside and spill out. It’s embarrassing at times but I like the feelings that I feel for you. My favorite times with you are just being near you. It could be a rainy day at home or walking through the park or a lovely dinner for the two of us or traveling to some new exciting place, it doesn’t matter I just want you near me. Forever. I love you so much – Jeff M.
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
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?
Ocean. Waves, salty water, sand, surfboards, ocean smells, sunset…I love the ocean. I like lakes, rivers, mountains but I love the ocean. The ocean and I have a very personal relationship. It’s deep. Ocean produce seafood, especially shellfish…my love. There’s only one downside of shellfish. Picture this; you have this gorgeously prepared plate with all types of fish and shellfish. Your favorite is clam and you dive into it. Then, as you’re biting into it, this hard, weird, most unpleasant texture you’ve ever experienced. Sand.
My mom grew up in Shizuoka prefecture which is located about 2-3 hour drive from Tokyo near Mount Fuji and beautiful pacific ocean. My grandma and mom moved to Tokyo 15 years after the World War II ended but they never forg0t how great the seafood was in Shizuoka. They taught me how to gut and filet the fish, how to clean and prepare fish and shellfish. One particular lesson I am so appreciative having been taught is to soak clams in salt water and for (at least) a couple of hours. You make the salt water bath the same concentration as sea water, then soak your clams for couple of hours. Then you will see them become very active and start spitting sands out so you don’t have to take that super annoying first bite of clam sands. Thanks, grandma!
This was nice and easy seafood stew that I made.
Heat cast iron pot, add olive oil and garlic. Brown your fish (I used red bream) with high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add white wine and 1 small can of tomato leave it for a few minutes then add squids and clams. Cook them for another few minutes then add oysters. Don’t overcook oysters, turn off the heat just about when the oysters get plump.
Please go ahead, enjoy the Ocean Stew with sand-less clam