Twelve years ago, I started to summarize my yearly learnings on my blog. This year is the first time I wrote them down in English. 2020 is a memorable year for most of the people due to Covid 19. I had my first anniversary of moving to London and enjoyed most of the solitude time thanks to lockdown. People have to spend a certain amount of time staying only with themselves to hear their inner voice. Only in this way can we have a clear understanding of who we are and what we can offer to this world. Now, it's time to share my 32 learnings.
1. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said: "You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think". During the pandemic, we feel like illness and death only one inch away from us. I rethink about my life priority and let death serve as my warning alarm rather than a fearful monster. Once you dare to face death, you begin to live a truthful life.
2. Logic is a human being's creation. The universe doesn't give a damn about that. We all try to figure out the correlation and causation and brag about the pattern we discovered. However, there are so many black swans events happened around us. Maybe randomness is the key message we should bear in mind.
3. Everyone has a default setting. Don't follow what society and others expect you to do but listen to your inner voice. We all have unique DNA and life experiences. Rather than anything, pursuit your truth.
4. Nations, money and companies are all fiction concept. When you choose to sacrifice your time and life for those 'unreal' subjects, think twice. Are they worthy of it?
5. As a Chinese saying goes, one has to put knowledge into action. What you know is not that important until you unify the mind and hand together. Any knowledge that you gain but not put into action was considered delusion or false.
6. Direction ＞ speed. There is no point you drive so fast but in the wrong way. In order to get to your destination, in the end, you have to pause and double-check you are on the right track.
7. I don't know what I don't know. Therefore, I have to be rationally open-minded all the time. Stay foolish and stay hungry. If three of us are walking together, at least one of the other two is good enough to be my teacher.
8. Building a system is better than setting up a goal. A goal is temporary, but a system is a compound machine which can support you to play a long-term game. I am what I repeat to do. Let your action speak for your trait and identity.
9. Amor Fati. Memento Mori. (I will tattoo them on my arm, any good tattoo artist in London to recommend?)
10. You always have a choice. Don't let linear thinking and simple causation lead you to the end of the road. Open your eyes and seek possibilities around you.
11. On one hand, loss implies gain; on the other hand, gain means loss. All things are neutral, but the way of our perspectives decide good or bad. Be positive and find the good side of things and people.
12. Any relationship is a good relationship as long as we are a whole person rather than a person have a hole to seek for others to fill the gap. Life is a single-player game. Let's appreciate everyone we met on the journey.
13. When I take photos, I look around and find a perfect angle. Finding different angles can also apply to interpersonal communications. Don't let misunderstandings or pre-set judgement affect the potential relationship you are about to build up with others.
14. It's human being, not human doing, Live in the moment.
15. Always have a deadline. During the lockdown, I had a privilege to attend James Altucher 30 days book challenge. I am always dreaming of writing a novel in English but never find a chance to sit my ass down and write. With this 30 days time frame, I finally completed my book! Doing is better than thinking and talking. More details: The Invisible Third Culture Adult
16. There is no universal solution that can solve all your problems. Stop reading those self-help or other's success story. Find your suffering that you enjoy the most, and keep moving forward.
17. Creating content is a way to express my feelings and thoughts. It also heals my trauma and pains. Every time I create a character who suffered from the exact problems facing me, I can figure out a solution for her/him in a third person's perspective.
18. Be careful with others' compliment, and then you won't pay much attention to their criticism. Your ability has a benchmark and won't change based on others' thoughts. But be humble to take constructive feedback.
19. As an ancient Buddha said, perceive as you see, believe not what you perceive, then accept what you see as they are. 「老僧三十年前未参禅时，见山是山，见水是水；及至后来，亲见知识，有个入处，见山不是山，见水不是水；而今得个休歇处，依前见山只是山，见水只是水」。王国维《人间词话》写到：「古今之成大事业、大学问者，必经过三种之境界：‘昨夜西风凋碧树。独上高楼，望尽天涯路’。此第一境也。‘衣带渐宽终不悔，为伊消得人憔悴。’此第二境也。‘众里寻他千百度，蓦然回首，那人却在，灯火阑珊处’」。
20. John Donne wrote the poem, "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee". Consider about others surround you and do something within your ability to help out.
21. Learn to forgive. Everyone is on their journey. You don't know what others are suffering. Be kind.
22. Find someone who both of you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence.
23. Mark Manson mentioned the concept of 'Emotional Diversity'. Clarify your emotions and know what triggered them. Don't let emotions serve as your master, especially during the decision-making process.
24. As Kevin Kelly said, the universe is conspiring behind your back to make you a success. Embrace this pronoia and accept the gift that the universe gives to you. Then share it to this world.
25. You are not your emotions, your thoughts and your body. You are your actions and the feelings you bring to others.
26. What we do every day will shape the future. When our bodies vanished, our cultures memes would live forever. We have to pay attention to our thoughts and actions to be able to generate a promising future for the next generations.
27. Paul Graham mentioned every city has its personalities and ambitions. Pick up your city carefully that won't drag you back but help you to find your tribes. London is a perfect choice for me as a football and literature enthusiast.
29. Create your daily routine which can generate compound interest, and repeat, repeat and repeat. As Albert Camus said, "the struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy".
30. A life without constant examination is not worth living. As Naval said, a proper examination should ruin the life that you're currently living. There is nothing wrong with continuous changing your surroundings, your networkings and lifestyles. People have different priority in their life stage, examine your focus and do not afraid of change.
31. Learn to surrender. Control what you can control and let things go with the flow of what they are supposed to be.
32. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --Albert Einstein