Remember

Around this time two years ago…

A pit stop on my journey through The United States, this was none other than the Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas.

In times like these, we always remember what was and how things have changed. The lock down has distanced not only ourselves from one another, but also our individual goals, our check-lists, the to-do’s & the forever could-of-been’s. It is easy to see this as time stolen from our short time here on Earth, but it is merely a stepping stone to something that we will look back upon with reflective eyes.

We must always remember too, that with all great changes (or challenges) throughout history, there has also been opportunity; the opportunity to return not to the norm, but something far greater. From this we (and humanity) will be stronger together; have faith my friends.

For me, when we are once again all reunited through the love of the sound, we will remember this.

Learning

“Learning

After some time, you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and imprisoning a soul;
You learn that love does not equal sex,
and that company does not equal security,
and you start to learn….
That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises,
and you start to accept defeat with the head up high
and open eyes,
and you learn to build all roads on today,
because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans…
and the future has its own way of falling apart in half.

And you learn that if it’s too much, even the warmth of the sun can burn.

So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you.

And you learn that you can actually bear hardship,
that you are actually strong,
and you are actually worthy,
and you learn and learn…and so every day.

Over time you learn that being with someone
because they offer you a good future,
means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past.

Over time you comprehend that only who is capable
of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you
can bring you all happiness.

Over time you learn that if you are with a person
only to accompany your own solitude,
irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again.

Over time you learn that real friends are few
and whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later,
will find himself surrounded only with false friendships.

Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger
continue hurting throughout a lifetime.

Over time you learn that everyone can apologize,
but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls.

Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly
it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same.

Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends,
you cry for those you let go.

Over time you realize that every experience lived,
with each person, is unrepeatable.

Over time you realize that whoever humiliates
or scorns another human being, sooner or later
will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold.

Over time you learn to build your roads on today,
because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist.

Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen
causes the finale to be different form expected.

Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future,
but the moment you were living just that instant.

Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you,
you’ll yearn for those who walked away.

Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness,
say you love, say you miss, say you need,
say you want to be friends, since before
a grave, it will no longer make sense.

But unfortunately, only over time…”

Jorge Luis Borges

Institutionalized

Institutionalized.

That’s the word my “experienced” colleague used to describe his generation when we talked about how these trialling times of virtual working will change the way we see our workplaces in the future.

It gave me both a laugh and serious thought, not only because it brought flashbacks of one of Shawshank’s greatest moments of moral implications, but also because it reminds us as young professionals within our own organizations to think differently, to fight for what we believe the future of OUR workplaces should and will look like.

How do you think the way we work has and will change because of this?

Feature image – Grand People’s Study House, Pyongyang, North Korea. Taken on the 7th of March 2016

The Human Isolation

Even in the worst of times, we must look up at the possibilities and see a brighter future amidst all the chaos and fear.

What I find most incredible during The Isolation is the way people came together in ways that were unexpected and inspiring. It’s incredible to think that although we are more isolated than ever, we are also closer to one another than we have ever been before. There has never been another time in history where the people of the world have been forced to close off from one another but at the same time not be in fear of one another.

It’s incredible to think that although we are more isolated than ever, we are also closer to one another than we have ever been before.

Jason Li

The virtual media we have fostered over the last few years have allowed us to seamlessly upload our lives online. It was never intentional for this to be the case, yes we connected the world but at what initial cost? It was our attention that we lost first, a constant attention to social media. But who would of guessed that this virtual world, this social media would actually be a power for immense good during the worst of times?

At first it was our families and close friends who reached out to each other. It was as if they were by our side in the virtual plane. We couldn’t play outdoors so we played in-virtual-doors. Something that would normally take weeks to bring us together was a click away to see each other’s laughs and smiles, and there it was, as quick as we were isolated was as quick as we were reunited.

Our places of work, for years working from home was a “thing” people did but we rarely ever did ourselves. We looked at the work we do and wondered how this could even work at home, for some it was a lot easier than others, and for others it never seemed so straight forward. It took years for a company’s culture to change it’s perspective on working from home. It took days for the world to realise it’s actually a reality.

It took years for a company’s culture to change it’s perspective on working from home. It took days for the world to realise it’s actually a reality.

Jason Li

Then it was those age old friends, colleagues and one-on-one’s which you rarely ever get to see that catch up with you. And this is when something special happens. Even with years of separation, long distances and random conversations, you’ve never got to really know each other until now. It might be that a portion of the population is in fact more comfortable opening up (maybe at first or over time) in the virtual plane rather than in real life. There are barriers that are unseen or unbroken in reality that are, when we see each other over a distance. This is an interesting thought, one that I’ll carry to another day.

What all of this tells us is that what we lose from physical presence, we gain back by a virtual presence. It may not be the same, nor may it be more or less comfortable for some than others, but it is the way we’re moving forward for the future of humanity. I ask you this, readers, how long will it be until this virtual presence takes even another step into a virtual reality?

What all of this tells us is that what we lose from physical presence, we gain back by a virtual presence.

Jason Li

Thank’s for reading my friends. Let’s reach out to our family, friends and long lost friends during these times and make the most of it whilst it lasts.

Much love, Jason

P.s when I refer to The Isolation, it was the unprecedented event of Covid-19 which shook the world in 2019/2020.

Feature image – Pondering over the world in the backyard of my beautiful apartment in Notting Hill, London during The Isolation. Taken on the 22nd of March 2020

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Hubble Telescope

[Originally posted on April 2015]

If you know me well, then you might know that I have an incredible love for the night sky. I love everything to do with space, the stars and the moons, the spiralling galaxies and galactic anomalies that lie out there in vastness of the empty but at the same time lively universe.

These images below celebrate the 25 year anniversary since the first images from the famous Hubble Telescope were taken up there in Earths outer atmosphere. The history behind this telescope is fascinating and at the time of development, many of the technologies that were required for the images you see were not even invented yet. That is why, browsing over the many years from history to present, the anniversary images have become ever clearer with modern calibrations made year to year.

The James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch in early 2021 will be the successor of the almost 20 year old Hubble Telescope. Who knows what lies beyond the lens of our scientific curiosity and knowledge. What I do know is that the future prospects for discoveries beyond our horizons is exciting! And I for one look forward to seeing where it will take us.

For now, we can take a moment to pause and appreciate the beauty of nature. Our individual problems, our struggles, goals and dreams seem so small even though to us, they are so large. We are but a speck of stardust in a universe so vast and incomprehensible, almost.

YOU taught me

Throughout life, there are people who come into your life and change you.

It’s often that these people never know how much they’ve impacted on your life, because to them they are just being themselves; but to you, they are the heroes in your story. They are the ones who make us a better person inside and out, who teach us something valuable that we often look back upon in times of uncertainty and ambiguity. These people are our heroes, our guardian angels that come into our lives as swiftly as they leave but have imprinted a part of themselves in you for a lifetime.

Take notice of them. Remember them. Choose to be better because of them.

For those whom have changed my life, this is for you and this is what you have taught me.

CM – If you’re not going to do it, then no one will is the vibe you gave off when I was around you. The more I go through life, the more I realise how true this is. It’s rare to find people who are willing to take charge of everything they do, those are the people who actually move things along because they absolutely hate how slow things can move in almost all aspects of their life. They’re not satisfied with the status quo, that things have always been done this way because to them that was is incredibly inefficient and slow. You are one of those and you get things done because you do them. Sometimes you say that it’s because no one else can do it (who knows, maybe your right, or maybe a bit more leadership will help those whom struggle do better? not sure). But the teaching is there, that if you want to change something, if you want to get things moving, get things to the way you like it, sometimes you just have to take it in the chin and do it yourself. Thanks for showing me this CM.

IP – Calm, even when the world around you is burning to the ground. Stoic is what people would call you even if you didn’t know it. Over the years I’ve been around you, I’ve enjoyed one aspect more than any other, to observe you (in a humorous way not creepy ha!). I find it fascinating how put together your sentences are, you talk slowly but very succinctly in an easy to understand, easy to follow manner and in such that everyone in the room knows that we’re all moving towards the same goal. This isn’t just in the normal day to day, it’s during times of incredible stress and hardship that it shines the most because you don’t change, you still have the same, calm, relaxed, “everything will be okay” vibe going about you. Wish I could do the same and I do try, but thank you for showing me how it’s done.

JB – You’re the JB so you know who you are without introduction. You are a great friend, infinitely more caring of others than people can see at first. Maybe it’s because that inner circle of yours is really the only people you care about and everyone else can get lost is probably what you would say. You show you care by doing the exact opposite, it took me some time to realise this but I look back now and everything we’ve ever done is a million times more hilarious and fun. Making us do ridiculous things by egging us on and threatening us if we don’t has always made for a funny but scary experience; In the end there’s always a stupid story to tell, someone making a fool out of ourselves only to have you make sure we get home safe and sound. You are a true friend and JB, thank you for that.

JB No.2 – “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” by Abraham Lincoln. You told me this on one sunny day when I was young and eager to learn. I’d never at the time managed any projects on my own but when I finally got around to it, this quote just kept coming to mind and of course, you, the person who reminded me of it. I’ve extended this further than work but into my own life because come to think about it, how often do we actually sit down and plan our actions towards the goals we set ourselves? not nearly enough I would say. With every project I lead, every goal and dream I have, I plan now more than ever, I leave room for spontaneity, but don’t allow any spontaneity to push me off track. Thank you for teaching me that planning is the path to success JB.

KC – HOW ARE YOU? is pretty much the most common statement we have both said to each other. Seriously, I’m pretty sure we both don’t actually mean it because I hope things are doing shit without me back home; yes, I just want you to miss having me around. hahaha. In all seriousness though, you are a good mate, you’ve taught me what the most sociable butterfly looks like and that’s you man. You’re a wildflower, you grow a bit of your wild self in every person you meet and I think that’s pretty awesome. You actually care a lot about people and you definitely know how to show it. This is one of the most important lessons that you have taught me, how to show that you care. We text each other nonsensical texts on most days that consists of one liners such as “WAKE UP” “GO HOME” “OI” ” I HOPE YOU DIE FROM ALCOHOL POISONING” and the reply’s not too dissimilar. For readers, please don’t read too much into this but all I have to say to you KC is cheers mate, take good care of yourself and MY, and don’t fuck up, but if you do, I’ll catch you.

KK – A kind, loving and forgiving heart is the gift that you have. You taught me how to take care of myself, how we shouldn’t be so harsh to ourselves when things don’t work out the way we want it to. You taught me that there will always be people around you who are experiencing or have experienced similar emotions that you are feeling at this moment and together, you can get through anything life throws at you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Many years ago, we reached out to each other and helped each other get through some of the toughest times of our lives and there’s nothing more I can say but thank you. We will always be great friends because of that. We only have to look at how far we’ve come since then to realise what felt like a dead end in our path was only a small hump in the road of life!

PS – maaatteee, I’m going to miss having you around but you know what, everything happens for a reason right and we’ll make the most of whatever comes our way. I’ve never seen sombody who loves music as much as you do. How are you still alive right now with all those late nights at pubs and clubs watching gigs till the am’s. It’s a big part of your life and I can see it, it shines out of you like an eminating glow. You’ve taught me how easy it is for ones passion to shine right through them and feel like it’s ovewhelming and even influencing yourself. The power to truly be passionate about something is what I seek for as well, it’s a question I’ve asked myself for many years. I think I’ve found some of it and I can only hope that it eminates from me as much as I can see music does for you!

WT – High energy! is what I can say about you. It’s quite incredible to watch actually. You are at your highest of highs when you are surrouded by good friends and good music and I think that’s where you shine. Even for someone like me, who can also have quite high energy, you manage to top that and show me how exciting it can be to get to know other people. We don’t know each other as well as we’d both like to but that will change soon. What I do know is that althought in person we always see the highest of highs in you, when you’re alone, it becomes your lowest of lowes. It’s something you’ve mentioned to me before and maybe in the next few months, it’s something I can show you too, how to be comfortable in your own shoes when all you have is yourself.