An Appetite for Risk

The appetite for risk is an incredibly powerful topic not only in the world of business but also in our personal lives. Over the years I have learned that our appetite for risk varies so incredibly much from person to person, from experience to experience, but like all businesses, without the right balance of risk and reward management we too can fail to thrive to become the best that we can be or worse off become left behind in an ever changing world.

“The level of risk that an organization is prepared to accept in pursuit of its objectives, before action is deemed necessary to reduce the risk”

Wikipedia

It’s not our fault that our appetite for risk is where it is at. A large portion of it stems from our past experiences. A child who is yelled at for speaking his truth may choose to keep his thoughts to himself the next time round. Conversely, an adult who risks driving a bit too fast to save a few minutes in life may actually take a life instead. Risk, like many things is what it is to it’s viewer.

So, is there a “right” way to approach risk? Is there a better way then just trusting our instincts from our incredibly varied and unpredictable past experiences? I say there is.

Like any great organisation that understand themselves and their objectives well, we too have to understand our ourselves and what we hope to achieve. Only by having our objectives in mind can we assess the risk we are willing to take to achieve it, that much is obvious. We know that risk is a daily action, we take risks every single day of our lives, but the real important risks we take are those with long lasting effects on who we are, the path we take, the wellbeing we add to ourselves. This is one of the things we’re not good at, we too often take risks as they spring out into our lives as if to surprise us that they were ever there. Imagine an organisation tackling risks only as they appeared and never as they predicted; oh the stress! So then, why is it that we do the same in our lives?

So firstly appetite for risk is knowing why it is worth to take the risk even when the risk has yet to appear in your life.

What we also don’t do well is seeing our risk appetite as a polarisation effect. That we “know” that a result of this risk or that, we will or will not do this. Most of us know that a polarisation of any belief is not good. To keep an open mind is the introduction of any critical thought, of empathy with another. So like so, ones risk appetite shall never be set in stone. We must understand the guard rails in which we must operate within. It is often fear/ fear of failure that drives the polarisation of why we should not take a risk and my one admiration of fear is that it is incredibly convincing, that fear’s grip makes you easily believe that what it says is true, forcing away all other beliefs that might say otherwise.

So secondly, as our world changes ever so fast, our appetite for risk must also change with it.

The last point I’d like to make is the understanding of how risk affects and is affected by our internal and external environment. With any risk we take, we must take into account the full range of benefits and consequences and not just pick those that support your own argument. This is incredibly important because too often do we refuse to accept the existence of one or the other when making decisions. The textbook definition of these considerations include; financial, health, recreational, ethical, social and information. I’ll leave it to you to think about these and where you might do better to think about.

The appetite for risk is complex because we as humans are inherently complex. We all have our views and beliefs on what levels of risk are acceptable to us; too often do we express those views to others without the full consideration of our own views. Is there a right way to approach risk? no, not really, but there often is a more better way than you may think.

Thanks for reading. What is your risk appetite?

Wishing you all the best, Jason.

Feature image – Moving to London, a risk I chose to take even against all odds and logic at the time but has defined much of who I am and what I know to this day. Taken on the 17th of January 2019.

Becoming a Better Conversationalist

GOALS – The most amazing thing about conversations with people are those in which you are walking away feeling engaged and inspired, when you feel like you have made a real connection and or are feeling perfectly understood.

  1. Don’t multitask – Be present, be in THAT moment. Don’t be half in and half out of it.
  2. Don’t pontificate – Enter every conversation assuming that there is something to learn. Set aside all of your personal opinions and beliefs. Everyone is an expert at something
  3. Use open ended questions – Who, what, when, where, what are the words to use!
  4. Go with the flow – questions and ideas will come into mind in the middle of a conversation but be careful not to hold onto them in your mind as this will stop your listening, let those questions and ideas come and go.
  5. If you don’t know, then say that you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs – It is NEVER the same. All experiences are individual and more importantly it is not about you. Conversations are not a promotional opportunity.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself – It is really condescending.
  8. Stay out of the weeds – People don’t care about the little details (years, dates, names etc). They care about you, what you are like and what you have in common.
  9. LISTEN – we’d all rather talk than listen, but when we talk, we don’t learn. Steven Covey said that most people don’t listen to understand, we listen with the intent to reply.
  10. Be prepared to be amazed.

Thanks for reading, keep learning! Jason ❤

Feature image – One of the last great team outings with my old team back in Sydney before I left for London, as always, we had a great time out! Taken on the 8th of October 2018.

Introduction to Philosophy – Personal Summary Notes

These are my personal notes taken to help understand the content behind philosophical questions in our world.


Week 1

What is philosophy?

  • “The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”
  • Is it an activity, a way of working out what is the right way to to think about things.
  • The question “why” is used a lot to justify the ways of thinking
  • Philosophy is challenging because it takes on what we think we know and are comfortable with or take for granted.
  • Philosophical questioning does not always have to be big and bold, it can be be about mundane topics and arise anywhere. the important thing is to understand how important it is to think about one over another.

The activity

  • A valid argument is one in which the truth of its conclusion follows from the truth of its premises

Recording the Journey – Ask Why

The Golden Circle at it’s core teaches us to ask the question of why we do what we do in the world of business and life and the fact that the two are becoming ever less separated from one other. If we can start with the why, the purpose of your goals, your ideals and beliefs will be something that is engraved into the how and what it is that you do.

Those of whom believe in what you believe will see this. Those of whom who wish to achieve a similar goal, who wish to see a similar ideal succeed in a world where it does not yet will join you in the great cause.

This generation is at the greatest crossroad in human kind. We are stuck in between the way we have always done things and the modern world where anything and everything has been enabled and opened up for us. For once people truly have access to global information and opportunities and with this we each seek for more purpose than ever.

The great challenge of our generation will not be to find what our purpose is, the challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness. I truly believe these words and they’re not just mine, they’re shared by many who believe in humanity.

With this in mind, I believe it is one of the most important things in life to ask ourselves why we do what we do, why we follow the things we do, why we believe what others believe and most importantly, once we’ve found purpose within, how we can create a sense of purpose for others.

Feature image – Awoken by my thoughts early in the morning as often happens, I leap to my desk to brainstorm ideas and put my thoughts on paper. Taken on the 7th of June 2020.

Five Years

Is it just me or does everyone hit a point in their lives where they think about where they are in life and how a lot of it, or certain aspects of it are not aligned with their goals and dreams they had in their minds.

Sometimes, even the thought of this reminds me of what sounds quite funny at first at the humble age of 26, but on a serious note, a midlife crisis. But what if this crisis is actually a representation of a modern crisis, one where it is a by-product of a generation that has been raised in the most globally connected, wealthy and “free” time in the history of mankind. We have something that our predesesors didn’t have until they were in their late thirties and that is more knowledge, more freedom and more choices. These choices whenever abundant can give rise to doubt; the what if’s that run through our minds when given options and we choose one over another.

The real big question is how does any of us know they’ve made the right choice? Some might tell you to follow your instincts, others base their decisions on the judgements of their close family and friends and furthermore others would use pure logic and reasoning to judge the right move. Risk over reward, right? Well, everyone has their own take on this and the truth is, no one really has the right answer.

All I know is that for me personally, I am at a crossroad, a point where I’ve still the freedom to change the direction in my life. Maybe that’s one we can all take away though, maybe at any given “present” moment, we can make that change. But for now, I am reaching what people call the 5-year mark, or the 5-year rule; it marks when you have been at a company or role for that amount of time and it’s a good time to change companies, go for that payrise or what I think is becoming more and more relevant in today’s age, change careers.

It was only years ago where we would say that job stability or dare I say life stability came from the amount of years you were employed for in a company. In fact, it’s quite likely we get that from our older colleagues of whom we work with; 10 years, 15 years, 25 years, 30 years! They’re incredibly proud of it and to me, that is one hell of an achievement because I can’t see further than 6 months into my future let alone 10 years!

Times have changed and they’ve changed so rapidly at that, I struggle to believe that staying in one company, in one role, being the “master of one” instead of the “jack of all trades” will be enough to survive in this modern world. This is not because it is not important to be a master, it is because it is increasingly becomming tougher to be a master of any trade. The knowledge that a master holds is becoming increasingly easier to access, you can see that with not just the immensity of the global knowledge held on the internet but the expert driven courses which can be found at your fingertips. Anyone can be an expert in a field so long as they put in the effort and significantly less time than 30 years. But even then, it is not those singular experts that truly move the world and make a difference, I believe it is those whom can bring expertise from a number of fields into one that can make the real change in the world.

So let’s say, we follow the 5-year rule, but the modern one. In 30 year’s you would of had 6 different careers, all spanning a wide range of interests, hobbies, dreams, goals and passions. Maybe one or two of them you really enjoyed and stayed on for longer, and maybe those in which you did not enjoy so much you stayed less.

Now I propose the most important question, one for the readers to think about, who has more expertise after 30 years? Who is more likely to have followed his or her dreams, achieved greater heights and will live to tell more stories?

It’s still a tough question, one that we all still have our own opinions on, but maybe this time after reading this, with just that tiny bit more clarity.

Thanks for reading my friends, I guess this one was more for me at this point of time in my life. It hasn’t come across because I don’t enjoy my work or I think there’s something better out there for me; it’s more the side of me that seeks to learn more about the world, the undying curiosity and adventure that I seek. Is one life too short to be spending 80% of your time on one thing? I would always, always, always say yes.

Feature image – Represents how slow we should be living life in retrospect to how fast it feels; this was during my wanderings on a little island national park at Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea taken on the 30th August 2017

Cooking 101 – Bakewell Tart

I made brownies last time…so i have the confidence to try something a bit different now. How amazing is that cover photo though right? I know, it’s hard for me to believe that’s what came out too hahaha

This time, i had the added pressure of having joined the baking club in my workplace and this, well this was my turn. Every Friday is more than just the weekend to look forward to now, yummy food comes with it too. So far, everyone in the baking club has been making supurb cakes and delicious desserts! (favourite so far is the creme brulee!). I was going to make something basic like brownies or banana cake, but i think i can do better right? take on those challenges in life right? even when your work mates lives are in the line hah!

So, here goes nothing.

Teacher: Master Chef, Internet

Description: What the hell is a Bakewell tart? I didn’t know until i made it so bear with me. The Bakewell Tart is a classic British dessert, it is a tart and like most tarts consist of a buttery type pastry with something inside and on top. In this case, mine will have some home made Rasberry Jam and to top it off some yummy icing sugar, rasberries and flaked almonds! Yumm, I can see you drooling already! well, at the time of writing, i’ve yet to taste it, but it smells delicious!

  • 12 Servings
  • Prep time: 60minutes
  • Bake time: 30minutes

Ingredients:

  • 25g of granulated sugar
  • 125g of plain flour
  • 100g (75g + 25g) of icing sugar
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 75g of ground almonds
  • 8g of roasted flaked almonds
  • 150g (75g + 75g) of unsalted butter
  • 100g (75 + 25g) quality and fresh rasberries
  • 2 medium sized quality and fresh eggs
  • 18cm round cake tin

Method:

  1. Let’s make the jam! put 75g of raspberries into a saucepan. Add the 25g of granulated sugar with 2 tbsp of water, place on medium heat and simmer for around 5 minutes or until you have a thick syrup. Pour into a small bowl for later.
  2. Grease the cake tin and place a sheet of baking paper at the base of the tin.
  3. Now let’s make the pastry! Place 125g of plain flower and 25g of icing sugar together with 75g of the unsalted butter in a large bowl and use your hands to rub together to make like a breadcrumb-like consistency. Smells good! Seperate one egg and add just the yolk in, knead the dough together until the yolk is mixed into the pastry.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15minutes before laying it out on a sheet of baking paper.
  5. Begin the rolling! roll out the pastry till it’s about 3-5mm thick and wide enough to fit the tin. Transfer thus pastry into thy tin. Leave a little bit of pastry around the edges. Using a fork, prick the base of the pastry case all over.
  6. Evenly spread the jam to the base of the pastry case and place the tin into the fridge for 20minutes to chill whilst the filling is being made.
  7. Begin to pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C with fan.
  8. Add 75g of butter and 50g of caster sugar into a bowl and beat together with a spoon until light and fluffy. Add one whole egg and continue mixing.FInally add the 75g of ground almonds to the mix and stir until combined. (Tip: Careful not to overmix this part!).
  9. Spoon the filling into the tin, spacing it over the layer of jam careful not to mix it in with the jam. Smooth over the top for a good look!
  10. Put the tart into the oven and bake for 25minutes, to tell when ready, put a fork in the centre, it should come out clean.
  11. When cooked, allow the tart to fully cool on a wire rack before taking on the next step of decorating.
  12. The icing! put the 75g of icing sugar into a bowl and stir, with one tsp of water at a time in until you get a nice glue-like icing for the tart. Use a piping bag to help decorate as you please.
  13. Finish it off with some flaked almonds and raspberries decorated to your liking!

Footnotes and nutritional facts:

  • Very non-nutritional, but tasty so it balances out, right?
  • Store in a nice cool place
  • Decorate with rasberries right before serving
  • Cream is apparently a good addition but i didnt get to check that out
  • Remember there’s a silent p in the spelling of raspberries! lol
  • Make sure you add water slooooooowly as you mix the icing sugar to a right consistency
  • Take better photos….while cooking…

Happy reading. Happy baking! 🙂

Learning to Learn – Personal Summary Notes

These are my personal notes taken to help understand the content behind how we as individuals learn new things in life.


Week 1

Our minds can wander between two modes of thinking:

  1. Focused Mode – Pre-frontal cortex; good with familiar contexts
  2. Diffused – representative of our resting state; good with understanding new ideas

Learning something new requires the ability to focus on the task at hand. When the task at hand proves difficult to understand or grasp, we then allow the diffused mode to take place, the resting state so that we may open our minds to a broader way of thinking about the problem.

The problem of procrastination:

  • Procrastination is your mind telling you that the task at hand is painful and wanting you to switch to something more pleasant, temporarily.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique; focus for 45minutes, rest for 15minutes.

Practice and repetition:

  • Working memory contains about 4 “slots” which you can switch between to work on a task.
  • Is key to allowing you to take information from the working memory into the long term memory. Set a time each day or a day each week to repeat or continue learning the topic.

Sleep and exercise:

  • Allows our brain to remove toxins built up during the day
  • Gives our brain the chance to catalogue information collected throughout the day
  • Exercise allows our brain to create new neurons in the hippocampus which aids in memory and learning.

Additional – Creativity and the 2 of the big 5 personality traits (OCEAN)

  • Openness – Is a highly positive trait that allows us to take in new ideas and be more creative
  • Concientiousness – Not significant
  • Extraversion – Not significant
  • Agreeableness – Is a negative trait as to disagree, to not conform means we challenge the status quo, challenge the moderm models.
  • Neurotism – Not significant

Additional – Writing

  • Biggest mistake is to edit (focused) while you’re writing (diffused)

Additional – Learning a language

  • Learn a new language for the right reasons, is it a language you’re excited to learn and why?
  • It’s about making mistakes, allowing yourself to make mistakes and not being scared to make those mistakes!! Language is really good with that because you can still be understood with pieces of a language.
  • Be careful with self fulfilling prophecies!

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, youre right” – Henry Ford.

  • Rote repetition is not the way to learn a word, try and use mnemonics (word association) to tie words to things you are familiar with or can visualise.

Week 2

Chunking

  • Chunking is the grouping of similar ideas into a single “chunk”. This helps when you recall ideas and topics, instead of the individual ideas that you are recalling, you instead recall the “chunk” and everything that has been embedded into the chunk follows with.
  • Focus attention and find patterns, don’t mistake moments of clarity as learning, this is understanding but won’t stick if you don’t practice.
  • Gain context (top-botton) to see where all the chunks (bottom-up) fit into the bigger picture.

Illusions of learning

  • Having the answers close by or in front of you or easily accessed can give up a false sense of understanding in our minds.
  • Re-learning or overlearning something you already know is comfortable and will give you an illusion that you know the topic well.
  • Recall is much much more effective than re-reading.
  • Simply recalling what you have learned (or any memory in fact) helps you to embed that memory deeper into the long term
  • A way to help you practice recall is testing yourself

Motivation – a neurochemical reaction

  • Acetycholine affects focused learning and attention. They project widely and activate circuits that control synaptic plasticity leading to long term memory.
  • Dopamine signals in relation to unexpected rewards and can predict future rewards
  • Seratonin affects social life and risk taking

Interleaving

  • Once confident with a topic, try to approach the problem from another direction, with a different mindset, try to use the problem in ways different from the normal repetitive sense.

Habits

  • Habits are an incredible tool to move past procrastination
  • There are four parts to forming a habit.
    1. The cue – the signal that begins the routine
      • Usually happens based on location, time, feelings and routine.
    2. The routine – what you automatically do when you see that cue
      • You must notice and actively focus on rewiring your routine. So have a plan of what to do when you see the cue.
    3. The reward – the satisfaction and good feeling you get from doing the routine
      • Provide yourself with a reward which could be anything from food to relaxing etc
    4. The belief – that you can overcome or take on this new habit

Process vs Product

  • Focus on the process and not the end product
  • Process = steps involved
  • Product = the thing which is to be completed

Practical ways of changing habits

  • Brief weekly list of key tasks to achieve
  • Before bed, write down what you can reasonbly work on or complete the next day
  • You can adjust this to your work life. Write a list of tasks that must be achieved by the week then each morning spend some time writing down what will be acheieved that day.
  • It is good to have little tasks within the day that you can check off whether it’s time for cleaning your desk, grabbing some tea or going for a walk, this mixes things up and makes things fun.
  • Additionally, it is important to have a finish time listed each day. A combination of work and play is more effective than long hours of work.
  • And remember – Eat your frogs first everyday! 🙂

Memory

  • Visual memory is powerful. Link topics, formulas and concepts to visual cues whenever you can which will help you remember.
  • Use the memory palace for lists and groups of things
  • It is our Hippocampus in our brains that helps us learn and remember new things
  • The process of Consolidation, Reconsolidation and Reactivation occurs during your sleep.
  • Consolidation – The process wherby the hippocampus helps store memories
  • Reconsolidation – whenever a memory is recalled

Becoming a better learner – Tips

  • Exercise is the No.1 most important thing in helping neurons in the brain survive.
  • Practice makes perfect only when you are prepared.

Visual Metaphor & Analogies

  • Assist glue ideas with existing ideas already present in your mind
  • Try to use yourself as the concept you are trying to understand. I.e the flow of electrons can be imagined by you flowing in the river that is run by a pump.

People learn by trying to make sense of the information they perceive. Rarely do people learn by only being told how things are.

Sneaking off to learn on your own to learn is when you’ll begin to see that what teachers and experts show you is only a partial version of the whole picture. Charles Darwin “snuck” away from his medical degree to join a ship around the world to wander around on his own to see nature first hand. Take responsibility of your own learning.

Deliberate practice of the real tough areas of the subject is key to listing your expertise.

Watch out for Imposter Syndrome when you are trying to learn. It’s when you feel like you are learning the content slower than others or that you’re not good enough to learn it, that others will find this out. Everyone has different gifts, when one door closes, another one opens, keep your chin up and eyes on the open door.

We know something for sure: You can make significant changes in our brain by changing how we think.

Take pride in aiming for success because of the very things that make others say you can’t do it. Take pride in the qualities that make you, you and use them as a secret talisman for success. Use your natural contrariness to defy the always present prejuges from others who will try to undermine your success.

Hard Start – Jump to Easy

In an exam you should start by looking through all the questions and starting with the hardest one. As soon as you get stuck on the tough question, go to do an easier question then go back to the hard question later.

Positivity & Optimism

The truth is, I don’t have any more potential in life than anyone else in the world does.

But what I do have, is a high level of positivity and optimism for the future of both myself and those around me; this is undeniable and more importantly, this is unchanging.

Most of the success in my personal life, no matter how small or big can be attributed to one of only a few things and the biggest one of them all is my perspective. I view a large number of situations with a positive outlook, to see the light in even the darkest situations; just as Ying and Yang is present in our lives, it is also present in every situation, no matter how grim it looks. To be able to break down into pieces what it is that is bringing you sadness, sorrow and pain and holding onto the piece that can give you hope Is a strength that can get you through even the toughest times in your life.

For example, my first job as a door to door salesman on full commission during my summer holidays. I spent the first 3 weeks, working 40+ hours walking the streets of Sydney without a single sale to be made. Do you wonder why the turnover ate was 95%? It was a brutal role for anyone who started in the industry, imagine pissing off almost everyone you meet just because you said hi to them at the door (yes, I was that annoying door salesman, but little do you know I’m just trying to work hard and make ends meat so you shut the door on my face). So by the end of those 3 weeks, 80% of the 20 odd people, those who were in my training session from the beginning had quit, they couldn’t handle the pressure and rejection, and to be honest rightly so, It was tough. But you see, instead of seeing the zero in my bank check after every week, I saw growth in myself, I found little changes in the way I spoke and moved when I talked to people and for the first time In my life, that shy little asian boy felt potential within himself and no doubt in the fourth week, he’d made his first of what would be a great number of sales which put him on the top 10 salesman of the month of September, that fately 2012 year.

Following closely is my undying optimism that everything and anything will find it’s way around. It’s interesting how sometimes people can be pessemistic about others being an optimist, but then again, I could say the same for pessimists and realists, however I don’t. I think that all three can bring a powerful perspective to a situation, when used correctly. One cannot be blind to their own strength and must throw themselves into the shoes of the others. It’s important to see how things can go wrong if certain actions are taken, or how the what is being discussed does not match the reality of what might happen, but equally as important is the fact that there is someone that can believe that there is a solution. Sometimes, I am my own weakness in this part, It’s rare that I say that something cannot be done and this can be both a gift or can be a disaster waiting to happen, it’s something I need to think about within myself.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where my optimism has brought me over the years, but what I do know is that I see opportunities in almost everything I do just because of it. When I started my current occupation over 3 and a half years ago now (as an Intern Electrical Engineer), I knew that one day I would have the experience to be able to meet a major milestone and goal of mine, to work overseas. I never doubted myself for a moment in those 3 and a half years, I just knew that it was possible, that It can happen and just the “knowing” gave me confidence to (and this is the most important part) make little steps, goals and milestones towards making it happen. I think a lot of people think optimism gets you knowhere, that your dreams stay only as dreams in an optimists world and It’s true that we do dream a lot, but it is within our dreams, our bright lit visions of the world where our ideas begin and with the right mindset we can put things into action that ensure that our dreams truly become reality.

 

What in your own personality do you think has brought the most success in your life?

Thanks for reading ❤ Jason

 

Feature image – teamLab Borderless Light Museum, Tokyo, Japan taken on the 6th December 2018

The Science of Motivation

Each day we wake up. We experience life. The good and the bad. What is it that keeps us motivated to keep going? It is so often that times are tough, many of us wake up each morning dreading the work day ahead, I myself am included in that group from time to time. What really changes this is the way we think about it. You see, it’s a test of your mental strength to wake up, to see a situation, to flip your circumstance on it’s head.

We have to ask ourselves why we do what we do each day. If we can find an answer for that, then you can find motivation within it. Some of the greatest reasons for me to wake up each morning are relatable to why others do too, let me give you some reasons.

  • For the family. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that The Godfather is my favourite movie of all time. The movie represents something that is what makes us humans prosper in this world and that is the ability to work together, empathis and socialise with one another. Family does not only refer to blood, although in many a past this has been the case. But if we dig deeper, family actually means to protect the ones in which you love and care for most and as humans develop and the world becomes ever more connected, we inevitably remove old titles in the meaning of family like blood and relatives and instead adopt the word as it’s true meaning, one which sees every human as one enothers brothers and sisters. But we are still yet to reach the utopian society I envision in my mind, so family to me and to you means those in which you love and care for the most in your lives and that Is the first and foremost.
  • To change the world. One of my favourite songs, Michael Jackson’s – Man in the Mirror tells me something, that by looking within and changing ourselves we are inherently making the world a better place for all. We all contribute to the greater society in one way or another, no matter who you are or what you do. The work we do each day may seem invaluable or pointless in the whole scale of things, but without it, our society would not function. We have to see that for what it is, take a step back and see how our work each day makes a real impact on the world and people around us because I guarantee you can find that in anything that you do; which leads onto my next point.
  • To get you to where you want to be. In other words, what you are doing today, the things you learn, create and achieve will allow you to move to where your goals are in the future. I know the whole goals, passion and dreams thing is all the buzz these days but for humanity, or more specifically by the luck of being the 1% born here in the developed world, we have the luxury to even understand these terms, let alone try to seek them and to seek them is truly one of the most toughest but rewarding things you will ever find in life. So please, my friends, I beg of you, please seek and never give up, which follows onto our next point.
  • To do it for the little guy. To do it for those who don’t even have the chance. To do it for those in which are unable. This one is among one of the most heartfelt reasons why we must push on. You may not realise but by the luck of the universe, we have been gifted the ability to think and reflect, by the luck of where we are born we have been given the chance at life, the true freedoms that almost all of humanity has been working towards is here and now despite all the negativity that surrounds us about how things are not going right. So how can we take this for granted? how can we sit here and not do the best we can for those who are not so lucky, for those who have not been given a chance and for those who are unable. We must stay strong if not for anything, for them.
  • And finally, to be the best that you can be. There is no excuse to not doing the best that you can in everything that you do. Key words, the best that you can. Only you can truly know what that means and it’s in no comparison to anyone else. It should never ever be in comparison to anyone else as hard as that may be. But in a society that compares one another’s potention this is hardly something you can avoid. I’m telling you to avoid it nonetherless. Because it is truly a personal feat to know that you have achieved all you can on any given day.

A heartfelt topic, and for me it’s something I think about every single day. What motivates you to do what you do each day? I ask you to please ask yourself and do not fear the answer, instead, embrace it.

 

Stay strong and thanks for reading friends. Always.

Love, Jason.

 

Cooking 101 – Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Something

Welcome to the first instalment of Jason’s cooking recipes and adventures 101. Don’t be discouraged though, I know my failure rate is high but that depends on who you talk to, those figures were biased because I think edible is still edible until it’s not and you fall sick or die; luckily, that day has yet to come.

The cover photo is the yummy dish I made today #nofilter. I don’t actually know the name of this dish because it’s a special one my sister in law made up. So, without a further ado, here we go.

Teacher: Master Chef, Brother Michael Li

Description: So this meal is a fusion (buzzword get your attention?) between the Vietnamese rice dishes and modern day ingredients and cooking style. I don’t really know what I’m talking about tbh. But this should feed 4 people or maybe 2 hungry Jason’s.

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of shallots
  • A bunch of coriander
  • A whole chicken (unfrozen, preferably free-range, non-hormone injected, non-GMO? and was separated from his family in a humane way)
  • 3 Scoops of rice
  • A pinch of salt
  • A dabble of sesame oil
  • A dabble of Oyster sauce
  • A blub of Hoi Sin Sauce
  • A roll of ginger
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 cucumbers

Method:

  1. Fill a large pot with boiling water and start the fire. Put the whole chicken in the pot, close the lid and start the 30minute timer.
  2. Wash the shallots, coriander, ginger, tomatoes and cucumbers, put them aside.
  3. Cut the shallots into thin slices and the ginger in even more finer pieces. The cucumbers in small round slices and tomatoes into small squares.
  4. Take the chicken out of the pot and break the chicken apart into sizable pieces, make sure they’re not too thick as they may still be uncooked inside. Remove the chicken butt, unless you’re into that stuff, along with the fatty parts.
  5. Prepare the rice and rice cooker, place the coriander in with the rice and use the chicken stock to cook the rice. Don’t pour away the chicken stock, we will reuse this.
  6. Sauce 1 – Put the shallots into a bowl, add two teaspoons of salt, something like half a cup of oyster sauce and something like 1/4 cup of sesame oil, mix it all together well…I was told you can add as much of whatever to your liking…
  7. Sauce 2 – Put a cup of Hoi Sin sauce in a bowl and add the ginger in there, that simple!
  8. With the rice almost ready, start to plate up and reboil the chicken stock. Place the chicken back in the pot to cook any uncooked parts of the chicken, you only need to leave it in there for a few minutes.
  9. Plate up and make sure you take photos for SC, IG, FB, Twitter before you eat. Enjoy 🙂

Footnotes and nutritional facts:

  • Very nutritional
  • Clean up as you go
  • Don’t leave the chicken in the pot, it can overcook / too tender
  • Actually eat the food instead of just taking the photos
  • Know the difference between ginger and garlic
  • Thanks Michael for your wise cooking advice and thanks mum for not giving up on me

 

Happy reading. Happy eating! 🙂