The Mind – Body – Spirit

Mind, Body and Spirit. We hear of these three terms so often, yet have you ever stopped to actually think about what they mean? and more importantly what they mean to you? This is my short attempt at describing what I believe is an integral part of what makes us who we are.

I wrote this piece a long time ago, sometime in 2015 but I never had the chance to return to it. It’s incredible how much has not changed in my beliefs. What has changed however is my understanding of how I can evolve and maintain each.

The Mind is part of us that observes and interprets what is around us. It is pure information in the form of memories, ideas and views. Think of it as sort of a machine, it can take in data through its senses, store it, interpret it, understand it and do something with it.

With the mind, I evolve by ever feeding the thirst for knowledge. I know my mind well, it seeks knowledge in many areas, finds interests and meaning in the most inanimate of things and so that is what I often feed it. At the same time, I maintain my mind by by keeping it happy, by staying positive and optimistic, by seeing the bright side of things and appreciating all that I do have. I stress very little about the things I cannot change and act strongly with willpower on the things that I can.

The Body is simply the physical structure, the means for your mind and spirit to be. It is the vehicle your spirit just happens to inhibit at this moment of time.

With the body, I evolve by tackling new challenges that test it’s limits. I run and cycle long distances and walk and hike for days on end. I endeavour to challenge it in the greatest of mountains and one day at the depths of the oceans. I maintain my body’s state of health by giving it the healthy balance of nutrition it needs, by being careful with it when harm is nearby. I watch my body, how it looks and moves and listen to it’s sounds to make sure that I am always first in line to take care when it tells me it’s in need.

The Spirit is much more complex. This is where it gets a bit fuzzy, the spirit, or sometimes known as the soul is something that is much more deeper than the first two. I believe it is the real you, the true nature of who you are. It’s something that can’t be explained with words of any kind but can only be felt and experienced. It is the part of you that goes on through lifetimes of experiences and forms and will never cease to exist. 

With the spirit, I evolve by looking deeper within to find a meaning in life that is greater than ones self. I am always in search of likeminded souls to connect with and that one very special soul in which I meet in every lifetime to share it all. To choose love above all is how I maintain my spirits content. With every encounter, I do my best to share without expectation and give without return.

Thank you for reading ❤

Love, Jason

Feature image – The absolutely gorgeous purple, pink, white and blue lavenders of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, taken on the 25th of November 2016.

Goals of 2021 – Through Thick and Thin

How do I see through the fog of which I am about to embark?

At the end of each and every year just like a tradition, I write two letters to myself. A reflection of the year that has past and a look into the future, a year ahead to see the possibilities that lay before me. This is of the latter and I must admit, it is the hardest one I have ever had to write.

It would be easy for me to sit back and repeat the goals of 2020, many of which had been incomplete, put on hold because of world events. But that would mean that there had been no insights this year, that not only was the world put on hold, I was as well. Luckily for me, that’s not the case, upon pondering through my thoughts, 2021 looks to be one of the most important pivots of my life and below, my goals reflect that.

I challenge myself not only to take on the goals of 2020, but new daunting yet exciting ones as well. 2021 isn’t going to be easy, but then again, who said life was anything but, right?

  1. (On hold from 2020) A sense of community – One of the things that really surprised me this year was the overwhelming sense of shift in the community from an in-person perspective over to the virtual space. I’ve connected with a lot of great people within this online space but there’s always the missing element that only being next to someone can give. What this is exactly I am not yet sure, but I hope when we can all get together again without fear, I can rediscover this. To summarise, I am in search to make a deep connection with a community here in London, i.e. be an integral part of at least one community organisation or group by the end of 2021.
  2. (On hold from 2020) Travelling and exploring – 2020 was not the best year for eager travellers and explorers like myself and leading into the new year it still looks grim. I’m hoping that in the second half of 2021, we can rekindle this fire. It’s important to remember that my travel plans will continue to be led by my love for music, culture and people just as it was in the previous years. What I must do this year however is to make sure I meet more people along the way
  3. Healthy cooking and advanced baking – 2020 was a great year to explore my inner chef, being home all day for every meal meant that there was great opportunity to be creative. Now it’s time to take that to the next step. I want to really know what it is I am eating and how that fits into a “balanced” diet everyone keeps talking about. I’m looking at the food triangle as a good start for this but through this new year, I want to learn healthy recipes, eat less meat and more greens like mom always used to say. Baking on the other hand still feels like the dark arts! How does yeast work? why does flour quadruple it’s size in the oven, how can I bake something healthy without using a ridiculous amount of butter and sugar, really? If you know me, you know that i’m not much for sweets and I’ve always connected baking with being sweet. I know now that this is not always the case and will seek that out this year. Included in this is the making of baobaos and traditional Chinese baking!
  4. A new venture – Some of you might already know that I have something I’ve been working on through 2020. 2021 is the year I will try to build a new skillset to accompany that something. I’m talking about things like basic coding and website design, learning about business structure and finances. No matter what happens on this journey, there’s something I can learn and take from it.
  5. Reading at a higher level – 2020 was a great year for establishing some amazing reading habits. Every night now, I can’t fall asleep without having read my book! So the question for 2021 is, how can I top that? I’ve considered early morning reads, it’s a possibility and might be a really good start to the day. But one thing I know for sure is that I want to read a much more wider range of genres and go through a lot more books while I’m at it. Let’s set the goal at 25 books for 2021 and a large number of them to be non-fiction.
  6. Meditation & lucid dreaming – I began the practice of meditation over 10 years ago and what ties closely with that was the ability to learn to lucid dream. A few years back, I put this on hold. It was on hold because my sleeping patterns were off, I struggled to recall dreams and I was always moving from one place to another. This year, I want to bring that back. If this year permits, I’d like to attend some regular meditation classes and recall more dreams than I do now. I need to get into a regular pattern of dream journaling and finding a community out there who can support that.
  7. Social media frenzy – One of my big goals this year is to know exactly what information I take in day to day and from where. It’s crazy that in todays world, algorithms determine almost everything that you see on your social media feeds, so much so that you are drowned and lost in it! Today, my social media feeds are a total mess but with this goal, I want to clean it up. This includes improving the level of security on all my accounts, understanding how my data is being used and what I will and will not allow to be used, ensuring that I see my friends posts first before all else and making certain that the news outlets, articles, stories and content is one that is highly reliable from respectable sources and is of a high quality. Yes, that means this is the beginning of the end for many so called “news” outlets that use cryptic memes and comedic articles to subtly feed you their views.

So with that, I leave you with one thought. What are your goals for the year? How have you set them upon these uncertain times?

Thanks for reading. Happy goal setting and here’s a big wish for you and your family for good health and prosperity in the new year! Love, Jason.

Feature image – The opening celebration held at Tomorrowland, a famous yearly gathering of people from all around the world for the absolute appreciation for music, culture and love taken on the 18th of July 2019. It is only a matter of time that we are all reunited not only for the love of what this represents but the love for each other as a human species.

A Look back on 2-0-2-0 – An Unexpected Year

As the year comes to a close, we look back on all the moments that the year has brought us. What will stand out from the rest?

For me, so much has happened. So much of the unexpected that no goals set at the onset could have ever predicted. That is the power of goal setting, to have a bar in which you can aim and compare against for constant reevaluation and growth.

All whilst at the same time, so much too has not happened. At the beginning of 2020, I spoke of two key goals I really wanted to achieve this year. To really be a part of the communities that London has to offer and secondly to ramp up my European travels. Both of which have been, as for many others, put to an absolute halt.

But as turbulent times bring uncertainty and fear, they too also bring vast opportunity and new ways to love.

2020 was an incredibly unexpected year for me. I absolutely loved the changing working environment that we’ve been thrown into, the ideals surrounding a more flexible home/ work arrangement is one that will bring benefits in our health and wellbeing and increased productivity for many years to come. I took on new challenges in the workplace, one of which was the proud works related to the Australian Embassy here in London, which led to my recognition and promotion along with the support to continue working here. I submitted my Engineering Chartership application which I have been working on for the past 3 years! I co-chaired the internal young professionals network within my organization and was voted in to be the 2021 chair of a volunteer organization (IET).

With all this, I think the thing I am most proud of is reconnecting with friends and family on a more personal level and being appreciative of your time and the things you have taught me. So as an ending note, I would just like to thank you and wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading

❤ Jason

A Journey of Exponential Growth

Where do I begin.

I think it was 16 when I first really started thinking for myself. It was then when the journey really begins. Before that, like most of us, we were just kids. Children in the playground, following the way of the world not really asking ourselves the questions that had to be asked at that age.

It was at age 16 when I remember clearly asking myself something that would ring true for the rest of my life. To give some background, that age was an incredibly turbulent and tumultuous time for me. Like all young adults, puberty was a time of so much confusion, sometimes so much pain and heartache in which many carry over their shoulders for the most of the best part of their lives. Mine was no different. But the questions I asked and the things I told myself may have been, because without it, I would not be the person I am today.

I remember having the ability to think to myself quite often, to talk inwards if you might say. It might have been then when I truly found that inner voice that still speaks to me today. I held onto that inner voice like a child with his teddy bear, it was my best friend, my consular, my hope because outside of that, the outside world seemed so very cruel and rough and hard to understand.

And so I remember asking myself these questions I had no answer to. “Jason, who are you amongst the crowd? Do you even know who you are? Are you pretending to be someone you are not to fit in? Why does every day feel the same? Why does life feel so small and tight and close?”

With all of these questions I did not know, I had only one that I did, and this one somehow felt like that it was all that mattered; “Jason, are you doing the best that you can right now with everything happening in your life?”.

My answer to that was always yes. Everything else followed after.

It took me about three years to really grow out of those teenage years, and rightly so between the ages of 18-20 when I really started to enjoy life. University was such a bright light in my life. I remember my first day, I was on my own walking around campus and there was a little animal farm the university had brought in for the new students to enjoy. There’s a picture of me somewhere holding a snake that day and I absolutely loved it. What I loved most wasn’t the fact that I enjoyed animals (although I do) or I was feeling strong, it was the simple fact that I had made the choice to do it.

Before this moment, there was a sense that everything in life had been chosen for me and all I did was follow blindly. It was with this moment of choice that changed my life. I remember that day to clearly. I remember feeling a sense of release, a burden off my shoulders and for once in my life I felt like I could breath. This moment was and still is the most calm, relaxed and peaceful time of my life. Time was slow back then, I could feel it. Each day after class I’d spend doing things on my own, I’d go for a long walk to anywhere, have a picnic on my own in the grass, I’d go for a drive somewhere.

One of my favourite memories of this was being woken up by one students with what looked like a movie set of equipment, having taken a nap on the university greens. I was so taken aback by this when they asked if I could answer some questions for an interview about student life at the University. At that age, being on camera meant you were famous, and for that week in my mind at least I was!

So it was the power of choice that took me to new heights. Choice that made me realise that life is what you make of it.

When I was at the youthful age of 24, I felt that time was against me. The older I get, the more I realise that it was farther from the truth! But nonetheless, it’s human intuition to fear time and it’s escape. It was at that age in which I had just come out of a long relationship where I knew I needed to return to my roots. In the years before it, I had the power of living in the moment and that of choice. In the years after, I would have so much more.

It is only when you reach your lowest point, that you are open to the greatest of change.

That ring so true at this time in my life. For the first time in my life I’d felt real heartbreak which lasted for months on end. Within a time frame of 6 months, I had lost so much of what I had built the years before. I quit my part time job, put a pause on what I really enjoyed, volunteering as a firefighter, my studies and grades at the University were at it’s worst, I was avoiding friends and family, my motivation and drive was faltering in every single thing I did. It was crazy, havoc in my life.

I realised then that when things go wrong, you can tumble down the rabbit hole very very quickly.

I think it rings so true in life and for so many people out there. Their pain and suffering is real and when it is felt, it is felt all around, surrounding you in a coat of pain and tears.

So at the lowest point in my life, I turned inwards once again. I returned to that 16 year old inner voice which over time, I had slowly lost and I missed him so dearly. What was incredible about this voice was that even through all these years, it had not changed.

I was still in there somewhere, providing me strength, giving me hope.

And like before he asked me those very same questions. “Jason, who are you amongst the crowd? Do you even know who you are? Are you pretending to be someone you are not to fit in? Why does every day feel the same? Why does life feel so small and tight and close?”

But of course, the answers to those were still hard to find. All but one, “Jason, are you doing the best that you can right now with everything happening in your life?”

And my answer to that was no. Everything else followed after.

It took me about a week after answering this question of mine to having absolutely changed the course of my life. I began to LIVE, like really live. I set myself some life rules based on things I knew would answer the really important questions.

When I asked myself who I was amongst the crowd, I set out to define that by spending more time doing the things I loved. When I asked myself if I was pretending in any way, I set out to always be true to my beliefs and heart. When I asked myself why life felt so small and tight and close, I set out to redefine the boundaries that my life contained.

In a timeframe of about 6 months, I had joined over a dozen University societies, I had met hundreds of new friends that I still call close now, I networked like a maniac and because of it, I was successful in finding a job I enjoyed, I studied in Beijing, experienced North Korea and found my absolute LOVE to travel and explore.

I still did not have all the answers, but I was finally on a journey through life that felt real, that felt worthwhile, that felt like it had meaning.

At the age of 26, I took a massive leap of faith to move abroad to London indefinitely even against all logic at the time. Flying away from everything I have ever loved, the family home and the building of a new home, my investment home and mortgage and responsibilities that came with it, my job and having to take a 25% pay cut and most of all, my family and friends, missing out on the big moments in life with them. This leap was for me, for that inner self to grow and expand what I knew about life and more importantly to learn about the things I did not and could not possible know without taking on the endeavour.

And so here I am, at the age of 28 writing this piece so grateful of the journeys past and so excited about what the future holds. That inner self, the voice inside of me? It’s no longer just a voice, it’s become who I am, it’s defined me and I never would of found him without the going through it all. I wear him on my sleeve, I trust his guidance and truly believe that together, we will do great things.

Thanks for reading and remembering,

Love, Jason

P.s there’s an incredible difference between why there was a yes to the question when I was 16 and a no when I was 24. It’s hard to know exactly what that is but it has to do with freedom. Largely an external societal influence that makes you feel like you either have to do something because it just is what it is or you have the choice to do something because you have the ability to see further into your future, into the possibilities that could be.

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”. Powerful words strung together, it is the vibe you gave off when I first met you and it was the same vibe when you left. 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.

CP – (21/01/2021) How amazing is it when opportunities come when you least expect it! During our conversation together, we defined what it means to live a life free of total control over everything and your recent experiences are the best examples of that. When you gave yourself the time and space to learn instead of expecting yourself to know, you inevitably invited everyone around you to see your true and vulnerable self (just like we all are). It’s crazy to think that sometimes the harder we try and expect results of ourselves, the more it actually backfires and hurts instead. We are truly at times our worst enemy but also our greatest saviour. What I find just as humbling is that when the universe opens up to you full of opportunities, you stay loyal to your word and have belief in the path you’ve chosen. It’s so important that we do believe in the choices that we make with all our hearts and be accepting that it may not always be the right choice. I love how we both have found a place to call home away from home and really, it doesn’t matter whether it’s halfway across the globe or in our great Australian backyard because what it really shows is your drive to make the life that you want for yourself. Looking ahead, you are absolutely no different. You strive to work with people, for people and give them the best experience wherever they are because to you, the way to make the world a better place is by putting us first; our sense of well-being through meaningful interactions. All I can say to that is thank you for the amazing catch-up and reminding me of this. I look forward to where it takes you and will support you all along the way!

FA – Family first brother. That’s what you have taught me. Above all else, you are to your family what the planets are to its star; the pull that holds each other together. You have always done everything within your power to make this so, even at the expense of the the things you enjoy, the things you love and even just yourself. But that is not a weakness. That is within itself one of life’s greatest strengths because just as you will do anything for them, they will return that favour two, three, four fold; and you know that. Not a lot of people in this world can say that they have an equally strong relationship with their family as you can. It is a blessing that only few experience and many seek their entire lives. You have taught me the power of strength in unity, with family at its heart and I thank you for that.

FG – (24/01/2021) 5 years ago, we talked about where you wanted to be and what you wanted to do “growing up”. At the time, we were both still students, you were searching for work and doing the odd jobs here and there, volunteering for great causes that you excelled in (because of your bubbly personality!). Look at you now! You are pretty much doing exactly what you wanted to do and you are loving it. The definition of someone who has made it to where they set out to be and more impressive for someone in a unique role as yours (I can totally imagine you in that lab coat #Abby haha). You remind me that nothing is out of reach if you aim all of your hearts and desires for it. I also LOVE our conversation on the Disney movie Soul! How smooth was the subtle segue of the topic into our conversation, then letting it take off into so much more. Reminds me of conversations we used to have over text which were a bazillion sentences long because of your extra-terrestrial typing speeds hahaha. As always, you are such a great friend FG, it’s a shame that you have replaced me with my little brother, although whom I am very alike, I bet it’s just not the same. Catch up soon and keep in touch!

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.

JK – (20/01/2021) It was an absolute pleasure catching up with you. It’s always amazing when you reconnect with someone that you haven’t seen or talked to in years and you just kick it off with really meaningful topics. What I found fascinating was our conversation around keeping one eye on the future at all times. What large organisations lack is this ability to create this vision that they’re supposed to have from within and that’s where you come in with you conceptual designs and framework thinking. But as much as it is enjoyable, what you really want is to see is the results, the actual implementation without all the politics. In a world full of process driven design, it’s hard to see where we can just make things more focussed, optimised and far less long winded but you’re on the journey to find out what that is. The one thing that you and I both know for sure is that whatever the future holds, we will always need that human touch and the roles we’re both taking on, ensure that is what we’re learning. In the near future, you’re excited and open to where you might end up, whether that’s across town or on the other side of the world. You’ve never lost your heart for the world and want to be doing something that helps heal and sustain it. The most humbling thing is that you seem to really know the true value of things. You see yourself from the perspective of others and realise that we, as Australians and as individuals are really well off and are in the prime position to drive the change we wish to see, without the struggles that much of the people of the world has inherited. JK, you’ve taught me a lot in this short time and it’s absolutely humbling to talk to you, I wish you all the best in your endeavors and support you along your journey.

JL – You are truly an inspiration. Seriously! and you don’t even know it! Why is it that those of whom who are truly inspiring to others, don’t see it in themselves? You have one of the strongest human spirits that I know of. It doesn’t mean that you are always perfect, or that you’re always happy and smiling and energetic . What it truly means is that you persevere through all of the thick and thin and come out on the other side ever stronger, more aware and more insightful than you ever were before. Not everyone can say that they have gone through the trials of life as you have and come out of it with a positive and optimistic outlook on life as you do. It’s absolutely exciting to hear you talk about what you have installed for you in the future with the biggest and brightest of smiles, and as with all great thing’s you understand that the best things in life come with time; that time heals all, that it brings out the best of us, healing wounds and giving the gift of wisdom. I have no doubt that when the time comes, you will be the star that shines brightly, as you’ve always dreamed, that your growth will be exponential. JL, you taught me the fragility of life, but you also taught me the strength of the human spirit to persevere and overcome, and for that I will always be thankful.

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!

NM – You’re always so well spoken my friend! Conversations with you flow so well not because we have a lot of topics prepared but because we agree with each other on a lot of core topics, from self-improvement to seeking a passion in life. I enjoyed our conversation about problem solving when you don’t know where to begin and and support doesn’t seem to be near. I empathise with the times when you just don’t know what you don’t know, when the limits of your knowledge are tested, when even Google struggles with your predicament. You taught me something on this, that as stressful as situations like this can be, it’s important to take a step back, to not be hard on yourself and break down the problem into smaller parts, parts that you can solve. And if the support is not near, then look far, look into the distance elsewhere externally or otherwise. Among the conversation you talked of your short term goals, the realisation that parts of your work are not where your passion lies, that you know it’s important more than ever to move forward onto something new and that you’re currently in search for that. You spoke of your longer term goals to become someone that can inspire others, a “life coach” because that’s what you know get’s you excited in the morning. To serve others, to mentor, to understand and help people on their own journeys through life. I wish you all the best on your journey and no doubt our paths will meet again!

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 somebody 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 emanating glow. You’ve taught me how easy it is for ones passion to shine right through them and feel like it’s overwhelming 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 emanates 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 surrounded 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 although 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.

VD – What makes me most happy in the world is seeing my friends succeed and living a life they enjoy. Ultimately, isn’t that what life is about? Finding the balance between our “work” and our life? For those who say that our work should be our lives, in reality it’s unrealistic and unsustainable. So, with that it really sounds like you’re finding that balance well! Slowly navigating the joys of life, learning all the way through. I love how you took the leap of faith away from what seems like the big and stable 4 to pursue something different, totally outside your comfort zone to try something new that you think suits you better. This mindset will get you far in life and there’s no doubt that it will help you find a place where you will be at peace. I think what you reminded me most is that there are friends of mine out there who are doing pretty well, moving forward in their lives, slowly but surely. Even if you don’t think so yourself, I think you’re a great example of this! So I thank you for being a great friend and wish you continued peace and success in the future. All the best VD, and catch up soon!

Goals of 2020 – Shifting Habits

2020; but before I delve into the new year, I must reflect upon the last.

How would you describe 2019? Was it what you expected?

Incredibly enough, yes. A large part of 2019 went on as expected. To my surprise, a lot of predictions made about the year were indeed correct and the success of those goals set for the year demonstrate that with a cheerful glow. For a year to seem so full of uncertainty, how did I at the other side find it to be so foreseeable? Looking back, I think it has a lot to do with knowing myself quite well. If you’d asked me a year ago how do I’d balance my work life, my travels and my good health in this new country, I’d answer it in the exact same way I would now. I’d say that I’d promised myself not to overwork even if the conditions here in London were different back home, I’d say that I’d make sure to travel for the love of music, culture and the people and all three have been what exploring has been all about this year; finally, I’d say that I’d find a way to keep healthy in my own means, that involves something I will both enjoy and keep me in good shape and not only has that been true, but it’s also been incredible for the finances, now with me cooking healthy meals more than ever and cycling to and from work.

What was harder than I anticipated this year was the ability to really be a part of a community here. It’s hard to say what happened throughout the course of the year to cause this feeling because even though I felt like I did try (for example, dancing classes, board game nights, joining an esports community). Why is it so that I don’t yet “feel” I was part of a real strong community? This is a tough question to answer and my first blog post for the year will try to answer this, but for now, let’s stick to goals.

Like every year I inscribe my goals, dreams and passions for the upcoming year. This year we see more bigger, bolder and challenging goals than the previous, wish me luck!

  1. A sense of community – I’m cheating by bringing this one over from 2019 but to me, it’s unfinished. I underestimated how tough this was to achieve, maybe it’s London, maybe it’s me? Check out one of my early posts in Jan 2020 for a deeper look into it but for now, there’s more I can do to uphold this goal of mine and it is a challenge I will take on head first. To summarise, I am in search to make a deep connection with a community here in London, i.e be an integral part of at least one community organisation or group by the end of 2020.
  2. My road to Engineering Chartership – I love being an engineer for so many reasons, the work I do is satisfying, challenging and gives me purpose and meaning. That’s why, I am taking on a great challenge to take the first steps towards Engineering Chartership showing a dedication to the field and respect for all those who have come before me and shared their combined wisdom. I’ve already set up an ambitious timetable separate to this blog, wish me luck.
  3. Travelling and exploring – 2019 was an absolutely incredible year of experiences gained from travelling and exploring. I am still in total reflection of everything that has happened in the past year but in summary I have been totally humbled and have grown in ways of empathy and understanding that have helped reshaped some of my core beliefs and ideals. It’s important to remember that my travels this year will continue to be led by my love for music, culture and people just as it was in 2019. What I must do this year however is to make sure I meet more people along the way! How about, set a goal to go to at least one event where people gather (non music festival related) per holiday.
  4. Advanced cooking and baking – Here we go! ready for Jason’s masterclass? cause he’s not ready at all to do one hah! But with that being said, from knowing pretty much nothing about cooking or baking at the beginning of 2019 and now making myself delicious meals (I rarely go out and eat now because let’s face it, I can pretty much make the same at home myself), I’ve been pretty happy with myself. The question is, how do I continue to challenge myself in the field? Well, how about some real entries into the cookbook? Well that’s my goal, let’s get a cookbook going this year! (or maybe a spreadsheet, let’s see about that!).
  5. Sunday me day – This is something I am bringing back from my former 2018 years. 2019 was a tough year to keep up with this because I was always on my toes, but now I am more settled, I want to bring back Sunday me day. What does that involve? It’s easy, it’s relaxing, it’s a break from having to “do” things. I make sure nothing is on the calendar for Sundays and I make it a day to do whatever feels right, it could be anything from sleeping, blogging, gaming for a whole days end. But what I am really looking forward to is turning the day into a weekly “activity” day. Let’s say I want to learn more about knitting. I would set up what it looks like to do a 5 day course in knitting and over the course of 5 Sundays, I would practice the art. It’s self learning, but doing something that makes me happy and learning a new skill at the same time.
  6. Reading – Does anyone know how I can learn to read faster? Seriously, I want to read 50+ books a year but only get through a pinch of that if I am lucky. It doesn’t make it any easier that I always tend to pick pretty thick books! I want to and must read more this year, substantially more. I am setting myself a goal of 24 books this year, it’s going to be tough, 2 books per month and I’m already a bit behind. It’s something I love to do so let’s make it a priority.
  7. Fitness – Let’s be honest here, cycling on average half an hour a day for the year, I don’t think I can top that and I’m not sure I need to. I’m happy with my fitness levels, I feel healthy and great! Unless I suddenly have the urge to join a sumo class or some sort, let’s be humble and proud to keep doing what I’m doing. 30 minutes on average each day for the year cycling. GO! 🙂

So with that, I leave you with a thought. What are your goals for the year? How do you plan to be the best person that you can be during the year. Comment or message me personally, I would truly like to know OR have you simply not thought about it?

Thanks for reading. With Love, always. Jason ❤

P.S. Did you notice with the last 3 goals representing the harmony of the mind, body and spirit/soul?

Feature image – The London to Brighton Bike ride supporting the British Heart Foundation completed on the 16th of June 2019.

The Little but BIG Things In Life – Appreciation List

  1. THANK YOU for giving me the strength to be alone and be okay with that. To find and fall in love with who I am, to be my own self in a world that can sometimes feel like it’s tearing you apart.
  2. THANK YOU mum for being there for me, always. For always having the most beautiful smile in the world. Mum, I want you to know that when you’re happy, the world lights up and there is nothing but happiness in this world.
  3. THANK YOU dad for being the biggest and most incredible role model that any son could have ever hoped for. Dad, I want you to know that you are my inspiration in this world, your strength and fortitude, bravery and persistence to make a better life for you and your family has taught me everything I know about what it means to raise a family; no doubt this will be passed on to many generations to come.
  4. THANK YOU Michael, my older brother. You are the smartest person I know, most of the time. You give advice that is often sound and responsible and has always kept me on the right path in life. You’re the first person I go to when I seek guidance, without you, my life would not have the structure, the building blocks it does today and I can only hope that I continue to listen and take in your knowledge.
  5. THANK YOU Ken, my youngest brother. You have taught me that everyone is on a different path to success, that there is not one but an infinite number of ways that one can reach success. I know us older brothers sometimes can seem to have expectations that are not always easy to achieve; you shouldn’t have to live up to them because you are on your own path in life and I realise that now. Just know that we have always wanted the best for you and are here to support any decision you make.
  6. THANK YOU Jasie, my dear sister in Law. Far more than anyone else in the world, you have taught me to welcome others with the biggest open arms. Our family is incredibly lucky to have and welcome you into our home. I thank you so much for your patience and acceptance of who we are. I know that we are not always perfect, myself especially but know that we will always be here for you and the little ones.
  7. THANK YOU little Jasmine and Alicia, oh my two little beautiful nieces! You two are an absolute bundle of joy! The hardest question I’ve had to answer since moving abroad was what will I miss the most about home and the answer is not what, but who and it’s you two. It saddens me greatly that I am not there to see you grow up, running around the family house chasing each others tails. I hope that you will remember your old uncle Jason, known for his bravery to chase his dreams, to jump into the unknown and explore the wild corners of the world. I promise to bring you wild gifts and stories from distant lands, even dragons if he ever comes across one!
  8. THANK YOU so very much my best friend Epiphany. You taught me the true meaning of what that meant and it only took two decades to meet you; but oh my am I glad we finally did! You’re a big part of my life and a big reason why I can stand tall and not be afraid. I’ve always got your back and you’ve got mine. A great day? Tell me about it while I cheer you on. A really bad day? I’ll be here to listen! And of course by the end have you smiling away 🙂 Stay strong, keep being you because you are awesome!
  9. THANK YOU teddy Beary for being there from the start. For being the light in the darkness, for fighting off the monsters under the bed and being the comfort I needed when I was young, scared and weak; so that now I have become none other than the protector.
  10. THANK YOU for the sun and warmth that comes each but not every day. It reminds me that life is not all sunshine and blue skies, but instead it’s how you overcome the grey to see the light of another day.
  11. THANK YOU for my good health! I know I don’t always appreciate it as much as I should, but I know my physical body is strong and in good health, that it can take me to places and move mountains at my call.
  12. THANK YOU to those of you who keep in touch even when I am so far away, even when it’s been so long since we last spoke. The little things such as “how are you” keep me going knowing people out there do care about me just as I do for them.
  13. THANK YOU for my absolute LOVE to bring people together. I find the most happiness when I am connecting people, when I am bridging the gap between you and me, between you and him and between him and her. This is because I truly believe in the power of the mutual connections that we give each other, it is one of the few things that really matter on our short time on this Earth. This love to bring people together has made me feel loved by many, has helped me build real heart filled relationships with those around me and simply has helped me become so content with the life I have been given. If there is ever a goal in life I cherish more than anything, it is that I continue to pass on the bright light that I have been given by you and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  14. THANK YOU to all those who post recipes online whether that’s on my favourite Subtle Asian Cooking page, blogs or websites. They give a big newbie like me hope to cook things that I never thought I could of, to enjoy the food i make and most importantly to know what’s going into everything i make and eat.
  15. THANK YOU to the world wide web! How crazy does it sound to know that was a time when the world wasn’t even near as connected as it is today. Not only are we more connected to each other socially but more importantly, connected by information. This is to ensure I never take for granted how easy it is for me to satisfy my thirst for knowledge, more open to me than 99.999% of humans ever been in the past.
  16. THANK YOU to the sound of music. You move me. You have always moved my body and heart, made me feel emotions that I could not describe but only feel. Music really is the universal language that connects us all, vibrating strings is what we are made of and vibrating strings is what we are all changed by. I am glad that we have ears to listen, hearts to feel and our bodies to move along with it.
  17. THANK YOU to those who choose to smile. I often get caught up in the movements of the day to notice that I haven’t stopped to enjoy the moment, the life each day that I have been given. But you, stranger, with your smile remind me. You remind me of the good that is in the world, to not get sucked up in the pattern, the mindless moving. You remind me to smile back and give a smile once again to another stranger.
  18. THANK YOU for listening. To those who listen with their hearts to you and mean nothing but the best for you. I know who you are because I know how you have made me feel, absolutely and undoubtedly supported through the ups and downs of my life. Without you I would be an empty shell, cast out into the ocean with no one to pick me up and listen to my tune. We all need heroes in our life, we all need that wind beneath our wings that allows us to fly and soar above the clouds; so I hope you know that it is you who has made it all possible.
  19. THANK YOU to my outbound friends. Those of you who are eagerly finding adventure beyond the horizons of what you see and crossing borders to places you’d never thought you’d find yourself. It is you I seek out most because when I see you doing this; I want to join you. Often I will and I do, the stories we share with one another are unforgettable and the bonds we make are unbreakable because one of the things I do know is that friends who travel together, stay together.
  20. THANK YOU, my mentors in life. I see mentors in so many people that I meet, so naturally I have many mentors both personally and professionally. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that there is something to learn from anybody and it is with this thought that has allowed me grow into the person that I am today, a combination of the many whom I’ve met and looked up to before.
  21. THANK YOU for giving me the chance to truly be proud of the work I do, of the projects that come to life in front of my eyes. Not often enough do I pause to remember that I and with the help of many others, change the shape of the landscapes we design. That we design and build things on this Earth that will stay for lifetimes past; places where people come together and bring joy and love to one another! That is much to be proud of and I am thankful to remember this each and every day.
  22. THANK YOU for my forever curious and wandering mind. You keep my on my toes with new questions and new discoveries each and every day. You keep track of my sensors and question the things I see, the scents that I smell, the taste that I taste, the sounds that I hear and the feeling of what It is I touch. Maybe more importantly, you make me think about the way I think and wonder about how it is to feel about the way I feel.
  23. THANK YOU for allowing me to give meaning even to the most mundane of things. Today I found great meaning in even the letters of the Alphabet. The T for Tau for example, used as a symbol for life and resurrection in ancient times was also used by the Greeks to symbolise death. Soon after, in biblical times it connected to the cross of Jesus. I realised that even the most simplest of things we take for granted weave across the history of time and space. There is meaning all around us, it is only for us to open our eyes and see. So beautiful.
  24. THANK YOU for the high life energy. One of the most profound things I have learnt about myself over the years is what makes me want to move. In moving I mean to excitedly jump for joy, to enthusiastically wave my hands up in the air and to sing on top of my lungs. It made me realise that it’s not something you’re born into, but it’s something that can be found and the secret is simple, to do something you love. When I do something I love, the energy I put into it feels like my all plus an extra battery pack to top it off. So, I think you for helping me find my high life energy.
  25. THANK YOU for my smile. I never knew the power of a smile until others made me smile with theirs. It’s contagious! Often, people say that I am that person who is always smiling, I’d like to think it’s because of the storyteller in my mind. The vivid imagination that is weaved by the subjects that it finds in everything. But also, I smile because I know it can make you smile too, it can brighten up somebody’s day even for a little moment so I think you for giving me the big bright smile I have (and the wrinkles that come with it!). P.S. that’s why the sunflower is my favourite flower, it makes people smile just by looking at those beautiful golden petals.
  26. THANK YOU for the music community during these times of incredible isolation (2020). Whilst we are more isolated than ever, the strength of communities like these to shift onto the virtual world has been amazing giving a sense of unity, support and love from afar. DQ 1 @ home is a great example of this, uniting the community through Zoom chat where we can all see each other and communicate over chat whilst we enjoy an event that would have been in person. There have been many more great examples of this with individual artists hosting live streams where fans can come together for the love of something common. This sense of community gives me a sense of hope that one day we will return to normal and we will be reunited once again.
  27. THANK YOU for giving me the insight of seeing the beauty in each and every person I meet. I’ve always had the natural ability to see the best in people because that is what I truly believe myself; that within each and every one of us, there is beauty, there is talent, there are achievements that cannot be compared. Too often do we doubt ourselves and see the flaws from within, so it is with this ability I am able to share this beauty with those around me.

As time goes on, this list will continue to grow, to forever be a reminder of how much good there is in this world and to that, I THANK YOU for being the biggest and most important part of it ❤ Love, Jason.

Parents

“I’ve always believed that your parents want the best for you, but at the same time, they don’t always know what that is. As much heartache as it may cause, it’s about standing up for your beliefs, who you are and what you want in life, instead of just being what they would like you to be. They will, in time see that you are your own person, that you have and always will honestly and wholeheartedly take in consideration the advice they give; but ultimately make your own path In life. When they see this, and it will take time, they will not only be proud of who you have become (a strong, independent individual), but you will also have grown to be someone you are proud of, incorporating some of your parents greatest strengths and teachings along with your very own and where your heart lies.”

Jason Li

Feature image – Graduation Day. The University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Taken on the 9th of May 2017

Goals of 2019 – Settle

What an incredible start to 2019.

The new years day was spent waking up one last time to a sunrise coming through into the farmhouse home. Into a place I’ve called home for the last 26 years and to be honest, I don’t intend on changing that title; wherever I go in this world. But where I go on this day is as far away as one can. Across the world is a place I will call home for the next few years and as of this moment, I dont know how to feel about that. Mum cooks up something wonderful as always, an extra nutritious meal to ready my flight and off to the airport I go.

The next thing I know, I say goodbye to the ones I love so dearly and I’m already on my flight. How did I get here so fast? It’s what everyone says after waiting for this moment for what feels like a lifetime. You know that feeling, of waiting for that holiday that’s in a years time, but it is now, at this very moment? Well I’ve been dreaming of this since before my teens, so how do I explain it? Something I should be good at, but my answer is I don’t know.

How do you explain emotions that the English language does not relate? I finally understand why some words translated from other languages take multiple sentences to explain and even still don’t convey its true meaning. Linguistics is a very complicated and very intresting topic. Well that’s what it felt like, something that words could not explain, an enormous amount of emotions of all kinds rushed into me as I sat on that plane in which felt like another lifetime. Do I tear up? Do I smile? Do I stare into space or look at the adventure ahead? I don’t know, so I just sit there, sit there and exist.

Let’s…let’s not dwell on that thought.


Like every year I inscribe my goals, dreams and passions for the upcoming year. This one was supposed to be short and sweet, but turned out to be a lot more than expected; so here goes:

  1. Learn to be a good house husband. Go ahead, have a giggle. But in all seriousness, With independence comes responsibility. I will learn to cook, to clean, to wash. I will learn to make my bed each morning and keep to a good schedule. I will learn not to put wool clothing in the dryer, to not leave food out in the open and to keep that toilet seat down; that’s a promise.
  2. Fitness. 2018 was a very proud year for me. I am so incredibly surprised that I made it through the entire year without doing any exercise, eating anything I wanted and still came out looking okay; with a small baby belly, but that’s OK. But not 2019 I don’t. I will jog and cycle to and from work on a basis greater than 4 times a week (the truth is, i’m planning on smashing this goal by a further 2 or more).
  3. Travel goals are one of my biggest and it all starts with a bit of music. Music festivals will guide me throughout the year, a major decider of where I will go and visit. Let’s sit that goal at 4 right now with twice as much cities inbetween! So Europe, here I come. There’s a lot more to discuss here, where and why, but this is for goals so I kept it short.
  4. Organise. There are a few things that have been on my checklist for a while that I need to organise. Why does it feel like there are always more things to organise in life? Will I be forever trying to organise? We will see, for now, I want that super spreadsheet (with my finances, taxes, travel schedules) to be up to date. I want my social media to be organised, Instagram will be a place for the major places i’ve visited, facts and figures and things to learn for everyone; this will be automated by the end of the year. Facebook will continue as it is, a great place to be with friends and for the memories and my blog here and it’s “series editions” will continue to be updated to connect on a deeper level with my best of friends. My LinkedIN will stay closely as it is, updated as my career progresses. Snapchat has never been big for me, nor has Twitter or others and that’s the way they will stay.
  5. I want to be a part of a community here in London, at least one by the end of the year. There are a few ideas which surround big things of interest which I will be pursuing this year, these include the following: Joining a tennis/ badminton club and playing regularly. Being a part of an outdoorsy group with lots of hiking, camping and other exciting outdoor activities. Joining a regular board games get together or a group of people who love to do such activities as movies, after work drinks and etc. Or maybe learning something new with people, I have goals to learn how to dance and to improve my cultural Chinese language. Or again, maybe this could be something like working closely with industry groups tied to my area of work. To be honest, the possibilities here are wide and endless, but I’m looking for atleast one strong group and a number of other smaller groups that I can be a part of, a community as to say.

So with that, I leave you with a thought. What are your goals for the year? How do you plan to be the best person that you can be during the year. Comment or message me personally, I would truly like to know. OR have you simply not thought about it?

Thanks for reading. With Love, always. Jason ❤

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.

 

Ticking Time – 3 Months

It’s October the 1st, a Monday. A Labour day.

It just so happens that today is no typical day. In the background, music to my ears, my niece of 3 runs around the family home laughing and playing with whatever she finds intriguing, that of which is everything. Her parents are busying themselves in the kitchen, preparing for a big day ahead to celebrate the 1st birthday of their second born, Alicia.

My part in all of this comes in later today, when the guests arrive and the chicken and chips are to be fried.

So for now, on the hammock I sit and write this memo to my present and near future self. It seems like an opportune time to do so, 3 months before I say see ya later to all of this, so much I cherish and will miss.

A heartfelt start to a post in which is to support me in the next 3 months through this incredible time of the year. I chose the presents to reflect upon the near future because this will allow me to remember the how and the why’s and align my thoughts and vision for where I see myself in the time coming. So without afurther ado, I begin with the first and foremost;

A Look at You – For those of you who have been the support in my life, I dedicate a time and space to look at you and in rememberance of you and what you mean to me. In the upcoming months, I will share our past and present annonymously in a post with a tagline that only you and I would understand. I can only hope that in doing so, you will know that you always have a place in my life and wherever we end up in the coming years, we can kick off with where we left off, the present in which we left off.

Pictures – In recent time’s I’ve underestimated the power of a photo, an image or a drawing to represent the ideas and emotions that we encounter in our lives. In my future posts, I intend to learn more about this, I hope to find and share pictures which we can all relate and accompany them with my thoughts and feelings.

Community – Where do we hope to find a sense of community in this vast world we live? It never came to thought until I realised I might actually be all on my own when I move away from home. For many I think this is incredibly daunting and one of the big reasons why we stay where we are, comfortable with what we have, content with all the love and support that already surrounds us. I’d like to think that I am also, but at the same time i’ve always had a longing to to stray from everything that is in the norm. If you know me well then you’d know that I have alrady invited you to come join me when I move, even if that chance was super super low; I guess, in a way I wish I could bring the community I already have with me wherever I go.

Preparations – The last of which I must make note of within the next few months is preparation. I won’t go too much into the details as mostly this is for my own reference so I will list some of the things I have to wrap my head around in the next 3 months. The job. My one way flight. A friends wedding in Bangladesh. My search for affordable accomodation. My selt taught cook-book and search for the inner chef. My health and wellbeing or lifestyle. Travel and social tools and apps. Managing my finances. Managing my finances again.

Following the Great Footsteps of History

There are certain places in the world that are unlike so many others. Many of which have been lost and hidden in time and history.

When I ask myself the questions which ponder at our worlds greatest histories, it often revolves around how they came to be, what was it that made it so incredible and how can I today recreate it. I speak of the great routes and paths of ancient and modern history, routes which have defined much of the worlds cities, societies and cultures that we see today and for centuries to come.

From the ancient Silk Road to the path Gandhi took on his peaceful Salt march, from Alexander the Great’s conquest to the Germans march across Belgium which sparked WW1, from the many pilgrimages millions take each year for their faith in religion and/or spirituality, these are the paths in which history has and continue to be written. These paths not only gave way to the trade of rare commodities, knowledge from travellers of far away cities, cultural and societal norms and beliefs; but they also gave way to much of the violence and conquest that we have seen in histories past.

To re-enact and follow in these great footsteps of history, I hope to seek a greater understanding of our past. Some of my major goals in life revolve around completing these journeys ahead, following the towns and cities, the cultures and stories in which they passed; because maybe, just maybe by seeking to understand our greatest histories can we begin to build and even greater future.

 

Thanks for reading ^__^

Some of these major routes I seek are listed here below, is there a famous route that changed the world that you would like to embark on one day?

  • The Silk Road – An ancient trade route connecting the East to West
  • The Gospel Trail – Following the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples
  • Alexander the Great – His journey of conquest
  • The Salt March – Led by Gandhi which in turn began a wide protest for Independence in India
  • The Inca Trail – A hiking trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, an ancient civilisation which thrived in the Peruvian mountains
  • The Eight Great Sites – The path of Buddha and his journey to enlightenment
  • The Hajj – The annual pilgrimage for millions of Muslims to the city of Mecca

The First Taste of Freedom

I still remember the first day I got my car.

I had not even received my red’s yet so without someone to watch me, I wasn’t able to drive. How crazy to come home from school each day by bus watching my car sit there for weeks on end, just admiring from afar. I thought about how cool it would be to drive my friends around, to visit their homes and play games all day and to drive faster than my dad would normally let me around corners.

But I had no idea back then how much something so simple, so common would shape who I am today. It was with that very first car that taught me so much, that there is more out there than what I was seeing day to day which was the family farm, the school, the mall and occasionally the markets. The beach was something I’d start driving to after school and on weekends with friends, mini day trips to places I’d never known existed before. Lunches, dinners and even better midnight Maccas runs and ice cream became a common theme of my late teens. It not only showed me how much more there is out there to see and do but also how nothing is as far as I’d imagined them to be too.

Was it a norm to experience this as we grow up? Surely it was for most of us. A town looking more familiar to us each day, a city being squeezed ever more closely and a world becoming less vast and impossible to tread; in our minds at least. What if the car was only the beginning, what if only by finding a means to cross borders easier and quicker, we can grow, learn and open our minds to experiences outside what we can only see day to day.

Today, my car is still my best friend and travel companion; and although I now drive, sail and fly across the world, it will always remind me of my first taste of real freedom in this world, one that was the beginning of a love and lust to explore and find.

 

 

Thanks for reading ❤

Jayy

Goals of 2018 – Seeking Introversion

When I think about my goals and where I want to be at the end of this year, I tend to break them up into sections which define the person that I am today. These sections can be things such as my goals for work, goals for lifestyle and my goals for learning this year. At it’s core though and most importantly, everything that defines who you are should always be in constant change, there is always room for improvement.

“The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus

This is also deeply in line with the Buddhist thought that everything in life changes and that we must acknowledge and accept that for what it is. But that’s a topic for another day.

Today, I lay out my biggest ambitions for this big year ahead. I will in some ways keep it brief to allow movement and flow between one another. How I achieve these goals this year is another question and that is one where only I can deeply understand. For those of you who find it difficult to define the goals in your life or if you find my goals interesting, let me know and let’s have a chat, it would be a pleasure for me to hear about what gets you excited about life and what drives you day to day.

Every year I like to define my goals by an overarching line, one that I feel reflects the entirety of what I wish to accomplish. This year is defined as the title suggests; Seeking Introversion. To elaborate, I have always and will always be an introvert at heart. A few years ago, I sought to challenge that fact. It was hard for me to believe that just because of who I am, I could not love to talk to everyone, to socialise and feel energised, inspired and excited to do so. It is also known that extroverts are generally more successful in life, and it makes sense. In a world of ever growing globalisation and connectivity, there has been no other time in history that we are talking, socialising and connecting to one another more and more. Extroverts are highly regarded to do this well. Sadly, even with all the strengths that introverts can bring to the table, it is getting ever tougher for them to shine. For me this was really really hard at first, to come out of my “shell” as to say but over the years I have been able to overcome this only because of the amazing people I have met along the way and the incredible organisations that provide the means for me to grow! A few years later and here I am. I think it’s really important for me not to forget who I was and who I am inside; so this year I seek to look within instead of outside, I truly believe that there is strength to be found within the somewhat lost introvert inside of me and my goals will reflect that this year.

  1. Secure the job position overseas & prepare to make the move
  2. Continue learning the technical aspects of my work and continuing to manage larger projects of my own.
  3. Can play atleast 2 complex songs on the piano that require both hands, all while reading the music notes and singing.
  4. Reading goals – 25 Books & 12 NG Magazines by the end of 2018
  5. Writing goals – Minimum 1 public blog post per month & 1 private post per month
  6. 7 day Solo Road trip around Tasmania
  7. Complete a minimum of 3 courses including the current “Learning how to Learn” course on Coursea.
  8. Research the basics of philosophical ideas and practices such as Maslow’s Hierarchical of Needs, Roman stoicism, Yin & Yang, Introspection and ideas such as Marxism and capitalism.
  9. Complete the BIM model of the new house including furniture and special features
  10. Increase the number of lucid dreams attained to a minimum of 10. Continue to write in the dream journal with a minimum of 1 per week. Practice WILD method. Increase presence on Dreamviews.
  11. Continue the practice of Buddhist Meditation for mindfulness (the body, feelings, mind states and mental objects). learn about the concepts of enlightenment and nirvana.

This is the first time I have ever taken note of my goals so I am sorry (to myself) if they are all over the place, no doubt I’ve missed some here and there. In the meantime, I always have a to-do and to-learn list which is updated on a daily basis on Google Keep (which is so cool!), I totally recommend it.

 

Thanks for reading!

Beep beep Bop Bop

 

 

 

 

A Family Vacation

We used to fit a family of 5 onto a truck which could only hold 3.

I remember vividly my mum telling me to keep my head low and not to move a muscle. 5 years old, scared, cold and huddled beneath the dashboard of the passenger seat. A cotton blanket spread over me not to keep me warm (as I would have liked to believe at the time) but to keep me hidden as we were being smuggled across the city. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I still look back and wonder whether I thought it was “normal” to do something like that. In one of my earliest memories, I know that my parents taught me a valuable lesson; that sometimes you just have to improvise.

I remember my dad, with his body outstretched against the window nervously counting into the breathalyser, the sounds of mumbling, the numbers fumbling. I don’t blame him, how hard it must have been in a foreign country, a foreign language….with foreign laws. What were my parents thinking?! The nerve they had, the carelessness to do something like that. But even through all of this, in a twist of fate I realise that I am still here well and alive, their rebellious plan worked and our family did have a wonderful vacation in the end.

I wouldn’t like to say that the ends justify the means here because promoting this sort of law-breaking would just be wrong not to mention outright dangerous. But hey, sometimes things just work out right? :’)

P.s. Oh, and you’re probably wondering where my older brother, the 5th member of the family was. Well, he was in the back of the truck hidden in-between boxes of vegetables stacked head high. But hey, that’s a story for another day.

 

 

Paper Backs

If there’s one thing I could change if I went back in time it would be something you wouldn’t normally expect. Most people would look back to change a decision they’d made, to change the outcome of a certain situation or to regain an opportunity lost in time. These decisions usually change the nature of past and future because you want something to go your way instead of another. Maybe that is why a time machine just shouldn’t exist because of our inherent and selfish flaw to get what is best for us.

For me however, it is the missed opportunity to learn more about the world around me. It is the lost time that could have been spent reading the great minds of the past. What I am describing of course is the power of reading, the power of books.

Books were never cool when I was young. Stupid as I, and a lot of teenagers out there were, that’s all we wanted to be. Cool. So that’s what drove us, and when you have such a strong influence from the peers around you, you lose yourself and who you are to fit the social circle. Taking a step back I loved to read as a child, growing up with classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Possum Magic and The Rainbow Fish just to name a few. But the passion to read on and fill my imagination dwindled as time passed. I guess it’s not entirely fair to say that I stopped because it was uncool but I’ll stick with that for now.

Moving forward, books are now a big part of my life. Just like how some people forget their headphones at home and go crazy for the day, I also feel the same about my novels. It’s like an old friend that I’ve once again discovered, taking me to places that only a paper back along with my human imagination can take me.

Oh and P.S I have to confess something ~  There was a time that i was so taken in by a novel that I walked right off the train at the wrong stop. With a half an hour wait till the next train, there was nothing else to do but to continue reading on, undeterred by what had just happened.

 

Thanks for reading!

😉

Midnight Encounters

It’s 1am in the middle of the night as I slowly slip into my next REM cycle. I reach my hand up to scratch my chin, unaware of my surroundings, still deep in my sleep. Suddenly I grab a hold of something that felt of fur and 6 legged, it jumps out of my grasp and back into the abyss which is my blanket. Mind you at that moment I was still asleep and it took me a good few minutes for a signal to reach my brain and calmly say hey, did you just grab onto what’s most likely a huge freaking spider?! Eyes wide open, the heart springs to action like a mime who suddenly finds a mouse in his pants. The next thing you know, I’m off the bed, pajamas off and half naked running into the darkness.

It’s not my proudest moment.

I slowly gather the courage to creep back to my bed to investigate, carefully prodding the sheets for any signs of hairy 6 legged life only to find that I’ve been fooled. A cockroach sits on my pillow, greeting me with a smile. A smile that’s quickly turned to dust as i capture it and unleash my ungodly rage in a moment of what can only be explained as pure hatred for all things crawling.

I take a nice long sip of cold water, head back to bed, and with my teddy firmly in my grasp i close my eyes and let the adventure begin once more.

 

Thanks for reading!

Nighttyy night now ZZZzzz…

What do we do?

So what does an engineering consultant do?

Two months into my internship and I find myself asking myself this in the shower, along with the other mysteries of the universe. It’s a curious thing, starting off on something that you know almost nothing about. You wonder how you came to be in this place, then you think back and painfully laugh at the fact that even with five years of studying the stuff, you actually don’t know much about the real world. It’s incredibly sad. Engineers.

So without further ado, let me show you what I think we do. And as to not be biased, I will take a look at it from the perspectives of the three personality types within me. The Optimist, the Pessimist and last but not least the Realist.

Words from the Optimist: Engineering is awesome. An engineer in consulting is even more awesome! We’re right there at the heart of any big project. From Central Park to the Sydney Opera House, we consultants make sure that the project becomes a reality no matter the size nor scope. We’re designers, but not of the typical kind. Although most of our designs will hardly ever be seen by the public, we wont be selfish as to pick something half contested. Instead we continue to design our power and lighting, our communications and security, our substations and wiring of the entire building to a high degree. Sadly it’s a beautiful thing that only few will see in their lifetime. Another key aspect of what we do is to ensure that anything done must abide by the standards and regulations of that area. This is to provide good engineering practices that ensure a safe and consistent work environment for everyone on and off site.  And if this means that from time to time we go out on site visits to see our designs in person, then let it be, we love seeing our work in progress and even more so seeing the project through to completion!

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What I think we do

Words from the PessimistPlease, I beg of you. Don’t become an engineer. Okay that was a bit harsh, even for me. Consulting is what it’s name suggests, clients come to us and ask us whether it’s okay to do this and that and we sit there and sift through a hell of lot of standards and textbooks to find the answer to it. It’s not incredibly fun, in fact it’s boring. It’s not interesting cause you’re used as a lookup table. And also it’s not easy, it takes a lot of time and it’s a slow grinding process, especially if you don’t know where to look. So what does your senior tell you to do when you ask for help on where to look? “It’s somewhere in the AS3000” he claims. And there goes about 2 weeks of me literally trying to stuff thousands of pages of standards into my head to memorise. I never wanted to be a lawyer, you know. Somehow through all of this, the end of the day finally emerges as the clock ticks past 5. An odd thing happens though. Nothing happens. Half an hour later, the first few people leave and so on slowly through the night (I’d have to admit that I’ve yet to stay back long enough to see more than half the office leave).

What I think we do

Words from the Realist: Well, being an engineering consultant has it’s ups and downs. It is neither too intense, nor is it too much of a boring chore. It’s on the break between having just enough to keep you occupied, that you’re learning quite efficiently. Hell there’s an incredible lot to learn here there’s no doubt about that. Every new project comes with it’s challenges and even as an intern, I can see that. Doing the Fault calculations for one project does not at all guarantee that the next will be the same, so nothing is ever easy and straightforward. There are many points in the Standards (which are supposed to assist you) that have counterpoints and more counterpoints on top of points so you have to look carefully because that’s your job. The site visits are definitely a breath of fresh air and the anticipation of free lunch every second day keeps you nice and fresh but it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s true that each day you’ll likely spend more hours than you should at the desk, and just passing on a message that was given to me when I started, “real engineering starts after 5” so don’t expect to leave early for that anniversary dinner of yours (just joking…I think). 

What I think we do

An Unexpected Journey

Imagine.

It’s 6:00 am on a cool Tuesday morning. It’s quite in a peaceful way and the air is crisp, waving before your eyes as you stagger it with your slow breath. Your toes tip as you make your way around the home careful not to wake the others, more importantly the alarm; the baby niece. There’s a familiar chill that runs down your spine as you step outside to the deck. The sun springing to life in the horizon sits ever so still through the mist that is suspended in time, an aura from the earth to you speaking the words good morning.

You huddle closer to the others on the platform. It’s already quarter past 7. Being so few in numbers, those you do encounter greet you with an amiable nod as if to wish you a good day. The train arrives right on time, unlike yesterday. You stand expectantly as it comes to a standstill and doors open directly in front of you. You board, with a subtle leap in your step, bouncing up the stairs, eager to begin your journey in your favorite seat – the two-seater four rows down on the right.

Reclining into your seat, adjusting for comfort, your open plan office is ready to go. The doors close and you take off leaving home behind. Several minutes have now passed and you take a moment to look outside your window only to see the sun has not yet fully risen above the forest tops. You see stretches of tall grass bewildered by it’s untouched nature and frosty tips, and beyond that, national parks and mountain ranges. And then you see adjacent to you the most exotic chequered suit. Who knew they could be pulled off so well?

7:36 am and you’re just over halfway. You’ve been sitting for a while now; the scenery has been replaced by aged buildings and the humming of city folk.  With each stop, more and more people board. The further you go, you notice each stop brings aboard more passengers with indignant expressions.

7:56 am and you’ve become engrossed in a page-turning fantasy, even though you promised yourself to get some extra work done. How did it even find its way back into your bag? A few more pages shouldn’t hurt. Your heart beats faster as the story’s climax approaches, only to suddenly jump as the train once again comes to a stop. This time, you have company. A passenger places themselves down next to you. That’s okay. You still have plenty of space, somewhat. They seem exhausted. This observation prevents you from being surprised when, just a few minutes later, they’ve fallen asleep next to you. No matter, I’m sure they’ve had a big week so far. You lose the battle to continue working and resume your thrilling engrossment.

Soon your quiet carriage isn’t so silent. A bellow is coming from the passenger next to you. Yep, they must be really tired. Their snores fill the carriage. No matter, you’ve come prepared and promptly place your headphones on and proceed to meditate, listening to today’s latest track.

8.26 am and you’re feeling incredibly relaxed. You’ve spent 90 minutes catching up on work, appreciating phenomenal inland views, watching the sun rise over the harbour as you cross the bridge, getting caught up in an author’s fantasy thriller and relaxing to your favourite music while your body wakes itself up for the day.

You’ve already done a lot with your day, so you’re feeling somewhat satisfied. You disembark from the train, leave the platform and enter the bustling city. And while your sleepy travelling companion begrudgingly follows, you’re content in knowing you’ll be doing it all again tomorrow. You’ve travelled 90 minutes to a job you enjoy, and breathe easy on the fact you’ll be travelling 90 minutes at the end of the day back to a home you love, but this time to the warmth of the settling sun.

What a daft thing to do indeed.

 

Thanks for reading!

Nighttyy night ZZZzzz…

The Draft

If you’re anything like me, you have more drafts waiting to be posted than actual posts that have been posted. Just think about that for a moment.

Does this happen to all of us? that I am not sure of. What is it that makes me hold back from posting a draft I’d made months ago? It’s a question i ask myself on a daily basis.

It’s just not ready I convince myself. There is always more to add, more too improve on! Whether it is a sentence made better by looking over it (for the tenth time), or a paragraph which should be removed because it was fuelled by emotions made too long ago, this is a constant battle between two minds. The Creative. The Logical.

As someone who has grown up in a an environment that seems to promote logical sense, it tends to suppress the creativity inside of me. I want to say yes when someone asks whether I am of creative or logical nature because it is just cruel to say that you are one or the other. We are all capable of becoming both and it is with that which makes us unique.

I feel that this is not just something that I struggle with on a daily basis so I challenge you to change your views on creativity. For the most of us, the realm of creativity is seen in the form of an artist or musician but that is far from the truth. We are all artists and musicians, we create sound with every movement, we express our own art in many forms. All we need to do is to answer with a yes.

So with that, are you creative by nature?

Firsts

The first word. The first sentence. The first paragraph.

These will never become any easier and if you ask me, it’s not easy now. I don’t consider myself a writer, at least not well enough to express myself creatively, as much as I do wish to. It’s one of the main reasons for starting this blog actually. There isn’t much I don’t challenge myself to do in this short lifetime I have been given, most of which are the life skills that will always stay with me wherever I go. Writing is one of them.

Growing up, reading and writing was never cool. You were a nerd if you read too much, an outcast if you enjoyed anything from novels to poems and art. It’s one of my biggest regrets now that I look back, and i’m not usually one to regret anything in life. I remember how back in much younger years I used to really enjoy poems, especially those of which that rhymed. Why did we ever stop reading and writing them? Or was I just blinded by societies grasp to follow what was cool at the time? I guess it doesn’t matter any more as time goes by, all that really matters is that to this day I still enjoy them with my Green Eggs and Ham.

For now I place down a marker, something to remind me that this is where I began, that this is the place of origin, my first post. So here’s to many more and hopefully, one day ill be a great writer of my own.

See you on the other side, my friends.