Your Best Friend is Vulnerability

The theme of 2013 will be vulnerability.

Vulnerability is your best friend because it’ll allow you to meet your best friend. When you allow yourself to freely express what you are, then it gets easier to meet your kind of people.

Expression is mandatory to make a connection with someone. Any sort of expression takes vulnerability because expression can be shot down. Of course, expression can also be related with or expanded upon.

Friendships and relationships begin once rapport builds into a systematic mutual respect of each other’s expressions.

Vulnerability is what gave me immense improvement over the past 18 months of my life.

It made me meet my best friend. It helped me recontact old friends.

It allowed me to establish interactions with people to talk to them for a few minutes.

Sometimes, it got me hangouts and dates after the initial interaction.

Vulnerability allows confidence to express yourself freely.

When that happens, life really opens up and becomes a true adventure.

The best part about it is you can choose any adventure you want. Of course, keep things safe for yourself and others. Besides that, there are no set rules to your adventure, as it is yours to partake in.

Vulnerability makes your inner adventure a reality.

On Gift Giving (Enhancing It)

Today is Christmas Eve and everyone is grabbing their last minute items for friends, family, and relatives. Christmas celebration is a time to unite together by enjoying the people closest to us.

However, it feels like we lost the interpretation of the Christmas spirit somewhere along the way.

It’s great to see people buying gifts for one another out of tradition. Unfortunately, it feels as though many people stress out over trying to find the “perfect” gift for each and every person.

Here are some ways we can reclaim the art of gift giving:

Accept the fact that you may get the wrong size or item for a particular person. This is why they made return and exchange receipts for a reason.

Enjoy the process. It’s fun to think in another person’s shoes to figure out what they enjoy.

Most importantly, we can give year round. During Valentine’s Day we hand out Valentine’s cards to those we want to date. On Halloween we hand out candy to strangers. On Christmas we share gifts with others.

Perhaps we can do way more. We can build new traditions.

Give gifts year round with these ideas. Give out high fives for an hour. Compliment strangers to brighten their day. Give monthly donations to charity. Share deep conversations with your close friends over coffee or beer. Hand out novels to people to help them acquire more knowledge. Send your favorite websites to those close to you.

Make gift giving a permanent part of your life instead of waiting for a particular day to do it out of obligation. Do it frequently and you’re making a difference in the world. Even if the difference is microscopic in relation to the world’s magnitude and scope, every gift is a blessing.

Stardust

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” – Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Everything in this planet was and is made from stars. If every single living thing came and continues to come from stardust, then I understand the whole entity that lives on this planet. Every human comes together in a collective range of living.

Some people may suffer more, some people may be more fortunate but almost everyone feels the huge range of emotions. Some may feel pleasure more than others but almost everyone will feel it in their lives. Others struggle for basic needs, while others struggle to make their vision reality on their path to self-actualization.

When you envision the stardust and human livelihood as a collective whole, then there is a clear respect for all people that feel that wide range of emotions. All pain, pleasure, suffering, redemption, and all other feelings are under this collective journey that all humans have to share.

The journey and situation may be different but we’re all the same stardust. Every belief, every action, every word of honor came from this stardust.

It is what keeps me absolutely calm and focused in the face of pain, in the face of frustration, and in the face of constructive feedback. It is what keeps me absolutely calm and focused in the face of pleasure, in the face of success, and in the face of curiosity.

The calm wave of knowing everyone looks at the same sky is relieving. All of my emotions can be resonated with on some level.

That is why I jump into randomness, awkwardness, and honesty.

I’m certain everyone else has felt it before. The only difference is that I am leaning into it.

If you know that you’re one little speck of stardust in the whole entity, then it becomes really enjoyable to be a part of the human experience. It helps me take more risks by accepting the human experience.

Approaching people gives me that rush of connection and allows me to know that everyone is representing humanity as best as they can, as imperfect as humans can be. That is the joy of reaching out to anyone open to chat and enjoy the connection, however long it lasts because on a long enough time-frame we’re all just stardust.

[This post was inspired by one of my favorite novels, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.]

Flying Around and Passing Out 100 Fliers

A nonprofit handed me 100 fliers to pass out around. I decided to talk to people on campus while passing these fliers out.

October 08 2012 11:00AM

I walked around for half an hour to see what was going on and to get myself used to the atmosphere. Then I started chatting with people.

All sorts of random and funny interactions occurred.

-The first person I talked to was waiting for the bus sitting around. I told him that he had cool shoelaces on his converses (they were checkered). He was a new transfer and told me he really liked the campus. I passed him a flier and told him to keep wearing those shoelaces. He smiled and said thanks to me.

I handed about twelve more fliers to people around the bus station. Total count: thirteen.

-I walked to the cafeteria area and there was a girl that seemed really bored. “Hi, you seem bored so let’s chat for a little while to make you less bored.” I guessed her major as English or Sociology. She told me that she was a Conversational Biology major. We talked about climate change and how she could make a difference in the current day. She spoke about how she wanted to work at a park to save the wolves and help them. I randomly blurted out that her soul animal was a wolf and she smiled. She agreed and we ended up talking about how I believed that each person had a soul animal in them. A fun quirky thread ended up brightening her day. I went on my way.

I handed fifteen more fliers to people around the cafeteria. Total count: twenty-nine.

-I exited one of the campus buildings. I had a wonderful conversation with a girl where the conversation started with her just sitting around taking a break. She was sitting down on one of the steps and I needed a break myself so we started to chat. She told me she was an International Relations major that just transferred to the campus from her local community college. I handed her a flier and talked about the 5k/10k run. She seemed intrigued and figured that her roommates would want to go. We talked about how she worked at Baskin Robbins. I laughed and told her she could definitely offer me a discount. She smiled and said if I ended up in her city in the suburbs, I would be welcomed to get a kid’s scoop. As I stood up, I smiled and told her to enjoy her break.

I walked by and handed out another twenty fliers to people passing by. Total count: fifty.

3:00PM

-I ended up at one of the biggest lecture halls on the campus and asked what class was coming up for the lecture hall. Fifty people were waiting for the next class and one shouted out to me that they were waiting for some Chemistry class. I thanked them. I went up to him and handed him the first flier and told him, appreciate the knowledge, have a flier. He said thanks. I ended up gaining momentum and passed it around to all of the fifty people waiting at the lecture hall. About fifteen of the people said thanks and I got a few people who shook their head and said no thanks. One of them even told me that my shirt was really cool.

This was a big accomplishment for me because I had to speak and take action in a small area with a lot of people crowded around. It feels more difficult when people are in earshot and I have to say, “Hi excuse me, here’s a flier” forty times in a row. Total count: About ninety-seven passed out.

I had a few fliers left. On my way to the parking lot, I passed one more building. I saw a girl that looked really interesting and talked to her before giving my last flier to her. I was talking to her and she told me that she was taking Nutrition Science. She also had a slight accent that was fascinating. She told me that she born in the UK. We talked for a few minutes about the different accents in the UK. She told me that was around the London area and compared that accent to other accents in York, Leeds, and Manchester. She thanked me for the conversation and told me that her friends were really into running so the flier was helpful. I smiled and felt proud to end on a high note like that.

Make an activity enjoyable by talking to people during the activity. Passing out fliers became a fun task when I allowed random interaction to enter the equation. Sometimes it was awkward. Sometimes it was courageous. It was fun overall.

7 Courageous Posts That Motivate Me (And Will Motivate You Too)

Whenever I need courage to continue on my journey, I look to these posts to keep me going in the right direction. These posts help me immensely and I know that they can provide help to you as well.

1. The Million Dollar Question by Sebastian Marshall. This post stands out as my favorite post of all-time. Sebastian writes a beautiful, honest piece about how he feels different from the people in Japan’s suburbs. He feels that slight sense of isolation because his ambition is incredibly more vast than most. He wants to make a difference in the world and because of that, he won’t have the luxury of living a comfortable life. Very few people will understand him because he wants to change the world with millions of dollars and relentless production in his career. I can relate because I’m doing something that not many people will understand.

2. Loud. Arrogant. Rebellious. Asian. by Jason Shen. As a fellow Asian-American, there are social stereotypes that we have to face. Jason Shen wrote an amazing piece of wanting to break that racial stereotype. I want to break it as well so I feel similarly to what Jason writes here. It’s a reminder that I need to make that noise, be assertive, and be absolutely confident in my ability to take chances.

3. Random Acts of Courage by Niall Doherty. Niall has been a huge supporter of consistently going out of your social comfort zone. His random acts of courage experiment is to show the steps to find your social courage. Some of his challenges are hilarious, others are strange, and all of them challenge the notion of going out of your comfort zone. I have personally done some of these challenges and I enjoy how he presents the outcomes of these challenges. Almost always, nothing bad happens. It’s another reminder to keep taking risks.

4. The Microchange I Want to be in the World by Mark Robertson. Mark writes about being unable to make a huge difference in the world. Rather than be sad about that, he advocates an alternative strategy to living a life with purpose. Create the microchange you want to see in the world. Make small changes to yourself to better your attitude. Make a difference to the few people around you. Make a huge difference to one other person. Do something random that impacts your local group and community positively. Be that microchange.

5. Have You Accepted Passion as Your Personal Savior? by Chase Night. This post really changed my attitude towards my blogging changes in the past couple of years. I used to be passionate about wanting to do all sorts of magical things on a particular bucket list relating to social activity. Then I realized it was starting to hinder my development in other facets of my life. Allowing my passion to be fluid enough to change at a moment’s notice while keeping a particular theme underneath it all helped me. I felt scared that I had to ride out my be epic by 30 idea. However, I changed it to wanting to meet interesting people, which is more manageable to me currently.

6. Friends are More than Contacts by Raam Dev. It’s a fantastic article about how he keeps sight of his close, intimate friendships while balancing the ability to create new ones. While I didn’t delete my personal Facebook like he did, he shared a great discussion as to keeping quality in your personal relationships rather than adding more numbers to your Facebook count. The balance to allowing new interactions while maintaining closeness with close friends is extremely important.

7. First Impressions by Ken Bernock. First impressions are extremely important. However, this post reminds me to stay open about people even after their initial impression. Sometimes people have a bad day. People are not perfect and they will mess up. Giving them some flexibility is a valuable skill to learn because it allows people to get a better understanding of one another. While first impressions are a huge factor, allowing yourself some flexibility in your judgments can provide a better measurement of others and yourself.

These seven posts have helped me clarify my personal journey. Whenever things got tough, I looked to these posts to help me get an alternative, more positive outlook in life. Even if one of these posts helps you, then I’ve done my job. Enjoy.

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