Enter Head First

The experts have spoken. It is the mantra, the secret, the mindset, the principle, the truth. By whatever name you choose to implement it, this is the first step to the happiness and success you want.

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The Cookie Redemption

The first time I baked chocolate chip cookies, they stayed and cooked as the drops I had put on the baking sheet. The balls of dough looked nothing like the fresh, flat and goeey chocolate chip cookies I had hoped would come out of the oven. So, last week, I found a better recipe and set off on my second attempt. Spoiler: I ate about 8 of these cookies within two days myself.

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Becoming More

Today, I read a list of goals that I made for myself 3 years ago. Yes, I did achieve some of them but 10% success rate is not something I want to give myself a pat on the back for. No, my list of goals was not unreasonably out of reach. I also revisited something I read a long time ago that personifies my results and a story of how many people can live out their lives without question or ambition. A faraway, vague dream to achieve something amazing is not enough.

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Scaling the Temple of Heaven

Puzzles are relaxing and challenging. They are not Netflix or movies. They keep my mind occupied well, challenge me in a different way than the spreadsheets on the job, and also test my motor skills in a different capacity than the keyboard and mouse I am constantly using. If you ask me, adults need more acitivites like this in their lives, to do both solo and with family/friends. Yes, we all say we are too tired after work and chores but it is a really relaxing and soothing exercise, mentally and physically (like reading which I also advocate for heavily). Feels so good after.

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This is My Fight

Propaganda. Racism. Poverty. Discrimination. Rebellion. Genocide.
Narcissism. Blackmail. Lying. Corporate fraud. Conspiracies. Bureaucracy. Scandals. Theft. Forgery. Incompetence. Abusive leadership.
Sexual harassment. Alcohol. Drugs. Pornography. Prostitution. Addiction.
Infidelity. Backbiting. Neglectful parenting. Betrayal. Sociopathy. Domestic violence.

All covered by a heavy layer of pretense to keep things running. This has been an adventure of a year for me.

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Reading Non-Fiction

The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one that makes you think. – Harper Lee

I have always been a story reader and my interest in non-fiction is fairly premature. I am developing it, in favour of my ardent pursuit of knowledge. I find that it is much more challenging than reading fiction and offers a vastly different experience. With a story, I start from the beginning and it just carries me through to the last page. I tried the same with my non-fiction reading choices but did not have as much success. So, I decided to go a little deeper and figure out how I can make the most of my non-fiction reading experiences. Here are some tips and tricks that I gathered and applied to improve:

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Coffee, Please!

Once, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and full of problems. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed as if just when one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled 3 pots with water and placed each one on a high fire. Once the 3 pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. After 20 minutes, he turned off the burners, and put the potatoes and eggs in separate bowls, and poured the coffee in a cup.

Turning to his daughter, he asked, “What do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.”

She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“What does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently to the situation. The potatoes went in strong and hard, but in boiling water became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior, until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water itself and created a new liquid.

“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

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