self-pity

There was a great quote I saw today in a recent anime I’ve been watching

“The words of your past are fundamentally unrelated to who you are now”

I still need some time to ponder this

But I think I understand it at a very basic level:

Each of us, at any given moment, is constantly changing

Who I was 10 years ago is different from who I am now

Even who I was 10 seconds ago is different

Each thought, each word, each action changes as time moves forward

To be static is to fail at life

Do not allow your past self to hold you back

 

Money

Modern money has no intrinsic value

and I think that makes it the most fascinating case study ever

The USD is the global reserve currency and 60% of world transactions are dealt in USD

That’s crazy

The USD is backed by US.

But if the country’s economy fails, like Venezuela, Ecuador, or Zimbabwe, then the currency also fails. Zimbabwe now uses the USD after their currency fell to a value of zero. Now you can get 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwe bills on eBay for roughly $80

Money has value not intrinsically, but universally is accepted as valuable because of a universal trust

This is the reason a lot of things in our world exists

Communities, religions, brands, Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies

Even the local bar you go to, which might not intrinsically be better than the pub two doors over, will garner more people if there is a higher perceived trust of value

Certain parts of India don’t accept the 10 rupee coin because it is perceived as non-legit, despite being fully and legitimately backed by the Central Bank of India

psychologically, we want to tag along on what everyone else uses

and that’s why money is valuable: because we all deem it to be

But what if one day we don’t?

That is why money is so interesting. It is a platform for power, but also a platform subject to collapse

History

It’s important for all of us to story history because that is the only real groundwork we have to better understand the future

History rarely repeats, but it often rhymes

All revolutionary thinkers study past revolutionary thinkers

and so if you wish to be revolutionary, first understand the history and the framework of all the past great thinkers

only once you have a groundwork of history can you transcend what has already been done

The greats become greats after they’ve studied and surpassed the greatest before them

Kobe studied MJ, Lebron studied both Kobe and MJ, Kevin Durant studied all of the above

Every economist will have studied Adam Smith, Keynes, Friedman, etc.

All the great thinkers start with Plato, Aristotle, and then move to modern thinkers: Hegel, Kant, Sartre

And every great piece of literature is influenced by T.S. Eliot, Mark Twain, Tolkien…

History will bring us to the future

Do you believe in Karma?

I truly wish karma existed

Then there would just be an overseeing universal power, called “Karma” that would hold every individual accountable for their actions

More accountability and more responsibility put more weight on our words and actions

Then we start to see how important it is to pause and reflect

To think before we act

To stand up for what we believe in, to feel remorse, and to be better versions of ourselves.

Good thing we don’t need “karma” to hold ourselves accountable

Social Gatherings

I don’t often like social gatherings because there is too much “small talk”

I am introverted, so social interaction already drains me

But the conversations I do enjoy are the ones that quickly go through the small talk and get to the deep stuff

The stuff that makes me excited to hear

The conversations that dive deep into life, into philosophy, into what it means to reconnect with people you have not seen in a while

Conversations that go under the surface and allow me to really connect with the person on an intellectual level and allow me to better understand the other individual

Social gatherings are exhausting but can be fun if you know how to position yourself to have these deeper conversations

 

I don’t like grammar

I don’t like grammar

But I love writing beautiful poses of literature

I don’t like doing mundane exercise drills

But I enjoy playing basketball and feeling free with my own physical body

I don’t like writing the same Chinese character 20 times

Yet, there is an ineffable power of communication that comes with knowledge of the language

If you are able to see that grammar leads to something more beautiful, then the mundane becomes less mundane

Instead, you will see the mundane as a path towards your passions

patience

The name of the game is patience

If you approach life with patience, everything becomes more liberating

Forget about getting rich overnight

Abs don’t show up after working out once

And knowledge compounds

When you approach life with a perspective of improvement rather than an urgency to beat everyone else in an arbitrary race, you realize how liberating it can be to live life with this patience approach

So it’s okay to take the weekends off once and a while

Enjoy your vacations, take care of yourself, and don’t burn out. Because if you burn out, you won’t be able to race at all.

But remember that you need to continually keep your foot in the race

It’s okay to be the slow on in the race; don’t we all know the story of the tortoise and the hare?

The Upside

The Upside is a cute heart-felt comedy movie starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart & Nicole Kidman.

It truly does show the upside of life.

Inspired by a true story, it shows the life of a quadriplegic who is able to find beauty in life, despite being paralyzed.

And if that’s any solace, I think we can all look on the Upside once and a while.

Learn to love life.

Different circumstances

Today I went to Milton Herschel School and man this school is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen

It must be over 4 times as big as Vilanova’s 250 acre campus

Children lived in mansions which houses up to 14 kids

The school where they took classes looked more like a tiny college

And there was just so much free land and greenery

But the students at MHS all come from underprivileged communities

Which is good and bad

Good because it allows kids without the right circumstances to flourish through support and education

Bad because some times the circumstances of a child isn’t where they go to school or how much money you throw at them

The graduating classes of MHS often have huge disparity in terms of where the children end up

My friend who goes to Villanova has friends at Princeton, UPenn, Georgetown and other esteemed universities

But out of his 200 graduating class, he notes several who have dropped out of college after one or few semesters and maybe 15 have ended up starting families already before they’ve turned 20, which also forces them to leave school

It’s an interesting case study of whether or not it’s possible to “help” people through institutions like MHS

How can we truly help people besides simply financially and educationally? I think personal life and EQ skills are just as important to teach besides a good education and scholarships for school

Not everyone is fit for school

But everyone is fit for life. And I think life skills is something we need to better teach future generations