It’s easy to be a critic
It’s easy to be negative
When society sees someone going the road less traveled, or going a road that’s never been traveled, our instinct is to condemn the individual for being irrational
But realism and optimism are not polar opposites
In fact, a realistic optimist is the best type of person
They see an opportunity, and instead of simply dreaming about the potential, they actively take steps towards realizing that opportunity
But when someone is too optimistic, they are condemned, or criticized, or surrounded by negativity
Extreme optimism is powerful
But extreme optimism alone means you won’t get anything done. It’s okay to dream of being an NBA star one day. But if you aren’t practicing every day, taking care of your diet and health, and training your mindest as hard as you train your body, then it’s just irrational optimism.
Realistic optimism is unstoppable.
You train every day, you actively work towards your goals, and you are full of unbounded optimism and reach for your dreams.
Rational optimism is how you achieve goals.
Reach for the moon. Just be prepared to also build the rocket ship to get there.
It’s all about baby steps
I still remember these words from
my grade 8-9 basketball coach
1% better every day
Whether that be personal life, academics, career, health, or basketball
1% better every day
Don’t worry about being a millionaire overnight
Celebrities aren’t made by one movie (they usually did several crappy movies before the star in the movie that “makes” their career)
Rome wasn’t built in one day
It’s not a lot, but baby steps eventually turn into strides, and before you even realize it, you will be running fast towards your goals
What college you attend is almost Not important at all.
Instead, you should be the type of person who could attend a prestigious college.
In fact, it was two professors, one from Princeton, who actually released a paper in 2002 that detailed why attending super-selective colleges had no impact on future career salaries (economic benefits)
How did the study work?
Well, it tracked students who 1) went to prestigious colleges
And then for the control group, 2) students who were admitted but did not attend top prestigious colleges (either due to $$$ or personal reasons, which is not apparently important in this study).
After extensive research, there showed absolutely no difference in the economic long-term benefits of attending a top college.
The salary boost was “generally indistinguishable from zero”
Top universities are not so good at developing students’ potential as they are at spotting future potential and offering spots to these bright students.
That’s not to say that prestigious colleges don’t offer much better resources and networking. They do and will surely add a kickstart to your career. But in the long-run, it doesn’t matter so much as where you went as a student as much as what type of hard-working student you are.
Also, I need to note that salary is definitively not the best measure of future success; however, when you ask most college students these days why they are attending college, the most common response you’ll receive is “for a job/money.” So, I am sure this answer should offer a lot of solace to students who are still worried about not attending Harvard.
Source: Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables
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
I was unwilling to believe this at first but I honestly think one of the biggest life hurdles/obstacles is learning how to avoid self-sabotage.
We often hold ourselves back from the things we truly want in life
Maybe out of fear that achieving our dream will leave us listless.
Maybe we don’t believe we deserve the good life, or true love, or true happiness, or genuine peace, or whatever virtue it is that you seek.
So we create excuses. We build up these walls and force ourselves to run into them.
Brick by brick, these obstacles eventually stop us from getting anything done.
And we’ve now built a wall surrounding ourselves, feeling safe from life’s arrows. But building this obstacle around you is self-sabotage. You’re constricted. No more freedom.
Self-sabotage is ugly. It’s an internal battle against yourself.
But you need to fight it. You need to break down those walls.
Freedom is virtue.
and I intend to use it
- Curiosity to find yourself
- Courage to
- Choose yourself
No know really knows what they are doing in this life
But that’s no excuse for indecency or mediocrity
You need to have curiosity
Curiosity to find out what makes you happy and why you were put on this earth
then you need the courage to choose to be yourself
because no one else can
only you have that power
We are condemned to a life of freedom.
Now, more than ever, the youth are imbued with an immense power
We have the freedom to do anything we want
but this freedom is a double-edged sword. Too much power and we fail to recognize it
Paralysis of analysis occurs
Choosing one project means closing the doors to an infinite number of other doors
How do we do them all?
Transcendence requires us to be the best version of ourselves
But how do we know we are choosing the right path? Our freedom has given us infinite possibilities. So which one is the right now? It’s inevitable you might fall into phases of nihilism while pondering this thought
We are condemned to a life of freedom
But transcendence has no asterisk next to it that entails we must choose the best option.
Transcendence requires us only to choose the path willingly, independently, and aware of our freedom to choose that particular path.
Transcendence does not require us to necessarily pick the winning lottery number. Instead, it’s an absolute dependence on self, on self-awareness of self-actualization.
Transcendence, or whatever, is about having the power to exercise our freedom.
I like to make my Sundays a gratitude day.
Have no daunting commitments, and just spend the day with a sense of appreciation for what I have.
Today I wanted to say a thank you to my readers of this blog, particularly to my readers from India. I’ve had a huge surge of readers from that region in that past few weeks and wanted to extend a warm thank you.
It baffles me that when I first started this blog, that I had 2 readers. One of them being myself.
Now I’ll get thousands of views per month on the 500+ posts I’ve made, from people around the world that I will most likely never meet.
And I’m just getting started.
Things like my Podcast, and my Finance Blog, all reach people I might never meet. And it’s amazing how much power I have in terms of influence.
And I am grateful for that.
Grateful for people who support my content.
Our real Instagrams are fake
Our finstas (fake Instagrams) are real… at least more real
We are all self-contradictions
Heroes wearing a thousand masks
Are we meant to reveal our private self?
Our public self?
Our true self?
Does anyone really know who they are?
I think maybe not. Self-identity is constantly expanding. We are constantly changing.
How can we truly know something that is ever-changing?
2 + 2 will always equal 4, given basic math principles.
But the Jeff Wang of yesterday is different from the Jeff Wang of now from the Jeff Wang of 10 seconds ago.
Even as I write this post, I’ve changed, I’ve changed the direction of how I wanted to present this post, this very sentence as I write it. Self-contradictions.
Who am I, truly?
Maybe I don’t know
And maybe the sooner I realize that I don’t know who I am, the sooner I can get towards the path of self-revelation
In life we have the option to embark on different projects
the question is: which project do I choose to fulfill my transcendence?
But that’s not the right question
Instead you need to look at transcendence in the framework of your life, not in the framework of which project you choose
So even though certain paths may lead to failure, if you approach life in a framework of fulfilling your potential, there is nothing holding you back