The Road To Success


The road to success is paved with many an obstacle to strengthen our ability to excel. The definition of success, however, is fluid. The Corporates deems success as straight A’s and a high-paying job; the Philosophers and Psychologists define success as stable and continuous progress. Scientists view success as revolutionary breakthroughs and discoveries of new chemicals and cures, and politicians see success as the logical policies on paper, whether or not they can be carried out in society.

However, there are a few key factors which pertain to every scale, and they are simple to understand and do.

1. Compete against yourself, not anyone else. If you compete against others, you’re fighting a losing battle, unless you are the most intelligent and wealthiest person alive.

2. Do what you love and love what you do. With almost a decade of work experience, I’ve only worked six months in my life, because I love what I do.

3. Live by the advice you give others. Not only does this raise your credibility as a person, but the reason you give the advice in the first place is that you already believe it’s the “right thing to do”.

4. Get it right in your own life first. It’s easy for us to nitpick and criticize others’ flaws, but it’s a deflection hindering us from trying to get it right ourselves. If we can’t live up to our own expectations, demanding it from others is merely asking them to compensate for our own inadequacies. In doing #3, you will naturally get to #4.

5. Mistakes are experiences, but experiences are not mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you slip up and make mistakes – learn from them and remember the solution for the next time you encounter a similar problem. The scientific (natural as well as social science) world is all about experiments gone wrong – and finding solutions to fix problems they created.

6. Never mock a pain you haven’t endured. Your nightmare might be someone else’s reality; someone’s reality might only be your dream.

7. Only take criticism that works to your advantage. Humans are critical – it’s inevitable. But not all criticism is constructive, and if it’s destructive, brush it off and improve the parts you believe will help you.

8. Criticism should be constructive, not absolute. When criticising others, ensure that you use their strengths to build their weaknesses. Avoid focusing only on the weakness and telling them what to change. (See #9)

9. The right thing for you may be the wrong thing for someone else. Everything is about perspective. If you want to encourage change and progress, shift their perspective, don’t force their actions.

10. The process is just as important as the result. The results are only what can be seen on paper, but the process entails the actions and experiences. Experiential learning is the most lasting effect, and if the process is destructive, the results are only short-lived. (Click here to read Carl Rodgers’ theory of Experiential Learning.

11. Balance your life Every psychologist will tell you this: balance your life. Work out a schedule that gives you time for work, fun (creative outlet), friends, family, sports, and yourself (me-time). South China Morning Post published an article in 2013 stating that despite having long work hours, one should have at least four meals a night with the family, two nights a month spent with friends, five hours of exercise a week (even if it means taking a long walk during your lunch break), one evening a week of “me time”, and never bring work home. For a healthy mentality, when you clock-off, you clock-off:  work is  work, not life. (Unless you’re living by #2)

12. Be the person you know you are. All humans are flawed, but exert your strengths and use your virtues to positively influence others while secretly working on your weaknesses until you are satisfied. Then they will become strengths, and you will continuously shine.

Essentially, success is subjective – but subjective in the sense that you only need to compare your current self to where you were this time a year ago, five years ago, a decade ago, or more. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others your age – we all have different backgrounds, different paradigms, different realities. We are all apples and pears, oranges and tangerines. We might be very similar to others, or very different – but we all have different experiences, therefore we have different perspectives.

So get it right in your own life, and because you can’t change 50% of the world without changing 50% of your perspective.


Work Smart not Hard

 References: 1. Carl Rodger’s Theory of Experiential Learning 2. Sonya Derian – Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: An Alternative To Competing with People 3. Steve Jobs And The Seven Rules to Success 4. South China Morning Post – Parents Must Exercise Their Duty to Ensure A Balanced Life for Kids (2015) 5. Mikavelli – Do What You Love and Love What You Do

Colonialism in The Mask of Globalisation


In this era, colonialism is understood as a historical paradigm, almost non-existent today. Or is it?

By definition, colonialism is the the increase, imposition and support of one country (predominantly Western – in history) that influences culture and language. Globalisation, however, is defined as having the spread and assimilation of combined cultures and languages. By these definitions, colonialism may not be seen in principle, but if one culture has leverage and advantage over another – measured by scales which are understood by the modern world, such as economic power, military strength and academic advancement – does this entail an underlying essence of colonialism?

One example would be that of Hong Kong, a former British colony, handed over to China in 1997. Near the end of the twentieth century, many foreigners still remained in Hong Kong, which evidentially influenced the city’s international relations as well as English (language) education. In this globalised era and society, English is undoubtedly a vital language to learn, but the method of enforcing its education in Hong Kong can – and in many ways, has – lead to the following social and psychological dilemma.

The method of teaching often requires students to use only English during NET (Native English Teacher) lessons, and students (or even teachers) are penalized for speaking Chinese during these classes. Though immersion is necessary when learning a second language, this is only effective if the student is immersed for at least a few hours a day, every day of the week. However, granted that in local Chinese schools NETs are floaters with no fixed class, students don’t experience the immersion necessary to bring their English to a standard demanded by parents and required by companies.

The mentality and methodology provokes the following predicament: having no Chinese (or their mother tongue) in the classroom psychologically eradicates students’ sense of identity as their feel that during those lessons, their own native language is inferior.

This underlying psychological embellishment results in the following:

  1. Kids, especially young learners, form the impression that NETs feel their own language – English – is more important than the students’
  2.  This ideology is supported by the majority of Hong Kong parents  who push and drill their kids to learn English fluently, which gives children the impression that everyone believes the English language is more important
  3. This impression then carries into adulthood: the formation of society and continuation of “traditional values”
  4. As follows, parents of forthcoming generations will perpetuate this mentality
  5. The example is evidenced by learning centres and educational companies in Hong Kong that refuse to include or use Chinese in their notes as parents believe it looks “cheap” and “tarnishes the companies’ reputation.” Bilingual textbooks – which is more productive for young learners and those with a weaker English background – are sold at a much lower cost, sometimes up to ten times less than English-only textbooks

Thus, is it necessary for students under the age of ten – without immersion- to use ONLY English during lessons?

By definition and historical examples, this form of Western domination is still controlling former colonies, both First World and Third World. Though the sociological argument can be made that the spread of the English language is a stepping stone towards globalisation, the psychological impact slowly abolishing students’ perception of the West is essentially a form of cultural suppression through linguistics: is this not cultural colonialism wearing the mask of globalisation?

Teacher Me

Being Human

We tell ourselves a lie and ignore every truth contradicting it.
~Lloyd Lowry~

* side note: This is a continuation of my previous blog Becoming Human and Society

The whole idea and habit (culture) of not asking for help on the premise that everyone around is too busy to make time, handle or even make an effort comes from a society and culture that is almost unable to balance their lifestyles.

Whether it’s the competitive Asian market; whether it’s the strive to be the best; whether they are traditionalist values passed down from generations of conservatives and fundamentalists; whether it’s having to catch up to standards of an ever-changing world. There are many elements which factor in to this strange culture.

Strange, because it defies human nature. Strange, because it eradicates our innate abilities. Strange, because it is a culture of suppression rather than suppression.

Strange, because every face I see is not the face of a friend or foe – it is the mask of a robot so heavily constructed and guarded that the real them is lost amidst a magnitude of hidden debris; concealed imperfections for the sake of face and reputation.

Truth is accordingly defined as nothing more than concrete explications: black and white, no grey areas. Which, again, defies human nature.

Humans are ambiguous and volatile, ever-changing and sometimes progressing. The fact that humans need to regress in order to progress is part of the process inevitably necessary to catapult into something stronger. Something bigger.

Something that will take you closer to being the best that you can be.

But no, being a real human is tedious and painful. It is also beautiful and challenging. Yet I live in a society that doesn’t have time to take measures to contribute to a world with so much potential and capacity. The suppression of expression – as evidenced realistically by the Umbrella Revolution or (OCLP Movement) – shows the need for humans to break free. Truth be told, the only reason 2% of this city stood up to and against the government was the liberal education they underwent starting from 2007 onwards. An education which promoted internationalism and globalization; an education which encouraged expression; an education which enabled and activated part of their humanity.

And they broke free from the constraints and shackles of a conservative government – of a fascist regime so archaic no other nation in the modern First World follows owing to an internationalized world that happens to recognize that financial power is not the only way to progress.

Success is not defined by the money we make: it is defined by our choices.

To break free from a constraining regime that they are completely unaware they are submerged in – a regime so strong and secure that it keeps this society in that bubble, that comfort zone they find so protective. That safety net in which they use precautions to stay afloat and stay “alive”.

No. They are not living. They are not being. They merely exist. This is not called being alive. This is called drifting. This is getting from Point A to Point B as unequivocally as possible without accounting for the Point Cs and Ds – unexpected turn of events, however emotionally intense – which would ultimately mould a real human.

A human. Not a person. Not a robot.
A human.

No. This is a society of safety measures, of rule-abiding citizens afraid to challenge stereotypes. Afraid to put in the effort to build a reality of their own choosing. Living in fear of change (or in the actual, non-falsified world), and accepting the sad, imbalanced, stressful life as their reality.

No. This is not reality. This is a construct. This is man-made. This is a defiance of human nature.

This is a defiance of our selves.

And this, all this, is one of the greatest detriments to society – that we tell ourselves a lie and ignore all the truths contradicting it. Those who expose the truth are penalized for it – challenged, critiqued and commented on by those simply can’t handle, for whatever excuse, the unravelled truth of their own insecurities.