Pursue Joy

“Joy is a form of resilience.” I will repeat, “Joy is a form of resilience.“How so?Many consider joy as this frivolous emotion. One can even say that it is unimportant and should not be given a time of the day. But is it really?

Joy Vs Happiness

As a culture, we have been obsessed in pursuing happiness. (Happiness comes from the inside but that is another matter to talk about)But actually, what we should do is pursue joy.Happiness is an emotion pertaining to that you feel over a long period of time. So, for example, let’s say, I’m a student and when I say, “I’m happy right now.” What that means is that I feel happy about yesterday and the days before that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t awful moments but over time, I feel good overall about what happened.On the other hand, joy pertains to right now. It’s the feeling when you want to jump up and down or giggle or laugh because of a joke. And this is why pursuing joy is much more important that pursuing happiness. Because joy is what’s happening around us everytime. Writing this blog makes me feel joy. And in retrospect, when all of these joyful moment add up, I can say that I am happy with how I live. So maybe, we are only happy in retrospect. Hence, it is why pursuing joy is more important that pursuing happiness

Why is Joy Important?

Going back to my first sentence, “Joy is a form of resilience.” is from designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee.And she explained why in a blog post. First off, she wrote that we tend off to put off joy. For example, “Oh! I wil work full head-on for 9 hours and then I’ll watch a movie.” We see joy as a reward for our hardwork. But actually, Lee suggests that we should incorporate joy into our daily lives. Basically, joy is a tool that we can use to cope up with stress.She explained further,”Small moments of joy help the cardiovascular system recover from stress. When we feel stressed, our bodies floor with chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine which raise our heart rate and blood pressure, keep us alert and focused, and help us respond to the chalelnges at hand. This is an adaptive response to stress, and it works well when it’s temporary. If stress becomes chronic, on the other hand, this places strain on the body and can lead to exhaustion and illness. But when we experience joy, such as watching something funny, taking a little while to become absorbed in play, or spending time in nature, it gives our bodies a break from this stress response, enabling us to recover.“Thus, joy is not frivolous. It’s actually important for our body, especially our mental health.

Small Moments of Joy

Knowing this information, I had to apply it. Assignments and academic readings are piling up but I’m ‘stealing ‘ some time just to be.I acknowledge that I am more than my academics. And the life that I want to live is not something that is in the direction of academics, hence, I go my own path.One thing that I do and probably my most favorite apart from writing is soaking energy from the sun.Around 3 pm- 4pm, I get up, after being huddled for hours on my desk, and go in our porch.Without having to go outside, the sun direction is right there at the gate and that is where I can get energy from the sun.Honestly, one of the highlights of my day. And I am reminded of what Andy Grammer wrote in his song Keep Your Head Up:The glow that the sun gets
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
That this is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you turn out fine.Whether I failed during the day or experienced something terrible, the sun’s gonna be there. Always. And its gonna be there until I die. Whatever I am worrying about it is gonna be fine. It will pass. Other things that I do during the day to feel joy is listening to my favorite music, showering after a long day, watching korean variety shows, and reading a great book that will keep me immersed for hours. And not to mention, there are tons of other things that unexpectedly show up during my day that brought me joy. Like a few days ago, I discovered a website that has a very interesting UI on its homepage, and just the other day, I finally owned a copy of a book that I’ve been waiting for MONTHSS!!! Basically, pursuing joy is me telling myself that I will not succumb to being a machine and taking care of myself. In addition, joyful things that unexpectedly came my way are a reminder that life is full of miracles and casual magics. I also believe that what I put out in the world, that is what I get back. And these miracles are what I get back.

Rethinking Prisons

Imagine kids going to a school designed like a bunker: drab walls, bare concrete, metal bars everywhere. How can we expect children to learn and enjoy being in school in an environment that isn’t conducive to learning at all? Similarly,how can Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) rehabilitate and improve their behavior if they live in a hostile environment?

According to the Section 2 of the Revised IRR of RA 10575 aka The Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013, “It is the policy of the State to promote the general welfare and safeguard the basic rights of every prisoner incarcerated in our national penitentiary by promoting and ensuring their reformation and social reintegration creating an environment conducive to rehabilitation and compliant with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (UNSMRTP).”

However, according to the account of Marco Toral, a former inmate and former consultant for the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), the prison he spent in is anything but conducive to rehabilitation. “I find it very frustrating na wala kang ginagawa. Day in and day out, nasa loob ka lang, nakaupo ka lang.” Marco Toral shared his thoughts during the 7 years that he spent inside a prison.

FULL: https://philippines.makesense.org/2020/10/08/rethinking-prisons/?fbclid=IwAR3rPGT8aO7mHZ5J6ilZbrNJUr_8_IrDq52nONtS21tOHO0ghWcSML-ARNw

—————————

My article is published yey! Anyways, I had an idea for this article around July and I started working for this article mid-August and finished it last month. I almost reject this idea because I have no confidence in writing this article at all. (James Clear: Lack of confidence kills more dreams than lack of ability. Talent matters—especially at elite levels—but people talk themselves out of giving their best effort long before talent becomes the limiting factor. You’re capable of more than you know. Don’t be your own bottleneck.) Good thing I did not. I followed my inner soul even if its scary. It feels good to overcome something— to have done something I thought I cannot do.

This speaks so much to my future endeavors and ideas. This year, I followed my gut more and I had never felt more alive and joyful.

Also, I had read about human-centered prisons around April. And I have come to realize that the prisons we have in the Philippines barely even meet the basic human rights of prisoners. As an individual, I wonder how can I help? And this is something that I tried to answer on the article.

Just a reminder that prisons are built not to punish but to rehabilitate people deprive of liberty. How we treat an individual is how we treat all.

Life always works out.

I read a post from wholesome-suggestion on Tumblr:

“Life works out. I cannot stress this enough. It always turns out in your favor even if it doesnt go according to the original plan. You may be utterly confused and lost right now, it may feel like everything is falling apart and there is nothing you can do to salvage any of it. But believe me when I say that this is just a transition period. Things are constantly changing and evolving around you even if you can’t actively see that. Life is changing you to prepare you for what is to come. You are growing and as you grow, you are being built into the person that you are going to be. Because see, life always has this funny way of working out.”

There are a lot of moments this year wherein I felt ‘Ohmygosh. How am I gonna get through this? I can’t see the end!’

But today, here, I am like, “I made it.” Life really did work out. What I thought was impossible to do, I did and I passed by it.

And everyday, I continue to surprise myself. When I looked at the things I need to accomplish for the day, I will be like, “Omy. How am I gonna accomplish this?” But again, I reminded myself to just think about this hour or minute that I am right now and do my best to have some progress. I never know what may happen by the end of the day but what I’m gonna do right now is focus on the now. Somehow, I made it.

Today, I did something I thought was scary. Well, it is. But I’m just so glad that it was now done.

Tomorrow, I’ll be facing another one but that’s for tomorrow to worry about. Right now, I’ve got the present.

Its hard to go by everyday, hence, Neil Gaiman answered, when asked how do we get through these dark times?, “One day at a time. Sometimes a minute at a time.”

Dealing with this current minute I am in makes the whole thing bearable. The only responsibility that I have right now is the present and I’ll do my best to stay on it and live.

Casual Magic

Mary Oliver:

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Around a week ago, I moved into a new bed and that bed is positioned where you can soak in the first rays of the sun every morning.

I noticed that and since then, I get excited at seeing sunlight every morning. I tried grasping it as if it was something tangible.

Lately I have been thinking why am I taking this granted for years. But then again, I think it means that I am growing. Appreciating the environment I am in right now is a reminder that I am growing.

Even though this may seem mundane, I believe this is a casual magic of my everyday. Casual magic is a term , from the youtuber Unjaded Jade, which means finding magic in the mundane. It can be as simple as cooking meals for your family or cleaning your room after weeks of putting off your tasklist.

Everyday is not your birthday or Christmas. But you can treat it like one. There are research findings that says that when you are younger, you find ‘extraordinary’ things fun (ex. concerts, birthday parties, roadtrips) but as you get older, you started to feel joy out of the ‘ordinary’ things (ex. talking to a friend over the phone). And what bridges the gap through the ages is how you frame your life.

For instance, I may be young but I am not usually into parties or roadtrips (because of financial reasons). However, that doesn’t make me feel sad at all. I believe that they are just not something that I would like to do, hence, what I do is I continue to do things that bring me joy (ex. I read a book, spend time with my family, write a journal, etc).

And framing your life is certainly essential to how your attitude will be.

I got rejected so many times for various job applications this year and yes, I still feel joy in my life regardless and I think its because of how I framed it.

I have no job and it means I have more time to follow my curiosity, learn what I want to learn, and partake in volunteering opportunities. I would neither have learned what I learned nor read the books that I had read if I was accepted to a job during this pandemic.

The whole idea is amor fati, which means loving everything that happens (yes, even the bad ones). Though it could have been different but it’s in the past and I learned from it.

Again, today I saw the first shine of the sun. Everytime I see it, it gives me hope. Today is a new day to live, to see magic in the mundane, to forgive, to love, and to do. This is my casual magic.

What’s yours?

Do more of what brings you joy

I just finished The Lorien Legacies (7 books). For me, its one of those books that you can’t put down.

After reading the last book, I stopped and feel. I let myself feel the exhilaration knowing that a book is finished. I just finished reading their story. Now, I can put them down to rest.

You know what?

I’ve read The Lorien Legacies a few years ago but I just discontinued it because as much as I enjoy it so much, the reviews I read in Goodreads make me feel like I’m the most stupid person for reading the book. Hence, I stopped.

Fast forward to now, The Lorien Legacies crossed my mind when I’m thinking of what makes me happy.

I realized that I should not let other people’s opinions stop me from doing what I am interested in and what gives me joy. For every day in my life, I should choose to do the things that makes me happy. For then, I will truly be able to say, that I have lived well.

Doing things that give you joy makes you alive. Honestly, what the world needs right now are people who are alive.

Hence, I continued reading the books of The Lorien Legacies, starting from the beginning because I forgot all the details. And I have never been so joyful in my life. And I continue to live like this, just doing what I enjoy, letting my interests, curiousities, and desires lead the way.

And before I decided to just do it– to just do the things that I enjoy. Here is what I read, this post is from wyattwesleywriting on Tumblr:

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to read Harry Potter. Someone in my class told me I couldn’t because it wasn’t in my level and I wouldn’t understand it. I read Harry Potter just to spite him. I’ve reread it a million times, it’s one of my favourites. I realised after reread and reread that I didn’t understand it in fourth grade.

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to read the classics. I read the Bell Jar, Red Badge of Courage, Shakespeare, and as many as I could find. I couldn’t tell you what they said. But I looked like I could read at a higher level than I could. I read the same books and plays in high school. They made sense, I enjoyed them, I read them not to prove something but because I wanted to.

When I was in eighth grade, I only read murder mysteries and criminal books. That’s what more advanced readers read. I wanted to prove that I could read as well as someone twice, three times my age. I enjoyed them, but it was because I was proving something.

When I was in college I reread the series of unfortunate events. I loved every single book, every single line. I’d forgotten what it was like to read a book because I wanted to. I read young adult novels more than anything because I like them. I don’t care that they’re below my level, that they’re ‘too’ young for me. I don’t care that people see me reading them.

I realised something. I was taught to read because I needed to. Intelligent people read, that’s how people become smart. Reading isn’t a waste of time like television. I wasn’t taught to love to read. No one is. I found a love of reading by giving up the idea that people gave a shit if I read or not. I enjoy it more than I should. I realised that instead of instilling the idea of doing something because it’s expected or because someone should do something, instill the idea of doing something because you want to. Instill the idea that happiness comes from what we choose, not what others have chosen for us.

I realised that when I’m happiest, when I have the most joy, it’s when I do something for me. It’s when there are no expectations, no drive to prove someone wrong. I realised that my happiest when all inhibitions and perceptions are gone. Maybe that’s how we should enjoy our hobbies.

I can’t stress this enough: DO THINGS THAT BRINGS YOU JOY.

I read that from someone a long time ago but when I read that, it just felt weird. Like I know I’m supposed to do things that gives me joy but why am I not doing it?

I want christmas lights on my room all year long and not just during the holidays because for me, lights have something magical in them. So why am I not doing it?

I do not enjoy scrolling on socmed so much but why do I continue doing it?

When I started to become aware of these things, I started taking more proactive actions on doing more of the things I want and I enjoy doing.

For me, reading sci-fi and fantasy books are one of the things that makes me happy. Whenever I find a good read, I can stay in one place for a couple hours and just get lost in the character’s thoughts. For me, reading is similar to play.

Experts are now redesigning their office systems and spaces to make it more conducive to play. Play is any activity that gives you joy and has no result. The results are only intangible– it improves your overall well-being. Hence, since the result is not tangible, people denote it as unimportant. But play overall helps you to be present.

Most adult spend time worrying about their mistakes and responsibilities. But with play, you get to be here. In here, this moment right now. And that is exactly what reading does to me.

I know, most of us (if not all) are suffering. But may you continue to play, to do the things that you enjoy regardless of what people perceive of it. What is important is what you feel about it.

By choosing to do more play or to do more of the things you enjoy, I am not encouraging you to go on “toxic positivity” but its more of, taking a break from ruminating. And instead, be in the now. Focus on the now. Focus on this hour asking ‘What can I do for this hour that would give me joy?’ or ‘What is the most beautiful thing that I can make?’

Almost two years ago when I cried to my friend after sharing something with her, and I remember how she replied, “Ate, ang importante ginagawa mo kung ano ang nagpapasaya sa ‘yo. Siyempre hindi nila maiintindihan ‘yan kasi hindi naman sila ikaw eh. Ang importante masaya ka. (What is important is that you are doing what makes you happy. Of course, they might not understand because they are not you. At the end, what is important is that you are happy.)” Also, I do not remember why I was crying at that time but I clearly remember that I am crying because I felt like no one understands.

A few years back, my dad pushed me to Kumon. At first, I was okay with it. Believe me, I am able to understand Math pretty well because of Kumon but I just wasn’t happy doing it. My dad forced me to do complete Kumon but I just don’t want it. I do not enjoy doing it. I always go for reading.

When my dad saw it, that doing math worksheets just do not make me happy at all. And he saw how much I love reading, he just let it go. He probably saw that I am old enough to do the things that i wanted and I should learn how to follow my interests instead of forcing me to do what he wanted.

Do more of what you enjoy. I am rooting for you.

Shared: July 2020

Shared is a monthly blog post that contains books, podcasts, movies, K-dramas, articles, TED Talks, and documentaries that I recommend to everyone.

“Everyday is a new deal. Keep working and maybe something will turn up.” – Harvey Pekar


FILMS

  • Princess Mononoke

b

This movie was recommended by a fellow intern who’s main advocacy is protecting and conserving our environment. After this film, I started watching other Studio Ghibli films and became fascinated in Japanese culture.

  • Spirited Away

c

THIS FILM! The amount of details in this film in terms of the culture, tradition, and folklore of Japan, is INSANE! Miyazaki, the director of Spirited Away, used the movie as an opportunity to connect the past and current Japan. It used the show and not tell aspect of filmmaking. Hence, you would not be bombarded with information of Japanese culture, tradition and folklore while watching. So do not worry.

  • Little Women

d

This is one of the very few movies that made me cry in almost all of the scenes. The genius transition between the past and the present is perfectly made. The film has this warmth that I constantly felt while watching. Highly recommended.


K-DRAMA

  • Hospital Playlist & Prison PlaybookHospital Playlist, Ep. 1-8: A Masterclass in Friendship & Fun ...Prison Playbook Watch online streaming free tracking

Two of the best K-Dramas I highly recommend. Mind you, I do not prefer cheesy, sappy or over-comedic K-dramas so if you do too, then these dramas are perfect for you. These two dramas do have the same director and writer. These dramas are about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Dramatic plot twists and revenge scenes are non-existent in this drama. Instead, you will find “healing” (as viewers often described) when watching these two because of it’s realistic scenes.


Articles

“Bill Cunningham in Bill Cunningham New York, who gets up every day, gets on his bike, and takes pictures. Joan Rivers in Piece Of Work, who, right up until her death, was playing gig after gig. And Jiro, from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, who gets up everyday and makes the sushi.

These are the people I think we should be looking to for inspiration —
the people who every day of their lives, they get up do the work, regardless of success or failure.

Because you don’t know if or when success will come for you. The best thing you can do if you want to be an artist is to set up your life in such a way that you’re sort of insulated from success or failure.” Austin Kleon.

  • The Culture of Childhood: We’ve Almost Destroyed It

“By increasing the amount of time spent in school, expanding homework, harping constantly on the importance of scoring high on school tests, banning children from public spaces unless accompanied by an adult, and replacing free play with adult-led sports and lessons, we have created a world in which children are almost always in the presence of a supervisor, who is ready to intervene, protect, and prevent them from practicing courage, independence, and all the rest that children practice best with peers, away from adults.  I have argued elsewhere (Gray, 2011, and here) that this is why we see record levels of anxietydepressionsuicide, and feelings of powerlessness among adolescents and young adults today.” Psychology Today.

  • The Age of We Need Each Other

 “I realize that I don’t need to worry about the size of my audience or about reaching “people of influence.” My job is just to do my work with as much love and sincerity as I can. I can trust that the right people will read it. I am awed and humbled by people like Roy whom I meet in my travels and in my community. They live in service, in love, with great faith and courage, and unlike me they don’t have thousands of people telling them how important their work is.” Charles Eisenstein.

Gap Year Stories: July– Second Month

I used to describe June, the first month of my gap year as ‘the calm before the storm’. Because July is where I will officially start my internship plus, I have two blogs that I need to regularly update. However, now that July is over, I never felt like it was a storm. Sure, there were moments wherein my stomach churns because I was nervous about the article that I wrote for my internship. But after two days of it being posted publicly, I did not worry about my article anymore, I was off to write another article for my blog.

Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the battles of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, do our best to live but one day at a time. – Richmond Walker

For the month of July, I truly embodied the “living one day at a time”. Those were moments where I felt miserable but they are only moments, they do not last for the following weeks. The next day, they will be gone because it’s a whole new day, a new chance to live better.

Before July even started, I was nervous that I might not fulfill the projects that I committed myself to. Now, in retrospect, I realize that I underestimated what I can handle. I worried a lot about the hypothetical outcomes that I made up myself.

James Clear wrote,

Action forces prioritization.

If you’re stuck deciding between options, force yourself to act. You can only act on one thing at a time, which means you will have to make something the top priority.

Even if you pick wrong, you’ll learn something.

One of the things that improved this month is how I do. Usually, I spent a lot of time worrying before doing something. For example, I tend to overthink how long it will take to finish something instead of just starting. But I learned something from one of James Clear’s newsletters,

Stop worrying about how long it will take and get started. Time will pass either way.

Also, since I had more commitments last July (more than what I was used to), I relied so much on a system. I have days scheduled for writing, proofreading, and researching respectively. I finally but unconsciously established a routine that works for me this quarantine (this was a long trial-and-error process). My routine and system kept me afloat for the whole month without going crazy because of the things that I need to do,

In my Gap Year Stories: June- First Month blog post, I wrote that I’ll focus on researching design works that empathize with people (for my Empathy in Design blog and of course for educating myself as well) and I did accomplish that (my logbook says so).

The month of July has been an exploration plus a lot of time reflecting. It seems ironic that the month which was supposed to be hectic for me because of the responsibilities that I need to do turned out to be a month full of learning and self-reflection (I even posted more than 20 posts here in my website for July. A personal record!). I’ll credit my system for this feat.

Lastly, I think whatever happens self-reflection is what matters. Is what am I doing effective? If not, how could I iterate it? Why am I feeling like this? Am I doing things worth the time? Am I doing something that helps others whether in a tangible or intangible way?

This wonderful quote is from Marie Curie:

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

 

Various Social Distancing Visual Cues Around the World

Various artists are commissioned to paint social distancing markers in public places. I find it fascinating that visual cues for social distancing i various places are different– not just in colors, but in symbols as well.

b
High Line Park © Timothy Schenck

a
High Line Park © Timothy Schenck

 

The common shape for social distancing visual cues is a circle. The photo above shows how the High Line park in New York looks like with all those green circles designed by Paula Scher. I loved how the circles are colored green– perfectly blends in with the landscape.

social-distancing-Italy-COVID-19-Caret-Studio-4
Pizza Giotto © Francesco Noferini | Caret Studio

In Piazza Giotto, the shape that used was square. And it fits with the landscape as well. Piazza Giotto is located in Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance. A word to describe Renaissance architecture is symmetrical. Hence, square fits the overall historical context of Piazza Giotto.

Social Distancing Murals
© Stella Artois

Social Distancing Murals
© Stella Artois

Social distancing visuals cues can be public artworks as well. Some visual cues can be anti-social. This public artwork in London promotes a sense of community, hope, and freedom while keeping people safe. Contrasting colors and geometric shapes are indications of where people should sit or stand. This artwork is a branding campaign for Stella Artois.

Marketing Director of Stella Artois, Ali Humphrey said, “Social distancing doesn’t need to be anti-social for it to be safe. We’re using art to bring people together, safely, rather than using barriers to keep them apart. Using street art we can make sure this moment we come together again is still one we can savour,”

Moreover, museums and galleries are not yet accessible to the public due to the still eminent COVID-19, hence, co-founder and creative director of Studio Number One, Shepard Fairey explained the artwork, “With galleries and exhibitions closing their doors during lockdown, people have been unable to experience and appreciate art in the usual ways. My team collaborated with Stella Artois to create socially-distanced art to be publicly accessible, but also to facilitate safety as people reunite.”

When Social Distancing Visual Cues Are Ineffective

In the Philippines, the LRT Line 1 and 2 trains have markers on the seats. However, it was ineffective in reaching its supposed purpose.

Image
© Lucas

In 2020, Arapoc, J., and Savage, D. studied the various visual markers of the trains in the Philippines. The markers in MRT Line 3 has been proven effective based on how well the passengers follow the said markers. The opposite thing happened in LRT Line 1 and 2 trains. The markers had an X sign on them, which the authorities mean that this is where they should sit, but the majority of the public interpreted this as this is where they should NOT sit because of the X symbol.

Conclusion

When designed ineffectively, social distancing visual cues may do more harm than good. The goal of social distancing is to keep people safe from the virus and not to disconnect them from their surroundings and other people.

Visual cues can provide novelty during this quarantine wherein we can only travel to places familiar to us. It can be an opportunity to bring people together without risking their health and be a breath of fresh air to the monotonous day of a passerby this quarantine.

 

 

References:

Arapoc, Jefferson & Savage, David. (2020). When a Nudge is not a Nudge: Why GCQ Visual Cues in Metro Manila’s Main Train Systems Fail. 10.13140/RG.2.2.34201.65122.

Gibson, E. (2020, July). Paula Scher covers High Line in green dots to encourage social distancing. Retrieved from Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/07/21/paula-scher-graphics-high-line-social-distancing/

Hitti, N. (2020, May). Caret Studio installs gridded social-distancing system inside Italian piazza. Retrieved from Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/05/12/caret-studio-social-distancing-stodistante-installation-vicchio/

Lucas (2020, June 2). The “wala kayong disiplina” crowd is blaming these people for not following instructions, BUT
the real problem is bad design. Sino ba kasing nag-isip na X ang sign for “pwedeng umupo/tumayo dito”?
[Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/bashgita/status/1267750120935718914

Robin. (2020, July). Stella Artois supports pubs’ safe reopening with social distancing floor art installations. Retrieved from Net Imperative: http://www.netimperative.com/2020/07/06/stella-artois-supports-pubs-safe-reopening-with-social-distancing-floor-art-installations/

 

Reading to Improve Work

Novelist Jennifer Egan stated in an interview, “Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work.”

All of my blog posts and projects are based on everything that I read. I read the books recommended by artists that I look up to in order to understand how they come up with their works.

I’ll take this time to recommend articles that I believe are worth reading and worth the time:

  • 19 Great Truths My Grandmother Told Me on Her 90th Birthday

The willingness to do hard things opens great windows of opportunity. – One of the most important abilities you can develop in life is the willingness to accept and grow through times of difficulty and discomfort.  Because the best things are often hard to come by, at least initially.  And if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you’ll miss out on them entirely. Marc & Angel. (https://www.marcandangel.com/2018/03/25/19-great-truths-my-grandmother-told-me-on-her-90th-birthday/)

  • The 15-Minute Routine Anthony Trollope Used to Write 40+ Books

“It had at this time become my custom,—and is still my custom, though of late I have become a little lenient of myself—to write with my watch before me, and to require of myself 250 words every quarter of an hour…

This division of time allowed me to produce over ten pages of an ordinary novel volume a day, and if kept up through ten months, would have given as its results three novels of three volumes each in the year…” —Anthony Trollope. James Clear. (https://jamesclear.com/anthony-trollope)

  • Shonda Rhimes ’91 Delivers a Lesson-Packed Commencement Address

Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just … do. So you think, “I wish I could travel.” Great. Sell your crappy car, buy a ticket to Bangkok, and go. Right now. I’m serious.

You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. Darthmouth College. (https://250.dartmouth.edu/highlights/shonda-rhimes-91-delivers-lesson-packed-commencement-address)

  • The Case For Letting Kids Design Their Own Play

In the same way that some girls like to build things, climb trees, and poke dead things, some boys want to play house, wear pink, and avoid mud. Boys should be encouraged to wear pink tutus. Girls should be encouraged to use hammers. Performing gender, class, race, and careers is the beginning of learning empathy. More specifically, through open-ended play they have the agency to understand their identity as their own to invent and define.

When children have agency in their play, they learn to have agency in their lives. The instructions we should give to children? Don’t wait for someone to tell you who and what to be–jump in and figure it out. Fast Company. (https://www.fastcompany.com/3048508/the-case-for-letting-kids-design-their-own-play)

I hope by reading these articles, we can produce even better works. Let us continue learning, growing, and improving. Author James Clear wrote, “You choose the future with your actions each day.

Shared: June 2020

Shared is a monthly blog post that contains books, podcasts, movies, K-dramas, articles, TED Talks, and documentaries that I recommend to everyone.

“You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.” – Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

BOOK

  • Redirect

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by ...

This book shares why a lot of intervention programs don’t work. At the same time, it shares what does work, all backed up by scientific research. Through this book, I found the writing exercise called Best Possible Selves Exercise. College students who did the exercise for four days consistently became more optimistic and strive harder to reach their goals (they tested this after three weeks).

PODCASTS

Austin Kleon wrote in his book, Steal Like An Artist, “Everything builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.” This podcast episode talks about architectural buildings that build on what came before (well, almost everything is). As well as, how duplicate architecture developments in China are called ‘knock-offs’ while most state-building in the US is often, ‘inspired by Greek & Roman Architecture’.

What does an airport look like when it’s designed for people and not for planes?

VIDEOS

  • #BlackLivesMatter

You can donate to the #BlackLivesMatter movement without even spending a cent. Just play this video without skipping the ads. You can sign petitions here.

  • Where Joy Hides and How to Find it

In her TED Talk, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee talks about how tangible things such as flowers, fireworks, and architecture can make us feel intangible joy.

SHOWS

Ruler: Master Of The Mask' Episodes 25-26 Spoilers, Watch Online ...
© MBC

I highly recommend this KDrama as it has a great character development from the main character, the crown prince of the Joseon dynasty. The first few episodes were heartbreaking but I knew that it was necessary for the Crown Prince to grown into a wise King.

Available on Netflix. 

Frank Newbold Robbed G.oddess of Interior Design Masters
© Netflix

As an architecture student, Interior Design Masters helped me a lot on what I need to know about designing. The show explains why establishing an emotional connection to the visitor through design is significant in these times where online shopping is preferred, otherwise, why would people come?

Available on Netflix.