You cannot predict how smart or skilled a person can be.

In the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck wrote,

“Benjamin Bloom, an eminent educational researcher studied 120 outstanding achievers. They were conert pianists, sculptors, Olympic swimmers, world-class tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists.

Most were not that remarkable as children and didn’t show clear talent before their training begain in earnest. Even by early adolescence, you usually couldn’t predict their future accomplishment from their current ability. Only their continued motivation and commitment, along with their network of support, took them to the top.

Bloom concludes, “After forty years of intensive research on school learning in the US as well as a broad, my major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all person can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.“”

And in connection with this, do you know that Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss (author of many children’s books like The Lorax) was voted by his classmates as the “person least likely to succeed” among their class? Because he was never the studious type. He would rather watch a movie, go to the zoo, or just draw. (Basically, he followed his interests and hobbies.) And this is why using a compass (with your interests and hobbies leading the way) is important instead of a map.

Also, this proves that you can’t predict what a person may become in the future. Aside from “not to be judgemental to anyone” message of this post, having the knowledge that you cannot predict anyone’s future, is good for ourselves.

We do not know what will happen and that thought alone is exciting! We may have mediocre work right now but given enough time, we may produce something great occasionally. But ultimately, its all about just loving what you do and being excited to where it just takes you. So just start. It doesn’t matter if you failed, what is important is you had fun doing it. As author Srivinas Rao wrote in The Art of Being Unmistakable, “We often do not know where stories end, where unpaved roads lead, and who we’ll become along the way. Therefore, you just have to start.”

How I Was Raised

A twitter thread made me look back on my childhood as well as about how my parents raised me.

Here is the entire thread:

Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego
Screenshot from Junize San Diego

Before anything else, I would like to share mine as well. No, I don’t have a kid. I’m barely an adult. Growing up, I had poor mental health that I tried to mask in public through reading. Whenever my classmates see me, I am either reading or answering an assignment. Also, I did not grow up with the capacity to explain what I am feeling, hence, whenever I am sharing my problems with my friends, I never felt ‘good’. After all, I had yet to learn how to verbally express what I am feeling: It isn’t until 12th grade that my current social circle called me out because I never say anything to them. I never share anything personal. I had been with people who cannot understand me. My mom even frequently says to me that she does not understand me. So, I had this belief that no one will even understand anyway.

Going further back into my life, I cry a lot. My parents raised me to not talk back to them even if I’m just merely explaining my side. I learned to keep everything inside and every night, I let it out. In retrospect, I realized how far I’ve come in terms of my mental health.

Disclaimer: This post isn’t to spread hate on my parents or even hate on your parents (if you had the same experience) But my goal is to share how my parents raised me and how it influenced me.

I had seen, heard, and read similar situations from my peers and people in social media; how their parents treat them negatively affected their mental health as they grew as an adult. My generation is almost entering the ‘marrying age’ and I had read dozens of essays from my generation that they refuse to marry during their mid-20s because they want to focus on being ready physically, financially, and, especially, mentally. They had suffered verbal abuses (i.e gaslighting) from their parents and relatives and most had experienced how painful broken families are. Thus, they vowed to improve their mental health first, so that their future kids will not suffer the way they had been.

Growth

I wrote a few paragraphs back that ‘In retrospect, I realized how far I’ve come in terms of my mental health.’ and this is mostly because of a community group that I am part of. We would meet one every week and we will play board games, share stories as well as listening to others’ stories, watch movies together, and even explore places.

I became more empathetic through the listening part and my mental health became better because of the feeling that ‘I had found my tribe’ — meaning people who understand and accept you.

In Japan, research has shown that the reason Okinawans live longer than the rest of the world is because of Moai. Moai is a social support group or what you can call community in English but deeper in Japanese.

The feeling of having people who will support you whether you win or lose in life is one of the reasons why Okinawans live longer.

To you

If you are currently or had suffered verbal or even physical abuse from family members or friends know that it is not your fault that you have poor mental health now. You cannot control how other people will treat you, you can only control yours. I understand that you may feel overwhelmed at times or may think that will this cycle of crying every day ever end? It will. No one deserves to be treated that way. Keep fighting. Keep going.

What we learn from our experiences today ensures that there will be a better future for us and future generations.