I turned 22 today (November 29).
Every year I try to do something meaningful and different on my birthday. Last year I gave up my birthday for a charity campaign. It ended up raising over $600 and inspired a couple of my friends doing the same thing.
This year, after reading this, I decide to improve myself by asking people I hang around writing something for me. I believe I had been helpful to a great deal of people. If you are one of them, I’d love a ‘thank you’ note from you. On the other hands I think I do have some small bad habits lying around, and sometimes it bothered you without me noticing. It may even disappointed you. Let me know.
Click here to write me something
David Ogilvy worked as a chef apprentice before moving into Advertising and became a legend, Dao Hong Tuyen was a homeless shoeshine boy then later became one of the richest Vietnamese businessmen.
Often times we read story about successful figure working as a restaurant waiter in his early life, with the implication of someone who’s less fortunate yet still overcoming hardship to success. While this is true, we failed to realize it’s through those jobs he learnt to overcome his self-esteem, to appreciate the value of hard-earned money and to realize the toughness of life that no formal education would ever come close.
This thought is inspired by my observation of a young Asian waitress around my age working in a nearby Vietnamese restaurant downtown I often frequent.
I just shaved my head. It looks something like this.
After I shaved, I felt uncomfortable. Why? Cos it looks ugly. I can sense that people think it’s ugly, too.
This wasn’t the first time I shave. I remember the first time I did (2 months ago), I walked around feeling very uncomfortable. Like there’s this feeling of insecurity that keeps haunting you, thinking about how people will look at you and think ‘urhh that doesnt look good on him’. It was uncomfortable. It was hard to get rid of. Then the hair grew, the feeling faded, and I forgot about it. Happy again.
Then I needed another haircut recently. I recalled to that feeling and thought to myself: Hey you haven’t actually defeated that fear yet.
So I shaved my head again. I wanted the feeling back, then I could face it and fight it. I want the internal confidence of the ugly guy, not the external confidence of the good-looking ones.
And you know what, I conquered it. After some struggling, I controlled the feeling! It feels great to gather the courage to face the uncomfortable feelings in your daily life and defeat it. Whether it’s asking someone out, dancing like a kid in public, spakling a random conversation with strangers, or whatever thing that you want to do but get resisted by an unknown force, it feels great to finally do it.
If my hair (or lack thereof) doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, it probably isn’t. I’m probably the only one who makes a big deal out of it. Like what Ted Gonder, one of the guys I humbly admire, wrote in his recently blog post:
“The very actions we think make us look cool or superior or funny or attractive or important usually don’t. Most people are too worried about their own scabs to care about yours.” – Ted Gonder