“Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”
— Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
I’ve been writing about a samurai named Miyamoto Musashi a lot recently, but I can’t seem to help it. He was a remarkable man.
Musashi was a legendary 17th-century samurai who is renowned for being undefeated in 61 duels, many of them to the death. He wasn’t just a skilled swordsman, though. …
“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”
― Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
The Art of War was written 2,500 years ago by a legendary figure known as Sun Tzu.
Composed during the tumultuous Warring States period of China, it was the first book of its kind, a tome totally dedicated to the study of warfare. It found instantaneous success upon release and was even formalized during the Song Dynasty as a must-read classic.
However, what is most remarkable is that The Art of War has also become one of the…
In the West, feeling empty is viewed as a negative condition. Emptiness is often associated with dark terms like depression, apatheia, or nihilism. In Asia though, things are a little different.
The Chinese word for emptiness is kōng (空); devoid, the void, the space between breaths, between lines, between lives. In many Eastern religions, emptiness is associated with meditation instead of negativity. Śūnyatā, the teaching that all things are barren of intrinsic meaning, is a core tenet of Buddhism.
The Taoist sage Lao Tzu also waxed philosophical on the useful nature of nothing at all. He wrote,
“We join spokes…
It’s a longstanding tradition among the Chinese to have steamboat for dinner on the first day of the Lunar New Year — and an even longer-standing tradition to trade stories, gossip, and bond over the simmering communal stew.
2020 was no different — except this was the first time in 24 years I actually had reunion dinner with my Dad.
My Dad was, is, a workaholic entrepreneur. Festivals and weekends equal prime business hours, so we never got to spend time together during the holidays.
Not that he was a bad father, far from it, but it was just the…
“So, how do you actually make money off this writing thing?”
In my experience, this is the most common question an aspiring writer has. I know this because my mind was burning with the very same question when I first started my writing journey a little over a year ago.
I intend to make a good living from my craft, so over the past year, I’ve read hundreds of articles on the subject, subscribed to a paid newsletter or two — and even attended a writing retreat in Bali!
I’m not the best-looking guy in the world, nor am I the best put together.
In fact, I can be rather sloppy.
After the pandemic hit, I gave up on my looks entirely. Since I was a writer who was conveniently stuck at home with no people to see and all the time in the world to write, I thought it was okay for me to spend my days seated in front of my laptop, wearing nothing but boxers and a three-day-old T-shirt with a cup of half-drank coffee by my side.
Gross, I know.
But as gross as it…
My first top writer tag was in Sports.
When Medium awarded me that tag, I thought I made it to the big-time, so I immediately changed my bio to include the term “Top Writer.” I then sat back and waited for the views to roll in.
It was then that I learned a very important lesson: your achievements don’t make you — you make your achievements.
This is true for writing and in life.
There’s a running joke that writers have. For the lack of a better name, I’ll call it the “Stephen King’s pen joke.”
This picture was taken when I was a contestant on “The Apprentice.”
When I got accepted to the show, I thought I’d made it. For many millennials like me, fame is synonymous with success. Nowadays, it isn’t enough just to be rich; no, no, no.
In the Instagram generation, you have to be rich and famous.
It took a reality check from a reality tv show to show me that I don’t really want to be famous — I just wanted the feeling of acceptance and power I mistakenly thought fame would bring me.
Read that again.
In this article…
The photo above was taken when I got brutally knocked out in front of my friends and family.
Now, getting punched in the face hurt. Getting beat down into the bitter canvas hurt. Watching the sad, shocked faces of my supporters, most of whom paid good money to watch me lose, hurt.
But you know what?
The mistakes I made while writing my first novel hurt even more.
I’m not exaggerating.
There’s a saying that goes, “A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from other people’s mistakes.” Well in this article, we’re going to try…
The year is 2060, and I am on the moon.
This is not a figure of speech. I am literally on the moon, and beside me is Queen Padmé Amidala.
She looks exactly like how Portman depicted her in the prequels. Strong, independent, and ferociously beautiful, the Queen is dressed not in the red-gold of her regalia but in the drab green of her traveling clothes. Her auburn hair is coiffed, and above it was a hood, partially hiding her stern and pretty face.
There was a smile playing on the edge of her lips, and we walked, she and…