Craft vs Manufacturing

“I keep learning
the same lesson
and over
and over again.”
said the founder.

“I don’t know what
is wrong with me.”
she lamented.

“May I share a story?”
I asked.

“Yes, of course.”
said the founder.

“Before I went to art school,”
I began.

“I thought craft
was outdated.
After all,
makes you repeat yourself
and over
and over again.

Why do craft,
when we have machines?’”
I explained.

“That makes sense.”
said the founder.

“Then I learned
that life
is a craft.

There is no machine
that can live
for us.

If it did,
it would no longer be
our lives.

craft makes us
repeat ourselves
and over
and over again.

But that
is life.

What craft does
is it trains us
to learn
from the repetition.


“What is the point
of life?”
we sometimes

May we not forget
that we can also ask
“What is the circle
of life?”


“What is the sphere
of life?”

We need not choose
to limit our lives
to a point.

Hamster Wheel

It’s easy to think
that the things
other people want us to do
are more important
than what we want to do.

It can seem
that doing what we want to do
is selfish and bad
while doing what others want us to do
is altruistic and good.

And yet,
we are the proverbial “other people”
to somebody else.

May we pause
to deeply wonder
what it is we’re doing
and ask ourselves
the wonderous question
of “why?”

Why have we prioritized
certain tasks
over others?

May we live life
as the wonderous
and paradoxical
that it is
of merely a series of problems
to be solved
our lives
can easily turn into something
to a hamster wheel.


When we realize empathy,
we come to see
what we previously
did not.

When we see
the unseen,
we come to know
what we previously
did not.

When we know
the unknown,
we come to comprehend
what we previously
did not.

When we comprehend
the incomprehensible,
we come to appreciate
what we previously
did not.

When we appreciate
the unappreciated,
we come to experience
in ways we previously
did not.


will be
your second exit.”
I remarked.

“What will you do
next?” I asked.

I want to live
my own life.” answered
the founder.

“Whose life
have you been living?”
I asked.

“The investors’.”
he answered
without hesitation.

To be a Person

The Chinese character
for person (人)
are two strokes
leaning against one another.

As if to signify
that to be a person
is to be there for each other
as each other’s support
at. all. times.

At first,
this seemed

After all,
we cannot
actually be there for others
at all times.

That is,
until I realized
that others can sense our support
in our absence.

being there for them
at all times.

But then it seemed

We don’t
actually need
others to be there for us
at all times.

That is,
until I realized
that the moment we sense
we have no support whatsoever
is often
when we take
our own lives.

needing someone
to be there
at all times.

Trade vs Business

One dictionary says,
is “the practice
of making one’s living
by engaging in commerce.”

The same dictionary says
is “the action
of buying and selling
goods and services.”

When we first found our companies,
we tend to do business,
because we want
to make our living.

But after a while,
there often comes a point
where we forget to inquire
into the meaning and value
of living,
as we stop doing business
and start trading,
in pursuit of an image
of life.


signals feeling stuck
without a choice.

To be relieved of suffering,
we need to learn
a new choice.

Often times,
this requires the support
of others.

As new choices often arise
out of a surprising shift
in perspective,
it’s easier
to let others surprise us,
than to surprise us

May we
be such a support.

May we
reach out
for such a support.

As We Mature

We tend to think that people our parents’ age are already mature.

I once coached a CEO in her late 60s.
She’d bring up what her deceased mother did to her decades ago.
She so wanted, but struggled, to empathize with her.

During our sessions, what helped her empathize was to surface new subtleties and nuances in her mother’s situation.
Things that gave her mother’s behaviors new meaning.

As psychologist Lewis Lipsitt says “we mature when what we once assumed to know takes on more subtlety and nuance, thus changing in meaning.

She was maturing.

Maturation is not about aging.
It’s about making new meaning from our past so as to move forward with fresh eyes.
Sometimes this softens our pain.
Sometimes it lets us weep.

As we mature.

Losing Touch is Natural

A colleague I had lost touch for nearly a decade reached out to me few weeks ago.

We had a wonderful chat.

What struck me was that he felt hesitant to reach out because he hadn’t kept in touch for a long time.

Let me be clear.

If you’ve entered my life at one point in time, no matter how long we’ve lost touch, you’re still in my life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Losing touch is one of the most natural things that can happen in life. There’s nothing wrong with it.

This is even more so if you wish to ask me for a favor. Please ask me for favors. I’d love to help if I can. I feel alive when I’m contributing to other people’s lives. If I can help, you’re doing me a favor.