Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Things.  §

Sometimes in life you are just plain tired. Right now I am just plain tired.

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It is difficult and painful to operate with honor, integrity, and maturity, but only fools and children believe they’ll somehow save themselves difficulty and pain in the long run by betraying these things.

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The start of fall is always a happy time. The middle of fall is always a bittersweet time. New beginnings beget awareness of ever-approaching endings.

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Less than a month of Karate as a kid and I’m able to help my own kids with their form in Taekwondo now. It’s amazing to imagine how much they’ll retain after having done this for many months, or even many years.

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The days pass quickly while you are busy wondering what you ought to be doing with them.

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The clothes I just recently put away because they were “too warm” need to come back out again. This is the grown-up version of the “making the bed” argument.

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Once you concede to blackmail, you will never, ever be free of it again. The best policy is to hold your ground to begin with, even if it seems painful.

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Tomatoes, which I hated so much as a child that I wrote a poem to that effect, are amongst life’s little joys.

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Self-marketing is the single most important key to success in life. I am terrible at it, mostly because it makes me feel dirty and as someone with a modicum of integrity, I struggle to get myself to do it. As a result, I end up teaching people everything I know, then watching them become successful with my teaching—largely because they advertise their accomplishments—even if I am generally better and more experienced at the same things. Meanwhile, I do not progress, and continue to informally teach. I wish my wiring was a little less like that of a monk, and more like that of Tim Ferriss.

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My wiring is not very much like that of Tim Ferriss and very much like that of a monk.

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When I was young, I hated repeating tasks. Drudgery, it felt like. I sought to automate them, or find ways to not have to do them at all. Now that I’m older, repeating tasks have become little rituals that make life somehow less forbidding. Once a week I add 25 lbs. of air pressure to my right rear tire, which leaks. Every day I mop the floor, starting and ending on the same sides of the room each time. Twice a week I clean the bathroom. And so on. Without these little Tasks That Must Be Done, I might stagnate completely, lose my job, and become an unfit person. But the tire must have the air. And so everything else in life gets done.

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That’s not to say that I really understand why most things in life must be done—not at an ontological level. Just at a practical one. Ontology itself seems to me to be the study of the effectively arbitrary.

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It took me weeks to fix the sprinkler system this spring, and so I didn’t run it at first. As a result, big chunks of the lawn died. Then, I got it fixed and re-seeded. The re-seeding went well, and the grass is now growing thick and requiring watering and mowing and so on (the latter at least one or two more times before the season is done). The final result is that I wish the grass would die off again.

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Basil is also one of life’s little joys. Basil and wristwatches. Not being broke though; that’s not a little joy at all.