An ad for Skateistan, an Afghan organization founded in 2007 to help empower youths through skateboarding and other educational and sports-based activities.
If you look closely at this profound photo, you’ll see that they’re jumping off what looks like remnants of a tank with their skateboards, showing that although the country has been ravaged by war for so many years, there’s still hope for the nation’s youth… and that kids are awesome everywhere!
"Think this sport is just for teenage American boys? Think again."
Being that one of my favorite hobbies is skateboarding, it was amazing to watch these little ladies from Afghanistan go at it, and have the opportunity to enjoy skating as much as I did when I was a little kid growing up. They’re adorable, and better at it than I am!
Manifesto of a Brilliant Introvert
Recently, I started reading a book by author Susan Cain entitled, "Quiet" The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking," and almost immediately from the introduction to the first chapter, it has changed my life.
Ever since the moment I was conscious of society almost 40 years ago, I’ve often struggled with, and was criticized (and even picked on) for being quiet and introverted, even till this very day. I was always mistaken for being a snob or for disliking people, and I was even labeled as “anti-social.” This is still happening.
It was never fair to treat me that way with such over-simplistic judgements about who I was as a person, but it was a testament to how we as a society tend to over-value the “extrovert” and tend to under-value the “introvert.” And it… sucks. It sucked so badly that I found myself for a number of years “pretending” to be who I wasn’t, and becoming what Susan Cain calls a “pseudo-extrovert.” Eventually, I found that my social interactions, despite being looked at in higher regard (being the “cool” guy), were contrived and I started hating myself for it.
Susan Cain’s brilliant book is teaching me that it’s actually okay to be introverted, and to not succumb to the guilt that society (or even our loved ones) lays upon you for being yourself. As a matter of fact, she explores the virtues of being an introvert, and inspires you to be okay with who you truly are if you are one.
If you haven’t seen it yet, this video of the poem “To This Day” by Shane Koyczan speaks volumes for those of us who still carry the scars of a childhood full of bullying, violence, and ridicule.
If you’re still going through this, just know that you’re not alone, and we can all get through it together.
Although this video can get a bit too dramatic for my taste, it’s still one of my favorites next to Henry Rollins’ “I Know You.”
Bamboo Forest, Japan.
Sometimes you just want to hide in your shell. And that’s okay.
“Shaolin Forms teach the many muscle groups in our body to work together. They are the only exercise I’ve come across where every muscle is engaged and we simultaneously build flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, and power. They then teach us how to move in our modern life, whether that’s carrying our groceries home or climbing the stairs to the subway. Everything becomes part of our training: total mind-body wellness.”
~ Shifu Yan Lei
Guys, this is a secret message from the President!
What he’s really saying here is “All things considered about my healthcare plan, the best form of healthcare is to eat natural foods. If you spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store, and less time at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, you will spend less time at the doctor’s office, driving down demand, and thus driving down the expensive cost of healthcare.”
Well, I may just be kidding… but I’m onto something here, yeah?
We’ve all been around them… Facebook, Tumblr, IRL friends and family… and perhaps we ourselves have indulged in projecting our negativity to the rest of the world. But to keep us mindful (even myself), here’s a most brilliant article on “how to succeed at self-sabotage.”
Here’s the list:
If you want to get into detail about how to become much more miserable than you already are, read the rest of this article!
And mind you, “venting” on social media doesn’t really count as being miserable to me… it’s gotta be a habit, you’ve gotta do these things (or many of these things) all the time to be effectively miserable.