Love and Hate

There will always be love and hate with any relationships: things, places, people and yourself. You love and you hate short hair. You love and hate Chinese food. You love and hate photography. You love and hate this person.

If you don’t have that, then you are numbed. Either because you just became indifferent or there are no other choices. When there are other options out there, during the hate time, you’ll always see better things in the alternatives. And if there are no alternatives, you can’t love or hate it because that’s the only thing you get. But this rarely happens.

So it’s undeniable, the love-hate tug of war.

But the thing is, you must love it/him/her more than you hate it. Because that is the only thing that can keep you going through the hate times. That the love is much bigger and enough to make you tolerate the hate times. So now, here’s the question,

What is it that you love the most? That no matter how bad it can be, you will still love it? 

What are the fundamental qualities / reasons / values / beliefs that are core to you, that no matter what else has changed, these will still be the very things that you stand by and you love?



What excites you to get up in the morning to start the day?

What is the very thing(s) that you love so much that you cannot live without, and that’s what keeps you going in life?

Your passion? What is it?

Passion (noun)

  1. strong and barely controllable emotions
    • a state or outburst of strong emotions.
    • an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
    • a thing arousing great enthusiasm.

Have you ever felt something or someone so intensely that you cannot even control your feelings? It’s like this burning fire inside you, or a roaring lion that lives inside you that’s trying to escape. It is something, or someone, that makes you feel so strongly that nothing can compromise. And that it’s meant to be. Your mission here on Earth. Your the one. In this logical world, the majority of the people see passion as something that you need to control. You have to… tame your emotions. Dial it down. Balance.

Somewhere I read and it says “Some people are not meant to be tamed. They are meant to run wild until they find someone just as wild to run with.”

If you are passionate about something, or someone, go for it. Don’t let the majority stops you because being crazy and loosing your sanity is okay. Every emotion is beautiful. Love it. Own it. Enjoy it.

Remember this: You can loose anything – people, money, courage, confidence… but you cannot loose passion. When you loose or give up your passion, you give up hope of living.

The talk. 

Just because you can’t say something doesn’t mean you don’t want to. 

You may very much want to. 

The thing is, what you want may not be what the other person want. The same thing goes the other way round. And that’s why we need communications. You can say that’s the beauty with human beings. Or you can say that’s the frustration with people. 

Some people give up and turn to art e.g. music, dance, photography, poetry etc. Because all of this is too much to take, and get good at, and strike the correct balance. Communication itself is an art. 

How do you get it right? Be good at it? You practice. You make mistakes and learn from it. You try and try and try again. It’s the same with getting good at doing different things. Getting good at photography, or being excellent in woodwork crafting, or excel in doing business and stock markets. You do the deed. 

But exactly how much time do you have to spend on them? 

If you are lucky, or more so, stubborn, you focus on just being good at one thing. And spend almost your entire time in it. Even if you are not a master of it, you’d be good at it. No matter what it is. 

When you start to have more things you want to be good at, you spread your time between them. And if you are lucky and smart, you’ll still be good at them but just takes longer, or most likely the case is you’ll just be mediocre at these things. 

So, do you want to be good at something? Or be mediocre in a few things? 

I, I just want to be good at connecting with my heart, whether that’s through making soulful photographs, writing my thoughts or creating melodies.  

The impulse of conformity.

“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything that has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us! We are what other people say we are.” –Bruce Lee.

Nobody likes to feel lonely. And often people put being alone equals feeling lonely. So we fear being alone. We want to escape the feeling of loneliness. So we conform, and imitate, so to feel belong.

The thing is they are two totally different thing. Loneliness is an emotion. It means being sad because there’s no one else around. You feel isolated or even abandoned. It correlates with insecurity, fear and depression.

Being alone is being on your own, in the absence of others. And that, is when we originate. When we are still with being ourselves. It can be fearful too because no one is around, but that’s exactly it, everyone of us is different, and unique, there can never be a copy of you. So being alone can give a sense of joy and peace, when you are aware of it, and embrace it, because you are at present of who you really are.


Do not let other people tell you who you are. You are the only custodian of your own integrity.

Be you.



“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.” -Mortimer Adler.

There are 2 types of knowledge – knowing the name of something and knowing something. The former is called chauffeur knowledge, you know a bit of it, and you can bluff it so to make an impression. The latter is called Plank knowledge, that is, the stuff that you really know, you have paid your dues, and you have the aptitudes.

Real knowledge comes from the people who do their work, chauffeurs are the ones that don’t, but they pretend. They learned to put on a good show, but they lack understanding. They can’t answer questions that don’t rely on memorisation or explain things without using jargon or vague terms. They have no idea how things interact. They can’t predict consequences. In Chinese it’s called “throw schoolbags”.

So how do you know whether someone really know what they are talking about. Ask them “why”. Make them describe what the concept they said they know without using that very word.

Trust me. Many will just have their mouth opened wide.

Unable to discern between what we know and what we pretend to know, we ultimately become victims of our own laziness and intellectual dishonesty.

Where do feelings come from?

Often we say, our feelings come from the heart. E.g. when you are feeling joy, you feel the whole body electrifying and a lightness in the heart. And when you are down, you feel a heaviness in the heart, and also a crunch that seems to burn.

And then there’s the feeling of right – which often describes as the “gut feeling”. Something that people often say “follow the heart” or “follow your gut feeling”.

What does that really mean? How do you know what you are feeling is coming from the heart? or it’s a thinking that comes from the brain? Sometimes following the heart may means feeling right, and at the same time feeling scared not sure whether it’s right. Who is talking here, the brain or the heart?

And so which one do you follow? The feeling of right or the feeling of scared?

How do you know what means following the heart?


How do you know that you are talented at something?

Because people tell you that you are?

Because you find it easy?

Because you can do it better than most people?

But with reference to what?

If it’s a group of friends that tell you that you are talented, then are you talented? Or a well known photographer tells you that you are talented, then you are talented? Now. How do you define well-known? And are all well-known talented?

So you find it easy. In relation to what? E.g. I find it easy to take photographs than to read maps. But that just tells you that you need less effort to do one than the other. Now you compare yourself with others. Say I can take great pictures 5/10 frames, while others 1/10 frames. Now, how do you define great? Does easily taking great images means talented?

You do it better than most people. Who are the “most people”? In the same example, are “most people” friends? Or other photographers? And what is “better”? More recognised? More sales of prints? Winning competitions? Do all these means you are better?

So, how do you know whether you are good at something?

The spaces between flowers (2)

It is the spaces between flowers that make it a flower. If there weren’t any spaces, it won’t be a flower.

Following with the concept of “have” and “don’t have” in Taoism, “don’t have” yes it makes you realise the importance of “have”, but at the same time there needs an equilibrium between “have” and “don’t have”, the importance of “have” also makes “don’t have” important.

For example, with photography, yes it is the passion, yes it is something you want, but making your life 100% fully indulge into photography you will forget what passion means. Because there was no space for passionless. Or with a different perspective, you love photography because it makes you happy, but there must be bad times to make you feel the joy of photography. If everything is the same, then there’s no happiness in photography.

The point is,

you can’t have it all. Because when you have it all, you forget you have it all.

How often do you remember and be blessed that you are healthy? And have four limbs, and a working body?

You remember when you have an accident, or you are sick, or that your body is sore and have pain in parts of your body.

So when you feel sad, it’s okay. Because sadness makes you understand joy.

When you feel bored, it’s okay, Because boredom makes you understand excitement.

When you feel hopeless, it’s okay. Because hopeless makes you understand hopeful.

So embrace what you have, and what you don’t have, because they make each other important. It’s all relative.

You can’t have it all, but you can choose which one you want more. How you play with the equilibrium, that’s your choice.