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My semi-final is my final.

—Su Bingtian

Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but is virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain our lusts; but, on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore are we able to restrain them.

—Baruch Spinoza

. . . the tragedy of human situation . . . man always dies before he is fully born.”

—Erich Fromm

Why Don’t Things Work Out

Question on Quora:

Why is it that things don’t work out in life?

There is no such phenomenon as “things that don’t work out” because all things work according to the laws of physics in the universe where we exist. So by asking “why things don’t work out,” what you probably mean to ask is: Why don’t things just go your way?

If I have not misinterpreted the question, the answer is simple: Probability. We all have to deal with probability when our expected outcomes depend on one or more factors that are out of our reach. Read More

There are two great days in a person’s life — the day we are born and the day we discover why.

—Mark Twain

Why Is Reading Painful?

Question on Quora:

Why does reading feel so painful?

If you are suffering from reading disability, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Do not take it lightly. Assuming reading disability is not the problem, reading should be painful only when you are forced onto it. In such case, there are two remedies I think might help. Read More


Here’s a little interesting story from Taleb’s book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Read More

Success is Freedom

In the course of creating the principles for his philosophy on morality, Immanuel Kant addresses an equally important question: What is freedom? Kant refutes Utilitarianism, an idea that seeks to maximize welfare and rests moral principles on collective preferences and desires, for what he believes is the essence of our existence as human beings: the autonomous freedom that stems from our unique ability as human to reason. “To act freely,” Kant argues, “is not to choose the best means to a given end; it is to choose the end itself, for its own sake.”† It is when we act autonomously according to our reason, we human can finally realize the true freedom in life and cease to conform to what might otherwise be biologically determined or socially conditioned. Read More

Success Is Giving

Love is giving. This is the primary thesis of Erich Fromm’s theory of love in his classic work, The Art of Loving. Contrary to the widespread misunderstanding that the act of giving is synonymous to “give up” or “sacrifice,” Fromm believes that giving is an expression of potency. It is exactly at the moment of giving you experience the highest form of joy fueled by a profound sense of vitality, empowerment, and humanity, or what I truly believe is the most desirable form of success in life. It is my belief that success, hence, is when you know that you are capable of giving and do give, realizing that you are in love at the very moment you give. Read More

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