Note lại bài này cho 1 ngày chán nản. Cố lên nào.
Random thoughts: You are what you think.
You probably have heard before that “if you change the way you look at things, the things that you look at will change.” When I first heard that, it was so profound to me and it led to my believe that “if you think, then you are.”
A few years ago I took a road trip with one of my former mentors. We talked about various things and about a person that we both knew, lets call him Dr. X. I updated the mentor that Dr. X was doing okay, except that he sees himself a victim. The mentor said, “if he keeps thinking that way then he will turn himself into one”. Dr. X was originally from the middle east, with a very middle eastern name. He changed it to an English name. He drank wine (or tried to) when we went out even thought his religion strictly prohibits it (and I could tell that he was not enjoying the wine, he always left the glass more than half full even for a $100 dollar wine). He truly felt that everyone was against him and thus he needed to protect himself. As a result, he isolated himself, other people distanced themselves from him due to his behavior, and eventually everyone I knew had a negative sentiment towards him. I knew for a fact that his original view of the situation was not true. No one was against him. But after about 5 years, he made himself a victim in isolation. I have seen more than one such example, which reinforces my thought that “if you think, then you are”.
Anh Truong mentioned our “constant quest for identity”; I believe that no one here on this forum experienced that as deeply as I did. I was born in Vietnam but in that country I was discriminated as a “thang tau”, in China where I lived for 2 years, I was discriminated as “Vietnamese boy” (sounded more demeaning in Chinese), and in Hong Kong being either Vietnamese or Chinese was a bad thing. So, I have experienced a lot of discrimination and have put some thoughts into my identity. I have never tried to disguise myself (some of my Vietnamese friends dyed their hair blond and changed their names, nothing wrong with it), and have I ever felt embarrassed about being who I am. But I had stopped searching for my identity since elementary school. Shortly after arriving in Canada, I decided that my identity was that I was born in Vietnam, from Vietnamese and Chinese ancestry, and a Canadian citizen. That was and is who I am (I will soon be US citizen as well), but that wasn’t important to me. What’s more important at the time was what I wanted to be. How do I define myself as a person, a citizen of humanity. I imagined myself doing well at school, and I did. I imagined myself wining competitions, and I did. I imagined myself being an artist, and I did (wining first place at the local art gallery competition). I imagined myself as a carpenter, and I did (wining local and than provincial cabinet making competition). I imagined myself as a computer geek, and I did (built my own computer and wrote my own programs to run my business). I imagined myself as a house builder, and I did (helped friends build a couple new houses, and repaired everything in a house including electrical, plumbing, etc). I imagined myself as a car guy, and I did (I have restored and built a handful of cars, classics, high performance, including drivetrain, computer controls, body welding, and painting). I imagined myself a scientist, and I did. Whatever I thought, I did. I was never the biggest and strongest guy amongst my friends. I was never the fastest either. But I truly believe in the power of the mind. It is the most wonderful thing in the world. And it is the most powerful thing on the planet, certainly the most powerful thing that anyone possesses.
So, you can think of yourself as a Vietnamese living in Canada, or you can think of yourself as a Canadian. Either way you think, you will become.
You can think of yourself as Vietnamese living in Vietnam, or you can think of yourself as a citizen of the world. Either way you think, you will become.
You can think of yourself as being a poor person, or you can think of yourself as a rich person in the making. Either way you think, you will become.
You can think that the world is against you, or you can think that the world is full of wonder and filled with people willing to help you. Either way you think, your world will be.
You can think of yourself as a struggling student, or you can think of yourself as a world-renowned scientist in the making. Either way you think, you will become.
Imagine what you want to be, then behave and conduct yourself precisely what you expect of that person.
Imagine how you would like to be treated by other people, then treat everyone precisely the way others would treat you.
Imagine your identity, and then fulfill the duties associated with that identity.
If you believe in yourself, others will follow. And if you think, you will be.