I hate it but I am grateful for it (22Feb2015)

The following is a list of 10 things I don’t like but I am grateful grateful for, this is writing in response to Claudia Azula Altucher’s book “Become an Idea Machine”. She suggested we do a little exercise everyday to train our “idea muscle”, so I did it. This is a response to her first exercise “Solve 10 Hard Gratitude Problems”.


  1. I hate the noise outside of my room but I am grateful for that because they wake me up more naturally than an alarm clock in the morning.
  2. I hate the lack of privacy of my room but I am grateful for that because the big windows also provide me with a lot of sun light during the day to motivate me.
  3. I hate the lack of transportation in where I live but I am grateful for that because it makes driving more pleasurable than a busy area.
  4. I hate the lack of transportation in where I live but I am grateful that it forces me to walk when I have no other option, great free exercise.
  5. I hate rude customers of my business but I am grateful that sometimes they are the only social interaction I have for the day outside of my family.
  6. I hate students that are lazy and unmotivated but I am grateful for that because I know how important motivation is and how hard it is to become a good teacher.
  7. I hate the low tech orientation of Hong Kong but I am grateful for that because it allows me to expand my business with not so strong competitors, so I can flex our muscle and have immediate gratifications.
  8. I hate low quality food from chained  chinese  restaurant outlets but I am grateful for that because they successfully deter me from consuming the unnecessary calories.
  9. I hate electronics with low battery capacity but I am grateful for that because I can allocate time more efficiently and lessen the strains on my eyeball.
  10. I hate managing mess because its time consuming and physically challenging, however managing it stimulates the brain and promotes “ideas sex” thus




Steal Like an Artist (12Feb2015)

Steal Like an Artist_ 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative_ Austin Kleon_ 9780761169253_ Amazon.com_ Books

I bought this book on 10Feb2015 and finish it the night I bought it.
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.

I must confess I bought the book solely because of the Title. Since I was fasinated by the idea of stealing and the status symbol of being an artist, I bought it without second thought.

Steal Like an artist is a short and easy read, I finished the whole book in less than 2 hours and did some notes in the process. Anyone with reasonable reading skills should be able to finish the book in less than an afternoon.

The primary objective of the book is to persuade you to reverse engineer the work of others and improvised it into your own model. Start a Phony and become a real artist is the premise of the whole book. Austin defines copying as the act to absorb and reverse engineer the word of others and immersing oneself into a space where one can blend multiple ideas into a complete set of idea and create something out of it, be it a piece of art, a product or a business.

Austin Kleon also suggest the readers to find out who to copy, what to copy and the reason of copying, since the world is a GIGO (Garbage In and Garbage Out).

Another interesting point he point out is that humans are more able to create content on paper or by physical actions rather than hitting the keypad. He believe that is because the muscle actions will stimulate the brain more thoroughly, thus unleashing the power of creativity. This view resonante by another book I read “The Anti Education Era” written by James Paul Gee. In this book, James Paul Gee also recommends the use of multi sensory input. The more sense involve, the better the memory will register. So I guess as a writer, I will try to include more sensory input to entice the audience to a higher level of engagement.

As of now I am pretty obscure, that could be an Advantage according to Austin Kleon. Because I am in obscurity, I can afford to experiment and be focused on doing good work instead of handling social task. And the readers can feel more engaged in my works since its imperfect. The readers can discover and find the bits and piece by themselves, by filling the gaps between it, the audience can feel more engaged. That’s why incubation and obscure artist always sells better than a fully developed piece and a highly recognized artist.

In the book Austin also stresses the ability to remain stably euphoric. He suggest any artist to keep some praises from readers and audiences and reviewing them when one is having a struggle.

Last but not least, Creativity is subtraction, and creativity is the struggle against limitation. That’s why when you are facing a writer block, entrepreneur block or artist block, try to slash some elements and create something out of a lot of restrictions.

He validated this idea by actions quite well by finishing a poem book called “Newspaper Blackout”.

Steal1 Steal2 Steal3 tumblr_ng4je2rdi01qafoq6o9_500

You can check it out on this link