Category Archives: Surprises, Epiphanies & More

Creating a foundation

It’s 9am on a foggy Wed morning, and I decided to stop procrastinating and finally get my DL renewed. I got pulled over about a week ago and with my kind of luck, I’m sure I’d run into the same guy who asked me if I would take care of this expired license and insurance card immediately, he could save me $300 in citations. I promptly said, yes sir, and a week later I am fulfilling my promise.

But there are several reasons why I procrastinated doing this very normal and very typical thing that all people do.

I got married about 4 years ago. I had no intentions of changing my name. I liked my rather difficult name because it was shared with my dad. My last name is his first name and he felt that I had a “good” name in the sense that it has brought me good luck and fortune, so changing that to something else is like saying, “he dad, your lucky name is not enough for me”. It’s also a unique name because my half brother and half sisters share the same last name but spelled with only one “H” and my full brother has my dads last name. So it’s just us two in this whole world who share this name with two “H’s”. And I feel kinda lucky.

But today, I am appending that name with my husbands last name so as to not give it up for good. This will be better in the long run since we will be having a family with the same last name.

Speaking of family, we’re expecting our first child! We are so excited and our hearts of so full and filled with so much joy! This name change is one of the first of many foundational things I am doing to plan and prepare, so my last little things can be taken cared of before the arrival.

I’ll create another post about it.


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Hello 2014!

Hello 2014! My fit plan was for 2013, but for several months, I’ve been so incredibly busy that blogging has been extremely deserted.

Well, might as well look forward to what 2014 will bring. It’s already…(eek!) March! I can’t believe how with just a blink of an eye, 2 full months has passed in this new year already.

So my last few posts at the tail end of summer pretty much summed up my desire to keep searching for something more. I kept feeling like I was always looking for something. I am doing everything that I set out to do. I didn’t even want anything anymore but felt like I was aimlessly searching for something.

Several events happened in the past few months…and I feel so blessed.

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8/22 – What. A. Day. Just one of those “rumble strip” kind of days…

Ever have one of those days where somehow you hit the rumble strip and just can’t manage to get off it?

Holy Crap – that was today. I’ve been rumblin’ and bumblin’ all day and I don’t see an end in sight.

Let me just get the typical updates out of the way. I didn’t exercise, and I didn’t eat right. But at least I had my coffee at a normal hour (all I can ask for anymore). Coffee sets the tone for how I handle the day and today, I wouldn’t say is one of the best days I’ve ever had. But I “handled” today. I took care of what was necessary to move along. And get today over with. I tried to follow my advice and make the most of it.

There’s really no point in going over all of the details but a small insight is that someone close to me and my company had to abruptly leave. While they gave us all of the details that they didn’t have to share, I felt a deep sense of sadness, and my heart was open and aching. My compassion for them were beyond words.

The lesson I think I learned today is that although you never really know someone deep down, all you really need to know is if their heart is in the right place now.

Granted, we all make mistakes, and some of us make mistakes with grave consequences, but we are all human. And humans do stupid things from time to time. Sometimes we get confused with helping someone when we are actually hurting them. But is any sin truly greater than the other? What God teaches us is that there is a perfect balance of living where we can all reach a level of happiness that is enough for us. Where we won’t need the things that don’t matter. Where all we need is the simple love from one another. Where His love is enough. But what if we can’t have that basic need of having someone to love? Or someone to love us back? What if our heart tells us one thing and our mind tells us another? How do we grow out of it? How do we triumph over  the landmines set in front of us to make us fail? As humans we are going to fail. We are going to falter. We are going to do things that we “can’t believe” we are doing.

Making the “next” right decision is hard, but honest and authentic love and support is what they need in times like these. I care for this individual and the next adventure in their life. I pray for them, for God to protect them, because they meant a lot to me.

The rumble continues…

I tend to approach everything in business as either an strength, weakness, opportunity or a threat. Details are details. What is the big picture? What is the vision? I’ll do whatever I need to do to get from A to B. But sometimes if I don’t know what the big picture is, I might not find it.

Because of late, business has been a rumble strip and a half – as we have lost a few people recently, so my staffing is low. Although our production has decreased, we are still steadfast in the goals we set out to do.

A great line from Rocky 12 or whatever the last one was, went like this, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

I find this quote very inspiring because the ones who survive are the ones who can keep getting punched in the face, stand back up and be ready for the next one. All the while knowing that the worst is yet to come. A man wiser than me, one of my old bosses that I had a meaningful relationship with, who felt like a mentor in some ways, always told me that as long as we are still moving, we will be ok. It’s the ones who stand still who will fall.

I believe as a fully bootstrapped company, we’ve overcome so many things, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’ve recorded our mistakes, and we’ve seized opportunities as they came. Most importantly, we have loved and cared for everyone to some degree who has crossed our path, those whom had chosen to be a part of our team, and this is the “Giving Back” part. Treat people with respect and genuinely care for them as a fragile relationship that need a kind and honest heart, and no matter how hard it gets for you, they will pour themselves to help because you’ve already done it for them.

The world is full of sunshine and rainbows. It’s a magical land full of romance and adventures.





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Travel Adventure!

I’m a travel-aholic! Found a journal that I just had to get. It hits a nerve with every one of these quotes sporadically spread throughout the pages.

Can’t wait to share my next batch of adventures!





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7/23 – Carbs in rice & Intense game of Ultimate Frisbee

Tuesday is usually a tough day to decide what type of workout I want to do.  My favorite group fitness class is Muscle +. It’s an hour long of group “personal training”. It’s major muscle groups using heavy weights focused on intensity and not reps. I love this class because it helps always gets in all muscle groups even ones I never think about working out like inner/outer thigh, calves and butt.

However I chose Ultimate Frisbee today. An INTENSE game at that. My team won, and we were the underdog the entire game. We were always losing got up to 9/9 and just shut it down after that.

A few things I noticed about myself during this game:

  • I felt out of shape…why? I’m not sure…I think it’s mainly because of my running skills. I haven’t ran in awhile.
  • I felt like I was breathing super hard, like I couldn’t get enough air in per breath. I think this just meant I haven’t done any real cardiovascular exercise in awhile.
  • I realized that my body & mind could handle the pressure I was putting it under and that felt great. Means the workouts, the training and consistency allowed me to react at my optimal capacity.
  • I was on it. Every time the frisbee was moving, I was at the right place, at the right time, and one guy said, “You can really thread those needles!” He was talking about being ale to still pass while under pressure and finding the right teammate and putting him in the right spot to catch. In other words, throwing to a seemingly covered teammate, but getting him to move out of that state and positioning him for the catch.
  • I ran faster than any of the other girls. I think maybe a couple of other people ran faster, but I was running sprint circles and making great catches around the field.
  • I am intense. I have fun, but I take my catches and passes seriously and I am in the zone.
  • ALWAYS glad when I choose frisbee over Muscle+. I just hate that I can’t do them both.

Next time I’ll take some photos so I can post how our games look.

For lunch: I had a very simple lunch. Just rice soup and that fish from yesterday. I kept it simple because I didn’t want to put any thought into what I was eating. I didn’t want that to consume my day. I gotta tell you a little about rice and it’s nutrition content.


As you can see for 1 cup cooked, its 205 calories….ok not too bad, eat that with some veggies and meat, you can get away with a 600 cal lunch or dinner. But LOOK AT THE CARBS! Holy milkshakes! 44.5 GRAMS! The recommended carb intake before you start gaining weight is 100-150! If I accidentally eat 3 cups of rice in a day, I’m automatically on the path to gain weight!! I ate roughly 3 cups today between lunch and dinner. 😦

For dinner: Korma stir-fry. I used a bottle of simmer sauce and chopped up shitake mushrooms, green beans, red sweet peppers and sauteed it with chicken as my meat. Of course, I ate it with rice. Dang it! I will really think twice about how much rice I can put away.

Well, there’s my day. It wasn’t too glamorous today.

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7/22 – Banh Xeo, Tight Butts & Bellies, and Spot Training

Ladies & Gentlemen, this golden delicious crepe-like concoction is called Banh Xeo made by my lovely mother! Pronounced, “Bahn Chow”. It is basically a crepe-like mixture made of rice flower and I’m not sure why it’s yellow, but it always has been. I think they put something in to color it, because it’s just rice flour…it’s actually really plain flavoring. Maybe the yellow is curry powder?

The inside is ground chicken stir-fried with some garlic, fish sauce, sugar, chicken bouillon, onions, and coconut shreds, and after my mom pulls it off the heat, she puts a handful of mung bean sprouts on top, then mixes them all together. She starts the banh xeo crepe – and once its brown on the bottom she puts half a handful of the chicken mix on one side like an omelet then she moves it off the skillet and onto a plate. It’s a famous and popular lunch item among the southeast asian community.

I particularly love it because my mom makes the best – and you eat it like a salad. So putting one on your plate, then hand shredding iceberg lettuce, mint leaves, basil leaves, and cucumber slices, and lay it all on top, then you spoon or ladle over the special vinegar sauce over it, and then eat it like a salad! Sooooo healthy, light and very delicious! You will fill up fast on this thing, cause it’s light, and you feel like you can keep eating and eating, but the fibrous greens will prevent you from eating a ton.  Ahhh….that was my Sunday with my parents.




As I left my parent’s, my mom sends me off with a million things. This is a habit I tend to do also, guess who I get it from? She gave me an entire giant jar of pickled mustard greens….it’s a Khmer thing… My mom makes this stuff and she made 4 jars from her own garden. She also gave me a jar of that special vinegar sauce for the banh xeo, but I could eat it with other stuff too. And she gave me some sesame seed candy, some peanuts, some fish jerky, some summer rolls wraps, rice noodles, and 4 bottles of water in case I get thirsty on the ride home.

Pickled Mustard Greens – Jrouk Spey in Khmer

It’s pickled so it’s salty and sour, but soo yummy, and I can eat far more of this than pickled cucumbers or any other pickled items…this is also great to stirfry with chicken! Just a few plants can make A LOT!


My Tight Butts & Bellies workout: I give it an A+ for a great workout! It could have been more intense but even then, I was rolling in sweat, especially the mt climbs and crab kicks, but very proud of myself for creating a workout and then sticking to it!

I added a few extra exercises, because as I was finishing up, I realized I had enough energy to do more, so I added in 50 Tricep Dips, 10 roman chair dips, and 25 foot kicks while on my knees for extra butt work. Where I feel it the most is in my saddlebag/butt area….because those kicks are really intense if you give it your all! All of this took me about half an hour. Who says you need to be working out for an hour? That’s RIDICULOUS! I can get more done in 20 minutes than an hour in higher intensity, and I still have room for core and cardio. Ahhh….I can’t help contemplating….

It’s like this fitness roadmap is beginning to take shape, and I can see that fitness has become a lifestyle for me, and not just something that will help me lose a few pounds before bikini season. It’s really a part of my life. I don’t feel as good, as energetic, as focused without exercise being as an important part of my day. I’m a high-functioning individual who needs to be 100% all the time and ready to give 110% anytime I’m called to do so.

Spot Training: So I believe wholeheartedly in spot-training….I’m talking about areas that need work. I workout on a regular basis, so when I feel the need to work a single muscle-group more often than the other it’s because that particular muscle has a long way to go.

The areas that I’m pretty jelly in are triceps, inner outer thighs, and my gut…those areas have hung loose on me for awhile. I HATE THEM. I wish death upon them! Well, that’s a little harsh, but geez, they WON’T GO AWAY!  I am SLOWLY, but surely working off the gut, and the triceps.

What I’ve been doing is ALWAYS doing CORE. Every workout has to include a core session and always include reverse crunches or lower ab work. My obliques are surprisingly really strong and they are trimming up very nicely.  It just dawned on me recently that I’ve been doing core work every workout, well, my other problem area is the triceps – the jiggly-wave-back-at-me fat that has proven to be the hardest to control. So now, I am adding triceps work in every single workout. So I’m spot training those problem areas…I guess other people would say tone up…but tone up kinda gives me the idea of total body toning…and “Spot Training” is like “spot cleaning” the dirty part of your rug, without shampooing the whole thing. It’s more intense work on those areas which are sure to provide better results. Especially if the rest of the body is toning up nicely.

Sometimes if I feel like certain areas haven’t been worked intensely out in awhile, I’ll pick up those areas and give them a good “spot clean”.

Back to my dinner: I needed protein after that workout – so I cracked 3 eggs, 18 grams of protein, 0 carbs, 70 calories a piece. I scrambled it plain with nothing in it.


I created my dinner that consisted of rice soup – basically I took half a cup of uncooked rice, filled up the pot full of water, then stirred it the entire time it was cooking….this made it into a soup. I had a small piece of fish jerky, 3 eggs, picked mustard greens and rice soup. I’m not sure how many calories this all was, but I ate the whole thing. I wasn’t full at all but was sufficient. I’m going to try to trim up the body fat this week, so I only want to consume light and  less foods. I’ll also go on a rampage to drink about a gallon of water a day. It’ll help my skin out, and wash a lot of the toxins out.



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7/21 – Weekend of fondness, family, and my 64 yr old Dad is on Facebook?

Ahhh…what a weekend! I think everyone longs for familiarity at times, and this weekend I certainly did. I took an impromptu trip to my old familiar stomping grounds in a last ditch to see my parents this summer that I’ve only seen twice this entire year so far. I didn’t want to go too long without a visit. The quality time spent is a far more precious and valuable gift to the ones I love.

So Friday night, I had a chance to hang out with my husband and we ate dinner at Tupelo Honey. What a great southern restaurant focused on local farm fresh ingredients and GMO-free meats and veggies. I am thankful for places like these that understand quality is more important than quantity.

We decided to order a “pound” of Tupleo wings for an appetizer, then didn’t realize how beefy these wings were, so we decided to split our entree – Brian’s Shrip & Grits – Shoo Mercy style. It was sooooooooo much food. A pound of those wings were only 8 wings, but very meaty wings. So we didn’t eat all of our entree or all of our wings – BUT – I ate my weight in biscuits…..


Well, 1.89 biscuits that is. They were probably the best biscuits I’ve ever had in my entire life. They came with a blueberry preserve that was fresh with real whole blueberries…sooo delicious! The server came back and said, “Would you like to try any of our desserts?” and I replied with, “I thought I was eating one of your desserts.”


I did a short 25 minute workout at my office during lunch that we put together on the fly and it worked really well!

Chest, Triceps, Core – 25 mins

  • 25 Chest Flys
  • 25 Upright Rows
  • 25 Lat Raises
  • 25 Tricep Kicks
  • 25 Pushups
  • 25 Pullups
  • Bicycles til you feel it – 60+
  • Top hat til you feel it – 45 +
  • Side plank crunch til you feel it 30 +
  • Other side crunch plank til you feel it 30+

For Saturday, I woke up late – slept in, and really got to enjoy a slow moving Saturday morning with my husband and my dog. We didn’t get breakfast like we wanted to before I left, and he was concerned he wouldn’t have anything to do but he decided to go for a long run after I left. On my way down to Nashville, I soaked in the gorgeous day ahead of me, and listened to a book on tape called Red by Ted Dekker, part of a trilogy called the Circle Series.

It’s the 2nd book and so far, I’ve been able to follow this book better than the first one. On a 3 hour drive, it was perfect listening material to really knock out some hours in this book. My book club meets again in just 9 days.

As I roll into Nashville, I found myself feeling wistful – I really miss this place. But not as a place to come back to and live – as a place that held a lot of memories. I stroll into town as though I only remember it by habit and landmarks, and not by roads. I run all of my usual 4-way stops, wind through Shelby Park roads nearby my parents home, look at all of the usual weird looking homes in my old neighborhood and make note of any new changes I see. Then I pull up into my parents home and always tell myself I need to help my mom pull the weeds out of her garden beds…but never do. Then I park, unchain the link on my parents gate, and stroll in, and see my dad laying on the parachute hammock that makes him feel like he’s in Cambodia cradling away under the humid breeze.

As new buildings rise every year, and new greenways are built connecting neighborhood to neighborhood, not a single thing has changed when I get to my parents. It’s like 1996, the year we moved in, every time I come home. My bedroom is still in tact, with my blue ribbon borders across the top, and it’s still that faded shade of blue that I loved.

Usually the first thing I do when I visit my parents, I raid their house for food. They only eat Khmer (Cambodian) food, and as the Foodie I am, I’m always making requests when I come home, and this time my request was Banh Xeo. Except she didn’t have all of the stuff to make it, that we’re going to have it for lunch on Sunday (today) instead. But for dinner that night, she made Salah Mahchew – it’s a lemony stew medley of green veggies – potato leaves, chinese eggplant, some other green stuff, with beef, tripe, and she used lime leaves as one of the citrus agents. It was a delicious meal served over rice.


I made a visit to Walmart and I found this card that had me cracking up in the Hallmark aisle. It’s going to be my friends and I one of these days. We’re so determined to stay young and firm looking that we’re going to not realize that we’re getting old and our boobs are sagging, and after a spray tan, I’m sure we’re going to have one of these experiences.


My dad and I were never too close when I was young, but it is never too late to rekindle relationships and since I graduated from college he and I have worked on our relationship quite a bit. I never really realized back then but my dad is a good looking guy. My mom thinks so too. In fact she has a picture of my dad when he was 52 yrs old in her cell phone that she shows to other people.

This is my dad when he went to visit his family in Los Angeles, CA back in 1991-1993. I can’t remember what year. He was in his 40’s.


He was 52 years old here at my aunt’s wedding in Seattle.


This one is of us that we took off his MacBook for his Facebook profile pic. He wanted to be on Facebook so he can see his other kids and grandkids where 2 of them he didn’t know were even born. He’s such a bright person who can learn things very easily so it wasn’t hard at all to get him adjusted to Facebook. I’m glad he got a chance to see those pics of his family.

Me & Dad – July 20, 2013 – 64yrs old


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Don’t give up – surrender!

If there is any magic in this world...

water flow river
Sometimes all the love I ever felt, all the happiness I ever lived, all the wonderful things I’ve ever seen and all the amazing people I ever met, ALL come back to me unannounced, unexpected, uninvited and I feel life bursting inside me, and I know I need to STOP, I need to run and find a patch of grass and lay in it, lay there, forget the world and BREATH, and LIVE!!!! I want to melt, and let the world kiss me, and let the moment get to the most raw and tender spot in my heart until I cannot help but surrender, until I cannot help but open and love! And flow with it!

There is no desperation in my surrender, there is no giving up, there is no apathy, or laissez-faire, there is only inspiration and hope and there are only open doors, only countless possibilities instead…

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Suck it Up BUTTERCUP :)

Wow! This tank is what I feel when someone decides to whine and make excuses. I just want to tell them to shove it, and keep going. I went to a race recently and saw someone wearing this one in baby blue, and I started looking for it online. Found it at for $25!

Well, recently after watching the entire Rocky series and Million Dollar Baby, my husband asked me “If you were to become a boxer or UFC fighter, what would your “nickname” be?” Completely not listening, I didn’t realize he was trying to figure out my weight class and how to announce my name and what song I’d want to walk out to. He caught me in a busy moment, while I was listening to Carolina Beach Radio on Pandora, and probably while I was cleaning the house or something, so I just gave him a quick answer and said “I don’t know! Buttercup!”  This probably came from when Build Me Up Buttercup just ended. So then he proceeded to announce my vicious boxer name…..

“Introducing first…. from the red corner. Weighing in at 118 pounds… she hails from middle of nowhere of TN. She is, the contender for the Super Fly Weight Class Championship, Vantha “Buttercup” Emmmmmbbbbrrrryyyyyyy!”

So there, now you know the real reason why I am in love with this tank. It’s my attitude when it comes to working out, and not as obnoxious as other crossfit apparel.

You can purchase this burnout screen-printed tank for $25 at! Can’t wait til mine comes in!!!!!!
Suck it Up Buttercup!

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by | July 17, 2013 · 9:53 pm

Insight: 19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20’s

My 20’s are coming to an end this year. I came across this list of things to “Stop Doing” in my last few months. I found it enlightening, because I am guilty of many of these especially #3.

I am constantly looking for distractions. Everyday I have a new “thing” that I am working on, just to pass time, or fill some sort of a void that exists inside. I can’t stand that as much as I hate temporariness, that everything I do is just that – “fleeting moments”, where it’s all temporary desires and accomplishments.

What I’ve figured out is that, life isn’t about distractions – it’s interaction with people and the opportunity to change someones life by just being who you are with a reciprocating relationship where the only purpose is the joy of being in someone’s company.

There is no telling many people have crossed our lives that made a difference, regardless of how small…even if they made us smile a little from a nice compliment – that event was meant to happen. They were supposed to cross your path at that very moment.

I truly believe in fate, and that things happen because they are meant to be. Life is a chance to experience things that other species can not. We are human and we are meant to make mistakes, but it’s ok. Just learn from it, and make it better next time.

Anyway, below is an article I found, about things I should stop doing in my 20’s. However, I think we do all of those things while we’re young so we can become selfless when we get older.


19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20’s

OCT. 23, 2012

1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.

2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.

3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.

4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.

5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.

6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.

7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.

8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.

9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.

10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.

11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.

12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.

13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.

14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.

15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.

16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.

17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.

18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.

19. Stop being afraid.

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