A few words at the end of the holiday season

Elena Chen
3 min readJan 11, 2017

Back to Hong Kong, I would like to type down my thoughts while they are still fresh. The following lines are not simply reminders of what I have experienced in the past week but also seeds of inspiration which will continue to grow when I am back to regular life.

Always try to look at things from the positive side. It may not be intuitive under all circumstances but it is a habit that can be developed over time. Being constructive and cheerful is a precious trait for us all. It will encourage us to keep moving forward bravely and bring positive energy to people around us. For example, the end of a trip can be treated as the beginning of another life journey as you will continue your traveling with new perspectives just formed. Uncertainty can be regarded as opportunities to improve and grow as you can never reach the next level while staying in your comfort zone. Imperfection is a source of power which will bring you to the ground and remind you of making realistic plans.

Let your physical and mental selves dance as no one is watching. Don’t try all means to hide emotion, urge or intuition. The cruel fact is that there is no angel on earth but there are demons everywhere that kidnap us and stop us from finding who we actually are. The demons have many other names, such as, expectation for high achievers, moral standards, purity, virtues, etc. Social norms are useful and convenient tools but we should use them more cautiously. Usually we ask ourselves the social norm type of questions, “If I act this way, how will other people think about me?”. The right question we should ask is “Is this something important to you even if people will judge and object?”

Have empathy for others as everyone’s life is full of uncertainty. The most impossible did happen whether you like it or not. Life has its own sense of humour and we just need to laugh through it. We can arrive at the airport an hour and a half before departure but still miss the flight. We can become jobless or homeless. We can be betrayed by people we trust. We can get sick or lose our beloved ones all of a sudden. No one will be immuned from force majeure so we cannot guarantee ourselves to be the so-called superior ones forever. Be respectful to others and stay humble. Obviously it’s something very Asian and may appear weak at first sight but I am sure time will tell.

Be open-minded to other people’s choice even if we disagree. There are numerous building blocks for a single decision others make and what we know is probably only atip of an iceberg. Don’t expect to convince others and please don’t feel frustrated when we fail to do so. It’s not constructive to force others to follow our standards. We should just try our best to comprehend, express our feelings and show compassion. If other people’s choice will affect your life, try to adapt and communicate as much as possible.

Be prepared to give before take. Everyone likes arbitrage. It is human nature and also the foundation of our sophisticated financial market. However, it’s dangerous to arbitrage our lives as we will be unconsciously immersed inanxiety and injustice. Arbitrage can be treated as bonus points that are good to have but can never be counted on.

Traveling is neither just about relaxation nor checking the box. We always want to make full use of our holiday. Most of the time, we make very packed travel schedule, which usually leads to physical exhaustion at the end of the trip. What’s worse, it also comes with anxiety and depression when regular life resumes. Such kind of holiday also deprives us of the mood for deep reflection of people, events and ideas. Learn to listen to your own body and mind. When you sync with your true self, kindness and ideas will arrive.