Archives for posts with tag: mental-health

Many know him as Dwight Schrute from The Office, but Rainn Wilson is much more. In 2008, along with Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry​, he founded SoulPancake – a media company that “seeks to provide platforms to explore “big think” topics such as spirituality, creativity, religion, arts, and philosophy”. From Metaphysical Milkshake​ to Kid President​ videos, this rapidly growing company is all about getting you to think. In this video, A Wall of Words! SoulPancake asked people on the street to share their favorite quotes on a wall of post-it notes. Contrary to the notion that quotes are inferior to original ideas, I believe that they can be just as powerful. Sometimes someone has simply put into words what you’ve always felt, but had the inability to articulate it with words. Quotes help us process experiences (good and bad), reflect upon ourselves and the world around us, and guide us towards our dreams.

“​We’ll collect the moments one by one, I guess that’s how the future is done”

Look to this day,

Find out more at www.danielhkwan.com! What’s your favorite quote?

Daniel

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Aside from this blog (and it’s previous incarnationhere on wordpress), my Look to this dayforearm tattoo is the most permanent manifestation of my pursuit for greater happiness, self-knowledge, and success. Having Lissa Vino at the Pearl Harbor GIft Shop emblazon my body with a tattoo was a rite of passage. It represents my permanent commitment to bettering myself, not a defiant act against some form of social repression. Nicola Barker aptly noted that tattoos represent ones willingness to accept, endure, and embrace pain – because that’s what life is. Painful and filled with beauty…

Read the rest at danielhkwan.com!

– Daniel


​But there will be a time in your life when something special is going right. When everything is falling into place, and depending on your mindset and how this was achieved, this may last forever. However, it has become apparent to be that this may bring about a certain degree of guilt from some of us. I’m certainly no stranger to this.

We never forget the times when we’ve lost control, shouted at those we love, or neglected a hug we wish we hadn’t. They haunt us like shadows and sometimes this makes us feel strange, guilty, and undeserving of the praise we receive. But never forget that we are not perfect and these moments of guilt are good reminders of what we should try to avoid in the future. Everybody is worthy of achievement if they were gained through morally right and fair means. So don’t let them sully hard-fought moments of greatness. Instead, use them to make these moments all the more special. We may have been mistaken in the past, but never doubt what you’ve achieved in the present.  To simply put it, the weight of mistakes shouldn’t hold you down. Learning from them provides us with the potential for personal growth. Mistakes are the stepping stones to learning!

Find out more at http://www.danielhkwan.com 

– Daniel


I began studying Krav Maga 8 months ago while trying to cross #21 (learn Krav Maga) off of my bucket list. However, what began as simple curiosity was instantly transformed into a burning passion and one of the most significant life-changing experiences of my life. For those unfamiliar with Krav Maga, it is a practical system of unarmed combat and self-defence created by Imi Lichtenfield that encompasses effectiveness, efficiency and ease. Taken from the KMT website, “the systems methodology is explosive and very aggressive, reflecting everything from the very basic, intuitive defences to worst-case scenarios, under both physically and mentally strenuous situations”. The official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defence Forces, Krav Maga is utilized by law enforcement, military and civilian personnel around the world. This being said, it certainly isn’t for everybody. While the art itself is intuitive and easy to learn, the training is quite demanding, rigorous, and exhausting. One need not be in peak physical form to succeed. What’s required is the perseverance, dedication, respect, and willingness to sacrifice that distinguishes those possessing that special spark, from the weak. 

Saying that I’m obsessed with Krav Maga doesn’t quite reflect how much this art has changed me. That would be an understatement. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world – one of new opportunities, friendships, learning experiences, and wisdom. It’s started a fire in my heart. An energy and power brought forth by excitement and passion. My anxiety, insecurities, and self-doubt now feel like artifacts of the past. They’ve been replaced by self-confidence and self-respect. I’m certainly not the best. But I’m certainly better than I was when I first walked into the Krav Maga Toronto gym on that late mid-October night… 

For the rest of this post, check it out HERE on my new website!

– Daniel


After much deliberation and a little bit of hard work, I’ve very excited to announce that I’ve moved this blog to http://danielhkwan.com/! Although WordPress has been nothing but fantastic, I love the template and stylistic flexibility (for someone who has very little training or knowledge of CSS or HTML) of Squarespace. It’s allowed me to create the personal website I’ve always wanted. As an added bonus, I was able to import all of my WordPress content! This way, I’m now able to actively share my photography, blog, social networking, and bucket list with you…all on one platform. I hope you’ll continue to read my blog during the new stage of this incredible web-journey!

You can check out my NEW personal website HERE

– Daniel


Several years ago, Buddhism helped me redefine myself. The teachings of H. H. The Dalai Lama have been foundational to my pursuit for happiness. However, I don’t feel like I’ve ever strongly identified with a religion. I may have in the past, but in the present I’d consider myself largely spiritual. Why compartmentalize myself? I’m not a religious man, but I certainly identify with what many have to offer. Since the beginning, I have been a fan of the NBC TV series The Office. I’ve always connected with the characters. Without spoilers, this weeks episode ended with a statement about love quoted from Corinthians. To be honest, I know very little about the Bible. But what I do know is that this passage resonated within me.  Love and happiness are undeniably connected. Romantic love is not necessarily a prerequisite of happiness, but patience, kindness, and truth surely are.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” – Corinthians 13:4–8a)

– Daniel


Indeed, to paraphrase John Burroughs, I’m getting to the point where I desperately need to escape to nature. Perhaps it’s the fact that I will not be returning to Jordan, but I feel the need to get away from life in Toronto. Being away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life seems to mentally and physically heal me. Returning to nature is a humbling lesson in patience and persistence. The smell of a forest, the taste of dew in the air, and the refreshing breezes of a fine day…they aren’t luxuries. They’re necessities.

Nature is calling me…

– Daniel

There is pleasure in the pathless woods; There is rapture on the lonely shore; There is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.”  – Lord Byron


I know for some people this is easier said than done, but I hope these quotes provide just a measure of help!

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Miln

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale 

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

 


Allen Saunders noted that life is actually what happens while we all find ourselves busy making other plans. Out of fear of the unknown, confusion, or just plain dislike, we tend to resist what falls into our laps. But why not embrace it? Is what we want the same as what we’re supposed to have? The red thread of fate is an ancient Chinese myth which states that the gods have tied a red string around the ankles of those whose lives as destined to touch one another. The strongest of these connections – love – is often brought up in this myth. People connected by this thread are supposedly destined to be lover. Times, places, and circumstances may tangle or stretch this thread, but it will never break. Sounds like a load of mumbo jumbo eh? Maybe not. Let’s take a look at the story of Alex and Donna Voutsinas…

“30 years ago, when Alex and Donna Voutsinas lived in different countries and long before they met and married, they were captured in the same photo at Disney World. That’s Donna at right in front. Alex is in the stroller in the background immediately behind Mr. Smee.”

No one knows better than Alex and Donna Voutsinas that it’s a small world after all. Thirty years ago, when they lived in separate countries long before they met and married, a family shot of little Donna at Walt Disney World captured Alex in a stroller in the background.

“It just blew our minds when we realized,” Alex Voutsinas, a 32-year-old transplanted Montrealer told the Star Thursday from south Florida.

That fateful realization came just one week before their wedding eight years ago. Alex and Donna had been going through old family snapshots. There, in the blurry background of a picture of 5-year-old Donna was 3-year-old Alex being pushed down Main Street at the same moment in 1980 by his father. The senior Voutsinas’s distinctive jet-black hair with its white tuft caught his eye.

“My mother pulled out albums from the same trip. My dad is wearing exactly the same outfit.”

Other pictures from that trip showed Alex on his dad’s shoulders. The boy in the background of Donna’s picture and the boy in those pictures were the same.

Read the rest of this incredible story HERE at the source! Has something like this ever happened to you?

– Daniel


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Today marks the one year anniversary of Look to This Day. Exactly one year ago I realized that something was missing. I was happy, but I felt like I could be HAPPIER. The happiness project served as a year-long attempt to make myself happier and Look to This Day initially served as a way for me to document my progress. 365 days later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I succeeded and I am happier than I ever could have imagined. Starting the project ignited a spark in me. An inextinguishable flame in my heart that pushed me to better myself. To paraphrase Clint Runge, not only did I try to think outside of the box, I reflected upon its contents, edges, corners, and flaps. I got a tattoo, camped in the desert, and learned Israeli krav maga; all parts of the list of 100 Things I Want To Do Before I Die. This year was full of romance, heartache, stress, anxiety, fulfillment, new friends, old friends, falling-outs, laughter, and smiles. Attempting to write and complete this list, learn more about myself, learn about the world around me, experience the seemingly frightful, and make the uncomfortable comfortable collectively taught me one important lesson.

We often view happiness as something simple. Something small. I’ve learned that it isn’t. Happiness is something everyone deserves and is worth having. But you can’t expect it to fall into your lap. You need to take it. Happiness is something that needs to be worked for. It’s something to fight for.

But this is hardly the end of my journey. Today simply served as a chance for me to self-reflect, evaluate how far I’ve come, and keep pushing forward. This being said, I now feel that it’s my responsibility to share what I’ve learned with the world. To continue sharing the lessons and wisdom that changed my life for the better. It’s a responsibility I’ve eagerly shouldered. At this very moment, Look to This Day has become a place where I hope others can find solace and inspiration. A starting point from which you can rebuild yourself from the ground up or a place to inspire those with the urge to do something with their lives. Very much I like did. For those of you thinking of starting a happiness project of your own, tell yourself that no matter what happens it will all be worth it. If you ask yourself “do I end up happy?”, I can tell you with absolute certainty that you will. And you will have quite the story to tell – the story of a wonderful year where you realized that you deserved more. A year full of self-reflection, adventure, love, loss, and happiness. A year – a new chapter – that will set the tone for the rest of your life.

– Daniel

A special thanks to…

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