Archives for posts with tag: Optimism

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


There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the peoplewho treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” – José N. Harris, (Mi Vida)

We all encounter out fair share of drama. One of the effects of my own search for self-reliance and happiness was the loss of a few friends. We simply grew apart and went down separate paths. Sometimes burned bridges can’t be mended and that’s the reality of living our own lives and growing up. All we can do is appreciate that we once shared a phase in our lives – appreciate the influence they’ve had on who we were in the present. Paraphrasing Elizabeth Foley, with the drama and frustration they might come with, in times like these our eyes are also opened to the presence of a select few true friends who we can grow separately from without growing apart.

Don’t forget to check out my NEW WEBSITE danielhkwan.com

– Daniel


“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful” – Eric Thomas

I’ve tried very hard to pursue what I am passionate about — archaeology, writing, martial arts, and personal happiness. So far, my hard work has paid off tenfold. I’m not an exceptional human being. Physiologically and neurologically, nothing makes me very different from anyone else. My mental approach to life is what’s different. That’s for damned sure. I’ve never stopped and I don’t intend on it. If I remain accountable for all of my failures and pain, then my successes are my own.

I’m leaving my mark on this world.

– 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


For the regular reader of this blog, it is very clear that the concept of the “bucket list” is very important to me. Developing a list of things I want to do before I “kick the bucket” has become one of the most worthwhile projects that I’ve undertaken. I’ve learned so much about myself, how far I can push myself, and how far I’m WILLING to test my limits. Bucket lists, especially those that are public (like this blog), are a great way for one to share their dreams. But not only this. Sharing one’s dreams is to openly acknowledge that you possess the confidence  necessary to act upon your words. You open yourself up to potential judgement. You make your failures public. Attempting to make dreams a reality and share them with the world is perhaps the highest form of courage.

Candy Chang made this possible for many people in New Orleans.

“Installation artist and urban planner, Candy Chang recently inspired New Orleans locals to declare their hopes and dreams on a wall in their community for her new project, Before I Die. This interactive street art uses an abandoned house as a blackboard and encouraged passersby to write down the one thing they want to do before they kick the bucket with the chalk provided.

It’s also about turning a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.

To the artist’s amazement, the entire wall was filled before the end of the first day.”

Check out more photos of Candy Chang’s New Orleans installation at the Kidrobot blog!

– Daniel


The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse.”  – Carlos Casteneda

Combat have always fascinated me. I don’t mean the act of harming someone or something, but the act of persevering. Standing tall against adversity and winning. Being steadfastness despite difficulty. I simply just love a challenge. But sometimes these things can get the better of us, especially when we test our limits. Meditation or times of quite self-reflection have always helped me cope with stress and difficult times. Tactical breathing is just another tool that I’ve learned!

“As practiced by modern police and military, it allows you to rapidly regain control of you body during critical situations. Body functions, such as heart rate, body temperature, breathing, blinking, and digesting are controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). In most situations, you are unaware of the workings of the ANS because it functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner. There are two responses you do have control over – breathing and blinking. We can use breathing as a bridge back from mindless panicked “fight or fight” to put ourselves in an optimal condition to fight.”

Here’s how to “breathe tactically”:

  • Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Breathe out through your lips to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Repeat until you feel your body and mind relax.

I was at first quite skeptical. I found myself wondering, “would this actually work?”. After using this technique for about two weeks – training at the gym, sitting in my office, before my shift at work (in the middle or before any potentially stressful scenarios) – and have only encountered positive results. If you aren’t sold or find yourself hesitant, especially because of the “tactical” (implied for military and law enforcement) label, simply view it as controlled breathing!

Breathe – manage your distress, clear your mind, and be happy.

For more on controlled/tactical breathing, check out this fantastic article: Tactical Breathing Can Stop Stress on the Spot

– Daniel