Archives for posts with tag: Ramblings

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


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


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


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


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


It’s fantastic that happiness, a fundamental human goal, is celebrated throughout the world on this day (March 20th). Established in July 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/218, which decreed that the International Day of Happiness would be observed every year on the 20th of March.

Resolution 66/218 –> “Recalling its resolution 65/309 of 19 July 2011, which invites Member States to pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies, CONSCIOUS that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal, RECOGNIZING the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of  their recognition in public policy objectives, and recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

Today is a day that we should recognize the need to be more inclusive and make socially responsible choices – and make good on that recognition. Creating a happier society takes individual action. Bringing happiness upon ourselves is truly a win-win situation. Every one benefits. It helps us connect with others and inspires them to be more positive and caring. How can you make a positive difference? Make a Happiness Day Resolution where, for the next 365 days, you will actively pursue just ONE action to help improve your overall level of happiness. The key is to develop an area of your life that you find both important and not adequately fulfilled.

Look to this day. You, and only you, are responsible for your happiness and without action there is not reaction. Make Happiness Day yours and watch as it grows into something far greater.

CHECK OUT:  HappinessInternational.org, DayOfHappiness.net, and ActionForHappiness.org 

– Daniel