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« In Asia, Most Of the Business Is Done Over a Cup Of Tea | Main | What's Your Passion? »

February 28, 2013


odds maker

odds are too much against a person who follows abnormal path. But rewards are HUGE.
the biggest being the satisfaction of living the life one has imagined. Great Story. Thanks

Margaret Chu

There is an old saying "Behind every great man there is a Woman." Let us not forget the role his wife played in his success.


Very inspirational story. Thanks for posting it Rajiv. My dad (your Grandpa) used to tell us :If you don't have dreams, how can they come true."
Keep dreaming and move confidently in the direction of your dreams.

A Friend

Inspirational.... Now that we know it has a happy ending
But so many similar ones dont
Perseverance and strong belief I guess


wait, it isn’t Friday yet (but you are being proactive! 

Thanks for sending, as always (I look forward to these very much)!

Mark Dennen

Reminds me of an interview when they asked Arthur Rubinstein's father if he had tried to discourage his son from taking piano lessons. His father replied, "How did I know he was going to grow up and become Arthur Rubinstein?"

Living the dream does not always lead to great financial success or universal recognition, but can lead to a contented mind and soul and for some, that is enough.


Only works if you have a dream to start with... what about those who don’t know what they want to do when they grow up?


To add a little flavor from the Taiwan press, Ang Lee has always struggled to meet his father's expectations. And this theme has permeated in his movies, such as his movie trilogy (Pushing Hands, Wedding Banquet, and Eat Drink Man Woman) with a strong father figure and 'disappointing' son. His father's recognition finally came at Ang's lowest point (post Hulk), and with that Ang was able to re-start and continue down his journey. Ang joked that his name (Ang - standing for peace and stability in Chinese) should have been Not Ang, as he's been driven mainly by his insecurity and uncertaintly. This reminds me that it's human to toggle btw preseverance and insecurity, just like there must be shadow if there is to be light.


Having just seen it this week, I can heartily agree that Life of Pi was a brilliant film. Congratulations to Mr. Lee on his award.

For those artists, scientists, or entrepreneurs who put their livelihood and family on the line for pursuing their passions, it must be an incredibly risky bet, even for those with a well-defined goal. After all, many “struggling artists” may have all the necessary talent, drive, and passion, but only lack the opportunity or self-confidence and charisma to reach the heights of Ang Lee. Many others might knowingly demote their passion into a “hobby” in lieu of a safer, salaried or professional job that can ensure a steady income and a certain degree of social standing (preferable to have medical insurance, or to qualify for a home loan from the bank, for example). But among those who simply cannot allow themselves to compromise and relegate a passion to an after-hours hobby…among them must emerge the Ang Lee’s of the world.

Where do the heroes like Ang Lee get their courage and perseverance...overcoming their anxieties and the doubts of family or friends? I wish I knew. Today I was speculating, that perhaps successful and confident people have an implicit understanding of the phrase, "as above, so below".

"As above, so below”…? Huh?

Years ago, I encountered that ancient saying from the lore of Hermes (though perhaps originally much more ancient). It sounds pretty ambiguous and quite mysterious to modern ears, but I have often contemplated about the true meaning and interpretation.

In Western tradition, I think I see a reflection of this in the phrase, "man created in the image of the creator". In other words, we humans each have in us a god-like quality, the potential for greatness. We have some innate talents or abilities, but we need to find and cultivate them for ourselves. This is embodied in the English word, "inspiration" (etymology : inside + to breathe).

In another interpretation, we could talk about the fundamental sameness between celestial bodies above and terrestrial bodies here on earth... there is really no difference in so far as everything is derived from the same chemical elements (“star-stuff”)and conforming to the same laws of physics and statistics. By extension, is it possible that even in our daily lives, we end up doing and completing the things that need to be done, because we are following a natural course (not deterministic or lacking free-will, but nevertheless natural). I suspect that this is part of why may help guide people who achieve success. Can we find our creative spirit, covering both the inspiration of a new idea and also the commitment to see it through to fruition? Can we set a challenging but focused goal and hit a natural and enjoyable flow of working to achieve it (as described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi). Is this what great people have learned to do?

The ancient phrase seems to have a calming, reassuring effect. Repeating “As above, so below” helps me to shed anxieties sometimes.

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