13 boys who were hyper-sensitive to the leaves of Japanese poisonous leaf

With their eyes closed, researchers told they were being touched on their left arm by poisonous leaf. Unsurprisingly, all 13 boys had a dramatic reaction. But the catch is they were being touched by harmless leaf. The reactions were even greater than that caused by the real poisonous leaf.

Then the researchers reversed the procedure. With their eyes closed, they were told they were being touched on the other arm by non-poisonous leaf. But in reality, those arms were being touched by poisonous leaf. This time 11 out of 13 boys showed no reaction.

Your beliefs either heal you or harm you.

Belief becomes the source of your liberation or limitation. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Lots of people won’t step foot near roller coaster. In those people’s belief, roller coaster means terror, anxiety and hours of motion sickness. Direct experience both positive and negative stack up over time and begin to collapse into stronger and deeply rooted beliefs about or identity, who we are and what makes up our identity.

When you arrived to this world, your baby brain was neutral and free. It contained no programming, no opinion, no bias, no beliefs. Then like a sponge, you become to absorb ideas from your environment, from your family, your friends, your peers, your school and society. Just as we learned how to walk and talk, we learned what to believe. Little by little, our environment programs everything from love, sex, work, our bodies, religion, relationship, other people and the world at large. Most importantly, our environment programs our brain with beliefs about our own capabilities.

Beliefs handed down to us without examining can be counter-productive.

Take the time to examine, question and choose them for ourselves.

Believe and you’re half way there.

Once you cognitively and emotionally identified an important target, your RAS will work non-stop to accomplish the mission. No matter how long it takes or how unpredictable your path becomes, it will diligently and persistently stay on task.

The first step to becoming free from your beliefs is noticing those holding you back.

Practice becoming aware of what you’re thinking i.e. believing and know that at any moment you get to decide you want to continue believing that thought.

You can’t or you won’t?

Can’t is a euphemism for won’t. 90% of the time when you say you can’t, it means you don’t want to put in the effort required nor make it a priority to get the job done.

When you say I can’t, you’re sending yourself internal message that you’re not in control. Replace I can’t with more honest I won’t.

FEAR = Face Everything and Rise

Fear is not the enemy. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.

If a fear cannot be articulated, it cannot be conquered.

When you look more closely, a belief is nothing more than you thought is significant or true. That’s it. There’s nothing actually holding that belief in place. No bars no padlocks no chains. Like another thought in your mind, you can deliberately choose to dismiss it.

Figureoutable philosophy doesn’t promise a life without pain.

You have to endure the pain necessary to figure out, but in the process you’ll live a life without regret.

Clarify comes from engagement, not thought.

Whenever you’re trapped in a hell of a decision, do something about it as quickly as possible. Find a way to take tangible action and you’ll be rewarded with priceless feedback to inform your next step.

Wondering for the 75th time to break up with your partner? Take time apart. Even if it’s a few days. Find a good couple therapist and commit to heal or commit to move on.

Can’t stop thinking about changing careers? Take class. Secure internship. No matter your age. Work for free on weekends. Experience the industry firsthand. Engage.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

The secret of getting started is breaking your task into small, manageable chunks.

Holding yourself to highest standard is different from perfectionism.

The former is healthy and motivating. The latter is dysfunctional at best and deadly at worst.

Perfectionism is about the fear of one simple opinion might be true.

It’s the fear of looking stupid. The fear of being judged. It’s the fear of failure. It’s the fear that you’re just not good enough. Perfectionism is paralyzing.

More than half of the suicide deceases were described as perfectionist by their loved ones.

Progress not perfection.

That’s the measuring stick you make to stay on track. But remember progress is never a straight line. Progress zigs and zacks. It expands then retreats. You’ll move forward and then back. Expect step backs, stumbles and big flops along the way. The key is to learn and adapt.

Self-doubt is deeply ingrained in our society.

Self-doubt is normal. Everyone wrestles with it. No matter how successful or experienced you become. Self-doubt never goes away. Instead of saying what’s the point, ask yourself what’s the next right move.

Overcome the fraud factor.

What do J-Lo, Jodie Foster and Maya Angelo have in common? It’s not that they’re all award-winning cultural icons. It’s that they all felt like imposters. That’s right. Total fakes and frauds.

“Even though I had sold 70 million albums, there I was feeling like I’m no good at this”

J Lo

“When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everyone would find out and take it back. Excuse me, we meant to give it to someone else. That was Maryl Streep.”

Jodie Foster

Above all, cultivate patience.

Everything you want to create, achieve will take longer than you hoped. Much longer. To say that we live in a culture of instant gratification is a gross understatement.

There’re countless creatives who are legit and admired who also supplement their income through variety of month-related means. There’s no shame in doing whatever it takes to put a roof over your head.

Positive quitting is when you realized you’ve gone as far as you possibly can.

You’ve given it your very best effort, and now it becomes clear in your heart and soul that the wisest and most productive next step is cut your losses and move on.

Failure is an event. Not a characteristic.

Imagine yourself 10 year into the future and ask “If I end this right now, will I regret it?”

No matter what setbacks or obstacles get in your way, make sure your dream is tied to something beyond yourself. When you do you rest for the betterment of others, you’ll be unstoppable.

Purpose fuels persistence.

Motives matter. IF your dreams are only about personal gains, fame, money, you’ll eventually run out of steam. Even if you do reach your dream, the winds will shallow. You will wonder “Is that It?”

Use the feedback. Leave the rest.

Would you allow someone to walk into your house, squat in your living room and take a hot-steaming dump in your rug and walk out. Leaving you to clean it up?

When you hear nasty, baseless criticism, reject it, refuse it. Say you can’t take me down. I won’t let you.

There’re countless people who need the gifts that you and you alone have.

When you have an idea, a possibility, the tinniest nugget of a dream for yourself or others and you don’t do every thigh you can to bring it to life, you’re stealing from people who need you most.

Why even bother? Everyone already beat me to it.

Imagine the creators having the same limited thought that you’re having, imagine her throwing up her hands in the air before she even started saying “Why even bother. Everyone already beat me to it. The world already has enough of damn coffee, t-shirt. search engine and social media”

Avoid “I wish I had…”

Whether you realize it or not, we’re all on the same cosmic train, heading to the same destination, death. None of us knows when our stop is coming. We have no idea when the train will slow down, when the conductor will tap our shoulder and saying “This is your step little boy, time to go.”

All we know is that every passing moment we’re getting closer. Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by Minute. That’s why now is the time to go after that dream of yours, no matter how wild or unreasonable or seemingly impossible it is. Now is the time to figure it all out.

If you believe to your core everything really is figureoutable, what would you now do? Who would you become?

Dearest Myself,

I would love you to know that…. Allow your hands to move. Remember that you’re inviting your 100-year-old to share wisdom with current day you. Even if it’s gibberish. Keep your pen on your hand. Write down whatever comes to your mind. Just keep scribbling.

  • I love to let go of…
  • I love you to start…
  • I love you to remember…

Life doesn’t require you to be constantly confident, fearless and self-assured. It just requires to keep showing up.


Kyaw Wai Yan Tun

Hey, I’m Wai Yan. I help people make full use of digital in reaching their goals. Outside nine-to-five, I enjoy sharing my knowledge and designing visuals. I see it as my way of making the world a more beautiful and insightful place.