Lesson 1: When confronted with failure, you should either quit or settle.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash

Our current education system is one that molds students into a desirable output — productive workers in society — and disregards whatever does not conform to its model.

In fact, the American education model was created to mimic and prepare its recipients for factory life.

“The American education model…was actually copied from the 18th-century Prussian model designed to create docile subjects and factory workers.” — David Brooks, writer for the New York Times

Unlike many other parts of society, which have adapted to the rapidly changing times, our education system lags far behind.

Though the system has undergone measures of…

3 quotes that keep me grounded when I feel overwhelmed.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

I am always changing, whether that’s developing a new project or improving on a skill. The desire to be the best version of myself manifests in consistently maintaining good habits, exercising, meditating, starting a side hustle, and reading.

I’ve found that while improving myself is important, it is equally necessary to take the time each day to appreciate what I already have and who I already am. In the midst of working toward my goals, I tend to forget to celebrate my smaller wins, or I feel guilty for taking too much time to rest.

It is in these moments…

A few nuggets of wisdom from the people who figured it out before me.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Valentin B. Kremer on Unsplash

The journey of self-improvement can be overwhelming. The Internet is flooding with information, and there are endless self-help books. For those looking for a place to start, here are some nuggets of wisdom that stood out to me.

From “Atomic Habits” by James Clear:

Focus on the trajectory of your actions, not the results. Results tend to lag from daily actions.

It’s easy to forget the importance of consistency. When I really want something, I tend to rush my actions in pursuit to attain it. Many people rely on motivation and instant…

Emotions are data, not directions.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash

Self-improvement is a never-ending pursuit.

No matter how much we try to improve our lives, we will inevitably feel emotions such as anger, frustration, grief, and defeat. It comes with being human, and I am grateful that I even have the capacity to feel such a wide range of emotions.

All emotions are valid and should be felt.

I consider myself a very positive person, and I always try to see the bright side of a situation. Even when I feel defeated or sad, I will use the logical part of my brain to reason why I shouldn’t worry, or why the situation is not a big deal.

Every day, do something that serves the past, present, and future version of yourself.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Do you feel like your time is being stolen from you? Or that you spend your time in a way that feels unsatisfactory?

Do you ever feel like you never have time for anything besides work or school? Do you feel stuck in the rat race?

Or perhaps you feel bored as a result of not trying anything new. Perhaps you take lots of time to relax, indulge, and splurge, but you feel like you lack confidence professionally.

These scenarios both describe lives with skewed pleasure — fulfillment balances. Working too hard without stopping to experience the joys in everyday…

Shift your results-based mindset to a trajectory-based mindset.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by John McArthur on Unsplash

As a society, we have been primed to crave instant gratification. We chase quick hits and overindulgence through endless means: social media, binge eating, and online shopping, to name a few.

Chasing instant gratification is rarely satisfying. Satisfaction is a long-term feeling, while instant gratification only provides temporary pleasure. We feel a slight high: one that inevitably stoops back down and leaves us feeling worse than before.

When it comes to building a project, many people fail at achieving their goals because they are too focused on results.

Results are not instant; rather, they are acquired over time. Small actions…


By taking on appropriately sized challenges, we can make progress with more ease and efficiency

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Self-improvement is a difficult, endless pursuit. At the beginning of the journey, progress and lifestyle changes tend to be visible. But as time goes on, progress becomes less visible and seems to plateau.

When learning any new skill — take guitar, for example — it doesn’t take too long to learn most of the chords, some strumming patterns, and a few songs. However, at a certain point, skill level seems to plateau. There is a huge gap between being a competent guitar player and an amazing guitar player.

At this point, most people instinctively think they need to do more…

You know, that thing that you thought about doing but gave up on.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

People complain that they are too out of shape to work out, too old to learn how to code, too far along one major to change to another, too traumatized to love again, too _____ to _____. The list goes on.

Sure, if you had started your efforts to change a year ago, it probably would be easier now. But on that same thought, if you don’t start now, it will only continue to become more difficult.

Your feelings of anger or regret won’t change the fact that time passes, no matter how much you want it to. …

The template we bring into situations becomes the story we tell ourselves.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

Have you ever met someone who could see the good in every situation? These people are illuminating, and bring up the energy level in any room. Similarly, I’m sure we have all met someone who can only see the bad in every situation.

Put these two people in the exact same situation and they will have completely different takeaways from the experience. What makes the positive person experience situations in a way that is more satisfactory than the negative person?

It all boils down to where we place our energy.

Positivity as a mindset doesn’t mean delusional, fake, or toxic…

Reality does not conform to expectations.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by abigail low on Unsplash

The other night, my roommate was talking about a recent love interest of hers. For the first hour or so, I was engaged and interested. Over the course of the night, the conversation kept circling back to him. I began to feel bored and a bit annoyed, so I decided to go to my room. My apartment mate called for me to rejoin them, so I went back.

I went back, but I was still bored with the conversation. I wanted to talk about literally anything else, so badly, that it caused resentment toward…

Amy Tang

Avid learner and self-improvement junkie. I write about self, habits, education, and growth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store