Xeno Hemlock
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Posts tagged Harry Potter
5 Timeless Books You Should Read for Your Personal Development

“I love reading.”

That’s one of the biggest lies I ever told in my lifetime, before the last two years happened. I guess it fit into the fact that I was not a sporty guy so I had to assume the opposite stereotype, the nerdy guy who loves to read. But aside from famous novel series such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, a couple of Paulo Coelho’s novels, great classics from Mark Twain and Johanna Spyri, and a few odd selection here and there, I didn’t really love reading.

You wouldn’t find me going into book stores at least once every week to buy at least one book. You wouldn’t see my lips curve into a big smile at the sight of a Kindle sale. You wouldn’t see red lines and highlights on any of my books. You wouldn’t see a “Yeah I read that already” look on my face upon encountering a book mention in another book while reading it. I know I didn’t really love reading then because I love reading now.

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The Two Sides of the Fear of Control

After some time, maintaining multiple blogs became overwhelming. Publish this article here. Copy it and paste it on another. Publish it there, and there, and there. Write something different for this blog. Make each content unique. I was doing a lot of repetitive stuff and my creative energy was being used unwisely. Soon enough, it caught up with me. My multiple blogs took up too much of my time, time better spent doing other things I wanted to do as well. Alas! I had no choice but give up some of them.

The two situations, the decade-long procrastination and the refusal to let go of my blogs, were manifestations of fear - the fear of control. But it has two sides. One was the fear of TAKING control and the other was the fear of LOSING control.

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#ThinkAboutIt - If You Are an Animal, What Are You?

Us humans like the symbolism of becoming or choosing an animal. This applies to several instances in life such as the choice of pet between a dog or a cat, animal mascots for a product (think Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's), animals in the logos of sports teams, the different houses in Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series, and even the expanding Pokemon franchise. Associating an animal with our identity has an underlying psychological effect I do not fully understand. What I know is that picking an animal to represent me makes me re-evaluate my personality and traits. If I was in Hogwarts, would I want to be sorted to Slytherin symbolised by a snake? We associate the snake with negative ideas so of course I would not want to be placed there. Would I want to be put in Ravenclaw symbolised by an eagle? I would have no objection.

If you are an animal, what are you?

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The Most Important Letter in Your Pursuit of Your Dreams

Last year, my new life began to slowly unfold itself. An image of my dream materialised when the first draft of my upcoming novel was completed. My blogging hopped on a roller coaster ride of experimentation: changes, reversion, temporary halt, and additions. My life purpose, vision, mission, and dreams reshaped themselves after walking the path of knowing oneself. I felt on top of the world, figuratively, yearning to scream my excitement in a new found life I had. Then something stabbed me in the back, an unforeseen reality that threatened to turn my nirvana into despair, disappointment, and descent. I watched my friends and family ignore my dreams and me, their silence as painful like a knife to a heart. I felt crushed, I cried, and I cried.

Let's look at the previous paragraph in a different way. What follows next is a list of important phrases I picked from it:

  • my new life
  • my dream
  • my upcoming novel
  • my blogging
  • my life purpose, vision, mission, and dreams
  • my nirvana
  • my friends and family
  • I felt on top of the world
  • I had (new found life)
  • I watched
  • I felt crushed
  • I cried

Let's apply some equality. If my = I (my is equals to I), what do the phrases above have in common?

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Why?

One day back in college, my English professor sat on the table in front of the class. She rubbed her nose gently and huffed, “Read the Harry Potter series. It has just been turned into a movie but you got to read the books. I highly recommend it. It's so good.” She repeated the last sentence, stronger the second time around. “It's so good.”

I didn't read the books right away after her recommendation. It wasn't until the second film hit the theatres when, I found the first book in the house and, out of boredom, hastily read it. My sister had borrowed the first four books from our neighbor. With nothing interesting to do over the summer vacation, I thought why not read it. Little did I know I would not be able to put the book down. Page after page, chapter after chapter, and book after book, I had to keep going. My professor was right. It's so good. Just like the rest of the world, I fell in love with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Now, I am not as in love with the Harry Potter series as I used to but its impact in my life can never be denied. The wizarding world had enamored and captivated me so much that it triggered old childhood memories when our family didn't have spare money to buy the expensive toys that I wanted. I had to make the most out of my cheap plastic action figures (that you could buy for a buck), trading cards, pens and notebooks, and even the plants and rocks in our front yard. I made my own fantasy world where I could play for hours with my imaginary friends and the lack of expensive X-Men action figures and VTech didn't matter. The Harry Potter series reminded me of that and my dream of becoming a writer was born.

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