Xeno Hemlock
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Posts tagged Mark Twain
#ThinkAboutIt - Do You Take Risks?

Ever since my awakening to my life's purpose, I've been more sensitive to messages and winks the universe sends my way. There was that time a Mark Twain quote knocked me off the cinema seat figuratively while watching The Equalizer. There was also that time I found some wisdom in Insidious: Chapter 3. Also, watching Moana made me cry silently inside the giant, dim room of the theater as the song "How Far I'll Go" tugged at my soulstrings. You see, I'm no stranger to experiencing pseudo-psychic and "New Age-ish" lightbulb moments while watching a film. It happened to me again last Monday when I watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

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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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I Started Writing...

I started writing because friends were quick to judge. While explanation and reasoning were still incomplete, they were ready to dismiss.

I started writing because my mind is unexplored land. No mountain and no valley of the Earth look like the plateaus and hills of my world.

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How to Attract Synchronicity Into Your Life

If I wasn’t inside the cinema I would’ve screamed my heart out with an intense “YAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!”. That night, on my birthday, the universe handed me the best gift I ever received – synchronicity.

“YAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!”

Synchronicity, according to Carl Jung, is an explanatory principle of “meaningful coincidences”. Dictionary.com defines it as the simultaneous occurrence of causally unrelated events and the belief that the simultaneity has meaning beyond mere coincidence.

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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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Boredom - A Criminal Act Against Time

“I'm bored.”

“WHY?” appears in big bold letters inside a silent balloon above my head whenever I hear these two words. I may do a Chloe as a display of disgust, for the word 'bored' is offensive to me, and when lumped with the phrase 'I am' it becomes criminal.

In this age, I find it amusing how people still get bored. At the end of our fingertips is an abundance of things to occupy our time: apps, hobbies, entertainment, places, and people. I have over a hundred apps on my smartphone and tablet to accompany me at my behest. Twitter and Medium alone take majority of my smartphone usage. I'm still plowing through Writer's Digest's Grammar Desk Reference which I bought a few weeks ago. And last month's issue of Reader's Digest is still waiting to spend some time with me. 50 Cent's Animal Ambition and Die Antwoord's Donker Mag both still have zero play count in my iTunes. And I already have Above and Beyond's latest EP Sticky Fingers on repeat. I'm yearning to visit New York City but I am already planning on returning to Singapore this year. I'm looking forward to knowing writers around the world while keeping up with my friends. There is a lot to be done on this earth; I have no time to get bored!

I have a few observations about people who gets inflicted with boredom often.

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The Zero Mindset

If you told me last year that if I started then I would have a collection after almost a year, I wouldn't believe you. Of course it was common sense. Create now, be consistent, and after some time you would have created more. The math was '4 times 6 equals 24'. If I wrote weekly, after six months I would have 24 articles under my belt. However, fear impaired my vision. The logic was simple but I couldn't grasp it. I was a zero.

I wasn't a graduate of some English major. I never attended a writing seminar. My writing credentials that I wasn't proud of included the high school paper, competing in an inter-school writing competition where I lost, and a fan fiction. I unsuccessfully blogged before but I lost interest and quit. To make everything worse, I was my own enemy. Unjustly comparing myself to other writers (professionals especially), I kept believing I was a zero. 

“If you want to be a writer, write.” This was what most of them said. I scoured the Internet looking for evidence that someone like me could be a writer too. There was an abundance of tips and motivations. It was easy to be inspired but to be truly motivated I had to stop being vexatious to myself. My writing doubts and fears must be put behind me so I could start anew. I reset my journey to zero.

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