This year, I entered the Asian-American talent series Kollaboration. Auditioned, won my city talent show, and now, 14 city champions are being cut down to 6 through an online vote to decide who gets to perform in front of 3,000 people and a chance to win $20,000. On October 15th-16th, you can vote to help me advance to the national competition in Los Angeles. Please help me become the next Kollaboration Star. All you need is a Facebook account and two seconds to make some clicks happen. Thanks for helping me live the dream.
In order to gain expertise in a discipline, you must practice “deliberately,” which means to practice in a way that expands the limit of your talents, in a repeatable manner, often under the watch of an unsentimental, expert mentor. Deliberate practice is NOT fun by definition: it challenges yourself to borderline frustration, demands constant evaluation of your shortcomings, and there is never an end to how much practice you can perform. Sometimes, people tell me “your don’t sound like you’re having a lot of fun” when I prepare for various competitions. No, practice isn’t fun. But the price is worth it: performing to your peak potential improves every aspect of your life; reaching the heights of international competition makes you cherish the blood, sweat, and tears invested into activities you love; playing games of incredible depths against other passionate experts builds life-long friendships; having great control of your craft gives you the confidence and ability to experiment and explore your discipline to its very limits. Some people want “ease” and “fun,” but I want “greatness.” I know that path is often difficult and lonely. It has to be. If it wasn’t, then everyone would be great, and that would defeat the point.
I fall for you like a tightrope walker into his next life.
SEVEN HAPPY ENDINGS
Love, Love, Love, where are we now?
Where did we begin?
one of us wanted to name this,
wanted to call it something!
Shadows on the Garden Wall.
A Man Rowing Alone Out to Sea.
A Song in Search of a Singer.
I think that was me, I wanted to call it something.
And you? You were happy
with a room, two rooms, and a door to divide them.
And daylight on either side of the door.
Borrowed music from an upstairs room.
And bells. Bells from down the street .
Bells to urge our salty hearts.
But I wanted to call it something.
I needed to know what we meant
when we said we, when we said
us, when we said this.
So call it Seven Happy Endings.
That would have been enough.
You see, I woke up one night
and realized I was falling.
I turned on the lamp and the lamp was falling.
And the hand that turned on the lamp was falling.
And the light was falling, and everything the light touched
falling. And you were falling
asleep beside me.
And that was the first happy ending.
And the last one?
it went something like this:
A child sat down, opened a book,
and began to read. And what he read out loud
came to pass. And what he kept to himself
stayed on the other side of the mountains.
But I promised seven happy endings.
I who know nothing about endings.
I who am always at the beginning of everything.
Even as our being together
always feels like beginning.
Not just the beginning of our knowing each other,
but the beginning of reality itself.
See how you and I
make this room so quiet with our presence.
With every word we say
the room grows quieter.
With every word we keep ourselves
from speaking, even quieter.
And now I don’t know where we are.
Still needing to call it something:
A clock the bees unearth,
gathering the over-spilled minutes.