Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Brought Here, Raised There

One of the weirdest phenomenons I've see in the Asian communities is something regularly addressed in the TV show, Fresh Off The Boat, as well as by it's book author, Eddie Huang.

The phenomenon is this: Asian families move somewhere "West"... call it the US, Canada, whatever.

Then, they raise their children as if they were still in their country of origin.

AND, what is completely insane is this: While they are clear and quick to figure out how the local customs, foods, laws, economy, etc works in this now foreign land... they completely ignore stuff like how the academic system works or how it relates to the job market.

They keep on going, out of principle, along the same lines of success that would otherwise be relevant on their home countries back in Asian. HOWEVER, there is practically NOTHING relevant about the job market, how that relates to school, or even success... as it pertains to how things are "out West."

Now, it's not just the families that bring children "here." Even say, American born kiddos of Asian descent are corralled into this Asian mindset... a way of thinking and living where they are still raised, in effect, as if they were back in Asia.

The problem?! EVERYTHING. Everything about this has vast and very profound detrimental effects on these kids growing up in school, in the workplace, and in their social circles as Asian culture and "Western" culture have some of the most diametrically opposed values and ways of thinking.

The kids are made to feel that if they adopt local culture, they sell out to the motherland.

And, since they are so loyal to the motherland culture out of duty, they are weird in their own homeland.

This has GOT to stop.

If you brought them here, you must RAISE them here. IF you came to across the globe to a new country; retain your values, retain your culture -- BUT, do your earnest to also integrate into this new place you've CHOSEN as home.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Presence of Success vs. Absence of Failure

I just realized I haven't blogged on here for a WHILE. And, I wanted to just drop a few very quick thoughts down regarding success vs. failures under the framework of the Asian shame based culture.

See, I was doing some mentoring and was talking with some of my mentors... and, I realized... the Asian mindset has it all wrong in terms of defining success. That is why 99% isn't good enough. That is why getting an "A" grade isn't good enough. That is why being #1 still isn't good enough... because, you could always be better... right?


It's because, success as defined by a shamed based culture is the ABSENCE of failure. And, since no one is perfect, failure is always present.

This leads to a cycle of never getting positive feedback for any achievement. And, achievement is the basis of success.

You have to ACT. You have to DO. You have to BE more, to be successful.

No one ever rose to the top by avoiding or making absent failure. Some of the most famous and revered of innovators, inventors, business icons, and social leaders FAILED ALL THE TIME. They embraced it and even credited failure as the pathway toward success.

Therefore, revamp that mindset!

Don't make absent "bad things" and credit it as success. All you've done, is not do... which is STUPID.

What you must have in your life is ACTION. Action to achieve and become more. Credit, celebrate, and welcome PRESENCE of success. And, indeed... embrace failure. For, there is no such thing unless you FAIL to LEARN. Failure is fine tuning. Failure becomes failure when you fail to act from the lesson it brings.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Look It, Sound It, Be It

So, my wife found this BuzzFeed article about how Asian-American men are finally getting a "normal" image and screen identity.

This has been something that has been bothering many... more specifically, this has been a thorn in the side of so many Millennial Asian men as they are constantly seen as the nerdy one, the math one, the science guy, the one who isn't necessarily great at sports, insecure, and socially inept.

Here's the lesson: Look the part. Sound the part. Act the part. Be the part.

It's all about mindset.

It's all about how you project yourself. If you project confidence, people will treat you with confidence. You will then be the recipient of that behavior... feeling more confident to act more confident. It's a positive cycle.

However, most of the time, the all-too-common-stereotypical Asian-American male demonstrate insecurity... which means people treat them with insecurity, making them feel more insecure, causing even more insecure social behaviors. This, is a negative and very much a vicious cycle.

So, what is to be done?

While I'm seeing this area improve in leaps and bounds, there are still many opportunities for Millennial Asian men to be... men.

It's been far past due. The time to man up... is now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Balancing Culture

So, this post was inspired by a talk on Twitter about entrepreneurial balance. There was a very nice broadcast by Dr. Jeff Moore.

Now, unless you're catching this within 24 hrs of the Periscope broadcast, it'll be gone unless Dr. Moore posts it on YouTube or something. The theme of the matter for him was this: Entrepreneurs don't have balance. Work-Life-Balance goes AGAINST the grain of entrepreneurialism.

To this: I agree! I'm an entrepreneur now and I completely see how this is true. However, I'd modify this in that the work-life-balance that people have sought in the past is no longer the norm to consider.

Rather, vertical balance is the new norm versus the horizontal balance you'd see in a pie chart or Venn Diagram. Then it hit me! The same goes for balancing culture!

Balancing Culture

So, instead of thinking: Okay, I'm American, or I'm Canadian, or I'm Australian, or whatever your national culture may be vs. your inherited and/or ethnic culture... I'd encourage the Millennial Asian to stop thinking about balancing out your culture as the middle point balance of this:

And, think about stacking your cultural self vertically -- on top of each other, existing in the same 2 dimensional space and adding depth from the ground up.

All too often, I found that there's this weird colonial dissonance & slow dripped modern toxins present in the lives of Millennial Asians which have in concert, destroyed the vitality and positivity of that could be the Millennial Asian culture.

So, rather than trying to balance out "even time" and "even emphasis" the cultures that are a part of you and that you identify with... stack them on top of each other. For myself, I have Taiwanese, Chinese, Dutch, and Polynesian in my blood.

I'm very proud to be born in America and couldn't be more American... just ask my wife.

How I balance this is through having all these aspects exist in the same space, stacked on top of each other, balanced like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It doesn't matter that I'm more American than I am Dutch. I acknowledge both evenly in the same space on the ground which these layers exist above. They aren't in competition. They balance on top of each other; relying on each other to balance both the layers above them, and below them. And, certainly, there are priorities. My American identity is my priority. And, that's a good thing! However, instead of trying to divvy out resources across various areas, isn't it better to acknowledge they all exist and to give each their representative recognition as an important part of you? No matter how big or small?

That's how I do, for balancing culture.