Strategic Withdrawal

I’ve noticed the past two weeks I’ve had an excessive amount of negativity in my attitude. Overall, I’m still very positive and forward-thinking, and some negativity has its usefulness, such as when helping identify the root of the issue that inspires negative thoughts or feelings. When someone bullies me, I get angry, and going to the root, the real problem there is that I dislike being unable to stand up or do what I should have done. That negativity had its use because in identifying a problem that is or was there, it helps me work on it.

One thing I’ve realized though, is that there is a difference between being angry and being bitter. As I define it, being angry is an emotion: it is natural and normal, and healthy to let it out. Being bitter, however, is an attitude, such as holding onto and reliving the moments that pain me time and again, the “what if I did this?” or “why did that happen to me?”

I’ve looked at some chat logs with my friend Jess, and last year’s twitter updates, and I see even as I was improving, I was letting out lots of negativity. Tempting as it is to delete them and emphasize my positivity, I decided to leave it there. This is a record of what I came from, and it’s a learning tool. I am not the sum of my accomplishments or mistakes, nor am I catalogue of my possessions, but rather the sum of my full potential. To see that potential for me comes from analyzing that passion in my emotions and actions that I have a record of, and refining it to good use.

A video that inspired me lately is this video by fellow Third Culture Kid, Derek Sivers:

All actions being equal, “failure” is merely one approach that has varying degrees of effectiveness as opposed to being the most efficient way of achieving a goal. Applying that attitude, I remember being called fat growing up, clumsy, and weak. All this week I thought about being a hero, an acrobat, a ninja, and decided I would just go out and do it, and here I am, doing cartwheels for the first time after looking at a how-to site. These are not perfect, but it shows to me if I want something, I can go for it and get it. That hunger, that passion: if you have it, channel it and be who you want to be, get what you want to have.

Last night after chatting with Jess, I decided to experiment and withdraw for a while. I don’t want people to be subject to more negativity–they already have enough of their own, and I need to channel mine into something creative and positive. In doing so, I can be a better man, a better friend, and a better gentleman. Nobody likes being around excessively negative people–especially those who insist they have nothing wrong with them and the world is just a terrible place.

According to Robert Greene in The 48 Laws of Power (featured here in this blog) in Law 16, you must use absence to increase honor and respect. I did this before last year during my dark times, and I came back and turned myself around. I didn’t go around telling people how great I am or demanding respect for surviving, I let them decide for themselves based on being kind and appreciative of them, while understanding they had iffy thoughts about me.

Now I will go into this winter solitude until after spring equinox this month–cut off contact with most people, meditate and reflect, and focus on positive interactions with new people. In meeting new people, I don’t need to tell them my life story or problems, and first impressions are important. Not that I’m hiding my negativity, but there is less familiarity that encourages venting frustrations.

On a side note, living in America for nine years now, especially here on the west coast in California, I find it interesting how attitudes toward other people are different. I blame it on the Internet and social networking, but it seems that other people are “strangers who equal danger” and furthermore, they aren’t worthy of respect because they don’t know the other people–until you prove yourself worthy, you usually don’t get any civility or respect from other people. Granted, this is city and college town I am in, and many people are stuck in their bubbles of this community, ethnic and socio-economical bubbles, but it doesn’t represent all of the city. I don’t hate Los Angeles–I like it actually–I just like other cities a lot more 😉 .

Compared to other places I’ve lived in outside North America and away from Los Angeles and California, other people are just that: other people, fellow human beings who we give a degree of respect to because we are sensitive to their feelings until they prove themselves to be blokes.

Disheartening as it is to be a stranger and automatically the target of judgment, especially on youtube videos with anonymous comments from people hiding behind the faux security of their computer screens, I am making this withdrawal with the intent of being a better man instead of getting affected at that lower level of existence.

Who I am behind the computer screen, in my videos, my pictures, and writings are all aspects of my being, but they are not separate from my self: I am the same person you will meet before you in real life. As such, even when reframing my attitude and perception in my posts, that is all part of the process–neither lies nor self-delusions, but tools to assist my self-improvement and growth.

I am human, and not perfect, but I strive to be the best I can be. I am a man, a gentleman, a hero, a superhero. I choose to be all that I can be simply because I can. And so can you!

One person I must mention is someone I thank and am inspired by, whom I discovered through the synchronicity of the universe and its workings on youtube: Victoria Vives. We share similar philosophies, and I sent her an e-mail thanking her for the inspiration, because she chose to be a superhero, and refused to listen to what other people said when defining her. We are the masters of our universe, and we define and redefine ourselves. We do not let others tell us who to be unless we choose to listen. And like her, I choose to be a superhero:

When I emerge, I will see you all again. Thank you Victoria Vives for being a fellow superhero, thank you Jess, thank you D, Alex, Pat, Jose, Charlotte, Erin, Jetro, and everyone else for believing in me and inspiring me, I love you all. Thank you Ellen Wong for being my every day inspiration to go out there and be a better man, by showing me that someone as wonderful as you I can dream of being with is out there–and I must be a better man to give my best.

The negativity is not behind me as I finish these words, it is a part of me, but it does not control me. This negativity is there for me to have more to stand on as I rise to my highest potential.


I will return when I am ready. Until then, this song below helps me to dream and fight on. Who cares what people say? This song is what I love, and no amount of distaste people have for the genre or quality of the song can prevent me from enjoying it and being inspired:

Anime: Project A-Ko
Song: Dance Away
Artist: Annie Livingstone
This OST soundtrack came with a Project A-Ko dvd. If you want the songs please support it by buying the soundtrack.
I’m uploading these songs so everyone can enjoy them. The content is copywritten to their respective owners.
Your imagination is all you really need
When you start believing love is just a kiss away
Life is what you make it there’s no guarantee
It’s you who has the power
And love is just a dance away

When you start believing
You can do anything
Let the magic fill you
Take you above the highest star

Dance Away
Your sorrow
Dance Away
Tomorrow in your heart you will find the answer
Dance away you heartbreak
Dance away you might make
All your dreams turn into reality

When the world around you has got you feelin’ down
Don’t go on forgetting love is just a touch away
When someone has found you don’t let him get away
Don’t go on regretting ’cause love is just a dance away

When you start believing
You can do anything
Let the music take you
Then let it dance you away

Dance away the night
Dance into the light
Dance away the night
Dance away

One response to “Strategic Withdrawal

  1. Oh, thank you Johnny! How sweet of you 🙂 Much Love Superhero!!!! V

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