Once, a university professor went to visit a well-respected Zen Master to learn about Zen. The Master first invited him to sit for a cup of tea. The professor sat down and started talking about Zen. The Master quietly prepared and poured the tea. When the tea was filled to…


In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to share five things that we can all be thankful for, as well as how to repay gratitude.

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1: Thank you to parents for

  • Raising me and protecting me when I was a helpless infant
  • Sacrificing sleep and foregoing fun activities to raise me
  • Working hard to put food on…

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For most of my life, I thought pleasure was the same as happiness. Only after I graduated university did I learn the difference. I sure wish I had known earlier! …


“No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.”

— Seneca

Previously, I wrote about moderating our desires in the Self-Control Poem and in Rewiring…


I recently watched Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and being the self-improvement philosopher that I am, I couldn’t help but reflect on the life lessons from the story.

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Here are 7 life lessons I took away from the film:

1: You don’t have to be good at everything, but it’s important to be good at one useful thing.

For example, Katy is really good at driving…


Why do you wake up in the morning? Do you have a strong sense of purpose that gets you up? Or are you going through life without a clear purpose? If you already have a strong sense of purpose, that’s fantastic! If not, you’re not alone.

The Cato 2019 Welfare…


Are you happy? If you’re not as happy as you’d like to be, you’re not alone.

A 2020 survey by NORC at the University of Chicago found that only 14% of Americans feel “very happy”, which is the lowest since the survey began in 1972.

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From the chart, we can…


Did you know that around 40% of our daily actions are actually habits? Despite habits being such a big part of our lives, many of us don’t actually spend much effort to optimize them. But we should.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says,

“The quality of our lives depends…


Giving, Loving Words, Beneficial Action, Activities in Common

The Four Methods of Guidance is basically how the Buddha taught people to nurture relationships and build new ones. …


What’s the key to a happy and healthy life? In his Ted Talk, What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness, researcher Robert Waldinger reported,

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

Happiness…

Alex Chen

Passionate about self-cultivation, happiness, and sharing wisdom.

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