Weekly I/O #4

“Weekly I/O” is inspired by Shane Parrish’s and Tim Ferris’s weekly newsletter. Haven’t figured out the exact form and purpose of this weekly, so let’s just take it as a writing practice first and we’ll see how it goes.

Here are some thoughts and notes I have this week:

1. Even Master Sheng-Yen could also be worried sick, get frustrated, and cry.
(Thoughts from watching the documentary about Master Sheng-Yen)

I watched the documentary about Master Sheng-Yen last week in a course from NTUST.

Before watching the documentary, I thought a Master like Sheng-Yen who may have reached the state of Nirvana will not experience too much emotion fluctuation. However, in the documentary, Master Sheng-Yen did cry like a normal human, which blew my mind and forced me to rethink what is the goal of the Buddhist path.

Why he cried? Why didn’t he just let the emotion pass by, like the ideal Buddhist way?

2. “There are different levels of being ‘overly concerned’.”

When being overly concerned, master Sheng-Yen is concerned about people, but oftentimes I’m concerned only about myself.
(Thoughts from the Q&A with Professor Shih, Guo-jing)

After watching the documentary, I ask my professor “Do you think Master Sheng-Yen could also be overly concerned?” (「妳覺得聖嚴法師也有得失心嗎?」).

To be honest, I didn't expect any reasonable answer, but she answered me with the concept of different levels of being “overly concerned”. Master Sheng-Yen cared and worried about something bigger than him, but people only cared and worried about themselves. That’s a simple but thoughtful answer.

3. “Stay upwind”
(From Essay
What you’ll wish you’d known written by Paul Graham)

Traditional Chinese translation and thoughts: #12 那些你希望自己能早點明白的事 written by Denny

It’s not so important what you work on, so long as you’re not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you’ll take.

Suppose you’re a college freshman deciding whether to major in math or economics. Well, math will give you more options: you can go into almost any field from math. If you major in math it will be easy to get into grad school in economics, but if you major in economics it will be hard to get into grad school in math.

Flying a glider is a good metaphor here. Because a glider doesn’t have an engine, you can’t fly into the wind without losing a lot of altitude. If you let yourself get far downwind of good places to land, your options narrow uncomfortably. As a rule you want to stay upwind. So I propose that as a replacement for “don’t give up on your dreams.” Stay upwind.

4. Don’t give up means don’t get demoralized. It doesn’t mean you should be bound by some plan you made early on.
(From Essay
What you’ll wish you’d known written by Paul Graham)

“And yet every May, speakers all over the country fire up the Standard Graduation Speech, the theme of which is: don’t give up on your dreams. I know what they mean, but this is a bad way to put it, because it implies you’re supposed to be bound by some plan you made early on. The computer world has a name for this: premature optimization. And it is synonymous with disaster. These speakers would do better to say simply, don’t give up.”

5. Pain doesn’t imply suffering. (痛並不等於苦)
(From Master Sheng-Yen)

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Voracious learner | Software developer | Cornell Tech student | Better Medium Stats: bit.ly/2RH8Jsf | Medium Articles List: chengweihu.com/blog

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Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維

Cheng-Wei Hu | 胡程維

Voracious learner | Software developer | Cornell Tech student | Better Medium Stats: bit.ly/2RH8Jsf | Medium Articles List: chengweihu.com/blog

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