A lesson learned after spending 7 years chasing — and accomplishing — my dream.

Woman pointing at the sun during a golden sunset.
Woman pointing at the sun during a golden sunset.

I was in tears moments before I walked onto the stage.

It was finally happening. Seven years in the making, my dream of dancing on one of the world’s most competitive stages was about to come true. More than a quarter of my life spent dancing in front of a mirror led up to this magical 5-minute blur.

Lights, bass, music, the miracle of movement, cheers, silence.

And then… reality.

Are all Accomplishments Dust?

One moment I lived out my dream, the next I experienced the arrival fallacy. It’s what happens when we climb up one mountain only to gaze at another peak. …


Surface-level change does nothing for your future self.

Man looking solemnly at you with half his face in shadow.
Man looking solemnly at you with half his face in shadow.

I used to lie to myself every day.

Each morning, I’d wake up and walk myself through a bunch of habits that promised to change my life. Meditate for 5 minutes? Check. Write down 3 things I’m grateful for? Coffee, books, and coffee. Check.

Then when my day truly started, I’d spend all my free time on my phone, and the little things at work would still make me angry. Yet, on Sunday, I’d look back at all those little checkmarks in my journal and pat myself on the back.

Doing those things and checking them off felt good, but…


Don’t achieve goals only to regret how you did it later on.

A hooded figure staring at a mountain valley
A hooded figure staring at a mountain valley

My mom is an immigrant who worked hard to start a life here in Canada. She recently told me that all she wants to do is to move back to the place she worked so hard to leave.

Here’s something she confessed to me:

“I worked so hard all those years to make it here because I thought this place would make me happy, but I’ve only found that living here makes me more stressed.

There’s more things to pay for and everything’s harder.

I remember back home I could just take it easy and enjoy life day in and…


The only meaningful jobs I’ve worked in my 20s came when I dared to fake it.

Man in an astronaut suit waiting at a bus stop.
Man in an astronaut suit waiting at a bus stop.

Six months ago, I got hired to build a website for a church. And I had no clue how to do it.

I was surfing on Indeed to see what types of jobs were out there for when I finally graduated from University when I saw their post. They were looking for someone to rebuild their website from scratch, and the deadline to apply was in less than a week.

You see, I was itching to try something new, and there were free LinkedIn courses that aimed to teach people HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. …


It helped make cigarettes a status symbol, so what can we learn from it?

An old advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes.
An old advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes.

“How do we get people to want something they don’t need?”

This question is what birthed modern marketing, and it’s still the vital question every modern marketing campaign needs to answer to see success.

Yes, finding the answer to this question does come with a side-effect of queasiness in the bowels. It’s tough to face that question and feel good about it at the same time. But if your product has no roof, doesn’t come from a farm, or isn’t a new friend, it’s something we don’t need.

But we can’t just throw our hands up and jump off the…


Deeply understanding death is the first step to becoming truly alive.

Statue of a woman holding someone who is deceased.
Statue of a woman holding someone who is deceased.

BOOM!

Before I knew it, my face was in an airbag.

I was cruising home, vibing to good music, and soaking in the warm sunshine when the car in front of me attempted a U-turn. No signal. My state of being completely shifted in an instant.

You see, there’s a mysterious phenomenon that uses traumatic events to change people’s lives for the better. And as I shakily stepped out of my car, I fell deep into that interesting phenomenon. Up until then, I was a carefree kid who felt invincible. …


Life lessons learned from people who lived life unconventionally.

Sunset on El Capitan in Yosemite
Sunset on El Capitan in Yosemite

Happiness is only real when shared.

These were some of the last written words of a dying man. Christopher McCandless, someone who went on a solitary journey to the wilderness and died, seemed to have gone through a huge perspective shift in his last moments.

He left behind civilization because people tired him out. The meaningless rat race that everyone obsessed over annoyed him. So the solution to his struggle was to simply cut out people.

But in the end, he realized that people are what make the struggle worth it. …


People only hurt others because of their own hurt.

Golden leaves on a branch with a black&white background.
Golden leaves on a branch with a black&white background.

“Because it’s a Tuesday”. Those four words saved hundreds of lives.

Those words were said to an angry teenager who was days away from shooting up his high school. His name was Aaron Stark, and you might’ve seen his viral TED talk.

To sum it up, Aaron was abused, neglected, and bullied his whole life. This pain led him to abuse others which contributed to a vicious cycle: his pain led him to abuse others, which led to just about everyone else cutting him off. He was the exact definition of someone we call toxic.

He was living in a…


Having your head in the clouds doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Woman holding the moon in front of a sunset
Woman holding the moon in front of a sunset

“Be realistic”.

There was a time in my life where I heard that advice being given to me quite often. After conjuring up a dream of mine and timidly sharing it with the people around me, those two words meant that I had my head stuck in the clouds.

Like the time I started crying because I realized the steep water slide was too scary, people around me said I had to come back down the shameful way. Of course, they gave me this advice out of love. …


Shallow connections are the foundation of deep relationships

Two girls sitting in an alcove in a wall
Two girls sitting in an alcove in a wall

There’s a lot of virtual talk being had about recognizing the shallow relationships in your life and how to properly cut them off.

But I say that’s ridiculous. One of my closest friends came from a shallow relationship that lasted years.

We treated each other as a means to end; we carpooled to dance practice together. We also both knew that it wasn’t a friendship that would last; once we stopped dancing, then we’d stop being friends. It got to the point where we took each other for granted, and the relationship became more harmful than helpful.

This went on…

Christian Pow

Writing to help myself and others stay curious — Say hi! christianpow.com

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