The quote that changed my life

When I was in my very early 20’s, I stumbled upon a quote that completely changed my life. That quote, from Socrates, read:

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

This quote is the major inspiration behind my project, Lessons for Life, where I’ve asked people to share with me the three things they wish they knew when they were younger. Lessons for Life has always been a side project of mine, something that I’ve worked on because it made me happy to connect with people on a deeper level.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to more than 800 people about their learnings. Sometimes our interactions would be brief, other times they would run over an hour long.

When I first tried to share this project online a few years ago, my efforts failed. I was focused on all the wrong things, like getting the website to work and look right, rather than focused on delivering this information to the people I think would find it valuable. I guess this would be my second real attempt at putting this project out there online.

My hope is that we’ll be able to create something incredibly beautiful together and at the same time, discover more about ourselves and our shared humanity. By talking with others, by asking them about their lives via the question “What are the three things you wish you knew when you were younger?,” I’ve had people tell me that I’ve made their day, which is always surprising, because they’re usually the ones who end up making my day.

I’m not sure where this journey of asking people about their life learnings will take me, but I do know that if I don’t try, two things are guaranteed to happen: (1) I will regret this decision to for the rest of my life because working on this project makes me happy and (2) there will be potential missed opportunities for us to try to make a positive impact on the lives of others by sharing the things we’ve had to really learn in life.

Anyways, that’s all for now.

Talk soon,
Snow White Bui

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