Given that this is my first official entry for this blog, I thought I’d elaborate a little more about what the blog will be about in ways that the “About” page, in the name of brevity, does not.
I have already written, on my “About” page, about how The Dancing Paladin is about my philosophy of living a life that is both successful (in whatever sense you want that word to mean) and highly virtuous.
The ideas that I will be writing about here are a result of a lifetime (so far, relatively short, I admit) of non-stop searching, reading, thinking, experimenting, changing and adapting. Most of it will be my original content. Occasionally, some of it may be material by others that I want to share. Some of it will be actual, practical tips; some of it will be just ideas that will be for you to decide what to do with.
I don’t rely on being well-read in itself as a sturdy foundation for a blog like this. In fact, in many life situations being well-read is next to useless. But one thing that I feel I’ve been fairly successful in doing is to sift through the wealth of material I’ve explored, experiment with them in daily life, shift and change them around as necessary, come up with my own ideas, reject the parts that don’t seem to work and then syncretize it all into a coherent and harmonious whole that is flexible, adaptable and is always evolving.
Another wellspring that I draw from is my interaction over the past few years with a certain individual here in Korea who is – and there’s really no way to say this without sounding corny or pretentious – a modern-day Taoist master. I cringe even as I write this because words like “master” and “Taoism” are incredibly loaded with cultural baggage and misconceptions. I’ll save a more in-depth discussion of what I have learned through studying with this particular individual for later, but for now let it suffice to say that Taoism is not what most people think it is, and that includes people here in Korea.
Have I “mastered” it? Hell, no. Not even close to being close. Let there be no mistake: I don’t pretend to be a teacher or master of anything by any means. I am also not, obviously, a professional psychologist, counselor or anything of the sort (though psychology does happen to be a favorite subject of mine and I try to read as much about it as I can). I can honestly say, however, that I try my utmost to implement my own principles in my daily life, which is more than can be said even of many great philosophers.
I am, more than anything, a fellow student of life sharing my notes with you. Some of you are my peers; some, my seniors; and others, my juniors by varying degrees. While people of all ages and experience would enjoy and possibly benefit from this material, it’s the younger audience (teens, 20s, 30s) whom I target most. The first reason is that I don’t purport to prescribe a philosophy of living to people who are ten, twenty or more years my elder – not because age necessarily equates with wisdom (it does sometimes but not always), but because it’s just plain presumptuous and embarrassing to advise someone who’s lived a lot longer than you how to live. The second reasons is while there’s a lot of what you might call “self-development” material out there, there isn’t a lot that is specifically directed towards those in, say, their teens and 20s. And these are the people whom I am in a position to genuinely influence, especially given the nature of my professional work.
What exactly is my professional work? Well, to the extent that this is relevant to establishing a certain base level of credibility, I’ll explain in a nutshell. My work is fairly broad and diverse, and in fact it’s changing even as I write this, but for the past several years I have had the honor and privilege of acting as an agent, manager and producer in the arts and entertainment industry here in Korea where I live. Probably, to most of the readers I’m targeting this blog towards, the point of greatest interest would be my work with a certain particular dance team that I consider to be one of the greatest dance teams the world has ever known, if I may be so bold in saying so. I am speaking here of the Korean b-boy crew Last For One. Through my work and travels with them, I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with diverse youth around the world (around twenty different countries, in fact).
Through this and many other wonderful experiences, I have had the good fortune to learn, create and put many ideas to the test. For ideas are great, and there are certainly more than enough of them to go around, but it is only when an idea is applied to the litmus test of everyday life that it becomes either a viable technique of living or just a nice theory. Daily life is, in this sense, an exciting, dynamic laboratory where one gets to try out ideas and see how effective they are, and, if necessary (as it often is), make adjustments.
I believe that there might be ideas and principles here that would be of interest and value to some, and I share them freely and openly in the hope that something here might possibly help or inspire someone somewhere, however slightly. That, and because I simply enjoy thinking and writing and would do it anyway much in the way that the seas would churn and volcanoes erupt regardless of whether people were around to witness them or not.
I only write about what I feel qualified to. Note that this blog isn’t about how to make a million bucks without lifting a finger. I haven’t succeeded in that or even tried it so I don’t write about it (you may be surprised how many people write about how to do things that they themselves haven’t actually done).
So there you have it. And now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, it’s on to the fun stuff.