In my last newsletter, I talked about creating intentional use of your superpower hours.
That was one of the beginning things that I did to start cultivating a freedom mindset. And from the superpower hours, I began my journey back into…reading. Which was actually a journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment.
I was an avid reader as a kid. But after being in university for 8 loooong years, reading was completely ruined for me. And my god, getting back into reading was one of the best things that ever happened for me.
After hitting the metaphorical rock bottom in my mental health and life (I’m being dramatic here, but only slightly), I knew things needed to change. I was stuck in a pattern of shame, loneliness, and anger. I knew I needed to do something different.
So I took to reading. The book that started everything off was The Power of Agency. Every morning, I would wake up, and spend my superpower hours on reading. On some days, I would wake up, make a coffee, and jump into the book. Other days, I would go to a coffee shop to get my reading in.
I read, I took notes, and most importantly, I implemented changes into my life. And it was really fitting that I chose a book that talked about agency. I spent my whole life feeling powerless and helpless…and after years of avoiding change…I finally came to a point where I couldn’t avoid it anymore (my metaphorical rock bottom).
And the funny thing about change is that…if you don’t believe things would get better, then it won’t. But if you do believe that things would get better, then it will. That’s because our actions reflect what we believe.
If I don’t believe that that I have the power to take control my own life, then why put any effort into changing? It won’t matter anyways. But if I believe that I am the master of my own life, then I would put in all the effort to engineer a life that I want to live.
At this point, some of you are probably thinking…“But Harry, what about racism, and structures of oppression that fuck us over?”
Very good point! We are constantly fucked over by structures of oppression. That is undeniable. And one of the effects of structures of oppression is to make you feel helpless and powerless. And once you believe that, your actions will reflect that belief.
We are not helpless, nor are we powerless. And building our own agency and self-empowerment is a very important aspect of fighting structures of oppression.
And I’m sure you’ve been told that agency exists within structures of oppression. It’s one thing to see yourself as someone who exists within structures of oppression. It’s another thing to fully embody the empowered self as an agent living within structures of oppression.
That full embodiment into your empowered self requires a lot of mental health work. It requires commitment. It requires courage (cause it’s scary as hell). And it requires taking small steps over many years that lead to an eventual overhaul of your entire life. But that journey is worth it. And your future self will thank you for it.
Back to the Book…
So what did I learn from the book? To be honest, it wasn’t so much this particular book that changed my life the most. What changed my life was my decision to face my fears, and address my feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. And that decision is encapsulated in my committed action to wake up every morning to read this book.
And the commitment to read led to a whole lot of different actions and changes in my life. Perhaps I’ll tell you the story of my encounter with a dating coach in the next newsletter. Or perhaps how I surrendered myself to fashion. So stay tuned!
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Therapy for Asians
MSW, RSW | he/him
I help Asians go from feeling trapped to becoming self-liberated.