Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Julien Gaud on Unsplash

Yes, it was disgusting. And I think my facebook friends have shed great light on this issue. But I was watching Saving Capitalism, the Netflix documentary, for the first time today, when I had a revelation.

The Black Lives Matter Movement and Trump supporters have more in common than at first glance.

The root of the average American citizen’s problem is resentment at political and economic disenfranchisement. After that, sects divide based on identification with white/black, gay/straight, Democrat/Republican, libertarian/socialist, ‘upper’ class/middle class/working class, etc. But the root cause for all this simmering anger in America is based on power disparities between the very rich and the rest of society. …

Using the Power of Habit to Change My Schedule Slowly

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Having spent the past 10 days tweeting about coding on Twitter’s #100DaysOfCode, here are my takeaways:

1. Coders are super friendly and generous.

It may not seem a big deal, but the level of support people give when you’re struggling, or even when you’re doing well, is so heartwarming. In no other community of people do I feel such a level of comradery.

2. Learning to program is like learning a new language.

At first, you have no idea what people are talking about. By the fifth day, you can figure out the gist of what some people say. And each day, you learn a little more. …

Three Stories about My Two Failures and What I Learned from Them

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

Until two days ago, I looked back on my life as a chain of failures. But then I read, in quick succession, Stop Trying To Live a Life That Isn’t Working and When Will You Sacrifice Good for Great?, and it was like they sucker-punched me in my gut at exactly the right time.

The truth is, I’ve had some modest successes in my life. All followed by spectacular failures. And lessons.

Lesson 1: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

In middle school, due to my obsession with archery and good luck in learning from South Korea’s 1984 Olympic gold medalist (the first female to win gold in Korea), I was picked to be part of the U.S. Olympic dream team in archery at the tender age of 13. Most archers in the dream team at this time were 16 and had been doing archery competitively for 2 years or more. …

And the Secret Is Not to Receive Love, But to Give It

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

Our story must start with a look at what success is. I recently read a hilarious excerpt from Joel Stein’s book In Defense of Elitism: Why I’m Better than You and You’re Better than Someone Who Didn’t Buy This Book.

I also read this somewhat antithetical article by Connor Wood: Elitism is a Problem. There are so many quotable lines from the latter, but here is an excerpt:

On both the progressive left and the conservative right, today’s crop of leaders is gut-wrenchingly bad, in part because they seem to see no connection between their high status in society and any kind of greater obligation or responsibility. The conservative side seems to think that the sphere of elite responsibility begins and ends with accumulating wealth and “creating jobs.”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alexander on Unsplash

I’ve been diving deeply into the qualities of the Matrix we live in today.

I realized, recently, that while all of us have the potential to be Neo, many of us are more akin to Cypher, who knows the truth but would rather stick his head back into the sand. Instead of withdrawing from the Matrix, we want to be plugged back in, because being withdrawn means living without transcontinental flights or success. We know that success as the world has defined for us is based on “junk values,” as Johann Hari has said in his Ted Talk. But we’re unable to extricate ourselves from those values because we feel a part of the society we live in. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I’m a bit late to the party thrown by Greta Thunberg. Sure, I watched her UN speech a couple of months ago, but I never got it until now, when I was looking up several videos on her site, Fridays For Future.

As I saw her being interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres and Trevor Noah on YouTube, I noticed that both adults had a rather difficult time looking her in the eyes. To be honest, there are lots of times when Greta hits close to home with her words, calling out things that I’ve personally struggled with about climate change — like how I tend to push things under the rug because the problems seem too immense to deal with. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Yannis A on Unsplash

When I first came to Korea, I worked in a consulting and tutoring job, rather than in teaching, but for the past two and a half years, I’ve been teaching rooms full of elementary students full time.

Here are some things I’ve learned about managing people from the experience. Suffice to say, getting a room full of elementary students to complete a task well is harder than it looks. I have mad respect for teachers of all shapes and sizes now.

1. Managers must wear many hats.

One day, you’re going to be a career counselor; other days, you’ll be a therapist. One day, you’ll have to be a disciplinarian, while on others, you’ll be a warm-hearted nanny. …

And How ‘A Life of Productivity’ Dug Me Out of My Pit of Self-Destructiveness

Image for post
Image for post

When I dropped out of U.C. Berkeley in my junior year, a semester of rest was a long time in coming. I had burned out in my junior year of high school at the prestigious and grueling Phillips Exeter Academy. Exeter is known for being one of the top boarding schools in the world, with the largest secondary school library in the world and people like Mark Zuckerberg, Dan Brown, and Daniel Webster as alumni.

It was also a hotbed for depression and burnout from the classes that ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extracurricular activities and sports outside of those hours and ‘short’ days on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when we would finish classes at 12–2. …

What Adyashanti Calls ‘Deframing,’ Rather than ‘Reframing’

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

I was listening to The Personal MBA on Audible yesterday, and I had a ‘eureka’ moment when I heard what Josh Kaufman said about reference points.

To be honest, I don’t really remember what he said because it was drowned out by my sudden revelation. To sum up, that revelation is: Adyashanti was right when he talked about how happiness comes when enlightenment comes, and enlightenment comes when you attain the lived experience of having no reference points.

Many people live their lives trying to achieve Elon-Musk-level success, especially in the tech sector, but realistically, only Elon Musk and a couple more people like him are ever going to reach that level. …

Two Suggestions from Real Life

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

Gone are the days when managers and bosses could tell you what to do. Especially in sectors where job growth is high, employees have a lot of leverage to up and leave if they aren’t happy — and both the employee and the manager know it. That’s why companies in the Silicon Valley spend so much money on cafeterias and Foosball tables for their employees: they know that happy employees are productive employees.

But what about the rest of us who don’t work in Silicon Valley, or who don’t work in high-growth sectors?

Actually, I’ve found that, even though I’m working in Seoul, South Korea where workplace culture is known to be hellish, people are quite ready to up and leave if something doesn’t suit them. …


Jenna Lee

An honest yet compassionate gal. Connect on

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store