Community Self-Improve

Embracing the True Essence of Work: Insights from Di Tran on the Lunar New Year 2024

On the auspicious occasion of Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebrated on February 10, 2024, Di Tran, a prolific small business owner, author, and advocate for human connection and cultural roots in the USA, offers a profound reflection on the intrinsic value of work. His thoughts, deeply rooted in appreciation for origin, history, and human-to-human connections, resonate with a timeless truth: the ability, opportunity, and willingness to work transcend mere financial gain. They embody a divine gift that enables individuals to contribute to society, discover their self-worth, and find genuine happiness in life.

Di Tran’s perspective is not just philosophical; it is lived. Today, he cherishes the unique opportunity to work alongside his mother, a vibrant and passionate septuagenarian who, even in her 70s, exudes an indefatigable spirit. Her dedication to her craft and her customers, many of whom have become like family over 20+ years of loyal patronage, exemplifies a deep-seated passion for work that goes beyond the conventional. Her ability to engage in lively discussions about ideas and art, while serving each customer with the care and attention they would receive from a loved one, highlights the human aspect of business that Di Tran holds dear.

This mother-son duo’s approach to work is emblematic of a broader ethos that sees labor not as a burden, but as a form of worship and a path to fulfillment. Their daily hustle, characterized by creativity, passion, and an unwavering commitment to their community, illustrates the profound connection between work, happiness, and the human spirit. For Di Tran and his mother, work is an expression of love—a way to serve and connect with others, to acknowledge their humanity, and to weave a tapestry of relationships that enriches both their lives and those of their customers.

As Di Tran works quietly alongside his mother, he is moved to gratitude for this opportunity to collaborate, create, and contribute. His reflections on this day are a powerful reminder of the beauty inherent in the ability to work. “God is beautiful, and we thank God that we can work and never stop working,” Di Tran muses, his words a testament to the deep sense of purpose and joy derived from his labor. His gratitude extends to the United States and its people, whose embrace of diversity and opportunity has allowed him and countless others to pursue their dreams and find fulfillment in their work.

In sharing his thoughts during the Tết celebrations, Di Tran not only pays homage to his cultural heritage and familial bonds but also offers a universal message of hope and inspiration. His story is a reminder that work, when embraced as an opportunity to contribute, connect, and create, becomes a source of happiness and fulfillment far surpassing the material rewards it may bring. It is a call to recognize the sacredness of labor and to approach our work with the same passion, creativity, and gratitude that Di Tran and his mother exemplify daily.

As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, let us reflect on the true value of work and its role in our lives. May we all find the same joy in our endeavors, the same sense of purpose in our contributions, and the same deep connection to our fellow humans that Di Tran celebrates. In doing so, we not only honor the legacy of those who have paved the way but also forge a path toward a more fulfilling, connected, and joyful life.

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Nourishing the Mind: The Power of Morning Affirmations

Starting Your Day with a Positive Boost

The dawn of a new day offers a unique opportunity to set the tone for the hours that lie ahead. Just as our bodies require nourishment in the form of breakfast, our minds too need a dose of positive energy to thrive. A simple yet powerful affirmation like, “Thank you God, for I am alive, and I thank you for I am capable. Beyond capable to add value now,” can serve as that essential morning boost.

The First 30 Seconds

The moments immediately after waking are precious. As our consciousness emerges from the restorative realm of sleep, it is especially receptive. A focused 30-second meditation during this time can deeply embed positive thoughts and energies into our psyche.

Imagine this: upon waking, before the distractions of the day set in, you walk towards your bathroom and, in the rhythm of each step, you repeat the aforementioned affirmation ten times. The repetition, the focus, and the deliberate intent to start the day on a positive note set the stage for a day of productivity, positivity, and purpose.

The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg, in his influential book “The Power of Habit”, delves deep into the science of why habits exist and how they can be changed. He points out that habits work in a loop: a cue triggers a routine, which then gives a reward. In our morning affirmation scenario, the act of waking up serves as the cue. The routine is the 30-second meditation coupled with the repetition of the affirmation. The reward? A fortified mental state and a positive perspective for the day ahead.

By incorporating this daily affirmation into our morning routine, we are harnessing the power of habit to shape our days and, in the long run, our lives. Over time, this positive reinforcement can reshape our brain’s neural pathways, reinforcing feelings of gratitude, capability, and self-worth.

Drawing References: The Transformative Power of Words

Books like “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear underscore the importance of morning routines and habits in personal transformation. Elrod emphasizes the life-changing impact of dedicating the first hour of your day to personal development, while Clear discusses how tiny changes, like a short morning affirmation, can lead to remarkable results over time.


Starting our day with a focused and positive mindset is like giving our mental state a hearty breakfast. It primes us for success, resilience, and growth. The 30-second affirmation might seem like a small act, but its impact, when compounded over time, can be transformative.

In the words of Lao Tzu, “Watch your habits, for they become your destiny.” By adopting a daily ritual of morning affirmations, we are taking a proactive step towards crafting a destiny filled with gratitude, capability, and value.

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Aligning Life Beyond Fear, Towards Progress and Genuine Happiness

Happiness Through Progress, Unhappiness Through Regress

There’s a profound simplicity in the concept that happiness stems from progress. It’s the forward momentum, the evolution of personal and collective growth, that induces a sense of accomplishment and joy. On the contrary, regress or backward movement, not only stalls development but also ushers in unhappiness, as it represents the loss of what was once achieved or attained.

Navigating through Life’s Falling Tide

You cannot catch any fish unless you are in a falling tide.” This proverb encapsulates a significant life lesson about embracing challenges and uncertainties. The falling tide, symbolizing times of hardship or loss, surprisingly, opens up numerous unexplored opportunities. Not throwing your line into the water – an analogy for not taking risks or trying – is labeled as the sole mistake during these troubling times. It’s essential to “get all your line in the water,” implying an urgent need to explore, innovate, and remain open to possibilities, despite the surrounding chaos.

All Lines in the Water: Embracing Fullness of Life

To have “all line in water” implies an approach to life that is rich with exploration, risks, and a consistent pursuit of novel experiences. It signals a decision to live each day brimming with potential, ensuring not to dwell in the past or squander time unnecessarily. This doesn’t deny the legitimacy of suffering but instead appreciates the multifaceted nature of life.

Suffering is Sacred

The perception of suffering as sacred is both evocative and polarizing. It embodies the belief that through pain, one can discover depth, meaning, and perhaps, an unusual form of tranquility and acceptance. Suffering strips away superficialities, revealing what genuinely matters and thereby, becomes a peculiar avenue leading towards enlightenment and internal peace.

Four Idolized Substitutes: Money, Power, Fame, Pleasure

Human beings have often misguidedly substituted four primary idols – money, power, fame, and pleasure – in place of virtues and spiritual attributes. These idols mirror a void, a desperation to validate existence through external approval and material acquisitions. In a culture obsessed with these, the alignment of self-worth becomes perilously tied to transient and often, elusive markers of ‘success’.

Finding True North: Aligning with Genuine Values

In contrast, aligning with values that are intrinsically rewarding and not necessarily tied to external validation, as emphasized by Di Tran in the soon-to-be-released book “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH,” underscores a paradigm shift from fear to unbridled faith. Tran’s emphasis on placing unequivocal faith in the process of progress and delivering a wholehearted effort proposes that life, in return, aligns itself in a symphony of constructive outcomes.

In conclusion, navigating through life’s tumultuous tides demands a deliberate decision to engage fully, embracing both progress and suffering as inherent aspects of the human experience. Choosing to forsake the idolization of money, power, fame, and pleasure in favor of a pursuit steered by genuine faith and relentless progress seeds not just temporal happiness but a timeless, intrinsic joy that is unfazed by external circumstances.

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Accept and Surrender EGO: The Path to True Personal Growth

The human ego, often seen as our sense of self-importance, can be both a motivator and a barrier to genuine personal and spiritual growth. Leading figures in the realm of self-development, such as Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Brene Brown, and Deepak Chopra, have all emphasized the significance of understanding the ego and transcending its limitations. Here’s how their teachings align with the journey of surrendering the ego.

Why Surrender the EGO?

As Deepak Chopra often conveys, the ego seeks validation and dominance, acting as a barrier to our spiritual connection. By surrendering the ego, we free ourselves from its confines, allowing for a deeper connection to the universe and our true self.

Surrendering EGO By Self-Talk

Les Brown, with his messages about potential and self-worth, encourages us to have meaningful dialogues with ourselves. Facing the mirror and having raw, unfiltered conversations can lead to an understanding of one’s strengths, fears, and dreams, helping dismantle ego-driven beliefs.

Elevate Your Self-Value

Brene Brown’s teachings on vulnerability and self-worth emphasize the importance of recognizing our intrinsic value. She suggests that by embracing our vulnerabilities, we can see our worth more clearly, moving beyond the ego’s need for external validation.

Elevate Skills

Zig Ziglar, who has always championed the value of self-improvement, believed that enhancing our skills wasn’t just about proficiency but also about character growth. In the journey of skill elevation, we not only improve our capabilities but also nurture humility, thereby keeping the ego in check.

Elevate Care

The essence of care and compassion is highlighted in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s teachings. He believed that by cultivating a genuine concern for others, we foster empathy, humility, and a sense of connection, all of which help in putting the ego aside.

In Conclusion

The journey of personal growth requires us to recognize and surrender our ego. As these renowned figures – Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Brene Brown, and Deepak Chopra – have illustrated through their teachings and lives, transcending the ego paves the way for a more meaningful, fulfilling, and connected existence. By engaging in self-reflection, valuing our inherent worth, honing our skills, and elevating our capacity for care, we can truly rise above the confines of the ego and achieve authentic personal growth.

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The Vital Role of Self-Reflection and Collaboration in Defining Self-Worth

The Journey Within: Self-Reflection and Self-Worth

Our understanding of self-worth is deeply interconnected with the ongoing process of self-reflection. As one delves deeper into their thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, they start to recognize their intrinsic value. Understanding oneself is paramount in gauging how we view our place in society and our contributions to it.

Author James Clear, in his bestselling book “Atomic Habits”, emphasizes the importance of habits in shaping identity. He states, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”1 By consistently reflecting on our actions and choices, we can ensure that our habits align with our self-worth.

The Power of Collaboration: Openness, Understanding, and Partnership

In our interconnected world, collaboration is not just a skill but a necessity. Before we can collaborate, however, it’s crucial to adopt an open-minded attitude. By being open-minded, we create a fertile ground for understanding others’ perspectives and forging meaningful partnerships.

The essence of a successful collaboration is to approach it with a ‘win-win’ perspective. When both parties view collaboration as a mutual benefit, it fosters trust and innovation.

Government and Community: A Model for Collaboration

When considering collaboration, the partnership between government agencies and community individuals and businesses stands out. Such partnerships can help address societal issues more holistically.

For instance, when a government agency aims to launch a new public service initiative, understanding the needs of the community can be invaluable. The ‘where’ and ‘when’ become clearer when there’s open dialogue between the agency and the people it aims to serve. The ‘what’, or the essence of the initiative, is shaped by these collective insights.

Author Robert Putnam, in his influential book “Bowling Alone”, explores how social capital and community engagement have evolved over the years.2 He posits that for any initiative to be successful, especially in the public sector, collaboration between agencies and their communities is critical.

The Ultimate Objective: Elevating and Supporting Others

At the heart of our existence lies the pursuit of happiness, health, and satisfaction. While personal achievements are commendable, the true essence of a meaningful life is often found in helping and uplifting others.

When we support others, we’re not only contributing to their well-being but also reinforcing our self-worth. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The rising tide lifts all the boats.” This sentiment underscores the importance of community upliftment and shared growth.


In the journey of understanding and asserting our self-worth, self-reflection and collaboration play pivotal roles. Through these processes, we learn more about ourselves and our interconnectedness with the world around us. By emphasizing mutual growth and support, we pave the way for a happier, healthier, and more satisfied society.



  1. Clear, James. “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.” Avery, 2018.
  2. Putnam, Robert D. “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” Simon & Schuster, 2000.
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Now is Your Time: Navigating Covid, Inflation, and AI through Self-Transformation

In an ever-changing world marked by unprecedented events, our recent history has thrown three major challenges our way: the Covid-19 pandemic, a global inflation crisis, and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Each event, while overwhelming in its own right, carries an urgent message: now is the time to take control of your self. It’s a call to an internal revolution rather than an external one.

Covid-19: Embracing Internal Strength

The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped our way of life, forcing us to pause and reevaluate what truly matters. While it posed significant challenges, it also presented a unique opportunity to reconnect with our inner selves.

Through practices like meditation and mindfulness, many have found solace by reaching out to their internal gods. This internal focus shifted the attention from chaos and uncertainty to empowerment and self-love. Now, more than ever, it is essential to channel the power of positive affirmations and control our mind’s well-being.

Inflation: The Value of Self-Worth

Next came the global inflation crisis, where rising prices led to a broader examination of values, both monetary and personal. The inflation rate is beyond our individual control, but what we can control is our sense of self-worth.

Investing in ourselves, increasing our knowledge, skills, and personal development, allows us to add value in a world that might be economically unstable. No external event can diminish our worth when we are in control of our growth.

AI: The Automation of Self-Control

The emergence of AI represents a significant shift in the way we interact with the world around us. With machines performing tasks that were once human, we are reminded of what truly separates us: our consciousness and ability to self-regulate.

The rise of AI calls us to understand our bodies more deeply. This might mean engaging in physical exercise, fasting to reconnect with our bodily needs, or focusing on our families. The human experience is something AI cannot replicate, and nurturing these aspects is a celebration of our humanity.

Conclusion: Act Now, Work Now, Self-Motivate Now

We live in a world teetering on the edge of significant change, where external events often seem to control our lives. The last three major events have made one thing clear: the time to take charge of ourselves is now.

The call is not for a reaction to external forces but for an internal revolution. It’s about being in control of our minds, valuing ourselves, understanding our bodies, and enjoying our families.

In a world where the only certainty is uncertainty, it’s a reminder that we are our masters, capable of steering our destiny. Work now, act now, self-motivate now – for the power lies within us, not outside.

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The Emergence of AI: Rethinking Work, Value, and Life Purpose

Artificial intelligence (AI) was once thought to threaten blue-collar jobs first, displacing workers from roles characterized as dirty, dull, and dangerous. Surprisingly, it’s been the roles of writers, coders, and artists that have undergone the most profound transformations in the wake of this technological revolution. As the impact of AI continues to redefine traditional job roles, societies are grappling with new questions around the purpose of work, the implications for human value, and the necessary societal adaptations.

AI’s Unexpected Targets

While manufacturing and manual labor were presumed the most susceptible to automation, AI has demonstrated its versatility and capacity to learn, leading to remarkable advancements in fields requiring intellectual and creative skills. Codie Sanchez, an investment expert and entrepreneur, argued that AI’s intrusion into the white-collar job market illustrates the breadth of its capabilities.

Universal Basic Income: An Emerging Solution?

With AI transforming the job market, governments have started proposing radical solutions like Universal Basic Income (UBI). The concept of UBI seeks to provide each citizen with a guaranteed, no-strings-attached income to cover basic living costs. While a potential solution to widespread job losses due to AI, this measure also sparks contentious debates over economic feasibility, societal impacts, and philosophical underpinnings.

Rethinking Work Beyond Monetary Value

A key challenge posed by AI’s impact is not merely financial. Work extends beyond earning a living, contributing to individuals’ self-worth, sense of purpose, and life satisfaction. If AI were to take over all labor, we would have to reconsider what we do and how we find purpose in our lives.

According to Emad Mostaque, a renowned strategist and co-CIO at Capricorn Fund Managers, “The day everyone can be a programmer is here.” He notes that technology has democratized many fields, making everyone a potential photographer with their smartphone or a diagnostician using Google’s latest models. The most affected areas include healthcare and education, where personalized services can now be availed at a fraction of the traditional cost.

AI: A Double-Edged Sword

The dawn of AI, while bringing benefits, also raises the bar exceptionally high for many professions. In fields heavily reliant on computer use, humans aided by AI could potentially outcompete those without such assistance. As AI develops the capability to write and improve its own programs, it can, hypothetically, also write its own virus if required. The implications are stark: once sought-after roles like coders could face the same fate as coal miners in the wake of AI advancements.

Di Tran, once a Principal Software Architect and now an author, echoes this sentiment. He notes that only three years ago, a significant gap existed in the IT industry for full-stack developers, with many U.S. companies outsourcing these roles. Now, and potentially in the near future, no programmers may be needed at all – a reality as disruptive for coders as mechanization was for coal miners.

The Future: Learning Fast and Embracing AI

According to Tran, the key to surviving and thriving in this new era is to “learn fast and get on board with AI.” Adapting to these changes requires a willingness to retrain and a determination to understand the world reshaped by AI.

As we journey into this AI-driven future, our societal structures, our jobs, and our very sense of self will continue to evolve. It’s an era where we need to drop our fears and focus on faith, echoing the title of Tran’s upcoming book. As we move forward, we must continuously adapt and redefine our understanding of work and purpose in the shadow of AI’s immense potential.

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The Power of Self Belief: Reflecting on “Leave the Mirror and Change Your Face” and “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH”

As we traverse the winding paths of self-discovery, personal development, and spiritual growth, we are often guided by the wisdom of those who have gone before us. Two insightful pieces of literature, “Leave the Mirror and Change Your Face” by Neville Goddard and “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH” by Di Tran, provide unique and transformative perspectives on these journeys. These works underscore the importance of a strong belief in self-imagination, fostering the affirmation of the “I AM” identity, and internalizing this conviction without contradiction.

“Leave the Mirror and Change Your Face” is a potent metaphor that reflects Neville Goddard’s philosophical orientation towards changing one’s reality by changing one’s internal state. According to Goddard, the outer world is but a mirror of our inner world, mirroring our beliefs, perceptions, and expectations. As such, if we wish to alter our external circumstances, we must first change the face we present to the mirror – our inner state.

Goddard’s thesis profoundly underscores the power of self-imagination and the importance of aligning one’s beliefs with one’s desires. This fundamental assertion, that the belief in the reality of our imaginal acts is key to manifesting our desires, mirrors the teachings found in Di Tran’s book, “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH.”

In “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH,” Tran emphasizes the immense power that faith and belief have on our lives. He teaches us to relinquish our fears and, instead, concentrate on the faith we have in our abilities and our dreams. He believes that fear only serves to distract us from our true potentials and ambitions.

Just like Goddard, Tran emphasizes that faith in our internal vision—our self-imagination—holds the power to shape our external reality. Tran advocates that one’s internal affirmation of “I AM” must be positive, robust, and free from any contradiction or doubt. This means that the faith in oneself and one’s abilities must be unshakeable and must come from within. Both authors agree that only by believing in oneself, in one’s worth, and in one’s ability to achieve can one truly manifest the reality one desires.

Interestingly, the convergence of these themes across both works reinforces the idea that fear and doubt are significant barriers to personal development and actualizing our goals. Both Goddard and Tran emphasize that these negative emotions distort the mirror of our reality, reflecting back the very fears and doubts we harbor within ourselves.

In summary, both “Leave the Mirror and Change Your Face” by Neville Goddard and “Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH” by Di Tran provide a fascinating exploration into the power of self-belief and the role of self-imagination in shaping our realities. The concept of “I AM” plays a crucial role in both works, emphasizing that our internal state, what we believe and imagine ourselves to be, strongly influences our external circumstances. In this sense, they teach us that to manifest the reality we desire, we must first change our face, drop the fear, and focus on faith. By doing so, we unlock the power to transform our lives from within.

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The Intersection of Health, Value, and Selflessness: Drawing Inspiration from Di Tran’s Philosophy

In his seminal work, “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS,” Di Tran put forward a profound philosophy that not only compels us to prioritize others but also underscores the significance of maintaining good health as an expression of personal value and motivation. He presents a compelling anecdote featuring an elderly man in his seventies, who, despite his age, boasts an impressive physique and a determination to remain healthy and valuable until his very last breath. This anecdote incisively encapsulates the essence of self-care as a powerful tool for enhancing one’s personal value and living a meaningful life.

Understanding the Philosophy: The Intersection of Health and Value

The philosophy embedded in this narrative strongly resonates with the concept of ‘healthy narcissism’ espoused by Craig Malkin in his book “Rethinking Narcissism.” Healthy narcissism, according to Malkin, is not about vanity or self-obsession, but about a profound sense of self-worth and the motivation to take care of oneself. The elderly man in Tran’s narrative embodies this by maintaining a robust physique and a sense of attractiveness that extends well into his advanced years.

The Strength of Mind: More Than Physical Fitness

In his narrative, Tran underscores that achieving a well-maintained physique like a six-pack is more about mental strength than physical capabilities. This sentiment resonates with the concept of ‘grit’ discussed by Angela Duckworth in her renowned book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” Duckworth argues that grit, a combination of passion and perseverance, is crucial for achieving any long-term goals, including physical fitness. The act of regularly exercising, fasting, and consuming a protein-rich diet requires an immense amount of discipline and determination, demonstrating mental resilience and strength.

Hard Work: Beyond Physical Wellness

However, Tran’s narrative extends beyond the realm of physical wellness and enters the territory of holistic well-being, suggesting that the essence of life lies not just in self-care but also in the ability to add value to others’ lives. This principle is reminiscent of the ideas expressed by Adam Grant in his book “Give and Take.” Grant argues that successful individuals are often those who add value to others’ lives – ‘givers,’ as he calls them. The elderly man in Tran’s narrative exemplifies this by dedicating his life to serving his family and others, illustrating that the real value of life stems from the impact we have on the people around us.

In conclusion, Di Tran’s narrative represents a powerful intersection of health, value, and selflessness, urging readers to maintain their physical health and mental strength while also emphasizing the significance of adding value to others’ lives. The example of the elderly man’s commitment to maintaining his health and fitness while simultaneously serving others presents a compelling model for holistic well-being. This philosophy does not just challenge the conventional views of self-care and value addition but provides a unique perspective on how these concepts can co-exist harmoniously to create a life filled with purpose, health, and happiness.