Author: Michael Kwan

Vlog #16: Adulting Is Hard (So Deal with It)

About a year and a half ago, I addressed some of the harsh realities of adulthood. I talked about being the main point of contact for our realtor and our mortgage broker, for instance, and how I took on many of the responsibilities for my dad’s final arrangements after he passed away. It’s like I had to grow up overnight, but maybe growing up was well overdue. In this week’s vlog, I ponder about such things. It’s a weird feeling, to be honest. There is a monumental divide between what I understand intellectually and how I see myself in...

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Sunday Snippet: Greg McKeown on Essentialism

In the many hours Geoff spent resting he came to see an interesting paradox in his addiction to achievement: for a type A personality, it is not hard to push oneself hard. Pushing oneself to the limit is easy! The real challenge for the person who thrives on challenges is not to work hard. He explains to any overachievers: “If you think you are so tough you can do anything I have a challenge for you. If you really want to do something hard: say no to an opportunity so you can take a nap.” I have a problem....

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Kombucha vs. Konbucha vs. Kabocha: What’s the Difference?

As I dive deeper and deeper into this increasingly confusing world of health and wellness, I am bombarded by more and more terminology. By now, most of us have grown familiar with labels like GMO free, gluten free, reduced sodium and organically sourced. And then you start to come across words that sound remarkably similar, but refer to entirely different things. That has been exactly my experience with kombucha, konbucha and kabocha. What’s up with all these Ks and buchas? Kombucha Is a Fermented Tea If you’re looking for a little pick me up that’s arguably healthier than coffee...

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Idiomatica: Batten Down the Hatches

English is filled with all sorts of idioms and phrases where the original meaning is mostly lost on the general population. We’re not talking about actual eggs and chickens when we discuss nest eggs, just as we aren’t illuminating a dark space when we hold a candle to something. But in both these cases, it’s unlikely you’ll struggle with the spelling. That’s because we still use the words “eggs” and “candle” in their non-idiomatic forms. Spelling becomes more of a challenge when you have a turn of phrase where the words aren’t so commonly used, at least among regular...

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Vlog #15: A Little Foodie Adventure

I like to eat. This is hardly a secret. In fact, when I asked my Facebook friends to name something I love, they came back with two main answers: my daughter and food. There’s a reason why I call myself a “voracious foodie” and why my Instagram profile lists me as a “foodporn aficionado.” One of my favorite things to do is to try new restaurants, so we decided to go on a bit of a foodie adventure for this week’s vlog. For the first stop on our culinary journey, we enjoyed some weekend brunch at The Gray Olive...

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Sunday Snippet: Robert Waldinger on Happiness

So what have we learned? What are the lessons that come from the tens of thousands of pages of information that we’ve generated on these lives? Well, the lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period. I’ve written extensively on the topic of happiness. The single greatest reason why we do anything, when you boil it all down, is that we think it will make us happy. We think we’ll be happy when we buy that...

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Trying to Explain Flow to Non-Creatives

Let me preface this by saying that people who work in creative fields are not necessarily any smarter, better, or harder working than people who work in non-creative fields. It’s just that the approach to work is an inherently different kind of beast and requires a wholly different manner of thinking. This is perhaps best explored through the ethereal concept of flow, which oftentimes doesn’t make much sense to anyone. Around this time last year, I talked about flow in the context of the third shift. I was solo parenting that night and after putting the little one to...

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The Unintentional Social Experiment

Maybe it’s because I’m the younger of two brothers and the youngest among my cousins on my dad’s side. I’ve always been the baby of the family and, as much as I might hate to admit it, I’ve likely always been treated that way too. Maybe I was spoiled. But it also meant that I had very little decision-making power in the family. I’d always be following the lead of either my parents or my brother. Consciously or unconsciously, this outlook on the world has likely influenced many aspects of my adult life too. Even if I’m not aware...

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Vlog #14: The Wellness Show

While I am certainly grateful to have never been afflicted with a major disease or condition, I am also certain that I have never been of particularly good health either. I’ve never owned a gym membership in my life, aside from the access I was granted as a student at UBC. And I eat a lot of junk food. Less now, but still. I should take better care of myself and that leads into this week’s vlog. As I discuss in the video above, I feel like so many of these bad habits are really starting to catch up...

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Sunday Snippet: “Vsauce” Michael Stevens

If you look closely enough and you take the time, anything can be interesting to anyone, because everything is related in some way to something they care about. As a general rule of thumb, people hate boring things. They don’t want to watch boring movies, they don’t want to read boring books and they don’t want to attend boring events. They want to be engaged and entertained. Does this mean that you can only talk about socioeconomic policy with someone who is strangely passionate about socioeconomic policy? Vsauce creator Michael Stevens certainly doesn’t think so. Everyone has their preferences...

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About

Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.

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