What's New? v

Hi! My name is Adrian Liem. I’m a digital creative located in Vancouver, BC. Here’s a sampling of what I’m up to these days:



  • Skiing, climbing, biking, swimming, running and eating
  • Playing hockey and ultimate
  • Dabbling in design, photography, and videography
  • Spending time with my family

The Single Step

I’m about to leave on a trip to Asia, a trip of several firsts: first time visiting Asia, first time meeting some extended family, first time seeing the places, buildings, and streets where my parents grew up. It’s sure to be a trip that will add perspective to the big picture of things. This trip also marks the first time in a long time that I’ll get away for more than a couple weeks from the daily busy-ness of life. I’ll be getting the time to refocus and recharge, and the timing couldn’t be better.

There’s a well-known Chinese proverb:

“a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

And here I am about to make my first step, thinking to myself, “It’d be kinda interesting to document each step along the way.”

Well in fact, that’s what this journey is all about.


The journey is more than just his trip to Asia. The trip is really just the opportunity to start a new journey – a journey of change. I’ve decided to make a change in my life, a pretty big change. And in fact the change is happening right now. I’ve made a conscious decision to pursue something that I know other people are after too. Something that some people have reached, but most other people spend most of their lives chasing. I haven’t quite figured out how I’ll get there, what steps I’ll have to take, or what changes I’ll have to make. But as I figure it out, I’m hoping I can help others figure it out too.

What I’m writing right now is all about sharing every step I’m taking as I pursue happiness.

Happiness High Amongst the Waves

Sounds simple enough? Well I’m not talking about a fleeting moment of happiness like the first sip of a Pepsi slurpee or your morning Americano. I’m not talking about the happy feeling you get when you find a $5 bill on the ground, or you laugh and enjoy a friend’s joke.

These are all good and will certainly help, but I’m talking about an enduring, persistent, omnipresent sense of, “Yes! This is what I want my life to feel like! This is what it’s all about!” Omnipresent and enduring. The kind of feeling that persists and builds momentum from one thing to the next.

Of course there will be ups and downs, valleys among the peaks. But what I’m really after is a continual journey moving from one peak to another, to be in the ebb and flow of currents, but for the most part riding high amongst the waves.

This isn’t really anything new, but what’s new is the conscious decision I’ll be making on a day to day basis to continually pursue those moments of happiness.

I don’t know what entirely to expect, but I have some idea.

I expect that I’ll be forced to take a good long look at what I do to earn a living, how I go about doing my work and what work means to me. I expect that I’ll also end up looking at how I spend my free time. What I eat, what I consume. What I read, what I watch and listen to. Who I spend my time with, how I go about planning my life. It will all have to be factored in at some point or another.

Join Me!

I want to make this as real as possible. So instead of spending hours crafting the perfect expository essay, I’m going to let my ideas flow. Sometimes this will work, and other times I’m sure it won’t! But so be it, after all this is my journey :P

Now that being said, I’d love for you to join me.

Whether you’re just browsing through here or end up spending more time reading every word, please feel free to drop me a line – add a comment or send me a note.

If you’re on a journey of your own and want to share your experiences, please do! And especially if you’ve already been on this journey before and have some advice, or if you’re living the dream and have found what you’re looking for, do me a favour and give me a peak into your life.

If you’re a friend or in my family, let’s chat more about this when we meet up in real life! Change doesn’t happen in a bubble, and it’d be pretty cool to bring as many of you along with me as I can.

To end this off, I’d like to share another quote. It’s one that I first heard from one of my high school teachers, but for some reason just popped right back into my head not too long ago. The quote is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

So, let’s begin! :)

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About adrian

As of April 2011, I've taken a leave of absence from my full-time job. Keep tabs on my year as it unfolds and read more about A Tiny Leap.

3 Responses

  1. Jennerosity says:

    Think it’s awesome that your starting to really examine your life and happiness. It’s so much better to be going through life understanding the why of what you’re doing and being, instead of just kind of stumbling through it. It’s something I started thinking about more when I stumbled over Gretchin Rubin’s blog/book The Happiness Project. She’s got some very thoughtful things to say on the subject.

    I’m also starting a new journey of sorts as I’ve just finished setting up a pen name for my writing pursuits. Trying to get one of my manuscripts finished by September so I’ll be busy. But, I’ll add your blog to Google Reader so I can still follow along.

  2. princess #3 says:

    I read not too long ago “Find what you love and do it. This is a lot harder than it sounds.” Most people aren’t lucky enough to do what they love for a living. Or maybe when you do what you love for a living you no longer love it. Doing what you love when you can, during or outside of work, I feel is a big factor of happiness.

    Something else I read is “being happy is a sum of parts” – like a pie. A whole pie of happiness might be family (1 pc), friendships (2 pcs), personal achievement (1 pc), creative outlet (1 pc), travel (1 pc), health (2 pcs). Decide on the pieces you need to be happy. Waning happiness = missing piece/s.

    What do you think?

  3. adrian says:

    Thanks for your comment and mentioning The Happiness Project. Looks like I have lots of reading and catching up to do! Keep me posted with how your writing pursuits go – I’ll make a point of checking in your blog as I can too!

    @princess #3:
    I think those two quotes go well together. I’d also be inclined to say that doing what you love more of the time, or getting more of your fill of pie, will lead you to being happier.

    Time is a very interesting variable in all this, and I was just thinking the other night about how the lack of time can often seem like a barrier – you can’t always do the things you love because sometimes there isn’t enough time. But what if you could shift the balance of time? You can’t change the number of hours in a day, but you can change what you do during those hours.

    This line of thought has led to a new and related goal now: I want to increase the productivity of my productive hours so that I have more time to do the things I want to do.

    That’s basically it! It’s not rocket science, it’s almost so simple I think most of us overlook it. And it’s not a new concept – Tim Ferriss writes about it in The 4-Hour Work Week. It sounds obvious when I hear it again, but it really means something to me now.