My context

The more I write about my outlook on life, the more I want to put a giant asterisks by what I say.

This is that asterisks.

Every piece of advice, view point, or expression should be filtered through the following context:

My upbringing

  • I was born into a very stable, loving family environment in a safe neighborhood

  • I grew up in a financially stable household

  • I grew up in one of the most liberal cities in one of the most liberal states of one of the most historically liberal countries in the world: Seattle, Washington, USA

  • I was born without any chronic physical, social, or mental impairments 

My career

  • I grew up in a deeply entrepreneurial family environment. My parents and both sets of grandparents were lifelong entrepreneurs, working almost exclusively for themselves.

  • My parents are calculated risk takers and they encouraged that within their children

  • My parents are believers in actively pursuing one’s passions and dreams. They’ve supported my brother and I in all aspects, including financially.

  • I was born in a city who is a major epicenter of my career interest (Seattle -> Technology)

My education

  • I had a very involved mom who worked hard to expose me to many interests / areas of life

  • I went to private catholic school, then public school. I was in honors classes.

  • I had no scholarships that were GPA / performance contingent

  • I paid in-state tuition with minimal student loans

  • I had no employment restrictions throughout college

My world view

  • I am a straight, Asian American, cisgender male

  • My parents and extended family are all immigrants to the USA

  • I am ethnically Cambodian, with a deep influence from Cantonese and French culture. My parents grew up in both Eastern and Western environments.

  • Throughout my life, I’ve had the opportunity to travel Europe and Asia through my parents.

  • I have family around the world who’s experiences influence me.

  • I grew up studying spanish and mandarin and spoke broken Cambodian at home

In the hierarchy of privilege one can be born into, I know I’m a genetic lottery winner. Does that invalidate my outlook? Not at all. It simply adds a step in determining the transferability of my views to your own life. All of this is the context behind my words and views. Even with this listed out, I know there are aspects of my life that I am unaware of how they’ve influenced me.

The best I can do is remind myself that everything we believe to be “true” must be filtered through the life experience that we were born into and nurtured in. For more on this, check out the context behind the advice.