I’ve fantasized about going to Hong Kong my whole life. My dad lived there two years before I was born, speaks fluent Cantonese and regularly cooked homemade Chinese dishes in a massive wok he kept on our stove. He was very particular about the exact type of soy sauce he used and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to use chopsticks.
Needless to say, I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with Chinese pop culture--and, of course, Americanized Chinese pop culture. No one in my family was surprised when I came up with my original designs for Fortune & Frame and they had subtle Chinese undertones.
When Fortune & Frame was invited to go to Hong Kong to meet with the people who help us create our intricate packaging, we naturally jumped at it. The fact that the invite came right as Chinese New Year--or Lunar New Year--was kicking off, was just icing on the cake.
As a brand that revolves around creating your own good fortune--rather than waiting for something or someone to create it for you--we established our position on the Lunar New Year early on: “It’s a second chance to keep your first resolution.”
For anyone who has generally lost enthusiasm for their ambitious New Year’s resolutions by the time February rolls around, Lunar New Year’s got you covered. When we arrived in Hong Kong we were relieved to find that the energy around the New Year reinforced this idea we’ve latched onto.
The entire province was covered in ornate pigs, Chinese New Year red envelopes, lights and the most intricate and thoughtful decor. We decided to make good use of our second chance by resetting our path for the rest of this year while we were in the epicenter of the new year festivities.
When we set our original New Year’s intentions back in January, we focused on working smarter, not harder, making more time for life outside of work, and celebrating our accomplishments rather than focusing on everything we haven’t accomplished.
Our trip to Hong Kong inspired us to put together a collection of some of the fortunes that remind us of these intentions, and to set some new goals as well. Hopefully our process and the fortunes we chose will inspire you (or someone else in your life) to set your own goals...and stick to them, too.
First things first, you’ve got to set your intentions.
Before moving into the part where you set really specific goals, get your mind in the right place. For me, I always like to remind myself how much control we all have over how our narrative unfolds. We can write whatever story we want--and, with a few exceptions, we can reroute when we’re in the middle of a chapter we don’t particularly like. Here are some of our the mantras we lean on before jumping into the specifics:
Next, make space for a fresh start.
In Hong Kong we learned that a big part of the Lunar New Year tradition revolves around decluttering your life and getting a fresh start. So basically, Marie Kondo-ing your life. We took that to mean cleaning out all those bad vibes, unpacking junk drawers (literally and figuratively) and being open to new opportunities we couldn’t have dreamed up on our own. Here are some fortunes to get you into a mindset of removing what’s heavy and unnecessary:
Don’t get in your own way.
Because we believe that everyone creates their own journeys--and that your mindset has a disproportionate effect on what unfolds along the way--many of the fortunes we’ve written are notes-to-self for those times when the only thing that’s holding us back is ourselves. The biggest themes are having more patience, growing through mistakes and acknowledging fear, but moving beyond it:
Balance the things you control with the things you don’t.
Our final thought as we move into this new year is that for every part of your life you do control, there’s another part that you don’t. It’s why you can spend so much time willing a specific outcome or scenario into existence and it still doesn’t come to be. My experience is that whenever that happens, it’s by some greater design and we inevitably come to appreciate later exactly why the thing we wanted wasn’t meant to be. (Hopefully because something better was right around the corner.)
As someone who always wants to influence my surroundings and gets frustrated when I don’t have control, I leave you with some of my favorite reminders that sometimes you just don’t get to have a say. And that’s okay.
I hope these fortunes will help inspire you to find your ambition this year, or write down some of your own. We would love to know what you come up with, so feel free to share your favorite quotes with us!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full collection of fortunes here.