Hsinchu Discussion Transcript: Knowing What's Nice

Participants: Peter W, Amenda, Kevin, Angela

I think desire is maybe the things you don’t need, and you don’t want, but expectation is your dreams and your wish you want to fulfill it, and the picture you want to go for. And desire is the things you want but don’t need.

Expectation is more positive, it’s something you want to achieve. But desire is more, for me, more unrealistic, it’s more like a dream that cannot true. It’s my secret, but it’s a dream that cannot come true. Maybe it’s illegal. More unrealistic. But expectation is more practical. You go to it step by step, you expect it. But desire, you don’t expect it. You don’t really have to make this come true, because it’s just desire. Maybe it’s illegal.

I’m afraid to ask…


Like a second wife, maybe you want a second wife, but that’s just desire.

But I would say today’s topic is related to the topic we discussed last week.

How’s it related?

Because they say, do you know enough, it looks like, how could I say, do you know enough when you are happy, or you have enough, I would say it really depends on, you have different desire, or different extra need. But as long as you know how to put that intangible thing in a real framework, then you can see if you can achieve or not. The first one, “How do you know enough to appreciate where you are??”… this one I don’t know how to say, like every day, you wake up its different, like a new house or something. For the second one, “How do you know when you have enough money?” that’s a lot more clear. You know when you’ll go bankrupt. But number three, “How do you know when to be satisfied with what you have?” What do you mean ‘when’?

The point at which you’re satisfied.

Some signal?

Yeah, how do you know?

When you feel comfortable, when you feel free. Some CEO said the major purpose of making money, or getting rich is that it provides more freedom for what you want, what to do, how to achieve.

Right, because money gives you the right to choose.

It’s true. What you want, where to go.

Right—it’s the budget, if you don’t have it, you don’t even dare turn on the heater. Because I’m thinking, if you don’t have this—you need money—you don’t have it, you’re in a state of horror. If you have enough money, you’re free of this state of horror. So if you have money, you can do anything, if you don’t have money, you can’t do anything.

But if you have money, you can do a lot of things you can do when you don’t have money.

What’s ‘where you are’?

It’s like your status or situation. It’s not your physical location.

Okay, I try to compare the difference between desire and expectation. I want to explain desire from the—when we say I have some desire to do something, I think the idea should be initiated from our own mind, and I think, but expectation more often we use “expect”, this word, in a passive way. It means the, usually, we have something to expect, to achieve, is under somebody’s or external wishes, it means always our performance has some lack, between our own, desire or, and other people’s expectation. So most people, I think we work, we perform well following society, our family, friends, teachers, some rules they set. But often, what we have done the right way, is other’s expectation, didn’t follow our desire.

Yes, exactly!

So I think the, I say only we will feel happy or free, okay, following our internal desire. Often we cannot get the real happiness by dong some, try our best to fill other’s expectation. So, I think the major difference is, uh, desire is coming from our own mind, and can decide or monitor or control by yourself. But the expectation, I think sometimes we, it’s under, how to say, under some kind of pressure or some kind of, not the coming out of the free will, our free will. So, also we can say, desire, the scope is decided by ourselves, but sometime the scope of expectation is not decided by yourself, but by others around us.

So expectation is negative, in this characterization.

But I don’t think expectation is negative, I think it’s passive.

As an American, passive = bad, so passive is also a negative connotation for us. I know it’s not for Chinese and Taiwanese culture

So for a homosexual guy, they never fulfill their parents expectation, so they don’t say they’re gay in front of their parents. But it’s not natural—

What’s not natural?

For them, or for most of gays, they’re born homosexual, so not decided by themselves. So if we respect their desire of the sexual—even they are not fulfill the expectation of their parents or most people around her or him. So only you can get only real happiness follow his own desire.

That’s a very interesting point.

And now I know how to answer question 1 and 4. “How do you know enough to appreciate where you are?” and “How do you know enough to know when you’re happy?”


If I can live in a state, up to my expectation, then I’m quite happy.

What is your expectation?

It depends on the state of my situation. Sometimes my desire is more unrealistic or unattainable. But if I can work up to expectation. So I can live up to second one, then I can be happy. So if I can live up to the level up my expectation, then I can be happy. My expectation is different from you, let’s say for, let’s say you want a score of 100, I just happy with 90. So I’m talking about my standard for myself.

So how about the people around you, do you have expectations for the people you’re close to, and how do you handle them?

It’s like respect, if you are respected. It’s not like you’re rich, but if you show up, you’re respected, that’s what I’m talking about. I cannot say high class, just that you’re respected.

Social standing. High social standing?

No not like that.

Middle class?

No, what I’m saying, respect, that’s the basic minimum standard.

Mmm, don’t quite understand. Do you guys get it?

Maybe, restate the question.

What I’m saying, I want respect from my friends, so I’m saying, minimum respect. I’m saying, like professional skills, or respect, it’s not those things, what I’m saying, maybe it’s because—

You’re saying you expect your friends to have integrity?

It’s part of that.

Does this have something to do with ‘face’?

You’re saying your friends want to be friends with you because you’re rich or your high position, are you saying that?

No, he’s saying the opposite.

No, you asked, “what I expect from my friends”, so I said ‘respect’.

It’s hard to talk about this, right?

I’m saying there could be many things that they respect you for, the point is, what you want from your friends is respect.

You expect to be respected by your friends, for whatever reason.


So what do *you* expect from the people around you?

So your question, we usually expect others around us to do something, so we feel good.

Yeah, I think so. But I don’t know…I think maybe a simple criteria is we don’t have the right to force the people around us to make us feel happy. Maybe they feel some uncomfortable.

Wow, this is exactly what my girlfriend was talking about the other day.

So the difference between desire and expectation, we live under other’s—you know unreasonable—inhuman expectation. So following the same logic, I don’t have the right to add some unnecessary pressure to my family, to my colleagues.

Wow, that’s saying a lot!

Everyone have the right to live, to perform, to maintain his relationship with your friends, your boss, your— So. So just like today’s topic, knowing what’s nice, I think, uh, yeah. We have to respect everyone has his own way to pursue happiness and choose, okay, physical and psychological life. I remember the article author emphasize the music right?


Very important! More important than god, right?

Well, he doesn’t believe in god!

So I don’t know about Americans—

Oh, yeah, Americans are really into music.

It’s a different culture.

[slight pause]

I have another idea about desire and expectation. Desire is like asking yourself what you want, then the goal is like expectation, and you fulfill it step by step, and maybe you get it, and maybe you don’t, but the result doesn’t matter. So I don’t agree with your friend. It’s how you go through it, how you experience, so you live right now.

How about expectation?

I say, you have desire, so you set it up as an expectation, so you make it happen, as your goal, so that’s the expectation.



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