One amazing thing

by Jessica Dang | Twitter

The average human life span is around 80 years. In that time, we can achieve many things – from getting a nice house, a collectable car, or reaching a million dollars, to raising good children, having our own business, or doing some good in the community. Most of this stuff is pretty regular, some good, some not so good – all pretty ordinary.

But for some of us ‘ordinary’ is simply not enough. There’s something missing.

what the hell is a magnum opus

All of the men and women that have gone down in history, to be remembered after they have died for hundreds of years or more, all have one thing in common.

They did something extraordinary.

Some did extraordinary things, some created them. How they did it or how they got there is another story, but nobody can say that Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t deserve to be remembered for his commendable leadership and world-changing speech or Shakespeare would have been remembered today if it wasn’t for his plays and sonnets that have stood the test of time.

A Magnum opus is defined as ’a great or the greatest work of art‘ a writer or artist can do. But you don’t have to be a writer to achieve something extraordinary. Any of us can do something, all we have to do is realize how much it matters to us that we do something world-changing.

What it could be depends on you. It doesn’t have to be a big change and it doesn’t have to be the best, or the brightest, or the most of anything. You don’t need to make a million bucks or become famous. It just has to mean a lot to you. But don’t underestimate yourself and set your sights too low either, it’s going to be your life’s work after all.

It can be a single object you can make or an aim you want to achieve, or a set of them, it’s up to you.

So in our little lives, if only we could choose just one great thing, to pour our effort, energy and most importantly, limited time into, maybe, just maybe, we can really do it.

Only you can decide what matters to you and how far you will go. Even if you don’t know right now, that’s okay, because if this all sounds pretty amazing to you then you’ve taken the first step. Now ask yourself:

What is your magnum opus?

Whatever you decide, stick with it, because your greatest work is waiting for you.

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Maybe Minimal Student is my magnum opus? It’s been redesigned, so check out the main site if you haven’t visited  lately, it’s a little more simpler and cleaner, I’d love to know what you think! If you liked this post, great news – content has been shifting a little too, stay tuned to find out more!


  • ju

    hey, you changed your blog-design!
    i like the cleaner way, and i love the picture of you with the guitar!
    but i really miss the old minimal student font! (and the pics for rss/mail/osf) it was so typical your blog, very student-like, very recognisable – now your blog looks just like all the other simplicity-blogs :( very sad.
    but maybe this design is just a stage on your way to another blog design individuality :)

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Dear ju,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I know how you feel, I kinda miss them too, but you’re right, it’s still a design in progress, I’m thinking of doing something about the logo to make it more student-like and unique again, and who knows maybe I’ll bring back the logos – all new and improved! :)

  • Andre

    Really, really good question. Although I don’t know yet what my magnum opus could be, I’m pretty sure that great work requires great human beings. Therefore I strive for getting a better person. Perhaps a magnum opus is not about creating or doing something extraordinary but being extraordinary?
    Anyhow, I have to figure out my aptitudes and nourish my skills before I can even start with things comparable to magna opera.

    I love the new layout. It looks clean, organized and the picture of you fits in quite nicely. I also like the (updated?) “About” page. :-)

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Dear Andre,

      Thanks for your input! I’m glad you like the design, and yes I agonised for a few hours writing my About page :) As for your comment, you’re totally right, your life work can just be to be an extraordinary person – a lot of people don’t achieve even that, so it’s a good one to aim for! I wish you the best of luck!

  • http://radicalturtle.com Leslie

    The new design is nice but there was something I really loved about the old design. Just popping in to say hi! Thanks for the articles, I like them. Also, just wondering, ever heard of remembering the kanji or all japanese all of the time? that’s how i’m learning to study japanese and it’s really fun.

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Hey Leslie,

      Nice to hear from you again! Yes, I’ve been getting that comment about the design, but don’t worry, more changes (new improved logo etc.) will be coming soon!

      I’m not too sure what you mean about all kanji… there’s a little too many for me to learn all of them :) But living here in Japan I certainly know about all Japanese all the time :D

      Take care!

      • http://radicalturtle.com Leslie

        haha, “remembering the kanji” is actually a book I was referring to, and alljapaneseallthetime(.com) is a website/study method. they’re actually pretty great Japanese learning sources that take a “unconventional” approach if you’re interested. yay for a new logo!

        have fun in japan! (pretty sure you are)

        -Leslie

  • http://afleetingbeatingofhearts.wordpress.com Layla

    This is interesting… I’ve always tried to do everything but I’m slowly realizing that there are some things I don’t really like that much… I like the idea of them, but not actually doing them.

    I’m going to open my journal, pretend that nobody’s ever told me what’s a practical thing to do with my life, and see what I can dream up as my one thing.

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Hey Layla,

      You make a very interesting point there, that is a very good distinction to make – things we want to want to do, and things we actually want to do. Hm, perhaps I will think about this too. Good luck with the journalling!