“Happiness is not necessarily a result of great achievements but at least it means that you don’t spend your days without purposes.” -- Independent Record Director Gary Leong
Hong Kong is known for its limited space and crazily high rent so buying property is undoubtedly challenging, not to mention how critical it is for independent shops -- under the real estate hegemony, surviving is already a blessing for them but somehow that is probably why the rebels exist and they refuse to accept the way it is. Local independent record shop White Noise Records’ director, Gary, is one of them. In this overly materialistic world, he chose to be true to himself, insist on the things that he is passionate about and refuses to be an ordinary soul.
The reason to be happy or not: People
Gary founded White Noise with his friends sixteen years ago. Besides collecting indie records from all over the world, they also arrange foreign indie bands to perform in Hong Kong and manage local bands. White Noise is definitely more than a record shop. In terms of happiness, Gary thinks it’s all related to people -- chatting about music with customers who share the same interest is his “happy time”. Vice versa, people are the reason why he is feeling down sometimes “I meet all kinds of people in the shop every day and my emotions go up and down depends on our interactions.” he explained. When he feels confused and upset, he plays uplifting music “Something that makes you feel comfortable or something that you like, my emotions will settle down pretty quickly.”
A cloakroom for dreams
There is a saying “Thick in dreams, bony in reality” Apart from the fact that reality seldom meets our expectation, there are many things that you simply cannot achieve no matter how much hard work and passion you input. “Despite the dream of being a musician, I found that not every person can be one and I’m not a good fit. That’s when I started to think what I’m capable of and look for my role for that. Therefore, Gary decided to open a record shop, introduce indie music to people, assist musicians in marketing and all the things related to music. Even though Gary thinks he is not gifted as a musician, he chose to help others to complete their musical dream. He feels the joy when being involved and the enjoyment turns into a sense of mission gradually. On the path of trying and failing, please keep in mind that we will eventually find our own way one day.
The most important little things
“People chase after so many things and work so hard just to have a nice life.” In Gary’s idea, a good life doesn’t require luxuries or a loaded bank account, it depends on the way you see your everyday life. “It’s really simple for me, my daily life starts with a tasty breakfast, enjoy work and that makes me happy.” Of course not everyone has the same idea of an ideal life but our pursuits of happiness are mutual. To be able to enjoy life or not depends on the way you deal with it.
Happiness is reserved in the future
To Gary, happiness is from the future. “We often don’t realize that we are happy at the moment even when we are enjoying it, we need to throwback to recognize that is happiness.” When you remember that you once were innocent and fearless, it might encourage your present self to be a little bit braver. “If many things in life are too well-thought, there is no pleasure in it.” He said that happiness is not necessarily a result of great achievements but at least it means that you don’t spend your days without purposes.