Starting in middle school, my dad used to always say to me “Don’t get too excited.” He would say it when I did something noteworthy, or achieved something. Basically, the nice way of say “What’s the big deal? So what?”. With his limited english vocab and lack of colloquial knowledge, this is how he communicated that. I guess it’s normal for parents to push you when you’re younger, and expect a lot out of you, so my father would definitely always keep me grounded by saying “Don’t get too excited”, like…don’t be so proud of this one thing, there’s more you need to do.

I’d like to think that the other meaning was also a way to calm me down. Often times, when there’s a lot going on in your life, or it seems like something is super urgent and “omgtheworldisgonnaendif…” we tend not to think straight and act irrationally. “Don’t get too excited” = don’t psyche yourself out, chill.

With that long backstory said…it is the end of another year. Technically, the second full calendar year that I’ve been out of school and here in LA working on Wong Fu Productions. Nowadays, the most pressure does not come from my parents, but from myself, and I’m constantly contemplating…am I doing enough? I look back on the last 12 months and, only if I look closely, do I realize that yeah…a lot happened. Two nationwide tours, throwing a 1200 audience concert, relaunching our apparel brand, going to France to partake in the Cannes filmfest, going to Taiwan and HK, creating 13 new short films/mvs, and..other stuff- but- then I stop, and I remember what my dad said, “Don’t get too excited.”
sigh… And I know he’s right. There’s still so much to do, such a long and difficult road ahead and we just stepped on. So while I hope I didn’t sound arrogant with that list, yes, a lot has been accomplished… but there is more.

Was it enough? I hope so. I don’t think I could’ve physically done anymore. Am I done? Of course not.
The other side could ask, “Was it too much?” That can be argued. I don’t want my life to be all about work, I don’t want to miss out on certain things or people…but I think this year I did fail in a sense that maybe I could’ve spent more time in other areas, and for some other people.
Technically this could be a round of “I’m sorry’s” rather than “thanks. With 2009 starting tomorrow (a projected very very busy year), I’m torn between the part of me that says “more more more” and the part that says “slow down”. I guess we’ll see what happens, and if at the end of 2009, I can be satisfied with what I did and didn’t do.

And while I’ve been trying to figure out that balance, I am remind of the wonderful people who have been by my side this year. The people who have helped keep me sane, keep me motivated, inspired, and focused. To these special ones, like ’05, ’06, and ‘07, here’s ’08’s round of earnest ‘thank yous’.

First, thank you to all the fans and supporters of Wong Fu Productions around the world. We wouldn’t be anywhere without you. Thank you Jessica for helping to bring life to our “office”. Thank you
Gracie for sharing your exuberance with us. Thank you Janet for your funny faces. Thank you Eric for introducing us to a different world that we will someday be a part of; thank you for believing in us and doing all that you could. Thank you Susan for listening to me even when I got loud. I’m so glad we’ve gotten closer this year. Thank you Carmen slugging it out in this industry with us. Thank you Mimi for your talent and your travels; hopefully we can join you someday. Thank you Brian for also pursuing your passion; makes us feel a little less foolish. Thank you Tom for grinding with us and hooking it up whenever and wherever. Thank you FM and Linda for having confidence in us. Thank you Nita for keeping me close when I gave you no reason to. Thank you Fiona for going to Chiles w/ me, always. Thank you Allen for the dolly; it was so much more than just a dolly. Thank you Tim and Henry for helping me look forward to the upper 20s. Thank you Jesse for making all these tweaks that Wes and I can’t even hear. Thank you Mel for making me feel like no time has passed at all and it’s still 2003; and for always chatting at work. Thank you Jeh for saving lives, literally. Thank you Wes and Ted for another year of hardwork, hardly playing, and “har har” laughs. I really believe we can do great things and though we don’t say it often, I’m glad to be here w/ you both and I’m proud of us.

ya kno, I often sarcastically whine that I’m all alone here…but the reality is I’m really blessed to have you all, either physically close, or in spirit. Thank you.
I don’t make new year’s resolutions- I make end of the year conclusions. And that’s that for 2008.
2009 is for you…and you, and you, and you…


38 thoughts on “enough?

  1. Best of luck in 09. Have a happy new year, stay safe and keep up the great work! — but not so much that you don’t have time for other important aspects of your lives, of course!Thanks for entertaining me for hours on end this year 🙂

  2. i love how you said you dont make new yrs resolutions but end of the yr conclusions. in a way it makes sense, you take wat u have learned from it and make it better for the next year…you guys are awesome, dont stop. 🙂

  3. aww thanks phil. im blessed to have been introduced to you guys in my life even though i may not have met you guys in person, watching your videos and being able to have a taste of what your life is like means the world to me. Wongfu really is a huge inspiration and motivation in my life and even though I don’t do any of that media stuff, wongfu has motivated me in different ways. I hope that 2009 will just be another great year for you and I know you and the other guys will make it wonderful for us too! Thanks for always sharing the laughter and everything with us and we’ll be waiting for that day when you guys make it to the very top of the ladder of success! Just keep working. All the best for 2009! AND HAPPY 2009! TAKE CARE.. STAY HEALTHY, GOOD LUCK! AND remember you’ll always have people like ME behind your back no matter what happens. I hope that in the year to come that you and the other guys will always be sharing your laughter, your tears and whatever it is with me! You have my full support ❤

  4. It’s true that there’s always more things that you can do, new things that you can venture into.. but at the same time, do not let something that you enjoy becoming something that you hate. Do not let things that you do make you forget about people around you.. You have to decide what really matters the most to you and live accordingly. I think, the sooner you decide what is is, then the better it’d be for you…. BUT, still… I think you guys have done quite a well-done job so far.. keep it up! =) Happy new year, Phil! -gRaCe-

  5. keep xanga alive! haha. we’ve had this partial chat before..but it has been a good year 🙂 time flies faster than ever…now it’s about “remember this time last year?…” here’s to surpassing goals and more memories! cheers! happy new year mr. wang!

  6. Asian parents have a way of shooting you down. I hate that. But I have to agree. No matter how much you’ve accomplished, there is always more to do 🙂

  7. Happy new year to everyone over at Wong Fu, and to you of course Phil. I think I’ll learn from your dad there, and… not get too excited about anything. I tend to do that too much. 🙂

  8. I think it’s an chinese thing to say, “Don’t get too excited.” My mom always says that to me in chinese. Always pushing us to do better and to expect more from ourselves.You always have alot of insights on everything. You done alot of things in 2008 and in 2009 you will continue to do more and creating more good and great things. Can’t wait to see them.

  9. I think when someone says “Don’t get too excited” it’s like “Don’t be complacent that this is all; this is the end.” Be excited and live in the moment of the achievement you have now, because you sure deserve it but don’t think this is the end of your potential and journey. Don’t be too wound up about things you may have missed out in 2008, as long as you know and are willing to change it now. Make it happen. It’s never too late. :)Thank-you to you and Ted and Wes for making such wonderful films/videos. Your videos/blogs/films always put a smile on my face. May 2009 bring you with more mindboggling amazing experiences, spine tingling laughter and sprinkles of surprises. Happy New Year!  

  10. “its not enough” is what keeps you moving through this life. know you’ll always seek more, but also know that life is about staying in motion. =) quality not quantity, right? here’s to anew year and newer, greater things. xing nian kuai le!

  11. Okay, I normally don’t randomly suscribe to people I don’t know, but I just came across some of wong fu productions on youtube from a friend’s site, and honestly…really awesome, and funny 🙂 Props! and from more links here and there…I found this, but I’m sure you get fans all the time.”Don’t get too excited” — my parents don’t even tell me that, I think? but I know I tell myself that. Maybe a chinese thing embedded in me? I don’t know.

  12. I’ve never heard of “end-of-year-conclusions”. I like the idea. Setting goals for yourself to reach by the end of the year, and then looking back at the path you’ve taken to reach the goals allow you to better assess where you are in life and can boost your confidence and encourage you to set more goals once you see how much you’ve done. Great idea, Phil.

  13. your youtube picture icon caught my eyes, and I decided to check out your profile =) I’m glad that I did otherwise I wouldn’t have known about Wong Fu productions. I went to UCSD too but didn’t hear anything about this o_O. You guys have done a great job!!! Keep it up!! Thank you for all the laughs =) Xin Nian Kuai Le!!

  14. this was mos def really inspiring to read. i feel the same way for my parents, but more in my mom. I’m proud to be a supporter of wongfu… the first video I’ve watched was Yellow Fever when I was in middle school. I’m now in college, it’s a crazy feeling knowing you guys are still around and have been doing even better and better going through more and more milestones. I can’t wait to see where you guys are in the future … and say.. “man I was there when they sang Seniorita.” this is a good lesson.. i’ll take it with me in life, your fathers words of ” don’t get too excited” good luck phil!!

  15. It’s almost two years in the future from this time, so I’m not sure if this comment really matters, but still I’d like to say (even though you may not even notice this haha) that you’ve done enough, more than “enough” in my opinion, though only individuals can determine “enough” for themselves. When you wrote this post, I wasn’t even aware that Wong Fu Productions existed, unfortunately for sure. Now I am a huge fan, almost all of my friends are big fans, and many many people out here are fans of your work, as well the direction and distance that your company is/has taking/taken! Fan base may not be the correct method to measure success but it’s amazing and inspiring to see all that you have accomplished so far. =]I guess this message from the “future” is just to say that your humbleness here is really admirable and sweet, but in the fans’ eyes some of these doubts have no basis? This reminds me of how I recently heard you guys talk about not knowing how to respond to other peoples’ expectations of greatness for you. I don’t really know how to say this without that effect, but I really do hope that you don’t have to worry about that and focus on what you guys want from yourselves, because if you’re happy with it then we till be too (meant in the most non-corny way of course)! 🙂

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