My grandmother started crying… and I suddenly knew why

Kevin here.

I’m 28 and lucky to still have one grandparent around.

When I recently visited Boston, I captured random moments with my grandmother… like Sunday morning Dim Sum, hitting up the Chinese bakery, and eating fruit at her place.

…and it’s an unspoken rule. Asian people will always cut up fruit… even if you’re not hungry.


Asian grandparents are notorious for naked baby pictures

Normally we stay for 10 minutes and leave, but this time she took out my baby photos and started telling me stories about…

  • How I used to call my females up before cellphones existed


  • How I was the refugee ghetto


  • How I used to always make her smile when I would “airplane”


She wanted me to keep the photos

The thing I didn’t tell you? My grandmother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing surgery. Especially after moving to California, who knows when the last time might be?

After safeguarding these photos for the last 28 years, she took the opportunity to pass these photos to me in person. It wasn’t easy.


When my grandmother leaves this world, the only thing left will be the memories spent together and this photo album.

As I was staring at my naked pictures…

I started thinking about my life.

I felt this pressure to chase a big paycheck or higher degree to be successful. It was a lot of anxiety trying to figure it out.

My mom found me

Over seven years were dedicated to pharmacy. Now that I had all those things …now what? I didn’t know what being successful meant anymore.

…Was I successful?

Then it came to me…

As I was looking through the album, I realized my grandmother never went to school. She wasn’t a doctor, lawyer, or entrepreneur, but still in my eyes, she was “successful“.

Whether it was hiding from the Japanese during WWII, working crazy hours at a sewing factory sweatshop, or moving to a country where she didn’t even speak the language, her life was dedicated to her family… just so we could be happy.


It isn’t about which school you went to, what degrees you have, or what car you drive. You can’t take that Lambo to the grave with you.

My grandmother continues to remind me that success doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about discovering how you can best help the people around you.

For me right now, it’s through pharmacy, Refugee Hustle, and YouTube. Hopefully it’ll be through raising my own kids one day .

So let me ask you…

Maybe you’re in school trying to figure out why you’re even in college. Or maybe you’ve graduated and don’t know what you want to do next. Before you go out and start chasing degrees or a sexy ass paycheck, ask yourself this…

There are infinite ways to help people. How do you want to help the people around you?

Leave a comment below. I read every comment.


Kevin Yee