Patoo Gamechangers | Krystal Chong (Author)

The dynamic Caribbean is animated by the ideas, emotions and actions of a core community of influential insiders. The Patoo Gamechangers, like Krystal Chong, are people who are shaping the Caribbean region from either within the region or in the Diaspora across all corners of the globe. They are passionate, diverse and interesting whether they are corporate, creative or entrepreneurial ventures. 

Name: Krystal Chong
Instagram Handle: @Krystalchong
Age: 32
Profession: Motivational author and speaker.
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica.
Now Lives: Manhattan, NY.

Krystal in the park

Krystal in the park

Three words to describe your style?
Bold, Glam, Zen. 

Your personality type is?
If someone was to describe my personality in one word, i’m certain they would say ‘effervescent.’ (This has been verified by trials lol). If i’m to describe my personality type, I would say, Type A all the way lol. With a sprinkle of fun, a heavy helping of hippie and a blood sucking thirst for adventure.

Your greatest skill is?
Greatest skill? Maybe my relentless curiosity, it has always led to wonderful adventures and important life changing self realizations.

How’d you get into your career?
Took a totally main stream path, ended up in a ‘dream job’ as Chief Marketing Officer, realized I had everything you’re supposed to have to make you happy, but was completely and desperately empty. Knew I needed a new path, went on a search for purpose in life, 3 years and one crazy cool journey later, found it. Was changed and saved by it. It healed my issues with anxiety and depression. And through it I found a magically spiritual relationship with life. Wrote and published the book “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life” which is a true tale of that journey, with interwoven teachings from old and new spiritual teachers and action steps for other who would like to answer the same question I had.  And that’s how it all started!

Do you have any tips for beginners?
Ya two things. First thing is creativity is not something that just happens on it’s own, or something you have or you don’t have. You have to first immerse yourself in the material, then when you’re full up of it lol, give yourself some space then the inspiration will come and when it does - flow with it. The second things is, when that inspiration comes, max that baby out, because once it goes it may never come back like that again.  

Jamaica feels like?
Home. And a nourishing source for creativity.

If you could speak any foreign language fluently enough to write poetry in, which language would it be?
French.

What’s integral to the work of a creative?
Being passionate about the topic. Exposing yourself to the topic as much as possible with a real open mind and desire to learn. Also -  Nourishing your mind, body and your soul so-  it can be a conduit for that creativity, which to me, comes when you’re tapped into the universe. I’m aware of how ‘oh-so-hippe' that sounds but it’s all good!

What role does the creative have in society?
In my opinion, humans we’re born TO create. If they can’t be creative, then in a way their soul starts dying while they’re alive, which is why so many people stuck in a job where they can’t create, feel depressed and empty. So it’s important and essential for individual human fulfillment. But there’s a level of importance beyond the individual level. Each person is here on earth, at this time, with their unique strengths and weaknesses, and life stories for a unique purpose. And that purpose is something they’re supposed to bring into the world. Something that will have a positive impact in one way or another. If each person could tap into that ‘thing,’ and bring it into this world, humans would be happier, the world would have much more fulfilling material in it and the entire world would begin transforming and evolving into something so wonderful we can’t even imagine and we wouldn’t have a lot of the problems we do now.

What's your hidden talent?
I can drink from a coffee mug using only the toes on my right foot - a skill I discovered when I was hungover and apparently still drunk. Serious hidden talent? I’m very sensitive to energy, I can see what color people’s auras are. Seriously - that’s the serious hidden talent lol. I’m not joking.

Who is the last person you texted?  
My fiancé.

The person you admire most? 
OH GOD OPRAH. Because she made being your imperfectly authentic self so perfectly beautiful. And because she uses that to change the world and to empower others to do so as well. She started a movement I admire like nothing else.

If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Don’t you worry you little munchhkin! You’re not crazy, your questioning and your searching is real. You’re made the exact way you are for a very beautiful purpose. Just trust the voice in your heart, and it will lead you there, and you will love it. Also - f@ck other people - who cares what they think! And be gentler, to yourself and to others.

Favorite artwork?
A painting which a friend had commissioned for me as a gift when I finished my book - It’s a radiant turquoise female Buddha face.

What’s your favorite app - Facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, snapchat or periscope? 
Instagram.

What do you dislike about your work?
Right now - nothing - which is incredible because when I went on my journey that’s what i was in search of - doing something that I can’t wait to wake up every day to do, that I don’t want to fall asleep because I want more time to do it - and that’s really such a gift - to use every minute of your life doing something you believe in. I really wish it for everyone, especially, bc I know what the opposite of that feels like! Lol.

Should the arts be funded?
I think funding things discourages an enterprising and driven spirit. I think the arts should be taught differently in school, in a way that teaches creatives how to make it more commercially viable - Nourish that creativity and balance it with lessons on the arts from a business standpoint.

Krystal Chong at her Jamaican book launch 

Krystal Chong at her Jamaican book launch 

What role does arts funding have?
I would suggest this at an educational level, so that creatives learn the skills they need to take care of them selves for life. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a life.

Favorite hotel in the world? 
The Marriot. Just kidding. I dunno. Maybe the Wynn? I loved all the vegetation at the pool and they had an ALL duck restaurant - and well - I’m Asian after all - I think duck mania is in my genes.

If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
There’s this restaurant in paris called Le relais d’entrecote, and you go in, and they come to your table and say “Medium or rare?” - There’s literally ONE dish on the menu and it’s always packed - it’s that good! It’s entrecôte with a special sauce and some suspiciously delicious fries, but it’s magical. I’d have that. Either that or a Tastee beef patty with double cheese.

Favorite Jamaican landmark? 
Are the blue mountains a land mark? Beautiful, grounded, effortlessly powerful.

What’s your favorite curse word?
All of them. But “fuck” seems to have the widest range of use, so I tend to use it most often. I mean, hello, I’m a passionate person and the others just don’t really bring quite enough oomph as a good old F bomb.

Favorite cocktail? 
I dont drink. Kidding! It’s impossible to have a mind like mine and not need a drink once a week. But I usually drink red wine. If I have a drink-drink, it’s probably vodka soda … cocktail calories - you know .. the struggle is so real.
(Editor's note: WTF??)

The thing you most value? 
My ability to learn and grow mentally. My family and friends.

The most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
From my mom, when I kept asking if I was living life the right way or doing the right things. She looked at me with such compassion and said, “Oh my Tal, life is not a multiple choice exam. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s more like a painting. You just paint, and in the end - some people will appreciate it and some people won’t. But at least you would have had the peace of mind of knowing and the pleasure of creating your own unique authentic painting.”

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To be able to communicate with millions of people all at one time any time I chose. And then, to be able to fly.

If you had to live in any other Caribbean island other than Jamaica, which would it be?
Cayman? Martinique? I dunno. Some where small and exotic and rich in culture.