200 words. 100 days.

Let’s do this. I’ve decided to revive my old blog and start writing again. 50% inspired by a friend, 50% desire to do it because of my negative state of mind.

I used to love writing. I love the way I could pour my heart and soul out onto my blog, and the way I get carried away into a story sometimes.

Writing 200 words a day wouldn’t be that difficult. I could do reviews of my day, be completely honest with myself and have it written out on a blog post could help me straighten out my thoughts. I could reflect on how I’ve performed during work, to truly lay out the goods and bads with myself.

I could document my growth throughout the months. Lay out what I’ve learnt and what I’ve done right or wrong in terms of managing a company, marketing, coding the website and web app, and mainly reflecting on my working relationships with my colleagues.

Some days I could even squeeze some creative juice out of my brain and write stories. Inspired by my feelings. Perhaps it could reflect my state of mind.

Yes. 200 words every day for 100 days shouldn’t be that hard, especially since I don’t have an audience.

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Will this be #betterthantherapy too?

I’m back! Right now I’m trying everything I can to help keep my mental health afloat.

Since starting a company early last year, there are so many instances where I’ve felt lost, demotivated, frustrated, and even wanted to give up.

I’ve tried a few things:

  1. Bought my own tarot card. The occasional readings that I’ve done for myself helped me structure my thoughts. It gives me encouragement when I needed it, improvement points when I am too narrow-minded, and even reflection points on how I’ve been doing in the past.
  2. Konmari my life. I started with my wardrobe, then my laptop, then my phone. Now what I have left to konmari is books, miscellaneous and sentimental things in my room. The feeling of getting rid of junk is quite liberating, and it does help clear my mind alot.
  3. Started going to fitness classes regularly, though this motivation mainly comes from the fact that my wedding is in 2 months time! But the fitness classes gives me a huge sense of satisfaction at the end, and it does clear my mind too. The ache that comes after makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
  4. I’m talking about the difficulties that I’ve been facing, with a small set of trusted friends. It’s monthly sessions of mastermind sessions, where we’ll get together and set goals and talk about tough things and get different perceptions from each other.

My emotions have been quite haywired recently though, and my stress management is quite haphazard. I often feel like a walking timebomb, ready to explore at any given time.

But hey, such is life. Isn’t it?

2016: the beginning of great things.

Since 2016 has arrived, I’m reflecting on the things that I have done in 2015, simply to keep myself motivated, to push myself to achieve greater things in 2016.

Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote 7 months ago.

Before my 26th birthday, I want to have achieved these:

1. Acquire developer skills.

2. Commit my time to something that inspires and motivates me, something that pushes my learning curve as steep as possible.

3. Build or create something. Be it creative-related, tech-related or healthcare-related.

So here’s an update:

1. Status: Achieved.

The journey started with NextAcademy‘s Full Stack Bootcamp. I spent 9-weeks in the intensive bootcamp, shed blood sweat and tears (figuratively) over the steep learning curves every single week.

The best thing about the bootcamp is the people. People are motivated and driven because they want to achieve their goals, because they have made the decision to invest their time in learning this skill, be it as a stepping-stone to build their ideas or to have better understanding of the technical side of things within their existing/future businesses. It’s not all talk and no action. <3

Now, I can confidently introduce myself as a programmer/web-developer. Even though the languages that I am proficient in is still limited, but hey, it is the start of the journey.

2. Status: Ongoing.

Ever since October, I’ve dedicated my time to upskill my programming skills because I’ve discovered that it is something I enjoy doing. Building web applications is challenging in every aspect, I just love the satisfaction that comes after I solve a problem or complete a project.

So I’ve been mentoring at the bootcamp, doing some freelance projects at the same time. Gaining experiences while building real-world projects :D

3. Status: Initiated.

I have to say that starting something is simply not that easy. It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance. I have also learnt that if the end-goal is not clear enough, the motivation to persevere will never be sufficient to push myself. If I do not feel passionate or believe in the end-goal, I would not have enough drive to execute it.

It will be a constant work in progress in 2016 because it will be my main focus of 2016.

Overall, I would say that 2015 was the year of initiation. I took the first step out of my comfort zone, and that was the easy part. The harder part is to execute fast and firm enough so that the propulsion can bring me to greater heights.

So here is to 2016, the year of execution.

No.

You need to remember that you are not walking the same route as others.

Remember the German lecturer? Why he started lecturing German even though that is not his main trade? Remember his ulterior motive?

Don’t let your inner voice compare yourself with what other people are doing. Yes they may seem like they have things figured out, and yes maybe you have yet to figure out your own unique selling proposition, but does that mean you are lesser than others? Does that mean you are destined to fail?

No.

It always seems impossible until it is done.

Wise words by Nelson Mandela.

The most important thing is knowing why you are doing this, constantly remembering why you are doing this. You know that it is doing to be tough. You know that it is not going to be a smooth sail, because hey someone that paves their own route often have to be clearing away all the weeds and fallen branches ahead of them, and that takes time and effort.

The most important thing is keeping yourself motivated, and keeping that momentum going. Yes things may seem slow, or sometimes you may not even see the direct results of what you are doing currently, but as long as you are moving, as long as you don’t stop, you should aim for exponential growth. Not, sikit sikit menjadi bukit, but rather do things that would have compounding effects towards the future.

Quarter Life Crisis Aspiration

Imagine this. You are driving on the road. It’s late at night, the only source of lights comes from dimmed street lights and ocassional vehicles that passes you. You have a destination in mind, you know that you want to get to that city before dawn. But. The thing is you have no idea how to get there. You don’t have a map, your phone is out of battery so you can’t access Google. You don’t even have a GPS built-in system in your old car. With every trurn that you take, you feel even more lost than before.

You question yourself, is this the right way? Is this road going to lead me to my destination? Am I even heading towards the right direction? You may panic a little in your head, your heart may race as adrenaline rushes through your system.

The question is, how are you going to get to your destination before dawn, when you don’t have the slightest idea on how to get there? Now, at this point of time, there is no return. The only way is to plunge forward into the unknown.

So what do you do? What can you do?

You evaluate your options. You calm your mind and weigh the available options in your head. Are these options feasible? Would you be able to achieve your target in time with these options?

I’m turning 25 tomorrow. Today, I’m sitting in a cafe evaluating my options. I’ve chosen not to follow societal norms because I’ve experienced first-hand how unmotivating and soul-sucking it can be when I worked for a 9-5 job that I do not feel passionate about. I have to admit that it is scary. In fact, it is absolutely terrifying to know that I’ll not be receiving a paycheck next month.

My emotional mind is scared to bits. But I’ll utilise this fear and manipulate it to drive me further into the unknown.

* * *

What have I achieved in the past year?

1. I made the decision to come back to Malaysia because I see no future in UK and because Malaysia is my home. The grass is greener where you water it.

2. I backpacked in Europe for a month. Priceless experience.

3. Embraced my nerdy side, I started learning a bunch of tech-related languages, like Ruby on Codecademy (still in progress), joined RailsGirlsKL, Java on FreeCodeCamp (still in progress).

4. Recently decided to leave my 9-5 job. Some may not consider this as an achievement, but hey, I decided that it is.

* * *

Before my 26th birthday, I want to have achieved these:

1. Acquire developer skills.

2. Commit my time to something that inspires and motivates me, something that pushes my learning curve as steep as possible.

3. Build or create something. Be it creative-related, tech-related or healthcare-related.

This is a promise to myself. No matter how dark it gets, or how much people around me tell me that it is a mistake to leave a secure job, I no longer want to work just for the sake of survival/paychecks. The biggest satisfation I can get is when I know that I have made a difference in someone else’s lives. This will be the guiding light to my destination.

Because your inner voice matters.

“Stop minimizing and discounting your feelings. You have every right to feel the way you do. Your feelings may not always be logical, but they are always valid. Because if you feel something, then you feel it and it’s real to you. It’s not something you can ignore or wish away. It’s there, gnawing at you, tugging at your core, and in order to find peace, you have to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel. You have to let go of what you’ve been told you “should” or “shouldn’t” feel. You have to drown out the voices of people who try to shame you into silence. You have to listen to the sound of your own breathing and honor the truth inside you. Because despite what you may believe, you don’t need anyone’s validation or approval to feel what you feel. Your feelings are inherently right and true. They’re important and they matter — you matter — and it is more than okay to feel what you feel. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, convince you otherwise.” 

By Daniell Koepe of the Internal Acceptance Movement.