VIDEO: Taipei, Taiwan Vlogging with Paula

Taipei, Taiwan, July 2016 – Here is a rewind from over a year ago, when Filipinos still needed a visa to go to Taiwan. As of September this year, we can already visit visa-free, as you may know, which makes it a bit easier to go these days.

I followed Paula in Taipei and  we went around after her business-related shenanigans. Amidst the humidity, we roamed the city in front of a phone camera. The word “vlogging” makes me cringe a little bit and makes me feel pretentious, but I think that’s what this is called. I discovered that I am very awkward at this despite being much of an extrovert, and Paula, who is usually an introvert, is quite a natural! Well I’ll be damned. Continue reading “VIDEO: Taipei, Taiwan Vlogging with Paula”

Life in Pie Graphs

The other day a friend spoke about someone who is dying, literally – someone who is counting down his days because of a certain illness. And the first thing that came to my mind was: Aren’t we all? The only difference between us and the person who was told she only has a few days or weeks or months left to live is that we don’t know what number to start counting down from. If you think about it, the sands of time are dripping down the hour glass. Our hour glass. Every hour, every minute, every second is our life.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought about playing around with graphs of life using spreadsheets. I figured that if we’re using them so much in our work and business to visualize our status, progress, or certain data, then perhaps we can also apply them to visualize our own lives.

In this series of pie graphs, I’ve graph-ified something quite simple: the years of life I have lived versus the years of life I (may or may not) have remaining. Obviously, all are but guesstimates. Nevertheless, it might be worth pondering.

What is your target life span?

I’m currently 30 years old, and I plan to live to at least 100. Based on that plan, I would have lived 30% of my life. This pie makes it look like I still have a lot of time to pursue my dreams and tick off boxes in my bucket list (though I don’t really have one).

Continue reading “Life in Pie Graphs”

The Freedom to Suck

Writing is a form of self discovery. Having a blog is a form of self discovery. I was sorting my site’s categories the other week, and in the middle of doing so I realized that it was very much like filtering the things I should be focusing on in my life. As I drafted my About section, I struggled to find the perfect words to introduce myself. Until I thought, well wtf, perhaps there are no perfect words – at least right now. And that’s okay.

You have to write a lot of shitty things to come up with something remotely interesting later. And that is not even certain. It’s a chase for a perhaps.

I chanced upon this article in The Atlantic entitled My 150 Writing Mentors and Me. It’s written by this guy, Joe Fassler, who interviewed 150 authors in the past five years. Lots of learnings, obviously. But amongst them, I find this most useful:

If you’re willing to lower your expectations, to temporarily mute your inner critic, then incremental progress is always possible… Above all else, writers are people who allow themselves the freedom to suck—unrepentantly, happily, even. They’ve learned through hard experience that out of failure comes something better. And that the only catastrophe, really, is the refusal to keep trying.

Continue reading “The Freedom to Suck”

Chamonix, France: Road Trip from Switzerland

Chamonix, France – What I enjoyed most about Switzerland is being just half a tourist. Since I was staying at Rica’s home, I can take my time and change plans with no pressure. I was thinking of exploring the Swiss alps which they said was one of most gorgeous places in that part of the world. But Rica instead planned a drive to Chamonix, France, which is just down the corner from Vevey. Continue reading “Chamonix, France: Road Trip from Switzerland”

BOOK NOTES: Ready or Not: The 6 Big Disruptions That Will Change The Way We Do Business by Winston Damarillo

I always say these days: if you don’t disrupt yourself, then something else will. After reading this book, I realize I should rephrase that to: if you’re not disrupting yourself, then you are already being disrupted. 

Ready or Not is just another way of saying, “Watch out!”, or maybe, “Here are the things that you should have prepared for yesterday.” It’s a great, easy-to-digest overview of the 6 major disruptions that are already happening in the world today, namely (1) the online marketplace, (2) big data, (3) rapid creation, (4) peer power, (5) internet of things, and (6) robot revolution. Continue reading “BOOK NOTES: Ready or Not: The 6 Big Disruptions That Will Change The Way We Do Business by Winston Damarillo”

No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate

I started doing 30 day challenges in 2014. For me, it was just a game. I wanted to see how much discipline I can enforce upon myself either by detoxifying from something I have become addicted to (ex. social media) or adding a habit to my daily routine (ex. journal writing). When it comes to food, I’ve explored 30 days with no rice, no alcohol, no junk, no sweets – but all at different times. In an ideal world, we should just stop eating all of those at the same time, forever and ever. But different people have different methods of shaping their lifestyles. I have found, accidentally, that, this one works for me.

When I cut up a big challenge into smaller challenges, it becomes easier to swallow. So easy that it is inexcusable for me not to do it. I set myself up to gain a streak of small successes every day, which encourages me to tread on towards the end. Continue reading “No Sweets for 30 Days: Recalibrating the Palate”

BOOK NOTES: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

I had one consistent thought as I was reading Ashlee Vance’s book on Elon Musk: my aspirations, even if combined with those of everyone I personally know pale in comparison to those of Elon Musk.

And it truly made me want to pause, step back, and think about how I can think bigger. Actually, it made me want to redefine big.

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book (plus some of my own notes). Continue reading “BOOK NOTES: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance”