On Instagram, you post a photo of yourself with closed eyes, arms spread wide, hair blown by the wind, in your cute adventure outfit. In this photo, you are probably at the beach, or at the top of the mountain, or in a new city in another part of the world. The caption says something in the lines of “Never lose your childlike wonder”.
It is a five-day long weekend for everyone in the city. In other days, that could have also been me. But this time I decide to stay at home in the suburbs through (almost) all those days, without any plans. In this era of filled calendars, that is an awful long time with barely anything setup. Life as an adult is a collection of lists of things that must be done – things to do, errands to run, muscles to gain, inboxes to empty, eyebrows to pluck, children to run after, money to earn, occasions to attend, places to go. But this weekend is mine. I am free to be bored, to stare at the ceiling, let my thoughts wander, read a good book, or play with the dogs all morning and afternoon.
Continue reading “Never Lose Your Childlike Wonder”
We only ever remember stories. This is true when it comes to new places we visit, experiences we try, people we meet, products we use.
If you want to build something that’s truly viral you have to create a total mindfuck experience.
Continue reading “Beyond Five Stars”
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”
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”
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”
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”
My colleague Nim gifted me Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In for my birthday last year. It couldn’t be more apt. I just turned 29, which meant I have just one more year on my so-called “twenties”. It is, indeed, a very good time to look back at the past decade of learnings, mistakes and whatnot, and move forward to a better, (hopefully)more mature me.
But after reading the book, what I immediately thought was, hell, had I read this years ago, I could’ve prevented some of the mistakes and negativity that creeped into me from time to time throughout my career. Books truly are mentors of a kind.
Which is why I then handed it over to my cousin, Raya. She’s not into books, but she just graduated from university and is out looking for a job. I thought it was worth the try to hand her the opportunity to learn the things I would’ve wanted to in my early twenties.
And for every body else (as well as for my future self), here are my notes and quotes from the Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which is the first out of the 24 books I promised to read this year. Continue reading “BOOK NOTES: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In”