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”

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”

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”

BOOK NOTES: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In

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”