Here’s one more post after a loooooong absence. In my defense, I’ve been busy planning for a pretty significant life event and that has been taking up all my hours. But on the bright side, I’ve finally managed to fix the one thing I disliked about my book’s premise. And since that’s done, I believe I will be more motivated to work on my novel. Plus, there might be more free time in my future, depending on how things go. Thanks COVID.
Anyways, since I am low on muse tonight, here’s a blog post on things you (and I) should definitely do more of – assuming you don’t already do them. Everything should be done in moderation, yes?
1) DRINK WATER
Sounds cliche and stupid but you know what? I’ve lost a couple of kilograms by just implementing this in my daily routine! Since I drink more water, I need less food. This leads to less calories. Plus, I also read from a couple of online resources that drinking water increases your metabolism. Since this is far easier than adding 1 more day to your weekly exercise routine, why not try this as a way to lose more weight?
Another reason why I do this is also because up until recently, I had the bad habit of not drinking enough water. I wouldn’t want this to impact my health down the road sooooo….yeah.
2) DISCONNECT FROM THE NET
Like every other modern individual, I am hooked on my phone. While I am not obsessed with posting details of my life on social media, I do have the tendency to scroll endlessly on more than one social media platform. In the end, I accomplish nothing besides making my mind messier than it already is. I’ve noticed it contributes to my anxiety because I am constantly looking at what’s out there. It distracts me from what’s within.
So, instead of crawling through the net, I think I should go back to my old hobby of reading books (Note to self: Reddit is not a book). That’ll actually be helpful for my novel and will probably also help me sleep better at night. The next question is then of course, which book?
3) STOP, THINK & ACT
In many areas of my life, including work, I have a bad habit of simply charging into the matter at hand. While this enables me to be fairly efficient, I often miss out on something glaringly obvious or mess up the activity. If I could just remind myself to consider all the options before committing to one, then I would surely end up becoming even more efficient and productive.
As I have managed to catch myself before charging in on a few occasions now, the quality of my work has gotten better. As for my personal life, I think I face less issues with things breaking down (lol). Seeing such positive results enables me to inculcate such good habits faster. 👍
And that’s all for now! Until next time!
Here’s attempt #idon’tknowanymore at jump-starting my novel writing. While I managed to make significant progress during the Chinese New Year holidays, I find it hard to make further progress after. To get my engine going, I truly need to block out a fair bit of time in my schedule. That’s hard when you’re juggling several commitments. That being said, one of my colleagues at work has two kids and still managed to get a side-hustle going… that’s inspirational. If he can do it, then so can I.
So here’s a bit more life advice while I work out my writing schedule for the next few weeks and months. With how busy I am, finding quick ways to practice self love is important. Here’s what I’ve been using.
I struggled to find a free meditation app, until I found Medito. I’ve been using it for around 1/3 of a year now and I feel like it really does help me to keep anxiety low in the mornings. (I am prone to feeling anxious when I wake up.) My favourite thing about this app is the ‘daily meditation’ section, which accompanies me on my daily 5 min meditation session in the morning. Soon, I am going to look at the other sections to further expand my journey in meditation
Headspace on Netflix
Not sure whether this is available where you are, but it provided me with new meditation techniques that I have found intriguing. The graphics are beautiful and going through the various episodes has been an experience. They also have a new upcoming series, which is supposed to help one sleep better. This is something I am definitely going to check out.
Presently – A Gratitude Journal App
There are a ton of these apps out there…but what made me stick to Presently is its very simple interface. It doesn’t feel like a chore to fill each daily entry up. Also, I keep it to 3 things I am grateful for every day so I take less than a minute to fill it up.
Create / or whatever floats your boat
After much soul-searching a few years ago, I realised what makes me feel happy is creating new things. It can be a piece of design, a blog or even a photo. It is why content marketing suits me as a career. It is the thing that I get ‘into the zone’ with. And that is also why I am here today, writing this blog. It makes me happy. It’ll make me even happier if I know this blog post has helped someone. So my advice here is to find out the thing that makes you tick. If you get to do what you love, then you’re already practicing self-love.
A new year, a new post.
Long story short, life took over. But honestly? It is no excuse. I had pockets of time where I could have been doing some writing but… #effort. Plus, I do loads of content development at work so when I am home, all I want to do is to relax….but nope, I am going to try and get this blog going again. When my block leave for Chinese New Year comes around, I am going to try and get a few chapters of my novel done – THAT IS A PROMISE I MAKE TO MYSELF.
Until then, I am going to do mini blog posts about whatever inspires me. For this blog, I’ll like to briefly go over the psychological thought pattern ‘imposter syndrome’.
In short, it means a lack of confidence… it means being afraid of being exposed as a ‘fraud’ even when there is external evidence that you aren’t at work.
This is something that I relate to at so many levels. But at the same time, I also have moments where I do feel confident and proud of my work. I can swing between these two modes so quickly that it is almost a miracle that I haven’t gotten some kind of mental whiplash.
I also don’t think this is something I can ever completely overcome… but I do believe there are ways where I can minimise these moments. I’ve been accumulating these mini strategies for some time now and perhaps it is time to put them into words.
- BEING IN THE PRESENT
If you had done some sort of meditation or yoga, you would know what this means. To me, it means simply living in the present moment and not caring about what comes after. After all, you will get there when you get there. To be in the present moment, you can simply train all your focus on something like your breath for a few minutes. Alternatively you can focus on listening to something like the rainfall or the sounds of nature. You don’t HAVE to meditate to be in the present, in my opinion. Take some time out of your busy day to do this and sooner or later, I’m sure you will start to see it as an avenue to relax from your busy mind.
- FIND WAYS TO ‘REBOOT’ YOUR BRAIN
Once you start thinking negatively, it is likely that you will spin down and down and…you get the picture. Before you get too emo(tional), you gotta snap yourself out of it. You can do this by distracting yourself with a piece of news or a show. Sometimes, I get into this ‘panic’ mode the moment I wake up and I have realised that if I just sit up and focus on the quiet around me, my mind will eventually follow suit as well. Perhaps I should figure out a way to take the ‘quiet’ of my room into my office…. mentally, I mean. That way, I can reboot my brain no matter where I am.
3. UPDATE YOUR RESUME/LINKEDIN PROFILE
This is a bit of a weird one but I’ve realised that people quickly forget how much they have accomplished if they do not have an opportunity to reflect on it. And what better way to do so than to update your resume or linkedin profile? As a bonus, it makes applying for your next job several times easier. Speaking of, I should probably do that soon as well.
And that’s all for now – see you next time!
I wish I could say I have been working on my novel but alas, that is far from the case. I have been caught up in some real life obligations in the past few weeks and as they are very important ones, I shall forgive myself for lapsing in this blog XD. So here is my attempt at jump-starting the whole writing thing again. Today, I shall get a quick post out so as to ease myself back into working on my novel.
So here are some random things that kept my life interesting in the last few weeks.
#1 Chef Hua
(Follow the youtube link to the channel with all the episodes)
Cooking and medieval China? Sign me up! The romance is very very VERY cliche but man the food always looks awesome. One other thing that I like about this drama is that the main characters aren’t royalty. They’re just simple commoners! Also, it features a very supportive mother-in-law. That’s rare – even in real life!
This is, of course, a very very old series. I basically went back and devoured all the material I could easily get my hands on (yay for Netflix!) and read up on all the lore. Ripley is an amazing female character and I hope to bring my main character to life in a similar way. Of course, the story will be completely different. I do not often delve into sci-fi/horror often but every now and then, I have this…morbid curiosity that needed feeding. Another series I kept jumping back to is the “Thing”.
#3 TED TALK – On Raising Kids To Overcome Anxiety
And just to show that I haven’t just been lazing my day away in front of the screen, here’s one of the TED talks that struck a nerve with me. Anxiety, I believe, is one of the main issues plaguing young adults in Asian cultures. This is because we have been bred to want to succeed while remaining dependent on others at the same time. For example, teachers give us oddles of content to memorise but rarely manage to cultivate a desire of indepedent learning in their students. We just take what we are given and do nothing more. By the time these students get to university, they have trouble with discipline, taking risks and feeling confident about their own decisions.
But now that I am aware of it, I can hopefully slowly undo that negative mindset. And if I ever have children, this is a video I will probably keep coming back to.
Yes yes – it has been a while since my last blog. I know that very well. I don’t have any excuse as I know very well that you should make time for the things that matter to you. And given all that I have written in my blogs about forming habits, the last thing I want to be is to be a hypocrite. So let’s get straight into the topic on my mind today – boundaries.
I think boundaries are extremely important in keeping relationships healthy. You might think it is immature or even cruel to completely ‘burn bridges’ but from my experience, it can only be beneficial to yourself. While I don’t have much problem in maintaining boundaries in my personal life, I oddly struggle with this in my professional life.
As an INTJ, I am incredibly task-oriented. When I am focused on a task, I will tend towards wanting to do everything to get the task done, no matter what. But this means I run the risk of over-stepping into someone else’s territory. In addition, it also puts me at risk of giving others the impression that I can do all the little things for them. It took me a while to realize that being helpful can actually be…a bad thing. And saying ‘no’ in a non-offensive way is a ‘must have’ skill in the workplace.
So how do I fix this? I actually like that ‘task-oriented’ part of myself and it is not something I want to change. I also like being helpful and curious as it is how I picked up all the skills I now possess.
However, I think I would have to readjust my concept of a ‘task’. It should now include considering the perception of others (aka being ‘people-oriented’) before making an action. I should also consider the function of the various departments in the workplace before deciding on a course of action. It’ll be a challenging thing to do, yes, but once I make it a habit at the workplace, everything else should fall into place.
As for being ‘too helpful’, I think I need to consistently remind myself that there are various departments in a company for a reason. I can’t do ‘everything’ like when I was in a smaller company. It is not to my benefit if I try to cover all grounds for a task. It may be a benefit to the company in the short term but it most definitely won’t be in the long run. This is because of the uneven workflow process.
I am writing this blog as a reminder to myself that this is something I must and should work on in the workplace.
It’s been quite a while since my last post, but yay, I am back! Life has taken quite a few interesting turns lately, hence my absence from the front page on this site. I am happy to report that I am slowly developing my main character, who already feels far ‘deeper’ compared to the character I developed for the previous version of my story. But more on that another time. Today, I would like to show you all a very interesting TED talk and book I encountered on Linkedin. (BTW, I’ve been getting loads of good advice from LinkedIn lately and I highly recommend casually browsing every now and then for young adults looking to improve their careers and life.)
This is the TED talk in question:
Belonging, Purpose, Transcendence and Story-telling. Here’s her book if you would like a deeper look into these four pillars. I am about 5 chapters in and it has already been incredibly enlightening.
As an atheist, I have struggled to understand the concept of religion for the longest time. While my new understanding of these four pillars did not compel me further towards god, it did help me understand why religion has been so compelling for others.
It taught me how perspective can be a double-edged sword. Typically, looking at the good side of things helps to keep you motivated. However, what if the situation is a bad one, such as being trapped in a relationship with an abusive partner? By looking on the bright side of things, it traps that person in a vicious cycle. Some part of them knows they should leave but because they engage in the act of ‘looking on the bright side of things’, it somehow gives them meaning and a reason to stay.
The book also helped me draw connections between the many revelations I had in my adult life, such as the importance of working on my relationships, hobbies and reflecting upon the events and decisions I have made in my life. All this time, it seems I have been unknowingly working on adding meaning to my life. For example, my novel and this blog support the pillars of story-telling, purpose and transcendence. It is no wonder I have never felt more fulfilled than right now.
But of course, life is ever-changing. In the years to come, if all goes to plan, my life will change drastically yet again. The components of my life that feed into these four pillars will no doubt change too. I shall endeavor to keep this book and its lessons in mind as I waddle through the many transitions that my life will take.