Growth

Growth is admitting where one is wrong.
Growth is changing your beliefs.
Growth is challenging your beliefs.
Growth is rewriting your narrative.
Growth is unlearning.

August 23, 2020 · Thoughts

Meeting New People

I used to be afraid of approaching new people. Now it’s different—I don’t have a hard time approaching new people.

I realized that everyone wants to have good conversations, so be the vessel and provide them.

August 22, 2020

Feeling Too Late

I’m too late to start this. Other people have been doing this for years, why should I start now?

Feeling like I’m too late to start is a bad habit. I thought that I was too late to get into tech because I saw people who started when they were in grade school. It wasn’t until I met someone who was pivoting into data science at 33 when I realized that I wasn’t late at all.

But is anyone ever late to anything to start something?

I never learned an instrument during my childhood. Am I too late if I start now? Should I even bother learning to play guitar if John Mayer exists?

So many people who are interested in trying something new, but already feel like they are too late.

Feeling too late is the excuse we like to give ourselves to do nothing. It’s easy to feel too late. It’s hard to start.

August 17, 2020 · Reflection

8 Billion Perspectives

The global population as of right now is approaching 8 billion.

8 Billion.

8 Billion perspectives. 8 billion ways of living. 8 billion priorities.

Recently I’ve been trying to detach myself from my North American values—to try and understand how different people live. The world is massive, yet I contain myself to what I know and see around me.

August 9, 2020 · Thoughts · Perspective

Memento Mori

We are all going to die. That is the reality of the world. Yet, we choose to avoid that reality. It could never be me.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” - Steve Jobs

I thought living each day as if it’s your last was akin to nihilism. However, it really means to avoid doing things that don’t matter.

August 8, 2020 · Death

Living In The Future

Life sucks right now, but in the future it won’t. That’s what I used to tell myself. I built up a habit of living in the future. The future, where everything is perfect.

I’ll have what I want in the future, I’ll be happy in the future.

This was the mistake I’ve been making for the past year. Life is too short to live in the future. Life is too short to justify being unhappy in the present.

August 2, 2020 · Future · Present

Books Are Good If They Are Relatable

After reading many of my friends book recommendations, I realized that the books I loved had one common trait. They were relatable.

If a book is relatable it is actionable.

August 1, 2020 · Books · Reading

Regulating Social Media

Social Media is addicting. To the point where it became a huge cause of anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction. I have used the following four rules keep social media use minimal, and mitigate it’s negative effects.

Every Social Media Must Serve A Purpose

This is a facet of Digital Minimalism. The following chart is my digital media reflection:

Digital Reflection

Do Not Have Social Media Apps Installed.

This one is self explanatory. Having the apps installed make social media too accessible. Use the web version and delete cookies after each session to have to login again to check the app.

Use Website Blockers During the Day

I use Self Control on my Mac to block all distracting websites from being accessed during the day. I also ensure my phone is in a different room.

Get Chrome Extensions That Filter Feeds

July 26, 2020 · Social Media

Atomic Habits Summary

Here are all of my highlights from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

July 25, 2020 · Books

The War Within

The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene outlines the personal strategies that history’s greatest generals have used to overcome The War Within.

  1. Identify Your Enemies
    Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction. [1]

  2. Do Not Repeat The Same Methods
    What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past. You must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrilla war on your mind, allowing no static lines of defense–make everything fluid and mobile. [1]

  3. Be Present.
    In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield. [1]

  4. Act With Urgency.
    You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on death ground, where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive. [1]

Notes

[1] These summaries are excerpts from the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

July 19, 2020 · Books · Strategy

Perfection is Not Real

Perfection is not real. Subconsciously though, I believed it was. School teaches that there is a perfect way to do things. That you can get 100% on a test.

Is there a perfect essay? Or a perfect book? Is there a perfect piece of software? Or a perfect house? Is there a perfect life?

Paul Kalanithi highlights the concept of perfection well.

You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving” - Paul Kalanithi

July 15, 2020 · Creativity

The Modern Job Market

The modern job market is akin to the modern NBA. In the NBA, the players have the power. The players who hone their skills and strive for impact have the most mobility. Players don’t spend all of their careers at one team. They go where they see fit.

Schools teaches us that good jobs are scarce. They teach us that jobs are extremely hard to get.

The truth is, good talent is scarce.

In the startup world, it is known that users rarely know the solution to their problem. Users aren’t responsible for creating features, they are needed to clarify the problem.

The same thing applies to the modern job market. Employers don’t know what the perfect candidate is. They only know what a team is lacking, and problems that need to be solved.

July 10, 2020 · Career · Jobs · Thoughts

Build Side Projects They Said

Build side projects. That is the general advice given to students who need to improve their resume.

Side projects are boring. No, I don’t want to build a website that displays the weather. I don’t care about a to-do list app. I don’t care about working with the Star Wars or Pokemon API. I don’t want to make an Instagram clone.

I don’t care about side projects.

But I avoided that facing that reality. I lied to myself. I wanted to be a competitive applicant so I had to like side projects.

People should be told to build products.

Building products is exciting. They have utility. They have purpose. If you find computer science side projects boring, switch your thinking.

Don’t build side projects. Build products.

A conversation with Jaden Banson inspired me to write this.

June 30, 2020 · University · Computer Science · Students

The Present Tense: Overcoming Regret with Mindfulness

Mindfulness has become the new trend. It’s been marketed as the solution to almost everything. Headspace, 10% Happier, Waking Up, Calm, and other mediation apps are soaring in popularity. Thinkers like John Kabat-Zinn, Sam Harris, Dan Harris, and Andy Puddicombe have built an audience around the topic. Tim Ferriss, Naval Ravikant, and other gurus” advocate for it.

My intital thoughts on mindfulness were iffy. I realized quickly that it wasn’t the solution to everything. I tried to make mediation a habit, however back then I saw it as a task. Something I needed to complete.

I meditated for 10 mins today. Perfect, that’s off my to-do list.”

The Solution I Wasn’t Looking For

Lately, I’ve been dwelling on the past. The mistakes I’ve made. The what ifs I have. If only I knew back then what I know now.”

That kind of thinking is the root of the problem. Not being present.

We are listening to our own thoughts, reacting to things that happened in the past, applying theories and ideas that we digested long ago but that have nothing to do with our predicament in the present.” - The 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene

No amount of thinking in advance can prepare me for the chaos of life. The only thing that I can do is work with what I have, become a supreme opportunist, and live in the present tense.

June 24, 2020 · Mindfulness · Present · Decision · Regret

The End of My Daily Blog (for now)

I realized that I have other priorities in my life.

As a result, I will be pausing my daily blog. I will still write, but only when I have things that are important to share. Or just when I feel like it.

I want to focus more on long form writing, particularly essays. So stay tuned.

June 23, 2020 · Moment · Decision

Career Capital

Career Capital: Rare and valuable skills that can be leveraged to make an impact within a career.

Scott Adams lays out two options for developing career capital:

  1. Become the best at one specific thing.
  2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

The latter is easier than the former. Being the best developer in the world is extremely hard. Being in the top 25% of developers + designers is more attainable.

June 22, 2020 · Career · University · Skills · Students

Envy

Envy: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

Envy is the ugliest of the seven deadly sins. Envy stems from dissatisfaction and inferiority.

In Memoriam 16: I Envy Not In Any Moods by Alfred Tennyson

I envy not in any moods The captive void of noble rage, The linnet born within the cage, That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes His license in the field of time, Unfetter’d by the sense of crime, To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest, The heart that never plighted troth But stagnates in the weeds of sloth; Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.

June 21, 2020 · Envy · Thoughts

Michael Jordan: Taking Things Personally

The Last Dance has given me a lot of perspective on the way Michael Jordan thinks. Most notably, his habit of taking everything personally.

Okay Fine, you can have that I’ll take this.” It was personal at that point.”

Michael Jordan was driven by his desire to prove others wrong. This mentality works well in finite games. In infinite games however, this mentality is unsustainable. The truth is when you win [1] you still lose, because your win depends on other people caring.

Notes

[1] Win in this context is whatever you are trying to achieve.

June 20, 2020 · The Last Dance · Michael Jordan

Passion Mindset vs Craftsman Mindset

Cal Newport’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You states that in order to have a good career, build skills instead of seeking a passion.

With this comes two mindsets, the Passion Mindset and Craftsman Mindset.

  1. The Passion Mindset: What can the world offer you?”
  2. The Craftsman Mindset: What can you offer the world?”
June 19, 2020 · Career · Students · Skills

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Competence

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Competence

Online education has prompted me to think about how humans learn. Abraham Maslow, known for his social experiments created a hierarchy of competence. In order to learn something, you have to go through these stages.

1. Unconscious Incompetence

The first challenge in learning is not knowing where to look for answers. At this stage, you have to absorb material related to a topic understand how things work.

2. Conscious Incompetence

After understanding how things work, you know what you need to learn. The resources you need to read and areas that need improvement become obvious.

3. Conscious Competence

At this stage, you have the skill but it isn’t natural yet. You need to reference information to make use of the skill.

4. Unconscious Competence

At this stage, the skill is a habit. You know what to do without thinking heavily.

June 18, 2020 · Learning · Creativity · Education

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