Daily Log #4

A few days ago, my client contacted me about some bugs found in the trade settlement application. After going through the received emails, I decided that I will go to the client’s office. One reason was that I didn’t want to bring programming work back home anymore. It’s a desire on my part to create a psychological segregation between what I do at home for my soul and what I do for money.

So I applied to take a day off today and went to the client’s office. Although I could have gone there at anytime, I chose to continue to wake up at my usual work time so that there’s a sense of routine.

I packed everything I need for me to do my work and made my way there.

The work itself wasn’t that particularly difficult. A quick study of the existing codes, a quick debug, and I just knew what to do. I managed to finish fixing the issues and did a quick test to confirm the fixes worked in under an hour.

Come to think about it, I didn’t really spend too much time on designing the codes any further. The reason is very simple. This application’s life span is already coming to an end as there is a replacement by their in-house developer. So the only thing I need to be doing is to fix any pre-existing bugs. In a way, it’s a nice thing to see the conclusion of a project I was on for the last six years on both full-time and part-time basis.

There is other thing I enjoy eating and that’s the salad from The Salad Corner.

I went with Salmon, Thai Grill Chicken, Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Egg whites, broccoli and olives. For sauce, I went with olive oil.

It was mentioned by some of my friends that my complexion have gotten better compared to the last time they saw me. Well, I supposed it’s because of my constant consumption of fruits and vegetables over the last few months. However, I still suffer from acne scars that doesn’t go away without treatment by professionals. So I plan to do that soon.

I went home at around 4pm because I was tired and my stomach felt weird. On the train back, I keep dozing off while standing up. But overall, I like to work this way because there’s more autonomy compared to just sitting in office from 8.30am to 6pm and even if you are done with what you are supposed to do early, you have to stay.

Once home, after a quick shower, I went for a nap. My dad did ask me what I want to eat for dinner and I said I want char siu rice. I must be damn tired because I woke up only at 8.15pm. A straight 2 hours plus nap.

Another thing of note is, my mom and sisters won’t be home over the next few days as they are in Thailand for holiday. So it will just be me and my dad at home.

At night, I watched two episodes of Dragons: Race to the Edge and a few episodes of a Japanese anime called A.I.C.O. So far, both of these animation series are my favorites.


Daily Log #3

You know what’s hard?

It’s trying to navigate through the day with mild sleep deprivation, have a general lower energy level than average people, and general discontentment. That combination pulls you down and destroys your desire to do anything. You simply don’t have the mental capacity to think critically.

And that’s why my Daily Logs are published the next day after I wake up. It’s so that I have slightly fresher mind to edit the content. But the log is written on the day itself so that I don’t forget stuff.

Yesterday morning, I woke up only after my phone’s alarm went off. I was just exhausted that I had to stumble off my bed. The first thing I did was to check my phone only to see a whole bunch of emails notifications.

The notifications were for emails sent by WordPress telling me who liked my content. With that in mind, I want to use this chance to thank everyone who read and liked the stuff I published. It means a lot to me and brighten my day.

Anyway, I brought my MacBook out to the kitchen so that I could eat my breakfast while editing the Daily Log from the day before yesterday. Yeah, this is what I do ever since I published the first Daily Log.

I also took the chance to look through the novel I wrote and found that I don’t have the motivation to edit it further. I also hadn’t been contributing any words to that novel for almost a week now. I still want to finish it but I couldn’t get into the flow but my energy levels were completely gone. Sounds like excuses, doesn’t it? Heh. Looks like I really need to audit my life again and change my schedule.

This is what I’m thinking. I need to go to bed early and waking up earlier to devote the morning to writing like some of the other writers do. After all, it is the time of the day when you aren’t drained by work stuff and you get all the peace and quiet needed to do your best work. As for the lower energy levels, I should also go for an early morning run first before writing. I suppose I will look into putting it into action next weeks onwards.

When I arrived in office, I was feeling like crap. It only got better after the caffeine kicked in and that’s when I started doing my work… Come to think of it, I can’t even remember exactly what I did. I can’t believe it’s that uneventful. Oh my gosh! What did I get myself into?

When it’s time for lunch, I actually sat with the colleagues in my cubicle whom I shall name YL and CF. Oh yeah! I don’t know whether it’s coincidence or what but we got our food faster than the rest. Throughout the lunch, I didn’t really engage with the other colleagues and my team lead was seated like one chair away. After that, I actually went to the NTUC supermarket to get some milk as snack.

It turns out drinking milk is the best way to manage excessive acid production. So for those who are also struggling with excessive acid, you could try it. But I don’t think I should keep drinking milk all day. It’s unhealthy and possibly dangerous. I need to find other solutions… Oh, ginger tea helps also to minimize the effect. That’s how I survive through my morning with the constant rumbling.

In the afternoon, my team lead and I were walking towards the pantry when he mentioned that I have become quieter than usual. I brushed off the comment and responded along the lines of, “I’m writing a whole bunch of stuff and preferred to keep quiet so that I can focus on my thoughts.” I knew it was a bullshit response but I didn’t really want to talk about the real issue underneath.

And the real issue is? I’ve become disgruntled with the project and the whole team. This is what happens when you could no longer convince yourself of the work you are doing is meaningful and you feel that the situation is going to change anyway.

Now of course my team lead replied that I could share some of my work with the team. I just kept quiet.

The work in the afternoon was more memorable. I realized I have implemented something wrongly and have been calling the wrong functions because I didn’t quite understand the codes my colleague wrote. It was spaghetti and rely excessively on class-level variables. It’s something I try to avoid these days when I write codes unless I’m working with actual business models. So I spent sometime fixing it and got it working as intended.

The other thing also pop up. YL found some issue with the codes written by the other colleague whom I shall call XX. It was confusing and the variable types have been changed without warning. The constant values used were not application specific enough yet generic enough. What I mean by that is there is no domain-specific values. What values XX used for the application we are developing are exactly the same as the third-party module we are integrating with. Now considering the application we are developing is a product, shouldn’t it use terms and values that are more inline with our domain? And she mentioned that she built products before. From where I sitting, it’s like whatever she’s doing shows she has no clue at all. Then she will keep insisting she’s right and keep telling you that you are completely wrong. Now, imagine you have to suffer this a few more times and you hear the same set of behavior directed at other colleagues in the room.

So now you have it: that’s one source of my dissatisfaction with XX…

Ok, I better stop there if not I will go off on a rant. I’m just too passionate about doing things right and not fast.

Anyway, you know the feeling you get after a long day of work and having done nothing meaningful? It makes you so exhausted that you didn’t want to do anything else? That’s what happened to me. So I just went and took a nap after a shower while my mom and sister went out to get dinner.

I went to watch three more episodes of Dragons: Race to the Edge on Netflix after dinner before deciding to force myself to write this Daily Log…and that’s it for my day.

I’m just exhausted…

P.S. Woke up the next day (9-March-2018) and still feel like shit. I only managed to fall asleep at 3am…

Daily Log #2

The first thing yesterday morning, my colleague asked me a work-related question. However, as I didn’t sleep well again the night before, I could barely answer her. My thoughts were everywhere. I told her my mind ain’t working and can’t help her much. She and I were much closer in terms of working relationship thus she understood. After all, we did spent hours gossiping at work.

I spent a good amount of time in the morning sipping Caffe Latte from Starbucks. It took a while before the caffeine kicked in and I could start working on my assigned task. I put on the AirPods and blasted music away as I worked.

Throughout the morning, I also had to deal with my stomach rumbling until lunch time. The rumbling actually got pretty bad about ten minutes before twelve in the afternoon.

Before my colleagues and I went for lunch, another colleague asked me to go over to the testing room for help with the computer administrator’s username and password. She wanted to configure the host file of the system so that the one of the module in the application could work. But as I was actually focused on playing a game on my phone (yes, I was taking a break), I did get pretty irritated. The rumbling stomach wasn’t helping. But I hoped I managed to hide it well.

I went over with her to the testing room, keyed in the username and password on the computer, and checked to make sure all is fine. But there was some issue with the server causing the client application to fail to connect. Told another colleague and my team lead. Subsequently, the colleague went to look for someone from the infrastructure team to take a look.

We didn’t wait around for the issue to be fixed. Instead, we went off for lunch. I went with ordering Fish and Chip with salted egg sauce from the western food store because I was tired of eating the other food. The food wasn’t too bad and I was too hungry to be complaining.

After lunch, I went to get some over-the-counter medicine for my stomach. The excessive acid production is really pissing me off and ruining my quality of life. I just kept wondering why hadn’t the medical professionals find a permanent cure for it.

We went back to office and stopped by the fruit store to get some fruits first. Once back, I chomped down on the fruits, went to myself a cup of green tea using two tea bags and then got back to work.

You see, I gained a lot of weight since the beginning of the year. Just a year ago, I weighed 68kg and now I weighed 78kg. 10kg increase! Oh my goodness! So I was hoping the increase tea intake will help with that. And I know the real reason for that weight gain. It was all thanks to the excessive acid production that I had to eat quite often and I lost track of how much calories I put in. I also lived quite a sedentary lifestyle because I’m pretty lazy.

By around 4.30pm, I was already feeling tired and can’t wait to get out of office. I started winding down my work and went to watch YouTube videos on my iPad instead. I know, I looked like a bad employee who isn’t focus on his work and you are probably right. But I just don’t see a point in pushing myself to work more when I have already finished my tasks for the day. My goal in life is to lead a unbusy life and not suffer burn out which has a far more detrimental effect on my work quality.

My team lead also asked my colleagues and I to sync up on what we have done. The reason being, the sub-contractors will be coming down from China next week to work with us on integrating our application with theirs. We had to make sure our basic use-case flows are working so that we can achieve a more productive result during the integration. For me, I was pretty much done already. I just need to do some regression testing because my colleagues have made changes to the backend and the APIs.

I left office at 6pm sharp, stopped by a Jollibean store to get a cup of unsweetened soy milk to stave off that hunger I was feeling, and went home.

I spent most of my night watching Dragons: Race to the Edge on Netflix. I’m still in love with Toothless the dragon. He’s so animated, funny, playful, smart, and cute. If only I have a pet like that…

And that rumbling stomach of mine actually got worse. It became visually obvious that my abdomen had bloated up due to the amount of gas. It was painful. Making things worse was my mom cooked fish porridge, which’s so hot that I couldn’t eat fast enough to stop the pain. Unsurprisingly, I was pissed at the situation. Sigh…

One last thing, my friend is glad that I brought back the journal as he’s an avid reader. For me, now that I named it a Daily Log, I hope I don’t get confused with writing personal growth-type and self-help articles like this or this.

And it’s important to note that I need to strike a balance between writing fiction, writing journals, and other non-fiction articles. Some of the reasons put out by Mishell Bakerhere are journals can actually prevent you from doing the actual work of writing and make you bad at writing because no one will critique your journals. After all, journals is all about you and your life. It just doesn’t make sense to be criticizing it unless criticizing someone else’s life is your thing.

Living life without social media

Social media is one of the greatest inventions of the modern society after computers. It helped change the modus operandi of companies in how they do business with each other and with end customer. It has also shrink the world into a smaller place where communities are formed and people get together.

However, it’s not without its cons.

Articles like this, this, and this showed that social media led to decrease productivity in workplaces, increase anxiety and stress, increase depression rates, and decrease attention span. It has also led to situation where people in the same room don’t talk to each other anymore. They prefer to be looking at their screens scrolling through the feeds. They will see what their friends are doing, look at cat pictures (I do that because who doesn’t like cats…), and post curated content like images of themselves and their lives.

And you know what? Those articles aren’t wrong at all.

Auditing the time spent on social media

I decided to audit my life two days ago.

I realized I could spend up to four hours a day scrolling through Facebook news feed instead of doing anything productive. I would do it when I’m at work. I would do it while I’m on the train. I would do it while I am waiting for food to arrive. And I would even do it while my friends are around me chatting away.

I was addicted and afraid of talking to people.

And, it also took away precious time that I could use to read and write.

Excising the tumor called Facebook

I made the decision to quit social media. Unsurprisingly, the first to go was Facebook. I logged out from and uninstalled the main and messenger app from my phone and iPad.

Now, I didn’t exactly delete my account because someone once advised that keeping it around is necessary to ensure no one else attempts to masquerade as you. So what I did was to delete every single post I have ever made over the last two years and 95% of the photos on it. I removed my profile picture and cover picture. I put in a fake birthday and clear all the profile fields. There are still more posts to be deleted but it didn’t matter. The damage is done. My Facebook profile is ruined. When something is ruined, chances are you won’t go back and use it again. It would take too much effort to rebuild. Then I hit the logged out button and that was it.

What’s it like?

Although it’s only been three days, the effects were obvious. It’s especially so for me as a writer.

At first, you would feel weird like your limbs have been chopped off. There would be this void or itch that you can’t seem to scratch. When you are outside and feel like checking Facebook, you will find yourself feeling sad because the app is no longer on your phone. To make matter worse, you can’t even remember the password because it’s too long and managed by a password manager.

Then come the second day, you don’t even feel it. Well, at least in my case. I no longer have the desire to check Facebook anymore. You would find yourself feeling lighter and happier. When you are at work, you no longer stop what you were doing just to check the news feed. You can focus on your work more. And when you are traveling, you don’t check your phone as often. In my case, I brought a book along to read. You start to notice the nuances in your surroundings.

By the third day, you would actually use the freed up time to write. Again, I’m assuming you are a writer. The same could said if you like to bake or cook or play musical instruments. Now, even though you are on your computer with the password manager, you don’t even bother to open the password manager, access Facebook, and log in. The effort is just too much. You no longer feel depressed because you are not looking at other people’s well-curated life, all the nice photos of their families and friends, all the status updates of what they are doing, etc. You become more focus in what you want to do.

Don’t listen to those who claim social media is useful

Instead, I would counter that quitting social media is more useful. It will greatly improve your life, improve your productivity, your attention span, and the ability to think deeper.

And that’s how I am able to churn out this article in thirty minutes…

As Dr. Cal Newport put it during his ted talk, social media will actively prevent you from doing deep work. The ability to do deep work is ever so important in this and future economy. When you can do deep work, you are able to learn more in less time.

In that talk, you would hear him counter-argue three points people make when it comes to quitting social media. One of those point being “missing out” and the other was “my job requires it”.

Here are some other articles written by people who quit social media for a fix period of time and permanently.

Emma Fierberg wrote about how she quit social media for a month and how it was the best choice she have ever made.

John Gorman, who’s a writer, also wrote about why he quit social media and what were the benefits.

Call to action

I hope you take the chance to audit your life and determine if you should also quit social media so that you can build a better life for yourself and improve relationships that you have.

Daily Log #1

In my previous entry, I decided to put an end to my journals because I wanted to move towards writing more focused articles. After two days, it turns out to be a bad idea. I feel a great sense of emptiness in me even though I’m writing.

I spent sometime thinking about why and found my answer: writing articles feels distant and cold. Those are the only justification I have. I’m not saying they are bad because I do read such stuff but when I’m the one writing, it just doesn’t feel the same.

So I’ve decided to bring my journals back under a different term called Daily Log. I consider this a reset. Thus I will start the numbering from one.

For my daily logs, I will provide concise snippets of my day drizzled with emotions so they don’t feel so cold. And since I don’t use Facebook anymore, these daily logs will also serve as an outlet for me to put out thoughts, pictures, videos (ones that I watched), and random stuff I find throughout the day.

I think it’s very obvious that when you navigate through the world via the lens of emotions and feelings, decisions can to flip flop. I don’t think there is any difference with rational decisions except for the rate that it happens. With rational decisions, you don’t always change your mind unless the data really suggest you should. When you do backtrack, you can always cite data as your justification. For emotional-based decision, the only justification is “I feel…” and that’s it. It’s not a very strong case because there’s no visible or physical evidence but you know what, screw it. Who cares. Just do what’s right for you.

That’s all for now. I need to shower and get ready for work. I’m running late. Until the next daily log…

Discovering you are a highly-sensitive person and living with it

When I was growing up, I think I was like most kids. I was playful, hate studying, and make my parents mad. As I got older, I became more reserved, afraid of getting into trouble, and especially dislike rowdiness, but I didn’t think anything was wrong.

Then I reached my late teens and young adulthood. This is the time in your life when you start to take on more responsibilities and have more obligations. With that, it’s also when I realized that I don’t tolerate stress very well and have the tendency to snap at people once I’m over the edge.

When I reached my late-twenties, I started my first full-time job after graduating. Back then, I somewhat knew I don’t tolerate stress very well. So I told my supervisor and boss. He told me stress tolerance can be built up. One of the way was through exercise. I did that. There were periods of my life when I was going for runs and weight-lifting almost every other day until I actually hurt my joints.

However, I didn’t notice any major changes to how I react to stressors. I could barely function when the stress level is too high. I still snap at people when I get stressed up but not over the edge yet. Tiredness affects me pretty badly too. In those cases, I would throw tantrums when things don’t go my way. It became clear to me that hunger also affected me badly. I will feel very restless, irritable and get very impatient. Whining was one of my outlets. It was during this time, my friends told me to manage my emotion as I’m not a kid anymore.

I started to think something is seriously wrong with me but I didn’t do anything about it. I went on with my life as it is.

Life turned for the worse

My life turned for the worse when my boss at my new job kept commenting and scolding me about my inefficiency, my lack of stress tolerance, and generally messiness of how I do things.

Of course, it didn’t take long for me to slip into depression. I lost interest in almost everything else in my life and stopped sleeping properly. I gained weight. At the same time, I was blaming myself for being such a weakling. I even told myself that I was a worthless fuck.

It went on for a month when something in me clicked and I knew something had to be done. So I seek help from professionals. It was obvious that the company culture isn’t suitable for me and I didn’t want to be fired because of another screw up. I quit my job as I prefer to end things on my own terms.

Discovering the term, Highly-Sensitive Person

I took a long month break from full-time work. During that time, I spent quite a fair amount of my waking hours googling until I came across the term, Highly-Sensitive Person. I read the description and did the self-test here.

Lightbulbs started going off in my head. I finally understood who I am.

Now, the moment you discover you are a highly-sensitive person, you actually feel liberated. It was like you achieved nirvana. All the things you have experienced can finally be attributed to something. In a way, you actually feel empowered and now you can start taking charge of your life.

Living as a highly-sensitive Person

From where I am, being highly-sensitive is like a bullshit excuse, especially if you are a guy. People would think you are not mature enough and suggest that you didn’t face enough adversity. Well, at least that’s how I perceived those judgmental looks and comments I get. Some may just call you effeminate because of how bitchy you can get when your emotions overwhelms you. To be clear, that’s my extrapolated thinking as no one ever called me that. At least not straight to my face.

From time to time, I have to consciously make sure I’m aware of how I’m feeling about my environment so that I don’t snap at people without warning. I also make people aware of my sensitivities as most highly-sensitive person don’t tolerate certain smells, changes to their routines, being swarmed with work, and hearing certain noises. But in some cases, your situation remains unchanged because people just aren’t convinced that being highly-sensitive is a thing. You will have to figure out another way out as there are always alternative solutions.

Despite the cons of being highly-sensitive, it has its upsides and it’s up to you to turn your sensitivities to your advantage. You can now start designing your life so you can do your work better, live a happier life, and stop blaming yourself. You need to treat yourself better because it’s not your fault.

Helpful guides and articles

To help my fellow highly-sensitive people, I found a couple of articles online written by people for those who are highly-sensitive.

Angel Chernoff published 10 Life-changing Tips for Highly-Sensitive People that helps you to change your mindset and your lifestyle.

An article by Melissa on Why Highly-Sensitive People Need Minimalism is helpful. I fully agree with that because I discovered minimalism separately during my month long break from work. I stopped feeling so overwhelmed by my environment once I started getting rid of stuff and be more focused with where I direct my energy.

Complain Less, Find Solutions

It’s very easy to complain. You saw something that you didn’t like, you just start grumbling how it sucks. You felt some pain here or there, you just start mouthing off how it hurts. You dislike how certain things are done, you just start whining about how it is wrong.

No matter how much you wished for complaining to get you anywhere, it just doesn’t. You are just wasting saliva, energy, and time complaining about things that doesn’t fit your world view. Not only that, you irritate the people around you. The more you complain, the more you sound like a child. I know because I have to deal with it everyday.

I know everyone got their life and stuff to take care of. Circumstances are all different, so context is important here. I got friends who have to take care of their ailing parents by themselves with meagre salaries and have to work from before the sun rises to sun sets. But rarely do I see them complain as much as some who have almost everything they ever wanted in their life.

Now, that last sentence is also directed at me. I complain a lot too. I complain about work because of how monotonous it is yet I’m earning higher than what some of my friends are earning and have more free time. I complain about life because I don’t have all the shiny things when I actually have everything I ever needed. I complain about how the government is doing everything wrong when what they did ensure stability of the country.

My only excuse was that I grew up in an environment where everyone is complaining and whining about this or that. It’s either about money, health, how mistreated you are, etc. Now? I call bullshit on it.

You see, as I go further along with my life and learnt a few more things, it became clear to me that complaining is a sign of you failing. You are a loser and have lost perspective. You aren’t looking at things from a higher level and see how you can put in the work to change the circumstances. There is just no way you can win in life if you are complaining about everything because complaining also affects how your brain works. It rewires your brain for negativity.

So stop complaining. You need to start looking for solutions to the problem unless being mediocre or a loser is your life goal. I will respect your life choices.

This “stop complaining” message is also for me. I need to be more proactive in looking for solutions to problems in my life. I don’t want to be mediocre. I want to be better than who I was previously. Good news is that I have actually beginning to change myself for the better over the last few months. My journalings have helped me greatly.

For example, I know I don’t know how to do technical writing. Instead of complaining I don’t know how, I went for a two days course and paid from my own pockets to solve this problem.

I also hate my full time job because it’s monotonous and doesn’t give me much mobility. I prefer writing and the idea of working multiple part-time jobs. But it’s obvious that I need freedom fund to be able to do what I want without stress. So I focus on building up my freedom fund, step-by-step if necessary, so that I can quit my full time job.

And in life, certain things have a very simple solution. For example, you are sick, instead of complaining, why not see the doctor. If an old injury isn’t healing, why not see the doctor too? Complaining doesn’t heal you.

Then when you run low on money, one of the solutions is to audit the hell out of your life and cut the unnecessary. Start looking at ways how you can improve your inbound cash. Complaining doesn’t grow money or help you save. Take on additional jobs if you have to. Cut your expenses if you have to. Just don’t complain.

I have also heard people complaining about not having enough time to do the things they want. My answer to you is, why don’t you go audit what are you doing everyday that is superfluous and waste of time. If you are spending hours on Facebook or instagram, and then you are complaining about not having enough time, there is something seriously wrong with your priorities in life. I will just say you are full of shit.

For those who have to deal with complainers in their life, help them see the light if you love them. And if they still refuse to change despite your best effort, it’s time you drop them off somewhere, wave goodbye, and forget they have ever existed. Get the memory eraser from Men in Black if you have to.

Journal #333

It is well known that journals or personal diaries don’t get you readership. Nobody wants to know what you have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Neither does anyone wants to know what you did for the day, when you used the toilet or when you talk to your family or friends nor wanting to know your deepest thoughts about something.

From what I have gathered is, after reading countless blogs and Medium articles, people want balanced stories that they can relate to. Now, at first I didn’t want to believe that. I wanted to believe that what I wrote is useful. But as time went by, the only stuff that I, as a writer, put out there that solicit a higher number of readership are contents like this, this, or this.

If you notice, most of the links I provided are to poems. Those are the kind of work that people can relate to because it’s generic enough and can solicit emotions from the reader. In any piece of writing, the ability to trigger emotions in people in my view is good writing. I mean who wants to read things like research white papers that’s so monotonous?

So that’s proof to me that what those other people said are true. I’m better off writing the personal journal in some notebooks that I keep in the drawers, never to see the light of the day. With that, this journal, at number 333, will be the last of my journals.

And after reading some of the stuffs like this, this and watching this, I have decided to quit social media. In part, I started to feel like I’m spending too much time on Facebook to consume stuff, which prevented me from doing my best work. I also tend to feel more depressed as I scrolled through the news feed because I started to look at the things my friends are doing and compare to myself.

So the first to go is Facebook because it’s in my view far more addictive than Twitter. I have already uninstalled the mobile app from my phone and iPad along with messenger. I have also deleted a hundreds of my Facebook status updates, photos and unliked countless pages and posts. It reached a point where I decided I’m much better off logging off from Facebook on my laptop.

In the days to come, I hope that with the reduction in my use of social media and the change to writing more focus and deliberate contents, I can become a better writer. I really want my contents to be of value. In the meantime, I will also continue to write fictions since it’s what I enjoy more. My novelette has been put on hold for quite some time now and I want to go back to it.

Journal #332

A massive pang of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction struck. The world looked like it was all dark and hopeless. You didn’t know what else you could do. You wanted to give up. You wanted to shred every single piece of work you have ever done because you thought, ‘what’s the point?’

In this world, full of writers of both non-fiction and fiction, what makes you any better than those people? Nothing.

In this world, full of programmers, what makes you any better than those people? Nothing.

So you feel like you have nothing to contribute. Whatever you have done and will do, others have done it before. They came, they did, and now they are gone. Have you heard of them? No. Not all of them anyway.

You consistently put your work out but the quality isn’t consistent. You got your bad days. You got your good day. And you got your neither here or there days. You know that it’s fine. Nobody, ever, put out their best work consistently everyday. You have reconciled with that fact.

But have you?

Because the moment you go and look at the stats, the metric that determines whether anyone consumes your content, you realized that no matter what you have done, those numbers never quite go anywhere.

The question is, why do you still care? It has always been all about what you have done better than previous. Yet those numbers still gets you down.

It’s really simple. You are still stuck in that mindset of treating it as a scorecard. You are still comparing yourself against the world. A persistent low score means you failed.

But have you?

No, you haven’t.

This is what you need to do.

  1. Consistently build up your skills to write better so that you can squash that thing call insecurity.
  2. Find a better platform. A more minimalistic platform where there are no numbers so that you can focus only on the one thing that matters: Your writing.
  3. Re-audit your surroundings. Your friends, your parents, your surroundings. Are they helping or holding you back. Cut or remove the bad ones or reduce your time spent. Find new ones.
  4. Re-evaluate if the way you publicize your works are getting you anywhere. If the publicizing platforms aren’t channeling more readers your way, cut them. It’s superfluous and a waste of your time.
  5. Put in a system. It has to be a system that you can consistently follow to consistently write more and improve your overall health. Poor health means you can’t do anything good.
  6. Go out. See the world and step out of your comfort zone every now and then.
  7. Finally, decide on what is success. What is your definition of success when it comes to writing?

All the above applies to your programming. After all, it’s a form of writing.

Journal #331

It’s frustrating.

It’s depressing.

It’s one of those days when you felt like you sucked at everything, no matter how hard you try. You started overthinking, keep beating yourself up…

You wanted to go somewhere, far away from civilization, so that you can heal your soul. But you realized the place you lived in has too much civilization not enough nature. The trees planted are all artificially curated by some faceless bipedal animal under the instructions of some other faceless bipedal animal.

The thought of natives uprooted by said bipedal animals crushed your soul. Your heart cried. You cried.

You watch the news, you saw felines bleeding, crushed or ruined by said bipedal animals. You wondered how could anyone be so cruel.

You go to work and see all these bipedal animals, roaming about trying to go by their days, solving other people’s problem in exchange for money so that they can solve their own problems. Your bosses breathe down on your neck. Your colleagues put you down and play games to win. You are on the receiving end. You wondered what’s the point of all that.

You go home and drown yourself in games, movies, and books to escape. Yet you are reminded again what you are doing now is useless and worthless. They don’t help you achieve anything in your professional life.

Soon, you are left wondering what’s the point of life if not just to struggle every minute, every hour, and every day until the day you are drawing your last breath. You realized you have not change the world in any meaningful way. But it’s too late. You are either six feet under or become ashes and be scattered to the winds.