2017: 365 Days of Lessons

I’ve decided.

This year I’m going to document the lessons I’ve learnt every single day, be it academic lessons, life lessons, advice from people, thoughts or ideas that occurred to me.

Why?

Because I’ve realised that there is so much that we can learn in our lives, every day, every single moment, but unfortunately, we forget them soon after we learnt/thought about them.

Therefore, by documenting these ideas and lessons into a single book (or maybe on my website or on Evernote), I can refer to them and assimilate them into my daily life.

Hmm… Maybe an audio recording would be better? Let’s see…


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Why I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions

It is the start of the year and with every new year comes a whole bunch of dreams and hopes for a good year ahead.

A new year also signals a wave of resolutions to be set. Things like wanting to lose weight (again), eat healthier (again), find that special someone (again).

But all of us know all too well how quickly resolutions die down after just a week or two.

However, unlike the rest of the world (except maybe a dignified few), I take my resolutions seriously and have always been a fan of them since I was 14 (I’m 21 now).

So, why am I a fan of New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. IT SETS THE COURSE FOR THE YEAR
    All of us have many goals/dreams that we want to achieve and some are dreams that we’ve held on for years. Furthermore, as we live through life, more and more of such dreams occur to us, piling up on the long list of things we want to achieve before we die. Therefore, by prioritising certain goals/dreams at the start of the year, we are able to focus on what truly mattered to us and work towards them for the rest of the year, putting everything else on hold.
  2. IT’S A CALMING EXPERIENCE
    To me, goal setting is a calming experience. It allows me to bring myself to the centre stage and bask in the limelight even for just a few minutes. It helps to refocus my thoughts, ideas, dreams and aspirations, and what I truly want (not what others want). It allows the individual to refocus life on himself (or herself) and give themselves 100% of the attention. Furthermore, the ticking off of checkboxes is such a motivating feeling and drives you further to achieve those long-term goals.
  3. DEFINES WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE
    I’m using the word ‘define’ pretty loosely here. Of course, mere resolutions are not things that should define you, however, I believe that resolutions are more like spices and condiments that add flavour to your life. By setting resolutions, I believe that it gives us a peek into who we’re going to be in the future and that motivates me to work on those said resolutions.

Those are just a few of the many other reasons why I have always been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. May we set good ones and strive hard to achieve them by the end of the year.

P.S.
I think people set resolutions that are doomed to fail. They will set resolutions that are not considered and thought of deeply. They did not spend time pondering and reflecting on what they really want and instead set resolutions that came off of the top of their head.

We need to think of resolutions less of a wish but more of a work-in-progress.

Stop wishing, start hustling.

Good Bye 2016, What’s Next?

I don’t know.

To be honest, that was what 2016 was like, full of I-Don’t-Knows.

2016 was wonderful and it was a year where I had learnt so much, made so many wonderful friendships and learnt truly a lot about myself and I guess, attained self-awareness.

2016 was the year I ORD-ed from serving the nation in the Singapore Civil Defence Force,
2016 was the year I became a student of the National University of Singapore,
2016 was the year that I’ve forged unexpected friendships (how I entered Silat without much consideration),
2016 was the year I opened myself up to many new things (joining two ad-hocs without much consideration),
2016 was the year I lived my dream of being a college student,
2016 was the year I started to put more focus into my writing,
2016 was the year I became obsessed with Casey Neistat and his art of vlogging,
2016 was the year I truly strived to be a better person,
2016 was the year that I squatted heavy (52.5KG per side),
Most importantly, 2016 was the year I hustled.

There are many things I’ve failed to achieve in 2016 but there are also many things that I achieved. There were also many detours and unexpected things that happened that made my 2016 so much more beautiful.

I’ll be posting up my goals and resolutions for 2017 and also a reflection on how my resolutions for 2016 had turned out to be.

P.S. However, in my opinion, 2016 had been bloody and brutal for the outside world, but 2016 was needed for the world to wake up.

Even though there might be things that we had hoped could have been better in 2016, let’s refresh ourselves and move forward to 2017 with renewed hope and vitality.

It’s August.

It’s August.

Wow,

Honestly, I cannot believe that it is already August.

A part of my mind is still stuck in January, a part of my mind still trying to process everything since January.

Do you still remember what your resolutions were for this year?

Or have you forgotten them like the billions of others?

Maybe you are one of the few that are dedicated.

Maybe you still remember those goals that you have set for yourself.

And maybe you are closer to your goal than ever before.

And I’m happy for you.

I forgot my resolutions. I remembered that they were pretty much achievable if I put my mind to it, maybe I’ve already achieved those goals. Well… I don’t know. I guess, I should check. Wait.

Well, I realised that my January-self was into entrepreneurship a lot. I am still but I guess, the passion is not as fiery and burning inside. I still would do it as a career if it comes to it but now, I think I am more focused on building myself up.

You know what I’ve discovered in the past few months? Other than my interest in science, there was never a lasting passion for something that would keep me going for a long time. Interests change but I don’t think they ever go away.

I’m interested in many things but for most of the things, I am not well-informed in those fields to be willing to delve deep into it.

Maybe, once in a while I should take a leap of faith.

Feeling Your Best

There are always those days where you feel horrible and when you thought that nothing else could get worse, and it did. So, you ended up hating the day for what it had become and hope that the next day, the planets will align and everything will be perfect.

Unfortunately, a perfect day or a day that you feel your best will not come without a little effort. We cannot sleep a bad day off and hope for a miracle that the next day would be better. Instead, there are certain tasks or routines that we need to do so that the day will turn out as perfect as possible.

This is a trick that I learnt from Chase Jarvis that I have been applying it to my daily life and it seems to work. What you would need is just a simple list of tasks or habits that you think would help you achieve your perfect day — a checklist of sorts. The list that you will be having is unique to you. There is no one size fits all checklist. It has to agree with your lifestyle and your life in general.

For me, I am testing out the following list:

  1. Sleep for at least 8 hours
  2. Write an article
  3. Read for at least 30 minutes
  4. Exercise
  5. Work on an idea
  6. Drink at least 8 litres of water
  7. Brainstorm 10 ideas
  8. Spend an hour with family
  9. 30 minutes of alone time without being connected
  10. Research an emotion and write a short story on Instagram

It has only been a week and I realised that there are some changes that are needed to be made. Therefore, this process is a continuously changing and continuously experimenting one.

I am doing this because I want to feel my best every single day and the list will help me accomplish that. 🙂

Do try it out.

Monthly Challenge #2

  1. Fitness:
    a) Bar Brothers’ Requirements
    b) Deadlift 140kg X 5
  2. Read:
    a) Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
    b) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
    c) The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
    d) Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Produce eight videos
  4. Take a photograph and post a mini story on Instagram every day

The above would be my Monthly Challenge for the period of 1st June – 1st July 2016.

🙂

A Month is Over, A New One Begins

In the past month, I have challenged myself to a monthly challenge so to speak with the aim of forming useful habits and motivating myself into achieving short-term goals that would play a huge part in the long-term. Now, as we draw close to the end of the 1st Monthly Challenge, I would like to take the time to evaluate my successes and failure and to also plan the next monthly challenge.

Previously the goals for the month of May was to:

  1. Complete the Bar Brothers’ Requirements:
    a) 7 Muscle Ups
    b) 25 Parallel Bar Dips
    c) 10 Wide Grip Pull Ups
    d) 20 Pistol Squats
    e) 10 Full Leg Lifts
    f) 7 Muscle Ups
  2. Read:
    a) The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
    b) The Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
  3. Produce three videos
  4. Post an article/blog post a day

So, I achieved most of the goals that I have set for the month except for the Bar Brothers’ Requirements as I am still trying to do a muscle up. I have actually expected this to happen as training for a muscle up would take a lot of time for the first one. However, eventually, once I am able to do the first one, it would be easier to progress from there.

For my reading goal, I was actually very much surprised at my ability to read those two books in the span of 5 days. I actually felt that I underestimated myself. I would take that into account for my next monthly challenge.

To boost my creativity and skills, I had decided to produce three videos and write an article every single day and I am proud to say that I managed to achieve both! Producing those three videos was a pretty exciting project. I was completely engrossed in making them and had fun too. One of the videos was about opening up ourselves to the criticisms of others and I have to say that that project allowed me to see myself in the perspectives of others. Apart from that, I have uploaded vlogs and even making them were exciting to me and I really want to captivate the viewers by making aesthetically-pleasing vlogs.

By posting regularly on my blog, it has helped me to think more creatively about the world and to question so many things. Ideas churn out from my brain smoothly and I believe that that would be a crucial skill in life. Furthermore, I can say that my writing has improved and hopefully, the improvements will continue. With the combination of frequent reading and writing the past month, I feel myself drawn to the wonders of creative writing or fiction. I am drawn to the beauty of how fiction authors write their stories along with the way they are able to describe a scenario so vividly, like that of a kiss or an argument. So, I have started writing mini stories on my Instagram testing out my abilities.

To be honest, the past month has been a month of creativity and self-awareness. A month where I discovered myself loving creating in the forms of writing and video, a month where I seem to be progressing in my journey to be self-aware and a month that I felt that actually mattered.

The lessons that I have learned are valuable ones that cannot be taught, they are lessons that can only be gained through experience. I hope for more valuable months ahead.

In the next month, from 1st June – 1st July, I hope to push myself:

  1. Fitness:
    a) Bar Brothers’ Requirements
    b) Deadlift 140kg X 5
  2. Read:
    a) Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
    b) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
    c) The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
    d) Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Produce eight videos
  4. Take a photograph and post a mini story on Instagram every day

This is the tentative list, it might change by tomorrow. 🙂