2023MAY14 – When you start forgetting yourself

There would be a point in your life when you are in the zone. Being able to do things right consistently and on time. Yet you suddenly lose that feeling of being fascinated by opportunities or celebrating those small wins you have done.

You noticed that you kept asking every day “Ok then now what?” It’s either you only get stressed after your small wins or you slowly noticed that although you are in the zone, you kept on the box. Then you started feeling as if it’s pointless and what’s worse is you’d lose that drive to keep pushing yourself. Because in the first place, how can you push yourself when you can’t see what’s in there anymore?

What you can do however is to look at your current situation. What was the drive why you started? Why are you organizing an event? Why did you start a business? Why you joined your current employer? Then compare what you are gaining now vs. what you thought you would have gained. Are they the same as what you projected?

Do not say “But I am happy, I can adjust”. Do not fall into the trap of false memories. This may be your natural way to cope because you had to be happy or else you won’t be able to keep up with your environment. What you can do is compare the definition of happiness before you started vs. how happy you are right now.

If you have compared them and don’t make a move, the worse thing that would happen is totally losing yourself.


2023JAN06 – Those forgotten feelings that kept us move forward

You know that feeling you really love and respect someone that you don’t want to cross the line with them. That instead of asking them out— for instance it was a romantic feeling— you would tell yourself to improve or at least keep up to wherever they are now.

There are times however that it can be really frustrating realizing that not telling your feelings only suppresses you inside that after weeks or months you try to improve, you no longer know why you started these.

Then suddenly, your paths crossed again. See them, well, improved a lot. While you are still there, although you improved, you are still far from them. Still out of your reach.

But now, you are no longer eager to push your boundaries. Yet when you see them, it reminds you of the reasons why you are doing the things that it keeps you moving forward. The thing is it is always good to see them from time to time. In fact, if you have the courage to do so, it would be great if you interact with them, say a little bit of appreciation, and get back that spark again which may helps you push yourself more the way how it started at the beginning.

2022SEP18 – When disappointment kept destroying yourself

So how many months have you been disappointed with people you look up to? 3 months? 6 months? Perhaps 12 months already? And meanwhile, how many months it have been since you are not being yourself? If it’s the same number of months then you have to face it. You need to ask yourself: ”Am I disappointed because I look up to them?”. But perhaps the best question is: ”Why do I get disappointed?” The thing it’s impossible that you would feel like not being yourself when you get disappointed while keep saying that you have ”moved on”. Then tell me what exactly the cause of your disappointment is? Is it about the people or is it about you? Why did you feel disappointed? Were there times perhaps in your upbringing—from childhood to pre-adult period, when people you looked up to have disappointed you— and that no matter how many times you have tried telling them that you get upset about things they have done they still don’t listen to you. If so, you need to deal with it! Always deal with yourself first, especially if the coping mechanism doesn’t work. Be patient with the cause why you get disappointed. Be stoic for a little while especially if you believe you know better.

2022JUN26 – When people you look up to disappoint you

There is a different feeling when a person you don’t look up to disappoints you versus when a person you look up to does. The more you are attached to a person (or group of people), the harder it is to admit that they are wrong. Then you would be having that kind of dilemma, telling yourself, that you need to adjust and that you need to speak with them to fix things. But if things were out of their control yet they chose the things that benefit them rather than the whole, you would of course feel disappointed. And you can’t blame them for choosing themselves. But you can’t also deny that having them close helps you improve. So the question is what will you do? I highly suggest remembering what you dream of. What you have always wanted for yourself. It may be rare to find people like them, but when you prioritize what you feel, everything else will follow. Rather than waste your energy feeling disappointed, take that energy to explore and rebuild (or build) relationships.

Mantras to avoid procrastination

Here are a few mantras you can fill in to reduce stress, avoid boredom, and thus, avoid procrastination:

  • I know I will be stressed doing this, but [insert long-term happiness that you can feel by constantly facing the stress from the activity].
  • I know I will be bored doing this, but [insert the most fun thing you can do by finishing the activity].
  • I know I will be stressed doing this, but [insert worst-case scenario that will make your life more stressful] .
  • I know I will be bored doing this, but [insert worst-case scenario that will make your life more dull].

Procrastination is usually defined as a ”time management” issue, but there are studies saying that it is actually an ”emotion management” issue that usually derives from avoiding the perceived stress induced by our work and from being disengaged with the work that does not give instant gratification. Thus, in this ”Mantras” episode you’ll notice how the sentences start on being mindful of your stress or boredom.


1. Journal: ”Procrastination, Emotion Regulation, and Well-Being” by Timothy A.Pychyl and Fuschia M.Sirois, Jul. 15, 2016

2. Article: ”Why procrastination is about managing emotions, not time” by Dr Christian Jarrett, Jan. 23, 2020

3. Article: ”Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)” by Charlotte Lieberman, Mar 03, 2019

2022JAN15 – When feeling disinterested

You have come across again to the stage where you feel disinterested. In such, the things you have worked and thrived so hard have become too mundane or too easy. That when you do activities related to it, you don’t feel that kind of spark anymore. But what exactly caused it? Is it because you become bored? But what exactly caused your boredom? Is it caused by you not exploring things? Then why did you stop exploring things? Maybe, perhaps, you have been thinking all this time that you already know everything about it or you have been thinking you have done a lot. And that’s basically where the problem lies. You lacked humility. In most cases, people who have thrived and feel happy in their field have that similar virtue of having humility. You can’t expect a grown-up veteran to get fresh ideas from younger minds if they will act conceited as if they already know everything in the field. In fact, they’d likely to get outdated and become ineffective ”professional”—that they only have the experience on their resume but when it comes to actual working, they are good as a novice or, worse, more awful than a novice. This does not only applies when you have become a veteran or known in the field. In fact, the reason why most novice people could not step up is that they have biases that they think they are already good enough. And the thing is you can’t have such biases if you are not conceited nor even have a faint contempt towards the environment you are working in. The simplest first step you can do right now is to ask yourself what causes you to feel this way and picture how it would affect you— and those you were thriving for— if you would still allow this kind of feeling. And if ever you have pictured a miserable scenario, maybe you should start working on having more humility.

Manuscript Outline: Getting out of your dull life

Overview of the contents of a manuscript I started back in 2018 and was supposed to finish in 2019. Oh well, what happened. I initially planned to title it as ”Jack: Master of all Trades” because of that greed to “master” several skills in short amount of time. But I guess, mastering several things requires being consistent practicing and learning holistic aspect of a skill. I’ll just share the outline as I think it was able to help me in the past 3 years.

Part 0: Lost and how to genuinely love yourself

  • Everyone can be an expert in a different field, they just don’t have much willpower and motivation. Clue: Therapies can help.
  • Love yourself. Meaning respecting your previous phases in life, enjoying the current situation, and taking consideration of future dreams. Clue: Be your own compass and direction.
  • Optional: Consider if you have mental illnesses in improving yourself i.e OCD, Depression, Mood Swings, etc., and how you can break out in that state or at least have ways to cope.

Part 1: Acquiring knowledge, skills, and talent

  • How to learn effectively and efficiently?
  • Why you should think outside the box always?
  • Why do people think they know enough? 
  • Why not being hungry in learning is not good?
  • What to do: Reduce unnecessary thoughts

Part 2: How our body implements this knowledge, skills, and talent

  • Body parts that affect the performance the most — brain, emotion, and guts
  • Cognitive and physiology patterns between experts from different fields
  • What to do: Reduce unnecessary actions

Part 3. How we can nail it!

  • Focus on physical fitness, mental fitness, emotional health
  • Science behind the word “soul” — connection with inner-self, connection with the surrounding, connection with people. The balance amount of “soul” on different fields (i.e. art, music, law, teaching, etc.)
  • Optional: Psychological effect of not having enough foundational resources i.e. you are less fortunate, being poor, being part of the vulnerable sector

Part 4. Flowing knowledge, skills, talent

  • Stay curious. Stay hungry with knowledge. Being a “kid inside” is NOT childish and is actually a mature thing
  • How to nail things not only once, but consistently nail them?
  • Why everyone should be goal-oriented? There’s this reading “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” by Scott Adams and it talks about people should be system-oriented and not goal-oriented. That was a better way to have direction. Interesting to discuss how to keep moving forward. But I think, he was implying too-specific-goals regarding goal-oriented. I haven’t read the book yet. I believe we have same idea so we have to find out.

Appendix A: Philosophies you can apply in life

  • Stoic philosophy
  • Kaizen philosophy
  • Lean. Note: This is more of a management philosophy, but can be applied in life

Appendix B: Computer analogy “Cognitive” Flow

  • Input: Our five senses (touch, smell, hear, sight, taste) and other mental senses
  • Process: The mind/brain, the emotion/”heart”, the gut (PS. I just wanted to sort the emotional part of our mind to its rational part. But it’s still the brain.)
  • Storage: Long-term memory, Short-term memory
  • Output (as input): Brain response (to information processed) i.e. analysis skills, analytical skills etc.
  • Output (as output): Body response, Muscle memory i.e. physical skills, creative skills, etc.
  • Parallel processing of brain. Interesting insight at Stackexchange https://psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/1946/difference-between-parallel-processing-done-by-human-brain-and-by-computers

2021SEP18 – A lesson on escaping from maze of rooms

Clue: Just open any of the nearest doors.

Many of us plan too many things before starting anything. Often than not, it just consumes our time and even our psychological energy. What most of us do not know, it is actually not rare for a plan to not work out especially when we working on a very uncertain idea that we have. 

When you think about a maze of rooms with its door closed as a player, you don’t really want to overthink what the game master designed the game. What matters to you is to find where the door is and that you have to open it. It doesn’t matter where the door leads you. If there were two or more doors in the beginning, and the door you chose leads you to a dead-end room, you can just go back and pursue the other door. You have options. In fact, if you are persistent enough, you can even think of breaking the walls of that dead-end room. What matters is you moved forward.

But let’s say you did pursue the other door. Then, you had this worry that maybe a scary creature would welcome you upon opening it. The fact that you already had that worry, what you can actually do is to prepare yourself. Not run away. You have already expected this possibility! In parralel to our lives, that’s exactly how risk or crisis should be handled. 

We can’t just overplan or overthink about it, we have to always start things.

Backstory: I have several planned out projects (personal projects) that I really haven’t started. Most of the time, the reason why I do not pursue them is that I am just scared and/or kept saying ”I don’t know how to start”. And when thinking about the maze analogy, these reasonings are actually not solid enough for me not to push myself in order to achieve the objectives of those projects (even just gradually).

Ten-points: In making life to the fullest

Disclaimer: May only applicable to people with short attention span


  • Maximize time by making sure you’re going to do the things that matters. Matters based on return of time and effort investment
  • Clean up clutters and resolve conflicts that causes distraction so you can be more focused and reminded on what to do


  • Rewind with your personal story from the past —thru recordings, notes, or maybe vlogs you did that best manifests and resonates to what you feel right now
  • Listen to the music from your existing playlist that triggers strong non-problematic emotions from the past
  • Watch a film or series or read stories that can help unmask your subsconscious or describe those feelings you could not articulate


  • Reflection of learning and noting down information that applies to help build the foundation of area.


  • Explore and watch series, read a story, or listen to a song you haven’t previously watched, read, and listened to. Extract those things that resonates to what you feel now and see a different light and seek how you can improve it or move to a better path
  • Explore things that curious you about. Note: Do not take a note which can distract you while exploring, unless you have decided it’s worth the shot to commit


  • Rest effectively meaning don’t give a fuck especially on pressures from people
  • Stay recharged and revitalized by being level-headed. Note: People have different ways to stay recharged

Written and has been stuck on my personal notes since May 12, 2021. Decided to publish here on Feb 12, 2022.

2021FEB21 – When surrounded by great achievers (and getting out the comfort zone)

You may be surrounded right now by people whom apparently you found out have great achievements. They were in the news, they won in local and even global competitions, they were class valedictorians, they literally have successfully helped out their communities, and more. And there you are, thinking you are worthless in comparison to what they have done so far in life. Although it is an amazing feeling to be surrounded by them, it is sometimes scary not only to keep up but those thoughts that what if you were dragging them into your level?

Truth is keeping up will only make you burned out. What you only need is to get out of your comfort zone. Ask yourself, how did they able to achieve these things, or how did they are able to catch and pursue these opportunities? Is it because of their environment? Like perhaps, they have a very supportive family and friends that helped them persevere and push themselves forward. Then imagine what’s your current situation right now? Are you still keeping your toxic family and friends who are psychologically and emotionally dragging you down? Interacting with them as if they would help you grow, but in fact not? And if it’s really true that they’re not helping at all, then cut-off ties, or at the very least, do not interact too much. Better yet, find a better environment that you can express the best out of yourself.

Related thought: 2019SEP17 – Expectations on setting the bar high

Updated: Get out of your comfort zone – Mar. 21, 2021