Everyday Traps To Never Fall For

Everywhere I go, I see these signs of people doing things so often that inhibit their maximum potential. At work, with friends, social media, anywhere. They are so commonplace that they are approved in signs of being relatable, and because of that it may be incredibly hard to change our ways. Here’s my list:

  1. Complaining about Mondays and getting excited for Fridays. I never had that mindset of dreading Mondays to come. I’ve been fortunate enough to be such a nerd to want to go back to school, even in grade school, even in all of my college classes. I’ve been able to appreciate all the jobs I’ve had (having said that, I avoided jobs in the food industry or retail at all costs). Every Monday is the beginning of a new week, a new chance to reinvent yourself, to learn something new whether or not you’re in school, to meet new people if you work in some kind of service industry. Likewise for starting a new day and wanting the day to be over.
  2. Waiting for a new day, week, month, etc. to start. Despite what I just said about Monday being a new week, why wait until then? If it’s because you’ve already got a set schedule of things you plan to do until then, that’s more than fine. But if this is just because it’s an easy-to-mark block on a calendar, don’t wait for it! Just go for it!
  3. Searching for approval. Never search for approval. The only thing that should be looking for approval is your work itself, not you. From things as simple as Facebook statuses saying “I finished my homework!” for the sake of approval, to working on something up to a point where your teacher, boss, etc. approves. Posting statuses for the purpose of sharing your happiness and accomplishments with others or to inspire them is more than acceptable, but definitely double-check your motives before so. Looking for approval is basically saying that because of an external influence, you’re at a good enough of a stopping point to improve. Extend your horizons and go as far as you can in anything and everything you do.
  4. I need it. You don’t need a drink after a long day or week at work. You don’t need that dessert after every meal. You don’t need that dream car, that Friday night out, that Sunday just to unwind. It’s nice, and definitely important, to make room to unwind and take a break, but at the same time don’t forget to always be grateful for what you already have. The key word is always! It’s easy to be grateful during Thanksgiving, during the holidays, after something tragic appears on the news, but don’t forget even during the most humdrum moments you are able to do what you do, and you have both the potential and resources to be where you want to be. And with gratitude on your mind, these “necessities” won’t be distracting you from this potential as you keep doing you.
  5. You’re so lucky! Almost everything one accomplishes is based on perspiration and aspiration. If you win the lottery or a raffle, then they’re definitely lucky! But if they aced an exam, got a new job, or even booked a vacation, all of that is from hard work. While we can feel lucky for avoiding a situation where we wouldn’t even have an option of reaching our dreams (read: we should be grateful), don’t give them any less credit by saying they’re lucky, as if they got what they wanted because God played dice. Don’t discredit the hours, days, months of hard work they put into what they’ve worked for.

Just keep grinding and be grateful no matter where you are.

Any other things people do all the time but shouldn’t? Agree or disagree? Let me know! I’m definitely interested in hearing what others think about this!

 

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Starting the New Year by Falling 15,000 Feet

On the first weekend of the new year, I jumped off a plane and fell about 15,000 feet.

Skydiving has always been on my bucket list for the longest time – probably since high school. The biggest obstacle was never the fear but instead was just finding people who were both interested and had the money to do so. Falling is expensive.

During my stay back home in Hawaii for the holidays, now that we’re all older and have both the time and resources, a few friends and I decided to fall out of the plane in celebration of my return. And coming from a thriller enthusiast, of course it was worth it! The experience is really unlike anything else.

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Into the New Year Shenanigans

In 2014, I scored an engineering internship, graduated with two degrees, and conquered an entire marathon. Pretty good if you ask me.

This year makes those previous amazing feats look like nothing. Here’s what happened this year, in chronological order (with lots of Smash, haha):

  • Self-prepared for software interviews and had it all pay off in merely the first month of the year as I landed my current job in San Diego,
  • Met and became great friends (and rivals) in person with my biggest Smash inspiration,
  • Became truly grateful for all the friends and family I have in my life, as I was treated with such candor and even a big fat Wii U as a farewell gift as I left for the mainland,
  • Traveled alone for the first time as I explored San Francisco without much of a plan but with so many spontaneously exciting decisions,
  • Started my software engineering career in Carlsbad, having learned a LOT about the industry, the processes, the mindsets, and pretty much everything a new grad engineer could ever learn (while still being able to help coworkers who have been in the industry for over a decade, or two!),
  • Made friends outside of work in San Diego through none other than Smash,
  • Constantly explored and am still exploring the indefinite depths of San Diego and Los Angeles while living on my own for the first time,
  • Started my Smash career throughout the US in none other than Las Vegas, ranking 65th out of almost 2000 players,
  • Made a T-shirt design specifically for me to wear for that tournament in Vegas and having it sold nationwide,
  • Soaked in the summer festivities of the mainland with Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions, Idina Menzel, Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, and Kelly Clarkson,
  • Made a name for myself as a Smasher in New Orleans as I made third in my pool while exploring the Big Easy; getting fat upon beignets, oysters, gumbo, and po-boys; and experiencing the world of Jazz and Mardi Gras,
  • Booked a spontaneous solo trip to Chicago for no reason during the Thanksgiving weekend, suffering through 30-mph winds, fell in awe with the McDonald’s parade and its enormous floats with mixed cultures, checking out the amazing architecture and parks, again making a name for myself as a Smasher at a weekly local tournament, and even sharing a deep-dish pizza meal with the hopeful homeless,
  • Rode upon the Amtrak for an entire 42 hours across the entire United States through eight states, making connections with people from literally all over the country, dining in with strangers, and viewing amazing scenery for hours from the winter wonderland of Colorado to the dry deserts and sculpturesque valleys of New Mexico,
  • Was welcomed back to Hawaii for the holidays with the most amazing reactions from family and friends,
  • Conquered by the end of the year exactly 25 non-fiction books (while slacking on these book-of-the-weeks that I intended on this blog, whoops) that helped me grow so much as an engineer, a designer, an investor, and especially as an individual,
  • Formed a steady habit of going to the gym at least 4 times a week with running and cycling, dropping about 15 pounds and for the first time ever growing some kind of ab definition,
  • And after a year from traveling and meeting people from around the world to living on my own and away from family, I’ve come to truly appreciate everything that I have and don’t have, to be able to befriend anyone and everyone that comes my way, to treasure and admire every story I hear from every individual I meet.

Not bad at all. What I’m expecting out of 2016 at the minimum:

  • Attend more out-of-state Smash tournaments, aiming for at least once every two months? Become nationally known through my improving skill,
  • Constantly learn in my software engineering career, questioning everything and never losing my curiosity on how to improve as a programmer,
  • Conquer a total of 50 books this year and keep that habit going,
  • Prepare myself for another marathon in June,
  • Keep the habit of going to the gym at least four times a week,
  • And make lasting connections in San Diego outside of work and Smash.

Let’s make it happen, folks. This year is ours to win.

Uber Life – Labor Day

I’ve always been against owning my own car if I don’t need it. Meeting people through Uber is one of my strongest reasons to keep this lifestyle going.

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I spent this past Labor Day weekend in Ontario (California) for a national Smash tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and spent the actual Labor Day in Irvine simply because that was where my friend whom I carpooled with stayed. After a long three-day weekend, I finally got back home ready preparing for a new work week.

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Two Months?

Welp.

I somehow disappeared for a solid two months. It’s been a long two months, but it’s been a fantastic one at that. What in the world kept me from writing up a single post this entire time? Well, I’ve been planning to write about each of these events in individual posts in the near future (and still am!), but in the meantime here’s what’s made Summer 2015 pretty amazing so far:

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Why Do We Kill Our Legs?

Four and a half years ago in my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, a 92-year-old woman claimed the spot as the oldest marathon finisher at the Honolulu Marathon.

This past weekend, in my new hometown of San Diego, another 92-year-old woman stole the spot as the oldest marathon finisher at the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon. Not only did this woman Harriette Thompson steal the record of oldest finisher by 74 days, but she also finished two and a half hours faster, resulting in a total time of 7:24:36, or about 17 minutes per mile.

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