fear and anxiety · inspiration · personal experiences · taking risks

Why I didn’t go to art school.

When I got to high school, I had many interests: physics, biology, art, music, mathematics, writing, business, finance, and entrepreneurship. However, the biggest one was art, mainly because I had cultivated that interest ever since 4th grade. With my many interests, it was difficult choosing a major for college. I was encouraged to major in art/animation, but I didn’t want to.

I didn’t want to go to art school because:
1) I hate people “grading” art, because art is too subjective
2) Won’t get a stable job in the future
3) I had other interests that I was more potential at

Those are the three reasons why I didn’t go to art school. But there is one more that I have never EVER admitted to anybody; one that was detrimental and made the decision:

4) I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.

WHY did I feel this way?

I started drawing again just a few days ago and for some reason I felt sad. I felt sad because I am not as good as my other friends who draw. This was the same feeling that hindered me from pursuing art/animation. I have always lived with the mentality that I should be 2-3 times better than everyone else. If I was better by a little, that was not enough for me. WHY? Even though I am conscious of this, I keep thinking this way. I don’t get it.

I’m having a mid-life crisis. I am having it around 5 years before I’m supposed to. I have been thinking of going to art school for a year, taking a break from my engineering degree. But now the feeling of “not good enough” is still there. Why?

inspiration · personal experiences · taking risks

Why It’s Important to Stop Playing Video Games

A friend of mine just recently graduated with a college degree. You see, that friend is a hardcore gamer and anime lover. Nicest person ever. I feel sorry though because I can tell that my friend doesn’t really have a passion; and therefore, don’t know what to do with the college degree.

First, let me tell you that I don’t really believe in destiny. I don’t believe that a college degree defines who you will be in life. I think it is OKAY to not know what to do with life. However, the problem is that my friend REALLY didn’t like to do anything but playing video games. This is a major problem.

I think it’s really important to find a passion, specifically one that people would pay you to do it. Life IS scary and there are a lot of times when you really don’t know what you want to do with life. But that doesn’t mean you should literally do nothing, give up, and leave everything to chance. Playing video games is totally awesome and it makes you feel great once you complete them; but unless people would pay you to play video games, you better stop and find something you really like to do.

For example, if you like video games so much, try learning 3D animation, game design, or character design. If you are not that artsy, maybe you can go to coding and computer science. If you don’t like that either, keep looking and don’t give up. Everyone has at least a passion locked deep inside, but only those who keep looking would achieve them.

Trust me, you do NOT want to grow up only knowing how to play video games. So once in a while, put down that game console and think about who you really are.

fear and anxiety · inspiration · personal experiences

My (and probably everyone else’s) Biggest Fear.

So you know the feeling when you really just want to graduate college as fast as possible? Yeah, everybody has that feeling once in a while. I’ve had that feeling ever since I stepped foot in my university building. But now, two years down the road, I somehow don’t want to graduate because I am scared.

I am a straight-A student, flawless when it comes to homeworks, exams, and projects. You and I know for sure that these are not the most important things in life. Getting A’s is easy, but grades don’t define your future. Not even close.

I am in the process of creating my own business.. yeah, real life business. It’s scary. I keep finding myself procrastinating and making excuses. Most of the time, I keep thinking that I am not good enough. I’ve bought many many books and many online courses in order to start my adventure, but I feel like it’s still not enough. I still feel like I am not competent enough.

After a long day of working on my business, I get on my schoolwork. For some reason, I get a huge sigh of relief… because I finally get to some work where “the goal” is defined, namely to get an A, and I would achieve it if I study hard enough.

Here’s why we are all scared of real life: we don’t know what we need to do next and we can’t predict the outcome of our decision.

Think about it. Why do we like playing soccer? Because if we score more than the enemy, we win. Why does going to college feel safe? Because if we just study all of the materials your teacher tells us to, we’ll definitely get an A. Why do we put all our money in a savings account? Because if we put it there for a long time, we’ll definitely get interest and will never lose money.

Life is a villain. We won’t know if college would really help us succeed. We won’t know if we would end up liking a job. We won’t know if we’ve tried everything we could for this non-academic project. Even after great calculations, we won’t know if investing in stocks would be the best option.

Ah, risks. It’s scary. But we all gotta do it. Even though we might now know what the outcome would be like.

In life, we don’t really know if what we are going is “right” or not. At school, we sort of know when we are on the right track. If we get all A’s, we’re basically on the right track. On graduation, we know we’ve FINISHED college and that we are correctly following the plan. But in life, we won’t know. Plans change and people change. We don’t know if we should take Job A or Job B. We won’t know whether or not what we are planning out so hard for would ACTUALLY work. We won’t know when we’ve finished doing what we’re doing. For example, have I already made enough money to support my family? You won’t know because needs will change. At school, you just need to aim for the A; it is specifically defined and there’s a ceiling.

inspiration · personal experiences

Life is a trap: the problem with the current system.

You all know that feeling when you just got out of high school: “Hell yea, I’m gonna go to college, graduate, work all day long, get money, find a bae, and live happily ever after with 3 beautiful children.”

It’s just seriously a weird sudden burst of energy and motivation, thinking that after going to college, you’d know EXACTLY what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. This goes with the thought that after graduating, you’d be getting a well-paying job and that you would love that job forever.

Let me tell you something. There are two major problems.

#1 – Going to College.
Whoa, hold on. I am not saying that going to college is wrong. The right or wrongness of going to college depends on the student’s motivation. If you are going to college to blatantly get a good job to maximize income because other people did it and became rich, then you’re wasting your time – as well as tens of thousands of dollars. I’m in engineering school and you’d be surprised how many people get into engineering JUST because they saw other people had gotten rich because of an engineering degree. You’d also be surprised how many people think that a graduation diploma (aka a paper that says that you are not an idiot) is enough to be a successful person.

The purpose of going to college should be to get a better understanding of whats going on in the universe. When someone you know goes into a certain career path and is successful, it doesn’t mean that the path is the only journey to success. You don’t have to work in an oil company to be successful. You don’t have to be in the banking industry to be successful. Heck, if the world were a completely monolithic system when it comes to achieving success, why do we have Bill Gates (success in computer technology), Warren Buffet (success in stocks), Channel (success in fashion), Angelina Jolie (success in acting), etc. who each succeed in different areas of life?

#2 – Getting a Job
Let me tell you about jobs.

Day 14: Yep still lovin it.
Day 21: Well at least I get paid.
Day 30: Meh.

That timeline was just an approximation. I usually burst in flames and want to quit within first week. My belief in the relationship between humans and white-collar jobs got to the point that when people tell me they love their job, I tell them “wait for it” (in my own head of course). I mean come on, you’re basically saying you LOVE turning in paperwork, making progress reports, and handling annoying customers?? Please, don’t lie to yourself.

I am not saying it’s impossible to love work. There are indeed a lot of people who stay in their jobs for decades and are still motivated. My theory: they were doing it since they were 10 years old. It’s weird how we know more about who we truly are when we were just kids. As children, we only focus on doing what we LOVE to do without thinking about what the world expects from you. Growing up, we live in a world where we HAVE to follow what’s “ideal:” going to college and getting a real technical job that we might not necessarily like.

Most of the successful people today are successful because they were doing what they’re doing since young, and they have genuinely loved it ever since. Bill Gates had his own business when he was 15, Steve Wozniak had been interested in computers since he was 3, and Warren Buffet bought his first stock when he was 11 (he, by the way, refused to go to college). Steve Jobs always said that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I am convinced that other external factors such as, wonderful teammates, great working conditions, and great salary are irrelevant when it comes to loving work.

I wrote a long post. This is how you know I am stressed in life.


books · inspiration · personal experiences

Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Book Review/Summary)


Deeply insightful and liberating book.

We technically live in a world where being extroverted is the “ideal.” That being fun and interesting is what you need to do to get friends. That if you are not sociable, then there is something wrong with you.

These the kinds of things people around us chid about. However, the book talks how the ideals are simply not always true.

One thing I found very intriguing is how collaboration can destroy creativity. The book talks about how Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple computers, invented the first commercially available personal computer singlehandedly in his ownsolitude locked up in this office. She also talked about Charles Darwin who created the scientific breakthrough alone.

The book continues to talk about how the more people there are in a brainstorming session, the less ideas there would be; unless the brainstorming session is online. Cain argues that this is mostly because people are held back by the fear of judgement. Online discussions/conversations would theoretically reduce the setbacks.

Cain also mentioned how Warren Buffet, the oracle of Omaha (and my role model, lol), succeeds in the stock market when most people fail. In general, extroverted people act based on results; they get motivated and make impulsive decisions in order to get a reward. However, introverted people are much more calculated. They do things because of quiet perseverance and love for the things they do. They do not think of results that much. In fact, a lot of studies show that introverted people are less likely to give up on tasks. Just look at Abraham Lincoln! Introverts are also more likely to evaluate situations before jumping into conclusions and make impulsive decisions.

Cain also made a quick connection to Jim Collins book, Good to Great, on the concept of Level 5 Leadership. Cain echoes that leaders of great companies are surprisingly shy, reserved, humble, and not egocentric.

The most interesting part I found in the book was when to be more extroverted than you really are. Let’s face it, at times in this world, we need to conform to society. This includes creating a sense that you are extroverted even though all you want is to snuggle up in bed with a good book. Sometimes you just need to give that great speech or go to this networking event to grow your small business. However, Cain points out that if introverts need to act and create pseudo-extroversion, it is important that it is for things that they value. For example, there is no need to act like a party animal because then they would not be true to themselves. However, giving a speech for women’s rights, for example, is when an introvert and be extroverted for a day. This concept of altering who you are in different situations is called “self-monitoring.” Self-monitoring also includes understanding other people’s points of views when it comes to debatable issues. This, however, is not saying that self-monitoring people don’t have strong principles/beliefs, but it is saying that they are modest and open to other people’s opinions or way of life.

There are a number of people who come across as extroverted but are really introverted. And I am surprised that Guy Kawasaki was one of them.

After the series of “acting” like an extrovert, it is important to keep sane by having restorative niches in which you spend some time being true to who you are. By spending the weekend reading a book, for example.

In the end, the message is, stay true to yourself. Being an introvert is not wrong. We didn’t choose to be introverts, so it’s only our job to make the most of it.