Vanity Wipe Part II: the How’s

In the last part of the Vanity Wipe series, we’ve gone through some reasons why vanity should be wiped out, or at least smudged to the best of our ability. Not only might it stand between you and mastery, caring excessively of others’ opinions (whether consciously or unconsciously) might lead to you waking up wide-eyed at 5AM twenty years from now, breaking a cold sweat because you have no idea who the person in the mirror is. (Read it more in-depth here).

So now you’re ready! You have the sponge in your left hand and gel in the right, ready to wipe this beast of a pest out of your life. I’m grateful for your enthusiasm, but maybe hang that sponge up and put your shower gel down for a moment. Bring out a comfortable hammock, and some mju because we might have to sit down and think… for quite some time. Because you see, in order to wipe out vanity, you need to figure out what will inherit its place first.

Like I said in the previous article, vanity is here because it benefits us. It gives us a sense of self-worth, albeit from other people. So before you think of going off life-support from applause, think first of what nectar your life will be absorbing next. The best answer, as anyone who has had some casual brushes with self-help books know, is to get that love from the well of our own hearts.

And as anyone who has tried could testify, getting approval from your own damn self is capital-h-a-r-d-HARD! However, before you kick off the sponge and shower gel to the corner, and storm off the bathroom accompanied by ugly sobbing, let me just say, it’s hard, but not impossible. It might take quite a long time (and I’m saying years and years of exploring, analyzing and making heaps mistakes), but it’s indeed achievable.

When Descartes realized his education was built upon false hand-me-down knowledge, he dedicated years of his life to examine all of his beliefs and put them back in (or out) one by one. That’s dedication for ya.

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Source: The School of Life

Start now. Begin observing your own actions. Ask yourself what you think about certain controversial issues.
“Do I agree with the current political discussion?”
“Is white skin the ideal beauty standard for me?”
“Do I find fit people more attractive?”
“Should pineapples be allowed to be put on pizzas?” (they should definitely not, just FYI)

Examine your beliefs and likings from topics as big as world politics to something as small as liking thin paper as opposed to rough paper, and anything in between. Then ask yourself, why? Why do I find people with six-pack abs better than a whole belly? Why did I spend 200 bucks on a plain white T-shirt with a five words on it? Why does thin paper feel so much better than rough paper?

Also ask yourself, would I still like people with six-packs if I could not show them off to my friends? Would I have bought that expensive T-shirt if no one could know about the brand or price? Would I still like thin paper if everyone around me hated it? Asking yourself thus can hopefully make things done for the sake of vanity visible. After seeing it for what it is- a mere trick to get the world’s attention- you should ask yourself further, of other reasons you might want to continue doing it. If the only main reason is applause, I’m sorry, buddy, but it’s time to put on the brake. It’s better to make space for what you genuinely enjoy than crowding your hours and headspace with mere attention-seeking actions.

Let me give you an obvious heads up, it’s going to be very unsettling, to say at least. I mean, when you question an activity that is central to your identity, it’s a discomforting experience, for sure. I used to think of myself as a visual art hobbyist, occasionally producing a sketch of a white nose here, a watercolor of waterfall there. During the questioning period, I suspected I was producing sketches, not because I enjoyed the ordeal, but instead because I wanted to get the attention of my perceived social media “followers”. Nothing to distinguish yourself among the rest like showing you’re a sensitive artist wanna-be, you know?

So I took a break from drawing/painting to really ascertain if I liked the craft for the sake of the craft, or for vanity. More than a year later, the dawn finally broke. I came to conclude that drawing added another dimension (pun-intended) to my existence, and it’s worth doing even without the “likes”. So I grabbed my old 2B pencils and began sketching squiggly faces again! The paintings probably have not changed much, but the painter is newly-colored with self confidence and a tad of detachment from public opinion. Whatever people may say of my craft, I know for certain now that I enjoy the brow-scrunching concentration needed to draw a straight line, the soul relief from heaping bold colors on top of one another, and the mind-blowing capacity (or more realistically, the hair-pulling frustration) to realize what’s in my head.

Now, it’s time for you to embark on your own journey. Again, the journey will probably take a lot of time and energy, but believe me, it’s worth it. This will be the foundation of how you’ll judge EVERYTHING from now on.

Would you rather be a dandelion swept left and right by the winds of public opinion, a swaying body devoid of soul, going where the current tells you, or would you rather be a willow seed, toiling for nourishment under the soil for a period of time, but end up growing on your own trunk, with healthy roots and ability to withstand the blowing storms?

This is also where the world outside, including and especially the fictional world comes in handy. When you know of a story- whether a piece of gossip from a celebrity magazine, the backstory of the much celebrated batman, or a piece of philosophical thought from some major thinker whose name you can’t pronounce- ask yourself, what do I think of this issue? Try to draw the parallels and contrasts between your life and the lives you know of. If your memory is not to be trusted, as most youths’ are, try out journaling. It’s an excellent means to maybe learn to express yourself better, and also make sense of what you are and what you want to be!

Now, the solution above might work for people who have little clue of what they like doing, but how about those for some reason, (most of the time embarrassment) dare not do what they would like? Well, here are some things that have helped me (and believe me, I’ve done some pretty embarrassing stuff):

  1. build a support system:
    it’s hard to go through the world alone, like a young bald bird, cold and flightless. Again, we are social animals, and we DO want approval from others. As Bertrand Russell put it:

    Head, Alfred Ernest, b.1923; Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
    Painter: Alfred Ernest Head 

    “Do not attempt to live without vanity, since this is impossible, but choose the right audience from which to seek admiration.”

    The trick here is to choose whose approval you want. I am fortunate to befriend some people of the same values and so have benefited from their strong trunks through the storms of public opinion when mines are too feeble to withstand the rushing torrents. Seek out people with the same values, befriend them, and validate yourself with them when you’re unsure.

  2. Think about loss:
    yes, pretty morbid stuff, and a good morning to you, good sir!
    People of all ages have realized the danger of being attached to our possessions, as Seneca, a rich statesman frequently slept on the floor in a poor house just to assure himself that he could survive even without his riches and influence.
    Power corrupts, ‘tis true, so try to imagine yourself without the power -and power here can mean anything that makes you feel worthy: your appearance, riches, fame, heart or brain- will you survive? If all the wars in the world taught me anything, it’s to distrust a charming man with a toothbrush mustache, but also that humans are capable of surviving so much loss and grief without losing hope.
    No friend? I can find some more.
    Money got burnt? I only need some for basic survival anyway.
    Getting disfigured? My wit will still be intact.
    Everyone hates the sight of my face? My dog still loves me.
    Losing my wits due to schizophrenia? Well, I won’t remember it anyway.

    memento-mori-18
    Photographer: Kevin Best

    If you want to top it a notch, go all the way to the silky road where we will all end up in: death. I’ve written once about the benefits of visualizing death (read it here), but here’s the gist. Nothing is worse than death. It’s the end of your life, most likely forever as we know it. The riches, fame, or knowledge you have earned will be worth nothing in the face of death. The true but often neglected fact is, you will die one day. So why not do this one thing you have always wanted? Will the opinions of irrelevant people matter when you’re gasping your last breadth? I suspect not.

  3. The “I’m going to do it even if all these people will hate me” game.
    I came up with this game when I was unwilling to perform a pretty suggestive hip-thrust routine for fear of seeming improper, though through my thorough research it’s the most effective workout for butts in the gym. I had had an internal debate for days and days, until one day, I flat-out asked myself, “Say you do it and all these people end up concluding you’re an improper pervert, but you have amazing butts, what then?” The answer was obvious. It’s time to thrust, thrust, thrust. No one commented, and the weird coach still talked to me occasionally, so I guess I over-dramatized everything after all. Take note though, this game will only work if you have a clear purpose behind what potentially embarrassing thing you are about to do.
  4. The 5, 5, 5 question.
    Now before you let the fear of public opinion scare you from doing a certain thing you’re sure you want to do, ask yourself, “Will this matter in 5 minutes? 5 months? 5 years?” Most of the little things we are embarrassed about, like getting caught speaking to ourselves in our helmet, or having a slip-up during a presentation, or voicing the wrong views with confidence, are erased from people’s memories the minute after it happened. Even if it’s shocking, people rarely stay shooketh for 5 months, much less 5 years from then. Think back to something embarrassing you’ve seen a stranger done. Can you recall the face of the stranger? You can probably recall the details of the event, but the stranger’s face will most likely be left blank in your memory. You should take comfort that this also happens with other people. What’s the big deal if you tripped, slipped a half-eaten donut to the ground, picked it up and continued savoring it? The people who have seen it probably only remembered you as the disgusting donut dude, but not your face!

So there you go. Now, pick up that sponge, squeeze some gel and scrub, scrub, scrub away!

How to Start a Blog?

How to start blogging?

Now, one of the most frequently asked questions I’ve got after young people found out I’m a blogger is,
“Jeje, how do I start blogging?”
And I almost always jokingly tell them to just start. In hindsight, maybe they only needed a technical guidance, or some practical advice. And my answer definitely was not enough, so at them is this article aimed.

Now, I like to keep things simple, so if you are full of hot blood, wanting to get your voice echoed around the void that is the internet, then just follow these two very simple steps: first, you have to have SOMETHING to say, and second, well, SAY it. Easy peasy.

  1. Have something to say

You can have the prettiest verses, the ability to string the most beautiful sentence, but if the content is hollow, I’m sorry but your writing will not stick in the minds of people for more than three days. Iconic work of art is not just praised for their execution, though it plays a big part, it also has to tell something memorable.

Well, then, how to have something to say? You’re on your own here, pal. It’s both the magic and the curse of writing (or of any creative pursuit, really). Yes, you can write about anything and everything you want, but there’s no guideline life support to drag you through the void when you are hit by a solid writer’s block.

If you want some practical suggestions from me, it’s this. Look into your life and your environments. Find an issue that is bugging you or your community, analyze it and write about it.

A word of caution, though, I personally don’t like to just put forth a problem without offering a tentative or proven solution to the issue unless it is made to raise awareness. So again, it’s up to you. Do you wish to raise awareness to a particular issue, or do you want to share practical tips you’ve gathered on how to combat one? Again, your call.

  1. SAY it

Now, after fleshing an outline for what you want to say, it’s time to get down to the business and just write. It. Down.

There are literally courses, books and blogs dedicated to make your writing better. Find some of them and read if you must. For me though, what helps shape my writing skills the most is reading and actually paying the utmost attention to how authors write.

A year before I started blogging, I’d thought my writing skill so hopelessly mediocre that I almost decided to just give it up altogether if it weren’t for this quote from the lovely Virginia Woolf.a7481e7cf51fe1ed61c09622883aba34

Since I respected her and loved her writing dearly, I struck a bet with myself. I would set myself up to read 1,000 books and if my writing is still crappy by then, I would just give up and be a goat farmer in the rural provinces or something.

It’s been 5 years since and I’ve read a few more hundred books and believe me when I say reading (and actually GENUINELY paying attention not just to the content, but to how authors employ words and twist phrases) have helped me tremendously in becoming the author I want to be. So, my not-so-practical tip to you if you want to improve your writing is this, literally read a thousand books.

Quotefancy-52168-3840x2160There’s also another pitfall that hangs upon the minds of anyone willing to try anything new, this doom cloud that veils the will and makes it extremely easy to just procrastinate writing the first sentences down. From what I’ve learned through personal experiences and reading about other authors’ writing lives, they all have this one advice: write. Write even if you don’t feel like it. Once you have an idea, write it down. Shitty first draft makes a less shittier final draft.

 

Now that you have your article on the go, here are some blogging platforms you can try and see if they suit your needs! (Personally, I use WordPress and am pretty content with it.):

 

Welp, that’s all. Happy blogging, and if you wish, send me your first articles in the comments!

My Mindful Week- Day 4: Dealing with Technology Overload

Ping! “You’ve got a message from Dalin.”

Ping! “Ik_39483 just liked your Instagram post.”

Ping! “A: hey, I have something to talk to you.”
Ping! “Your boss just sent you yet another email.”

 

Living in this world of constant notifications, one can feel very overwhelmed from time to time. It seems as if these apps are always watching your every move, tempting you to record your moments and share them to the world. You don’t have enough time to simply just “be”- just sit and enjoy your sunbathing, or just have a nice chat with friends without having the urge to post a selfie with them with the hashtag #frienshipgoal.

Not only that, sometimes you feel like you don’t have enough time to be with yourself. It seems like there are hundred of urgent issues waiting for you to act and God forbid something very bad might happen during that 10 minutes you don’t check your newsfeed!

This technology is supposed to make you stay connected, but you feel further and further apart from yourself. There’s just simply no time to reflect before the next email arrives.

If you feel like life is slipping by so fast on your screen and you’re just there, a passive fish in the grand river of life, I would suggest you to do these (as it worked for me):

  1. Live slower: yup. Take a deep breathe in right now and look around you. Notice the lights, and objects and even people around you. You might be in bed, cozying it up in your blankets, then just notice how the night air feels this particular day; or how the streetlight hits your glassy bedroom window. When you eat, try to really taste each morsel of the food instead of hurrying to fork it down your throat just to get it over with. You clean your dish very fast because you want to drink a cup of tea afterwards. But when you get to your cup of tea, you don’t drink it peacefully, no, you gulp it down just so you can get out of the house after. But when you’re on your motorbike, making your way among the streets, you don’t do it slowly and enjoy life. Instead, you go full speed with constant honking to get to your destination. I don’t really need to go on because this is a cycle. You are always hurrying this moment for the next moment thinking that you’ll enjoy it more. But when you arrive at that next moment, you will hurry it to get to the next next moment, thinking you will finally enjoy it more. This goes on and on and on until one day, death comes, the final of all moments and you realize you have wasted your entire life chasing death.
  2. Have a no-technology period: you can start by allotting certain times of the day to turn off all your notifications. Truth be told, most of the things you think need you urgently don’t really need you that urgently. If you can’t do the job, others can. For the sake of your own peace, turn the damn notifications off. If people could live by waiting for three months to get a notification (by the form of mails) before, then so can you! You can maybe make sure you turn off your devices by dinner time, or you can go a step further and organize a iSabbath day. On that day (maybe a Saturday or Sunday), you just turn your phone and wifi off. No internet, no device, just you and your life. You can stay at home, read a book, or lounge around, or you can grab your backpack and explore the city for the whole day, spend the afternoon in a random coffee shop where you can’t check in. OR you can go another step further and not having a smartphone altogether. I took that leap of faith and it was one of the best decisions I’ve done (read it here). It’s made my life more peaceful and less demanding, but of course, it depends on your life and what you need internet for. The bottom-line is you should have some regular off-line time for yourself and your own damn life.
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  3. Go back to your island: it’s very tempting when the sun is out, you’re on your good hair day to snap a selfie and show yourself off. That’s fine, but when you constantly bombard your feed with 10 selfies a day and snapchatting every single activity you do in any given day, you might need to take a step back and ask yourself why the heck are you doing this? You know the need to share pieces of our lives on the internet is a very simple manifestation of the needs for social validation in the age of technology. (read the previous post of this series for how to deal with the need for social approval here). Breathe in and out. Imagine yourself as an island. You’re going back to your island, and honestly, the only validation you need is from yourself. I like spending an exuberant amount of time just imagining that island of self-contentment and honestly? It’s a much better way to spend time than it may seem.

 

 

Prep for College Part III: How to Study

In the previous posts, I’ve touched upon the subject of what to have and what to generally do in college for those who are just fresh out of high school, and here is the last post of the series which aims to give you some tips on how to study more effectively.

Now, I’m no expert on the subject, and without saying, here are just suggestions. You are more than welcome to adopt or scoff at them, but I urge you to at least give it a try because studying right makes matter much easier in college. That’s for sure.

  1. you need to plan your time and energy efficiently. In high school, you pretty much have your days planned out by either your school’s schedule, or your parents. However, in college, you’re given more freedom to choose how to use your time. I believe with great freedom comes an equally great responsibility. And nothing is as liberating or as challenging as our attempt to control how we spend our time. Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is of course, how we spend our lives,” and God knows there are a few struggle more challenging, or more rewarding than learning to spend our lives correctly.

Here are some of the few tools I’ve found helpful in helping me to plan my time:

  • Have a calendar: you can either note your schedule down in your pc, phone or the good-old notebook and pen. I find myself being more motivated if I note down my days on paper, but try them all out to see what you prefer the best.6e7b076c7b89acb59bb379a4211abf07
  • Block time for the most important things: In his book, First Things First, the legendary self-improvement guru, Stephen Covey said if you had a bottle and you put small stones in first, you won’t be able to fit in the bigger ones. However, if you put the bigger ones in, and put the small ones in later, the smaller ones will disperse and find nooks and crannies to settle into. When you schedule your time, block solid chunks of time for your most prioritized tasks. Since this is a post about studying, I’m assuming you’d like to get better grades or study more efficiently, so yeah, block time for your classes. I’d encourage you to show up in classes that are worthy of your time.
  • Block off time for your reading time: your lecturer wouldn’t be able to cover an entire subject in the span of 40+ hours assigned for their courses per semester, if you want to really attain knowledge, read the textbooks, recommended readings, and whatever the hell you can grab your hands on. I like to read the night before class. Reading before actually studying it in class also helps you question. Write your questions down and ask your lecturer during the class.
  • Block off time for review and note writing: after each class, it’s ideal if you can just review the notes, and main points in the lecture. See if your pre-class questions are all answered to your satisfaction, and if not, aim to ask your lecturer later. Also, if you regularly review your notes, it will make it way easier when the exam comes. The material sticks better than being crammed in a short amount of time, say, 1 night before the actual exam.
  • Set smaller deadlines: you’re not in college if you don’t get big group assignments. Talk to your teammates as soon as your group is formed. Set the final deadline on your calendar, then reverse engineer the project by dividing the tasks. For example, if it’s to write a paper that’s due in three weeks. You should set smaller deadlines for brainstorming, researching and draft writing. Say, you will have to finish brainstorming in a week, and researching in two weeks.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique: basically, it’s found out that we can’t possibly pay attention all the time. Most people find it effective to pay solid attention for 45 minutes, then take a 15 minute break, and repeat the process. I find it helpful myself to pay attention for 30 minutes at a time, and take smaller 5 minutes break between the 30 minute chucks. It’s all about trying and finding out what’s best fit your attention span. I like to use Tide because it’s just all sorts of wonderful in customizing your focus time without needing you to be connected to the internet.
  1. Now that’s all the time management thing you have to deal with, on to the real study.
  • Before class:
    • Read before class. Don’t just read passively and highlight half the text though. Practice active reading by asking questions all the time. A useful technique for me is pre-brainstorm before the actual studying. I like to ask myself what I know of the topic beforehand. For example, if the topic is about ancient philosophy, I would spend a couple of minutes just trying to recall what I know of ancient philosophy. With these fresh knowledge in mind, reading makes it easier for me to detect any new knowledge and add it to to the existing store of information.
    • Learn to skim. Skimming is essentially reading fast to get the general idea of something. Of course, you will have to practice it wisely because some courses require slow and critical reading. This comes in handy when you have to read long texts from a boring book that won’t really give you any new information except for its bold headers.
    • Read notes from your previous class and highlights from your reading just to make sure your brain is prepared for the actual class.
    • Do you homework: of course, it’s up to you, really, to do the homework assigned or not. If the class is easy, you don’t really need to do it. However, for classes you find difficult, doing homework and asking your lecturer where you went wrong will help tremendously.
  • During class time:
    • Attend the lectures: again, this is not absolute. Maybe you are already well-versed in a subject, then there’s really no reason to show up. For classes you’re struggling with though, show up! Show up and pay attention to what the lecturer teaches.
    • Sit in front: I can’t stress how much this is ignored. If you sit at the back, you have the chance to slack off. Sitting in the front of the class will 1) make sure your lecturer actually know who you are, especially in big classes. This might come in handy when you need their help either in class material, or for, say, reference for a project.
    • Take notes: take notes of the important information during class. If you’ve read your chapter before class, you should know which info is in the book and which is extra info from your lecturer.
    • Ask questions: if you have any doubt over anything at all, ask questions to your lecturer. Chances are, they are more than happy to answer.
    • Grab chances to discuss: discussions can be boring, or it can be mind opening; it just depends on the people, to be honest. Take initiative in discussion by trying to put your thoughts as eloquently as possible, ad also try to listen and understand other people’s arguments. This is what you can’t get from reading books alone.
  • After class:
    • Revise your notes: put together your book notes and lecture notes. If you have the time, it would help tremendously to combine the notes and write them down neatly. It will surely help prevent cramming for exams.
    • Talk out loud: it’s actually very helpful to recite out loud what you’re learning with your own words. Bonus if it is to teach another person. If you can’t make something simple, you don’t understand it yet.

Well, these are all the tips I’ve tried and found helpful! Tell me yours in the comments! Have fun studying!

Complimentary reading on: how to be more productive  and how to deal with challenges.

How to Write a Journal?

In the previous post, I managed to convince myself that journaling is definitely a worthwhile activity that not only heal the soul but our physical body as well. In this article, we look at how to write one.

According to Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness, there are three basic steps to get you started on your journaling journey. Let’s adopt that method for now.

1/ Choose a medium:

  • There are many electronic options out there.
    • You can write in the good old fashion word processor of your computer.
    • You can use programs such as OneNote, EverNote to store your writing from all devices
    • Or a blog entry in popular blogging sites such as Tumblr, WordPress, Blogspot, Livejournal or even email yourself the entries.

2/ Schedule a time:

Starting anything the first day out of impulse is easy, but consistently doing it is hard. I have no doubt even avid diarists miss out a day or two, but to get yourself to write your journal entry everyday, you’ve got to decide what time you want to write. Some people prefer to write it at night, just before they head off to dream land because it helps them unwind, and sum up their day. On the contrary, some people prefer to do it in the morning as they are too beat at night to reflect on anything. Others just jot down in their journal from time to time as the day progresses. There’s no fixed method, actually, you just try them out, and pick the one that suits your schedule, liking, and energy level the most. After you’ve picked your time, you have to be adamant about it. It’s a non-negotiable time, and if you break it to do something else once too many time, you might just weaken your resolve, self-discipline and end up half-finished!

3/ What to write?

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McKay suggested to write whatever the hell is swimming in your head at the moment, but that might be hard for those who do not have the habit of writing. In the last article, I’ve shown how journaling can lead to different results. If you have a certain result in mind, here are some suggestions.

  • Better English: if you want to improve your writing or language skills by journaling, you should do it in that language (obviously). Try to include as many words/phrases and jargons you have learnt into your entries as possible. You should make it a rule to write in complete sentences, and develop the habit of catching a mistake in spelling or grammar while you write.
  • Legacy: if your desired result is to keep a legacy, then you’d have to be a bit more personal with what you write. You should write about the activities that you do, and your feelings and reflections. Maybe include a lot of interactions with other people, too.
  • Problem solving skills: now, obviously if you want to improve your problem solving skills, you would have to write about problems. Write about what’s bothering you, your fears, your doubts, and everything that needs dealing with. It’s almost magical how one can see so much clearer, and thus deal with an issue more quickly.
  • Improved knowledge retention: if you want to remember more of what you’ve learnt by journaling, then it makes sense if you write about it in your journal.
  • Critical self-reflection: it is exactly how it sounds like. You should spend time just reflecting the hell out of your feelings, perceptions of yourself, of others, of everything! Try to dig into the root cause of things. It’s nothing short of miracle when you realize a reoccurring pattern in several problems you’re dealing with. Without probing into yourself, you may never really know who you are.
  • Self-shaping: if you want to arrive at a better self by writing a journal, then you should pay particular attention to what you really want to become. For example, if you want to become more disciplined at your work, you can make it a point to reflect on your discipline on various tasks over the day, recognize it as what it is, and make necessary plans to improve it in the following day.
  • Let loose: now, this is an easy one. Just freaking write whatever you want, whatever is floating in your consciousness at the moment!

 

Now, that was a tad restricting, wasn’t it? After all, journaling should be a private act of enjoyment rather than just another writing assignment. I agree with you. For my part, I only write whatever the hell I want. Sometimes, I write about my travel reflections if it’s exciting. Sometimes, I write about crushes, and sometimes, I write about my obsessive feelings to a fandom. Really, just let loose, and get to know your mind!

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Here are some general tips for your journaling though (for real):

1/ Perspective: According to Seih, Lin, Huang, Peng, and Huang (2008), writing using first, second and third person perspectives make a difference. Basically, writing that uses first-person pronoun promotes emotional disclosure while second-person pronoun stimulates a dialogue with a supportive partner. Writing in third-person pronoun makes the experience objective and distant. The research concludes that anxious people who oppress their emotions benefit the most from shifting their writing among these three perspective. I think its benefits do not only apply to the anxious ones. When you want to vent off, you should write in first person. (I got bullied. It made me sad. Clexa gives me life.) If you need support or motivate yourself, use second person. (You know, you’re a pretty cool gal. Don’t listen to what they say. Just go on shipping your OTP) And after making sense of everything, you may want to distance the event by describing it in a third person perspective. (Sokcheng got bullied, but she’s alright. Clexa shippers are strong.)

2/ Meditation/reflection: The School of Life has an amazing video on how to meditate by writing. I find it helpful to do it once every two weeks or so just to catch up with my soul. You can learn to do it by watching the video here. Basically, there are prompts that will give you a chance to dig deeper into what you’re excited, doubtful, and fearful about in the moment.

3/ Read this article to see how Bruce Lee kept his diary just because he was awesome and philosophical.

 

Well, that’s about it. Now get that writing material, take a deep breath, and write!

 

References:

  • Seih, Y., Lin, Y., Huang, C., Peng, C., & Huang, S. (2008). The benefits of psychological displacement in diary writing when using different pronouns. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13. 39 – 41.

How to Write New-Year Resolutions

So now you are really ready to do it. 2016 is coming round the corner, and you find yourself all hyped-up, being more than ready to tackle it, and (FINALLY) be productive this time.

This is it. This is the year. I can feel it,” you told yourself while thinking back to all the times in the previous (and many more previous) years when you have failed to keep up with your new-year resolutions.

Obviously, new-year resolutions are super hard to keep. That’s why you need to be very thoughtful from the very beginning.

I have followed through with most of my 2015 resolutions which is why I have the audacity to post this in the aims of giving you some tips, to hopefully guide you toward one of the right directions. Since we are different, of course there are many more ways out there to write new-year-resolutions and keeping them. Again, this is the method that has worked for me, and the most hopeful I can get is to get you to try it. Just try it out. Continue reading How to Write New-Year Resolutions