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Saturday, June 1, 2013

A new beginning!

I have spent the last couple of days working on my own .com! I will now be writing at Follow me and subscribe! It will be a work in progress so the template will now be 100% complete for a while.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A world without poverty

I want to live in a world that has no poverty. A world that has the ability to feed and shelter all those that are in need. I want to see people worry about what they want to do in life rather than where they are going to get the next meal. This is an ideal world that I want to live in before I die. Getting to that goal might take the rest of my life and then some.

I have often thought about poverty from a relative point of view. Growing up I lived in a apartment complex that was near the suburbs in south LA, our family was by no means well off. There was often many homeless people that were sleeping near our building and one of them I had even grown to recognize. So at an early age, I realized that there was a problem in our world. The problem was that I had no way to help him back then, all I could do was observe.

It was a sad lifestyle that he was relegated to live, having no other people to talk to besides inquisitive 5 year old. My mother told me not to talk to him for fear of him being dangerous, but deep down I knew there wasn't aggression in him only despair. I can't remember the conversations now, but I do recall wanting to know more about him and that I was saddened when he disappeared one day and never came back.

Even though I was better off than this person, I felt that it wasn't fair to be sleeping in a bed while a couple of yards away was a guy sleeping in the cold rain. I don't know what has made me take on fight something as hard to solve as poverty, but I like to think that knowing a homeless person when I was a child had something to do with it. The thing about this is not to gain fame or money, but to provide people with the ability to live without worrying about the things that each one of us takes for granted every single day.

A solution can only exist if we acknowledge the problem and work together to solve it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tangled Web of Lies

 Credit: nikki-ns (deviantart)

I miss being a kid sometimes. All that time to free play with very little oversight and structure. As an adult there are way too many rules to follow and not enough time to do things that are truly worth while. But the main reason I want to be a kid again is to meet people that still has a sense of vulnerability and innocence in their lives. To connect with another person without ego boosting or white lies of superiority.

People, at least children have a capability to be truly honest and forthcoming about their struggles and difficulties. As adults, we tend to hide and bury things that effects us to make it seem that we are "normal" and not a person with real problems. I have meet many people that have huge egos and always are showing their good side to others. When I ask about possible problems or troubles, most just deflect my queries or just out right deny they exist. Image is so important that any hint of shame or fear would be devastating to people that might judge them.

As a child, image and looking cool is much less important and isn't such a dominating factor. It allows for kids to be friends with other kids at a much simplified level. Haven't you ever thought why you were able to make friends a lot easier in school than you do now? It is that ability for children to be vulnerable and unassuming that allows the freedom to connect with another person.

I have trouble connecting with others these days. I have several theories on why this is. Maybe I have a condescending tone, rife with a heavy dose of pragmatism and moral judgements. Or it could be my difference in what I do on my off time, such as singing and writing, causing me to have difficulties in finding similar people of my mindset. And maybe I just smell weird. All these reasons and more has made me look at both internal and external factors that might exist and maybe I can reason with it.

I think that it boils down to a society in which there is no room for error in our social lives. One mistake feels like it is worse than death itself. People fear what others think of them and they live their lives in a sort of isolation, never wanting to let their guard down. Maybe there is a strong sense of protecting their image because they feel like they are imposters who just had a bit of luck, who are fearful of the tumbling house of cards if they are found out.

Whatever the reason it, there is a problem that I see with people not being open and honest with each other. It makes it really hard for people to truly connect with one another in times of need. I wish that everyone can let go of their fears and doubts and let others in with open arms instead of skepticism and caution. A world with vulnerability and innocence might be better for us all. Or maybe I just need to smell better.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life on Hold

What is life but a series of events. Between these events that shape our lives, there are moments that just are not as eventful and just plain boring. Sometimes I feel like life is on hold before the next event and there is not many experiences that are relevant building up to the future. I think that I am in a lull right now, there are many things that I want to be working on right now but there just seems to be an overwhelmingly amount of work and self-sacrifices that I must go through.

I want to be lazy and coast through those moments. It is almost a default setting that seems to be programmed into me. Part of this whole growth phase in my life has been to conquer my past and finally move on, but I really question whether or not I have the sheer resolve to see it through. It is always self-doubt in the face of uncertainty that troubles me the most. Between significant events in my life, I have felt that life is all about slogging through it and just surviving to point B. Going through school was a bit like that, as I was just biding time before I graduate. Now it feels like I am just biding time again before some unknown future event.

I have had moments of great energy and motivation usually accompanied by droughts and lulls. Sometimes these moments are a life event such as graduation or marriage and sometimes it can be a someone close to you. For example, lately I have been on a crazy spree, taking on lots of challenges and starting new opportunities in hopes of gaining some extra money on the side. I have been listing things that I was doing and tasks that I hope to accomplish for the future. But do you know the real reason, I started to do all those things? Because of a girl. Like all things that men do in their lives is indirectly related to a girl, whether it is impressing a girl or getting over one, it really is all that simple.

Unfortunately, for me I was trying to get over one. Which led me to over exert myself in the current state that I am in. I would have to say that I am a bit more stressed that usual. Waking up exhausted and not having the mental energy to really do what I need to do on some days. I can't say that I could have prevented it, but it was what happened and now I have to deal with it.

I think that I am in a period in between events and I have to just survive life and try to grow from it. It ain't easy, but there is little alternative. It is just one of those months that is just a bit more interesting than all the other ones. Time to get some sleepless sleep.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Modern Media Man

A while back I wanted to be a media blitzer, now it seems that I am working my way towards that completely nebulous goal. How much is too much social media presence? I am working on my new project that has a dire need for marketing and public relations. I will be that person part time from now on and I will have to do my best to sell the product like a champ.

It is really difficult to be enamored with so much social media, the constant status updates, likes, and retweeting has taken up a lot of my time. Pushing a product or services is much harder than sitting and doing my usual desk work. It is both very different but yet both takes a lot of consideration and time to do successfully. I think that it requires a whole new mindset to be dominant in social media, it is all about who screaming the loudest and craziest.

I am thankful that I am not alone in doing the heavy lifting that is advertisement. It is a monster that can only be tackled by multiple angles. Working to increase and grow a business is something that I never had to do and as such, I am damn glad my business partner knows what he is doing. I wouldn't know where to start had I created this from the ground up.

I have a lot of work to do if I want to make my business successful. Social media is one way to get our name out there in the world, the other is good quality service. I hope to flourish in both in the coming months and create a great brand. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Energetic Loss

I wonder sometimes how I will be able to sustain my energy throughout all my activities and still have time for a life that resembles something close to normal. My pundits have already alerted me to my imminent crash towards reality, with the exhaustion of my energy. It is true that I don't have limitless surplus of energy and might have to regroup what I have before I get burned out. Although, I am not quite sure how to take a rest.

Even as I am writing this, my mind feels like is slowly drifting away from the goal of trying to get words down in a coherent manner. It is kinda crazy that even with about 8 hours of good sleep I am still feeling tired. I've had a very uneventful Sunday, but it feels like I exercised all day long. Maybe the key is to get used to it until it becomes a habit.

It might be as easy as clearing my schedule and opening a free week for me to do absolute nothing. There is something calming in doing nothing at all. I know that some people find it extremely difficult to do nothing at all, but once in a while it might be nice to slow down from this fast paced technological world. Hell, I think there is a correlation between my increased use of social media and my feeling of being tired. Don't know if I can verify it but perhaps, I just need to go cold turkey for a while.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Prosperity Down

Lately, there are more and more stories saying that the standard of living for Americans are dropping and that our generation will have less than the previous generation for the first time in history. For me, I find it scary as hell to know that we as a society has apexed awhile back and now we are on a downward trend. I can see this happening through the eyes of my friends and family, the struggles and hardships that they have to endure to just make a living.

I truly wondering how this country is going to look like in a few years. There is rampant poverty and a disappearing middle class that awaits us in the near future. When this happens, there is going to be a cascading affect that forces more companies to layoff and exasperating the problem even further. I mean if people don't buy stuff from stores, companies can't keep their doors open and close eventually.

There is a lot of doom and gloom in this blog post, I admit to that, but there is something eerie about losing our existing standard of living forever. I am a believer that we will see a decline in our country and we will lose our first world status in the next decade. I just don't believe in the crazy fantasy that we will be okay and things will stay rosy and fine forever. I know many people that never give a moments pause to consider that we are in a slow decline. It is those people that will be completely caught off guard and suffer the worst.

I think that we must be at all times vigilant of what is going around in our local and global worlds. I am safe guarding myself by learning new skills and disciplines when I already have a primary job. This is not merely just a means to make more money, but it is also a way that I can be versatile and switch what I need to do at moments notice.

More than ever in history, no job is safe from being obsolete. I am downright terrified that we are mechanizing and computerizing everything at such a fast pace. That will displace millions of workers that used to have a relatively stable job in a good market. Those people that get laid off will be angry and frustrated that they can't get a similar job or another job with multiple years of schooling. So what do angry people do with a lot of time and backs against the wall do? Well, nothing good.

I can't predict the future but I do know that I must do everything that I can to keep my head above the water when the tide rises.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Year One

Yesterday, marked the first day at my job. It was a low key event that was celebrated by my coworkers and I out for a simple lunch. Although it was just another day for them, for me it was something very notable in my life, specifically it has been a freaking year already since I last was living in LA. I can't begin to describe how quickly everything has been moving by already.

 I think that every year that passes, I question whether or not I am accomplishing anything in my life. This happens quite frequently around my birthday. Awareness of growing older and feeling helpless to stop aging is something that I have to ultimately get used to. I always think that somehow I will invent a time machine or learn the power to stop time and either relive some of my past or pause moments in my life.

In life there are just a few moments that warrant remembering and are worth cherishing. I think for me the move up to SF and the start of a new life signifies something note worthy. I have finally gotten used to living up here and creating a new network of things to do and people to meet. Hopefully, I can report on my yearly progress and look back at each year to reflect on years past.

Summary of Goals:

Tutoring: Not expanding, I'm only working on one family
Singing: Picked "I've gotta be me" for my final song
Side photo gig: Blogging for their site and creating a social network for it
E-book: floundering!
Non-profit: Still waiting on meeting with city planner, need to convert SI to english units for first house, might have found a marketing/organizer/board member for my team
Fitness: Tennis/Running/Badminton

Monday, May 13, 2013

Writing for a Reason

I've noticed that when I am constrained by what I can write, I get into a creative funk that just seems to be hard to get out of. When I write in my blog, I usually think about what I am going to write about and it really just comes to me. It is like something in the moment that I can quickly describe and jot down. But when it is really focused and targeted I often find myself having to take pause and think about my words constantly.

I think that it really has to do with being able to express yourself as freely as possible. One of the key things is that when you write for yourself, it gives you freedom in what you write and what style that you do it in. But when you write for others, your voice may not be the one that gets published in the end. So it is really about control over your content and how you present it to the world.

I have recently started to work another small side gig, writing posts for a website. My main job is to write little blurs about the product and how it will improve lives and the human experience. The key thing to take from this is that it is a different style that I am used to writing, it is not about creating meaning or figuring out a problem, but to merely sell a product. I am having difficultly feeling authentic to the process and that is showing up in my writing.

I am sure that I will get used to it and learn to eventually get over this and be able to sell a product by using my words. It, like everything else is a skill that can be learned and acquired overtime. Although, now that I have started on this decadent journey of commercializing myself for money, I have a new appreciation for the many people out there with English degrees that are forced to write something that they may not have a passion for, but need the money to earn a living.

I want to help my friend's website and get his business up from the ground. By writing for him, I can grow my portfolio of work as well as learning to write when, I need to produce something in a timely fashion. It is not ideal, but neither is life.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Life Force

I am one of those people that just need to do a lot of stuff. Having a lot of things on my plate energizes me and keeps me engaged with life. It is kinda strange but having more stuff to do makes me focused and want to do even more. Like a runaway train that gains momentum, I feel more energy when I am at my busiest.  Paradoxically, when I have nothing to work on, I find it extremely hard to start anything or follow through with things.

To quote the great Issac Newton, "An object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an external force." Newton may have been applying that to physics but it works even surprisingly well with a person's motivation as well. When we do something for the first time there is a lot of initial energy that we have to expend but the more we do it, the less energy it will take in subsequent efforts.

Most of the stuff that I am currently doing has more to do with gaining traction in my life to accomplish great things in the future. I have to see it through no matter how much work I take on because that is how I want my life to be. It is what I need to do right now as I see my mid-twenties as a time of unlimited growth in the areas that I most value. I have to plant the seeds of hard work so that sometime in the near future, I can reap what I sow today.

For me life will always be hard, no matter what circumstances I am in.The reason I say this is because I know that to have a good life filled with meaning, it requires significant sacrifices. It is not enough for me to live a simple life as my past post suggests. But it is a life borne out of continuous growth and hard work. I aim to be engaged fully with my life and do some great things, all I need now is the patience and work ethic to see it through. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Part-Time Craziness

So what more can I do? Well for starters, I can get a second part time job on the side to work off that extra nagging feeling of a bit lazy for those weekends that I am not doing anything. I am going to see how much work I can take on before I start to feel overwhelmed. I think one of the reasons that I feel okay taking on another job, is because all the new stuff that I am doing, don't really feel like work. It is more like a side hobby that I just happen to get some extra money on the side.

The mysterious new job, is working for my coworkers wedding photographers' business. I will be working their extra add-on photobooth along with any other additional tasks that they require. It is essentially hanging around lots of weddings and taking pictures while enjoying the party. Not bad for a normal Saturday. I think there is also, some van driving involved. All in all, I think that initially there is not to many downsides, maybe a sunburn or two on the longest days.

Sadly, due to the finite amount of time in a day, I am not sure how I can sustain all of my activities simultaneously. I have to just try and squeeze whatever time I can to try and blog whenever I can and work on my side non-profit slowly. I don't want to give up on doing any of the things that I set out to do, but I have to admit that there has to priorities in my life. So maybe instead of putting on the side burner I can blog about it, by putting in mini-summaries at the end of each blog. That way I can keep track on a day by day basis of what I am doing.


Non-Profit Business (1m2 homeless shelter): Contacted a city planner and is in the process of setting up a face to face to discuss potential limitations from CA law. Hopefully, I can pick his brain about how I can start this without being stopped by police or regulations

Tutoring: I need to expand my hours and number of students. I have to work on increasing trust with clients and gain experience, likely a long term goal.

E-Book: I wrote effectively 2 pages of this book. I think it will be one of the hardest thing that I will do. Motivation and writing about past experiences will be difficult to maintain.

Blogging: I have begun to slip. I haven't been trying to keep my "blog once per day," for a while. I have to get back to blogging once per day without losing quality of posts.

Singing: I have been cutting class and not paying attention during class. Motivation waning.

Hiking/Biking/RockClimbing/Badminton/Gym: Well, I went once to the gym and badminton.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Through the Looking Glass of Opportunity

I am always amazed at how much opportunity there is in life. Sometimes it can present itself in the form of a person, a job, or a finance, there is always something new out there, all we really have to do is exert some effort. I think that if a person is open to opportunity and is ready to try something new then they are ripe to seize it when it comes their way.

I have been plunging myself in all sorts of crazy hobbies in an attempt to make some money on the side. I have tried answering surveys for money, which sucks because you have to do a lot of them before you can get some money ($10 per 10), it amounts to about an hour worth of work. I thought about being a mystery shopper, but those jobs are really hard to get since they are so easy to do and have a lot of applicants. I tried being a freelancer on Elance, which is a odd jobs site for writers and computer science engineers. But I realized that I had to compete with people all over the world for a job, and most of them underbid me to get the job.

I am also in a process of writing an e-book, but that is taking a while due to creative and time difficulties. But I will see if I can get it done by the end of the summer. Most of the time, I have to balance all the things that I am doing in my life and see what is the most beneficial to me in the long run.  I do want to do as much as I can, but forcing me to pick the most important things to do is very difficult. For example, one thing that I am not focusing on as much this quarter is my singing class, it has been on a constant backburner as I do other things. Another is, working as a tutor has cut down the amount of time I can working on blogging or business planning.

My goal is to have a unique set of skills from various different backgrounds. It has/will help me in being as versatile as possible, in the event my primary career doesn't work out, I will be prepared to do anything. I think the opportunity is out there to do anything you want, but the time and effort one puts in is the difficult part. But I think in the end it is completely worth it to gain the satisfaction that you can do anything that you put your mind on.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teaching the world one person at a time

I have begun tutoring people in math, science, and other subjects. It is a great way to strengthen my skills as well as providing a service to kids who need it as well as others who want to do better in their classes. I never imagined how difficult it would be to be an instructor. There so many things you have to be aware of and know to be able to tutor a person effectively.

One of the most difficult things about tutoring is to connect with the student. It is trust that the student must have with their instructor that makes all the difference whether or not they can learn the subject quickly and easily. I think back to how I got tutored and the most crucial aspect was the belief that the person teaching me is competent.

I now have to convey that as best as possible to the people that I am tutoring. I think that as I get more practice in creating lesson plans and figuring out what their problem area are, I can be more effective.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pefection in Life

A perfect life. Is there even such a thing? I believe that everyone wants to obtain some semblance of a perfect life for themselves and those who are closest to them. But what does it really mean to have that, is it even worth it to set that as a goal?

I have been think about it what it means to have a perfect life and what that entails. I think that it has a lot to do with continuous learning and gaining new skills, but also contains spending time with people that I care about. It also helps that there would be enough money that I wouldn't have to worry about it constantly. And the last thing for a perfect life would be excellent health and maintaining peak physical and mental health.

I described broad ambiguous meanings for a perfect life and I suppose that in some sense that it the best that anyone can define what it is. I struggle with that because I want to set that as a goal to reach at some point in my life. But is that even possible?

Perfect, is inherently something that cannot get better and is at the height of perfection so if that were really the case, after you obtained it there would be little incentive to do better or more. Also, how would I know if I have achieved a perfect life, there would be no parade or celebration of acknowledgement just a moment of simple realization. Perhaps, even after the fact.

I think that it is probably one of those goals that takes a lifetime to fulfill and only lasts a handful of moments. I will do my best to aim for perfection, but along the way I'll get by, by living a perfectly flawed life.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lost in the Sea of Conversations

Part of growth unleashed, is to overcome challenges in life that sometimes can seem insurmountable. I mean to truly work on being a better overall individual person, one has to overcome barriers that can prevent growth such as, comfort, fear, and uncertainty. I have been on a journey to meet as many people as I can in the south bay area for the last couple of weeks or so. And I have to say that it is difficult to maintain momentum and energy levels.

I think the hardest thing to do when meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time is the ability to maintain a conversation without repeating yourself a hundred times over. I almost wish that there was a huge sign on shirt that says what I do and where I came from, as that is the question that I get all the time. I mean it is great to talk about what you do and where you come from but the overall experiences is almost exactly the same, I have a pre-canned response for that question now, which to my amazement never seems to impress people but confuses them. For example, try to explain what a space environments engineer does without sounding egotistical or going over people's heads. What I am saying is that it is hard to relate them to my career.

I mean do people even care what I do? I really doubt it, they just what something to talk about that seems like a normal conversational topic. Ugh, I wonder if it is easier to just dodge the question and talk about something else entirely. I think for people to have a legitimate conversation with one another they would have to talk about something that matters (deep conversations) or conversely, talk about something that is entirely crazy and extravengent. The danger zone is the safe conversation in the middle, where you get stuck in endless small talk hell.

I want work at being really good at conversations, I mean have the ability to impress anybody within a minute of talking to them. The best way to do that is matching conversational wit with the best of the best. I think I have to be more aggressive with people in my conversation topics, maybe break some rules and normal conventions. Being a bit taboo might be the key for me to bring some uniqueness into an otherwise dull conversation that I know might not go anywhere.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Time to fly away

I wish I had more time in a day. I recently have gone on a crazy over-booking spree with the amount of activities and things to do. Most of these goals have a unknown amount of time that I must dedicate to it, such as the e-book and starting a non-profit company. All these things plus my normal commitments have gotten me a bit ragged over the last couple of weeks.

There is so much I want to do, but too little time to do it in. I have to resort to planning my entire week in advance these days. It does have its advantages, as it allows me to get more done in a week than I ever thought possible, on a wide range of topics. I think that the key will be to plan as many things as I can ahead of time so that I block out time for the most important stuff in my life.

I am nearing almost a year since I moved to the bay area and it seems like such a short time ago. So much has happened and most of it seems like a blur now anyways. I find myself wanting to try and enjoy the journey as much as possible but sometimes I don't have time to reflect on what I have done, only have time to run to the next challenge. I suppose that is progress.

Monday, April 29, 2013


I wish that we can travel to space as quickly and easily as we do on planes. There are so many opportunities to commercialize space and yet we don't dedicate the resources and the manpower to make it happen. I think that we must have a significant push to try and get people and governments to understand the need for developing spaceflight. The ramifications if we don't might be disastrous.

The spacecraft above is from Reaction Engines, British aerospace company that is trying to get a vehicle from ground to low earth orbit in one shot, without stages. This is revolutionary due to the ability to take off like a plane and travel to space and back with as little mass as possible. The need for a huge liquid oxygen tank is gone, which is the biggest mass (oxidizer) penalty that every launch vehicle has to over come.

The engine acts like a jet engine in the atmosphere and then uses a heat exchanger to cool down the air as it goes faster and faster. When it reaches the limits of oxygen in our atmosphere, it changes to rocket mode and blasts off the rest of the way. Truly, amazing stuff! For a better description, I'd highly recommend a browse through their website.

Seeing stuff like this really gets me excited about the possibility of space travel. It give me great hope that one day people will travel among the stars. I want to follow in the great pioneers of people who had crazy dreams and stuck to it when no one believed in them.

Mars, here I come!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Vision

I think everyone has a vision about what their ideal world would look like. We all grow up wanting to do great things in our lifetimes. I believe that all of us want to change the world in some small way to contribute to a greater cause. Our initial vision is what helps shape what we want to pursue in our lives and how we go about achieving it. But, I think somewhere down the line, some people lose their vision or gets put on hold indefinitely. I want to understand why that happens and figure out how to get people back to what they really want to do.

Life is one big grand experiment, with the biggest risk of all, our well-being and future. I can say that each one of us, is a walking science experiment. We are shaped by who we interact with, how we deal with conflict, and what we choose to do with our lives. Only in retrospect, can a person's life be viewed and his or hers impact on the world, accessed. Why do I bring this up? I want to convey to people that they are both the scientist and the experiment, and as such can dictate how they want to test themselves. Meaning, we shape our own destinies.

I have met a lot of people that believe that they have maxed out and cannot become more than what they currently are. For whatever reason, they choose to abandon their dreams or visions for something more practical and easier to do. The common responses I get, when I ask people why they don't do something is mostly self-doubt in their own ability to change themselves. Anything new and risky (Personal or Financial), dictates the need to do something different that they have not done before. We get tend to want to do things non-risky to decrease the chances of being made fun of for not knowing how to do something. It is a crazy catch-22, for people to do something new they want to be good at it before they start it, to try and minimize failure.

I hate to fail at something. Every time I do something I want to win or be good at it. So I know the feeling of starting something new and sucking at it. It is not a good feeling at all. But I have slowly been working on dealing with it on a case by case basis. I know that in order to achieve my vision of the world I need to do as many new things as I can and get good at them. I can't exist in a vacuum and miraculously it good at something without going through all the hard work and effort.

For people to make their vision a reality, I think that they need to see themselves as an experiment, where the experimental outcome can change. After that we can accept that we can fail at certain things and persist until we are better at it. By being able to conquer our own limitations we can achieve any visions that we set out in the world. I believe that anyone can change the world, all they have to do is fail a whole bunch of times. :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What can One person do?

So I want to help people. How do I go about and doing that? Well, one thing that I feel very passionately about is wealth inequality, specifically how to help the poorest in this country. It goes without saying that there are many people in this country that cannot call a place their home. Many are homeless on the street due to various circumstances beyond their control. There is a huge problem with providing affordable housing for all those that need it. So I want to help them by starting a non-profit organization and build small (1m^2) houses for those that need it the most.

It is a crazy idea, but I think it might just work. I have contacted architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel in Germany, that first designed this house and he has been really supportive of my initial efforts to help the homeless in San Francisco. He is trying to get the word out to people that, this new kind of dwelling is great for the minimalist as well as people that just need a simple shelter for the night. Currently, the plans are completely open source and everyone can build these houses, all Van asks is that he is kept in the loop on what you do with the house, by sending him pictures.

I've always wanted to help people but I didn't know through what medium I wanted to do this in. Providing shelter for people is one of the important things that we can do for those who are in need. What I have learned so far is that many homeless people do not like to live in homeless shelters due to pride or lack of personal autonomy. My plan is to give those people that cannot reach a shelter or don't want one, their own personal "house." This way they can retain their autonomy as well as provide them a mobile home that doubles as storage container and protection from the elements.

I don't know how hard it is to start a non-profit. I imagine that it will take a lot of time and energy before I get to help people on a massive scale. I can only try to do this in tiny steps until I can achieve something great in the end. I want to do this a sort of great contribution to humanity that can help the disadvantaged in our cities and community. I can only hope that when the time comes, all those who are reading this can support me in some small way.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Idea Man

I've been getting a lot of great ideas lately that I want to full fill in my life. It seems that I have a whole bunch of energy that I need to expend on something. There are several things that I am passionate in my life and I want to make the most of my time trying to complete them as best as I could. I think the only problem is that there is not enough time in the world to try and accomplish everything that I want to do.

The thing that I need to start doing is to able to schedule my time in a way that I can do a little bit of my projects each day until I finish them. That way I can stay on task and focus on the little successes along the way. I find that goal setting is a great way to make sure that you actually follow through with whatever you are doing. Most of the projects that I start, I really don't finish. I want to try and get rid of that, or at the very least get my success rate a bit higher.

I don't know how hard and long it will be to see my ideas to fruition, but I am determined to make it a go of it. Like with this blog, it took a long time before I started to get into the habit of posting several times a week. But once I did, the amount of people visiting my site increased dramatically, I am now the ~16,000,000th most popular site on the internet! It may not seem much but it is the little victories that keeps me going.

My goal in life is to do as much as I can before I die and make a positive impact in this world. I may not be able to do everything but I'll be damned if I am not going to give is an honest go. I'll chart my progress along the way in this blog as much as I can.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

E-Book Writing

I have been flirting with the idea of writing a book for a while now. I think that with the inclusion of technology, it is easier than ever to write a book and now it is my turn to give it a try. There are a lot of reasons for why I want to do this, but I think the main reason is because I want to create something that I can be proud of that is different from the things that I do. Other reasons are for a creative outlet, improve my writing abilities, and make some money.

The only trouble I have is, what will be the topic of my e-book? That is a hard question considering the huge amount of topics that I could write about, fiction, non-fiction, and biography. It has to be something that I could sustain passion about for at least the length of the book I am going to write. Most likely it will be something that I know a bit about, but it also can be something that I have a faint interest in as well.

I think that the key will be to outline as much as I can about what will go into the book and then let my mind chew on it for a couple of days or weeks. Hopefully, my mind can fill in the blanks and the story will write itself. The other thing that I have to worry about is the content quality, unlike my blog posts, I will have to do a lot of revising and editing which isn't something that I have a lot of experience in.

More and more I am finding out that there is very little difficultly to start writing a book, there just need to be an idea and a will to write it down until completion. Now whether or not it will be successful or good is a whole other topic. But my first book will be good practice if I want to write more books in the future.

Sometimes, I don't know where my motivation to do crazy things comes from, it could be from a news article, a book, or something that I see on television, but I do know that once it enters my mind it is hard for me to let it go. I have to see if I can do it and conquer whatever I set my sights on. It might not be finished but I do give a damn good go at it before I change my mind and do something else.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Networking for the Future

I've noticed how difficult it is to meet people that are like minded people up in the bay area, it is just hard to seek them out consistently. I've been on a networking frenzy to try and meet as many people as possible, with mixed results. I think that it will be a significant effort to keep trying new things until I find something that I can stick to.

I don't personally think that I am shy or introverted but truth is that it has been a difficult year after graduating from USC, where the constant parties and group events made the prospect of meeting people extremely easy. Now finding people that are similar to me are very few and far between. I have to cast my net far and wide to find the right group of people. There is no easy button anymore.

I guess in some sense this a good thing. Forcing me to become as extroverted as possible is a great way to broaden network of friends. No longer are my friends in the same age range or same school, now the whole world of people are available for me to befriend. Although, one of the hardest things that I will need to overcome is patience. The process will be akin to finding needles in a haystack.

I wonder about all the others that are in my position after moving to a new city and how they deal with going out and meeting new people. I have to think that they have the same kind of difficulties especially if they just graduated from school and moved to a new city like me. I guess that is why most people tend to stay close to home and have a built in social network rather than tough it out in a new city.

For me the only option is to tough it out and do as many things as I can in hopes of building the network of people, just like in LA.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Discovery Human

I am always fascinated by what we can learn about ourselves through introspection and self awareness. It is a difficult process thqt takes up a huge chunk of time to do it properly. But if we do we find out that our lives are fuller and more complete then ever before. Now more than ever I think that we need to look inwards in a world that is more chaotic and turbulent. 

People always have told me that they are not sure of there path or direction in life. It is a growing problem that inhabits many 20somethings as they are navigating their lives. But I think that it is hard for them to decide on a path without truly knowing who they are. Confidence is borne out of knowing thy self and then being assured the what you are doing is the best decision. 

I have always thought about how to best improve myself and the first thing I do is to think about the actions that led me to my present location. It is not often a pleasant experience as there are plenty of bad decisions that's I have to relive though introspection. But by doing so it has made me conscious of the future decisions that look eerily like past mistakes and correct them. 

I don't believe it is necessarily for everyone as it does get time consuming and depressing on occasion. I mean it is really difficult to question some of the decisions and choices you made from an objective point of view. At the same time you have to be a contemplative state with very few distractions akin to mediation. 

The key is that we are better individuals for knowing why we do what we do. It helps us with future choices preventing past mistakes. It requires a lot of patience, understanding, and love from themselves to be able to accept their own errors in judgment. But if we do practice more introspection and self awareness then we might live happier lives.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Overreaching Ambition

I talked about being ambitious in life but new studies suggest that it might not be a good thing for personal relationships. Long story short, it says that ambitious people meet their goals in life but that does not necessarily translate into personal success. It is an interesting study that I think does have some influence in my life, considering how much work I have to do in the future to meet my end goals.

I think that balance is the key to living a good life, but sometimes there is too much work to be done to try to live that kind of life. I know that I still need to accomplish much more to feel content with my successes. It can be described as something of a itch that you just need to scratch and no amount of ignoring it can do it good. There are many things that I still want to do while I am young and still able to learn things quickly. I feel I have limited time before my brain plasticity starts to wear down.

All of this is well and good but what does that mean for me? I think that means that I am probably going to spend most of my time learning and working on projects that mean the most to me, such as this blog. It does also leave very little time for spending time and building up my network of friends up in SF as well as keeping in touch with people in LA. I would have to say that I suck at keeping in touch with my old friends. I think that over time the distance and the slow changing of somebody will make it difficult to remain connected, albeit the occasional chat on facebook.

I wonder if I will drive forward so much so that people will disappear in my life if I am not surrounded by them day to day. It seems that ambitious people one way or another move on eventually to seek greater rewards, opportunities, or fame. There is a trading of career verses relationships that ultimately is at the core of this problem. Where should I dedicate more time to in the long run? Will it be the right choice for me?

I don't know what the answer to those questions are, but one thing I know for certain is that I am headed down the path of advancing my career and I have already seen some friendships deteriorate and disappear in less than a year. It might be a necessary evil or it might be what drives me to unhappiness with my life. I suspect that I will have some clue that is left during my daily posts, so that one day I can look back and say "Ah Ha! that was the moment, I decided to be ambitious"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fragility of Life

What happened in Boston yesterday was a tragedy that cannot be forgotten, like the twin towers before it, yet again the fragility of life is show to us on a horrible stage. I hope that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice quickly. 

What the bombings showed us was that at any moment our lives can change in an instant. People have this idea that we will all live to a ripe old again and die peacefully in our sleep. Some will, but more likely than not, we cannot chose when or where our demise will occur. 

Life has such a special meaning and must be cherished and celebrated constantly. I see many people that go throughout their lives living a hollow existence and I ask what is the point? They are the ones who are not happy with their current state but refuses to change anything about it, while suffering quietly. Some might even have convinced themselves that they can't do it out of fear or risk to their image. All of these people are living a life less than they dreamed of as a little kid. 

I was/am still this way from time to time. But I have been actively trying to break out of this shell of social & cultural constraints. I want to live a full life while doing and taking as much risk as I can. I want to be able to tell legendary stories about myself when I am no longer able to take risks. I want a life full of meaning and understanding. 

Life is a precious thing and it can be taken away in an instant. The only safe guard is to live a full life and go out swinging, that's how I want to be remembered. Prayers for the people in Boston.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Change of Heart

Sometimes all we need to do in life is to have a change of heart. People do it all the time, they change their mind about something or someone and that's it for them. I have mixed feelings about making a decision like that without significant time to explore whether or not it is the right decisions or not, but ultimately I think that it can be seen as a sign of strength.

We all make decisions throughout life, it defines who we are. We are the summation of all our choices. Some are simple and some are exceedingly complex, but one thing it certain if we hesitate and delay a decision we risk, losing out on our ability to choose and get stuck with what we have. There were plenty of times in my life that I didn't want to make a decision because I was afraid of either the consequences or dealing what others thought of my choice.

The thing is, when you wait and think through all of the possible solutions or outcomes, you get paralyzed with "what if?" and you end up doing nothing or worst others make the decision for you. For me that represents a loss of control, when others start to dictate my life.

My relationships have been the epitome of this problem. I have always tried to think through and explore all of the possibilities when I am with someone but, unlike most things logic doesn't work. Emotions are inherently illogical and therefore literally impossible to predict. Many a times, I got burned because I made a decision based on logic and not my heart.

See the thing is, that most women test their guy by throwing rapid fire questions at them expecting an immediate answer to reaffirm their love for her, if they don't answer fast enough it is a sign of indecision and therefore lack of firm commitment. That is where I still stumble... As an engineer, I am trained to look before I leap, it is not a sign of lack of commitment, it's just a school of thought. I mean I have to think through my answers because I want to give the most honest response. Which admittedly kills attraction, because it is so realistic.

Love is almost like a blind faith that you just have to trust with everything you have. How many people can say they do that? I imagine not many, because how sure are we of anything in life besides death and taxes?

I think that sometimes logic must take a step back and we must trust the moment and make a decision to take a risk. I was always a bit slow to show my love for the people that were in my life, I hesitated when they asked me and never gave a strong confident answer. I lacked conviction. But the thing is that I can't gain conviction through thinking or dwelling about it, it must come from a leap of faith.

I realized that neither person in a relationship really knows how it is going to end up, but one person must commit to it for it to have a chance. Very rarely both people commits at same time, usually one then the other, but if no one takes the plunge and commits then no one does. I vow never to make that mistake again, I must take the lead. If I don't, then I lose more than life's version of musical chairs, I might lose the ability to truly commit to another person. All it takes is a change of heart...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Biking for a better tomorrow

Recently, I got my hands on a used bike that had seen a lot of miles of wear and tear. With some TLC a new tire, I have restored some of it's former glory. After taking it on an exploratory trip around the town, I realized what I have been missing out on by not biking from the start. I didn't realize how bike friendly Mountain View was, there are so many trails and biking lanes for people that a car might not really be necessary at all for most short trips.

In one of my short-term goals of being more eco-friendly, I have decided that I want to try and limit my driving around town as a way of saving gas and getting more exercise. Simply, it is the best of both worlds. I had forgotten how simple it is to get around town without a car. In a place like LA, it was quite difficult to go to certain places without a car, whether it was lack of biking lanes or a culture consumed with driving, it was not common to see people biking that often.

During the first few months that I was up here, I noticed that biking was so ubiquitous, but I resisted because I was still attached to my car. I guess that is what LA does to you over time. But it wasn't always like this, when I was in high school and throughout some of college, I spent most of my time riding a bike.

I went to most places on a bike, mostly just to get a away from the house and not needing to bum rides off of other people. But more so it gave me a sense of freedom to go where ever I wanted to for as long as I wanted to. The only thing I wished I could do back then was to go farther, the world is quite limited to how far you are willing to pedal.

I hope to incorporate more biking in my life from now on and not let having the convenience of a car deter me from traveling on bike. Now if only I can get a horse...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

American Idol

Back when American Idol was first on television, I told myself that I want to try and get on that show. It was a crazy dream that the freshmen in me during high school wanted to do in order to get my name out there. I never auditioned partly due to the auditions being else where in the country and I would have to travel there alone. Still there is apart of me that would like to be part of that process to see if I have the chops to hang with the best singers.

I think realistically I have much to improve before I ever set foot in something resembling an singing audition. There are problems with sustaining my voice and bringing subtlety into my songs. What I do have is raw power and energy in my voice that I can use for big songs that need me to belt it out. But I think that I would need to dedicate a lot more time and hire a voice coach before I can get to competition level.

I do wonder sometimes if I pursued singing more and really developed my voice, could I be successful at it? For me, I always think about the road not traveled and what I might have lost out on had I done it. Although, most likely there would be no way that I would have tried to do something really risky like that without a solid career backup plan. It just wouldn't be financially smart to do that without a big safety cushion, but I do admire the people that go for their dream without fear.

All in all, I think I am okay with not being the next American Idol, although the glamor and the glitz of performing on stage with millions of people watching is definitely something that I want to do one day. I believe that I am one of those people that works best in front of an audience, when the pressure is high and intense. Maybe, I will find another venue to showcase my talent to others in the future.

Sing a song my friends...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ignorance is bliss?

Sometimes I wonder if ignorance is really bliss. Throughout my life people have always told me that you must get an education and learn as much as you can in this world. Education, they say is the path to enlightenment. But lately I've been questioning if I really want to know more about the world. 

I have been reading and watching documentaries about what is going on in this world. Topics have range from financial disasters to understanding human motivation and and other topics in between. The take away from all this has been that we are all stuck in a culture and society that is fundamentally broken. The overall message has been that we need to change dramatically if we are to live with some semblance of freedom and happiness. 

It is always my choice if I want to believe them or ignore them, but what I can't ignore is that I am starting to see how it really effects our daily lives and how much better it could be. One example is the banking system in America is so tailored to the elite of this country that it is almost impossible for the average working person to benefit from all the tax breaks and loopholes that the rich have. Or another example is the systemic consumerism in our culture that has people buying as much as they can even when they don't need it. 

I have learned much about what is going on in this world, but I fear that it is only a fraction of what is truly happening now. Sometimes I get pessimistic about the future and what it will bring. It seems that if we were to fix some of the world's pressing problems we should have started decades ago. Instead, problems are mostly ignored. There is a part of me that wishes that I didn't know so much, but if we all close our eyes and ears, one day there won't be a world left at all.

A Life of Regrets

I would like nothing more than to live a life with no regrets. It is all too easy to fall into a life that is mired with regrets and whatifs. I think that all of us spend an inordinate amount of time regretting something in the past and wishing that we can go back in time and change something. Sometimes the most difficult part is accepting that what we have done is apart of our past and that we have to move on from it.

In my brief existance, I've accumulated a lot of decisions that I want to redo. They range from choosing different answers on a test to people that I wanted to date but never did. All of these choices form that man that I am today, without those decisions, I would be a different person based on how big the decision was.

I am coming to a point in my life where I am starting to accept my decisions and look upon them as learning points rather than regrets. Although, I am not always successful I have been able to feel a bit better about the things that I cannot change. I think that every regret that I have there was a tangible idea that I can pick up and use for next time.

Ultimately, I am working towards a day when I can look at the world and feel absolute confidence in my decisions and have no regrets. That might take a while. In the meantime, I'll have to focus on building experience through making mistakes and learning from them rather than regretting them.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Universal Questions

Have you ever thought about what lies beyond our universe? I know. By definition that the universe is everything, but for me every now and then I wonder if there are defined boundaries outside of our bubble. There can be many possible answers but unfortunately none of it can be validated right now.
I have always been fascinated by what I couldn't see but imagine. Since there are so many theories on what the tiniest of our worlds are, I wanted to think about and postulate about what could be on the outside of the universe. 

I have always thought that the universe is like a bubble. From the beginning of the big bang it has expanded into the universe that is today. But what is the bubble expanding into and how can 3d space continue to grow near exponentially over 14 billion years? I have a hard time understanding a physical entity without limitations, in this case it is the universe. 

The only thing that I can come up with is that this reality is one of several dimensions that we are unable to fully comprehend. Just like how the jump from 2d to 3d is more complicated, i think that from 3d to 4d and beyond is insanely complex with the only way we would be understand it is through mathematics. 

I believe that we are creatures that are inhabit one of many dimensions blissfully unaware of more complex structures and worlds beyond our own. It is kind of like an amoeba with its limited scope trying to comprehend a human. The universe is a vastly interesting place with a lot more questions than potential answers and I hope to learn them all one day. 

Or maybe its all someone's dream...

Change Unleashed

The one constant in life is change. No matter what we do given enough time change always occurs whether we like it or not. In the past couple of years I have gone through more changes than I can keep track of. I'm a much different person than I was, I know this people either tell me or people that I used to have things in common with I don't anymore. 

Long ago, I was afraid of change and uncertainty in life, I wanted things to be defined and constant. Like a good engineer, I had to have things in my control so I can make sense of it. But I found out that the more I tried to keep things constant the more miserable I got. I tried too hard to hold on to things that I needed to let go. 

People in my life that I wanted to stay the same didn't and it drove me crazy. There were many relationships that I wanted to save and try again but in the end it just caused me endless heartache. I finally realized recently that it is easier if we all try to accept change and move forward with other aspects of your life. 

Whether its in relationships, careers, or life the ability to change is one of the keys to happiness. The faster that we can get over things that cause us discomfort the shorter out recovery period afterwards is. Although in some cases it is easier said than done. For my own sanity, I think I will focus on personal growth as much as possible, because without it, I wouldn't have understood the importance of being able to change.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Climbing towards a better world

 One of the things that I have been considering doing is rock climbing. It always fascinated me how people can climb vertically on shear cliffs and rock terrain. It's an activity that has numerous benefits and it also happens to be an excellent way to get your upper body in shape. More so, I think we can all benefit from being able to climb.

Modern day people don't really need a reason to have the skills to climb, hell, we don't even need to be able support our own weight. What was once a fun activity to do when you were a kid, now it really isn't cool to climb something unless it is within a narrow band of things. I used to love climbing trees and certain buildings, although it wasn't necessary safe.

I primarily want to learn to climb better because of the challenge and the exercise, but also being able to save yourself in a dangerous situation is a plus. I also yearn to do something more primal to man, which is to conquer its surroundings. So for now I will start to plan some rock climbing days into my schedule.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Instant Gratification

We live in a world completely dominated by instant gratification, especially in American culture. Everything that we ever could want, with enough money of course, can be had with a few clicks of a button. Companies have made it incredibly easy for us to feed that desire for immediate satisfaction over the years. Consequently, delayed gratification has gone down as well as our savings in the pursuit of the newest and shiniest things. Nobody is immune to this, including myself, but if we are aware of our instant gratification tendencies then we are more likely to control them in the future.

When I was a kid, I loved new things, whether or not it was a toy or a snack; I was enamored with it. I remember asking my parents all the time if they could buy new things for me, it worked about 30% of the time. Although, I knew that my chances were low, I made up for it by asking them all the time (I mean, my probability stayed the same but their willpower didn't ;) ). This has somewhat extended itself into the present in the form of technology, with me wanting to obtain the latest and greatest games and apps. But now the only thing that gets in the way of me getting what I want isn't my parents, its money. I like most people, I only have a finite amount, but the things that I can potentially get are literally infinite.

From about the start of college onwards, I really had to tighten my belt and delay gratification. There were so many things that I wanted but couldn't afford so I had to save up for it most of the time. I made a choice to put those things that I wanted in the back of my mind until I had set my finances in shape. This obviously was a lot easier to say than to put into practice. What helped me was that my peers at the time were in the same situation so it was a lot easier to control spending whenever we went out. But on a whole this was time of my life was when I really bought into the idea of delay gratification and saving for the future.

Now, it is harder than ever to delay gratification, because of the area I live in. It is really hard to save when there are people that are to the left and right of you driving luxury cars and have the latest in technology at their disposal. It brings out the competitive nature in me to try and best them, but alas it is not meant to be. I just don't have the large amounts of discretionary income that others have. I would have to purchase things I want now on credit. I also have to convince myself over a period of a couple of months that something is worth purchasing now. There are larger expense that must be taken care of before I can splurge on something that I want.

There are others like myself that are in more dire need of money, but they cannot seem to be able to control their expenses. They live paycheck to paycheck and never have enough money to be able to dig themselves out of the debt hole. Most aren't aware of the little changes that they can make to prevent them from splurging, such as never going into a store without a list and thinking about a potential purchase for a day or two before buying.But I really think that the key to delaying gratification is awareness of it in the first place, once people are aware that they are spending based on an emotional decision rather than a logical one, people can change their spending habits. Although, I have simplified this to one key reason, there might be several reasons why people spend or want instant gratification. They are mostly psychological and vary from person to person and thus depends on each individual.

Ultimately, I believe that we need to lessen our over reliance on things to make us happy. Happiness should come from internal content and not external material goods. Temporary pleasure is no substitute for long-term happiness and contentment in life.

Stay gratified my friends...