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One of the hardest issues for Asians if deciding to leave home is who will take care of their parents. Here are three ideas on the issue.

First, you are not responsible for other people. You are not responsible for their lives nor their feelings. Nathaniel Branden says, “One of the most important of such moments is when the client grasps that no one is coming. No one is coming to save me; no one is coming to make life right for me; no one is coming to solve my problems. If I don’t do something, nothing is going to get better.” On the flip side, don’t go trying to save everyone. Have you tried to make people lose weight? It’s not possible. …

Maybe it’s your first time doing something. Maybe you are unprepared. Maybe you have gotten feedback that you suck at this.

When you tell people you don’t feel confident, most people’s impulse is to try to make you feel better. They say that it’s all in your head. They are all wrong. You just need to ignore the critics. You know, You Do You.

I don’t agree. I think most people have no right to feel confident.

For example, your fat aunt who gives confident and opinionated advice on diet and fitness. …

I’m researching programming schools / bootcamps (mostly decided on either Flatiron School or Turing School). I reached out to Jeffrey Wan because of his insightful responses on Quora: Is the Turing School of Software & Design a good school? He generously responded with comprehensive and honest answers. Thanks so much, Jeffrey!

  1. What are some reasons people fail or drop out?

I can think of a couple of people who dropped out… Here are some possible reasons:

  • They didn’t do any prework before the bootcamp to become familiar with programming fundamentals. It’s tough to learn how to code from scratch and I think doing some prework to at least become familiar with strings, integers, conditional statements, and basic syntax of the language is really useful to give your brain a sort of head start before the bootcamp. …

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I attended our high school year reunion (10 years!).

It magnified my chronic problem of answering two simple questions: What do you do? And what have you been up to?

I’m currently Research Director, managing global operations, of a New York-based tech startup called OnFrontiers. Before that, I did competitive freestyle wrestling, worked for (blockchain-based mobile wallet), worked remotely at SoHelpful (early stage SaaS app), did independent consulting. I also did a speaking tour, speaking at MIT, NYU, UChicago, and 10+ universities across North America.

Thus far, I suppose I have led an interesting life and achieved a modicum of success. My work is online and I can and do travel while working. I love the work I do, as well the people I work with. I’ve competed and won in national powerlifting and freestyle wrestling competitions. My savings recently exceeded 1 million pesos. …

When I onboard a new teammate and talk about our values, the first value I bring up is truth. At face value… It’s like, of course. Be honest. Don’t lie. But to be truthful, I don’t just mean don’t lie. I mean something more than that.

Here I will attempt to articulate what truth means to me beyond not lying, and why being truthful is not as straightforward nor as easy as it seems.

What does it mean to not be truthful? I think it’s being nice.

To give a concrete example in our work: A research manager asks a research associate to recruit subject matter experts to fulfill a client’s request for Experts. The research associate fails to meet the expectations of the research manager. …

January 3rd in The Daily Stoic:

How many have laid waste to your life when you weren’t aware of what you were losing, how much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusements — how little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time!” — Seneca, On the Brevity of Life, 3.3b

What did I say No to in 2017?

  • The stuff everyone else is doing, i.e. Game of Thrones
  • Spending time w/ people I don’t enjoy
  • Guilt — in saying no to spending time w/ people I don’t…

Books that stuck with me

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2017 is the year I learned how to do my job.

What is my job? It is to not tell grand stories to myself about how great and talented I am, how full of potential, how awesome the things I will achieve. But just this: to chop wood and carry water. To put one foot in front of the other.

Whenever my ambition turned into either overwhelm and anxiety, or hubris and entitlement, these books reminded me to just do my job.

Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi (Audible)

I didn’t think much of it when I finished it early in January 2017. But it was a tiring year for me, and I thought about Andre Agassi’s words a lot. …

Or, asking for help doesn’t mean ceding control

In life the chief business is this: distinguish and separate things, and say, “Externals are not in my power: will is in my power. Where shall I seek the good and the bad? Within, in the things which are my own.” — Epictetus

One of my heuristics in life is that “Everything is my fault.

It means taking responsibility for everything, including how others think, talk, and behave towards me (shouting, blaming, “getting the wrong impression” (racist!) …

I’m listening to What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars.

The thesis of the book is that you attain success — and keep that success — if you can prevent yourself from personalizing it: You become successful because you grabbed an opportunity, and you worked hard at it… And not because you have the Midas touch or because you are “destined for greatness.”

I get it. I agree with it. I meditate on this daily. Every time someone tells me you’re so smart, talented, you’re a genius — fuck that. I just try, a lot. …


Chiara Cokieng

Product person. I read a lot and sometimes write. More here: Email me at

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