Being spontaneous is awesome!

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Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

I have been asked:

How can you have no long term plan?

Why are you so carefree?

To be honest. I would have said the same thing to myself. Uncertainty is what I most certainly have a lot.

I never have been a person who has goals laid out step by step, nor have everything planned out for every minute, every hour of my life. If someone asks me what would I see myself become in the next 5 years, I would have no answer. I don’t even have any idea what I will achieve in the next 3 months.

5 years ago, interviewing for my first job, I was asked “How do you see yourself become in 5 years” — at that moment it didn’t take me long to answer: “I want to be a senior programmer”. It wasn’t difficult to answer that because I love coding, so I foresaw myself working hard at it and strive to become better. But along that 5 years. My viewpoint changed. From wanting to become a senior programmer, I thought about becoming a professional photographer, also a travel nomad who funds himself with passive income from Vlogs. …


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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

You are destroying yourself from the inside

In the modern days when social media reigns supreme, fame can bring all kind of opportunities and fortune. Fame becomes both the foundation and the metrics for success.

People crave attention like never before — because it is convenient. An internet celebrity could get paid up to 3 or even 4 figures for a single blog post, or status, or an Instagram photo with caption tweaked to strictly market payer’s product.

Instagram models will millions of followers could land a sit in upcoming movies only to show up to portray the sexualized image of women. …


How I realized any meeting with somebody could be the last

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Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

Last year, my grandfather passed away.

And I was not there when he did.

I was 11000 kilometers away. Half the globe.

When I heard from my mother that my grandfather is breathing his last in the hospital, I felt completely powerless. Partly because I cannot afford a flight ticket home because I was studying abroad and have only enough to survive. But mostly because even if I was able to fly home, I wouldn’t able to make it in time to come home to say goodbye to him.

5 months before my grandfather passed away, I was at his place visiting him. He was not totally healthy, but he was fine. He laughed at our jokes, watched soccer while cheering for his favorite team Chelsea, enjoyed dinner with a beer like he had always done. We took plenty of photos, of him, of me, of his children and grandchildren, of us. Little did I know those were the last photos we had together with him. …


Writing is better in conveying feelings and thoughts

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Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Recently since I started to take on daily writing, I have been feeling more positive and collected. I’m not a talkative person. It is not that I don’t like to talk, but that I find it difficult to express my feeling from the top of my head through speaking.

In conversations, I talk about so many things at once that words jumble together, making it an ineffective way of communications, creating misleading intentions and meanings. Writing makes me more composed. It makes me think about the structure of the story that I want to share, how I want the readers to follow from the introduction to the conclusion. I spend more time to reflect on my intentions and plan how I should write about them. …


Beginner tips to become a better writer

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Photo by Steven Houston on Unsplash

Here are a few easy tips that will help you get going when you start your writing career.

Stop procrastinating and write something

Are you not motivated to write because you don’t know what to write about?

Write something!

It does not matter what you write about. Write about your breakfast, write about how you met your best friend. Write about how you got your first job. Write about anything that you see, feel or experience. It is that simple. Be attentive to your surrounding and you will find many amusing events that can be your writing subjects.

Grammar checks

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be precise with grammar. Good grammar separates good writing from bad ones and should be taken into consideration when writing about anything. Grammarly is a good tool that checks for spelling errors and grammar errors. …


How will your life play out?

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© krugli — stock.adobe.com

Let’s look at the story chronologically.

Character creation

You have no control at this stage. Your race, your appearance, your birthplace, your origin are all totally randomized. Because it is in easy difficulty, the game grants you plenty of advantageous traits: You are 100% healthy, starting the game with a decent number of inventory items. Your origin will be in a developing Eastern country where there are not so many high-level threats.

You wait to be loaded into the game for roughly 9 months and 10 days. You see nothing but total darkness. Sometimes you kick around because waiting is boring.

The game start

So finally the game loaded. You have the first glimpse of your surrounding, but you could not move much. You see around you many Non-Playable Character (NPC), cheering you as you join in the game. But you cannot interact much. Everything is just cut screens after cut screens. …


And the trivial changes in lifestyle that helped

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Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Recently, burnout has been classified as an escalating occupational phenomenon. Japan is the country with the highest burnout rate among the entire workforce, especially office workers. There is even a Japanese word for this problem: Karoshi (過労死) — which can be translated literally to “overwork death”. Internal struggles, office politics, employee suppressions, work stresses are all culprits leading to burnout. People are acknowledging the long term effect of burnout as an outburst to productivity and mental health. Among Chinese tech developers, there is currently a protest against an unofficial work schedule that has been gaining popularity: “996.ICU”. The name refers to “Work from 9 a.m — 9 p.m, 6 days a week, sick in Intensive Care Unit”. Serving a company that encourages the “996” work schedule means working at least 60 hours per week. …


And how to feel more in love with it

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Photo by Rikki Austin on Unsplash

Home is defined differently among everyone. Most of us consider home to be the place where we can be our true self, where there is no need to try to put on a mask and be someone to please society, where we can dance horribly or sing horribly or read a book or cuddle with our beloved pets — naked if we want to — because we can, and nobody can judge us. Home means freedom, home means safety, and home means happiness.
Home is not something that can be bought or rent. Moving into a new apartment does not immediately makes it home. Just eating and sleeping in an apartment does not make it home. It is only living space. Home is what you need to build, like building a relationship, you will not feel comfortable in it if you don’t put in the work to get along with it. …


To stop being extravagant and start saving money for things that matters

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

When I was young, I was not given a lot of allowances. Seeing as my friends always having daily pocket money for after school treats made me very jealous. But knowing the financial difficulty that my family was in, I did not ask for such luxury.

Fast forward a decade, in 2016, I got my first official job as a programmer. It was the first time that I made my first big paycheck! I thought of everything I can buy that I never had when I was young. I build a brand new, super-powerful PC. I bought a bunch of games that I didn’t even play that much. I treated my friends to fancy dinner in celebration of my job. I swiped my credit cards on every fancy gadget that I never got when I was young. Music player? Check ✔. Handheld Gamestation? Check ✔. Expensive board games? …


The rocky path of heart-break, burnout, and depression that makes me the person I am today

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

I am fortunate enough to be raised in a loving family, despite many of my parent’s financial problems, they always had done 110% of their best to keep my sister and myself healthy and in the best emotional state and have been trying until the very moment.

But the problems I was facing is not something that I was ready to share with my parents.

I have always been the quiet one. I was able to make some good friends who I still keep contact until today. I studied and studied and eventually got accepted to a university and eventually decided to move Finland for a bachelor’s degree. I thought it was the best opportunity that I have to start a new life. To be successfully educated, to finally be able to finance my own life. …

About

James Nguyen

A programmer who likes to write both code and blogs

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