Sleepy Writer

I’m sleepy, but I wanna hit the keys. There’s a lot going on these days that I wanna write about. Then I realized what I’m trying to do and how stupid it is.

So you wanna write about current events, huh? How much have you read, or watched, or listened to so far? How was your research?

Damn. You really slapped me in the face there, my other self. I love how you talk to me like you’re really another person whom I try to have conversations with. I must be really crazy. This is what happens when you force yourself to write. You want your fingers to go mad and just keep typing non-stop even though you don’t know what you’re gonna write about. And I’m really sleepy.

Have you ever had this moment? Probably so, huh?

You wanna lie down already. But you gotta write. The keys on your laptop are demanding to get punched, and your fingers are demanding to be kept moving. You wanna be a writer, then do what you gotta do. It doesn’t matter how you feel. It doesn’t matter whether you have anything to write or you don’t. You know you have to. Otherwise, why call yourself a writer?

You’re sleepy? So were you the other day. Was the sleep worth it? Did you wake up and see any progress in yourself the next day? We all get sleepy no matter if we’re tired or not. We all gotta sleep when it’s time to sleep. Before that time of the day arrives, get moving. Would you be able to sleep thinking you’ve done nothing the whole day? If you could, then that’s bad news.

Don’t let your comfort zone win you over. It’s okay to get comfortable as long as you do it after you’ve pushed yourself hard throughout the day, no matter what you’re working on. Pursuing a passion requires hard work. You only see results when you forget about being comfortable. Get the job done before other people take it away from you.

You know there’s always someone who may be just as passionate as you are at what you do, but if they’re even just a bit more hardworking than you are, then they’re always a step further ahead. Don’t lag behind. Forget about sleep. Do your research and study what you wanna write about. Learn as much as you can even if your goal is just 300 or 500 words. Fill your mind with ideas, then try writing again. There should be no more excuses this time.

Yes, I’ll do that the next time I try to write something. For now, it’s time to work.

“Page Experience” To Be a Part of Google’s Ranking Factor

Cool. Google just realized that a web page’s “user-friendliness” should be a factor in search rankings. Wait… You’re saying that wasn’t a part of their search ranking factors until they announced it very recently? It would seem so. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have made a huge announcement about it, right?

Does it mean freeloaders like me can finally have a chance to appear on the first page of Google search results? Well, probably. I’m just speaking (or writing) my thoughts here. I just read one article about it so I don’t really know much about what’s going on in the first place.

What about the ads? Many people spend tons of cash just to have their websites placed on top of the number one Google search result. Maybe they’re an exception. So as long as my blog, which is subscribed to WordPress’ free plan, is user-friendly and doesn’t take ages to load, then I now have a better chance to experience being on the first page of Google search? Forget about number one, or top five search results. Being on page one alone is already a huge deal.

Enough wishful thinking. It can’t be that simple.

How is this going to affect internet users, though? Obviously, a better browsing experience. There’s gonna be lesser chances that we’d be visiting websites that sell pop-up ads for a living. But I don’t know how it’s gonna affect the SEO industry. Well, I’m sure you’d still need to use effective keywords for people to find your website.

You know what? I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I just thought I’d share my thoughts about something I don’t fully understand.

By the way, in case you’ve only read about this story on my post, then Google’s new strategy is probably working. Nah, just kidding. They’ve only announced this change, but it according to the announcement, it’s gonna take months before they start to apply it. So we can expect it some time next year, then.

My warm up exercise is done. I’m getting back to work…

Good Morning

That could be a greeting. Or I’m simply saying it’s a good morning. Because today, it is.

How have you been waking up recently? What do you notice first the moment you open your eyes? Is it the beautiful sun outside your window? Or is it the cloud above your head that’s been bugging you for a few weeks, caused by this global pandemic that we’re going through?

Waking up and seeing the sunshine in the morning would be awesome. Why? Because it means that there’s no cloud above your head to block your view. No unnecessary worries, stress, or anxiety. That means that you’re doing fine- maybe not the normal way that you’re used to, but at least enough to get by without a lot of hardship- while other people are lacking sleep, afraid to see yet another rainy day ever since this all started.

I’m not saying you should empathize with those who are down in luck and feel guilty for having a better life. You already have your own trials, no matter how easy or difficult they are. But every beautiful sunshine you open your eyes to is too special a moment to just let pass.

Give yourself a minute to smile and be thankful. Yes, you’re going through a difficult time, yet you’re still able to see the little things. That’s how I’m seeing myself today.

It’s a crazy world out there at the moment. Public transports are banned, so getting to the grocery store is already a challenge for most people, yet I’m able to contact a gentleman who’s willing to give me a ride on his tricycle (camouflaged as a private tricycle service) when I need to. It takes about three hours to line up and buy groceries, and despite that I’m able to go home with up to seven plastic bags while there are some who wish they could do the same but don’t have enough money.

To me, it’s these little things that make a good morning.

The New Economic Shift?

Hello people. How are you during this quarantine period? Is your hair longer than ever? Your facial hair starting to irritate you?

I know. It’s been tough when things suddenly went south. We were just going on about our daily lives and just like that, we’re stuck at home, trying to figure out what we’ll do for the next few hours before going back to bed. Are you having the same problem? Then, lucky you. There are people out there who couldn’t sleep at all because they don’t know how they’ll survive another day without food.

That’s why I choose to just shut my mouth instead of complaining. It’s all gonna be over. I don’t know when, but I wanna say soon. Hang in there.

So, what made me come back to my blog after being idle for another long time? Well, I just wanted to share something that I’ve noticed since all this madness started. Since the world was involuntarily put into a break. I wanna talk about the economy. And how it’s possibly affecting the mindset of some people.

No, I’m not gonna try to be an expert here. I don’t really know much about economics, but I know where the economy is at right now. It’s all shit. And because of that, I started investing in the stock market.

Wait, what?

The economy is in shit and I’m investing? You probably know this already, but according to history (which seems to have come back and is currently haunting us), this is a huge opportunity to “plant seeds” and reap what you sow in the future. And, yeah, you also need to have bigger than huge mindset if you really want to achieve that.

Do I have that kind of mindset? I guess.

Also, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and this pandemic has pushed me to finally make a decision. It doesn’t mean I invested a huge amount of money right off the bat. That’s not gonna happen because currently, I’m broke. So I’m starting small.

I wonder how many people started to do the same. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has somehow become interested in making an “extra income”. Speaking of which, that’s another thing that I’ve noticed. But before I continue, let me rephrase the word “lockdown”.

It’s not YET a “lockdown” since people are still allowed to go out to buy food and stuff. Not sure about other countries, but as of the moment, the term that our government used is “Enhanced Community Quarantine”. They had to sugarcoat it to keep people from panicking and rebelling because, democracy.

Apparently, the ECQ makes some people out there think they are still allowed to go out and get drunk, or even gamble with fellow poor neighbors and blame the government for their loss.

But that’s another story.

Talking about the mindset…

Filipinos, in general, are not business-minded people. We’d rather work 9-5 and survive from paycheck to paycheck than learn how to make more money. Yes, there are entrepreneurs and business owners, but I’m talking about the majority. And I could say that probably 4 out of 5 Filipinos will laugh at me for saying that I’m investing my money in the stock market at a time like this.

However, I’ve started to notice something.

Ever since this ECQ started, food sellers suddenly sprouted on Facebook. And I’m talking about just inside the subdivision where I live. People suddenly started selling baked mac, coffee jelly, takoyaki, milk tea and shakes, and more. Riders started using their own funds to buy groceries for customers through pay-on-delivery method. These things are happening to many other places, too.

What happened to “I only need my job to survive” mentality?

At the end of the day, many of this majority are actually capable of finding ways to make more money. Just that they are so comfortable with their monthly income that they no longer desire to have more, even if they struggle in between paychecks. Only that it takes a pandemic for them to realize it.

I guess that includes me, too. I’ve been thinking about investing since I landed my first job in 2011 but I only started today. It took a pandemic for me to take action. I wonder why. Still, I guess it’s a good start for me, and all the people who took a different and sudden turn to find a way to have extra income.

If you’re one of those people, cheers to you. And I hope you don’t stop. Now that you know you have the capability to generate extra income with a little extra effort, don’t just do it because of the pandemic. Do it for your future. It’s totally fine to keep your “secure job” but also stick to your newfound small business. Make it grow or keep it as a sideline, your call.

This pandemic might change the economy. I’ve read an email which said the “job economy” would soon be replaced with “skills economy”. And I have a feeling that would be the new economic shift.

Who knows? We might really come to a time where we’re no longer paid for the hours we work, but for our skills and the result that we give to the business. So whatever you learned today, whatever your sideline is, keep it. It might just become your next main livelihood once this is all over.

Changes and Challenges (Journal Update)

Damn. My blog had totally died, hasn’t it? January, I was like a machine posting blogs as often as I could. Then suddenly, in February, I’m just.. gone. It’s like a yo-yo diet. You start to get fit (or at least get close to it) and then you become lazy and ruin it again, and then you just go through the same cycle. In my case, I’d call it a “yo-yo blog”.

But that doesn’t mean my love for writing has faded. In fact, I did something that might just get me closer to it, and closer to my dreams. I’ll get to that later.

After 2020 came, some changes have been happening that kept me ‘a bit’ busy. In between those busy moments, I was just lazy. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I’d like to make a lot of changes in my life now that I’m 30 years old.

For a long time, I’ve just been broke, lazy, careless. A happy-go-lucky, “whatever will be, will be” kind of person. And guess what? I’ve totally mastered that personality which, obviously, didn’t lead to anywhere but an endless cycle of doing things that I don’t much enjoy. Consequently, I’m living the same life.

Recently, I’ve done a few things that I’ve been interested in doing but haven’t paid attention to. Because some of these are things that will definitely lead me away from my comfort zone, which means that I’ll be doing a big change to myself that will be uncomfortable but for a good reason.

Here’s a few things that I’ve done and have been doing these past few weeks.

A More Focused Workout Routine

You might think I just became another victim of the “January hype”. Well, I’m glad, I wasn’t. Although there have been a few ‘off’ days- you know, those days when your mind is telling you it’s chest day, but your body is like, “Meh. Don’t feel like it.”- I always make sure to make up for it and REALLY push myself the next day. Maybe my body is just asking for a little rest, especially since I’ve been jumping rope almost everyday.

Oh, and speaking of jump rope, I’ve also created a new blog called Jumping to Live. Yeah, another cringe-worthy name, I know. But unfortunately, I also haven’t updated it since the beginning of February. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it. Hell yeah, I love to jump rope. And I’m definitely gonna do it as often as I can. I just don’t have anything new to share since I don’t have any new tricks. For now, I’m planning what I’d like to put in this blog aside from my jump rope journey.

You know what’s the bigger problem, though? Diet. Damn. When you hear people say that working out is not the difficult part of getting fit? They’re not lying. It really IS the diet. And I think you already know that. At least, thanks to freelancing, I can have more time for exercise and will just need more discipline with my diet.

Now that I’ve pointed that out, I’m gonna make that my next goal. I’m not gonna be totally strict on my diet, though, because I know I’m just gonna be lying to myself. But I just need to pay more attention to my food intake from now on. Yes, I’ve told myself that a million times, but I’ll make sure to get there.

Rented An Apartment

If there’s anything that I never thought of putting in my bucket list, it’s this. To me, this is the absolute destroyer of my comfort zone. Why move in an apartment? I’m living comfortably in my parents’ house. And I’m Asian so I don’t see anything wrong with that despite my age.

But you know what? I think that that’s one of the reasons why I’m not growing. Because I’ve abused my comfort zone. I’m doing fine in this house. My mom cooks great food and she buys all of it from the market. We got the bills covered. All I need to do is work. And if the budget isn’t enough, there are my siblings who can I ask for help. Why the need to separate and live by myself?

As Lao Tzu said, “If you are anxious, you are living in the future…”

Well, no shit. I totally am anxious. Why? Because I’ve gotten this old and yet I don’t see anything bright about my future. But if I had just planned my future clearly, then I wouldn’t have to worry thinking about it. I’d even feel excitement instead of anxiety. But because I’ve taken my “present” for granted by settling in my comfort zone, I don’t even know if I could live by myself. How best to find out? Get out.

Maybe it doesn’t apply to everyone, but for me, the best way to let myself grow is to leave my comfort zone, live by myself (along with my own family) and figure things out on our own. I’m old enough to learn things the hard way and I deserve it.

Learn How to Become Rich

Yeah, dream on, dude. But really, it’s about time I’ve put more attention to money and how to properly take care of it and grow it. Saving money takes time, but if “saving” is all you know, you might take forever to wait until you really become “financially successful”. And that is the most painful thing to hear.

Still, there’s no other way but to suck it up and deal with the fact that having a job is not enough to secure your finances. But there are tons of ways to achieve financial stability. No, I’m not talking about the salary that just comes and goes. I’m talking about REAL savings. Passive income or extra income, whatever would get me out of the rat race. That’s what I’m talking about.

Last January 25th, I’ve attended a seminar about stock marketing. It’s something that I’ve wanted to learn for a very long time. Even though I have a life insurance, I know that’s not enough. I want an investment that will make me rich after a decade or so. I don’t mind waiting, to be honest. I’ve already signed up for an account in a brokerage firm and soon, I’ll start investing.

But I don’t wanna wait for years before I feel the “freedom” after achieving financial success. I mean, I can definitely wait but I don’t wanna suffer while doing so, which leads to the thing I’ve put myself into.

Signed Up For A Copywriting Learning Program

Finally! I’ve always wanted to learn copywriting. Like I mentioned, I enjoy writing and I want it to be the skill that I use to help clients with their business and make decent money. I know there’s a lot of free tutorials and resources online that I can use. Yes, those free stuff are really helpful, but if they really were effective, I should be making lots of money now. Obviously, that still isn’t the case.

Why didn’t I sign up a long time ago if I really wanted it?

Well, pardon my empty wallet, but I couldn’t pay $200 in one sitting. Thanks to my girlfriend who persuaded me to ask my cousin if we could use his credit card, and thanks to my cousin for agreeing, I was able to join the program.

Was it worth it?

Relax, it’s only been a week and we’ve only had one main assignment and a couple of mini tasks. But the amazing thing about it is that during this first week, I feel that I can already reach out to clients and offer my service for a good price. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m already working on my drafts. I feel like this time, I can finally have the confidence to offer my writing skills to clients and help their businesses.

That’s how powerful the program is. So, yeah, I can already say that it’s totally worth it. And there’s seven more weeks left to learn everything about Email Marketing and Copywriting, and I’m very happy to be a part of it now.

The second month of the year is about to end. I gotta admit that I’m proud of myself for accepting these changes, and I’m thankful to the people around for helping me do so. But there’s still a lot of work to do and I’m still finding it difficult to get rid of distractions, laziness and procrastination. At least, with these little changes happening, I can remind myself of the dream that I’m looking to achieve this year, as soon as I can.

Why I Prefer To Read A Book Than ‘Listen’ To It

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

How long can you stay focused while listening to an audio book? A Podcast? Do you enjoy doing it? Or do you get distracted easily by things you see around, or even your own thoughts that you lose track of whatever you’re listening to?

Audiobooks are a great tool. They allow people to rest their eyes and not have to actually hold a book and read it. It’s like having a friend who reads you a book and never gets tired and complains about it.

But as good as it sounds, I don’t think I’d ever be able to finish a book by listening instead of reading. Of course, I’ve tried. And that’s why I know that no matter how convenient it is, it just doesn’t work for me.

Or maybe I just haven’t tried to do it more often. Still, the reason why I can’t is simply because I can’t seem to do it. I tried listening to Podcast episodes, too, but I can only last a few minutes. If I’m not distracted by social media, my mind would just start to run random thoughts and I’d totally forget that I was listening to something.

What usually happens is I’d be putting myself in the interviewee’s shoe while they’re sharing their story, and then I’d imagine I have my own similar story. Then, I’m no longer listening to the podcast because I’m already having my own imaginary podcast interview happening inside my head.

I seem to befriend distractions a lot

If you’ve seen my tagline for this blog, that would easily explain why I couldn’t focus when listening to audiobooks and podcasts. See that little story I shared? Stupid, isn’t it? And I don’t think that I’m mentally ill or something. Yeah, I bet. It’s just that my mind is like a running machine that continuously produces nonsense when it’s supposed to stay focused on something. What a waste of machine, right?

There’s something about reading that keeps me more focused than just hearing the words. Although another issue I have of myself is that I can be a selective reader sometimes, or most of the time. It depends what I’m reading, I guess.

If it’s something I chose to read because it caught my attention, then I’ll completely read it. But if it’s something that I’m being forced to read (ex. boring stories; guidelines, instructions from a job that I hate, etc.), that’s when I can be selective. I’d just scan through the information, just looking at the important parts just to get it over with.

It’s much worse when I’m listening. I can pay attention for a good five or ten minutes and then my mind would start taking off and just float in the air. This is probably why I fail so much at life- but that’s another story. The point is, I just don’t think listening to audiobooks- as convenient as it may seem- is effective for me to absorb and understand whatever is in the book that I wanted to read.

I’ve even seen some articles where people say they do this so they can engage in other activities at the same time such as going to the gym. What the hell? I couldn’t even be bothered when someone tries to talk to me while I’m lifting weights and counting my reps. How blessed they are for having such talent.

Maybe the only way listening to audiobooks or podcasts is effective is if you’re in a moving vehicle and you don’t wanna get dizzy while reading a book that is shaking in your hand. But I still wouldn’t find that helpful. The only times I’ve ever listened to podcast interviews were when I was transcribing them for my clients. Don’t get me wrong. The topics were really interesting and very motivational. But I’d still rather read the transcripts than listen to the conversation. (Kudos to transcribers like me out there.)

So, how do I read a book when I’m on the bus or any moving vehicle without risking getting dizzy? Simple- I don’t. If I wanna listen to something, it’s gonna be no other than music. Or I’d just watch videos on Youtube. I’d save reading for any other free time but a moving vehicle. I’d just let my imagination run around like crazy while enjoying some good music.

It’s just not for everyone

That’s right. It’s not for everyone. Maybe it’s only for people who have the skill to stay focused and listen and absorb the message that is being sent from their headset to their ears- Even while they’re out and about.

Not me. I could be listening to a great story or a very interesting podcast interview, but a simple turn of my head to check for vehicles before crossing the road is more than enough to make me forget that I’m even listening to something. I even would remove my headset just to cross the road. Yeah, I’m that cautious- Or paranoid.

Not even when I’m sitting still or lying in bed. Because it will just make me fall asleep.

Kobe Bryant Is So Inspirational That Even His Death Gave Us An Important Lesson

Image by WolfWolfWolf from Pixabay

The year had just started, yet the world is already experiencing a lot of tragedies one after the other. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, threats of war. But what happened today was something that I never expected would affect me, in some way.

The world has been shaken by the shocking news that the global icon and NBA Star, Kobe Bryant, has passed away so unexpectedly. He, along with his 13-year old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas City in California.

If you’re a fan of NBA and especially of Kobe, I think I understand how hard it might have been for you to believe this, considering it hasn’t been long since he retired. His best moments in the court are still very fresh in your memory. I’m pretty sure most of the world is still in denial even if it’s already been a day when this sad incident happened.

If you’re not an NBA fan but are somewhat surprised for feeling sad about what happened, I just wanna let you know that you’re not alone. I’m not a basketball fan but, of course, I know the NBA. And if you’re a non-basketball fan who knows the NBA, you have a very limited knowledge about the players which means you only know the best ones.

Back in the ’90s- when I was just around eight or nine years old- the whole NBA thing to me was just about Michael Jordan, and then the others. That’s because I really don’t watch the NBA but my cousins and other relatives do. And whenever they’d watch with the whole family, you just can’t help but join the hype, too. Whenever the Chicago Bulls would play, I’d watch because there’s MJ and I’d like to cheer for him even though I was totally ignorant about the sport.

Then one time, I heard the name Kobe Bryant from my cousin. He was already a solid fan of the Lakers star back then until now. When everyone else was praising MJ, he was idolizing somebody else. By that time, I got confused. I thought this whole family is all about Michael Jordan? Who the hell is Kobe?

When I got older and I’d listen to my schoolmates talk about NBA, it’s almost impossible not to hear Kobe Bryant’s name get mentioned. That’s how I became aware about his fame. Not because I’m a fan of his or that I watch the NBA, but simply because of how basketball fans talk about him all the time. It’s the name that people would shout when they’re about to throw something a few meters away from the trash bin.

Whether you’re a fan or a critic, you know that the name Kobe Bryant echoes throughout the globe because of his legendary achievements in the NBA and his remarkable passion for the sport. You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to feel sad about the news of his passing. Just knowing the fact that he’s an icon who worked hard, made a name for himself, and inspired many people in the world to pursue their dreams is enough for you to give him respect and look up to him. He has that power.

How and why did Kobe’s death affect me?

Two things. First, it’s just really surprising to know that a person who had just ended his career not too long ago and is still very famous is now gone- just like that. It’s even more frightening to think how helpless he might’ve felt to see his daughter get involved in that situation and he couldn’t do anything to get her out of it.

Second, it’s the fact that someone like Kobe- who everyone might think could afford all the best protection and security in the world- would be a victim of such a shocking incident. It suddenly made me think of how I’m spending my life everyday. This guy is finally spending most of his time with his family after retiring, yet he didn’t get to do it for very long. Kobe’s death reminded me to stop wasting my life away. That it’s about time I make a change for a better life before it’s too late.

So what? It could happen to anyone. A lot of ordinary people die that we don’t take notice. And he wasn’t the only one who died in the crash. Why should this be any different?

First of all, we definitely should also express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all the other people who were involved in the incident. We pray that their souls may find peace. But it doesn’t mean that we’re picking the people to pay sympathy only because they’re popular and rich. We pay our respects to any human who lost their lives, but we normally would give more value to those who’ve made a huge impact in our lives when they were still living.

Kobe Bryant was someone who, through his talent, inspired people to play basketball. He was someone who motivated even non-basketball fans to pursue whatever dreams they have by showing us that anything is possible if we put our hearts into it. He traveled to different countries to coach and play with basketball fans, and gave motivational speeches telling people how to be good at whatever they do. His mere presence lifted up the spirits of those who looked up to him that they start to believe in themselves.

The inspiration that he spread is not limited to basketball fans, but to everyone who wishes to reach their dreams, achieve their goals, and not settle with being ordinary. That’s why the world mourned his death more than the others. To these people, Kobe was someone who left a significant mark in their lives. They express their sympathy for his tragic death because, in the first place, this was Kobe’s dream, too- To be known by many, and to let the world know that he’s not just a nobody.

He wanted people to remember him. And to achieve that dream, he worked hard. He never settled for “just enough”. He pushed himself to become one of the greatest- something that the majority of people in this world are afraid to do. That’s why many people admire him. He’s simply of the greatest people that are worth looking up to. Unsurprisingly, his untimely death shook the world just as much as he did while he was living.

Not all of us may admit it, but many of us wanna be that person. We want other people to look up to us for our achievements, be loved for the inspiration that we give, mourn our deaths, and be remembered and become part of history. It’s something that many of us secretly desire, but only a few of us have the heart to do what it takes to get there.

Life is never short. But it will always be unpredictable.

We always say “Life is short”. Is it really? Maybe we only feel that it’s short when we continue waste it on things that won’t take us anywhere. When Kobe passed away, the world was stunned. “Are you serious?” “Is this real?” “I can’t believe it!” Because of his fame, even his untimely death affected us so much that many of us started thinking about what really is important.

Kobe’s death shocked the world not only because he had millions of fans. His death also served as a reminder that we can really never tell what tomorrow brings. You wake up one morning, and you hear that a person who you used to see and hear about all the time is no longer here.

He may have not intended to, but Kobe, until his final moment, gave us a wake-up call that it’s time to do whatever we wanna do and live our lives to the fullest. Because we never know how long we’ll have the chance to.