Living the perfect life

Picture perfect, that’s what they all want you to see.

Everyone wants to show their best side to their ‘circle of friends’. In this day in age, that is pretty easy to create the look that you are living a perfect life. Social media (and soon messaging applications with the advancements of ‘stories’) is such an easy way to manipulate what actually is happening. There is a lot of way you can manipulate such a perfect life. One way is to curate and perfect what goes online. I have some deep knowledge about curating these things as I have been doing it every single time last year. Its fun but also a complicated matter.

Where it gets complicated is trying to perfect it. Every word, pixel and down to the emoji choice will feel like a make it or break it moment. Everyone has their own style and that can be apparent with in the instagram world where there’s always people having different styles for inserting them hashtags. Some put it in the comments, use special symbols or just plain link it after the description. It’s all up to personal preference and if someone makes their own style too unique, one might end up feeling that this person is trying to like “show off” with their style which was clearly copied from another person.

The problem with updating your status or posting something online is that there’s always some sort of expectation. Whether it be the number of shares, likes or even comments. Maybe an interaction by a specific person. That’s what I have been noticing about my behavior in the last year that I was keeping track of my social interactions. Sometimes its for the number of likes but most of the times I just need that one person to hit that like button for me to feel completely complete about something.

At the end of the day, It really goes down to perception and timing. Given that nearly every online sharing platform uses an algorithmic timeline, you can trust them to hide some random ass information about that friend that you don’t remember exist but always felt jealous about. When it hits you on the right time where you find out some interesting scoop about that friend you don’t quite know but is your friend on facebook is doing grander things than you are. That’s the point where you start reflecting on your life and saying, my life is a complete mess compared to that person.

Does social media cause stress. I would say absolutely but not every time. But these kinds of stress will come up. Seeing some achievement or happy thing that your friend is enjoying can drop your state of mind from ok to totally bad. I know a lot about this because this is one of the things I have been looking into the past year. Based on my interactions that is.

And probably the worst thing that can happen is that the status update / photo that your friend posted online that you are following gets deleted. That feeling makes you feel damn right paranoid by thinking what the damn is that person thinking posting something for like 2 hours and just making it disappear. Deleting something that has already been sent out to the social world is on top of my list of disgusting things that just bring chills to my spine. I used to do it but I stopped because why delete it, what’s done is done. Unless the motive of that was just to lure the attention of somebody or group. I’ve done my fare share of luring by deleting posts in the past so I know. But then again you can talk about privacy on this but that makes things much much more complex.

Then again, this is just my perception. This is my blog after all, so I do have the right to voice out my thoughts. Also on that list of things I feel is disgusting is not posting things and trying to act cool. I am doing this myself so just forget about that last point.

Why am I writing about this?

For the most part, I just want to get some things out of my mind

Another reason is that I really get tripped off by these social and messaging platforms while doing serious work. They really throw me off. Scrolling through these platforms while doing homework or studying is probably the stupidest idea and counterintuitive for productivity. So lately, I have been trying to just shut myself out of these things while doing actual stuff to minimize time wastage. Especially my phone, I usually just throw it in silent mode but that has cause its fair share of problem imo.

I will continue this topic in another time.

Did I make the right choice?

Why did you choose ASU (Arizona State University)?

That’s the question that I get asked and get asked quite often when I meet new people. And every time I get asked about it, my answer is simple. I chose ASU because of the weather. It doesn’t snow in Tempe nor is there much of rainfall. But it does get cold every now and then but that is because I am unwilling to wear multiple layers of clothing. But that’s the cliched answer that I tell everyone about.

One of the biggest reason by far that I chose ASU was because of the weather conditions in Phoenix but also because of the potential that I saw. Compared to my potential first choice which was Washington State University, ASU was better in every way. Whether it be campus size or facilities, ASU was better. But, then again we did lose the homecoming game against the WSU Cougars in October.

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The potential that I saw with ASU is the number of students on campus. Not only does the school have over 70,000 students across the different campuses but the student body is represented by the most diverse international student body of all the universities that I shortlisted. But one of the problems that I was nagged about by my mother is the lack of Malaysians in this school. She was worried for me. With the sunny weather all year round and diversity of students, I made the decision to come to ASU.

So, did my instincts lead me the wrong way?

I don’t think so or to be more specific, I can’t definitively say yes or no because I can’t compare with something that never happened. Over the years, I have learnt that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to life. Every decision leads to another path in life. Maybe I would have had a better time elsewhere. But as is, I think I made the right choice.

Maybe its because of the people I met here at ASU that made me think this way.

Here’s a couple of unedited photos that I took the first time I roamed the ASU campus. I still remember it like it was just yesterday. The cold winds, cloudy skies and slight rain.

Acknowledge others

Today I did something pretty amazing

For the first time ever, I felt that I was genuinely empowering others with my voice.

I can’t quite explain how this feeling is but it felt like some energy was going by my entire body.

The amazing thing that I am referring to is the workshop that I did this morning. I practiced all night for it and boy was that practice worth it. This workshop is by far the biggest one that I have facilitated. I have finally understood the idea of dominating the content that is being presented. I took charge of the room with my presence.

What I did was definitely amazing and I could never have imagined that I could do something when I decided to sign up for this rollercoaster ride of a job.

But the empowering feeling and gist of this post did not come from my performance during the workshop. It was only part of the feeling. The big chunk of that feeling of empowerment came with the feedback that was provided by my trainer and other co-facilitators. They gave me constructive and positive feedback on what I did during the workshop and those responses were not something that I noticed about myself.

My mind was filled with the small bit where I missed out but looking a the bigger picture, I did more good that I could remember.

Which brings me to the topic of this post which is to acknowledge others. One of the quotes that in the workshop that is quickly becoming my favorite one is “the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say”. This closely relate to the fact that listening to what others have to say is important because it shows your presence in the conversation and that you are acknowledging what they are about to say. What they say might not be to your liking but the more you listen, the more you understand.

Acknowledging is something that you don’t think makes much of an impact but it actually does more than just create presence.

The person you are acknowledging feels that energy that you are trying to empower them with. You might not be aware of that empowerment based on something you just said lightly about but as the saying goes “a kind word can go a long way”. The similar sense that a simple acknowledgment that someone is doing something good or just giving you that smile when you enter the store shows that you are aware of what they’re doing it.

But then again, acknowledging someone just for the goal of manipulation is yet another problem that might come up as people take advantage of the situation.

Bottom line, I strongly believe that acknowledging others in a positive manner will go a long way. This not only feels good for the other person but also acts as something that we pay it forward. Giving out is always better than receiving.

Let it go!

If you don’t let go,

You will not be able to move forward,

To see the road ahead,

Humans have memories and feelings,

Only your heart can see what matters the most,

your eyes can’t see things that are truly important.


I have been posting too much negative stuff in this blog recently, I hope this is the last of them.

These posts are not necessarily negative in the sense but how I came of writing them is from negativity. But instead on focusing on the bad side of things, I tried pulling out the positive outlooks from them.

I never wanted them to be negative in any way but they just tuned out to be negative because of my mental and physical state when I was writing it.

I’m not just like learning new knowledge this year but I am also beginning to understand another side of myself. The side that even I didn’t knew exist. I guess this is what you call like evolution where things change or you can also call this the potential that I have yet to harness. I believe that it is the latter. My potential is being brought out in these situations. Trying to draw out positive energy from the negativity that is in my life.

So, let’s get on to it.

“every cloud has a silver lining”

I have heard this quote being used in multiple occasions in the past. I knew the definition it was trying to go by but I never quite felt it applied to any situation in my life. Not until recently.

I don’t know how to put this out but I was slammed in the face with a very deadly failure (in my mind that is). In the past, I was able to resist going into such a state when I was hit with failure because I was expecting it. This time around, the outcome turned out to be the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I am on the road to failing a course in university.

My initial reaction was a pretty usual one but as I assessed the problem much closer, I began sinking into this depressive state. My emotions was flying just about everywhere. One minute I am happy and the next minute, my whole world is gloomy.This thing lasted for about 2 days…I guess. I was sinking deeper and deeper into this depressive state but I didn’t quite show it to others when I meet them. That is one of the silver lining of this problem. At least I am not indirectly affecting the mood of everyone else.

It was definitely a weird two days, I am actually pretty surprised that was actually still up and running doing other things that I needed to take care of and not being antisocial and reflecting my internal mood outwards.

I’m supposed to be like explaining how this quote plays into my story right?

Let’s leave this story for another day.

The crux of communication

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been diligently working on this workshop in partnership with ASU and NCRC. The content is mainly about conflict resolution and I am particularly focused in the different communication styles that people use when interacting with others. Although, the general idea is that an individual chooses a communication style that they feel most natural to. But, it is possible to “stereotype” on the communication style an individual belongs to.

One of the things that these workshops aim to do away is the idea of having biases and stereotypes against other individuals but here I am implying that stereotyping others. Well, this is a rather tangled ideation so I’ll stop here and cut to the chase of this entry.

I have so much of things on back-order lately and I think I am beginning to catch up with things.

Communication is key. It is an integral part of getting things done and the reason why I took some time to discuss about the workshop is NOT to try to market it. I already do it more often than I would like but it serves as a purpose that I am stereotyping people into these communication groups and then using strategies based on the workshops that i did in order to address the possible needs that people with another communication style needs.

This seems to be working my way, but the problem is that it doesn’t work two ways.

It’s like a one way thing, I might get it right but the other person most likely doesn’t.

it is just frustrating to be honest, and one reason being that I feel most natural to the communication style defined as indirect communication and emotionally expressive. What this means is that I am likely to absorb things more often than I would like to and only when it gets repetitive that will I start to confront it.

Like what I end up directing participants to the workshops. The communication style they end up choosing is not wrong by any means. It is just how people communicate with others.

But I feel it to be very conflicting that I know the logic behind this communication style and even try to reverse engineer it but it is still bugging me. I guess I will need to absorb more of this problem before confronting.

I know, some things are better to be confronted on the spot. There will be consequences to the style/way that I am approaching these things. There are a lot of other variables to consider other than just putting the consequences of this on the table and deciding based on that. I wish it were that easy but this is becoming a complex issue. A deep level of depth I would say.

This post is a great example of my communication style. This has been engineered to interlock the details within complex words and it is not by mistake. I wrote it in a way to preserve the thought but in a very indirect way.

But most importantly, is that I would like to vent out some things here rather than doing it on Twitter. I have been real negative on her and twitter lately.

Crisis on Monday

February 13 2017.

It was a major crisis.

I can honestly say that I have never been in such a situation before in my life.

When I was stuck in the situation, my mind was literally flying off to so many directions. I was thinking all about the consequences and how I managed to get off to this point. The matter was so complicated to the point that I actually had negative thoughts channeling through my mind. I knew that this would (at some point) be settled and that I would write all about it here. So here I am talking about this matter.

I’m not going to go to the specifics of what actually happened during this critical period but all I can say is that it was a combination of 5 different problems that I found out all at the same time. 5 problems might not sound so complicated but the key thing is that everything came at the same time and that’s where I totally lost it.

How I went through this?

Well, here’s the rundown of what I did:

  1. Panic about the situation, having lots of panic
  2. Eat things out of thinking because food numbs the effect of the situation
  3. Try looking for possible solutions
    • Comprehensively looking for the various options that I have
    • Clearing out thoughts of giving up and hoping for the worst
    • Frantically thinking through each problem
  4. Staying calm and focus on solving a single problem
  5. Everything resolved

Typing out what I did doesn’t make my problem that complex but I can tell you that it felt more complex in my mind during the time. Which leads me to the thing that I want to write out, I was not calm enough. In the past, I have always managed to keep calm even during the most hardest times but I guess the combination of stress and problems really clicked off my mind.

The most important lesson that I have learnt during this crisis is that I did not resort to being calm. I thought I was but I wasn’t. And reflecting back to the entire crisis, the biggest reason why I had this crisis in the first place is because of one problem that I felt unconfident of solving and that cause me to rethink the validity of solving other problems.

The good thing is that I managed to solve the problem, now I can add this experience to my bag of experiences so that I can look back next time and say “If I managed to survive that moment, why can’t I survive this one”. I think looking back at past experiences is one of the most powerful things in solving a problem and re-assuring my mind about the matter that I am currently facing.

This crisis situation also re-activated one of my past priorities to be more organized and having better time management. The source of all these problems came from my poor time management skills and also the lack of proper organization for my resources.

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Five Years

Five years ago, I made a bold decision that inadvertently changed the course of my life

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I decided to start a tech blog.

I called it The Technology of Today.

I loved it with all my heart and poured all my time at it.

When I first started, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. All I wanted to do was just to share what my opinion and views that I had. It was purely just to kill time and not for any fame or money. Five years down the road, a lot of things have come and go. Went from going to high school to University in America. The growth of the site in the first two years has been just beyond my expectation but things started going downhill in the third year and subsequent years as I began losing interest in it.

In the last year that I have been in the US, I did consider countless times of putting an end to this tech blogging thing but I just couldn’t. I worked very hard through countless sleepless nights doing coverage of live events to get to the place I am in right now. I honestly didn’t want my effort to go to waste.

So, I continued to stay true to blogging. I have always had grand ideas on expanding the site beyond what is there today. But the biggest problem really is prioritizing blogging with other things in my life. Blogging has never been my number 1 priority. That’s the problem. I just don’t have the time to work on my ambitious.

This somehow conflicts with one of my favorite quote which is:

“You may be busy pursuing your dream, but don’t become too busy to pursue your dream!”

Fact is, I have become too busy to pursue my dream of expanding the blog.

Five years is a long time. That’s more than 1,600 days in total. I spent a considerable amount of time in those days thinking about this site and I am not giving up on it. The last two years, I have worked hard on creating my own writing style and I am confident that it will be able to stand out. In the forthcoming year, I will be working on improving the background foundation of the actual site.

Hopefully I will be able to see a 10th year anniversary.

The ever-lasting balance

It’s a brand new year and also the start of a new semester. The novelty of studying in America has definitely worn off and I have gotten used to pretty much everything about studying here in Arizona; So, looking forward into this year, my plan is to switch things up a little

To be honest, I am really scared for this semester. I know it is going to be tough because I am trying to retain my GPA here. But I believe I will be able to make miracles this semester and this year because I totally outdone myself last semester. Will talk more about that in my course reviews that should be trickling out something.

Over the last couple of weeks while travelling around, I have been reflecting on the past year (academically) and the biggest problem I have been facing every semester is time management. I have changed my planning style twice last year and still things didn’t quite work out. The problem is that I just can’t cope with things that are out of my control like being lazy, emotional breakdowns, etc. Also, the schedules that I have been making up don’t have much leeway if something does crop up. So, for this semester, I am trying something totally different. Will explain in detail sometime this year.

Like what I said in my 2016 review, most of the things that I did last year revolved around doing volunteer work and that was because I wanted to try out everything to see what works. It was also a platform for me to meet new people. This time around, I will continue to volunteer work but that will not be my priority. I will be prioritizing things that will improve my academic life as I complete the final stretch of my college degree.

All in all, everything that I will be doing this year has to do with good time management and there’s only how many hours a week so I will need to properly utilize the time. It is probably going to end up being some sort of a disaster but I am confident that the plan that I came up with will work? I guess.

I can honestly say that this new scheme I thought of has something to do with prioritizing things. It seems that previously what I have been doing is taking certain things too lightly which caused big problems in the long run. Classes, research, blogging and socializing; All these have their own priorities. I just need to figure out the right balance that will be the best use of my time.

Twenty-Sixteen : Finally twenty, no longer sixteen

About a year ago, I was on a plane on my way to America. I was expecting to great things for 2016. Every time I deeply think about it, I still have that surreal feeling that I am actually here.

Believe it or not, I actually spent a lot of time this year thinking what this 2016 year-in-review entry will look like. I had this t-shirt idea very early on this year. I wanted to do like a photo journey of what I did throughout the year but it is a little impossible this year if I want this entry to be published on time. This year I took a lot of photos, 315.87GB worth of photos and videos to be exact. Maybe I’ll consider doing it sometime in 2017?

But moving back to the actual year-in-review. I have spent exactly 366 days in America and I have done a lot in the past year. More than I had in mind when I boarded the plane here on December 31. I actually got the idea of this t-shirt thing when I was doing my class reviews. The idea behind this was that, If I were to choose one picture that represents 2016. What would it be?

Initially, I thought of representing the year with like the happiest photo of me but that didn’t represent what I did this year. I could’ve done a collage of photos but collages are so out of date these days. So, I ended up with the photo above. It might just look like a random selection of t-shirts but each and every one of them tells a story of my life in America.

I don’t have time to cover the story of all 29 t-shirts. But what I’ll do is talk about three main ones that paint the entire story of 2016.

Where it all began

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When I was doing my preparations to attend ASU, I was thinking about a lot of things. One of them is that I wanted to be more outgoing. And my solution for this is to do volunteer work. I thought that since that I’m here already, I might as well try out every opportunity that came my way. In a lot of ways, this ‘The Color Run’ t-shirt represents the start of everything. It was the first of many volunteer activities that I signed up for this year.

I can tell you that I was a little hesitant about doing it initially because I was a little shy and afraid. But I did overcome it and this became the stepping stone of my journey here in America. Frankly speaking, I didn’t make any friends through this volunteer activity but it did help me build my confidence around people.

Global Guides

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I really don’t know where to start with this one.

I can’t imagine what my life would be without the Global Guides program. Everything I did this year all started with this very program. I still remember during the first day of orientation, where I was all alone and getting my box of food and sitting down on a table. A guy with a blue shirt then approached me and started talking to me. He asked me a couple of questions and after that I felt a bit more at home. I was never homesick at that time but talking to the guy made me feel calmer. Till today, I still keep in touch with that guy.

That is why I decided to sign up for the program. Since I have experienced it first hand, I know what my responsibilities are. Often times, my motivation is definitely for the free food that is being served but it all becomes worthwhile when I get to meet amazing people. The bulk of my friends that I talk to are made through this program. This semester alone, I have made over 100 friends (measured by adding people on facebook) and I take this metric real seriously because I don’t just simply add people of Facebook these days.

While the color run is the stepping stone of my volunteer experience this year, learning about the Global Guides program assured myself that I made the right choice in choosing a school and proper mindset.

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I might have said it before but I am going to say it again. Joining this organization feels a lot like ‘determinism’. I can tell you that I had no interest in joining this at all. But boy was I glad to be accepted into this organization. CIS is really the link to all the people that I have previously met here at ASU and also served as a platform to engage with new people.

The boys and girls that I met through CIS has been among the best people I have ever met in my life. I mean what I say. In Spring 2016, I was more focused on building my network of friends but in the Fall 2016 semester, I continued building my network but also to proceed in improving the relationship between the people that I already know.

I can honestly say that I am not the most enthusiastic or friendliest of people but I am thankful that somebody is willing to endure with my weirdness. Not going to talk more on this as I have a separate entry in the works that talks all about the people I have met in America.

Fulton Schools of Engineering

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E2 camp, I covered it quite extensively. This was one of the random opportunities that came flying by me without me noticing. I am not exactly sure how I found out about it but I am thankful that I found it. It was definitely a pleasure to work alongside other American students to welcome new American students to the Fulton Schools of Engineering. This is probably the most complex of all volunteer activities that I signed up for this whole year but boy did was it a fun challenge. I learnt to overcome several things like working with a female counterpart, being energetic all day long and also learning how to properly convey messages.

Another experience which is not a volunteer thing but rather a paid position is my experience as and undergraduate teaching assistant. I will be talking more on it during my class reviews which are a little back on schedule due to time constraints that I have been having for the last couple of weeks.

What’s next?

Whether I like it or not, 2016 is coming to an end. I am excited to see what 2017 has in-store for me. Classes this year will be extremely tough but I hope that I will still be able to do more volunteer work this coming year. As the novelty of being in America has worn off, I hope to spend more time this year chasing other goals.

But even as is, I have reached my number one goal that is to do things that are out of my comfort zone. I’ll get started on that photo entry thing as soon as I find time to do so.

Here’s to 2017! Hopefully I won’t slack too much on these entries.

The time has come

When I decided to come to America to further my studies, I worried about a lot of things. As usual, I kept these thoughts to myself. I have gone through some crazy stuff in the past so I knew that coming here was not going to be much of a challenge. The craziest thing that I can think off my head is the time where I was completing a physical training routine during camp. But it was raining that time and I was having a fever and huge headache. It’s so amazing that I managed to even survive that.

Most of my worries about coming to America was resolved within the first week I arrived. Funny thing is that I was real scared about jetlag the most because of the stories that I hear but I never faced any jetlag at all. And also recently, I resolved one of the last worries that I had about transitioning to a new environment which was to make friends. I really thought that was the end and that I can properly enjoy my time here.

It’s my 350th day away from home and the unexpected converged with the unexpected.

Turns out that my biggest fear has come back knocking. I was expecting such a thing to happen but it seems that over time, this fear just slipped off my mind. This is something that I have never ever experienced in my life. I’ve always seen this situation as a grand time for people to create PSAs on facebook but today I have experienced it first hand. My mind is like flustered because one side is going towards the inevitable truth and the other is edging towards the feeling of remorse.

But life has to go on, I will take this as motivation to work harder.

I’ve so gotta clear up all the articles that I started.

I’ll start it tomorrow, having a huge headache right now