What does it mean to have a goal ?

“Don’t waste time.”

“Don’t stop until you get there.”

“Ignore everything else.”

These three things are what I’m gearing up to when I return home mid-June. I already know there are a billion things I must deal with when I get back, and I know that while I’d rather not, it is necessary.

I know full well that if I don’t deal with what’s really bothering me back home then I’d never have the chance to move forward fully and that is true with every other problem.

One cannot flee from what is bothering them if the bother follows after.

It is necessary to deal with the current, put that in the past and then never look back again.

If the premise is not met, then the chapter is half written – unfinished.

Therefore the gap, even when the chapter is finished, will come back and haunt you.

The only way to prevent this from happening is go back and put an end to the storyline that no longer serves the overall story but wastes ink all the same.

Go back and close that chapter.

So you can be fully prepared to start a new one.

Having a goal meaning have a vision, a purpose, and not stopping, until you are satisfied with the outcome.

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Amsterdam: The perfect city and what it all means.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to be out and about in Amsterdam once more. One might expect it was all a fairytale moment, with the sun peeking through the clouds and the birds singing and in the distance there’s Prince Charming galloping on his steed to meet me…or something along the lines of that.

It wasn’t as if I haven’t anticipated this moment enough.

Stepping off from the train at Centraal, I was excited. But I was also aware that it was dark, gloomy, and raining. There has been several thunderstorms over the weekend in the place I’m staying, just a little under an hour away. So, I wasn’t exactly expecting any different. Oh and of course, it was also windy as hell.

Shitty weather? Check.

Still, I was excited as ever.

After all, I was here in April? Hah.

I skipped off the train and headed into the city. The central station is as I remembered, as is everything else – except it was covered up all in a shade of clammy greyness from the weather – I went ahead and started to run errands in the city I was just reacquainted with, then I found a work-cafe I’d been eyeing online and went there to caffeinate, followed by some shopping and then some post-shopping falafel eating at one of my favourite falafel places before going home.

It was a very productive day indeed. Then I went home and turned on social media, seeing posts from my friends back home tagging familiar places which I don’t miss – it was as if seeing those places gave me more motivation to work hard to get out (oddly to the inner monologue of Rose in Titanic, “the same boring people, the same boring endless conversations until eternity.” ) And that’s exactly what I DON’T want in life.

And yesterday, I realized, it’s gonna take a lot more work to achieve just what I want, but also a city doesn’t have to be perfect – the reasons why you think a city is perfect, or perfect for you, is at your discretion. After all we give meaning to the narrative in our heads. What makes sense to us internally might not make sense to others externally. Yet, if that narrative in your head gives you purpose, then it is up to you to give that purpose a go and see where it leads.

Because really, what is life?

Is it destiny?

Is it destination?

Getting smart with your Morning Routine

Recently, I asked myself this question:

Now that I’m completely free at the moment – what is the one thing I would change about my morning routine, or implement one, since I don’t really have one (opps)?

There’s of course a plethora of options for change – for example, waking up early and starting the day with exercise, waking up and scribble down in a dream journal, waking up and turn on TedTalks, or waking up and start reading what you didn’t finish the night before, eating a healthy breakfast, starting the day with positivity, the list goes on.

 

Whatever it is, I’ve noticed that I’m much more productive when I get to start the day on my own accord.

Starting with a light reading, a TedTalk, a big mug of coffee and then getting on with my day by heading out and working in a nearby cafe.

I’ve come to realize that I should be doing this, though maybe not exactly everything I do now -but the idea is to fill your morning with something that’s exciting and thought provoking to set yourself up for the day ahead of you.

Taking a vacation in your own city

It’s May the 16th, and I’ve wrapped up at work 20 hours ago, rushed home, celebrated by sleeping and waking up at 3 AM to pack – then I’m out the door at 6 AM – pretending to be headed off to the airport so I can hop on an early train and head for the hotel that I booked for myself.

You may ask…why exactly are you doing this?

Well, I wanted to do one more thing before I give this city the death sentence.

I wanted to know what do tourists see when they head to my city?

Due to the amount of ‘glowing’ reviews I’ve received, I really wonder if its really because I needed a new perspective on things.

So why not move yourself some 1 hour away from your actual residence and live on the other side of town for a bit and see if that shakes up perspectives and reveal some new insight?

Though, I have to say, I don’t have much expectations that this 2 days excursion would change my opinion of the city. But perhaps, meeting some foreigners and seeing how they see my city would change my opinion.

Other than that. I’m excited for my upcoming trip back to Europe.

 

You are what you work on

Work is undoubtedly one of the most important ingredients in life. After all, whether we like it or despise it, we all have to produce something of value, or worthwhile enough to earn our keep. After all, as economists like to say, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” – nothing in this world is free – so whether you like it or not, there will be time devoted to work – and for most of us – that time is going to occupy a high percentage of your day, and overtime, that will be a large portion of your life.

So, if you have something that you’d need to spend a large amount of hours on, essentially, this “work” then becomes “you”.

Recently, I spoke with 2 friends who were both very happy with their recent accomplishments. On both occasions, it was something to definitely celebrate. One of my friend passed her Literature exam with flying colors, while the other got into Medical school.

I was happy for them, albeit, introspectively, I began to worry – because here I was and what I was doing didn’t exactly resonate with me at all – sure I’m being compensated at a rate that is better than most – still, if you asked me if I was proud of my work or if I enjoyed my work, you’d probably get static silence from me.

“I made X in 10 days, yay me.” Except, I didn’t sound enthusiastic.

“I worry about you.” Said one of my friends, out of genuine concern, not too long ago.

And I wondered if it was because I told him I disliked almost 95% of my current situation and couldn’t wait to get out – or if it was because his calling came easy for him.

He was following his parents’ footsteps, easy peasy.

Me on the other hand – though I have a vague idea what I want my day to day to look like, I still haven’t laid down the blueprint, let alone put in the work and I know that because after a long day’s work I find myself falling to excuses.

I simply don’t want to – because of ABCDEFG reasons.

Then the next morning, it’s back to what I was doing the day before and afterwards, I despise myself – because I’m nowhere closer to my ultimate goals I’d set for myself.

I’d realized that in 2 weeks that I’ve been back.

What it means to really “work” versus, staying “busy” and getting paid.

I’ve realized what it means to be back, but for better for worse that’s no reason to be “held back”.

There’s always going to be work deadlines.

Work deadlines aren’t going to stop because you have new ambitions you want to pursue.

 

I have deadlines that need to be dealt in the next couple of days.

And I have deadlines that also need to be dealt with in a couple of months.

But unlike times before, you now know that completing work deadlines is not a moment to celebrate.

If it’s anything, it’s the reward of a school bell – meaning you finally have time to devote to yourself and your own improvements.

 

Remember to use your time wisely – especially those that are free from the directions of another.

The things you take for granted, someone else is wishing for

I didn’t know what I expected when I found myself back in Amsterdam.

Though there were things on my to-do list, I had very little expectations in the process of crossing them off – in the beginning, there wasn’t all that much motivation. Not really, for one reason or another, I was hoping my love for this city would wane over time (wouldn’t that be easier? If I had nothing to try for? ).

However, Amsterdam, a city I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for almost half a dozen time now, looks as gorgeous as ever.

I’m lucky, it didn’t stop being sunny since I got here, my friend tells me. And I reply that I have great timing. Every single time.

Between chic cafe visits and photography, I had time to squeeze in a date on the patio. It was one of the most memorable dates I’ve had, not just as of late, but kind of in the Top 3 category, though I know I shouldn’t really give it too much weight or meaning, even though I just did.

Yes.

And it’s more than just that.

It’s kind of the bits and pieces of everything that comes into the peripheral and into my consciousness. It’s the bits and pieces of everything that remind me how life could be, if not a blurry outline of what I already know I want…

Yes.

It all then became a reaffirmation.

That I was standing in my own way, dithering away, telling myself I shouldn’t, even though everything else points to I should.

I tell myself it’s not a big deal.

I tell myself I don’t want to see you again.

I tell myself a lot of things.

Then in a crowd, I always look for you.

And when my mind’s blank, it always drifts back to you.

Even though I tell myself that’s not what I want.

And it loops.

Amsterdam.

 

How To Procrastinate and Get Nothing Done

Yes, that is a picture of me in game on Hearthstone, a game I’ve recently re-downloaded onto my phone and got semi hooked on. I lasted a maximum of 3 times in the Arena…after 40 or so hours invested in gameplay and yet still I have no Legendary Card? I give up.

So, since I can’t advice for productivity after wasting my own time, I’m going to advice for the opposite. I’m advising for procrastination instead.

Procrastination. Putting things off until the last minute, or putting things off indefinitely because:

The prospects of doing anything about the looming consequences are entirely too overwhelming and you do not even know where to start. It’s like cutting a perfectly circular cake, should I start to make an incision and therefore disrupt static perfection therefore induce chaos??!?

It’s better if I do nothing!

It’s not like life will keep moving on without you and that tasks won’t snowball. Now, if you’re under such impressions, then I recommend you the following in no particular order of distraction:

  1. Hearthstone
  2. Netflix
  3. YouTube
  4. Facebook
  5. Tumblr
  6. Email App on your phone

Now, if you recognize this in yourself and want to do something actually productive.

I say just shrug it off and start somewhere, even if it isn’t perfect or you aren’t completely comfortable with the idea. Comfort is an illusion. Comfort is something your brain made up so you don’t go for something better. Comfort is something you think you are sure about, but there’s no guarantee of such with the limited perspective each individual human are endowed with.

Again, it’s temporary relief from daily stress to distract yourself.

At the core of it, it isn’t solving any problems.

But since this is a post on procrastination, I’m going to put off ‘solving my problems’ until later and procrastinate on into the unknown…maybe the problems will fix themselves. Or so I would hope?

Do yourself a favor: take more risks rather than settle

Let’s think about this. If humanity was satisfied from day one – then we would’ve stood still at day one. Possibly, we’d still be in loincloths with rocks and clubs…

Fortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t all hunky dory either.

The world is filled with obstacles, challenges, distractions – the world is filled with failures and triumphs, passion and heartbreaks.

That is life.

With that said, I realized my recent mini-panic about my ending contracts and moves I should be making in the next few month was a little unfounded. And here’s why, partially:

  1. It’s easy to find work, if you’re willing to work just any job. 

But, then, who wants to just work ANY job? At least I don’t. What got me was the prospects of working just any job and wasting time that way, like I had done in the past. Working JUST ANY JOB is a post in itself, but unsurprisingly, without putting my thoughts down on paper, I already know that the cons outweigh the pros. No matter how much I made, I’d feel that wasn’t a justification for wasting my life. And of course, the motivation of being here is lower than ever.

So what did I do?

There’s no way I will work, JUST ANY JOB.

I decided, I’m not going to sell myself short and explore other options. Trust me, when you start looking for them, they pop up everywhere. Is it possible to find a minimal stress contract while I work on other things? Yes. Absolutely. In my experience, it isn’t necessary to get all worked up over if you’re putting in 30 hours, or 40 hours a week, or if the office environment is fostering, or if your coworkers are inspiring people – if you have minimal responsibilities such as debt, mortgage, or a family to take care of – then I suggest, put less care into whatever you hate doing, and more energy in what invigorates you.

And remember. A job is just as says – a job.

It doesn’t own you.

And you owe nothing to no one.

I realized I grew up

And, we’re in March. Yay. Spring is almost here. Seasons aside, I recently realized that I’ve matured…a lot. This realization comes after some major reflection from a recent mishap where I pretty much freaked out for 6 hours straight before deciding to ‘deal with it’ rationally.

And now, thinking back, it’s definitely normal to have lingering feelings for someone, especially if it was unresolved. However, that’s not a good enough reason, nor is it a good indicator to me that something is worth it.

Truth is, I grew up a lot since then, and I have my own life which I’ve stumbled, failed, and struggled hard for and it’s still a work in progress but it’s looking better by the day.

I don’t need anyone to save me, like back then. I can fully handle myself (I’d say 95% of the time). And there’s nothing to regret in my current state of mind and where I am with life. I realized, if a relationship were to happen, I wouldn’t be where I am today – because I would’ve been too consumed with the relationship. Hence, I now think I actually dodged a proverbial bullet.

Aside from wrapping up my feelings, I’m definitely looking forward to my travel plans which are coming up and updating more on my adventures. Until then, this is me signing off. Tschüss!

Travel Hack: make traveling affordable for yourself

When you see a good travel deal, do you buy or do you often find yourself say: “But I don’t have $3000 in the bank for that vacation!” or, “I can’t put another $3000 on the credit card to afford that!”

But the problem is, you still want to travel, what to do?

I recently had a look at my credit card statement and realized I’d done something that’s arguably clever. I organized everything in parts.

January 25: book with Norwegian, flying out of L.A for $700
January 26: book connecting flights between European cities with Norwegian/EasyJet/AirBerlin: $300
January 26: reserve other hotels that I don’t have to pay for until arrival for $500
—- January: $1000

So for my January statement, I was only charged $1000 of the otherwise $1500 amount. I’ve paid back the $1000 in full and is now setting aside $500, so there would be no surprises upon arrival (and of course, if I could put away more than $500 it’d be even better. I’m personally aiming to put away $1000 just for safety.) And after I do that, the only thing I’ll have to worry about is food and entertainment and transit costs, which never amount to much.

So there you go, a quick tip. Never pay in full if it’s too overwhelming. Break it into chunks and travel!