Daily Log #104

I didn’t go to work today because I signed up for a Microsoft event called Modern Application Development.

Previously, there were several events that I wanted to go but because of work, I canceled my registration thinking that it won’t be fair to the team. Back then, I got pretty upset when one of our team member get to go while the rest of us had to work overtime to ensure the event went without a hitch. So this time, although there is an upcoming event this week, I went for the seminar.

The start of the event was a talk on what is cloud and Azure. Then it progressed into a talk on Kubernetes and what it is about. When it comes to Microsoft, the instructor mentioned the company didn’t get involved with the actual codes and they always use the latest upstream version. On Azure, the Master Node is managed by the company while the rest of us get to use only the minions or worker nodes.

After a quick lunch break, we get to see it in action with a demo followed by a lab session. Microsoft provided us with Azure Pass that allow us one month of free use.

I have a brief experience with Amazon AWS and used that to compare with Azure. I have to say Azure is a much friendlier cloud service to use. Other than that, I doubt I will have much use for it going forward since my day job don’t need it and I don’t really tinker around at home since I typically spend the time on video games, watching shows and reading.

I know most people will probably say that to be good or a master in anything, you should practice, try, make mistakes, etc.

My answer to that is “balance”

Sometimes all you have to do is spend three or four hours on something to get the most out of it. Intentional learning and practice is far more effective as mentioned in some articles like this and studies like this have shown.

After the lab session, I left Microsoft’s office at around 4pm and made my way to a restaurant to eat. The lunch wasn’t filling enough because there weren’t any protein or even enough to go around. My stomach by 2pm was already growling and producing excessive amount of acid.

While I’m there, I realize how much I love the design of their office. It’s definitely more refreshing than my company’s building. It’s old, ugly and stifling in terms of design.

You see, I’m someone who needs a great environment to work in, to feel inspired, to feel great and happy. This is why I work in my room, play in my room, etc. It is highly personalized to make me feel at home and that is the most important thing to me when it comes to doing anything. Or you can see it as a way to prime my mind. I’m pretty sure everyone has got their own set of rituals or practices before they do anything productive.

Anyway, I’m also feeling a little exhausted from my current job. Normally, going for seminars or even going for a few days of courses is enough to refresh me but not this time. There were days when I sleep I dream of work stuff. It’s like there are certain things creeping up into my subconscious that I can’t seem to let go. So I will have to deal with that.

Journal #171 – Random Snippets of Thoughts

Thought # 1

It is not the drug that make drug addicts but it is the need to escape reality, the real “world”. The real world is both sad and happy, violent and peaceful, greedy and charitable, and so on and so forth. So full of contradiction and some of us, humans, just couldn’t navigate, even more so in this hyper-connected world.

Thought # 2

Sometimes practicality and pragmatism forces you to ignore what your heart tells you. So you went and do what is practical. Do what is pragmatic. You made a choice and through that choice, you forgot what your heart told you. Over time, maybe over ten years, maybe over twenty, it doesn’t matter, those emotions bubble up and tear you apart from the inside. The longer you ignore that, the more miserable you feel. All in the name of practicality and pragmatism.

Thought # 3

I consume so I create. I am a processor.

Thought #4

Art works are censored because the people doing the censor or allowing the censor to happen are not willing to allow certain truths or another person’s reality to interfere with their own reality or perception. They are afraid.

Thought #5

There is only one truth in life. All of us will die with regret if we don’t do what our hearts tell us to, try new things or have new experiences. Even those who crave stability, security or certainty, should still go and do what you desire to do when that desire come to you. It’s that simple but not easy. You need to ignore that innate nagging that you need to be safe, be secure or be certain. I know because I am such a person. I’m struggling against this nature so that I don’t die with regret. Have a rough plan, put in place some basic safety mechanism (can be money, housing, clothing or food) and go execute that plan.

Thought #6

Being alone in the now is so important. Just like I decided to put away my headphones, stop watching Netflix. And listening to Spotify, and go for lunch alone. I’m sitting here waiting for my lunch to be ready, and I’m just staring at a wall with some sort of painting that has lots writing. It allows me to think, to create ideas, and then I write them down.

Journal #170 – Writer’s Block and Disappointment

If you are not careful, you will suffer from writer’s block or worse, burnout. I have suffered from enough burnouts at work that I know how counterproductive it can be. Yet I keep ending up in that situation.

Why?

Because I want to do better today than what I did yesterday. I want to put out better stuff. Then I went about forcing myself to put out better stuff, everyday and thinking about how do it almost every other hour.

So now I faced an issue where I don’t know what to write any more. Nothing comes to mind. I didn’t have any more inspiration until I went to read an article about not knowing what to write. That spurred me to write this specific entry.

Now I know why I don’t know what to write anymore.

There are multiple reasons.

First is my day job, which is full time (8.30am to 6pm) and is a software development role. Due to its’ nature, it is mentally taxing till the point where I don’t have any more brain juices to do any decent writing. I ran out of inspiration.

Second is the constant forcing. It creates a subconscious stress and prevents my brain from doing its best work.

How do I fix it? I know how. But I know part of the solution is not possible because of how I am bounded by the contract, especially for the first reason.

And so what’s the solution, you may ask.

It’s very simple. Work part-time, go out more to interact with more people. By interacting, you get inspirations and that’s how you can write better.

Am I practicing it? I tried to and is trying. But it is not easy. I’d actually love to go out with friends more on weekends, listening to them, and talking to them.

To fix the second problem, it’s really simple and easy. Because it’s all internal and there is no external factor, I can control it. I need to practice letting it go, and not attempt to write a thousand word entry just because I wrote a thousand word entry yesterday or the day before. I need to be ok with just putting out an entry with a single word or a single sentence. Hell, maybe even a single character.

There may be more reasons but those two are the most obvious ones that popped out at me.

I also need to learn to be content even with failures. I need to learn to accept disappointment.

Why I say that?

Well, I do keep a close watch on the view and visitor counts of my blog. 21 Sept 2017 was a particularly sad day for me. There was no view, no visitor. Even at the lowest viewer/visitor count over the past month, the number was 1.

I got depressed wondering whether it was because of content of particular day’s entry. I know I didn’t write any world changing or life changing entry. I know I didn’t write anything about the popular topics of these past few years. Anyway, at the end of that, what I know is my mood just spiral out of control from there.

But the truth is, it doesn’t matter. Stats don’t matter. What do matter? It is me putting out content for me just because I enjoy the writing process. I did end up writing an entry for the 22 Sept 2017 and do my weekly tech news roundup. I have to be ok with no reader at all because you don’t win everyday. It’s a constant, work in progress everyday. And if there is even one reader, you have my greatest thanks from the bottom of my heart.