johor day 2

  • hotel beds feel so nice and comfy that it's so hard to leave them
  • reread a bunch of Ava posts from yesterday and took some notes on the car
  • she's like a big sister that's imparting a ton of life advice and I feel lucky to have access to all these

on getting things done

  • stick to a schedule. your schedule needs to be realistic, it's not what ideal you would do, but what you actually think you're be able to do
  • touch everything once. run for 5 minutes. write one sentence. read one page. the most important thing is just touching it.
  • resistance is the problem to getting most things done, not time. do every task as soon as you think of it. procrastination can ruin your life. spend less time thinking about doing things and more time doing them.
  • have more constraints, it makes you value limited time more.
  • slice tasks into chunks of time
  • manage your stress. don't let it affect your sleep. work out. take walks. don't overthink about worst case unless there's something you can do about it.
  • no notifications, they're poison for your mind
  • take notes constantly: use iPhone notes to jot down whenever you remember something or have a good thought
  • multitasking is okay sometimes. there's two modes everyone operates in: 1) total focus and 2) getting things done while also doing other things. you can do #2 on certain things to save time.

the right conversations

  • in literature, there's an abyss between two people, how no matter how close you are to someone, they remain a wilderness to you
  • "how well is it possible to understand someone else?"
  • we all long for moments of pure recognition, the sense that someone else gets us
  • we seek for commonality on an emotional and intellectual level, and it's hard to find someone that fills both gaps
  • in a relationship that isn't working, it's like a boat dragging dead weight – you're the only one providing momentum and direction
  • or they other way around – they're the one driving and you're just along for the ride, the other person's choices don't reflect your sensibilities
  • a right conversation feels like you both are side by side, yelling back and forth about which direction to turn. a mix of intuition and negotiation. both sides has influence on each other
  • there is no comfort greater than being on the same page, talking about the same things
  • the combination of understanding and agreement is the rarest thing to find in a relationship
  • too many differences will leave you going in circles, it'll wear you down
  • disagreement between two people are inevitable, but how you navigate them marks the difference between a passage and impasse
  • when you meet people who are different, in what they say and how they behave, don't give up. notice that difference and get better at sharing, try harder at explaining, evangelize for your view of the world, convert them into a believer

on making and keeping friends

  • finding really good friends is more important than almost anything else you can be doing
  • friendship takes a lot of work. you have to be ready for friction and willing to work to resolve it
  • having good friends is enabled by a set of learnable skills – how to find people you like, how to put yourself out there, how to listen, how to make space, how to propose fun things to do
  • most successful friendships stem from shared preoccupations (technology, hobbies) and shared context (core life experience like same university)
  • good friends can see your potential before you can, nihilism results from a lack of people who really see you
  • things that work for her
    • carve out time for friends, whether calls or in-person hangouts
    • live in the city where the largest number of your good friends are
    • find 3-5 people you can be close friends with for many years, and hang out with their friends, and try to align your life choices around them
    • go to a lot of things, parties, dinners. maximize serendipity
    • meet people through hobbies, get really into running or something
    • ride the coattails of your one really social friend
    • be friends with people you can genuinely praise to everyone, you should be super proud of your friendships
    • meet people through Twitter, tweet like your life depends on it and enjoy the returns
    • write in public to meet people who like how you think, think in public
    • develop an internal friend clock that tells you when to reach out to a friend "it's been 3 weeks since you saw X, you should text them"
    • proactively ask about your friends' lives. many people have trouble talking about stuff that's troubling them, it's on you to ask
    • be willing to take feedback, be willing to apologize
  • you can't "win" an argument, you can only lose the relationship
  • it's okay to let go of a friendship that isn't working anymore
  • your mistakes can and will damage the relationship; you cannot start over, but your mistakes can also be forgiven

begins to regret it as I feel intensely carsick, shorter notes now

  • closeness
    • how to quantify what makes it possible for you to feel close to someone?
    • closeness has a few elements: proximity, both physical and emotional, as well as mutual empathy, shared context and experience
    • Joan Didion never had a thought without saying it aloud to her husband is aspirational
    • a desire to share consciousness
    • the appeal of extreme closeness: "I find it both thrilling and exhausting to be in my own mind and sometimes I want to share the burden of it. I want you to know everything, to share the inexhaustible accumulation of experience with me"
    • the ability to really understand someone is often the product of innate compatibility and similarity
  • knowing what i like
    • many people think they know what they want, but they're pursuing the wrong things.
    • when you get something that you've desired for a long time and it feels hollow, it means you've been chasing the wrong thing.
    • there are things in life that feel good to get
    • when what you get is what you want, it means you have taste, and it takes a lot of work to get there
  • loving imperfection
    • if someone is externally perfect, they usually have all sorts of terrible wounds.
    • if you love someone you are happy to pay the price, people assume love is about celebrating someone's amazing qualities, but true love is about accepting someone's flaws
    • everyone is imperfect, and we just have to choose the imperfections we can love
    • the goal is to find a tradeoff you more than tolerate – someone who makes you think, "you're so imperfect, and I'm so lucky, I can't believe I get to spend my life with you"
    • we have to look for the trauma that slots into our trauma, the imperfection that moves us
  • love in the time of hyperfixation
    • we don't get to choose which fixation lasts and which won't
    • the things we stick with are just the things we repeatedly fail to give up
    • the entirety of what I know about love: "in the beginning it felt like I couldn't control myself. And then it felt like I could control myself, but I still wanted to continue"
  • fewer, better thoughts: making the right decision involves paying careful attention to the state of the world around you, and the state of your own internal landscape. watch people and watch yourself. what makes you feel good, what frightens you, what aches and why.
  • 17 hot takes about dating
    • getting into a relationship is like buying a car; being in the relationship is like driving it. Don't spend two years trying to buy the car if you don't even know if you'll like driving it
    • a great relationship is one in which both people are like "Wow I got so lucky". an okay one is one in which only one person feels that way.
  • two years: consistency creates inspiration (if you know you have to write everyday, you'll think of something to write about)
  • what makes me feel grounded: spending time with the people you love amplifies your "youness"
  • practical magic: on rejection and secure attachment
    • ask for things at the exact edge of rejection. if you're never rejected, you're too risk-averse
    • be comfortable with rejection and with failure
    • the willingness to be pushy and ask for things that aren't directly offered to you
    • always go to the source. It’s important to know whose thoughts you’re referencing, and why. And whose thoughts they’re referencing.
    • double down on your talents
    • get good at building a strong feedback loop between "I perceive X" and "I've confirmed that X is in fact true". you'll start to trust yourself more. accurate self trust is more important than anything else

all my relatives keep asking me to take care of health and that's what matters the most

and that now that I'm relatively healthier there's less worry, and that I've gone through it before and I'll be fine.

I do think i'll enjoy life there a lot more than staying here.

The only thing stressing me out the most, the thing that really strikes fear deep into my core, is the pressure to find a good job that pays well (where I'll enjoy the work) to make my parents proud and to pay them back for the dent that I'll be making in my dad's bank account. the money that was hard-earned from going to the office everyday, taking multiple calls every hour.

But I'm sure I'll make it, either way. I have to trust in God more. Stay grounded, act according to my core values, surround myself with the right people, and take more risks. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing. And actually implement the advice that I've been consuming the past year or so in these blogs.

It feels like the week before the war, and you're on the frontline. you know you're subjugating yourself to a ton of challenges and discomfort and obstacles, and you constantly feel under-prepared and anxious of what's to come. but you still have to march forward. it's like you're trapped somewhere in sinking ship, the water is rising rapidly around you, you're floating and weightless, and air is running out, and you're about to take a deep breath before you dive under and look for an escape. you have to hold your breath, but you're not sure for how long. You just have to keep holding on.



why SF?


johor day 1