Mango Monday: Accept Failure and Just Do

It’s a common occurrence to doubt yourself everyday. Social media depicts friends having a rich and fulfilling life while you, you’re failing and struggling to make ends meet. You pity yourself and makes excuses but in reality, everyone is pretty much the same as you. What can you do to become successful and happy? How can you fail but still succeed in the end? These questions stop once you stop hating yourself and learning to accept who you are.

To succeed is to live a good life. At least, that’s what was always taught. At a young age, you’re taught to always get the questions right and never be wrong. If you don’t memorize or analyze well enough, you’ll get in trouble or will be deemed a failure. But, what IS so wrong with failing? Why is success rewarded but mistakes looked negatively upon? If there’s anything that’s true, it’s that growth comes from failing multiple times.

Failure

Positivity is at an all time high these days. The only thing that we should do as people is to consistently succeed and make money. Failing is out of the question. But is it really?

Growing up, failure was a natural occurrence. All through the years of elementary, middle, and high school, there were too many incidents that caused failure and regret. Eventually, those failures and regrets grew into something new. Failing is important to the growth of a human being. Learning to walk as a baby involved falling down constantly. Learning requires many failures until the success comes. No one is built, or will ever be, perfect

Take school for example. It was found that many valedictorians do not go off to be extremely successful CEOs and innovators of the world. Why is this? To quote the article:

There was little debate that high school success predicted college success. Nearly 90 percent are now in professional careers with 40 percent in the highest tier jobs. They are reliable, consistent and well-adjusted, and by all measures the majority have good lives.

But how many of these number-one high school performers go on to change the world, run the world or impress the world?

The answer seems to be clear: zero.

The real CEOs are those who worked the hardest and struggled through countless failures to achieve their goals. Granted, some CEOs were lucky or inherited it but many more have lived the roughest lives to achieve their success. What’s even more interesting is that they didn’t even become successful because they wanted more money. They wanted to achieve a better version of what they were working on and success came with it.

It’s funny in today’s world. If you ask anyone what they want to do in their life or if they’re happy with their job, they’ll say no. Then, when you suggest to change their current position to work towards something new, they make up excuses as to why they can’t. These same people are the ones who consistently post on social media, spend time watching hours of Netflix, and are too busy on the world around them to focus inside themselves. If this is you, what can you do in those situations? To start, get up and do something RIGHT NOW.

DO

It doesn’t matter if there’s a lot on your plate, if you have a strenuous job, and/or not in a great position in life.  Get organized and moving forward. If you’re working too hard for someone else or in something you don’t believe in, walk away. If you can’t walk away, work on the side towards finding a place where you’ll be happy to be.

There was a study done on the very old. They were asked what their biggest regret in life. Most of them said that their biggest regrets weren’t the things that they did but the things they didn’t do because they were too busy worrying. You see, many people decide to take the easy road and live a comfortable life because they’re always worried of the unknown. Those people are the ones that also complain that they can’t achieve anything or get anywhere better in life. That’s where you need to change. Your worry is what prevents you from just going out and doing what you want. Go out and take risks and learn to fail. Fail ten times and get up eleven. Either win in whatever you do or learn from it, you never lose. Never let the conscience of your mind or the fears of the unknown prevent you from being the best version of yourself you an be.

Tips

So, if you’re at this point of the article, I would guess that you would at least like to TRY and do something about yourself. Well, where can you start? The simplest and concrete method begins with writing down what you want and how you’ll get there. Write down where you want to be in 10, 5, and 1 year(s). Then, write down the steps you can take today to get closer to your goal of one year. What you can do in the next day, week, month, 2 months, etc. until you have a map towards achieving your goal. Having a plan or vision isn’t executable until you work on having a blueprint of what you want to do and where you want to take that vision. Take a shot at creating a new future. It may seem like a lot of hardwork but you’ll be more satisfied and happier by the end of it.

Mango Monday: A Morning Routine

Featured Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

More nerdy/funny comics from XKCD: https://xkcd.com/

When you woke up today, what did you do? Did you stay in bed and check you phone for the next 15-30 minutes or head to the shower to wake yourself up immediately? Whatever your routine is, it’s essential to having a productive and healthy morning, especially on Mondays. Keeping to a routine that sets you up for a good day is better than winging it each day. 

Cutting Morning Social Media

XKCD provided a pretty good example of this as shown above. Most people’s morning routines are waking up, catching up with social media, then finally getting out of bed. Social media is a negative way of starting one’s day. An article found it has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, etc. and decreases social skills. The article talks about social media’s negative effects as a whole, which is true, but you don’t need to stop using it outright. It can be good in moderation; nonetheless, using it first thing in the morning will improve your day tremendously. If you’re able to stop this morning habit outright, you’ll enjoy your days more often and start the day with a level head and with your goals in mind.

Make Your Bed

A the University of Texas 2014, a Navy Seal Admiral had a commencement address and shared ten lessons he learned from basic seal training. The first lesson was the simplest and most important. Make your bed. Now, what does making your bed have to do with starting your day? It’s your first task done. To be able to get one task done for the day is better than starting with none. With one task down, it will create a ripple effect of getting another task down, and another, and another. But what about the bad days? The days where you get no tasks done. Well, you come home to a clean bed that’s comfy and waiting for you because you made it ready for when it’s time for bed. Start your morning right and make that bed. To watch the full video, feel free to here:

Your Routine

These two small changes to your morning can help create a more positive routine to start your day right. Your life is different but two simple actions can cause a chain reaction to improving your life long-term. The routine you decide to have in the morning will hold a lasting effect on a daily basis Make sure to create some kind of positive routine that consistently moves you forward trough the day. Start small, add one or two changes,  and try it for a week. Keep working towards that perfect routine that gets you being the best version of you everyday!

Monday Mindset: Morning Positivity

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For more adorable and funny comics, check out http://falseknees.com/

Waking up this morning, my SO had sent me this comic she used to start up her day. It made me smile and, in turn, I sent it to my colleagues who also loved it. As a result of this one simple image and thought, my work day had gone swimmingly! I felt I had started on a good leg it created a domino effect which improved my overall day. The affect a positive mindset has on one’s day invokes an unconscious mental shift. How much of a shift does it create? If this post isn’t enough to prove it, I decided to start this new series called Monday Mindset! Each Monday, I want to help provide a shift to your mindset of “I hate Mondays” to “I love everyday, especially Monday!”

The Five-Minute Review

Changing up your morning routine is rough. The most likely scenario is getting up 30-60 minutes before you’re meant to leave. This isn’t including the days you sleep a little bit later and have to rush out in a shorter time then expected. How can this morning routine be changed a bit just to make it that much better of a morning? Take five minutes to write in a Five-Minute Journal!

The Five-Minute Journal was a big catalyst to changing my everyday mindset and goals. I was usually the type of person to just get up and go. Now, I get up earlier and take the time to outline my day in five minutes or less. What each page requires is the date, a nice quote/challenge to keep with you for the day, 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make today great, and a daily affirmation of how you wish to be that day. In just 5 minutes, you have set these thoughts into your mind for the day and started the day positively! Once written, you’ll go through the day normally but since you put these goals and affirmations into your world, somehow you’re closer to the goals you set then when you woke up in the morning. If you didn’t, you can end the day right with 3 amazing things that happened today, no matter how small, along with how you could have improved your day, because self-reflection is important!

Now, I know that some of you are late sleepers. If you are, take the book with you! I bring it with me everywhere to make sure I start my days off right! It may feel weird at first but you’ll come to realize that writing down your goals is more beneficial because it sticks into your mind once written.

Finding Your Way

Now, writing is something that many people loathe doing these days. If this is you, I would recommend you either get an app like Todoist or any other habit/note tracker to help set your goals and habits for the day! If you don’t like writing it down but would rather find some other areas to start your day right, I would recommend meditation. It would be 5-15 minutes out of your day to relax and focus your mind. I personally use the Calm app to get me into the right state of mind throughout my day. However, you find yourself finding positivity for the day, find something to start the day right! Don’t believe me? Try it out tomorrow morning. Have an image or quote for the night before to wake up to in the morning and see if looking at it first thing helps start your day right and makes your day better! Already do this? Let me know what your tips and tricks are for getting the day started right!

Part 3: Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! What Happens in a Year!

This is Part 3 of the series Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! You can find the first part and second part!

The Roots

This day last year, I wasn’t the happiest person. I followed the rules of graduating college and getting a job; however, it seems rules are meant to be broken to get further in life.

After graduating college with a BS in Information Technology, I got a full-time Systems Engineer job in the city. It would have been great if I got paid more for being in the city, but I didn’t. As a result, the struggle to pay my bills, having trouble adjusting to the real world, and the long hours I worked provided no assistance to a healthy and happy mind.

One day in July, I came back from a strenuous day of work. I called my significant other, Holly, and complained again about my current life situation. She listened intently, paused, then said something so simple, yet so powerful.

“Then do something about it!”

It shocked me back to reality. I realized I was one of those graduates that blame everything on outside events instead of focusing on what’s inside and changeable. This realization lead me on a path of pursuing meditation, business, and positivity. It progressed to the point of finding Automattic.

In April 17, 2017, I managed to grab my life and change direction. I became a Happiness Engineer for the distributed company Automattic. I began working from home, traveling the world, and experiencing a world beyond imagination. I decided it’s time to let y’all know what’s happened since becoming an Automattician and how 2017 changed my life!

Remote Work

Working from home is like the new American Dream. When I mention I work from home, people always say “You’re soo lucky! I wish I could work from home!” To this, I usually say, “Yeah it’s pretty cool but it’s still tons of work.”

There is a misconception that working from home equates to work getting ten times easier. Rather, it’s easy in some aspects and harder in others. Working for home is NOT for everyone. It requires mental strength and focus. Being able to switch from work to home mode is not a simple task. You’ll be working and mail comes to the door or you notice your room is a mess or you notice the dishes need to be cleaned. Small distractions can get you out of your flow easily, ending in little or no work done.

Personally, I remedy this mainly with music. There’s a select few playlist I use to really get me in the zone. These playlists are usually instrumental in the genres of chillhop, funk, jazz, or hip-hop. With my noise-cancellation headphones, music bumping, and work windows open, I transport to my own world. Other ways are by working outside the house at a cafe. This also opens opportunities to meet new people consistently and change your environment often. It’s all about keeping the balance of work and play.

Traveling

It’s been a decade since I’ve been in the sky. Two weeks into Automattic, I was on a flight to San Diego. I’ll admit, it was my first time on a plane alone and don’t remember the feeling of taking off from the ground. However, the adrenaline of being on my first work trip and meetup with my new colleagues was enough to diffuse the worries of the trip there and back!

My first team meetup with Automattic is a trip that will be an ingrained memory. It symbolized that my life changed for the better. I entered the world of remote working for the best distributed company in the world! During my trip to San Diego, I danced on screen at the Padres game, saw gorgeous red pandas, visited a zen garden, and had some of the best fried chicken to date! Since this trip, I’ve gone to Boston (work), Whistler (Grand Meetup), Ecuador (Personal), Nashville (WCUS), and Miami / Norwegian Cruise (Personal). I’m super grateful for what I get to experience now and do not take it for granted. I even get to take small trips to see my family more often which, even though I need to work on, helps bring me closer to them. This experience of traveling and going around the world at my age is very rare and I find myself lucky where I am now in my life.

Experiences

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

– Tim Ferriss

A distributed company means that my colleagues live in countries across the globe. This comes with a language barrier and many uncomfortable conversations. However, I learned from speaking with my various colleagues at the GM that the language barrier is just a veil. Once broken, it unleashes a world of knowledge. Through my colleagues and trips around the world, I gain better understanding of the differences between my world and other’s.

I’m grateful and humbled by my colleagues/friends because through them, I get to learn about different cultures, languages, and lifestyles. A colleague of mine, Nagesh, teaches me a small bit about Indian culture each time we talk. I’ve even learned how to say “Good Morning!” in Sanskrit / Hindi, Su-Prabhaat! How Nagesh lives in comparison to how I live is different but I get to learn from his world each day which is something I’m happy to always hear about.

One thing to take away is that happiness and teamwork can be universal even through a language barrier. Our creed undoubtedly symbolizes who we are and it shows through my daily conversations within my team residing from Canada to Vietnam.

The Synopsis

There’s really not much to say about the past almost nine months at Automattic. I’m comfortable here and I expect to be here for a good portion of my life happily enjoying what the world and work has to offer. Last year, I never imagined being on the other end of the of these posts. Since I joined, I haven’t posted at all and 2018 seems like the year to begin showing y’all my life in Automattic. I’m glad you have read this far into my journey and I look forward to taking you on this trip I call life!


Should You Apply?

That’s honestly up to you. If you resonated with any of my story, felt that a Happiness Engineer is in you, and have the work ethic for it, go ahead! If you wish to contact me about it, feel free to! I’ll be waiting for your email, future Happiness Engineer! We’re always hiring! 🙂

It’s been a while

I noticed that I don’t post here as much as I used to before my trial and Automattic. I guess I got too hyped up with life, getting the job, and general moving forward that I forgot about it. I’ll probably revamp the look and feel of all of this. I promise to post my past couple of months since joining Automattic soon. Watch out for it!

Part 2: Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! Becoming an Automattician!

This is Part 2 of the series Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! You can find the first part and third part!

Where We Left Off

Last time on Journey to HE at Automattic, our hero discovered Automattic, did the research along with meeting Automatticians, and submitted his application to becoming a Happiness Engineer! In the months to come, he spent countless hours researching working on the WordPress.com forums helping anyone and everyone he could. Each day he vowed to do at least 15 tickets a day. This resulted in 369 replies in December and 753 replies in January. Then, on the fateful day of January 16, 2017, he received an email…

The Timeline

January 16, 2017 started the journey to my new life. I got an email (Thanks Pam!) from Automattic and set course to becoming a Happiness Engineer! The timeline for me can be found below; however, everyone’s timeline varies greatly!

  • 12/12/16: Application sent
  • 1/16/17: First email with assignment
  • 1/25/17: First Interview
  • 1/26/17: More ?s similar to forums
  • 2/1/17: Second Interview & Trial Acceptance
  • 2/13/17: Trial Start
  • 3/20/17: Trial End
  • 3/31/17: Matt Chat
  • 4/17/17: START DATE

As you can see from this timeline, I passed! It started with the assignment and interviews. They weren’t too bad and were more on seeing your ability to problem solve and your current understanding of WordPress. However, the trial was a monster of its own.

The Trial

The trial experience is not for the faint of heart. You really need to give it your all in these coming weeks. Everything around you becomes null and void and the trial becomes your life. For context, I was working a full-time job alongside my trial. My weekdays looked like this:

  • 6AM – 7AM: Wake-up and get ready for work
  • 7AM – 8AM: Commute to work
  • 8AM – 5PM: Work as IT Consultant
  • 5PM – 7PM: Commute home and have dinner
  • 7PM – 12AM: Trial work at Automattic
  • 12AM – 6AM: Sleep

On the weekends, I generally worked as much as I could. Somewhere around 7-10 hours per day. I took good amount of time into the trial and did my best to work hard and stand out. I’ll summarize my weeks briefly.

Week 1 — Organized Chaos

The first two days of training were intense! The training goes over all of the basics of what HEs use on a daily basis. On the third day, you get thrown in. The gif accurately describes what it feels like internally and externally on that first full day on your own! You walk in all excited and ready with your food (tools), take a look around, see many situations (tickets) everywhere, and just stare in disbelief. Also, I love Community and Donald Glover a lot.

The first week consisted of getting my footing and establishing what I knew about WordPress.com and enhancing it. It turned out that everything is organized chaos. When you read, “Welcome to the Chaos!” on your first days, they aren’t joking! That’s why you also get an awesome buddy (Hey Drew!) to help you out!

Week 2 — Let’s Talk Now

Support takes a turn when switching from helping via email to live chatting with the user. When live chatting, the user is there in real-time like you were talking to them without a picture of who they were. With a8c, I feel this is the most important aspect of support within the company and its goals. Providing consistent live chatting worldwide sets a whole new standard of supporting. Being able to provide high quality support, in real-time, and around the world is the biggest game changer in supporting our users. Also, we’re doing our best to keep a 24/7 presence as we go.

The second week proved that my mentality of support is right but my responses need adjusting. Coming from an IT background, it’s hard to break the habits of being straightforward with the user rather than actually trying to help them. I was told we need to teach others how to fish instead of fishing for them.

Week 3-5 | The Flow

As the weeks went on, it got better and better. My buddy gave me more tips on each feedback on what to do better, tools to use, dealing with tough users and general fixes/habits to my speech or formatting. Happiness Engineers always provided support and encouragement whenever we conversed through DM or live chat and the support felt like it came from everywhere! If you’re thinking that you won’t get to talk much with your colleagues in a distributed company, you got the opposite thought. As they say, communication is oxygen! If you’re not talking and working with others, things can go wrong!

It surprised me how well everyone communicates in one fluid motion. Got a question or need clarification? Someone checks and gives direction. It’s about time to go and need to transfer? No worries, someone’s got it, go live life. Need something tested? You got it! Slack provided such a great gateway to communication I never imagined was possible! Everyone worked efficiently and in-sync (or should I say, async 😉 ). You can go to any channel for even more depth to your questions! It was great seeing all the different sides of a8c through one platform itself.

When it came to the users, they were fantastic! I began feeling like a Happiness Engineer with how the users reacted and feedback went. If I had to choose a favorite chat through this whole trial, it would be where I became a travel agent for a user. To briefly summarize it, a user was asking on how much a trip to WordCamp USA is from Italy. At first, I was hesitant to help since it was only tangentially related to WordPress. But, it ended with me helping them with finding prices, giving some information on America in general, and answering questions about a8c. It was a long chat that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Matt Chat

The weeks passed by with ups and downs. Eventually, I was given one last project to work on. I completed the project within a day and sent it in. In a few days, I was told I passed my trial! After a bit, I was allowed to ping Matt and waited. This wait varies but I got lucky and got a reply the next day! The chat lasted 8 hours with a positive end! Afterwards, I received my offer and waited to start after my two weeks at my now previous job are over.

Epilogue

This whole adventure felt like a punch in the face to my world. What I realized is that it’s a new story beginning to a new me. From day 1 of the trial, I felt like I belonged. I got lucky and also had Anne, who I previously met in person, as one of my trainers. I felt like part of the family by the end of it. It seemed pretty effortless to feel a part of it, which is mostly thanks to the a8c environment.

I had my ups and downs through it but the whole experience has been positive. The downs were mistakes I made and learned from or the frustration/nervousness I had at times. Who doesn’t have those days? I learned that it’s about consistently improving and doing your best for the users, the company, and yourself. If we do so, we’ll continue to grow each aspect seamlessly.

The only thing that I will not look back on in this trial is the 70-90 hour work weeks between two jobs while sleeping only 5-6 hours per night. Now that it’s drawn to a close, I finished knowing I did my best and I’m proud to say I’m a new Happiness Engineer for Automattic!


Should You Apply?

That’s honestly up to you. If you resonated with any of my story, felt that a Happiness Engineer is in you, and have the work ethic for it, go ahead! If you wish to contact me about it, feel free to! I’ll be waiting for your email, future Happiness Engineer! We’re always hiring! 🙂

GO TIME: SERIOUS MODE ON

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Today Is The Day

It’s finally here! Today marks a new beginning. I don’t know what to expect. Anything can happen. I will be pushed down. I will go through many hardships. I will get lost on the way. But, I WILL persevere! I’ll find the paths needed to get to the main road! It’s chaos time and I’m ready to take it head on. Watch out world, here comes a new superhero! His name is Erick. He has solar-powered confidence and a genuine smile of getting work done! If Chance can get a grammy, I can get this goal! Time to put one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

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via Seriousness

 

Hear Your Inner Music

When was the last time you listened to yourself?

The distractions of today keep you in an endless loop of being “busy” all the time. Being controlled by thoughts and emotions creates a disruption to the real you.

Take some time to listen to the music your life plays. It’s a unique album filled with soundtracks playing your life’s tune. Let it spin without scratching the record or stopping the beats. Take a moment to sit and listen. What is your life trying to tell you? Should you take that leap? Should you live those dreams? What do you TRULY want? Sit and listen to it.

Meditating provides a method to listen to yourself. During a session, you’ll have the ability to become in tune with the rhythm your body plays. You feel the sensation if your skin—the aura that is your soul radiates out to the world. As you breathe in, you notice how your body is feeling at the current moment. As you hold the breathe, you recognize what is going on inside and accept it. As you breathe out, you release the negative thoughts, emotions, and sensations that have accumulated without your permission. Be in the moment with who you are, the thoughts floating around, and the emotions you feel. Acknowledge it and regain your composure.

Listening to yourself everyday will create a change in your life. Do it in the morning to assess how you’ll go about your day. At night, take some time to reflect on the day. Understand what you can do differently tomorrow to change the pace towards the direction you want to head. Listen to the music in your heart. Dance with it. Don’t let it play on its own.


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via Heard

Overwhelming Chaos

NEW CHALLENGER

Currently, I’m preparing myself for the chaos to come. The difference this time, I’M EXCITED!

Growing up, we are overwhelmed and have chaos thrown into our lives every so often. We worry and stress on how to handle it. We are never taught how to deal with the unknown, we learn it on our own instead. We learn through trial and error. We know that nothing in life is static. Life is dynamic with twists and turns.

I have learned that we cannot prevent chaos and we shouldn’t fear it. All we can do is put one foot in front of another doing our best to get to where we want to be. That’s what I’m about to do. Whatever happens in the next couple of months, I won’t regret it. This chaos is welcomed and I plan to see it through to the end. By the end of it, working as hard as I can, I know I’ll have done my best.

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via Overwhelming