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! 🙂

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

 

Replace Everything BUT Yourself

Everything Is Replaceable Except You


The World of Things

Everything we have right now can be replaced within a year. If we break a phone or have our contract up, we get a new one. If a car breaks down, we buy another or find another means of transportation. We dislike our job and we go and find another. If you lose a friendship, you gain another. You (hopefully) change clothes each day. Almost EVERYTHING can be replaced these days. But, the ONE thing you can’t replace is yourself.

Why EVERYONE is Unique

In the history of this world, you have had an experience UNLIKE anyone else. Every moment of your life, even as you read this, is unique. No one will read this at the exact time, place, location, age, gender, race, etc. as you. YOU made that moment happen. Your whole life experience in relationships, jobs, talent, etc. are entirely different from anyone else. Even twins are different since birth. If you think about it, it’s because of our ability to think. We create a world of possibilities within our minds. Each mind creates many different thoughts and opinions that even AI can’t reach.

One can argue that history repeats itself, that patterns happen throughout time. That may be true, but everyone’s overall experience are different. We may experience SIMILAR situations, but never the SAME EXACT moment.

Think of all the conversations you ever had. They are irreplaceable. A conversation between you and another person happened at a unique moment. We’ll never get back each passing second. Stare for a second, you’ll see one go. Then another. Then another.

We will never get the moment of the NOW back. NOW is important to living. If you’re living in the past or future, you’re wasting time not being present to the moments that happen at this very moment. Take a second to not think and look around you. Take a breathe and feel how the breathe goes in, then out. You’ll notice how important the NOW is.

If You Don’t Like Yourself, CHANGE YOURSELF

Stop rejecting who you truly are. Personally, disliking yourself leads down a road of more darkness and negativity unlike any other. If you stop thinking so negatively and begin to be positive towards yourself and those around you, a change happens.

For example, I used to HATE working at Dunkin Donuts in High School. Everything about it sucked. I worked after school and on the weekends along with helping my mom deliver newspapers at 2AM then heading to work right after. Every time I came in, I did my job and waited to leave. I left when my shift was over without a care in the world.

At one point, I hated this way of thinking. I decided to change it up. For one week, I’ll be nice to everyone and go above and beyond to see if there’s a difference in my job. Within a week, the customers seemed happier, the job went faster, and regulars even requested I make their coffee/sandwich sometimes. Overtime I came to consistently give my all in the work I did and with a smile. Changing to a positive outlook will open up a a new world where even the worst people have a hard time getting mad at you. It gave me the social skills to even write these blog posts I do today.

If you really don’t like who you are, you’re missing out on a great person. You can replace everything in your world as much as you want. At the end of the day, you’ll still find an emptiness inside. You’ll only begin to be fulfilled once you look to better yourself and those around you. Some days will be tough, but the more you give, the happier you’ll be at the end of your life.

Don’t hate who you are. YOU are unique with a world no one other than you has ever experienced. Love who you are, change the parts you don’t like, and keep moving forward. You deserve to be the best version YOU want to be. Keep moving forward.


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via Replacement

January 2017 —Positives Gone, Happiness Stays

Have you ever woken up to something, somewhere calling out to you?

I’ve always associated myself with the past. Justified it in many ways of using it as a tool to grow, a place to learn, and to cope with myself. I told myself that all I can do now is be positive! I realized that was wrong. The past is just what it is, past. We will never get our time back. As I write this—as you read this—each millisecond passes, we lose time. My positive attitude is personal. It helps in working hard and staying focused. It is not how I should face my past.

I decided that 2017 is the year of change. I have grown in 2016 not through reflection, but by action. My growth was due to changing my outlook. I stopped looking behind me and worrying about what’s in front of me. I started taking more risks, reading more books, and creating more opportunities.

The new year has begun. Each day has been energizing. It won’t last forever but I plan to hold the energy in front of me as I begin this new marathon of life. I’m directing this energy positively.

  • Launched http://www.motivatingmango.com/
  • Scheduled to learn from a knowledgeable trainer on Friday
  • Learned the basics of JetPack
  • Set a mastermind for Sunday
  • Scheduled specific days for posts (Monday/Wednesday/Friday for this blog)

I also set an impossible list for the first quarter of 2017.

  • Experience Automattic
  • Improve in WordPress
  • Meet an inspiration
  • Book a trip to another country
  • Budget more
  • Begin working in Open Source
  • Enhance my blogs and websites
  • Improve in a new language

It’s a step in the right direction. I used to set small of goals. It’s time for a change. There is a change calling for evolution. An evolution of self. A new self that looks forward always, helping those along the way that need it. I may not be ready for this new chapter; however, this story book has many chapters. This one is trimmed with gold. I can’t let it go to waste.

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via Daily Prompt: Gone

Part 1: Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! The Adventure Begins!

This is Part 1 of the series Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! You can find the second part and third part!

Hey, you! Smile!

Whenever you think of a smile, you suddenly begin to feel your lips turn towards the ceiling from side to side. Something in your brain stops you for a moment. You feel a bit brighter, lighter than you had a second ago. Your mind releases a bit and the world shifts slightly. You feel a calming for a moment. You gain… happiness.

Googling “happiness” explains that

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states also reflect judgments by a person about their overall well-being.

Happiness does not always come naturally; nevertheless, studies show every single person can control exactly 40% of their happiness. Scientists have determined that your happiness level is a result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors, and life circumstances. This means that even though factors play into your happiness, you can decide each moment if you want to be happy or not. That’s where Automattic comes in with their Happiness Engineer position.

Working To Live Or Living To Work?

I’ve always lived in the moment. All my life, I rarely thought of consequences and always took action. When faced with decisions in relationships, finances, or ultimatums, I always leaped towards one direction that was positive for me. I never looked back after a decision was made. To me, life was just moving forward and doing the best you could along the way! If you’re given something, give it all you got!

I discovered Automattic a few weeks ago on November 21st and was immediately hooked. Their company, culture, values, and general outlook on life resonated within me. It got better when I saw that there was a position I’ve never heard of before; yet, I immediately thought, “Yeah, that’s me! That’s my dream job!” The position, as you guessed from the title of this post, was Happiness Engineer!

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I always thought of myself as a happy individual who truly enjoys customer service and helping others. Naturally, I was drawn to this position. I thought about applying immediately. That’s what I would have done before. “No,” I said to myself, “I need to do this strategically.” I decided to create my plan of attack. I molded my story into 9 parts.

  1. Learn about the company and what they do/how they work. Get their in-depth information. Send emails (which later turned into post on their blogs then send emails).
  2. Read suggest books and more! Summarize and analyze them to utilize in video and email. USE FOR SCRIPT!
  3. Become a part of online support communities. WordPress forums of .com & .org.
  4. Read/Watch all news, articles, testimonials, and any other possible Automattic info possible. TAKE NOTES!
  5. Create websites utilizing both WordPress.com and WordPress.org to better understand both and their differences.
  6. MORE COFFEE
  7. Film the video. Hire professional actors & video crew AKA friends who have free time that I can get to help.
  8. Edit video. Revise email. Check Script. Fix Resume. Final touches.
  9. SEND EMAIL! NO FEAR! EVEN IF I DIE!

Strange list but it was a starting point. Much like any story, it won’t go as planned. Life happens and you learn to adjust for the better. One thing for sure was I am determined to become a Happiness Engineer within the next year or two.

New Beginnings

Now that I created my possible story towards my application to Automattic, I set course and began immediately.

In the weeks leading up to applying, I read all about Automattic and what it meant to be a Happiness Engineer.

I made sure to watch the talks that Automatticians held at conferences and wrote notes on each one. I watched the provided playlist of the Automatticians describing their experience with Automattic. Seeing how they all love what they do and their lives are changed, it just raised my hype even more! This company is both hardworking and exciting because the people that are a part of it come from all walks of life; nonetheless, share the common trait of every Automattician which, from their page, was curious, driven, compassionate, tenacious, autonomous, friendly, independent, collaborative, communicative, supportive, self-motivated, and amazing with .gifs! They want to work with people interested in making the web and the world a better place. These were people I could see myself working alongside. These were the inspirations and mentors that I would look up to and learn from. I began absorbing the Automattic creed. I read every blog I could find on being a Happiness Engineer. I commented on the more recent ones, asking questions and thanking them for an insightful blog! They replied happily and even gave me more tips!

To get myself going, I began helping in the forums alongside creating my own websites. Keep in mind, I know NOTHING about WordPress and how it works. So, this huge leap was one I would have to dive head first into. It was a great swim. I’m understanding how the current works. The first day I started helping out in the forums, I was pretty intimidated. A week later? The documentation really teaches you a lot. It’s like reading a book that just tells you how to do it all. There’s still tons of questions I have trouble answering, but I feel I’m getting the hang of how WordPress as a whole works. Having an IT background, answering support questions aren’t as bad. I’m going to continue learning more about how WordPress.com & WordPress.org works. I plan to master the basics, it’s always foolproof. After this, I’ll upgrade to another software and learn that!

The Happiness Engineer role also recommended a book, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. I bought it the day after I decided my journey to Happiness Engineer. I took my time to fully absorb the book and live in it. It took me a couple of weeks to complete an exciting journey. The book was very insightful on customer service and pursuing one’s goals! Being an Asian-American, I already created a small connection between Tony and myself as I read it. I understood the need to please your family while desiring more for yourself. That’s where I am now. I’m desiring for something more than myself. Something to change the world. That something is Automattic. If they suggested this book and see their company in the same sense as Zappos, I’m 100% on board the Automattic train!

One thing that stood out to me with all I was learning ended up being the CEO, Matt Mullenweg. I see Matt equivalent to a Zen master. Peaceful in his words. Soft spoken with rational thought. Doesn’t seem to worry too hard about what could come. Just looking at him, he seems to radiate peace and happiness. He knows how to work hard and to relax. Now, I’m not trying to put him as some God that I worship. I have major respect for him. At 19, he founded WordPress. That’s already impressive in itself. I can go on talking about my respect for him. I try to make myself better everyday by looking at those who I wish to mimic in some forms. Matt has become one of those people after my extensive research of him.

Around week 2, I discovered that Automattic was going to be in New York. I was EXTREMELY ecstatic. “THIS WAS MY CHANCE!”  I thought to myself. I ordered a ticket instantly. By the time AlterConf rolled around, I had been somewhat active for about a week and a half on the forums, I read Delivering Happiness, I had a solid understanding of the job and what it entailed, and even spoke to a few of the staff through their blogs. Turns out, one of the staff I spoke to in their blog was there, Kathryn! She had an inspiring video about Automattic. It was an interview detailing her day-to-day activities and advice on aspiring Automatticians. I also met Anne, Megan, and Nancy. The four of them were very relaxing and fun to talk to. I spent a big portion of the conference getting to know them, the company, and really understanding what I’m in for. I explained what I’ve done and how I’m working towards applying. From what I told them, they all told me I should just apply! I was hesitant at first. After talking with them the whole day, that hesitation was gone. They gave me the best advice:

“DON’T HOLD YOURSELF BACK” – Automatticians (They weren’t yelling it though)

It clicked in my head. I flipped my own story and ripped up the scripts. I’m applying! I had a busy weekend but Sunday night I sat myself down and completed the application. I went a bit overboard with it. I added gifs, music, visuals, and words, words, words. I submitted it around 1:30AM and now sit at work pretty tired but feeling accomplished. I believe that they’ll enjoy my application and resume. From here, all I can do is wait and see what happens now! What do you think?

. . .

I made it!

Oh! By the way, if this story inspired you, I want you to know, we’re hiring!!