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! 🙂

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

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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You Are Cordially Invited to Attend Your Life!

“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

— Lao Tzu

Dear Reader,

You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony of living YOUR life!

You have the opportunity to live the life you desire; yet, you choose to live a life of mindlessness instead of mindfulness. Take a moment to be in the now. I encourage you to take a couple of minutes to close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Sit with your back straight and relaxed. Chest out like a gorilla (not too much here). Breathe in for 5, hold for 5, and breathe out for 10.

enso

Taking the time in your day to breathe mindfully invokes a change within you. You begin to feel happier, more at peace with yourself. Life situations begin to slow down. Remember, you live this life through your decisions and actions. No one else controls your body and mind. The main factor stopping you is the excuses. Keep in mind that how you react to anything matters most. You can either yell or stay calm.

I don’t know everything, I just know that you have the choice to live a life you desire through all the situations life throws at you. I’m just here to give you a push in the right direction. Work hard in silence and let your success make the noise. Know that there is more to your life. You can do it, I believe in you. I hope to see you in the life you’re meant for.

The Now.

Your Now.

Your Life.


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Daily Prompt: Renew You BEFORE 2017

It begins now.

I wrote in a previous post about my enthusiam for 2017. While it is exciting to have a New Year, it’s also funny. People dictate themselves based on time more than they should. That a New Year will be the cause of change. The effect of this New Year will bring a renewed you.

It won’t. It never does.

A New Year creates a new 365 days. It doesn’t create a renewed you. The only method to change is by acting now. You can’t wish for change. You need to BE the change. You know the saying.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

~ Gandhi

But I won’t use this quote. From this report, Gandhi’s words were reshaped for today’s minds. Brian Morton explains the following:

Sure enough, it turns out there is no reliable documentary evidence for the quotation. The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” 

Here, Gandhi is telling us that personal and social transformation go hand in hand, but there is no suggestion in his words that personal transformation is enough. In fact, for Gandhi, the struggle to bring about a better world involved not only stringent self-denial and rigorous adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence; it also involved a steady awareness that one person, alone, can’t change anything, an awareness that unjust authority can be overturned only by great numbers of people working together with discipline and persistence.

You can have a personal transformation. It will be a start. It will get you on the path of change. The path can only be set in stone if you begin to surround yourself with others that are going down the same path.

For example, it’s a fact that a big New Year’s resolution is losing weight/going to the gym. Most people start the first week of the New Year. Come February, the percentage of people going to the gym drop drastically. They don’t create a concrete path towards their goals. You know how I started going to the gym everyday? I had a friend dedicated to going to the gym and wanted someone to join a certain gym with him. That was me. From then on, thanks to him, I go to the gym almost everyday now.It was because someone else helped spark a change that turned into a habit.

Don’t wait for the New Year. Don’t wait for anyone else. Get up and do what you KNOW deep down inside that you NEED to do. Not what you WANT to do. DO IT NOW.

I’ll tell you what you already know.

  • It’s going to hurt
  • It’s going to be hard
  • It will feel like nothing is working
  • You will cry
  • You will make mistakes
  • You will fail, A LOT
  • You will get pushed down
  • Everything will not go your way

Among these problems,—and all negatives associated—there are methods to overcome them. You can face them before they happen. Tim Ferriss has a method called fear setting that can help.

Begin by thinking of a goal that is important to you but that you’ve kept yourself from attempting, and divide a piece of paper into three columns.

  • In the first column, write down all of the things that could go wrong should your attempt fail. Think of the most terrible things possible.
  • In the second column, determine ways that you can mitigate the possibility of each of those bad consequences from happening.
  • In the third column, think of how you would recover from each of the scenarios you imagined and wrote in the first column.

By expecting fear, you will be prepared when it arrives. It’s okay to have fear and nervousness. It’s natural. Let it come. Embrace the negatives and work with the positives.

This New Year will not bring a new you. YOU will bring a new you. Today—right nowIS your time to change. You will change yourself for the better. You will take the proper actions towards living the life you want. You will create a concrete path and become renewed..

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Daily Prompt: What’s Missing In You?

Finding The Final Puzzle Piece To Waking Up

It was another day in July. I had just gotten home from my IT Consulting job in the city. I felt tired and exhausted. Yet, I did nothing for 90% of my work day. I called my girlfriend. She asked how work was. I proceeded on another rant of how I hate my situation of being underpaid, undervalued, and feeling like I’m going nowhere.

As I complained, she stopped me midway. “SHUT UP!” she exclaimed, “Shut up and do something about it. How you’re feeling right now, this… this is not you! My boyfriend is a hard-working, driven man. If you’re feeling stuck and in a hole right now, then get up and do something.

I was quiet for a moment. There was a switch in my head that turned on that day. I found what I was missing. I was missing WHY I was alive. My purpose, as some people will call it, was gone and I had given up on life. Playing video games, hanging with friends, and having drinks were all great; nevertheless, the world is ever evolving and full of experiences that can only be tapped once you choose to free yourself from these chains called “the real world” that we experience.

I decided to change.

I began reading books ranging from business to finance, self-help to spirituality, and any book recommended to me (feel free to comment on your top 3 favorite books to read). I listened to podcasts, joined webinars, and started attending conferences. Life becomes more fulfilling once you let go of your mind and take every opportunity and surprise that comes your way. Life opens up when you let go of negativity and learn that every situation that comes your way is how you react to it. Why live a close-minded life?

You see, growing up we are told to go through school, go to college, get a degree, and get a job. Along the way, we aren’t really taught WHY we should do it and HOW we should go about it. We’re just told this is WHAT we need to do. By the time you finish everything and get that job, is that it?

HELL NO!

We live in a world where our voice can be heard in millions of different platforms and the ability to learn about ANYTHING with a quick (or several) Google searches. Here, thanks to the daily prompt, you’re now reading this. Every voice can be heard with a quick tweet or post. Anything is possible these days and it’s just realizing that you’re missing your true passion helps reveal that.

If you want a start, I suggest reading the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek and How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie. Both phenomenal books that helped change my perspective of the world we live in.

Now ask yourself, what’s missing in you? Why are you living? If you don’t know, find it. I’ll be here to help if you need it.

via Daily Prompt: Missing

Daily Prompt: Your Buried Treasure

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
~ Buddha

Imagine for a moment a map leading to your buried treasure. The path to take is dangerous. Mountains and oceans to traverse. Monsters appear at every corner. You’ll need to learn to fight and survive. None of it will be comfortable. It won’t be easy. You will come close to death. The treasure itself can be empty or full. Are you willing to take the risk?

Your buried treasure compares to real life. We all have passions and goals. The path to self-discovery and finding our purpose, our WHY, is never an easy task. Excuse me if this sounds rude but everyone says they want to live a more fulfilling life and to do what they love; yet, never set out to live it because they decide it’s more comfortable doing what’s already working instead of trying something new.

One morning, they find themselves changed. Their eyes are open! They’re going to do everything they ever wanted today! They plan to do a little bit of their 5 different passions to work on. Then by the time they get to number 3, it’s night time. They say they’ll do it tomorrow and go to bed. Tomorrow comes, they’re back to normal. No energy to do what they want.

You see, working towards your passion is not an easy task. You need to remind and push yourself everyday to work towards your goals. The one thing you need to change is just to choose one and ask yourself WHY you want to do it. Truly, why is it a passion and why do you want to accomplish this goal? The answer will be your main pillar towards reaching it. Your answer needs to be strong enough that ANY excuse doesn’t seem good enough to stop your drive. Now, create the map based of your goal and the why. Write down EVERY SINGLE STEP to getting to that goal. Change your routine and adjust your life to make time EVERY DAY for it, no matter what. Write down a reminder that you’ll see every morning and night of that goal. Step-by-step you get closer. Eventually, you reach it after all the struggle, long nights and hard work.

Once you’re done, move onto your next passion. It may be something old or new. Make sure you don’t stop. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it keeps you moving forward. Never stop learning and growing everyday. Adapt. Evolve. Change. It’s important to realize that you need to look at your life, find your WHY and set out to live how you see fit. YOU are the only one with yourself 24 hours a day. Why live it being comfortable? Create an adventure! Every day is a new story!

Imagine that map of your buried treasure and CREATE it into reality. Those obstacles along the way are nothing compared to what you gain on the path towards the treasure. It’s not about what’s inside the box, it’s the adventure along the way that’s the real treasure.

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Treasure