How do we survive on 10 dollars a day?

Keish and I are going to do an experiment that’s inspired by a recent documentary on Netflix. If you want, its called “living on a dollar in Guatemala.” I don’t know if you’re into that kind of stuff, but after you watch it, do let me know what you think.

Our budget is 10 dollars per day to spend for a week. I’m not sure what’s going to come out of it, but excited to try!

Stay tuned…

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My 20s

Self-reflecting is the essence of soul searching.

I’ve been thinking about my 20s and myself lately. More than I’d like

I spent almost a year rising in the ranks at a shitty company

And now, I joined a different company in the same industry that I dislike

But this company is different, I keep excusing myself

Kept procrasintating and avoiding the question: what do I want what to spend my life doing. It certainly is not this; not software; not inside sales

Moving back home is probably one of the worst idea in a while- back to the same old place where it cultivates the same old mentality

I’m so lost; I don’t even know what adds value to my identity capital

I knew what I wanted to be when I younger- a successful businessman

Well, after almost 2 years in the corporate America, I’m reconsidering

My bubble finally bursted, and it was a loud pop

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The beginning to a beautiful ending

I am excited to announce that I will be starting a new job comes next Monday! What I am more excited about is the fact that my two very best friends are embarking; finally, on adulthood. I’ve been in that place for a while now, and it’s an experience that I don’t think my buddies can relate to yet… We are humans, and after all, I realize what makes us bond together as social creatures is the experience that we share. So, I am ecstatic to feel that my buddies are finally up to my level. I can finally share my experiences with them as adults, because I felt quite lonely as the only member of adulthood in our circle. 

One of the two is going to teach in Japan for a year, and the other is going to graduate school to study what he always wanted to; industrial design. It’s funny how life is sometimes, all the shitty things will hit you at once, but all the wonderful things will also hit you at once; to counterbalance the bad and the good…  C’est La Vie!!

That’s what I wanted to write about.. And I know years from now, I can look back to my infrequent blogs and remember just exactly why and where I wrote this very blog, as well as my past and future blogs. And I can wait to share that moment with the world and more importantly, my future family members. 

Until next time. 

Yours truly, 

Sam

 

 

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A Paradise Reality Away from Actual Reality

After about 9 months at my current company, I’ve decided to embark on a self-discovery trip to SoCal. Of course, this trip is not meant to get completely lost in fantasy, like other trips such as “Coachella” or “EDM.” Nonetheless, I still enjoyed myself, especially my road to self-discoveries. On a side-note, subconsciously, I wasn’t brave enough to venture too far out of my comfort zone. I think with proper planning and courage, my next trip is to venture into the unknown. Sorry, I meant Thailand, East Europe, or other countries with distinct cultures other than capitalism. I did realized from this trip that life is too short. There is no right or wrong answers anymore. It’s critical that you carve out your own path, despite what others, even the closest tell you otherwise.

A quick review of my trip, or observations.

I’m a lover of coffee. I think I am this way because my environment predisposed me. SF has a great coffee culture; Blue Bottle, Coffee Bar, Peets, SightGlass, and etc all have great coffees. Once you enjoy a great cup of coffee, the shit from Starbucks exists only to satisfy your caffeine addiction. Oh, addiction is another topic. Seriously, SoCal doesn’t have a good coffee culture. Coffee is just OK, nothing to brag about. I stayed at Newport Beach, and the closest “hip” coffee was 30 miles away. I was not down to  trek that far in LA traffic. Traffic can just suck my ****. However, I did venture into a coffee shop called Alta Coffee. Oh man- their iced coffee brew is better than Blue Bottles’. It was absolutely the best I’ve ever had. The coffee is clean and crisp, it was lightly flavored with a spice, which I couldn’t quite figure out. But the coffee was delicious. The place doesn’t look that glamorous from the outside, actually it was very old-school looking, almost brought you back to the wild wild west. If you go to Newport beach, be sure to check out this place and get their iced brew. You will not complain, but filled with nothing short of happiness.

 

I love philosophy, and I love to use my augmentative side to explain why SoCal simply does not have a great coffee culture. Well, you asked, and let me explain:

1) Based on my brief 3 days there, people there are generally more laid back. It is close to the beach and always sunny. People there do not glorify busyness. An environment so close to the beach and nature is counter-intuitive to manmade busyness. Fundamentally, a human needs 3 essential things: shelter, food, and love. This combination makes for a happy life. The Silicon valley glorifies busyness. The busy-er, you are, the perception of being more successful is projected outwards. How do you maintain the constant “go-go-go?” You drink coffee!! And how do we get good coffee? Money!! More money you pour into a consumer good like coffee, the better the outcome is for that particular product. Coffee has evolved to be a craft good and coincidentally, it’s found a market for its price. The tech world is fueling the craftsmanship of coffee, as well as rent. Well, I won’t get off topic, but yes, rent is getting too damn high. I have a good paying job, but I still live paycheck to paycheck… WTF is this? Will I only be able to save if I move back home?

 

Ok. My conclusion to support my title is the fact that, venture out if you can. It takes baby steps, but take the first step to happiness and greatness. Life is too short to fall for anything other than your own greatness. Whatever greatness you decide to take, I wish you the best luck.

 

Cheers,

Sam

 

 

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How to Land Jobs in Today’s Job Market

This blog is dedicated to newly grads. I’m here to suggest my tips on landing the jobs that you really want.

Right Before I graduated:

A couple of months before I was about to graduate, I was focused on two things: getting a job or landing an internship in the field that I wanted to be in, and most importantly, graduating. These next two months are great to test out your hypotheses on what types of jobs you could thrive in. I chose sales and marketing, because I felt that I was a people pleaser and had the street smarts to excel in a highly competitive environment.

A month after I graduated:

I landed in an unpaid internship at a ultra-small startup called Twitspark. I knew I wanted to be in high-tech, so I looked for sales jobs in this space. Twitspark allows enterprise teams to efficiently engage their fans or followers on Twitter. It’s a super small company. I used this company as my stepping stone to get into a bigger company called Marketo.

A few tips:

If you graduated with a liberal arts degree like me, GOOD LUCK on finding a job. PERIOD. The Valley is a harsh place when it comes to merits that are not CS or computer-related degrees. It’s a place that’s highly populated and dominated with such degrees. That said, here’s a few tips:

1) Do not submit your resume online. This is the worst place to get yourself noticed. You might submit 10 resumes and maybe get one response back. Of course, this is dependent on the field that you want to be in. I’m only talking about tech companies, because they are the companies that I have experienced in.

2) Try to reach out to friends or friends’ friends who know someone that works at the company that you’re targeting. Use your contacts to your advantage. Who are your contacts? Well, your friends, family friends, church people, meet ups, or just anyone you know.

3) Use Linkedin to your advantage! Go look on linkedin and find a couple of people who has the power to hire you in your targeted company(s). These people can be managers or directors. I wouldn’t waste my time on VPs or CEOs, unless it’s a really small company. Also, try to look for people that share commonalities as you. You should craft an email that gets these people’s attention. My introduction email was titled: “Sales Intern Seeking your Advice.” So, something along those lines should work!

Get creative! And don’t be afraid of No’s.

Good Luck!

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Savings

I wanted to write this blog because this thought won’t be lost in my desktop-filled sticky notes. This will be a public announcement to keep me reminded over the next 10 years until I can form this habit of saving.

 

I am going to start saving as soon as I am able to. This means the quickest I can do so is when I turn 23. My goal is figure out what % of my income (recommended 10-15%) will go into

 

401K, IRA, traditional vs. Roth, and never save more than 3-6 months worth of living expenses in a bank’s saving account. The rest of the money will go into bonds/mutual/stocks, and rule of thumb is x%( your age) in bonds and 100% – % in bonds in stocks/mutual funds. Take more risks when younger and rebalance the risk ratio when older. Pay attention to expense ratio. See below.

(For example, a mutual fund with a 1% expense ratio means that every year 1% of the fund will be used to cover expenses, which means less money to you).

Protip:

Look at the % in your loans and compare it to % of returns in investments such as bonds, mutual, and stocks. For example 4% interest rate on student loans vs. 7% return rate with investment. A net gain of 3%, if you put more money into investment rather than pay off your student loan quickly. On the flip side, if loan was 7% and investment returns were only 4%, then hell yes, pay off your loan as quickly as possible. DO IT.

Out.

 

 

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Imperfect Little Things

Lately, I’ve been seeing children everywhere. I started paying more attention to them. This sudden appreciation  makes me realize just how profound these imperfect little things are.

Babies: as soon as these imperfect little things come into existence, they are hard-wired to struggle. The struggle between life and society and many of the layers in between. What strikes me as profound is that these kids will be the future of today and a blank state with limitless possibilities. Then the next question leads to parenting.

Too many parents are too eager to perfect their children. This child’s doomed for struggle, and in addition, this child’s self-esteem is being take away at the expense of his/her parent’s eagerness to perfect.

Parents’ job is not to deny the imperfection of their children, but to embrace and accept. Parents should look at their kids as worthy of loving and belonging.

Just imagine for a second.

What kind of children do you think we will produce? And what kind of children do their children produce? How many generations will this continue? What kind of society will be available then?

This all sounds like a dream, but I think it’s a worthy dream to dream.

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How to improve your blog

 

 

My blog sucks, I already know. But does yours need to be improved? If so, here’s some good tips. 

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The Aging Brain: why it’s a good thing

The word aging carries a negative connotation. I can see why. Aging means the physical decay of your body in scientific descriptions. Aging means the emergence of new physical problems. And when you relate it back to brain, the “agin brain” is something unpleasant.

We don’t quite know what it means to have an aging brain because it’s less obvious to talk about.The image of brain-decay is hard to imagine, because our thought processes and synaptic firing take place inside are not transparent. We’re constantly remembered by the physical things that seek through the lens of our eyes. As you get older, you start to look older. The appearance is apparent because it is seen by your own set of reality through your eyes.

sidetrack: There are those people who age gracefully. Let’s just blame it on their genes; they have good genes. So, back to the original problem: why aging brain is a good thing? Well, my thoughts are simple.

1) The brain is a imperfect machine. It is constantly working to develop a better way of thinking. It finds the shortcuts to the most challenges ways to conserve power. God knows, maybe our brain is constantly paranoid about conservation that it pretty much does everything(cognitive processes) with the least resistant neural pathway. So, our brain uses very little of fuel to confront the challenges that we face. Imagine, the evolution to finding the best shortcuts take time to develop. And my proof is that as we grow up, we learn some tendencies about our cognitive processes. We gain insights into our own thinking. It’s one of the best realization that one can why. It gives you some comfort and preview into a question that you’ve always wondered: why am I like this?

2) I don’t really have it. Maybe more to come.

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“In fact, there…

“In fact, there is no learning without failure — and this includes failing at dangerous things like surgery and flying planes. Discovery of the moves that work well is always accompanied by discovery of moves that don’t.” — Bob Sutton, Harvard Business Review.

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