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Click, Break, Repeat

I’m a curious guy. I like clicking all the buttons in programs or pushing every button on a computer until I learn about what they do or things break. I enjoy discovering and experiencing new things. I like to try everything before forming an opinion.

After all, there are some things out there you don’t know you need or enjoy until you’ve tried them. Like drugs.

So when my company announced a monthly budget for mental health, I figured – hey, why not use it? I had never visited a therapist before and was curious about it. I didn’t think I needed mental help, but also I didn’t know if I didn’t need it.

With that in mind, I went in with an open mind.

I entered therapists near me in Google, and a center popped up a few minutes away from home. Sweet! Sent them an email to inquire about the price and process, and received a reply the next day. Gave them my WhatsApp number and I continued the conversation there.

I had a conversation with the person running the account and booked myself an appointment shortly after. On the day of the appointment, I arrived at the center about five minutes early and was instructed to register myself.

After that, I entered a room and waited for the therapist.

She arrived after a few minutes and asked me what’s up? I told her I had this budget to spend, wasn’t sure if I needed therapy, and was giving it a shot. She nodded and asked me what she could help me with. I told her about my work-related problems.

If you were expecting some tea, sorry to disappoint.

We spoke for almost an hour, and she was unbiased and remained neutral throughout the whole session. The best part is, that she gave me some actionable advice, which I’ll share below. Hopefully, it can be useful to some of you too.

Problem: Procrastination/Staying Focused

  • Measure the time you spend procrastinating
  • Once you know how long you’re procrastinating each day, shorten those breaks
  • Each week, try to reduce those unproductive minutes (e.g. 2 hours to 1.5 hours, to 1 hour, to 45 minutes, and so on)
  • Take short breaks every time you lose focus. Leave your desk and walk around, talk to people, then come back later
  • Write down your tasks and if possible, the time it takes to complete them, that will help you allocate your time each day

Imposter Syndrome:

  • If you feel undeserving of compliments, look for proof of why you think you’re doing a bad job instead of looking for proof that a compliment is insincere

General Mental Self-Care Tips:

  • Ask yourself how you feel every morning, talk to yourself. Voicing it out can help you understand yourself
  • Have something to look forward to every day. It can be as simple as watching a show or hanging out with a friend. Set a reward for yourself each day

And that sums up my very first therapy session. Did it change me? Maybe. I did walk away with new knowledge. So what did I think of therapy?

Therapists only know what you reveal to them. The quality of their advice is going to be based on how much or what you let them know. If you don’t give them anything to work with, they won’t be able to help you much.

After my first experience, I’ve concluded that it’s not something I would pay so much for but because I get it for ‘free’, I wouldn’t mind going back again. Maybe I’d try other therapists just to see how different it can be.

For now, I’ll try practicing what the therapist suggested and see if it helps me with my work. I’ll report in a few weeks, hopefully with good news.

In the meantime, here’s a related song that features the Number 1 Hot New Band, Hot Mulligan. Happy Mental Awareness Week (one month late)!

Spooky Bad Vibes

I was reminded it was the month of the hungry ghost yesterday as I was walking home and saw people lighting joss sticks on fire by the side of the road. Maybe I did something terrible – like step in ghost poop and walked all over a ghost altar (I did neither of those things) but I’ve been having a terrible month so far.

You know one of those months where life keeps throwing punches when you’re already down? August has felt like that to me. However, I’m also aware of cognitive biases like negativity bias and recency bias. My month couldn’t have been all that bad right?

Since I have nothing better to do (that’s a lie) and I really wanted to write a blog post before the month ended, I sat down and drew up a table of good and bad things that happened to me this month, similar to what I did in January.

August 2023

Bad ThingsGood ThingsNeutral Things
Fell sick before my Bangkok tripHad a 5-day vacation in Bangkok
Which resulted in me not being able to equalize airplane ear when I landed. Even after returning to KL, airplane ear persisted (I still have it)
Got really high in BangkokGot really high in Bangkok
After returning to KL, visited an ENT specialist who couldn’t solve the problem and gave me medication insteadNot sure if I’m getting used to having muffled hearing or I’m getting better
The visit was expensive and my medical claim got rejected – because I didn’t have a referral letter to visit the doctor (the app refused to work when I was trying to secure an appointment)Colleague is trying to help me sort it out
Received a hospital call, asking me if I was someone’s emergency contact, which got me worried about my familyMy family turned out to be okay, not sure how the hospital ended up with my number
My credit card got charged thrice when I tried to pay for my season parking (it failed twice and worked the third time but the charges went through)My bank agreed to investigate the issue
My car’s serpentine belt literally disappeared (must’ve broken and fallen off – or eaten by rats or stolen by ghosts)Got home safely in a tow truck, belt didn’t cost that much to fix
Due to a colleague who left, I’ve been assigned a lot of new tasks at work that I have no experience withIt’s a chance for me to shine
I haven’t been able to write words for new music I’ve writtenI’ve been able to create new music
I can only do three pull upsI’ve been gymming consistently since February and I’m the lowest weight I’ve been in a long time
I’m vaping moreI smoke a lot less
I haven’t had time to gameI’ve been upskilling via online courses
My umbrella brokeI was close to home, so it wasn’t a big deal
Was rudely awakened by a spam call the other dayAs a result of the call, I woke up on time for work
I discovered Spanish Love Songs and Hot Mulligan still slaps
I finally cleaned up my room
Dr. Pepper is now available in Malaysia, in 7-Eleven nonetheless!
Moved to a swanky new office

So, am I being haunted? Nah. While there are way more negative entries than positive ones (it’s easier to remember those), it’s not so bad in retrospect. Nobody has a perfect month unless they’re dead. But then, they’re dead so it doesn’t matter. I can always look forward to the next one.

If you think you’re having a horrible month, try making a table. It could help you appreciate the good that’s going on in your life. If there’s nothing good about your life, you can cry into a pillow.

For those who need to hear something motivating, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

Embracing Change; A One-Year Check-in

When are you going to write something that’s not an advertisement for your next show?

Today, I guess.

In case you weren’t aware, it’s the third quarter of 2023. Time really flew by this year. Speaking of time, I want to write something about that in the future. Thanks, Mr. Procrastination.

So yeah, back to the date. Can you believe we’re already here? On the eve of my very first extended holiday since 2019, I thought I’d check in with you guys. All ten of you loyal visitors, thank you 🙏.

Just so you know, this post won’t have any tea. For non-responders, that’s the word my colleagues use to refer to any gossip going around the office. If you were expecting to catch some on this blog, feel free to click the X, no exit intent scripts here 🤭.

I’ve crossed the one-year mark at! It was back in May but I didn’t allocate enough brainpower to write a post then. Since I’ve got time to spare tonight, I can say something about it. Also, yesterday was the first day we moved into our brand-spanking new office! It’s a nice place.

When I first joined the company, it was a humbling moment for me. I had to throw out everything I knew about writing blogs. It was a whole new ball game. All the processes and instructions I had to follow made me feel like my previous jobs were way too easy.

I eventually got into the groove of how things worked in the content department and managed to settle into a routine. Things were fine and dandy until earlier this year I was given some unexpected news. I was told that I would be transferred to the growth department.

I was worried. Was this a performance improvement plan? Did the company want to let me go? My manager tried to reassure me, saying that I was capable of the job, which was why I was chosen. Even though I nodded in agreement, in the back of my mind there was always doubt.

I knew nothing about growth, why would they transfer me? That’s what they do to employees companies want to fire, right? Give them impossible tasks so you have a reason to let them go.

It’s just a trial – if you don’t like it, you can always come back.

But what if I failed this trial? Wouldn’t that make me unworthy of working here? If I’m not fit for one department, why would any other team want me? Illogical, I know, but my confidence was pretty low at that time. I knew I had no choice but to succeed.

So, I did what humans do best. Adapt. Or at least, I did my best to.

I won’t lie, the first month was hell. I felt as useless as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. I was constantly on my toes, expecting to be called into a meeting with my boss and told I was gonna get laid off.

The trial week ended and I was given more work to do. In addition to the tasks I had no experience doing, I had to supplement my knowledge and skills by enrolling in online courses. Thinking back, those were some pretty long weeks.

To my patient and supportive colleagues, thank you for helping me ease into the role.

After a month, it was time for my first appraisal as a member of the growth team. The moment of truth.

Why did you rate yourself so low? When I brought you in, I wasn’t expecting magic. I just wanted to see consistent improvement from you and you’ve shown me that.

Those words allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. I wasn’t a massive failure and still had a future in the company. Phew.

I survived the rest of the first year, officially as a member of the growth department, and was bestowed a new title. Sweet.

Although I haven’t fully settled into the growth team or fallen into a routine – yet; I doubt it’ll be any time soon as I’ve got plenty to learn. However, I am still around and should be for the foreseeable future (barring some unfortunate circumstances) and that makes me happy.

Congratulations on the new office, This marks an exciting step forward towards a promising future. Interestingly, we can now claim to be closer to the stars than we were a year ago — courtesy of our towering position on the 41st floor 🚀🏙️.