Skip to main content

Reality Check: Update on Progress

So earlier in the year I resolved to write about something on a weekly basis. Unfortunately I have failed that particular resolution. I thought I would have been able to write about something once a week -- that I would be able to get time to write about something interesting to me for any given week. Unfortunately it's not the time that's the problem: it's the motivation. I have found that more and more I did not need to write about what I thought more now that I think and read more than I need to express myself. I have found that in the past two months I had little need to share my thoughts about the world. However though now I find myself writing about not writing which is a little bit of an oxymoron. Let me share with you a few reasons why.

I wanted to try something new, some sort of experiment. I wanted to see whether I can focus on a few things and try and excel in these activities and areas that I focus my attention on. I lined up my priorities and my goals and listed them down. Here's the list of priorities in descending order (most important to least important):

  1. Improved Health and Well Being -- this is so that I can have a happier and healthier life that I can share with my family and friends.
  2. Greater Influence -- even though I'm already working in the most awesome tech company in the world, I still want to have greater influence in the communities I am a part of.
  3. Richer Experiences -- being in a very nice country like Australia and having the opportunity to travel to the US in a fairly regular manner gives me ample time and opportunity to have richer experiences alone or with family.
  4. Deeper Connections -- having moved from the Philippines to Australia I'm looking to invest in building deeper connections with people around me here.
  5. Sharing Thoughts -- since I believe nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, I thought I would share more of my thoughts just because I can.
If you notice in that list, sharing my thoughts is last on the list. Let me get back to that.

The first thing in the list is that I found that I am now very much more focused on improving my health and well being (I am now down to 88 kilograms since my last public disclosure of 90kg). That's not much changed but if you consider that I started at 94kg that's 6kg down and I'm also getting stronger. Just yesterday I did a 10.58km run that is the newest personal distance record so far. Since I last started writing about my health, I had dropped down to size 34 jeans (from a size 36). Next steps for me are to be able to consistently do the 10km runs for three times a week. My next weight goal is 85kg which I may be able to hit in the next month.

The second thing on the list is greater influence which translates directly to "leveling up". I had recently become an alternate representative of Google to the ISO C++ Committee (which held its most recent meeting in beautiful Kona in Hawai'i). There's a lot of work from my end to do with regards to getting more influence in the other communities I'm a part of but I'll definitely report if there's something worth noting.

Richer experiences are definitely important to me now more than ever. I find that the recent (on-going) exercise of being away from my family is something that reminds me how important having rich experiences with people you love is. Especially now that my daughter is growing up really quickly, I'm definitely going to have to be present in her life.

Deeper connections are really hard to do now especially since I have just learned that I may really have been an introvert all these years. I've always been under the assumption (and under the constant pressure) that for someone to be effective that this person would have to be outspoken, charismatic, a great communicator, and is the life of the party. Growing up I found that school and almost every institution I went to and became a part of encouraged (and almost required) that everyone be expressive, outgoing, and generally extroverted to get ahead. Now I realize that I may have been fighting too hard (getting clinically diagnosed with depression at one time in my youth) to be something I'm not. This talk by Susan Cain about the power of introversion at TED made me realize that I've been fighting too hard and that I may really have just liked individual sports, reading, writing, thinking, and contemplating -- and that it wasn't wrong to be an introvert. Now I'm not going to try too hard with this but I definitely do intend to cultivate deeper connections with the connections I already have.

In the same line of thinking I have found -- almost instantly -- that sharing my thoughts immediately become something that's less of priority. I was under the notion that going public with my thoughts and ideas would be helping others like me who did a lot of introspection (but not public introspection). I thought that was the way to go. Unfortunately now I see the value of that less and less. That some people do prefer to be quiet most of the time and the pressure of having to share your thoughts with the world is largely unnecessary most of the time. Now I'll only write when I feel like there's something I would really like to share.

I am under no illusion whatsoever that there's a lot of people reading my writing. Unfortunately I still feel that I'm holding myself to a higher standard and using this blog as my personal testimony -- that setting your goals, continuous learning, and being transparent to everyone are important acts and values worth doing and keeping.

Thanks for reading. No promises on when the next update will be, but I do appreciate your time.


  1. I think 5 goals at the moment is just enough for anyone. Any more than that and you'll be stretched out thin.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Writing Again

It's 2019 and I just realised that I've not written on this blog for a long while. I feel a little bad about this so I'm picking it back up again. More importantly, I've limited my social media to just Twitter (I've deleted all my Facebook-related accounts) and will be writing more on the blog instead of engaging in other social media sites. If you want to reach me directly, you can also reach me through my account for encrypted communication. If you have my phone number, you can also contact me through Signal. Quite a number of things have happened in the past few years and here's a quick update on things that I can share:

I've been working on XRay, a function call tracing system now part of the LLVM project. This took a good two and some years of my time at Google.Most recently I've moved to the Chrome Operations Team still here in Google Sydney. I can't give specifics yet of what I'll be working on, so stay tuned.There've been c…

A Passion Project

I was so moved today by the prospect of a passion project that I took some time on a Friday night to get it done. Let me present the #RedJeans project over at I've found myself wanting to work on a project that came purely from the heart and one that was very dear to me, something that is personal, and connects with a larger community of people in the world.
The idea for came to me as a hint when I was writing up my reflection for 2018. I realised that I didn't spend quite as much time identifying with and working with a community. I did a bit of soul-searching and found that one of the activities I really enjoyed and cherished in years past is donating blood -- and I keep wondering why not more people do it. It was an idle thought but then a conversation with someone where I described why I wrote down "donate blood more often" in 2019 became an idea where instead of just me doing it, how about if I get my friends to do it too?

I left it a…


Until very recently I believed that I needed to be on top of the latest news and happenings not only in my field (computer science and software engineering) but also in as many things as I can be on top of. This meant subscribing to all sorts of magazines, newsletters, YouTube channels, Twitch streamers, watching TV and live sport events, etc. — I was on top of a lot of the latest happenings, trends, news, interesting developments. I was having fun and I felt busy. What I did not feel was particularly effective nor productive. I felt like I was consuming so much information with the thought that it might be useful someday. When I was younger this wouldn’t have been an issue but I realised that ever since I’ve started taking stock of what I’ve been spending my time on, that a lot of it I’ve been spending just staying on top of things that I really didn’t need to be on top of. This article is about some of the realisations I’ve made in the course of exploring this issue of “FOMO” or th…