Writer, not a writer. Can write, cannot write. Want to be, maybe. Coherently incoherent. Believer of complex simplicity.

Author standing at the balcony of a beach resort.
Author standing at the balcony of a beach resort.
Image contributed by the author. This is me on a family vacation in Bintan.

Let me start with a confession.

I got myself into a flux.

I cannot write yet I do. What attracted me wasn’t the act of writing. I wanted an avenue to extract the mess from my head. Writing helps, or so I thought.

Writing did not clear the mental mess without creating new ones. Great. Now, I have 2 problems. The never-ending mental mess created by writing and a new one which is an addiction to write.

Whoever recommended me to write ought to be shot.

I write, but I cannot.

My tenses are odd. I have an overriding preference…

I trust my struggle.

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

Writing is tough. I salute everyone who writes for a living. It requires a monumental effort to extract that little idea in our heads and give birth to them in visible form. This effort goes beyond the use of alphabets, sentences, paragraphs, and expressions. Beyond that, coherence matters.

I struggled a lot in school when it comes to languages. In Singapore, we had to slog through the first 10 years of our education learning 2 languages. The first one is the national working language, and that is English. The second one is our Mother Tongue, which is Chinese for me.

Just being brutally honest.

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

I learned a lot from my Aunt during my growing-up years. She is very different from my Mum. So different, in fact, that I doubted their sisterhood many times. My Mum embraced the narrative of the average. My Aunt did not. My Mum believed in being contented with life. My Aunt pushes the envelope of possibility.

I was drawn to my Aunt because I was never happy with what I had. I wanted more. I wanted to prove that I am a cut above the rest, and I wanted people to recognize me for it. …

Big mistake if you do.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

It is easy to mistake one for the other. They appear alike, especially from the perspective of a third party. However, there is a difference between temporary retreating from the noisy surroundings and not wanting anyone else to enter into our world.

I have been accused of anti-social behavior for the longest time. That is a third-party view that is inaccurate. Let me explain why.

I do find the world outside my personal space to be noisy. And I think that is so by default. I like to think, read, and observe. …

Letting loose for a day.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

I am writing this story for myself because I needed it. I wanted to experience the freedom of writing what I want to, without receiving any private notes from editors. And for that matter, rejection emails. I understand that it is necessary to improve my craft daily, though there are times where I needed to do things my way.

We work for our keep. We write to grow a side income, and in the process, getting to know people in the circle and carve a niche for ourselves. …

Of Postures and Positions

Solving the mystery of our disappearing necks

A young lady massaging the back of her neck.
A young lady massaging the back of her neck.
Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

I saw a giraffe with a short neck That was sad Or a deer

- Sad, a song by Bo Burnham

If I am a giraffe mistaken for a deer, I will be devastated too. Our necks give us height. The longest human neck ever recorded was 40 centimeters (15.8 inches) long. The average neck is closer to 10–12 centimeters (3.9–4.7 inches) in length.

Imagine losing 12 centimeters of your total height. A male standing at 1.80 meters tall will be shrunk to 1.68 meters. That is a lot of vertical real estate!

How can we rescue our necks and…

Editorial Newsletter | Of Reading and Writing

Because bad days are common and a good day is rare

A label saying ‘No Bad Days’.
A label saying ‘No Bad Days’.
Photo by Jason Barone on Unsplash

Dear Writers,

Maybe you are having a bad day. And maybe, you are struggling to get your fingers flying on the keyboard.

I know how that feels because I am feeling exactly the same as I write this editorial newsletter. Bad days and great days are determined by our emotions. We are productive on a good day and barely surviving on a bad day.

It is on bad days that intense focus gets things done. Consistency delivers value only when we crank out the work necessary for a 1% daily increment and improvements. Being emotional thwarts that.

In this editorial…

Investment | Money | Wealth

It has everything to do with judgment and making the right decisions

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In a 1994 commencement speech at the University of Southern California, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger revealed one lesson, called the “20-slot” rule, that he says that Buffett loves to teach when lecturing at business schools.

- CNBC Power Players, Warren Buffett loves teaching this ’20-slot’ rule at business schools — and it’s not just about getting rich

Invaluable lessons from Billionaires have nothing to do with get-rich-quick schemes. They focus a lot on making the right decisions.

Warren Buffett does it. Mark Cuban does it.

When we think long and hard about every decision we have to make…

Popular Psychology

There are tell-tale signs all over — They are just hard to notice in our daily lives

Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass.
Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

While historians are not entirely sure where or when deception detection practices originated, it is clear that humans have been trying to figure out how to tell if someone is lying for centuries.

- Deception Detection

Evolutionary psychology taught us one important lesson. Humans are annoyed by deceit. The second lesson? We go all out to find ways to detect them.

We do not want to be lied to.

This is a beautiful story of human history.

In 1000 BC, suspects in China were forced to fill their mouths with rice upon suspicion of a crime. They were then tasked…

When things get too complicated for the common man — Simplify

A busy street with MacDonald’s in the background.
A busy street with MacDonald’s in the background.
Photo by Uzenk Doezenk on Unsplash

Do the right thing as marketers to build trust.

— Jon Dick, VP Marketing, HubSpot

Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. We know that growing up. We should not cheat, steal, and/or lie.

We avoid doing the right things because life intervenes. The child who steals food has parents who are out of jobs and a loss at what to do. Such stories are everywhere.

Yet, some businesses strive to do the right thing. We can see that in their marketing campaigns. They do not ever talk about how great their products and services are.

Aldric Chen

I am a Consultant by training. Now, I run start-ups. I write about Money, Technology, Business, Writing, and Communication. I believe in Simplicity.

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