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7x Top Writer (Sept 2021). I am a Consultant by training. Now, I run start-ups. Simplicity is my mantra. I think, I write, I am.

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.
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. …

Running | Health and Fitness

Running brings joy to me. I feel light on my feet. I feel invincible. Always.

A girl running at night.
Image by holdosi from Pixabay

Nothing beats a good run after a difficult day at work and at home.

Of course, I am biased towards running. I love running. I see myself as a runner exploring the world in my running shoes. One day, perhaps. One day.

I almost immediately feel light the moment I start. It feels incredible knowing that I am traveling fast with no load on my shoulders. That will be true for the next hour of forward movement and relentless progress.

“Never underestimate the power that one good workout can have on your mind. …

Editorial Op-Ed | Of Reading & Writing

Writing is a skill set that follows us wherever we go and will stick with us through thick and thin.

A writer typing.
Image by waldryano from Pixabay

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

William Faulkner

Reading is enjoyable. Your eyes perform the heavy lifting while your mind engages with the unbelievable.

Writing is hard work. Tremendous effort is required to give birth to the words nestling in your head. We hit the backspace button more than we press enter or spacebar.

It is not easy to always put the customer first because our interests may conflict. But when we do, great things happen. This book taught me the long-term value of putting customers’ success before my own.

An executive holding up a cardboard that says ‘Innovation’.
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

“Even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there is no expert gatekeeper ready to say, “That will never work!” And guess what — many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity.”

- Invent & Wander

I have to admit. I love this paragraph because it is simple and elegant.

There are well-meaning gatekeepers in the office, in business, and at home. And I appreciate their feedback. At the same time, the best test indeed comes from the market.

No experts or gatekeepers…

While we may not see ourselves as salespersons, we can learn from them to sell our words better

A paper script with strikethroughs and a red pen.
Image by Anne Karakash from Pixabay

If you are like me, you believe salespersons are obsessed with securing their commissions and nothing else.

This line of thinking stuck with me since I started working. It is an accumulation of first-hand experience working beside incentive-driven colleagues.

One day, Shirley entered my workplace. She left a deep, direct impression on me on Day 1. Shirley came over to my desk, shook my hand, introduced herself with confidence, and got interested in what I do before she continued her office tour.

Hours later, I would receive her email addressed directly to me. …

The Next-Generation Internet

Web 3.0. is a current concept-in-motion. While there is no specific definition for Web 3.0., it does point us to the potential of the World Wide Web.

Monitors connected to the internet.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Web 3.0. represents the next stage evolution of the World Wide Web.

And that invites the following questions:

  • What exactly is Web 3.0.?
  • How does it impact what we do?

Because Web 3.0. is a constantly evolving concept-in-motion, understanding it requires both research and practitionership. Painting the big picture first is necessary to understand Web 3.0.

Treat it like The Lord of The Rings trilogy, if you will. We have to start reading the classic from Book 1 to comprehend the complicated web of developments leading to Sauron’s demise in Book 3.

Let us begin with an appreciation of the…

Aldric Chen

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