Gamification

Have you ever been so demotivated, and you just don’t want to do anything, although you have some plans and to do list? 
Then you try to find motivational quotes on the internet, but end up getting distracted by it for the rest of the day, until you will say the old same excuse: I’ll do it tomorrow.

In my experience, I even lose motivation in doing what I love such as writing, many times. I just can’t write, although I have thought of many cool ideas and stuffs.

Now let’s try some great tips on motivation which I got from Stephen McCranie, the author of popular webtoon called Space Boy. He says the key to finish every task and overcome challenges in life is “Gamification”. It’s about using the same principles that make games fun so we can make work fun! This is exciting because if you can make something fun, you can get it done.

First, you need to know the rules to win. You need to know your plan and the more specific your plan, the more motivated you will be! For me, it’s about knowing myself more and prepare strategic and back up plan so I won’t fall into procrastination. 

Most of the time we tend to rely on willpower, which is only happens in our mind. But a book will not be done by just thinking about it. We don’t need to make everything complicated and distracted by our own mind. Instead, we can train our mind to be resilient against any distractions. Don’t rely on willpower, but use all of your skillpowers. 

For example, after having learned about my problems on writing, I came up with my own gameplans. I usually just write outlines of what I want to write, then I’ll let my skillpowers do the task, be it my knowledge from writing courses, vocabulary-memorizing, and fast-typing. I use my skillpowers as my allies, so I won’t be outnumbered by distractions. But if the distractions can defeat my allies, I already have my back up fortress. It’s the list of reasons to change my life, that I created by myself because I need them to be relatable with my situations. They could be silly, like “I want to give a speech to million of audiences”, or “I want to collect many moments of victory in my life.” Using all of your skillpowers and gameplans will help you to believe more in yourself, so you will not be defeated by distractions. 

Secondly, if fun is to flourish, it needs constraints. The more constraints we place on something, the easier it is to see what is at stake and what we must do. And that is incredibly motivating. 

‘By making my progress tangible, I had tapped into the power of real-time feedback. In a game, a scoreboard makes progress tangible by tracking the points. Athletes need only glance at the scoreboard to see how close they are to winning. Build some kind of scoreboard to track how close you are to reaching your goals. Updating a log chart or excel sheet can give you real-time feedback on your progress and be quite encouraging!’

A practical boundary to put on a project is a time constraint. A deadline is a type of time constraint, but often we set deadlines so far into the future it takes the fun out of work. “Why work now? I’ve got two months left.” However, Who would want to play a two month long basketball game? Isn’t basketball most exciting with only two minutes left on the clock? Or two seconds?

Stephen recommends trying a smaller time constraint. Whisper to yourself, ‘On your mark, get set, GO!” and start the clock. Race to finish that task before the buzzer sounds! 

Just focus on small time tasks, 30 to 60 minutes to 2 hours, and doing the best today  so you won’t be overwhelmed by all the big resolutions. Therefore,  at the end of the year you will see all of your ‘done today’ coins in one big jar and you’ll say you made it! Let’s not count the days, but collect every great moment this year, so we won’t be asking “where have the days gone?” anymore. Happiest new year to you all!

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Simple Happiness


These last couple months have been really hard for me. I left a job that I wasn’t quite fond of, but it gave me much free time to do my “so-called side projects”, the luxury of free traveling and not required me to go to the office. But then I just jumped out into corporate job to fuel my impulsive curiosity and I was crippled by regret.
People might say that I am ungrateful or just being negative all the time. I will take the latter, concluding that I am one of the weaklings. I often see problems, especially at work, as burdens, not opportunities to grow. I got a job with flexible schedule, but the money wasn’t enough for me. Then I got a stable income by working behind the desk, and I got bored. Either I am too lazy to live or I just don’t live in the present. I’ve never felt enough and content to move on.

Negativity can be big and bigger if we keep feed them. Xandria Ooi, a motivational speaker once said, “Jealousy, rage, bitterness, negativity can rattle so loud in our ears, in our soul, that we can’t see or hear anything else.”

If we look at people with disabilities and they try hard to change their life and eventually succeed, we will absolutely find that inspiring. We will send our best supports and prayers to them.

Trying to fix our bad habit is no different than those inspiring people, so why would I be ashamed to admit that I have many flaws and vulnerable? Why can’t I encourage myself to be stronger and better? Like Xandria said, eat your vegetables, even though you don’t like it. But you know it’s good for you. Read self help book. Go travel. Laugh with your friends. Learn new skills. Let critics build you, and don’t make space for hate. Breaking the old habit is so damn hard, because it takes work and occasionally it’s not fun. Reversion to old habits is easy, and that’s why most people quit.

I must acknowledge my problems and look deep to find the solutions, otherwise I will end up harming myself –or worse, blaming others. And for years I have been hurting myself because in my mind, jealousy can turn to hate. However, I no longer choose to volunteer carrying the hate around. Because keeping the hate and hoping that the person you hate will suffer, is like drinking poison and waiting others to die. It’s useless and exhausting.

Peter Sage said “Your body and mind can adapt accordingly to your environment. Whatever your choice, going to McDonalds or the gym, your body will do what it’s meant to do and it will ADAPT. But so does your MIND.” So just choose the environment that will make you constantly think positively, not the other way around like you used to be. It’s that SIMPLE.

That’s why I began to write here, as a reminder of someone trying to let go of all the past behind, and to live in the present. To remind me that I am strong enough to seek help, to find the way to program myself to be positive. And no one can break me as long as I have a conscious and healthy mind. Have a nice day, everyone!

About Getting Older

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Not quite relevant with the topic, I just love cat photos. (Source: deviantart)

It took me a while and feels like forever to write this piece. I know that I’ve just turned 27 last month, but I couldn’t think of something worth writing about this birthday. Besides that I feel like I got no progress in my life, I also kinda certain that I have made a wrong decision related to my career. However, “those who make no mistakes are the ones who do nothing”, so I thought by writing about my mistake could inspire other people about making decisions.

“If I could turn back time…” “If I had the resources and supports to achieve my goals…” These kind of things always torture me as if they lock me with “regret chains”. The point is, I’m currently regretting what I thought was a career breakthrough: After being a journalist for 3,5 years, I jumped and took a job offer as an External Communication in a subsidiary of a state-owned enterprise. (In my country, state-owned enterprises are considered best companies to work in, and that’s the old paradigm that still exists but not relevant anymore).

I’ve just realized that I can’t simply go to office and work. Sitting in a cubicle for about 10 hours (or more) is like being jailed, because my mind will wander and thinking about moving. Maybe it’s only because I get used to moving to several places a day and get free drinks and beverages. I know I have to be grateful for everything God has given to me, I have a steady job and I just need to steal some hours of my leisure time to writing. Sometimes it’s just simple things, like if you want to be good in writing, you have to make time to actually type the words, not just thinking.

I feel silly that I’ve been complaining about not having enough time to do things that I love because this new job. Because hell, I didn’t write more posts either when I had a lot of free time in my previous job. The problem is I am too easily depressed and demotivated by the fact that most of my friends’ careers have taken off more than my own. Normally, I should turn that jealousy into positive motivation, not wasting my time looking up at the great things that will come my way and planning my future happiness and not nearly enough time looking down and thinking about how badly I used to want so many of the things I currently have.

Time is precious, and we all get the same amount of 24 hours a day. I should be grateful and not let my mind wanders around like a dementor. It doesn’t consume other people’s happiness, but it sucks out my soul. I am glad I can have all the time and access to learn and develop my writing, and to improve everyday if I only I can tame my mind.

“Happiness is a state of mind, which can be independent of feelings.” The quote by Xandria Ooi, a motivational speaker who gives concise and commanding talks that I’ve been enjoying and greatly benefiting from. One of her talks, “Pleasure and happiness”, reminds me in a bold way that I do have control to make my life to be happy and meaningful.

“Our lives are filled with challenges, problems, frustrations, disappointments, illnesses… so if we think “I’ll be happy when my life is free of this problem or burden”, then we’re just going to spend 90% of our time not happy. Because the truth is that as long as we’re human, our lives are never be absolutely absent of problems or challenges.

So as long as we have a conscious mind, we can practice building the strength of the mind so that it sees the positive in every situation. We need our minds to be in the best possible state, to be healthy and positive, so that even through the challenging times, we are not slaves to it.”

Life will be much much easier if we can be the master of our mind. And the true winner in life is the ones who have conquered no other but their own minds.

I hope by getting older I could also getting wiser, and able to appreciate life, and embrace its challenges. If we can see problems from different perspectives, we will see they are challenges that are for us, not against us. And I promise I won’t ever give up in pursuing happiness by doing what I love – writing, and I hope I can help others with my experience. Doing what you love require work ethics. I know it’s damn hard, but the only impossible journey is the one that you don’t take. So keep creating new moments and learning new lessons everyday from your great life, you just have to train your own mind to see the good in everything.

Kimi no Na wa, a heart-clutching adventure of finding the ‘star’

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Image: IMDB

I’m so excited to review Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name) because it’s another Makoto Shinkai’s movie which is currently topping the Japanese box office.

Since I’ve watched Shinkai’s most popular work, 5 Centimeters Per Second, I always consider his films as visually sumptuous with beautiful sceneries. They always look real and picturesque, and hit me in the feels department. No wonder I found that some reviewers called Shinkai’s films as “5 Wallpapers Per Second”

Kimi No Na Wa depicts a strange story of body swapping. Usually, the audience might think that the story will be developed into romance connection between a boy and a girl. But this ain’t the same. Because the girl, Mitsuha, lives in a beautiful small mountain town far away from Tokyo, where the boy, Taki resides. The mysterious body swapping lead them to a journey of knowing each other, beautifully crafted with elements of history, culture, even astronomical (you can see from the comet on the poster).

The story pacing is a lot faster than other Shinkai’s films, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole 1,5 hours of this masterpiece. While some reviewers stated that the film was overrated and just another eye-candy piece, I think the vividly-splendid visual plays a big role in touching the audience. The small city of Hida, which is located in Gifu Prefecture and was used as the inspiration for the location of Mitsuha’s small town, is now being visited by tons of the film’s fans.

There might be some questions left unanswered, but I prefer to enjoy how they adorably becoming to understand each other by leaving messages on a note, a smartphone, even writing on their hands (because the body-swapping occurs randomly, after they fall asleep). I must say that the title, Your Name, says it all: it catch your interest, and once you unfold it scene by scene, you will experience a heart-clutching adventure of finding the soulmate.

The Adderal Diaries: Stories from edited memories

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Stephen Elliot (James Franco) thinks his father is the villain of his story: from the constant domestic abuse to cheating that he believes were the cause of his mother’s death.
However, those bad stories aren’t that maligned after he transform them into books, combined with creativity and editing. He turned those depressing memories into publishing contracts that allows him to live in a fancy apartment and whatever he needs to keep his juice flowing.

As a writer with dark past, Stephen overcomes his ‘writer’s block’ with unusual tricks. Besides indulging himself with adderals and other drugs, he can’t escape from his addiction with masochistic sex, assisted by some prostitutes.

Of course the extreme sex taste destroys his relationship with a fearless and independent New York Times reporter, Lana. She left him immediately after Stephen requests to choke him in bed until he passes out. Then, while Lana gets panicked, he suddenly wakes up and tells her ‘I love you.’

The writer’s block seem to swell as Stephen’s father, Neil (Ed Harris) crushes his book reading and tells everyone those stories are bullshits. Neil doesn’t deny that he is a bad father, but Stephen was a troubled and self-destructive kid who could damage his surroundings.

Things get tough as Stephen loses his contract after failing to meet the deadlines because he was busy following a trial of Hans Reiser, a man who’s accused of killing his wife and mother of their two kids. I think Stephen tries to dig deeper about daddy’s issues and he finds resemblance on the case. But instead of focusing on giving his father a chance to make amends, he blows it all because he’s accustomed to edit memories and attempt to kill his own father in his books.

However, the story of Reiser isn’t developed enough and seems incoherent with the movie plot. The scenes of Stephen and Neil arguing over who’s the demon and who’s the victim are well-acted, and fairly depict how complex their relationship and memories are.

Overall, as someone who always fancies films with writer as the main lead, I quite enjoyed it. It could’ve been better if the movie could focus on Stephen’s recovery from traumatic childhood and how writing or story telling could change his life.

“Why are we so quick to see memory as unreliable in other people but never in ourselves?
I know I’m guilty of editing. I think we all are, if we’re honest with ourselves.
My father and I have argued for so long over who was the victim and who was the villain.
That it never occurred to me to ask whether I wanted to be either of those things. Or which roles I’ve played in someone else’s narrative.
Maybe it’s for the best that things fell apart. I want to cast myself as someone else this time. Someone better.” 

~ Stephen Elliot