How to Run for a Better Life

Do you know what I do when I’m having a bad day? I run.

Do you know what I do when I’m bored? I run.

Do you know what I do when I’m tired? Again, I run.

Before you accuse me of being a sports-junkie who spends his waking hours in the outdoors, let me confess to you that:

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21

Summer Goal #2: Build a Mobile App

Introducing Norris ‘Lame’ Jokes 😀

My second goal for this summer was to build a mobile app from scratch.

I have had a little tinkering with Android development before but I never considered it to be a fast way to develop a mobile app. So I started looking for some alternatives.

Thankfully, I came across Flutter, Google’s new mobile framework for developing native apps for both Android and iOS using one codebase. The promise was exciting enough that I jumped right in and started reading some tutorials.

Flutter uses the Dart programming language. I’ve had some experience with Java so picking up Dart wasn’t a problem since they both have similar syntax.

But what I loved most about Flutter was the hot-reload functionality that allows you to see the changes of your UI without having to rebuild your app. It was really mind-blowing (if you’ve tinkered with native Android development before you’ll understand what I mean).

Introducing Norris Jokes

After playing with flutter and dart for a while and getting a taste of them, I decided it’s time to use my new skills and build something.

I came across a GitHub repository containing a list of APIs classified by categories. Scrolling down, an API called Chuck Norris Jokes API caught my eye.

Basically, what it does is returning a random lame joke every time you make a request to the API.

After brainstorming a little, I came up with the idea for the user experience: The app would deliver a new joke every time the user taps the ‘Chuck!’ button or swipes left/right. He can also share a joke using the Share button in the AppBar.

I said ‘Sounds good!’, cracked my fingers, and went to work.

I hacked the UI in under an hour and concentrated on the back-end stuff for most of the time.

I learned a lot along the way: how to make an asynchronous call with Dart, parse JSON data, handle exceptions, and show feedback widgets to the user.

I finished the app the same evening. I swear to god if I’d used native Android development, I wouldn’t be able to finish it the same day (looking at you XML and Kotlin).

Dart was a pretty easy language to learn. After learning about its own quirks and concepts, I found myself intuitively coding with Dart without relying on tutorials.

The source code is here.

In the end, although the app doesn’t do much, I’m still proud of my first baby and looking forward to my next projects with Flutter 😉

See you in the next post.

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I drew a web comic

This is my first webcomic.

I finished it in one day and learned a lot while working on it. I never thought that I could draw a webcomic before especially that I don’t draw well (heck the stick characters) but I did it anyway!

I don’t own a scanner nor a graphics tablet. I drew the characters on paper and scanned it using my phone’s camera (Thank you CamScanner, you’re a money lifesaver). I then used Photoshop to add some color and text.

It’s amazing how, if you want to do something so badly, you’ll find a way to do it. Never underestimate the power of a determined soul 😀

So this was my first challenge for this summer. I took it off my bucket list (btw, I’m using an awesome app called Buckist to store my bucket list items).

Now I am ready to tackle other challenges.

I will update the blog soon.

Thank you!

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Be Okay with Being Single

Why are we ashamed of staying single?

In a world where romance is injected in pretty much everything from novels and movies to pop songs and video games, the thought of staying single can terrify us. Why would someone stay single after all? Isn’t life meant to be lived happily ever after?

While I agree that to feel loved is indeed pleasurable, I disagree with our rush to find love. 

Great and meaningful relationships, those that build you up and make you happier, take time to develop and flourish. Shallow relationships, those that drain your energy (and wallet), are the easiest to start and the quickest to end.

And because of that, a lot of us choose to stay single.

But contrary to what society wants us to believe, staying single has nothing to say about you. And It never means that you lack options to choose from. Don’t feel pressured to prove that wrong by settling for anyone who comes in your way.

Being single is a choice you can make. And if you already made it, I congratulate you 😀

Why? Because being single is so liberating!

You don’t have to worry about the drama that comes with having someone who tracks your every move better than your phone’s GPS.

You don’t have to spend hours worrying about why your partner doesn’t love you anymore when the poor guy/girl is just having a bad day.

You don’t have to cancel an activity that you enjoy just because your partner finds it boring.

There’s no limit to what you can do. If you want to travel the world, no one can stop you or oblige you to stay. The world is yours to take and see.

You’re not dependent on anyone but yourself to feel good. You don’t have to find excuses to why you 

When you’re single, all you have is yourself. You date yourself. You take care of it. You learn to not depend on anyone but yourself.

When you choose to be single, your mind turns all its focus toward other aspects of your life that need your attention the most: your health, your family, your friends, your career, and your passions.

And when you focus on improving your life, you become more interesting, confident and independent. And guess what? All these traits are attractive to the opposite sex!

I’m not saying that being in a relationship is bad and a waste of time. It can be fulfilling if you find the right person, but it certainly won’t make you happier than you are right now.

Happiness is something you create for yourself. No one in this world can give it to you, not even your girlfriend/boyfriend. Forget about all the crappy romantic shit out there that are trying to sell you this idea.

Live your single life and make the most out of the freedom it offers you. Being single gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams and learn more about yourself without worrying about pleasing another person. 

It’s only when you become a happy and independent free bird that fate will unite you with a cute girl or guy who will sweep you off your feet and add

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day. And while couples are saving money for a present, worrying about what they need to wear, what restaurant they will eat at, or questioning whether they truly love each other in the first place or not, I take the pleasure to end this post by wishing a Happy Valentine’s day to all the single souls out there ❤

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I’m on a Quest to Find 100 Beautiful Little Things That Make Life Amazing

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

― Helen Keller

A lot of people believe that you need money to experience the beauty of life.

But I doubt that. In fact, I believe that the greatest pleasures in life are within our reach if we just give them our attention.

I’m going to prove that by looking at my daily life to find 100 beautiful things that make life amazing and cost nothing.

I’ll be sharing everything I find here on my blog and facebook profile (#100beautifulthings) so stay tuned.

Thank you 😀

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Ditch the Normal Talk and Go Deeper!

Do you want to have interesting conversations that will blow your mind away?

Do you want to build trust with people and connect with them?

If you answered yes, then go deeper.

For the most part of my teen years, I’ve always complaint why my conversations with people were dull, meaningless, and shallow.

I had people with whom I could laugh, joke, and gossip all day. But deep inside me, I knew there was something missing.

As I got older, I came to realize that what was missing in these conversations wasn’t the fun. It was the depth.

Yes, they were fun to be around.
Yes, they made me laugh.
Yes, I had made great memories with them.

But I don’t remember waving goodbye to them once feeling like I gained much from our last conversation.

I knew their favorite soccer team, singer, series, and food. I knew every information about them that their ID card could provide.

But what I could never know, was them.

I could never know what made them believe the things they believed in. I could never know what were their goals and dreams. I could never know the way they saw the world. I could never know what their values were and what was important to them.

And I’d complaint why our conversations were never rich and fulfilling.

As I matured, I became comfortable with deep talk. Every time I meet someone new, I look at them as an opportunity to learn new things. Just like a new country to discover, a new soul to explore.

I came to realize that everyone has gold hidden inside them. Your mission is to ask the right questions to find that gold.

You are more than your favorite series. You are more than your appearance. You are more than your name or accomplishments. These things don’t define you.

You are a beautiful complex creature of ambitions, fears, dreams, hopes, quirks, memories, pain, laughter, emotions, insecurities, values, and thoughts.

Why do you disgrace yourself and instead of talking about what makes you who you are, you constantly talk about studies, pop culture, other people, and all the other normal stuff?!

You’re more than that.

Everyone you meet is more than that.

Why don’t you take the time to get to know them for real? Why don’t you dig for the gold when it’s right in front of you?

Do it. Ditch the normal talk and ask the right questions that will result in the most amazing interactions you’ll ever have.

If you need some examples of deep questions, here are some I personally use:

  • What are your ambitions?
  • Tell me more about your childhood
  • What’s your definition of success?
  • What’s the one thing that gives you joy the most?
  • When was the last time you cried? Why?
  • Are you happy? Why?
  • What’s your weirdest habit?
  • What was the happiest/saddest moment of your life?
  • What’s the one thing that scares you the most?
  • How do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

These questions can’t be answered with a yes or no. Nor can they be answered with a fact. The only way to answer them is through emotion. By opening up and laying down all the masks we learned to wear, our true selves shine, our mouths stop talking and start translating what the heart says, and at that moment, two human beings connect.

If you noticed, these questions are uncomfortable to ask. Especially if you compare them to a “what’s up?” or a “how’re your studies?”. But like every uncomfortable thing in life, all the growth and fulfillment lay just beyond it.

I’ve asked the questions above to a lot of people and still do. And I can’t describe the amazing conversations I had that resulted from taking the time to find the treasure in everyone.

For I learned that human connection happens on the other side of the normal talk…

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