Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: A Message from the Future to the High School Me

Electric Car

Photo: Romain Guy

A few weeks ago, an employee resource group at work invited me to speak at an event where they would provide workshops, speakers, and competitions to girls in high school so that they could learn more about tech.

So here’s a written version of my talk, labelled “Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: A Message from the Future to the High School Me.”

Raise your hand if you want to make an impact. Take a moment to look around, and I’d like to give all of yourselves a round of applause. Thank you, thank you. That’s why I became a software engineer. Now before I go into my story, I wanted to give you an overview of what I’ll be talking about today:  1. Why I became a software engineer 2. Who should be a software engineer, and 3. What it’s like being a software engineer.

Why I Became a Software Engineer

When I was in middle school, I used to play an online game called Gaia, and Gaia means earth. In the game, everyone had profiles, and we could customize those profiles. I soon realized that I could change snippets of html and css on those profiles to make it look cool. So I charged people virtual money to customize their profiles. That was my start into learning about business and code. My first summer of high school, my brother gave me a book that taught me to be curious and want to learn. That book also made me fascinated about business.

The beauty of tech is that if you write code once, solve a problem once, in minutes your code can be online and shared with millions in the world to fix their problems. Soon I wanted to start a tech business, and in particular, I wanted to create apps. Similar to how artists want to have creative control over their music, I wanted to control the way my apps were built and not have to rely on someone else. So I decided that I’d need to learn how to code. At first I was going to be a business major, but with that desire to learn how to code, in my 2nd year of college, I decided to be a Computer Science major with a business minor.

That was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. It was also the decision that would put me through my hardest challenges and most painful times.

Who Should Be a Software Engineer

Studies have shown that women make most of the purchasing decisions in household. So it’s important for businesses to have the female perspective because women understand women the most.

Studies have also shown that women are more likely to build strong relationships and focus on teamwork at work.

So all businesses, especially tech, need women. We need women to work together on solving the hard problems, offering a women’s perspective, and working in strong teams of people.

It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how old you are, or what your background is. I believe that everyone should learn how to code because in the future, learning about coding will be as important as learning how to read. Code is in the medical field helping surgeons control robots to do surgery. Code is in virtual reality for making video games come to life. Code is in big data helping businesses understand people’s needs.

What It’s Like Being a Software Engineer

At work, I spend half my time working with my team. We meet up and learn about the business needs and engineering decisions. We learn about the business, vision of the business, and think of ways to solve those problems.

The other half of my time is spent deconstructing a hard problem into smaller problems and solving those problems using code.

Right now I spend about 40 hours a week at work. That means after work, I can do whatever I want.

My last message that I wanted to leave you with is what I would have told myself when I was in high school. I wish I knew that the hardest parts of our lives are also the ones where we grow the most. When you’re doing something that’s important to you, there will be painful moments. Don’t give up. The moments where we’re afraid, worried, and anxious – those are the moments where we can either rise and become a better version of ourselves or give up and fall to our fears.

I believe that all of you have a gift to share with the world – a talent that will make the world a better place. We need all of you to solve the world’s problems. We need all of you to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. So I want you to find a problem that you’re interested in solving, to keep working at solving those problems little by little every day, and when things get tough, remember to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

The Parallels Between Business and Dating

Alone Together

Photo Credit: Romain Guy 

I highly encourage people to dig deeper and think more about problems that really interest them. When we find a problem we’re excited and obsessed about, we’re more likely to go through with any challenges the problem comes with. We’ll go the further mile, the unbeaten path, and do what it takes because if something is important enough, almost nothing can stop us. At that point, what we’ve set out to do has become required and no longer optional. At that point, money is no longer an issue, the problem is about the greater good, and if we don’t find a way, we’ll make a way. For example, when it comes to doing the right thing, follow your internal set of values and don’t let anyone or anything deter you. That stronghold of integrity should ring true both in your personal life and in your business matters. One caveat to this persistence and tunnel-visioned focus is to still be open minded to new ideas and suggestions – especially when those external ideas come from people who care a lot about you and you care about. You never want to alienate those you love. You also never want to blindly follow a cult. Life’s too long to hurt those you love or follow a cult. Other examples of people solving something out of necessity: Elon Musk’s mission to Mars, Mark Zuckerberg’s mission to connect people and make the world more open, and Bill Gate’s mission to eradicate malaria forever. Another bonus of having such an articulate, bold mission is that you’re more likely to have other teammates who will help push you up on your way there.

Today, I’d like to focus on a problem that really interests me. This is something that I’m obsessed about and can talk endlessly with others over. It’s a topic that I don’t get to talk much about at work because it’s more personal and usually not workplace appropriate, haha. As a born introvert, a self-made extrovert, and a minority in the software world, I’m fascinated with relationships: how they form, what makes a compatible fit, and how you can use data science to improve dating. A lot of people in the tech field struggle with dating. Some of the reasons it’s so challenging for people in tech to date is because of the ratio between genders, the lack of diversity in people’s backgrounds, and the amount of time people in the field spend doing other things than socializing. Rather than joining competitive softball leagues, they’re more likely to sit at home and play in a League of Legend tournament. What research have I done and why should you even listen to me speak on this? I’ve read more books on it than the average person. Some of my favorite books on dating include ex-fratire author Tucker Max’s “Mate”, comedian Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance”, and best-selling author Dr. John Gottman’s “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”.

I’m also really interested in business. So today, I’m going to point out some of the interesting patterns that I see between dating and business. They will be listed and talked about with brevity, levity, and repitition. 1. My mind works in lists. 2. My mind also works with lots of pattern associations 3. So as you read the passages below, see if different song lyrics jump out to you.

ROI: Return on Investment – Martin Garrix

Would you fall in the name of love? In the past, people use to date for practical economic and social reasons. People of similar backgrounds would marry each other because it added to their family’s business or because it was financially and geographically convenient. In business, you’re trying to invest the most money, time, and resources in areas that matter and increase your profits, growth, and revenue. You’re also trying not to squander any time. So when you find someone worth investing in, make sure you’re getting as much as you’re giving – if not more – to each other. I will hold you in the depths of despair. In the name of love. The relationship should be a win-win and not a one-sided victory. Those deals where only one person wins don’t lead to fruitful long-term relationships because the toxic first deal poisons future deals.

Supply & Demand – The Chainsmokers

If you live in an area with high supply like college towns, larger cities, and more technologically advanced places, you’ll have a wealth of diverse, educated, single people to choose from. So if you’re living in the middle of nowhere and you keep coming across the same types of people, it’s time to move. At bars, it’s hard to get to know other potential matches because the competition and thirst from other competitors is strong. At the grocery store, people aren’t expecting to be hit on, so some of their initial barriers and suspicion for meeting new people come down. The roads ahead are paved with good intentions. So when I fall, I’ll fall to you. I just couldn’t resist.

Mitigating Risks – Eminem

Online dating has it’s perks – it’s easy to find people, you can search using keywords and filter out different types of people, and you’ll know people’s relationship intentions ahead of time, usually. However, online dating means you never actually get a vibe of how someone is like in person. So the challenge has become transitioning from an app to meeting in real life. Who knows if your potential match is a serial killer? So take precautions and be safe: meet in a public place, tell your friends where you’re going and who you’re meeting, and don’t meet unless you’ve spent a lot of time evaluating the other person online through their messages, googling them, and assessing their crafted persona. In business as an entrepreneur, you try to mitigate risks and limit the downsides as much as possible. You also never bet the farm – what’s important to you. So in dating, you need to limit how much damage the potential date can create in your life. You need to be safe because you only get one life, one shot, one opportunity – do not miss your chance to blow.

Windows of Opportunity – Linkin Park

Are your palms sweaty, and do you got Mom’s spaghetti on your shirt? Well, try to clean up and present yourself in the best possible fashion every single day. Yes, your looks, self-presentation, and social reputation matter. You never know who you’ll meet. Time is a valuable thing. Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings. Sometimes life offers you something magical and unreal. When those opportunities come your way, seize it. They don’t come again. So if there’s someone you really like, ask them out before you get old and grey with regret and self-hate.

Value Offers & Benefits – Down with Webster

The more you can bring to the table and offer, the higher price items you can afford and ask for. So work on yourself before you go to the market and see what your market value is. What that means is to continually improve yourself every single day: mentally, physically, and spiritually. The better you are, the better mate you can catch. Every day is go time, lights on, show time. I hope that you’re watching me, I hope that you’re clocking me because every second is go time. Your interview started before you even got into the room. That’s the same with your dating life. At every moment, other people are sizing you up, spitting you out, and evaluating you.

Goodness of Fit – Charlie Puth

If you really like someone and you fall in love with them, but they’ll never like you back, that’s not a good fit for either of you. There’s just some things, unfortunately, that are out of your control in this world. You can’t steal people’s hearts even if they’ve already stolen yours. You can’t make pineapples into softballs. See if you match what they need in a relationship and they match your need in a relationship. Because what was all of it for? We don’t talk anymore like we used to do. I can’t get you out of my brain. Ooh, it’s such a shame. Cause even after all this time, I wonder why I can’t move on. Don’t want to know what kind of dress you’re wearing tonight. You also need to see if both of you have similar intentions: do you not want children, are you always sober, and are you looking for a long-term relationship?

Lead Generation – Marshmello

Dating is like going through a series of interviews. You first need to meet the qualifications of the job description. Do you have the necessary skills like communication, commitment, and trust? Is your background free from jealousy and sleuthing exes? When you make the job transition, what type of baggage do you come with? What would your references say about your dating style and whether or not you’re ready to be in a relationship? What keywords are you looking for? Twenties to mid thirties, located within 25 miles, and single. I’m so alone just trying to find my way back to you. Once you pass the stacks of resume that get passed around, you’re given a chance to interview. If you blow the first date interview, it’s all over until an undefined amount of time. You’ve been passed on. If you do well, you just might get the job offer and the long-term benefits.

Personal Brand – DNCE

You don’t have to rush, you can leave a toothbrush at my place. We don’t need to keep it hush. I just, I just can’t let you go. What others say about you speaks volume. Who you are at work and what you’re known by is your personal brand. So if you have mutual friends that recommend you, it’s more likely they’ll view you with rose-colored glasses too. With your messed up hair and your feet still bare, does that leave a great impression? Make sure how other perceive you is how you want to be perceived. Make sure your style is consistent. There’s no need to play pretend.

World-Class Cost Structure – Shawn Mendes

What does it take to maintain your relationship? Are you texting, going on enough dates, and trying new things? Are you high maintenance or easy-going? The less it takes to run the show, the longer you can maintain the show. So oil up and enjoy the ride. Cause I know I can treat you better than he can. Invest the adequate resources and do your best to make the relationship consistently great. Build on your past and towards a stronger future. Let your challenges bring you together with rich history rather than break you apart. Promise I’ll never let you down.

What lattices, frameworks, and webs do you use to view the world? I’m sure your background, whatever is in, allows you to see the world with more precision because it brings to light many of the similarities that different parts of the world share. We’re more alike than we are different. Focus on our similarities and be kind to each other, folks. Don’t let hatred or darkness in. Don’t let the angry voices win. You’re better than that and you deserve greatness. You owe it to yourself. One last word from Fifth Harmony – you gotta put in work, work, work, work, work, work, work.

Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Down Below

Photo credit: Romain Guy

Those feelings of doubt that we all dread. The endless paranoia in our head. A heart of darkness or the weight of carrying the world on our shoulders. These are all universal feelings that are expected with the unknown. Stop. What if I told you that sometimes that pit in your stomach was an indicator that things were going right in the best of ways?

In this rapidly changing, unpredictable, and hyper-competitive world, there are a few principles we can adopt to make ourselves more robust. You are not helpless. You are not alone. Whatever it is you’re feeling and whichever situation you’ve been thrown in – failing a class, feeling hopeless, feeling lost – I’m sure someone else has been in a similar situation. That line in Fight Club rings true especially in our darkest moments. You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Now I want you to picture a few moments in your head. Think of some of the most gut-wrenching, life-changing moments you’ve experienced. Were they times when things were going flawlessly? Maybe now that you’re looking back, your 20/20 vision is making things look better than they seem in your memories. Now take a moment to write a few of these moments down. Are you done? Alright, good.

I believe that the worst of times also offer the best of opportunities. It’s when there’s turmoil and fire lighting our asses that we rise to meet the challenge. That’s when communities come together, the unheard become heard, and the unfinished becomes a step closer to done. Think about America’s Presidents. Washington fought in the revolution and banded the states together. Lincoln abolished slavery when the nation was divided. At the end of World War I, Wilson crafted Versailles Treaty’s “Fourteen Points”, including a point on creating a League of Nations to ensure world peace.

So if you’re ever at a turning point where you feel like the whole world is conspiring against you, think again. Maybe you’re about to experience something magical. The magic might not appear today or tomorrow or even a few weeks from now. Maybe you have to re-think your decisions, give up things you once thought were important, or change the way you view the world. Keep pushing forward, and put in the work to grow and improve. I know it’s easier said than done. You’ll get stretched to use abilities you didn’t know you had, you’ll slam against the concrete floor and be expected to get back up, and you’ll be made the butt of a joke. But one day, you might just look back on all of it and be grateful that you went through all those trying experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Because all of that will guide you to where you’ve temporarily arrived at. Where you were meant to be at a moment in time. The sum of all your decisions.

So whatever it is, the obstacle or monster ahead, may just be your great blessing in disguise. We’ve all been there, and we’ll be there again. Should you ask someone out? Should you spend two years getting a masters degree? Should you stay on the challenging, fun, and growing assignment? These are all uncomfortable questions you might have to ask yourself.

And if at times you feel weak, that’s what your support system is for. Your friends, your family, faith or spiritual belief if you have any, and your mentors.

Don’t tread lightly. Don’t wait for the world to come to you. Don’t look back with regrets. What I’m saying is to charge towards the unknown without abandon so that you can become the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.

How I Can Find Your Deepest Desires, Needs, Wants, and Perfect Date in 4 Questions

chess board

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

INDEX

full article, total read time: 4 min 49 sec

shortcut: skip to the 4-question personality quiz (ctrl or cmd + f) and then use decipher (you lazy ass…)

INTRO
Life doesn’t have to be so hard. What if you could decode and read people easily? Read people like a book as if you had a manual with all the cheat sheets and guides? Read people like a psychologist with ten-thousand hours? Do you want to know what you care about the most? Do you want to discover your superpower strengths so that you can take advantage of them and train them? Do you want to find the perfect significant other or find your greatest flaws? I can help you with that.

Why am I so obsessed with studying the human mind, human relationships, and people in general? The achilles-heel of my type (INTJ) is relationships. When I was young, I was super shy. Then, I moved countries and was forced to learn how to make friends/turn on the extrovert switch when needed. It was either that or accepting stalking people all day. I chose the first. Then, I’ve worked on my people skills ever since. Including with: running for student government (6 times…I’ll never make a great politician cause all norms could go to shit, and I really wouldn’t care), helping new students in Peer Support by being the Activities Head (all of High School), and helping new college students (3 years of college) as an RA. All of it dealt with activity planning, bringing people together, and getting people to feel comfortable/at ease with me/laughing. So that’s like…a good 7 years of practice. I wasn’t just born naturally social.

I’ve been fascinated with psychology ever since and have studied the greats (Dan Ariely, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Keirsey). I’ve read Keirsey’s book on this subject – which makes me a total SME of course, right? Oh. My coworkers also know that I love playing match-maker/cupid. It just makes me feel good to see people that I care about be happy and know that I played a part in making them happy. What brings people more joy than feeling loved? I’ve also been so horrid at reading people that it cost me a return-offer from one of my internships – oh my fucking ouch.

I spent 2 summers and countless hours (when I should have been programming) studying the human mind, psychology, and personality. I’ve filtered a 70 to 93 to 244 question test into 4 questions. I’ve quizzed more than 127 individuals while I was a Resident Assistant in college (thanks for bearing with me residents and colleagues) and adjusted my test. A test that usually takes 1-2 hours can be done in 1 minute. You see – all of this is because I’ve learned how to accentuate one of my personality group’s strengths – simplifying/filtering complex ideas. I’ve learned how to balance what comes naturally to me in each situation so that I can bring out the needed skills I lack (ex. being social even when the natural me wants to shut up and just find the nearest wall to be a decorative wall-flower on).

Here’s how I can help you. I’ve gotten together with a group of really bright, creative, and fantastic individuals. We’re making a game-changing app and we need your help. Be our advocate, mover, connector and push this app forward. In return, we will push you forward – your strengths, quirks, and the all-things-lovable-you. We’ll train you like Batman in the mountains, and we’ll bring out the best of you so that we can show this polished-gem-you to the world. We’ll even find you your perfect date. You already have all the superpowers you need for a life time. Now it is the time to uncover and utilize them.

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ACTION STEPS
ACTION STEP 1:

Do me a favor and share this blog post on your Facebook or email it to 5 of your closest friends. Screenshot it and you will be rewarded later on. 😉

ACTION STEP 2:

Take the 4-question test (1 minute or less) below manually OR just fill out the google sheet survey and skip to Action Step 4.

ACTION STEP 3:

Email me (BuildACouple{AT}gmail.com) a screenshot of your Facebook post and send me your test results from the 4-question test.

ACTION STEP 4:

Once you receive an email from me, come back to this blog post, decipher your results and comment with any questions/insights/thoughts you may have.

ACTION STEP 5:

Keep us updated with what you learn about yourself in the comments, and we’ll do our best to train you to become the best version of you that you can be. Win-win.

Recently, I’ve done this on 9 different co-workers. They find it pretty damn accurate and amusing too. It’s a fun party trick. And who doesn’t like learning more about themselves?

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THE 4-QUESTION PERSONALITY TEST

DISCLAIMER: Take this test with the mindset of who you ARE not what you want to be/want to project/idealize to be. If you seem confused between the two choices and feel like a bit of each, you are not alone. We are on a spectrum and can be close on the middle. You could be 51% introverted and 49% extroverted – I wanted to know the 51%. Here’s a way to break off which side of the spectrum you’re nearer: 1. what would your closest friends label you as? 2. which one felt more naturally like the young you before society taught you all those social obligations?

Why do I want you to share this with your friends? Two main reasons. One is that I honestly believe I can increase your quality of life exponentially by helping you understand yourself better. Second – I want as much users/app downloads as possible. 🙂

Each type has its purpose, its strengths, and its weaknesses. No type is better than the other. Just go and amplify the things that make you great.


Q1. When you were 8 and you met a stranger, were you more

A) outgoing, talkative, expressive, loud, energized, and wanting to share your thoughts with the stranger

B) reserved, quiet, listening, tired, and kept your thoughts to yourself from the stranger.

Q2. Do you like to communicate and learn about the

A) detail-oriented, how, concrete, practical, down-to-earth, things that exist in the world, and present

B) big picture, what, abstract, imaginary, up-in-day-dream-land, things that don’t exist yet, and future

Q3. Do you make life-decisions with your

A) heart, feelings, emotions, past experience, and gut

B) rational, thinking, quantitative proof, facts, and numbers

Q4.  On a summer day, when you can do whatever you want, would you rather

A) be completely spontaneous, go with the flow, and decide what to do as the day goes on

B) have some sort of structure and schedule, know what you want to do in general, and have a plan for parts of the day

OK. Now email me at BuildACouple{@}gmail.com – remember to include a screenshot of you sharing this blog post with friends on Facebook or emailing 5 people.

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DECIPHER

Yes. You could decipher this on your own by guessing or reverse-engineering…but most of the time people are REALLY BAD at guessing or understanding themselves. And one letter changes EVERYTHING. So just share the freaking article and email me, ok? Good. 🙂

NT (spirit animal = owl)

Owls care about gaining knowledge. They use technology to solve problems and care about systems and organization. Owls aspire to be like wizards and want to feel competent. They hate feeling stupid and suck at understanding people because they’re too busy spending all day inventing things in their head to go out in the real-world. Owls fit really well with dolphins because the dolphin brings the owl out of their head and fills the owl with romance, liveliness, and a huge heart.

NF (spirit animal = dolphin)

Dolphins care about helping people. They use their people-skills and likability to bring out the best in people. Dolphins aspire to be like sages, are on a self-journey to discover themselves, and want to feel like they’re improving the world. Sometimes dolphins expend too much energy helping others that they overwork themselves. They hate feeling disliked. Sometimes they annoy people with all the things they discover. But for an owl, owls find the dolphin’s puppy-like-exploration cute. Owls help ground dolphins and bring them logic, facts, and problem-solving.

SJ (spirit animal = beaver)

Beavers care about security, stable foundations, and a working-society. They use hard work, persistence, and keeping-their-head-low to make sure things run smoothly. They are the building-blocks of society and make sure society runs smoothly. They hate feeling unstable and unsafe. One thing beavers forget about is having fun. Not to worry – the fox complements that by bringing some YOLO into the beaver’s life.

SP (spirit animal = fox)

Foxes care about having fun, enjoying the moment, and living life fully. They use their clever instincts, witty remarks, and ability to play to have fun in the world. They help bring many gifts like art, music, and entertainment to the world. They hate being bored and stuck in a rut. One thing the fox forgets about is working hard and saving up. Foxes don’t plan very well for the future. But the beaver can help the fox keep accountable and make sure finances, jobs…etc are in check.

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RELATIONSHIPS

A lot of times, people are searching for the idealized sense of themselves. The rational owl for a mind-mate, the idealized dolphin for a soul-mate, the stable beaver for a home-mate, and the playful fox for a play-mate. That’s like cloning yourself and wanting the best version of yourself. But don’t date yourself. That would get real boring and competitive real fast. Date the piece to your puzzle, the yin to your yang, and the complementary figure that keeps you well-rounded. Imagine genetics. Family members shouldn’t marry family. We don’t want redundancy. We want all our bases covered.

Any type can be in a great relationship with any other type. The only caveat is that the relationship will take more work, more energy, and more patience/understanding if it’s not the natural fit/communication/want-need accommodation as stated in DECIPHER. But like any great, long-lasting relationship, relationships have their breaking points, lulls, and required work. If it’s too easy, maybe you’re bored out of your fucking mind and aren’t improving anything.

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CAREER

Each type has a natural, observable habitat. Owls are in knowledge-seeking fields like IT departments, science, engineering, and as university professors. Dolphins are in people-helping fields like HR, psychology, elementary to high school teaching, and nursing. Beavers are in stability-creating fields like police, judges, and accountants. Foxes are in creativity-inducing fields like music, art, and entertainment.

More to come? Possibly. It just depends on you, how far this app will go, and how much we can help you. So share this blog post with other people today and get started on emailing me ;).

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FAQ/MOST COMMON ARGUMENTS AGAINST THIS POST

This is a highly controversial topic and post. No shit, Sherlock! Did I expect everyone to nod and agree with everything I say? Hell no.

Well, I stand by my beliefs with a subjective, quantitative view – unless proven otherwise. It’s part of being an INTJ – I care about what WORKS and what APPLIES to the real world. Not what my ego attaches itself too. And I haven’t been proven otherwise or convinced differently in the last 2 years about this. So too bad. If you disagree, go cry to your Mom. Ask her to bake you some warm chocolate chip cookies. Tell her Olivia is a big meanie. Hahaha. But this is my blog. If you disagree, go ahead and have your own opinion and…let me keep mine.

Here’s the most common arguments I get. I’m tired of refuting them. It’s like fighting the same war for eternity. So, here they are…

1. This is not scientific

Yes it is. There’s #s everywhere. #s of how many people have taken the test and their in-person response to the accuracy (it’s really a high 90%+) of how I can describe them after hearing their response to the 4 questions. I can measure how many people agree with the non-blanketed that I have to describe people. I can describe things that even they don’t know about themselves. I can describe things that have nothing to do with the questions I asked.

2. This stereotypes people into 4 major groups and 4 letters

Absolutely. I stereotype all the time, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. What stereotyping does for me, is it cuts down the fluff. I try not to make major assumptions about a person. But some stereotypes help me understand and connect with people at a faster rate.

You’re right in that you or any other person is a lot more complex than 4 letters. This quiz is just the start. What it tells me is what your values are. Your beliefs in the future might change. But your values don’t change so much once you’re in your mid twenties. Occasionally, people might change their J/P for example if they’re fighting depression or there’s other tough situations going on in their life. But it’s temporary and the natural part of their personality is still there – just being overshadowed.

Do you enjoy talking in large groups/one on one, present/future, quantitative/sharing emotions, and plans/spontaneity. This quiz helps me figure out things you might even not know about yourself – like who you should date, where you could be a great job fit for, and what your strengths are. These 3 things alone make it completely clear that this 4-question quiz can benefit anyone.

3. There’s only 4 questions

That’s the point. If there were more than 8 questions, most people on the planet would be too fucking lazy to answer the questions. My goal is to get as many people to take action as possible. It’s like a fucking diet. If there’s 1,000 restrictions and foods that people can or can’t eat, the failure rate is a high 99+%. I’m taking out the useless moving pieces and just retaining the working ones. I’m taking out shit and only keeping the gold. Here’s a simplified equation for you to think about. TEST QUESTION ACCURACY * NUMBER OF QUESTIONS = TEST RESULT ACCURACY. So if my test questions are great at getting an accurate test result, I can have a lower number of questions. Which I aim at doing. But if my test questions are wildly inaccurate and it seems like I’m fishing for shit, then I need a larger sample size/a larger data bank of questions.

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WHY OLIVIA?

I’m your complete before and after model. I used to suck. Now I’m a bit better by my own standards, and I still make tons of mistakes – but I learn from them. I’ve studied relationships and psychology for years. I’ve put my words to practice, my practice to the road, and the road to the test. It works. I believe. Do you? Up to you. Doesn’t matter. All that matters to me, similar to most INTJ beliefs, is “does it work in reality?” In this case, the answer is a clear yes.

I’m also your standard smart-ass of an INTJ. So I’m confident in everything (almost) that I do. Sorry if I offend you. If I swear too much, you’ll see that I actually don’t swear much in person. I just swear when I’m frustrated (aka. whenever I’m at work programming). My purpose is not to offend, nor to hurt. Hurting other people is a loser’s game. There is no win-win in hurt. My intention is to be funny, blunt, honest, and objective. And I know sometimes my attempt to be funny (I’m not really funny, you see?) backfires, stabs me in the foot, and kills me…I’m still an art piece in progress. And my life is a game of chess to continually be played and improved. So I’m learning as much from you as you are from me. Really.

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END NOTES/MOVING FORWARD

What’s next? Let me give you a few real-world applications of this new insight you should have now. 1. Go on dates with people that fit your type (dolphins with owls. foxes with beavers) 2. Go on a career that stimulates what your needs and cares are (intellects for owls. people-caring for dolphins. wit/playfulness for foxes. maintaining systems for beavers). 3. Learn when to use your secondary traits/which situations to use them in (If you’re an INTJ, for example, learn when to be extroverted, detail-oriented, fuzzy-feeling-ed, and spontaneous – such as on dates…hahaha).

This is supposed to be a conversation-starter. Not an I-know-everything, my ego has inflated, and the-world-is-100%-clear now. Use this to understand yourself and the world better. Use this to start your desire for more knowledge, to better yourself, and to connect with others too. Have fun! 😉

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P.S. all photos are from one of my favorite photographers – romain guy

The One Solution Fallacy: Is It Right for You?

The One Solution Fallacy: Is it Right for You?

Most things in life don’t have a hard and fast rule. The older I get, the more clearly it seems to me that there isn’t only one solution, one truth, or one correct answer. If this was a 3-choice answer sheet, the answer would be choice 4. People have their diverse opinions. I like it better that way anyways. It makes conversations more interesting and it makes people more unique. Imagine talking only to yourself for a few days. Very boring, very fast.

Here’s some situations where people often think that there is only one solution – their solution:

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What Is Programming – The 5 Principles of Defining Programming

1. Programming is a superpower (have you seen The Matrix?) as much as it is text on a blank screen, 1s and 0s, true and false, and electric bits flowing through a wire.

2. Programming is a way of life – thinking of things as indirection (people have names and social security numbers), reliability (2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes), speed (caching the clothes you wear most often), abstractions (birds and bees make children and honey trees), and space-time tradeoffs (do I want more shit at home or more time to buy experiences that I can share with people).

3. Programming is everywhere (medical fields, corn fields, war fields) – programming is even in transportation (a poem I wrote for Union Pacific):

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Grow a 3C: How to Empower Ourselves

I always wondered why life didn’t come with instructions. Wouldn’t our lives be so much easier if someone told us what to do, where to go, and how to do it. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we knew of the end, the middle, and the start? That way we would never have those moments wondering why we were here on earth and what we’re meant to do. We wouldn’t have to question if our lovers were truly the one for us or feel like hardships are the end of the world. But I’m sure knowing all the answers wouldn’t be as fun. There’s something about challenges that bring joy just as slaying dragons would. Are you slaying your dragons? Continue reading “Grow a 3C: How to Empower Ourselves”