Using the Power of Habit to Change My Schedule Slowly

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Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Having spent the past 10 days tweeting about coding on Twitter’s #100DaysOfCode, here are my takeaways:

1. Coders are super friendly and generous.

It may not seem a big deal, but the level of support people give when you’re struggling, or even when you’re doing well, is so heartwarming. In no other community of people do I feel such a level of comradery.

2. Learning to program is like learning a new language.

At first, you have no idea what people are talking about. By the fifth day, you can figure out the gist of what some people say. And each day, you learn a little more. …


Three Stories about My Two Failures and What I Learned from Them

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Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

Until two days ago, I looked back on my life as a chain of failures. But then I read, in quick succession, Stop Trying To Live a Life That Isn’t Working and When Will You Sacrifice Good for Great?, and it was like they sucker-punched me in my gut at exactly the right time.

The truth is, I’ve had some modest successes in my life. All followed by spectacular failures. And lessons.

Lesson 1: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

In middle school, due to my obsession with archery and good luck in learning from South Korea’s 1984 Olympic gold medalist (the first female to win gold in…


And the Secret Is Not to Receive Love, But to Give It

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Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

Our story must start with a look at what success is. I recently read a hilarious excerpt from Joel Stein’s book In Defense of Elitism: Why I’m Better than You and You’re Better than Someone Who Didn’t Buy This Book.

I also read this somewhat antithetical article by Connor Wood: Elitism is a Problem. There are so many quotable lines from the latter, but here is an excerpt:

On both the progressive left and the conservative right, today’s crop of leaders is gut-wrenchingly bad, in part because they seem to see no connection between their high status in society and…


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Photo by Alexander on Unsplash

I’ve been diving deeply into the qualities of the Matrix we live in today.

I realized, recently, that while all of us have the potential to be Neo, many of us are more akin to Cypher, who knows the truth but would rather stick his head back into the sand. Instead of withdrawing from the Matrix, we want to be plugged back in, because being withdrawn means living without transcontinental flights or success. We know that success as the world has defined for us is based on “junk values,” as Johann Hari has said in his Ted Talk. But we’re…


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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I’m a bit late to the party thrown by Greta Thunberg. Sure, I watched her UN speech a couple of months ago, but I never got it until now, when I was looking up several videos on her site, Fridays For Future.

As I saw her being interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres and Trevor Noah on YouTube, I noticed that both adults had a rather difficult time looking her in the eyes. To be honest, there are lots of times when Greta hits close to home with her words, calling out things that I’ve personally struggled with about climate change —…


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Photo by Yannis A on Unsplash

When I first came to Korea, I worked in a consulting and tutoring job, rather than in teaching, but for the past two and a half years, I’ve been teaching rooms full of elementary students full time.

Here are some things I’ve learned about managing people from the experience. Suffice to say, getting a room full of elementary students to complete a task well is harder than it looks. I have mad respect for teachers of all shapes and sizes now.

1. Managers must wear many hats.

One day, you’re going to be a career counselor; other days, you’ll be a therapist. One day, you’ll have…


And How ‘A Life of Productivity’ Dug Me Out of My Pit of Self-Destructiveness

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When I dropped out of U.C. Berkeley in my junior year, a semester of rest was a long time in coming. I had burned out in my junior year of high school at the prestigious and grueling Phillips Exeter Academy. Exeter is known for being one of the top boarding schools in the world, with the largest secondary school library in the world and people like Mark Zuckerberg, Dan Brown, and Daniel Webster as alumni.

It was also a hotbed for depression and burnout from the classes that ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extracurricular activities and…


What Adyashanti Calls ‘Deframing,’ Rather than ‘Reframing’

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Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

I was listening to The Personal MBA on Audible yesterday, and I had a ‘eureka’ moment when I heard what Josh Kaufman said about reference points.

To be honest, I don’t really remember what he said because it was drowned out by my sudden revelation. To sum up, that revelation is: Adyashanti was right when he talked about how happiness comes when enlightenment comes, and enlightenment comes when you attain the lived experience of having no reference points.

Many people live their lives trying to achieve Elon-Musk-level success, especially in the tech sector, but realistically, only Elon Musk and a…


Two Suggestions from Real Life

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Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

Gone are the days when managers and bosses could tell you what to do. Especially in sectors where job growth is high, employees have a lot of leverage to up and leave if they aren’t happy — and both the employee and the manager know it. That’s why companies in the Silicon Valley spend so much money on cafeterias and Foosball tables for their employees: they know that happy employees are productive employees.

But what about the rest of us who don’t work in Silicon Valley, or who don’t work in high-growth sectors?

Actually, I’ve found that, even though I’m…


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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

I used to want to be certain about everything in life. I thought that as long as I had the right answer, everything would be okay.

Until my mom told me something revolutionary.

As we were arguing within the family, as we sometimes do, she told me:

“Being right doesn’t matter to me.”

Now, out of context, that’s hard to understand. Of course, we’ve all heard that we should learn to be wrong for the sake of the relationship, but she meant it a different way. She meant it in a more profound way.

She meant, that even if someone…

Jenna Lee

An honest yet compassionate gal. Connect on www.linkedin.com/in/jennajiminlee

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