Tuesday

The Asian Trip

The Writing
MISSION
I wrote about my upcoming adventure, to test the water and pursue a life's ambition of becoming a travel writer. And I've decided to start from my own backyard, Asean. 


Kota Kinabalu
To start off, I'll begin my journey with the place that is famous for its Mountain, Mount Kinabalu. Why shouldn't I? I've never been there, the place is rich with its own unique cultures and customs and I really am excited to write about how the people there preserve their way of life in the midst of all the developments that are taking place around them. 
Manila
Then, I'll be flying east to Manila, to try the food. Philippines is famous for their food and beautiful people with colorful background. I won't be writing about the food though. I'm going there to write about Mount Minatubo. I've seen the photos and some video journals that other travelers have made-they're awesome. 

Yogyakarta

But wait, a couple of months after Manila will be to the south, to Yogyakarta to see the famous Borobudur Temple. It's pretty much known that before Islam and the Christians took to the east and spread the religions here, Hinduism was pretty much the practiced faith here in South East Asia. Why not go there and see for myself? 
Siem Reap 
I'll do another cover story on a place rich for its temples too, in Siem Reap. However, for Siem Reap, I'm more interested to write about the people there. Sometimes, it takes first-hand experience to learn about the hardship the Cambodians are facing that a lot of them are migrating to neighboring countries to look for jobs. 
Langkawi
Finally, in June I'll be completing my first half trip around Asean in Langkawi Island. To finish off my works and compiling them at the beach with a glass of orange juice, hey, it's the deserved end for a first half of the trip. 
Tickets paid. Hotels booked. Chalets scouted. Places researched...well, almost. Can't wait to get started!
And all of my trips are with Airasia, always with their best prices to get my feet off the ground. 
Stay tuned. 
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Monday

The Heart of a Champion

It's Your
TIME
I've just completed the draft this morning. Finally, my work for 2015 is almost completed, at least for now. But there are a few more hard work I need to put into the book before it is ready for publication. 
I am very happy to share with you my new ebook, "The Heart of A Champion."

The book was meant to share practical steps to overcome the odds in everything that you do, to find your own voice in your pursuit of your dreams, and to instill confidence and belief in an age of distorted reality. 

If you've had problems with:

  • Distraction 
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Setting Goals
  • Lack of Drive
  • Lack of Results
  • Sense of Inferiority 
Then this book was written for you. 

The Heart of a Champion eBook is only $5.99, and as part of the offering, a T-Shirt will be presented to the first twenty buyers. 

Table of Contents


1.  Introduction
2.  Who are the Champions?
3. The Championship of Life
4.  Lose to Gain 
5.  The Evolution and Revolution
6.  I believe
7.  The Everest's Challenge
8.  Marco Polo's Way
9.  Always progressing
10. What Drives You?
11.  Be Damned to Approval
12. The Road to Mount Doom 
13. Yes, We Can! 
14. Who Is Mark?
15. Parting Words
16. The Captain

 The T-Shirt will be released next week, and I'm really excited to share the first glimpse of the shirt with you.   
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Thursday

The Angry Man


THE ODD MAN
OUT
This morning I had exploded with anger. It was almost as though I had lost all the rational that I could muster and I had to walk away from the fight before I started doing something stupid later on. 
One of the biggest reasons why I have been working so hard on working my anger management is because I really have short temper, and I mean simply an angry man just on the edge of explosion. 
image source

REACTION
I regret whenever I lost it. There are a lot of different chemical reactions playing around in my head-embarrassment, disappointment, frustration and well, anger.  

But it keeps on happening over and over again. I kept on trying to justify that I was right. That it was not my fault. That other people simply failed to do the simple things that I asked of them. 

Truth is, it really is borne out of somebody who is anxious and insecure.


WHAT HAPPENED
Goodness knows, I have been a witness of anger all my life. My parents used to fight at home when I was a little boy, my friends went through divorce because of disagreements, had lost a few friends along the way and received several reminders for being rude. 


It's definitely not something I am proud of. I have seen firsthand what happened to the angry men out there.
It's an exercise that I have to go through on a daily basis, and sometimes it requires more effort on certain days. 
Moving forward, it's really something that I should work on harder.
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Tuesday

The Best Motivational Source

THE
Mirror
Mirror
“It’s not the public opinion of what you are that matters, but the private personality of who you are!”
― Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Watchwords
                                                                                      




The best motivation I can get is from the people who say I can't do something because I would inevitably feel bound and determined to prove them wrong.
One of the best ways, I find, to pick yourself up when you feel discouraged by what other people say about you is to tell yourself all the good things about you because sometimes, the only good things we would hear about ourselves come from us. 

image source
NO SHAME
Indeed, there shouldn't exist any cause for shame when you keep on telling yourself that you deserve greatness in your life, no matter where you come from, the weaknesses that you have or the failures that you have had before. 

It's a practice that has been helping me to restructure my ways of thinking: if I let other people to decide what I think of myself, then I will never go anywhere in life; stuck rotten on the ground, as the age took hold of me.


CHANNEL
You're hurt, angry and embarrassed. There's a lot of mixed emotions all boiling up within you. That's energy. It shows that you are alive!

Ergo, take charge of that energy and start utilizing that energy to make something that could significantly lead your life to a place that you want to be.

It takes a lot of effort at first if you are so used to believe what other people said about you; that you don't deserve something great in your life, that you are a failure, that you are a waste of time and that you are nothing more than a mere dreamer.
WORK ON IT
Prove them wrong by bringing in massive success! Don't be bullied into thinking that you're weak.

Work hard to be successful at what you want to achieve in life. If there are people out there who tell you that you can't do something because you are you, then work even harder until the day comes when you are successful, these people who have been telling you that you're a failure, will come to you and be envious of what you have accomplished. 

What good is there to feel sorry for yourself?

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Thursday

Starting Out As A Travel Writer

THE
DREAM
“To Travel is To Take A Journey Into Yourself”
-Danny Kaye


image source


It began like any other ideas that I had thought of for a while before I toss it into the dustbin. I just don't think traveling is something I could do. It's scary, expensive and just wastin' money and time. 
But when I purchased tickets to a few destinations around Asia, instead of traveling as a normal tourist that goes to an island to relax, why don't I figure out a way to make my trips much (much) better?
And what better for me to spend my days on a foreign land than to do what I absolutely love the most: write. 
THE DREAM
It was an easy decision. I spent a lot of hours watching the Travel Planet channel for the past couple of months and I like what they do for a living, the people who hosts the shows. 

It's a fun and fulfilling life, isn't it? I get to travel, immerse myself in other people's culture and as I am able to eat almost anything there is, there's not a lot of restriction for me. 

MONEY
I began scouring the net for stories, recommendations, suggestions and opinions by other people who are travel writers themselves. 

While being a travel writer is a novel idea, I am still realistic. How would I pay for my expenses? 

I need to pay for the flight tickets, accommodation and the money to pay for my expenses throughout the trip.  

START SMALL
I started to look at the possible solutions. Of course, when I first entertained the idea, I was thinking of doing a whole trip that include ten-to-fifteen nations as part of my travel log. Now that is expensive

Instead, after thinking about it more carefully, I limit the places to go into a manageable figure and make that as my starting point. 

ASIA
To start my experiment with Europe is insane. I need to be careful with the expenses and what I can learn from each trip. 

But in my eagerness to start out, there is a tendency to overlook my own backyard. 

Now, for ASEAN and ASIA, ASEAN consist of countries in the southeast Asia region while Asia consist of the whole continent that is, er, Asia. 

FLY AWAY
Incidentally, my friend is having his wedding this September in Sabah. I took the opportunity to start the adventure. 

Then, I have booked and in the midst of planning my trips for Manila, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Kathmandu (not ASEAN though), Mulu Cave, Banda Aceh and Ho Chi Minh City. 
EVERYONE CAN FLY
I'm buying all my tickets from Air Asia, which really hands out incredible offers. All my flight tickets cost less than $400.

LESS TRAVELED
I am not going to beautiful islands for expensive activities or staying in four-star hotels. Instead, the planning focuses on places less traveled. One of the travel channel's host (which, unfortunately, I forgot the name) said in the show, if you want to explore a country's true identity, step away from the commercialized locations that are tailored for tourists and check out the places that are not listed on the travel guide books. 

PREPARATION
Planning is going well and I can't wait for the journey to start. But first, I need to start from home and do more research on the type of writing needed for a travel writer. 

Homework time.  
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Sunday

The Secret to Quality Blogging

why i don't use
seo
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. 
Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”
―  Brian Clark
image source




I remember a time when a good friend of mine asked me for advice about blogging. I have been blogging since a decade ago, and I am quite comfortable with the lingo, affairs and the struggle to be heard and seen in the chaotic world, that is the internet.


Sure, we have read somewhere there are bloggers out there who earn thousands of dollars from their blogs every month and year, and this has inspired a group of people to start blogs of their own.

As with any newcomer in the "business", they went for free platforms such as Blogger, Wordpress, just to name a couple of blogging platforms that I'm most comfortable with. They select the blog theme with which they are going to present to their intended audience. Then, they sign up for bloggin advertising platforms such as Google Adsense and Nuffnang. At this point, it's not really a struggle.  These steps are all the setup phase. 

To begin with, the thing that usually turn people off who are just starting out blogging is when they have to decide the contents of their newly-created blogs.

Then, once they have sorted out the subjects, they then begin the writing process. For those that are not quite practiced in writing, here's something I have to share with you: it's a skill and skills are something that we practice over and over again to develop; writing is about crystallizing your thoughts and turn the complex ideas floating around in your head into a simple to consume format. 

This is one of the reasons why some people who thought they wanted to follow in the footsteps of successful bloggers out there, fail. Once they have churned out their blog post and got it published, they somehow have this expectation that people would drop by to visit their sites and write comments. 

After several posts have been published, there are still no feedback from their readers. There are hardly any comments, if at all. The money isn't coming into their advertisement account and before long, they start to post less and eventually, drop out of the game, bitter, disappointed and dispirited. "This is not for me. It's wasting my time."

FORGET ABOUT SEO ( FOR NOW )

I have friends who thought they could try to earn money from blogging advertising platforms such as Google Adsense, Nuffnang by copying articles from other sites and put those articles in their blogs. On top of that, they will somehow use all the all-important keywords and work on the SEO aspect of their websites. 

DON'T TAKE SHORTCUTS

While I am an advocate of entrepreneurship and positivity, blogging is not about taking shortcuts. Just as newly-opened restaurants can't attract new customers by having the finest interiors but offer mediocre range of food, you can't expect to sustain on the long run (blogging) by taking shortcuts.

You need to learn to love writing. If you don't like it, then it will be a real struggle. Forget about SEO or social media strategies for now, just focus on the quality of your writing as well as the content you would like to present to your readers.

YOU ARE A JOURNALIST

In fact, if you are taking the time to write each post with more research as though any journalist would before they appear on the news, you will be more pleased with the collection of your quality writings than to worry about whether there are readers coming to visit your blog.

Some blogs that I had visited over the years posted, I don't know what I should write today...hmm...I guess I will be talking about what I had for breakfast, or what I did last weekend.

While it is a personal online space for us to write our thoughts and get them published on the internet, if you are looking for quality readers, my advice for you is to focus on producing quality posts rather than posting for the sake of...er...posting.


BLOG COMMENTS

The same goes for some of the comments from the readers. I have visited your blog, nice article. Visit my blog at this URL { so and so.com }. I did this before. I visited other blogs and wrote comments like this because it worked. Sometimes I had 100-200 comments on a single blog post, but looking back at those comments now, they were pretty much the same. It's a "blog-walking" routine to encourage the blogs you had visited to come to your own blog and drop a similar comment. By doing so, my blog posts looked like they were on fire!

I appreciate those who had visited me then and wrote their comments, however it was not quality, rather it was merely focusing on quantity. Now, when I decide to write comments in other people's blogs, I make it a point to write something only if I have something meaningful to write, with the hope that it would lead to further discussion.

Also, by spending some time to research well before you write and then publish, you ensure:

I.    Your posts are not rushed. 
II.   You have a collection of quality posts.
III.  You can use your blog as a walking resume'. 

For the third point above, I make it a point to whomever I meet to read more about me at my blog. I got hired for some projects in the past because my clients had read my works. It was great. I had even encouraged my potential employers during job interviews to visit this site before they hire me, to get a full picture of the person they are hiring.


COMMIT TO QUALITY

If you want to start your own blog, start writing. Don't worry yourself with the social media and SEO. That should not be your priority at the moment. Be different and write with authority. If you can't imagine yourself going through the rough patches, then I'm afraid it's going to be really difficult for you to last in this game.


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Wednesday

Three Trendy Fashion Street Styles For Men

 THREE TRENDY 
FASHION
STREET
styles for men

“You can never be overdressed or over educated.” 
― Oscar Wilde


For the last four years, as an entrepreneur, I have been working really hard on my survival skill, even if I had to jump in and out of working for major corporations (and a few enterprises), I still keep my focus on my end goal: to live my life the way I want to, as an entrepreneur. This skill has helped me to survive be flexible with everything that has happened so far. 
It's a choice I've made a long time ago and it's a choice I am comfortable making, even when sometimes the hard times were unbearable. I had to tighten my belt because I was starving, moved places to stay because I could not keep up with the rent and even settled for the same clothes over and over again because I could not afford the nice ones.
It's not until the fourth quarter of last year that my life as an entrepreneur was starting to have a little smooth sailing. The books are doing well, side projects are pouring in and I've enrolled for my Masters programme. 
Then again, no matter how hard it will be, pursuing the entrepreneurial life doesn't mean we have to sacrifice looking good, especially when we want to attract businesses, don't we? 
Here's a question:
Have you given a thought that being accidentally stylish might not be as hard as you think it is? 
I thought fashion is something interesting to talk about this time, and there are three trendy fashion street styles that I'd like to share. You can learn to build a perfect wardrobe at home with the combination from the street style  and well-dressed gentlemen on the internet. 
Just bear in mind, the trick is to do it properly. Draw inspirations from the trendy street styles that appeal to you. Personal style is definitely subjective, and our selection of clothing projects the kind of person we represent. If there is anything that I'd like to draw from my own past articles, what other people think of you shouldn't bother you. 
Ergo, you should really select something that appeals to how comfortable you would feel while wearing your clothes, rather than what other people might think of you. 
But, if you need a hand, that's what I'm here for. Let's check out these Three tips to learn from fashion style street. 
i. Mix different denim
   washes together
Now, don't believe it when people say you can't wear a denim jacket or shirt with a pair of jeans. It's a myth and they just don't know how cool it actually looks! Seriously, you can pull this off easily by making sure the washes are at least two shades differently. 
Just bear in mind, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and rock acid-washed grey, solid back or stark white denim. Stepping out of our comfort zone is the mark of an entrepreneur anyway. 
It's all about confidence
ii. WEAR CAMO TASTEFULLY

It gives a taste of being a red-neck, isn't it? But you really cannot ignore it--the camo trend is here to stay! It is definitely a pattern we can all pull off. 
And with all the fresher variations on this classic military staple, it is much easier to pull it off. 
And finally, 
iii. CHOOSE BOLD-COLOURED
     OUTERWEAR WISELY

No matter what type of style you're portraying, as long as you're confident, you can pull it off, and men can definitely wear colours without looking like weirdos!
Choose carefully, though; go too trendy and chances are you won't touch it again for years. Your best bet for maximum versatility is to opt for colours like black, tan and navy
Match these conservatives colours with bold patterns, and you're good to go. 
Just remember, however you wish to put things together when you look at yourself in the mirror, my advice is to pick something that you're comfortable with, and something that makes you feel good. 

There are a lot of places where you can get nice clothes based on the three tips above, and one of them that I recommend the most is definitely ZALORA, check it out here: http://www.zalora.com.my/
It makes a big difference when you feel good with what you wear and see how confident you would be when you're going out there to enjoy what you do best. 
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