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Warren Shea

Archive for the ‘Introspection’ Category

If I knew then, what I know now…

Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 3:46 pm

“Don’t tell me how to live my life! I’m 17 and know it all!”
That was probably me, at 17. It was definitely me in my teen years – a know it all attitude and bad temper (to my parents). You could pass your wisdom and experience to me and I wouldn’t hear it – “what worked for you isn’t how things are done now, you dinosaur. I’m gonna change everything – create the path for myself and do everything right!”

So young, stupid and arrogant.

Even when I started this blog, I think I still felt a lot of that. But I don’t feel it nearly as much anymore – I’m much less in the “this is how I do it and that’s my way – and it’s the ‘right’ way” as I am “this is how things are done, and I need to conform”. And I don’t mean that in an individualistic, loss of identity kinda way…I’m just realizing that wisdom and experience are just that – and I should (and do) respect it much more.

I used to find myself reading these things on the internet about life, how to live it, mistakes people made, goals to success, etc. I used to think most of it was crap. Actually – not crap, but not applicable to me. Y’know, me being so much awesomer than the average joe.

I realize, when I read these things now, that they’re much more accurate to my life – I just didn’t know it at the time. So when I read this kinda stuff, I don’t take it as “that’s not me, that’s not my life”. I take it as a “that’s not me right now – but it could be, and it would be wise to heed these warnings, advice, wisdom, and experience now rather than later. Embrace the feedback, don’t reject it”.

I really felt this way reading Joe Mad’s post about what he’s learned/his experiences &

I recently read these:
and I’m trying to use this feedback, and other people’s experience, to help guide my life. What I don’t want is to repeat their mistakes or regret things in a way these people do – and as much as they’ve learned from their experiences, it doesn’t make sense to have an issue that could be preventable – it goes back to my “if I knew then, what I know now” that’s been running through my head…

Listen to other people’s experiences. Listen to the lessons they’ve learned. (and I mean that in a broad, consensus type way – not one person’s one-sided rant views).
Get as much “free experience” as you can, get as much “wisdom” as you can. These are things you can’t get quickly from non-conventional ways.

Read. Remember. Learn. Apply.
Turn your theory into a mentality through practice.

Change your life – but don’t do it letting things happen to you. Do it by bettering yourself.
Create opportunities for yourself. When the chance comes up for things to change, do you want to say “I’m glad I learned about this 6 months ago and I’m ready for this” or “I can’t do this…I need to do/learn this and this first”.

Taking my own advice – I need to so some reading!

Protected: Self-confidence is good. Hubris is annoying.

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 12:18 am

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Work hard. Have fun. Do both? Be happy.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 12:45 am

5phl showed me this post recently. I thought I’d share:

I discovered these common, self imposed restrictions are rather insidious, though they start out simple enough. We begin by worrying we aren’t good enough, smart enough or talented enough to get what we want, then we voluntarily live in this paralyzing mental framework, rather than confront our own role in this paralysis. Just the possibility of failing turns into a dutiful self-fulfilling prophecy. We begin to believe that these personal restrictions are, in fact, the fixed limitations of the world. We go on to live our lives, all the while wondering what we can change and how we can change it, and we calculate and re-calculate when we will be ready to do the thing’s we want to do. And we dream. If only. If only. One day. Some day.

Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter someone more courageous, someone who choose to strive for that which (to us) seemed unrealistically unattainable, even elusive. And we marvel. We swoon. We gape. Often , we are in awe. I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of their imagination; it is about how they constructed the possibilities for their Life. In short, unlike me, they didn’t determine what was impossible before it was even possible.


If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.


I understand and have understood this paralysis. I still suffer from it. But I’m definitely not the person I used to be. I’m not the dreamer I once was, I believe I’m taking actual steps towards achieving goals. The last few years have been all about improving myself professionally (and professional-personally – that is, improving my dev skills for personal uses). I’m no longer just sitting around as time passes. I’ve been able to feel accomplishment(s). I’ve been blessed with encounters that have inspired and motivated me. And in turn, I feel like I’m doing my part to motivate others. It feels amazing to be a person that inspires others. And it drives me to do more. I want to continue that…

While this post inspired me, someone else I know read that and got depressed by it. I hadn’t even realized that it could be a post that would depress a person. But I suppose a person who’s watched their life pass them by wouldn’t be inspired. It would be a harsh look in the mirror. And I pray that in 10 years, a post such as this does not depress me. I hope that in 10 years, I’ll be able to smile and agree that my life hasn’t been wasted.

I’m burnt out socially. The last 1.5 years, I was incredibly social. Going out a lot. And I’m tired of it. I’m building up my anti-social shell again and to be honest, I’m not only comfortable with that, this is what I desire. Because I know I can be social again – if I want to be. But right now, I’m keepin on the down low. Because to be honest, I really wanna work on my projects. I really wanna work and accomplish something. And not have to “waste” time dealing with social events. Not that it’s a “waste of time”….but I feel I could better use my time. My priorities are different now: I just want to be alone and work. And accomplish things.

There’s one feeling I love more than anything else – being in a working groove and getting a lot done. (and I hate being bothered during this time). I get this feeling with development. And most recently, I’ve gotten this feeling with photography. Working on something for hours, having the time fly by. Taking little steps towards a medium goal. And then taking a bunch of medium goals and turning it into a large goal. That’s why, even when I come home from work exhausted, I can’t wait to do my own project. I think it’s a very special feeling that many people do not understand.

I keep having to decline invites to do social things. Because I want to work. I know people look at me and think it’s lame. Or anti-social. But to me, they just don’t understand. I feel it would time better spent working on my projects than being social. It’s what I’ve decided. As much fun as going out to a bar, drinking and talking is – it’s not really productive. Life is short and it sounds lame to want to work during it, rather than have fun. But this is how I feel. I don’t care if my life is fun. I want my life to be fulfilling.

Killing with compliments

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 12:35 am

Killing with compliments; Parents praise sets children up for failure

This was an interesting read that Z forwarded to me. If you choose to read it, do so now. The rest of the post may not make sense if you do not. You’ve been warned.

I thought the article rang true, particularly to me. My father always emphasized intelligence to me. They often spoke of me being smart and becoming a doctor when I grew up. I guess that’s the same with most asian parents. But I believe I was coddled. Don’t get me wrong, I was smart. But just not that smart. I remember as early as Grade 2, when we did “Math Minute”: as many math questions as you can answer in a minute. Accuracy mattered. We did it every day for the school year. Tracked the scores. I won (best speed AND accuracy in the entire class). *BAM* TAKE THAT OTHER 25 KIDS IN GRADE 2. Grade 4: Teaching kids to divide. The teacher was explaining division to us, and I put my hand up, went infront of the class and explained how it worked. What a keener. Lucky there was no Nelson or Jimbo in my Grade 4 or I would’ve gotten the snot kicked out of me. Yes, I guess I was Martin *shudder* >_<

ANYWAYS, enough of my embarrassing elementary school. And highschool where I also did well in Finite, Algebra & Geometry…(tho did bad in Calculus >_<) Basically, I always thought I was smart. But being smart isn't enough. You have to be hard working. And I think my false sense of smartness security had a negative impact to my work ethic. And as I realized in University, those that weren't as smart as me, that worked harder than me, did better than me (surprise, surprise). I think the biggest detriment in my life was the poor work ethic at a young age. I'm partly to blame for that, but the self-awareness and realization of such a thing would not come to me until I was much older. “You don’t know what you don’t know”. Sometimes you need to be TOLD it. I’m not blaming anyone, other than me, I’m just stating the fact.


I actually already have a list (in my GMAIL drafts) on what to teach my kids. What to tell them, what not to tell them. I want to help them as much as possible. My parents were there for me. But they were poor with guidance. At worst, they influenced my life negatively, despite their best efforts to help positively. But unfortunately, the results were the same.

I don’t want to make that mistake. After I have kids, every day is a day to adjust yourself as a parent, and as a teacher. I will not fail my children. I will teach them everything I can. Guide them. They can make mistakes, but I don’t want them to grow up on the wrong path. If they’re trouble at 5 years, it’s too late. I’ve done something wrong and need to adjust. Show them the carrot or hit them with the stick, I don’t know. But I have to figure THEM out, figure out how THEY respond to criticism, learning, and follow that. Giving them the carrot when they’d learn better with the stick is not correct. All children and people respond differently. They’re too young to figure it out. You have to figure them out first to achieve the best response.

I will try my best to listen and respond accordingly to a child. Take them to hockey. Take them to soccer. Take them to lego camp (if there is such a thing). Take them to math school. Take them to piano. And then let them figure out what they want to do. If they practice piano – figure out what music they WANT to play, and dedicated 10-30% of their training to learning something fun, for themselves. That’s how Google does it to achieve the best results. That’s how I wish I did it. Piano would have been much more fun if I had been playing music I liked. I can’t change or force my interests on them. But I can support and nourish their interests once they figure out what they are.

I had a discussion with my parents on how I quit Chinese school to go to Math school. And as much as I wish I knew Chinese now, I don’t know where I’d be if I learned that. Chinese did not come easily to me and I struggled with it, both in interest, and in learning. In contrast, math was easy and I was good at it…and that skill helped my entire life – from highschool to university to now. If I were to go back in time and choose my path again, I would again choose math. Not because of where my life is now, but because I was naturally good at it. Better to excel at something than to struggle with a skill and end up being mediocre at best at it. That might as well be useless.

But to counter argue the other point, perhaps quitting something difficult (chinese) and learning something easy (math) was incorrect. Maybe it taught me to take the easy route and/or maybe I never experienced the self-satisfaction or self-confidence I would have gained after learning and achieving something difficult. Who knows.

No conclusion. Left to ponder…

/done blogging for tonight. Time for photography.

“I don’t wanna be the good guy anymore”

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 11:44 pm

^ That’s a parody of Wreck-it-Ralph’s “I don’t wanna be the bad guy anymore”

I’m bummed. So it’s a good time to write. Let it all out. Figure things out.

Side rants before I blog:
A few of my friends have started/restarted their blogs since the new year started. WUT, DOES EVERYONE BLOG NOW?! Jenny Elle & 5phl. I’m slowing down on my blogging and suddenly these people are getting all insightful and down with the written word. It doesn’t make me want to blog more. It makes me want to blog better. But I’m tired of blogging better :S I just wanna blah blah my life Q__Q
Okay. Side rant done.

So, I came across one of my friend’s sites today. And I got bummed. I don’t think much of this person…he’s lazy. Cheap. Rude. Obnoxious. And then I saw his site. And it was really good. Really really good. Visually much better than mine. And then I saw the code. It was good. I can do better, but it was very good. I couldn’t do what he did 2 to 3 years ago. I was surprised, but suspicious. He said he did the site himself. This person, whom I don’t respect, can pull off such a feat of design and development? Have I been too quick to judge? Is my intuition wrong?

I look at his code…and I’m in shock. How can this be? A beautiful page of code, proper indenting, CSS, everything just like me. The sign of a developer who cares.

And then I see it:

<font color=”#005b97″>Some text</font>

And I realize…any person who codes such beautiful code, uses proper CSS, would never do a <font> tag.
Even to be lazy, a person of such skill would choose to do <span style=”color:#005b97″>Some text</span>. Or better yet, assign a class to it. The <font> tag would NOT be used.
And then I realize: He didn’t do the site. But he did that <font> code. He said he did the site, but the extent of HIS skill is there. <font> is his skill-level. He’s a phony.

And I realize: How much of his site is a lie then? His portfolio is littered with huge companies, Future Shop, Toys R Us, Sears, etc…but all his portfolio content is really a one pager. Did he take imagery off the internet, put it in some Flash and claim it’s his to get hired on big freelance projects? Is that why he makes 1XX/hour on Freelance projects? Because his portfolio is so great, despite how much of it may be truly his or not.

I mean, I could create a one-pager website using images from Google, slap on an “Employed by Blizzard” and who would know? But I don’t. That’s not my style. Lying’s not my style.

But it bums me out because…have I taken the wrong approach?

Does lying to succeed in life justify the negative morality?

I don’t believe it does. But I’m left questioning: has being honest been truly detrimental to my life? I find that having a conscience is detrimental to good people. Because a good person will feel bad about doing a bad thing. But a bad person will not feel bad doing a bad thing. And thus, the bad person…doesn’t feel bad, and is thus, happier.

The only hope that I have is that karma will set the rights in the world. But even that thought is somewhat a wish that bad things will happen to bad people, because they deserve it. And good people don’t think that. Maybe I’m just a bad person with the conscience of a good person. Now THAT would be bad…for me.

I’ve seen it time and time again. The corrupt. Those that abuse power. I try to put my head down and work…but sometimes, I just don’t feel that honesty will get as far as dishonesty. A person that pays $30 for an item is $60 poorer than the thief that steals the same item (..i hope that didn’t go over anyone’s head).

I’m not saying I want to lie and cheat and be dishonest.

I’m just saying…sometimes it’s tough being a good person when people around you aren’t.