Tagalog, Music, and Self-Expression

New project for the next few months: learn tagalog! I’ve been saying this for like that past two years but now I’m committed to doing it. I just started going to this learn tagalog website and start doing the lessons. I think it’s about time I finally start learning my own native language. I should be able to go through all the lessons faster than someone totally new to it because I actually understand the language. I don’t need to translate most words to english to understand what’s going on.

I was gonna start trying to learn another language but in the end I think I should learn filipino before anything else. It would be cool to speak it again. Plus, I’m planning on going down to the phillipines perhaps later in January.

This is also a part of my quest to train my brain so that it doesn’t languish. I’ve been practicing my left hand writing and also doing various movement skills, and now learning a language. All of these help build new neural pathways. That, plus it’s super fun to learn new things again. That’s one thing I want to make sure I do for the rest of my life: never stop learning/growing.

I’m also trying to expand my music listening as well again. I’ve kind of been stuck in all of the old songs I’ve been listening to in the past 6 years. Time to expand! Check out this song: http://youtu.be/-JFO7Wb-p2A. Something totally new but fucking amazing. Supposedly music in northern mali is being banned. I can’t imagine how in today’s modern society, something as universal and intrinsically human as music can be banned. That is downright evil in my opinion: the suppression of human expression. I can’t think of anything worse than that.

I believe that self-expression could quite possibly be the most important thing in life. Why else are we in this world? If you think about it strictly on the basis of evolutionary terms, by fully expressing yourself you are most helping the human species by exposing to the world what makes you who you are genetically. And by doing this, you allow nature to determine how competitive you are in this world. But forget evolution, we all know intrinsically that self-expression is profoundly human.

No More Bullshit

So my college roommate, Karl, has been chilling around in CA with me and a bunch of other friends this past weekend. It’s been fun.

The other day an interesting situation came up. So I’ve been telling people how I’ve started doing meditation. There are a couple of ways to do it but the way I’ve been practicing is by picking a word and saying it constantly in my head and focusing on that word.

Now the interesting situation that came up the other day was after I had done some meditating Karl asked me what word I used. For some weird reason I was kind of embarassed by the word I used so I said that I used the word “one”, which is the standard word to use in the books I read. When I said that though Karl said “No you don’t”, I was like “huh? yeah, it is”. He then said, “I can tell by your facial expressions that that’s not true”.

Damn, it’s crazy how easily people can tell whether you are bullshitting or not. We can pick up all those tiny, subtle body gestures that let’s us translate “yes, this guy/gal is bullshitting”. I know I can tell when some people are lying. So yeah Karl, you fucking got me.

Which brings up another point: why the hell do I still lie about stupid shit like this? I’ve been trying to get rid of the bullshit in my life and yet I am still a source of it. There are some secrets that I don’t open up because it may cause a social raucus. But this is just stupid. I was just afraid of the embarassment of the word I use. I wonder why. Maybe it’s because it’s personal and I’m opening myself up to ridicule or judgement. I didn’t realize I’m still that insecure about things about myself. Either way, there’s no point in lying. I could have just said, “I don’t want to say”.

So from now on I’m going to make a more active effort to being open and honest. No more bullshit.

So you’re now probably wondering what the word I use to meditate with 🙂 The books say that you should use a word that calms you down and that you highly associate with. Also, it should be one syllable. So I use the word: LOVE 🙂

Meditation

So I’ve started meditation recently. I’ve been really interested in stress management recently and have been reading a bunch of books on it and one thing that kept popping up was meditation as a way to release stress. I’ve always thought before that meditation was just this weird activity people did but after reading some things about it I found that there is a lot of scientific evidence for it’s benefits.

So past few weeks I’ve been practicing meditation. Essentially what it is is focusing on one word or object without letting your mind wander off into different thoughts. If that occurs, just brush aside what you were thinking. And you’re supposed to have a passive attitude towards it all.

It’s actually a lot more difficult than it sounds cause I find myself just thinking about random things. It’s surprising how fast and easily your mind gets clogged with random thoughts.

I’ve found the benefits to me to be tremendous though. I can get by with less sleep and feel more energetic. My thinking is more clear. I am able to control my calmness so much more now as well. I am also much more aware of my mindfulness. I found it very similar to smoking in that I am totally relaxed after it and happy but without the drug side effects 🙂

My Left

So I think I’ve realized one of my biggest weaknesses in terms of physical abilities: right side of my body is way better than everything than my left. I’ve always known this but after wednesday’s soccer game where most of my play was getting destroyed because I had to use my left foot I’ve decided it’s time to fix this. It is almost ridiculous how much better I am with my right side. And as they say you are only as strong as your weakest side.

So these days, I’m making a conscious effort to do everything with my left side. I’m practicing writing with my left hand, driving with my left hand, doing THAT with my left hand, etc. etc. 😀

It’s actually a very funny feeling trying to do all these things with my weak side, kind of like learning how to do everything again. I’ve kind of been inspired by this video where this really old dude keeps his mind in shape by doing a lot of challenging motor and eye skills. It also makes my time at work more interesting. Rather than just going on facebook when I’m compiling I practice juggling or writing with my left hand.

I would like to get close to being ambidextrous.

Health to Me

Something I have to realize over the past 2 years of working in industry is that workplace environment is something that is very important to me. The workplace environment at NVIDIA sucks. I have the best manager, an awesome team, and the projects I’m working on fairly cool. Yet despite these, I still have that dread of walking into the office everyday giving myself up to the depressiveness of cubicles, few windows, too much AC, etc. etc.

The one thing I think that I’ve learned about health in the past year is how related health and happiness are. Without one, it’s very hard to have the other. See, health to me is not simply the absence of disease. Under this logic, many people would say “oh yeah I’m perfectly healthy” because they are disease free. But health to me is the mind/body working to it’s fully intended function. If you’re fat, no you’re not healthy. If you’re depressed, you’re not healthy. If you’re overstressed or lacking sleepy, you’re not healthy.

I came upon this realization when I ate well, got sleep, sun, exercise, socializing and at random points of the day I would just be in this ridiculous state of joy/happiness. It was just an “omg i love life and the feeling of being alive!”. No drugs/alcohol necessary. The only difference is this is totally natural and sustainable. It is this sort of feeling which is my drug which I want to share with others.

For me, there are a couple of things I found which are essential to me for my health. They are:

  1. Sleep
  2. Healthy Food
  3. Sun/Nature
  4. Movement
  5. Socializing/Self-Expression
  6. Stress management

And other things of less importance:

  1. Improving at something
  2. Exploring new things/people

 

Goals

So at the end of last year I wrote a list of 50 things I want to do. You can find it here: http://talekhi.net/eitherway.org/blog/. I was just looking at it today and I can give you an update on the things I’ve accomplished:

  1. Run a marathon – Boom, did it last week…
  2. Climb a mountain – I climbed Mount Whitney, tallest mountain in the contiguous states, hooah!
  3. Learn how to rock climb – I’ve been rock climbing since February and love it
  4. Do the 100 things challenge – Did it and feel awesome about it. I don’t necessarily count all my possession anymore since it’s not the number that really matters but the idea. All my belongings can fit in my car now 🙂
  5. Become a teacher – I’ve sort of been working this with my MovNat certified trainer status. I’ve been teaching it for free to any who would like to learn 🙂
  6. Learn parkour – Been going to a bunch of jams this year and been meeting some crazy insane people. Love it.
  7. Cliff Jumping – cliff jumping, rock jumping, same thing right? Blue Streak ftw.

7 out of 50 in the span of eight months…not too shabby right?

I’ve been talking to friends recently about goals in life and stuff like that and I watched that Conan O’Brien graduation speech he gave in Dartmouth. And I came to the realization that we as people change and with that change our goals in life change as well, and that’s not a bad thing. I know for the longest time all I ever wanted to be was the best software engineer I could be. That was my life goal, my main motivation. Now, that’s like the last thing on my mind.

Some people may say that I just go through fads and whatnot but I actually do enjoy the process of changing. Change in terms of personality, outlook of life, motivation, anything and everything. It makes me feel like I’m growing through this life in a dynamic and interesting way, not just a static being. I’d like to think that I would be unrecognizeable to myself a year from now.

Let’s see, last August, yes, I can say I’m quite different from the Joshua Primero from a year ago. I’m much calmer now, more mindful, more open to things, and obviously in way better shape 🙂

So having said that here’s a list of some near future goals I wrote for myself in no particular order:

  1. Meet more people (girls!)
  2. Learn more about fitness/nutrition
  3. Travel/couchsurf
  4. Find new places to explore
  5. Become better at MovNat, Parkour, rockclimbing, and soccer
  6. Keep on teaching MovNat and figure out what I want to do with it in the future
  7. Read a book a week
  8. Blog everyday
  9. Sleep early, wake up early
  10. Learn to meditate
  11. Get outta the tech industry
  12. Learn Jiu Jitsu
  13. Learn guitar
  14. Pay off those fucking student loans
  15. Stop being online so freaking much

I’m Back

Long time no post! Miss me? What can I say I’ve just been super busy lately doing crazy/amazing/dumb/insane things. Family just visited from CA and now that they left I’m back to normal life and I thought I would do a little life planning again.

I wrote down a bunch of goals near and long term. One of these was to write in my blog daily again. So much is happening in my life these days that it would be nice to spend some time and sit down and just write about whatever is in my head. Also I have a feeling that the next few months are gonna be crazy in terms of life changing, transforming to who knows what.

So I’m gonna blog to capture it all. No need to edit or anything like that. Just full on free flowing mind dumping. Maybe this will be interesting to read maybe not. But it’s main purpose now is for myself. I think you can figure out a lot of things when you have to vocalize it and put it into words.

Anyway, family just left after visiting CA for like a week. I can honestly say my siblings and family in general are some of the coolest people I know. It was just fun hanging out and then realizing that everyone is getting older and more mature. It’s fun now that we’re past that *hate each other* phase I think all siblings go through. They left early this morning and I miss them already. Maybe another year till I see them again? Who knows.

Happier

Today a coworker gave me one of the better compliments I’ve ever had.  He said that I always seem happy and that I was one of the happiest people he knew.  I was kind of surprised at the compliment but it also made me feel good.  I don’t think I usually express my emotions outwardly very much which was why I surprised at the comment but I’ll take it  :P.

But it is very true.  Lately I’ve been on a super high.  I feel as if I’ve finally gotten a hold of my life again.  I’ve become passionate about so many different things.  I’ve come to some realizations about life.  I am no longer afraid of things I used to be afraid of.  I’m less afraid of failure.  I’m less afraid of myself.  I’m less afraid of death.  I’m not standing still.  I want to explore and explore and keep on trying new things till I die.

Having said that, there is still so much to learn.  I’m still trying to figure myself out.  What do I really love?  What do I really want out of this life?  I think about this kind of shit a lot.  I wonder if there is a time when I will have it all figured out.  Or maybe that’s just an illusion.  Maybe everyone goes through life trying to figure it all out until their last words.

I’m fine with that.  Actually I think I prefer it like that.  I think it’s ok to be confused as long as you’re enjoying the ride.  Like they all say, it’s about the journey, not the destination :).

Parkour Jam

So I went to my first parkour jam today in San Jose.  Before I’ve just been going to beginner lessons.  Here are some of my thoughts from my day out:

1) Everyone is so strong/skilled.  It was very humbling.  Pretty much everyone I met were just really damn skilled and I was really surprised at the amount of talent they displayed.  And not just talent but strength as well.  A lot of people were doing muscle ups like they’ve been doing it their whole life.  I tried and only caused massive damage to my hands :P.  I definitely have to get much stronger.

2) There is a joy in just going from place to place doing your thing.  It’s so fun just going around a city like San Jose and finding random places to do parkour.  We started at a parking lot then went to a city playground then a school playground then in front of city hall then on college campus then on college dormitories.  I love it!  All the while doing some cool parkour moves.

3) I still suck at certain social situations.  I could definitely tell today.  I’m a lot better in meeting new people but I still suck at meeting large groups of people.  Especially groups of people who already know each other.  I feel like I definitely stiffened up.  Blech.

4) Parkour vs. Movnat.  So I enjoyed the whole experience today with parkour but I have to say that I am definitely more attracted to Movnat’s philosophies.  I feel like too much of parkour is showing off and a lot of the movements are just done to be cool rather than actually being the most efficient way of moving.  Movnat on the other hand is all about efficient movement for practicality.  There are no flips or hand stands in movnat simply because when are such things actually practical?  Yes, they are a cool feat of strength and skill but movnat to me is more pure.  Having said that, parkour and movnat have a lot of striking similarities.  I’m sure everyone that was in today’s jam would have no trouble doing movnat things.

Spring Break

Just came back from a fun four day spring break in San Diego.  We got this amazing apartment overlooking the ocean.  Unfortunately the weather was not so great most of the time.  Besides eating too much and drinking too much here are some things I found during the trip:

1) running barefoot, shirtless on the beach with the sun is amazing!  I did this one morning when everyone was still asleep.  The sense of freedom and happiness is unlike anything else.

2) I kind of got over my fear of heights.  So our apartment was 8 stories high and had a nice balcony.  At first I was hesitant to be near the edge.  By the end of the trip though I was comfortably hanging my legs off the edge.

3) My tolerance for cold is so much better now.  I think it’s the cold showers I’ve been doing.  Whereas most people were freezing I had no trouble going into the cold ocean.  Such a great feeling too.

4) Some people will just never appreciate good music 🙂

5) It seems to me that most everyone is so motivated to make a lot of money.  That’s what a bunch of our conversations revolved around. For me though, for some reason money is usually the last motivation for me.  I have no motivation to be rich or to own a big house or a boat.