Before we jump into my revelation, here's some context:

  1. This blog is set up with the intention to force myself into the discipline of reading and practice my writing that'll eventually lead to starting a podcast series of my own.
  2. Starting December, I try to read and write daily, kicking off with my favorite book of all time: Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
  3. Something felt off when I was writing about my WHY to close the book.
  4. I stumble upon the podcast series Authentic As F*ck. One thing led to another, I also watched this TEDx Talk by Michael Brody-Waite, Great Leaders Do What Drug Addicts Do.

So, here goes.

Hi, I'm Shaun! I'm 28 years old and I work as a Community Manager. I'm a college drop out, a self learner and a generalist. You can probably tell what kind of person I am by all the best-selling books about learning & forming new habits, everything to do with building a business and autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs on my desk.

Part of my book collections

I'm an aspired entrepreneur and as I shared earlier, this blog is where I try to discipline myself to read the 90% of my unread books and practice my writing.

I was going to write about my WHY after finish reading Start with Why and it just doesn't feel right when I was jotting down my thoughts on my "higher calling".

I then went and browse for podcasts to listen to and I came across this TEDx talk, Great Leaders Do What Drug Addicts Do. After watching it, something inside me clicked and everything made sense. I realised, I don't have a WHY. And it's not just that I don't have a clear sense of purpose, it felt off because I'm not practicing what I preach. I'm trying to fake it.

The truth

If we've crossed paths before, it's very likely that I've repeated the fact that I'm a college dropout and tell you that I self-learned most of the skills I employ today. It is until a while ago that someone mentioned to me (and I acknowledge) that I'm being insecure about not having a certificate to proof my worth.

I pride myself as a generalist but the truth is I'm always learning new things simply because I'm afraid that people think I'm incapable. I almost never ask for help and hate being vulnerable for the same reason.

I always half-jokingly say that I slack a lot and that's why my work is delayed, but the truth is I often procrastinate thinking my work is not good enough. And with the combination of my all-in or nothing ego, it's easy for me to give up on anything.

I tell people that I started this blog to improve myself but the truth is, I'm doing it to build this image where I know my shit to impress.

I'm obsessed with what people think of me. So much so that I'll spend hours refreshing my social media after sharing a post just to see that notification pops up.

I care too much, WAY TOO MUCH

I have always been the "nice guy" no matter it's in my professional career, friendships or even romantic relationships. Often too nice that it backfires and I end up getting hurt.

What intrigues me is that people who simply don't care and focus on their own thing seem to be more likable while people pleaser like me are under-appreciated.

About authenticity and being true to myself

With my age approaching 30, I feel more anxious as I think I'm behind my peers. Somehow, I fell into that rat race where I think I'll have to make more in order to afford more to prove that I'm as capable. I started to stress myself with getting a promotion and having side incomes, and I then made building my personal brand and generating revenue my hidden agenda for this blog.

I thought I'm able to gain tractions by writing something impressive, but I've gotten it wrong. I struggle with my identity as I grew up normal (it's a blessing in every way) and I don't have any big achievements in life that I can just sprinkle on top of my story telling. What's worse is, I am doing this to get people to like me.

When I was listening to the 1st episode of Authentic As F*ck, it hit me hard when the host talked about authenticity, and that people can ALWAYS feel it when one is being "fake". It's worse when they enters the cycle of caring what people think of them and start sugar coating the truth to make it more fake.

That's why it doesn't feel right when I was trying to fake my WHY. That's why you may feel my previous articles vague and fluffy. It's all empty calories.

My learning

  1. I love Start with Why because I hold its value dear, and in order to honor it, I'll have to admit, I don't have a WHY (higher calling) yet. If anything, knowing myself better and finding my WHY would be the closest answer, and this blog should serve as a journal where I share my truest thoughts.
  2. Always always always be true to yourself. Say what you think and do what you say.
  3. People don't actually care, not in the way you thought they would anyway.
  4. Don't do things to make people like you, cause they won't. Even if they do, they won't be liking you for you. And the day you stop doing what makes them like you, they'd stop liking you.
  5. You don't have to be perfect nor to be like anyone else for people to like you.
  6. Be a nice guy, but never on the expense of your own happiness. That's when you send the signal to the universe that "my happiness don't matter" and people will not treat you well, like how you're not treating yourself well.

While it may looks like I've discovered the ugly truth about myself, I'm actually glad that I started this read and write exercise that have gotten me to think deeper. I've made peace with myself and I've never felt better with all the clarity. As a matter of fact, I know that from now on, my drive comes from within and it's a lot more sustainable.

🥂 to myself!