AUT Writers’ Retreat Day 1

This year, I’ve been very fortunate to be able given a space in the Writers Retreat at Long Bay.

Here are some reflections of Day 1:

You’re not alone.
Ever wonder why you’re struggling so much with your journey and whether it’s really just you? Well, I’ve talked to a few people and they are as slow as I am. They all talked about being carried away with work and life and no time to study. Sounds familiar?

Some people even encounter with terrible things such as their supervisor passed away… who would have thought.

Get tips and tricks

  • Use a time-keeping app (Focus Keeper)
  • Free write. Don’t get it right, get it written.
  • Write as if you’re telling a friend
  • Plan your writing, in the discipline of time, as well as in the discipline of length
  • Know yourself: maximize your productivity during the hours that work for you. In other hours, do something else
  • Trick yourself: do easy tasks, write just about anything…

Write for the ones who read it
The examiners are all who matter. Of course, you’ll want everyone to read your thesis; however, the examiners are the first to pass.

Cultivate that habit to write
This is everybody’s problem. So… trick yourself! If you have to, con yourself into writing using different tips and tricks.

Personally, I think self-discipline is key!

Get rid of the attractions
Emails, phones, messages… turn them off.
I’ve gone extra lengths to block myself out of social media, online shopping sites, and even the work website. Until… I had to actually be able to view Youtube videos for writing and I couldn’t. And I do actually need to use the work website for a work email and couldn’t as well.

You will also underestimate the amount of writing you have to do
I’ve experienced this myself and I’ve heard from people now. Writing time doesn’t mean you will sit down and start writing. It involves getting into the momentum through reading, thinking, conducting a few rituals. Not surprisingly, to some people checking social media and making sure they’ve got on top of everything is part of the ritual. For me, it’s about actually putting my head into thinking what I want to say through my writing.

Remind to self: writing time DOES include editing and proof-reading, multiple times. And time is not always on our side.

Sometimes you have to trust the journey
One of the goals that I set for myself is finishing the Methodology chapter (currently at 7k over 10k word counts). However, I was so struggling with identifying exactly what my methodology is.

Had a chat with Jennie over dinner and told her about my struggles. She suggested me completing the analyses, and trust that the methodology will rise up from the work. She said: sometimes you will have to trust the process.

I remember vividly Helen had said this to me, on multiple occasions, but it hasn’t really sunk until now that I’m actually getting into it.

What I’ve done today:

  • Consolidated the word counts, currently at 25k over 35k – 40k mark
  • Read more articles and publications on methodology. I think now that I’ve got a hang of how the methodology can come together. As I was reading, I have also added key points to my drafts.
  • Have made a decision that I’ll ditch 2 analyses that I had picked. So I had a look around and have decided on what will be the replacements.
  • Got myself into some work stuff and wasn’t pleased about the lost time…


Get down.

I call today the #WorldClumsiestDay.

Q and I were crossing a street on our way to work where I noticed a massive billboard on the other end. So I looked at them commenting about some random thing that I can’t even remember now. Q was stuffing his mouth with a sandwich. A breakfast sandwich! Then I had this funny feeling about my feet. In a split second (while was I was blabbing about the billboard) I thought shit something’s weird is going to happen. In the next split second, my right feet started to get into this sliding feeling on the right edge of the shoe. My left feet subconsciously reacted to it and started to slightly slide to the left.

I didn’t mention, I was holding Q’s left hand. The sandwich was in Q’s right hand. His attention was obviously all on the sandwich, just as always. Food is a priority.

So I thought, man what is going on with my feet. They didn’t feel like MY feet. They were already disconnected from my brain. One second later, I lost control of my balance. And both legs start to mess up. And the feet slipped small steps, big steps, small steps, big steps. Time seemed to freeze at the moment and I remember thinking this is not good, but when will the slipping stop. The next thing I know, my bum was on the floor. My legs crossed. Jenny was down. My face faced 3 cars in front of me, and 3 other cars stopping diagonally on the other side. This is so embarrassing.

I heard Q cried out: OIIIII are you okay? His left hand clutched to my right arm, sandwich still in the other hand. My conscious turned to my arm being clutched and his voice. I thought do i look like OK? This is not OK. Typical people asking other people who are not OK if they are OK. ARGGGGGGHHHH.

Then I thought about my ‘audience’, drivers and passengers of the cars in front of me. Let’s not give them any more joy from witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime embarrassment of Jenny’s. Let’s pretend I’m cool enough to laugh at myself and my own adversity. Actually, I found the incident quite funny too. So I laughed about it, slowly got up. Q still clutching my hand, bread in his mouth mumbling something, looking very concerned. I said it’s alright, it doesn’t hurt. And we started to make a move from the accident area.

The green light has changed to the red one, flickering, sounding beep beep beep.

As we were running toward the other side, the wind! Argh the wind! Why was it so heavy this morning. It blew my hair in 360 degrees all directions. And my shoulder-length fringe was getting into my eyes. Talking about things happening at the right time, at the right place, NOT! I shook my head left and right, struggling to get the hair out, still smiling by the way. I’m sure I looked like a crazy cat having the time of my life on the street.

Finally, we reached the other side of the street. OMG. This better end right now. Mayhem!

Anyway, this is the closest .gif of my struggle this morning.


Not a very smooth start to the day. But that’s not all though.

I reached the office, went to the bathroom to straighten myself up and shake the embarrassment off. I pulled out the bb cream bottle to do some touch-ups. Slipped my hand and the bb cream bottom dropped to the floor. Ok no big deal.

Then I went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Dropped half of my avocado on the kitchen floor. Clumsiness got the better of me, both within 5 minutes.

Went out for a coffee with colleagues, I also accidentally pushed a tall chair to the floor. Man something’s got to me today.

Back to the office, at some point, I AGAIN!!! dropped my orange onto the kitchen floor!

May today also be known as #WorldFloorDay too.

Project17: Justin Milano – Four Pillars for Entrepreneurial Success


  • Understand fear and anxiety, and their differences.
  • Fear is about what’s happening right now. It powerfully colours judgement.
  • Anxiety is chronic, worrying about things that can probably go wrong in the future. It hijacks creativity.
  • Decisions are made based on choices going through an emotional filter. Your emotions affect your decision making.
  • Learn to master yourself and your emotions to be a leader.
  • The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship
  • Fear -> Anxiety -> Burnout -> Depressed -> Overwhelming -> Start blaming on people and things.
  • Learn how to prioritise your workload
  • Cultures of Fear:
      – Scarcity: not enough money, time, support
      – Aversion: not feeling right. having the wrong experience: guilt, upset, inexperienced, overwhelmed. When the world doesn’t show up the way your expected, you feel resistant
      – Unworthiness: I’m not enough. Understand the company’s failure is different from your personal failure. It’s important to unwind these 2 things to maintain the identity of yourself.
  • Be considerate about cultural sensitivity, eg:
      – Asia: you cannot fail
      – America: fail fast, fail often, fail cheap.

Common Purpose: Global Leader Experiences 14 – 17 Feb 2017


  • You don’t have to agree with people, but you have to understand them.
  • Words are culturally interpreted, not by their face values; therefore, bear different meanings and impact on different people. In multi-cultural environment, understand that English is not everybody’s first language.
  • Cultural upbringing also has an impact on how people act in a group.
  • Cultural Intelligence is:
      – Understanding that there are different cultures and beliefs
      – Be open and not telling people that they are wrong because of the things they believe in are different from what you know
  • The willingness and openness to communicate and talk it out, rather than give it up and go away.
  • The art of questioning: as a leader, ask questions and help people help themselves. Don’t always give suggestions and solutions. Empower people and ask good questions so people can form their own solutions.
  • Simply by sailing in a new direction, you could enlarge the world – Allen Curnow
  • If your actions inspire others to do more, dream more and achieve more, then you’re a leader.
  • Leadership is about love:
      – You have to work with people
      – There must be a why
  •  Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  • When you pitch, focus on the long-term outcomes.
  • When giving feedback, say: It’d be better if…


men and women | future-proof the writing


Apparently, the world is no longer about only women and men. How can text (writing) like this be future-proof and supportive of everyone no matter what and how they identify themselves?


Who wouldn’t love an interactive billboard that involves some touching and taking selfies 😁

Some PR:

Unfortunately, Fanta Instagram looks dead boring. Eeeekkks.

Fanta New Zealand   fantanz  • Instagram photos and videos

When beauty salons have also gone social.

Before you can praise their service, they have already praised themselves by implying they’ve done a good job on you.

Don’t really want to think about other services like liposuction or Brazilian waxing though.


Countdown NZ

A very cute message delivered with a human tone. I like this. A.

the cutest ad on TV today

One year in AKL


Such a super overdue post but i’m happy like a fool.