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im my biggest phan

Tag: ambition


Today, I do not want to write. But here I am. Writing. It feels forced and I should be fine with it. But I’m not. Is this what goes through the minds of writers when the encounter writer’s block? My procrastination and laziness overwhelms me at this very moment and I feel tense about putting every single word down. I like to come into writing mode with a sense of direction of where I am going but today, I am writing on a whim.

As I usually do for most of my writing sessions, I set a timer for how long I should or need to write for to meet my minimum requirement for the day. Today has been set for thirty minutes because frankly, I’d go crazy if I did an hour like I normally would. Is this consider torture what I am doing to myself or am I teaching myself a valuable lesson; to persist even when you don’t want to.

I’ve been reading a book called On Writing Well by William Zinsser and he says that consistency and regular routine in writing is important to becoming a great writer. With practice, concentration and determination every single day, it will enhance the abilities of the writer to churn out good prose and overall skill. I’m still only 20 pages into the book so I don’t know how much I am taking in but Zinsser’s book is doing its best to keep me energized throughout my writing career. In fact, since starting this short post, I’ve glanced over at it multiple times to avoid giving in to laziness.

Have you been stuck in writing dilemma such as myself in the past? What are your ways of overcoming your mentality? Does it get to the point of frustration where all you would like to do is sit down and cry the night away? Okay, I am exagerrating quite a bit and writing can not be compared to mental insanity but still, it does take a toll on your mind.

If I were to describe my brain and mentality, it feels clogged. There is a sense of stuffiness in my head now. I am not sure if it can be contributed to not knowing what the heck I am doing or if it is the stress I am under. It’s a lightheaded sensation that I am grateful I am getting to experience but it is not welcoming.

I am using this post as a way to tighten up my writing. Zinsser says we need to rid ourselves of unneccessary fluff words and get straight to the point. We often rely on words we do not need. In this last sentence, I deliberately put in “often” but the sentence would still be effective if got rid of it. This is a problem I tend to have in my writing as I’d like to expand on my sentences and think the longer the better. In actuality, I just make a fool of myself and use unnecessary vocabulary.

I’m nearing the end of my train of thought and my random ramblings seem to discourage me slightly. But the truth is, with five and a half minutes left on my timer, I am glad that I set out to write this piece. It’s not my greatest work on display but I hope it demonstrates to my audience how I feel as a writer from time to time. There is a degree of aggravation that comes with writing. You honestly just have to go with the flow and see how you can perservere from it. Writing adventures can be tricky and overwhelming but if you want to be in it for the long haul, embrace it as much as you can.


A Month of Habits

Even before marathon training started back in December, I consider myself to be a very ambitious individual. I would read a lot of productivity blogs and read articles that promoted different habits that everyone should pursue or strive for. Some of the habits that I’ve been working on fell through, whereas others have stuck with me. When March came around, and lent was about to begin, I decided, out of nowhere, that I wanted to give up something. And so I gave up porn. But a couple of days later, I started, after reading different articles to see if I could last a month without other things as well. Here is my journey:

COLD SHOWERS – I started to take cold showers every morning. I would jump in the shower and the turn the knob to the coldest setting possible. The first few days were rough. I found myself shivering uncontrollably. The first day lasted for about one minute but as the days progressed, I stood longer and longer in the cold shower. I found myself being able to fight against the discomfort of the coldness of the water and fighting past the shivering. I was able to brace myself for the sensation of the cold and controlled my breath every time I stepped in. Controlling your breathing is definitely key to having a more relaxing experience but even on day 35, I still struggle with the cold. I found there are many benefits to the cold shower therapy. I became more alert in the initial hour I woke up (although my poor sleeping habits prevented me from being energized throughout the day). I feel refreshed and my skin looks great. However, lately, my back has become really stiff and in a lot of pain and my subconscious is telling me to attribute it to the cold shower and how its causing me to not be loose at all. So as of now, I’ve been doing the hot/cold combo and it’s been pretty awesome and a habit I will be keeping with me for the rest of my life.

LOGGING THE FOOD I EAT – I am on Day 217. I have this habit of writing everything I eat down, the mood I’m feeling and whether I did any form of exercise that day. I found this nice to track your life and your eating habits. It doesn’t necessarily make me change my eating my habits but it does allow me to reflect how my mood may differ from day to day depending on what I eat. I haven’t been able to find a correlation yet between exercise, food and my mood but this is because I haven’t analyzed it fully yet. It’s also nice to show doctors if I ever need to give them a log of some kind of what I’ve been eating. I use Evernote for this task and if you want a template of what I do, this is what it looks like:

Day 217 – 4/14

Breakfast –  Oatmeal
Snack 1 –
Lunch –
Snack 2 –
Dinner –


MOOD: Woke up groggy and not really wanting to get out of bed. Got to work and hammering out everything I needed to get done. Ambitious and motivated.

Day 216 – 4/13

Breakfast –  Ramen
Snack 1 –
Lunch – Pasta with avocado/eggs/mushrooms/peppers
Snack 2 –
Dinner – Turkey burger


MOOD: Rested, motivated to get things done. More awake than day before. Still anxious about hearing

NO FACEBOOK – I’m a huge fan of social media and I think it really connects you with people you don’t normally talk to. Facebook in particular is amazing to network and to find out about events happening in your area. But lately, especially with my marathon training promotion and fundraising, I had been overexposed and felt like I needed to back away for a little bit. And on March 13th, I decided to opt out of Facebook for an undisclosed amount of time. The month without FB has been amazing. I found myself more productive and not looking on FB every time I was bored. I found myself so reliant on it to feed the time that I don’t know what to do with myself, instead of actually focusing on my most important tasks. But the drawback was that I felt really out of the loop when it comes to my social network of friends and knowing what was up in the community. Friends would constantly say that they had photos of me that they couldn’t tag and that they had group messages I was part of and couldn’t respond to. I missed deadlines for social events and surprises and you know what I realized, all of these things didn’t phase me. It’s that phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” Of course I would react after the fact but when it was done and over with, I didn’t really care. Now that I’m back on FB, after a month of being off it, I found myself making a more conscious choice not to go on it every time I was bored. I will set aside a certain period of time to really go on the site and explore but then go back to my tasks at hand.

MEDITATION – This has been a habit that I have been consistently doing for nearly a year now. I only do 5 minutes a day and it is so refreshing to be able to clear my mind. However, it has gotten to the point where I need to improve the 5 minutes and make it 10 minutes or a great length of time. There are some days where I don’t have the time to sit physically in my pose so I decide to be mindful when I am traveling around the city, in my car or what not. I encourage everyone to take up this habit because it really does calm you down and make you more aware of the things around you. It helps relieve tension and forget about the worries of the future and the past. This is one of the lifelong habits that is positive for your health and well-being. Do this!

I have other habits that I am also working on but it hasn’t been consistent enough to write about. But in the next year or so, I hope to make this routine:


Writing My Own Obituary

I’m currently reading “Achieve Anything In Just One Year” by Jason Harvey. What I have been doing this past year is to write in my journal every single day, according to the assignment of the day in his book. I am currently on Day 146 and in this section, it asks us to write our own obituary.

Obviously this idea is quite morbid. Who wants to think about our undoing or our end. Who also wants to write about it and what’s the point? According to Jason, the point of the exercise is that it allows us to think about our life and how content we are about it. It makes you think about what people think of you at the end of your life and whether you feel accomplished by everything that you have done or not. It is an exercise that encourages participation and active engagement and to prevent yourself from procrastinating too much in life. You get to focus on the time that you have left and to make sure that you utilize it as much as you possible can.

Without further ado, here is a short obituary that I wrote for myself. It’s going be weird coming back to it in a few years.

The Life of Anh Phan

Anh Phan was born on May 2nd, 1987. He passed away peacefully on September 9th, 2072 at the prime age of 85. He was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and emigrated to the United States when he was 3. He was raised in the city of Worcester, MA for many years before making the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Mr. Phan had a long and prosperous career. He earned his bachelors at Emerson College in 2010 in the degree of Visual Media Arts. After several years on a variety of television shows in the industry, he made the transition to the field of education. He earned his California teaching credential in December of 2014 and started his elementary education career that following January. He further pursued his education by earning his Masters & Doctorate degree at California State University – Northridge in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

A renowned educator and disciplined in the field of self-help, Mr. Phan traveled across the United States and spoke at conferences to help improve our education infrastructure and to motivate young students to be active with their life. He wrote several best-selling self-development books as a means to encourage the general population to get started on the right path.

Mr. Phan was always an ambitious and driven characters who always saw the best in his friends, family and colleagues. His smile lit up the faces of many who had the fortunate opportunity to know him. But behind his warm nature was also a fiery spirit as well. He was an avid dodgeball player throughout his youth and participated in several long distance races in his career. He used his athletic experience to help coach youth Cross country teams to great success.

Mr. Phan was a gracious character and will be missed for his kindness, enthusiastic energy and contributions to his community.

He leaves behind his husband, Taylor Jacobs of 50 years, along with two sons and two daughters.

Post thoughts on the obituary

I definitely felt weird writing this. Not because it involves death but I found myself wanting people to praise me. I had to come up with adjectives to describe how I think people think of me and it seems a bit conceited. I know I have certain traits that my friends tell me are quite appealing but to write about it, felt a bit off. It definitely made me think about my career goals and really put into perspective of how I envisioned my life to look like. It boiled down to educator, motivational speaker and best-selling writer. We’ll see how this turns out!

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