Fear of Missing Out?

FOMO.

Recently I discovered that word. Fear. Of. Missing. Out.

FOMO pc1(1)

With this age of instant connection to media and social network, I am saddened by how quickly we get attached to all of that. I am an addict to all things related to technology or self-hack or music or so many other things that if I write down, this space won’t be enough. You get my idea.

How many of you feel left out if you don’t know what your friends are up to or what is happening around you at the very moment? I know it’s not bad to be updated on things that matter to our life. But sometimes it gets more than just “keeping updated”. It gets us to a feeling like “I can’t miss out on anything. No I can’t”.

I have been there. It sucks. It gets me dizzy because I have to keep on checking all social media I have in order to keep up with the world around me. Not to mention, the RSS I subscribed to and some other newsletters. Many times I end up feeling bad with my life. I notice that I compare myself with others mostly when I have the fear of missing out and constantly scrolling through the timeline. Not good.

I have started something new in my life. I have stopped checking my Facebook regularly. And my regularly, I mean several times in a day. Now, I check only once in every 2 to 3 days. And news too. I am addicted to news. It doesn’t have to be about serious stuffs happening in Middle-East or Ebola. It can be anything I don’t know. I am addicted to knowledge. I am still trying to control myself in news consumption. Not being glued to my screen checking what is new in music or movie or literature world.

I have been trying this out for couple of weeks now. Honestly I don’t remember when exactly I started this. But now, I can say that I am feeling better. When I am waiting or have nothing to do, FB (or any other apps in my phone like Instagram, Path, Flipboard, Alien Blue) is not the first app I open. Instead, I try to soak in what is happening in my surrounding. Lemme tell you, it is not easy task. But I am trying.

Fear of missing out. That is one of the symptoms of having unhappy life. Fear of being left out of something that we are not even sure the value is for our life.

I am still trying to deal with this. I have seen the improvement in my life. I am happier 🙂

So my friends. Are you seeing what I am seeing? Do you have the fear of missing out? If you do, deal with it before it takes over your life 🙂

Advertisements

The Very Reason Why You Should Turn on “Find My iPhone”

This post sounds solely applicable to iPhone. But actually it doesn’t. Android users can relate to this with the equivalent application you have on your phone. I am sharing this story with you now so you’ll be able to see the reason why that feature is a must.

find_my_iphone_icon

On August 2014, I was on a trip with my best mate, Wayne to Indochina. We had a lot preparation prior and it included making sure we turned on this “Find My iPhone” in both of our phones.

I will cut all the fun parts in the trip to get to the point of this post 😉

One morning we checked out from Hoang Hai Long Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to catch a Mekong Express bus to Cambodia. The check-out process was annoyingly long, considering we’re gonna be late for our bus. By the time, we got in our taxi to the bus station, Wayne realized his phone was gone.

We went back to that hotel. He turned the room upside down and found nothing (of course, I had a strong feeling someone must have taken that). It was so hard since the trip was just starting and this happened. When we got to the bus station, I got to the office across the street to print out our tickets (we ordered the tickets online). Wayne couldn’t find his phone in his backpack and suitcase (he checked in case he forgot that he had put it in there before). He insisted to stay in the city until we could recover his phone. And then, it just clicked to me to check Find My iPhone!

I explained the situation to the lady at the office (she is super super nice. She asked the bus driver to wait for us while we were dealing with this) and she allowed us to use her desktop computer to check the location of the phone using http://www.icloud.com.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.18.44 AM

Wayne logged in using his Apple ID and then he clicked the Find My iPhone thumbnail on the screen. We located the lost phone from there. We were not sure where it was so we asked that super super nice lady and she informed us that it was our hotel.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.17.34 AM

The Three Musketeers
                       The Three Musketeers

We turned on the Lost Mode and Play Sound. Through Lost Mode, we sent a text message to the phone notifying that this phone was lost and asked the handler to call my phone. I was pretty sure that we’re gonna be able to get the phone back because if you turn on that Play Sound, that phone won’t stop ringing until it’s stopped and with Lost Mode, the phone is practically useless without the password for Apple ID. And no one will be able to circumvent that but the owner.

We called the hotel back and guess what? Surprise, surprise. They found the phone under a furniture. Wayne then took a motorbike taxi to collect the phone.

So, I hope after reading this, you, yes you, will go to your iPhone setting then go to Privacy, Location Services (switch it ON), Find My iPhone (switch it ON). You’ll notice that if you want to switch it back off (which you shouldn’t do), you’ll be asked for your Apple ID’s password. Great isn’t it?! No one will be able to stop you when you are looking for your phone!

And as I mentioned in the beginning of the post, Android users can totally relate to this story too. You guys can use Find My Phone or other anti theft apps on PlayStore. The purpose of the app is just about the same: Find our phone when it is lost from our sight.

Please introduce this feature to anyone you know so they won’t need to mourn over their lost phone. You can just use the share button down there for less of a hassle 😉

And this concludes the post. Later! 🙂

4 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

Before I start telling you all the reasons why you should start journaling, I think we should be on the same ground on what a journal is. In French, the word jour itself means day so to my own definition, a journal is something in which you record your daily activities. 

journal-writing1

Ok. So we are now settled with the definition of a journal! Let’s get going 😉

When I mentioned to my friends that I keep a journal, all of them raised their eye brows.

“What? Journal? You mean a diary? Like a dear diary thing?”

“Dude, that’s for chicks!”

“So you keep a notebook with you everywhere like old people?”

“What? Now you plan to make an autobiography out of it one day? Who are you?” 

Yup, I got all those responses. And I believe you too will get at least one or you had one of those in your mind when you read the title of my post. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

I first encountered the idea of journaling back in 2006. I can’t recall specifically where I got that idea but I do remember that I wanted to improve my English and writing skills. Writing a journal was an exercise for me. I started doing that religiously and then I discovered that writing a journal is actually a therapeutic activity. Why?

First lemme answer a question with another question (I know someone’d hate this haha): How many of us spend a good quality time with our inner self on a regular basis? With all the activities and the rising trend on social media, I doubt any of us can actually spend time just sitting still and talk with ourselves. Oh well, if you manage to have time to do this or even meditate, that’s good for you! But I honestly think not everyone can do that and this is where journaling comes in. 

1. To evaluate your day

You can spare 10-15 minutes per day and rewind your day on a journal. By having that process, you will be able to spot some things that you missed or took for granted. And the next time you are on it again, you can make a better situation out of it. 

2. To keep track of things

I often have trouble remembering when a certain occasion happened in the past. I am pretty sure I am not the only one haha. But since I keep track of activities or important moments of my life in my journal, I can just check. I am using digital journal so it’s easier to search using keywords. 

3. To keep your emotions in check

Do you realize that as human beings we can’t hold all emotions to ourselves for a long time? If that is what you are doing now, beware my friend, you are a ticking bomb. You may explode at any given time. I understand when you have something in your heart that’s been bugging you for a long time but you have no one to talk to. Whether because it is very personal to you or because at the very moment, no one is available for you. You know what? Use a journal to let out all sorts of emotions. You will feel much better afterwards. Trust me, by letting it all out, you will see things more clearly afterwards. 

4. To keep on the right track

I believe each one of us has goal in life. It can be a short or long term goal. But sometimes there are many distractions out there to keep us focused. I think you will agree with me on that. But, hey, guess what? Journaling can help you to keep on track. You will feel more responsible about reaching your goal by logging in your process on a regular basis. It just works!

I used to have a binder to keep a journal. But then, thanks to technology. Oh well, thanks to Apple haha. I have been using my iPhone to keep a journal. If you want to start journaling, I’d recommend you to use a digital/electronic journal, like on your phone/tablet. It’s portable and you can fill it in anytime anywhere. 

So what are you waiting for now? Start journaling! 🙂

Jonn

Tips For Accommodation

IMG_6172

After booking your flights, the second most important thing to do is ensure you have a place to stay. We found that the best prices were from hotels.com and agoda.com. Both had a wide selection of hotels to choose from and provided helpful reviews and discounts. When you’re booking accommodations, you should do it as soon as you book your flights because you can often get a discount for booking a room a certain number of days in advance.

Hotel-reception-bell 

One thing to note is that different websites offer different benefits at the hotel such as breakfast and free wi-fi. Often you’ll see two identical rooms but the prices are different. Click on the “amenities” link if there is one next to the room and read the description. For our trip, if the room price was not too different between the breakfast and no-breakfast package, we spent the extra few dollars and got breakfast. Many hotels just had the breakfast included as part of the room price. For the hotels we didn’t book breakfast for (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand, it wasn’t too hard to walk down the street and find something to eat for breakfast, so don’t feel obligated to get a room package with breakfast. We did find it more convenient when there was breakfast, but it wasn’t essential.

star-ratings 

The way we selected rooms was by using Trip Advisor to check ratings and reviews, and then we took the hotel name and booked it on Agoda or Hotels.com because the pricing was better. When choosing hotels, we looked at the photos (be weary of hotels that have a lot of photos of the grounds but none of the inside of the rooms. Especially the bathrooms and the bed areas…), the rating of stars, the reviews, and the price. When it comes to reviews, the best thing is to disregard the reviews that have a “5” and the reviews with a rating of “1”. These people tend to be extremists in my opinion, they either loved all of it or hated all of it and everything was the absolute worst. What we did was read the reviews of “3” and “4” because I find that those individual tend to be more honest with their reviews. The 3’s are essentially saying “so-so” and they’re more likely to give you concrete reasons for being torn in their decision. They’ll typically give a good balance of the good and bad of the hotel unlike those who rate a “5” or a “1”. The reviewers who leave a “4” are also valuable because they liked most things, but there was something that made them hold back from giving it a 5, and they will likely be honest about it. It may be something that bothers you as well and may make you want to avoid that hotel, so be sure to read up.

Another thing with reviews is to read the most recent ones. Check the dates as some people write their reviews over a year after they travel and in that time the hotel could have gone through major upgrades and renovations (e.g., someone “travelled in” Feb 2013, but the review was “posted in” July 2014. Over a year has passed and some of what was said may have been resolved in that time, so just use caution. Lastly, take all reviews with a grain of salt. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I think sometimes hotel staff go in and write reviews…

0

One last tip, if you see a hotel where the management has replied to the recent reviews, that is also a good sign. I like to see that the management has taken an interest and is listening. It also helped me to avoid a few hotels because the managers were quite rude and condescending in their response to visitor comments/reviews. If they’re willing to be a jerk online, then how do you think they’ll act in person when/if you have an issue during your stay?

Lastly, remember to print the confirmation of every hotel you book because often you will be asked for it when you arrive at the hotel. They will also ask for your passport and the passport of all others staying in your room as well as the credit card of the person who made the booking (for incidentals) at check in. This was surprising to me at first, but I got used to it after the second hotel. Printing the confirmation will also allow you to have the address of the hotel on hand, and will help the taxi/tuk-tuk driver out when you use their services from the airport.

By: Wayne Thomas 

Why Worry?

Oliver-Burkeman-Worries-i-006

I think “worry” is a very common thing that happens in our lives.

I too worry, like a lot.

Recently, I spent way too much time worrying things I should not. It ate me up from within. No matter what I was doing, I’d worry about some things. No hearty laugh, just a hesitant smile here and there to complement the situation I was in. It’s hard to live every single day in that phase. I know you know this, too.

We’d worry about work or our career, we’d worry about our financial situation, we’d worry about the relationship we are in, we’d worry about our family members, we’d worry about our health, we’d worry about so many things. But you know what?

No matter what kind of worry that we have, all of them have 1 similarity. It’s about what the future holds for us. We are scared of that tunnel ahead of us. Be it professionally, financially or personally.

I thank God for His constant guidance and unceasing love for me. Despite all of the messiness in my head, He reminded me of something very essential and I want to share this with you, putting aside what your belief system is.

Be grateful for where you are now.

Remember that one time when you saw something in you and you decided to follow your heart to pursue something despite what your friends said. And then here you are today with the skills/knowledge/money you have way beyond your peers.

Remember that one time that you felt so lonely because you could not relate to anyone. You felt you were weird and out of place. And then here you are today, later in life, seeing all the dots being connected for good deeds.

Remember that one time few years back when you were out there looking for a job. What are the odds that you got the job even though you knew you were not even be able to compete with other highly qualified candidates. But, you got the job!

Remember that one time.

Remember where you were before you are here now, in front of a screen reading this.

We sometimes focus too much on what is to come. We spend way too much time on that instead of pondering the goodness and blessings we have had before.

Let’s say we start the day by thanking God for where we are today, I am sure we will worry less. Why? Because we’d push ourselves to remember the good deeds He had done for us and we’d know that He has taken good care of us for so long that we even made it here!

With all of that in our mind, why do you think He would stop caring for us?

We are in good hands. God is in control. 🙂

 

 

. . . is Present

IN2112_01_CC_low_800

Any of you ever heard of Marina Abramović ?

Frankly speaking, her name never crossed me until recently I found out about the collaboration that happened between her and Gaga. I then headed to Wikipedia to look into her. I was intrigued to check on her art performance on YouTube. I watched some of her performances and found myself aghast. I was a total noob for this kind of art performance. Up to this point, I considered her actions as pointless and very odd (I watched the videos where she bumped herself into the wall, pressing herself to a big mirror, some people masturbating and a very disturbing animation video of woman inserting fish into her vagina). Then came another big collaboration of her with a rapper, Jay Z. That got my attention so this time I decided to put aside my initial thought on her and tried to understand what someone like Marina’s actually doing.

I watched this documentary about her performance in MOMA. I was very skeptical when I first tuned in to this documentary. Some cuts were pretty graphic and inconceivable. I did not get what her “performance” had to do with art. But then, I got to see a glimpse of her early years with her companion and a tiny part of her childhood. I saw a link and reasoning there.

But what really gets into me from this HBO’s documentary is her art performance in MOMA, called The Artist is Present. It is the exact title that’s used as a title for this documentary. Those of you who reside in US might have heard of it since it’s pretty controversial back then. People getting naked in museum being treated as art and Marina herself was the main attraction of the crowd. People were lining up nights before only to be able to sit in front her and stare into her eyes. At first, I did not get the whole point of this, at all. I thought it was pretty odd, sitting in an big plain room with many people watching. Then I got to see that many visitors sat down and felt the kind of affection from Marina’s eyes. She was present. She sat there and simply being present towards her visitor. She smiled, she cried, she looked deep into the person sitting in front of her.

Marina Abramovich-3587

tumblr_malv4gp2K51rubv0yo9_r1_1280

An interesting comment came from one of MOMA’s people (I think so, CMIIW). He said Marina always gave the impression that she’s in love with the person she’s interacting with. It’s her full presence that made it so.

No wonder many had the tenacity to wait long hours only to be able to sit in front of Marina. Even from a screen, I could feel how warm and fully present she was towards the visitors. She looked deep into each pair of eyes, felt every emotion, letting out smiles and even tears along with the visitors. And I agreed with a commentator mentioning how Marina made the person she’s interacting with, felt as if becoming Marina’s lover because of the full attention she’s giving out.

But it is sad to see that in the society, we as human beings are losing our grip on our life.

With these days’ technology, everyone is always seemed to be attached to some gadgets. Be it the increasingly omnipresent smartphone or tablets or computer or television or anything else. You can always find a group of friends or family hanging out and some seem real busy with their gadgets while ignoring the other bunch who are interacting.

And not only that, as a human being, we are accustomed to deal with everything in a brisk manner. We constantly forget to be there during the whole process. What we want is always the final result. This whole thing is slowly making ourselves become a robot.

With Marina’s art performance, I learned that we can get ourselves back to the right track. Back to the way it’s supposed to be. How? By being present whenever and wherever we are. It is to make us appreciate more and be more responsive to what is happening at the present time instead of just chasing the wind with no clear direction.

Be present and make a difference. Be present and spend more quality time with our loved ones.

That’s why I keep “. . . is Present” as a title of this post. Fill in your name in the blank space and utter it to yourself, “. . . is present”.

Ready to see yourself evolving to become a better you 🙂

Art of War in Business

Wow! It’s been a month since my last post on this blog. So, where were we?

A little background on what I about to discuss here: JoCom (if you realize it stands for Jonn’s Communication. Sounds tacky, I know. LOL), a mobile network provider wanted to fight its way to get into top 3 place in terms of market share.

In this case, we’ll be able to see how market research plays a significant role to determine what steps need to be taken in their next strategy. They conducted a nationwide market research. In order to get this research effective, they set the objectives; what kind of output they wanted to see as the end result.

JoCom is a relatively new and smaller company if being compared to other settled top 3 companies. But… First things first, I’d like to quote Sun Tzu’s The Art of War,

             ” Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from fighting. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success”

“Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards. So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak”

That’s exactly what JoCom did. They wanted to see what their competitors were missing and “attack” them with those. But before that, they had to discover: What were their strengths that needed to be reinforced and their competitors’ weakness that needed to be attacked? There must be something. In order to do that, they decided to put everything back to basic.

They wanted to discover what the ideal mobile network was like for their all respondents (users of their service and non-users/users of their competitors). They attempted to figure out what was it that non-users like from their service and and what their current users dislike of this service.

Naturally, we would ask our users why they like of our service and non-users of what they dislike. But with this reversed method, we will get the best of the answers.

By asking non-users on what they liked of the service, JoCom would be able to strengthen their good sides. And spontaneously, they also got what it was that make those people avoiding their service notwithstanding those good sides. And by asking their current users on things they disliked, it would help Jocom to avoid losing their current users. You know, patch the hole before it gets too big and irreparable! And they also would be able to discover the things that made current users trusted their company in the first place and what made them stick around.

The final result of the research brought unexpected things to surface. They rediscovered the whole company and bit by bit, they were getting where they aspired to be.

You see how important it is to have a goal in everything we do, especially in business. By having a goal first, we’d be able to plan ahead to reach that goal and succeed, just like JoCom and its goal to be the top 3 player in the market. They knew precisely what they wanted to achieve and they found the way to reach that very goal. That is by winning the competition. In whatever business you are having, besides having a clear goal, it’s also crucial to know what it is that makes you ahead of your competitors and what it is that you are left behind.

To quote Sun Tzu’s Art of War,

“You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.

You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.”

Market Research. How Does it Work? Part Deux

On my last post, I have provided a study on how a market research works perfectly prior producing mass products in the market. Now, we will see another case how market research has become something common to big players in business.

I am pretty sure anywhere in the world, telecommunication holds a great deal in every single aspect of a living. Telephone as a mean of modern telecommunication has evolved into something that was inconceivable in the early days of its invention.

Evolution_of_Telephone_Kath

From a cable dependent telephone to a wireless one. From a conventional phone call to video call. From a simple text message to a picture message. From your hand to the world with Internet.

As time goes by and as technology evolves, telecommunication company has to evolve to support the even more demanding customers. I think you know where I am taking you with this. Yes, let’s use the highly competitive cell phone carrier industry as a case!

It’s common in a country to have multiple cell phone carriers. In general, no matter where we reside, we’ll have two kind of cellular service: GSM and CDMA. GSM is the biggest player in terms of market share in the industry. Competition in providing the best GSM service is rigid. Every company will try their best to gain the biggest piece of pie chart in the market.

Here we have JoCom, a struggling mobile network operator in a country with 7 other competitors. JoCom was one of the new comers due to the emerging number of cell phone users in the country. Data has shown that the number of cell phone users has reached its peak since the release of cell phone itself. Top 3 place were held by long existent companies. JoCom has been operating for 3 years yet they haven’t seen anything significant with the number of users.

They know they need to do something with their brand and their service in order to gain more share. Releasing more promotion like affordable service did not gain them anything decent. It hit them later that they had to recognize what kind of market they should really aim and what do these people really need of a cellular company. They decided to take the basic approach.

A big market research was conducted in several big cities that was believed to be representing the total inhabitants. A sample number was set with a precise calculation.

Now you must be wondering what sample number has to do with total number of inhabitants. In market research, we have two big methodologies to gain data.

1. Quantitative methodology

2. Qualitative methodology

 Image

As the word itself suggests, you might presume that quantitative has to do with numbers. Yes, you are right. With this approach, you will have to deal with a great deal of numbers. If you love statistics, this is definitely your field! In this technique, mostly it will be done throughout questionnaire. You may find people stop you somewhere or even calling you up to answer some queries, this is actually one of the technique used to collect data.

But as two sides of a coin, this approach can not solve more in-depth query.

This is where a qualitative approach chips in to give out some help.

Image

Qualitative methodology has been known by many as a method in answering the “why” to every answer. Why is that? No pun intended for this one J

Because unlike in quantitative technique where you are limited to the multiple-choice questions and very little of open-ended questions, in qualitative technique, you will be able to meet the consumers directly and probe as much as you need with only time as your concern.

The limitation of it though lies on the number of number of samples. Since it’s an in-depth research, meaning you will mostly go to one-by-one interview or group discussion, you won’t be able to cover hundreds or even thousands of consumers like you do in quantitative method. In-depth research takes time; the interviewing time and the analyzing time. That’s why in terms of cost, with the same number of samples being used, qualitative research is more pricey than quantitative one.

This post has been quite a long one as I planned to make it as readable to anyone who does not like reading much.

On my next post, I will continue on JoCom and some other hands-on explanation. Make sure you follow and check it out!

Market Research, How Does It Work?

On my previous post, I have given a little explanation on what market research is. Now let’s take a study case to have a firm grip on the subject.

Image

Take a company called, XYZ, a leading customer-goods manufacturer in a country. They produce snacks in various type. If you ask people what brand will they think of when you ask them about chocolate cracker, XYZ is their top-of-mind brand. In other words, they are currently in good standing compared to their competitors.

As most business do, they want to expand. They want to invent a new snack category. They want to make an equivalent of pancake but make it as snack that will taste like crackers. Yeah, I know that weird. But hey! We’ll never know how it taste until we have a bite, right?

Back to the topic, so this company has done their research, in terms of taste, look and package design. The product itself is ready. But, the problems starts arousing when they distribute the products to stores. Sale number is not impressive at all. It is mortifying. Customers don’t like it or should I say, customers are not buying the whole concept of it. Do you see where the real problem lies?

Yes, 100 points for those who guess correctly. They invented this new category without any knowledge on how their customers-to-be will react. They produced the products without any assurance whether there will be any buyers or not.

You know what they should have done before they spend all their big budgets in producing their products and distributing all across countries? You are right. Do some research on the market. Have some product testing to see how the market will react to this product prior to the big launching. They should have created some samples and invite some people in the targeted market that will actually represent them into group discussion to talk over this product. It is done to get inside of the head of their consumers-to-be.

By having that discussion, the manufacturer will get the idea on whether the whole concept is acceptable in the market. Then if it is acceptable, how good their product will satisfy them in terms of taste, size, package and other intangible stuffs like emotional needs.

This is one of many sides in market research. I will give out other study case that will showcase how market research comes really handy when it comes to making the best out of your business.