Oct 21, 2020 • 2M

Kaizen Newsletter #68 - Is your online and IRL personas the same?

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Alexander Hugh Sam
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Hey friend 👋,

Welcome to the 68th edition of the Kaizen Newsletter ⛩, a weekly newsletter where I share my thoughts, new ideas I learn and make weird connections between self-improvement, productivity, product, tech, sports, anime.

This week, I tried to do something new and decided to expose my voice to you all and tried to do an audio newsletter. I got inspired by another On Deck fellow, Nate Kadlac. Would love you to let me know what you think! Should I continue?

(if you got referred to this page by a friend or are simply visiting you can subscribe here👇)

Two weeks ago, I got EXPOSED by my friend in one of our messenger groups.

To add context, I had just sent out a tweet on how I beat procrastination and my friend saw the tweet and decided to post it in our group chat.

The reason why he posted it was that I was posting volleyball videos in our chat instead of actually working.

So it was ironic that while I was posting YouTube videos in our group chat, I also sent out a tweet on how to beat procrastination (while I was procrastinating myself) and my friend rightfully called me out.

But it didn’t stop there.

A few days later, during dinner, we randomly happened to be talking about my newsletter. Then my friend says that although she enjoys reading my newsletter, she would take my advice more seriously if she actually saw me applying what I talk about in my everyday life.

As a standalone event, I don't think that anyone of these would actually stop to make me think, but TWO mentions about my newsletter in the same week?

That's when I kinda stopped and started thinking a bit more.

“Wait, am I being a charlatan?” is what I was thinking about. Imposter syndrome was hitting me at full speed.

The reason why it affected me so much is that one of the values that I preach is to be as authentic as possible.

I mean it's literally the first thing I mention on my Twitter bio: "I just want to be the most me possible".

So there I was, wondering if the Alexander Hugh Sam that I'm portraying online was not the same Alexander Hugh Sam that you see in real life.

After a few days of reflection, I realized that yes, I am different online than offline. But what I realized was that it’s okay. I don’t think I am being unauthentic.

How I see it is that both serve different purposes. The “Alexander” that I portray on social media is me, but a few steps further than the actual “Alexander Hugh Sam”.

He’s a bit smarter, a bit more knowledgeable and procrastinates a bit less than the IRL “Alexander”.

This online persona of mine serves as a reminder that although I am on a good track, I’m still a few steps back and that if I eventually want to become this online persona that I’m portraying, then I should listen to it a bit more.

And my friend is right. If ever I want to inspire others to try and become the best versions of themselves, then I should try to reflect that IRL as well.

One thing that I've personally done to take some steps forward to becoming that person is to prevent myself from using Twitter or Youtube until 12PM and so far, I've already seen some differences!

Now, on to the newsletter.

🤔 Thoughts

🎨 Thoughts on Imagery

I remember when I was in high school, I used to HATE metaphors. I just didn’t really get them. Why would you waste so much time to describe a beautiful flower, when you can literally write “beautiful flower” and everyone will understand it.

And up until very recently, that’s how I’ve been thinking. However, since I’ve been trying to improve my craft as a writer, I would say that this thought of mine has changed.

Instead, every time that I see an essay using beautiful imagery, I start smiling and get super excited.

I tell myself “Damn, I wish I would be able to write like this in my essays.”

A great example is a recent essay, Echoes of Reflection, written by my good friend Salman.

Amidst the lockdowns of a global pandemic, the sounds of life have changed. For the first time in a century, the hustle and bustle that fills our streets has gone quiet. In this eerie silence, the song of the birds echoes louder than ever before. 

Even our deepest thoughts have amplified their volume. These existential provocations used to be drowned out by the busyness of our lives. Now, they relentlessly bang their drums in the chambers of our minds.

Listen for a moment. Can you hear them?

What’s so cool about this text is that it triggers so many of your senses simultaneously. I can visualize the empty streets, but also hear the song of the birds playing in my head.

I’m not there yet, but I definitely want to get there someday!

🐦 Tweets

Love this. We usually think that meditation is about learning to "de-stress" ourselves, but it's actually learning to be okay with and accepting our thoughts.

Great reminder by my friend Salman on what it takes to become a better writer (or anything really).

I can never look at Wolverine the same way.

🙏 Shoutout

Shoutout to some new friends that I made in the past couple of days from the On Deck fellowship: Anthony, Rishi and James.

👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

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