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Monday
Feb112013

That line between being cocky and humble

Note: This post is a bit more personal and probably be boring to most people, but I just wanted to get my thoughts out.

Lately I've started to go on walks around the city by myself (usually in search of food, I admit) and have found that it's a really nice way to explore your thoughts. I usually have some music with me, which is also nice as I find that it helps guide my thoughts to different areas in my mind. Anyways, enough backstory, today I was just thinking about how to express what you think about yourself. In essence, the difference between show-boating and being humble. What is the right balance?

I personally believe that being humble is in general a good thing, and something one should strive to be. The problem however with being humble all the time is that there are cases when you want to boast about yourself. It doesn't take long to think about times when this is the case: when writing a resume, in an interview, and in other workspace settings where you want to bring visibility to your accomplishments. Outside of work it can be things such as first dates, gatherings where you don't know anyone, and other times where you want to be memorable/impress people. I feel that there is a very delicate balance, but it can be immediately obvious when you've crossed the line.

I don't feel that I am someone who is a push-over and know when to stand up for myself and when to boast. In general though, I do feel that I may be, not more humble, but more quiet about myself. The issue with this is that sometimes by not speaking up, you can sometimes convince yourself that sometimes you don't have as much to boast about. I admit that this is something that I've felt more lately. When I was younger, I was a bit more on the cocky side. University sure as hell beat that out of me.

I was thinking of times when I've actually boasted about myself in a non-joking manner. I can think of one, maybe two times. Both times I was trying to convince someone that I was better than someone else at something. Wasn't convincing either time, so clearly I shouldn't try that again! The thing to think about though, was that both of these times were during/after university, so I do sometimes wonder if I would have been more convincing when I was younger and more cocky. Interesting thing to think about.

I would say that while this being less cocky is a good thing, I feel that it may have gone a bit too much in the other direction. The issue is that this can, and I would say has, impacted my confidence. Sometimes you need a bit of a boost to remind yourself of who you are and what you've done. Recently for me was when I was talking with some of my co-workers and I mentioned that I often feel like the dumbest guy in the room and that one day someone will find out. He responded, in a half joking manner, "I've been here a long time, that feeling never goes away." First of all, it was nice to hear that other people get that feeling. Secondly, it made me sit down and try to think of all that I had learned and what I've done in my life until that point. I won't repeat it all here, but it was a nice reminder that I have accomplished things to be proud of.

So while this is all nice and good. What about when you have to tell other people? When it comes to resumes and interviews, I think I know where that line is. The only reason I even know this is because of practice. Co-op at university was a real help here. When it comes to bringing visibility to yourself in work, that's still something that I need to work on. My general rules here are to make sure I'm not lying, ensure the people that helped me accomplish things get accolades as well, and pretty much don't be a prick. So far I would say it's working, but I still don't have an intuition here.

Outside of work, I find that being able to laugh at yourself is a great skill to have. It's pretty interesting in that you try to play up the things that you've done badly on and it builds rapport with other people. It also is usually good at breaking awkwardness in conversations. I will admit though that this may not be the best course of action if you are trying to impress someone!

P.S. I know of people who will think that I am still incredibly cocky. Now I don't personally feel that I am, but maybe I do come across as that sometimes. Sorry for that.

Saturday
Jan192013

Being Sick Sucks

On flying home from my flight for the holidays, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a disease infected child. Now I knew this was going to be trouble and tried to make sure that my mouth and nose were mostly covered and that I was facing away from him as much as I can. In the end it didn't work and I got a severe case of the stomach flu. Fun.

I landed on the first of January in the evening and immediately passed out after getting back. For the next 3 days I just stayed in bed, pretty sure that I had a fever. I was always warm in my bed, but whenever I have a fever my brain seems to short circuit, getting a real head trip and that is what I felt. By the time Monday rolled around I felt that I may be strong enough to head back to work, I didn't have a fever and only seemed to have a cough and was very weak. First day back I got a really nice welcoming back from my team, they did a lot to make sure that I didn't miss everything and helped me to catch up. They are honestly the best people in the world. I was apparently really productive that day, though I didn't catch up entirely, but I took the first shuttle back just cause I really wanted to pass out in bed.

Then Tuesday rolled around.

I got in on my normal time and figured that, you know what maybe I can do this and get better soon. Twenty minutes in I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. That trip to the bathroom was horrible. I'll spare the details, but let's just say I was expelling things from both ends. I got back to my desk and took an emergency ride home.

I was barely at work for 45 minutes.

I got home and after taking a shower just passed out. I spent the next week drinking soup and tea, eating crackers, and generally just trying to recover. 

The following Monday I made it to work and worked a full day. Again my super amazing team made sure that I could get caught up super quick and in general were their awesome selves. Surprisingly, I actually felt coming to work really helped in making me feel better. I was getting really sick of just lying in bed or sitting on my couch. I think the change in scenery really helped. I still immediately passed out coming home, but it was progress.

A nice little thing did happen on Tuesday night, I was up just going through stuff on my work machine and surprisingly I was caught up on everything I missed by then. I knew there was no way I could do this alone and it was all because of my team. So in my emotional and sick state I thought it would be a great idea to write to the CEO of our company, Tim Cook. I wrote an email explaining how I was sick and how amazing my team was in helping me get better and that they are better than any product we make. I know, very cheesy. The next morning I got an email response from Tim Cook's iPad. I totally didn't expect him to respond, especially not the next morning. It wasn't something from some PR person but was written in a very personal manner. It was really nice and I forwarded the response to the members of my team that had helped the most. They said they were touched.

It's Saturday now and everyday I have been getting better and better. I think by next Monday I should be back to mostly 100%. This wasn't how I really wanted to start the new year but there are some good things that have come out of it. For one is that I've lost 15 pounds since I last weighed myself before the holidays. According to my scale though, 9 of those were fat and 6 were muscle. Not the best result, but I hope to get that muscle back by heading back to the gym on Monday. Speaking of the gym, apparently it's died down from all the people who were there for their resolutions, so it's nice in a way that I avoid the crowds. So that's another good thing. 

All in all being sick is terrible, but lot's of sleep and some amazing people can really help in making you feel better.

Sunday
Dec022012

Jawbone Up

As part of my health kick I've picked up a Jawbone Up. I've noticed that having regular feedback is really great for improvement and the Jawbone Up seems to be a great tool for that with regards to your health. I got one in black from my local Apple store. The nice thing was that I didn't have to wait for the the shipment from their site (end of December) and I got to use my discount. Double score!

I haven't been using it for too long but my initial impressions are that it's pretty comfortable. I don't think I'll have a problem with wearing it all the time and unlike what I have read online, it doesn't seem to uncomfortably stick to my skin. I got it in black and it looks very discrete. I'm really looking forward to using it as an alarm as I've heard that it's really good for that. 

The app that it syncs with is really nice and actually works properly on the iPhone 5, which is always nice to see. There isn't much there in the app right now, but I imagine after more use and data it will be much more interesting.

All in all, the Jawbone Up seems pretty cool and I've quite happy with it so far. I'll write up an update after I've spent a few weeks with it and see if it will actually change my behavior!

Tuesday
Nov272012

Nahir 2.0

I love how I always post that I'm going to update this thing more regularly and never do it.

Anyways!

So for the past little while I've been working at trying to improve myself in all aspects of my life. I think it's important to always try to make yourself better and I realized that I had been slacking off on this. So what have I been up to?

- Going to the gym and eating healthier!
- Try to expand my knowledge pool by reading random articles on Wikipedia, watching random TED talks, and visiting random sub-reddits on Reddit.
- Writing more! I've actually been writing a story here and there in my spare time.
- Drawing and doodling again. I think this is important to get your creative juices flowing.
- Started up a personal programming project again.

As you can see I've been quite busy! Which hopefully should explain the lack of updates.

I've already noticed a bit of a difference in myself. I feel more confident, content, and happy with my life than I have before. Those are some of the results I had been hoping for and I'm looking forward to seeing an even better improvement!

Monday
May072012

New Site!

So I've decided that I actually am going to be a bit more serious with this stuff and in the process signed up with Squarespace. So far I'm really liking their interface. It is much more managed and while part of me doesn't like the loss of control in tweaking, and the fact that I can't get down an dirty with the code, I think it's for the better. To be frank, there was very little chance that I would actually get around to actually coding a new site from scratch, as I originally wanted to and secondly, creating a website isn't as interesting to me as it used to be.

This new site isn't fully up and running, but I'm slowly transfering things over from my old website. I like the new url as well, much more succinct. I've got my posts over, but going to rewrite the about section. I'm going to see if I can add some other sections so that this isn't just a blog, should make things more interesting.

I also just noticed that the number of posts about updates on the site(s) are rapidly approaching the number of actual posts with content...