Lifelong Learning Meetup

An episode of Brainfoodinator

By Brainfoodinator
Welcome to the Brainfoodinator podcast by Charlotte Zhao. The ultimate aim is to create a safe space for adult learners to find inspirations and become empowered to teach themselves new skills. Podcast format will be a daily personal audio journal, I00% unscripted and unedited. There will be ordinary days with small lessons & reflections, as well as accelerated learning projects detailing the insecurities, frustrations, and progress. Story Time episodes will be with guests. For corresponding blog posts, please visit Join FB community:
Available on 9 platforms
15-20 Key Messages for Your Pitch
A method I learnt today - nail down the 15-20 key messages you need to form a narrative. With it, you can create pitch of any length ;)
March 23, 2019
The Practice of Planning
The practice of planning is useful. The plan itself is not.
March 22, 2019
Just a reminder, despite the emotional challenges of the startup journey. The fact we are already having positive impact on people’s lives make me feel assured to keep pushing forward! 💪🏻
March 20, 2019
Professor Shoelace 👟
Funny how small things could cause so much headache in our daily lives! My experience with shoelaces that are too long taught me something valuable on how things that seem unimportant might actually deserve some priority :P
March 19, 2019
When Productive
Just ride the flow! Sometimes it’s better to feel on top of things than to guard precious precious personal time. Sometimes, the only way through is to put in more time~ Try to apply 80/20 rule, but be fine with the long days too.
March 19, 2019
The Panama Papers 🎥
Investigative journalists risking their lives to uncover stories that matter to us and reveals systematic corruption. Highly recommend the documentary “The Panama Papers”. There is something beautiful in how almost 400 journalists came together globally to collaborate on the story!
March 18, 2019
A type of Buddhism, good to have experienced it, but I still prefer silence and nature :)
March 16, 2019
Conceptual Gallery Opening and much much more
Amazing conceptual gallery ( opening that essentially serve as a social commentary! Congratulations to my friend whose company got into Stanford’s Launchpad program! Finally, a massive emotional lesson and progress from the past few months on the startup journey :)
March 16, 2019
The Key to Belonging to a Community?
Start giving. A beautiful piece detailing the author’s personal journey on discovering the true meaning and value of belonging to a community -
March 15, 2019
Cofounder Breakup - The Most Common Cause for Startup Failure
Yet another team parted ways. To many people’s surprise, and often times the true reasons might never be known.
March 14, 2019
Amazing resources like colorlib allows you to delay building for as long as possible! Learn from testing with users, and try repurposing existing tools ;)
March 12, 2019
Don’t judge until you’ve communicated with someone directly
Truth often gets lost in the process. Not that people intend to spread rumours, but truth is never black and white and hard to preserve. Learnt a valuable lesson on the importance of suspending my judgement until I’ve communicated with someone directly and applied my personal assessment.
March 12, 2019
Exciting new pilot 😍
Momentum! And awesome user feedback!
March 10, 2019
Tried to work too much?
Perhaps I should have taken the day off completely... p.s. a random fact - most effective foot cream contains 10 - 25% urea! #readtheingredients
March 9, 2019
A happy day with progress! Fun co-creation process with power users :D
March 9, 2019
Trust in Serendipity
Quick reflection on the day. Realised the importance of trust. Trust that everything will work out, even though we can’t see the path.
March 8, 2019
3 Key Lessons Today
1. Crazy or almost there? (Podcast Zero to Launch episode 1). 2. Focus on the users and product or worry about building a team? 3. Customers only care about the value you provide, not how you deliver it.
March 7, 2019
Riding the Emotional Wave 🌊
Being a solo founder is hard, mainly because of the emotional challenges! Having a strong support network is crucial. P.S. tonight we watched Frankenstein ballet performance at the ROH.
March 6, 2019
What I noticed today working with a potential cofounder
It’s way easier to push marketing materials out when you are not the only one working on it. This probably extends to other areas too! Wonder what’s the psychology behind such nuanced shift in attitude.
March 5, 2019
Productive Night
A quick recap on the day~
March 4, 2019
An Atypical Startup Story
The company and founders will remain unnamed, but the lessons are still valuable for many entrepreneurs!
March 3, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel 🎞
A James Cameron movie! Supposedly over 400million CGI hours went into creating this amazing work of art! Slight complaints on the plot, but visually breathtaking! Thoroughly wowed♥️
March 3, 2019
Who Knows Sue Black?
Please help me get in touch with Sue Black! 🙏🏻
March 1, 2019
Ecole 42 Student Interview
Definitely an interesting model. If you have time and below age 30, why not apply? The biggest gain would be your self-confidence :)
February 27, 2019
The “Godfather” of Social Innovation in Europe - Michael Norton
Michael Norton is the author of "365 Ways to Change the World", and a serial social entrepreneur. In 2000, he co-founded UnLtd, which supports social entrepreneurs in the UK and is now spreading internationally, and in 2011 he co-founded the International Centre for Social Franchising.
February 27, 2019
“Into the Spider-Verse” 🎞
How to access your super power? Take a leap of faith :)
February 26, 2019
The Most Valuable Things In Life Are “Free”
They are free in monetary terms, but do you recognise them and do you know how to appreciate them? 😌
February 25, 2019
Apple Taught Me A Valuable Lesson on Expectation Management 🍎 + Christian Dior 👗
I call Apple’s strategy “Grossly Underpromise”. Then as a result, you’re almost guaranteed to over deliver ;) V&A’s special exhibition on Christian Dior took my breath away! Beautifully curated masterpieces~
February 24, 2019
Evening at Tate Late
Tate Modern has special Friday Lates and tonight’s one is themed around feminism. My favourite project from the artworks we saw was done by this Argentine artist Judi Werthein. She designed a brand of sneakers called Brinco (meaning “Jump” in Spanish) in 2005 for Mexican migrants to cross the US border. A very thought-provoking and controversial piece!
February 22, 2019
A Lesson On Communication
We all have triggers and it’s easy to enter reaction mode. Given how we often misunderstand and misinterpret things, it’s good to always check our understanding first before reaction. If we are also able to apply the non-violent communication model, the odds of successful communication will be in our favour💪🏻. When it comes to our closed ones, it’s a good practice to assume the best intentions as the baseline of communication 😊
February 21, 2019
Apprenticeship at Google - here you can find Google’s apprenticeship program, (not this moment because the applications are only open in October), AND it’s actually open to people of all ages! You also get Open University credits towards a computer science undergraduate degree as well! Pretty awesome opportunity 😍
February 21, 2019
A Lesson on Personal Priority
A lesson learnt through a friend of mine. Even though I have already learnt the lesson before, it was still good to be reminded of it.
February 20, 2019
What Game Are You Playing?
The finite game or the infinite game? If you play to stay in the game and play to improve yourself and your company, you’ll be winning in the long run. Check out Simon Sinek’s talk on this, hopefully it will give you some inspiration ;)
February 18, 2019
Feeling Grateful
Narrowing down on a vision and feeling grateful about everything in life
February 18, 2019
#Reflections - Lessons Learned
Took a pause and reflected on the entrepreneurial journey so far with a founder friend who’s been hustling for 5+ years. Business is an art! End of the day, you need to solve your customers’ real problems. Everything else is secondary. Also, think about what you personally truly want🐾
February 17, 2019
The Founding Story of MarvelApp
It’s okay to start with a specific focused vision. If you are addicted to solving problems for customers, once you solve a problem well for a tough customer group, chances are your product will be loved by many more! Marvel started by building prototyping tools for designers, until they realised everyone was using it then their vision got bigger ;)
February 15, 2019
Cutest Gentleman
Just remembered the sweetest 6 year old boy helping me with my garbage bags earlier today, and suddenly nothing else seemed important 😂 Such sweet human exchange that reminds you the beauty of life and there is so much to be thankful for!
February 14, 2019
Close Enough - Living Vicariously
Hidden Brain podcast has this amazing episode called “Close Enough” (, and it’s given me insights on what research I need to conduct. Ended the day with ROH’s brilliantly humorous and elegant ballet performance of “The Two Pigeons”.
February 13, 2019
🎥 China’s Van Goghs
A unique story about painters who are able to paint a Van Gogh’s replica in 22minutes from scratch! It’s only possible after 20 years and over 100,000 copies... The numbers seem so unreal, but it also illustrates human potential!
February 12, 2019
First Pilot Session! 😄
Learnt a lot from the pilot session, and it gave me great ideas on how to improve and structure future ones! I also got ideas on design! Pretty exiting times 😊
February 11, 2019
Psychological Safety in Virtual Space
We somehow feel safe in real life having private conversations in public places, like cafes and restaurants. The tables allow people to face inwardly and have their own bubbles. So how do recreate that experience online?
February 10, 2019
Buddhist Philosophies
On reincarnation, meaning of “unfair” life events, and our ability to “change” the past.
February 8, 2019
The Dropout - Story of Elizabeth Holmes, and Theranos
Absolutely fascinating story about how Elizabeth and Theranos came to be what they were. How she played a character, manipulating her own voice and all. The podcast is produced by ABC News. Let me know what you think!
February 8, 2019
Radical Acceptance
Things always take longer than we’d expect, so it’s important to practise radical acceptance! Also, a small lesson on persistence today - after repeatedly querying the receptionist on whether someone’s picked up a 🧤, she finally remembered she found one but left it in the bike room! I was certain it was only dropped inside the building and I was right :D
February 6, 2019
One Top Priority A Day
Everything else is bonus ;)
February 6, 2019
Happy Chinese Year! And Lessons From Slack’s Marketing Strategy
Officially 2019 according to all calendars 😂 Had the ultimate marshmallow test today at dinner~ Some reflections on customer acquisition strategy :)
February 4, 2019
🧧 Chinese New Year
Feb 4th is the last day of 2018 according to Lunar Calendar. It’s the day of celebration and family reunion in China~ I’ll be busy making calls home tomorrow!
February 4, 2019
Reflections Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert & Billy McFarland
Reflections inspired by the book “Big Magic” regarding art and creative living. Also, unrelated reflections on the Hulu documentary “Fyre Fraud” regarding entrepreneurship, compulsive liars and more.
February 3, 2019
Feeling Grateful
A Zinc cohort member is leaving the program due to family circumstances. It is a reminder on how lucky we are to have healthy family members and have such time and space to pursue our own ambition!
February 2, 2019
Ageing Innovation Awards
The Chatty Cafe Scheme - simple idea, easy to execute yet could really improve people’s lives! Then some potential tests to run in 🇧🇬 😁
February 1, 2019
What I Learnt Hearing Influencers Sharing Their Social Media Secrets
The influencers I met today are very different from the people I normally come to contact with, and the difference was so big that I experienced the psychology of people from the left behind places. When you can’t relate to some people so much so that you don’t even have the desire to communicate or listen......
January 31, 2019
Do Your Best Also Trust The Process
Things always take longer than you’d like. Accept it and do your best! Also, be kind to yourself!
January 30, 2019
What Emotional Response Do You Want People to Have?
When creating Facebook ads, it’s important to go back to the basics and really align the language with your unique selling point and choose images that tell the same story visually!
January 28, 2019
V&A - Always A Great Option on A Rainy Day
V&A is my favourite museum in London! After the exhibition on 1500-1700 Europe, I then watched “The Favourite” and recognised the place they shot it 😄 Brilliant movie 🎥 , highly recommend it!
January 28, 2019
Doomsday Book Exhibition
A day full of exhibitions, started off at the British Library for the Giant Bible and Doomsday Book, then headed off to the Royal Academy of Art for Michelangelo and Bill Viola. Then ended the day at Canary Wharf’s Light Festival :) Also, met my boyfriend’s mom, a super cool lady and a historian~
January 27, 2019
Happy Friday!
It’s been a long week but had a good ending! I’ve settled on the go-to-market strategy! A fellow founder at Zinc decided to leave but reminded everyone to carefully nurture the fire 🔥 inside us and not to take Nos for an answer, as all we need is one Yes!
January 25, 2019
Findings From Bett - The EdTech Show
Today I went to Bett, the EdTech show at London Excel centre. It was super impressive but also overwhelming to see all these companies from all over the world 🌍 getting together to compete for your attention. It doesn’t seem at all effective to me, but exhibition is still a large business...
January 25, 2019
Good Day with Progress
Had a fun and productive day! Inspirations coming from all directions :D
January 24, 2019
Thoughts on the Day and Body Modification
After a long day working. When I was unwinding, I came across documentary channel i-D and one of its presenters Grace Neutral. Intrigued by her looks and the subculture of body modification.
January 23, 2019
No more indecisiveness! With renewed focus and direction, I’m excited about the process I’ll make in the next few weeks :)
January 21, 2019
Ending The Week On A High Note
Had a both relaxing and productive day! I was able to process things that happened this week and put everything behind! Excited to start the new week ahead~ Hope you all have a great week :)
January 21, 2019
Anna Akana’s Tip on How to Process Bad Feelings
All feelings are trying to us something. So definitely don’t recommend suppressing any emotion. But how do we effectively handle bad feelings? Anna, one of my favourite YouTubers has a tip! You might also want to check out her YouTube video here -
January 20, 2019
The Great Gatsby Immersive Theatre
Had my first immersive theatre experience! And it was all a surprise. We dressed up in 1920s costumes but I had no idea where we were going! On another note, also officially parted ways with my cofounder. All for the best, with lessons learnt :)
January 19, 2019
Startup Podcast’s Story on Success Academy in New York
One woman’s journey on closing the achievement gap and how she helped kids from underprivileged background believe that everything is possible! Although these miracle charter schools shockingly resembles Chinese schools😱 Are the tradeoffs between students’ short-term stress level and academic excellence worthwhile?
January 18, 2019
Emotional Breakthrough
Improved nuanced understanding that gives us increased conviction on how we would approach the business development!
January 17, 2019
Self-acceptance is a practice that I sometimes need to remind myself of... I sometimes forget I’m being harsh on myself. Today I felt my mind was very noisy, until I meditated and practiced radical self-acceptance :) Ended the day with Angel Comedy Club, fresh materials from established comics on Tuesdays! Highly recommend!
January 15, 2019
The Invisible Poverty - Documentary “A Northern Soul” by Director Sean McAllister
An intimate portrayal of a working class resident of Hull, a forgotten city in Northern England. If you want to understand the invisible poverty and how a hardworking man with dream and ambition still gets himself stuck in a dead-end job with soul crashing debt, you’d want to watch “A Northern Soul”.
January 15, 2019
Creating Paper Prototype and Feeling Stuck
It’s like having a writer’s block. Because the vague idea I have in mind seems so brilliant and I don’t feel I have a clear image to then translate onto paper. So I ended up procrastinating... Finally broke the bad pattern and made something though!
January 14, 2019
Cofounders Double Date 😄
Fun night getting to know my cofounder’s wife and them as a couple! She’s worked in anti human trafficking for the past 5 years in Cambodia teaching sex trafficking survivors hair and makeup skills~ Very meaningful work and fun person!
January 13, 2019
How Much Software Engineers Make And More
Some updated industry level salary info on software engineers at big tech firms. And first time experience with what’s called EFT - emotional freedom technique. Whatever works! :)
January 12, 2019
Ways to Commit
There are different to onboard a potential cofounder. There is “until death” do us apart from the get-go, and there is increased commitment upon milestone achievements. No right or wrong, only preference!
January 11, 2019
Future Proof Yourself Festival
Jolt, a startup that offers gym-like membership for learning, had its launch event called “Future Proof Yourself Festival”. It was a good case for learning the design of a launch event :)
January 9, 2019
Cofounder Test
Cofounder relationships are important - a lot of learning ahead~ But let’s get thing done :)
January 9, 2019
A Day Of Recovery
Not yet productive, probably needed time to fully recover. Excited for tomorrow though!
January 8, 2019
Home Sweet Home 🏡
Will properly reflect on the whole trip over the week, but had a pretty fun flight ✈️ with a Scottish family! My sweet boyfriend picked me up from the airport and made the whole journey home fun 🥰
January 6, 2019
Possibly the Oldest Apple Staff?
Met a super cool lady at the Apple store by Omotesando! She’s a retired teacher, full of great energy and silver hair 👩‍🦳, but was at the front line serving demanding customers. Absolutely loved her attitude as her reason for working is to get new experiences 😄
January 5, 2019
Random Thoughts and Reflections
Some observations from the hot spring trip~ Hakone is a very beautiful place and famous for a good reason.
January 4, 2019
Hello from Hakone (Hot Spring!)
The day was supposed to be for digital detoxing, but didn’t go as well in that front 😂 Still plenty of fun and relaxing time with awesome view of Mt. Fuji, plus traditional Japanese style inn with onsen (hot spring)! Great way to relax~
January 3, 2019
Study 📖 Day
Decided to skip Yokohama and properly reviewed for Smartly midterm and took the test! Rather glad I did that, now I feel quite happy with statistics! Loving Smartly even more now~ The quiz format really helps you stay focused even with dry content!
January 2, 2019
Jan 1st the Japanese Way
We went to the temple in the morning - there was an insane queue to get in and pray, but also meant quality time with the family! Then some observations on my aunty’s family dynamic~ Overall, a great start for 2019 😄
January 1, 2019
Happy New Year!!! 🥳 May 2019 be a great one~
Last day of 2018 was rather nostalgic - old friend and city, but many has happened too! Some things will never change and others do~ 2018 has been a transitional year for me. How about you? Looking forward to an exciting 2019!
December 31, 2018
A Day Until 2019!
Dec 30 was spent lazily~ Meeting up with an old college friend Vincent tomorrow - it’s been 8 years since I last saw him, so very much looking forward to it!
December 30, 2018
Hiking Mountain Takao
Hiking, eating amazing food, seeing Mt Fuji from afar, enjoying osen and the whole Tokyo experience!
December 29, 2018
Visiting A 21-Day Old
My friend’s Rena just had a new born baby boy who’s only 21 days old! And he’s already going to have 3 passports from his parents 😂
December 28, 2018
Tokyo Story Continues!
Catching up with old friend, bonding with cousins, learning about how insanely crowded Tokyo station is at all hours, and much much more 😁
December 27, 2018
Hello Japan!!! 🇯🇵
Thrilled to be back in Japan! It’s been 8 years since my last visit 😱 Way too long! I wanna spend every March here going forward 😆 Cherry blossom season is just too beautiful to miss!
December 26, 2018
Liking Seoul More and More
With the right guide, it becomes a lot easier to discover a place’s charm! Seoul is a very livable city, especially when you know the right places to go :P Also, some reflections on the Korean language~
December 25, 2018
Merry Christmas! - Revising My Impression Of Korea
Korea is in-between China and Japan, both geographically and culturally. After initial disappointment on its lack of unique architectural identity (based on my first impression), I’ve warmed up to its diverse cultural and culinary offerings. Plus tip on how to survive Korean winter 🥶
December 24, 2018
Greetings from Seoul
First impressions of Korea compiled! I’ll probably see more positive stuff tomorrow when I’m well-rested and less jet lagged :)
December 23, 2018
Last Day In the Office Before The Holidays
Not many people in the office but great fun bonding with Anthony :) My life coach taught me something important today - expressing disappointment helps bring people closer together!
December 22, 2018
Catching Up On MBA Work
Really want to finish up Smartly coursework before the holidays! The mission continues today. Forgot to record an episode last night, so making up for it now :)
December 21, 2018
Zinc Xmas Party 🥳 & Movie Aquaman
Zinc Xmas party (Zinc’s own X Factor) was a lot of fun and uncovered many hidden talents. Then went to watch movie 🎥 Aquaman, which was just full of visual surprises~
December 20, 2018
House Boat Duck Billie
Might have forgotten to mention Billie, but she’s the pet of the house boat’s owner! Random day but interesting enough~
December 19, 2018
Recentered Test Plan
Had some much needed advice from UCL’s design lab crew! It helped putting me on the right path💪🏻
December 18, 2018
Saatchi Gallery
A place that always has amazing art to offer!
December 17, 2018
Prototype Building and Movie “Small Foot” 🦶
Spent a few hours building prototype, made some progress but not as fast as I’d have hoped. But movie “Small Foot” helped ending the night on a happy note!
December 16, 2018
Improv Workshop
Two key improv principles: 1. Run towards failure. 2. Always say “yes, and”!
December 14, 2018 - Visual Code Editor
Why code from scratch when you have bubble? Perfect for building MVP! :D
December 14, 2018
Vivienne Ming - Future Of Human Potential
How your ability to construct purpose and believe your effort would pay off are the most important predictors of your lifetime outcomes. And meta learning skills are trainable at any age! Randomly selected entrepreneurs who receive resilience intervention increase their companies’ chances of success by 60%!
December 13, 2018
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
My default way of unwinding and distressing has always been films and TVs. A story about comedian will always have a special place in my heart. One lesson from season 2 - you probably don’t ever want to perform in front of friends and family, because they are the source of your materials!
December 12, 2018
When Someone Drops Out
The technical person who’s been working on the project for the last 2 weeks just unexpectedly quit the incubator...
December 10, 2018
The Practice of Non-Reaction
Japanese Buddhist’s guide to the practice of non-reaction is an Amazon best seller in Japan (not sure what’s its exact English book title). I picked up the book from Chengdu airport and had very much enjoyed it during the flight ✈️ . Back to real life tomorrow!
December 9, 2018
Last Minute Podcast From The Airport
Leaving Chengdu for London after a slightly longer than 48 hour visit! It’s been great and will miss my family very much
December 8, 2018
The Naturally Curious Little Ones
Some update on the 72-hour-visa-free China trip. And how the curious little ones touched me! I guess what ends up missing when you live overseas and away from your big family is the multigenerational bond...
December 7, 2018
China and Its 72-Hour-Visa-Free Offer
While the offer is real, it’s NOT as easy if you want to use it. If you are staying at a hotel, it’s more convenient. But if you are staying with a local - you’ll need to register with the police and all....
December 6, 2018
Fun Family Time
Helped my dad achieve a huge milestone in his swimming “career” and seeing the pure joy on his face made it priceless! Forgot to mention it was also the late King’s birthday, so the grand palace is once again closed. Missed it twice on my visits already >
December 5, 2018
Midnight in Bangkok
Some reflections after a day here with just my parents! It’s my mom’s first trip to a country where people don’t speak her mother tongue, so very glad I got to share the special moment with her
December 4, 2018
An Inspiring Senior Learner
Groom’s mom is in her 60s and has been learning Chinese from about 1 year ago in an attempt to better understand her new daughter-in-law’s culture and her family. She was able to give a moving speech all in Chinese!
December 3, 2018
Cutest Wedding Ever!
Absolutely stunning wedding and the cutest couple ever🥰 So much love from the couple and the family! Can’t be more picture-perfect and can’t ask for more joyful tears!
December 2, 2018
When “Sure” Isn’t Reliable
In Thailand, it seems you can’t trust the staffs to do things because they are too eager to say “yes” or “sure” even if they don’t really understand you!
December 2, 2018
Cabaret Show Performed By Ladyboys
Pre-wedding day stress for the bride-to-be and how we ended the hen party with a cabaret show performed by trans women - all in Phuket!
November 30, 2018
Greetings from Phuket
Just saying hi after over 24 hours on the road! I’m ready to crash >
November 29, 2018
Zinc Believes In The Idea
It’s great to get Zinc’s buy-in on the idea. Now we can move confidently forward and refine it along the way! P.S. It’s not easy to learn dance moves >
November 27, 2018
EDUCATE is UCL’s program for assisting EdTech companies. Today, they selected 11 companies to demo at London City Hall. Companies such as MyCognition and Little Bridge really left an impression!
November 27, 2018
Pixar’s Short Film 🎥 - Bao
Pixar artists are such amazing storytellers! Bao helped me see aspects of Chinese culture in new ways~ Bao is an incredibly cute, humorous and touching short!
November 26, 2018
Games - A Shortcut To People’s True Selves
A great way to see people’s real selves is through games! Today, I attended an epic scavenger hunt and pub quiz. Also, I had a moment of realisation on how public personas are built and how it’s different from reality.
November 25, 2018
Support From Fellow Founders
Startups have sunny and stormy days. I really appreciate that there are some fellow founders from Zinc whom I could be vulnerable with.
November 24, 2018
How Much Cash Should You Give For A Wedding Gift?
There is no set number, but what’s the general range? Still shocked at an outlandish number a fellow wedding attendee is apparently planning on giving...
November 23, 2018
From Accenture’s Report to Gaining Fans on YouNow
It’s great to get confirmation from different sources, and always exciting to see complete strangers supporting your study :D
November 21, 2018
Reflections on Networking Events
A great day speaking to experts and just general networking. A lot of followups to do!
November 21, 2018
Live-streaming on YouNow
I live-steamed myself doing SMARTLY’s probability module on YouNow. It went pretty well - I got 77 likes by the end and 5 fans! #study seems to attract people~ As a learner, I had fun!
November 19, 2018
Live-streaming Myself Learning Math
Completely SMARTLY’s probability course on camera. Talking out loud was a very fun way to learn math!
November 19, 2018
“Explained” on Exclamation Mark
EF’s “Halloween Massacre” turned out to be a bad experiment. But “Explained” brightened up the night. Who knew all the fun facts behind a simple exclamation mark! ;)
November 18, 2018
Quick Reflection
Importance of getting expert confirmation!
November 17, 2018
Equity? + New Discoveries
What does early stage startup look like? How do you divide equities? On a happier note, London is full of hidden gems to discover!
November 16, 2018
Lifelong Learning Meetup
Reflections on the meetup and on our first argument in the team!
November 15, 2018
The Mattress Interview (#JTBD)
I was reminded by Mia the importance of TRULY understand your customers! Learning how to talk to your customers for real - no better place to learn than from Jobs-to-be-Done -
November 14, 2018
Some Thoughts on Platform Building
Excited to read the book 📚 “Platform Revolution” and plot out some strategies for the project! While plans will definitely change, but great to have some rough roadmap!
November 13, 2018
Brene Brown - The Anatomy Of Trust
Brene Brown is such a fantastic public speaker! She’s daring to be vulnerable on stage, and almost a standup comedian! Her breakdown of trust provides us a roadmap on navigating this big hairy yet important thing. Before speaking of trusting others, do you trust yourself?
November 12, 2018
British Museum Sketchnote-On-Location + Magic Eye
It was super fun sketchnoting-on-location at British Museum while listening a guided tour on Japanese Paintings! For the first time ever, I managed to see the 3D image on Magic Eye prints!
November 11, 2018
General Magic - Forbes calls the “most important dead company”
“General Magic, the upcoming documentary, is a tale of how great vision and epic failure can change the world. The film features members of the original Mac team along with the creators of the iPhone, Android and eBay. These designers, engineers and entrepreneurs saw the future decades before it happened. General Magic captures the spirit of those of us who dare to dream big and the life-changing consequences when we fail, fail again, fail better, and ultimately succeed.”
November 10, 2018
Lessons + Memrise’s Founder Ed Cooke
Reflections on the team’s journey so far. Also, randomly went to an event on psychedelics hosted by Ed Cooke.
November 9, 2018
New Team member + Reid Hoffman
It was great fun on-boarding Sara to the team! She finally made it back to the UK on an entrepreneur visa. Reid Hoffman’s event with SCVC2UK was also interesting. It’s a small startup world, the same people end up bumping into each other a lot~
November 8, 2018
codebar’s First Ever Improv Night
Zinc fun continues! My team is recruiting learners to join the community and showcase their learning journeys. Also, codebar has its first improv night. It was a lot of fun!
November 7, 2018
Fireside Chat with Monzo’s Founder & CEO
Tom Blomfield is very much a “get sh*t done” type entrepreneur, and he shared some key lessons with us at Zinc today. Early on, just focus on getting users! Do what doesn’t scale, find your 1000 true fans and worry about scale later.
November 6, 2018
Sunday + Bamboo Saxophone 🎷
Have you ever heard of Bamboo Saxophone? It’s this super portable, flute like instrument that makes sounds very similar to saxophone! You have to hear it to believe how powerful this tiny instrument is, using material straight from nature!
November 5, 2018
Videogames & London Korean Film Festival
V&A has some amazing exhibitions going on! Why don’t we have programming language that isn’t in English?~ London Korean Film Festival is happening now! Watched “Little Forest” earlier. Very heartwarming and in many ways a beautifully curated food porn :P
November 4, 2018
Does Fitness and Diet Work?
Had fascinating conversations tonight! A friend who feels the pain of society’s overly harsh tone towards fat people and what might be a better approach than “fitness“ is simply an active lifestyle, even if there is no weight change in the end.
November 3, 2018
Ecole 42 & Improv
Learnt more about what it takes to build a 42 branch. Also experienced how before improv can help you to trust yourself more, you’ll have to experience panic first :P
November 2, 2018
IMDb’s Founding Story
IMDb, a site that most of us use and love, but how many of us know its founding story? A tale of accidentally success when a group of people organically comes together doing what they love~
November 1, 2018
“No one knows what they are doing”
Top tip from an experienced entrepreneur, encouraging founders to trust their own gut more. I believe if the founding teams are scratching their own itch, then yes, trust your gut!
October 31, 2018
More “Abstract”
Absolutely love Netflix documentary series “Abstract” - seeing artists’ creative processes allows you to let your own imagination go wild!
October 30, 2018
Abstract: The Art Of Design - Christoph Niemann
Christoph is an amazing illustrator who’s full of creativity and he shares his key philosophy on art creation - abstraction. Because viewers are fluent at interpreting visual images, the task is on the artist to remove as many lines as possible to find the right level of abstraction! This also reminds me of coding~ In the end, everything’s connected :)
October 29, 2018
“A Star Is Born”
Watched movies on my day off, and was very touched by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s amazing acting in “A Star Is Born”. Did you know Lady Gaga tried to become an actress before she became a musician? She was goooood!
October 28, 2018
How to Know If You Are Working On The Right Thing
Zinc Day 20 - Sprint 2 is officially over, which also marks the end of boot camp phase. People are forming teams, at least testing out potential pairings. Some reflections on the whole cofounder dating process~
October 27, 2018
Reflection on Sprint 2
Zinc Day 19 - it’s been a thoroughly fun experience! Recognising our own biases and how a team without hierarchy forms its dynamics.
October 26, 2018
Rapid Prototyping and Sketchnote
Zinc Day 18 - fun day prototyping and getting feedback! Great teamwork! Also loved sketchnote meetup tonight, visualising user is a great way to ensure empathy in product development!
October 25, 2018
Oobah Butler And His Fake Selves
Zinc Day 17 - another fun productive day! But more interestingly, Oobah Butler pulled off yet another amazing gig by sending his fake selves out for interviews on TV & Radio!!!
October 23, 2018
Fun Team
Zinc Day 16 - also Day 1 of Sprint 2, a quick reflection on today’s experience. It’s fun working when it’s with the right team!
October 22, 2018
Comparing Notes With EF
Caught up with my friend doing EF - different pace, different drama, but fun times for all~ #trusttheprocess
October 22, 2018
How Space Facilitates Human Interactions
Very touched by house renovation projects featured on Japanese and Chinese TV shows. Reflecting on the importance of well-designed space in facilitating human interactions.
October 21, 2018
Advice from a seasoned investor for startups
Advice from a seasoned investor for startups - warm over cold, it’s not a numbers game. Also, a reminder on discrimination at the workplace -what really happens...
October 20, 2018
POV Statement
Zinc Day 14, Point of View Statement - essentially a persona of the idea customer and what he wants/needs.
October 18, 2018
Smarely MBA vs EMBA
Smartly drinks earlier tonight, met a lot of people from the EMBA program. Compared notes and understood Smartly business model better~
October 18, 2018
How to Work Through Different Opinions with Cofounders
Zinc Day 12 - more teamwork. This time, we had an excellent opportunity to learn how to work through different opinions with cofounders.
October 16, 2018
Some Thoughts on Therapy
Zinc Day 11, first day of Sprint 1 - group exercise. But today I’m more interested in talking about therapy, and how everyone should see a therapist :)
October 15, 2018
Reflecting on the weekend~
October 14, 2018
Career Development
A good friend from university is now reassessing her career. She didn’t focus on her career as much in the past, but never too late for a new start!
October 14, 2018
Zinc Day 10: Ecole 42
Had the head of pedagogy of Ecole 42 coming to speak to us! Absolutely love what they do!
October 13, 2018
Zinc Day 9: Innovation, Future of Work and Georgio Peviani
Real marketing genius - check out Vice’s story on “Georgio Peviani”! It’s a great lesson on how the society operates~
October 11, 2018
Zinc Day 8: Scratch Your Own Itch
The startup journey is going to be rough, so make sure you really care about what you are building! Nothing better than scratching your own itch!
October 11, 2018
Zinc Day 7: More Expert Talks
Themed expert talks ranging from education to urban planning. The importance of connectivity!
October 9, 2018
Zinc Day 6: Quick Recap
Perhaps time to start working with people in different groups to figure out a good pairing :)
October 9, 2018
A Day of Recovery
Took it very easy! Ready to start again though :)
October 8, 2018
Saturday Off + EF’s Pairing Method
Great to have a friend going through the same thing at the same time, so we get to share lessons~ More importantly, it was a day off :)
October 7, 2018
Zinc Day 5: Raspberry Pi
Great inspirations from Raspberry Pi~ Ready for a relaxing weekend!
October 6, 2018
Zinc Day 4: Social Innovation
“Daddly Does It” initiative shows the importance of meeting people where they are. Also, the transformative power in not treating people as isolated individuals but within their social context.
October 5, 2018
Zinc Day 3: Empowerment
2nd day in Rochdale, spent time with local organisations. Biggest takeaway, empower people - people need and deserve respect!
October 3, 2018
Zinc Day 2: Amazing NHS Initiatives
GPs are the most well respected and trusted people in a place, so initiatives in the Greater Manchester area focused on helping the underprivileged are designed around GPs. “Social Prescribing” becoming a common practice amongst GPs also positively surprised me. Loving the initiatives!
October 2, 2018
Zinc Day 1: Zinc vs Entrepreneur First
A friend of mine is starting at EF at the same time as Zinc is kicking off, so we get to compare notes on how the two accelerators are like. Also, some shocking update on a friend’s experience with bureaucracy...
October 1, 2018
Zinc Starts Tomorrow
A new phase of my life officially kicks off tomorrow! Excited~
September 30, 2018
Small World
Ran into an old friend from Japan exchange year at another friend’s house party - we truly live in a bubble, don’t we :P
September 30, 2018
Tech Giants’ Office Designs
Physical environment definitely plays an important role in stimulating the people interacting in it. Office space becomes particularly important. Based on my office tours, at least in London, Google office wins Facebook~ But can’t comment on their headquarters. Supposedly FB HQ is modelled after Disney Land~
September 29, 2018
Speaking at MOEvement
Extremely fun day at MOE Foundation’s annual conference! Improvised parts of my speech titled “How to Find Your Element”, and it went really well~ Looking forward to seeing the video recording!
September 28, 2018
Turning Speech Writing Into A Social Engagement
Tonight was for codebar. It was very fun, discovered a codebar coach was a YC graduate. And got to practise my speech whilst hanging out with lovely people - implementing Brene Brown’s method of writing! :D
September 27, 2018
Reflections from a Conversation with a Serial Entrepreneur
Being reminded that a clear financial model would make or break a company, and entrepreneurship is a marathon. There might be moments when concentrated extreme efforts are important, but it’s still a marathon.
September 26, 2018
Nothing Is Original
Even though nothing is truly "original", but it's not a bad thing. Because it becomes a form of market validation :) It's all about execution in the end anyway!
September 25, 2018
Recurse Centre - Coding Retreat for Developers
Learnt about an awesome organization called Recurse Centre today. Fantastic self-directed learning setup, or say Montessori for adults! Also some reflections on movies in China.
September 24, 2018
Paul Graham on Bosses | Brexit | E-residency for Estonia!
Various different topics but fun! "You weren't meant to have a boss" ( - comparing employees in big corporations as lion in zoos - comfortable, but not lively. Then some thoughts on what to do around Brexit... Estonia surprised me again on its e-residency. It’s been out for a few years, but I only just heard about it :P
September 23, 2018
How to Know What You Really Like
Great day with great conversations! Musings on how to determine what you really like and what you think you like~
September 22, 2018
Jonna Jinton's Story on Becoming An Artist
Jonna quit her job 8 years ago and moved to a small village in Sweden to be closer to nature and figure life out. 8 years later, she's now living her dream as an artist.
September 21, 2018
Making of Manga “Blades of the Guardians”
Xianzhe Xu quit his job to pursue his love for manga without any prior training. 4 years of 12-hour-days dedicated to crafting his very first series that ended up awing Japan! His dedication, patience and grit made the masterpiece possible.
September 20, 2018
Fashion Innovation - Elvis & Kresse + Burberry hosted a fashion innovation forum with a focus on UK & China, and there were some pretty amazing guests. Kresse Wesling from Elvis & Kresse is one of them. Their commitment to sustainability, their brand DNA and 50% profit sharing commitment make them such a fascinating case study!
September 19, 2018
Citizenship Ceremony
It feels like I've finally "graduated"!
September 18, 2018
Accepting Human Condition
Nothing ground-breaking, but once again accepting things in life rarely happens the way we want at the time we want. It's up to us to choose the relatively optimal option.
September 17, 2018
codebar’s 4th unconference
Twitter hosted our 4th uncodebar! It was a fantastic day with many interesting topics~ codebar is truly my favorite community!
September 16, 2018
Are you good at assessing people?
Trust is fundamental in all human relationships. Yet, are you good at assessing people's characters? Do you trust your own judgement?
September 15, 2018
Y Combinator Q&A in London
What surprised me about YC and some personal epiphany!
September 14, 2018
The Joy of Teamwork
Fundamentally, human beings are social animals. My own journey of realizing what's important :)
September 13, 2018
Thoughts on Privacy and Fame
We live in an era where influence = money and power. In exchange for influence, one often ends up revealing one’s personal life. So how much sharing would you be comfortable with?
September 11, 2018
Molly’s Game
Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut is based on Molly Bloom’s real life story! Love Aaron’s scripts and Molly is quite impressive~ Might contain some spoiler.
September 10, 2018
Deadpool 2 & On the Value Of Art
Deadpool 2 has high entertainment value because it breaks the common patterns of superhero movies. It might never win the Oscar’s but it’s one of my favourites. Then some reflections on the value of art.
September 9, 2018
Speaker Training for MOE Foundation's Conference
MOE Foundation trains coaches and speakers at its conference share such level of authenticity and vulnerability that are inspiring! I feel very fortunate to have been part of MOE.
September 7, 2018
My Longest Short Distance Travel to Date
Been on the road since 6:30am London time and only got home now at 1:15am...
September 6, 2018
National Cleaning Day and Thoughts On Writing
When you see trash left behind in beautiful forests, your heart hurts... National Cleaning Day is an effective way to raise awareness on the effect one’s behaviour has on the environment. Finally, what writing means according to an MFA who teaches creative writing.
September 5, 2018
Forest, Lake, Stars and Friends
Forest, Lake, Stars and Friends - what else do we need? Being reminded of the beauty of the universe by the shining stars in the dark sky! Music and singing with friends after a good meal - pleasure of life~ Aim to be up early for a hike tomorrow morning!
September 3, 2018
Difficulties of Being a Vegan When Traveling
The day after the wedding ceremony, celebration continues. And we'll be going hiking tomorrow! Also, have to reflect on how difficult it is to be vegan when you don't have the chance to cook for yourself :(
September 2, 2018
An Epic Bulgarian Wedding
Reporting from my friend's epic Bulgarian wedding!
September 1, 2018
Greetings from Sofia
Good friend's wedding tomorrow and the theme is for all guests to wear their home countries' traditional clothing! Cool, right? :D
August 31, 2018
Reflections on Saying No
Reflections on learning to say no and set boundary. Off to sofia tomorrow for a wedding!
August 31, 2018
Catching Up with My Newly Retired High School Teacher
My HS Chinese Teacher's retired life is pretty ideal - she's busy learning a lot of things and traveling across the country! Love her spirit!
August 30, 2018
Lifestyle as a Founder
Do your best and live life with no regret! Work hard now~
August 29, 2018
Visit to the Cartoon Museum - Learning from the Masters
There is so much benefit in seeing masters' art work up close! Loved seeing the evolution of artists as well~ True mastery in art requires daily practice!
August 28, 2018
Learning in loud spaces?
I typically recommend learning in quiet spaces, but Smartly app allowed me to study accounting while hanging out at a party. It was an interesting experiment! The game-like design makes it possible to concentrate :)
August 27, 2018
Art Career and Self-promotion
Had an interesting conversation with a newly turned full-time artist. All careers are hard, might as well do what you love!
August 26, 2018
“Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on how to lead a creative life has been truly heart warming! To unburden ourselves from the anxiety of creating art, remember that we are not geniuses, but we could have geniuses, sometimes.
August 25, 2018
Natural eyesight improvement + Hamilton
Getting weaker prescription to allow room for eyesight improvement! It was awesome watching Hamilton up close front and centre!
August 24, 2018
Some Reflections
On overworking, time allocation and more~
August 23, 2018
Smartly MBA is an innovative, remote and free MBA program. My Smartly cohort started today, and we had our London meetup earlier - only 14 people based in London this time!
August 22, 2018
Elon Musk Tearing Up During Interview
Life as an entrepreneur is not easy, even Elon Musk had a small breakdown.
August 22, 2018
Miyamoto Musashi - Way of Strategy
Musashi is a self-directed learner, famous Japanese samurai from the 16th century. He’s also known for being a Buddhist, philosopher, artist and writer. He believes in the “way of strategy”, and practices many arts with no teacher!
August 20, 2018
Kimura Takuya - 日本一の男
Kimura Takuya started off as a pop star, mere entertainer. Now he’s viewed as a living Samurai, even a God for some, because of his hardworking attitude and excellence in all things he does.
August 19, 2018
World’s Largest Idol Group AKB48
AKB48 has about 150 girl members. According to its producer Yasushi Akimoto, the group’s concept is about gathering ordinary girls without much talent or personality and showcase their growth in an intimate accessible way with their fans through nightly performances. Akimoto san also doesn’t believe there are great talents in Japan...
August 18, 2018
10-Day Silent Meditation
My 10-Day Silent Meditation retreat experience - the highlights! And my excuse for having missed 4 days of audio journal - but back on track again!! p.s. has information on the vipassana meditation retreat :)
August 17, 2018
Lessons from Werner Herzog & Aaron Sorkin
Werner Herzog is a soldier of cinema, completely self-taught and does things his way! Aaron Sorkin the writer for “The West Wing” also approaches screenwriting very differently from the most~ great masterclasses!
August 1, 2018
Frank Gehry -Enjoying a Career You Love in Your 90s
Frank Gehry is the amazing architect who created the “Bilbao Effect”. Reflecting on how he’s still passionately working even though he’s almost 90! Perhaps the most fortunate position to be in~
July 31, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell Manages His Expectations Well
Malcolm shares a great tip - “ It’s a good writer’s job to lower the bar.” Absolutely love it! How to avoid the sense of failure and writer’s block!
July 30, 2018
Malcolm Gladwell on Writing & Nas Daily on Videomaking!!!
Met Nas Daily in person! Was at his London meetup~ lots of tips! But Malcolm Gladwell’s masterclass on writing non-fiction still made my day more :D
July 29, 2018
James Patterson Shares His Secrets in Writing
Outlines + research + up to 10 rewrites = James Patterson’s Writing Secrets
July 28, 2018
Master Classes So Far
Different masterclasses by passionate artists have more in common than you think. All art forms ultimately are about storytelling, so emotional resonance trumps everything!
July 27, 2018
Impact Founders Summer BBQ
Startup life - reflecting on my conversation with an entrepreneur who’s worked on his impact business for 16 years...
July 26, 2018
My Personal Story with Music
My childhood story and how Christina Aguilera’s masterclass on singing ended up being very inspirational.
July 25, 2018
Kumail Nanjiani’s Comedic Career
Kumail is a first generation Pakistani immigrant in the US who studied computer science for his undergrad, and built up his career gradually as a standup comedian and writer! Very inspirational~
July 24, 2018
Judd Apatow’s Advice on Comedy Writing
Amazing candid advice on writing from Judd’s masterclass. My reflections on the explorations in art, different mediums and what I love making at the moment!
July 23, 2018
Robin Williams Documentary
Robin Williams documentary “Come Inside My Mind” help us understand a genius, an industry and comedy some more. Steve Martin’s masterclass on comedy gives us hope and confidence in building a craft rather than relying on genius.
July 22, 2018
Ron Howard on Directing Part 2
Ron Howard’s master class contains incredible content on how he stages a scene and works with actors. It would help anyone appreciate the art of cinematography more!
July 21, 2018
Helen Mirren’s Master Class on Acting
Helen talks you through her thought process of acting - how every little detail contributes to the character. Then, reflections on the exploration phase and decision tree.
July 20, 2018
Meeting with Makers and Reflections on Racism
Meeting with Makers was very inspiring! Lovely group of people working to change education too! Then some reflections on racism and immigration at different ages.
July 19, 2018
Ron Howard’s MasterClass on Directing
Loving Ron’s MasterClass and the amazing chance to be a fly on the wall in seeing how great minds work! + Some reflections on the state of TV in China~
July 18, 2018
Tiniest City I’ve Ever Visited + Dr. Gabor Mate
Valletta is officially the smallest city I’ve ever visited! I’ve also been enjoying Dr. Gabor Mate’s book “When the Body Says No”, provides a refreshing holistic look on health, especially with oppressed emotions.
July 17, 2018
World Cup + British Pakistani Youth & Arranged Marriages
World Cup + Putin~ British Pakistani youth & their sufferings from arranged Marriages...
July 15, 2018
Malta Day 2
Happy bachelorette celebration day 2! Random seaside party after midnight with lovely Filipinos who live in Malta - something you can only run into!
July 15, 2018
First Day in Malta
When google map isn’t reliable... Here for a good friend’s hen party, so looking forward to the weekend!!!
July 13, 2018
Polyandry in India
A future dystopia “Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women (Hindi: मातृभूमि, translation: Motherland)” is a 2003 Indian film. It reminds us of the UN theory that women’s access to birth control and small family sizes are main contributing factors to peace!
July 13, 2018
Meeting “Pakistani Jesus”
England lost to Croatia - it shows performance isn’t determined by financial backing! The town hall staff was lovely and nicknamed “Pakistani Jesus” 😂
July 12, 2018
How Cult Brainwashes Followers
Alexandra Stein’s book “Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachments in Cults and Totalitarian Systems” provides an in-depth look into social psychology of ideological extremism - necessary read, because everyone could become a victim!
July 11, 2018
Reflecting on Coaching and Facilitation
Taught MOE’s coaching course today, and it was fun. Some reflections from the experience~
July 10, 2018
Reflections on cult, political correctness and immigration
Humans all have strong desires to belong and it can be easily taken advantages of... power corrupts... Every coin has two sides, including political correctness. Finally, a brave journalist and her hopeful solution to immigration issues~
July 8, 2018
London Pride Parade 🏳️‍🌈
Mike, a good friend from Japan days, visiting from NYC and comparing the two mega global cities~ some reflections on boundaries, pride, and changes in our desires and wants...
July 8, 2018
Are the birth control pills the real reason for peace?
Are the birth control pills the real reason for the peace we've enjoyed? And what really contributes to behavioral change?
July 7, 2018
A Day of Admin
Timing is one of those things in life - just gotta accept and move past~
July 6, 2018
Citizenship Application on July 4th!
Perfectly timed 😂
July 5, 2018
Close Encounter With A Cult
Watching “Wild Wild Country” made me realise the “group” I’ve met are effectively a cult. It’s important for all us to realise that not all cults are religious either, they could be AA groups, or self-help groups. And their recruitment process is sooo gradual, their “love-bombing” tactic is so effective, anyone could become a victim. A cult doesn’t have to be evil, but it’s totalitarian approach makes it unhealthy...
July 4, 2018
Posting drawings on insta again from tomr!
July 3, 2018
Sunny Day Off
Some reflections on my favourite author - Lu Xun’s life and work. It ended up being quite long!
July 2, 2018
What I learnt from a documentary maker!
Great fips from a documentary maker! On the importance of mentorship. How crestive projects are all like writing - first draft is key, no matter how shitty. Get it out of your head first, then it will get better!
July 1, 2018
Visual Storytelling - Storyboarding
Leo Matsuda has a great storyboarding course on skillshare! Seeing how ROUGH his first draft is and his whole work process really opened my eyes! And to realise the importance of reference pictures in the process~
June 29, 2018
Skillshare - loving it!
Skillshare’s short courses are proving to be great, because they are so concise! New idea for mocumentaey!
June 29, 2018
London’s Startup Eco System had its mission 1 celebration tonight, and it seems like everyone is just 1 degree separation away in this tight-knit community~
June 28, 2018
Reflections on what’s happened and how I’m progressing~ Stronger sense of direction!
June 27, 2018
The Westworld Season 2 Finale
*Spoiler alert* - a lot has been crammed into the last episode and it’s a lot longer than usual! Interesting meta-message stating human beings’ “free will” is really just an illusion... what do you think?
June 26, 2018
Frida Kahlo
Frida is a gender fluid artist and fighter of life! Great exhibition of her at the V&A~ some reflections on drawing and the immigration trend in the UK
June 25, 2018
Anti-Brexit March
Could Brexit still be stopped? In theory yes and I’m still hopeful...
June 24, 2018
Lifetime of Pleasure
For me, pleasure = progress. This could be a bit extreme, another way is to look at the lifetime of “pleasure” associated with different activities.
June 23, 2018
The Borjias
History can sometimes be more twisted than our wildest imagination!
June 22, 2018
Jacqueline Kennedy
It was not easy figuring out what to write about her. Even though she’s an intelligent woman, she’s been hiding behind the title of First Lady, which has nothing to do with her own merit. But I eventually found something!
June 21, 2018
Interview Tips
Know your stories and be enthusiastic! Practice and practice some more :)
June 19, 2018
Nothing Much
Nothing much, slowly getting back into swing of things!
June 19, 2018
Reflection for the past 30 days
A lot of unexpected happenings, and finding my own path again!
June 18, 2018
Be Here Now
A touching documentary on Andy Whitfield’s fight against life-threatening cancer. Reminding us all of the true nature of life...
June 17, 2018
Reflecting on the movie “Suffragette”, the movement, and how blessed we are to be living in the new era.
June 16, 2018
Diversity in Tech Panel Discussion
Cart before the horse - some thoughts on how to fundamentally change the challenge of not having enough tech talent
June 15, 2018
Strongest Man Alive
Patrik Baboumian holds world records for his strength and he’s a vegan! Plus, some thoughts on Buddha’s original teachings
June 14, 2018
“Old Path White Clouds”
Thich Nhat Hanh’s book on Buddha’s life. How Buddha believed in Pantheism, that universe is the manifestation of God. If Einstein knew Buddhism better, he would have considered himself a Buddhist.
June 12, 2018
English Literary Giants in the 18th Century
Research for a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, a founding feminist philosopher, reveals how small the English literary circle once was and how scandalous things can get!
June 12, 2018
Carnage: Swallowing the Past
Great mokumentary that will help us reflect on our dietary habits.
June 11, 2018
On Mental Toughness
Very much admire what David Goggins achieved for himself, but perhaps there is a more compassionate alternative!
June 10, 2018
“Many Lives Many Masters”
Dr. Brian Weiss wrote about reincarnation in his book and this is a chance for us to exercise open-mindedness!
June 9, 2018
Talking about Spirituality with An Atheist
Had an extensive discussion with a friend of mine on spirituality, death and much much more
June 8, 2018
Card Mechanic Richard Turner
Such a fascinating guy with a “secret” that would shock you! Check out documentary “Dealt” to learn more!
June 7, 2018
Buddhism Q&A
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Q&A recordings from Plum Village. The idea of “Deep Buddhism”.
June 6, 2018
An Honest Liar
Highly recommend the documentary “An Honest Liar” about The Amazing Randi, a fabulous magician and myth buster!
June 5, 2018
The Handmaid’s Tale
A great work of art for us fo reflect on political dangers and appreciate the freedom some of us enjoy!
June 4, 2018
My parents came around!
June 3, 2018
Telling My Parents About My Vegan Diet
Parents can’t understand...yet...
June 2, 2018
Too Much Too Soon
Going to bed super early to reset!
May 31, 2018
There aren’t always answers
Enjoy the process!
May 31, 2018
Buddhist Ideas
Learning from the Wise
May 30, 2018
JDrama “Long Vacation”
My favourite JDrama and its life lessons
May 29, 2018
Appreciating Patience
Learning to take it slowly
May 28, 2018
Obsessing Over Magic Tricks
Well, “ruined” some magic tricks for myself :P
May 27, 2018
Time is the Best Gift We Can Gift Ourselves
Slow down and appreciate life!
May 25, 2018
Magician Dave Blaine
Some thoughts on the unbelievable Dave Blaine! + Clerkenwell Design Week
May 25, 2018
Embracing Vegan Diet
Fell sick yesterday, but determined to give my body time to adjust!
May 24, 2018
On Surrendering Ego
Some thoughts on ego.
May 22, 2018
Discovering the Elephant
Expanding our creative identity!
May 22, 2018
Next time - just do it the next day!
Drawing requires decision making and you can’t make good art when tired!
May 21, 2018
Trevor Noah in London!
Trevor and what happens when you commit to do a new sketch a day, even on days that’s hard...
May 20, 2018
On Making Arts That Have Meanings
SOAS’s exhibition at Brunei Gallery - photos taken in Asia 150 years ago by John Thompson. And my own process of stylised portrait drawings.
May 19, 2018
First Time as a Videographer!
Interesting first time experience! And a special exhibition recommendation, if you are based in London.
May 17, 2018
Small Update
Excited to shadow a documentary maker at work tomr!
May 16, 2018
Life of Katherine Hepburn
A brilliant actor and feminist who’s always stayed true to herself! And some thoughts on calligraphy.
May 16, 2018
Japanese TV Series and Memory Challenge Commencing Tomorrow!
Some thoughts on manga style Japanese TV series, and committing to a memory challenge! Did a sketchnote today too - one sketchnote a day going forward :)
May 14, 2018
More on Art and We Are All Human
Love doing human portraits and particularly females! #redlipquotes :) How I slipped back into an old addiction (hopefully just today!) p.s. you can see my daily artwork on instagram @brainfoodinator2.0
May 13, 2018
Reflecting on the Day
The Artist’s Way has been such a great help, but still working up to producing one sketchnote a day...
May 12, 2018
Thoughts on Making Art
Members-only event at The School of Life London, and some thoughts on making art
May 11, 2018
“One Green Bottle” Review
Perspective from a non-regular theatre goer on a small production at Soho Theatre.
May 10, 2018
After Watching “Red Sparrow”
Jennifer Lawrence’s new movie, contains some spoiler alert, so proceed with caution :P
May 9, 2018
Reflections on Google I/O
Google’s annual conference with their “exciting” announcements.
May 8, 2018
Time to Set Daily Objectives
Read fictions, taught my parents some English, did some art, ended up being another day off :)
May 7, 2018
Church for the Atheists
Sunday Assembly - Church for the Atheists founded by comedians! Meeting documentary filmmaker and getting inspired!
May 6, 2018
A Ramble
Appreciating new routine!
May 5, 2018
The Artist’s Way
Morning pages & Social Impact Focuses VC
May 4, 2018
“A decision is either made based on love or fear.”
Gained some clarity and ready to refocus myself! Be aware of distractions!
May 3, 2018
Be Proud of the Effort
Cultivate growth mindset and make trying cool! Also reflecting on parent child relationship.
May 2, 2018
Hedy Lamarr, The Inventor
We all owe Hedy for inventing frequency hopping technology, which is the foundation of WiFi! What a misunderstood genius!
May 1, 2018
What We Can Learn From Churchill
Reflections after visiting Churchill’s War Rooms. Forgot to mention he’s also very hardworking, but had great relaxing daily rituals - 2 baths a day and an afternoon nap + demanding staffs to be quiet 🤫
April 30, 2018
“Horrible Histories” Book Series
A great example of how learning of boring facts can be fun!
April 29, 2018
2 Insights + Dr. Milton Erickson
Had an emotional breakthrough with videomaking! Also made progress with caricature quote practice~
April 28, 2018
As Luck Would Have It
From being perceived as a bad friend to a great friend in a matter of hours :P
April 28, 2018
Feeling of Overwhelm
Videomaking research has left me feeling overwhelmed. It’s common when learning something completely out of your depth of knowledge. p.s.i highly recommend the book (really an article) called “When I Loved Myself Enough” by Kim McMillen, enjoy!
April 27, 2018
Some reflections on a slow day
One of those days, slow but needed!
April 25, 2018
Daliso Chaponda - an international comedian
Seeing Daliso catching his big break on Britain’s got talent is very inspiring! Love his acts too!
April 25, 2018
Rewatched Django Unchained
So beautifully shot and awesome script! A lot to learn. Will have to rewatch again to take notes! :D
April 23, 2018
Happy Day Off
Enjoyed the sun and took it easy. Appreciating the importance of simplifying icons in sketchnote!
April 22, 2018
On Filming Outdoors
Interesting learning experience filming outdoors for the first time. Overcoming psychological barriers! It ended up being fun :)
April 21, 2018
US Immigration Policy vs Japan
US has enjoyed its successful PR as a diverse, immigrant-friendly country from the last century way past the point it’s no longer true...
April 20, 2018
Sketchnote Challenge Reflections
I now feel comfortable to take notes in sketchnote format even in LIVE scenarios! It’s a lot of fun.
April 20, 2018
Meeting Likeminded People & More On Sketchnote
Had a great evening meeting other people who care about education. Loved doing sketchnote for Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk!
April 18, 2018
Reflections on Public Education
Many people appeared in Sir Ken Robinson’s book “The Element” disliked schools and rightfully so. But public education was a step forward comparing to an age where no education was available to the leas privileged. But it’s time for another learning revolution.
April 18, 2018
Find Your Element
Sir Ken Robinson's humourous work and the greatest gift we could give ourselves.
April 17, 2018
Sketchnote and Biomimicry
Day 4 of Sketchnote Challenge, developing my own sketchnote grammar. Idea of the day: turn to nature for inspirations when designing!
April 15, 2018
A Lovely Encounter
Finally a sunny ☀️ day in London! Took the day off and had an interesting encounter with a retired professor from Japan 😄
April 14, 2018
Rethinking Daily Caricature
Still figuring things out. Just some thoughts.
April 13, 2018
The Most Important Step in Making Good Caricatures
Find a good reference photo! Not just clarity, but the right facial expression.
April 13, 2018
Musings on Movies
Musings on scriptwriting to be more precise. And how amazing Quentin Tarantino is 😆
April 12, 2018
Submitted for the Competition!
After many iterations! Here is the video: It’s a lesson on motivation and touches on the social psychology concept - the Overjustification Effect. This is the starting point. Future videos will only get better 😆
April 10, 2018
Finally filmed the video, now onto editing! Will submit for competition just in time :D
April 9, 2018
Do It Because It’s Fun
Always remember that - don’t let competitiveness ruin the fun!
April 9, 2018
Caricature Drawing - live recording tomorrow morning!
Today is the last day of learning and practice for the cartoon challenge! I actually first freaked out a bit realizing how different the caricature drawing felt from the practices I've done before. Then I analyzed the differences - as long as I make the eyes and mouth more realistic, and add some more strokes to the hair, the cartoon practice is still the foundation. After today, cartoons will become part of my daily blog. So more fun & creative works ahead :D
April 7, 2018
Investigating the Art of Caricatures
Discovered proko’s course on caricatures, so now I can properly address the pain points :D
April 7, 2018
Have the ideal audience in mind
Lesson learnt today
April 7, 2018
Thoughts on Public Commitment
Day off from the sketchnote challenge - because I’m sick and couldn’t spend that much time staring at screens. Musings on public commitment and how intentions matters and will change your perspective!
April 5, 2018
Audio is the most authentic form of media
Day 3 of Sketchnote Challenge. Attempted to live sketchnote Alex Blumberg’s talk on the power of audio storytelling.
April 4, 2018
Sketchnote Resources
CreativeLive has a course on sketchnote. I'll go through it tomorrow. You can get it too, referral here will even give you $15 off, only the first 10 though.
April 4, 2018
Sketchnote Challenge Day 1
Worked on the fundamentals of sketchnote, structures, containers, connectors and started to build my own visual icon! Very fun process. What did you learn today?
April 2, 2018
New Challenge & Jay Shetty
New 7-day challenge on sketchnote starts tomorrow. Loved Jay’s videos, also his story.
April 1, 2018
EQ and Embracing Failure
In Japanese TVs, there are often portrayal of families with complete lack of emotional communication, yet it’s been painted as common occurrence. EQ education is urgently needed! Also, check out Ben Yu’s autobiography in progress themed around embracing failure and the story of how he went from having no friends plus suicidal to changing his life around in 2.5 years
March 31, 2018
Reset & the Future
Happy Easter Brainies! Getting back to my own timetable tomorrow. Feel like I swapped around Easter break to the past couple of days. A good friend is coming to visit end of April. So I have 4 weeks to satisfy my own hunger first before engaging the community! Exciting!
March 30, 2018
Nothing much
Uneventful day. But we shall appreciate these kind of days too :)
March 30, 2018
What’s it like to meet someone who literally thinks like you
Meeting super like-minded people + some reflections on caricature drawing
March 29, 2018
Iterative Approach to Content
Workaholic mode today. is now out!
March 28, 2018
Learnings on Drawing
Potential tip on choosing facial shape and some other finer things in drawing faces, caricature or not.
March 26, 2018
Dreams & the Greatest Showman
Loved the movie “The Greatest Showman”! Beautifully shot and touching. I love movies about dreams. Have the courage to dream and go after them!
March 25, 2018
Thoughts on Storytelling & Education
Learnings from other people’s demo and thoughts on education
March 25, 2018
Random musings and next week’s rough plan!
March 24, 2018
Thoughts on effort and marriage
Anything goes if you really put in the effort and rethinking marriage.
March 22, 2018
Some musings on grit.
March 21, 2018
Call for Action
If you know anyone who’s self-taught in a skill, please email me at I’d love to speak to them! Also, if you’ve got ideas around how to grow and engage brainfoodinator a community, please let me know. Let’s co-create!
March 20, 2018
Natural Vision Improvement Experiment
A lot of the bad eyesight epidemic that’s seen worldwide and particularly in Asian countries could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
March 20, 2018
Day off & Random Lessons Learnt
Decided to take today off from serious project related stuff. Shared some musings on life, plus some reflections on natural vision improvement so far!
March 18, 2018
Final Test Day
Posted the caricature drawing video on my blog! Also just ordered my first pair of transition glasses for natural vision improvement experiments. Will keep you posted!
March 18, 2018
After building a foundation, it's time to get creative with the shapes and sizes to make cartoon characters more humorous! Drawing requires problem-solving skills too - how to break big problems down into small pieces.
March 16, 2018
What's the connection between drawing and coding?
I'll explain more on meta-learning: how the same learning principles can be applied to learn any skill. Today is also Day 5 of the cartoon challenge. Although I didn't get to practice as much as I'd have liked, still appreciating the progress I've made! You should too :)
March 15, 2018
Reflections, time investment and more on the Alexander Technique
Day 4 of the cartoon challenge, I was too ambitious yesterday with what I wanted to practice today. But still on schedule to draw caricature live on camera this Saturday. Per listener's request, the 2nd segment of today's episode is on the Alexander Technique. For those of you interested in trying out some basic exercises at home, I'd recommend this video: Let me know how it goes!
March 13, 2018
Action Poses and the Alexander Technique
Struggled with getting human body proportions right, but will schedule target practice tomorrow to fix it! Due to my back pain, I've researched into the Alexander Technique and spent quite some time reading and following workshops. I'll keep you posted if it works! p.s.Missed posting deadline, now the timestamp will show March 13th :S
March 13, 2018
Cartoon Accessories and Visual Vocabulary
Today's practice is mainly around cartoon accessories. Still learning all the key visual vocabulary, but hoping to start practicing caricature drawing soon. Also, I read into methods for natural vision improvement. I'll be the guinea pig, and will let you if it works!
March 11, 2018
Important elements in good cartoons
Key learnings from day 1 of cartoon drawing challenge. Also, a surprising fact of the day!
March 10, 2018
A safe space for adult learners to find inspirations and be empowered to teach themselves new skills. Let's challenge traditional schooling together. Podcast format will be a personal audio journal, I00% unscripted and unedited. Risky, but raw and real! The stream-of-consciousness style. Thank you for joining me on the journey. For corresponding blog posts, please visit
March 10, 2018
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