Because I'm so sensitive, sometimes I get hurt very easily and the other party won't even be aware of it. And since I remember grudges, sometimes these grudges pile up so high that I unwittingly vent it somewhere. I think it's so sad. And I'm so tactless as well, so sometimes I say things that I regret. But there is no regret to be had because I already did it. And I have to move on. It's okay. I have to learn to survive in this world. I have to learn to withstand insensitive comments and be sensitive about my comments. It's tough, but I'll make it through.

Activation Energy and Procrastination

Hello! This post is inspired by and dedicated to my buddy PCJC. He was asking how to get motivation to do your work. First of all, don't call it work. Call it an exercise, a puzzle or something that sounds more exciting. (I always believe language is important). Second, best of all, don't treat it as work. Treat it as a challenge, or something you enjoy. (Of course this depends on whether you can find the silver lining). Third, the first step is important. So is the last step. Why?

Let me explain in terms of chemical reactions.

BOOM! As the theory goes -- for reactions to occur, a hurdle, also known as the activation energy (Ea), has to be crossed first. Sometimes the amount of activation energy needed is so great that you need to put in a lot of energy to make the reaction happen.

This, my friend, is what causes procrastination. Procrastination is not a disease. It is simply a way for us to cope with stress and expectations. It is a sign that the hurdle seems too great to handle.

And that's why... you need enzymes! Enzymes lower the activation energy needed for a reaction. So, what kind of enzymes(techniques) can you use?

1. The 1 reaction way
Drink a lot of red bull and chiong your project in one day

2. The multiple reactions way
Think of your project as multiple, mini reactions (What was the cause of procrastination? Now, the big hurdle should be reduced to several humps). Start small, with one mini reaction at a time. Always stop halfway, unless you really cannot take it. Do not stop when you finish a reaction. DO NOT stop until you have reached the peak or almost reached the peak. Continue until you reach the peak, then stop. Why? So the next time you don't have to start another mini reaction. You can just roll down :) And it's easier to roll up to the next peak after you have enough momentum from rolling down.

This was inspired by the book Now Habit I borrowed from the library. The rationale is that you always stop with a question, with something to think about, so that you can continue off easily the next time.

That book also said something that seemed counter-intuitive. The Unschedule: "Instead of scheduling work you have to do, you fill in everything you want to do." Check out the link if you want to know more (you should).

Well, I have only tried it to a certain extent, and I must say that it is cool. Usually you try not to play, but now, you try not to "work"! Imagine trying not to do something! My rebellious nature rears its head here. Haha! In fact, I don't even treat it as "work" anymore.

Protein Folding and Real Life

Some people ask, what's the point of learning of those science stuff in school? I say, that's up to them! Are they going to apply it, or just treat it as garbage?

I say, why not assimilate it? Why not take it in and enrich myself? Instead of being passive and trying to reject knowledge, accept it! Revel in it! If you don't like it, transform it! Make your enemy your friend! That is the highest strategy, other than running away. Be like water.

Let us talk about protein folding. To simplify things, protein start out linearly as a sequence of amino acids. When they fold, that is when they achieve their 3D shape and therefore their biological function. Now the protein may not always fold into this 3D shape so perfectly. They may drop into a local minimum somewhere and never get out of the depression. Look at figure A below.

D1, D2, D3 etc are those local minimums. Once the protein gets stuck in any of these local minimums, it may not get out without enough energy. It may never achieve its supposed shape.

Just like real life, some people don't achieve their full potential. Because they're stuck in a local minimum. And they believe they're stuck there. And they remain there, convincing themselves that they're just not good enough, that they were Born This Way.


Genius is a myth. Hard work is real. Do you really think Mozart and Beethoven became pro composers because they had talent? No. They were pushed/pushed themselves, and they worked harder than anyone else. They got out of all the local minimums and got to the lowest energy state, folding properly in the end. (This is just an example. I do not propose that there is any limitation to our abilities.)

So the next time you tell yourself, "I can't do it. I'm just not smart enough." Stop. Do not insult our hard work. Before you tell yourself, "I can't do it," ask yourself, "did I really do everything in my ability?"

"Did I eat properly? Sleep properly? Ask many questions? Find many answers?"

Then you're allowed to say, "I did my best, but I can do even better."