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Category: Life Style

Imposter Syndrome

Internet is a good thing: it allows us to see and experience things that were not possible decades ago. On the other hand, it’s sometimes also overwhelming. When I see capable people doing amazing stuff on the Internet, very often I feel I’m not worth of what people think I am. Occasionally I thought it’s because I’m shy and I’m usually not comfortable fully expressing my thoughts. In other occasions I’m simply not patiently enough to argue otherwise.

But it’s not just me. A lot of people are experiencing the same feeling and I’m starting to realize that I may be suffering from the imposter syndrome. After all, after so many years my personality has changed a lot. I’m no longer shy. I’m much more confident than I was. And I’m also a more capable person so I deserve a better life. It doesn’t feel right to be satisfied with what I’m getting. I’m better than that!

Meeting with people confirms that. There are a lot of people pretending to be expert in something and it seems they are enjoying quite a lot, although I can spot right on that they’re not what they believe they are. They’re not ashamed, why should I feel bad for myself? I’m much better a person than those real imposters, of course I deserve better things!

It’s more than a year since I wrote a blog post last time. A lot has happened during the past year. After years of depressing research career, I’ve published in a good conference and successfully defended my PhD. I’ve started working (again) in the industry. I’ve also found a long term direction that should keep me busy in the next five years. We’ve also got our foothold in Luxembourg, although there remains a lot to complete, it’s a good starting point. I’ll try to blog more often about what’s happening in my life, just to keep track of my thoughts and experiences, so that I can look back to them later and say “boy, I didn’t know I was so naïve a while ago.”

I’ve also updated my blog theme and fixed the HTTPS issue with WordPress and Cloudflare: I only needed to install the CloudFlare Flexible SSL plugin and enable “Automatic HTTPS Rewrites” on Cloudflare. Now the website feels more responsive and neater. That’s a good starting point to (re)start blogging!

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The plethora of opportunities

For most of us, we live in a society with abundant resources: delicious food to taste, delicate clothes to put on, various activities to attend to, wonderful places to visit and numerous things to do. Yet, all these abundance are not necessarily good for us: we’re getting distracted to the extend that we don’t know what exactly we’re chasing for.

Some people say we are getting superficial — that we are trying endlessly from one thing to another and shortly getting tired of each of them. But this superficialness doesn’t come from nothing. We’re superficial not because there exist many temptations, instead, we’re not able to resist these temptations that trick us into thinking about illusions and trajectories of ourselves. We try to find life meanings by doing things but often end up in vain, maybe the right way to go is not finding meanings: maybe it’s the other way round. How we do things and live our lives is simply the meaning.

The meaning of a nomad’s life is traveling and not settling anywhere. The life meaning of a adventurer is adventure. A person focusing constantly on something becomes an expert.

Opportunities are always there, but we are not. It’s not an opportunity without the capability of taking advantage of it, be it the accumulation of prior experiences or fast learning and adapting abilities.

Indeed there are too many opportunities, however, one does not need thousands of opportunities to succeed. One is enough. Prepare for it, focus on it, reach for it before it comes to you and let it work for you.

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Otaniemi from 80m above

Today I had a meeting in Otaniemi and finally managed to visit the possibly the highest building in this area: the water tower. It’s quite a nice view up there. The water tower is build on top of a small hill around 30m high; and the tower itself is about 50m — that makes it standing 80m from the sea level and on top of which it gives a perfect bird view to the whole Otaniemi area.

It’s said that with totally cloudless weather, one can even see as far as Tallinn, which sits around 80km away in the south. That’s pretty amazing!

There is one seagull nest on the roof and there are some eggs waiting to be hatched in it. We saw the seagull circling above us. Fortunately it wasn’t so aggressive to try to attack us, yet.

By the way, the water tower is designed by Alvar Aalto, after which Aalto University is named.

A look upwards to the tower:

Off back home early. It was a nice day!

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Positive thoughts today:

  1. I made a few slides this morning and found myself to be more efficient in preparing slides that expected. Also I managed to find the company template and icons for making computer networking slides. They make life much easier. And, Ericsson icons looks nicer than Cisco ones. They give a cleaner look and are easier to change the color and to scale.
  2. During lunch we discussed about alcohol, and I was told that good Vodka does not taste anything. This relieves me since the Russian Vodka I bought last year doesn’t have any taste and someone told me it might have been made from industrial alcohol and water. Nice to know that, even though I don’t drink.
  3. I’ve been listening to Johnathan Lee’s songs during work. His songs are very toughing. The more I listen to them, the more I like them.
  4. Saw a provoking African proverb on Google+: “If  you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito.”
  5. It’s nice to have others sharing some of my feelings: guys never know what girls are thinking. (Picture link shared by Mohit and Nalin.) See picture here:
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Giving name to a Finnish baby

Today was a good day, thanks to the following things:

  1. It was nice to talk with a colleague from Ericsson Beijing. I got to know what’s going on in China through someone else’s eyes. Also I know how it looks to work in Beijing and how a different job may feel like. She said working in Operations is quite stressful and may require a lot of night shifts, which is not good for anyone’s health. One of her colleagues in Japan had worked night shifts continuously for 90 days… I feel lucky to work in a job that is less likely to cause health problems, although sometimes I do want a bit more pressure.
  2. During lunch we were chatting and one topic came out when discussing giving names to babies. It turns out that Finns give names to their babies secretly for the first three month after the baby is born. That’s probably due to religious reasons, i.e., the devils can not claim the baby if it doesn’t bear a name. It’s also funny that Finns wait until the baby is born to give it a name, simply because they want to make sure the baby’s image matches the name. Hmm, how can you possibly do that? How do you know how “Jussi” should look like? Well, Finns simply do.
  3. I succeeded to revert my Galaxy Tab back to stock version, there wasn’t any noticeable damage to it. It’s nice to have a working tablet that a brick.
  4. I got a clearer view of the short-term goal of the project I’m currently working on.
  5. There are a lot of spam comments in my website, luckily the Akismet plugin successfully blocked all of them. Akismet is free of charge and it works like magic.
  6. Yesterday I managed to update my WordPress Responsive Theme to the latest version, and managed to fix the “number of comments title wrongly aligned” issue.
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GitHub couples

I’m feeling good today because of theses things:

  1. My mobile phone ran out of battery and the alarm clock didn’t ring this morning, but I still managed to get up just in time and caught the bus at the last minute — and arrived at the company at my usual time.
  2. My manager told me it looks positive to renew my contract and hopefully it will be one and half years. He also says he tries to get it done before the summer vacation, which makes my life a lot easier. Also he says it’s possible to save my holidays till winter. So I’ll be back in China for some time in winter this year.
  3. A very old lady managed to stop and got on the bus even though she waved her hand a bit late to the bus driver. The bus driver was polite and that what I like about Finland: people generally don’t get angry.
  4. Here’s one very funny and geeky picture I saw from xda-developers. In case the link gets invalidated later, the picture reads: “So, where did you two meet?” “Windows users: at the office” “Mac users: at Starbucks” “Linux users: GitHub”.


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Positive Thinking

I found one of the most fascinating talks in TED is given by Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work. I’ve watched it for several times and each time I see it, I find it even more inspiring. Following Shawn’s suggestion, I’m trying to list three things that make me happy everyday. Here it goes:

  1. I’m happy that I woke up late and had sufficient sleep.
  2. Immediately after I woke up I went to have lunch with my friends. The food was great and it is always nice to be with friends. And now we are going to have dinner together again. 🙂
  3. The weather is great. I’m very grateful for that.
  4. My neighbor is back from a one-month travel and gives me a pack of chocolate. It’s also nice to hear her travel experiences.
  5. See the following picture:

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Summary of 2011 and New Year’s Resolution

This year is approaching to its end at such a high speed that, before I realize it, there’re barely ten days left. It has been a busy and fruitful year for me. And it started quite well, too. I believe it’s beneficial to summarize what has happened so far at this point, now that I’m waiting to go back home and enjoy my winter vacation in one and a half hours.

It began with the confirmation of being in love with my lovely girlfriend in the beginning of this year (or rather end of last year). It was hard to keep this relationship especially most of the time we are thousands of kilometers apart from each other. We have had problems and had argued and blamed each other. Luckily we went through those hard times. Now although she is still two hour’s flight away from me, we are making some progress. The progress reflects of course not only in the distance, but also in the expectations towards and understandings between us. I’d say to myself: “you’re not doing perfectly, but not terribly either. Keep improving.”

This year also marks the beginning of my career. I was fortunate enough to get position at Ericsson to do my thesis and be offered a contract when I was finalizing the thesis work. The work was not perfect neither, to be frank. I’m not gonna lie to myself, but I wished I were treated equally when doing my thesis, for example, it would have improved my moral a lot if I had been offered a salary for my thesis work. And it would definitely help a lot if my work gets fully and really appreciated. I understand it was the problem of both others and myself; I was not doing my best. I should have done a better job by not caring too much about what others do and think. Anyway in all I think this is a good start of my career despite of some of the downsides.

I finished my thesis in time and got my master’s degrees — a degree from Aalto and one from KTH. It’s not so difficult to get two, but people are often amazed at the fact.

I also did something ‘crazy’ — cycling for around 1,000 kilometers from Espoo to Rovaniemi, a town in the arctic circle. Looking back, it was not difficult, but I was glad that I did it. Though many others are surprised at that, I do not see the meaning of doing that. — “But why do one has to bother the meaning of doing something?” I also tried to put on some weight and succeeded. I went to the gym for around two months with a colleague and successfully gained around five kilograms. I guess that was the first time when my weight has exceeded 120.

Looking forward, I have a few resolutions:

First of all, getting myself heard. This involves not only improving my english and language skills, but also expressing my feelings. I need to convey my ideas, my emotions, and my interests to others, so that hopefully they will see to it that I’m no longer ignored. I have also set some concrete goals for the next year: 1) talk to at least five persons face to face each day. 2) Get some publications and patent approved. 3) Pass at least two Ericsson’s internal certifications.

Secondly, improve my professional competence. I’ve targeted my competence as efficient and quick programming, especially in networking protocols. I also need to recap the complicated but efficient data structures and algorithms.

Thirdly, take good care of my physical and psychological health. I should resume going to the gym.

Last but not least, giving more time to the ones I love — my family and my friends. They’re one of the most important things in one’s life, if not THE one.

I shall keep all the determinations in mind and come back to them regularly, and monitor the progress of executing all these tasks.

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No. 1 的大事就是找到女朋友了。她是一个年轻漂亮的姑娘,一双小眼睛在笑起来的时候总会躲的不见踪影,白皙的皮肤没有丝毫瑕疵,胖嘟嘟的小脸蛋总让我想抚摸亲吻;她会让我围她的围巾,或者让我把我的围巾给她围上;她说要让我的围巾留有她的香味,嗯,现在闭上眼闻的话隐约还有……她有主见有想法,独立坚强,不同于我见过的任何女生;她偶尔也会任性,看电影也会看得流眼泪;她会看着我傻傻的笑,比我看着她的傻笑还傻……她比女神更美,却没有那样遥不可及,她是我的女人……

No. 2 的事情就是今天刚得到的消息,毕设有着落了。在某个公司的实验室做,虽然看我有奖学金不给钱,但我也知足了,先攒点经验再说。

No. 3,出国一年半之后总算回了趟国,那个还是让我爱恨交加的祖国。朋友们还是老样子,没有我之前害怕的隔阂;家人身体也好,思想也在尽量向我靠拢。

No. 4,嗯,没有了……



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前段时间什么事都不想做,整天就这么懒洋洋的耗着,也不知道为什么这么没动力。后来听到“Rise And Fall”,这几句歌词也许可以解释:

Sometimes in life you feel the fight is over, and it seems as though the writings on the wall,superstar you finally made it

但是对我来说,the fight is far from over; and I’m no way a superstar. So gear up for the new fight — the final fight in my undergraduate life.

Light up! ‘Coz I’ve no other choices.


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Traveling is one of the best ways to learn. You can experience what you have not experienced before. You can visit majestic buildings. You can taste marvelous foods. You can make friends with all kinds of people. You can learn the people, the language, the culture, and the history. Thanks to the diversity and magnificence of the world, by traveling you can broaden your horizons and open your eyes to the world.

Traveling is good for your health, too. From one aspect, it is refreshing. With all kinds of magnificent scenery, you will just forget the trifles and pressure in your mind. From another, you will exercise a lot when you are on the go. For example, when you climb the mountains, you are just doing sports. So if you want to keep fit, just go and travel!

But traveling is for the brave ones, for to travel means to explore. You have no idea with what is going to happen and what you are going to see and feel. There are always surprises. You are likely to see the scenery you have not expected. Sometimes it is quite magnificent. But on other occasions it could be rather unattractive, which you have to bear with all your efforts.

Anyway, traveling is becoming more and more popular. It benefits us a lot. So why not?


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