July 16, 2015
How to make your advocacies rock, on social media

Years ago, I started writing online just for the love of writing.  There’s no definable goal, no strategy, nor any specifics to it. I just love to write. I was a kid who found one trendy eye candy thing to do. It’s called blogging and I was a blogger without a cause. My blogging mantra then was:

….

That’s right. I have no blogging mantra before. If you take a look at my social media profile today, this is my mantra:

I empower people.

So how did my wanderlust blogging evolved into this social media mantra of today? I’m not so sure but there’s two things on my side that made room for “experimentation”. One is time, the other, I suck at writing. 

I was one of the few who started blogging when it wasn’t popular then. Ergo I had the luxury of squandering time just to write rhetorics or metaphors.  I had little regard for grammatical correctness so long that I could blog. Mind you, the whole content police is at your ass every time waiting to bust your ill constructed content. But, I didn’t care.

When facebook and twitter became king and queen online platforms, I still suck at writing. The thing though, king Facebook doesn’t really care how grammatically correct your status updates are.  Or, how sane your content is. It has its own algorithm, and facebook-ers really hate long posts like this.

Well, queen twitter even pushed further the character limit to 140. That’s how many characters twitter thinks relevant content amount to. Insane? Yes, but it squeezes the freaking juices out of your creative mind. Grammars, notwithstanding .

When Google+ came in late and transformed itself into a rock solid social app which meant business, I began re examining finite resources and strategised my social media involvement. No one knows how or when will Google will settle revamping its app, but I seriously thought about playing my cards right when it still owns the search engine mega empire to back its social media platform.

So again, how is mantra, writing, social media fell into place to supercharge your advocacy on social media?

I gave the following tips on #ChangePh social media day:

SOCIALMEDIADAY

No content marketing? No writing or grammar polishing? No SEOs? Surprised?! Cliche?

The most important thing I’ve learned over the years of gallivanting on social media is the underpinning of most technical tips and advices experts would tell me. Humans are innately social. Those who are rockstars on social media, tend to have superb human “skills’ rather technical ones. So now you can see, the tips I gave above are really positive human traits, that are easily likeable on social media. They’re human in the first place.

If there’s one sentence I’d like my audience to remember, it should be this :

Be authentically, human on social media.

Heck, I still suck at writing. But I have an advocacy to empower people and that compulsion to never stop at being “okay” . I try to be authentic, with helpfulness as a fuel to this passion.Lastly, the  social media animal should never be just online. In fact, the social media rockstars are those who bring humans into a “gathering” offline. And that’s  what social media is all about. Being human, being social.

The author talking about social media on social media day #ChangePh #SMDayGensan #HEalthXPh #smartlife

The author talking about social media on social media day #ChangePh #SMDayGensan #HEalthXPh #smartlife

(This post is related to my talk on “how to make your advocacy rock on social media” during #ChangePh social media day in Gensan (#SMdayGensan) and is my contribution to #smartlife social media tips)

May 29, 2015
Why I prefer Twitter as a personal learning network

I have an account in every available social media platform today. Even Meerkat and Periscope, which I haven’t had any idea what to do in it.   I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years already. I enjoy posting a lot of stuff on Facebook and Google +, sometimes on Pinterest too. None exceeded my amazement with twitter. Why?

Platform for a new enterprise

We hacked #HealthXPh on Facebook and Google + (Hangout), but we formalized our new enterprise with twitter. To think, the series of “fortunate events” started with a reply to a tweet by @endocrine_witch.  #HealthXPh’s main platform today is still twitter.

Troubleshoot your way to everything with a tweet!

One of twitter’s strength is that you can find people easily who can solve (your) problems quickly.  I once tweeted about my telco’s lack of response to my complaints. Within minutes, a technical support person DM’ed me. Problem solved. I also tweeted a unfamiliar technical glitz while troubleshooting my old macpro.  A Mac guru tweeted a link to the solution to me!

Amazing industry news feed you can tailor easily.

As my personal learning network, I get newsfeeds about my industry from twitter. Even those from role models that are impossible to follow in other social media platforms,  I can freely follow on Twitter. In most cases, scientific articles that I missed (reading journals really take much time nowadays) but are relevant to my industry found its way on twitter!

Tremendous connection growth!

The growth of my industry connections grew tremendously with twitter. In fact I have more industry colleagues abroad than locally on twitter! And if you want to grow your network on one specific area, twitter is your social network.

Learning new skills is a tweet away.

Did I mention I learn new skills from twitter? How? Well, most links to skills or DIY sites are shared on twitter. Even the link  that landed me on the awesome graphic social media platforms like Pinterest or instructables came from my twitter feed!

New opportunities?

Of course there are things that I wish twitter would lead me to, like new clients and business opportunities. That will come sooner than later I guess. Look, in one year I have opportunities opening up via twitter more than I can handle. What’s more to ask?

Oh, just a bonus. I find people on twitter more open, more helpful and more intellectual. Yup, but that’s just me.

Have you tried twitter? Who knows?! 🙂

I’m @remoaguilar on twitter. Follow me there too!

(H/T to Mark Schaefer’s The Tao of Twitter” and Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of Social Media”  for the amazing ideas and tips!)

April 18, 2017
MY FACEBOOK PURGE LETTER

You probably knew by now that I failed miserably at purging my friends list on Facebook.  I did several “rounds” of unfriending but ended up adding more friends.

Facebook is making it hard for me so this is my last recourse. Read.


IT’S ME NOT YOU: MY FACEBOOK PURGE LETTER

SHORT VERSION
I’m having a hard time using Facebook like a “normal person”. So in the next 2 weeks, I’m doing something drastic.  Please don’t get offended. Even my mom will be affected by this.

LONG VERSION
When I joined Facebook back then, I thought mixing personal and professional accounts wouldn’t be a problem to me. I was wrong. I’m giving myself as well as my FB friends a lot of nonsense.

Just to highlight:
⊗ *Personal friends and family who aren’t interested in my professional and business interest found themselves bombarded by boring Facebook postings. Most of them are just being polite by not saying and I am so amazed by the ones who tolerated me.
⊗ *Colleagues, associates and business partners get confusing and sometimes offensive rants that are not helping them get productive at work.
⊗ *Personally, I don’t know how a “normal person” would use Facebook nowadays with the thousand plus friends and the confusing, unpredictable newsfeed algorithm of Facebook.
⊗ *I value my time. And so is the attention and time of my friends. I only have control of my Facebook profile so I’d be doing this in the next 2 weeks or so.

So, I will be unfriending EVERYBODY in my Facebook list (yes, my mom included so don’t get offended) and will send you this note:

Hi ________,
I’ve sent everyone on my FB friends list this note.
I will be converting this profile to “public figure” and will generally act as a homebase for my professional work and other business interests – social media, photography, blogging etc, through their own ‘pages”.
I’m not yet keen on getting a Facebook personal account again. When I do, it probably limited to my family, and really personal OFFLINE friends. I suggest you don’t add me there.
I feel this will be the best for everyone -personal or professional “friends” alike

You have three options:

Option 1-
All of my professional, niche and interests have blogs and Facebook pages of their own. If you felt you relate or connected with me via any of these page please feel free be a “fan” of the page of your choice by LIKING IT. That way, you’ll get only updates from me related to those interest. Nothing else! Isn’t that wonderful?
Here are the list of my pages and related content .

1. The Bone, Joint and Spine Online (my orthopedic practice) https://www.facebook.com/bonejointspine/
2. Cast & Curious ( as a medical blogger and healthcare social media enabler) https://www.facebook.com/castandcurious/
3. The Hiker’s Itch ( my travel, hiking blog )
https://www.facebook.com/hikersitch/
4. Twelve Inches Behind ( My photography site ) https://www.facebook.com/travelshoottell/
5. Tacurong City Online ( Place blog for my Tacurongnon friends) https://www.facebook.com/tacurongcitynet/

Option 2 –
If we really are friends (i.e., you know my corrected NSO name) feel free to friend me again on Facebook – I’ll respond shortly.
I’m not yet thinking of getting a Facebook personal account again. When I do, I’ll find my friends again.

Option 3 –
I’m sure this move will offend a few. Please understand I needed to do this.
Didn’t mean to offend – sorry if I did.
This social media fascinates me. At the same time, I needed to reclaim time by making meaningful connections with friends OFFLINE. So if you feel the same, drop me an sms and we will have coffee some time.

Thanks for understanding.


(Note: This is a modification of a Facebook bankruptcy template by Paul Colligan as shared by Tim Ferris. Credits goes to them.)

March 23, 2017
Voluntary poverty, have no fear.

“Damn! It’s freezing out here!

Less than an inch thick of corrugated cartoon insulated my body from the pavement. There’s about a foot of ceiling overhang sheltering us from the foggy sky. I was oblivious to passers by and vehicles traversing the street.  D2 to K2 mountain traverse (Philippines 2nd and 4th highest peaks) is a tiring feat for weekend hikers like me. So post climb, I really didn’t care if I’m sleeping on a pavement.

“Well, what the heck. I’m too numb and tired to feel cold”.

Why didn’t I get a decent hotel room I can afford that time? Most of my climbing buddies are expense savvy vagabonds who’d rather spend on travels than a decent hotel room. The social decorum among climbers is that we go where the pack goes. So I go where they go. Even sleeping on pavements.

Looking back now, my reasons for “trying out the pavement instead of the decent hotel room” goes beyond the group’s social decorum. I was re learning a habit I learned growing up which faded when I already afford decent hotel rooms.

Being comfortable with discomfort.

I slept on a folding bed at inside a bus terminal because I can’t afford a hotel room. I rode crappy inter island sea vessels because I can’t afford a ticket for a commercial plane. I can survive a day on a single pande sal and a cup of 3 in 1 coffee. In early med school, I live in a 2 x 4 meters room with 3 double decker bunk bed. Your bunk bed is your study table, eating table and your sleeping space. Military bunks are way better.  I once thought I couldn’t go home to Tandang Sora QC after wasting the last peso in my pocket, but did so by walking from Taft Avenue Manila all the way to our apartment. I collapsed in exhaustion but I did survive.

Losing a job? I applied as a part time bank teller and a fast food service crew but was rejected. Overqualified. I had to quit a job and was literally jobless for a year. Well, I didn’t die either. Yeah, I was rock bottom broke but I did survived. Poverty made me fearless in the past. I fear nothing because I could only go up from the abyss of poverty.  Back then, the rock bottom is my trampoline to success.

Until I got comfortable with comfort.

When the time came I can afford decent hotel rooms, I worked like a cog on a wheel to maintain my ability to afford a decent hotel room. No, I’m consumed by it. Then life choices became so much more complicated.

The fear of going broke and the world will end.

This is the kind of fear that consumes me now more than ever. That fear that if we don’t work hard to protect our “comfortable life” today, we go broke and die. Even if that “comfortable life” does not in any way contribute to productive, of true value gains to our life.  Worse,  that comfortable life clouded our path to finding something, someone of value to us.

My personal experience could only vouch for me. I did hit rock bottom before and I was ok. No decent hotel room? Sure, I can sleep on a pavement. No taxi? Sure I can hike! I went broke but the world didn’t end. That’s not so surprising, right?

Finding a way to combat fear.

Maybe it took me some time to look back at my past experiences to find a way of combating fear. A way that I’ve unconsciously tested by in the past. Something to anchor my profound curiosity for experimenting on life hacks to achieve goals of value.  I need a strategy to optimize my decision making process and get rid of fear that is consuming me. I had to actively re create or maybe simulate what worked for me in the past and regain habits that brought me to something of value.

Voluntary poverty.

Voluntary poverty or some call it, “simplicity” is an “optimisation” strategy wherein you actively get rid of options that are not of real value to you to un-complicate many decision making process. Central to this is knowing what is of true value to you to remove unnecessary choices in the equation. This optimisation reduces the chances of you being stuck in the decision making process and actually make a decision.

Many of us are often caught in that decision making process trap. A good practical example is choosing what clothes to wear. Did you know that a human being spend some 15-20 minutes choosing what to wear each day? Imagine what you can do with that 15 minutes each day to be productive. Talk to family, meditate, journal, read 2 pages of a book. What a time saver right?

Most of the people I admire, or people I consider successful practice voluntary poverty or simplicity. Steve Jobs,  Mark Zuckerberg,  AJ  Jacobs, Kevin Kelly (co founded Wired magazine) all who despite their vast capacity to indulge in their money, chose to live a life of simplicity and converted the time they earned to build something productive.

Wait.  “Voluntary poverty” is NOT an excuse to waste money on something that do not give you true value or a profound sense personal fulfilment. Spending all your money on vices that does not in any way help achieve productive goals is not optimising. It’s pure time, money wasting. You can only do voluntary poverty when you have unscrewed what you value and your priorities are clearcut. Or at least you’re trying to.

Another important component here is that you are able to convert those saved time, effort, or money to something of value to you.

So why I am saying this loud? That practicing voluntary poverty is a way of optimising ourselves and combating fear??

First, I believe voluntary poverty could save me valuable amounts of time, effort, and money I can use to fuel more productive goals in life. Second,  I should not be afraid of going broke whenever I embark on something to improve myself. I’d go for it and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. I have been to rock bottom before I did ok. Why should I be afraid now?

I shouldn’t be. Poverty made me fearless.

“So, concerning the things we pursue, and for which we vigorously exert ourselves, we owe this consideration- either there is nothing useful in them, or most aren’t useful. Some of them are superfluous, while others aren’t worth that much. But we don’t discern this and see them as free, when they cost us dearly.” -Seneca, Moral Letters, 42.6 as quoted by Ryan Holiday in The Daily Stoic.

 

March 19, 2017
Owning up a less than perfect but tremendously awesome productive week!

“Today I escaped from the crush of circumstances, or better put, I threw them out, for the crush wasn’t from outside me but in my own assumptions” –Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.13 (  from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday)

Last week was perhaps my busiest and ironically, my most productive week so far. Right of the bat,  let me clear it out that “busy” is not the same as “productive” and I try to be more of latter. How? Please read my last post.

So basically I’m updating what I’ve achieved (or not achieved) so far on my #lifedoover:

Journaling

I’m still doing the old school, handwritten, spring bound notebook type of journaling.  I missed two days last week, since I was on the road most of the time. Apart from that, I felt great after finishing each journal entry. Nay, I relish it. I’m beginning to focus on more important things, listing only 3 top tasks each day and actually finish 80% of it. 2 out of 3. Not bad for a beginner. I still have to work on a what not to do list each day in the coming weeks will be on . Just to fine tune my focusing attitude. I wish I can develop a format for evernote, but I’m pretty sure thats just one other distraction for me.

Meditation

Headspace 10 days trial. Fifteen minutes, 2x each day. I’m still on the 4th day of the app, but I meditated without my smart phone too so it wasn’t counted there. The first 3 was difficult for me but I like the effects on breathing, self awareness and most especially on my sleep. I can now induce my body to sleep with this quickie meditations. I have to get meditation into my psyche now, without my smartphone where the app is, because I’m also consuming less info nowadays.

Low information diet

The more chaotic part of my do over, life redesigning attempt. I got some negative feedback from people, especially on missing out sms, private messenger and emails. I explained though that I’m working on being productive and is avoiding distractions from repeatedly glancing on my phone. I also gave out schedules for people to contact me then tried some auto responders. The autoresponder failed on many occasions. My social media engagement dropped significantly by almost 60%. I’m not sure if that is good but, I also had time bringing offline conversations to real, in flesh friends. 🙂

Book readings

I did consume tons of audiobooks and podcasts, probably because I’m on the road often. I’m almost done with one hardcopy and is simultaneously reading half of a non fiction. Then, crap I bought 4 more new books! Now I really have to cut off some more of my “busy look” time! I’m totally orgasmic each time I finish a book. Couldn’t wait for a next one!

Blog/Vlog/Podcast

I’m writing this didn’t I? I also am about to publish a vlog, maybe this week after post processing. I still have to finish that book on digital interview and podcasting. I’m quite fascinated how I’m learning so much deconstructing interviews, picking out habits, tips I could use myself for my #doover. It’s pretty amazing , there’s literally so many stuff to learn from people. Oh, glad I listened to Maria Popova‘s (Brainpicking) podcast on How to start a Blog? Because she just said…”Write for yourself

Work/Career

A ton of opportunities exploded last week. The “good problem” still lingers in me and I have yet to get a grip on my bearing. Why I am not yet calling the shot? I don’t know. Maybe I did already. Ah, I did get a feedback I might be overdoing stuff and is just killing myself. Well, maybe thats a good way of killing one self right? Or because I’m in the habit of “overdoing” things thats why opportunities just pops out right off the hood.

Something to work on next week. Diet, exercise and photography. Plus I really have to work on my roaster hack! For coffee!

Now, about that quote in the first part of this post. It simply mean that everything that happened to us, it was mainly our own doing. Owning up our actions, thoughts, decisions and everything else we do. We are the only ones who has access to our mind, our freedom, our will. Not anyone else or some thing outside us. So own up, and do not blame others!

If you guys wanted to meet me in flesh, have some coffee, or a life conversation (yup you’ll be on my vlog) or maybe just shoot landscapes, give me a call. Or comment below. 🙂

March 15, 2017
I’m Keeping A Journal

That’s what most intelligent people do. Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and even our own Jose Rizal. Most of the people I admire also keep some sort of a journal to write. While my being “intelligent’ is clearly debatable, you need not be intelligent to start journaling. Trust me .

What’s the benefit?

This recent scientific study tells us that journaling (a form of expressive writing), reduces negative thoughts and “improves working memory”. If you insist on the long list of potential benefits, go to this Hufftington article. If you are not yet convinced by benefit #5, please stop reading this post. I really don’t want to waste your time. ( You might want to read the bad effects of journaling here.)

What convinced me to go back journaling?

I did a 80/20 analysis of my skills and habits back and found out that journaling (portion of that 20% desirable habits)  contributed to 80% of my collegiate success! Journaling gave me a personal space to blurt out my thoughts, deconstruct my dilemma and then gave me focus. Journaling also taught me how to outline strategies and solving seeming unsolvable problems.

Like math.

Math for me before is an unsolvable problem. I grew up dreading every math subject or numbers bearing courses. Everybody hates math. Even my classmate who aces math exams, hate math. I hate classmates who aces math exams. I write these thoughts on my journal. I write how it took me one semester to crack a single item calculus quiz. I wrote about how I would answer end of chapter statistical questions while sitting on the toilet bowl. On the brighter side of journaling, I also write on my journal the times when I’d successfully reverse engineer math solutions of my classmates! It is then that I discovered I was better solving math problems by reverse engineering solutions. In short, I kind of solve my math fear, by journaling.

Wait. Why I am telling you all these? Well, I’m publicly declaring I’m journaling again. I also need you my friends, to call me out from time to time and see how I’m doing with my journaling do over (#dooverjournaling). Coz, that’s what friends are for, right? (say’s cliche..)

Here’s what my evolving journal look like now.

Blank, handwritten journal of Remo, evening part left page, morning on the right page of the notebook.

This is a chimera of journal templates by Tim Ferris, Sam Thomas Davies and the 5 Minute Journal. I have a weekly overview and a two part (morning/evening)  daily journal. The morning journal is usually the attitude setting and tasking part while the evening journal is sort of a reflection and ideas exploration part. It’s not complete yes, and is evolving each day.

Look at my journal months ago.

Handwritten, pen colored vandalized journal of yester months

Forget the crappy handwriting and ridiculous icons.

How should I (or you) know my progress? Or what if I’m not journaling at all?  How would I know if my journaling is giving me the benefits it ought to give?

To be honest, I do not know. I have triggers for journaling in the morning and in the evening. I might have to publicly show some of my not so personal journal entries to prove I’m in fact still journaling. Short of head knocking me, maybe a good old, “Hey you’ve publicly posted a challenge, don’t be an arse and keep journaling!” How’s that for a challenge?  I’m just kidding. No really, humiliate me.

Lastly, I’m thinking this should be fun. I’m finally doing something for my #lifedoover I mentioned in this post.

So help me gods.

 

 

 

 

 

March 8, 2017
The Remo Self Hack Show. Or something worthwhile to do in the next days.

An unexamined life is not worth living- Plato

Recently, I’ve been hooked to The Tim Ferris Show amazing podcasts. These podcasts are mostly self improvement “experiments” by the popular, New York Times best selling author of The 4 Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferris.

Tim Ferris, for all those who do not know him, amassed quite a number of life hacks by deconstructing the habits of successful people and experimenting most of these hacks to himself! Which is sometimes odd.

The following Tim Ferris “self improvement hacks” piqued my interest.

  1. Journalling. I’ve been bullet journalling but never knew how effective my journalling was for me. Or am I doing it “wrong”?
  2. Meditation. Something I recognized as essential but never really had the effort to start meditating.
  3. How to read books in less* time. It was probably not about adding time but, taking time from “distractions” and converting it to reading time.
  4. Podcast. How to deliver a blockbuster podcast.
  5. Preparing and eating healthy food.
  6. Low information diet. I’m cutting down my social media time (and TV) so I’ll have additional time reading books

I definitely have something to do in the coming days. Or at least try to.