How are you Jun-te on

July 2023

Audio Clip for the audiophiles => Audio Link
Happy July!

The start of the summer holiday for my fiancee.

11 months doing my own business.

And finally getting to see my best friend who is coming back to the UK after a long time in New Zealand. I missed you Ali, it's good to have you back.

For people that don't know, Ali has been my friend since A-levels and is also the doctor-friend that realised I was having a manic episode. He desperately tried to get me help in S.Korea but he was limited due to being in the UK. He is also the friend that helped me re-learn coding by balancing League of Legends games as a reward provided I coded a little bit each day 🀣

I missed you, man. Thank you for letting me pick you up on Thursday (27th July 2023). Looking forward to hugging you and whispering "no-homo".
Systemizing Relationships
Bracing myself for the critics and skeptics.

What do I mean by systematizing relationships?

The term "systematized" often has a negative connotation, particularly in the context of relationships.

This is possibly because a relationship is not merely about completing a set of tasks on a to-do list or asking specific questions in a certain sequence.

The interaction in a relationship, I believe, should not be systematized. However, having an agenda, especially in a professional setting, can be incredibly useful.

What I aim to systematize in my relationships is the 'scheduling' aspect. A basic version widely used by business-oriented individuals is a tool called Calendly. You can find mine here => Jun-te Kim | TidyCal

An improvement on this, in my opinion, would be to set up a recurring 1:1 video call with a friend, with the cycle being weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.

For instance, I have a friend with whom I have scheduled a meeting every two weeks. That doesn't mean we see each other exactly every two weeks. Life happens, and we individually 'cancel' some meetings as new events arise.

As a result, we might meet every 4 or 6 weeks depending on how busy we are. The biweekly schedule serves as a reminder for us to touch base with each other.

Then suddenly 'chance' intervenes, and we both find a date and time when we can meet. My friend and I don't need to go 'back and forth'; suddenly it's 09:30, and we both have a coffee ready as we catch up on the busyness of our lives.

The frequency isn't an assurance of meeting, but it represents how often we want to be 'reminded' of each other.

For example, I have a friend with whom I've arranged a weekly coffee call, but we didn't actually manage to have one until 2 months later. Life happens.

I've certainly implemented this with my close friends, and it's worked beautifully.

This system has made me realize that I can apply business efficiencies to my personal life, and, conversely, a business can be significantly improved by adding a personal touch.

The pursuit of business efficiencies has made my life more organized, and it's helped me transition into an area I used to struggle with physical exercise. More on this in the next section.

You don't have to do this with all your friends but give it a try with those with whom you want to stay closely connected.

The natural state of things can lead to us drifting apart from loved ones, and I believe that's regrettable.

cough big bro and lil-sis cough --> If you guys are up for it, I'd love to be 'reminded' to catch up with you.

It seems increasingly difficult with us living in separate countries and 'life' getting in our way.
Physical Exercise
The keen readers know that as of January 2023, I have been working on my physical exercise (please feel free to see my old newsletter for the progression reports).

In general, I quit alcohol and aim to move more.

The last mention of my physical exercise was the realisation that I also need to improve my diet before Mealcraft gets made. 😲😲😲

This resulted in me getting a personal fitness coach. 😏😏😏

As much as I wanted to work on my fitness, I didn't want to give any more time and energy than what I was originally doing.

To me:
MealCraft > Physical Health

However, health is important, and if I was sick, I'd be in trouble. I think my time in the hospital was enough for a lifetime. Thus, I outsourced the problem. If anyone can come up with a pill or device that does all the exercise and optimizes my nutrition intake, do let me know. But for now:

My physical coach checked my blood work, my exercise routine, diet, and sleep and asked me a fundamental question:

Coach: "What is your goal?"

Me: "Erm... I don't move enough, so I just want to move more and get healthy for brain health and longevity."

Coach: "Do you have a physical accomplishment you would like to accomplish with me in 6 months?

Me: "This seems impossible, but I want to be able to do 100 pull-ups (10 reps of 10 sets) with a 20kg weight on me, but that seems impossible and not achievable in 6 months."

Coach: "How many pull-ups can you do right now in one set?"

Me: "10."

Coach: "That seems do-able."

Me: "Er? 🀯 How?!"

He proceeded to make me a plan:

The goal is to make me lose weight and get me stronger...

Sounds so easy...

The result of 2 weeks of training: Just me doing pull ups - YouTube

The training plan and my accountability so far can be seen on this google sheets:
Wish me luck guys.

I'll try to upload a video on my youtube channel every time I reach a new milestone with my pull-ups.

Sidenote: I chose pull-ups as it's my weakest calisthenics movement.

Remember guys, You have TIME, MONEY, or ENERGY to push any goal. This time I used money πŸ‘€.
Community with God
Last month, I mentioned that I wanted to step out of my 'comfort zone' and go to church on Sundays.

Worst case: I stop going to church.

Best case: I meet a community of people who want to play poker or board games XD.

This section is dedicated to what happened after I expressed my interest in learning and knowing more about God.

As I mentioned before, Eden was religious during her teenage days. Although she wasn't excited to go to church, she was very supportive and joined me. She even mentioned it to her parents, and her father wanted to come along too!

During this time, I learned about a family tradition in Eden's household. Every Sunday, they would go to church together, and Eden's father would cook ramen (Korean noodles) for lunch. Eden emphasized that the noodles had to be cooked by her father.

So, the following Sunday, we went to a nearby Catholic Church, and afterward, I got to experience and be part of a family tradition I didn't even know my fiancΓ©e had. It was a beautiful and unexpected moment to share. Here is a photo from the occasion, and yes, it was cooked by Eden's father.
When I went to my first church service, I felt very confused. It was challenging to follow along, as I didn't know which page to turn to for the songs or where they were referring to in the service.

Additionally, I noticed that the demographic of attendees leaned toward the older age group. Nonetheless, I found it impressive that about 60 to 70 people gathered regularly for the service. This experience made me realize that it's difficult to find a church that truly resonates with you.

The variety of denominations from Protestant to Catholic, and everything in between, coupled with the dynamics of the church community itself, can be quite perplexing.

I shared this experience with my twin brother.

Twin Brother:

In my family, there's an ongoing joke that my twin brother got the looks, and I got the smarts. (Once I can do pull-ups, we'll see about that πŸ‘€). Together, we should be an unstoppable force, but I suppose life isn't that fair, so they split the body in two.

My brother then told me about the Korean badminton community that he loves being a part of. Interestingly, I had visited their badminton session before, but I hadn't realized that most of them also attended the Korean church on Sundays.

This explained why the badminton gatherings were on Saturdays. I decided to join the badminton session and ended up getting beaten by my brother, but it was fascinating to witness how a community forms around shared interests, whether it's the love for badminton or possibly a shared connection through faith.

Eden's Religious Friends
Eden arranged a coffee date with an old friend who happened to be religious. Upon hearing about my church adventures, her friend was excited to share information about a church near the Waterloo area.
So, we planned a brunch date just before the church service, and when we met up, they patiently answered all my questions.

What I found particularly intriguing was how structured their life seemed to be. They had a routine of going to church once a week, which helped them plan their upcoming schedules using a calendar. Their solid foundation of boundaries and relationships, along with their understanding that they might experience strong emotions, but it's their choices that define their uniqueness as humans.

It took me experiencing a mental breakdown to grasp this concept. I realized that while I might feel something, I have the power to choose how I respond. It required a lot of meditation and self-reflection. They seemed to have this insight effortlessly, and it wasn't just this couple; I later discovered that most Christians I spoke to possessed it too. It left me wondering, how?

For instance, I might say to myself, "I feel tired, but I know that taking a shower and having coffee will help me feel more ready for work. So, I'll just go through the motions in my Google Keep system, and see how I feel afterward."

However, a Christian person might approach it differently, saying, "Hey God, I know I don't feel like going to work today. I understand that work doesn't define me and that it's not the end-all, be-all. My duty is to serve you, and I believe this is part of the greater plan. So, I'll choose to go to work today to better prepare and embrace whatever challenges come my way."

It's fascinating how different approaches work for different people! I think talking to God will likely be more socially acceptable than my approach, where I literally record my own voice and listen back to hear how strange I might sound.

Most people on the self-improvement journey seek to better themselves for their own sake. They then strive to find a purpose, whether in business or for their family, which drives them to become proactive.

However, Christians already have a purpose - to serve God. This purpose inherently requires them to be proactive.

In a world that often seems devoid of clear purpose, I believe having the purpose of serving God is better than having no purpose at all. Similarly, when advising people who are unsure about their future career path, I often suggest that education is never a bad choice. It can provide direction and open doors to various opportunities.

I thought the cherry on top was how the church service ended up discussing the exact topic that Eden's friend and I had shared during our brunch. It made me wonder, could there be a God? πŸ‘€ (I have to be cautious with my wording; otherwise, people might think I'm delusional again 🀣🀣)

The most significant lesson I've taken away from this experience is the willingness of people to help, especially once I clarified my goals and intentions.
If you find that people are not offering their assistance, perhaps it's because you haven't clearly defined what you need from them.

NB: Eden and I are planning to attend a weekly church service that offers a 'lights-out in prayer' for 30 minutes, creating a sense of community. As someone on a self-improvement journey, I recognize the benefits of meditation.

Finding a service that allows us to meditate together with a community of people is truly remarkable!
The religious person I met mentioned how much she loves this service because it provides a much-needed "break" from her day-to-day routine. It allows her to deeply reflect on her week and plan for the future. I was genuinely impressed, thinking to myself, "Wow, this is essentially meditation with a community. Impressive."
Building reputation
  • Messaging every girl on Facebook to marry me
  • Shouting about world peace in an airport half naked
  • Getting into fights on public transport
is enough to break anyone's reputation. My voice, my words, and my thoughts meant very little. So much so that I had to be hospitalized and sedated.

I was a harm to myself and others.

How does one go up from there? That answer is quite easy. The only way is up πŸ˜…

I wanted to share a moment during my recovery that I haven't spoken about publically before.

There was a period in my life where I was conscience enough to start gaining insight into my illness but people around me didn't believe in anything I said or did.

An example of this is my nurse not thinking I was taking my medication or my family not trusting me with a kitchen knife ( a story I wish I could go into more detail about but fortunately have no recollection and only the notes of my medical notes have been used to decipher that part of my life).

There is a moment in time, during your mental recovery when you are ashamed. You are disgusted and confused.

Why would I do that? That makes no sense. I don't even understand how I did that.

This is the moment where one gains insight. You might have made enough of a recovery to believe in yourself again but no one around will even take you seriously. Truly isolating.

How does one build their reputation back up to ensure people trust you again?


Some people who have shared their mental health stories with me have told me that God helped them get through this part. I wanted to share what worked for me.

No one believed me. I couldn't act or say anything as I had no social credit. Okay then. Who do people trust at the moment that is next to me?

My twin brother.

If I wanted to do anything. If I wanted to say anything. It had to be 'okay-ed' by my twin brother. If my twin brother thought I was 'manic', the world will still think I'm 'manic'.

When I asked my brother if I can reduce my medication. He said no. So I took the full and whole amount, every morning and night.

So much so, that my twin brother told my nurse that I've has been taking it every day. So much so that my nurse believed my brother.

I then told my doctor that I'm taking the meds every day but I would like to reduce the medication a little bit due to feeling tired all the time.

The doctor was hesitant and said let's keep it as it is for a few more weeks as I seem to be making good progress.

So I took it diligently every day.

Jun-te: "Can I take all my medication at night?"

Doctor: "Erm why?"

Jun-te: "I have no idea if I'm allowed to take it in one go because it could be dangerous. The side effect of my medication is that I sleep ALL DAY, I take it in the morning I sleep. I take it in the evening. I sleep. I would like to sleep at night. So I want to take the whole amount if I can't reduce it"

Doctor: "It is perfectly safe to take it all at night and I want to tell you < description of the importance of sleep and how it is needed to heal >."

Jun-te: "So I can take all the medication in one go at night?"

Doctor: "Yes"

This was my first big win.

I took my meds. My brother tells the nurse I've been taking my meds. My nurse tells the doctor that the meds are being taken. The doctors let me give me some autonomy with my meds. Limited but some.

Everything from there compounds.

He lets you be home by yourself. He lets you drive him to Mcdonald's. He invites you to some social gatherings. He lets you adjust your medication provided it's approved by your doctor. Your doctor lets you take a range of medications to balance your needs of side effects and health benefits.

It takes an awfully painful amount of time.

I actually made a speedy recovery where I was 'fit to work' in 5 months. It didn't feel speedy.

Take one victory at a time and keep chipping away at it.

I wonder what my life will look like:

  • Provided I keep writing.
  • Provided I keep coding.
  • Provided I keep producing.
  • Provided I keep exercising.
  • Provided I keep loving.
I'm excited to find out how the other things will compound and I have front row tickets!

Compared to that, nothing feels like a grind. I get to do what I do. What a pleasure.
Slowing time down
Life is a blur.

How does one slow their life?

As always, someone more clever and more wiser than me has solved the problem.

"Homework for life"

The key idea is, imagine if you have 5 minutes to talk about the most exciting that happened today. Now write that in 1 or 2 sentences.

Looking back at my month and reading my 1 or 2 sentences has been beautiful. It actually feels like a month has gone by instead of the routine I live in my life.

Check out my logs here: Homework for Life (
As always, thank you for your continued support.

You guys have no idea how much I smile when writing this email.

Do let me know how your months have been as well

Much love,

Jun-te Kim
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