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In Life

By Daniel Kao

Doing Your Life’s Work

On 03, Mar 2014 | No Comments | In Life | By Daniel Kao

Last week, as I was applying for an online contest, I looked at my calendar and realized that I have been blogging for five years. That’s five whole years worth of who I am that has been shared online.

It got me thinking. So much has changed since the day that I decided to start blogging, and yet some things are still exactly the same. I had no idea what today would look like five years ago, and I have no idea what things will look like five years from now. But day in and day out, I find myself doing a lot of work, and putting all my effort into various different things.

What do I really live for?

It’s a question that everyone faces. No matter how certain and confident a person may project themselves in the world, there’s always a deep question in the shadows questioning whether or not you deserve to be there. (tweet that)

Even today, while trying to think of what today’s blog post should be about, I took a deep breath, thought about how jammed pack these past two weeks have been, and asked myself if I’m really making a difference. I had no idea what to write about. Who even cares if I write?

There are so many areas of life where I could put myself down, look at myself like an amateur, and cause my feelings of insecurity to push me into hiding. But that doesn’t get me anywhere.

Your life’s work isn’t going to be easy, and nobody is every a hundred percent certain that they are the best fit or the most appropriate qualifications for the job. You just have to take a deep breath and know that you can do it. Have grit.

Because you are where you are for a reason. Don’t let what you have just fly by.

photo credit: Robb North via photopin cc

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How I Work

On 27, Feb 2014 | No Comments | In About Diplateevo | By Daniel Kao

I’ve don’t believe in putting tools above mindsets and strategies, but sometimes it still is helpful to see how other people work and the tools they use to get their work done. Inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, I’ve decided to venture into the slightly more personal space of my life and share my workflow with the world.

Current Computer: Lenovo Thinkpad R400

I’ve had this computer for a while now, same one I had two years ago. Still runs more than fine for my daily needs, and the build quality of ThinkPads is truly legendary. I dual boot Windows 7 and Arch Linux, which allows me to use graphic / creative stuff in one operating system and code in the other.

Current Mobile Device: Galaxy Nexus GSM


Still going strong on the trusty Galaxy Nexus. I wish Google would release a kitkat update for this little guy, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. Android is a great mobile platform, and it’s also great to have the pure android experience on a Nexus device.

Other Electronics: ASUS Transformer, FitBit Force

I have an ASUS transformer for light computing days at school when I don’t feel like lugging around my laptop, as well as to read ebooks on. My ridiculous appetite for books is satisfied largely through this little handheld tablet.

My new FitBit Force is my venture into wearable technology. I’m quite pleased with it so far, and it’s turned my daily exercises nearly into a game. I like it’s subtleness unlike other wearable technology solutions out there that look absolutely ridiculous *cough* galaxy gear. Being able to quantifiably see how active I was today is definitely a cool thing.


2014-02-18 15.22.47

My workspace consists of a dual monitor setup attached to a docking station for my laptop, which is extremely convenient when I come home and want a full blown computing space. I also have on the wall very carefully chosen colors and arrangements. Unfortunately, I am probably sitting in front of this thing for too many hours a day.

Apps I Can’t Live Without

The list is really long here, but I’ll go through them briefly. I use Thunderbird for email because I’m still not used to using email straight in the web. I use Chromium cause it’s awesome like that. I still use Pidgin for AIM and gchat (yes I’m still on AIM). Evernote is where I keep all of my thoughts and write all of my blog posts before they are published. If you don’t use Evernote, you’re seriously missing out.

As for Internet apps, I use tweetdeck to manage all of my never ending twitter interactions, and Buffer to schedule content sharing. Google docs and google calendar are also huge ways of organization and collaboration for me.

Sites I Frequent

There is always a tab open on Hacker News in my browser window besides my everyday Facebook, Quora, Tumblr, and Pinterest feeds. I also visit Lifehacker, Engadget, and Wimp regularly to keep up to date with tech and such.

My TODO List Manager

I’ve been using Google keep to keep track of things to do ever since it was launched. It has a great flexibility with lists and other note taking abilities. I also use Google tasks for Homework and other things that have time sensitive due dates.

Music I Listen To


Switchfoot has gotten me through life, no matter where I’ve been. Fading West is an amazing album. Other than that, I do have a couple EDM playlists on Spotify to get me pumped whenever I need more energy, or country music for whenever I feel like driving a tractor.

Currently Reading

I’m always reading, and right now I’m enjoying “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill, as well as “Abundance” by Peter Diamandis.

Sleep Routine

Amazingly enough, I am able to get about seven hours of sleep a night consistently, usually between the hours of 12 to 8. Sleep is important for me, as it helps me to really have energy and focus through my days.

So there. Those are the tools I use.

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A Piece of My Heart

On 27, Dec 2013 | No Comments | In About Diplateevo | By Daniel Kao

I started Diplateevo in 2009 with a simple idea to simply have a way to share the things on my mind. Since then the response has been truly amazing. I got just over 70,000 pageviews this year, thanks to the incredible support I’ve had for my writing.

To me, writing is a form of organizing my thoughts. It’s a space where I can put my thoughts into words so that they become clear. Essentially, it’s a place for me to organize my thoughts and cultivate my own voice.

Having the space and discipline to regularly put words to the things on my mind is one of the most powerful habits I have ever adapted. It’s something that I strongly encourage people to do, because it helps bring out who you are and what you believe in the midsts of all the noise in our daily lives.

Whether it be public on a blog or private in a journal, the goal of writing should be nothing more than a manifestation of who you are. Be honest and real with yourself.

And if you make it public on a blog, it just might happen to receive feedback from people all around.

Thank you to everyone who has read and supported me in 2013! Looking forward to new heights in 2014!

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In Life

By Daniel Kao

26 Questions I Don’t Have Answers For

On 16, Dec 2013 | No Comments | In Life | By Daniel Kao

  1. Why should people care about my writing?
  2. Who am I to write about education?
  3. What should schools look like?
  4. What is the most effective way to learn?
  5. Am I supposed to go to school?
  6. What am I supposed to be focusing my time and energy on?
  7. How are friendships built?
  8. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
  9. Is being vegan the healthiest diet?
  10. Are there such things as aliens?
  11. Is bitcoin a good investment?
  12. What are the best stocks to invest in?
  13. What’s the best way to earn money?
  14. Why can’t we just be hippies and not have to worry about money?
  15. What is the meaning of life?
  16. What is love?
  17. Why do humans need so much sleep?
  18. How do I lead a group of people to a common goal?
  19. What makes the most effective leader?
  20. Why should I listen to authority?
  21. Who should I put in authority of my life?
  22. Where am I going with my life?
  23. What am I going to do after I graduate?
  24. Why did I write this post?
  25. Why didn’t I include some questions on here?
  26. Why do I have so many questions?

Sometimes you just don’t know, and the best thing to do is admit that you have more questions than you have answers.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

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