When everyone holds the same answers, asking the right questions matter.

Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

It’s been over a year and a half since I started working in an advertising agency as a strategist.

In that time, I’ve worked on many briefs, experienced many challenges, and even more mistakes (many of which I have inadvertently brought upon myself…).

After numerous sessions of self-reflection on how to become a better strategist, I realized I was missing a very subtle piece of action that would help me improve:

I wasn’t asking very many, if any, questions about the work I was doing.

Rather, I didn’t know how to ask questions that would get me meaningful answers to…

The hidden reality behind our desire to succeed

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I love reading success stories.

The ones I really enjoy are those that take us on a ride with the author, as they recount about their struggles from the start, the barriers they had to overcome, and how with enough perseverance, resilience, and hustle, they made it to where they are today.

Stories like these are rich with wisdom and insights — there’s plenty for everyone to take away from it. I enjoy looking at all the challenges they had to overcome — it helps to give me some context about their circumstances.

After all, who only wants to read…

And how a single phrase from a video game can help you do that.

Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

“You dropped the ball on this one. I didn’t think I needed to poke you to get this finished earlier, but it looks as if you were totally surprised that it had to be done.”

That was a private message I got from my head of my department while we were on a team call trying to sort out the mess I had made. As someone who always plans to have everything ready before, this felt like an arrow through the chest.

Through a string of misunderstandings and hesitation, the work I was supposed to have completed at most a…

A radical change for those waiting on that perfect date to begin.

Photo by Simon Infanger on Unsplash

We’re half way done with 2020 already.

Not too long ago, most of us would have been at a party, glass in hand, fixated on a television screen counting down the year’s end in unison.


“Happy New Year!”

A new year unfolds and with it the untold potential that awaits. You’re excited to usher it in — after all, a new year means an opportunity to start fresh and rise again from the ashes of the past.

No more baggage. No more giving up on those hopes and dreams.

Not this time.

This will be…

What binging through 5 seasons can teach you about improvement and creativity.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

MasterChef is probably one of the most popular competitive culinary shows in the world. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s a quick round down:

A handful of home cooks compete against each other in a variety of culinary challenges, from working with ingredients they might not have used before, to team challenges where they serve an army (sometimes literally) of hungry people — all while under the pressure of limited time and sky-high standards.

At the end of every episode, one competitor is eliminated based on the performance of their dish and is sent home.

In the season’s finale…

Battling the anxiety that comes with doing things for the first time.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

My palms and feet break into a sweat as I listen to the work being distributed.

I’ve been assigned as the lead for one of the projects. That means I’ll have to carry out the research, strategy planning, and create options.

All on my own.

For the first time.

I coolly accepted it all, confidently repeating “Yeah, sure! Not a problem!” I even mentioned that this was going to be fun — and meant it!

I was excited about being given a new challenge, but there was no denying the impending feelings that followed.

The dread. The uncertainty.

And most…

Be more than a warehouse for knowledge.

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

When I started working as a freelance strategic planner at an advertising agency, I was given a fairly simple task: compare a bunch of websites and find out if it does a good job of representing the brand behind it.

Pretty straight forward right?

I thought so too.

Two days later, after compiling everything I found into a presentation, I sat down with my senior to go through my findings. After explaining the rationale behind my work, she paused for a moment to process what she heard.

She then suggested I try approaching from a different point of view and…

Lessons from being outrun by people 3 times my age.

Photo by Gervyn Louis on Unsplash

Youth is wasted on the young

Those were the words flashing to mind as I gasped for breath, slumped against a tree for support after nearly blacking out.

Only 40 minutes into a hash — that’s a running event focused on the social aspect — and I, a 26-year old who has ventured into jungles for weeks at a time and kayaked across islands, am about an inch from collapsing like an old folding chair.

For 5 minutes I rest against a tree, watching other participants breeze by with little effort. Periodically, one of them would glance at me with…

Harness your negative energy and use it to your advantage.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

I am, by nature, a pessimist. And if you are anything like me, you know what it feels like.

It means you’re the guy who immediately looks for all the problems when a new plan or idea is suggested, finding all the reasons why it won’t work, and overall be a mood dampener.

You see, I think everyone believes being pessimistic about anything doesn’t help. We’re told to stay positive when things are looking bleak and to hope for the best when the odds are against us.

I think we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that way.

We aren’t either a…

How I landed the job I wanted by believing I already had it

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

This is a piece that intends to inspire and provide hope for those still drifting through life, trying to map out where they’d like to end up. It records my journey of getting to the starting point of where I wanted to be.

14th October 2019

Today, I was recognized as a copywriter.

Why is this significant?

Because it marks my first day of work in the marketing & advertising industry. …

Richard Michael Hui

Self-Help and Personal Development Enthusiast | Introspective Introvert | Marketing Strategist | Always Improving

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