Getting Personal… And FINALLY doing what you’ve told me to do

Usually, I write about something inspiring and give some helpful advice.

Well… today is a bit different.

I want to pull back the curtain a little bit and sharing something more personal.

Here goes:

I was recently out with some friends and we were just chilling and having some drinks. As it is already November, the topic on how fast 2012 has gone by came up. One of them went around asking, “So what have you achieved this year so far?”. That question hit me… real hard.

This group of friends doesn’t know about the strong feelings I have about this particular year. And this got me thinking about how I should share some of this with you. You will see why as you read further.

All my closest friends know that I’ve been working really hard on my blog this year. As much as I’m always on my “live life to the fullest” mode and believing that working my life away isn’t the way to go, I still have a lot I want to achieve this year.

I think of 2012 as a time of big change for me, where I move forward with my blog and my life.

I think of my past year, of what I’ve started, what I want to change, do and accomplish this year…. both personally and professionally. My friends laughed with me and at me. They may not have admitted it, but I think I got them thinking about their lives too.

Here are just a few examples of past years for me. I’ve made goals for:

– Travel more and expose myself to other cultures

– Bboy harder by taking part in more competitions (which I did. I lost many times)

– Workout harder to get a six-pack (Still on the way!)

– Try to be a more positive person (hence, I took up meditation)

– Grow a loyal reader fanbase (Hitting 3,000 subscribers already!)

– Start a business and earn money off the blog

– Create a new product for my blog

– Spend more time with my mom…

… and it goes on.

Some big goals, some small.

Anyway, 2012 may be just another year, but it felt extremely different. 

I found myself being very determined in changing my life altogether. I wanted to make big changes in myself and my blog, all for the purpose of moving forward and realizing dreams. No I don’t think this is some paradigm shift I experienced, as if my whole world turned inside out (I already went through that when my dad died).

Maybe it’s just the fact that 2012 is coming to an end, or that I’m suddenly starting to feel old after my 27th birthday. Who knows!

You may be thinking, “Alden, the year is already coming to an end, why are you telling us this now?”

What I didn’t tell you is that I made this year about you!!!

I’m serious.

As many of you have noticed, my writing style has evolved since I started my blog. I’ve gone from blogging about random nonsense to blogging with impact, where I want to write on personal development ONLY to help YOU.

Hence, all the questions I’ve been asking you guys, like what you’re struggling with, what pain you’re going through and how I can help you. I also have a new “Written for you” series where readers tell me what me to write for them.

Now, there’s way more to come. I’m always interested to know what you guys have in mind, so keep the ideas coming!

BUT… (yes, there’s a “but”)

There is REALLY ONE BIG request I’ve been holding back on for a long time now. It’s a piece of advice told to me long ago, but I came up with a bunch of excuses to why I wasn’t good enough for it yet. I held back on it despite MANY, and I mean many people telling me about it.

I’m contemplating changing my mind right now and giving you what you’ve been asking for.

But I’m really nervous because it means sharing more about myself, more so than I’ve in the past. It’s also about making that huge step in my blog.

And I’m also going to need your help.

Anyway, the REALLY BIG request is… (stay tuned until next time).




Confessions from Alden: From a nobody to finally somebody

The time of how I was a nobody

At least I felt I was.

Since young I was always taught to hold back in life. Above all else, I should try to make sure I wouldn’t make a fool of myself or make anyone unhappy with me.

I hardly ever talked back to friends, even though that meant making me upset and going home angry.

To avoid looking like a fool, I never joined many Bboy competitions as I just lacked confidence and was certain I was going to be laughed at on stage.

I felt like I was destined to live a mediocre life. Only “those guys” were blessed with talent and could amount to something great, like becoming rich or famous.

The moment it all changed

As a lot of you guys know, my dad passed away when I was only 20.

Yup, needless to say, I was devastated at that point and I was changed forever. Let me summarize how I felt and how I changed in this conversation I had with a friend recently:

My friend, a fellow Bboy and I were just chatting online about life, especially how it’s too short and you got to be happy.

Friend: Bro, sometimes I really wonder what we’re meant to do in life. What kind of job can actually make us happy?

Me: I think you should just aim to be happy bro. Be happy for what you have around you.

Friend: Yeah bro. I tell my mom and dad I love them every time.

Me: That’s nice man.

Bro, the thing is now, I don’t have the chance to tell that to my dad any more. I really think all of us just need to be happy. You see, the day my dad died, I can still remember that feeling. It was a very particular pain that was extremely sharp. I was always unhappy and angry last time, over little things. The day my dad died, I asked myself, “So unhappy for what? Why so angry? Why keep doing things that make you unhappy?”.

That is why today I do what I do. Building my blog has been very tough and add to that, finding time to practise Bboying still.

But at the end of the day, I don’t want to grow old, or have something bad happen to me and then I have to ask myself those questions again.

Friend: Wow bro, thanks for sharing.

And that was the start of finally becoming somebody

Well sometimes I still do get mad and go like, “Hey World, what’s up with you?”.

But instead of dwelling in negativity, I figured I make a positive spin out of everything, good or bad and do whatever the hell I want!

And bam, here’s me, living like a somebody, on my own terms:

– Quit my job last year to follow my dreams of being a writer.

– Still practising Bboying hard, 3-4 times a week.

– Pushing myself hard to joining competitions.

– Actively seeking ways to be a more positive and less angry dude (I practise meditation. I’ve daily affirmations and gratitude. I try to let go of things easier).

– Have started to earn a little bit of income online (I can easily write a post now and earn like maybe, 50 USD).

Here’s the thing, NOBODY saw me as “this guy”. I’ve had friends telling me they’re so surprised I still have time to be a Bboy. One was flabbergasted that me, Alden Tan actually meditates. Others have also commented how much they like my blog.

How did I do all this? I just learnt to stop giving a crap about what others thought of me.

The day I became an inspiration

Straight up. An email from a reader came in, asking me for specific advice and she ended off with, “You’re an inspiration”.

Blew my frigging mind.

And right after that, as I grew my subscribers list, more and more emails started pouring in!

Replying my emails actually became a task as I made it a point to reply every single one of them. I was really touched and honoured that people came to me for specific advice. Even in the comments section of one of my post, a reader remarked she was suicidal, but my writing gave her hope.


It felt like I was finally doing something right.

Now here’s what I’m coming to… Here’s what being demanded of me and here’s what I feel compelled to do

Here’s the thing:

Everything I achieved, especially in becoming more positive, I did it on my own.

I felt I had to because all the personal development blogs, all the “gurus”, all the Aunt Agonies and whatevers, were too “perfect”.

Sure, they do help, but could they really understand empathize with me? Or you?

There is always a demand for emotional help. There’re tons of people out there who are struggling and need help to alleviate that pain.

Now, readers and friends have asked me, nay STRONGLY encouraged me to start reaching out further…

I’m thinking of creating a product, a flagship Alden-Tan product which combines my personality and my own methods of helping you to believe in yourself, be more confident and more motivated in life.

Think of videos of my Bboying, snapshots of my personal life and step-by-step guidance to achieving all of the above.

Not only is it my way of giving back and helping more people, it’s my way of getting out of my comfort zone and actually do business! Something I never thought I’d do! I’m totally stoked by these two ideas.

But here’s the catch!

Because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and (I’ll admit), I could use a little vote of confidence, I really would like to know who thinks I should actually go with this.

So if you think I should, could you:

1) Just leave a comment below telling me I should go for it.


2) Just reply the email I sent out earlier that led to this post, or just email me now. alden[@], with subject along the lines of, “Yes! You should!”.

If enough people express interest, I’ll definitely make this happen.