Self-empowerment — Where to start?

Ke Qin, Ang
4 min readOct 4, 2018


Five ways to start living the life of your desire.

Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Last week, I was at the projector watching a documentary of M.I.A, a Sri Lankan artist and musician who rose to fame and retained her strong powerful authentic voice. She was mad at the status quo and vowed to change the world.

Many people may think anger is a negative emotion. It brings chaos, uncertainty, unhappiness and tension.

As someone who values inner peace & harmony, I am expected to stay away from this emotion.

However, when being asked this question “What makes you mad?”

I realise.. many things. One of which in particular has been rising inside me – Self-Empowerment.

I know this is a hyped word that’s very much been overused lately. But if there’s anything I can say to anyone out there…

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

1) Follow your heart

Now before it gets more cliché as it already is, let me set some context.

Let’s start with work.

I know I’m very blessed in my career journey. And I know a huge part which I take strong pride in is the decision I made for my first job. Which was to follow my passion, irregardless of money and title. I took up my dream job in my dream advertising agency, for a salary that was way below usual fresh graduate salary.

I made it work for myself, by taking up tuition assignments to earn more allowances for myself. Frankly, a part of me just wants to stay on par with my peers, and start on the same ‘line’ (if there is one).

The experience was amazing — blessed with great mentors, mangers and colleagues. In a blink of an eye, I spent almost four years in my first job. And yes, in an industry that one hardly sees such a record (and we all know why).

I know finding a job comes with luck and the right opportunity. It is. Every opportunity is truly a gift. And one to never take for granted.

However, I wish people have the heart to know that.

2) You have a choice, you always do

Especially for the people who stayed on a job, knowing they dislike the job, the people, the environment.

Know that you have a choice to let go.

To let go of your shitty boss. To let go of a toxic environment. To let go of a job that doesn’t define you or your life.

They try to move. Most of the time, they don’t know where to start.

So, here comes the 3rd…

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

3) Start somewhere

Take out a piece of paper. Make a plan for yourself. Start with writing down your dream job (Just dream it! Anything). At this point, it’s probably extremely intimidating. And you don’t want to think about it, you shun away from it. You probably want to crush that piece of paper and say ‘forget it’. That’s not gonna happen. But no, you don’t.

You break it down into baby steps – the skills you need, the company you need to get into, the people in similar industry that can help you with advice or questions.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

4) Opportunity = Luck + Hard Work

Most people don’t bother entertaining the idea. Because it is hard work to entertain something that’s completely new. It makes us humans really uncomfortable, and we would rather be doing routine work, work that we are familiar of and know how. Our brains get lazy and it can be hard to kickstart this engine again.

But no. You put in the hard work to get what you deserve. Research, read, talk to people. Do something. Put in the extra hours. (Thanks to the Internet, you can get any information you need in a tap — it’s not that difficult)

Don’t be lazy. Lazy people don’t get opportunities.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask

The power of six degrees of separation. We are all interconnected. And in today’s social media world, it makes it even more so easy. Just reach out, say hello to someone who inspires you for this job, who is doing something similar, whom you know can help you get a better sense and picture of what it is that you are setting yourself up for. Ask.

If there is one last thing I can leave you with:

Know that you have in every cell of you — the ability to shine.

And just go for it.

What have you got to lose?



Ke Qin, Ang

Digital Strategist. Enjoys books, design, architecture, flora and nature. Her motto: “Live fully, bravely & mindfully”