Confessions from Alden: From a nobody to finally somebody

Note: This is a FOLLOW UP to this post which left a lot of people upset. I got comments and emails asking me what’s up! I do reply all comments and emails btw. 

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.



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  1. David - November 15, 2012 11:17 am

    Go for it man =D I read your stuff and keep coming back ever since I found your blog to read what you have to say because I think you have an important message and I’m glad that you have got your stuff together to share it and help people. The way you write and the posts about photos that give you no excuses for a bad attitude in life and the fact that you are living your dream gives me hope to create my life and happiness because i’m not there yet and i feel i have a long way to go.

    Thank you for being so honest and real and for having the heart to reach out and share what you know to help people like me.

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:09 pm

      Hey David,

      Thanks for dropping by! That means a lot to me.

      Well I love sharing. When I broke out of that comfort zone it actually felt pretty good.

      Sides, it’s helping a lot of people, so all good! Great to hear from everyone.


  2. Jon - November 15, 2012 11:36 am

    Go for it. Motivational. Inspirational. Amazing.

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:10 pm

      Thanks 😉

  3. Alixandrea | Last July - November 15, 2012 11:49 am

    Go for it dude, better to regret the things you’ve done than the things you never did. And it sounds like you’re not likely to regret this thing. As you say, life is too short to hold back for fear of the reaction.

    This is something I need to remember myself. I want to start doing things like daily meditation, putting affirmations on the bathroom mirror, creating a vision board etc. and the thing that currently holds me back is fear that my boyfriend will think I’m crazy and put me down for trying to improve my life this way.

    The thing is, he’s really not the kind of guy who would do something like that, not at all! But my ex-husband was. And many people throughout my childhood were too. And let’s not get into the way some members of my family react towards me (suffice it to say that I’m SO glad my Mum believes in me!)

    So I need to get out of my head the idea that everyone is like those negative people. And I need to stop caring about what other people think of me. I never thought that was a problem in my life (I’ve always been ‘alternative’ and never really cared what ‘normal’ people think of the way I dress or the music I listen to – or make!) But actually it turns out I really do care what people think of me. And that’s a problem.

    I think I lost a lot of my self esteem in my marriage and I’m only just getting that back. I think when I’ve learned to fully love and accept myself, I’ll stop caring what people think. But I think I need to get out of my comfort zone first. If I prove to myself that I really can do and be all the things I want to do and be, I’ll be more confident. Although I do wish I could be confident now, just as me, just as I am…

    Sorry, that turned into a long brain dump!

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:12 pm

      “for fear of the reaction”, I love it!

      Well then go for it! If you know your boyfriend isn’t that kind of guy, no reason to hold back at all now 🙂

      Glad that your mom is there for you.

      Yeah get it out of your head. It may take a while since you’ve been living like that, but no reason why you can’t change.

      Daily affirmations and stuff can be started EASILY.

      Hope this helps. I’m rooting for you.


  4. Kie - November 15, 2012 12:02 pm

    Mate, you should definitely go for it. Every time I see an email from you it brightens my day up a little bit, you’re an absolute inspiration mate & I’d be more then happy to buy something from you. Positive a lot of my mates would as well, everybody needs that slight push to get them going sometimes and you’re absolutely excellent at that.

    Also if you do it & it goes wrong? Then you can still say you gave it your all and made something awesome. Like you said, who cares what others think? If you make it and you’re happy with it then that’s all that matters. And knowing you? You’re going to do an awesome job at it, so me and other readers would definitely buy it.

    So yeah, do it dude!

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:15 pm

      Thanks so much my man!

      It has been awesome exchanging emails with you too.

      Thanks man! Love the vote of confidence.

      Yeah what’s the worst that could happen man. Ima do my best for sure.


  5. Jane - November 15, 2012 1:27 pm

    Hey friend, everything you can imagine you can do! Support you; do that without any doubts.

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:16 pm

      Thank you Jane!

  6. Joe - November 15, 2012 3:28 pm

    Go for it Go for It 🙂

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:16 pm

      Thanks thanks thanks!

  7. Erik - November 15, 2012 3:34 pm

    Go for it! I’m pretty broke now, saving up for travel, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it. But I’m just going to “chill the fuck out” and see. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences with us.

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:16 pm

      Thanks Erik! Your vote of confidence was enough 😉

      Life is always chilling!

  8. Leilani - November 15, 2012 4:19 pm

    Go for it, definitely 😀

  9. Matthew Fisher - November 15, 2012 4:33 pm

    Go For It!!! If YOU can even give One person inspiration from your product, or even save One life from suicide with your words. YOU are a Success. YOU may not truly realize this yet, but YOU Are a Leader and YOU have people who watch wait and see what happens and non product creation would be a travesty at this point.

    “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

    To Your Success Always,
    Matthew Fisher

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:21 pm

      Awesome quote man!

      And thanks man! Yeah I certainly believe that too. The little things we do can have a great impact on many things, things we may not be able to see ourselves.

      That alone drives me major!

  10. Nick Armstrong - November 15, 2012 4:38 pm

    For a while I’ve been hovering, just reading what you have to say.

    I fuckin love it. If I knew you in person, I’d snag a beer with you (and being an introvert, that’s a list of like 10 people). When you launch this next thing, I’ll share the shit out of it.

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:27 pm

      Awesome Nick. Waiting for it ;). Beer is NEVER wrong.

      You know what Nick, you’re like the first person who told me that, and I’m totally stoked. It’s like you’re my perfect audience!

      Peace man.

  11. Hugo - November 15, 2012 5:01 pm

    I like what you whrite. Go for it!!!

    • alden - November 15, 2012 5:31 pm

      🙂 Thank you!

  12. Kenneth Li - November 15, 2012 6:54 pm

    Go for it ZPG!

    • alden - November 15, 2012 7:26 pm

      Didn’t know you drop by 😉

  13. Ciaran Murphy - November 15, 2012 9:48 pm

    Go for it man, definitely! I’ll buy it!

    • alden - November 16, 2012 7:40 am

      Thanks! Psyched!

  14. angela - November 15, 2012 11:39 pm

    have you met my friend jesus? he holds my life together for me.. his word is what i build my life on 🙂 thanks for sharing your life xx

    • alden - November 16, 2012 7:39 am

      Met once yeah 🙂

  15. Tommy Darker - November 15, 2012 11:53 pm

    Defo go for it man! You got my support and I’m sending you positive vibes to make it happen! 🙂

    • alden - November 16, 2012 7:40 am

      Thanks Tommyo!

      P.S. Has that interview surfaced?

  16. Di - November 16, 2012 12:02 am

    You’re frggin awesome. Go for it!

    • alden - November 16, 2012 7:40 am

      Thank you cousin !

  17. desmond - November 16, 2012 3:19 am

    bro, you have come a long way since you left ML and started your blog, and you are definitely on the right path.

    “It is not what is in you that defines you, it is what you do.” Stick on to your True-North, and leave a blaze.

    Go for it!

    • alden - November 16, 2012 7:41 am

      Took me a while to think what ML was lol.

      Thanks man. Nice quote.

  18. Shama - November 16, 2012 8:38 am

    Go for it.all the best. May God grant you everything you need. Keep doing what you do always

    • alden - November 16, 2012 9:51 am

      Thank you Shama 🙂

  19. Pingback: (For people interested in me creating a product) The making of it + Me wanting to be perfect | Alden Tan

  20. Dvngardener - November 16, 2012 11:45 am

    Go for it!

  21. Tania Belkin - November 16, 2012 4:13 pm

    Wow Allan,

    This is a very sincere and candid post. Good for you. I admire your courage!

    • alden - November 19, 2012 7:14 am

      Thanks Tania! Haha candid? Oh well that’s my specialty I guess, being super open and honest.

  22. Sherilyn Tan - November 17, 2012 5:06 pm

    Go for it. 😉

  23. Pingback: A Heart to Heart Conversation about the course I’m going to make | Alden Tan

  24. Myke Macapinlac - December 18, 2012 9:17 am

    Love this article Alden! I know what you went through because I had a similar experience when I quit my high paying corporate job to pursue meaningful things to me.
    Much love and respect from another Asian brother!


    Myke Macapinlac
    Author, Speaker, Consultant
    Think About It.

    • alden - December 19, 2012 3:24 pm

      Nice Myke! Thanks for dropping by. How did it feel when you decided to move on?

  25. Ruth - December 28, 2012 2:59 pm

    Go for it! It’s either right or you’ll learn something, which is also right! Thanks for sharing your helpful thoughts.

    • alden - January 4, 2013 7:04 pm

      Thanks Ruth!

  26. Kayvee - January 2, 2013 4:40 pm

    Please tell us your story on how you quit your job

  27. Rohini - December 12, 2013 8:51 pm

    Alden Alden Alden
    Do you know,you just made my day man
    Thanks for blogging man
    Just just too good
    God bless
    Greetings from India

    • alden - December 13, 2013 12:43 am

      Greetings from Singapore. Thanks for the love!


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