Monday, August 29, 2011

Are you learning what you don’t know but need?

If you are at a point where you feel very proud of what you can do?

It’s time to check for your own skills and knowledge to back up this pride. Without skills and knowledge to back up your pride? That spells arrogance.

Pride - Skills/Knowledge = Arrogance

Are you ignoring your own ignorance?

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Which are your moments of importance?

You want to matter. At work and in life. Contribution to whatever organization we function in is important. It gives you a sense of worth. You matter.

In mattering, it’s important to give equal detachment to praises as well as ridicule. Gain and loss. Suffering and happiness.

Life fluctuates between these. It comes, then it goes. Doesn’t make your contribution less or more.

Are you ignoring praises?

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are the obvious blinding you?

If you are a cab driver, what would you do to differentiate yourself?

What obvious things are you not doing to differentiate your brand?

Are your senses working uncommonly well?

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why do you dislike it?

When there are more jobs to do, it’s a good thing. You want more jobs, not less jobs. Because it means the company is doing well. 

Problems outside of work won’t disappear. Regardless of the existence of work related problems.

You want no job related problems? Don’t have a job. 

But then, not having a job will triple compound all the other non work related problems.

Can problems be likeable?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There should be a charter for a new standard?

For the past 18 years, I have been the customer of my bank. I never demanded much. Just small expectations. Like, maybe waive my annual fee for my credit card? Without me having to ask Every. Single. Year. “Will you please waive my annual fee?”

Surely, a small gesture like that can’t be counted. But it counts with me. Surely, it’s something it can do, not something it must do. One can’t simply be good without effort. Greatness comes when one does the small things right.

When my bank needs to be urged and prodded to be here for people, I hope it practices what it preaches. Maybe then I will believe they are here for progress.

Here for whose good?

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Monday, August 22, 2011

What is in your fantasy?

“Nella Fantasia” translates as “In My Fantasy”.

How many dreams have you postponed?

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Sad because it ended?

Things come, things go.

The sun rises, the sun sets.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.

Birth, old age, sickness, death.

You fall in love, you break up, and maybe you get back together again. Maybe not.

You get a job, you resign. Or you get sacked.

You build brands. Brands grow. Brands fail.

You build brands. You extend your brand. You rationalize your brands.

Your market share grows. Your market share peaks. Your market share shrinks.

You don't want to play anymore. Someone buys your shares. Suddenly everyone has a new employer.

The Chinese have a saying, “天下无不散之筵席”, taken to mean every party must come to an end.


Do smile because it happened?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

What are you trying to achieve?

Can there be multiple goals for the one thing that you do?

Say you are trying to complete this big project. What are you trying to achieve? Fame? That’s one. Fortune? That’s two. With fortune you can have a holiday, afford a nice car for your wife, best schools for your kids. Perhaps reserve a nice old folks home for you and your wife when you retire. Just in case, you know. 

So what are you trying to achieve? Multiple goals with the hitting of one objective and the rest are nice-to-have that comes with it? Well, if that is so, why aren’t you aiming a little higher? So there will be a lot more nice-to-haves? 

Seems like you are only thinking of knocking off on time today.

Oh. I am wrong. Sorry.

Where are your goal posts?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When is your expiry date?

You keep talking about what you have done? And what you have done was years ago? You have not many new things you can talk about? You better sit up and listen.

Your stories are nice for the younger generation. It allows them to mix and blend those learning and create a new kind of concrete to strengthen their foundation. That’s your contribution.

On your part? Listen to some of the dust they have to offer. These maybe the magic bits of rare earth you need to build stories of your own.

Are you offering the world a one-way street?

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Do you remember your Physics class?

Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. It only transforms from one state to another.

If I remember clearly, potential energy is the force stored in a body or system. Everything has potential energy.

Everyone has potential energy. You are born with it. So don’t say you can’t. You can.

When you act, you overcome the inertia of your mind. You transform the potential energy into dreams come true.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot.

When are you using it?

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Where is your space between the notes?

I can’t say it better than him. I won’t.

Let Alan Watts tell you.

Are you forgetting the journey?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

What’s your mental cataract?

I have no time. But you refuse to change your habits.

I wish to learn more. But you refuse to take the pain and put in the hours.

I want to make my brand better known. But you refuse to invest, change your pricing, adjust your distribution strategy.

I want to be healthier. But you are hungry all the time. Stress is the cause. Ya, we know.

I want to quit. But I need the money.

My boss sucks. I have no choice.

When are you going to operate?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What if you can do this?

You want a way to get a 50% discount on the stress you get in a day? It’s a cheap price to pay too. Simple. But not easy.

Here’s one.

Trade in a 5 minutes snooze. Or however long you snooze. 

When it is time to wake up? Wake up. That extra 15 minutes means you have a better breakfast. If you are the breakfast sort. 

It means more time to clear the emails before the rest of the office comes in and needs your attention. Before the phone rings and before the clients need your attention.

More time. Slower pace. Time to think. Time to breathe. Less stress.

How have you inconvenienced yourself?

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What are people paying you for?

Here are 2 things I suggest in order to be a professional:

One. Learn the basics and get the basics right. Implore a change in your DNA if you have to, to internalize the basics that drive your kind of work. It doesn’t matter how much you disagree with those basics. Learn it up anyway. 

No. Internalize it. Make it part of you. Then with this deep understanding, if you want to innovate? Change? Adjust? Create your own system, go on fire away. But before that, learn it. 

When you seek to change at least people will sit up and listen. There is a basis for your thinking and doing.

Two. Do whatever you do not like doing as long as it is in your field of work. Let’s face it, even if you have the world’s most wonderful job? There will be aspects of it that you will not like. Do these anyway. And do it as well as you would the aspects of the job that you like.

Maybe, just maybe the world will respect you a little more.

How do you avoid being an amateur?

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Monday, August 8, 2011

How accurate is your assumption?

Control is a perception. Control is an assumption. For all the control you want and need and crave? It’s all based on assumptions. And we know how far assumptions can take you.

You will never have all the information you need. Even if you do, there will be new context this new information needs to function in. It’s something you cannot predict.

This does not negate the fact that you need to plan. Execute, plan all you want. But do not think that you have ultimate control.

You can strive to be in the flow; which is vastly different from being in control.

How much are you in the flow?

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Friday, August 5, 2011

What is simple but not easy?


What if there are no ifs and buts?

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

How much romance can you take?

Does it always have to be “do what you love”? Why can’t it be “love what you do”? Such romantic statements when you hear people say “Life is short. Do what you love.” Sure. I believe it.

The people who say these didn’t tell you, what the process of getting there is. As if work nirvana just appears sitting in the correct cubicle under the right florescent lamp.

If you keep focusing on what is not right with your job, you will never know what the right kind of work is for you. You kick up too much dust; it blurs your vision to the path.

Here, start loving what you do. If you are a data entry clerk? Be the best damn data entry clerk there is. Look for what you can love in it.

You may think you love doing one thing now, but it will change. Life changes. You change. So while it is nice on paper – do what you love, they conveniently forgot to tell you, love is also about discovery. And sometimes love is painful.

Care to love what you do?

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are you happy where you are?

There is an oft quoted line in Mandarin – “Tian sen wo chai bi you yong” (天生我才必有用) meaning heaven has a useful role for me. It originates from a Tang dynasty poem by Li Bai – “Jiang Jin Qiu” (The General Proposes a Toast) - one of my favourite.

Understand your role in the workplace. Perhaps, that will contribute another 30% to your happiness at work.

The hyenas eat what’s left when the lion leaves the carcass. The vultures come after. Everyone plays their role and each has their share. They all go home happy.

If you can’t find and don’t understand your role at work, forget about quitting and finding your purpose in life.

What were you born for?

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Do you really want to know the answer?

What is the point of saying you are very open to opinions when you only seek those whom you think will have a higher likelihood of agreeing with you?

You want to quit your job, you will ask colleagues who are pissed with the company.

You want to breakup with your partner, you see friends who you know doesn't like the person from the onset of your relationship.

You ask people whom to the best of your knowledge will agree with you.

Let’s face it; you want to hear what you want to hear. It’s like the cancer patient that doesn’t want any chemo who goes shopping for an oncologist that says, “Oh, no in your case chemotherapy is not necessary.”

Can you handle the truth?

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Are big dreams confusing you?

For a water vapor to become an ocean, it has to turn into rain. The rain has to flow into the hills, become a creek, a stream, a waterfall sometimes falling hundreds of feet before becoming a meandering river to flow into the sea to become an ocean.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first _______. (Yea, you know that one.)

It’s nice to dream big. But big dreams should be a motivation to do the small things. The dirty things. Those that make you sweat, bleed and cry.

String a series of small things consistently, spectacular things happen.

How are you cultivating patience today?

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