Category Archives: Life

Observe What People Say

Observe what people say.  You’ll be amazed by what they really meant by their tone, their emotion, their body. And what they meant often are completely different from what their actually words convey.

Funny thing is, in most cases people do this with complete unawareness.

What’s Important, Conscious Decision and Fear

Some random thoughts coming up here and there:

 

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Health and relationships are the 2 most important things that can keep you happy. Unlike skillsets or knowledge, where you start from zero and start putting efforts to build it up, health and relationship you sort of natraully get it over time through life and growing up. And the maintainance part becomes the primary job.

Maintainance is hard. Because there’s no urgency. And it’s not as exciting as building (or gaining) new stuff/knowledge. Think of a security guard’s job. As compared to a construction worker’s job.

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I sort of come to this point of my life without any serious hard decision, molding from my very own conscious. It’s all very natural every decision I’ve made so far. There’s no clear, major “If you choose to do this you’re gonna trade off that”. That’s something really scary to me.

Even thought about going back home to stay with grandma for a while. Why would something like that always cause me some resistance?

 

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I’ve been really growing at home and at work within my level of comfort zone. There isn’t much moments where the fear is real, the heart is beating heart, the fear of rejection, or public judgement. This may sound stupid, but it really took me courages to step up to ask a question in public talk, or knocking on neighbor’s door to ask for some ingredients.

Should try doing something that you’re completely uncomfortable with: sales, public speaking.

Me

Hồi nhỏ chướng. Có lần đòi Me mua đồ chơi cho bằng được. Vậy là ngày hôm sau Me dẫn ra shop đồ chơi mua cho con Robo. Mình nhớ là 95,000 VND (~4-500,000 bây giờ). Chơi được một ngày banh ta lông cá không chơi nữa. Bây giờ lớn rồi nghĩ lại thì mới thấy tiếc. Vậy mà Me cũng chiều.

Hồi nhỏ ngủ hay ôm Me, cũng phải đến sau năm lớp 5, lớp 6 mới thôi. Mà không chịu nằm gối đâu, phải bắt mẹ đưa tay ra để kê đầu. Giờ nghĩ lại nằm vậy chắc phải tê tay lắm. Thỉnh thoảng cúp điện Me còn lấy quạt tay quạt cho nữa. Vậy mà chẳng thấy than gì.

Hồi đó ba mẹ nuôi thằng này khổ thiệt.

Sáng sớm ngủ dậy nghĩ luẩn quẩn, nhớ mẹ.

2012

“Đời Không Đơn Giản”. Graduated from NUS. Organized Gathering Talents. Joined Viki. Continued TeamReflect. Traveled to Thailand. Surprised Mom on her birthday. Called home more often. Learnt about humility and being honest. Fixed our relationship. Took up Yoga. Prayed.

Work Hard First

Sometimes we focus too much on the optimization on how to work more efficiently, rather than the work itself. We feel insecure about not working fast enough, and spent most time thinking about how to work faster. But in fact we should be willing to at least put in sheer hours to get the work done, even if it takes longer than expected.

Only when we position our mind in the right frame, optimization will come naturally as the next step.

It’s good to work smart. But first you must be willing to work hard.

6 Things I Learn From My Boss

1. Trust, but verify

You need to trust people, but that doesn’t mean they’re right all the time.

2. Be honest

People appreciate you being honest, as long as you show genuine intention. Even if it hurts them.

If you’re working with the right people, they’ll respect you for that.

3. Don’t take people for granted.

My work is appreciated everytime. And he’s verbose about it.

4. Tell people how valuable their work is.

5. Save money.

6. Don’t ever let anyone fuck you

Make sure you’re not dependent on them in anyway (most of the time it’s financially). This gives you the courages to be who you are, and say what you mean.

Taxi Uncle

…worked for an electronics company for 10 years. Then AT&T Motorola for another 15 years. Rose to Senior Technical Manager. Got laid off when company scaled down. Been driving taxi for 11 years.

Raised 3 kids, all university educated. 2 got married and moved out. 1 entering NUS.

“You seemed financially alright to me, uncle. I’m sure you have enough savings and pension to live” – I said.
“I don’t want to sit down and watch movies. I want to be working, I want to be on the road”.

“Given your technical skills why don’t you consider doing consultancy/freelance work or something?”
“I don’t have the money. I put all money to my children’s education.”

Taxi Uncle had all my respects.

The Founder & the Builder

We feel insecure about not building something from the start, but often times costantly obsessing about building something from the start hinders us from bringing something from good to great, which can be as honoured (and even more difficult) than bringing it from the beginning till now.

Looking at my room I felt regret not being able to build it from the start, and suddenly I realize that stops me from thinking further how to make it even a better room.

So sometimes maybe you’re just not the serial entrepreneur, but the serial builder, bringing every product/organization you enter to the even higher level of standard.

Accepting People

Sometimes we tell others about things we think are right for them, thinking we’re kind and doing them a favour. But often times, we’re just the selfish selves trying to squeeze some feeling of influence.

The true kindness comes from the ability to accept others for who they are (or what they’ve done). And only when you’ve learn to accept them, people will be more acceptant to what you say, for it comes from your true heart.

Humility

I had an epiphany about humility.

I read a fair number of individual blogs, people that I personally admire. There’s this awesome guy whose blog is a constant source of inspiration for me ever since. But recently, when I got myself into a life crisis, the more I read his blog, the more I feel demotivated. I decided not to read him anymore.

Then one day I realize why! Whether he’s intentional or not, he wants you to be jealous. He wants to tell you “hey I’m really awesome. these are what I did and what I thought”.

No matter how hard one try to be humble, all are pretentious. It’s either you have it, or you don’t. Reading and talking about humility don’t really help. In fact the more you talk about humility, the more clear you don’t have it.

You transform from a man of arrogance to a man of humility by throwing yourself out there doing real work, and fail, and then start doing it again.

A funny thing happens when I “try to be humble”: I have no problem appearing humble and fun to the people looking up to me. But when it comes to people with a higher status (or achieve more than me in the same field – in other word I already established a subconscious sense of jealousy towards them), I have this tinkling inertia that stops me from approaching a person of higher status. And when I finally got the gut to approach, I naturally want to tell them more about myself, hoping to earn some respect from them.

What needs to be changed is the very motivation system that we and society have built into our own body and mind, a motivation system built on ego and social self-consciousness.

“Stay humble” isn’t always the correct advice.

Know thyself.