Monthly Archives: July 2015

M|M|C Report – After the Tide

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oceans-tideHappy Monday! It’s finally summer now.  The temperature for this week is supposed to be stable at 32.  We are going on a family exploration trip to East Canada next week.  Thinking about the two-week getaway is exciting.  It’s an adventure to me, to the kids and the family.

I learned that the tide at Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is phenomenal and I couldn’t  wait but to check it out on Youtube. While I watched the video, something hit me that happened two years ago.  I visited my cousin in Japan two years ago.  We joined a tour group to Hokkaido.  It was a different experience from my other tours. The tour guide was a short man, Mr. Tanaga, probably in his fifties. He was more scholastic than entertaining.  From time to time, he would say something that start a talk among the group.  I was kind of enjoying the guide.

After a big tide ebbed, Mr. Tanaga guided us to the shore. There were already many people there picking up the fishes left on the beach. To our excitement, our group joined the picking. Some of us got salmon, and others got tuna. Pretty soon, my cousin and I collected a full bucket. After the work-out, everybody took a break and started to talk about how we were going to cook these fishes and made a big feast. Mr. Tanaga broke his silence, he said, “Do you think these fishes are the same as the ones on the table? They were not caught because of greediness.” I was puzzled and asked, “Aren’t they all fish? What is the difference?” Mr. Tanaga let out a sigh and said, “These fishes were left after the ebb. They are the ones in trouble. Do you still have the heart to eat them? Why not we let them out to the ocean?” The group looked at one another and realized that it would be a suffering for these distressed fish. What we could offer was to set them free into where they belonged to, which could be a good deed. So we started to dump the buckets, or bags of fishes into the sea. While we looked at them swimming away, I felt a different dynamic in our group.  It was like everybody feeling relaxed and genuine happiness.

After the day trip, we were still talking about the happiness of letting go the fishes. Mr. Tanaga came to us, saying that one of his friends would close up his store tomorrow, and invite us to do some shopping before the closing-up. Well, liquidation meant good bargin, so we were delighted to go, esp. when we know the store had electronics, cosmetics, jewels and local specialties. When we got there, there were people lining up with full cart of products at the cashier. We couldn’t wait to jump into the spree. However, when we realized that very few products were on sale, our excitement ebbed. We each picked a few small stuff and checked out. Later when we saw Mr. Tanaga, he was holding two big bags of stuff with joy. One of the girls asked, “Why not these products on sale?” After a good few minutes, he answered, “These products are genuine. Why should they be sold cheaper?” “While, if they are of the same stuff as other stores, why you guys all shop there and buy so much?” Mr. Tanaga smiled and said slowly, “We all came to buy from the store, just to show the owner that he is good at the business side of it. He has been making a lot of efforts in the past years to run the business. Maybe pretty soon, he will be confident enough to open a new store somewhere more profitable.” Our jaws dropped. Wow, buying from a closing-up store doesn’t only mean to get some good bargain, but also to show comfort, encouragement, care and confidence to the owner.

The ebbing of the tides is when some fishes get into trouble. The closing-up of a store is when the owner meets with hardship. What can we do when we see others in an unfavorable situation? Are we gonna kick them downer, remain a stander-by or we can do something? By sending the unlucky fishes back into the water and buying more from a closing-up store, Mr. Tanaga demonstrated to us his kind and warm heart with his actions. We realize that it is at the time of the ebb, when no pretension is camouflaging, that we can figure out friends or foes. However, it is the fact whether we are the vulnerable fishes left by the tide, or the greedy fishes caught by lure, that differentiate our destination.

I am so looking forward to what the tides at Bay of Fundy will teach me.  Happy vacation!

To your success!

Hanh Consulting

 

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H-Day Report – The best answer to “Why should I study?”

freedomAs a parent, at one time or the other, we will get the question from our children, “Why should I study? Why can’t I play?” How do you normally reply to them? I remember the way I talked with my children is that I will ask them if they enjoy their new chapter book, or if they like the new Disney movie. I know they will say “Yes” and they do. Then I ask them if they know why they enjoy them so much, and I start my “lecture”. When they understand that the enjoyment comes from their ability to comprehend, which comes from study, learn the words, learn the meaning and learn about the context, they feel satisfied and turn the page over.

It is easier to explain such thing to children, as when we make it less serious, making it like a joke, they will pass that question and move on to something else.

However, when it comes to adult children who still have such question, sometimes, even we ask ourselves why, what would be best answer? I read a journal by Lung Yingtai, a Taiwanese essayist and cultural critic. She gave us the best answer to her children and to us adults. She wrote:

I told you to study hard, not because I want you to compare success with others. I wish you have more power to choose, choosing a more meaningful job with more free time that you have control of, but not to live for living.

…What’s important to me is not whether you are successful, but whether you are happy. In the contemporary society, what kind of job can make you happy? First, it gives you meaning, for which you won’t become its hostage; second, it gives you time, with which you can experience life to its fullest.

When we find meaning in our job, we feel accomplished. When our job permits us free time, we feel in control. It is the sense of accomplishment and the feeling of control that make us happy.

We study to possess more knowledge, so that we will understand better. We study to gain more thoughts, so that we will become a person with insights. We study how to study, so that we will become flexible and capable to handle more situations.

The world is constantly changing. How can we be prepared to handle whatever that life throws at us? It is to equip ourselves with more skills, stronger stickability and higher resilience. Not all of us have the ability to summarize these qualities from daily lives. We learn from others’ experience, so that we know how to move on. The more we know what we know, the more certain we are facing life’s challenges. We learn to show up from a place of gratitude, strength and commitment. We learn to connect and contribute deeply with something bigger than ourselves. We learn to find ourselves thriving even when the environment is chaotic.

We study for ourselves, for the meaning, for the freedom and for the certainty despite the situation. 

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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M|M|C Report – Coaching is all about you.

coachingWhat is coaching? Coaching is all about you.

Take a look at Rey Carr’s article about what is coaching and you will understand why it is important for any one to have a coach.

Just like its original meaning as a carriage transporting people from where they are physically to where they want to go, metaphorically “coach” has become the one who use tools to take people from where they are to where they want to be. Through the process of coaching, one will be able to gain clarification, motivation, inspiration and willingness to be where they want to be.

The reason why we say coaching is all about you, is because of the following reasons:

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all process for coaching. Every interaction between the coach and the coachee must be dealt with individually. Due to difference in personality, social background, experience, even the same situation must be handled differently for it to work. So it is YOU who make the difference.
  • You know where you are and where you want to be. In majority of the cases, it is not that you don’t know what to do, it is either you refuse to do something because you can’t see the difference if you do it, or you fear to do something because you don’t know if you are able to complete it. Let me give you an example. Suppose you are going to the corner store on the street. You know your starting point and your destination, do you need to hesitate how to get there? No. You just take your steps and go. It is the same with anything in your life. Once your objective is clear enough, you don’t need to fear, avoid, hesitate, you just need to do it. Coach is able to help you clarify your objectives, making it so clear that you will have the confidence to get there.
  • You will be able to get where you want to be from coaching. Speaking of confidence, you might say, “I don’t have the confidence to get out of the current adversity, because I have never dealt with such situation, so I don’t know if I am able to handle the challenges. What can I do?” Ok, in order to see your potentials, let’s look at them this way. Suppose that a miracle happens while you were asleep, all the challenges you are facing now are more or less resolved, what difference will you see the next morning showing you that the miracle happens? What will you do then that you are not doing now? On a scale of 10 to 1, 10 is the situation right after the miracle happens and 1 being the opposite, where are you now? How did you manage to get to that score not any lower? When the coach walks with you through these questions, you are training your brain to flash back the things that you did before with your strength. If it worked in the past, it can be repeated, meaning you are able to apply the same practice to deal with your current situation. You are utilizing your existing resources which were previously blinded from your sight.
  • You can become a coach for somebody else to help others achieve more. The ability to awake the dormant resources can open a new horizon for our lives. Once you obtain the capability, you become unstoppable. You can always see the potential, the strength the possibility in any situation. You will become the most positive doer and creator in your circle. What people see from you is something that they can see happen to themselves. It is not just a simple hope, but a life-long contentment generated from growth and improvement.

So smart people get smarter; successful people get more successful. That is the outcome of having a coach. It is demonstrated in personal development, adult education, psychology (sports, clinical, developmental, organizational, social and industrial) and other organizational or leadership practices.

coaching 2

Coaching is all about you. 

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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W|D|R – Believe yourself. You are living a meaning.

meaningHappy Friday! In the elevator this morning, my co-worker said, “Yes, we made it!” It is so true. We make it! Do you know why? Because we know we need to do it, either come to work, if you work for someone, or get on the road, if you work for yourself. Basically, it is something that we live for. It is a meaning, big or small.

My intention was to write about the meaning of our lives, something that is bigger than ourselves, something that we live for. But as I am writing the above words, I feel a switch of thinking. Actually, every one of us, no matter we love what we do, or we swear what we do, we are living a meaning. It is something that is so important to us that we are not willing to stop doing it.

When we feel frustrated or losing directions, ask the question, “What do I live for?” It could be money, fame, a person, or anything. Then ask further “What difference does it make if I have it?”, “What else?”, “What else?”…. after 12 what-else questions, we will be able to find the gem, the real meaning of our lives. I have used this hundreds of times when I talk with my clients and it never failed.

I got this from my coaching studies, as well as reading. I have read Charles R. Swindoll’s Saying It Well. He mentioned a book that helped him break through the struggle when he learned that he would be deployed to Japan as Marine Corps shortly after his marriage. Thinking of leaving his new bride behind and going thousands of miles away tortured him day and night. He found the ultimate power after reading this book, which is called Through Gates of Splendor.  The book tells the story of Operation Auca, an attempt by five American missionaries to reach the Huaorani tribe of eastern Ecuador, who were an isolated tribe known for their violence, against both their own people and outsiders who entered their territory. With the intention of being the first Christians to evangelize the previously uncontacted Huaorani, the five American missionaries made regular flights over the Huaorani settlement, dropping gifts to show their sincere intention. That intention was something they live for and became the meaning of their lives, something bigger than themselves.

There is a girl who I used to work with. She was working on a business with a partner. As far as I know, she worked so hard and so diligently on what they did, and she was the most supportive and encouraging person I have ever known. (I wish I had a partner like that.) What she told me convinced me the power of that meaning. She said that she didn’t need the business, because she had other means of income, but she loved this person so much. She saw the potential in him, which could generate into something really big. He was in a relationship, so she couldn’t see any future for herself with him, but she knew the meaning of what she was doing, which was to bring his potential out so that he can fulfill his dreams, to provide abundance for his children, to bring motivation and inspiration to the world, to light up the hearts of the struggles. She said whenever she thought of giving up due to the struggles inside her, she would remind herself of the meaning of her journey, something bigger than herself. The knowing of that meaning is able to heal any pain and make life worth living.

Parents do anything for their children. True lovers make any sacrifice for the loved ones. Missionaries risk their lives for their beliefs. What keeps them going is the meaning they see and pursue.

So every morning when we open our eyes, say to ourselves, “I have a meaning in my life which is what I live for.”

Believe yourself. You are living a meaning.

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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H-Day Report – You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

faithDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”. It was quoted in Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices on Resistance, Reform, and Renewal an African American Anthology, by Manning Marable, Leith Mullings and other contributors. This anthology of black writers traces the evolution of African-American perspectives throughout American history, from the early years of slavery to the end of the twentieth century. Just the title alone carries a surge of energy that penetrates the black history and impetus the continuous fights for rights. In a world dominated by non-black who control the majority of wealth and power, the blacks keep fight without considering the results. The persistence comes from a simple word, FAITH.

According to Jewish scholars, what actually happened when the Israelites being pursued by the Egyptians to the side of the Red Sea was that they prayed to God. God said, “Sure, I’ll help you. But you have to show me you have faith first by plunging into the water with the possibility you could drown.” The first one to comply was Nachshon. He went into the water to his nose to show he trusted God. Then God parted the waters and the people got escaped from the miserable.

On our way to live a meaningful life, faith plays a simple but vital role.

Having faith means stepping into the unknown with no guarantees that things will work out. Just as Alan Watts, the former Anglican bishop, referred “Faith…is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go…” (Johnson, 2003)

The late James Stockdale, the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, also made a distinction between faith and optimism. He said that the prisoners who got discouraged to give up were the optimists, who believed that they would be released; however, with not able to see it happened, they died of a broken heart. He made it clearly that, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Faith is not belief, which we wish things will get better.
Faith can’t guarantee, which might create neuro meltdown once proved wrong.
Faith doesn’t rose-tint our current situation, which most likely are pale without the glasses.
Faith is undying unless it is something else.
Faith strengthens the discipline to take the initial step despite how brutal it is.

When we feel suffering, when we can’t seem to find the meaning of life, when we doubt what we are doing, take the following into our hearts:
Fear no more;
Assertive to ourselves;
In spite of making it or not;
To the end;
Hug ourselves.

I have faith in you, L.H. 

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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M|M|R – Just do it!

just do itHappy Monday, Champs!  Are you ready to kick start a new week? Remember today is the newest day we will have in the rest of our lives.  Make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.

We finally had a perfect weekend for water activities in Toronto.  Better grab the short hot days and enjoy summer, so we spent the weekend by the beach of Lake Ontario. Moreover, I also had a real-life experience of “Just Do It.”

While we were enjoying the sunshine and the breeze, my eight-year daughter built a “swimming pool” really close to the water on the beach. As far as I remembered, she did spent quite some time working on it. It was pretty cool. Even though the water kept brushing off on the wall, with her continuous fixing and maintaining, adding more sand to it, the pool was in real good shape.

Now it’s my six-year old son’s turn to have his swimming pool built and he came to me for help. “That won’t be hard” as I thought to myself and I came with him to the water. We built the wall on the far side from the water, like a curve.  When it came to close the circle, problems arose. The sand close to the water was wet and sliding, esp. with the water kept coming up, there was no way to build a bump, let alone a wall. I kept looking at my daughter’s project and mine, and had no idea how to proceed.

“Mom, you just need to bring more dryer sand from that far side and it stays, then you can build it higher to close the pool.” Well, the dryer sand was about 10 meters away from where we build the structure. “Isn’t it too troublesome to walk back and forth for the dryer sand?” that was my initial reaction. Troublesome, not easy.

My girl kept maintaining her structure with pride and my boy kept pushing me to continue. “Mom, just do it. Let me help you with the sand.” my daughter started to bring dryer sand from 10 meters away. I guess I had no other choice but do it.

Guess what? It worked. With dryer sand as the foundation, we use wetter sand to elevate the wall. Tada! We closed the circle right by the water. Even though the water kept brushing off on the wall, with the dryer and solid foundation, our structure stood up the wear off till the end of the day. There were people walking by saying “Impressive”.

I was quite sweaty from the hard work, but I decided to put down this piece as Monday inspiration.

We all want something good, something beautiful, something ideal, we always have dreams of becoming this and that, however, the only way to do it is JUST DO IT. It was such a brilliant slogan for Nike and it will be such a simple and applicable mantra for us.

Napoleon Hill said, “Dream is only achievable until we write it down.” Goal is only an aspiration until we roll up our sleeves to take the first small step.

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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W|D|R – The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.

ladder

After a few days of the humidity and cloudiness, we welcome another dry and breezy summer day. What’s more, it is Friday. Happy Friday, Champs!

It is such a simple and descriptive saying, “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.”, Napoleon Hill said that almost 100 years ago. We all want success. We all fear competitions. However, the real successful people have no competitions, because the majority of the competitions won’t get as far, as high, as the real successful.

What do the real successful do?

They know it. They contemplate the vision of being successful. If they are good speaking, they see themselves speak to millions and inspire them; if they are good at business, they see their business expanding world-wide and benefit the users; if they are good at arts, they see their work becoming the masterpieces which are exhibited in the altar of the peak of arts. They know it because they are combining their passion and talents. What they see is what they believe. Setbacks, challenges, are never their focus.

They stick to it. They are the most accountable group. They are accountable for their decisions, their choices and their lives. The onus of proving them right has always been on themselves. They keep their words. They walk their talk. They practice what they preach. Their stickability empowers them to control their actions and make them work.

They do it. They are the ones who have big dreams and grand visions. However, why only few successful? Because they are the ones who do it. They take consistent actions daily and keep consistent outcome in their mind. They never let any day slip without putting another entry of progress on their journal. They understand the meaning of the 10,000-hour rule and are on board the numbers game by doing it until they get excellent at what they dream.

They live it. Their mantras are – I can. I will. I am. They submerge themselves with successful people. They run from the negativity. They eager to start every day with a it-has-to-be-a-good-day mindset. They live every day with a keep-it-up work mode and taking actions enthusiastically with perseverance. They end every day with a new page on their journal witnessing something they complete that day and what’s for the next day. They live their dream in such a continuous cycle, which is how they never stop until they make it.

The strongest ones in the world are those who stand most alone.

Success is a very very lonely road. Very few people are willing to endure: the pain, the sacrifices to be successful. It is an uphill battle …and along that road, you are not going to see too many friends. You are going to see your shadow most often. But it is exactly when you see your shadows behind, you know you are marching toward the sun.

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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H-Day Report – Big or Small

smallbusinessbigimpact

  • What should a student do when leaving college with a hefty $50,000 student loan on their head?
  • How are they to pay it back when there’s no job for them to earn an income?
  • Does the bank say, it’s OK, we know there are no jobs available, so we’ll forgive the loan?

What does everyone in the world wants? A good-paying job.

The global job market has not been easy for anyone, especially for the young people in their twenties. They are feeling the pinch more than everyone else, and the automated college factories keep pumping them out with no end in sight. We need to stop and take a look at what we’re doing. The curriculum of the past isn’t working today and will definitely not work in the future. The rat on a wheel.

According to the ILO the number one sector of job creation in the next five years are the private sector services together with accommodation and restaurant. They are expected to create jobs at the fastest rate of any sector in the economy. We all know how much those sectors pay.

The head of the ILO said, action is needed to tackle global unemployment, and Christian Viegelahn, an economist in the ILO Research Department, said there are profound changes taking place in the job market, from the types of skills needed, to work being replaced by machines.

Believe it or not, with these findings colleges are still teaching and promoting obsolete jobs, offering courses that are useless in today’s economy. Universities are just another business like any other corporation, the most attention is given to the P&L statement.

The European Union states that there are more than twelve million people looking for work for more than a year. Even in developing markets enough jobs are not being created for everyone, so the majority, especially the young people are being left out of the job market. Unemployment is a huge burden on our shoulders, and a great deal of stress and frustration comes with it. Global violence are rising, crimes are up, and study shows it’s been committing by young people between the ages of 18 to 25, the one’s who are feeling the biggest pinch of a jobless market.

We’re in a global unemployment mess and no one seems to have an answer. Governments are normally reactive and not proactive, and the majority of the times does not make SMART decisions. Usually their pro-active decisions are just as bad as the reactive ones; therefore we cannot rely on them to fix this. However, we need them to play a small part.

This might be the answer…Small business is BIG!….

The 28 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.

Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.

The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.

The small business sector in America occupies 30-50% of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet.

Furthermore, the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been “downsizing”, the rate of small business “start-ups” has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.

The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982.

Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.

I believe young-trepreneaur is the answer. Countries have to start promoting micro business(entrepreneurship) on a large scale, and setup solid support, including financial to jump-start their economies. They have to get rid of the red tapes and create easily accessible programs, giving these young people who holds the future of the world in their hands a fighting chance.

Want to grab your seats in the revolution of small businesses, please come and let’s talk how you can make it happen.

To your success.

Hanh Consulting

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Happy Birthday!

happybirthdaycake

Happy Birthday, Canada! Today is the 148th birthday since the nation was founded. That is something that every Canadian knows. But there’s something not everybody knows, which is – it is also my birthday today! So I once joked with my friends that I meant to be in Canada and be a Canadian.

To celebrate my 40th birthday in a more memorable way, I volunteered to be a roundtable host at the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony held in Markham Civic Centre. I once dreamed to take my oath on a Canada Day, but it was something out of my control. As a result, today’s ceremony is like my dream come true, because I reaffirmed my oath at the ceremony.

At my table are 10 people from two families originated from China and St. Vincent. Among the 10 people, there were only two people who would take the oath today, two mothers from the two families. To represent this coincidence, we picked the theme of Mother for our table.

I remember a quote, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Mother has always been the bond of a family. Interestingly, it is like mothers have that kind of magic power to connect the family together in good time and bad. They always have the way to bring the food on the table. They always have the skills to bring the best out of their children. They always have the passion to bring out their love and consideration to everyone in the family. They are like glue.

The mother from St. Vincent has four sons and two daughter in different countries. 25 years ago, she made that bold decision to take her kids to a better place. Since then, she has been working really hard to keep the kids well fed and educated. Now she is helping to bring up the third generation, which is why she only consider to become a citizen till now. As she said, she felt she has fulfilled her duty and now it’s time to think for herself. Likewise, the mother from China has been the sole caretaker for her two sons in the past ten years. The husband worked in the navy, so he stayed back home in order to provide the financial means for the family. The mother acted as mom and dad in the past years. Now both sons graduated from university and have well-paid jobs. The husband retired and came to join them. They are enjoying the slower-paced retiring life and she would like to merge into the country where she loves by taking the oath.

Their stories are so real and so true. They remind me of my journey in Canada, as well as other stories that I heard. There is one common experience among all the people enjoying this country, which is the vision of themselves merging into the culture and the society. There are tons of adjustments and adversities along the way; however, what push us going forward are our determination to stay, our commitment to improve, our vision to live better and our patience to see everything fall into place.

We learn a lot on this journey. By welcoming the challenges and getting up after every fall, we can only become stronger. Having a strong core will help us stand tall wherever we go.

Thank you, Canada! Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to me, too! I am happy for how far I have gone and I will keep on this journey.

 

 

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