Category Archives: H-Day Report
In our nearly two-hour meeting, he mentioned the following opportunities to me:
- a non-profit organization that he founded 5 years ago, which is still hanging in there
- a pageant business, taking place once a year
- an art gallery business, which is for a new talent artist
- an online web design and hosting business, which was sparkled after working with some photographers who might need online storage for their work
I was so amazed as he laying out page after page the things that are going on. I should have been more focused, but I just couldn’t help wondering how he is able to juggle so many things while keeping a full-time job in the government. If everything is generating income, he must be a new millionaire or the most renowned entrepreneur of the year. But the fact is, he told me later on, the reason why he wanted to meet me was to count me in, as he is too busy to handle all these going-ons. He said he has the network, the resources, the technical skills, but he needed to have someone do the work and push things forward. Ok, I get it. He needs someone good at EXECUTION.
I enjoy talking to people with ideas, because it is an incubator for new businesses and an inspiration for more ideas, if it is in a brain storming session. However, if it is real business, real life, what counts at the end of the day is what has been done. We can’t say that the people wandering in the streets with “ideas” are less smart then the people working as labour. But at the end of the day, the people who actually work are able to bring home the bacon, little but real.
The concept of “Ideas are powerful” is true; however, it depends what the ideas can bring. Only ideas that bring out growth, that land on a project, that propel progress, are powerful. A simple saying is “One bird in hand is worth two in the bush.”
Statistics shows that 74% of the managers are facing the most challenging job, which is execution. They have the most constructive strategies, the most capable teams, the most resourceful network, but they find it is hard to implement and apply what are in their minds. Jim Stuart, Senior Consultant at Franklin Covey Institute reaffirm the message. He said,
One of the most fundamental principles of organizational activity is that human beings are genetically hard-wired to do one thing at a time with excellence….
Wildly Important Goals are like that. They always share one unique characteristic: they are the goals we must achieve with total excellence, or else any other goal we might achieve just really won’t matter much……you must approach that Wildly Important Goal with focus and diligence until it is delivered as promised, with excellence.
You might be asking yourself, “Is there some way that I can successfully handle eight or ten goals at once?” A lot of people do that. They try to touch base on many, many goals at a time, pushing each one just a little every day. Mostly they wind up doing a mediocre job on all of them. That’s why that approach doesn’t work. You can ignore the fact that human beings are hardwired to do one thing at a time with excellence, or you can leverage this principle to achieve your top goals, one at a time, again and again.
At the end of the meeting, I declined my friend’s offer and I told him that I already have many things on my plate, so I don’t want to put his trust at stake. To myself, I don’t want to challenge my ability to execute either.
The principle of execution can be best illustrated and honored at the airport. There could be more than a hundred airplanes either approaching, landing, taking off, and moving around, and all of them are very, very important – especially if you happen to be in one of them. But for the air traffic control specialist, only one airplane is wildly important right now – that is the one they are working with, until it is cleared to land…roger…continue….
To your success.
Wednesday is regarded as Hump day, a day with a morning climbing up the hill of work and an afternoon sliding down the heap of work. Give ourselves some pep talk. I am sharing this poem with you, hoping that by reading it, we will have a better understanding of ourselves and be kinder to ourselves. We are our best friends.
When I Have a Soul Strong Enough
You criticize me
I feel your pain
You please me
I see your need for recognition
You act ultra rational to me
I realize your fragility and fear
You interrupt me
I understand your yearning to be seen
When I have a soul strong enough
I no longer justify
All the energy flows liberally between you and me
Hurt, frustration, guilty, sadness, anger and suffering
When they flow freely
I feel the warmth in sorrow
I find the power in anger
I see the hope in suffering
When I have a soul strong enough
I no longer fight
When I no longer hurt myself
Nobody else can
I let go the weapon
Open my heart
When my heart starts to soften
In love and kindness
I meet you brightly and warmly
To have a soul strong enough
I just need to recognize myself
To accept what beyond my control
To appreciate what I have done
And to have faith that
Living through the journey
I will not only survive but thrive
Dr. 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;
I have faith in you, L.H.
To your success.
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.
- Do you want success?
- Have you done anything that will lead you to success?
- If there’s a new way of doing things that will lead you to success faster, would like to try it?
If I tell you success is a number’s game, do you believe it?
In sports, the global celebrity, the basketball icon, Michael Jordan, said in one of the interviews, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
In science, Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb. Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, it’s safe to say Edison tried and failed a whole lot before he successfully created his beacon of light. His response to his repeated failures? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
In art, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Even though he made no money, he still painted over 900 works of art. Though his persistence went unnoticed when he was alive, Van Gogh proves you don’t need external validation to be proud of the work you create.
In publish, twelve publishing houses rejected J. K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter manuscripts, but eventually small publisher Bloomsbury gave her a chance with a small advance. Little did anyone know it would become the bestselling book series in history.
In politics, Abraham Lincoln is known as one of the greatest President of the United States of American, yet he bounced back from repeated challenges during the 30+ years before his election as a President:
- Failed in business at age 21.
- Was defeated in a legislative race at age 22.
- Failed again in business at age 24.
- Overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26.
- Had a nervous breakdown at age 27.
- Lost a congressional race at age 34.
- Lost a congressional race at age 36.
- Lost a senatorial race at age 45.
- Failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47.
- Lost a senatorial race at age 47.
- Was elected PRESIDENT of the United States at age 52!
Before you start to get defensive, simply take a look at the numbers. Just estimate, how long do you think it takes to finish the 9,000 shots? How long does it take to try 10,000 different ways to create a lightbulb? How long do you think it takes to paint 900 paintings? How long do you think it takes to pass the screening of 12 publishing houses? Let alone Lincoln’s repeated bouncing back over the 30 years.
They all succeeded ultimately. They got on board the number’s game. We talk about bouncing back, resilience, persistence, meeting the challenges head-on, holding our spirit high in difficulties. The simplest way to achieve all these is to get ourselves into the number’s game. In order to see the numbers, we must take actions; in order to see the numbers, we must continue the actions; in order to see the numbers, we must live through the timeline and accumulate our stamina. Like you drive at night, with the headlight covering the 200 meter in front of your car, you are able to get where you want to go.
As time goes by, as number changes, you will see the success you are longing for. That is when all the hard works pays off.
To you success.
A beautiful message to share with you ……
I don’t know what to give you before you leave, please take my my eyes, my heart and my mind with you. Use the eyes to seize the moments, use the heart to hold on tight of your determination and use the mind to stand up tall in challenges and keep going. You know all the right things to do. You will be fine and everything will turn out successful.
In good times and bad, remember that someone else has survived more sever situations, Peter Diamandis, the man who recreated the “Spirit of St. Louis”, using his stickability, persistent and passionate mind. In order to raise enough money to fund the X Prize project, a $10 million incentive competition intended to inspire a new generation of private passenger-carrying spaceships. He searched for sources as relentlessly as a man searched for air while submerged underwater. With passion, commitment and confidence, he poured his soul into finding sponsors who believed in the X Prize. After pitching to hundreds of CEOs to fund the project without any result, he refused to let the rejection after rejection stop him, until he ultimately found the right source and the project was successfully funded through an insurance policy underwritten by the Anousheh and Hamid Ansari Family. No objection could ever stop him from reaching out. The confidence came from the faith in the project, the faith in his decision on this project. There must be people out there willing to invest the money. You will be on a similar path to search for your future. Apply Napoleon Hill’s four steps to develop your stickability: Have a definite purpose, take continuous action on your plan, close your mind tightly against all distractions and surround yourself with supportive people.
Please read the list as a mantra before you go to bed and after you rise in the morning. Good luck on your new horizon!
If anything can go wrong, fix it!
When given a choice … take both!
Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
Start at the top, then work your way up.
Do it by the book … but be the author!
When forced to compromise, ask for more.
If it’s worth doing, it’s got to be done right now.
If you can’t win, change the rules.
If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
Perfection is not optional.
When faced without a challenge, make one.
“No” simply means begin again at one level higher.
Don’t walk when you can run.
Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.
When in doubt: THINK.
Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
The squeaky wheel gets replace.
The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!
The ratio of something to nothing is infinite.
You get what you incentivize.
If you think it is impossible, then it is … for you.
An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how it can’t be done.
The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.
If it were easy, it would have been done already.
Without a target you will miss it every time.
Bullshit walks, hardware talks.
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
The world’s most precious resource is the passionate and committed human mind.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
After coming back from the beautiful sunny outside, please spend some time taking a look at the this video.
When the young fish ask the old fish “What is this?” The old fish answered “This is water.” Water can’t be more common to fish, just like the situation in the video can’t be more familiar to us. Fish live in water by nature which is decided biologically. They can’t live without. Whereas us, in our daily lives, we meet with success, happy moments, smoothness, proud experience, at the same time, we also have moments of frustrations, depression, unmet demands, disturbance, you name it. Our advantage is that we have CHOICE, which was emphasized by the late American writer, David Foster Wallace, who made this speech in 2005 at the graduation ceremony for Kenyon College.
What differentiates us from fish is our self-awareness, a trait that we need to visit from time to time. We can feel frustrated in the long waiting line at the cashier; we can feel depressed stuck in traffic; we can get irritated by kids’ procrastination; we can get impatient by co-worker’s noncooperation. Wait a minute. Ask ourselves, will the frustration, depression, irritation, impatience help in any situation we just mentioned? If not, can we skip the moment like in a transmitter? Both answers are NO. How can we get pass these unfavorable situations without being sunk into them? This is where self-awareness comes in – WE HAVE CHOICE. It is time to practice all the good things that we learn:
- Empathy – Thinking from others’ perspective (in others’ shoes)…
- Non-judgement – Others might have their special situation, so we shouldn’t label them as so and so…
- Juvenate – Smell the flower rather than burn ourselves out and melt down …
- Optimism – Half empty or half full. Instead of cursing the long waiting time, taking it as a our own-time to think …
- Yield – Seeking win-win. Yield, even if we are right. Stick to it, as long as we know there is the light at the end of the tunnel …
Simply put, ENJOY, every moment and be present.
A bonus for who keeps reading this article. This is a list created by the teachers and professors at Duke University for their 2014 graduates. It carries the wishes that the educations hold for the students, but also is what we, as educated, should hold till the last day of our lives:
- Stick with it.
- Give back.
- Be true to yourself.
- Reading leads to inspiration.
- Be generous.
- Educated doesn’t equal smart.
- Stop and look back.
- Embrace ambiguity.
- This is your life.
- Reframe rejection.
- Respect people over job titles.
- Relationship matters.
- No right or wrong.
- Pay close attention.
Remember, we have CHOICE. Break the default mode. Make our effort and use our courage.
To your success.