Saturday, January 07, 2006

No Such Thing As Hard Work

I often hear children being complimented by their parents, "Wah, you're working so hard, good boy/girl." Or parents boasting "Wah, my child spends XXX hours doing his homework on top of that his 10 years series, plus tuition, etc."

Unfortunately, I think this sends a wrong message and programming in children.

There is no such thing as hard work, however there is such thing as working hard.

Difficult Work != Working Hard

First of all, if some work is hard, then you're not doing it right. It's got to be easy or broken down into bite size pieces that take up 15 minutes to achieve. Some people fall into this trap a lot because the mind thinks, "How intelligent I am or hard working I am doing this difficult thing." Difficult work is foolishness. Sometimes it's biting off more than you can chew. Sometimes, that means you don't have acquired the skills or are not ready for the challenge or not using the right method.

Spending Lots of Time != Working Hard

Unfortunately, misunderstanding this gives rise to people staying late, thinking they are working hard when they are rather either being inefficient or not goal oriented. This gives rise to a very bad Singaporean culture of people staying back late in the office because going back on time means "you're being lazy, or being mediocre" or trying to look good for the boss.

Another thing is why spend time on an exercise if you already know how to do it? If after 10 exercises you've got the topic down pat, you don't need to continue on, there is a limit to gains on hours spent. To give an exaggerated example, a 10 year old gains nothing spending 10 hours doing math for kindergarten kids.

Boring Work != Working Hard.

Work has got to be fun. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett put in the hours but they say that there is nothing else they would want to do in the world but their jobs. It's fun to them! And you can't work at your peak if you don't find it fun.

When you work hard, it means you concentrate fully on the task at hand, being fully focused on achieving your goal and the results at hand. It may be physically or emotionally painful for a while when you haven't found the solution and need to grow or have barriers or a commitment to stay focused but there is no such thing as hard work. But if some work remains emotionally and physically painful all the time, then perhaps it is a sign something is wrong.

All work is really simple if you break it down and concentrate on achieving the results.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Knocking off the Bits not there.

Someone once asked a famous artist how he created the beautiful sculptures from the blocks of stone and marble and he replied that he didn't.

The statue was always there waiting inside, all he did was to remove the parts that didn't belong.

So the same with us. There's a beautiful creation inside of us. Remove the parts that don't belong and let the beautiful creation that was made by God since the creation of time to shine through.

Fast Food Fast: Day 5

It's not easy not eating fast food, especially when you want cheap source of meat after a workout.

A lot of hawker fare isn't exactly healthy either, char koay teow, carrot cake, etc are full of oil.

I don't want to eat too much carbs as well, I just need some meat but build myself up, but i realize a lot of food sold are actually carb full.

Pau, Chee Cheong Fun, Breadtalk have a lot of bread or rice.

Not easy, not easy... I think I'll have to make my own lunches, simple sandwiches with the meat I need and fruits to stave off the hunger.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bluetooth Next Step For Phones

Nokia sees surge in Bluetooth phone market in 2006 - Yahoo! News

As more and more phones have Bluetooth and Java's Bluetooth API (JSR 82) becomes more common, we will have more Bluetooth games coming up in the next few months.

Expect multiplayer games you can play with your neighbour in the MRT as well as peer-to-peer and viral networking methods of distributing data like images, video, etc.

Once it reaches mainstay, you'll find Bluetooth outlets or kiosks that may dispense other types of information or virtual goods like tickets, etc. that act as authenticators when combined with authentication methods like the Liberty Alliance, smart wallets, etc.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2006 Goals: Physical

My physical goals for 2006 are:

  1. Not eat any fast food for 1 month in January. (So as to gain healthy diet habits).

  2. Run in the Standard Chartered Half-Marathon in December 2006

  3. Learn Archery

  4. Learn Salsa (combined with social goals)

  5. Get a Six Pack.

You MUST Confront Your Fears and Demons

Learning and growing means that you MUST confront your demons and fears. Because if you don't, they will keep on haunting you and use you to pass on your fear to the next generation. So if you value your own life and your children, you MUST face them and defeat them.

You Sell Value Not Profit.

I learned today a fascinating paradigm shift in business.

I'm not just buying raw materials, (my time) and selling them at a markup.

The word profit gives connotations of Ferengi scheming and extraction.

Rather, I'm giving added value. I have knowledge and this knowledge is tangibilised in my products. I'm providing value, and my customers are paying for this value.

You wouldn't sell a Picasso at $2100 just because the canvas and paint cost $100 only and his time at maybe $2000 (if he were a painter living today) ? You sell it at hundreds and thousands because of the uniqueness that Picasso brings to a painting.

So it is with me, I'm an artist, my brush is the computer and my paint are the bits and bytes of the program.

The value provided could be enjoyment, or peace-of-mind, or speediness. These are all things that people purchase and value a lot.

Even a plain 'ole trader doesn't sell for a profit. He sells his knowledge, he sells his quality control, he sells his ability to source for products and consistency and availability of supply, he sells his own branding that gives assurance.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dating and Singlehood in the Church.

Perhaps one of the things in a church culture is that there isn't enough mentorship from parents or from the church on proper dating.

One of the biggest and most misleading ideas implied in church culture (not official teaching) is:

  • Just wait, God will provide for you a mate.

  • If you are spiritual enough, and seek God earnestly, God will give you the best. Don't settle for second best.

With that two statements, it misleads people who are seriously looking for a mate.

First, because of that a lot of people just sit around waiting for a life-partner to drop out of mid-air into their lives.

God certainly does provide, he provides the birds of the air food, but still the bird must look for the worm. God gave the Israelites the land, but they still had to go in and fight for it. It was not passive inactivity that won the day. God does his part, we must do ours.

Next, what is this idea of "second best"? If A was meant for B but instead marries C this will cause a chain reaction where B marries D which leads to E who was supposed to marry D to marry F and so on... So with just one choice, we cause the whole universe held together by God to crash? Even Microsoft Windows performs better than that!

So we end up with a lot of singles in church, waiting and just waiting... perhaps one of them thinks that she must serve God more, perhaps she wasn't spiritual enough.

So she volunteers... for the children's ministry. Good luck in increasing her odds of finding someone there.

Which leads to another thought. Before the invention of the automobile, most people married within a radius of 2 miles from where they lived. But with the invention of the car, people married within 100 miles from where they lived. Did God's will suddenly change because of the car?

Another wrong idea is that we shouldn't date around too much. It's like playing around we don't want to be considered a 'loose' or flirtatious. Look, if you're righteous enough, you're not going to have sex, it's just getting to know people!

Dr. Henry Cloud in his book "How to Get a Date Worth Keeping"recommends that we change our view of dating:

  1. See dating as a wonderful time to find out about other people and what they are like.

  2. See dating as a wonderful time to find out about yourself and how you need to change.

  3. See dating as an end in and of itself.

  4. See dating in a way that takes the pressure off.

  5. See dating as an opportunity to love and serve others.

  6. See dating as an opportunity to grow in skills.

  7. Perhaps promise yourself that you will make no serious commitment for a certain length of time.

Serpent shrewdness...

After reading half of this book, I am reminded of the Biblical examples of the principles of influence.

First, reciprocity.

Jesus spoke of the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-9). Now, this is one of the few parables that even amazed a pastor friend of mine. Is Jesus advocating dishonest and unethical practices?

I'll leave that to the scholars (but notice immediately that it is written that whoever is dishonest cannot be trusted).

However, the parable is an excellent example of reciprocity. By doing favours for his bosses creditors, he earns himself a welcome when he leaves the company.

Jesus doesn't advocate dishonesty, rather to illustrate the usage of worldly wealth to gain friends, which we Christians don't do very well enough.

Next, commitment and consistency.

The example here includes a Biblical one and something from church history. Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. They refused to budge one inch knowing that even a small bow would open the floodgates of compromise.

Another example are the christians in Roman history who refused to say "Caesar is Lord." though it cost them their material possessions and even their lives.

The third principle is that of social proof.

Jesus said that wide and broad is the gate that leads to destruction and urged us to enter through the narrow one.

Just because many people do something doesn't mean it's right. Unfortunately, almost 90% of humankind follows the herd. "Well, everyone is doing it, so it's not that bad."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What Are You Saying?

Sometimes people say things that they mean.

Sometimes, people say things that they don't mean.

Sometimes, people say things which mean one thing, but hope that you understand another meaning in between the lines.

Sometimes, people say things that mean one thing, but intend the opposite.

Sometimes, people say one thing, but withhold important information.

Sometimes, people lie.

Sometimes, people say one thing, and hope you can fill in the blanks for them.

Sometimes, people when asked a question, answer back with a question.

Sometimes, people ask a question concerning you, but really want an answer for themselves.

Sometimes, people ask a question, but it is really a statement. ("Why you so like dat?" Is not a question, it's a statement.)

Sometimes, people say nothing, but say a lot with their bodies.

With all these permutations... it's a wonder we can ever communicate!