Keep clam and strong in a dynamic world

We are living in a very dynamic world in many folds. One particular case is the spin caused by coronavirus originated from Wuhan, China,

Many people died because the infections and complications caused by coronavirus. The situation has become so sever that people in Wuhan are under quarantine, different places identified with positive infections worldwide are under quarantine… anyone comes from China needs to be quarantined fro two weeks before she can go out…

What are consequences of all these?

  • People in China are delayed to go to work, or work from home.
  • Universities, all schools are turning into online educations.
  • International companies manufacture products, parts or raw materials in China are not in their capacity for the planned production goals.
  • TXS had deep dive yesterday (biggest in ten years) because of the fear of spreading of coronavirus.
  • International supply chains are disrupted due to the quarantines in China.
  • Individuals in China have limited activities to have real time face to fact interactions, or even outdoor activities…
  • Some People outside of China become racists towards Chinese…

What a world are we living in?

We are living in an close connected world, fluid world, and vulnerable world.

The world becomes smaller, because we all interconnected. Any changes in one country will impact the activities in other countries.

The whole world is like a family. Any changes from a family member will cause others members to do something new or additional. Therefore, other members are changing too.

Changing is infectious. Changing is infinite.

A true calling for an individual is to be true to oneself, know who you are, what you want, whom do you want to become, and whom do you want to know…

When we know or seek to know who we are with an open mind, we are on the road for self liberation, freedoms. We accept changes, we adapt to changes, we make changes. Then we evolve.

The adaptability is the strongest skill. That’s why coronavirus can survive and caused so many death. We need adapt our capability to out-survive coronavirus, and we can, and we are.

No need for panic.

No need for complain.

We are strong. We have things to do.

We focus. We agile. We triumph.

How to get unstuck at work and move forward

– The number one crucial step is to get where you want to be

Linda is my best friend.

After she graduated from a university in pharmaceutical with a Master degree, she landed a nice job with the largest State owned pharmaceutical company in China. After eight years, she became the youngest senior engineer in the company and was assigned with an international project to work in Tokyo in a Nobel Prize Winner’s laboratory.

Linda completed her project in two years in Japan, published her research results on a peer-reviewed international journal…

She applied grant after returning from Tokyo. She was pumped with energy and excitement with her new learning and research capability after coming back to her company. She wanted to contribute more…

However, her grant application got denied.

Linda was back to where she was two years ago.

How do you feel if you were Linda? Disappointed? May be.

But, life moves on.

Would you stay where you are if you were Linda?

The reality was that being in a state owned pharmaceutical company is like that you already have your golden bow for the rest of your life, with the nice salary and benefits. And Linda’s family and friends were around as well…

Linda was frustrated, not satisfied with her situation at work…

Time passed by… one week… one month… three months…

Linda was not happy, and she noticed that she developed shoulder pain, and neck pain… The pains became so sever that she had to see her doctor…

She had medication, acupuncture and message treatments…

Six months passed by her pains were still lingering around…

She went to an international conference to present her research in Japan. A professor from Canada was very interested in her research and came to her asking questions. The discussion went for a while… and Linda was encouraged to apply for a Ph.D study in his lab.

So she did,

Linda followed her heart – the internal craving for growth, bravely with clear determination. And her pains mysteriously disappeared soon after.

Person growth is the number drive for our happiness. If you are not satisfied with your situation, look internally and pay attention what makes you tick.

Very often, what makes us tick, makes us burst to sing, usually reflects our personal value, and what is meaningful for us.

So become more aware of those signals. Become more clear with what you want and why you want it.

Once you are clear what you want, you are half way to your success.

Go deep to find what you want today. Clarity is the key.

Success is to do the best with what you have

SRAS-like virus originated from Wuhan is spreading in China now. As it’s the Spring Festival holiday season, most of the people in China are on holidays.

To control the spreading of the virus, everyone is encouraged to stay home, as public transportation has been cancelled in some of the cities.

I am visiting my parents in China and get home-bound because of the virus situation.

After four days, I started felt a little bit restless. And so are my parents.

What can I do to make my time with them more enjoyable?

We played some games. Then we started to chat… somehow I wanted to learn more about my parents, especially about my dad. This is because my mom said the other day that my dad has secrets. My mom learned one secret about my dad last year after they have been married for 57 years!

She thinks my dad has more secrets.

This certainly draws my attention. I became very curious and my dad is happy to share with me about his past.

I chatted with my dad this morning about his past: how did he change his jobs, what did he do for each position, what were the biggest challenges, how did he handle his challenges, what are his views on the Chinese history, and what is his believe, how did he deal with people having different capabilities…

I learned so much about my dad in a couple of hours than the last 30 years!

My dad never thought about how to be more successful in his whole life. He was assigned or appointed for each position by his organizations. However, for every single position he had, he always strived to do his best.

He had technology education. But he was appointed to be a young leader to do social management work because of his capabilities.

He had to learn everything from the scratch when he began to do the job – as we currently called public relations. He has innate talent for building up network and relationships. He worked hard to teach himself in theory and then taught others.

For each position he had, he was grounded to do his job with focus, with his principles and believes.

These are his secrets for success. And he is a successful man, respected by many.

Some secrets he told me are that he payed attention to his environment: what was the primary focus, what is more important, use storytelling to influence people.

My dad is a good story teller. He is very proud that he never asked others to write his speeches.

I told my parents that we should learn these stories about my dad years ago. They say, well, may be now is the better time because you appreciate them more.

I do appreciate these stories about my dad. I am very appreciative that I have such a wise, smart, diligent, kind and soft heart dad.

If I can summarize the biggest secret for my dad’s success, it is:

Do the best with what you have.

Do more essentials every day

Today someone asked me what are the 90 – 95% of my essentials in life? In another word, what are the 90-95% most important things in my life?

I as stumbled for a while before I can get some items out on a piece of paper.

He asked me another question, “What are the 5-10% nonessentials in your life?”

This took me a few minutes to get the answer.

These two questions are insightful.

By writing down the essentials and nonessentials, I have realized that I really need take time to recheck these periodically.

The most important things in my life are my essentials. How much attention and energy have I given to them? Do I also use 90-95% of my time and focus on them? How do I improve?

Realizing those nonessentials has made me realized that I have used too much of my time on them, way above 5-10% of my focus. I will need cut down my attention for those nonessentials.

Action for you:

  • Check your essentials and nonessentials in your life
  • Check how much time and energy you spent on each category
  • Put your 90-95% of your effort on your essentials and 5-10% of your effort on nonessentials
  • Come up with a action plan: what one thing can you do each day to increase your attention to your essentials by 1%? How long will you get to the point that you spend 90-95% of your energy on essentials?

By follow this action plan, I will invite you with me to begin the New Year – the New Century’s journey together!

What is chasing you?

We are in a very dynamic and turbulent world now. Things are constantly come and thrown to us.

How can we find a peace of mind, keep focusing on our priority and do things confidently and efficiently?

What I found that works for me is to keep asking three questions:

  1. Where do I want to go?
  2. What is chasing you?
  3. What future do I want to create?

First, “where do I want to go” gives me the sense of direction. This includes the goals I want to achieve, milestones to reach etc.

I need to be clear on this and align me actions to the goal every day. This goal is my filter of doing my work or living my life.

Second, “what is chasing you” let’s me having an internal dialogue with myself. Why I feel the way I’m feeling now? What makes me feel this way?

When I was in elementary grade one, I was chosen to be in a musical band. The musical teacher said I have the natural figures for Erhu (one Chinese music instrument), therefore I should be in the band.

Being in the band means I had to go practice after school. I hated. I began to escape the practice. Many times later, my band teacher went to my home talking to my parents about it.

I felt the shame of escaping the band and became very sensitive to criticizes and rejections at work.

Only after many years at work, I realized how the childhood experience had been chasing me for what I did and how I behaved in the past.

Now I have become much better in handing rejections and critiques. But the childhood experience had chased me many many years.

After recognizing my “trauma” and it’s impact on me, I have becoming more conscious my emotional experience and not let it being on my way.

Third, “what future do I want to create” has huge impact on my life. This is the light house of our journey.

If you can picture what do you want to create for you, you can live the future in your NOW. This is a very powerful initiative for me. It is the reason why I get up every morning from the bed and pumped up.

Summary:

These three powerful questions can change your life. And they can create a sense of self peacefully and happily do what your calling requires you to do.

Ask yourself the three questions and put your answers into action. I hope you can stand tall and still in this chaotic world.

Design your environment for your growth and success

I was living in an apartment on the 31st floor of a building two year ago.

The building is located in a very nice private community with many facilities conveniently nearby. I can go down stairs and walk 50 steps or so to a Recreation Sport Center.

Therefore, I went to the Rec Center regularly for running. I became a runner.

Then I moved to another city to another apartment, which is not close to any sport center. However, there is nice yoga studio near by. Soon I became a yoga lover and only occasionally go out for a run.

Even though I love the feeling after running and I have tried a few times to discipline myself to keep running regularly, but I have hard time to keep it up.

I find I always have some reasons for not going out for a run: it’s a gloomy day; it’s a little bit cold; it’s a little bit hot; the traffic is busy; the pavement is not even…

You see, the environment has a big impact on my behavior. I choose easy route to do things.

This tendency also reflects in my life for doing other things.

One of the laws for forming a habit by James Clear is to “Make it easy”.

Therefore, if you want to success and grow a good habit, in addition to your motivation, one important thing is to make your action easy; it is to create an environment in favor of your action.

James stated that there are four laws for forming a habit:

  1. Making it obvious
  2. Make it attractive
  3. Make it easy
  4. Make it satisfying

Among the laws, “Make it easy” by changing your environment is the one easily being overlooked, yet it is a very important factor for your success.

Back to my previous story. I moved to a house after two years living in the apartment near by a yoga studio. The house is very close to a Rec Sports Center. Now, living in this house, I start running again!

I chose the place where I live. I want it be close to a sport center. This close proximity makes my life so easy. I enjoy running and yoga and other facilities and activities offered by the center. I feel good about myself after exercises. I enjoy the energy generated from my regular exercises.

My habit comes back to me.

This experience can be applied and it has spilled over to my life in other areas.

Changing your environment, change your life.

Changing your friends, change your life.

I ask you take an inventory of your life:

  1. If you want to improve your life for better, 1% better by end of the week, what one change you want to make?
  2. What environment you need create to make yourself easier to make the change?

Design your environment, you will one step close and easier close to your success.

Use your “placebo” to show your confidence

I found that if I jotted down a few lines I need to say for a meeting beforehand, these lines serve me very well.

I could forget some details. But these lines are my lighthouse directing me to navigate during the meeting. I could regain my confidence with those lines. They also serve me as my placebo and back born for my confidence during those occasions.

Similarly, I can give myself some prep-talk when I am not sure what I can do and how do I act during other occasions. This kind of talk backs me up, serve me as my placebo many times over.

You can be as good as your placebo.

Dr. Joe Dispenza said, “You are the placebo: mind matters”. He has documented many cases for patients who believe placebo effect have reversed their illness and sickness.

We can psychic our mind and prepare our mentality, for good or for bad.

With all the placebo effect, why not you choose the one good for you?

Because when we lack confidence, we are suffering. We are stressed. We do silly things and regret. We make our family and friends worried as well.

We get to set our intention, our placebo, our mind to make us feel confident. So that we can be our good, better and best self.

Here are a few steps you can start:

  1. Make a collection of your positive peak moments
  2. When you feel the little monkey in your belly drumming up and down, find a quite place and take a few deep breath
  3. Create your placebo
  4. Use your placebo freely when you need it

Use your peak moments to create confidence

Do you remember the latest peak moment in your life?

Can you reflect what had happened during this memorable moment? How did this moment affected you?

I remember one of the peak moments happened to me in 2012. I was leading a multinational team for a conference call. The call went very well, beyond my expectation. The team was able to reach a decision after an engaged discussion.

I was hosting the conference. The whole experience always remind me that I was like a conductor of a symphony band. The whole band was so well understanding each other and so well prepared themselves. As a conductor, I was able to coordinate each extraordinary individual for them to be their best self. I am very proud of myself and the team.

This experience happened seven years ago. I still feel the moment. Whenever I go back to relive that moment, I always gain energy and confidence. And I know I can repeat the experience. I actually did repeat it.

See, there are four elements involved in a positive peak moment:

  1. Insights
  2. Elevated feeling
  3. Connection with others
  4. Pride

I would like you to reflect your peak moment when you feel lacking of confidence. You can use time travel experience going back to that moment.

Find a quiet place, image that you are at that peak moment. From that moment to see how can you use it for your NOW moment.

How can you create the elevated feeling, insight and connect with others, so that you are proud of yourself?

Hold that image and act on it.

Recognization is the first step going to confidence

My hands are shaking. My palms are wet. I am standing on a stage to start my first public speech in a club.

My brain is blank. What I have prepared last night is no where to be found…

I am frozen.

Time passes by. It feels like hours long.

No one laughs at me. No one makes fun at me. They look at me with smiles, expectations and encouragement,

One begins to applaud. Another one joins in. Then another, another one…

Everyone is applauding now.

I feel warm, safe, loosed up, my body circulation backs on. I an mot frozen any more.

I begin to speak.

I don’t know what I have said any more. But the whole experience has stacked with me forever.

I recognize that with a safe environment I can regain my confidence. If this happens to me once, it can happen to me again. My experience can be repeated.

We learn knowledge from schools with hope that we can recognize the situations where we can use it (repeat the knowledge) someday.

The purpose of the education is to prepare us to gain cognitive experience other people have for our future benefits. So that we can recognize them for our gains in life and career. Therefore, we may be able to repeat the success others have.

This principle applies to you is to gain your recognition when you have a life experience where you are scared, feel defeated, feel on the peak your life and career, and remember those moments.

When you are not confident facing a situation, reflect one of your past experience that you think you can “repeat” in a way giving enough energy to move forward.

Confidence is an experience.

You can be confident anytime if you can recognize your situation and choose to move on anyway.

Confidence is a choice.

Confidence is a working progress.

Confidence is a practice.

You can be confidence if you have done it once in your life.

Suggestion for you:

1. prepare your precognition by reflection your life experience and knowledge.

2. When you feel not confident, take a deep breath and moment to find your precognition, repeat what you have prepared.

3. Take an action forward

What are the real skills that serve you life time?

We interview two most promising candidates for one important position for the company.

The two candidates have stellar resume, great interviews (three rounds after initial screening interview). They both are in their early forty, full of energy and ambition.

The executive interview committee members come together to vote for The One after the last round of interview. Strangely, contrary to previous Interview results, this vote is tilted to candidate B.

The reason?

Most committed members feel certain uncertainty about candidate A, but hard to put a finger on the exact reason.

I would call this as instinct, a haunch, or a doubt, or may lack of some trust.

As matter of fact, we all have similar experience under different circumstances. We know some people have excellent education, but hard to connect, difficult to work with. These people, we say, lack of “soft skills”.

Soft skills we refer here include personality traits, such as

  • resilience,
  • generosity,
  • honesty,
  • open minded,
  • empathy,
  • sympathy,
  • grit,
  • kindness,
  • communication skills,
  • Emotional maturity…
  • etc.

As a matter of fact, these so called soft skills are The Real Skills we all need to have a sustainable career, to have fulfilled and happy life.

Employees without these real skills, a company will not operate healthily for long. And employees will not be very happy working there.

These real skills are difficulty to measure, to quantify. Therefore, it’s difficulty for companies to use them as hiring criteria.

Knowing there are so many self helping books regarding the development of these skills, more and more coaches come to help people discover their real skills, I feel the time for mastering the real skills is coming.

To develop these real skills is hard. It is scary. It needs a lot of work.

We will get to face:

  • our fear of imposter
  • Fear of imperfect
  • Fear of not good enough
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failure…

Only when we take charge of fear, we can take a moment to see things from other’s shoes. We can bounce back to our life to do things we get to do. We can grow our muscles stronger. Then we can develop our real skills further.

Educations are necessary for us to learn.

The real skills can get us to a more productive, happier and long lasting route.