Thursday, September 07, 2006

Be Inspired by People

The business world promotes that inspiration begets invention. And discipline makes it pay. Innovation paints a dull picture of a lone, sleep-deprived genius crunching numbers in a modest garage. Yes, you can invent by yourself, but you can't innovate that way. You must be inspired. The great people in history don't get innovative by locking themselves in a closed room, they get inspired by connecting with the outside world filled with interesting things, and most importantly interesting people. People are the secret to inspiration. You are inspired by the chemistry of human element. A world that includes the human element, along with the other elements, is a very different world indeed. Suddenly, chemistry is put to work solving human problems. Relationships are built between aspirations and commitments. And the energy released from human endurance fuels a boundless spirit that could make God the Creator proud. Your world that welcomes change is about to meet the element of change: People. Pay attention to them daily.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Let Importance, Not Urgency, Drive.

Developing a good eating habit is important. Feeding a hungry stomach is urgent. Which aspect should drive your diet: constantly eating on the run to beat the clock, or continually enjoying a healthy diet for the long haul? You get the picture, don't you? I hope you do. See you on your 100th birthday.

Define Specific Goals to BE, DO, and HAVE

I wanted to BE a white-collar crime fighter at ICAC.
I want to BE the owner of a Jook (porridge) Exchange Restaurant.

I wanted to DO bike tours to all state capitals in the U.S.
I want to DO peace-time tour to Jerusalem.

I wanted to HAVE a yacht to flee Hong Kong before 1997.
I want to HAVE a hill-top house facing the Pacific Ocean.

What did/do you want to BE, to DO, and to HAVE?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Divide Time-Specific from Time-Flexible Activities

Activity is typically more urgent when it is time-specific. For instance, your passport has expired. You must renew it if you were to plan a trip abroad.

If an activity can be time-flexible, it is usually important. Following the same metaphor, you must know your final destination in order to plan a flexible flight plan with the best connection and cheapest fare possible.

Both time-specific and time-flexible activities must be carefully dealt with. You should invest more energy in time-flexible activities than in the time-specific activities.

Importance should take precedent over urgency. You will sure be in better shape preventing fire than fighting one.

Navigate via the Weekly Compass

I wish I could tell you that I check my compass weekly. In reality, I am not. In the hustle and bustle of life, you've got to be an exceptional human if your attention spans beyond a day. The course of life will constantly be changing, unless you can escape to another planet. You need a compass of some sort to keep you pointing at the right direction. Your checking frequency will be entirely up to you. The key point is to check where you are heading as often as you can. We all have a biological "compass" to help us point to a productive and balanced life. What compass on earth am I talking about? King Solomon, the wisest man ever lived, has the answer. In Eccelesiastes 3:11 of the Bible, he wrote: "(God) has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." The ETERNITY set in our heart is just like the magnet of a compass, forever pointing to seek for God who has made everything appropriate in its time. Whether you like it or not, you have the tendency to worship God deep down in your heart. Can you feel your "compass" twirling inside your heart? Use it to navigate your life. Then just step back and wonder.

Plan for Productivity and Balance

Knowing yourself is half-way to win a battle. The game plan is to maximize strength and minimize weakness. Often times, the weakest link lies with the way we balance our resources and determine where the productivity sweet spot is.

Low hanging fruit always satisfies immediate pleasure, but it is by no means the final destination. Nonetheless, the act of harvesting low hanging fruit cultivates the beginning of a winning streak that will guide you to final victory.

Productivity begets real results and the path to success. Lacking it, you are just beating air, like running on a treadmill without the finish line. You also need to gain balance, knowing when to take a break, and when to garner up your final burst of energy for the final goal.

Productivity plus balance equal victory. This is your winning ticket in life.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Choose Big Rocks for the Greatest Positive Impact

Livelihood entails two must-have: the endurance to last, and a direction to guide. Mastering both masters life, and lacking either one lacks life. Entering the world, we were like a tiny stream up high at the river source, such as China's Yellow River having its source at a little spring in Tibet. Incrementing our birth years, we drift down to the ocean along countless miles of river course, meandering different places and encountering different people. Counting down to our last days, we reconnect with the immense sea, just as the Yellow River reconnect with the Yellow Sea in geo-convectional cycles. Physical big rocks don't move quickly; they roll along river beds, and erode over time in their course. Spiritual big rocks never erode, they ride along life and help us thrive. Jesus is the spiritual big rock. He can effect the greatest positive impact in life. Need positive life? Choose Jesus.

Surround Big Rocks with Small Rocks

Big ocean liner and small lake boat utilize anchor in a different way. Anchored lake boat still drags along lake floor. Ocean liner's anchor weighs it down even without reaching ocean bottom. Ocean depth is too far to reach anyway.

In life, size matters when stability does. Likewise, agility matters when maneuverability does. Navigating through life requires both. Deep in the open sea, ocean liner has the size and stability you can count on.

Back to the shallow harbor, lake boat ferries swiftly to scenic coves and beach heads. Where small is beautiful, large is comforting. Maneuvering through life, it makes sense to surround the big rocks with the small ones.

How do you line up your rocks?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Realistically List, Check, and Prioritize

Come on! Let's be real. We cannot comfortably keep up with our chores and things-to-do.

The laundry list can only grow. But if you really spend time to prioritize -- sorting out the importance from the urgent matters, you will have some ideas about whether you are investing your time and energy wisely and efficiently.

I used to have three categories of "container" at my email address: File, Keep, and Toss.

I wear a smile more often if I clear my inbox and act on each of them by throwing it into one of the three "container". I would be really really smiling when the file category has just enough everything I need to have for future reference. Better yet, if my memory still serves me well, I'd rather archive them within my brain, or close to heart. I would burst into endless laughter if I don't have to prioritize after all.