Monday, December 22, 2008

Giving up on your dream


Come across this blog posting from my regular blog site The Simple Dollar. The post was about On Giving Up the Dream. It's a very interesting post since we all have dream in our life. Dreams makes us perform impossible task. Dreams allows us to stretch beyond our comfort zone. Dreams makes the world what's so advanced now.

I pity Matt that he had to give up on his dream and back to his previous job. We don't have to give up easily without having a thorough analysis and pondering of the mind

The blogger state the few food for thoughts. My comments in red

Following a dream doesn’t have to simply be an on-and-off switch. I followed my writing dream in my spare time for years before finally finding the opportunity - and building up the courage - to take it on full time.

So, if you’re thinking of taking the money and walking away from your dream, remember that it’s not such a dramatic choice. Work hard and earn a good income, but instead of just idling during your spare time, use that spare time to chase your dream.

Matt, consider this: when you go back to work, agree to devote at least an hour a day out of your spare time to keeping up with your dream. Put aside an hour in the evening when you might otherwise be watching television or idling and just simply write. Don’t worry about selling anything you write - just write and focus on getting better.

I truly agree with the author on this. Sometimes our dreams is not a straight line between point A to point B. In these troubled times, we need to be realistic and make sure enough money can be brought home. How much time you devote to it will determine how long you'll be achieving your dream

Instead of focusing on making money from your dream, focus instead on getting people interested in what you do. Take The Simple Dollar, for example. I can think of hundreds of ways that I could earn more money from the site - more aggressive advertising, content partnerships, and so on. If my focus were solely on squeezing money out of the site, I’d be following a lot of these opportunities.

But that’s not my focus. My focus is on the writing. My focus is on trying to reach as many people as possible with a positive message about turning around their financial lives. That often means saying no to opportunities for earning money.

What do I have instead? I have tens of thousands of visitors to my website each day. I have 44,000 people subscribed by RSS and email who receive the stuff I write each day. In other words, I have my dream right there. As a writer, I don’t dream of getting rich. I dream of reaching thousands of people with the written word.

By focusing on the writing first above all else, I’ve found readers, enough so that I can do what I want to do and only put up an ad or two to pay the bills. Once you connect with people, the money follows. The key is connecting first.

Sometimes, money shouldn't be our biggest motivator when working on dreams. Doing your dreams things will give you the energy and motivation to perform better. When you become the expert and you have the skill to achieve your dream, I'm sure the money will comes along the way. That had been proven in many success stories i.e. Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and many more.

Reach out to people who are living your dream. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several writers. Most of them were quite happy to talk to me, answer my questions, offer encouragement, and give me a few pointers. All it took was a respectful query (along with a realization that I had to set my sights on a realistic target - Stephen King isn’t going to answer those letters if he gets a thousand a day).

If you have an opportunity to build a friendship with a person who is doing what you dream of doing, put effort into building that relationship. Surrounding yourself with people who are actually doing interesting and amazing things creates an environment where it’s much easier for you to chase your dreams. You naturally begin to keep your eye on the ball more and begin to see what you need to do in a new light.

Getting along with the community/association/fellowship are very important. You get emotional and physical support from the people. That in turns create a synergistic environment for everyone as well. As you start to "soar with the eagle" you won't be an ostrich again.

Even if things never work, don’t believe that you are a failure. One of my friends dreamed for years of being a comic book artist. He spent all of his spare time drawing amazing comic book-style art - stuff that, in my opinion, was superior to much of the art in mainstream comics.

After spending ten years trying to break in, he gave up. He convinced himself he was a failure, tossed out all of his art supplies, and spent years in something of a depressed haze, believing he was worthless.

There's never a failure just learned experience. We always look up upon Thomas Edison for his never dying attitude when looking for the perfect filament for the light bulb. Whatever happen to our baby nature when we always get up after we fall down while learning how to walk. We should always remind ourselves on that.

He isn’t worthless. You’re not worthless. Quite often, when you’re chasing a dream, you do have your finger on the pulse of your natural talent. The only problem is that sometimes that talent isn’t being directed in the right way. Perhaps Matt has the perfect skill set for being a great technical writer. My friend (I believe) has an amazing skill set for being a scientific illustrator.

I think we need to have correct frame of mind and recently the book by Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers do mentioned that we only be exceptionally good when we've tried 10000 hours on things that you want to master upon. Have you done the same before letting go of your dream ?

I would like to add 1 more to those above. I would say attitude matters. Do you have the correct attitudes and mindsets towards your dreams. You'll simply be amaze on the level of achievement that you be able to achieve. Have you honestly ask yourself if you have the right attitude ? With right approach, divine intervention may assist you along the way. Why not study from those great dream achievers in our life history ? What attitudes and character sets do they have ?

In conclusion, dreams is always within your reach as long as you put your heart and mind to it. Are you doing things towards your dreams at the moment ?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oprah's Big Give


I came across the show in the NTV7 on Tuesday night 8.30pm when trying to check on the election result of Permatang Pauh yesterday. I guess this is really a coincidence to find a good TV show.

The show was called Oprah's Big Give. This is a very innovative and beneficial to the community. It's putting a new twist to a normal reality show where it's encouraged giving rather than getting. In this episode, all the contestants were given USD100 000 to spend on to help with the community.

The catch is you can't give the money out directly and secondly you can give up to USD500/person or USD10000/charitable organization/foundation. There's a time limit of 12 hours for that task. If you think it's easy to give out that sum amount of money, think again. In the end, only 1 contestant was able to give it out all away.

Viewers were shown how each contestant trying their best in giving out the money they received. Most of the time the people are indeed skeptical initially since there's just too good to be true. But once they know that it's for real, people accept it graciously. We would say it's truly heart warming event when seeing people really touched by their kindness.

We truly wish that similar show can be done in Malaysia. There's a lot of people indeed need help and nowadays the inflation are more than 20 years high. It would really make the difference to the world.

The contestants will be eliminated by a panel of judges via voting. This is different from the The Survivor where contestant trying to vote someone out. Judging criteria includes creativity and effort performed throughout the challenge. There's even Jamie Oliver as a judge too.

In conclusion, the world truly need more random act of kindness... let's hope it continues on to Season 2...

If you seriously would like to know more, you can check it out here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My thoughts on Beijing 2008 Olympics


Me and Ah Bi had been watching Beijing 2008 Olympics every night without fail since the beginning on the 8th of August. Whether it's swimming, cycling or athletics, those 29 contested sports are truly mesmerizing. To see all the world class athlete performing is a wonderful experience. I can see the athlete give all their best hoping to get an Olympic medal in honour of their country. They make new friends and rekindling their existing friendship among the players. In every sports, the athlete use this as their world class stage. Their ability and the spirit truly spellbinding.

My thoughts on those winning the Olympic gold medal or people aspiring to be olympian. Sort of my 10 points on how to be a winner !
1. It's like becoming a millionaire. The first gold medal is always the hardest. Once you get it, you tend to get more. Think Michael Phelps btw.
2. I always remember this Chinese saying "Toi siong yat fern zhung, toi har sap lien kung" That meant a wonderful performance on stage is actually attributable to lots of hard work at the background. When watching those gymnastics event, their agility and their prowess shows a lot of hard work to reached that.
3. You must have the hunger/confidence to win. That reminds me of our Malaysia compatriot badminton player - Lee Chong Wei. He only get Silver medal. He's just hoping that the other opponent to crack under pressure rather than to improve oneself. No wonder he lost by a considerable margin.
4. Set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audicious Goal) - When I see how Michael Phelps set a goal of 8 goal medals, there's a lot of pessimism on him achieving that. He never gives up and focus on himself to succeed. Amidst all those challenge, he went for it. Now he's considered the athlete that won the most medal in Olympic history
5. Treasure your moment - When the athlete is on top of the podium receiving the gold medal, they truly cherished it. Whether it's singing the national anthem of their nationality or ecstatic. It's truly an emotional event to see. It's time to enjoy the fruit of your labour.
6. Don't ever give up - I can see a lot of athlete didn't win in their previous Olympic games. They not just trained harder but improved as well. When the goings get tough, the tough gets going.
7. Be mentally prepared. This goes without saying, in most sports, the winning margin is very little. Some just 0.01 second or 1 point margin. I would say it's negligible. What determines between the winner and the loser in the end is how calm or mentally strong when it's not went on their way initially.
8. Give out your best - In watching those events, the athlete will give out their best. How do you know ? Their personal best record. When commentator giving those statistics, that truly makes me felt you won't regret it later down the road even if you're not winning. At least you give your best short. As someone would say make a dent in the universe.
9. Enjoy and have fun - Sometimes when you're not enjoying the process, you may not feel relaxed and not giving out your best. I can see Usain Bolt winning the 100m & and 200m effortlessly and he enjoys it in the process.
10. Focus - In those shooting or archery event or games that requires extreme precision and focused mind. One need to trained and accumulate those experience to be extremely focus. Same in life as well, do focus things that feel important and makes the most difference (Think Tipping point or 20/80 perhaps ?)

As the Summer Olympic draws to a close this Sunday, this is by far the most memorable, grand and exciting sports event that I've witnessed. We're still hoping when Malaysians can finally get their Gold medal in Olympics. Hopefully we can try harder and be better in 2012 London summer Olympics... until then, it's time to contemplate back on life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gone to SAP Summit 2008

Last Thursday (10/7) me and Ah Bi was going to SAP Summit. The venue was KL Convention Center. Ah Bi wanted to listen to SME Business forum where a Taiwan speaker Mr Zhang Hong Zhi on Internet Marketing in the afternoon. So, we arrived at 9.05 am. As I've registered via the internet earlier, I was able to collect my tags while Ah Bi proceed to register on site. To my surprise, Ah Bi was denied the registration ! Ah Jue was disappointed that they denied the registration simply because the position was Internet Marketer and without a company name. I guess those registration folks really see people by their title instead of intention. Ah Jue then proceed to reason with them why they denied the registration. They told us that she can only go in as a public in the afternoon. I voiced my dissatisfaction and finally they allowed Ah Bi to register. We then proceed to view the exhibition and listen to the intro, keynote, thought leadership and Sin Chew success story session.

We went off to register to SME business forum session on 11am after we get our initial info from those registration staff. After arriving there, people from the counter recommend us to come back at 1pm. Another issue of communication between group I guess. After 1pm arrived, we register our name for the SME business forum. Ah Jue was given a book on Eu Yan Sang success story while Ah Jue was queuing at the back. When it's time for Ah Bi turn, they only register her without giving a book. Looks like another discrimination when one register as Internet Marketer. How unfair ! How can we improve when the mentality still at the very primitive stage... At the business forum, we listen to Mr Loke Eng Hock (MD of Eu Yan Sang) on how Eu Yan Sang was innovating over the years to arrive at the current stage where it's in the business of selling gratitude.

All in all, we left at 4.50pm to escape the KLCC jam and we managed to do that.

Moral of the story :
Company see people based on title and not based on actual individual intentions. Is it because Internet Marketer cannot know how SAP work ?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nothing fails like success


Today is Sunday. As usual Ah Jue had woke up on after 10 in the morning. Thinking that we should have a good breakfast and haven't have something good for a while, I decided that me and Ah Bi should eat our Pork noodle. This noodle stall is inside a coffee shop in Taman Taming Jaya - Jln Taming Kanan 2. There were many tables in that shop. Most of it occupied by patrons eating their breakfast. On those tables that are unoccupied, the plates and leftover was piling up on the table. When Ah Jue approach workers to cleanup those stuff on the table so that we can sit, it was met with Tidak Apa (Don't care) attitude. I guess the shop is having too much business that its completely forgotten about customer service. I decided to wait for another empty table that have not have much leftover to seat there.

In reality, I see that very often in business world. When business is becoming too good, it neglect the very essence of it's own success - the worker who help them, great environment and good food. The owner tend to overwork, underpaid them. They have low morale and tired all the time. Business is not just about profit all the time but include customer service. It includes creating/giving more value to the customer than they expected. Reflect about it, how might our personal life, company we work on, the country we life on had become the victim of it's own success. Try to understand and take appropriate action on your capacity and make it right. Isn't life would be much better to live in ?

As for me, I won't be going to that coffee shop in a near future. They just lost a customer there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bank's Good Customer Service!!

Ah Bi went to the Hong Hong Bank Branch at Seri Kembangan area yesterday to pay her insurance premium due to her standing instruction was declined (due to her credit card was cancelled by Pong Pong Bank with to an irrational reason!).

Ah Bi happily drove to the Branch and parked her car steadily. This was her first time visiting Hong Hong Bank. She expected this simple transaction should be settled fast. Her first impression when stepped into the Branch was, wah!! not enough lighting! and though there are about 4 desks and few staffs (she assumed those are the customer service officers) there but they were not friendly and showing the 'tidak apa' attitude as she was looking for some help. Of course she have to open her mouth finally and asked one of the staffs how she can proceed with her payment.

The staff simply answered her question and said 'You just go in la.. go in there la...' , Ah Bi was like???? puzzled a while? go where? any special counter for the transaction or need to take any number??? She asked further and the staff just said ' Ya, take number and wait la...'. OK!!! Ah Bi followed the instruction and quickly ran to the queue system machine to press for a number lor.. Ah Bi thought she will not wait long as there were not many customers waiting at the waiting area.

She got her lucky number 1143 and the number displaying on the electronic board was 1123 at that moment, that means she needs to wait for about 20 persons before her turn. As Ah Bi was working in the Pong Pong Bank before, 20 persons should take around 15 to 20 minutes with few counters opened. Ah Bi decided to wait patiently and doing nothing (because nothing to do...). Ah Bi started to observe the counter service in that branch. There are 4 counters but only 3 are occupied and 2 are operating! The 2 cashiers who were operating the counters were working as slow as the snails. Wow! how come until today these people still never changed to work faster and more efficient! They are wasting customers' time!

Besides their snail slow operations, they do not have proper signage to guide customers for special transactions eg. cheque book collection, foreign worker transactions (or maybe is some money transfer transactions), etc. Ah Bi saw some foreign workers who were started waiting before Ah Bi and later they found out they had taken a different/wrong queue of numbers when they thought it was their turns. That means they had to take their numbers again and keep waiting!! Though they are foreign workers, they deserved respects and proper guidance in doing their transactions! Furthermore there all only 2 counters serving for all kinds of transactions! What is the purpose of having another queue of tickets! To be fair, it should be done via first come first serve basis!

After all, it took Ah Bi an hour sharp to wait for her turn (it was also due to most of the numbers called in between had gone). At this new age, it was such a disappointment on their customer service, and Ah Bi think she won't bank with this bank in future.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Brace yourself - inflation is coming


Today, I've woke up that inflation is creeping up since the petrol price increase on 6th June. When buying my chee cheong fun breakfast , I realized that it's costing 3.70 for 3 piece of cheong fun and 2 side variety. Wow ! I used to eat at 50 cents a piece but 70 cents a piece ? Come on, next time, no people will afford to eat breakfast. Else what we all heard, makan roti lor.... (literally meant that we only afford to eat bread here as a culture of not enough money/frugal) The 2nd shock of my life was at the Boh Loong coffee shop to take away for my Teh-C (A concoction of tea + evaporated milk). Price had increased 10 cents to RM 1.60 ! When asked the owner of the coffee shop, he said price of the milk can had increased and he already foresee that his increased will be lower than market rate by 10 cents ! Talk about prediction !

Now that in the coming months our electricity bill will be up as well. I foresee lot more shop out there will increase their price to cover their operations. Why can't those shop think about innovation and alternative solution in rendering out the product/service ? I truly disappointed in this. Looking for easy way out instead of thinking through is becoming everybody's thought. I wonder when will salaried employee have their turn in increasing in salary.... Do you think our Deputy Prime Minister commented that we should change our lifestyle is just another no "walk the talk" principle...