Showing posts from March, 2014

My Favorite Stories about Life #1: Get comfortable not knowing

There once was a village that had among its people a very wise old man. 
The villagers trusted this man to provide them answers to their questions and concerns. 
One day, a farmer from the village went to the wise man and said in a frantic tone, “Wise man, help me. A horrible thing has happened. My ox has died and I have no animal to help me plow my field! Isn’t this the worst thing that could have possibly happened?” The wise old man replied, “Maybe so, maybe not.” 

The man hurried back to the village and reported to his neighbors that the wise man had gone mad. Surely this was the worst thing that could have happened. Why couldn’t he see this? The very next day, however, a strong, young horse was seen near the man’s farm. Because the man had no ox to rely on, he had the idea to catch the horse to replace his ox—and he did. How joyful the farmer was. Plowing the field had never been easier. He went back to the wise man to apologize. “You were right, wise man. Losing my ox wasn’t the wor…

Chapter 5: Power, Knowledge, Human Capital

Only powerful people get to change the rules of society.No matter how disgruntled and frustrated you are by the stupidity of this world, if you do not have power, you cannot change a thing.

If you truly want to correct the problems you see in the world, if you truly want the ability to create the changes you wish, you need to stop whining and invest in yourself.

So how do we gain power? Personally, I've observed that power mainly comes from three things: Knowledge, Wealth and Network.

And knowledge is the king of them all. The power that comes from wealth is very transient. Your wealth is not stable, and you could possibly lose it at any moment. And since other people can gain wealth just as easily, the power that comes from wealth can easily be replaced by other people. Even your human network, as crucial as it is, can be pretty unstable (deaths, fights, falling out, etc). But your knowledge, your skills, your abilities, your education ... will stay with you for a very very long tim…

Chapter 4: Rules, Money, Purpose, Society

In an ideal world, the relationship between "how valuable and helpful you are to society" and "the money you make" would be linear. If we drew a graph of it, that would be a linear line going up and up. More valuable your job is, more you help society and advancement of the human kind--> more money will be awarded for your work. Doesn't that make sense?  As a child, I believed this. To this day, some people believe this.

This kind of society would reward the altruistic, hard-working, brilliant minds and punish the lazy and selfish. This system has the potential to motivate people to do good for the society and make themselves valuable, skilled and knowledgeable. It will give low standards of life to lazy, evil or selfish people who do nothing to help society while promoting and rewarding those who are selfless and want to advance society as a whole. In my mind, that is Justice.

But modern society doesn't work like this.
It looks more like this.

It doesn'…

Robert Greene's TED Talks on "Key to Transforming Yourself"

My favorite parts transcribed

"In early childhood, your primal inclinations manifested themselves by the fact that you felt particularly drawn to certain subjects and activities. You cannot rationally explain, why you felt so drawn to words, or to music, or to particular questions about the world, or social dynamics.

As you get older, you lose contact with this information. You listen to your parents, who urge you to follow a particular career path. Your teachers, your bosses. Your friends who tell you what's cool and not cool. At a certain point, you forget and lose yourself. So you enter career paths that are not suited to you EMOTIONALLY ... nor INTELLECTUALLY.

Your life's task is to return to those inclinations, to that uniqueness that marked each and every one of you, at birth. At whatever age you find yourself, you must reflect back on your earliest inclinations. Look at those subjects, in the Present, that continue to spark that child-like, intense curiosity in you. A…

Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Stephen Covey says that as we mentally mature, we move from dependence to independence to eventually interdependence.

Throughout my teenage years and my early 20s,  I was still mentally dependent on my single-mom and other authority figures in my life for deciding on my future path. I was still immature then - basking in the glory of the college years and living in that bubble. I never seriously thought about my future, how I will make a living, or how I will get to the places I want to go. I thought, as long as I listened to family advice, got good grades in this business major they recommended, graduated college and got a job, everything would turn out okay.

Which is true ... in a way. "Everything does turn out okay" when you get a job because it starts off the chain of Trial and Error - the first step to any progress in your life. It sets off the rest of your life in motion. But that first job often does not mean sunshine and rainbows (especially for the classes of 2010 and…

Trial and Error

To discover what you want in life (your interests, natural inclinations, curiosity,  motivators, things you find meaningful), you need one specific thing: "Taking Action".

You cannot expect to discover what you want in life, just by meditating it over and over in your mind. It is through experience, pain and checking things off the list ... that clarify your decisions.

Taking action, and the Trial and Error process of discovering your unique place in the world.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Scientists have been using a method called the "Scientific Method" to make scientific discoveries over the course of history. And it basically is built on the principle of "Trial and Error". You make a hypothesis based on the information you have, you take action, you analyze the results and then adjust your approach accordingly so that your NEXT ACTION can improve and get you closer to where yo…