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Posts Tagged ‘Chu Chin-Ning

Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

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We have been conditioned (trained / taught) to focus about our weaknesses.
For example,
1. parents scan the report cards of their children to focus on subjects their children need improvement, the failing grades are written in red, screaming for attention. Fortunately, my parents did not bother to look at my report cards.
2. teachers mark our homeworks, assignments, and exam papers with red inks. They do nothing on the correct answers, but our errors are marked with crosses.
3. bossses discuss on our weaknessess at annual performance review.
4. media loves to report stories of people who overcome their weaknesses to achieve great things.

Have we ever stopped to realize that focusing our strengths is more productive than improving our weaknesses?
Both Tim Ferriss and Chu Chin-Ning (whose books I read in autumn 2012) advocate us to focus on our strengths.

Yes, we can improve our weaknesses, but at slower pace.
The end results may be slight improvement, yet still mediocre.

Types of strength:
achiever / has stamina to work long hours
intellect / thinking
strategic / intuitive
futuristic / what can one does
relater / can relate with people
belief / has strong core values that one wil not compromise / stubborn

Note that a strength can also be a weakness, depending on the situations.

Remember that:
1. the key to success is to work with the way God designed us, focus on our strengths.
2. combine our strengths to create synergy and achieve greatness.
Many people may share the same individual strength as ours, but a combination of strengths shapes our uniqueness and identity, makes us outstanding if we can unleash the synergistic effects.
3. There are always abundance of opportunities for our particular combination of strengths. Jobs that do not make use of our strengths, require things that we are not strong in, are exhausting. If we have tried our best and still do not see desirable results, perhaps it is time to change jobs / career.
4. Every knife requires sharpening, similarly we must hone our strengths with knowledge, skills, and practice.

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Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

Thick face, black heart

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Normally, we do not want to be perceived as a person with thick face or black heart.
However, when Chu Chin-Ning cites Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln as the highest level practionists of thick face and black heart, I am curious to find out what thick face and black heart really mean according to the book entitled Thick face, black heart.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence is an extremely active force.
It has no room for cowardice or even weakness.
Not to be coward means one needs thick face.
Not to be weak means one needs black heart.

The author argues that when you want to be kind, you must also have black heart (a protective shield) / be ruthless.
Have you ever felt that it is easier to be compassionate to the nameless and faceless needy people (think of donating to charity, disaster victims) than to those who are special to us?
Through experience, our kindness / compassion / generosity is often abused.
They act as if we owe them.
The more we give, the more we should give.
It is human nature to abuse those who support and love us most.
For example, children abuses their parents or vice versa, husband abuses wife.
A proposed solution is to be kind / compassionate with a protective shield.

See also my mind map.

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

What are the masculine and feminine qualities to adopt for success?

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In the summer 2005, I went to pay a tribute to the Statue of Liberty for what she symbolizes: immense vitality, strength, and beauty. Do you notice that her face shows her inner masculine strength and determination?

In the summer 2004, I did not manage to see the Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence, but I believe that one day in the future I will be able to go around Italy with a lover.
David represents the highest perfection of man. Though he has muscled body, he also possesses sensitivity.

Based on the responses of the all-women participants in CNC’s seminar, here are what many intelligent and open-minded women think of as

MEN’S NEGATIVE QUALITIES
arrogant
demanding
egotistical
immature
insensitive
lazy
chauvinistic
patronizing
self-centered
ungrateful

WOMEN’S NEGATIVE QUALITIES
bossy
emotional
envious
gossipy
indecisive
insecure
moody
perfectionist
petty
timid

MEN’S POSITIVE QUALITIES
adventurous
analytical
bold / confident / courageous / risk-taker / audacious
focused
generous
in control
logical
open-minded
straightforward
strong

WOMEN’S POSITIVE QUALITIES
adaptable
committed
creative
empathetic
independent
intuitive
passionate
practical
resilient / bend but not break
sensitive

Well, if we look carefully in real world, certain women have many masculine qualities, and vice versa.

Sun Tzu teaches: Whether you should be more masculine or feminine depends on the situation / circumstances / environment / people you face. Do not be locked into a style or another. Be flexible.

Our fashion can help.
If you feel that you are too harsh / aggressive, wear a pale scarf or sexy lingerie beneath your power suit.
If you feel that you are too passive, wear a dark banker’s suit.

Written by blueroselady

October 8, 2012 at 1:29 am

How to manage disappointment and anger?

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The 1st Tuesday of Oct 2012 was a day when Blueroselady felt angry. She is rarely angre for most time.

She woke up very early to meet her boss, only to be told 10 minutes prior to the meeting that the meeting was going to be postponed.

With a thick face, she had to fight for a seat in the crowded public transport.

She had to share credits for a project with someone who contributed none.

She had to buy an iPhone 5 with contract for someone because his parents asked for help. Givent that the parents are semi retiree who live frugally, Blueroselady is disappointed that the son who just started college is going to pay a monthly bill that can pays for Blueroselady’s 3 month expenditure on mobile phone bill.

Looking back now, they all are trivial matters.

Often, when we are disappointed and angry, we are overwhelmed by the emotion that prevents us from thinking rationally. If this happens, how can we better manage our disappointment and anger?

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese proverb

Here are the strategies:

When you are angry, avoid reacting immediately (e.g. speaking, arguing, confronting, shouting), unless there are immediate dangers. Calm our minds and organize our thoughts 1st, so that we do not end up hurting / making others angry, and hence continuing the viscious cycle.

Siberian North Rail Road for Stop, Notice, Reflect and Respond.
Stop to take a deep breath. Taking a deep breath can really calm our minds.
Reflect why you are angry from a 3rd person perspective (neither victim nor offender).
Respond. You always have control / choice in how you are going to respond. Be the master of your emotion, instead of letting your emotion winning over you.

Love yourself. Make this top priority. Because you love yourself, you cherish your health, and you can command your mind to tell your feeling: ok, enough of anger.

Sufficient rest / sleep. Our health deserves the best care. This is part of loving ourselves.

Master the art of endurance. The character for ren in Chinese consists of a knife on top of a heart. Yes, it is painful to have a knife cutting our heart, but the result is endurance, resilience, and perseverance.

Learn a lesson. There are always things to be learned from every situation. There are things worth fighting, there are things that are better left (e.g. rude salespeople / customer services).

See the big picture in space and time. Ask yourself, will things / people that cause your anger matter in X amount of time (e.g. 1 year, 5 years time)? You may not bump into the person again. You may have moved to better places / positions. CNC told me that the best revenge is not revenge but by achieving success.

Visualize them as a little baby / child. It is hard to be angry at little children. This technique was learned from a kind lady LH.

Think of our role models. What are our role models going to do in such situation? Bring the matters to our daily counselor meeting, ask for their opinions.

Detach ourselves. We can care / love others, but we have to be detached from our care / love. In Blueroselady’s example, the character and spending habit of the son causes her pain (hence disappointment and anger) because she cares about the family. She can continue to care, give her best advices, but separate her feeling from the outcome of her efforts. How? by having low or no expectations.

Lower / have no expectations. Accept things and other people as they are. It is hard to change other people. Instead of wasting time to change others, it is better to improve ourselves.

See also the philosophy of life.

Written by blueroselady

October 5, 2012 at 8:17 am

How to deal with con artists?

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A mentor of mine CNC admitted that she has met many con men and women in her life.

I am using the law of repulsion, which is the opposite of the law of attraction. I pray that I am having Divine Protection whenever and wherever I am. Though there are bad people in the world, please do not allow me to be in the same time and place as they are. If I have to be in the same time and place as they are, please let them do not have any malicious intention towards me.

Besides using the law of repulsion , here are useful tips on how to deal with con artists.

What are the characteristics of con artists?
1. CREATIVE in both designing their schemes and carrying the cons.
2. DISCIPLINED. They systematically work toward their objective.
3. PERSISTENT. They never think about giving up.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC. They do not lie in bed and feel sorry for themselves. They are trying to get absolutely everything out of life that they can.
5. POSITIVE. They do not doubt that their plan will work.
6. OPPORTUNISTIC. They seize the moment.
7. HARD WORKERS. They are always "ON".
8. COOL under pressure. If you ask a con artist, "Are you conning me?" he or she will look you in the eyes and say, "How could you think that after all we have been through together?"
9. SYMPATHETIC. It is comforting to know that someone in the world "really understand you"
10. EMPATHETIC. They seem to take on your problems as their own.

Many of the characteristics are also shared by good friends, acquaintances, colleagues, mentors, and admirable role models. It is not easy to really know what is inside the heart of a person.

Who are con artists prey on? People with the following …
1. eternal optimism. People with open eyes, but do not see anything negative — or potentially negative — in anyone. Do not be too trusting, this makes you vulnerable. A simple guide is to use the 70:30 trusting ratio that MR told me.
2. greed. People who want to get something for nothing. There is no free lunch! Do not expect something for nothing. No one can con us if we want nothing from him / her.
3. insecurity. Please release the need to have others’ approval. Con artists are happy to butter up and tell insecure people how wonderful they are. Beware of those who praise / compliment us too much.
4. neediness (in emotional comfort). Con artists are sympathetic and empathetic. Is the person sympathetic and empathetic by nature, or only when s/he has something to gain from you?
5. power. Be careful when you have accomplishment. The higher we climb, the stronger the wind that blows us.
6. hunger for advancement. Con artists may take advantage of your ambition.

How to protect yourself from con artists?
1. self-understanding: understand our characters and circumstances. Do we have eternal optimism, greed, insecurity, neediness, power, or hunger for advancement?
2. use both LOGIC + GUT FEELINGS.
3. exhaust the con artist. Let them sing, dance, and give their entire bag of tricks, but we must be more persistent than they are. Do not give in.
4. avoid / stay away.

It is always good to be careful and the good news is many people are honest and good.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Why must we close the deal fast?

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The most important important of conducting warfare is aiming for a swift victory and avoiding a prolonged campaign.

The faster Blueroselady can close deals, the more valuable she will appear to her employer.

How to close the deal?
1. know our products
2. know our customer
3. does our product fit the customer’s needs?
4. ask for the business by simply asking for it, ask potential buyers if they are ready to make an offer
5. solve the customer’s problems

Even if you are not a salesperson, your job requires you to close deals, whether it is getting someone to return your phone calls, following through on projects you are developing, closing the loop on an outstanding request.

Indeed, my most challenging part of my job is to get my boss to approve my submission of projects (which I contribute a large portion of efforts). He has the habit of delaying, and my colleagues have also complained about the same situation. I accept his working style and strive not to be like him. I tried to speed up him before but it seems to result in his anger. Moreover, I have plan B and C in minds.

Besides business and works, closing deal fast is also important in life.
For example, relationship.
Why the man does not want to marry (close the deal) with the woman, or vice versa?
He or she …
1. might have been hurt in the past
2. could feel that the relationship is perfect the way it is
3. might not believe in marriage — at least not in marriage with the current partner
4. might not be ready

Talk things through, and if you realize there is no hope in closing the deal, move on!
Do not waste your youth and your right to be loved.

When you are occupied with the deals that you have no hope of closing, you prevent yourself from seeing other opportunities.
e.g. better job, better partner, better life.
You deserve the best.
The best thing for you may not be the best thing for her, him, or me.
But, you deserve the best.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

September 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm