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Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Ferriss

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.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Media diet a la Blueroselady

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by information (e.g. news)?
If yes, you may be interested to go for a media diet like what I do.

Recipe for 1-week media diet:
1. No newspapers. Most (negative) news e.g. wars, crimes, gossips, are bad when read in the early morning and before sleeping. Instead, have a morning breakfast of inspiring notes from the books we have read.
2. No magazines.
3. No non-music radio (but some radio channels have ads for upcoming events), so no radio seems better. I listen to my collection of pre-downloaded music in mp3 format.
4. No fiction books.
5. No newsletters (e.g. from credit card companies, alma maters, community organizers).
6. No web surfing unless it is necessary to complete a work task for today.
7. No news website (I prefer Gmail to Yahoo mail because after I signed off from Yahoo mail, it always annoyingly directs me to news, which I have to quickly shut down with strong will. No Yahoo mail.
8. Throw advertising flyers immediately.
9. Use a-max-of-5-minute important news update. Ask "anything important happening in the world today / this week?" Even if I do not ask, I will hear important news from my family, co-workers, and friends.
10. No TV, no serial drama, except for 1 high-quality 2-hour movie.

PS: I first started the 1-week media diet in the 4th week of Oct 2012.

Recipe for 1-month media diet:
Steps 1-10 of 1-week media diet plus
11. No facebook. I succeeded in surviving alternating months in 2012 without facebook at all. On my laptop screen is a note "no facebook until end of a particular month".
12. Set a time slot (on a day of the month) to collect news related to topic of my interest.

Related:
Blueroselady’s not-to-do list
Time management plan in 2011

Written by blueroselady

October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

On defining, dreamlining, doing, being, and having

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I am a BIG dreamer.
I have many dreams.

I am very grateful that I have achieved many of my dreams, from receiving free education in top universities, flying an airplane, to sponsoring my parents for their trip to UK.

Recently, I learned about dreamlining from Tim.
Dreamlining = DREAMs + timeLINEs
It means applying timeLINEs (e.g. 6 months, 1 year) to what most people would consider DREAMs.

In autumn 2012,

Things I dream of HAVING :
happy, healthy and independent children (by 2016)
profitable property (by 2015)
freehold property in the city area (by 2019)

Things I dream of BEING :
entrepreneur (by 2014)
millionaire (by 2019)
author of a New York Times bestselling book (by 2014)

Things I dream of DOING :
increase my income (by 2014), see the target in my pink board
achieve financial freedom and abundance (by 2019)
donate 80% of what I have for charity and live comfortably with the remaining 20% (by 2019)
visit Iceland / Antarctica (by 2014) and see aurora borealis

Tips:
1. If you do not know what you want,
brainstorm on what you do not want / what you hate / fear,
and write down the opposite.
2. convert BEING into DOING (actionable).

See also my bucket list, focusing on a happy and fruitful life beyond a century.

A thought on definition / meaning
Tim Ferriss wrote on p58 of his book The 4-hour workweek that being fluent in Chinese means having a 5-minute conversation with a Chinese co-worker.
In my opinion, one does not qualify to state (e.g. in one’s CV) a fluency in a particular language by merely being able to talk for 5 minutes.
This comes to my awareness that definition / meaning varies among people. I do not blame people, but I am aware that it is natural for human beings to put their PERCEIVED truth in the best light.
Recent complaints by friends (WT, SH) about students and fresh graduates who have good paper qualifications, but end up not as productive / talented as expected, are indeed related to the concept of varying meaning.
Next time when I hire someone, instead of believing what he states as his ability, I will ask for demonstration.
e.g. if someone claims a fluency in a particular programming language, ask the person to write 10,000 lines of code.

Written by blueroselady

October 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
1. AFFILIATIONS.
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
2. SELECTIVE READING and SIMPLIFY.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
4. WRITE and PUBLISH.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.