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How is Your Day? (Would You Be Proud To Share It With Your Future-Adult Child?)

Sorry for this complicated title. I blame it to all the spreadsheets that I have been staring at. Somehow it has this ‘magical’ effect of putting uncalled-for complexities to my head..

Let’s get down to business..

How is your day?

What do you have to do today to bring the rice bowl to the dining table (or bread to your dining table – depending on which part of the world you live in; and your choice of diet.)

Would you be proud to tell that to your kid when he or she grows as an adult? Would it inspire him / her to bring change to this world?

I guess that’s power of asking the right question. It would bring you to whole new level (higher level of course) in perceiving the world and taking the right decisions and actions.


Have you seen KONY 2012 This video inspires me to write this. Especially when the kid tells his dad that he wants to be just like his dad (at minute 28.52 of this long video).


What Gives You The ‘Buzz’?

The year was 2006. I was asked that very same question by my then-future-boss..

“Do you find it fun to tweak the spreadsheet.. and build your own financial model?”

“..or do you find it much more challenging to deal with people? For example, you will need to sell your ideas to people.. and you will also negotiate with business partners..”

You get the idea how it went.. I hope.. 🙂

Basically, I was probed to elaborate my interest and my motivation to join the company and to actually ‘pick’ two different available positions. As you can guess from the conversation above, the nature of the two jobs are widely different. One is more of an analytical-left-brain type of a job whereas the other one is a much more of a people-facing or customer-facing  type of job which requires more interpersonal skill (in hindsight, even interpersonal skill requires strong analytical thinking – to think on your feet on how to actually respond or react during the interaction)

I went for the option which requires more ability to deal with ambiguity: the one which deals more with people.

Does it actually give me the ‘buzz’ to deal with people? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.  

Little that my then-future-boss knew, it did not actually gave me more ‘buzz’ to deal with people compared to building/constructing my own financial or business model (at the time, though).

In hindsight, it was a good decision that shaped my professional-self.

There are gurus or experts out there who argue to play to your strength… I can’t agree more with this piece of advice: to play your strengths.

But do we actually know our real strength? Is it possible that we consider one particular competency (e.g. interpersonal skill) as our weakness simply because we lack the exposure in that particular area.

So, it did give me the ‘buzz’ and still does.. I mean, to deal with people.

Play to your strength (but be really aware of what your strength is; if not be ready to take the plunge like I did 🙂 )

What’s Your Story?

I am a proud father of smart 2 year old, a husband of my better/complementing half whom I have known for 13 years by now. (watching them asleep peacefully is my favorite pastime these days..)

Extroverted introvert. An introvert by nature (loves intricate details and quite content in immersing myself in analyzing ocean of data) ;extroverted by training  (trained as an outspoken debater during University years and active networker during these professional years –especially when I was in charge Business Development function)

To illuminate people is my passion and joy at the same time.

I don’t mind rigorous approach in ‘going about’ a problem / opportunity although I do acknowledge the balance required to make any approaches applicable and practical.

Hey, I even just joined an online course by Standford University in Game Theory (aiming to graduate with distinction)

I am preparing for 5K run and hopefully this will be a stepping stone to 10K, half marathon or even marathon. (I think in the process of this running event preparation, I have actually turned my 2 year old into someone who loves running)

Why am I telling this? Because I learn that people need to know the human side of the writer / author. Joy and sorrow. We’ll tell these stories to our friends and families who are most dear to our hearts.

So, again, what’s your story?

How to Make Creativity as a Habit

Honestly, the short answer to the steps required to make creativity as a habit: I still need to test it on myself.

Allot a certain uninterupted during the day, perhaps.. When you can actually reflect/contemplate to find breakthrough ideas.

Surround yourself with stimulating environment… Intelligent people. Colourful / attractive physical surrounding.. Whatever it takes to stir that grey matter..

So, schedule it, then execute it in stimulating / engaging environment.

For the time being, enjoy your weekend!

What Does Success Look Like..?

The secret … there is really no secret to the Kenyans’ success. It’s discipline. You have to love what you are doing. It has to come from your heart. You have to like the training … the running … the races. Then you do it from the heart.” Mike Korir

  • Set the goals; and
  • Follow through with strong commitment.

Success is when you achieve those goals that you plan in the outset; therefore you need to be extremely clear on your goals.

I Have Seen It All Before ..

“I have seen it before.. and it works this way…”

Well, how many times have you heard this type of comment when you are attempting to improve / change something (read:status quo)?

All the time? Most of the time? Seldom?

I guess it very much depends on the common attitude towards change.

Now, how to deal with that? I mean, how to deal with the resentment towards change?

Somehow, “Switch” (the book by Heath Brothers just crosses my mind..

In it, the authors argue that you need to appeal to the logic (the elephant rider)  and the emotion (the elephant); you also need to provide the supporting infrastructure (by clearing the path for the elephant to get through) to change things when change is hard.

So, we just need to identify the steps how to appeal and address those three critical factors. .. and DO it.

Go Wednesday!

P.S. Take your time to read McKinsey Quarterly article below especially on the point of “Challenging Assumption”. Somehow it relates to my point of challenging the status quo. Have a great Thursday!

How To Set Your Standard?

Clarity of thought. That is the purpose of this blog..

Well, this is more of reminder to myself so that I do not go off-tangent in my writing. Hence, the title of this blog is “whyhowwhat”. So, in any of the writing I need to clearly address why a topic is important, how to apply the thought / concepts / tips in real life and of courses what details or resources required in applying those ideas.

This brings me to our topic for today: “How to Set Your Standard”. This is actually a continuation from yesterday topic: “What is Your Standard?”.

There’s an ongoing debate on nature vs nurture in developing talents. I believe both are somewhat equally important; if anything I would lean towards ‘nurture’ because I strongly believe that we are the master of our own destiny.

The Power of Habit

Having said that, setting your standard is very important. The idea is to build your life around your ‘high’ standard. But how?

I can safely say that we are a product of our habit (if not a victim of our habit) or our own behaviour. So to get to the root cause, we need to make the ‘change’. But how?

Well for a start, you can learn your own habit. Analyze it. Tweak that habit — which in turn it can generate the result that you intend to have.

I am not sure whether I already wrote in this blog before; but I always think that whatever new ideas that you have, you can google it and find that someone else is actually already doing it.

Now, this idea of ‘habit’ is actually out there in In this book, the author presents a very simple (yet effective) way of tweaking your habit by: 1) finding ‘cue’ of your habit 2) analyzing your ‘routine’ and 3) finding out the ‘reward’ that you are looking from the routine. This short blog won’t do justice for this refreshing book though..

There is also this great book:’Talent is Overrated’ ( which also argues that ‘deliberate practice’ — not the talent you were born with — is the  critical factor to be a successful person; be it athletes, businessman, musician etc.

In the final analysis

Build that habit/standard/ritual/etc to chase your goals.

What is Your Standard?

What is Your Standard?.

What is Your Standard?

I only read International Herald Tribune and The Economist for both my daily and weekly news respectively. Why? Both of these printed media have a high standard of journalism. (Well, you can argue about this..)

At the very least, I take a 30 minutes run every other day in the morning.

I only drink the best ground coffee.

I only have high-resolution picture inserted in my presentation.

I scrutinize every single detail of calculations in any spreadsheet.

We all have our own standards and / or rituals to maintain that ‘standard’.

I am inspired by Tony Robbins (in his youtube video) on having a standard in order to follow through / persist your goals (

The point is that when you have a high standard then you will chase that standard.. No matter what..

Yes, I acknowledge that we should not chase perfection and we need to be biased towards actions.

We just need to strike the right balance between getting a high standard and being practical.

This week just began.. Keep pushing your standard!

Perseverance (It Goes A Long Way)

Perseverance (It Goes A Long Way).