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Posts from the ‘strategy’ Category

The Uncharted Teritorry

There were times when people used to believe if they keep traveling (or sailing) ahead they will fall into a cliff because they reach the edge of this planet. They were wrong. The earth is round.

A wise man also said that we fear of the unknown.

All sorts of scenarios, possibilities, risks flash in your mind when you think about something new. A foreign environment. Different people. Different culture.

We know that we’re not going to fall from a cliff of the edge of the world when we boldly go to the uncharted teritorry.

Yet, if I can borrow Daniel Kahneman’s thoughts, in my own experience, my System 1 (the emotional side which thinks fast) almost always beats the System 2 (the logical one which thinks ‘slow’) when facing an unknown. The old lizzard brain simply overrides the cognitive function – or decision making process can get biased.

To get back to the ‘Uncharted Teritorry’ analogy, these days , we are fully equipped with advanced techonology (GPS, Google Map etc) to help us navigate ourselves into our destination – a foreign land if you will.

So, we can tap into the crowd intelligence in the World Wide Web and ask the burning questions to millions of experts. This way, we can glean into their past experience when they go through our uncharted teritorry.

But, remember, sometimes GPS too could be misleading due to several reasons. One simple example, the map has not been updated for quite sometime.

And in crowd intelligence case, the so called expert might have experienced the ‘event’ a while ago which render it irrelevant.

Still, we need to at least reduce the fear by reducing the unknowns.


My day will not complete until I _______

end of today

Take your time. If possible, find your preferred quite space to ponder on what to fill in the blank…

I can think of  a list of possible answers.

Let’s take a stab at it.

My day will not complete until I have a solid quality time with my family.

My day will not complete until I sip my cup of double espresso.

My day will not complete until I run my daily mileage of 8 km.

My day will not complete until I wrap up one major task.

My day will not complete until I see the sweet smile of my loved ones.

My day will not complete until I play Angry Bird – Star Wars version.

My day will not complete until I say my gratitude to the Almighty.

My day will not complete until I can share an enlightening thought to lift up a ‘gloomy’ soul out there.

Please do share your thoughts. What completes your day?


Picture credit: flickr/rospix

Welcoming Holidays!

Everybody loves holidays.


You might have your ideas of fun, relaxing or exciting ways to spend your year end holidays.

Getting together with your loved ones is at the top the list for me. They are my inspiration!

If you need other source of inspirations, there are of course other ‘wells of inspiration’.

Read some uplifting and inspiring books! These books will help you prepare your New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2013.

Me? I am reading “You Can Change Your Life” by Rob Yeung and the seminal work of Daniel Kahneman: “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.

Happy holidays!

Quick Tips – Fight After Lunch Drowsiness

You just had that big lunch..

Well it’s quite common here in this part of the world to have a hearty meal at lunch time. Rice with variety of dishes rich in both good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. I am no nutritionist though..

However, I’d like to share a very effective tips to fight the drowsiness after that big hearty meal.

A shot of espresso! No sugar. No cream. Straight black coffee. It always works for me!

Do try it.. Provided that you do not have any digestion problem (e.g. chronic ulcer etc)

My Take On Life of Pi — A Lesson in Life (and also Leadership & Management)

“Above all.. Don’t lose hope” Pi Patel (from Life of Pi)

Think you have a hard life? A difficult tasks? A very demanding client?

Be resourceful. Human beings are very resilient by nature.

Dig down and dig deeper inside your mind.

Leverage your experience.

Chase your goal(s)!

Pi Patel utilized his knowledge and applied it to survive his ‘adventure’ being drifted in the ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger.

Had he lost his hope during that long 227 days, he would have literally..  died.

I know it’s a fictitious character; however I truly believe that the story resonates with most of us in living our own ‘adventure’.

Pi Patel did not know that it would take 227 days to finally reach the shore. He persisted nevertheless (with the ‘help’ of Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger).

We can a learn a lot from the story..

1. Know your goal (Stay alive and reach the shore).

2. List down your resources (Food and other supplies).

3. Test your assumption in dealing with the problem — to see whether it deliver the intended solution (how to co-exist in the small boat with tiger — again how to stay alive)

4. If the first test fails then try again (first attempt did not deliver the result, the tiger could not care less about Pi pissing the boat to mark his territory — the tiger pissed back at him; he persisted and tried again with different ways)

So are you still floating or drifting in your own Pacific ocean?

There will be the day when you reach that shore.

Until that day comes, enjoy the scenery.. The flying fish, the starry nights , the majestic whale..

All the awe-inspiring sights!!!

The Power of Writing

Writing things down does not only ‘download’ or should I say ‘unload’ your seemingly disparate thoughts into perspective but it also clarifies your thoughts — most importantly — to yourself; thus structured and logical analysis can be thoroughly performed in a relatively easier way to that idea inside your head.

A visual person might argue on this point and tries to prove that ‘images’ brings better perspective. Well, let’s not debate about that — at least for now.

Texts also capture your thoughts instantanously. You never know when you can get distracted and lose your train of thought while you are trying to solve great problems; or when a ‘light bulb’ moment strikes you.

So, my two cents at the end of this 3rd week of October 2012 is that I need to write things down more frequently to be more productive as well as creative.

The Checklist

We always talk about striving to be more productive i.e. to produce more out put with the same amount of input (or even lower input).

I have also learned that being busy does not necessarily mean that you are actually being productive.

One simple question that you need to always ask yourself: does this activity get me closer to my goal(s)?

Today, I just started one new habit and hopefully I can follow through it consistently until the rest this year (..and even beyond).

A checklist which should be ‘The Checklist’ that I need to do on a daily basis.

This checklist contains all activities which are related to my area of professional responsibilities as well as personal development/interest/responsibilities that I MUST DO ON A DAILY BASIS.

I have really put all my thoughts to this list and it might grow if needed.

The rationale was that we all tend to “play it by the ear” when it gets to daily activities. ‘Firefighting’ can be so urgent and so ‘engrossing’ that we overlook the ‘daily steps’ that we need to ‘walk’ to reach that 1000 miles destination. By the time you know it, it’s already ‘End of Business Day’ and we have not actually done anything to get ‘closer’ to our goal(s).

Having written this, I just ticked one of the items in my checklist for today. It FEELS GREAT!

Do You Overprepare?

Or do you just wing it?

I know that I am on the verge of over-preparation for my ‘fun’ 10K run this weekend. Or at least that’s how I think.

How do I know that? For sure, I exceeded the mileage required as per the training plan or mileage plan for a 10K run. In the past 2 months, I have been running with mileage of 30km per week.

Come to think of it.. This over-preparation might  be counter-productive as I started to think that the 10K run will be another regular running session. Well, the thing is, I have a quite modest goal: to finish the run within 1 hour.

Will definitely post the result when I get back from Bali.

Perhaps, the more fundamental question that we need to ask ourselves is that whether over-preparation is better than simply winging it.

Well, in that case, I can still safely say that ‘over-preparation’ is the way to go.

If they say: “victory loves preparation”. Then they should also say: “victory is infatuated with over-preparation”.

Call A Friend..

I am not talking about one of the options that the contestants of “Who Wants To Be Millionaire” have when faced with tough questions (although the idea is a bit similar).

This is post is about ratcheting your brainpower and judgement — how to compliment your limited resources (i.e. experience or brain capacity) with your trusted network.

Like it or not, we have to agree to and accept to the fact that “hard facts” are hard to get by in this part of the world.

How do we make sound judgement then when we are facing the ‘unknown’ then?

Yep. You guess it right. Ask your trusted network for their experience. As much nuanced it might sound.. Well it’s still much better than plunging in and sailing to uncharted territory.

So, if you’re drawing up business plan here in Indonesia.. How can you tell whether you’re being realistic or overly optimistic? Simple. Get a sounding board. Call a friend.

Goals (Better To Be 5 Months Late Than 5 Years..)

I like to read.. Well, let me rephrase that, I am CRAZY about reading..

I always thought that writing would come naturally if you love to write. All those stimulating words, sentences, stories, concepts etc would become an integral part of me..

Just like a great chef, I thought that I would be able to use all those ‘ingredients’ instantaneously inside my head amassed from all those stacks of books and pdf files for a great ‘gourmet’ writing.

So that anyone who would care to ‘taste’ my fine ‘meal’ would be ‘heartily fulfilled’.

That was the plan back then.

Now, it has been around 5 years since I talked  myself into building my capability to write both technical writing such as white paper etc. as well as to write more of free-wheeling ideas such as this blog.

This brings me to the point of how important it is to have a clear goal (or even better clear goals) in your life. .. And make sure you have your goals in writing; so that you can always revisit those goals and review them.

I know that we are already almost halfway in the fifth month of this year; however it’s never too late to have your specific goals now (surely better than realizing that you are already in your fifth year of having unrealized dream).


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