27 December 2011

Transiting to New S-Curve - iChing #63 Completed & #64 Uncompleted

iChing teaches us about the endless cycles of change. The last 2 hexagrams tell us clearly that life is about growth and growth is about changing, more specifically, transiting to the next cycle of growth. Things are never fully completed. If it ever completes, then it begins to die.

So, #63 Completed is followed immediately by #64 Uncompleted. i-Ching begins with #1 Heaven - Creation and ends with #63 Completed and yet continue with #64 Uncompleted leaving room for continued growth.

The teaching of i-Ching is not just about how to start and scale-up to maturity, but also reminding us of the need to continued to transform.

Here is the teaching of the last 2 hexagrams summarized in the table below:

#63 Completed starts with a known worthy vision. Since we know our destination, we need to just get moving, overcoming the obstacles that we face on the way. We when through the typical rapid growth period of stage 3 and 4 (the tornado of G Moore Technology Development Life-Cycle) and arrive at stage 5 of Main Street success with celebration and a worship of thanks giving to God. Stage 6 come with a great warning. Don't let our success filled and enlarge our head that we lost sight of the need to learn and transform. 

#64 Uncompleted started with loss of direction, struggling in the water and not reaching the shore. Hence, the first step is to find the vision. This step of finding the new vision should be the stage 6 of #63 Completed so that we will not have to suffer a big down turn. We the success we have, we can find and fund the next vision and continue on with the next cycle of success. 

The teaching of the #64 follows that of #63 except that it is about one stage behind. #64 started with lack of a vision and not knowing where to go. It ends with us having a success but warning us not to loose our integrity and good conduct. We are not to get drunk.

For those of us enjoying our success, let this be a reminder of us to innovate for the next cycle of success at this very time of our success. We should enjoy this year end season heartily and prepare for the next round.

Lim Liat (C) 27 Dec 2011

21 December 2011

All About Danger from i-Ching #29 坎 The Pit

Life is full of danger and temptations to lure us into them. With better technology and a globally connected world. the scams can come from any where in the world. We may get a call on our hand-phone congratulating us that we have won big cash prizes in some far away country and we need to tele-transfer some small money to certain account to pay for the taxes, legal and other related fees so that the big cash can be transferred to our account. We read on newspapers that quite a number of people fell for such schemes and lost quite a lot of money. While technology may change, the principles for luring and trapping us have been the same. The wisdom of Ancient Chinese in the "Book of Change - i-Ching", remains applicable to us in this modern or post-modern world.

The teaching on "Danger", or more specifically, "falling into the pit", is covered in i-Ching hexagram #29 坎 The Pit. It talks about prevention, getting out and staying out of danger. For the details, see 29 坎 The Pit – Danger –Be Watchful & Righteous (registration is required). The summary is posted here with my additional comments.

Summary of #29 坎 The Pit – Danger:
  • Always be on the alert and watch out for impeding danger.
    A famous Chinese saying is “居安思危”, meaning in peaceful time, one should consider the potential danger.  One should live life circumspectly
  • The safest and surest way is to hold on to integrity and honesty.
    Our greed for making lot of money quickly and easily has caused us to fall into many traps. Even a simple thing like gambling is very tempting and addictive. Wishfully thinking that we may not be caught and hence taking short cuts that by-pass the laws or cheating our customers will eventually catch up with us and put us into prison.
    A win-loose relationship never lasts. For long term success, we must go for win-win and never betray our commitment to them, Integrity build lasting relationship.
  • Instead of being afraid of danger, we can use the dangerous obstacles for our protection. Convert any threat to opportunity.
    This a key principle of i-Ching.  Fortune or disaster depends on the timing and situation. Danger that stops our progress can become our protection to stop our enemy from attacking us. See the opportunity in any threats. The macro political, social or economic events happen to all, even our competitors. Hence, we just need to know how to differentiate ourselves.
  • We should teach others to be righteous and alert too.
    Sharing makes for a better world.

Wisdom from the stage-lines teaches you how to act in time of danger:

1. Stay away from Dangers / Temptation else you will fall into them.
Don't think you can be the hero - others will fall but not me. It is best steer clear from danger and temptations. Many are those that fell thinking that they won't or don't.

2. Probe and move cautiously if you fall into it.
Not taking heed to stage 1 warning and fall into the pit. It is time to wake up and carefully probe and study the situation. There are options but you need to spend effort to find them.

3. Dangers everywhere, just stay at rest. Wait for help.
Sometime over doing bring forth more troubles. To cover a lie, we tell a bigger lie! Don't fall into this. It may be best to face up with the consequence, pay it and quit. Putting in a last big bet to recover all the loss is unlikely to happen as wished. The best policy may be just to stay still and wait for others to come to help.

4. True friendship is seen in times of troubles. They come to help.
In times of troubles, it is easy to see who are your true friends. In your good days, please remember to make good and true friends and by helping them when they are in troubles. They come to help you when you are in trouble.

5. Core integrity strength not fully developed yet got out of danger due to external help. Take heed to develop internal strength.
Remember that this time it was the external factors and your friends that help you out of troubles when you are still weak. Please take this opportunity to build up your inner strengths.

6. Stay righteous – the sure way to prevent and keep out of danger else back to stage 1 of imprisonment.
I-Ching author warn us again and again. Stay in the path of righteousness. That is the only way to stay out of danger. But sadly, men does not learn from history. This stage line 6, the highest stage, tells us the sad ending of committing a crime and be imprisoned for 3 years.

Please break out of the addiction or vicious circle of poverty or crimes or disappoints. Build up the inner character and strengths.

Lim Liat (c) 21 Dec 2011

20 December 2011

Innovation from the Thought Leaders - Ox vs Horse

Successful entrepreneurs and industrialist (an old term that is seldom used nowadays) thought leaders like to say some extreme things to trigger the thinking and to shock people into actions. Here is one example from Taiwan shared by a friend. The Chinese post is at http://www.businessweekly.com.tw/webarticle2.php?id=16349.

My dynamic translation (by meaning rather than word for word - hence may have biases due to me the translator) is as follows:

Main Point of Ox vs Horse of Barry Lam:
1. Software is important than Hardware.
2. Cloud computing changes and replaces current practices in design and other things. This is the big opportunities and innovative talents are required.
3. Subcontracting work talents staff is like the farming ox - all about the same and not creative.
4. University Degrees are not important. Your out-of-the-box thinking is more important.
5. The future is a race. Winner take all. Must be a race horse rather than ploughing ox.
6. Need to pay for such talents highly differentiated remunerations - 10x, 20x, 100x !
7. Adapt to the new world - don't go back to ask people to watch the old top-tv shows. Ask them to watch the current top TV shows.

Do you agree with him?
Most people will.
But being a good consultant and a trainer, I have to disagree some what and give a more balanced view. Here are my comments and recommendations for the potential innovators and entrepreneurs:

The Balanced View:
Actually he is 50% right and 50% wrong. Here are the reasons:

1. Hardware and software are both equally important.
The key is the integration and best fit. Ask Steve Jobs and Google Brin and Page who recently bought Motorola Mobile for its hardware capability to augment its Androids and Chrome.

2. Cloud and Endpoint Devices are Opportunities.
The powerful resources and the brains of the clouds is at the center and need intelligent devices to link up so that its power can be used and enhances by the millions who connect to it. There are businesses for the center cloud and the end-point access devices. iPhones, iPad are the access devices. iTunes App and iCloud are the center. Imaging Dropbox without iphones/ipad/android!.

3. Subcontracting/OEM work requires talents and innovation as well.
They need innovation in their processes and other part of business models. Subcontractors unfortunately does not enjoy the branding of the consumer devices and offering, nevertheless, they need innovations for productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. Someone said that there is no such thing as hi tech or low-tech businesses only hi-tech or low-tech management.

4. University degress train our thinking and provide indepth knowledge that we need for innovations. 
But may be can be like Steve Jobs, pick your subjects and master them well e.g. Calligraphy. Or an old entrepreneur friend who left Stanford to start his own successful business. Asked him why he did not complete his course. He said he already picked up the knowledge he needed to do his business. Ask Bill Gates and he too would give you the same answer.

5. Speed is only ONE factor of Success. There are More.
"The future is a race. Winner take all. Must be a race horse rather than ploughing ox" may be right some times but definitely not all the time.
First mover may have advantage but it all depends on the particular situation. (When the entry barrier is low, that the first mover actually may have advantage for a short time only. First mover may be in the bleeding edge and educating the market for the followers!). Microsoft is seldom first but is a good follower and replacer e.g. MS Office replaces Lotus-1-2-3, Wordperfect and IE replaces Netscape etc. There are people who think MS can yet do it one more time with Window 8 for the smart-phone business. Read also the new Hare and Turtle Story.

See also ...http://mind-value.blogspot.com/2011/06/adding-biblical-wisdom-to-bill-steve.html - Success is a combination of multiple factors of speed,timing, strength, creativity, thinking skills, technical skills etc.

Google works with 70-20-10 rule : 70% of budget on core business, 20% related to core business, and 10% on blue-sky not related to current business.

So a typical company need may be 7 oxen, 2 horses, 1 dreamer. But that is percentage talking. In reality, everyone in a company should be encouraged to innovate in his own area, extended area and even wider.

6. Need to pay for such talents highly differentiated remunerations - 10x, 20x, 100x ? May not be. It is a team work too beside talents.
As the business get complex, the success is the result of great team work of great engaged talented people. Then, it is not about paying a few guys top salaries but about getting fair salaries and share in the extra-ordinary profits from the success of the business. It is about outcome based renumerations where there is no ceiling to your renumerations - it is decided by your customers who willingly pay you for your great offering.

7. Adapt to the new world - don't go back to ask people to watch the old top-tv shows. Ask them to watch the current top TV shows.
Adapt to the new world is a must. Even better is to create the New World.
Nevertheless, never ignore the old successes. There are much lessons for us to use.
Consider the re-vitalised VM Bugs, Mini-Coopers etc. The old principles, the core strengths, just need a new context.

The Critical Thinking - Never be one sided in your thinking. 
At least be bipolar yin-yang if not more. It always depends on the situations. Everything has value. You just need to find the situation and the people that may need it.

Lim Liat (C) 17 Dec 2011

07 December 2011

Growing with Great Difficulty - Fix it with I-Ching #39 蹇 Lame's Teaching!

Many businessmen felt the need to grow their business quickly. They think they must grow to survive. They are advised to be agile, responsive, flexible and to move with speed. They learn from the inspiring quotes of the rich and famous and hear of advice that says, “In this new world, fire first and then aim” without the correct understanding of the context. Singapore is too small, they are advised to go abroad. So, they just spend money to try to grow their business. Some even globalize into China, Vietnam, India, Russia and even Brazil. They heard that these were the newly rich and rapidly developing countries. Truths without the context will lead to many wrong decisions. Many have encountered great difficulties in their growth. Quite a number have made major losses and have to shutdown their expansion plans. Fortunate are the cautious who are still able to keep their base camp business. It is better that they check up the wisdom of i-Ching before they grow too fast. Even if they encounter grow pains, i-Ching also provides some wisdom with Hexagram 39 蹇 Lame – Move Rightly on Your Strength (registration needed). I reproduce the summary teaching of the hexagram here with additional comments below: 
Summary Teaching of 39蹇 Lame:
  1. When meeting obstruction, pause and see clearly.
    • We must resist the urge to react too quickly. Pause first to see the situation clearly and then develop the response.
    • Always choose to response positively to any situation, specially the adverse ones. Don’t prejudge too quickly. Check your direction and positioning.
    • Are you positioning your offering in the right place at the right time?
      When a Chocolate company expanded into India, they have to sell their chocolates in smaller sizes and lower prices, provide cooler to keep the chocolate in good condition, and position it as items for celebration. What about your offering and positioning?
  2. Take the right way that leads to success and not the short-cut evil way that eventually brings failure.
    • There are always option available to us. If you think there is none, think again. Think outside of yourselves.
    • See point 3 below. Under difficulty, you will be tempted to take short-cut. Don’t do it. Stick to the righteous way.
  3. Always seek and follow advice of the wise.
    • Be bold and unashamed to ask for advice and help.
    • Just make sure you ask the right people and not just anyone.
  4. Building character will brings long lasting success.
    • Long lasting business can only be built on unchanging foundation of truth and righteousness.
    • Build this culture throughout your organization.
    Wisdom from the Stage Lines:
    The building of Internal Strengths to get moving involves the following stages:
    1. Wait for the right time to move especially for things beyond our control.
    2. Get first hand knowledge and then work together to seek the interests of the community and not self.
      • Rapid moving company needs the information from the front-lines – the people serving the customers.
      • It is difficult to have a hierarchical structure for information to filter up to the boss to get the truth. It will be too slow and usually distorted. Get the organization to be more opened and transparent so that information can be shared quickly and truthfully. See how the successful companies like HCL tech, The Morning Star Company, WLGore, Google, Zappos, etc operate. Read my posts on self-management such as The Future Of Management is Ancient Chinese ClassicsIntegrated View of the Wisdom of Chinese Classics – Future of Management Now.
    3. Build Morale - Celebrate and learned from past successes and get ready for the right time to charge forward.
      • Most people have “Defect fixing” mindset. They focus on their failures and weaknesses and forgot about their successes.
      • Have a “Positive Appreciation” mindset instead. Study your success and learn what make you successful. Find out your core competitive strengths and re-examine whether you have lost it. When company grows, complexity set in and the core-strengths slowly get lost in the midst of growing. Back to your basics and cores. Celebrate those things to bring up the morale and clarity of strategies.
    4. Get Alignment - Return to strengthen unity and alignment first. Put the right people at the right jobs.
      • Many businesses can grow quickly when small. But if the business is not built to scale, the growth will straight away amplifies the weaknesses of the business.
      • Make sure:
        • the mission, vision and strategies are shared and cascaded through out.
        • the processes are streamlined. So see what can be standardized, centralized, modularized, optimized, outsourced (to partner that share the culture), prioritized to support the mission and vision.
        • Pick and put the right people on the right jobs.
        • Get information and trust flowing.
        • Get the engagement of staff high.
        • Then you are ready for growth.
    5. Get Support – Have a meaning mission and a proven character, friends will come to support you.
      • Growing and big business needs support, from staff to customers, to suppliers and the bigger social network.
      • Having a worthy mission helps inspire people. Examine your mission. Are you making the world a better place to attract the support that you need?
      • Are you inclusive enough to accept diversities? Do you welcome and respect different ideas from the wider external networks of customers, suppliers, partners and the social network.
    6. Get Talents- Get support of leaders of power and influence and have worthy pursues.
      • I-Ching often tell us to get support from the “Big People”. People with great wisdom and influence.
      • Some you can hire them.
      • For those who you can’t hire, then get them to sit on your advisory boards.
      • At the very least, join them in their circles.
      • Having mentors is a great thing for your growth.
    Now, if your growth have been impeded much, you may want to go through the above teaching to find out where you need to build and change. All the very best to your health and your business.

    Lim Liat (C) 7 Dec 2011

    30 November 2011

    Map Your Way to Greater Success from the Keys of the Super-Rich

    A friend shared on FaceBook on the article "Who Wants to be a Billionaire? 20 Keys to Success from the Superrich". It is a good list of wisdom with a few problems:
    1. 20 is a long list of things to remember and recall.
    2. Some of the items mentioned are very similar and are better to be grouped together to shorten the list.
    This is a good example for mind-mapping. It explains why some playful students can out perform the hardworking students in examinations. Those playful but really smart students do one thing that the other so called 'hardworking' students do not do. The smart ones spend some effort in re-organizing the information obtained. This extra time and effort of reflection helps in truly understanding a subject matter. With such a map of organized concepts, we can easily add on new concepts and can even be used to predict and innovate new concepts.

    The two key steps to do are:
    1. Group the facts/concepts.
    2. Give your own title, a few key words, to capture the meaning of the long sentences.
    Here is a first draft of the Success Map: 

    I leave the original 20 keys in the map so that you can see how the map is developed. It can be much smaller by replacing the original text with taglines.

    As a final exercise of real learning, try to integrate the map above to this one, The Integrated Success Principles Version 6, compiled from similar sayings of the great and successful men like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Stephen Covey etc.

    Lim Liat (c) Nov 2011

    See also: 

    25 November 2011

    Two Types of Progressing in Life - I-Ching #46 Rise and #35 Progress

    There are two types of progressing in life according to i-Ching. The two types are described with hexagram 46 升 Rising – Faithfulness brings Promotion (registration needed) and 35 晋 Progress – Promotion (registration needed).u

    With #46 Rising, you pick a good leader whom you then follow faithfully. With #35 Progress you do it on your own with integrity and righteousness. Progressing on your own is lot more difficult but may be more rewarding and there the limit of growth is up to you. Chinese has a phrase for such people, 白手起家, building an house by bare hands, signifying by own effort.

    Here is a Summary of the teachings from i-Ching for the two hexagrams:

    Of course, you can pick the path that suit you. You can also be a faithful follower first, acquire the experience, network, and skills before venturing out on your own. This seems to be a safer way, though may be longer, to success. Many successful entrepreneurs begin life by working for others, be the 3rd or 2nd tier sub-contracted suppliers in a value chain, before growing up to be in the 1st tier.

    All good things come to an end, as in the stage 6 of the table above. The good boss that you faithfully serve may join another company or retire from the service. The successful business started by you may eventually reach a plateau and need a transformation to rise the next growth curve. But the foundational principles for success remains the same - integrity, righteousness, employing the right people and putting them in the right jobs. Server others rather than be selfish. Enriching others enrich yourself.

    You are free to live out the potential that you have. But i-Ching teaching is a good guide for you. For more, see Ancient Chinese Wisdom.

    Lim Liat copyrighted 25 Nov 2011.

    22 November 2011

    Check Your Assumptions - Success Secrets from I-Ching #25 无妄 Not Bizarre – Be Realistic

    Most people have the common misunderstanding that entrepreneurs are big risks taker. That is completely false except for unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs are realistic people that try to minimize their risks. They check and test their assumptions for validity against the real world happening. They ask people. They conduct experiment and trials. Only when there are reasonable grounds for the assumptions, do they then go in fast and with strength.

    A famous Chinese Classic Master says that it is not the lack of planning but the lack of activities before the planning that causes failures.

    To be successful, we must be very down to earth and to keep track of the what is happening at the ground. This is the teaching of i-Ching Hexagram #25 无妄 Not Bizarre – Be Realistic and Follow the Principles. The details of the teaching is at #25 Not Bizarre (registration is needed). Here is the summary:

    Summary of #25 无妄 Not Bizarre – Be Realistic and Follow the Principles:
    • We must follow the principles and seasons of working of Heaven and earth in our relationship with others and with nature. 
    • We must be watchful, practical and realistic. 
    • Breaking the principles will bring forth calamity. Don’t be fooled by short-term success. We will eventually have to pay back and in much greater amount. 
    • Even if misfortune happens, we should not move away from sticking to the basic principles.
    The stage lines teach us additional wisdom:
    1. Get started by being realistic and practical. 
      Don’t be bizarre and be not building castle in the air.
      Follow the principles of life.
      • It does not mean that we can’t have high aspirations. It is just that we need to achieve our high aspirations with practical steps and in due time.
      • Stephen Covey wrote a book about "Principle Centered Leadership".  It shows how advance, practical and lasting are the teachings of i-Ching.
    2. No short cut. Consistent ‘Step by Step’ to success.
        Don't be discouraged by little progress. A journey of thousand mile is accumulation of many steps beside the initial step.  See Seven Easy Steps to Great Success According to LaoZi.
    3. Misfortunes beyond our control happen. Don’t be to quick to judge and blame. Stick to the foundational principles.
      There are many factors beyond your control. When bad things happen that you have no control over, don't be upset. They happen to everyone as well. In fact, it was worse for them. You may need not do anything at all but to just stay the course and stick to your principles. They will go away. Keep your attitude up and don't blame.
    4. Continue the good work. Don’t quit.
      The danger has passed, we just continue the course. We can see some success.
    5. Misfortune not caused by us will pass. Don’t over react. The strong foundation will bring you through.
      The bad thing happens again. But it goes away without any of your action. In fact, taking any action to correct it may create a bigger problem. Always stay observant, objective and be realistic in assessing and understanding the issue. Follow the statistical control system. E W Deming teaches us not to meddle with statistical events within the control limits. Any meddling will make the error greater! If you are unhappy with the large variance, then look into improving the system to reduces the variance, otherwise, stay put.
    6. Reach the plateau and don’t know what’s next. Don’t take bizarre action. Stick to the foundation that bring you the success and act wisely.

      Success is the greatest danger to watch out for. We may have forgotten what bring us here and venture into things that we know not just because we can afford now. Success should not make us blind to being realistic and down to earth to monitor the happening at the front line and the customers and markets.
    Lim Liat copyrighted 22 Nov 2011

    19 November 2011

    The Codes of Conduct for Young People

    The Good Conduct and How to Live Well.
    Someone in my class reminded me of such a primary teaching book on Good Conduct. 5 Key Points. Know how to behave well first and learn about science and others when there is time left!

    弟子规 圣人训
    1 首孝弟 2 次谨信
    3 泛爱众 4 而亲仁
    5 有余力 则学文

    The Conduct for the Young Ones - Teachings of the Saints

    1. First is love the younger and respect the older starting from family and extending to the friends and people we meet.
    2. Second is doing things with carefulness and integrity.
    3. Third is to love all people.
    4. Fourth is to befriend those people with kindness and compassion.
    5. After the above and still have energy, then study other skills.

    For the full text and English translation, see http://www.tsoidug.org/dizigui_trans_comp.php.

    Just read the above is enough. The remaining texts are just exposition on the above 5 points.

    03 November 2011

    Focus - The Key to Productivity and Excellence

    Not feeling accomplished? Very busy and yet not happy? No time for anything else? Not sure where you are going? These are but symptoms of lack of focus. Know the meaning of focus well and learn the how to be productive.
    Pick up any management or leadership book, you shall find "Focus" as one of the key factors for success.

    To many, focus means doing one thing at a time. But this is a very narrow definition since a person, especially the higher level people, can manage multiple projects at the same time. I told people that you can be very focused on multiple things. It is only when you fail to accomplish some things that you know you are loosing focus. Otherwise, you are doing well and very focused.

    We have the famous people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates that talk about focus. Here are some of the sayings:

    The above map is a subset of The Integrated Success Principles Version 6.

    It is good to give a definition of focus.
    To me, focus is about concentrating resources on doing the tasks to achieve our goals
    The components are concentration, resources, tasks/activities and goals. We can loose focus when we fail in any one of the above components. The mind-map below give further details and recommendations:

    A recommended book to read is "The Accidental Creative - How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice" by Todd Henry which cover FRESH (Focus, Relationship, Energy, Stimuli and Hours), the practices for making you a Creative Person. 

    Hope the above clarify the meaning of focus and tell you what to do about focusing to achieve success.

    Lim Liat (c) 3 Nov 2011

    29 October 2011

    The Integrated Success Principles Version 6

    Here is the latest version 6 mind-map format of the Integrated Success Principles from the rich and famous like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Stephen Covey, Richard St James, the Millionaire Mindset, the Ancient Chinese Lao Zi and the Bible. The teaching of Lao Zi (chapter 64) is added from the previous version to get this one.

    See also Watch-out for Learning from Quotations that you can't just take one famous quote and run with it. You need a more complete and balanced view.

    Lim Liat (C) 29 Oct 2011

    28 October 2011

    Watchout for Learning from Quotations

    Quotes could be dangerous. They did not tell you the context and you can easily misunderstand and wrongly apply them. Know the danger and learn how to apply them wisely.
    Many people on the social network like to share inspirational quotes, success quotes, etc. Quotes from the rich and famous are powerful. They are short and inspirational. However, their short-comings come exactly from their strength of conciseness and impact.

    The Dangers are:
    1. It is not the whole story. It is very high level and do not give the full picture.
    2. It could be misunderstood and misinterpreted. The context and situation are usually not described.
    3. It could be wrong due to the first two dangers for lack of details and misunderstanding.
    The Precautions:
    1. Understanding the dangers described above is the first step.
    2. Know that there are other details that need to be filled in by you. The quote is just from a viewpoint. Get the other viewpoints. 
    3. Determine the situation where it is applicable. I tell my students that the best answer to other questions is "It depends". The right answer is usually tied to a particular group of people for a particular situation. We need to expand the boundary and scope to see a better answer - more wins for more people.
    4. Understand that there are seasons of life for everything. There is the right time for the right thing. 
    Some Examples:

    1. Some FB friend posted "Garden of Life Quotes- Life Choices"
      1. Choose to LOVE rather than HATE.
      2. Choose to LAUGH rather than CRY.
      3. Choose to CREATE rather than DESTROY.
      4. Choose to PERSEVERE rather than QUIT.
      5. Choose to PRAISE rather than GOSSIP.
      6. Choose to HEAL rather than STEAL.
      7. Choose to GIVE rather than STEAL.
      8. Choose to ACT rather than PROCASTINATE.
      9. Choose to GROW rather than ROT.
      10. Choose to PRAY rather than CURSE.
      11. Choose to LIVE rather than DIE.
    On first reading,  we are impressed and inspired. Many people click 'liked'. But it is actually not very correct. Love or hate should be dependent on the context or situation. We are to love the person and hate the evil deeds. Hating the slavery get people to start the freedom movement and pass the laws.

    There is time for laughter and time for mourning. See for example The Best Time of Your Life - Now, Any time, Every time and All the time.

    2. Inspirational Quotes for Start-up in E27.

    Let just choose the 1st quote, the one from Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba. "When you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength".

    First, what is the meaning of his quote? What do you think?

    I think he is saying that when you are small, you have no strength in resources such as money, people and assets. Hence, you have count on your brain. You have to be smart and align and focus your limited little resources on the key things. You have to do more with less. You cannot try to do too many things because of your lack of resources(strength).

    But it is very easy for people to misunderstand. Under the picture, you can find a comment that says "But you can indeed rely on your strengths .. I trust .." which shows that there is a misunderstanding about the word strength and he may not have caught the essence of Jack Ma's message.

    It is better to hear a presentation from Jack Ma and covered in Learning Entrepreneurship from Jack Ma. 

    It will be even better to integrate the learning from many famous names like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even the Bible in Success Principles - Version 5.

    Learning Chinese helps one to think better

    Chinese language is a language with more than 5000 years of history. With its rich culture, the words contain much insights and wisdom. Each Chinese word is made up of picture or pictures. The combine pictures tell you about the meaning of the word. More complex concept is formed by joining the words and hence giving you even more insights.
    I have been sharing them on Facebook. But FB does not have a good search function unlike Google+ and what I shared in my FB Status get lost very quickly. So here is a compilation of the words shared. I will continue to update this post when new words are shared. Chinese tells you to see a thing from both sides(Multiple viewpoints) and watch the context. Enjoy.

    1. Crisis 危机

    We are all well aware of the word Crisis 危机. Crisis in Chinese is made up of Danger and Opportunity. There is an opportunity in every crisis and danger in every opportunity. In a crisis, we learn to see the opportunity. In growth, we learn to see the danger and do risk management.

    2. Sensibility or Reasonableness 情理

    Now, I like to share another word, Reasonableness or Good Sense 情理.
    Two things are needed to make something reasonable or sensible - it is emotion and rationale. Either alone is not enough. It must be rational and emotionally acceptable (or good for the relationship).

    This is good advice for business. It is the secret of Apple success and failure of many. Apple products appeal to both the mind and the emotion. Zig Ziglar even said "People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.". But actually, we buy for both - we buy not a product but a wow experience.

    It is important for nation building. I think we over-emphasize on the rational mind, the tasks, and the meritocracy to the extent that we ignore the emotions, the feelings of people. We don't understand how to build good relationships with people and even with other nations. That neglect stops us from being better people, more successful people, and a nation that people admire with love.

    We must learn to do both well, rational mind and a feeling hearts for good relationship building.

    3. Morality or Moral 道德

    The third word to share is Morality or Moral. In Chinese, it is 道德.
    It is made up of Dao 道 - the Way ( of heaven, God, the universe, the right way). and
    De 德 - which is Virtue or Character. Strictly speaking, De is how much one has acquired of the Way (of Righteousness). '德' in old Chinese, is used also as 得 obtain or gain.

    Morality has to be defined as two parts -
    1. knowing the right WAY and
    2. Assimilation(Becoming, Obtaining) of the Way.

    Again, either is not enough. Not knowing the right Way means one is not moral. Knowing and not behaving according to the right way is not moral too.

    To be a moral person, we must know the Way and become like the Way.

    So, the morality of a person is measured as to how much one has acquired of the Way (of righteousness).

    If you are a Christian, the way to measure the quality of maturity of a Christian is how much they have become like their Savior Jesus Christ. Rom 8:29 (ESV) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. Christ is the Way!

    Hope you can see the power of the Chinese.

    4. Life 生命.

    Life is a common word. Life in Chinese is 生命.
    生 sheng is Birth or Born.
    命 ming is Order, Destination, Mission, and Fate for some people.
    Hence, Life is not just about being born into this world and mere existence. Life is about living to fulfill a mission or calling.
    The purpose of life is not just about living, but living meaningfully. Living with a mission.

    Each of us has uniquely created for a mission that only we can fulfill.
    By doing the mission we are called, we shall be satisfied. We are given the strengths and talents to do this unique mission.

    It also means that we are not to live the calling of other people. When we are trying to be somebody else, while we are not gifted in it, we shall be struggling and we will never be like that someone. Don't waste your life trying to somebody you are not made for.

    That does not mean we cannot have role models. We shall have quite a few role models so that we can become the very best that we are called to be.

    Hope you like Chinese and become a better person.

    5. Remember 记 Remembrance 纪念 or 记忆 Write and Recall
    To remember, Chinese uses the word 记 Ji which means to record. We usually use the word 记忆 to refer to the mental storage of past events and things. To remember someone, we use the word 纪念.

    The word 'remember' or 'record' 记 is made up for two words 己 I and 言 saying. This means that my saying is the record. Make a record and see if I keep my words! I recalled a western cowboy movie that I watched in my youth. The Red Indian Chief was telling the white Captain something like "white men treaty was recorded down to be forgotten and it was not trustworthy, whereas we recorded them in our hearts to be remembered and kept".

    If you use the two words version, 纪念 or 记忆, we can see that remembering is made up of two things:

    纪念: 纪 records (in book or tablets) 念 recite it, often in the heart and mind.

    记忆: 记 record, write it down 忆: recall it.

    To truly memorize things, we need to do two things: write it down and read or say it back!

    6. Intellectual Capability /Knowledge 学问
    One's intellectual capability or scholarship or knowledge in Chinese is 学问. It is made up of 学 study and 问 ask. Effective learning is about studying (reading or hearing) some article and then asking questions. Asking or Questioning is a key part of learning. Studying without asking is not learning in depth. Greater understanding can only be gain questioning what we have studied. Some simple and good technique to guide us to ask questions is the 5W1H and the Yin-Yang (Bi-polar, Dialectics).

    Learning can also be done the other way round, start with a question and then try to find the answers.

    Just remember that learning has two parts, studying and asking.

    For some, they should be asking more, and for some other, they should be studying more, It takes the two activities to give a better understanding and insight in a particular subject.
       Intellectual Capability = Studying + Questioning
    7. Forgive 原谅 Original/Source + True Understanding

    Forgive in Chinese is 原谅

    原 - the original
    谅 - the true understanding. 谅 is made up of 京(Large) 言(Speech) (note Chinese goes from right to left). So whale is a large fish and is written as 鲸. Another meaning of '谅', a large important speech, is trust or integrity.

    So forgiveness is actually returning back to the original true understanding or state of trust or integrity.
    It is as if the hurtful thing or the lies or betrayal has not happened at all. It is back to a trustworthy state.

    Forgiveness is easier when we understand the reason and motivation for the hurtful act.

    Forgiveness is also possible when the offending party sincerely and seriously apologizes (Large Speech).

    A true apology that seeks forgiveness is about saying in words sincerely and the action to restore the damages back to the original state if it is possible. Many things done are not reversible. It takes the great heart of the offended to impute it as if it did not happen.

    So if you say you truly forgive someone, you are saying and treating him as if he did not do the hurtful act to you. At the very least, you can remember the deed but not the hurtful feeling.

    The Bible tells us that God's forgiveness is precisely like that - just as if we did not sin!

    8. Wisdom 智慧 is Left-Brain Cold Logic and Right Brain Creativity and Warm Feelings
    See Wisdom in Chinese includes Both Left & Right Brain...

    9. Friends 朋友 

    A friend is made up two words:
    • 朋 meaning of the same kind, same group. It is two flesh put together,
    • 友 mutual love, close relationship.
    Ancient Chinese literature has a saying, “同门曰朋,同志曰友。”
    朋 is the same family (literally, it means the same door) and
    友 is the same ambition, goal, beliefs, philosophy.

    A friend is someone who shares your values and cares for each other forming a team of oneness.

    10. Operate 经营

    Operate is made up of two words:
    • 经 the Book, the paths, the ways, the principles
    • 营 the camp, the layout of the army camp. In the old form, it is

      It means to plan, to layout, to organize and to operate.
    So to operate well, one must study books to learn the principles and how-to's and then plan and organize well to ensure efficient and effective operations. 先取经后营业。

    The layout of the camp tells us much about how to get organized. There are the needs for a fire to keep warm, and for cooking - we need to get our logistics done well. There is the boundary to stand guard for against attack. We need to be vigilant and to expand our boundary. The troops are organized in tents, separation of duties and yet connected. When we specialize we must also communicate to ensure effective co-operation to achieve the shared mission.

    If you like to know more about Chinese Wisdom and Philosophy, please see Ancient Chinese Wisdom

    11. Upbringing 教养

    How do we bring up a child? The Chinese words for Upbringing are 教养.
    • 教 - Teach, train, discipline. This is for the mind and character.
    • 养 - Feed, provide for food and living and safety. This is for the body.
    The famous primary school textbook of the older Chinese is 三字经 3-word-text says: 


    If you don't train, the character will shift (from good to bad).
    The principle for training is to have focus.
    Just feeding and not training is the fault of the father.
    Training without discipline is the fault of the teacher.

    A major portion of the 3-word-text is about how to be a good man. More details can be found in Understanding The Chinese Mindset in One Minute ...

    12. Wealth 富贵
    “富贵” is frequently translated as wealth, but it is made up of two Chinese words 富 (richness) and 贵 (honor). The correct translation should then be wealth and honor. Another way of looking at it, the truly rich is someone not just with money but also with honor. In an interview in 2007 in PRC, Li Ka Shing said that there were many rich people but fewer people with honor. The truly rich and honorable people are those who have love and give back to society what they have earned. (李嘉诚:富的人很多,但贵的人不多。我认为真正的富贵在于,将自己所赚到的钱有回馈于社会的爱心。)。 So, a person is truly rich when they have both money and honor. Honor is about doing things of love, righteousness, making contributions to society and gaining the respect of others. Money alone without the honor explains the bad behaviors of the rich, and especially of their second generation sons and daughters.

    13. Good Luck or Good Fortune 造化
    If we take a closer look at the origin term 造化 that stands for what we today use as good fortune or good luck,  we can see that it is made up of two words of Creation 造  and Change or Transform 化.
    The original meaning is about the evolution or the change and growth of nature. The fortune or luck you have now is not by accident but according to what you do, the development and learning, that you build on your natural talents or strengths that you are born with.  Our inborn talents and strengths must be developed through education and experience, then we can build a destiny or fortune.

    The lesson for us is:
    Develop your strengths and outsource your weaknesses to become a champion. 
    1. Relying on your natural strengths without development will not get you far in life.
    2. Focusing on your weaknesses alone, ignoring your strengths, will only get you to be a mediocre average if you succeed.
    14 Harmony 和谐

    The first Chinese character is 和 which means together peacefully. The components characters are 禾 the rice or wheat group of plants and 口 mouth. It shows that there is rice/wheat for the mouth. Everyone has food to eat, and there need not be any fighting over the food.

    The second Chinese character is 谐 which means a right fitting or getting the right fit and with an extended meaning of fun and joy (诙谐, 谐趣). The secret of getting agreement is revealed in the components of the character 諧. They are 言 speech,白 white or plain, 比 compare to be the same resulting in befriending。The correct way to get agreement is then plain truthful talk and sharing the same standards and objectives. 比 is hexagram number 8 of I-Ching signifying the union of friends. Confucius has a saying on this:

      Gentlemen co-operate without ganging up whereas
      Villains gang up and co-operate not.

      The explanation is that gentlemen co-operate to achieve the whole group's benefits whereas villains gang-up to achieve their own sub-groups benefits at the expense of the whole.
     Here then we see the perspective of group and sub-groups.

      There is another saying of Confucius on harmony:

      Gentlemen harmonize though they are different whereas
      Villains are alike, yet they harmonize not.

      This clearly shows that harmony does not need uniformity or sameness. What is needed is the shared and committed mission with each different part contributes its strength to the achievement of the common mission. Same attributes without shared objective will lead to infighting and destruction. Synergy comes not from sameness but from the harmony of diversity.

    14b 和平

    The Chinese words for peace, of oneself, is 平安, with others and the world is 和平.

    Let's take the Peace for oneself. 平安
    平 is, as explained in an earlier post, is the "all clear" signal of a warning system. There is no danger. All is well.
    But lack of danger is only a negative side of a concept. What about the positive side, having something, like joy in peace?
    Hence, the Chinese added 安 to 平, 平安 to make it complete.
    安 is 宀,新房 new home for the(女,新娘)bride.
    Man having a wife in his home make his life complete.
    Satisfied and no longer running or fooling around.

    World Peace is the words 和平
    和 is mouth blowing a wheat stem or pipe.
    It represents the harmony of different sounds to make a lovely tune.
    Peace begins with the harmony of differences, of languages, races, religions, and of people even within the same family!

    Hebrew is a language like Chinese. It is made up of pictures, each letter of an alphabet is actually a picture or icon.

    The Hebrew word for Peace is Shalom, which is made up 4 icons:
    1 shin "teeth/eat/consume"
    2 lamed "shepherd's staff, control, toward, authority"
    3 vav "peg, nail, join together, attach
    4 mem "water, also represent chaos"

    So a positive interpretation for peace is enjoying the shepherd's care and supplies of water (which can be extended to means all the needs for a living). So, Ps 23v1 The Lord is my shepherd and I have no lack. No lack is Complete.

    If you use the image of water in a negative way like the roaring waves, then it represents confusion. So peace is about consuming the authority that brings the chaos. i.e. Peace is about lack of chaos.

    So, peace has the same meaning in both Chinese and Hebrew.

    1. Lack of chaos, danger.
    2. Make complete with having a wife or a shepherd to care for us.

    Enjoy the wonders of your languages.

    15 Integrity 诚 - 誠

    Integrity is 诚 in simplified form, or in the traditional form, is 誠 which is made up of 言 speech and 成 accomplishment. Integrity is the accomplishment of what we say. It is fulfilling the promises that we make. It is making sure that our talk and our walk is the same.

    16 Business 生意

    Doing business in Chinese is called 做生意 or 做 Do 生 Life/Grow 意 Intention/Wish with an implied meaning of blossoming life and vitality. So before you start any business, you must first have an intention or vision and the know-how to grow and fulfill your vision. You must also do with passion and vitality. If you are not working with passion, then perhaps you can reexamine your intention and vision of your life and then see if there be any mismatch between what you are doing and what you wish. You need to get both to aligned so that you can really grow in what you really want in life.

    17 Buddhism 佛教 The Religion of Buddha

    The essence of Buddhism is captured in a few Chinese Words. When a person wants to become a monk, the Chinese words used to describe the process is called 出家 which means leaving his family.

    A monk is Chinese is 僧 which is made up of 曾(have been, previously) and 人 (man).

    If the monk upgrades himself well he can become a Buddha 佛 which is made up of 弗(not) and 人(man).

    Buddhism is then about leaving the attachment to the world, especially of family, and slowly rid oneself of the human desires to becoming a have-been-man, and then eventually attending nirvana of not being a man. egolessness, but Buddha.

    18 The word that combines both Know and Do is:
    The Chinese Word for Know and Do

    19 Relationship 关系

    "Relationship" in Chinese is made up of two words 关系:

    关 :means close. The original word refers to the horizontal bar that close and secured the doors tightly. Since it means closing, it is used to represent the immigration or point of entry like 关口.

    系:means to tie up, to connect, to fasten.

    So, for building good relationships, we need first to connect and tie up and also to close and shut out other interferences. Relationships are about filtering out and connecting closely.

    20 Change 变

    The Chinese Newspaper Word for the year 2016 is "变", Change.

    The traditional word form is 變.
    Its top part is made of "small talk small", which is from '戀', the love between man and woman. The bottom part is 'pu', which means to hit. Hence, '变' is actually the betrayal of love-bond.

    The 'pu' part can be found in 教 to teach, 牧 to shepherd, 改 to correct, etc. It all involves the use of some form of beating.

    21 颠 dian.

    It has two meanings -
    1 top, summit
    2 inverted, fall down.

    Kind of ridiculous, one word with two completely opposite meaning isn't it?

    But that is typical Chinese Yin-Yang Cyclical change. What goes up must come down. At the very bottom, the only way left is to go up. If you are in your very best time, please be careful so to avoid 乐极生悲 too happy leads to sorrow! In Yi Ching saying, 窮則變,變則通,通則久 poverty leads to change, change leads to flow, flow leads to long-lasting. But, a long period without any change will bring back poverty.

    Back to 颠. We can tell whether it is top or inverted by the associating words. such as 巅峰 summit or 颠倒 inverted, 颠覆 overturn.

    The word components are real and page.
    But Chinese writes from right to left, so real-page was in the wrong inverted order.

    Some say the right-hand side part, the face, was actually an inverted head 首 - the horns of the head went to the bottom to become legs as 頁 so it is really upside-down now.

    Now, what does 癫 mean, knowing that sickness is 病?

    Yes. It means mad.

    Hope you like Chinese words.
    (Mandarin is easy to pick up for conversation because it has no grammar, but difficult in writing and reading).

    22 福 Blessing


    23 变化 Change

    It is typical for Chinese to use two words to represent a complete concept.  We have 1 Crisis 危机 as the first concept in this post. Here we discuss “change”. Change is 变. But what changed? So we have changed in color 变色, change in tone 变调, change in movement 变动, etc. But the more powerful concept about Change is 变化 - 变 as change and 化 transformed. As the external situation changes, we transform ourselves, make improvements, to adapt to the changes. We come out stronger and grow up. We don't let the change defeat us but like the change makes us better. We are transformed.

    24 舒  Relax, Comfort, Smooth Out

    The word for ease and comfort is 舒. It is made up of two words, 舍 to give up, let go, reject and 予 to give, grant, bestow. Hence, if you want to live at ease, then you must know how to let go (of past hurts, pains, revenge, bitterness...) and to give to bless others.  Pursuing your own happiness makes you unhappy whereas making people happy makes you happy. That is known as the paradox of happiness. So to be happy, remember this word 舒(shu), letting go, forgive more, and live generously.

    25 真 Truth or Reality

    See the picture below which has the older form of the word.
    Truth is lifting up the Straight or Right. 
    Straight is transforming one concept by seeing the hidden or the inside of the heart.
    No photo description available.

    26 事情 Thing, Issue, the Matter

    How should we do things or resolve the matter?
    The Chinese words 事情 show us how.
    It is made up of 事 shi, the thing, the issue, the facts and
    情 the emotions, the relationship.

    So to resolve any problem, we have to address the two aspects for the hard facts and the soft emotions or people involved.  Many of us just focus on the facts and often hurt the feelings of the people involved and we are left wondering why no one praises us for solving the problem.

    Lim Liat (c) 2011-2019