28 November 2020

What is Your One Word for 2020?

My 1-Word is Expose. What is yours?
Every year-end, the media play the game of "One Word that captures the events for the year". This year is a very special year, Too Much Happened In 2020 For Oxford Languages To Pick Only 1 Word of the Year.  The Chinese Newspaper ZaoBao runs a competition for people to pick the word. The choices are 罩 Mask. 命 Fate. 瘟 Pandemic. 宅 Stay-Home. 惶 Fear. 灾 Disaster. 封 Lockdown. 误 Misleading. 囤 Surrounded. 关 Locked. What is your choice? 

For me, the One-Word is "Expose曝.

The COVID-19 virus exposed the character, the values, the strengths and weaknesses of people, culture, and systems. It is a stress-test to see how are strong and who are weak. 

It shines the light to reveal the defects, the selfishness of people, and also the courage and the self-sacrificing frontline workers, especially the doctors, nurses, and other operation staff. 

There are a few shocking exposures:

1. The better medically equipped and more hygienic countries like the US and Europe did not fare any better than the Asian countries like China, and Southeast Asia. In fact, they are much worse off. It has to do with their culture and values.

2. Those that value human rights and freedom that deems lockdown and wearing masks as violations of their rights are worse off.  Such values place self above the community. 

3. Those that value wealth more than human lives and go against lockdown are worse off. Such democratic systems that are supposed to value human rights and lives do not achieve their original purpose. There needs to be a relook at such democratic systems.

4. Those who study the behavior of the COVID virus and then adopt practices that stop the spreads win. Those that ignore the facts and go by their subjective values, beliefs, and prejudices lose. 

The biggest lesson learned is that we must study and find the facts and then let the facts drive decision making. The COVID virus is, on one hand, dangerous and yet on the other hand not, because their behavior is fixed and we can control and fight it.

So, it reveals the importance of scientific thinking. It also reveals the importance of following the teaching of the Great Learning --- Learning the facts and following them. See Understanding The Great Learning DaXue in One Minute.

What is your 1-Word for 2020? More importantly, what have you learned from the pandemic?

Lim Liat (C) 28 Nov 2020

13 October 2020

Answering Jeff Bezos' 12 Questions on Living a Great Life with Sinology

I have previously shared Jeff Bezos' Living a Life without Regrets - Re-mapping from Bezos' 10 Choices. I recently discovered there were actually 12 Questions. So I have to update the mind-map to reflect that. Then, using a Chinese Philosophical Mindset, I try to provide the answers. The updated mind-map is shown as follows:

How do the answers compare with yours?

Lim Liat (c) 13 Oct 2020

06 September 2020

'Rebel Leadership' and Confucianism

The article in inc.com "6 Habits of 'Rebel Leadership' That Most of Us Rarely Practice" attracted my attention. What has leadership had to do with rebels? What are we to rebel about? It turns out that the authors were trying to rebel against the modern values and behaviors caused by the stress on performances and profits-making of the capitalistic society. Human beings are becoming human doing. We are losing our humanness. Gary Hamel has a new book on this "Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them".

A more surprising discovery is that the teaching is a subset of the Confucianism teaching in "The Book of Great Learning 大学".

The following mind-map compares their contents:

So, it seems to support my proposed idea that "modern Western Management is moving towards Ancient Chinese Wisdom" or "Management 2.0 is Chinese Philosophy".

See The Future Of Management is Ancient Chinese Classics
and Integrated View of the Wisdom of Chinese Classics – Future of Management Now

Lim Liat (c) 6 Sep 2020

31 May 2020

Living a Life without Regrets - Re-mapping from Bezos' 10 Choices

Want to live a life without regrets?
But definitely not too late for the young people among us.
Here are 10 Questions from Jeff Bezos, the richest man now of Amazon...
I regrouped and rephrased the 10 questions into two groups and hopefully make it easier to understand and remember...
I hope you can also see the benefits and power of doing mind mapping.

Imagine how it would look like if I join it to previously accumulated wisdom...

Are You Prepared for Growing Old?

Are you nearing 60 in age?

Or are you above that already?

How to grow old gracefully...

I did a mind-map for it.

And I can summarize it as:
  • Don't be too self-centered.
  • Just be grateful for your life and others around you.
  • Plan to help or make others happy will make you happy too.
    (That's the paradox of happiness.)
See also:

06 April 2020

What can we learn from China on the coronavirus pandemic?

Do you envy this ... China's new cases +30!

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ for 5 Apr 2020)

The 5 Apr 2020 chart was deleted by Google. It does not matter.
Here is the latest 7 May 2020 chart.

1. 塞翁失马 焉知非福 Old man Sai lost his horse but we don't know whether it is not fortunate.
When the coronavirus spread in Wuhan, we thought China was in big trouble. Some people even made fun of their troubles. It was really bad then until we now when we see the comparison. Nevertheless, they realized it was very bad and they took decisive actions to stop it. Now they are in positions to help many nations and increasing their influence with the world. The rejected become welcomed and appreciated.
2. They are even more Kiasu than Singaporeans.
There is the Chinese saying that long-term pain is worse than short term pain 长痛不如短痛 so they took drastic actions to lock down Wuhan and other cities also follow suits with less drastic actions. The whole country was mobilized to support Hubei province and Wuhan. We also took less drastic actions and our people did not take the virus spread seriously still going on holidays during the March breaks; we continue to have parties and gatherings etc that we are forced to take more drastic actions now. Of course, it is a judgment call, balancing the demands from multiple factors and we could only have hindsight wisdom.
I taught our Kiasusim is good and follows the teaching of Sun Zi's Art of War. But the Chinese outdo us. See http://mind-value.blogspot.com/…/durians-Singaporeans-li-ka…
Since this is warfare against the virus, perhaps we should study more on The Art of War.
3. Their leadership and Unity of the People.
There is yet another Chinese saying, "一方有难 八方支援“
One side has troubles, eight other sides come in to help.
The speed and scope of the mobilization of the entire country's resources to help Hubei are most impressive. Other countries allow the virus to spread so that all are in trouble. The so-called most powerful nation has its president blaming the state governors and vice versa. The Federal and the States are bidding up the prices of resources. The differences in the quality of leadership are obvious.
The teaching of Sun Zi's Art of War tells us it is always the leaders' fault. Sun Zi gives us five factors to evaluate a situation and seven questions to measure the levels that we have achieved. Leadership is in the 5 factors. But the 2 questions of the 7 measures are about the capability and training of the men. The men are not in the 5 factors. It shows that the performance and behavior of the men are the results of the leadership. Singaporeans' behavior is the result of the leadership of our founding fathers like LKY, GohKS, and the team.
Lim Liat (c) 6 Apr 2020