31 July 2023

Steps to Great Success - Sun Zi, Ray Dalio, Richard St John & Kazuo Inamoric

What are the steps that you can take to achieve great success? 

I was impressed much with Ray Dalio's "Principles" book. It lay out the principles for successful life and work. See my summary here. A key teaching was the “5-Step Process".

Then I came across Kazuo Inamoric's quotations. He also had a 5-Step to success.

I recalled Richard St John's TED Video presentations. He did much research to discover the 8 secrets of success. His later work changed it to "8 Traits to Great".

I have been teaching Sun Zi's Art of War for 10+ years. I have been teaching that Sun Zi is more than just warfare. It is about how ordinary people can do the extraordinary. It is about giants-killing wisdom.

All four works are summarized in the diagram below.

Please use it as a reflection and see how you can make improvements to live a better and more successful life.

Lim Liat (c) 31-7-23

See also:

Success Principles for Life - The Wisdom from East...

New CEO Leadership Attributes and Ancient Chinese ...

30 July 2023

Work Hard or Work Smart - The Better Answer

What's your answer to this question "work hard or smart"?
It reveals your mindset and shows you how to be creative.

Do we work hard or work smart?

Most people will tell you to work smart rather than work hard. Some will tell you to work hard. Who is right? 

People who ask this question have the 2D Either-Or mindset. It is a restricted mindset. It is too simplistic. 

We look at the output formula:

Output = Effort x Method 

If you want higher output, you can work harder using the present method or you can improve your method so that with the same amount of effort, you get higher output. 

So we can see that we can and should do both, hard and smart to get higher output.

Kazuo Inamori, give us a 3 element formula

The result of life and work = Way of thinking (personality and philosophy)

                                                 × Hard work (enthusiasm)

                                                 × Ability

The Way of thinking may be better understood as your attitudes or mindsets toward life and work. It involves taking pride in life and work, motivation, the pursuit of excellence, etc. With such an attitude, we will continue to work hard and smart to make never-ending improvements.

If you have the 3D Yin-Yang mindset, then you will probably say that "Work hard or smart" is the wrong question. The better question will be "When should we work hard or smart?" or "When & Where & Who should work hard(Effort) and work smart (How)?” 

By bringing in the context of the situation where work is done, we get to know more about where and how and who can we make improvements.

A typical principle of life is "make the strange familiar" and then "make the familiar strange" in a never-ending cycle of improvements as in Kazuo's attitude.

With a new innovation, a new method, we need to work hard to get ourselves familiar with it - we have the saying practice makes perfect. Once we master the new method, it is time for us to make the familiar strange to come out with a new method. This will enable us to make endless improvements in life.

So, which mindset do you have? 2D or 3D?

Can we learn about Kazuo's formula for life and work = Mindset x Effort x Ability?

We need to heed the warning "Don't let our hard work be an excuse for our laziness in thinking". Similarly, let us not use working smart to be an excuse for not really working hard.

Lim Liat(c) 30-8-2023

See also: Work Hard or Work Smart to be Successful? Let Sun Zi tells you.