Archive for August 2007

3 Essential Tips For Backpacking… In The Trip Of Our Life And Getting There

August 17, 2007

During one of the recent presentations, Genevieve, a backpacking enthusiast, shared on how to pack for a backpacking trip. She brought out a series of factors that we have to take note, namely:

— Finance: the need to keep the budget in mind as you embark on the trip. Expenditure must be properly managed. Her suburban experience where she encountered a strike, had to take the local taxi and eating bread in Rome brought out the importance of wise spending.

— Objectives: it’s important to know where you want to go, otherwise there is always a risk of getting lost in the middle of no man’s land. At the same time, it is always a thrill to explore the countryside to immerse in its beauty, be it the beach, the sea or the mountains.

— Companions: the people who travel with you have to potential to spoil your trip if they are the nagging or the complaining type. They make a difference to your enjoyment of the trip. Fortunately for her, her friends were more than willing to compromise despite the obvious language barrier.

From my perspective, she has hit the nail on the head. Thanks, Genevieve. (Your enthusiasm for life is infectious too!)

Not only has these F.O.C. tips been helpful, I can also see how it is useful to us… as we do backpacking, for the trip of our life and getting there.

In fact, I’ll like to extend and expand on this further to something that we can use for our lives as well as the essentials to achieving whatever we want and where we want to go in life.

** Finance, Resources and Assets: This essential is something we must never do without. The money, technology, equipments and ideas all contribute to our ease in traveling in life’s journey.

** Objectives and Plans: As life is a long backpacking trip, we definitely need to know where we are going and how to get there. The ‘where’ is our ultimate objectives and the ‘how’ becomes our plan to arrive at life’s destination.

** Companions, Friends and Network: These are the people who can help us get to the end point. Companions share the hardships and joy with us, our friends encourage us, while our network bring us their talents, connection and skills that we need.

Are you equipped, ready and packed for the trip of your life?

5 Purposes For Being Awake In The Middle Of The Night

August 16, 2007

As some of you might have already known, I work in the middle of the night from time to time. It’s often quiet and I usually have some things in mind that I want to accomplish.

Being awake in the middle of the night does serve certain purposes:

1. It’s a time to reflect. The night allows me to recall what I’ve done for the day as well as to reflect on my thoughts and actions.

2. It’s a time to plan. I take the night to plan through what I need to do for the next day so as to better maximize the limited time that we all have… that 24 hours.

3. It’s a time to appreciate. As I enjoy the silence of the night, I also get to appreciate the beauty of nature’s creation. It recharges me to remind me of a world that I can love.

4. It’s a time to learn. Learning to me is so essential that I always seek to discover that extra something. It is with this discovery that I grow in knowledge and in skills.

5. It’s a time to grow. When I take everything in perspective, I get to experience an everlasting growth in all aspects.

How about you? What’s your favorite time to grow and prepare to excel?

The Ultimate Purpose Of Your Communication, Presentations And Public Speeches (And The 7 Elements Of Effectivess)

August 15, 2007

“It’s ever essential that we learn how to present well, after all, your career depends on it.” This was what I shared with the participants yesterday as I conducted the workshop on Effective Presentation Skills for a multi-national corporation.

In whichever area you want to strive and excel in, you will have to communicate. As you progress on, you will find yourself having to present to groups of various sizes. Making public speeches to the mass audience is just a matter of time.

Have you thought about why do you even speaking or present? Is it just because you need to fill in the gap of time? Or just because you have to.

Well, the answer is more than that.

As you embark on your Communication, Presentations and Public Speaking (CPPS), you must constantly keep in mind the intent of your doing this.

The ultimate intent and purpose of your Communication, Presentations and Public Speaking is to Get your Message across effectively.

That’s it.

Whatever you do during CPPS, it’s all meant for this. In all speaking strategies you employ, it’s totally designed for this. You have to get your message across to the audience.

Simple as it sounds, it’s actually seldom accomplished. Have you ever heard speeches that ended up making you more confused than ever? Or presentations that induced you into lala-land? Or find yourself “nodding” in agreement as the speaker drones on and on… because you were actually napping?

When you powerfully get your message across to your audience, you will find the following Elements of Effectiveness (EoE) present:

1) Your audience will gain clarity rather than confusion.

2) Your audience will be more motivated and inspired rather than expired.

3) Your audience will experience a sense of completion and satisfaction, instead of that “left out to dry” feeling of unfinished answers.

4) Your audience will know what to do, be it big or small steps, instead of just a bunch of “head knowledge”.

5) Your audience will be influenced and changed somehow, in a certain way, instead of walking out of the room totally the same as before.

6) Your audience will appreciate you in someway, instead of just dying to leave.

7) You will ultimately feel an inner sense of connection with your audience, just as they connect with you in return.

Here’s my best wishes to your next presentation and speech. Go forth. Get your message across to excel!

7 Important Things To Keep In Mind When Managing Change

August 13, 2007

Here are some of my thoughts about changes:

1. Change is the only constant.

2. Always expect changes.

3. Never discount the power and impact of changes.

4. Expect that changes can also be positive.

5. Even if that change doesn’t appear positive, insist on working it towards the positive direction.

6. Knowing how to manage changes is more important than grumbling about changes.

7. To excel is to excel in working with changes because changes will always happen.

5 Top Traits You Must Have For Creativity And To Think Out Of The Box

August 12, 2007

Just completed a series of trainings on Work Improvement Team Scheme (WITS) for the stat boards. Within the workshops, I highlighted the importance of creativity as well as the ability to think-out-of-box.

Indeed, in life encounters and work improvement, we cannot do without creativity.

Here are the 5 top traits you must have for creativity and to think out of the box:

1) You must have open mindedness.

2) You must have flexibility.

3) You must have a sense of curiosity.

4) You must have a sense of acuity.

5) You must have the willingness to “fail” and “make mistakes”.

7 Essential Steps To Build Up Any Organization

August 9, 2007

Here are the essential steps to build up any organization:

1.  Sort out the chaos.

2. Inject strong leadership.

3. Gather a cohesive team.

4. Design plans and strategies together.

5.  Place in checks, balance and reviews.

6.  Keep in mind succession plans and renewal.

7.  Activate the system and cycle.

The 3 Important Lessons About Your Choices In Life

August 8, 2007

In life, we are faced with various options. Some are so much more straight-forward while some are obscure. Nonetheless, with every choice we make, we have to face the consequences that follow.

When it comes to making life choices, there are some central themes that keep occurring again and again. It is crucial that we take note and decide what we want to do next with this information.

Hence, there are the 3 important lessons about choices in life.

1) People have choices. No matter what the circumstances are, they can choose to be happy or sad, laugh or cry, complement or complain. In short, people can choose to be positive or negative.

2) People choose to fail… for most of them, that is. There are usually high percentage of negative people in our community. They often react to situations by being ultra negative and are resistant to new ideas. Complaints galore and lamentations abound rather than the desire to make progress or improvement.

3) People don’t know they choose to fail. Because of a lack of self- awareness or understanding of our own thought process, many people do not have an inkling of an idea that they have already setting themselves up for failure. To many of them, it’s a case of “it’s natural to feel bad” or “”I’ve got no choice”.

Now that you have read about the 3 lessons of choices, it’s vitally urgent to start making choices regarding different aspects.

After all, wanting to Excel Beyond Excellence is a choice.

The Ultimate Thing That Truly Matters About Your Thoughts

August 7, 2007

Everybody has an opinion. Whenever we see something, hear of a news or experience an event, we derive some thoughts about it. Internally we are somewhat affected by it. The more intense the experience the more we are shaped by it.

At the same time, we unconsciously make some decisions about it as a result of our thinking process. Hence our thoughts becomes the trigger for the next thing to come.

But to note that thoughts are just… well, thoughts. On it’s own, it has very little impact on others and the community at large. However, check out its resultant impact by some people… the consequences are massive, and magnificent.

A certain lady thought to herself that she shouldn’t give up her bus seat to a white. And that decision of hers triggered the rise of the Civil Rights movement by the African Americans.

The simple action of Rosa Parks then inspired more thoughts and action of another fellow African American. He become one of the world’s most famous orator, leading him to make a speech that world speakers hailed as one of the greatest public speeches ever. His thoughts came in a form of a dream.

A frail young man thought to himself that he should be in politics to promote his ideas instead of remaining an artist. The consistent action on his thoughts allowed him to designed a new ideology. That resulted in the systematic murder of more than 6 million Jews and alike, but it, arguably, escalated the eventual outbreak of World War 2. This deadliest war in the world caused the deaths of over 60 million human lives.

A trained doctor, despite his poverty, persisted in fulfilling his thoughts of creating a nation where all men have equal rights. He dreamed about it day and night, funding and fueling the rise of at least ten revolutions and beyond. The feudal Qing government was eventually overthrown, paving the way for a formation a Republican system to be underway years later. Today, Dr Sun Yat-Sen is fondly remembered as “The Father of Modern China”.

I could name you numerous examples in the likes of Gandhi, Lincoln, Washington, Kang Xi and others. But I’m sure you get the idea.

Therefore, the ultimate thing that truly matters about your thoughts… is, not your thoughts, BUT it’s What you do about it.

Whenever people have thoughts, the resultant impact is 3 possible scenarios:

1)  Those who just leave it. Its just a thought to them. The though died.

2)  Those who just share it. They talked about it and harped about it. But nothing was really done about it. At the end, it’s either someone else took these thoughts up and created something or it degrade itself into gossip and mere street-talk.

3)  Those who just act on it. That resulted in changes in their lives and people who come into contact with them. Their lives are affected too. Positive thoughts allow a person to excel further beyond through their productive actions.

Remember, positive thoughts should lead to productive actions, which in turn creates useful situations.

Now, having read this, what are your thoughts?

More importantly, what do you plan to do about it?

The Wit And Wisdom Of Winston Churchill

August 6, 2007

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was known for his quick wittiness and spirited replies to those who were against him or dare to mock him.

As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 2, he was known for his strong stand-up to the invaders. As a politician and strategist, he was revered. And as an orator, he sparkled and shone. Churchill was oft quoted, never equaled.

Here are some of his words, peppered with his usual dose of direct satire, cynicism and humor, yet lend some profound lessons:

* “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

* “We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.”

* “History will bear me out, particularly as I shall write that history myself.”

* “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

* “Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others.”

* “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.”

* “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

* “My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”

* “Any man under thirty who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man over thirty who is not a conservative has no brains.”

* “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

Beg Your Pardon?? (Things You Thought You’ll Never Hear From Footballers)

August 5, 2007

Everybody makes some speech bloopers now and then. It just happens. You can call and attribute them as slips of tongue, a lack of concentration, panicky emotions, warped logic or distracted thoughts. Whatever the reasons and rationales are, bloopers make communication an interesting and fun topic to examine and apply.

One thing to note, most of the time, these comments are unintentional and are usually not consciously known to the speaker… until pointed out.

What we can do instead is to learn from these and do our best to say it in a way that make sense. It takes practice no doubt. But it’s always useful for you and I to learn better ways to make speeches and comments.

In this article about Communication Oops and Bloopers: A Light-Hearted Look at How Not to Say It, I came across a report on comments made by some footballers. They brought a chuckle to me and personal learning, so I decided to share some of these remarks with you.

For those linguistically-inclined and the football enthusiasts, you may want to spot where the twists lie.

Remember, it’s OK to laugh at ourselves. Life’s already serious. 🙂

*  “Home advantage gives you an advantage.” — Bobby Robson

*  “If Glen Hoddle said one word to his team at half-time, it was concentration and focus.” — Ron Atkinson

*  “I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona” — Mark Draper (note: Barcelona is a Spanish football club)

*  “If history is going to repeat itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.” — Terry Venables

*  “I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my right sock.” — Barry Venison

*  “I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country. “– Ian Rush on why he failed at Juventus

*  “What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on the radio.” — Gerry Francis

*  “I would not be bothered if we lost every game, as long as we won the league.” — Mark Viduka

*  “I’ve had 14 bookings this season – 8 of which were my fault, but 7 of which were disputable.” — Paul Gascoigne

*  “Germany are a very difficult team to play – they had 11 internationals out there today.” — Steve Lomas from Northern Ireland on why Germany won his team.

*  “Wayne Rooney can go all the way to the top if he keeps his head firmly on the ground.” — David Unsworth

*  “When you’re 4-0 up, you should never lose 7-1.” — Laurie McMenemy

*  “The 33- or 34-year-olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they’re not careful.” — Kevin Keegan