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What will you answer if someone asked you “How are you feeling today?”. I can tell you straight….your answer would most probably be one of these – “Not bad”, “Ok lor” or “So so” for Asians, “Bad”, “Still alive”.

How many of you actually answers “Fine!”? Maybe 10% of you? Before I finished the 2 books “Drop the pink elephant” by Bill McFarlan and Anthony Robbins’ book “Awaken The Giant Within“, I must admit that I’ll answer “Still surviving..”, “Still alive”, “Ok lor”, “So so” or the best I could come out with …”Fine”. What will you feel if someone replies you with that? Boring right? It will certainly make the person looks a bit negative….or not-in-the-mood.

Give it a try…go ask someone “how are you?” and you will immediately know whether you are talking to a positive, negative or boring person. If the person says “Still alive”….it’ll make him/her feels down….and at the same time, making you feel uneasy.

Replace it with “Great, “Awesome” or at the very least…”Fine”. It’ll not only lift you up and make you feel great…you will also make the other person feels better.

Try this, and I’m sure you will find the difference soon enough. 🙂

Together, we’ll try to make this world a better place.

p/s….please don’t overuse the question and start pestering people with “how are you?”s. 😀

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In this post, I’ll talk about how we can avoid being a boring person during a conversation.

 

Conversation is an important activity for everyone. You need to have a constructive conversation with your employees, employers, clients, family, friends, etc. There are few things that you need to remember every time you have a conversation with someone.

 

  • Not to use the wrong word.

Never use the words or sarcastic remarks which will hurt the feelings of your conversation partner. Be polite, be courteous. Remember, you are talking to get your points across, get feedbacks, or to make people’s life better….not taunting or trying to ruin people’s day. You won’t get that many opportunities to talk to the person again if you mess this up. Remember, a single word can ruin a relationship which used thousands of words to build.

  • Talk about things which are related to the person you’re talking to.

When you’re talking to someone, make sure you are talking about something which is related to the person especially if the person is not very close to you. You won’t want to bore someone you barely know with your personal problems. Once in a while is okay…but if you continuously talk about stuff which is only related to YOU…sooner or later, the person will be frustrated and avoid you.

  • Maintain eye contact.

This is to avoid your conversation partner from wandering too far away during the conversation. It is also to show you are sincere in your conversation.

  • Make it a 2-ways communication.

Being courteous and polite are very important. Never interrupt a person’s conversation unless it’s something urgent or very important. Give people the opportunity to voice out their opinions. Make the conversation 2-ways.

  • It’s nice to be a good listener.

Sometimes, it’s important for us to play the role of a listener. Just pay attention to what your conversation partner is talking at that time (it could be your family, spouse, clients, colleagues, etc). If you’re paying attention and give some constructive and useful feedbacks….people will learn to appreciate you more. 🙂 Yeah, I know, some people complain way too much to you….well, the only thing you could do is to make the person feel more positive. 😉

You can easily find these ‘best practices’ from the book “Drop the pink elephant” by Bill McFarlan. It’s a good book. Highly recommended. 🙂

p/s…I’m not very good in a conversation. Need to work hard in this field as well. 😉

If you’re a manager, will you find the right people first or will you get the project first? If you just started a company all by yourself…will you find the right people or start looking for new project?

This is like the chicken & egg story. Which one comes first? or which one SHOULD come first? To be honest, it’s quite subjective.

Based on the book “Good to great” by Jim Collins, he mentioned that it is important to find the right people first, before everything else. I do believe in his wise words. You might think that without a project, why even bother to hire more people? I once think like you do, and I am sure most of the people in the corporate world will think that way. However, after reading this book, I somehow feel that..perhaps, it IS very important to get the right people on the bus, before deciding where to head to.

Let’s have an example….

You just started your company, alone. You have a business plan but no project. However, you seriously need someone to help out…so you started to look for people….. Only 2 situations might occur :

  1. You got the right people on the bus, revised the business plan, decided which direction to head to and together as a team, started to drive your company to that direction.
  2. You prefer to get the projects first. You tried and tried…finally, you got a project. You scurried around looking for people….and you found them. Off they went, for the project.

In (1), it’s the classic example of getting the right people first. This way, you can have all the brain juice you need from the “smart” people you hired. Of course, to some companies, this will prove to be very costly….but think about it, perhaps it IS worthwhile to do so?

In (2), you hired “followers” who only had the chance of coming to the company and implementing whatever you’ve instructed them to do so. You are the “boss”, the sole decision maker. If you managed to screw it up….your company is screwed as well.

This theory, applies to all sort of companies – from startups to big corporations. It just depends on how much they believe in it. If I were to start a company, I would definitely follow the “people first, direction later” theory since I can be more assured my company is heading the right way with all the expert co-drivers and navigators in my bus. 🙂

Again, it’s your call.

p/s…I might not be able to express myself well enough in this topic. For further information, do refer to the book by Jim Collins which I’ve mentioned above.

I didn’t realize how negative I was until I’ve read Anthony Robbins’ book “Awaken The Giant Within“. The book is quite old but it is indeed a very good book.

In this book, Tony talked about how important it is to have a positive mindset. Having negative mindset doesn’t mean it is bad…but thinking negatively all the time is bad.

By thinking positively, you look at alternatives or focus on the solutions and not the problems. You will think about the things or lessons you can gain from a particular problem or mishap. If you think negatively, you will just be wasting your own energy focusing on the wrong thing – the problem. What is the use if you just think and worried about a problem when you can actually focus on the solution?

For example, if your business proposal (which you’ve spent weeks or months on it) got rejected by the board of directors, what would you do? Sulk? Angry? Furious? Well, to be honest, I would feel disappointed but I will try not to be stuck on that feeling for too long. It’s better for me to gather whatever lessons or feedbacks I can get and move on from there. Learn from mistakes and focus on how you can improve the situation the next time you try. Why? So that you can come back stronger.

If you don’t, you will not move forward. You’ll be stuck in that failure and sooner or later, it’ll drain your energy and your life. You will lose all motivation to try again.

How you live your life, will depend on how you see the world…. and what is your focus. The problem or the solution?

This post might not be as helpful as I would’ve hoped. I do recommend Tony’s book for everyone. He provides a much better explanation than me (I’m still learning how to focus on the right things at the right time).

Ever find yourself overspending every month? To be honest, I always find myself overspending (maybe it’s because I’m a Piscean).

I’ve been working for more than 2 years now and I basically have limited savings. I tend to buy a lot of stuff (gadgets, clothes, books, games) without even looking at the price. Ah….the wonder of credit cards.

However, without money, there are a lot of things which you can’t possibly do. You can’t start your own business. You can’t help those in needs. You can’t even save yourself if there’s an emergency. That is why, it is always important to have a bit of money in your bank (be it Fixed Deposit, savings account, funds, etc).

For myself, I’ve started to save a small portion of my salary since 5 months ago. That was when I came across the book “The richest man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. The book has a very simple concept of managing your finance. Let’s summarize it this way….

  • Every month, save 10% of your salary (something to begin with. You can save more if you’re comfortable).
  • This is a MUST. Save the 10% no matter what. Make this a habit and don’t give excuses to yourself if you can’t save. 10% is not really a big amount. Cut down on your food and your “Nice to have” items to accommodate this 10%.
  • You’ll eventually see your savings grow….but since savings account does not provide you high interest rate, feel free to get the money out and put into things like Fixed Deposit, or trust funds. Let the money grow…. but do proper research before you commit to something.

That’s it. Simple right? I do highly recommend the book to all of you out there. 🙂 Hope it helps.