It was a little bit sad looking out of the window from my seat on the 24th floor in the Park Avenue Plaza building. It was raining badly in the morning when I came in; it was almost freezing when I went to lunch with my lovely Chinese colleagues; yet 5 seconds ago, it suddenly cleared up and it was all sunny. The windows almost felt like non-existent.
But it was sad because I am leaving NY, though only for 3 months. Yes I am going to Hong Kong for a short-term assignment which is a great opportunity and I look forward to the new adventures, discoveries, and I am excited about what else about people, culture, business and life I may be able to share with you. The past few weeks have been hectic with all the logistics and responsibility transfers, and of course, a lot of late night calls with Asia. But at this point, I felt calm. A little bit sad, yet calm.
I am not sure how frequent I will be able to write while I am working out of Hong Kong. I am under the impression that I will be working crazy hours given that’s the only reason they want me there. But before I embark on my new journey I want to leave with you a few stories which I have experienced recently. I thought about naming these under “self-improvement” or “peace of mind” or even “pursuit of happiness in life”, but when I started writing I realized it all comes down to — knowing yourself better, and especially your attitude when you respond to unexpected things in life.
It’s challenging, but it’s not that hard.
Do one thing that scares you every day
It was a Wednesday and I just came back from Delaware with our clients for a day trip to our data center. I have 2 hours to kill before Mary Poppins, so I marched into Borders trying to finish Liar’s Poker, and then another book caught my eyes: The 4-hour Work Week. I heard a lot about this book from my friends and I used the next hour flipping through the pages and I’m pretty happy with what I am reading, and I think Tim Ferriss does offer people a sweet DEAL (Definition, Elimination, Automation & Liberation).
I was staying late for a regional call with Asia and before I left the office I walked around the floor to see who else is there at this hour. I saw one of my colleagues on another team who was just promoted to VP. I walked into his office and said, what’s going on?
And then I noticed a book on his desk The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (the collection of mini-bios from the generation of WWII), and I asked him, do you enjoy reading bios?
He said, “yes, I’m just starting this one, but my latest read and my all time favorite was Winston Churchill’s biography”, his eyes lightened up, “and actually I still remember very clearly the 5 things about him and his life.”
I was intrigued, and he started writing on the whiteboard hanging next to the wall.
- Aim high (you know what this means)
- No substitute for hard working (you know what this means but focus on whether you are doing it)
- Get back on the horse (meaning no matter how many times you fail or fall off the horse, you stand up, be strong, and get back on the horse)
- Never be revengeful (Don’t spend even a second on thinking how to get back to those who may have hurt you or sabotaged you, this is politics, but you have more important things to focus on)
- Help others (again, probably easier said than done)
And then I asked a critical question which landed my writing here today. I asked, if you are to rank the importance of these 5 things which one will come on top?