One of my girlfriends is visiting NY for meetings and she asked me to help her to pick up her wedding gown from Vera Wang the day before. I am so happy for her. You know there are times when you say “good for you” you actually feel “gosh it’s so unfair I cannot believe she is getting this while I didn’t!” But that kind of feeling is not in my dictionary anymore. I am lucky to be surrounded by both guys and girls who are as ambitious, capable, observant, insightful and FUN as myself (sorry I’m complimenting myself again), if not more, and they complement me as a human being, and they inspire me every day to give back more with passion and love.
Ultimately it’s not about a competition after all. It’s about inviting someone to join the life journey with you, to learn, to share, to enjoy; or sometimes, just to sit quietly together while looking out of the window, and maybe laugh, and sing.
Treat people right, any people
When I was in Hong Kong I went to this Portuguese restaurant once and ordered some baked pork and rice dish. I asked the waiter some standard question on what kind of sauce he recommends, how long it will take, and how big the portion is etc. Apparently he was relatively new and he couldn’t answer half of the questions. I got very impatient. I unintentionally raised my voice and I was at the edge of asking to be served by another waiter. He was embarrassed obviously, and my friend who went with me gave me a very disturbed stare, which I couldn’t quite figure out why at the moment. Read more…
I watched a few episodes of the TV drama “Never say goodbye 说好不分手” these days in Hong Kong. It’s astonishingly touching. I remember one comparison pretty clearly when one of the lead guys commented on his relationship with two distinctive girls in a very interesting way:
- The relationship I had with A is like playing video games. There’s always another challenge waiting for me. It’s fun and engaging, it keeps me going. The best part is, you have multiple chances with one challenge, and you can even restart if it’s “game over”.
- The relationship I had with B is like doing a surgery. I have to be extra careful every second. The more I care about the patient the more nervous and intense it becomes. It gets tiring to be honest, because as a surgeon you have but one shot. If you screw this up you don’t have another chance.
This simple but very insightful comparison and analogy made me reflect deeply on how human beings interact and leave impressions on each other. Then I started thinking about relationships in general, and all the wonderful girlfriends of mine who are still single, and all the charming guy friends of mine who are still confused about what the hell all the girls are thinking. But the fact is: the girls are not less confused, and probably only more.
I am in no position to categorize myself as a relationship expert because I am simply not, but I know one thing that I am actually good at: to state the obvious but in a unique way that would make sense to all of you no matter where you are coming from. I used to tell myself: the first step to achieve anything in life is to decide what you want. So what I am trying to do here is really just to share some observations and understandings on how to make a smarter decision on what you should be looking for in a long term relationship.
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).
You can easily identify a narcissistic person by the following 2 qualities:
- When a narcissistic person tells you how good he is, like he’s a number 9 out of 10, he really believes he’s a number 9; he will never secretly feel he’s only a number 7 but will behave as if he’s a number 9. He truly firmly profoundly fundamentally believes that he’s a number 9.
- When you give compliment to a narcissistic person, no matter how exaggerating and ridiculous your compliments are, he will always happily accept it – he would probably not use language like “I’m flattered”; instead he is likely to respond something like, “I totally agree with you”, or “I think you’re totally right about me”.
Let me take a break and write something fun about myself.
So I did this a long time ago when the 25 Things About Me idea first came out on facebook and I got tagged by someone else. Now I realized there are so many precious things about me I didn’t get to mention and so many new experiences I didn’t get to illustrate. So I rewrote this in memory of the first 25 years of my life, and I want to dedicate this to everyone who has been a part of my life, who has challenged me, inspired me, encouraged me, showed up for me, stayed with me when I felt frustrated, confused, and anxious, and finally, who has embraced my character wholeheartedly.
Btw, in case you are wondering, the pictures are taken by professional camera so you know how misleading they can be.
1. I introduce myself as Kanye with a D = Danye, and people love it. Well everyone knows Kanye West, but very few are aware that “Dan Ye” means “red leaf” in Chinese.
2. I am BIGGGGGGGGGG on sleep; I am BIGGGGGGGGGG on efficiency too.
3. I like abs. I think just abs is good enough.
4. I have visited all 8 Ivy League universities + MIT + Stanford + UChicago.
5. The only flower I wish to receive is lily: it has to be lily and it has to be white.
So this is bonus season again and despite how much you DON’T want to hear discussions about it, people talk about what they are getting, people express feelings of dissatisfaction or content, and people start thinking about other options.
Especially for young professionals who just entered the workplace in the past one or two years, this is a crucial question you might want to ask yourself: should I stay? Or should I go for another firm?
Wait ~~~7 Key Reasons to hold off jumping to somewhere else!
1. You have been there for no more than 6 months
You typically need 6-8 months to get used to a new job anyway. It is hardly a smart decision to leave already before you give yourself enough time to get comfortable with the day-to-day work.