Friday, November 30, 2007

Putting Life In Order

Just by looking at a person's working table or desk, you can tell whether the person is organized or otherwise. The way we do things and arranging things reflect clearly our habits and personality.

Take a look at the work of successful colleague and the the not-so-successful ones. You can see a big difference on the quality. The way the successful writes also reflects the detailed thoughts that goes into their work. The effort is obvious. The order is there.

If you want to have a business that grows, it has to have workable system.
If we want to develop ourself, we need to have some plans and order.

To have plans and order, we need to keep our thinking clear. Keep the essential and necessary. Get rid of the mess within our surrounding. With a clear physical surrounding, our thoughts will be clear. With a clear mind comes good planning. With good planning comes achievable goals.

Therefore to get what we want, we have to put our life in order to have a clear mind to set a clear path leading to our goals.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Learning Is A Chain

Have you noticed how a chain of iron ring is linked up? One ring is completely into another ring. The bond is strong and complete. Learning is the same. We start with something and move on to another.

However, if we do not master the subject before going into others, the linkage or continuation of knowledge or skill understanding may not be strong. The link will be weak and loosen at any time of stress.

Learning is a chain means that we need to pick up the skill, learn it thoroughly, test the newly acquired knowledge or skill, and apply it to check for misunderstanding or missing facts. After only convincing ourselves, should we then move on to the next target of in our learning journey.

One thing therefore leads to another. This way of learning is safer and more satisfying with less degree of disillusion. We will be better motivated to carry on in times of hiccups. Keep building the learning chain and we can stay relevant to serve the society.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Staying On Track In Self-Development

In a self-development progress, many factors towards the development have to be self-considered. What is proper and what is not have to be defined by ourself. We may be confused and lost our direction at times. In those times, what is our guiding principles?

We must always question ourself of the true reasons for wanting to develop ourself. These reasons will be our push and keep us on track towards our goals. However, in our quest for those goals, two important principles, in my opinion, have to be adhered to.

The first one is to do right thing at all times. We have to strike to do things that serves the good of others as well as ourself. Sometimes, we got disturbed in our busy schedule and self-development takes a back seat. In our guilt, we may short change other important matters to offset the missing part in developing ourself. We may become selfish in sharing information to stay ahead. At times, we may be too caught up with our learning that other people's interest are reduced. If we maintain these bad behaviour, we may lose more than we can gain. This is because our relationship with others will be weaken along the way. People will distance themselves from us or starts to distrust us. Strike to do right things with good intentions and maintain our integrity.

The second principle is to do things right at all time. This may be difficult sometimes due to lack of experience. Doing things right saves time and may pevent giving others trouble. Sometimes the work done by us is not up to mark and have to be re-done. It may be due to lack of time or lost of focus. To prevent these from happening in the first place, we must observe our attitude. Self-development means to improve or develop ourself to make ourself useful. This aim should be strong enough to change our attitude towards our work and objectives. With proper attitude towards work and life, things will be done right at the beginning. What errors that occur will then be due to lack of experience or unintentional move.

With these 2 guiding principles, I believe we can move in a direction good enough to show improvement not only in knowledge but in character too. :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Effort First, Rewards Later

There are many ways we can achieve our objectives. There are 2 main types. The short-cut way and the studious type. The first type is right to the point and achieve the objectives in the shortest time. The second type focuses more on understanding and gets results at a later date.

Which is better depends on the aim. If it is time sensitive, we may choose to go for the first method. For learning purpose, the second type is the better choice. Which type is then best for Self-development? The answer is obviously the second type.

For self-development, the trigger must come from within ourself rather than external. This will give us the push and will sustain for a longer period. In this method, effort has to be put in first and rewards to come later. It is a fact that to learn anything, the short-cut ways is definitely out. Why?

Practicing short-cut way of learning narrows the scope of coverage. The details are short-changed for time. When topics are not covered properly or completely, the linkages between concepts and facts may not be enough. This weakens the understanding and may give a false sense of achievement. When tested, this way of learning may expose weakness in the comprehension f information.

Putting effort in understanding all details is not only good but makes learning complete. This is especially so when we are learning on ourself or self-learning. The push to learn is within us. To make it complete is our duty and responsibility. After true learning, rewards will come automatically. Positive outcome will be obtained when we are able to apply the knowledge or skills learned correctly. We will not be able to achieve this when we practice the short-cut way of learning. Effort first, rewards later. This applies to all aspect of learning. Being hardworking has it benefits. It is the principle. We cannot reverse this process of learning, especially in self-initiated learning. Take the studious way and see rewards later. You will feel good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Step by Step Improvement

Self-improvement does not necessary have to be at a regimental pace. If there is learning at this forceful pace, it is wonderful. However, if learning becomes stressful and demoralising, we need to step back and take a hard look at the learning process.

Learning should be done step-by-step. That is to say, when we have mastered a new knowledge in the process of picking up skill, we can move on to the next higher level in the earning journey. If we are not ready for the next step, we should not force ourself to that level since the fundamentals for the current steps may not be fully realised. It may be detrimental to move on to the next higher level of learning as the missing link may generate more questions and is cumulatively in nature. We may reach a state where too many questions or concepts are left unresolved due to not mastering a level before proceeding higher. We will then submit to failure and find the going tough. We will not enjoy the learning and escalate the learning anxiety.

Therefore to have a fun and exciting learning journey, master the current step to a satisafactory level before moving on to a higher level. It enhances our current knowledge and makes learning less taxing and esaier to follow through. Learn at your own comfortable and decent pace when you go for self-development but do set a deadline to check your plan towards achieving your goal.

Everyone Is Our Teacher

There is a saying that to be successful, we have to be with successful people. We will learn from them through the close interaction and through observation. Over time, we will be like them having emulated them and maybe mentored by them. This is not wrong and is a proven way to move ahead fast.

However, in my opinion, we may be confining our outlook to a specific area and may overlook other aspect of life. For example, being rich, we may not have real-hand feeling for the poor. We may be aware of their situation but may not have the sensitivity to talk in their language. We may miss some life issue that we have taken for granted that may not be present in that of the poor. People changes with time and with things that they continuously do. An engineering manager may not understand the problem of a junior engineer even when they have been one themself. Situation changes with time and what is experience in the past may not hold for the present. How then should we build upon ourself to know the condition or have the sensitivity to engage anyone?

It lies in our mixture of friends or people around us. Keep an open mind to absorb the style of these people and try to understand the "why" of their behaviour. Everyone is then our teacher. We count upon them to expand our knowledge of people's behaviour and thinking. If possible do not limit ourself to a targetted group. We may argue that we are limited in time to cover such a wide range of human thinking. But how else can we really understand others when we stay away from them? It is impossible. Our brain will sooner or later eliminate these other groups and lose the knowledge.

Therefore to have a good coverage of life in society, mix or network widely and treat everyone as your teacher. Each one of us is a teacher to everyone as we possess some lessons in life that others may not have gone through.

How To Overcome Fear- A Useful Skill

Whether young or old, we do experience fear at certain times of our life. It is at these times that we find ourselves being unsure and insecure. We may feel lost and frightened. We do not know what is the next step.

Nobody like to be caught in this fearful situation. This situation may come unnoticed or may even be anticipated. In may be related to new assignment(for working adults), new tutorials (for students), parenting issues in the case of new-borned baby, newly wed couples in handling their relationships, or job security. The list is endless but the feeling is the same if not similar.

What should we do then?

A direct answer is to face the matter head-on. Solve whatever stands in the way that creates fear. Seek to address the issues, talk about it or discuss any way to reduce if not totally remove it. It may be all in the mind. The situation may not be as fearful as one may assume. Discover the real condition or constraints that leads to the fear. Keeping it within ourself do us no good. It only stresses us and inhibit our progress both mentally and physically.

To be able to handle fear is a useful skill in life and is worth the time to develope. The more we are willing to solve fear, the easier it is to reduce or remove that fear. Be brave and honest with ourself. We are human. If after trying our best and the situation cannot be rectified, we can be consoled in the sense that we did our best to rescue the situation. With that notion, we will be more relaxed and the fear should subside over time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Benefits of Preparation | Self-improvement

Self-improvement is a process whereby we enhance our knowledge widely. We do not limit our self to an area. We scan the vast ocean of information, picking up new skills, new know-how and methods. But why do we do that?

Simply put, self-improvement enriches our soul. We will feel a better person with real content within. We can speak confidently and guide others well. It will be viral where people around you gets "infected" in the positive sense. Self-improvement is actually preparing ourself for the future. With the fast changing nature of life and work demands, having the latest knowledge or information is like having treasure within your brain. Having new skills and ideas, and linking the new with the existing, we form another strength to capitalise on where the needs come.

Preparation is therefore to enable us to meet future demands. We are preparing to engage future opportunities and is ready for them when they arrives. Our response time will be shortened when we are ready. This is a benefit for being prepared. And is the one reason for self-improvement. Do not confine ourself to any area. Just read and absord widely. This is also a definite criteria to being creative. Thinking out of the box, finding the missing links within us, finding new areas of interest and self-reflection can be used to start the ball rolling in our search for topics to embark on. Get prepared and enjoy the learning!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Boost up Self-Esteem

To have self-improvement and self-confidence, we need to also have strong self-esteem. All work hand-in-hand to give us strength in the pursuit for betterment. So what actually is self-esteem?

It is the value that we refer to ourself. Whether it is high or low depends on how we look at our attitude, beliefs, and the feelings about ourself. It gives us hope to stay useful and, mentally and physically healthy. It gives us the future.

In order to improve ourself, we need to give ourself the hope of doing something for the good of the future. We need to boost our self-esteem to its highest to have strength and motivation to surge forward and learn.

A person with high self-esteem has these few main characteristics:
1) feels comfortable that he can face up to most challenges
2) have strong self-confidence
3) accepts who he currently is

A person with strong self-esteem looks at failures as lessons in learning. He review the failures and captures the mistakes leading to it and learn from it. He builds on the experience to move forward.

In order for us to have this self-esteem, we need to bost our self-esteem if it fails below expectation. We have our own strength as well as weakness. Do not concern too much about our weakness if our goal is to improve ourself. I, believe that with a strong self-esteem, we can add value to life for ourself as well as to others. Think positive and Cheers.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Teaching As A Way To Learn And Improve

Many a times, after learning some knowledge or skill, we tend to forget about them for a period. When the time comes to use the newly found skill, we cannot perform as we have lost track of the concepts. No application of the skill was done to enhance internalisation of the knowledge or skill picked up.

There is a way to prevent the above situation from occurring. It is to teach others.

Many advantages come about through teaching others. Firstly, we need to prepare ourselves before we can teach. This mentally prepare us to master the topics. The seriousness sets in. We look into most aspect, if not all aspect, in covering the topics. We picked up the links and relations between the sections which indirectly enforces longer memory retention of the facts. Next comes the presentation of materials. Before a good presentation, we need to plan the flow of knowledge which, again, indirectly causes a systematic retrieval of relevant facts at that stage of presentation. It is like solving a problem on paper. The steps in the presentation guide our thoughts. This will internalise and refresh the content of the topics.

After the presentation phase, questioning stage comes next. Questions will challenge us to come out answers or solution that we may have missed out during our study or learning. More brains will generate more questions. At this stage, the trainer and students can share their ideas for the sake of learning. New ideas or solutions can be found through the intensive discussions. Through active learning, compared to passive learning, knowledge gained can sustain with time as we need to internalise the concepts before we can present. Teaching in this context, may not be in a classroom setting, but rather, a comfortable one-to-one or one-to-few table "sharing"session.

Teaching others therefore is a good way to apply our newly acquired knowledge and make retention longer. It also builds rapport with learners besides boosting one's confidence and self-esteem. Presentation skill as well as communication skill are improved upon. Teaching, therefore, causes self-improvement.