Morning reflection – on quotes from Simple Jack

This morning, I got up early. I actually barely  wake up naturally by 10am. Today is an exception. My parents are going to the airport. I have to go send them off.

I’ve also finally found sometime to write a new blog entry. There is one piece I’ve been thinking for quite a while. Unfortunately, most of the time actions come later than words. By the way, tomorrow is World Toilet Day!

This is an article on Jack’s biography. I don’t read much in English, but I would recommend this one because it’s written in short sentences and simple language.

1) No qualifications are needed for many businesses. 創業不需要認證.

In today’s world, many of us cannot get enough of school. 3-year college became 4-year university. Now many take 5 years to complete it. 2,3 years more for a master, top up with a 5-year PhD (or multiple PhDs). What’s wrong with today’s youth? We are now producing a bunch of kids with tons of knowledge, but no real world experience.

It wasn’t like this decades ago. Back then, young men/women dived into the real business world, learned through their failures and constantly modified their plans. They had no degree, but they built many successful businesses around the world.

To myself and many others who worship higher education – Focus on learning, not on result. And don’t be too ridiculous!

2) Take ownership of the challenge 把挑戰扛在自己肩上

I am not too sure why people want free rides, or how do some free-riders succeed in the corporate world. Owning a challenge and suceed is far more enjoyable than making others carry you. Looking back at many Commerce assignments back in school, I realize how many free riders there are. Good that none of them is a friend of mine.

3) There is no rehearsal in life. You live only once. 生命無排練。你只能活一次。

This is intuitive, yet counter intuitive to today’s youth. Because many times, we are asked to practice questions until we get the perfect answer. However, in front of time, we don’t actually get to practice. Every minute is different than the last one. There is no repetition.

4) A crisis happen not because the problem is too big. It happens because we feel too small. 危機不是大問題造成的,而是我們自我感覺渺小造成的。

When we think limitation, we get caught in troubles, and we become smaller. When we feel powerless, we do nothing (or do stupid things). Then a monster grows. Forest fires are usually started by 1 tiny cigaratte. To kill the monster early, we need the right amount of confidence.

5) There is an oversupply of thinkers and a shortage of doers. 想的人多,做的人少。

I am not sure if this is true in every sector, but this is certainly what I am seeing in the social innovation sector! Papers, articles, conferences in mass production. Real social entrepreneurs in limited quantity. Note to myself, get of the actionless loop.

6) Rewarding effort often produces no tangible results. 光是獎勵氣力是不能保證帶來成效的。

Don’t pay somebody a bonus if he/she tried. Reward them only when they produce results. If they can’t, they are not suitable for the job. This is actually an issue with our current research. Funds are pre-allocated for us. How can we maximize efficiency and reward excellence this way? Not likely. Had we set the rule to quantify number of papers, the number of successful contacts, and the number of events attended, then reward ourselves, it might be different.

Note to self, never prepay 100% for things.

7) You have to know when it is time to let go because you do not want to die in the office. 別太上心,你應該不想死在辦公桌上。

Many of my friends are so talented that they work 12-16 hours a day. I have to admit I am lazy and cannot work that hard. Many talented people are also perfectionists who cannot allow things to go wrong. They overdraft their health and time on things that they later find out are not as worthy. Don’t die in the office guys. Die at home. (unless you have a home office **)

8) All organizations are screwed up. The least screwed up wins. 所有組織都有大大小小的問題。毛病最小的那個就贏了。

True * 1000. I’ve worked 6, 7 different jobs through high school and university. I often wonder how could those businesses still exist because they are so screwed up! They still do exist. And they are probably still screwed up. From my own experience, this rule does apply.

9) The guarantee of success is not the method or a business plan. It is a person. 成功的保證不在方法或模式,而在人。

I was just about to write an article about the importance of a method for social business success. Great. I can save the effort for something else, such as mountain hiking or night marketing strolling. I need to invest in myself!    😛

10) (to the challenge of social work) It’s hard to fail because the problems are so big, you can always make things better. 為社會/公益做事很難失敗,問題實在太多了,你怎樣做都只會更好。

LOL. To make an attempt and fail is almost always better than making no effort at all. And yup, there are way too many problems with the social sector. One good solution can generally solve many’s problems.

Back to formal, yet not so motivated newsletter writing. 😦


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