Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thou shall not treat others the way Thou wouldn’t want to be treated

I remember it wasn’t that long that I was an employee who complaint about my company and bosses, and about how incompetent people are and how unproductive things are. That time I was very sure if I am the boss, it would do things right and shall never repeat these mistakes.

Not very long later, I was half a boss, started to employ my first employee, trying to make sure everything is perfect for him while avoiding all the mistakes which my ex-company had done to me. While doing so, I found not many bosses would share the same ideology as I did. Some didn’t feel a need to make the employee happy, while some have no idea what need to be done (or maybe they don’t really care about the satisfaction and happiness of the employee). I on the other hand, is a strong believer that the employee must be happy and satisfied in order to produce good result. I’ll try my best to make sure that they get what I hope to get while I was an employee, to create the near-perfect working environment for them. Why treat them so nice? Perhaps I wanted to be treated so back then, and I would contribute a lot more and stayed longer.

While I was trying to be a good half-boss, I found that sometimes things are not within my control. I can’t really run the company the way I dreamt of running it, as different partners have different perceptions and values. It is like I can’t really sustain the business without them, yet I have to live with their way of running the business. Again, can’t really live with them, neither without them. Perhaps it’s the matter of compromising again, creating a less than perfect environment. Perhaps it’s too easy to be average, very difficult to achieve high quality, and above average is not hard.

Perfection only lies within the eye of the beholder, perhaps sometimes it’s better to step back and look at it in a less serious perspective. Is this denial or a strategy for a good solution? I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it works.

Death and Taxes

An old saying said that only death and taxes (I doubt this though) is certain, but I guess more realistically, only the past is certain (because it had already happened). Why bring out such a thought again? Because the future is uncertain, AGAIN.

Actually, the future is never certain, just depends on how often we thought about it. Not sure what I am going to write today, and definitely the futures seems murky to me. Not a very good way to end a year huh. Seems like a lot is going on and happening, but nothing quite feel like “success” or “happiness”.

Perhaps I am trying to chase for some kind of perfection in life, like doing something I like and still manage to make a decent living out of it. Perhaps I do get a chance do something I like, the way I like it, but I might not be able to make decent living out of it. Perhaps I still get to do something I like, but may not be the way I like it, and have a higher chance to make a living out of it. Or perhaps I don’t chase for something I like to do, yet be able to make a descent living out of it. Some point in time, sacrifices have to be made before reaching the nirvana in life (sipping cocktail on my yacht sailing through Bahamas with millions in my Swiss account). Perhaps I have been imagining about nirvana too much, until I didn’t do enough in real life.

Recently I am wondering a lot about the balance of sacrifices and compromises I should be making, and how I should carry on my live for the next year. What is the optimal recipe (again, seeking for perfection again) for success and happiness?

Perhaps it’s time to review back what I had done for the past year and what I should do for the next. Time seems to be running out as 30 are near.

PS: I was hoping blogging would help me pour my thoughts out, but there are so much in the head and yet very hard to put any words down.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

why don't people talk

I can’t quite remember since when I started to enjoy writing. I don’t remember myself enjoying reading and writing at any point in my life, exept now. Perhaps I pickup new habits along the way, hopefully for the better. Now I seem to write and talk more (might not be really good though). Slowly I realize a lot of people around me actually talk and express about themselves less. Though I feel like “liberating” them, but I know too well it’s part of a self realization process which cannot be forced through (at least I believe so).

Recently got to know a guy who don’t actually talk much, and almost always accept things which come to him. I guess he is a Mr. Yes, yet to learn how to say No. Though he don’t really say “No” from his mouth, but I kinda sense that he is reluctant, and perhaps might just play ignorance and let things flow without any action. Some believe in action, while some people believe in inaction (escaping from responsibility perhaps, where I choose this path sometimes which end up eating my soul badly). I am worry about him. Usually I wouldn’t bother with this kind of stuff, as everyone has the freedom to choose how they want to carry on with their life, and it’s easiest to leave him as he is. But, I might need to get associated in certain cooperation which could potentially affect my daily life in the near future. A business deal. Hopefully I could understand what kind of person is he, but perhaps getting someone like him to open up is not easy, especially when we don’t bond very well.

Well, another small obstacle of life. With complexity of human relationship and decision to be made. Since when do I care so much about the psychology of a guy? Starts to sound a bit dodgy here. I have no choice (no choice in a choice I would have made). Perhaps it’s best to carry on with my part and left him alone, but that doesn’t seems too ideal and beat the whole purpose of things. How much am I willing to compromise and sacrifice?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Travel North: Gurun + Alor Setar

It’s my 27 years old birthday, and we decided to be slightly more adventurous and travel up north. Though we aren’t really doing it backpack style, but we did let a lot of decision making to be spontaneous (and did carry a backpack and drive) and she did some basic research through the Internet.

We book for a luxury package at Pedu Lake, which is extremely far away. Thus our entire journey revolve around our route to and back from Pedu Lake. We decide to visit Gurun, and then spend a night at Alor Setar before going to Pedu.

Kedah is not really a famous tourist destination, with lots of paddy field. Our first stop is Gurun, stop by to visit Gunung Jerai. Gunung Jerai is something like a mini Fraser Hill, 30 minutes to drive up some narrow road to see a resort with lots of greenery and mountains up there. The scenery up there is pretty nice, not exactly fantastic. Supposing it would be quite nice to spend a night up here, but I am afraid we shall be bored to death.

There is an archeology site nearby, but we are running out of time and head for Alor Setar instead. Alor Setar is quite a big town, with a lot of interesting building such as clock tower, beautiful mosque and museum, and a mini “KL Tower” as well. We hit a budget hotel at RM 55 per night, and somehow all the food in Alor Setar tastes pretty good.

The next stop is Gunung Keriang, about 30 minutes away from town, with a crystal mountain in the middle of paddy field, and a supposingly fascinating paddy museum as well. It turn out the museum is quite a disappointment as well, with nothing much except a big and realistically drawn scenery of the surrounding areas displayed through its gigantic dome. Gunung Jeriang is made up of a small park, and a 10 minutes climb to a little shelter on top. The scenery was quite nice up there, overseeing the park and some paddy fields. We was told we could actually climb to the peak and sees some crystals, wind tunnel, funny trees and glowing trees at night, plus a view of the sea. Too bad I didn’t manage to wake up the next morning for the climb, as I was seduced by the cool air and cozy bed.

The 1st day ended pretty well, with about 5-6 hours drive from KL to reach Alor Setar. We missed a few tourism spot in Kedah, including the beach, the waterfall and the archeology site.

Photo Links: Mei Ru's Multiply

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To Dream or not to Dream

Its known when you have an ambition, a target, a dream, you would not be satisfied or be happy until the day you have what you want. Does it mean that we shall no longer be happy if we have a dream? Does it mean that dream actually bring us more pain? Or could be actually do without dream or desire? Wanting nothing else, and be totally satisfied with what we already have? Or we can’t actually live without a dream?

I believe it’s the dream and hope which fuel us, thus we shall always want something which we doesn’t have. But managing a dream and trying to achieve it is another tricky matter. A lot of people have a dream, but they never try to do anything to achieve it. Some people have a dream, and they just do a bit everyday towards their direction. A few people have a dream, and are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve it.

I am those who try to keep things in mind, and will try to do a bit everyday towards my direction. I can’t bare doing nothing about it, but neither could I sacrifice everything just for it. Perhaps I am not meant to do big things or become someone great. Though I don’t hope to become a billionaire, but I do want to become a millionaire in the not too distance future. To me it’s an achievable target, and it’s the way I would want to live my life. Solid financial is the foundation for happiness; I still remember and believe in it. Too much of anything would spoilt our life, thus I don’t see the need to go all out at any cost for power and money.

But will I be unhappy until the day my dream is achieved? I believe there shall be a certain sadness a long the way, as my heart is still not a peace. The war had started and on going, and peace is only possible if we win the war. What if I loose? Never quite thought of that. It is just a matter of time, either sooner or later. One thing for sure, I can’t quite give up the dream. I can try to achieve it one way or another, but I try as much as possible not to become a quitter.

Again, will I be unhappy? Yes. But if I give up, I shall loose my soul and spirit.

I think it’s a bad idea to give up our dream, and it sure feels damn good if we manage to achieve it. Life could turn up to be a vicious spiral or a stream of good things keep happening, as the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Thus it is important to keep the good things happening.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lone Ranger or Gang of Four?

It had been almost a year since I went into self employment. Though I haven’t succeeded in becoming a “Big Boss”, but I sure am glad still surviving and continue planting the seeds for future growth.

When I left my job, the push factor is the job had become too easy with nothing much to do, and the company isn’t progressing, thus I stayed stagnant together with her as well. Though I enjoyed the free time to take on various adventures on my own, but it just doesn’t feels right for the long term. The pull factor? Guess I gave up hope on the company and hoping to try something more exciting and worth my time and effort. Thus I began the journey of a Lone Ranger.

Being a Lone Ranger is pretty exciting; as I could chase any dreams or implements any idea which I thought is good. Basically I have the full control and no bureaucracy, and no communication barriers as there is only me alone. I would say productivity could practically peak at 100%, if I did work hard all the time. Too bad reality isn’t that ideal, as sometimes I become lazy and slack. But the whole process is fun and exciting, but worrisome nevertheless. I still have to find ways to get some business and pay for my living, besides working on my fun and exciting pet projects which I wouldn’t be able to cash in anytime soon. Basically I am earning far less than employment, but what makes me made such an illogical choice? Perhaps to buy a dream and proving one day I could stand on my own feet without the need to wait for a monthly salary.

When I was young, I used to think of starting some kind of business and become super rich. After having tried running a business or being self employed, now I think being able to survive and live a comfortable life on my own effort is rewarding enough. Now I have the most respect for everyone who is running a business, and even tried running a business before. It is difficult and challenging, and can be damn uncertain most of the time.

Life of a Lone Ranger is all mighty powerful with lots of freedom, but absolute power shall corrupt as well. Personally I think I am slacking too much, taking my own sweet time and giving myself too much excuses. Perhaps I lack some discipline, or I could blame it on the environment. Nevertheless, it is something I try to fix all the time – fixing myself.

Soon after I meet up with an old friend who offered me a partnership to join his startup. The idea sounds tempting, as he has the business and the idea of having partners sounded refreshing (I know the fact the good and suitable partners are indeed very hard to come by). I like him as a good person, and I trust him. He offered me a small allowance, a business platform, a healthy pipeline, a group of talents and business contacts. The idea sounds great, so I decide to give it a one month try to evaluate the situation.

After more than a month of rushing and crazy work, I kinda get a feel of the business. I think the company has the potential to grow further, and we have people of different talent and expertise to fuel the business. I am pretty sure the business will grow into a multimillion dollar business within 3 to 5 years. Though the partnership might work out and worth trying, but I wasn’t feeling very happy. It is all very logical, where I don’t feel the excitement or passion or happiness running the business. It’s all about work, delivering one thing at a time, working on a system which eventually might succeed. Another thing is I am loosing my freedom and have go back to into a almost full time office working life, with all the traffic jam and office attire coming back. I know it’s quite a luxury, but loosing that is quite demoralizing at times.

I am unhappy, why? Perhaps I sacrifice my Lone Ranger ability to have full control and run the business the exact way I would like to run it. Now I have to ensure power sharing, taking in other people’s idea which I might not totally agree with. Sacrifices have to be made: where I have to let go of something, and have something else to gain. I do really feel happier and more comfortable being a Lone Ranger, though earning less, but I believe I might eventually make it at the end. I feel like leaving the gang and turn back into the almighty Lone Ranger.

I told my friend what I felt, where he didn’t actually persuaded me to stay but share his thoughts with me. Basically, partnership is all about making compromises for a greater course. When different people are working together, it is impossible for them to have the same thoughts and style, thus there shall always be conflict and disagreement. The rule of thumb is if someone is contributing higher than his irritation level, we could actually compromise as it has more good than bad. As long as we are working very hard towards the same target in the end, we could compromise in between and ignore the small irritation. The path and intermediate approach might be different across individual.

Most business is based on a long trail of ground works, where we could have started planting seeds years ago before the first deal landed. The business platform offered to me is based on years of hard work, and we are slowly reaping the fruit now.

The almighty Lone Ranger might just be mighty in the eye of himself, as he might end up being to egoistic and not able to work with others. There is a limitation on how much a single person could actually work on, and shall soon reach a stage of stagnation. A Lone Ranger can’t really work alone, as he needs to depend on others as well for the business contacts and sales channel. I could produce the goods, but I need someone to help me sell it. There are many smart and successful Lone Rangers around, but they all face the problem of stagnation and difficult to work with. Perhaps the almighty Lone Ranger always command others to follow their way, as there are not willing to make compromises. It’s okay for you to be dumbest people on Earth, as long as everyone is willing and wanted to work with you.

Between an Almighty Lone Ranger and Compromising Gang of Four, which should be the path I would embark next? Each has its own issues, and nothing could be perfect. I hope I can compromise and put my heart all in to make the delivery. No matter what I choose, it shall be a choice with no regrets. In 3 more years by the age of 30, I need to create a stable income stream and fulfilled my dream of a big travel plan to the happiest place, and complete a milestone of my life.

How to learn to compromise and let go at times? That is another long and irritating journey, haha.