New year gift

For a while now, I’ve had a career newsletter which allowed you to download the Dream, Think & Act! ebook I’ve written. And that’s all about creating the marketing funnel etc. Now I think perhaps it works better as well if more people could access it without having to surrender email addresses to me. Though you could still subscribe if you decided my ideas are useful – I don’t write very often and it’s usually just 4-6 times a year.

Thank you for giving me the attention and time to read through my random musings and nuggets of thought this year. Please do share my materials more broadly and tell more people about my materials.

For the new year of 2023, I’m putting up my ebook free. And it gets better, the original version that was being circulated around was a pdf. Now you can get it as ebooks which you can read on kindle or your favourite ebook readers. Download Dream, Think & Act! ebook (mobi and epub versions) here.

Investing into the status quo

When you spend effort figuring out the position in the train station you should stand to catch the train in order to alight at the optimal position at your destination, you’re investing. And you only would find it worthwhile if you take from the same point of origin to the destination over and over again. The reason is that each time you follow the rule you created for yourself, you reap the benefit of that first problem solving. And over time, the gains compound. You save the extra walking and the time.

But in having this figured out, there’s more inertia to moving workplaces, thinking you’ve already got used to commuting and knowing you are comfortable with the way to travel to that same place every day. It might be foolish to care that much on which station you’d alight for your workplace but you still do. And that can be because you’ve invested in that status quo, to the extent you can autopilot to the location you’re supposed to be.

When we learn to drive a car, operate a machinery, use the interface of a new OS, we are investing into some sort of status quo, or what will become a strong status quo for us. It will be hard to change, because we change the calculations involved on what it means to change whenever to optimise for a particular result. It might be annoying, or boring, but it works.

But upsetting that status quo every now and then, getting your mind to crack and solve new problems, or rethink ‘old ones’, makes for a better mind, and a better life.

Sprinting downhill

I was 13 when I met this senior in my Secondary school (it is kind of like a combination of middle school and high school in Singapore) who taught me that I need to open my strides when sprinting downhill. I had to pass my 2.4km run but it was a point in my life when I was a little overweight and not exactly a fast runner.

The distance was not long enough to win out just purely by stamina, and yet not short enough to be completed with just a crazy dash. It was challenging, especially when we have to run a course that included some elevation at different points of time. It was hard to maintain a consistent pace when running up and then downhill but because I was slower uphill, I needed a way to gain more ground downhill when logically, one could be faster.

So I learnt that opening up my strides allows me to cover more distance even as the gravity was pulling me down. Every step forward kept me from falling while taking me closer to the finish line. It was a great feeling, though my lungs were screaming for air, I could keep my leg muscles going.

There are points of life when a lot of work you had done previously have taken you to a point of elevation. You’ve been putting in the hard work, and built up to that point but there hasn’t been any results yet, you don’t seem anywhere close to the finish line. Perhaps you’ve prepared yourself to that point where you can now sprint downhill, where the force of gravity could take you to the finish line with a lot more natural momentum even if it may still take efforts.

Are you ready for the sprint downhill?