Understanding Bottom Line to Solve Problems or Daily Issues

I like simplicity. As part of my continuous effort to simplify life for you and myself, I’d like to propose to you how understanding bottom line in any give situation can help us simplify it and find a quicker solution.

Sometimes, you may get stuck in a situation because you get too caught up in the details. These details may even overwhelm you and lead you to inaction. Or, these details may have little relevance in solving the problem. In such scenario, it is often helpful to revisit the bottom line instead of trying to solve the details and not the main problem. You have lost sight of the big picture, and hence, whatever you do, it has a large chance of being something that won’t solve the problem and likely something you will regret later.

What is bottom line? Bottom line means the single most essential point in a problem, as far as this post’s concern. By asking yourself what the bottom line is and once again defining it, you can re-focus on the main problem and the actions to solve it will be revealed. Let me quickly walk you through some examples.

Example 1 – You are in bad financial shape or you simply want to get rich
Bottom line: You need to spend less and make more.
There are many ways to do spend less and make more. Those would be details.

Example 2 – You want to get healthy or lose fat
Bottom line: You need to exercise and have a balance diet.
Get up from your behind now and do some real exercise. Get sore!
Oh, and stop engulfing them junk food.

Example 3 – You want to gain muscle
Bottom line: You need to adjust to a higher calories + protein diet and go pump irons.

Example 3 – You and your partner are arguing
Bottom line: You both love the other person, and therefore wish good things and happiness to happen to them.
Why are you still screaming, fighting, clawing, and divorcing each other?

Example 4 – Coworkers arguing in a meeting
Bottom line: You want to provide a product/service wanted by customers to profit the company in order to get paid.
Everyone one of us workers are just trying to bring bread home on to the table. There is no reason to fight and hurt each other…

Example 5 – Girlfriend came to talk…
Bottom line: Does she like me enough?
(At least, I believe this is the bottom line.) If the answer is no, there is no point to beg on your knees because she won’t stay anyway. If the answer is yes, there is no need to beg on your knees because she probably will stay before you get to your knees. Aha! There is no reason to bruise your precious knees.

I’m not saying to ignore details, and I’m not saying they don’t matter. Just that, next time you get confused and lost in a situation, try asking yourself what the bottom line is. If you cannot do or accept the bottom line, then maybe you are not ready to solve the problem, or there is a bigger problem.

I hope this will simplify your life.

Originally posted 2008-02-13 23:31:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Size Does Not Matter

One thing I notice in Japan was smallness. No, I am not insulting their people. No, I am not insulting their men, either. Actually, many girls there are very cute… uh, yeah, getting off track.

I should say — large space does not matter.

Take a look at this picture.
IMG_3492

It is a picture of my hotel room in Kyoto. There is barely space between the bed and table for my butt. It reminds me much about the living space from my past years in Hong Kong.

But, I am not complaining.

The common sense we have is — “Oh, we got so many things, we need more space”

In a way, our desire for space is directly related to our desire for things. Conversely, when we get more space in the house, we often want to fill that space with more things. Oh, what a dilemma.

Perhaps, we can consider the following chain of thought — “Oh, we got so many things, perhaps we need to make space by getting rid of things, that we don’t need, or use.”

Personally, I loooooove having space, and also cleanliness. They are very soothing.

Let’s face it, most of our stuffs end up sitting around collecting dusts. Instead, why don’t we carefully consider what we reeeeeeeeeally need, and if we are getting something, make sure it is something we will use frequently?

Oh, I am such a genius. Just kidding.

Another thing that is small is the portion of a meal. Each dish and even hamburgers from McDonald’s are smaller, which sucks for me because I am constantly hungry from my intense gym’ing. But for most Americans, who sit most days in office and sit some more in front of TV at home, can be a great idea.

That leads me to my final thoughts.

Perhaps we can use more limits. Yes, you heard me, limits, instead of more freedom.

Perhaps too much freedom had lead us to lots of indulgence, and indulgence is a result of not being clear about what is truly important. More limits in our environments force us to value what we have and cherish the resources that are available.

In other words, physical limits can be a great catalyst for internal growth.

Using the living space as an example, if you have so few square feets, there are only so many things you can have. And what you have will be what you need or truly find important.

Or if parking size is like this, you think twice before getting an SUV!
IMG_4481

Ok, the car example is not very good. The living situation is too different. But about driving in Japan, most people from America probably can’t drive in Japan, uh, due to poor driving skills. I personally DON’T want to drive there.

Anyways, I want to say this…

Evolving the idea on limit. Next time when we are frustrated and want to complain, or feel like we are suffering immensely, or seem to have insatiable desires for other things, consider that, there will forever be somebody somewhere else who are a lot worse off than we are.

IMG_3257Maybe things could be better, but they can be a lot worse. Look at this picture featuring the tight quarters in Tokyo Metro’s human sardines.

I guess that is why seeing the world, experiencing different things, how people live differently, are so important. So we realize how things can be worse.

On this note, I attribute my non-narrow perspective and sometimes unique and bizarre mentality to my fortunate experience (well, also unfortunate because it sucked big times sometimes) of having moved and lived in drastically different places at an age (12) that I could make my own perception already. However, I give myself credits for choosing to look at both sides of things rather than seeing only the green on the other side.

Last thing, totally unrelated, is a picture near the famous cross section in Shibuya, Tokyo by Center Gai (センター街). Pretty, eh? (It was shot in Lost in Translation too — one of my favorite movies)
IMG_3251

Originally posted 2009-07-17 01:06:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pinning all hopes on Bernanke

Let’s face it, many of us are looking at the stock market these days and wondering what on earth is going on. By that I mean, how on earth that stocks keep going up and up while there are not only very little good news but plenty of bad ones!

However, I think it’s become very clear in the last couple weeks now that the amazingly yet-increasing stock market is moving becase of one condition — Bernanke, or namely the Feds.

At the moment, Bernanke has the last card — QE3. So long as he continues to dangle the QE3 carrot in front of the traders, and we know most of the stock market now is moving due to traders — especially there are less retail investors now since all the crashes.

The question is, how long will this dangling of carrot work? I don’t know but I think it won’t be pretty when it stops working. And ultimately, Bernanke is not going to use this last card until something drastic happen that bring the market lower first.

That, is my humble view… mixed in with a bit of rant. I expect and await the market to come down in the next couple months when the “carrot” loses affect and I’m afraid it probably will not be pretty. Then Bernanke will not no where to go and QE3 the crap out of the market.

I’m simply really curious as to what will happen from now until end of year.

Originally posted 2012-09-03 20:20:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Some Tips for Students Looking for Internships or Jobs

I have mentioned a few times that I participate in the recruiting event for my company, and I had just visited a local university few days ago. Desperate time makes desperate students (people) *sigh*

Look for job is definitely money-releated, so I am going to offer some tips for students. Assuming you have the skills and technical criteria, I offer the following tips on how you approach and talk with company recruiters, and in all practicality, the tips should be also useful in your day-to-day interaction with people in general.

Disclaimer: I am not a “professional” coach — meaning, I have no certificate — but I do have the perspective of a recruiter, having done it more than I can count with my two hands and talked to hundreds, if not thousand of students.

Here I go.

  1. Do not behave like a robot — You are not a piece of meat. The recruiter is not a piece of meat. No one is just a piece of meat. So don’t treat people like a piece of meat. Should not we treat all people courteously anyways? Examples such as…
    • Do not simply walk up to a recruiter and recite a planned speech or essay.
    • It follows that, greet the recruiter and do not ignore him or her when greeted with “How are you?” or similar questions. (That happened a lot.)
    • Similarly, it’s good if you have a plan, but if the recruiter behaves or responds “out of sync”, adapt.
  2. Slow down your speech — It is great that you are prepared. It is okay that you are nervous. But it is NOT okay that you speak so fast that the other person cannot understand you, or simply zone out because you “buffer overflow” his or her brain. Speak at a decent pace.
  3. Breathe — Yes, literally, you need to breathe. This goes hand in hand with your speech. First of all, without breathing, you die. Without enough air, your speech will suck, and then you will try to speak even faster. At which point, you will get even more nervous. Breathing also helps your body handle the adrenaline rush. So, breathe. Breathe between sentences. It is okay to have a moment of silence.
  4. Stand tall — This will enhance your presence and image of confidence. Do not mistake this with puffed chest. Personally, I believe this has a huge impact on our impression on people in general, consciously or subconsciously. Fix your posture. If you don’t know what a good posture mean, go study what yoga, martial art, or singing talks about in a good posture.
  5. A nice and firm handshake — Besides posture, handshake is another good sign of a person’s attitude and confidence. A nice firm handshake is one which two persons’ hands cross with the concave part between the thumb and the index finger followed by a quick but firm squeeze. Do NOT crush the person’s hand.
  6. Pass on your resume once introduced and greeted — At career fair. This one is common sense, right? Give recruiter the resume so he or she can take notes of you and mark key points you that you are pointing out. (Literally, a few students did not give me the resumes until half way or when we are done talking… does not make sense, to me at least)
  7. Format your resume for easy glancing or browsing — Especially for career fair, the recruiter is to find key information in very limited time. Format key information so they are easy to spot at a glance, like graduation date, GPA, companies and job description of your previous work, important skills for the job you want, etc. Ask friends, teachers, strangers and see if they can find those information in 2-3 minutes. That will most likely make them happy.
  8. Resumes’s “One-page-ness” — This is targeted to undergraduate. Unless you have many very very important and relevant information that you MUST present, keep it to one page.

Note: Let alone the hard-to-browse resumes. I am very surprised to see many poorly done resumes yet these days. By that I mean, some of them are so obvious that the person did not even try.

Even though this may not be what all recruiters look for or how they feel, I believe these should be some good starting point, and the first 5 tips are generically useful for your interaction with other people in daily life. That’s all I have for now. Hope you find it useful.

Originally posted 2009-02-27 02:07:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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