Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Free Customized Magic Mirror that Everyone Has

ninjas dont ask directions tshirt p235900667484252954q6v8 400 The Free Customized Magic Mirror that Everyone Has

We have huge blindspots

Most of us want to become better at what we do or become a better person in general. The problem is that we have too many blindspots for ourselves to really find out what we really need to work on. When something goes wrong, we can think of a hundred external factors for that reason, but we genuinely cannot see our own faults.

And when it comes down to it, most people WANT to know their flaws that they don’t see themselves. The problem is, it’s considered impolite for people to tell you of your faults when it is not completely necessary. Most people are non-confrontational, and not everyone takes criticism constructively.

Use the magic mirror around you

The solution to this? Just ask. I have experienced and seen numerous times when someone randomly asks, “What can I do to improve myself?” And immediately, almost without thinking, people give the asker a very constructive list of things they can work on. It’s like they’ve been thinking about it all along but never felt comfortable enough to share it.

By asking this very simple question often, you will constantly find things you are blinded by and can improve on. This works especially well when you ask people who can benefit from your improvement (like being more considerate to loved ones, setting more accountability for the team).

For instance, if the Queen from Snow White had a magic mirror as good as the “straight-forward friend”, the mirror would tell her that her problem is not that she’s not fair enough, but “You are too vain, self-conscious, and jealous of others. You can never be happy if you can’t accept yourself. You should just be happy with who you are and love life.” I consider that an infinitely better solution than trying to poison an innocent girl to death.

Set up Mirror Alerts

Often times, even after we know we need to improve something, it’s never instant, and we usually make the same mistakes over and over without realizing it. So after you know what you need to improve on, a good follow up is, “Thanks! Can you remind me every time I do that again? Sometimes I’m not aware of it…” And now you gave people the permission to harass you whenever you screw up. Pretty awesome.

What straight-forward advice have you gotten from friends, or one’s you have given to friends?

Reading is good, but socializing is more fun! I look forward to your ideas and experiences in the comment section!

A leadership lesson I learned from basketball

3051991390 757b33f59b A leadership lesson I learned from basketball

You cannot lead effectively if you worry about yourself

This week I was playing a game of full-court basketball with my father. Unlike my Co-founder Jun Loayza, I am not good at basketball because I never really trained in the basics of dribbling, manuevering, and strategies. As a result, everytime I am point guard, I don’t do it very well.

This struck me as a bit unusual. Wikipedia explains the point guard position as, “The point guard, also known as the “1″, is the team’s floor general and the best ballhandler on the team. In football terminology, the point guard is a basketball team’s “quarterback.” The point guard is essentially the team’s captain, and his job is to make his teammates better and to hand out assists.”

Growing up, my talents have usually been around strategizing, analyzing, coordinating, and bringing out the potentials of people. I led and coached a state champion chess team, and I’m usually the calm guy who is more emotionally stable in tough situations. In essense, I seem to be built to be a good point guard.

But I’m just not a good point guard.

Why? It’s because I suck at basketball so much that I end up worrying about my own stuff.

I’m alway afraid that someone will steal my ball. I’m thinking about dribbling instead of doing it naturally. I’m thinking about “what should I do next? What should I do next?”

As a result, I am unable to 100% focus on my teammates, which is what a leader should do.

If you are a leader, you should:

1. Make sure you know/do your stuff well enough that you don’t have to constantly be pinned down by your own stuff
2. You must put the team before all your personal welfare. You must elevate from taking care of yourself to taking care of the people you are leading. Leadership requires sacrifice (and followers sacrifice for great leaders too)
3. You must seize every opportunity to bring the best out of people. Your job is not to be the shark that shines in your ecosystem but to be the ocean that contains and nurtures all the sharks that will shine for you.

Stimulus Optimization: a model to save the economy

a 55383a Stimulus Optimization: a model to save the economy

The US government is said to be $65.5 Trillion in debt. For perspective, this is more than the world GDP for one entire year and four times the US GDP for one year. In other words, the US Government literally owes the world to other nations.

Right now the federal government is borrowing from tomorrow to solve today’s problems, much like many US citizens. The US borrows money from other countries to help the irresponsible executives and companies clean up the mess they made and hope to “one day” be able to pay it back. As you know, when the people can’t pay back their debts, they go bankrupt, and the banks/lenders fail along with them. If the US keeps getting more debt without promise of making MORE money back, it will end up bankrupted too, resulting in other countries being like failed banks and fall too.

Now I’m not a doomsday person, and I like to stick to positive and actionable steps, but I do want to emphasize that in this environment EVERY dollar must be spent to its maximum efficiency. I guess we could call it Stimulus Optimization.

What the government should do

I’m going to give you what I believe is the best strategy for Stimulus Optimization, and then layout the logic that got me to this point. (Note: since we’re talking about an economy at large, I’ll be doing a lot of generalizing for demographics. I obviously know not ALL people in that demographic are like that).

1. Money should stay circulated in old lower income males, small businesses (but not large corporations), social enterprises and non-profits.
2. Money should be put into industry-creating technologies, but not just for technology development but also the commercialization of the technology. The government should support tons of startup entrepreneurs but pay them just enough for them to survive.
3. Money should be put into essentials of society like Education, Healthcare and Tech Infrastructure.

Some of this may seem unintuitive, or possibly biased/humanitarian, but I do believe that this is most economically efficient. Let me explain why.

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