three rules to live by that will come in really handy

laurie anderson:

I’m reminded also of the three rules we came up with, rules to live by. And I’m just going to tell you what they are because they come in really handy. Because things happen so fast, it’s always good to have a few, like, watchwords to fall back on.

And the first one is: One. Don’t be afraid of anyone. Now, can you imagine living your life afraid of no one? Two. Get a really good bullshit detector. And three. Three is be really, really tender. And with those three things, you don’t need anything else.

small things that have huge impact

#37 – Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes by Margaret Heffernan

A TED book which means it’s thin. A Margaret Heffernan book which means it’s important (Wilful Blindness is instructional for life).  A book on small things that have huge impact which might mean the same as big things that have huge impact.

Because small things are not easy things.

3 things to think about

1. What difference will it make to our organisation if we improve our listening, asking questions and sharing of information?

2. One for us and one for our organisation – “At Torres wine vineyard… The Black Book of Torres is the book of mistakes. Whenever a mistake is made, the person who made it writes it up. One entry came from the chief financial officer, acknowledging a $200,000 error he had made in a currency hedge. But the value of the book goes beyond writing: every new recruit reads it on joining the company. So this simple book both shares the learning from the errors—so they aren’t repeated—and sends a powerful message: everyone makes mistakes. Power and status confer no infallibility; mistakes are the way stations of progress.”

Continue reading “small things that have huge impact”

what is the only question there is?

chris anderson from TED chose Nancy Etcoff’s talk as one of five he learnt most from.

nancy ended that talk with three quotes:

“There is only one question: How to love this world?”

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself. Tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.”

“First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do.”

please don’t screw the eagles

jeffrey kluger:

But nobody said those other lives don’t matter; no one even said that black lives matter a tiny bit more. Pretending that the choice is binary—and then acting as if it’s the other side that framed it that way—is a handy dodge but a dishonest one. If I say “Save the whales,” it does not mean, “Screw the eagles.”

the day i stalked balloon girl

tokyo_late april 2016 flickr-36

tokyo_late april 2016 flickr-38

tokyo_late april 2016 flickr-39

tokyo_late april 2016 flickr-40

From the album: Tokyo, Late April 2016

how to be likeable

#36 – enchantment by guy kawasaki

1. Enchantment – “process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea.”

2. Why is it important – Just because you have a good idea or product doesn’t mean people will embrace it. Change is difficult. Enchantment is aimed at changing their minds and actions.

3. This is a practical book with advice on how to be likeable, trustworthy, launch your idea, overcome resistance, make enchantment endure, enchant your employees/boss and use technology to enchant.

4. The first step of enchantment is to get people to like you.

5. I will focus on being likeable because I am not.

6. How to be likeable:

  • Smile genuinely
  • Dress like your peers and your audience – not under, not over
  • Handshake – firm; stand a moderate distance from the other person; let go after 2 or 3 seconds
  • Use the right words: simple, active voice, keep it short
  • Accept others:
  • People are multi-dimensional. E.g. they are not 100% evil.
  • Everyone is better than you at something
  • People are more similar than they are different
  • People deserve a break
  • Get over ourselves and accept people
  • Pursue and project your passions
  • Find shared interests with the other party. Breaks down barriers
  • Create win-win situations
  • Good networking: always think about how you can help people when you meet them
  • Believe people are good until proven bad

7. Pursue and project your passions.

Passionate people are interesting. We are drawn to them. But they can also be obnoxious. Dull people can be nice but do we want to spend time with them? I prefer slightly obnoxious passionate people to absolutely dull ones. What about you?

What is your passion? Do you project it?

My passion is simplicity. I like simplicity in writing, thought and living. Do I project that (appreciate if you drop me a note to tell me)? My other passion is taking photos of Japanese women cleaning (see pic here). It’s a thing.

8. Find shared interests with the other party.

“Two social scientists from England named Neil Rackham and John Carlisle found that the best negotiators spend 40 percent of their preparation time finding shared interests with the other party.”

This is a major area of weakness for me. I prefer to focus on the work and ideas. I dislike small talk. Not all shared interests are outside the domain of work but it’s important. This is why many business people play golf and drink, neither which I like.

I need to spend more time talking to people and uncovering our shared interests. Dale Carnegie said: “To be interesting, be interested”. Even if there are no shared interests, being interested strengthens the relationship. I have to train myself to make the process of discovery interesting.

9. Good networking.

Networking is a word I do not like. This has not helped me. It’s time to change my mind.

“Darcy Rezac, author of The Frog and the Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking… defines good networking as always thinking about how you can help people when you meet them.”

How can I help you?

10. A Guy Kawasaki book, like this one, is full of interesting bits. Subscribers to my newsletter can have my notes if you reply to this email.


Mark Zuckerberg inspired me to start an annual personal project – read a non-fiction book every week and write about it. 

My previous newsletters are here: https://isaiahlim.wordpress.com/category/isaiahlim_newsletter/

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how to watch an abbas kiarostami film

with the “right kind of attention”:

1. “an openness to confusion”

2. wonder at the ordinary

i especially like the last paragraph.