Category Archives: Efficacy

What I’ve got coming to me

What are you worth? This isn’t a question about the material assets you’ve accumulated, or your earning potential. I’m asking about self-worth; your belief in your value as a human being and your worthiness to be happy. Because in this life, you only get what you think you deserve. Continue reading

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Head games

“There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure in the outer game.” -Tim Gallwey

When we learn to pay attention to the conversation that we are constantly having with ourselves, we can change that conversation and create new outcomes. The challenge is that we have been having the same conversations for so long, we have long stopped listening. Continue reading

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I’m just back from another week in China where I faced many temptations. These confronted me like ghosts from my past, taunting and double-dog daring me to submit. There was bread – the temptation to spend it as if I were still a single guy. The temptation to jump – back into businesses that I had long ago left for others to run, and the temptation to try and control everything. Better the devil we know than the devil we don’t know. Continue reading

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Once in a lifetime

This past week I was back in my old haunts around China and having been away for only a few months, I was still amazed at what had changed. It’s harder and harder to find a quiet back street where one can enjoy a few beers at a family restaurant. Every time I go back, I realize that I can never really go back. As Heraclitus said, “You can’t step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are forever flowing in upon you.’ Not only is the river never the same river, but I am never the same man. Continue reading

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Relaxed urgency

As an American with a type-A personality that can border on crusading, I have sometimes found living in Asia frustrating. 18 years in China, with its stultifying bureaucracy and a cultural aversion to decision making, taught me a lot about the power of persistence, as opposed to being forceful. In Northern Thailand, where everything seems to move in slow motion, instead of applying constant pressure, I find myself adopting the local mindset that things will eventually work themselves out. Yet the apparent choice between driving hard or sitting back and waiting isn’t really a choice, it’s a dilemma that we can transcend. Continue reading

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Are you being served?

I am a huge fan of HBO’s The Wire, and like The Sopranos before it, I was sad to see it end. While The Sopranos reminded me of a Greek tragedy, The Wire unfolded like a sprawling Dickens novel set in present day Baltimore, portraying its broken social, political and economic institutions with artful precision and depth. Each series provoked different thematic questions about our failures; our failure to end the cycle of poverty and violence in the urban black underclass, to address the ineffectiveness of law enforcement, to change obsolete drug laws, the inability of schools to address the social challenges faced by inner-city kids and the political influence peddling that dominates our democratic system. Continue reading

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Finding your hedgehog

In my recet post, “How to be an expert“, I talked about passion as being key to finding fulfillment in what we do. Yet so often we invest our passion into a hobby, because we can’t fully express it through our work. As hobbies rarely pay for themselves, we learn to live with spending the majority of our time doing what we think have to do in order to make ends meet, versus doing what we love to do. I don’t believe this has to be a trade-off; we can find fulfillment at work or play, once we understand the framework through which we can fully engage our creative energies to create maximum value and satisfaction. Continue reading

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