Monday, July 24, 2006

As I See It

I don't think I have mentioned in this blog about my reading habit. Perhaps it is about time I do so. Reason being, so that I would be reminded that I have declared about it in public and at the very least I should make it happen!

Reading is not a habit I have but I am trying to make it a natural thing....for years! Well, so far so good, I have read much more in the past 24 months being in the BigPictureZoo compared to the past 10 years I have been in the OverallZoo. I guess it is something that most of the creatures in the zoo would like to do but always find the excuse of could not find spare time to do it. I was among those who think I do not have time to read. But somehow, I managed to break free from that mentality and started reading small books, mainly suggested or given by His Kimsterness and some others who knows my personality well and thought these books would help me to be somebody useful to the nation one day (sounds so skima....hark hark hark!) yeah I do buy some of the books that I read but the bulk of it actually came from Kimster and some bosses and friends and my lovely wifey.

I find it is easier for me to (start) read, and (finally - if ever possible!) complete reading books that come in certain sizes. The smaller to medium sized ones, not too thick (like those novels by Stephen King back in those early years!) and most importantly the topic and presentation is to my liking. What I try to do upon completion, it to try recall and write on post-it notes and paste it on somebody's workstation (usual prey would be His Kimsterness, Sly and some others in the zoo) some paragraphs in the book that would be the most significant lesson I can derived from it so that at the very least I would be able to remember what I have learnt from the book.

It is unlikely for me to read the latest, newest, most best selling book available on the shelves. In total honesty, the main reason is because I am not interested to be "among the earliest" to get or read it. I would read books that are being suggested (or given!) to me. So far the is a queue waiting up....just to name a few in no particular order:

a) The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino
b) Long Way Around - Ewan McGregor & Charlie Boorman
c) How to enjoy your work - Dale Carnegie
d) Ilusions - Richard Bach
e) Bagaiman Untuk Menjadi Ibu Bapa yang Cemerlang - ??Lupa la pulak siapa!
f) the list goes on.....

So, as you can see, I have more than I could chew for now, that is why I do not actually fancy buying any new ones of the shelves, at least for now.

Allow me to share something that I learnt from a book I read recently: As I See It by Konosuke Matsushita.
It is actually a compilation of articles written by Matsushita in PHP Intersect -a journal of the PHP Institute which he founded.

One of the articles in this compilation was about problem solving. None of us can escape problems - for as long as we are alive and we are humans, we will have problems. Konosuke Matsushita breaks down the lessons in the art of problem solving into 4 parts.

Lesson 1 would be to face the problem squarely. Do something about it before it gets out of hand and do not even try to evade the issue.

Lesson 2 is to remember that all problems are relative. A major source of mental anguish for a person may mean nothing to another. The greater the person is, the bigger his problems are. Suffering does help you grow.

Lesson 3 is to think of problems as medicine or fertilizer for your growth. A crisis is a golden opportunity to test your true ability and toughness. Try to look at unsolved problems from an entirely new/ different perspective. Do not let perceptions guide your thinking. Questions your assumptions one by one and you will be able to free yourself from the tunnel vision you have been led into. Try to see the other side of the coin and you will begin to see a ray of hope. Imagine yourself standing in the other fellow's shoes and evaluate the problem from his perspective.

Flexible thinking is the theme of Lesson 4. An emperor, as a sovereign, must love all his subjects equally. When I (Matsushita) realized this, all my personal problems began to look trivial and thereafter I was able to handle them with confidence. Flexible thinking & taking a fresh perspective can facilitate problem solving. There are always choices open to you so choose the best course of action from the many alternative available.

I am just happy I managed to brake through the "could not find time to read" mentality, it is an achievement for me.

I guess, in life, we might say some things are easier said than done.....but if we do not move a muscle to just try it, we will never know.

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