Getting To Know Yourself (and why)

A post on December 3rd, 2009 about your Lifestyle
Think

Thinking about yourself

I’m sure by this point of your life you’ve been reading about other people (your idols, role model, successful figures etc.) in magazines and other publications. And some of those information are presented through interviews, and once in a while you’re mesmerized by the answers given by those people.

“That’s a cool answer” you thought. “What a great personality”.

Those interviews are usually reserved for people with some degree of success and importance to the society, so you might find the questions in the interviews rarely pop up in your life. But what if you’re given a chance to be in the spotlight? What if suddenly you’re in the hot seat?

Are you ready to answer enlightening questions like:

What do you usually do first thing in the morning? Do you have any superstitious belief? Weird practices?

What type of people do you hate most? Who is your idol?

Draw a quick sketch that best illustrate yourself?

What’s the best moment in your life? What error did you regret most?

Above are some of the simple questions that are being thrown at public figures, and I’ve found out that the answers are as, if not more than, interesting as the questions. If you’re so slow in responding to the questions, then you’re not ready to go big time!

Successful figures know themselves very well. You should too!

You

You in the spotlight

Mind you that we’re not asking your opinion about external issues (we’ve discussed about that in a previous post: What’s Your Take On This Issue?)

Answering questions about your personality should be a walk in the park- after all you’re describing about someone you’ve known for your whole life. But if the opposite is true, then maybe you’re facing an identity crisis.

So what’s next?

How about interviewing yourself? No, this is not a career-focused interview (you’ll have less problem facing that for sure), instead ask yourself questions that no one will ask you. Here are 2 great sources to start:

  1. Top Ten Celebrity Interview Questions – weird and fun questions that will send your mind to do some soul-searching
  2. 10 Questions – Candid interviews with newsmakers, leaders, celebrities and public figures on TIME Magazine, where you can test and compare how well you understand yourself in a more serious tune

If you’re having trouble looking for the answers, maybe a little help is needed. How about taking some personality test that can give you useful hints about yourself?

  1. Color Quiz – A great personality test that can describe your existing conditions, problems and stress based on your color preferences.
  2. Self-Help Quiz – A set of quizzes that can help you identify your psychological and spiritual side.
  3. Assessment.com – A paid test that can rigorously describe yourself on various dimensions- IQ, EQ, Leadership, Anxiety, and even Aura assessments! Each test is sold separately, but if you’re really into getting know yourself intensively, paying for some of them would be worthwhile.

Good luck!

Getting to know your subordinate is a crucial step in managing your team. Getting to know yourself is even more crucial- because you’re bound to be with yourself forever, you have to learn what works in getting you all managed up.

5 Simple Eating Habits To Improve Your Day At The Office

A post on July 29th, 2009 about your Lifestyle

A good eating habit can really help you especially in the long run. But there are lots of tricks to maximize your meal for the short run- these are how you can make sure your day at the office is brighter and more energized with every meal you take.

In a hindsight, the following tips are the healthy eating habits that we like to break on a daily basis!

1. Don’t skip your breakfast

….simply because it’s just a deception from your mind that your stomach is full- even the fact that you last ate something more than 10 hours before. There’s no reason to view skipping breakfast lightly, especially when breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

If you don’t grab something, chances are your stomach will be empty for the next 4-5 hours, causing you to feel tired unnecessarily.

2. Don’t drink water while eating.

Water dilutes the digestive enzyme, causing eating disorders. Drinking water while you eat results to less efficient food processing, where your stomach can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food.

So you may end up eating more than you should or, in the opposite, feeling full quickly, and feeling tired like you haven’t eat enough. Drink water at least 20minutes (an hour is better) BEFORE and AFTER your meal.

3. Chew your food properly.

How proper you ask? How about around 30 times before you swallow? Make sure the food is as smooth as liquid (almost) before swallowing, as it helps your stomach to process and absorb the nutrients more effectively.

It’ll less likely to upset your stomach, moreover your mouth produces its own enzyme to help along the way.

4. Eat fruits BEFORE your meal.

Yep, that’s right. It is a norm to take fruits as desserts after meal, but chronologically speaking, if you eat after your meal, your stomach had to slowly process your heavier greasy meal first before turning to the fruit- resulting to inefficient conversion of energy.

Plus, the fruit sugar will stay for far too long in the stomach and spoil.

5. Don’t drink cold water after your meals.

Cold water can react with your food in a less helpful way, causing slow digestion and less effective absorption of energy. So then you’ll have to eat more. Don’t worry, it won’t directly cause cancer like those chain mails tell you, but complicating your digestive flow means you won’t get the best from your meal.

These are simple tips, it won’t need a life-changing revolution for you to adopt a healthier eating practice. So start now, start slowly and you’re on your way to a more efficient eating habit.

Searching For Work Materials On-line

A post on July 22nd, 2009 about your Career

One of the routine activity in the office is of course information search. And the quickest way to achieve that is through using the search engine. Have you been in a situation where you couldn’t find what you’re looking for and gave up?

The first key to a better search outcome is by understanding how search engine (Google, Bing or Yahoo) works. Generally, not all of the content in the internet is listed (or indexed) by the search engine. There are too many criteria for the search engine to consider (called algorithm) that will determine what shows up on the result page when you search for something.

Basically, the search engine result page will preferably show:

Older pages and sites- if you’re looking for something that’s recently published, chances are it’s not yet being indexed thus won’t show up

Pages with cleaner URLs- normally a content-heavy sites (forum, business article publications) use URL structures that’s difficult to read

example of messy Url:

http://www.drivetork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3:perodua-myvi&catid=1:national-car&Itemid=6

These types of websites will less likely show up as a prominent result.

Popular linked webpages- webpages that are linked by other websites are more likely to top the search result. Most of the times these pages are not necessarily the best result for your search (popular doesn’t means credible)

As a simple conclusion, the search engine will not always give the answers you’re looking for, because the way they work can be exploited by on-line marketers, search engine optimizers and e-commerce sites in order to dominate the search engine result (which is the best way to reach and promote their offering to their target market).

How To Search Better On The Web

  1. Use more specific search terms. Don’t just type in the broad term.
  2. Use the advanced search option. Eliminate outdated webpages by selecting the date range of the webpages, select countries to have a more localized result or eliminate any term that pollutes your result
  3. Use different search engines. Different search engine uses different algorithm, you’ll get different (and at times, better) result.
  4. Specialize your search website: use Google’s Blog Search (great for personal opinion and fresh content), Yahoo Answers (great for troubleshooting problems and questions), or Google News (to find recent news item).
  5. Search for different media types. Some of the materials you’re looking for might not be in a form of HTML webpage (which general search engine indexes more). Use Google Video Search or other video search sites to search videos (great for tutorials, seminars, documentaries), or the PDF Search Engine (or any search engine’s Advanced Search feature) to search for PDFs (great for ebooks, keynote speeches and whitepapers)
  6. Use specialized websites. Search special media websites like Slideshare (to find powerpoint slides), Docstoc and Scribd (to find MS Word and Excel documents) and Google Books (to find books).
  7. Use special directories. Directories like Alltop (list blogs according to topics) and DMOZ and industrial directories list websites according to the topic specialization.

The internet is full of information, but the search engine will not give you the best result. It’s just a tool for your to find the best result.

What’s Your Take On This Issue?

A post on July 3rd, 2009 about your Personality

This might be an intermittent question for you, but if you’re considering going high profile on your career path some day, you should always be prepared to give opinions.

Usually young candidates and fresh graduates didn’t fare well when the interviewers ask for opinions, personal view or point of view regarding certain issues.

Personal opinion is important because it proves that you’re able to process whatever you’re reading (or watching, hearing) in order to give criticism to the subject matter. This is a basic hint for one’s analytical ability, a crucial skill in every management personnel.

Approaching questions

How about testing yourself with the following set of questions:

  • (a) Describe about the global warming movement. (b) Is it a hype or do we really need it?
  • (a) Name some wars that are currently ongoing. (b) Are they necessary? On Iraq? What about on North Korea?
  • (a) What is the state of current economy. (b) Should we blame the capitalists? Why?

If you observe carefully, there are two different types of questions in each question. The first question (a) can be answered simply if you’re reading the newspapers or magazines.

But what separates the thinkers from the rest are the subsequent questions (b). These questions can only be answered if you have an opinion piece on the subject, because there’s no general consent about the corresponding answers. There’s no right or wrong answer.

How you can improve

So how can you form your opinion? And how to make your opinion carries some weight? Easy. You have to train yourself to give opinions, to take every issue on the critical side, to not accept everything you read directly. In every news that you come to, ask critical questions and find the answers, before coming out with your own take.

  1. Read news. But read blogs too, look at what the bloggers have to say about certain news.
  2. Read newspapers, but don’t skip the editorials and essays. It carries more analysis, often in the first-person perspective, which is great to discover how prominent writers think.
  3. Read on-line forums. At any forum thread, look at how different people have different views on the single subject. Look how they’re defending their view too.
  4. Follow interviews and talk show. Look at how each panel’s opinion differs (or collide) with each other.

The key to forming your opinion is knowing both side of the issue. You wouldn’t know that by reading/watching news per se. Start diversifying your source.

How To Be Disruptive In Your Office

A post on June 22nd, 2009 about your Personality

No, I don’t mean this in a negative tone. I’m asking you to be literally disruptive, adapting the usage from the technological lingo:

A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect….

This means that every time a disruptive product is being introduced, it changes the game-plan of the industry forever. Like how budget airlines changes the air travel. Like how MP3 players relegated portable sterio.

Be an explosive figure. Change your peers.

Be an explosive figure. Change your peers.

Every time a disruptive product is being introduced, it disturbs every other producers dramatically that they have to shift all their resources to follow suit.

Likewise, you can positively be disruptive to your peers in the office. You can change the way people work and how they interact. You can spice up the office live in your department. You can start a revolution. A change. You can initiate a refreshing culture. Move them out of the box.

For example:

  • Share nifty computer tricks that can save time with your peers. MS Powerpoint shortcuts. Excel formulas. Learn and pass them around.
  • Change the way you handle presentations so that it’s more entertaining. Make it out of this world. Break them out of the boring norm.
  • Organize a weekly get-together for your peers. Bowling, karaoke, movies, anything. Let it be your department’s routine ritual.
  • Paste interesting facts and articles on your department’s bulletin board. Make it relevant and useful. Don’t forget to add in some fun too.
  • Bring some quirky decorations for your cubicle. Let it un-office your workspace, transfer your peers to another world when they drop by your desk.

These things are not that hard to initiate. It’s up to you to lead and be a trend-setter. You can leave a deep impact to your peers (and bosses), or rot in the obscurity. If you want to be a successful executive, don’t wait for others to change.

Start disrupting them now.