Archive for the ‘Idea / Mind Hack’ Category

One Item You Need To Calibrate Everyday By 12am

Summary – Your conscience

Imagine you are jungle trekking with a little boy. This boy is holding the compass and only he knows where the north is. You are supposed to go north all the way.

After a few minutes walking, you ask the boy, “Where is the north?”

The boy shows you the direction, “This way sir.”

You see that there is a mountain in front of you. You then suggest to the boy, “We are going around this mountain.”

The boy starts wondering, “Maybe the direction is not important, it’s the destination.”

After another hour, you ask the boy for the direction. And when he showed you the direction, “It’s a 12 o’clock sir”.

Feeling a bit bored with all the trekking, you decide to have some fun. You said, “Instead of 12 o’clock, why not we walk in the 11 o’clock direction. What harm could that slight deviation do?”

From your answer, the boy conclude that a slight change of direction is acceptable as long as you know where you’re going.

Now guys, imagine keep dismissing his answer everytime he answers the whole trip. What will he become?

  • He will no longer believe that he is right or that his opinion matters
  • He doesn’t even bother to look at the compass when asked for direction
  • He may make up his own direction just to have fun

Now imagine that the little boy is actually our conscience. Wouldn’t it be a disaster?

It often start with the smallest thing like a white lie. Also it is usually done with very good intention. We tell lies to protect our loved ones from getting hurt for example. We then tell more lies to cover the previous lies we told. After a while, lying to someone become as natural as everything else in our life. And we are starting to feel that lying is never wrong.

When it reached that level, it’s as if the little boy has totally given up on us.

Now if you would excuse me, I would like to go check on my compass boy and maybe have a look at the compass before going to bed. Hopefully they are repairable.

– I wonder –
Tell any white lies lately? 🙂

———– Personal Note ———–
I just came back from my long Aidilfitri holiday. And as usual, I never feel excited about working after a long holiday. It’s been a long day and drive so I will leave you with an Aidilfitri photograph of the family (Me, the mrs and Zafirah)

Have a happy Aidilfitri 🙂

Aidilfitri Banji

Compass Photo Credit – Matti Mattila

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3 Facts You Might NOT Know About Being A Winner

Summary – Restarts, Harder, Tougher

Today is Aidilfitri here in Malaysia. I am now in Kedah with my family for the celebration. Again, Aidilfitri is all about celebrating the successful one-month fasting for muslims. In other words, we are celebrating for winning the battle against desire all month long.

I’m sure you too have your moment of being a winner in your own battle. It can be –

  • Successfully finished up all your work for the week beating that procrastination to the floor
  • Overcame your mental block to create and deliver one of the best presentation ever.
  • Walked away from a shopping sale when your desire was screaming at you with 100 plus reasons why buying makes sense.

Everyone has their own battle to win. As long as there are choices to make, there will always be a battle in our head, between reason and logic, the greater good or the immediate result.

It is a nice thing to win a battle. However there are 3 facts that you should know about winning. And you may be surprise that you never realized these before.

1) The battle starts 10 seconds after you win.

Yes, you may be doing your victory dance, but the truth is immediately after about 10 second you have been declared a winner, the war restarts.

If you just won over that procrastination instinct and finished up all your work, rest assured that you will start procrastinating other work that comes after that. You may be given another assignment, and you’re putting that off to another time in the future since you just won that war. As a matter of fact, the war against procrastination just restarted with that decision. It is really a never ending battle.

2) The battle will be harder.

I’m sure you will agree with me. Once you become number one, you will see that the work to maintain being number one is usually harder than the work to get to number one. It may be due to the pressure, the expectation or maybe the higher standard you just raised.

The same goes to your recent success. If you manage to deliver powerful presentation and your boss loves it, he will expect better performance from you. Of course delivering creative presentation is a piece of cake for you, but when pressure and high expectation is involved, you may not be able to outdo your previous self.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should only deliver moderate quality performance in your work. You just need to know the fact that success comes with the element of pressure and expectation. Knowing this beforehand will help you cope with it better.

3) The enemy might have learnt from their mistake.

Things that don’t kill you will only make you stronger. This applies just the same to the elements you just beat. Let say, you just walked away from the shopping sale with excuses like “I will buy them some other time”. The time will come when such excuse will no longer works. You just don’t feel the excuse as effective as previously used.

Conclusion – You may ask, how then can we make the next battle easier? Unfortunately, the next battle will always be harder, and all we can do is to realize this as early as possible. This way, we can be more prepared.

– I Wonder –
How do you celebrate your victory?

———– Personal Note ————-
I don’t know about you, but everytime I manage to achieve my small victory of the day, I will treat myself to a cup of hot chocolate. That is my luxury of the day. 🙂

Photo Credit – Notsogoodphotography

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The 6 Critical Mistakes Done After A Mistake Was Done

“Banji.. have you put on your belt?”
“Yes, mother.”
“Banji.. are you sure?”
“Yes, mother.. you can see it for yourself”, I said while showing the belt I was wearing.
“HAHAHAHAHA.. I was referring to the seatbelt”. And all passengers in the car laughed at me. Guess what, it’s been 20 over years, and my mother still bring up that incident once in a while. 🙂

/end memory

Nobody likes making mistakes. However our life today can only be better if we learn from the mistake we did yesterday. There is also no way we can be 100% free from making mistakes. So we might as well just accept the fact that we will make mistake and keep learning from it throughout our life.

I believe that there is however another set of mistakes that we need to avoid at all cost – The mistakes we do after making mistakes. Enlisted below are some of the most common mistakes we usually do after making mistakes.

1) Refuse to admit that mistakes had been done

Some people are so egoistic that they will never accept the fact that they had made a mistake. For this type of people, mistakes are signs of weakness and being the egoist that they are, they will never admit to that.

Another type of people who fall into this category is those who were always in denial after a mistake has been made. They are so afraid of making mistakes that they deny the mistake ever happened. These are not the kind of people you want to be around with.

How can we learn from our mistakes if we never actually admit there was one?

2) Try to forget the mistakes

Some mistakes are embarassingly painful. These will usually be buried deep down in our memory with the hope that it will be forgotten. Personally, trying to forget our mistake is a very stupid move. If we forget it, it will be like buying a hideous van and burn it down right away. People will never notice the van but your money spent to buy the van is loss forever. Don’t you value your money?

3) Blame self or others.

This habit has become sort of a built-in habit to everyone. Once a mistake was done, the first thing people will do is to find whose fault it is. It will never serve any function except the illusion that the mistake has been solved. It can be important however to do this if finding the fault will solve the problem.

The worst case scenario is when we are blaming ourselves for the mistake. Once we do this, believe me, there’s no way out. Our mind will use all of its resource to further punish ourselves for the mistake. It will be like a black hole with no way out. Don’t go there.

4) No room for forgiveness.

This is sort of related to point 3. But it is very significant that it deserve its own number. Forgiveness is always the hardest thing to do. We can say anything, read all the books but when your life was screwed up by a person, it will be very hard to forgive him.

That is why, we need to have that room in our heart for forgiveness. Set up this room in our heart. We don’t necessarily need to forgive him right away, but knowing that there’s a room in there for forgiveness will definitely help later on.

5) Justify mistakes

Very similar to point number 1, the person who make this mistake will come up with justification as to why a mistake was made. Remember the girl who cried wolf? She might made a mistake the first time thinking that she saw a wolf. And when the villagers came she made excuses that she was just fooling around. You know how it ended.

Justifying mistakes does not make the mistake go away. It will not help you learn from it either.

6) Refuse to analyze your mistake

Being an engineer, when a problem / mistake occurs in an operation, the first step is always “redefining the problem”. Let say an operator forgot to switch on a pump and ruined the whole operation. I can straight away scold him or give him a warning letter. But this will not solve the problem. If he can forget the first time, the chances are he will forget it again later.

I should study if there were any possibility the pump can be run automatically and thus removing the problem altogether. Or maybe put up a checklist to help the operator remember.

Analyzing mistake is the most important things to do right after a mistake has been made. If not the mistake made will serve no purpose and you will find that your life is just one big boring loop where the same mistake is being repeated everyday

– I wonder –
What’s your biggest shareable mistake in your life?

———– Personal Note ————–
My biggest shareable mistake in life is when I was in my final year. I literally spent all my time chatting on IRC. I failed a subject and did poorly on others. That for me is my most expensive lesson in life.

I made a lot of good friends though.. I just need to manage my priorities better.

Photo Credit – Endlisnis

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Detailing Your Life With Keywords Approach

Summary – “Job Safety Analysis” for life

I once did my internship at a Petrochemical plant in Kerteh, Malaysia. I was there for about 8 months. It was a dream come true for any engineering students to work there. Where else can you see all the theories previously learnt applied.

I had also been introduced to a lot of Engineering procedure and there was one that had caught my attention to be applied to my real life. It’s called Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

Job Safety Analysis – A brief introduction

Bear with me as I briefly explained this procedure. JSA is a compulsory procedure to be done at the beginning of any major works. For example, let say I am to install a new pipeline for a pressure vessel. I will call up a meeting with other engineers in which we will discuss the safety aspect of the work. What make this procedure interesting is that, the safety meeting will be based only on specific keywords. Nothing else.

One words will be taken from group 1 such as : Over, Under, High, Low, No etc (There are actually quite a few, but I’m putting only these five to ease understanding)

Another words are taken from group 2 such as : Pressure, Flow, Temperature etc

In a JSA, the engineers will combine the two words from each group to become words like overpressure, underpressure, high temperature and so on. We will then discuss what are the safety precaution available or to be made available in case of overpressure, underpressure etc (until all the keywords are exhausted).

I hope you understand the procedure up to now. I guess the whole objective of discussing things based on keywords is to avoid forgetting any of them. When one’s life is at risk, it is always a good thing to be extra careful.

Applying JSA in real life

Such a procedure will only make the job more complicated but the benefit from it will outweigh all the work done. So I’m thinking, maybe we can apply JSA to our real life.

Road Accident
If for example you are in a bus, and in 5 seconds the bus is going to topple to its right, what will you do? What if it topples to the left? What will you hold on to? Where’s the emergency exit? You can apply JSA here by planning ahead for every scenarios that can happen in an accident.

Some suggestion of keywords that can be used are topple, breakdown, robbery, unconcious driver.

Natural Disaster
Do you know what’s the first thing you should do if your house is on fire? Which documents are important, and which are not? Or maybe your house is flooded, how will you kickstart your life?

Some suggestion of keywords are Flood, Fire, Earthquake, Lost, Documents.

These two are just a few examples of how to apply JSA in real life. However, utilizing keywords in our life goes beyond safety and health. You can also come up with keywords like

  • Money, Time, Friends – What will you do when there are too much or too little of them?
  • Anger, Jealousy, Hate – When it will be fine to have them?
  • The Wife, The Mother, The Father – What will you do if one of them is sad? What makes them happy?

Conclusion – There are infinite amount of scenarios that can happen. To plan for every one of them will require a few thousands years (plus and minus). So don’t do all of them. Just choose the most important ones like accidents, emergencies. List down all the keywords related to the scenarios and write away.

Don’t you think it will be cool if you are the one person in an accident who actually save the whole passengers of the bus 🙂

– I wonder –
Anybody reading have had an accident before. Care to share your experience?

————- Personal Note ————-
I will never forget mine for the rest of my life. I was driving very late at night. And to make it worse, I am not at all familiar with the road. It was very snaky and I was driving relatively fast for a snaky dark road. I know that there’s a T-Junction at the end of the road and I will be taking a left turn there.

The details was quite blurry but suddenly I was at the T-Junction and I was still driving straight and crossed the road altogether. Luckily there’s a building in front with a parking lot. I was able to stop just in time. My heart was pounding fast. If there were cars or lorries on the road at the time, I will not be here writing this for you. From that time on, I have promised myself that I will stop the car and take a nap whenever I feel sleepy. No discussion.

So everyone.. Drive safe kay

Photo Credit – Zappowbang

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