Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don’t Know ....

Today, I had the opportunity to sit in one of the so called “business development” workshop. Technically, I was not among the participants. More like an “uninvited participant” but a keen listener nonetheless. It is true what some people says everyday in every way we can learn something.

There I was, “intu-intu” on the fringes of the “high powered” group of people, so “high powered” the young speaker himself was in awed and had sleepless night scared of his audience. If he was telling the truth that is. Come to think of it, he was right. There, in that room, most if not all, are the people responsible for the physical development of this beloved country of ours.

Not expecting much from this young speaker and in the subject I thought I know well as I have been acquainted with it for many years, I was twiddling away at the new toy. Must be the ego doing the rounds. What can such a young guy teach such a high powered group of people, I thought.

To my surprise, I always like surprise especially the nice and wonderful ones, not the nasty ones, this guy had a lot to share. A lot of knowledge to impart. Well at least, the parts where I was in the room as an uninvited participant that is. He talked about how there are three categories in what we know. The first two, which constitutes our ego, are things that we know and the things we know that we don’t know. We can always learn, read about the things we know that we don’t know. But these are just small portions of the “knowing” world. What is worrying is the part where we don’t know that we don’t know. That seems to be the biggest portion by a long run.

So what can we do about the things we don’t know that we don’t know? Some says who cares. If I don’t know that I don’t know, why bother. We may not even realise it. So why worry? Why bother? Why burden ourselves with what we don’t know that we don’t know? Life is simple why make it complicated with what we don’t know that we don’t know. Confused and seeing stars with endless phrase after phrase of what we don’t know that we don’t know? May be we don’t know that we don’t know how important are the things we don’t know that we don’t know. May be....

Well, let’s put this into a decision making process. The best decision will always be an informed decision. An informed decision is always based on “full facts”. But how do we know we have the full facts? Some, a lot in fact, will add a disclaimer at the beginning or the end by saying “to the best of my knowledge”. This statement alone is an admission that the person does not have ALL the facts. May be it is impossible to have all the facts. But maybe it is not impossible to do all we can to get all the facts. To get as much information and facts as we can to help us in our decision making. In short, things we know, things we know that we don’t know and especially the things we don’t know that we don’t know. How can we do this? To be honest, I don’t know myself. Well at least, this is one of the things until today I don’t know that I don’t know.

The speaker suggested everyone to be more inquisitive as a way of increasing our knowledge especially in knowing the things we don’t know that we don’t know. We all can try this but in our culture we must be extra careful not to end up being too inquisitive ending up being nosy, being busy body. This reminded me of something I learned many years ago, also in one of my intu-intu times in one of self improvement talks. Honestly I came for the free supper but ended up with one of the best things I learned in life.

Everyone knows having power can bring you a long long way in life. But what is really behind power? Money? Brawn? Weapons? The answer we got that night was none of those obvious things. Knowledge is the most important, if not the main basis of POWER. We can get knowledge through many ways. We can pay to attend courses, buy books. All these need precious dollars and cents. But we may end up with knowledge that is not that useful to us and skint at the same time. Some may say all form of knowledge is always useful. That’s for another time. The speaker, a lady speaker if my memory serves me right, suggested to us to set a daily target. Set a target of everyday to be in contact with five people with the knowledge and information we need. Networking, keeping our eyes and ears open whenever we meet people. Another is by having a network of reliable sources, just like the CIA and KGB with their extensive network of spies and agents but in a much much smaller scale. A mini James Bond of some sort. Surely, we will gain important knowledge. Free knowledge.

To summarise this endless rambling, whatever we do, however we go about it, we must try to learn something every day. As the famous saying on the radio says, “SEHARI SEPATAH KATA”. Or we may end up with bigger than usual portion of “we don’t know that we don’t know” pie.

Thank you Mr Young Speaker. Thank you for making us put aside our egos and realise there is alot of important things that we don’t know that we don’t know......

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Year in Review....

This entry started a day or so before we usher in the new year of 2010 and completed a few days later.....

Here we are, at the end of 2009. Hours to go before the world usher in 2010. If we believe the Mayans, we are closer to the end of the world, 2012. End of the year normally brings in reflections. Reflections how the year has gone. Here and there, on TV, radio, in magazines, newspapers, the internet, the media is full of the year review.

Some, many I guess, will also review their year. A personal review of some sort. Did we fulfil our 2009 resolutions? Did we meet our goals, targets and objectives? The highs, the lows, the happy times, the sad time, troubles, success, achievements. All will be flashing in our head and mind. Doing our own reflections.

One of the biggest explosions of 2009 is the Facebook phenomenon. Practically everyone that has access to computers and smart mobile phones, which is almost everyone we know, is on Facebook. Some are passive users. Some are active. Most of us would have updated our status if not daily, may be regularly or once in a blue moon. If we look back at our status updates, Facebook will be a good way to review our year. Looking at mine, it is full of cucur pisangs, roti talor bawangs and some silly thoughts. Boring life indeed. Nothing to shout about. As hard as I tried to make things exciting it was indeed nothing to be excited about. A road trip meant going round the country on office business. I wonder if other people’s status throughout the year is giving similar reflections.

Based on articles online, it will not be surprising if this is the case. An article in www.time.com showed how a year review based on Facebook can be. One damning conclusion the article said about us, Facebook users, is below:

“I may be bland, but judging from my friends' status roundups, I am not alone. In fact, most Facebook users lead overwhelmingly boring lives. (They must; why else would they have nothing better to do than check Facebook?) My news feed is cluttered with updates about triple word scores in Scrabble, new Taco Bell menu items and people who won't stop talking about their pets. Sure, there is the occasional flash of excitement or wit — like in August, when I said that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sounded like the name of a law firm, or November when my friend Marc went golfing in a canyon — but the moments were brief, hidden among anecdotes about breakfast burritos and daytime television programs.”

The full article can be read here.

I guess one of our New Year resolutions is to make our lives more exciting. At least to make it seem so on Facebook....

Happy New Year 2010 everyone....

People says 80% of anything is Public Relation. Public Relation is a big part managing our image, the perceptions and impressions we projected. I suppose it works the same on Facebook.