Sunday, November 25, 2012

Anyway, the Paradoxical Commandments

The book caught my attention... when it appeared as the 'odd' one out amongst the stacks of academic books in the Lunch time Book Display earlier last week. Indeed, I took the book without looking even reading a page or two - the title tells me that its some reading that I would resonate with :)

I guess, that's what we call 缘 (Fate? Destiny? Maybe there's a better choice of word?). I'm not looking at any "10 Commandments" to abide to or to lead my life. But I think see some of my beliefs (and life philosophy) are nicely written in words by others. It's a little book of philosophy that I enjoyed chewing it over the past 2 hours.

No disappointment.  It's easy to finish this tiny book with slightly more than 100 pages. Simple reading yet I could get connected to, almost every page. Thanks, Kent Keith for putting the thoughts so nicely and neatly together. BTW, here's the website: for the complete list.

Here are the lines that I like... and for some of them, I had the ah-ha moment when I read them... enlightening :)

...Not all the 10 are reflected below:

#1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred - Love them anyway.
  • Sometimes people appear to be illogical and unreasonable, when they are simply using a different logic and different method of reasoning. They may have different worldviews, or different experiences, or see a different set of facts that we do. (p24)
  • Yes, this is something that we might have forgotten to recognise the fact that different people see things at different perspectives. How often we remind ourselves that we should be open to see or hear from a different perspective? Then when it comes to instances when we disagree, we forget to see that others may see things from a different perspective too! Then can we accept this difference and humble ourselves to embrace such diverse view?
#2.  If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives - Do good anyway. 
  • People who are twisted and bent, cynical and tired, have usually given up doing good. Instead, they are just trying to get what they can for themselves. They justify their behaviour by claiming that everybody else is the same... They attribute their own motives to others. They see people who are doing good as people who are only pretending to be doing good, when in fact they are really after something selfish. (p33)
  • Indeed, I like the fact that it started by believing that people are old (for the start)... and how often it's the situation or environment that has changed them (gradually). In fact, these are loners who are afraid, that's why they need to speak with a louder voice to drown others and making everyone else think that everyone else agree with them!
  • You will need to do what is right and good and true. That is where personal meaning and satisfaction are to be found. (p34)
  • That's where our personal beliefs and moral compass are.
#3.  If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies - Succeed anyway.
  • It's enlightening to see how the author had differentiated: A Personal Friend, A Positional Friend, A False Friend and A True Enemy. Indeed, instead of looking around me what kind of "friends/ enemies" are around us... I think it's more importantly to ask ourselves, who are we? To what extend that I have been successful being a "Personal Friend" to others? 
  • Some people attack because they crave more attention for themselves, and attacking you is one way to get it. Others attack because they are passionate about their beliefs and are upset that you don't see things the same way. (p42)
#4.  The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow - Do good anyway.
  • When you do what is right and good and true, you will know, and you will remember. That will give you all the personal meaning you need. (p48)
  • What matter is how you live. If you are living authentically and generously, you won't worry about whether anyone else knows or remembers. (p48)
  • When you lay the foundation for the future of your organisation, you will know the good that you have done. You can also find great satisfaction in seeing the eventual success, even if you have retired or gone on to the other things. (p49). Anyway, I would like to dedicate this one to my peers - whether you were @ Clementi Ave 6 or are still @ 1 Technology Drive :)
  • Many of the best things we do for each other are little things that bring a smile or lift the spirits as we go through daily life together. Sometimes, doing good is the common courtesy and thoughtfulness. (p49)
  • Do good for its own sake. Do good because it is part of who you are, part of your quality of life. The good you do will be a source of personal meaning for you, even if nobody knows or if those who know forget. (p51)
 #5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable - Be honest and frank anyway.
  • Building trust is something you must do if you are to have successful relationships, teams, organisations and communities. (p60)
  • Yes, it is important to be tactful... Confidentiality is part of a trusting relationship... But tact and confidentiality should not prevent you from being honest and frank in most of your daily relationships. (p60)
  • Vulnerability is a door to a new relationship, new opportunities, new ways to grow, and new ways to live and work together. (p61)
#6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds - Think big anyway.
  • A "small person" is often a good person, a hard worker committed to the organisation... he or she sees life in very small terms... He has usually mastered his daily routine and doesn't want it to change. (p66)
  • A small person often sees things in terms of his or her own power or comfort and convenience, and believes that what is best for him is best for the family or organisation or community. (p67)
  • Indeed, the "small person" is defined in a totally surprising manner (to me!). It has changed my perspective! And more worrying, when I look back, I think I exhibit the characteristics of a "small person" occasionally. It's thought provoking! And how often we forget we are the small person when we think we are trying to guard the interest of others? Hm...
 #8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight - Build anyway.
  • In organisational life, what we accomplish can fade quickly. We bring people together, build teams, and work toward our goals. When we leave the organisation, we leave a legacy in the hearts and minds of the people who remain there, a legacy reflected in the culture of the organisation. (p89) Anyway, here's another one I would like to dedicate to my peers - whether you were @ Clementi Ave 6 or are still @ 1 Technology Drive :)
  • What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. But that doesn't change what you accomplished. You did something you can remember with pride and pleasure. (p90)
  • The joy and meaning that come with building will last. They will be yours forever. (p90)
 #9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them - Help people anyway.
  • Some people who need help deny they need it. They don't want to face their inadequencies. Others who need help won't deny it, but they resent it. They don't want to be helpless or dependent, they don't want to appear ignorant. (p95)
  • They may be struggling with their pride, their self-image. (p96)
  • ... the attack may not be against you. They may be angry about their conditions or fighting against their feelings of helplessness or need. (p97)
  • My heart goes out to these people. Indeed, it takes courage to manage the struggle that comes from within too. Confused? Yes, I believe they are the confused lot, too!
 #10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth - Give the world the best you have anyway.
  • The cost of giving your best can be high. The only thing that costs more is not giving your best. If you aren't giving your best, you aren't who you are supposed to be. (p102)
  • Fully agree... and to give our best, we need the support from people around us, too! Irregardless they share the same beliefs or philosophy or not :)

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