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Renungan
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Joy of Cooking


For the final article of this year, I would like to share this story. Hope we learn something out of it …


Once upon a time, before I went to college, my mother worried. I didn't know how to prepare what she called ‘any decent meals.’ So she bought me a copy of ‘Joy of Cooking’, and sat me down to watch and learn. She opened the cookbook to a favorite recipe and began to show me how to make it.

“Have it says use vegetable oil, but I always use olive oil.” And then “here it says use chili peppers, but I always leave those out, because the dish gets too spicy.”

And on it went. Just like that.

“It says here to add salt, but never do that … salt is bad for your heart.”

After some time, I interrupted the process.

“What is the point of the recipe if you do whatever you want anyway?” I asked.


And then, as sometimes happened in my mother’s bright green kitchen, a pearl of wisdom was passed down to me in the uniquely memorable way.

“Listen to your mother. A meal becomes good by starting with quality instructions. It becomes great when you add a quality chef.

Since the day more than twenty years ago, I've come to understand my mother’s teaching as a proverb that applies far beyond cooking. Actually, it applies to every important activity in our lives.

In negotiating the highways and byways of life, recipes can take us only so far. Beyond getting the right ingredients or dutifully following instructions, to become a ‘quality chef’ … in cooking and in life, we need to reach beyond the fundamentals and learn to adapt, improvise, and innovate as life demands. 

We need to use not only our utensils, our ‘best practices’ and techniques but also our inner strengths and deeper wisdom.

The key to mastery, to achieving greatness, in the kitchen or in life, is not your toolbox. It’s you.



Tata 2013.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A King and His Slave


A king once had a slave who, in all circumstances said: “My king, do not be discouraged because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes …”


One day, they went hunting and a wild animal attacked the king, the slave managed to kill the animal but couldn't prevent his majesty losing a finger.

Furious and without showing gratitude, the King said; “if God was good, I would not have been attacked and lost one finger!” The slave replied: “Despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good and everything he does is perfect, He is never wrong!”

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who use human for sacrifice. In the altar, the savages found out that the king didn't have one finger in place so he was released because he was considered not “complete” to be offered to the gods…

On his return to the palace, he authorized the release of his slave saying; “My friend, God was really good to me! I was almost killed but for lack of a single finger I was let go! But I have a question: if God is so good, why did He allow me to put you in jail?”

He replies: “My king, if I had gone with you, I would have been sacrificed for you because I have no missing finger.”


MORAL LESSON:

Remember, everything God does is perfect, He is never wrong … often we complain about life, and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random, and that everything has a purpose. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Let's Roar


What are you waiting for?
Life is too short. Let's make a difference in life. 
Let's Roar!



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Adam McKenna


Saya pernah menceritakan mengenai Adam dalam cerita blog saya tahun lepas. Mula mengenali beliau semasa satu majlis anjuran Teach For Malaysia (TFM). Since then, kami jadi baik. I guess we have mutual respect. Saya tertarik dengan young man ini kerana visi hidupnya. Hebat sekali!


Semalam, kami went for breakfast somewhere near Mercu UEM. Bukan apa, hanya nak celebrate bahawa Adam akan melanjutkan pelajarannya ke University of Victoria, Canada. Hari ini, beliau berangkat ke sana.

Saya tanya Adam apa pelajaran utama yang beliau perolehi semasa bersama TFM. Saya suka dengan respon beliau. Kata beliau, disamping mesti mempunyai gambaran besar tentang apa yang hendak dilaksanakan, TFM menekankan soal effective implementation. Ini satu soal yang menarik kerana banyak organisasi yang mempunyai masalah dalam hal ini. Tambah pula TFM ini dianggotai Gen Y (mereka yang berumur bawah 33 tahun).

Baru-baru ini, semasa satu sessi discussion dengan segolongan Pengurus-Pengurus Kawasan TNB Distribution, soal Gen Y ini telah dibincangkan. Dalam discussion ini, saya lihat ramai yang mempunyai cabaran untuk mempengaruhi Gen Y ini untuk beri yang terbaik dalam tugas mereka. Ini berlaku kerana pada pandangan pengurusan ini, Gen Y mempunyai characteristic yang unik berbanding keperluan menjadi seorang anggota kerja yang berkesan dalam tugas. Yet, Gen Y dalam TFM ini hebat sekali sokongan mereka dalam kerja mereka.

So, saya tanya Adam, apa yang diamalkan oleh TFM yang pada penglihatan saya berjaya membuatkan anggota kerja TFM ini melaksanakan segala implementation dengan mudah. Adam beritahu saya bahawa, sememangnya wujud seribu satu masalah dalam soal implementation ini, namun anggota kerja ini sentiasa mengamalkan ketelusan (transparency) dalam tugas. Ketelusan yang bagaimana?

Pertama, TFM benar-benar membawa anggota kerjanya agar benar memahami apakah visi dan misi TFM. Visi bermaksud kemana maksud akhir TFM dan misi bermaksud bagaimana TFM mahu mencapai visinya. Penerangan ini dilakukan secara informal maupun secara formal bermula semenjak temuduga anggota kerja lagi.

Kedua, TFM sentiasa menggalak ‘active discussion’ semasa berdepan segala cabaran melaksana tugas. Anggota kerja digalak untuk memberi pendapat bagaimana untuk mengatasi cabaran yang dihadapi dari hanya mengharapkan apa keputusan dari ketua mereka.

Bagi saya, ini merupakan ‘crucial conversations’ yang amat perlu ada dalam sesuatu organisasi itu bagi memastikan engagement dari anggota kerja organisasi ini. Tambah pula bila berdepan dengan mereka dari Gen Y ini. Satu realization datang pada saya dalam bentuk begini;

Gen Y = Gen ‘Why’

Ini sesuai benar dengan kenyataan seorang ahli psikologi barat, Victor E Frankl dalam bukunya ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ iaitu ‘People have enough to live, but nothing to live for; They have the means, but no meaning’.

Dalam kata lain manusia zaman sekarang memerlukan makna(meaning) yang jelas dalam membina commitment mereka melaksana sebarang tugas itu. Sememangnya ini amat benar bagi mereka dari kalangan Gen Y ini!


Disini saya inginkan utarakan beberapa quotes yang terbit semasa perbualan Adam dan saya untuk kita sama-sama renungkan;

       1) Everyone should have an equal access to create in whatever fields of life.
       2) We in a business to create values for our customers.
       3) Our products or services are merely our instrument to create better and brighter life.

Syukur banyak-banyak pada Tuhan kerana saya really enjoy discussion ini. Saya nampak ada beberapa perkara yang perlu saya update dalam module-module seminar saya hasil daripada information baru yang diperolehi ini. Adam mungkin masih dalam perjalanan ke Canada semasa saya upload artikel ini.  Anyway, all the best Adam and May Allah bless you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Better.Brigher!


Beberapa minggu lepas, aku telah diminta untuk merancang dan melaksana satu program bagi meningkatkan kesedaran di kalangan anggota kerja TNB bagi menyokong dan mendokong segala aspirasi yang telah dibangunkan oleh pengurusan TNB bagi menghadapi dunia yang semakin mencabar.

Bila aku lihat scenario dalam TNB ini, sebenarnya terdapat banyak slogan, inisiatif dan rancangan yang telah disampaikan kepada anggota kerja TNB ini. Sudahnya apa yang berlaku? Aku lihat ramai anggota kerja ini yang confuse. Confuse kerana tidak nampak bagaimana segala slogan, inisiatif dan rancangan ini berhubung kait dan apakah peranan yang mereka perlu mainkan bagi menjayakan ini semua.

Aku fikir, langkah pertama yang paling penting untuk dilaksanakan ialah membina satu gambaran menyeluruh bagaimana semua ini berhubungkait di atas satu muka surat. Hasilnya? Cuba tuan puan hayati gambaran besar dibawah ini …


Soalan berikut yang harus aku fikirkan ialah bagaimana anggota kerja TNB ini samada secara individu maupun secara berkumpulan mampu menyokong gambaran besar ini. Fikir punya fikir, aku fikir, kita perlu memulakan hasrat ini dengan memberi satu pendedahan untuk bagaimana kenal diri. Ini adalah soal yang paling asas.

Untuk itu aku telah ketengahkan konsep ‘Stick Person’, satu kaedah mudah untuk mengetahui bagaimana diri beroperasi dalam menghasilkan sebarang hasil dalam hidup ini. Bila mereka punya pengetahuan tentang hal ini, mudah bagi mereka untuk memperbaiki sebarang kepincangan dalam diri.

Hasil dari ilmu kenal diri ini, diharapkan anggota kerja TNB ini mulai menyedari betapa berharga diri masing-masing. Sudah semesti diri tidak boleh dipersia-siakan. Jadi bagaimana untuk mereka menghargai diri? Bagi menjawab persoalan ini, aku harus menekankan kepada mereka bahawa mereka perlu mempunyai matlamat diri dan kemudian sebokkan diri cuba mencapai matlamat tersebut.

Bagi membantu mereka menetapkan matlamat, aku ketengahkan alat S.W.O.T. Sebagai permulaan, aku akan usulkan kepada mereka agar tetapkan matlamat dalam tugas masing-masing dan matlamat peribadi dalam tugas itu pula mesti sejajar dengan apa yang organisasi mahukan dari mereka. Jika tidak, mereka akan hanya ‘syok sendiri’!


Berbekalkan kepada pendekatan di atas, maka wujudlah program Better.Brighter (B.B). Pilot program ini telah disampaikan kepada sebilangan anggota kerja TNB Rawang. Hasilnya? Amat membanggakan. Rata-rata menyetujui B.B. ini telah membuka mata mereka dan faham jelas bagaimana mereka secara individu maupun secara berkumpulan boleh membantu mencapai hasrat TNB itu.


Bukan itu sahaja, mereka telah mengesyorkan agar B.B ini dikongsi khasnya dengan anggota kerja TNB Rawang yang lain dan amnya dengan seluruh anggota kerja TNB bagi mempengaruhi mereka untuk menyokong dan mendokong transformasi yang mahu dilaksanakan. Ini satu permulaan yang sangat mengujakan.

B.B ini bukan tamat dengan terlaksananya program 3hari 2 malam ini sahaja. Akan ada ‘homework’ dan program susulan yang perlu dilaksanakan oleh peserta program B.B ini. Ini bagi memastikan hasil akhir program B.B. ini boleh dicapai. Apapun, aku mesti salute dengan anggota kerja TNB Rawang ini. Mereka telah memberi komitmen yang cukup tinggi semasa menyertai program B.B. ini.

Sememangnya, TNB Rawang Better.Brighter!  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Dash


Dear Readers,

Ponder on this video. It is such a beautiful lesson. Hope you enjoy it and may it brings joy to you. Cheers!



The Dog in the Well


In old times, there was a village having only one well for drinking water. One day a dog fell down in the well and died. The water became filthy and undrinkable. The worried villagers went to the old wise man for advice.


They were told to take 100 buckets of water from the well so that clean water come to the surface of the well. The villagers took 100 buckets but water status was same.

They went to the wise man again. He suggested taking another 100 buckets. The villagers did the same but to no avail.

They villagers tried third time to take another 100 buckets as per the advice from the wise man but water was still impure.

The wise said, “How come the whole well is polluted even removing this much considerable amount of water. Did you remove the dog body prior to taking 300 buckets of water?”

The villagers said, "No sir, you only advised us to take water out, not the dog body!"


Reflection:

Several times in life we try to resolve our problems without considering the root cause of the problems. We believe that we are resolving the problem whereas in actual we are working on the side effects of problem not the problem itself.


We don't see the big picture to understand the root of the issue. We take advice from our well-wishers but do not use our brain to think logically to analyse the advice and then decide, instead, we start acting blindly on the solutions suggested by others.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Negative Thanksgiving


A young woman was sitting at her dining table, worried about taxes to be paid, house-work to be done and to top it all, her family was coming over the next day. She was not feeling very thankful at that time. As she turned her gaze sideways, she noticed her young daughter scribbling furiously into her notebook. 

“My teacher asked us to write a paragraph on “Negative Thanksgiving” for homework today.” said the daughter, “She asked us to write down things that we are thankful for, things that make us feel not so good in the beginning, but turn out to be good after all.”

With curiosity, the mother peeked into the book. This is what the daughter had written:
  
“I’m thankful for Final Exams, because that means school is almost over.

I’m thankful for bad-tasting medicine, because it helps me feel better.

I’m thankful for waking up to alarm clocks, because it means I’m still alive.”

It then dawned on the mother, that she had a lot of things to be thankful for!

She thought again…

She had to pay taxes but that meant she was fortunate to be employed.

She had house-work to do but that meant she had her own home to live in.

She had to cook for her family but that meant she had a family with whom she could celebrate.


Moral :

We generally complain about the negative things in life but we fail to look at the positive side of it. What is the positive in your negatives?

Look at the better part of life this day and make it a great day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Love is Pure


A very poor man lived with his wife.

One day, his wife, who had very long hair, asked him to buy her a comb for her hair to grow well and to be well-groomed.

The man felt very sorry and said no. He explained that he did not even have enough money to fix the strap of his watch he had just broken.

She did not insist on her request.

The man went to work and passed by a watch shop, sold his damaged watch at a low price and went to buy a comb for his wife.

He came home in the evening with the comb in his hand ready to give to his wife.

He was surprised when he saw his wife with a very short haircut.

She had sold her hair and was holding a new watch band.

Tears flowed simultaneously from their eyes, not for the futility of their actions, but for the reciprocity of their love.



MORAL: To love is nothing, to be loved is something but to love and to be loved by the one you love, that is EVERYTHING. Never take love for granted.