Monthly Archives: March 2012

Balancing challenge, learning, fun, and reward in personal development

on March 31, 2012 in Blog

I like to improve my life, but I don’t do it non-stop. Personal development usually requires challenging yourself (“going out of your comfort zone,” is the cliché), which can be hard. So I alternate between challenging myself and relaxing. When I challenge myself I learn. When I relax I enjoy the fruits of my labor. Here I plot my personal growth over time, schematically. I do it in stages, alternately[…] Keep reading →

Creating miracles

on March 30, 2012 in Nature

I just finished an exercise on “How to Create Miracles in Your Life.” I wrote up the following. It’s out of context so it may not make sense to everyone, but you may get the gist of it. I found it important. I had my biggest problems with this exercise last time. In the end I figured out the exercise with my interpretation. At first my biggest problem was with[…] Keep reading →

One way to accept without judging

on March 29, 2012 in Awareness, Blog, Freedom, Tips

Here’s an old story that comes in many versions (here are seven), but I learned from Srikumar Rao‘s book Are You Ready to Succeed (text from this blog). An old man lived in a valley with his son, a handsome and dutiful youth. They lived a peaceful life despite a lack of material possessions. They were very happy. So much so, that neighbors began to get envious. One day, the[…] Keep reading →

Hard work, money, and American values

on March 28, 2012 in Awareness, Blog

A friend once put American values in perspective for me. He grew up in Romania. I met him in graduate school. He came to get a PhD in physics, became one of Columbia’s top students during our time, and ended up working on Wall Street. I asked him if he originally came to the U.S. to study physics or if he always knew he would go to Wall Street. He[…] Keep reading →

Obama’s missed North Korea opportunity

on March 28, 2012 in Freedom, Leadership, NorthKorea

When I first saw this picture, reading in the New York Times how “In South Korea Visit, Obama Visits Border and Warns North,” I thought little of it, until I thought back to my earlier post on leadership opportunities for U.S. Presidents. I consider visiting a militarized border admirable and addressing North Korea important. But standing behind bulletproof glass is nothing like the speeches of Kennedy and Reagan. Maybe North[…] Keep reading →

Working hard versus getting things done

on March 27, 2012 in Awareness, Blog, Leadership

Working hard does not mean you get things done. Getting things done doesn’t necessarily require working hard. I waste time and I find myself often inefficient, but people say I’ve achieved a lot. Whether I’ve achieved a lot or not is opinion, but if they’re right, it’s because I know my priorities. I allow myself inefficiency on relatively unimportant things. The important things I don’t slack on. The important things[…] Keep reading →

The slides from my North Korea talk at Columbia Business School

on March 26, 2012 in Education, Freedom, Leadership, NorthKorea

Saturday’s talk on North Korea at Columbia Business School went great — a full room, an attentive audience, and great questions at the end. I didn’t leave as much time for questions as I wish I had, but the organizer told me people told her they liked the talk a lot. Several people asked for copies of the slides so I’m posting them here instead of sending multiple emails.