Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kim's Convenience

How accurate is Kim's Convenience, the Netflix show at portraying the family dynamics of the Westernized Korean family living in Toronto, Canada?

So far, I've found it really comical and seemingly true, which is why I like it. I feel like despite not being Korean, I can understand the gestures, the thought process, the values, the perspective of the family members. I think that the portrayals are applicable not just to Korean / Korean American / Korean Canadian people, but to a broader swath of Asians who generally (wrong or right) have the same or similar attitudes and cultural backgrounds. At the very least, the show definitely creates a cultural curiosity, doesn't it?

What do the Koreans out there think?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Good Is The Enemy Of Great

I’ve been reading this book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s about research that was done to determine if there were factors that made companies go from good to great. The book is obviously about how companies go from good to great, but all the same characteristics that these example companies have are applicable individually.

Of the few resounding traits that great companies possessed, one of them was the idea come to be known as the Hedgehog Concept. That is, “a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles” that ask / answer the following questions:

  • What can you be the best in the world at (and equally important, what can you not be the best at)?
  • What drives your economic engine? 
  • What are you deeply passionate about? 

Consider this excerpt:
Suppose you were able to construct a work life that meets the following three tests. First, you are doing work for which you have a genetic or God-given talent, and perhaps you could become one of the best in the world in applying that talent. (“I feel that I was just born to be doing this.”) Second, you are well paid for what you do. (“I get paid to do this? Am I dreaming?”) Third, you are doing work you are passionate about and absolutely love to do, enjoying the actual process for its own sake. (“I look forward to getting up and throwing myself into my daily work, and I really believe in what I’m doing.”) If you could drive toward the intersection of these three circles and translate that intersection into a simple, crystalline concept that guided your life choices, then you’d have a Hedgehog Concept for yourself. 

I reflected on myself and thought, “I have always been good… but will I ever be great?”

Currently, I have 2 possible options in front of me for work if both paths continue to unfold. I’ve recently interviewed at a company (let’s call it “L” for now) for a Tax Manager position. It’s my line of work. I’ve done it for 13 years. It’s my background, and I’m comfortable continuing my career earning a very good salary. I hope to be given an offer to join the company soon.

On the other hand, I was recently introduced to a Community Director here in Houston (at a place we’ll call “WW” for now) by a great friend. WW is looking to open a location close to home in the very near future and are looking for a Community Manager to run the operations. The job is very entrepreneurial and runs the gamut of hiring, firing, making decisions, earning revenue, spending to run the day-to-day, and everything in between. It’s the type of work that I’ve always dreamed about. I always wanted to run my own business, and this is kind of like that opportunity but with the backing of an established organization, so I wouldn’t be going at it alone.

I could continue to be good at something, a career that I started over 13 years ago. Or, I could try something new, love it, and live it.

Is this the breakthrough that my life was looking for? Is this the tipping point where I go from good to great?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Social Fabric - What Cloth Are You Cut From?

Pretty interesting show on Netflix that I found recently called Social Fabric. A play on words, this is a docuseries about the culture that clothing creates, represents, and develops. Kyle Ng's perspective as a young fashion designer helps connect the world as it is today to the world from where the trends in streetwear and style came from.

I initially didn't think I'd be interested, but after the first episode I was kind of hooked on the way the show was produced / directed. It's very hip. The language is colloquial and his background really connects with me, maybe because we're around the same age or maybe because we're Asian or maybe because we listen to similar music or experienced the same things when we were younger. Maybe.

Anyway... thought it was worth a mention. And Kyle Ng is getting a 2nd season of Social Fabric to delve in to more in depth views on other clothing styles. Carry on Kyle. Carry on.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Overheard At A Cenote in Mexico: One Of Life's Many Lessons

In Tulum, while swimming at the Jardin del Eden (Garden of Eden), there was a young Mexican-American family who were enjoying the cool, refreshing waters of the cenote. The family consisted of 3 children and 2 moms. At this particular water hole, there were different points where you could jump off the cliffside into the deep. The family did a jump together, but the youngest boy (maybe 6yrs old) was reasonably afraid just before this first jump. But his sibling, cousins, and mom were able to convince him that it would be fun. So he eventually made the 15ft plunge into the blue-green waters.

In the water, after the jump, they were all wading around in the shallows where we were hanging out. I heard one of the moms speak, in Spanish, to the young boy about the jump. I found it really interesting. Now my Spanish isn’t the greatest, but if my translation is correct, then her words of explanation were some of the best I’ve heard from a parent.

She said something to the effect of… fear is like any other feeling you have. It is natural. It is how you handle it that matters the most. When you feel hungry, you eat. When you feel cold, you find warmth. When you feel tired, you sleep. When you feel sad, you cry. When you feel happy, you dance. Y cuando tiene miedo, tiene que tener cuidado - when you feel afraid, you have to be careful.

What a great way to make your child understand the feelings he’s having. I’ll be keeping this in mind for when the time comes that I have to explain the same to my child...