“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Archive for the ‘People’ Category
Critical thinkers are thorough and can flush out ideas with both conventional and unconventional perspectives. These people have the mental acumen and courage to challenge popular consensus with reasonable reflective thinking. In the end, they can help clarify goals, examine assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, accomplish actions, and assess conclusions
Critical thinkers move ideas forward or stop them on their track when necessary. I appreciate them as an executive and entrepreneur. They are critical to innovation as well as execution. I don’t consider myself as a critical thinker. I’m more of a ‘filter’ of ideas after critical thought has already been put forth. I’ve had a lot of experience quickly recognizing compelling ideas at an early stage.
Some people confuse negativity for critical thinking. Playing devil’s advocate just to be contrary is not productive or is it critical thinking. Negativity is cancerous and stands in the way of execution while critical thinking enhances clarity, quality and production.
Negativity often disguises itself as critical thinking, while critical thinkers clearly understand the difference.
I was privileged to be a part of a wonderful wedding of two delightful people. He’s a stylish man from Calcutta, India and she a beautiful woman born in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was a destination wedding in the warmth of Cabo San Lucas with the temptation of tequila everywhere. Almost 50 guests trekked to Mexico from four continents to bear witness and provide support to this endearing couple.
Most of us were bi-cultural and at least bi-lingual, and we celebrated the multicultural wedding of these two who are simply in love — and beloved by so many. As a frequent traveler, I sometimes bemoan how small the world is becoming: Starbucks in Paris, Shanghai and Seattle; Wholefoods on High Street Kensington; American-style trip malls throughout Europe. But there have been so much good as well to internationalization: Proper fusion of foods; greater awareness and tolerance; multicultural families; among so much more.
Years back, Olga interviewed with me for her first job after graduating from University of Washington and controlled the interview from the start. She was capable and engaging. I met Shane through Olga and we immediately bounded from our “old-world” principles and through Patron shots. Our friendship grew to the point we had a pre-bachelor party planning weekend in Las Vegas before finally deciding to go to Southeast Asia for the actual bachelor party. Not to be outdone, we finally all descended upon Cabo to celebrate them, to celebrate families, and to celebrate life with tequila .
Merry Christmas everyone. Hope all of you are spending time with loved ones.
I’m fortunate enough to be spending Christmas with my extended family up at Snoqualmie Pass, watching snow falling while warm in front of a fire. I’ll be up on the slopes later today. Tonight, we’ll be enjoying a big Christmas feast for dinner.
It’s been wonderful catching up with relatives who are spread throughout the US. We’ve reflected on individual challenges of the past year, as well as the successes. We provide encouragements and support for each other over our favorite foods, drinks or just relaxing in the hot tub. I feel so energized and grounded with them. They give me strength.
I believe we humans are interconnected, and our families provide the closest connections.
Keeping that in mind, if you are not with your family for any reason, be sure to reach out to them today. Let the past be the past and the future the future. Today, connect with them and provide unconditional support. They need you as much as you need them.
Having worked with the British most of my career, I could have used this translation guide a lot sooner. The confusion across the channel is just the same across the Atlantic. In conclusion, it seems that I’ve been always overly optimistic working with the British (haha).
I’m about to board a flight to London from SeaTac Airport. Ten years ago today, I was living and working in London when a staff member told me that a terrorist had flown a plane into a building in New York City. I brushed it off as misinformation or a possible accident as I was rushing off for a sales presentation. By the time I had gotten to my appointment the full reality of 9/11/2001 hit me right in the gut.
For the next few days my wife and I were mesmerized in front of the tele at David Lloyd’s Fitness Club in South Kensington (we had tried to live without a TV in London but that immediately changed). I remember the feeling of guilt being away as tragedy strikes your home. Now, I know why some of my Syrian and Libian friends were anxious to try to go home during the unrest in their respective countries. But there were plenty of people to commiserate with as all of London went into morning with most of the rest of the world. On the tube, in Covent Garden, on the buses, everyone was sympathetic, appalled, depressed. People provided support for one another.
Then, I got an email from a friend telling me about his friend who was stuck in London and couldn’t get home although his colleagues were affected by the terrorist attack. My wife and some friends met with him and we encouraged one another. Just recently, he found me again on Facebook and thanked me for those days together.
Throughout Europe, there was a minute of silence planned. I left my office not wanting to be emotional in front of my employees. As I stood outside in the London streets, I saw the street cleaners, the bus drivers, road workers and everyone else bow their heads in a moment of silence. It was the most connected I’ve ever felt with so many people. I knew then that the world was in this together.
That was a defining day for a lot of people and for our nation and for the world. For me, I realized how connected we are were throughout the world, that while a few want to disrupt world order, humans stand together when tragedy hits humanity.
As a frequent traveler, I’ve gotten free airline upgrades from time to time. If you travel enough, an upgrade can make the time on the airplane much, much better. Anyway, who doesn’t feel good when they get something nice unexpectedly?
Several times, however, I was already so tired and grumpy that an upgrade just didn’t make me feel much better. Other times, I was so busy and focused on work that needed to be done on the plane that I wasn’t very appreciative of the upgrade.
Then, there are times, on a long flight, where I feel extremely lucky for the upgrade. The whole journey is made so much more pleasant that I can’t stop miling at my good fortunate. My whole outlook on everything around me becomes just that much better. I become a better person to be around.
In each of these cases, I received basically the same thing – an upgrade of my seat. However, the manner in which I internalized the good fortunate dictated how much the nice turn of events impacted my whole aura.
In life, we get different “upgrades” all the time from loved ones, strangers and sometimes just by chance. How we let those moments impact us is up to each of us individually. Turn them into a positive that allows you to be positive back to the world.
Live appreciatively. Enjoy the upgrades.
As I’ve written many times, I have a great love for different cultures and foods. In Seattle, I’m lucky to have a group of friends who share the same passion.
I encourage you to start your own group.
Twenty-six years ago (1985), I showed up in Seoul as a naive Korean-American student looking to find my roots. The problem was that I had very little Korean language skills and even less cultural perspective.
At the time, a 6′ 4″ bald white man befriended me and took me under his wing. No one stuck out more than he did in a sea of short, black-haired Koreans back then. The country was just starting to become an economic “tiger” and the government was not yet even a democracy.
However, as a former US military intelligence personnel, Rick spoke fluent Korean and had immersed himself completely into the local culture. My ”hyung” (big brother) taught me to be Korean again. He would forced me to eat Korean delicacies that I initially resisted. He would teach me how to drink in the traditional Korean custom and how to honor my elders.
We were quite the pair back then, when people would just gawk at him and ask me about my “giant” friend. He would always then answer for me, which at times would send people running away from us.
When I returned to the states, he too returned and trained to be an officer at Fort Lewis, a military base south of Seattle. Since he had no family there, I had the honor of pinning his officer pin on him during his ceremony.
Later, when I was getting married, he was the MC at our reception, delighting our families with his Korean jokes.
Today, we’re getting together again as I’m visiting Seoul on vacation. His heart always tugged him back to here, where he’s now married with two beautiful daughters. Last time we got together, it was the day before my flight back home. The facts are still a bit fuzzy but I almost missed that flight when I finally found my way home the next afternoon. This time, my wife has insisted that I meet him days prior to my return flight.
In life, a friend like Rick is rare. Who would have thought a farm boy from Iowa and a Korean-American boy from Seattle would affect each other’s lives in so many unlikely ways? I’m so thankful for having him as a friend.
Now, I got to come up with a strategy to pay for our night out as we will be fighting for each bill — just as he had taught me to do a long time ago.
A friend today said that you can’t do good in this world without doing some evil. So true. If you want to really positively affect the world, you need to be live in the world, which inevitably means making some mistakes. Passion will lead to greatness and positive impact, but it also will definitely push one to do some “evil” as well.
Sometimes, I will sit and dwell on past mistakes. Once, I’d over-estimated growth potential in a certain office for ARIS and later had to close it down. I had negatively impacted everyone in that office. But that same ability to take risks, had allowed us to open offices in 12 other cities successfully, positively impacting a lot more people.
Realty is that living, getting involved, taking a stance all involve risk that may result in doing some evil. If the intent is solid, however, you will do more good than not. If you want to be perfect, or never do evil, you can’t really live passionately. That means you really can’t do too much good either.
Go on, live, and do some good in the world and understand you won’t always make the right decision. The key is being open and understanding that you will not always be right nor perfect.