Transitions

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New beginnings can be full of hope, of fear, of excitement, of anxiety, of joy, and of sadness, all at the same time. No one is a stranger to the idea of “I’m sad I’m leaving what I have, but excited about next steps.” We want to latch on to the positive, and acknowledge the negative.

I think it is important to mourn the loss or the change, and also to understand and extract valuable life lessons or perspectives. If you are leaving people you treasure, think of what they brought to you and try to absorb this into your world view. Try to fully embrace and understand their perspective. If you are changing your lifestyle, understand that that was who you were, that it made you who you are, and that there were reasons why you lived that way. Then, absorb the positives, the parts you don’t want to lose, and move onward to develop your new habits.

Embrace the change, while understanding that the past will always be a part of you. It made you who you are, and that’s ok. Learn from your mistakes, and how you wanted people to react to them. Remember to help others in the aftermath of these mistakes. Learn how those you loved and are leaving reacted to you and helped you. Understand how you can be a positive force of change and betterment in your new environment.

We all handle change differently. I know I have a tendency to quickly run toward the NEW and ignoring the pain of leaving the past, but then it haunts me later. I have friends who take their time to leave the past and absorb the new, but feel the pain acutely as they are creating their new references.

We are all different; if we were all the same, then the world would be a boring place. But, we should all remember to learn from our mistakes, or we will still be boring and make the same mistakes over and over. Look forward, but remember who you are.https://i0.wp.com/media4.onsugar.com/files/2014/07/09/019/n/1922441/2f84b7e304f7859c_shutterstock_193603451.xxxlarge_2x.jpg

Motivation and Help

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And, I’m back! I took a long break from this blog, as I got busy and fell out of the rhythm of blogging.

I read a very interesting article that you can read here. Basically, people work better when they feel that they are helping others. Who knew? Who knew that we care about those around us and want to help? Who knew that humans don’t need to be selfish to feel successful?

Seriously though, all kidding aside, I’m glad that this message has emerged with some research to back it up. A cut-throat attitude has often been associated with success in the past, especially in the world of business. Today, this is still the case, but when we look at the growing emphasis on company culture and the human touch, we can see that this is changing. First of all, I do want to point out that I agree with Rand Fishkin that perks do not define a company’s culture, yet, the values and beliefs conveyed through upper management’s actions do. Therefore, when a company is working to create an environment that motivates its employees, it is the decisions they make and actions they take everyday that ultimately affect Motivation levels.

On the other hand, sometimes, spending time trying to help one person, could be better spent taking actions to help a larger group of people. For example, taking the time to walk someone through a process step by step, may be better spent building a document so that anyone who needs these steps can read the document, including the first person who asked for them. But, the second option lacks the human touch that we crave. So, though one may be more motivated, it is probably not the best use of one’s time. I’m not saying this is always the case, just raising the question of finding a balance. Ideally, there really is a perfect balance between creating as much value as possible for the world, and satisfying our need for human contact, and maybe we can find it. After all, finding out this balance would really help.

The little things

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Today, the New York Times posted a tragic article. A child from Queens died because the hospital didn’t recognize that he had sepsis, meaning that his blood was infected. I remember that my mother almost died of that when I was a toddler. All it takes is for a tiny bacteria to enter, and if we don’t see the signs, we are finished. It is scary to think that the doctors didn’t catch it. At the same time, it is humbling to realize how vulnerable we are. A small bacteria, and a tragedy happens. Let’s not take anything for granted.

Startling dependence

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Today, my laptop charger decided to stop working. I was horrified when I realized this. I have other gadgets to write this post on, but when it comes to prepping documents for my team meetings this is a problem. It is no longer acceptable to prepare this information by hand. This would be a sign of my lack of productivity, and I would be extremely frustrated by the lack of formatting and slickness that Microsoft word provides me with. (I had to switch back to word from NeoOffice because of my school’s requirements, I truly am a NeoOffice fan.) I feel completely insignificant academically. It’s an odd feeling.

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Business school makes you understand the value of a pretty document. When you write a mathematical proof, it is all about the symbols and the clear logic. Though heavy scribbling is frowned upon, and everyone loves LaTeX, it’s still OK to scribble a little bit. The best place to scribble is the blackboard, that is where all of the magic happens. But that is besides the point.

Ultimately, my point relates back to my laptop dependence. When I travel, I get extremely frustrated when I have no Internet access. Today without laptop, is worse. Everything on my to do list involves my laptop, it’s an upsetting realization. I do have a dependence on technology. It’s amazing how different our lifestyles and work styles are today compared to how they were only a few short years ago. The world is changing, faster than we see.

The lions and the humans

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BBC posted an article about Kenya’s lions. As the human population is growing, lions are losing their space. A great dilemma has arisen because humans need to be safe and protected too. At the same time, there have been large movements supporting the protection of these animals. Though lions are not an endangered species, they quickly can be. The article points out that there are only an estimated 20,000 of them in Africa today.

Unfortunately, these lions are killing livestock and getting closer to urban areas as they look for food. When an American or European farmer loses a pig or a cow, this is usually a loss but only accounts for a small percentage of their overall revenue. On the other hand, when a Kenyan loses a cow this is a major hit to their livelihood because they usually have smaller farms. Further, tourism flows into Kenya partly thanks to these lions, and many of those living in Kenya depend on this tourism for their livelihood. This is a complex issue involving many stakeholders.

I hope that we can soon find a way to resolve this issue. The idea of getting the government to compensate for livestock may help for the short-term, yet this is clearly not enough and could be damaging for the long-term. Farmers would lose incentives to be very careful about where they let their animals feed, etc… Though compensation would probably not be enough to fully recover the losses associated with losing an animal to a lion, and therefore farmers would not be entirely careless, some bad habits could be created. On the other hand, could the government train farmers on how to protect themselves better from the lions? Are there ways to encourage people to spread in directions away from the parks? This idea is quite limited however, when we understand the proximity of the park to the capital.

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A solution needs to be found, and it is no longer possible to take a single side of the issue. The lions and the humans need to learn to co-exist, and we all need to figure out how.

The Curse of the Giant

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Mark Zuckerberg is the face of facebook. He launched it and turned it into what it is today. When someone thinks of facebook doing something, they think of Mark doing something. The guy got married, and it was news as big as the IPO. Though, it’s important not to deny that the two pieces of news were complimentary somehow and most likely helped each other spread. Anyways, now that I’ve established that Zuckerberg is pretty famous, here’s the catch. I saw his facebook page the other day, and noticed that he has a lot of friends, yet a lot of the posts on his wall are technical questions and criticisms about facebook:

So, basically, the guy who created facebook can’t use it the way that everyone else does. He has to deal with all of these random extra notifications, he has to think deeply about everything he posts. (Though we could argue that more people should be thinking before they post) He most likely has many lists to regulate his privacy, though that technically goes against what he claims he wants to do:

Either way, the guy doesn’t use facebook like anybody else, and that’s pretty ironic. He transformed the way that people use the internet, share personal information, and stay in touch with friends. He turned social media into the buzzword that it is, but he somehow, personally, has been left out of the loop. I am pretty confident that he doesn’t mind. The guy seems to be happy with how things are going for him, and he should. I was merely amused by the irony and thought I would share. Suddenly, I’m happy I’m not famous.

The Onion attacks Goldman Sachs

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I recently saw this article on the onion. I thought it was brilliant. The Onion is a website which creates fake news articles, and often makes a point. Of course, they are exaggerating everything and making it more dramatic than it needs to be. I thought it was a great way of attacking their moral standards, while at the same time recognizing how strong and well-established they are. Everyone knows that not everyone in those firms are not immoral, yet the company frustrates society enough for the Onion to pull off an article like that. The question is, would they have been able to pull off something like that 5 years ago?