Tag Archives: book

Easiest way to start a conversation

The easiest way to start and maintain a conversation?
Just keep asking questions…and then REPEAT.
Dale Carnegie mentioned in his book How to win friends and influence peoplethat when we should show genuine interest in people, it will be way easier to make friends.
So, start to show genuine interest in the people you converse with:)

[Review] The Everything Store

the everything store
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

First up, I just want to say that this book felt like a long read spanning across several decades. It was captivating though and had me completed the book in a short time. It covers the long journey Bezos had to go through to bring Amazon to its state today, it isnt surprising that there are tons of lessons in the book.

Throughout the book, the author tried to remain unbiased by including the negative reactions and practices that plagued Amazon and its founder. This kept the book fresh and provided views from Amazon’s competitors as well as collaborators.

Here are some of my takeaways from this book;

1. Not everything you do will produce a desired outcome.

…but there will be lessons and takeaways as long as you take action.

An example in the book is the meeting between Bezos and Costco’s founder, with which Bezos ended up with a lesson in retail and management, rather than his original quest of working together with Costco.

2. Have ambition.

Forget about dreaming big. Dream HUGH. and stick to it with “diamond hard” conviction.

3. Have a clear goal.

Here’s what Josh Weinstein said of Jeff Bezos “Jeff decided he wanted it and he worked harder than anyone else”

While Amazon had to go through various phases during its lifespan, Bezos remained clear about the type of company he wanted Amazon to become.

4. Read.

Although Jeff Bezos is seen as a successful man by many, he continues to read. The Everything Store has a list of books recommended by Bezos.

5. Continuous learning.

Although Jeff Bezos is protrayed as a stern and arrogant leader in certain situations, he is willing to learn whenever opportunities arise. I believe this is one of the ways he has guided Amazon through the various ups and downs that the company has faced.

6. Power of contacts (Network)

Bezos was able to convince and recruit some key people through the power of his network.

There are many lessons embedded in this book, and I think that there may be some lessons that could be picked up if you are at a different stage of life/career than me. Do share!

[Review] Quitter

Quitter – Jeff Acuff

Picked up this book because I was at a point where I was frustrated with my job. Was probably looking for an argument (or encouragement) to tip the scale and to persuade myself to take action and actually quit.

Currently only halfway through this book. BUT! It is totally different from what I had expected. (partially my fault for not reading the reviews on the book or the small words that tag along after the title; “Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job” -.- I was that desperate)

This book is GREAT for people who are juggling between their ‘day’ job and their ‘dream’ job. Acuff shares his experiences and errors he made or almost made while nurturing his ‘dream’ job and holding a ‘day’ job. 

He argues that quitting your ‘day’ job prematurely would only add stress and may end up killing your chance at the dream job.

So……Jeff Acuff basically gives us reasons NOT to quit our ‘day’ job. I only realised that about 2 chapters into the book.*facepalm*

Anyway, I will do a full review on this book once I am done with it. LOOK OUT FOR IT!

[Review] Singapore’s lost son

singapore's lost son
Singapore’s Lost Son: How I Made It from Drop-Out to Millionaire Princeton PhD

A book with a mere 200 pages carrying many life lessons, Singapore’s lost son by Kaiwen Leong is a great read. The author has seamlessly structured the book in a manner that allows him to use each of his personal heartfelt stories to bring forth an important life lesson. This made reading pleasantly easy and at the same time, highlights the importance of values and attitudes the author shares.

Through the book, the author has shared personal stories from his experience, and many values he had picked up along the way. However, there were two main values overshadowing throughout the book.

One, to believe in oneself and persist even when the odds are against you. This was to me, the main lesson in the early part of the book where we read about the author’s struggle in Singapore’s education system. His strong belief in himself struck me. If someone whom the society has deemed to be a failure can ignore what the world is saying and continue to trust himself and know his goal, why cant I?

Two, to give back to society. This was the greatest value that I thought the author was touching upon towards the end of the book. After he had achieved his initial goal, and was doing financially well, he came back to his home country. This was a strong lesson for me as I felt that there was no reason for him to return should he not choose to. After all the ‘abuse’ he had received from the society while he was growing up, no one would judge him or force him to return, but he did. And to top it up, serve as an educator even though it was the education system that brought him down in the first place. Kudos to him.

All in all, this book was a great read, and it warrants subsequent rereads because the stories shared and lessons taught may reveal different meaning to a different me, at a different time of life.


predictably irrationalChapter 9 from Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational talks about the irrational behavior of wanting to keep as many opportunities open. I have and still am still carrying out this peculiar behavior. I have always linked my unwillingness to give up on opportunities, on greed. I am greedy because I still do not know what I truly what to do. I am greedy because I am worried that one of the doors that I close might actually be my ‘destined path’.

However, something that the author pointed out stuck me. He reminded readers to look at this issue from another perspective. He suggested that we should consider all the time we are wasting and memories missed, just from our unwillingness to decide on a door.

It stuck me that this boils down to the fear of loss. However, we only seem to feel this fear of loss towards the things that we have or we might have. Sadly, we ultimately still end up losing. We now need to be able to look at the whole picture and weigh the consequence of losing possible opportunities and the consequence of losing irreversible TIME.

Smart Trust Actions

smart trust actions
Source:Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World

The authors have put together 5 action steps to help readers understand and implement Smart Trust.

They are:

1. Choose to Believe in Trust.

2. Start with self.

3. Declare your Intent.

4. Do what you say.

5. Lead Out in Extending Trust.

I will go through the 5 steps in the next few days!

Read Smart Trust if you find my summaries interesting!

[Quote] Reciprocity


“He who doesnt not trust enough, will not be trusted. No trust given, none received” – Lao Tzu

Third lesson I got from reading Smart Trust. Reciprocity.

The very familiar advise of “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you” is very apt for this lesson. I was a little surprised that this  works for trust too, as I have always been taught that trust has to be earned, rather than given. 

The authors have successfully convinced me that reciprocity works for trust through their many examples where trust was first extended to others.

This is something I definitely have to work on.