And no it’s not by me! I am not that inspirational. In a feel-like-blogging mood today so I decided to blog about this talk by Dr. Sachiko Kuno at my company the other day. If you don’t know who’s Dr. Sachiko Kuno, she is one very successful Japanese lady in America and she’s on Forbes list places #41 for America’s self-made woman. And she owns two very pretty houses Halcyon house and Evermay in Georgetown (I got this info from google and the houses are really very very very very nice!!!).
But anyway, she was invited to give a talk and I thought she sounded really successful and cool so I went. The talk was mainly about her success story, like what she did and what she thought and I guess I wasn’t able to get much from that part cause I thought a huge part of her success came from her personality (like she’s a risk taker and she’s very confident and very adventurous) but I got some new insights about life itself.
So first she talked about her past and how she took risks and stuff. And then she moved on to talk about why she wasn’t afraid to take those risk and that’s when she mentioned about self efficacy (which is this term that I haven’t heard in a while). I guess I do have abit of self efficacy but maybe I lost a part of it after staying in Japan cause I don’t feel as smart anymore. I guess although you might be born with more self efficacy or less self efficacy than others, you can work on it by gaining knowledge, polishing your skills and practicing. So in a sense, back then when I was back in Singapore, I did well in school, worked hard, studied hard so I had some level of self efficacy. But after coming Japan, cause the education system is so slack here, I slacked and become stupid?/or stayed at the same level and that’ why I lost the self efficacy I gained back then. But anyway, I guess it’s time I try to get it back again cause I do agree that it is very important when I comes to overcoming problems and facing new challenges.
After that, she also talked about innovation, about how innovation is not only about making/creating new things, but also making a social impact what that new invention. I didn’t know that and thought invention and innovation were the same thing lol. Apparently social impact is becoming more and more important and so as compared to discovery/seed driven innovation, people are more focused on problem/need driven innovation now. She also mentioned about disruptive and sustainable innovation (which I am still not very sure of what they are except that disruptive is like making a brand new thing as compared to sustainable being making improvements from current products).
The next interesting thing she said was that risk and return are not equal. So instead of high risk = high return and low risk = low return, it should be high risk — if you succeed —> high return and low risk — even if you succeed —> low return. I guess it’s common sense but people rarely put it down in words like this so I thought things seem alot clearer when written down.
The thing that hit me the hardest was when she mentioned how life is a game, where you get to choose how you want to live/choose whether you want to take high risk or low risk. And as a very science person, she said if you think of your life in units of 10 years, if you have 40 years, you get to choose 4 times. So if you want to play safe, you can choose low risk for all 4 times but why not choose high risk for 1 time and even if you fail, all that happens is that you get back to the starting point again. Although it might be making things too simple (by taking high risk you might lose more than just getting back to the starting point), I thought it was interesting to divide your life into units of 10 years and think about what you want to do in that 10 years and try your best to reach that goal for the 10 years. I don’t exactly have a clear aim in life yet but I hope one day I can have one and try my best towards it.
During Q&A, somebody asked about how to develop self efficacy and she mentioned setting small attainable goals (which reminded me of the kitchen timer method) and about not striving for perfect score (so that you have less inertia to challenge new things). Sounds like something I can try and hopefully even if I cannot reach the level of being a visionary/doer, a part of me can improve a bit so that I won’t continue to be as useless as the current me.
Feeling a bit inspired to make a little change in myself.