Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Solve Difficult Problems Using a Simple Engineering Design Process

Being able to solve difficult problems or even easy ones for that matter is crucial to our survival. It’s beyond important. It’s what our lives depend on.

Imagine for instance the problem of food. When you are hungry or thirsty, you should know how to solve that problem. You should know that you have to eat or drink. If not, you will die.
But not all problems are as easy to solve. In fact, some are quite difficult to figure out. And when they are difficult to figure out, there is a tendency for us to try to ignore them or wish they would go away.

How do we raise our kids properly for example is not so easy to answer. Or how do we ease traffic in the city is a huge challenge for public officials.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Surgery for a First-Timer: Mastoidectomy and Tympanoplasty

March 5 of this year (2016), I underwent a medical operation called Mastoidectomy and Tympanoplasty at the De Lasalle University Medical Center (DLSUMC) in Dasmarinas, Cavite. It was the first surgery that I ever had. Prior to it, I was still able to claim that I have not been subjected to any medical operation in my life. It was a bragging right proving that I was as fit as can be. Not anymore.
Photo Credit: oldgreentree (Creative Commons)
Now, I can no longer say that. All I can brag about is having the courage to have gone through a major surgery that most are not willing to do out of fear. And who can blame these people, really. Going under the knife can be terrifying. If you think about it, not only will your body be opened up, they will do risky stuff inside of it that you can’t even begin imagine.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being Content vs. Striving to Improve - Why We Need Both

Most people want to live as happily as they can. They want to get the most out of life because they realize that our time is finite and short. And because of that, we better do what’s right.

But there are certain ideas that can confound us as we search for happiness. One of which is the concept of contentment versus improvement.

There is an often-stated maxim that says to be happy is to be content. And I would bet that you’ve heard this mentioned more than a few times before. Maybe it was told to someone who’s trying to do too much but still can’t find satisfaction. Or to overachievers who can’t seem to get enough of what they want in life and therefore always need to have just a little bit more.

On the other hand, there is also a totally contrarian view that can be found in the heap of self-help books available today. This philosophy is based on the premise of self-improvement. People are being goaded to continually strive for betterment. To not be satisfied with what they’ve got but to aspire and work for something better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why We Should Focus on Our Strengths (Not Our Weaknesses) to Contribute

All my life I’ve been trying to change myself by focusing on my weakness. I have been constantly concerning myself with ways to improve my flaws for I believed it would help me achieve more.

For instance, I was pushing myself to learn sales. I’ve read several books on it and even did a part-time sales job. I knew I wasn’t good at Sales.

Photo Credit: KayVee.INC (Creative Commons)
I thought that it was a roadblock that has kept me from being more successful. I was of the impression that Sales is the one area where I needed to excel to develop myself fully. I thought it would improve my communication skills and my people skills.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Introverts In Action - Perception is Different from Reality

When I was young, I remember people telling me that I should learn to speak up more often. I was just too quiet for a lot of them. Sure I got the occasional praise for being well-behaved. But mostly, I got admonitions to fix myself. My teachers would tell me to participate more. They like students who were loud and active. They have little appreciation for those quiet-type such as I was. I guess they figured the reason I was not speaking out is because I had nothing to contribute, which was not a good sign.
Abraham Lincoln was a successful introvert
So I can understand what my daughter must be feeling when people tell her the same thing. She tends to be shy around other people she doesn't know. She is quiet and well-behaved in school to the point of seeming passive. Her teachers are concerned a little bit about it so they involve us, her parents, to encourage her to be more active. But sometimes I feel as if this was the exact same thing that happened to me.