Fear makes one only weaker

Yesterday morning I received a call from one business partner complaining about two german students not satisfied with the internship position at another business partner in Changzhou. So we decided to drive to Changzhou in order to get a subjective grasp over the issue. And the issue was more serious than we have expected: neither of the two interns are satisfied with the placement, and one was in a very bad physical situation. Plus, he had lymphoma — a type of cancer — a few years ago and is still recovering from the treatment.

Strange thing was that he felt quite in Germany, but since he was pale and didn’t feel very well, we took him to the hospital for a check. We we arrived at the hospital, he couldn’t even stand up and we had to use a wheel chair to escort hime to the emergency treatment department, where the doctor checked his heart rate, body temperature, oxygen level, and a comprehensive blood test.

We looked very serious about his situation, but the doctor said everything was OK with him. She smiled and said to us in Chinese, “I believe he has hysteria”. I’ve heard about hysteria before but never really met someone with such symptoms. So I observed him carefully as the doctor give him a saline. One of my colleagues sat next to him and chatted with him. He seems extremely normal to me when he is not discussing about his illness or cancer. They constantly bursted into laughters when they talked about funny experiences, which is a bit weird since patients next to him are really seriously ill.

After confirming with the doctor again and again, we decided to go for dinner before the saline was finished and he seemed much better. We went to a german restaurant and had a really nice dinner. Over the dinner no one mentioned about his illness nor cancer. And he seemed totally fine.

This is really the first time I see how one’s mind may affect his physical state — in such a drastic way. That’s why when one is afraid of bad things, bad things always happen. Because fear of something makes one weaker, so that one does not have enough energy to defend oneself. This is another ‘scarcity’ problem: when you focus too much on something, you’re using too much bandwidth and leaving too little bandwidth for other things. And you’re trapped deeper and deeper until you are completed depleted of bandwidth or energy — that’s when you collapse.

The best way to fight this problem is to lose some focus on the fears. Then you’ll have more bandwidth to cope with other more important stuff. Just step back, ignore the fears for some time, and find out the long-term plans or goals. After all, not all in life are important, at least some are not any important as we’ve thought.

Right to vote

Today I found a mail lying in my mailbox, and it turned out that I have the right to vote! Believe it or not:

Well, I’m also from a republic country — at least that’s what they say — but I’ve never had the chance to vote. It seems that one should not believe what one government claims. And now I feel quite upside about Finland: how can you let a foreigner vote? I’m not a citizen, I don’t even have a permanent residence permit! Isn’t Finland afraid of people overthrowing one government? Well, I just think they are wild! Now what should I do? Just discard it? But this’s my first opportunity! But whom I should vote? No one never taught me how!

I didn’t realize I’ve been in Finland for almost two years now. It’s been a long time. It’s been nice to study, work and live here. But there’s still something missing, however I don’t really know what’s missing. I suppose I was born a nomad; I’m one that never wants to settle. When is the time to move on? And where I’d go? What should I go after?

I don’t have answers to any of them. But I guess it’s good this way, at least for now.

Eat that frog

According to this book, the key to success is: clarify your goals and objectives; divide them into smaller tasks; prioritize the tasks; conquer them in an efficient way; take into account your talents and constraints while targeting the tasks; motivate yourself; do not multitask; set deadlines; carry the plan through.

The author is surely correct, however the book does not guarantee success. This book, like other books discussing about success, is pointless, since anyone knows what it takes to succeed — practice — while reading a book is quite a different experience from that.

Summary of 2011 and New Year’s Resolution

This year is approaching to its end at such a high speed that, before I realize it, there’re barely ten days left. It has been a busy and fruitful year for me. And it started quite well, too. I believe it’s beneficial to summarize what has happened so far at this point, now that I’m waiting to go back home and enjoy my winter vacation in one and a half hours.

It began with the confirmation of being in love with my lovely girlfriend in the beginning of this year (or rather end of last year). It was hard to keep this relationship especially most of the time we are thousands of kilometers apart from each other. We have had problems and had argued and blamed each other. Luckily we went through those hard times. Now although she is still two hour’s flight away from me, we are making some progress. The progress reflects of course not only in the distance, but also in the expectations towards and understandings between us. I’d say to myself: “you’re not doing perfectly, but not terribly either. Keep improving.”

This year also marks the beginning of my career. I was fortunate enough to get position at Ericsson to do my thesis and be offered a contract when I was finalizing the thesis work. The work was not perfect neither, to be frank. I’m not gonna lie to myself, but I wished I were treated equally when doing my thesis, for example, it would have improved my moral a lot if I had been offered a salary for my thesis work. And it would definitely help a lot if my work gets fully and really appreciated. I understand it was the problem of both others and myself; I was not doing my best. I should have done a better job by not caring too much about what others do and think. Anyway in all I think this is a good start of my career despite of some of the downsides.

I finished my thesis in time and got my master’s degrees — a degree from Aalto and one from KTH. It’s not so difficult to get two, but people are often amazed at the fact.

I also did something ‘crazy’ — cycling for around 1,000 kilometers from Espoo to Rovaniemi, a town in the arctic circle. Looking back, it was not difficult, but I was glad that I did it. Though many others are surprised at that, I do not see the meaning of doing that. — “But why do one has to bother the meaning of doing something?” I also tried to put on some weight and succeeded. I went to the gym for around two months with a colleague and successfully gained around five kilograms. I guess that was the first time when my weight has exceeded 120.

Looking forward, I have a few resolutions:

First of all, getting myself heard. This involves not only improving my english and language skills, but also expressing my feelings. I need to convey my ideas, my emotions, and my interests to others, so that hopefully they will see to it that I’m no longer ignored. I have also set some concrete goals for the next year: 1) talk to at least five persons face to face each day. 2) Get some publications and patent approved. 3) Pass at least two Ericsson’s internal certifications.

Secondly, improve my professional competence. I’ve targeted my competence as efficient and quick programming, especially in networking protocols. I also need to recap the complicated but efficient data structures and algorithms.

Thirdly, take good care of my physical and psychological health. I should resume going to the gym.

Last but not least, giving more time to the ones I love — my family and my friends. They’re one of the most important things in one’s life, if not THE one.

I shall keep all the determinations in mind and come back to them regularly, and monitor the progress of executing all these tasks.