I’m Flex, a lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic*, based in Singapore. Thank you for jumping onto my profile page. I hope that you have found my blog interesting. If you have any feedback or anything to share, please leave a comment. And yes, I do read comments.
(*I believe the equivalent term for Polytechnic in the United States would be a Community College and for Japan, it would be National College of Technology.)
Before becoming a lecturer, I was in government service for five years as a research engineer, specialising in Visual Analysis and Content Analysis. This particular place where I worked in has a great environment with many capable colleagues. It was surprising even to me, given how bad an impression many had about a work environment associated with the government.
A lot of my work ethics were shaped by this organisation. However, that also made me realised that I am ill-equipped for the working world during my time in the university. Of course, the varsity days were now long gone and I have to learn what is expected of me on the job and how to exceed expectations.
As a lecturer today, I do not want my country’s next generation to be caught off guard about the real world out there. This is especially true in polytechnics where our main purpose was to train students for work.
How I live as a person today has been heavily influenced by some books and personalities. I thought I want to share three of them:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This is a business and self-help book. In this book, Stephen Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless. (Got this from Wikipedia)
I would really encourage you all to buy, read and practice his book. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Habits-Highly-Effective-People/dp/0743269519/
In fact, I find myself turning all non-fiction books into exercises after reading this one.
Honoured by her clients as a “Sales Legend” who practices Responsible Salesmanship, she is the winner of the TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award) 2012 as well as the only double awards winner of the Great Women of Our Time 2012 under “Finance & Commerce” and “Most Inspiring Women” categories. She is a highly sought after life coach whom had transformed thousands of people’s lives.
Lusi is my role model and a coach in life-skills. I like to call her Chief sometimes, just as the passionate team under her would call her. Sometimes, she will hold one of those free seminars. Go find out and attend one of them, meet her team and her.
You can find out more about her through here: http://www.lusigroup.com/lusi-lim/
A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 12 million views. She gave the closing talk, Listening to Shame, at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach.
Within the life-skills that Lusi has taught me, there was one single missing bit for me personally and I found that bit in Brene Brown’s teaching to fill in that gap. Learning life-skills, or in fact, learning anything is not a comfortable process. One would need to get out of his comfort zone in order to learn something. Brene Brown taught me not to fear that discomfort that I feel. She shared about authenticity: how to be true to yourself. It was about being okay even if you are not perfect, okay even when you feel embarrassed or ashamed but more importantly, how to cope with that. And mind you, she did not come up with any theories on how to do this. She is just sharing the methods of how thousands of people coped with authenticity, all backed by her research.
You can find out more about her through here: http://brenebrown.com/
Creativity has driven me in many different aspects. During my school days, music was a main stay. I have the best of luck to work on video projects during my stint with the Navy. Later on, I try my best to apply my brand of creativity in the events I run in the university, to the speeches I made in Toastmasters and now, to my teaching methods during lectures and labs.
I think that everyone can be creative if they want to. It is about thinking in ways which you have never done before and because of that, you can “engineer” creativity. Just two rules for you if you want to get started on trying out a creative process:
(1) Put two things that does not seem to be related together by brute force. Think hard on how they might relate to each other.
(2) Do not dismiss your ideas as bad ideas until you are ready to focus on a single idea. You’ll never know where that idea might lead you to next.