A few months ago (goes to show how long this had been sitting in my drafts folder), I had the fortune of attending a seminar, and listening in to some of the most successful people in the eCommerce world (think Bulletproof Coffee, Helium 10, etc). They’ve built business empires worth millions, and now, charged an arm and leg so people can hear how they did it. (And I wish I could do the same).
One thing that came up repeatably during the seminar was that inaction was not an option. Just try, just launch, just test it out. Almost everyone I talked to seemed to be doing something, anything.
So now the title of this post is some sort of a Euthyphro Dilemma. Do we do something because doing itself is good, or, because it comes across to others as good?
The Chinese are also just as confused. There is a chinese proverb that says 【以不变应万变】which roughly translates to mean that in the face of million changes, the best action is not to change. And yet, there’s also another proverb that says 【先下手为强】which means the upper hand goes to the who acts first.
My take is, there is always something to do. Even when there seems to be a conscientious decision for inaction, it doesn’t mean one is doing nothing at all. It could be doing background research, it could be making sense of things, or it could be making time for rest 【养精蓄锐】, and regroup.
The most important of point of all, never mistake other’s seemingly inaction for lack of of it【暗度陈仓】, and vice versa, their actions might all be just a ruse 【声东击西】。
And that my friends, was how I explained chinese proverbs to a friend was trying to pick up chinese.
Grew up in Singapore, stood on the cusp of the internet revolution and surfed it (literally). My “cloud” was made up of FTP servers, my “WiFi” were RJ-45 cables that ran across the walls in trunking that my dad hand-laid, and I coded in Turbo Pascal (if you know them, you’re probably as old as I am, or older). 🙂
I’m fascinated by all things digital and still bear nostalgia towards childhood gadgets. My first Pentium-I PC that ran on Windows’98, the comforting sound of the 56K modem, the fun I had with the Nintendo PopEye Handheld, the fights with my siblings over who got to use the land line, and my original Nokia 3310 that’s still sitting somewhere in my mom’s house. Not to mention the grande dames of the living room – the television sets that I grew up watching.
The site name originated from my mother. Every time she wanted to tell me something that I may not like, she’ll always start with “Just general talk…”. From her general talks I’ve learned, reflected, and rebutted (a lot). Caused her (major) heartaches along the way, and still inflicting some (minor ones) on a regular basis.
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