Thursday, June 6, 2013

Veronika decides to die - Paulo Coelho

We should have been a little madder.  I thought I was mad enough. But maybe in my search of madness, I’ve drawn walls so high, my madness has become an illusion of security.  What I really wanted was on the other side.  Not to have the strength of an independent rebel but the fragility of a child who wants to be part of others and for others to be part of.  Such madness I’ve built that I have been blinded and celebrated it as uniqueness, a feat that only a brave lone soul could victoriously enjoy.  Imprisoned by this concrete castle of madness, I’ve disabled judgment and criticism or even when they come, they should bounce off nonchalantly because they didn’t matter to me.  I am not the criticism of others and I have no ears for that.  I was drowning in my own mirage of perfection.  No wonder success evades me for I have not known how to turn love into blessing, the art of getting rid of bitterness.  Happiness is the absence of bitterness.  How could someone who has everything and owns anything the heart desires, surrounded with beautiful people, still fall into depression?  They call it low-level serotonin but in fact it was a poison more venomous than all venoms, more toxic than all toxins, so unassumingly named Bitterness.  A destroyer of passions, an anesthetic of feelings, a murderer of dreams.  Bitterness has caused my fear of failure deeply underestimated as I continue to spiral into a frenzy of indecisiveness and confusion.  I was so afraid of goodness and light, afraid they will deject me when I finally make friends with them.  I would not allow myself to a sliver of possibility that my old wound from years of abandonment could be cut open.  I’d rather bleed profusely and go to bed, unawake forever.  This fear which gripped me so greatly that when I let love in, I disarmed it in case it crumbles my wall and throws off my routine.  As such I began to understand that excessive fear is an imbalance, I’ve been hoodwinked into believing in my nonexistent equilibrium.  I’ve been against the law of natural change for the longest time and my soul is desperate to be set free.  My eyes opened, my hands agitated to deconstruct this illusive dark palace that I’ve named Dignity which such pride, in there I sought not comfort but solace for so many years.  I am tired now.  And I’m ready to leave and live.  Madness is not lost of control.  To control is madness.

Paulo Coelho is a genius, nothing short of artful brilliance.  Buy.

I Have a Strategy (No You Don't): The Illustrated Guide to Strategy - Howell J. Malham Jr.

One of those easy books to understand the definition of strategy as there are simple explanations and illustrations of different case studies from everyday situations to big political decisions.

What I got out of it: A clear definition of strategy and how to illustrate it in your work in a simple manner that should tie all loose ends and put everyone on the same page.

What I didn't get out of it: Some of the 'jokes' and how to design sound strategies.

This book provides an easy framework if you need a guideline to help simplify things at work but you know what they say: Garbage in, garbage out.  So at the end of the day, you still need to be able to think both strategically and creatively on your own to fulfil your intended purpose.  It does help though to have a format which you could easily translate the bits and pieces of your thoughts into one coherent argument that puts everyone on the same page.  Great especially if your strategy needs to be translated over and over again to different stakeholders.

It's definitely a good to know :)