Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Self-tuning System

A Self-tuning System

A good day in KL for me is one which I'm able to do the following:

- go for my morning jog
- put in some productive amount of work
- catch up with friends and acquaintances
- read and/or blog

Even though I try not to label any day as bad, I think I would feel a bit dissapointed if I fail to accomplish at least one of the four activities. Usually that's not too difficult; even when I'm on the road, travelling all day and not being able to do any work, I could still read and sometimes even blog.

Sometimes meeting up with people, either for leisure or work takes up my whole day. But that's still a fruitful day because you always increase the creative possibilities of life through interacting with people. I've written many times before how people are like books, you always learn something from them.

"Productive work" is something that is difficult to quantify. We could be spending the whole day in office, but sometimes the amount of work put in is very little. They may not even be very useful work. At the end of the day, I always try to step back and see if whatever work I've done on that day has advanced me a step further. If it has, then the day is a productive one.

The morning jog helps me to erase any vestiges of sleep and torpor, carried over from the previous night. It helps me to start the day fresh and invigorated. I see it as my "sharpening the saw" activity. Furthermore, jogging is also a kind of meditation, which helps me to calm my mind, allowing a lot of interesting ideas to bubble up.

In giving priority to these four groups of activities, certain things have to be sacrificed. I watch very little TV (except for the occassional EPL soccer match--which I also avoid sometimes, for fear of heartbreak) and even less movies these days. Which is a bit sad. TV and movies, provided there's no excessive indulgence, are "sharpening the saw" activities which can also be very educational too. I get a lot of good ideas and inspiration from watching movies.

Sometimes I think I give too much priority to work--it is a balance that I am still striving hard to achieve. But I'm working on it (oh no, work again!)

In KL, it is a bit difficult for me to find time to relax, I don't know why. Maybe it's the frustrating inefficiency of having to drive around; it could also be the stiffling heat. But I'm fine-tuning it.

Well, I'm trained as an engineer, so I can't help thinking of myself as a "system", with well-defined functions and measured by input, output and efficiency. A system requires maintenance and fine-tuning. I even devised an "architecture" for this four-layer system of mine. But enough of convoluted pseudo-scientific philosophy for this week, I'll (thankfully) save that as a blogging topic for the future!

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