Đi bộ thể dục buổi sáng ở dọc hai bờ sông Hương, thỉnh thoảng dừng lại rút phone ra và đây là cái kết… Lung linh! Quá đẹp!

The photos below were captured by my phone once I took a few morning walks alongside Huong River in Hue. It was so beautiful and peaceful in the early morning.

Anyone who is using email surely know about auto-response email. That’s the email one has to use, once being away from office, from work, taking vacation or some days off. Basically, the content should read like “Thanks for reaching out to me. I’m not here right now. And would be back by… Should there be any urgent matter about …, please contact this number…” It’s usually going like that. Then, whenever a person tries to contact him or her through email, the system would automatically send back the auto-response content right away, without any second of thought. Once you receive the auto-response email, it means that the receiver is not there. He or she is absent.

It clicked me one day, once I got one of those auto-response emails like that. It reminds me that this auto-response is not just happening in email, it’s happening many times in our mind.

We auto-respond a lot, without even a second of thought. Once we see a bike, our feeling is immediately right there, instantly: whether we like the shape or not, whether we like the color or not, whether we like the sound of the exhaust or not, or even whether we like the biker who rides the bike or not. Certainly, we miss the whole process of data processing, step by step, about how the shape, the color, the sound,… are received by our body’s senses and how it is interpreted (based on what we have known, experienced, been biased, …) to the point it yields the feeling of love or hatred. We only know the very end result: the feeling. That process is too automatically happening. It seems like we have very less influence on this auto-response system, inside our body. How powerless is that, don’t you see?

It’s similar to the auto-response email is that we are not there, if the response is auto. We’re there, but we are really not there. As we don’t even know the whole process.

Yeah, most of the time we’re not there with our body and our mind. Our body and our mind run many auto-processes without any awareness of us. That’s how it also runs our life. And that’s why mindfulness, the awareness, can help us to “win” back our life. As we would know more into these auto-processes. And that’s when we can have more options to respond, instead of just the option of auto-response, while we’re not there.

Entrepreneurship is like a way to express freedom… While not all the times, entrepreneurs can enjoy the “fruit”, the journey is worth much beyond that. That’s the journey to grow. That’s those lessons and experiences throughout the journey. In this talk, I had a chance to share my own lessons learned through my entrepreneur journey of starting and growing a software company from 0 to 1000 people, 12 years ago. I hope you, entrepreneurs, can find it useful with many suggestions to have a wonderful entrepreneur journey of yourself, full of energy, full of motivation, and full of inspiration. Gud luck!

P.S. This talk is originally from this post: 8 entrepreneur things.

Continue reading “8 + 1 entrepreneur things talk”

As an indie author, I am working on keyword research to promote my book, The Happiness Journal, on Amazon. And during the process, I’ve observed an interesting fact that I’m going to share with you here, based on the data I have. Thanks to Publisher Rocket for helping pulling all these data. And the data itself is powerful. See below.

Basically, my first English book, The Happiness Journal, is to “serve” readers with daily sips of cafe for inspiration and motivation toward happiness. So, I started keyword research with the set of keywords above, addressing both sides of happiness, which the other side is suffering represented by the 8 first keywords in the list. I added three more very prime keywords for happiness as in the last 3. The result is a big surprise for me. While people make a lot of search for these keywords on Google per month, it’s not the same with what happens once people search for ebook on Amazon, the largest ebook store on earth. The numbers between the columns are too contrast. What is going on here? Can you tell?

Continue reading “Books are not where people find life solutions”

Monday’s thoughts

  • “Flexibility” is always the critical keyword in any situation, especially in the event of crisis or so…
  • I believe that “flexible” is the must-have-quality for building your sustainable business, success, and happiness.
  • I have observed that the more “flexible” one can be, the more mature that one is.
  • “Flexibility” itself doesn’t imply knowledge. And many times, too much of knowledge can prevent people from it. “Flexibility” certainly implies or requires wisdom. That’s you know the right thing to do under a given context. And that has to be harmless to anyone, including yourself. It’s not easy. Life is never easy, I believe. That’s how we have our lifetime to practise, experience and learn from it.
  • Talking about business, flexibility at work, flexibility in the business model, strategy, operations, crisis responses are proven far more critical than ever, given the current Covid storm.

How do we attain that “flexibility”? Minimalism, lean, fully “listening” or enhancing observation, … are a few things to start. And at the end, you’ll get to simpleness, know what the core is for your business and your life. Stick to those cores. As that’s where contains all the answers.

This is the quick summary of what I shared with a group of MBA students from McDonough School of Business | Georgetown University visiting Vietnam early this week. This is more or less what I have experienced throughout my entrepreneur journey to establish KMS Technology Vietnam and grow it up to nearly 1000 people company, before I resigned from the top position early in 2018, to pursue my new journey of spiritual development. Scroll down to read below.

Continue reading “8 entrepreneur things”

Everyone does have less or more of qualities for leadership. As I pointed out in my article (7 core qualities of a sustainable leader), those 7 qualities are common for anyone. It’s just that who practice it well for those 7 would naturally earn trust and respect from others. And that’s how they can advance their leadership level.

The great thing doesn’t stop there. Anyone possess those 7 would have a great life at the same time. “Great” doesn’t necessarily mean to be a top position or wealthy. “Great” means that they have a lot of great relationships with people around them and that can serve as the base for their great life and happiness. #beHATT.

On the other note, I believe personal success (either at work and in life) should be more on less personal responsibility, rather than our manager’s responsibility :). If we don’t have a great manager to help us, either work with him or her to sort it out or just to find another great one manager. Or at best, you become the great manager of your own.

Tự nhắc nhở câu “thần chú” được truyền lại từ Thầy: “Đó là một phần tất yếu của cuộc sống.” Mỗi khi khó khăn, khủng hoảng ập đến, nhớ đọc câu này 10, à không, 100 lần là tỉnh lại 🙂.

Sush a great reminder taught by my master: “That’s a necessary part of life.” Every time difficulty or crisis knocks on your door of life, wishper this in your head 10, if not 100 times, you would be awaken 🙂.

#beHATT

Just learned a great thing – great articulation – great reminder: Entrepreneurs are doers. They set goals and do it. They don’t wait for anyone else to tell them do it. They take ownership.

Not that everyone need to be a real real entrepreneur. Yet, if you can have less or more entrepreneur spirit like above, I’m certain that you’ll achieve more in this world.

Gud luck and #beHATT!

It is always a big challenge for most of us, living, working and ultimately seeking for our own happiness in this modern world with constant and fierce changes. In this article, I’m about to share with you 7 core qualities of a great leader that I’ve learned from my own journey in the last 20 years. It does not only help to develop myself, but also make me become a leader with great influence and an inspiring source of motivation for about 1000 staff at KMS Technology Vietnam, which is the company I co-founded, built and grow it up from scratch 12 years ago under the role of Managing Director.

A sustainable success always comes from a cohesive team. Team cohesiveness, in turn, is originated from healthy, positive and meaningful relationships of team members, alongside with a team culture based upon trust foundation. Trust must start from the leader of the team or the organization. Now, the question is what are the core qualities that a leader need to possess to greatly play his role of “leading”, in short term as well as long term which I would call it “sustainable”? Here are the 7.

Continue reading “7 core qualities of a sustainable leader”

Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

A: I didn’t think that I’ll become an author one day like this. The more I write, the more I think I’m suitable for the career. And it needs to go through 20 years or so in the workforce, before I can have an enough depth to write stuff. The great thing for me is that I can write naturally and smoothly turning from thoughts to words.

Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

A: I learned that only 1% of us can finally publish a book. Author career is not suitable for everyone, certainly. So, if you think you want to pursue author career, I would suggest you first to get a lot of experience at work, in life in relevant areas that you want to write about. Secondly, you need to start writing small chunk, regularly, before you can become a real author. Start with journal, blog. Write it regularly on a weekly basis. Your “muscles” would be stronger day by day till it turns you to be an author before you know it.

Refer to my Goodreads profile here for more information: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19538740.Viet_Hung

Released on Thanksgiving Day 2019 (US time)

Last week, my very first English book called The Happiness Journal, was published on Thanksgiving Day 2019, through Amazon. It’s now available in Kindle format only. The paperback would be out in 1-2 months. I think it would be a great gift to everyone on this occasion of the year, the moments of emotions, the moments of celebration, the moments of family, the moments of wishes, the moments of praying, the moments of planning, and yes, the moments of happiness. Ultimately, we are all seeking for happiness. Yet, are we steering on the right path? I wish we all are.

The more I grow up during the course of my happiness journey, the more I realize that on the theory / concept side, happiness is very simple. Yet it’s so hard to “implement” it into our life. I think that it’s not just me struggling in finding and realizing it… But many of us out there would share with me those challenges on your own happiness journey.

Well, I’m not native English speaker. Much of the content in this book is translated from Vietnamese blog posts, all by myself. I am using a very simple English, as I don’t want it to be complicated with too many complex vocabularies. Sometimes, you would find a few common, simple and repeated grammar issues, usually made by foreigners. I hope you understand why it is so.

I think being my authentic voice is important. I hope it would be like I am having a direct conversation with you, telling you the stories of my life and my happiness. I am a big fan of a book named Mindfulness in plain English, a great book for any meditators. From that book, I have learned the idea that if you can’t use simple and plain English to explain things you know, you fail. As you may not have an in-depth understanding of things. That’s how I would challenge myself to be simple once using vocabularies and wording in this book.

With all of the stories in this book that I’ve written in the past 10 years, sharing about my own life, I hope you would get a lot of inspiration, a lot of suggestions, a lot of energy from reading through the stories of my life and so. All are to be more energetic, more courage, more patient, more discipline, more open, more compassion to move forward with your happiness journey. Thanksgiving time is the great time for you to pause and to think what would make you happy and how you get closer to your happiness, agreed?

Get the book and read https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XRB7CV4!

#beHATT

This hash tag is from the book. It is “be happy all the time”, a birthday wish for me from my lovely daughter. And now, I use it as the wish for everyone.

P.S. I self-published the book and I’m thankful for the power of technology and flat world nowadays. I really felt it, once a self-publishing author from Vietnam can go global like this.

“Society, family, and company, they all really need people who can contribute – contributors. Also, it’s only them, the contributors, who can blow the air of energy and success along with meaningful achievements for society, family, and company that they are with.”

From The Happiness Journal

Be a contributor, fully. Then, success and happiness would follow…

I never thought that I would become an author one day. Surprisingly, the more I sit down and write, the more I find myself very into that career of a writer. The excerpt above is from my very first English book called “The Happiness Journal” which is the English version of Tản mạn về Hạnh phúc, my first ever published book!

I hope I can release “The Happiness Journal” around Thanksgiving time, a meaningful and emotional time of the year… You can find more about the book from this link.
#beHATT

Got this meaningful lyrics once listening on the way to a cafe appointment this morning.

The myth is stronger than the truth, and the truth can sometimes lie

To see it all for what it was, you need an uncorrupted eye

Was the journey worth it, only time will tell

The Beat Hotel | Allan Taylor

What would you say? Yes, we are usually overwhelmed by those myths. They seem much stronger and bigger than the truth. And there comes the fear, deriving from the myth – the unknown. Although, most of the time, it is unreal fear.

It’s like a trap for all of us in this world. Fear comes from what we don’t know, from the truth we haven’t known. And because of the lack of known, it keeps haunting us and building more fear in us. Paradoxically, at the same time, we’re kinda addicted to mysteriousness. Then, it would help to strengthen the trap more and more.

Continue reading ““The myth is stronger than the truth…””

Yesterday, finally, I was able to finish my very first book in Vietnamese. That’s really a special milestone of my life, switching from an entrepreneur to an author and a speaker. Gratefully, I got many positive feedback, reviews from my friends for the book thus far. I’m so happy about that.

While I’m currently working with a famous publisher in Vietnam to release the paperback version, I’m eagerly starting my very first book in English now. That’s the English version of the book I finished yesterday. Tentatively, I would call the book “The Happiness Journal”. Mostly, I’ll try to convert the content from Vietnamese into English. But more than that, I’ll add some content from those English written blog posts I already have on my web site. That’s the difference between the Vietnamese version and the English version.

I’m quite emotional now. Wish me luck, okay :)? Thanks!

P.S. You can pre-order the Kindle version of the book here, before the released date of the book on 11/28/2019. That’s Thanksgiving Day.

Dedication

This is really a special gift I would save for my friends, who I have had chances to meet and influence in some certain aspects of their lives. They would find here those stories and thoughts that I usually share once having conversations with them. 

Going beyond that, I do save this book as a gift to anyone who are carrying on less or more those worries, those fears, those insecure feelings, while pursuing happiness for yourselves. I hope my experience and stories in the past 10 years of a U50 would bring a lot of inspiration and suggestions to you. And from there, you can work on to build a practical direction, to live a noble, confident, fulfilling life, to the full of it – a Happy Life.

Excerpts from the book

Big vs. small?

She, a Catholic nun, opened the gate for me entering her open house, where there were more than 50 orphanages and disables living, early on a Saturday’s morning in Cu Chi. Standing in front of her, I’m kinda shocked. Though she’s only as tall as my shoulder, why do I feel that I’m too small, like a child, in front of her – a skinny, short woman with her soft voice and a lot of her big kind smiles?

Then, I quickly found out the answer, an answer conveying a deep root in human kindness and it is an in-depth lesson for myself. It is simply contained in the words “Her Heart”.

I have a little daughter and everyone in my house is running around hard in order to foster and raise her. As for the nun and the open house? More than 50 unlucky people without any bloody relationships with her. Plus that, many of them are disabled. Those nuns in the house have completely dedicated their heart and soul, energy and money, sweats and tears, laughters and sorrows in each and every minute to maintain and keep the house warm.

It was that big great heart and mind making me become too little, standing in front of her. We are big or small not because of our body. Never. Period. We can only be as big as our heart and our kind-fulness.

Thank you, my nun, for your kind-fulness! I also thank you for the invaluable lesson that you taught me on that day, through your kind-fulness, through your acts.

Peace accumulation

“Every moment of peace has a tremendous effect on the mind. Peace of mind, no matter how momentarily is of great value.” — Sayadaw U Jotika from A map of the journey

It is a wonderful thing that you can grant those momentarily peaceful moments for yourself on a daily basis. As the teaching from Sayadaw U Jotika above, it has an enormous impact to wake up your spiritual potential, your wholesomeness. That’s invaluable. You don’t need to travel to those world wonders in order to attain those peaceful moments. All you need to have is a quiet place. And you can sit down, relax your mind and body regularly each day for 10 minutes or more, using the guided script contained in the QR code below.

Gradually, you would attain those valuable brief moments. Those peaceful moments can change you in the most positive way. So, if you keep having more and more of those calmed moments, you are accumulating more and more of peace for your mind. That is something doable. Let begin to sit and start relaxing your body and mind. You can see it for yourself.

Maintain a good health?

Total health consists of two essential parts: physical and mental. These two mutually supports and complement each other. A person with great physical help usually maintains a great mental health and vice versa. As growing older, you should be more caring and careful about these two different parts of your health.

Eat rightly

There is an old saying of Vietnamese going like this “Problems come from the mouth”. Yes, very true. If you are not using the right words once talking to others (or even self-talk), certainly you will get a lot of issues. Here, I am not intentionally talking about that. I do want to talk about health issues coming from our eating habit (which is literally sourced from your mouth), from what we eat everyday. We have the tendency to eat more than what our body really needs. And many health issues are directly coming from that habit, that desire to eat delicious food. I suggest you to equip a good enough knowledge about your body and build for yourselves a rightly eating program, suitable with your body. Just by doing that already prevents too many of health issues from your life. Work with health professionals and do it as early as you can.

For me, I follow the recommendation from Japanese: only eat 80% of your capacity. For lunch or dinner, I usually only have one small bowl of rice. And before even having rice, I usually try to take in vegetable filling up my stomach as much as I can, then come to the rice part. My body is in shape at the age of 41. And it’s mainly from this habit. I usually joke with everyone that as I’m lazy to exercise, I have to keep it balanced out by eating less. I think that’s a good strategy.

Regular exercising

While eating plays a very important role for your physical health that you should not ignore, exercising is what you have to do by all cost to maintain a great physical health. It doesn’t need to be expensive sports to have better health. It can be anything. But remember this rule: Assure to exercise at least 3 times a week, 30-60 minutes each and for whatever the sport you play you need to sweat during the session.

I need to pick for myself what is suitable for me. I learned that I’m not appropriate for competitive sports, any of them. That also reflects in my strengths assessment. It shows that Competition is in the bottom 5 of the 34 strength themes. Therefore, I pick those sports like swimming, yoga, taichi, … It’s best suitable for my style.

Mentally exercising and strengthening your mind

Above are for the first essential part of total health. The frequently missing part is not the physical exercises. People are too busy that can’t even have enough time to care and do mental exercising the right way. That’s more dangerous, I would say. In our modern world, too much of depression can be seen at work repeatedly. If you miss the exercising for your mind, the result is that you are gradually exhausted by all of those stresses, worries, fear till the point once your mind is too weak that it yields all those diseases inside your body: stomach issues, liver issues, heart issues, immune issues, … you name it. Eventually, it would turn into a more critically physical health issue, before you even know it. Be careful!

For physical health, we would need physical exercises, because our muscles are quite lazy. And in order for them to be healthy, we need to stretch our muscles through physical exercises to make it strong. However, we can’t apply the same principle for mental health by giving more work for our mind to take. Our mind itself is already having too many things running inside. Therefore, it needs a lot of rest and relaxation, in order to refresh, recharge and renew. It’s just like after an intensive physical exercise, you need to let your muscles to rest a lot. Our mind is like the retired muscle. So, the principles for physical exercising and mental exercising are in opposite.

For mental exercising, the main goal is to let it rest. Let it relax, regularly. Spending time for your hobbies like painting, playing instruments, … is one way to do it. Meditation is certainly one option. And that’s a very effective and powerful option. You need to pick for yourself a suitable option for you. For me, I mostly meditate for this purpose of improving my mental health. And it promises much more than just mental health improvements. It has also brought me more and more of wisdom, of happiness.

In brief, your total health consists of two essential parts: physical health and mental health. The principles for exercising are opposite for these two. If you can understand it and regularly maintain a discipline for exercising your body and your mind, plus monitoring and controlling what you eat, it can prevent you from most of health issues.

Stillness

I learned this short story awhile ago. The story is about the surface of a lake. Imagine that you are right next to a big and beautiful lake, in an early  and quiet morning. Lots of trees. The air is cool and pure. The lake’s surface is really still, just like a mirror – a big natural one. The cloud and the sky can be clearly reflected with the fullest details onto the surface. What a beautiful scene! If you drop a small rock onto the lake, you can clearly see each of the circles of water spreading out from that dropping. Each one of them in full details. Beautiful!

At the same place, imagine if it’s on a day with heavy rain and a lot of wind. The surface would be full of waves and surges. Then, would you be able to see the cloud and sky beautifully reflected? Would you be able to see those beautiful circles created by dropping a small rock onto the lake? 

Of course not. It will certainly be a surface full of waves and surges. A surface of angers.

That surface is similar to our mind. If it is always with waves and surges from negative thoughts and feelings, would you be sensitive enough to feel and observe what is happening to your life? Of course not. It is just a mind fully filled with waves and angers.

If you can maintain your mind being still and quiet, it’s easy for you to feel and observe anything happening to you in the most clarity and beautiful manner. That’s once you can realize the deepest meaning of the gifts hidden behind those challenges and difficulties that life has continuously brought to you.

Meditation certainly can help you bring back and maintain that stillness for your mind. Actively letting your mind rest or relax can help bring stillness and quietness into your mind. Or go find and enjoy things like: early sun rise (or sunset) next to the beach, river or mountain. Or even simpler, just listen to the sound of nature around you. The sound of the wind going through the trees. Or feel the smell of flowers in the air. If you can be in touch with nature happily existing around you, stillness  and quietness would follow and softly move into your mind.

Impermanence

The elegant lotus is blossoming and staying beautiful for two days. Then, it’s fading and withering. 

Being born. Dying. Impermanence. 

We come into this world in order to go away from it, at the end. No exception. Yet, we seems only see that impermanence around us. We are seeing that people are growing old, and one by one going away from this life. But we usually forget that we ourselves are also progressing on that process.

We can’t change this law of nature of impermanence. If so, we better prepare to cooperate with this process, in the best way possible. Knowing that we’ll come to an end, ask yourself at this moment that what you would do now in order to have a noble ending, once it comes? And even more than that, how can we transition into our next life in the most meaningful way? From the answer, we should act on it immediately from now. Wait no more.

I believe that we go away from this world in order to return. How we return to this world would depends very much on our acts, our thoughts and our talks that we are cultivating here and now.

What I would suggest you to do is to regularly let your mind rest. Regularly feed them with silence and quietness. Then, your body and mind would tell what you need to do. The answer lies right inside your body and mind. Not anywhere else out there to find.

The piece of log and the Buddha statue

I learned this meaningful story from Youtube: “There is a valuable big piece of log donated to a Buddhist temple. It was left in the backyard, bearing with moisture for years. One day, the abbot invited an artist to come and carved it into a beautiful Buddha statue. It was then put into the hall. After that, everyone comes and keeps showing respect to the statue which used to be just a piece of log with dust in the wild.”

We’re like that, a piece of dusty log. If no one “carve” us, how come we grow up and become some thing better? At work and in life, many times we receive critics and feedback. And it’s not always easy to accept those. What we need to do is to keep a calm and opening mind, to receive and to think thoroughly about those critics and feedback. 

If it is correct, then it’s like our luck receiving a valuable gift. If it’s not correct, it’s not that bad. We don’t become better or worse because of the critics. Yet, if you can even go beyond those incorrect critics, it would be a proof showing that you’ve grown into a much better person, a matured human being. 

Many times, you can’t handle critics at the present moment. In that case, you still have the option to keep silent and spend more time to think about it, before responding. That’s a meaningful PAUSED button for our life. Use it!

Note that it’s not just those critics, feedback are carving you. All of the conflicts, challenges, difficulties, suffering, and even happiness are doing the same same job of carving you to shape you to a better person.

Let everyone carve you. And remember that, even if you don’t like it, people still keep carving you one way or another. It’s not within your control. It’s also great to remind yourselves that if your are carved by a great artist (instead of a so so one), you would become more “beautiful” as a result.

It’s amazingly surprised reading through the words from a 9 years old girl, our lovely Nhon, writing to mom on her birthday. I can’t say much, but to learn a lot from the sentences and to respect my little girl…

I have read Change the question, change your life before and even bough quite a few paperback copies to use as gifts for my friend. And now, I read this book. I would agree that this simple yet powerful Choice map can change lives, not just for students, but also for adults. I myself many time run into Judger mode and if I don’t get out soon enough, it creates more troubles for me later on. The same principles can apply for building great corporate culture which I’m very keen on to share with everyone from that perspective. Certainly, I’ll ask my 10 year old daughter to read this book and I’m sure she’ll grow herself into a better person and can use Choice map as a base for her growth in the future as well.

For quite awhile, I didn’t write any blog post in English. Here comes one… Also, for years, I haven’t published any new slide to Slideshare. And here comes the one.

I believe the ultimate goal of any one of us is happiness pursuit. However, we usually lose that goal once we live through our lives. A happy life is quite simple, yet need a lot of courage, discipline, wisdom to “attain” that happy life. By sharing my thoughts here, I hope it can help you to live a happier life. Good luck!

This talk was recorded last year, once I came out and shared my thoughts at a public HR event in Saigon.

Oops… forgot to mention that there are too many laws of nature that certainly we can’t learn all. The most important one for happiness is how our mind is working. Focusing on the right one matters.

P.S. Be warned though… Many people felt stressed after listening to this. As my thoughts are quite different from them. I do hope it can give you more of suggestion that way.

P.S.1. You can find the audio only version below.

Hãy tự thưởng cho bạn những phút giây bình yên quí giá. Đơn giản là bạn chỉ cần tìm một nơi yên tĩnh và theo hướng dẫn trong đoạn thu âm sau.

Tiếng Việt

Reward yourself those peaceful moments which are invaluable for free. Simply find a quiet place and follow the script here.

(English script)