I’ve got the above question from Goodreads. It’s quite an interesting question, especially for an author like me. Below is the answer.
I think my life is quite ordinary up till now. I’m different from a lot of people, and from the crowd. But I think that there is no mystery in that, in my life, that I would say it can be a plot for a book. However, I think there is the other “mystery” that can be for many plots of books. That’s the thing I’m on the journey to seek for. That’s my “own self”.
Till now, it’s quite a lot of mysterious for the thing I call “I” or “me”. And the more I find it out, the more I’ll write about it in my next several books. Those are the stories about my truth seeking journey which is equal to my happiness journey as well. It’ll address the most basic question of “Who am I?” Name, position, status, lifestyle, wishes, dreams, achievements, … are not enough. I am looking much more deep insight to see why I am being as I am now. That simple question is quite a big mystery worth many books’ content, I would think.
I’ve got an email interview with AllAuthor.com recently, where I can share a few thoughts on my first book and my experience. Hope it can motivate you. The original interview was posted here: https://allauthor.com/interview/viethungnguyen/.
Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?
There are quite many however, if I can share one, it would be that I many times had a dream of becoming the cowboy in the West of America, long hair, riding big motorbike (Harley Davidson style) through the long, beautiful, un-ended road in the midst of a wide-open and wild meadow.
Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember exactly. But one of the early books that kinda awake me is the book named The Shadowless Lamp, written by Junichi Watanabe. I did spark a light of living and dying in me, triggering me to learn more about that inevitable phenomenon.
At what age did you start your career as a software application programmer?
After my graduation from the university, 1999. I was 22 at the time.
Since how long have you been living in Saigon, Vietnam?
I went to university in Saigon since 1994. And l’ve been there till now.
What are things about corporate life no one tells you about?
I learned one thing is that for the sake of our survival, we go to work. And corporate life is one option. And I was too focus on working that I don’t realize that there are other options. And it is a personal choice to pick a suitable one for one’s life. More importantly, if the choice can also steer you toward ultimate happiness, it’s the best. The biggest issue in one’s life always relates to people / relationship issues. And corporate life can’t exclude those. Fame, politics can add on into the picture of corporate life that they are just like too many ropes, trying to tie you and hang you up, if you’re not aware of where you’re heading for your life.
Why did you decide to write “The Happiness Journal: Your daily inspirational sips toward reaching happiness”?
As I shared in the book, I learned that my advice and my life have a great influence on one of my ex-colleagues. And he was able to have a financially-independent and freedom life. I realized that those advices and such are ready on my personal web site (www.viethungnguyen.com) through my blogs in the last 10+ years. So, I tried to assemble them and rearrange them a bit and I have enough content for the book. And I hope it can “convey” the same message and have positive influences to readers like what influences I have had on my friend.
What does “happiness” mean to you?
It’s quite simple for me. It’s a calm, peaceful state of mind that I have been continuously cultivating from within my daily activities of thinking, acting, and talking.
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 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!
“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.
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 possessing 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 or less personal responsibility, rather than our manager’s responsibility :). If your current manager doesn’t help you, either work with him or her to sort it out or just to find another manager. Or at best, you become the great manager of your own.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
Tôi tình cờ đọc được câu chuyện dân gian của người Cherokee (một tộc người thổ dân Bắc Mỹ) đầy ý nghĩa này. Thấy câu chuyện quá ý nghĩa, nên tôi dịch sang tiếng Việt ở đây để có thể chia sẻ đến với mọi người. Phiên bản gốc tiếng Anh ở bên dưới nhé.
Hai con chó sói
Một cụ già người Cherokee dạy người cháu của cụ về cuộc sống. “Có một trận chiến đang diễn ra ở bên trong con người của ông”, cụ nói với người cháu trai.
“Một cuộc chiến kinh khủng con ạ, giữa hai con chó sói. Một bên là con chó sói của quỉ dữ… đó là hiện thân của giận dữ, sự thèm muốn, đố kị, sự khổ đau, nuối tiếc, lòng tham, sự kiêu ngạo, tự ti, cảm giác tội lỗi, sự thấp kém, dối trá, sự tự hào một cách giả dối, tự cao, tự đại và hiện thân của một cái tôi (tự ngã) to lớn.” Ông tiếp tục: “Con sói kia là một con sói tử tế. Nó là hiện thân của niềm vui, sự bình an, sự yêu thương, hy vọng, sự thanh thản, khiêm tốn, sự tử tế, tấm lòng nhân từ, rộng lượng, sự cảm thông, rộng rãi, chân lý, lòng trắc ẩn, và niềm tin.
Ở bên trong con người con cũng như bao người khác, ai cũng có cùng một cuộc chiến như thế đang xảy ra trong mỗi một giây phút.”
Người cháu suy nghĩ về lời dạy trong chốc lát và sau đó hỏi ông: “Vậy thì con sói nào sẽ chiến thắng?”
Người ông đáp một cách đơn giản: “Con sói mà con cho nó ăn.”
Vâng, chúng ta không thể đổ lỗi cho ai trong cuộc sống này về những gì chúng ta đang phải gánh chịu hoặc tận hưởng. Chính thức ăn tâm hồn mà chúng ta nạp vào hàng ngày là yếu tố quyết định cho những gì mỗi một chúng ta xứng đáng được hưởng ngay tại thời điểm bây giờ cũng như mai sau. Continue reading “Hai con chó sói”→
After starting to viral this question “What would make you happy?“, I have received quite many answers on the first day. It’s very exciting reading all the answers. One young person has responded as below.
“Be, just be, being myself, be a part of this universe… Just be, nothing more, nothing less… So then I can experience everything that life can / has to offer.”
From a young person between 22-30.
Wonderful, don’t you agree? Do you have your own answer? If you do, fill in the form as commitment for your own happiness. There are a few notes here:
There is no such right or wrong answer to this question. The answer is for yourself to experience, for your own happiness.
If you haven’t had the answer, start searching one for yourself and start stepping on your happiness journey.
In order to become a great manager with effective leadership, we certainly need to invest a lot of time to… improve and develop ourselves first. I would say that’s always true. Whenever you stay still, not advancing yourself, that’s the moment you are really moving backward. As people are keep moving advance, once you stay still. As a leader, it’s even more critical for you to learn and experience more things to advance yourselves each and everyday. While it may sound a bit stressful, I believe this will give you more rewards than anything else can give you.
With nearly 20 years in the field, I would suggest that for whatever you do, you need to find the core principles underneath of what things are happening. Once you can see those core principles underneath, you will also see things clearer. I’ll take this chance to share the 13 principles that I’m currently reading from a book named 13 things mentally strong people don’t do. By just listing them here, I do hope it sparks some suggestions in you for how you would perceive this world and what is happening to you and around you:
They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves
They don’t give away their power
They don’t shy away from change
They don’t focus on things they can’t control
They don’t worry about pleasing everyone
They don’t fear taking calculated risks
They don’t dwell on the past
They don’t make the same mistakes over and over
They don’t resent other people’s success
They don’t give up after the first failure
They don’t fear alone time
They don’t feel the world owes them anything
They don’t expect immediate results
Hope this is a meaningful gift for the new year, 2018. Happy New Year!
Bắt gặp anh cún ni đang rất chăm chú chuyên môn và nhớ lại một bài học từ Sư Ajahn Chah. Chỉ là cục xương, không còn gì thực sự bổ béo nữa, nhưng ảnh rất chăm chú mần việc. Rất lâu.
Chúng ta cũng thế. Thường hay nhìn thấy bản thân cute / dễ thương như con cún này, đắm say, đam mê và mất rất nhiều thời gian cho những thú vui vô bổ, không có tác dụng gì cho việc trưởng thành và tăng trưởng về trí tuệ. Vậy mà cứ tưởng “ăn” được nhiều. Hãy chú ý…
A dog and a bone
Bumping into this little one dog who is very focusing on what he does and it reminds me a lesson from Monk Ajahn Chah. It is only the bone, nothing left, but the dog is still working very hard on it. Spend a lot of time on it.
We find ourselves in that picture. We usually see ourselves cute like the image of this dog, very into it, passionate and waste a lot of time for those meaningless things which don’t help us for becoming more mature and advance ourselves. But we thought that we are “eating” a lot. Be aware of that.
I’m a shy person, not being comfortable to meet with strangers. That’s really the hidden part inside of me. I’m not a public speaker or any kinda that. But but… people usually see me confident like this to do speech in public, to talk with people that I don’t know. How do I do that?
I’ve realized that once I can be myself and once I can talk about the things I’m passionate about with the depth in real experience through my life, I don’t need to have that great public speaking skills. I will talk naturally from my heart with passion and with confidence. People would buy in my passion, I believe. Then, I just need to focus on sharing what I know deeply and what I’m passionate about. That’s the secret that I believe it works for you as well.