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Some of us notice things for a living. And I've often said that a personal story factually told, remains sacred. That is why the story of the Guangdong city of Shenzhen (China) and what I repeatedly observed remains a gem.
I lived there for several years long enough to conclude it rains way more than it does in Edinburgh Scotland, sometimes. Let's leave Seattle out for a moment. And yet in the end, what most fascinated me was how one after another, from everyman to students and college-educated so-called “professionals” and parents, I kept seeing and meeting stranded people who consistently offered the same reason for their being stranded. “When I left home [insert context of choice] it didn't look like it'd rain”, the sun was shining, etc. Imagine telling that to a child who knows better.
Having lost 4 umbrellas to Mainland Chinese working with me by late summer one year and after one Mainland Chinese got very angry at me because they needed an umbrella and I couldn't offer mine as I had an appointment, I concluded stupidity really is a choice.
Either that, or one can talk about a City of Angels or City of Brotherly Love. But this city clearly, if not sadly, needs an accurate description of its soul: the preponderance of stupidity. And how it manages to keep attracting the latter.
It makes no difference what a weather forecast or some app on your smartphone says. It makes no difference whether one stepped out for a 10 minute walk to the neighborhood Wal-Mart, or a 30 minute subway ride to a business meeting on a bright and sunny day. Or whether it looked like there's no way it'd rain when one left for a sleepover at their granny's or friend's. When a person who lives in a rainy city fails to accept reality for what it is and adequately prepare and keeps getting drenched due to their lack of foresight, it says a lot about their level of, and satisfaction with their intelligence. And a good manager or leader who hires such people is most likely building a culture of mediocrity and shoddy work. Unless he has an effective program in place to fix it.
People who know how to think demonstrate it through readiness and problem solving. Period.
I've never learned anything useful from a colleague or mentee who showed up with empty hands. Or, a bottle of water, travelcard and that smartphone they play with for the entirety of a public transportation ride. The selfsame smartphone that even if loaded with features and therefore “smart”, isn't really supposed to highlight the owner's inability to think for themselves!
In omnia paratus in vivo, as the Latin goes, roughly means: Ready for anything in life. The Boy Scouts motto “Be Prepared” echoes that high achiever and high performer mindset. “PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION!”, says my mentor Brian Tracy. “Preparation is the mark of a professional” and one can always tell the wise ones from the ones who refuse to get it. The ones who choose stupidity on a daily basis. The same ones who may want to give you a lecture or peptalk about how great it is to be “simple” or not “carry so many things”. So, mind your teachers for good teachers facilitate learning through critical thinking skills. And your peers and role models. Because somewhere in the education chain, things likely went awry. Read more here.
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