前些時候去了大師趨勢論壇，主講嘉賓是哈佛大學甘迺迪政府學院前院長約瑟夫∙奈伊 (Joseph Nye, Jr.) 教授，分享•「軟實力，改變世界原動力」的前瞻思想。 大師約瑟夫∙奈伊曾任卡特政府助理國務卿、克林頓政府國家情報委員會主席和助理國防部長，其著作包括《軟實力》、《靈巧領導力》、《權力大未來》、《巧實力：權力、個人、企業和國家》等。約瑟夫∙奈伊為經驗豐富之政治家，早於1990年提出「軟實力」學說，對全球政治環境不但有深刻了解，更對如何透過「軟實力」影響個人、企業、以至世界等領域有深刻體會。論壇中大師透過與嘉賓的互動分享，進一步解說了軟實力所包括那幾個方面的特質及條件:
1963年，馬丁∙路德金在林肯紀念堂發表著名的演說《我有一個夢想》(I Have A Dream)時，沒有發邀請函，也沒有做聲勢浩大的宣傳，卻有25萬人到現場聆聽。為什麼? 大家僅僅為了湊熱鬧，還是因為馬丁∙路德金富有學識和魅力?我相信是《我有一個夢想》的主題引起了大家的共鳴，加上馬丁∙路德金的精湛的演說能力，把大家藏於心坎日久的感動釋放出來，自此大家心悅誠服的追隨。因為由共鳴所衍生的認同和支持是堅不可摧的。
About Childhood and Dream A Little Dream
From the age of one, I was suffered from cerebral palsy, a neurological disease affecting motor skill development. In my case, the disease is non-progressive but chronically weakens use of my lower limbs. Most of my childhood was spent in and out of hospitals. An exploratory spinal tissue operation when I was seven years old, in primary grade III led to a nine-month hospitalization. The smell of disinfectant causes me muscle tight and getting nervous easily. Having said that, I was lucky that during that nine months, I had more than enough time to think about myself and my future. I started to ask myself questions – what do you want? For a long time, I have a dream, a simple and luxurious one – to study in a University with open-and-free campus, four big pillars at the main gate and I can taste the sweet air, light breeze under blue sky with white clouds. After the surgery operations, I knew I have to walk with two walking sticks and these walking sticks has served me well as my bothers do. Since then, I have got four legs. J
Seeing is believing – Faith
I still remember when I was young. I understand my parents’ economic situation was precarious, I helped very frequently in my parents’ light fixture business at home, even before doing homework. I know there is something I got to do and have the situation improved. Despite their financial constraints, my parents supported my dream of attending secondary school whilst I worked hard to strive for the financial assistance like scholarship from school and one local newspaper. I want from a young age to go to university. Seeing is believing. [Faith] How you see your life shape your life. I enrolled at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and chose to live in a dormitory to learn how to be independent and climbing the hilly campus with four legs, sometimes, with wheelcharis. Since there was too little time between classes, I was always late. My first semester grade point average was 1.79 – barely above 1.7, the minimum passing requirement. My early college years rank among “the most challenging” in my life. Life is full of challenges and eventually I learn to organize my time efficiently, graduating with a degree in statistics and computer science.
After college, I obtained two master’s degrees: an M.A. in quantitative analysis in business from City University of Hong Kong, and an M.B.A. from Chinese University. Those penchants served me well in my early professional life, first as a researcher for Chinese University’s faculty of medicine, where I heal myself by working with medical professions day-in and day-out, then at the University of Hong Kong in the position of information executive. If I asked myself why I invested heavily in education, I would think it’s probably my mission to learn more, get myself more solid and to be able to help people realize their potential.
Eager to see others succeed as well, engaged with NGOs in the field of rehabilitation and then co-founded Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power, a non-profit organization, to empower the disabled to develop – mainly help disabled people find their potential and employment opportunities. The effort led to establishment of my current business, EP Venture Company Limited, which was established in 2005.
In 2001, when I was in rehabilitation power I received a promotional leaflet from Riding for Disabled Association (RDA), a Hong Kong non-profit organization whose purpose is to teach children and adults how to ride horses, often for therapeutic benefits.
From the first time I went [riding], I knew it was something special. It gives a good sense of freedom. It recalled my best memory – I can taste the freedom, the sweet air, light breeze under blue sky with white clouds.
Starting from a complete beginner, driven with interests, every single step of improvement takes a lot of time, discipline, patience, and work. Began riding once a week: Thursdays at 11 a.m. to ride 2 times a morning five days a week at RDA’s riding center in Tuen Mun. It takes time, discipline, patience to level-up bit by bit and day by day. For a long time, I have a dream a simple and luxurious one since my childhood – to ride on a really big yarn and green countryside with freedom. To start riding in RDA (Riding for Disabled Association) of Hong Kong for two years since February 2000, my dream becomes reality in last Summer Riding Camp in Wales. The trip from Hong Kong to Clwyd Special Riding Centre in Wales was finally accomplished followed by a few months planning and it went as one of the most exciting journey in my life – riding on the superb all-weather track independently in complete safety and lovely place. My interest sharpened in 2002 at a riding camp in Wales, where I met the Welsh champion in para-equestrian. There was so much to discover and learn – walk & halt, tacking, mounting, steering & control (especially when going up and down-hill), balance, the trot and preparing for the surprise from Basil (the name of horse), navigating obstacles on trails etc, in the most leisure, pleasant, natural ways.
When returned to Hong Kong, embarked on regular practice sessions. In 2003, I met Nick Rodgers, a respected rider then affiliated with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Rodgers, who would later become one of my favorable coaches, suggested me join a para-equestrian competition in Japan later that year.
It was first competition ever, and, to my astonishment, I scored the highest total score and won. In 2005, I entered another competition, in Australia, and won that, too.
2006 proved to be a turning point. That July, I joined a strong field in a U.K. competition and fared well enough to think seriously about qualifying for the Paralympic Games in 2008. Two months after the U.K. competition, I competed in Vancouver at the International Para-Dressage Competition, a qualifying event for the 2008 Games.
Paralympics qualifying is based on a predetermined score. In Vancouver, the standard to qualify for the 2008 Games was 60%.
Mine scored 61%. I am very proud to have chance in representing my country. But there is still a long way to go. From sports I learn it is not about how good you are, it’s about how good you want to be.
I still remember one of my favourable coaches Poynohen how she said about my development “from being led around the paddock” to that of world-class para-equestrian shows “he gives 110%.” She also said with a smile, “He has a great sense of humor, but he can be a bit stubborn.”
Equestrian judges award points to riders based on aspects of their presentation, and every point counts. To earn a medal in the Paralympics, a rider must score roughly 76%. In the bottom of my heart I think I would more likely contend in the 2012 Games. In year 2012, I didn’t join the game but instead I founded another charitable organization – Unleash Foundation.
It is a fitting mantra for a paraplegic man unfazed by a daily walk up stairs.
In my life I have learned to be persistent. When my colleagues and I face a challenge, I always tell them: ‘one step at a time, one step at a time.’ – simple and tirelessly executed. Accept the challenge without reservation or doubt. Risk the depression of losing so that you may experience the exhilaration of victory.” This’s what I learn from General George Patton
How you can make the right decision
When confronted with a new idea, do you:
- Consider the cost of switching before you consider the benefits?
- Highlight the pain to a few instead of the benefits for the many?
- Exaggerate how good things are now in order to reduce your fear of change?
- Undercut the credibility, authority or experience of people behind the change?
- Grab onto the rare thing that could go wrong instead of amplifying the likely thing that will go right?
- Focus on short-term costs instead of long-term benefits, because the short-term is more vivid for you?
- Fight to retain benefits and status earned only through tenure and longevity?
- Embrace an instinct to accept consistent ongoing costs instead of swallowing a one-time expense?
- Slow implementation and decision making down instead of speeding it up?
- Embrace sunk costs?
- Imagine that your competition is going to be as afraid of change as you are? Even the competition that hasn’t entered the market yet and has nothing to lose…
- Emphasize emergency preparation and the expense of a chronic and degenerative condition?
Calling it out when you see it might give your team the strength to make a leap. It is common to be confronted with new idea and we are posed a question if we should make a change which leads us to think of what’s the right decision for us. The key is how you can make the right decision? In the sixteenth century, the principal founder of the Jesuit Order, Ignatius Loyola, came up with the following simple method for making the right decision: first, spend three days as if you had made a decision. During these three days, make a note of all your thoughts, feelings and dreams. Then go through the same process with an alternative decision. Compare your notes at the end. And then decide.