February 11, 2021

I was watching The Last Dance, Michael Jordan’s Netflix documentary, last year when I returned to work from four-month-long paternity leave. It was a great show and brought back all of the joys I had when watching Chicago Bulls in the 90s. And it still got me to think till today, what if my engineering team were a sports team.

Give this idea a shot. For an engineer in an IT company, you don’t play against other players per se, but you and your team are playing against the environments - a specific project goal with a set of constraints and oftentimes a fixed deadline. It is a competition of the time, skills, and management. To get ahead in the game, you need to come up with a plan that fits your team’s culture and nature.

I often wonder what type of team I’m in, and what position I’m playing. Do we play the triangle offense, or is it centered around a great Duo? Who is the superstar that leads the team to victory? Who is the underpaid yet irreplaceable one that does all the hard work? Who makes troubles outside of the court but can save the team in dire situations? Who is the role player that steps up and fires when the team needs it? Who is the mood maker and cheers everyone up? Or simply, what type of player is missing?

I have an inner tendency (for good and bad) to look around and best guess what position should I play right now. In my previous team where everyone was a senior engineer that can easily cruise the Sprint, I kept a low profile. I could take a backseat and learn from their plays while getting my job done. That was a relaxing season. I didn’t need to push myself too hard; why risk it when you know Michael will score if you pass him the ball? (That’s the downside of the trait, I tend to stay low and play safe in such environments.)

But in the past season when I returned, my team was completely reformed. Three new players had just joined, and I was the only old member on the team. I knew we needed to do some serious work. Naturally, I had to step up and take more responsibilities to keep the team up and running and also make sure the culture does not get lost in my hands. That was the position I was playing, not officially written or assigned, but I know from my heart that’s the spot I need to be. I shared all of the tribal knowledge I possess, clapped for good work, called out and confronted when necessary.

It can be stressful to shoot the buzzer beater, and it also consumes energy to keep an eye on and off the court, but I gotta do what I gotta do. The game is not a one-person show. There are times you need to get out of your comfort zone to show your leadership so that you can win together as a team. My current position will no doubt help me grow as a human being. It has already rewarded a great deal.

After playing with each other side by side for a year, we have built up good chemistry. I’m happy to see my new teammates expanding their games. It’s time for me to assist, rebound, and delegate more.

That’s the team I’m in right now. How about yours?

January 23, 2021

We were buying our 14-month daughter her first pair of shoes. When my wife picked one in the store and showed them to me, the label on the shoes was 180° rotated, so I read it as “LIMITED DAYS.” But it turns out it was “LITTLE DAYS.” Oops!

I must have biased. I’ve learned that these shoes are for the transition, helping her get used to the footwear. So that “Limited Days” fits perfectly in this context.

“Wouldn’t it be sad putting ‘Limited Days’ on baby shoes?” said my wife. “Well,” I paused and thought about it, “don’t we all have limited days anyway, the shoes, us, and all humans?” I chuckled. I must admit I did get influenced by the dark humor of the TechLead (my new favorite YouTube channel).

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“Limited days” perhaps would be interpreted negatively in most cultures. It reminds us of the limitation of time, opportunities, and the ultimate destination of life — death. But maybe I’m getting old, I find myself thinking differently. I’m intrigued and pondering on the connotation of the words.

It stretches the span to a larger scale. It pulls you out of your daily routines and suggests a bird’s eye view of your ongoings. Like switching your Google Calendar from the day/week mode to the full year mode.

It’s the same practice of “Begin with the end in mind” in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. By envisioning what you want in the future, you get to work and plan towards it. I’m writing the first draft of this post on my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. It’s as if being nudged to look at the remaining 238 blank pages and imagine how to best use them. It’s a good mental exercise.

It also helps us get better at setting up the boundaries and protecting our time. Be more selective. Have a stronger preference on what to work on, where to go, who to befriend, and when to quit. Time is limited and attention is the new currency. Knowing that can be liberating so you don’t need to work your fingers to the bone trying to complete the forever-growing TODO list.

It perhaps also hints at a better coping strategy with negative emotions. Some doses and types are necessary for our growth, but not all. What value does it bring to your life if you hold a grudge against the people or events you cannot change? If we only have limited days anyway, why not spending the time to better ourselves and live happier?

And if eventually, that day has come, I wish I have lived the life the best I could, so I could walk into the other side of the world proudly.

I agree that “Little Days” is a more culture-fit label for baby shoes :)

baby shoes, little days

March 20, 2020

Happiness is… is what? It’s an intimidating title for me to write about. Luckily, I’ve got materials. 😼

I found a desktop calendar in Rome a few years ago.
Each page starts with “Happiness is …”, following by a heart-warming drawing and a simple phrase as the answer.
It’s all the small things that we tend to forget.
It’s in every corner of everyday life.

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finding money in jeans you haven't worn in a while

I remember I was exhausted and frustrated at work around that time. So were the people in the team I believe. I started to take a photo of the “happiness” calendar and share the photo in the team Slack channel every morning. Gradually, people started to look forward to my post and reacted with many kinds of smiley emojis. We were all reminded of how life could be as simple as that.

a no-boss day at work

Back to 2019. My end-of-year Danshari led me to this outdated “happiness” calendar. When you put the two words together - /outdated calendar/ - I can’t think of any stuff that’s less useful than that. But the wisdom of happiness is still worth keeping.

So I went through the 300+ pages and picked some of my favorites, took a photo (nope; many photos), wrote them down to my notebook, said thank you and let it go.

As it helped me went through a tough time, now I’m sharing these with you and hope they’d brighten your day.



Happiness is… typing the last few words.
Truth. 😎

June 2, 2019 #book

Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Tired of more, more, and more? Learn to "Don't Try"

What an impactful title. Reading this book is like taking a self-awareness tour, or if borrowing the author Mark Manson’s metaphor, a “self-peeling” experience.


It reminds me of the book Essentialism a lot. Both talk about why and how to prioritize your attention, choose what matters to you based on finely honed personal values, and the ultimate truth of life – not about more but less. It’s the “let-go” part that is becoming unrealistically difficult and challenging in our current culture.

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Manson starts with the problems of our modern society; it’s a huge bag of problems: the overly obsessed body image, the chase of dramatic and glorified and “chemistry”-fueled love, hey-look-my-life-is-cooler-than-yours social media, mass-media-driven exceptionalism, the pervasiveness of technology… The list goes on. I can almost hear Lady Gaga singing Shallow right now.

After this breakdown, he lays two bags in front of you. One is healthy values, the other is poor values (he called “shitty values”). Which one would you pick? When the label is attached beforehand, nobody would pick the latter, but what’s actually inside the shitty-value bag? It’s something we’re all familiar with: overrated pleasure, material success, always being right, staying constant positive, etc.

Then he goes on to explore five counter-intuitive but healthy values that one can adopt.

・Responsibility: taking responsibility for everything that occurs in your life, regardless of who’s at fault.

・Uncertainty: the acknowledgment of your own ignorance and the cultivation of constant doubt in your own beliefs.

・Failure: the willingness to discover your own flaws and mistakes so that they may be improved upon.

・Rejection: the ability to both say and hear no, thus clearly defining what you will and will not accept in your life.

・Mortality: death as the compass by which we orient all of our other values and decisions.

Serious topics, but no worries, I can guarantee you that if there’s one thing that you will not get from this book, it would be boredom. Whether you’re familiar with these things or not, through creative-and-colorful prose, it’s arguably light-weight education but heavy entertainment for sure.

For example, when talking about how our brain works and how it tends to trick us, Manson has inserted a brilliant quote of comedian Emo Philips and it goes, “I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”

I do have one complaint though. As colorful word as it is, there are simply too many f* words, especially in the opening chapter. In fact, I had put the book back to the shelf of the bookstore twice in the past. The f* bomb is recycled over and over, it loses its impact and is also inappropriate. Plus, I do not want to read a book while speak f* internally every 10 seconds. It almost feels like he swears for the sake of swear, as if it’s his signature, as if not swearing would hurt his brand.

If you have a low tolerance for swear words, it can be really disturbing and even annoying. I won’t be surprised with a spike of 1-star reviews because of it.

On a completely different note, oftentimes I find myself getting what to read next right from the book I have just read. This book is no exception as well. I’m deeply struck by Onoda Hiroo’s story and the term “immortality projects” by Ernest Becker.

Onoda Hiroo had served the Japanese Imperial Army and fought in World War II. After its end in 1945, he had still held out in the Philippines jungle, refused to surrender and kept on his original duty - a one-man’s war for another 30 years. What had kept him up and driven him? Guess I’ll find out in No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War

Death and how we deal with it is the main theme of the final chapter. In order to compensate for our fear of death, Manson says, we try to construct a conceptual self that will live forever. “This is why people try so hard to put their names on buildings, on statues, on spines of books.” Becker called such efforts “immortality projects”, the kind of projects that allow our conceptual self to live on way past the point of our physical death.

I was fascinated by this because 1) it’s a cool name! 2) I simply know so little and even think so little about death. The best way to explore such topic is through reading, that leads me to The Denial of Death.

Ultimately, I agree with Manson that “this book will not teach you how to gain or achieve, but rather how to lose and let go.” Not more than that, but on the point.

I want to end it with this quote from the final chapter:

You are too going to die, and that’s because you too were fortunate enough to have lived.

I think it’s excellent. I enjoy letting it lingering.

March 21, 2019

Standing by the glass window, looking upon the vast inanimate objects beneath my feet, I grabbed the phone and captured the magnificent view from JP Tower 29th floor.

The view from Medidata Tokyo office

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I’ve been loosely doing this since last October. (Very loosely, I want to emphasize that.) I have zero intention of making practical use of it. I don’t bother the angle being different every time. This is one of the things that I started without any specific reasons, and have not stopped either because lacking such reasons.

Today I was refueling myself with another cup of coffee. As I wandering to my routinary site and looking out the window, I sensed something was off. Something is breaking the harmony, like a dead pixel on the screen.

What is it..?
Was it there before?
Why it seemed to speak to me in a way it never did?

I immediately took out the phone checked my photo logs. As identical as it can be for the past 36 entries, I had a breakthrough with the recent two.


Aha, busted! A new top banner!

Don’t know why this discovery would make me so excited. Perhaps the ability to spot the subtle change from the insignificant mass is satisfying. Perhaps the sense of recording a tiny fragment of now-invisible history is rewarding.

Nonetheless, that hotel name is gonna stick with me forever for sure!

(Originally published at Medidata internal blog.)

January 25, 2019 #writing

As of today, no Google Analytics or any sort of stats tracking thing will be on kinopyo.com.


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Google Analytics had served me well. It has been common sense to use Google Analytics for your website so you know how you’re doing — pageviews, traffic sources, bounce rates, etc. From big corporations to small business, collecting and analyzing the stats are crucial to make better decisions.

Except, I’m not running my blog as a business.

I had followed the crowd and learned those tips and tricks, aiming to grow my blog, especially in the very first 2 years. I remember at my peak I wrote 7 posts a week, that was all from my intrinsic motivation. I learned something new at work, and I processed the information and shared it in a neat form. That had helped people and brought traffic, so far so good.

When I sit down and looked at the numbers, I identified what kind of contents tend to be more popular. Sound like a breakthrough, however, it also brought the classic paradox — with this knowledge, I had to make a conscious choice of writing for myself vs writing for traffic. (I also had Google Ads at that time, so more traffic also meant more money.)

That sucks.

Life got busy, and I took a long break. When I got back, I had a fresh look at the blogging model.

I had always been hesitant to call myself a blogger. If you say you’re a blogger nowadays, it seemingly implies you care (maybe to an obsessive level) about your PVs, social media performance, tricks to produce a killer post, or the sneaky SEO tricks.

“Blogger” implies “numbers.” So I would say I have a blog, but I refuse to call myself a blogger.

My blog is a place where I share my thoughts and stories. It’s where I practice and try to get better at writing and different languages. It’s my knowledge repository and life journal.

This rediscovery was a relief. Since then, I deliberately writing things that I’m passionate about. It’s fantastic.

This Friday night, I was checking the site performance and noticed some extra requests from Google Analytics, and that was where this idea came — hum, I’m not using it anymore, why don’t I just remove it once and for all?

So I pulled the trigger 💪

It’s never too late to question how things have been this way and whether it makes sense to you.

An afterthought - will it feel like walking in the dark?

Complete ignorance is arrogance. I’d be stupid if I want to get better at writing but refuse all feedback. It’s that I’ve found a much better metrics to follow.

Once I bumped into an old friend near Ebisu, we had not been met for about 3 years, and the first thing he said to me was “Oh I read your blog!”

Not “long time no see,” not “how are you doing?” That opening almost sound wrong to me but hell yeah, he made my day.

Fortunately, I have got a few readers along the way. They are my real friends. If I happen to write something good, they would naturally share their thoughts when we meet. It’s way more valuable and rewarding than generalized stats.

It could be days or weeks or months (even years) until I get that feedback, but as the saying goes, all good things are worth waiting for. Until then, all I need to do is follow my heart and keep writing.

July 5, 2018 #book #language

Daniel Everett was a missionary who was ready to devote his life to the Pirahãs, a small tribe of the Amazonian Indians in central Brazil. He moved all the way (including his wife and two young kids) to the Amazon jungle to learn their unique language and culture, aim to translate the Bible and convert them eventually. But as he joked - “I am a happy failure” - after decades of hard work, he was only able to “convert” one person - himself - from a Christian to atheist.

I read the most of the book this April in Karuizawa when I was carrying on my Writing Spree activity. Really enjoyed it, it was like I was in the Amazon jungle and experienced an extrordinary life myself.

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“This is a beautiful place”

The Pirahã people usually only posses one gym short pants, not even a permanent houses of their own, yet they’re the happiest people in the world according to an MIT study. Take a simple look and see how often they laugh and smile a day, it easily beat any other societies or countries in the world.

“You’ve gotta get ‘em lost before you can get ‘em saved,” says Dr. Curtis Mitchell, the author’s evangelism professor at Biola University. But the Pirahã people are not lost at all! This all made his mission impossible to accomplish - “how would you convince a happy, satisfied people that they are lost and need Jesus as their personal savior?”

He once asked the Pirahãs if they knew why he was there in his early days.
“You are here because this is a beautiful place. The water is pretty. There are good things to eat here. The Pirahãs are nice people.”

In the book it mentioned that there were other tribes in the same area were much fond of the Western goods and culture that they adapted to it and eventually lost their own languages. This is not the case for Pirahã.

There is a hidden beauty in their seemingly simple yet sophisticated lifestyle, like a diamond in the mud.

The Language and Culture

What drew my attention first was how the author performed his linguistic field research and was able to uncover the uniqueness of the Pirahã language and culture.

Here are some of the characteristics in the Pirahã language:

No numbers.
No counting system.
No color terms.
Don’t generalize or abstract.

No word for “worry.”
No left or right.

No police, courts, chiefs, or other kinds of authority figures. They are mostly by tradition egalitarian, free of the influence of any leaders. “Don’t tell us what to do, how to live,” is the norm.
No concept of a supreme spirit or god.

The word “son” literally means “to come” or “the one that came.”
And “friend” means “to be touching” - someone you touch affectionately, and “enemy” means “to cause to come together.”

They prefer hardship. They perceive overweight as “you take more than you need.” I feel ashamed as I touch my round belly now…

The Immediacy of Experience

They do not talk about unexperienced events, such as long past or far future events, or fictional topics. So there are no oral history or myth about where they are from or who “created” them.

Pirahãs don’t store food, they don’t plan more than one day at a time, they don’t talk about the distant future or the distant past - they seem to focus on now, on their immediate experience.

There is no word for “great-grandparents” as they can’t live long enough to “witness” their grandparents. And since they don’t talk about long past events or figures, there is no word in the language to refer to that ancestor.

Check out this conversation:

The Pirahã men then asked, “Hey Dan, what does Jesus look like? Is he dark like us or light like you?”
I said, “Well, I have never actually seen him. He lived a long time ago. But I do have his words.”
“Well, Dan, how do you have his words if you have never heard him or seen him?”

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The value seemed to be to limit most talk to what you had seen or heard from an eyewitness. To elaborate that, it means the Pirahãs believe only what they see. Sometimes they also believe in things that someone else has told them, so long as that person has personally witnessed what he or she is reporting.

The grammar is also accustomed to that culture. For example, when they say “John went finishing [suffix],” there could be 16 suffixes to the verb and 3 suffixes are the most important ones to indicate the source of the evidence.
a) John went finishing, and I saw it.
b) John went finishing, and I heard about it.
b) John went finishing, and I deduced from the local evidence.

This may sound absurd at first, but let’s think about it, this probably is why they don’t need a leader because everyone is responsible for himself/herself, including little children - “little” as in our views.

There is no baby talk. They believe all members of the society are equal and thus “children” should not be treated any differently from adults. Everyone has responsibility for the community and everyone is cared for by the community. That means a 4-year old would work their shares to contribute, and could also share alcohol with adults.

The Meaning of Loss of language

Until reading the book, I had no concrete idea of what would be the exact consequence of losing a minority language that is only spoken by a few hundreds of people in the entire world. Nothing sums it up by this paragraph, I’ll just quote them:

A language is a repository of specialized cultural experiences. When a language is lost, we lose the knowledge of that language’s words and grammar. Such knowledge can never be recovered if the language has not been studied or recorded. Not all of this knowledge is of immediate practical benefit, of course, but all of it is vital in teaching us different ways of thinking about life, of approaching our day-to-day existence on planet Earth.

Every language and culture pair shows us something unique about the way that one subset of our species has evolved to deal with the world around it. Each people solves linguistic, psychological, social, and cultural problems in different ways. When a language dies without documentation, we lose a piece of the puzzle of the origin of human language. But perhaps more important, humanity loses an example of how to live, of how to survive in the world around us.

Page 276 - 277

The way that Pirahãs are living, some of their views and cultures may seem very counter-intuitive, however, they provide us a version of how we, our species, could live differently. A running example. It becomes even more precious when a good amount of our world emphasize more and more on a narrowed view of chasing next big wave, outrunning your opponents, and ever-expanding but never satisfying.

Whose version is more primitive or sophisticated? Find out more in the book.

There is also a short video from the author, Daniel Everett, on this topic. If you’ve made it this far, go check it out :)

April 22, 2018 #chinese #language

Chinese is my native language. Like most native speakers of their languages, I rarely ponder on the words of the literal meaning but take them for granted; we already know the meaning and how to use them, right? That’s why I was so fascinated when, after speaking Chinese for about 30 years, I realized there are two words to say “the future” in Chinese: 将来 and 未来.

They’re identical in the dictionary, both can be translated to “the future”, but if we take apart the two-character-combination word, as every character has its meaning in Chinese, and examine the literal meaning of each character, we got a different explanation: 将来 - (the future that) will come and 未来 - (the future that) hasn’t come.

Continue reading…

Isn’t it amazing?! Suddenly I had this urge to go back and analyze how I have been using them, do I make a clear distinction between what kind of future I refer to?

For all the information that I could collect from my knowledge, experiences, friends’ comments, and the online dictionaries, I made my draft conclusion. In practice, the will-come-future is mostly used to express “near future,” and the has-not-come-future as “far future” or “future in general.” In some cases, they are even interchangeable.

(Note that Japanese also use the same Chinese characters to represent the future, and they convey a very similar meaning and nuance, but I won’t go deeper in this post and will keep the discussions within the scope of Chinese.)

Let’s see some examples:

1) “No one can predict the future.”

2) “Does Ready Player One reveal the future of VR?”

3) “You would get it when you become a parent in the future.”

4) “When she grows up (in the future), I’ll give her the best education I can offer.”

An observation I’ve made about the usage of 将来, the will-come-future is that it’s especially used when we talk about the future of someone very close to this, like a family member, your best friend, etc. Indeed, the 3) example was actually what my mom told me a few years ago when we were talking about parenting, and 4) was from my best friend who was talking about his newborn baby girl.

I know such usage can be well explained by the simple rule of “near future” - how near or far that future is from us. But I can’t help making a hypothesis that, even it is perhaps subtle to the speaker and the listener, wouldn’t we use it to express the belief or longing or hope or fear of that specific future, the one we want to witness and be part of it? So maybe I can tweak the examples with the literal meaning of the word, and see how that feels like.

“You would get it when you become a parent in the future (and that day will come).”
“When she grows up, (and she will), I’ll give her the best education I can offer.”

It could be that I was just overthinking, in reality, the distinction of the two words could be vague. But I want to believe what I see from the words and will keep the notes from now on. Isn’t it beautiful to have this special word for our future?

April 19, 2018 #product #book

The book cover of Hooked

If you’re a product person who is building a product to get more people to use it and use it more often, this is a book you’d want to keep a copy on your desk.

If you’re a smart phone user who checks certain apps quite regularly that you’d even refuse to admit you’re addictive to it, this a book to help you understand how it was engineered to keep you hooked.

Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup commented: ‘A must-read for everyone who cares about driving customer engagement.’ (I’m usually skeptical about this kind of lip service, but this time, he’s right.)

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I read this book at the right timing and I wrote at length in my company’s internal blog: my reading memos and summaries of the four core parts of the idea: Trigger -> Action -> Variable Reward -> Investment, with case studies of the product I was building.

The Hook model

A over-simplifed summary of each stage of the model:

  • Trigger: What nudges the action?
  • Action: Which part is weak to provoke the action? Lack of motivation or the process is too hard?
  • Reward: Is there an instant and variable reward when the user performs the action?
  • Investment: When are we asking them to invest, and what value we give back in return?

Flipping through the pages again, I found lots of post-its I attached in the book saying “I disagree,” and listing all the obvious counter-arguments. Yet still, the overall reading experience was great👏! It set the scene properly for you to deep dive for an extended period of time, so it naturally stimulates you and inspires you to think about your product’s problems and solutions. In that sense, I enjoyed the knowledge it provided and all the thoughts it provoked. It felt like taking apart a product and putting its components on the table, so you’ll be able to visualize and identify the habit-forming product’s system, the blueprint, or even the traps.

The part that I remembered the most is the Action - “the behavior done in anticipation of a reward.”

Fogg (a famous guy in this field) describes that the required ingredients to initiate any actions can be written in the equation of B = MAT (Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger), so-called the Behavior Model.

  1. The user must have sufficient motivations
  2. The user must have the ability to complete the desired action
  3. A trigger must be present to activate the behavior

I’ve noticed a pattern of myself. If the book I’m reading is put on the dining table, I would pick it up after breakfast and continue reading. Instead, if my phone is there, I might just pick it up and check some feed. Let’s break down this behavior:

  1. Motivation: I like to read the book
  2. Ability: I have the time to read
  3. Trigger: The book is on the table
  4. 🎉

Even though the motivation and ability are right, when the trigger is absent, certain actions might not occur. So that’s why I’ve been intentionally putting my phone out of sight at home and putting books and pens on the dining table (for which my wife isn’t really happy hah 😅)

So, what are you going to do with this piece of knowledge? There is also a chapter dedicated to the ethical discussion. I felt the view of trusting people that they won’t do evil is naive though, and if you want to read more on this subject, I’d recommend another book Irresistible that is written from the opposite perspective.

Still, changing people’s behaviors is hard, reading this book won’t promise you the dreamland. But that doesn’t mean the knowledge is useless. The best way to take most out of it is to share your learnings with your team, adapt the vocabularies to better communicate, take your product on the map and analyze each aspect, do the case study of other popular products with high user engagements and try out your ideas and solutions. It is fun and rewarding.

There is a 13 minutes video to get the brief idea of the framework, but I’d say don’t cut the corners and read the whole book if you truly want to learn more. You’ll get the bone and fat, you may love the fat or trim it off eventually, either way, it would be a great learning process.

April 16, 2018 #work

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

I’m about to quit the company that I’ve served for 6 and a half years. To make that decision was never easy, a constant battle between rationals and emotions - it had worn me down. And I know a few friends are also going through such struggles, wandering the forests of changing jobs or changing teams.

When I was reading the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, the sort of 5-questions checklist that served a different perspective of seeing things and clearing my head - something that’s outside of my circle, completely objective but absolutely relative, exactly what I needed.

So I thought it might be helpful to share that piece of advice for those who’re in that stage of life.

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To leave or stay, that’s a question. And only you can answer it. After reading it, what’s in your mind? Listen to that voice carefully, no matter what you choose in the end, be honest with yourself.

Here we go.

1. Do you want to be in this job on your next work anniversary?

People are most likely to leave a job on their one-year work anniversary. The second most likely time? Their two-year anniversary. The third? Their three-year anniversary. You get the idea. If you dread the thought of being at your job on your next work anniversary, start > looking now. You’ll be better prepared when the time comes.

2. Is your current job both demanding and in your control?

The most fulfilling jobs share a common trait: They prod us to work at our highest level but in a way that we, not someone else, control. Jobs that are demanding but don’t offer autonomy burn us out. Jobs that offer autonomy but little challenge bores us. (And jobs that are neither demanding nor in our control are the worst of all.) If your job doesn’t provide both challenge and autonomy, and there’s nothing > you can do to make things better, consider a move.

3. Does your boss allow you to do your best work?

In his excellent book Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst, Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Robert Sutton explains the qualities that make someone worth working for. If your boss has your back, takes responsibility instead of blaming others, encourages your efforts but also gets out of your way, and displays a sense of humor rather than a raging temper, you’re > probably in a good place. If your boss is the opposite, watch out - and maybe get out.

4. Are you outside the three- to five-year salary bump window?
One of the best ways to boost your pay is to switch organizations. And the best time to do that is often three to five years after you’ve started. ADP, the massive Human Resources management company, found that this period represents the sweet spot for pay increases. Fewer than three years might be too little time to develop the most marketable skills. More than five years is when employees start becoming > tired to their company and moving up its leadership ranks, which makes it more difficult to start somewhere else.

5. Does your daily work align with your long-term goals?

Ample research from many countries shows that when your individual goals align with those of your organization, you’re happier and more productive. So take a moment and list your top two or three goals for the next five years and ten years. If your current employer can > help you reach them, great. If not, think about an ending.

ーWhen: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, page 169 - page 170

“If your answer to two or more of these is no, it might be time to craft an end,” the author wrote. But I’d say, no rush, take your time, don’t get pushed.

It is you who are gonna live with that decision. Maybe your emotion is already built up, maybe you don’t care of losing the entire forest - as long as you can find the sweetest fruit of yourself or get away from that annoying big bird. Nevertheless, hope this material sheds some light on your situation.

If you’ve already decided to quit eventually but want more comprehensive strategies, I recommend the book Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff. The subtitle is the sales pitch 🙂.