Saturday, October 17, 2009

Adjusting to Work

Yesterday I presented the functional design to the business. I spent more than an hour explaining the proposed changes. The business leader liked the presentation and thanked me. In the meeting room was my boss - the project manager and the previous architect who is now a functional analyst like me in the project. It was comprehensive said the business leader and I think I can be proud of the effort. My boss always asks me if I am proud of my work whenever I complete something. Doing a good job gives one an honest pride in his work. I guess this can be used as a standard when deciding if the work was done well by having a feeling of satisfaction.

This morning we met again although with out the project manager who is on holiday until the last week of the month. I am starting to like the business leader and the former architect who are both calm people who don’t feel the need to show other people how smart they are. I sometimes have this problem and I am learning more self-control. We met with the team in France and I like the way they allowed me to think deeply on a problem. Given enough time and without pressures allows one to think of all the possible angles and issues that may come out. There was a point that I could not express very well although they caught my misgivings. I guess I have to talk this issue through with the lead analyst who was on leave today.

I think I have crossed a milestone during these past 2 meetings and feel that I have mustered some respect and approval. But I should still be careful because I am sometimes emotional and easily excitable. I often shoot from the hip without proper aim and thought. I could not think well this morning because my mind was feeling a bit woozy. It was very cold in the early hours and I woke at about 3 am to wear an additional shirt and pants to keep me warm. I am not sure if my fuzzy brain is because of this cold or because of the medication I took last night for cholesterol. I was still able to express myself in the meeting despite this condition and I realize the key is really speaking up and making your self heard.

I spent most of the morning looking at the Vanguard web site. I just finished reading the ‘Coffee House Investor’ and reached a strategy for the coming months. The plan is to invest in the US stock market via ETFs or index funds from Vanguard. I am still trying to determine which will be the best option. The basic strategy proposed by the book is quite simple when growing wealth:

1. Asset allocation and diversification
2. Matching the stock market average
3. Saving money

It is the last point of saving that is often missed. This is why I think I made the right choice in buying a townhouse. It keeps my expenses down and allows me extra funds to invest and maintain a modest but interesting lifestyle.

My mind is now clear with regards to my investment decisions, work plan and personal development via Toastmasters and project management. Most Americans have a clear and quiet mind and don’t appreciate too much thinking or nuances of thought. This simplicity of mind is both a strength and weakness. It’s strength because people can achieve a lot of things and complete projects since this manner of thinking can focus one’s attention. Perhaps it’s a weakness when compared to Europeans who prefer complexity of thought and sophistication of argument. Hence, a lot of thinking is preferred. But I guess I prefer to silence the mind to achieve simplicity and focus and get things done.

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