Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

passion/ "What you can learn from the Time Person of the Year"

Jun. 10, 2015 You Don’t Find Your Passions; Your Passions Find You: I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in the 24 News back in Jul. 8, 2013:
This is great advice - albeit a slightly contrarian view - from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of The expectation is that we should have a good idea of what our “passion” is very early - but it’s simply not realistic. The odds are much of your time has been spent in school and you haven’t really been exposed to a world outside of that environment. Even if you’ve found something you enjoy, chances are you’ll come across something even more fulfilling once you’ve left school.

In that sense, the onus should be less on you to “find” your passion, but rather to put yourself in a situation where your passion finds you. In order to do so, Jason Fried, author of Rework and founder of 37Signals, has some superb tips on how to do so.

Be Open

“I discover things as I go and don’t think you can predict your passions. You don’t necessarily know what you’re going to be super interested in in 5 to 10 years. You just have to be open to being introduced to those things and that’s what I’ve been working on—keeping an open mind about things and not limiting myself.”

Small Steps

Trying to take on too much at the beginning can be a mistake, particularly if you’re still trying to ascertain if the work you’re doing is right for you. “If you set yourself up to do something you’re not able to do right off the bat, it leads to a lot of disappointment. I’m more a fan of the idea of building on top of small victories and eventually doing a lot more with the lessons you learn.”

Obscurity Is Your Friend

We live in a culture that rewards loud. If you’re working on something, you should be shouting it from the rooftops for all to hear. However, there is something to be said for giving yourself time to work through the ups and downs before announcing your progress to the world. As Fried points out, “Once the spotlight is on you, there’s a lot of pressure and you don’t need that kind of pressure early on. Take it easy, have a long-term view on things, build on little successes, and learn more before you try to go out and change the world.”

Jun. 30, 2015 How Creating A Manifesto Will Spark Your Career: I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in the 24 News back in Apr. 29, 2013:

We deal with decisions every day - some far more complex than others. This is true of your personal life as well as your career. It’s also true of the company where you work. The true challenge is in assessing and weighing those decisions, because there’s always trade-offs between one path and another. 

For instance, do you accept a promotion in a different group that’s less interesting than the group you currently work for? Do you make a career move based purely on financial considerations? As a company, do you put your customers or your shareholders first?

Each question has huge implications depending on how you answer them. An oft cited example from the corporate world provides a stark example. In 1982, seven people died in the Chicago-area after taking cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol, the company’s best-selling product, during what became known as the “Tylenol Crisis”.

While there was vigorous debate around how to handle the crisis while they were still investigating the cause (someone had tampered with the bottles while on the shelves), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) looked to their company manifesto (or “credo”) for answers. The first line stated:

“We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.”

J&J proceeded to initiate one of the first and largest recalls in history and subsequently set the standard for how company’s address crises. When you make it clear what you believe it helps to guide everything you do and ensures your everyday decisions lineup with your stated purpose.

There are some fascinating examples of leading-thinkers who use their own manifestos to guide their work and teams. In “5 Manifestos for Art, Life, and Business”, shares that of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright:

1. An honest ego in a healthy body.

2. An eye to see nature.

3. A heart to feel nature.

4. Courage to follow nature.

5. The sense of proportion (humor).

6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work.

7. Fertility of imagination.

8. Capacity for faith and rebellion.

9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance.

10. Instinctive cooperation.

Why do you do what you do? What do you believe are the most important elements to success? Build your own personal manifesto as a guide to helping you make the best decisions for you and your career.

Jul. 1, 2015 "Never put off tomorrow what you can do today": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in the 24 News on Dec. 10, 2012.

We get overwhelmed with details, very easily. Too much information makes it difficult for us to process and reason in order to come to a decision. Therefore, we usually put it off. It then either ends up piled up with a host of other decisions we’ve put-off or forgotten altogether.

From there, it’s easy to lose focus and any momentum you’ve built up to that point. Avoid being tempted by delaying a decision simply because you want more information, or want to think it over for a longer period of time.

There’s no perfect solution

Too often we’re focused on the ‘perfect’ solution and convince ourselves that we’ll get there eventually. However, there is no perfect solution and the more information you analyze and digest the more complicated the decision is likely to become. Build up the best case you have with the information at your disposal and make a decision, don’t procrastinate.

Progress boosts morale, begets further progress

When you don’t make decisions you’re also stifling progress and morale. We thrive off small wins in our professional lives and use them as motivation. By making decisions, we’re making progress and when we don’t make decisions we’re doing just the opposite.

Break decisions down into smaller, more manageable parts and de-risk your decision-making by avoiding long, drawn-out discussions around a particular topic or project.

Great decisions are a matter of iteration

Furthermore, you’ll also learn a lot more about what the right decision looks like by making decisions today, learning the outcomes, and implementing what you’ve learned into the next iteration. This way you can adapt and change as necessary.

Jul. 6, 2015 "What you can learn from the Time Person of the Year": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Dec. 24, 2012:

Whether you follow politics closely or even identify with Democratic politics in the U.S, there’s much you can learn from TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year - President Barack Obama.

The U.S. has been faced with any number of challenges over the course of Obama’s administration and much of the evidence suggests that he’s done less than a stellar job of turning things around. However, what he has managed to do is successfully navigate his way to successful re-election and as such has passed what could be deemed the world’s most difficult job interview - twice.

So what exactly can we learn from the two-term President of the United States of America and what’s made him so successful?


The overarching theme of so much of the research conducted by pollsters over the last few years has focused on Obama’s authenticity in the eyes of the voting public. According to Michael Scherer of TIME Magazine, “In group after group, the voters told the researchers they believed the President was honest, lived an admirable personal life and was trying to do the right thing”.

People find it far easier to follow and support you when they believe in you - for this you need to be authentic.


While most would argue he’s had to, Obama makes negotiation and finding a common-ground central to his platform. He understands it holds the key to his ability to get things done. He’s also managed to paint his Republican counterparts as the intransigent ones and those that rarely rise above partisan politics.

You’ll regularly be at odds with other teams, whether it’s competing for scarce company resources or as a result of a difference of opinion. Avoid approaching negotiation as a zero-sum game and look for ways to build common ground.


Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign had a laser-like focus.  David Simas, a senior White House aide, had a chart plastered prominently on his wall. It featured three lines, the first two charted the rise of per capita GDP and productivity in the U.S. since 1992, while the third line was flat representing household income. As Scherer explains:

“He opened all his presentations with the same chart. “Above it was just a phrase from a focus group — ‘I’m working harder and falling behind,’” Simas says. “That was the North Star. Everything we did and everything we said was derivative of that sentiment.”

Take the time to ascertain where you focus should be, rather than trying to do everything at once. Find your North Star and put all your energy into it.

Aug. 6, 2015 Don’t Overvalue Risk and Undervalue Opportunity: I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on Feb. 6, 2012:

Let’s face it – we’re obsessed with risk. It permeates everyday life in any number of ways; we employ “Risk Managers”, we look to minimize risks in our investments, apply risk management techniques to the projects we run, and even try and avoid making seemingly risky career moves. The “riskier” the choice, the greater we’re supposed to discount it.

When we’re evaluating a choice, risk has a very well-established place in this process. We use it to avoid making mistakes others have made, to heed the warnings of friends, family and colleagues, and to make ourselves feel better about the choice we ultimately end up making.

However, somewhere along the line risk has taken on a far more prominent place in our everyday decision making than it deserves. That isn’t to say you should ignore risk, but when we’re so focused on mitigating them, we can lose sight of and undervalue the importance of opportunity. This has a lot of implications for your career and the decisions you make.

Where’s there’s risk, there’s reward

It’s easy to forget that where’s there’s risk there’s reward. If you’re looking to become better at selling or looking to hone your coding skills, perhaps breaking off and starting your own company or freelancing is the right idea? If you’re passionate about the non-profit space or a different industry, perhaps your time and skills are better invested there?

The typical response from many will be to focus on the risks that choice entails – “what if you don’t make as much money”, “what if it doesn’t work out” – but that’s because they’re overvaluing risk and undervaluing opportunity.

Importantly, when you make a choice you’re really deciding two things simultaneously. You’re choosing to do A as well as choosing not to do B, the difference between those two things is what economists call “opportunity cost”.

So when you make a decision based purely on risk, like staying at a company/in a role/in an industry you don’t particularly like because it’s a safe bet, you’re also turning down an opportunity at the same time and it has a cost.

There’s inherent risk in everything you do, just don’t lose sight of the opportunity that’s before you. When you overvalue risk, you drastically undervalue opportunity – now that’s risky.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home