Systematic Thinking: A Thought Model

Preface During my lunch break today, I suddenly recalled an article I previously wrote, "How to Become a Quick Learner?" I then realized that conceptual learners are essentially systematic thinkers. They start by considering and understanding things from a macro perspective. When it comes to learning specific knowledge, it becomes easier to grasp and they tend to have more perseverance. This is because they can see the end goal from a holistic view and are less likely to get lost in the details of the present. I remember that before my graduate studies, my learning method was cramming: whatever the teacher taught, I learned. Most of the time, it was rote memorization without understanding, which worked well for exams. I used this method to pass the Japanese proficiency test in a short time. However, the side effects were obvious: developing an aversion to learning, retaining information poorly, and having an unstable foundation, among others. But during my graduate studies, m


Today at lunch, I talked with a colleague about reading. They asked me how many books I’ve read so far and whether I know everything now. I thought about it and replied that I’ve read around 1,000 books (I keep a record of my reading). For someone who doesn’t like reading, this might seem like a lot, but for avid readers, it’s quite average. I’ve met people who have read extensively, possessing vast knowledge that leaves me in awe. The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know As for knowing everything? Understanding everything? I feel quite the opposite. The more I read, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I used to think people who said this were being modest, but it’s true. The more you read, the more you become aware of your own narrowness and superficiality. For example, after reading “Journey to the West,” I feel that no matter how hard I try, I could never write such a work in my lifetime. Thus, Socrates exclaimed: “I know that I know nothing.” Socrates

Why Are Elites Always Time-Oriented

Recently started a morning routine (just a week ago), and it reminded me of this book I read last year. Some of its points have provided me with inspiration (like how chewing gum aids alertness, and sunbathing produces serotonin for clarity). I’ve personally experimented with some of these and found them quite helpful. So, I wanted to reorganize my thoughts and write it down as a reminder. What kind of book is this? “Why Are Elites Always Time-Oriented” by the author Hua Ze Zi Yuan is a neuroscientist, so many of the viewpoints in the book are explained from the perspectives of neuroscience and psychology. The overall style is quite systematic and comprehensive, reflecting the author’s decade-long summary, which adds credibility and practical value. The book discusses scientific methods for controlling time to maximize efficiency. I remember a friend telling me the reason he stays up late is to gain more time every day. After reading this book, I think he’s just making excuses for s


Ironically, it was only after I truly left the ivory tower of academia that I discovered my love for learning and found my curiosity. I once discussed this with a PhD colleague (now a university professor), telling him that upon entering society, my curiosity intensified almost instinctively. I speculated that the environment at that time had subtly influenced me—a realization that didn’t dawn on me initially but erupted suddenly at a certain point, like floodgates opening. The PhD chuckled, saying my time in graduate school had become a valuable asset in my life. What environment brought about such a change? In conclusion, it was being surrounded by a group of intensely curious people, of all ages and levels. They questioned everything, approached life with curiosity and thoughtfulness. Over time, I naturally absorbed this influence, undergoing a qualitative transformation. I remember vividly that our professors would often ask questions during seminars or personal discussions. Wh

Finding Self-Discovery and Motivation

Understanding what you truly want and finding motivation can be a profound and meaningful topic. Many people may go through their entire lives without knowing their true desires. Some spend their lives searching (similar to protagonists in Haruki Murakami’s novels), while others, like Ivan Ilyich in Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich,” start with a clear goal and steadfastly pursue it. Around the age of twenty, I earnestly pondered the meaning of life and how to identify what I truly wanted. Questions like where we go after death often haunted me at that time. However, there was a moment of clarity that suddenly illuminated my path, a feeling that remains vivid in my memory. Despite numerous moments of doubt thereafter, wondering if my choices were right, I’m fortunate to have stayed true to the convictions I held at twenty—at least in the broader sense. Occasionally, I encounter friends who feel lost, unsure of what to do or what they truly desire. It reminds me of a book I read an

Recalling the 2019 Wimbledon Men's Singles Final

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt any real excitement for a tennis match. The players I used to root for have either retired or are no longer in their prime, which means that the sense of tension while watching a match has faded away. Without that tension, without the anticipation, even the most thrilling matches seem bland, just a wait for an outcome that doesn’t really matter to me. The sun will rise again tomorrow, and life will go on as usual, day by day. But yesterday’s Wimbledon final somehow reignited that long-lost sense of tension. I found myself applauding the players’ performances, getting anxious and frustrated, even imagining myself jumping onto the court to help out one of the players when he was struggling (even though I know I’d probably miss every shot). The suspense in this match was immense, and the journey was full of ups and downs. I was on the edge of my seat for Alcaraz. In these top-level showdowns, it’s all about belief and mindset in the end. Beating Djo

Reflections on Journey to the West

Childhood Memories of Journey to the West When people think of Journey to the West , the image that often comes to mind is the TV series starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong, which is a cherished childhood memory for many, including myself. As a child, one of my most anticipated moments was rushing to a nearby shop after school (we didn’t have cable TV at home) to watch Journey to the West . The theme song would fill me with excitement, making my day simple and delightful. I remember watching the show on CCTV1, which had a distinctive animated logo effect that signaled the beginning of the episode. Whenever I saw that logo, I knew Journey to the West was about to start, filling me with joy and anticipation. The Childhood “Golden-Hooped Rod” The most vivid memory of Journey to the West is fantasizing about being Sun Wukong. I spent summers wielding a bamboo stick, pretending it was the Golden-Hooped Rod. I would drape a red bed sheet over my shoulders, imitating Sun Wukong’s cape, and mim


The first time I took notice of the term “value” was during my work in Japan when a department manager said something that stuck with me, although I can’t recall the exact words. It was something along the lines of: If a company cannot make a profit, it indicates that the company has no reason to exist and holds no value to society. Initial Understanding of Value My understanding of this concept deepened when I transitioned from a programmer to roles in sales and marketing. I began to grasp the essence of what my manager had said. If a business doesn’t focus on creating value for others or society, and instead engages in opportunistic and crafty practices, it will struggle to survive long-term. Whether in marketing or sales, the underlying principle is to provide value to your potential customers. Consider their challenges and difficulties, and think about how you can help them and what value and benefits you can bring to them (akin to what my foreign teacher referred to as Gap-selli

Differences in Recruitment between China and Japan

This afternoon, a colleague mentioned the difficulties in recruitment, sharing an anecdote about an e-commerce owner who has been hiring year-round but still hasn’t found the right candidate, lamenting the challenge of finding suitable employees. This conversation brought to mind my own experiences of job hunting as a fresh graduate in China and Japan. Having experienced both (undergraduate job hunting in China and graduate job hunting in Japan), I can clearly see the significant differences between the two. In summary: In China, the focus is on professional skills (whether the candidate can perform the job tasks, ideally being immediately competent). In Japan, the emphasis is on the candidate’s personality and whether their values align with the company’s culture (though skills are also considered). Initially, I was skeptical of the Japanese approach to recruitment, finding it somewhat superficial and pretentious. During the job application process in Japan, I often had to undergo

Summer in Japan

It’s been over two years since I returned home, yet I still find myself reminiscing about summers in Japan. These summers brought me so many wonderful memories that they made someone who typically dislikes the season (due to the extremely muggy and uncomfortable summers in southern China) actually start to enjoy it. Tomohisa Yamashita once said that all his summer memories revolve around yukata, fireworks, and Masami Nagasawa (the Japanese national goddess). Initially, I couldn’t relate, but after spending three summers in Japan, I understood why he said that. Unfortunately, I never met Japan’s national goddess (laughs). In my eyes, Japanese summer is about yukata, fireworks, summer festivals, Mount Fuji, draft beer, flowing somen noodles, Horoyoi (a type of alcoholic drink similar to RIO in China), and the beach. Fireworks Festivals When talking about Japanese summers, you can’t avoid mentioning fireworks festivals. Every summer, fireworks festivals are held all over Japan, with d

June 2023 Summary

Foreword This is the first time I'm publicly sharing my monthly summary and time tracking on my blog. I think this is a great start because I plan to continue this practice and hope more people will be inspired by it. For others, it might serve as a good source of inspiration; for myself, it's a way to push myself to boldly express, think, and examine myself transparently. I've been tracking my time since June 9, 2022 (you can check out that post), and it's been over a year now. I know I still need to continuously optimize my time and spend it on what I consider important. Focus Time in June 2023: 154 Hours and 43 Minutes. Compared to May 2023's 186 hours and 13 minutes, this is a decrease of over 30 hours, equivalent to an hour less of focused time per day. I noticed that the main decrease was in my work-focused time, which was only 99.58 hours. Work (Focused: 99.58 Hours) Compared to previous months, my focus on work significantly dropped in June, totaling only 99

Life Without Limits

I remember back in middle school, there was a guy at school who could sprint the entire 1,000-meter race. For someone like me, who struggled to finish even 1,000 meters, he was like a god. By high school, I learned about marathon runners who could run 42 kilometers in one go. For someone like me, who still found 1,000 meters challenging, they were also godlike. It wasn’t until college that I was inspired by a book one day and decided to run 10 kilometers at once. It wasn’t easy at first, but I pushed through. I still remember how I felt after that run: exhausted, exhilarated, happy, relieved, and clear-headed. I felt something deep inside me had shed, giving way to something new. Simply put, it was a kind of confidence. That was in 2015, and I was 20 years old. Fast forward to the 1,000-meter test that year, where I, who was usually among the last, effortlessly took first place for the first time. The former first-place runner, slightly grudgingly, said to me, "I remember you were

Process vs. Result

Yesterday, while talking with a friend who works in AI (NLP) about the astonishing capabilities of ChatGPT, I was struck by how it evolves and upgrades like a monster. No matter what kind of question you throw at it (except for those heavily subjective), it can respond convincingly, and the better your prompt, the more accurate its answer. A few days ago, I upgraded to version 4.0, which supports online document reading, images, etc., and it has already started becoming more ecosystem-like. I realized that much of my work will be replaced by it. I jokingly said that if I keep using it, I might become a person who has lost the ability to think independently. However, I also noticed that while its answers are good, I don’t get that exhilarating feeling of having truly achieved something. When my friend said: "ChatGPT, to a large extent, uses human feedback reinforcement learning through dialogue, which diminishes our direct experience of achieving something." I suddenly remembe

Two Changes

After the Dragon Boat Festival in 2022, inspired by a few books, I embarked on two unique and interesting endeavors that still stand out today. A year has passed, and I want to write something to document this experience. Developing the Habit of Tracking Time The first change was attempting to chart my remaining life by using time as the horizontal axis and experiences as the vertical axis, meticulously recording (only what I consider important) my time. Imagine someone in this world who, starting at age 26, set clear life goals and recorded every minute of his life. Despite facing several major upheavals, he continuously improved his time-tracking methods until he passed away at 82. Through this method of time management (which had a significant impact), he achieved remarkable success in various fields (mathematics, physics, statistics, education, engineering, etc.) without missing a single day of recording in 56 years. I believe anyone would be astounded by this. I first learned abou