Oktober 13, 2011

Problem Solving Series 5b - Analyze the Problem

This is part 2 of Analyze

We have talked about a nifty tool where we can compare two continuous factors and find out if there is any relationship between them.

Now what about we are faced with two sets of data from two categories, such as male and female? This is when we can use the next tool.

b. Box plots: Here are a sample of Box Plots - comparison of MRI count (an indicator of brain size) between male and female
As you can see, it is easy to note that Male has higher MRI count than female. To find out more about how to create Boxplots, click here.

Now that we have all these tools, what next? The next steps is to have an open mind. Train your mind to think creatively through getting rid of any prejudgment and objectively look at the facts separately from the language (e.g. an animal with long ears is not necessarily a rabbit, so if it eats meat, don't think it's a rabid rabbit), and separately from the past (e.g. a wireless communication device is sci-fi material in the 60s, but it does not mean it is not possible now). In conjunction to this, we need look for more potential influencing factors than what we normally pick. For example, if we want to improve our financial health, make sure we look beyond getting a pay raise or cutting back Starbucks coffee. There are plenty of other factors we need to look into.

Finally, as in almost anything in life, getting many flying hours is the key to getting a good grip of problem analysis. So, the only advice I have is, do it, practice, repeat.

Good luck.

Oktober 06, 2011


October 2011 is an interesting month of my life. In the opening of the month, my distant in-law relative passed away abruptly due to a stomach aneurysm. Then my mentor's relative, who has been ill for quite some times, passed away two days ago. Almost at the same time, Steve Jobs passed away.

All these events reminded me about one thing that I have thought and desired long time ago. It is possibly the only thing that I desired most in life - the only important thing in my limited time here: Leaving a legacy.

Have you ever thought that there must be some cosmic reason for our existence? Have you ever thought that there is no way we 'just happen' to be around? Have you ever wonder that maybe the purpose of life is more than just wake up, go to work, go home, and go to sleep? If it isn't so, have you ever wondered why do we spend arguably more than 70% of our lives doing that? Does it bother you that you have not understood it after living 30 plus years? It bothered me. A lot.

For me, the day-in, day-out way of life is no longer attractive. These past events are a strong reminder to me that the most important thing in life is not the corner office, the big account, or the titles we hold. The most important thing in life is what we leave when we are no longer here. What we will be remembered as, how our kids will live their lives, and what we have done to our community. Everything else is just a shiny object distraction.

Are you working on your Legacy?