Unleash the power of persistence

The best way to ensure success, is to not quit. It’s a simple statement, but why do people and businesses fail? There are several reasons, but many times failure can be linked directly to the lack of solid goals and commitment to goals.

You see, to get where you want to go, you first need to decide on the destination, Many people underestimate the need for goals in their lives, Others confuse goal setting with wishing or dreaming about the future.

In spiritual terms, the word sin is an Aramaic term. It means to miss the target or miss the mark. If you don’t set your own goals, your target is not in sight and impossible to hit. If you don’t set goals, you don’t have a target.

The goals have to be your goals. Not desires given to you by a spouse or business partner. Your goals must incorporate what is really important to you. Your goals must be specific and measurable. Your goals must be challenging and exciting, but realistic. Your goals need to be consistent with your morals, and belief system. When your goals meet all these tests, you will be able to take ownership of them. When they are yours, you will feel the passion for them from within, and it is through that passion that you will be able to unleash the power of persistence.

Don’t ever discount the power of persistence. People who don’t give up seldom fail in the long haul. A big shot is a little shot that just keeps shooting. Their passion leads them to convince others to share their vision, and help them achieve their goals.

Calvin Coolidge, the 30Th President of the United States of America, had this to say about persistence: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent The slogan Press on has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race”.

Do passionate people with solid goals loose battles? Sure they do. Like they say, bad things happen to good people. The bad things that happen to people without goals happen to those with solid goals. The real difference is not what battles they loose, but what people do about the challenges they are faced with. Being committed to your goals allows you to move forward when you encounter setbacks. Think of setbacks as road blocks, streets that don’t go through. You may need to take a detour to reach your destination. If your road does not cross the river, you may need to go downstream or upstream several miles to find a bridge. Your goals must have the flexibility to take the detour.

When you are starting a small business, everyone seems bigger and more successful than you. Don’t let that psych you out. Use it to fuel your persistence. If they can do it, you can do it. Look at others who found success after failure because they were persistent, and gain power from knowing it can be done.

Thomas Edison perfected the filament light bulb after many failed experiments. He felt his loss of hearing was an advantage since it was easier to concentrate without being distracted by noise and chatter. He often worked over 100 hours a week. One of his favorite sayings was “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

Howard Schultz eventually became the Chairman of Starbucks. Years earlier he failed to get hired by the coffee company because interviewers felt he was too enthusiastic. He eventually took a company selling bags of coffee from a handful of locations into a huge chain of destination coffee houses where people socialize and drink brewed coffee.

Jim Clark founded Netscape. When he was a child, his mother was called to his school and his teacher informed her that her son was not capable of learning.

Conrad Hilton saved up $50,000 to buy a bank in Texas.. He was distraught after the banker increased the price beyond what Hilton could afford. He returned to the hotel he was staying at to think things out. Too depressed to go to his room, he sat in the lobby where he could see the flow of guests checking in and out. Today, major cities around the world have Hilton hotels.

Successful people and businesses have goals. Goal ownership and commitment to goals fuels passion. It is that passion that powers the persistence to plow through the setbacks, and navigate around the road blocks we encounter en-route to our destination. Never underestimate the power of persistence.

Ngo Bao Chau – “Mot hien tuong toan hoc”

I feel proudly when I received the news that Ngo Bao Chau received Field Model. It is the reputation of our Vietnamese’s mathematic ability. And we Vietnamese are very appreciated with this contribution to the universal knowledge of human beings.

The Fields Medal has been given to Chau to recognize his accomplishments in mathematics. Chau’s success in solving “fundamental lemma” is profoundly significant and has been listed by Time Magazine as one of the top ten scientific discoveries in 2009.

Most recently, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan officially invited Ngo Bao Chau to return to Vietnam to work and contribute to developing Vietnam into a powerhouse in mathematics.

His research is greatly recognized in many leading conferences. Link

I remember a recent conversation between Prof Ngo Bao Chau and Nguyen Trung Ha in VnExpress. It is a topic about the importance of mathematics towards the economy and society development.
I am supportive of what Nguyen Trung Ha perceived. That maths research is a real job need passion, and not everyone can do that.
Ngo Bao Chau is extremely exceptional, but not all my seniors and juniors who once attended IMO. I admires who is keen to pursue research path, like many research assistant I met in school.

Look at back, I have to confess that i have little interest in maths now, though sometimes I take a look at IMO problems. What i am interested is the new future of computing and technology, together with its social value and impact.

What a mathematician can do for the well being of a society? And actually I think an economist is better to the extent of social contribution. What a solving theory can directly to our life. It may take many years before it comes to reality.

Q, one of my friends who are pursuing applied maths, he made a quite hard living in Vietnam with his fellow research. I wish luck to him when he will study post doc  in Europe.

What Ngo Bao Chau can do if he returns to Vietnam. Maybe he start to teach Maths in Maths Institution with not more than 5 M per month.

Then I wonder whether that is worth to invest in maths, while there is so many other social problems needed to solve in Vietnam. We need more financial analysists and economists than mathematics. Ngo Bao Chau with his new image may bring a new wave of studying mathematics in Vietnam, but I hope many people will recognize the real nature of maths. It helps youths to pave the way to deploy knowledge, but not an ultimate way to make a living.

Just think about it like a normal career to contribute to universal knowledge of human being, it never benefit a single nation.

I was once standing in the stage to receive the silver medal of maths , but is it relevant to my studying now? I may doubt about the way I choose, but I believe in my dream calling me moving forwards.


My generation’s idol is Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Zack. I believe in entrepreneurship which can boost and empower our economy.

Side note: This story reminds me about a prof in LKY school: Vu Duy Khuong. He studied economics at Harvard and now lectures at LKY. He once made his effort in helping our country in order to reform economy, but he soon disappointed because of the politics in government and bureaucracy. I wish some day I could talk to him as a person shared a similar vision and ambition.

Financial Literacy Education

I have some idea.

A simple website which shares stories about money matters, everything is about money and how to save money. It sounds like a money-conscious mindset but it will be definitely useful when people want to know how to save.

Finance literacy education is integrated and analyzed in each story. And the most popular topic is traveling I guess.

Ideas are only ideas.
People often conceives that ideas is very important, but in fact it is cheap and no one bother to think until it becomes practical and executable.
Therefore execution matters. I get a very vital lesson from my friends in CS3216 lecture and what they did urge me to think seriously in the rest of my life. I once dream of leading my own company. Why I cannot take some initiatives right now when I am in school.

Can do I something beyond what I was taught in engineering faculty. Now I am totally fed up with boring lecs and poorly communicative tuts and labs.

If I want to embark on this changing journey. I have to kick off working really hard from now on to realize my true dream and my feasible future plan.

No pain, no gain. I have to put myself in other’s shoes to see what I can reach. If Prof Ben Leoung offer me a course in SOC, do I want to take it?

I suddenly remember my convolution from the beginning of the year. To be a different person, to find my truly identity and voice out my ego. And in the quest to transform my ambition, there is no way to look back.
Dan from TOMORROW.

Wind (Naruto anime ending theme)

Cultivate your hunger before you idealize.
Motivate your anger to make them all realize.
Climbing the mountain, never coming down.
Break into the contents, never falling down.

My knee is still shaking, like I was twelve,
Sneaking out of the classroom, by the back door.
A man railed at me twice though, but I didn’t care.
Waiting is wasting for people like me.

Don’t try to live so wise.
Don’t cry ’cause you’re so right.
Don’t dry with fakes or fears,
‘Cause you will hate yourself in the end.


You say, “Dreams are dreams.
“I ain’t gonna play the fool anymore.”
You say, “‘Cause I still got my soul.”

Take your time, baby, your blood needs slowing down.
Breach your soul to reach yourself before you gloom.
Reflection of fear makes shadows of nothing, shadows of nothing.

You still are blind, if you see a winding road,
‘Cause there’s always a straight way to the point you see.

Don’t try to live so wise.
Don’t cry ’cause you’re so right.
Don’t dry with fakes or fears,
‘Cause you will hate yourself in the end.


Contributed by Ookla the Mok

Chiaki, co len!

OST Star Tanjou Again – Momoe Yamaguchi

I was born, もう一度, star is born again
I was born, もう一度, star is born again
See you again, see you again, bye bye
See you again, see you again, bye bye
See you again, see you again, bye bye


Undoubtedly, this is one of my favourite Japanese drama when I was a boy. Though at that time, I cannot recall the story, but the character of Chiaki once made me cry.
Here is some info I get from internet:

Bài hát: スター誕生 (Star Tanjou Again), ngôn ngữ: tiếng Nhật (Japanese)
Phim: Stewardess Monogatari-Nữ tiếp viên hàng không
Thể loại: Renzoku drama, human drama
Số tập: 22
Kênh chiếu: Daiei TV (now TBS)
Sản xuất: 1983 (phát sóng ở Việt Nam:1/6/1996)
Đôi khi chúng ta nghe câu nói “Cố lên Chiaki” mà bạn bè thường động viên mỗi khi ta gặp khó khăn. Bộ phim này chiếu cách đây 13 năm 3 tháng 25 ngày (từ ngày khởi chiếu)
Horie Chiemi -thần tượng nhạc pop của nhật hồi thập niên 80 vào vai Matsumoto Chiaki , một cô gái nhỏ nhắn, vụng về và có phần ngờ nghệch, sồng trong 1 gia đình luôn tồn tại bạo lực. Cô luôn khát khao trở thành 1 nữ tiếp viên hàng không cho JAL (Japan Airlines). Để theo đuổi giấc mơ đó cô đã ghi danh vào học viện JAL, tại đây cô đã gặp người thầy hứơng dẫn điển trai Murasawa Hiroshi – nguyên là quản lý của JAL vốn có hôn ước với Shindo Mariko- con gái của ông chủ tịch JAL. Khác với từ lúc ban đầu Murasawa luôn đối xử lạnh lùng và khắc nghiệt với Chiaki, dần dần tình yêu giữa họ đã nảy nở . Chiaki trong cuộc tập huấn đã có nhiều mặt thay đổi trong chính mình khi cô học được cách bơi, hoc thuộc lòng số chuyến bay, học anh văn.Sức ảnh hưởng của cô ấy đối với mọi người trong khoá huấn luyện và đặc biệt là với Murasawa càng lan toả thì càng vấp phải sự cản trở đầy thù hận của Mariko, nhằm phá vỡ giấc mơ của Chiaki, bên cạnh đó là người cha dượng luôn ngược đãi cô. Nhưng với tinh thần kiên định và ý chí không dễ khuất phục của mình, Chiaki đã vượt lên trên bao khó khăn, vấp ngã để tìm thấy mục đích sống và một tình yêu đích thực của mình.