We need to talk about China…
More than fifty years ago, China was a war-torn economy, emerging from one of the most tumultuous periods in its history. Today, China is the world’s fastest developing nation, growing at rates and over the last 30 years, only second to the US as an economic superpower. China’s GDP has grown nearly 10% each year making it the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history, enabling more than 800 million people out of poverty. With both domestic and global ambitions, it looks like China won’t settle anything else but first.
One such global ambition is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The term itself is confusing. The “road” refers mostly to a sea route; the “belt” is on land. Countries are eager for China’s financing welcoming it as a source of investment in infrastructure between China and Europe via the Middle East and Africa. Basically, China is spending over 1 trillion in more than 60 countries. A global economic ambition that we have never seen at this scale before.
So what makes China so ambitious? Well, a one-year-old Chinese article surfacing around social media titled “A Must-Read For The Ambitious”, may shed some light on this question. The article serves as a refreshing and brutally honest reminder of the competitive society we now live in, and the writer dishes out advice applicable to various aspects of our lives – from business to romance and even to personal style.
1) If a young person doesn’t have any ideas or opinions in a span of three years, it is unlikely that a positive change will happen for the rest of his/her life.
2) To win, you need insight and drive. I remember listening to talk about people from the Wenzhou city and their success being owed to their courage. This is actually an instance of insight, and the ability to let go of the old and embrace the new is an instance of the drive.
3) In this world, there’s a small group of people who gather their information and knowledge through the newspapers, the TV, and even from hearsay in back alleys. It’s almost as if the world is their oyster, and through this, they can achieve what seemed impossible. You should aim to be like this small group of people.
4) If you really love your parents and your partner, then you should work hard and fight for better living conditions. In this way, you’ll have the ability (money and time) to accompany and provide for them.
5) In this society, the faster fish eat the slower ones, and that’s how it will always be.
6) In this society, it’s only the winners that get everything, leaving the losers with nothing. Heroes will always only be determined by factors like success or failure.
7) If you speak to friends around you and out of 10, and 9 of them don’t know what you’re talking about – this is an opportunity. If in this 10, 9 of them understand what you’re saying – this is an industry.
8) In any industry or market, whoever starts first will always get to eat the meat; the later ones might not even get to drink the soup. (Editor’s note: Be a pioneer, not a follower.)
9) In this world, the cream of the crop will be able to turn mediocre products into better ones. However, mediocre people will produce less-than-mediocre results even with excellent products at hand.
10) Take advantage of your youth to explore the world around you. Rather than reading 1,000 books, you might as well spend the time to meet many people.
11) When dealing with people, it’s always better to listen more and talk less. That’s why God gave us two ears and only one mouth.
12) Take time off your work to train up your body – good health is our only capital.
13) Don’t act high and mighty. However, in dealing with people like that, the best way is to gather your resources, approach quietly, then take them down.
14) Don’t use vulgarities simply, this will lead people to think that you’re crass and they won’t want to work with you. Even if they did, the interaction will simply be perfunctory.
15) When you want to smoke, remember to ask those around if they mind. Learn how to respect others. Also, stop smoking in front of girls to impress them – they might actually be disgusted.
16) When buying clothes, pick them out yourself and don’t get someone else to buy it for you. Even if your taste isn’t very good initially, you’ll learn with experience.
17) Success stories might be distorted. While being successful usually means you can say whatever you wish, failures are usually not elaborated on. However, you can learn from these examples of failure and apply them to yourself – don’t just learn from your own experience, learn from the experiences of others too.
18) In such a competitive world, learning should not stop at graduation. In fact, graduation simply marks to start of actual learning.
19) If you’re not a singer, artist, or someone involved in the art scene, do dress more carefully. In this society, clothes determine your cliques and impressions others have of you.
20) Remember, if you watch TV for more than 3 hours each day, your salary would never go beyond 2000 yuan (~S$400). If you want a higher salary, do not waste your time watching TV.On the same note, this also applies to playing computer games and chatting online.
21) The poor usually spend their days complaining on the internet. However, have you seen any CEOs or big bosses spending their time on these chat apps in their free time? (Editor’s Note: If you want to get out of poverty, do something and don’t just complain about it.)
22) It is always good to read up on marketing even if you’re not working in sales. This is because in life, you always need to sell the best image of yourself to others.
23) Communicate with your friends often, don’t just wait until you need them. The more you get out in society, the more you’ll realise how difficult it is to meet true friends you can trust.
24) If you want to know what your future salary will be, get it by adding up the total income of 6 friends you’re close to and dividing it by 6. Through this, you’ll truly understand the meaning of “birds of a feather flock together”.
25) Don’t blindly believe that “if you don’t get a partner in your freshman year of university, the good ones will all be gone”. Think about it, is it worth it to chase someone who can’t resist the temptation of a relationship and gets into one simply because of loneliness? Of course, relationships in a university are not an issue but don’t stubbornly believe that there’s a need to get into one in your freshman year.
26) Remember, always be the last one to show your cards. You will only win when others think you’re losing, but then you surprise them with a winning hand.
27) When it comes to love, there’s this line that says: “Without bread, how can you dance?” This is why before you decide to love someone, you should think carefully about whether you can provide for them.
28) Give yourself a 5-year goal, then break it down into years, half years, quarter years and then months. In this way, you can work step-by-step in the right direction.
29) Regardless of anything, always remember to have both principles and dignity; if not, no one will respect you.
30) If I can end off with just one piece of advice, I’d just say this: there is no free lunch in this world, so don’t take shortcuts!
Do you agree with these mantras and should we start changing the way we think- whether its business or relationships?