Thursday, November 16, 2006

Leaving My Old Job to Meet John Wood

and if even I did return with books to set up 9 libraries the next season, would this lead me to quit my job in the hope to make change to the world?I started on my new job this week, finally after 4 years back in Hong Kong, I now work in Central. Kind of childish to be pleased with take, I know most people at my age should have grown cynical about Central, but I found no better opportunity to expand my horizon after the groomy days of Kwun Tong. For example today, I went for a book talk at lunchtime with Martina, and the speaker was the inspiring John Wood of "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World". You may recall from my previous post how much I respect this guy.
We had literally the two best seats of the day, sitting right at the front of the stage, we met the social entrepreneur in real life. The talk very much recounted tales from his books. But this guy was not just inspirational but incredibly funny. (Martina was later recognised by a helper as the woman who laughed seamlessly during the talk.) John started off by congradulation himself by stealing the title of the book "Leaving Microsoft to Change The World" from Bill Gate. And he is happy to trade that with millions of dollars for donation.

Then he recounted his begining of this post-Microsoft life. "How many of you have been trekking in Nepal?" We stood our hands up proudly. Though if a Nepalese headmaster said "Perhaps one day sir, you will return with some books." I wondered if I would responded the way John did, and even if I did return with books to set up 9 libraries the next season, would this lead me to quit my job in the hope to make change to the world? That is what makes him so incredible. Room to Read now opens more library then the post-IPO Starbuck is opening coffee chains around the world at the same age.
there will be many people in this world to tell you not to take the risk, but they are not necessary the people that is worth listening to
Then he recounted some of his favourite stories in his books and finally left us with a picture that was taken last week, it was the once bookless libary that he first visted in Nepal, it is now a brightly decorated modern reading room, with books, magazines, maps and globes. One that is impossible for me to imagine the himalayan paddy rice fields were just beyond those windows.

Finally at the Q&A session he repeated those words in his books "If you have a passion, just get out and follow it.....there will be many people in this world to tell you not to take the risk, but they are not necessary the people that is worth listening to."

So once again, go and read this book, if you don't want to buy one, borrow one of the two copies that we now own.

P.S. If you want to get involved with Room to Read, read here.

6 comments:

ahdont said...

when i was young, i have always wanted to change the world. but what can one man do to change the world? i still remember the history leson that i attended when i was young (i used to goto classes when i was young), a chinese legend believes that he can not change the world alone, so he just do things that will affect others, and one day he can change it with everyone together. in a way, he under estiamtes his ability but i honestly think he did change the world. and this john wood guy is doing the same thing. changing the world. i truly admire these people.

alex said...

I just want to let you know, as of today I'm also a proud owner of "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World"

Gabs Lau said...

well done, Alex, hope you will enjoy the read!

Amanda said...

ive also read the book now - couldnt put it down and stayed up to read it! ;-) thanks for the recommendation!

having read the book is probably not going to change my life, but it definitely reinforces some changes that has happened to me since I started working.... material wealth is really not as important as spiritual wellbeing, that there can be real meaning in the time we spend in this world!

Gabs Lau said...

good to see another friend has enjoyed the book, no not everyone has the opportunity to do something radically different in their life and finds it very fullfilling but just stay tune to what your wishes and when the time comes don't hesitate. All three people who left comments here has got the courage to keep exploring their comfort zone, that much I know for sure.

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