Quarantine Day 2

Today went by with some meaningful activities:

  • I finished the Ask for More book.
  • Mom and I cooked brunch and dinner together. Brunch was noodles with beef and dry beans, and dinner was a three-dish meal: fried ling cod, spinach, and beef, snap peas and red pepper stir fry.
  • A full body workout, followed with a Tai Chi lesson from Mom.

Tai Chi was fun. I’m hoping to keep that up throughout the quarantine.

Below are some of the good lines I enjoyed from the Ask for More book from Alexandra Carter:

  • We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. – Carl Sagan
  • When you ask the right questions, of yourself and others, you open a window to create value far beyond what you can imagine. Leading your negotiation with questions not only helps your bottom line, but it helps you connect to people in a way that can transform relationships, personally and professionally.
  • When you change your questions, you change the conversation.
  • The first negotiation in any situation is the one you have with yourself.
  • In my work, I teach that negotiation is any conversation in which you are steering a relationship.
  • Everything you see, hear, and feel helps you steer with accuracy toward your goal.
  • So what happens when you treat negotiation like steering a kayak? First, it means you don’t wait until the contract comes up to negotiate with your boss or client. You don’t wait until your relationship feels like it is in crisis to have a conversation. Instead, you are continuously piloting those relationships in every conversation you have. And second, you take in the right information to help you steer toward your goal. You ask great questions. You use advanced listening skills to get information that helps you shape your deals. In sum, you approach those conversations intentionally. You treat them all as part of your negotiation of that relationship.
  • “Tell me” is a magic question that opens up an entire world to your view.
  • The best negotiations, relationships, or client interactions start with you – a process of self-discovery that helps you get clarity on who you are and what you want to achieve.

The above are some of the highlights from the Introduction chapter. It’d be impossible to share everything I liked from the book. There are too many! Though I do want to share the last two sentences of the book:

  • When you stay curious in your negotiations and relationships, you’ll see that other people start looking to you as a model, and do the same. In this way, good negotiators become leaders – at home, at work, and in the world.

Here is a handy checklist of the 10 questions to negotiate anything by Alexandra Carter:

The Mirror

  • My definition of the problem/goal (What’s the problem I want to solve?)
  • My needs/what those look like (What do I need?)
  • My feelings/concerns (What do I feel?)
  • My previous success (How have I handled this successfully in the past?)
  • My first steps (What’s the first step?)

The Window

  • Their definition of the problem/goal (Tell me…)
  • Their needs/what those look like (What do you need?)
  • Their feelings/concerns (What are your concerns?)
  • Their previous success (How have you handled this successfully in the past?)
  • Their first steps (What’s the first step?)

Great book! Highly recommended.

Growth V.S. Development

Lately, I’ve been thinking about developing different skills.  To do well in my job, I need to have a good balance between the ongoing practice of soft skills such as communication, delegation, and leadership and the utilization of my hard skills like coding, modeling, and advanced analytics.  I realized that our balance of implementing hard and soft skills varies depending on many factors: age, health, education, profession, and occupation.

Having been through the first two years of Serena and now watching baby Griffin become more solid everyday, I’m seeing a lot of growth in my kids.  I’m looking forward to experiencing their continuing growth.  I’m sure the journey will be worthwhile, though interesting…

The curious side of me wonders, what is the difference between growth and development?  I did some poking around on the good old Google, and here is what I found.


  • When something grows, it shows an increase in something we can count and measure.
  • A tree can grow.  A child can grow.  A company can grow.  A bank account can also grow.
  • Growth does not take into account how it grows or what it took to add to its overall sum.
  • Economic growth is typically just a number, often GDP, but it is often the only thing that is touted as a measure of success.
  • Growth by itself cannot measure development.


  • Development encompasses many things, but it is shown by the qualitative improvement of circumstances.  As something develops, the quality of the whole improves.
  • As a tree develops, it will not only grow, but also be able to reproduce, bear fruit, and continue growing.
  • When an economic situation develops, not only can profits increase, but also the working conditions are improved.
  • Economic development in a community or country leads to better overall living standards and opportunities to improve.

Growth v.s. Development

  • Growth and development might affect each other, but they are not dependent on each other.  They are not the same.
  • Growth may happen despite any development.
  • Development can happen but there may be very little growth.
  • Sometimes, if something is not growing, it needs to develop to get to that growth.  If something cannot develop, there may need to be growth in a certain area, like funding, before anything can be done to improve the overall situation.



  • https://blog.udemy.com/difference-between-growth-and-development/
  • http://www.diffen.com/difference/Economic_Development_vs_Economic_Growth
  • https://www.udemy.com/draft/57288/?utm_campaign=content-marketing-blog&tc=blog.differencebetweengrowthanddevelopment&utm_content=post35146&utm_source=blog&utm_medium=udemyads&xref=blog