To-do list when I came back at 10pm:
Shower, of course
Quiet Time with God
Iron my shirt for tomorrow
Check my work emails
Email the Secretariat
- Blog – reflect about the day
- Research about the issue we are addressing
- Think of users that we have identified and identify their needs
- Update my notes on my learning for the day – guess I’m not doing this anymore because I have no time
If this goes on for the rest of the days, I’ll probably crash one of these days. Good thing though, is that I get a room to myself so the introverted side gets some time-off.
Today was the day that I worried about the most, and it’s also the day that I can’t wait to get over with. Worried because I know I have my insecurities when it comes to meeting people with accent, not to mention getting into a group and working with them for the rest of the innovation lab. After attempting to enunciate my words the entire day, I sound rather different in my head now, as if there’s an accent going on in my head. Also can’t wait to get this particular day over with because, at least now I know who’s on my team, and I know who to focus building relationships with – pretty settled in a way. Shall not dive into my insecurities; I’m leaving them with God, and also because I need to get back to work.
Two interesting observations for the day:
#1: As a part of the process of forming teams, we went through some activities to understand ourselves. One of it was this segment where we categorised ourselves according to the way we operate majority of the time – namely Say, Do, Feel and Think. I went into the one that says “Think”.
It was an interesting experience to be gathered in a group like that, because all of us identified ourselves as Introverts. What’s more interesting is that we also identified ourselves as “Forced Extroverts”, in that we force ourselves to behave like extroverts when we have to, and then we have to retreat later on to recharge. While I would expect the Thinkers to be Introverts, I wouldn’t expect Thinkers to always be Forced Extroverts. I guess in this setting where we signed up for this innovation lab on our own accord, having understood that we will be in the midst of a thousand delegates from around the world, Introverts who signed up are likely those who are ready to bring out an extroverted persona.
Also, two common traits we found were that we need structured/methodical approaches, and that we need to have all options considered before we act upon the decision. There was also this interesting sense of comfortableness, which is different from what I would feel when I’m in a mixed bunch of people. I guess that comfort came from knowing that everyone’s as introverted as you are, and that everyone’s feeling as uncomfortable about interacting with strangers as much as you are. In a way, you’re for once, not an odd one out in the party.
#2: After we settled into our groups, five of us made very intentional efforts in getting to know each other and getting comfortable with each other. Yes, I’m the only Singaporean, and the rest from Costa Rica, Denmark, Australia and a Hong Konger who’s doing his PhD in the UK. We went round to share about our passions and what we do. Through the time of sharing, I realised many things about our differences. For one, I felt sheltered, in a way that I’m unexposed to the troubles in this world.
The other difference I noticed was that in the stories I’ve heard in these two days, there were quite a few instance where people shared about how they simply leapt into action once they discovered a gap. As for me and the people around me, we wait for the opportune time. And when’s the opportune time, I gave a quick thought about it and realised, I have no idea. Had it been the past when I hear such things coming from fellow Singaporeans, I would have argued that it’s because these people come from more privileged backgrounds and they can afford to gamble with life options but I can’t since I got to support my family. But no. I’ve heard of how some of them are refugees, some of them were deprived of opportunities because of where they came from – basically problems that I don’t encounter in my life and in fact, I would say I had a more privileged beginning in this life than they did.
And I wonder why there’s such a difference in our attitudes. Not that either is absolutely better or worse than the other, but I just wonder what are the factors that shaped the way we are.