May 02, 2008

Chasing Daylight - How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My life

The Olympic Torch finally arrived in Hong Kong today. One of my best friends messaged me last night and asked me whether I wanted to witness the Torch Relay with her and her friends in Kowloon in the morning. Originally, I thought about joining them to witness one of the historical moments in the history. However, given the amount of work and stress that I have been enduring at my new job, I decided to call a rain check and spent the time catching up on work at home.

It doesn't quite make sense to take time off from work to do more work at home. However, if I stayed in the office, I would have ended up spending all the time replying to emails, attending meetings and conference calls. I decided to free myself up from all the managerial tasks to focus on getting some hands-on work done.

Despite having worked from home, I managed to take some time off to do a little bit of my own leisure reading. It's been almost 3 months since I got the luxury to spend time reading a book that I bought. What happened in the past few months was that I ended up buying more and more books, hoping that I would get a chance to read them. In reality, there are enough work-related materials for me to read each day. I barely can keep my eyes open when I hit the bed at night.

I am reading through this great book called Chasing Daylight It's sort of memoir about the former KPMG CEO Eugene O'Kelly, who wrote the book in three-and-a-half months between his terminal diagnosis with brain cancer and his death in September 2005. The book provides a vivid account of his reflections on life, death, and sucess. It's a very compelling reminder of the importance of living a balanced and meaningful life, which is the focus of my former employer and the current senior management of my company.

There is a quite quote from Socrates at the beginning of the book that I want to share with everyone:

"For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they know quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?" - Socrates

I will write more as I finish reading the book.

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