All posts by Sukru Haskan

Reading List: February 2018

Dear All,

As usual, time always flies. We are almost in the second month of 2018!

I hope that you have enjoyed the reading list of January 2018. Please give feedback by emailing me on sukru_haskan@yahoo.co.uk!

I am publishing reading list February 2018 below.

Enjoy!

 

Reading List: February 2018 

  1. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
    Genre:Business, Biography 
    Founder of Nike, Phil Knight, talks about his journey with Nike. An inspiring true story of a giant brand which started with USD 50 loan from the founder’s father.
  2. Capital Without Borders by Brooke Harrington
    Genre:Business, Economics
    Brooke Harrington got into the world of wealth managers to figure out private banking world and share her invaluable insights about the industry.
  3. Empire by Niall Ferguson
    Genres: History
    Great book about British Empire on which sun never set at one point! Reading the book will enhance one’s vision to understand current conflicts in Asia, Africa and Middle East.
  4. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
    Genres: Business, Leadership
    Author argues that any initiative should start with a good reason rather than a materialistic short term target. Not only good reasoning helps companies and individuals to succeed, but more importantly to sustain for long term. Readers will find plenty of real-life examples from Apple and Google.
  5. Who moved my cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
    Genres: Business, Psychology
    A book to read in an hour, but to stay with you for a life time. It is a story of two mice and two men in a maze who are after their cheese. Their attitude towards change is highly affected by their backgrounds. It is a good guide on how to deal with change.

All the best from Singapore.
Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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Make a Wish

Dear All,

I happened to get introduced to Make A Wish (Bir Dilek Tut) Turkish branch recently and absolutely fascinated with their efforts and successes so far.

Who is Make A Wish (Bir Dilek Tut) Turkey?

Make-A-Wish Turkey is a professional volunteer organization. It grants the wishes of children and young people aged 3 to 18 with life-threatening illnesses, giving them hope and strength during a very traumatic treatment process. The foundation does not receive any government grants and is entirely dependent on donations and granted 3.400 wishes so far since its establishment in 2000 in Turkey.

Hope is the most important aspect of our lives.

When I was reading “The Search for Meaning of Life” earlier this year, author (Victor Frankl) was mentioning that people in concentration camps during the Nazi era mainly died not because of the dreadful conditions of the camps, but mostly because they lost their hopes.

Thoughts have to be converted into words and words have to be converted into actions.

So…

I decided to raise 20,000 Turkish Lira (~ USD 5,000 and GBP 3,906) for the occasion of my 35th birthday which is on the 24th of January 2018.

I am starting to campaign by donating TRY 2,000 for my own campaign.

Please help and join me to give hopes to children with life-threating illnesses.

Link: https://fonzip.com/birdilektut/kampanya/sukru-s-35th-year-birthday-

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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Reading list: January 2018

Hi everybody,

New Year is just around the corner. As communicated previously, I will publish each month’s reading list beforehand.

Reading List: January 2018 

  1. The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
    Genre: Psychology
    Swiss writer, Rolf Dobelli, discusses the common mistakes that Homo Sapiens do every single day and their implications to our lives.
  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    Genre: Psychology 
    Mark Manson, a famous US blogger, discusses on his book what we really need to take care and what to ignore with his own life experiences. Apparently already a million sold!
  3. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    Genres: Autobiography, Psychology
    Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, shares her own life experiences after her husband  suddenly passed away during a family holiday in Mexico.
  4. The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Scwab
    Genres: Business, Economics
    The founder of World Economic Forum, Klaus Scwab, discusses the trend that will affect billions lives in the fourth industrial revolution era.
  5. Blockchain: Blueprint for a new Economy by Melani Swan
    Genres: Technology, Business, Economics
    Blockchain is becoming more and more important. For example, all the cryptocurrencies are based on Blockchain technology. A book to understand the Blockchain fundamentals better.

I NEED HELP! If you have already read or thinking to read one of the book above, I am happy to publish your book review about these books on my blog.

I will also publish a review of a book that I like most each month!

Enjoy the book club!

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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Books to read in 2018

Dear ALL,

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to gather my reading list for 2018. I have selected 38 books out of many recommendations and I will add 14 more during the year of 2018.

I will publish the reading list of the each month and I will publish a book review of a least one book for month from the list.

In addition, I am expecting you to help me to publish your own book reviews on my blog.

Here is the list of my reading list for 2018:

Selections: Books (2018)

  1. The Book of Joy by 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams
  2. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  3. Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson
  4. No room for Small Dreams by Shimon Peres
  5. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  6. Finding Flow by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
  7. Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
  8. Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dopelli
  9. Industries of the Future by Alec Ross
  10. The Element by Ken Robinson
  11. Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  12. The Everything Store by Brad Stone
  13. The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab
  14. The Next 100 Years by George Friedman
  15. Inside Investor’s Brain by Richard Peterson
  16. The Richest man in Babylon by George Clason
  17. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics by Richard Thaler
  18. Inventing the Future by Elon Musk
  19. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  20. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
  21. Capital without Borders by Brooke Harrington
  22. The Essential Advisor by Bill Crager and Jay Hummel
  23. Lucifer’s Banker by Bradley Birkenfeld
  24. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
  25. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  26. Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman
  27. Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas by Laura Empson
  28. The Square and The Tower by Niall Ferguson
  29. Blockchain: Blueprint for a new Economy by Melanie Swan
  30. Down the Rabit Hole: Discover Power of Blockchain by Tim Lea
  31. The Science of Blockchain by Roger Wattenhofer
  32. Blockchain: The Complete Guide to Understanding Blockchain by Miles Price
  33. The Business Blockchain by Vitalik Buterin and William Mougayar
  34. The Book of Satoshi by Phil Champagne
  35. The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius  by Pierre Hadot
  36. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life by A. A. Long
  37. The Theraphy of Desire: Theory and Practice by Martha C. Nussbaum
  38. The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by Donald J. Robertson

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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Ultimate Goal

To be highly successful and go through the rough times with resilience, you must have an ultimate goal. One that keeps you going, no matter what the obstacles are and what kind of pain you are going through. You will get through all these difficulties if you have a strong ultimate goal.

Then I am thinking…

What is my ultimate goal, really?

To be a good person? Have a comfortable life? Travel around the world? Get richer? Read more books? Enjoy good wines?

These are good simple goals, but all of them are very individualistic. In other words, I am a “taker” rather than a “giver” in each of these goals. Do not get me wrong—there is nothing wrong with these goals.

But are they enough?

What about giving, instead of only taking?

Giving is the real taking, since it gives both you and your counterpart pleasure.

When you help someone get a job that he feels strongly about, he gets happy. Not only him, you become happy too since you created value for someone and you feel useful.

In simple terms, the more lives you touch, the happier you become. To identify and stick with your ultimate goal will make the challenges you experience much easier and more bearable. You will be more resilient and strong.

So, I finally decided my ultimate goal.

Opportunity to access proper education is the key for a society not to be left behind, and to prosper and develop. Being British and Turkish, and planning to move to London in a couple of years, I would like to create a platform to make sure that all the 500,000 British Turks have proper access to education.

I will work hard to reach my ultimate goal! I am always happy to collaborate with people who share the same or similar goals, and I would be extremely happy to generate ideas and action plans to work together.

All the best from Singapore.
Sukru Haskan

Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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Value of Time

I would like to thank the many of you that suggested your book recommendations to establish my reading list for 2018. I am compiling all the emails right now and I will choose my 52 books from among them and publish the list in my blog during the next couple of weeks.

Recently, I have not been feeling well due to an allergic reaction that caused hives on my body and I had some days off sick, which enabled me to do a lot of thinking.

Image Credit: Street Artist Banksy

What is the most common valuable asset that we all have?

Many may say wealth, health or family, but actually it is time! Your allocation of time determines the importance of the rest.

All of us have some sort of time on this planet to accomplish our ambitions and desires. But it is not unlimited. It is like a ticking time bomb that will explode at some point.

We can use time to acquire or establish many things: wealth, family, business, etc. It all depends on the basis of our very personal choices!

Are these choices really our personal choices or are we manipulated to follow these choices?

Again it depends on how much you are aware of your surroundings and decisions. Many factors today are trying to control us. For instance, software/app designers are working very hard to steal our attention to spend as much time as possible on social media. Businesses try to make us as busy as possible so that we are unable to think, and do not live in the present time, but in the future, in the hope of distracting us. After applying all their attention to capturing new techniques, they also humbly (!) advise us to live in the present time by applying mindfulness.

What an irony!

TV ads and newspapers try to channel us to think in a standardized way!

As a result of all this, many people start going on a social media diet by deleting the most commonly used applications from their phones to make sure that their attention is channelled towards more useful resources, but most importantly to the resources that one really wants to give one’s attention to.

We have to take control of our time and make our own independent decisions.

After all, does wealth make you rich anymore?

What about time?

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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52 books in 2018

I am pledging to read 52 books in 2018 – in other words, one book per week.

I read, roughly speaking, books with an average of 350 pages, so I should read about 50 pages a day to accomplish this challenge.

I think it is quite doable, but I need your help.

Currently, I am trying to line up the books for 2018.

Please help me by sending your suggestions!

I would be interested in reading history, biography, economics, finance and psychology.

I will publish the list of the books for 2018 by the end of this year.

You can send your suggestions to my inbox: sukru_haskan@yahoo.co.uk

All the best.

Sukru Haskan

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Freedom and GRIT

How free are you really?

I have been thinking this question and its possible answers for quite some time now.

Even though many of us are walking around and thinking that we could potentially do whatever we like, we are not really as free as we like to think we are. In some cases, we are more like prisoners than actual prisoners are.

How come?

We are bound and restricted by many obstacles in our modern lives with commitments that we did not want to commit to or were forced to commit to, such as demands from our surroundings, daily jobs, huge corporations that supply us with modern necessities in the form of electricity, gas, mobile phones and, most importantly, ourselves; our ego.

A person’s ability to explore their own potential is getting more difficult nowadays because those of us with great potential are not really free. Our minds play the most important role in this equation since you could potentially ignore all obstacles and live however you like.

Easier said than done!

Unfortunately, freedom does not really dependent on one’s wealth either. It is the personal choices that makes us imprisoned and creating a meaningful way to escape from modern lives trap is the only way out that I can think of.

What is my conclusion?

Freedom creates happiness. Many of us are not happy since we are not free. Follow the way that scares you most since the seeded fear inside will guide you the right way; the way that many will say is the wrong one! Most importantly, try to simplify everything as much as possible. It is not easy to cut back on luxuries since we are all drugged up to a certain level and cutting back will create quite a lot of symptoms. Nevertheless, be strong and try!

I have recently read a great book by Angela Duckworth called GRIT. If you are not familiar with this term, GRIT means for persistence and perseverance in the long-term in order to achieve our goals.

Talent by itself is not enough to achieve success in our lives. You need to be persistent and consistent for some time to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals!

I personally really liked the book and it opened up my mind to understand why running without a specific goal every day is not good enough. There has to be a specific goal (a deliberate exercise) to improve your running skills each session so that the training gets more effective. More importantly, it has to be combined with your passion so that there is always that carrot stick in front of you when you are going through the pain!

Please take this short test to understand how GRITTY you are!

Grit Scale

Do not worry if you are on the left hand side of the GRIT scale; this can always be changed as soon as you change your MIND!

So where do we start? Please let me know…

Best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan

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UK Elections: Is it a chance or a real threat?

I was at Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto speech in London at Chatham House last month. Despite being a good speaker and being able to construct lovely sentences with a proper British accent, it made me think of the implications of a hung parliament with Corbyn in the government in the UK.

The election on June 8th is a good chance for the UK to reaffirm support for the Tories and deliver them a clear mandate or clear political chaos for the future of the country.

As Theresa May says, “This is a really important moment for our country and we’ve got to get this right. If we get it right, I am optimistic for the British people…”.

A hung parliament would be a real disaster for Britain due to the huge gap in the different policies of the different parties, but more significantly, I am pretty sure that this would be used by Brussels quite cruelly.

Some of Jeremy Corbyn’s romantic statements, such as not to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances, no hand-holding with the US anymore, and potential tax increases, made me worry about the country’s future defence policy along with its economic policy.

 Could Singapore’s model be applied to the UK if the Tories win by large majority?

The answer to this  question is, potentially yes, but it would not be easy since it is a much bigger country with many people dependent on the system of social security. But it’s not impossible…

Lowering taxation in the UK would attract various types of businesses from all over the world and it would create a healthy opportunity to replace the departing financial industry. In addition, it would assure its place as one of the best options in the world for global talent to live and work.

On the other hand, it would push up the prices of everything (especially housing!) and citizens without health insurance would really suffer as there would be no safety net for them going forward! It could potentially create an even more competitive economy; thus, the transition would be painful for a lot of families and it would be very hard to find a balance there.

In contradiction to why voters voted to “Leave”, the current result may create a real “Remain” for London and the rest of the country.

I am personally optimistic for the UK after the election since history proves that many victories around the globe are not won on the battlefield but at the negotiation table!

Good luck Britain!

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
@sukru_haskan

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Trip Notes: Yangoon, Myanmar

I was thrilled to be in Myanmar a couple of weeks ago with my family. Since time was limited, we only spent three days in Yangon.

Myanmar is the 57th country I have visited – and I should say I am quite amazed by it.

After visiting Cambodia, I wondered if I was doing the right thing flying to Myanmar with a 15-month old, but I can truly say that it is a very safe country. There are many warm people and the infrastructure for a country with USD 1,300 per head is pretty good.

The airport was built quite recently and looks modern. Even though the online visa processing could have been a little smoother, nothing really bad happened on that front. Immigration to the country also went fairly well.

We stayed at the Savoy Hotel, near the centre of the city. It is a nicely-kept colonial building. The hotel is operated by a German company and the staff’s level of English was extremely high. The room was spacious and nicely decorated with local ornaments.

We had a chance to spend some time at the Strand Hotel, located literally just next to the British Embassy. This would be a great hotel as an alternative to the Savoy!

We were extremely lucky to have a Burmese friend, a London Business School alumni like my wife, who invited us for a nice dinner at a local restaurant, Padonman Restauant. The walls were covered with American and British diplomatic pictures. Burmese food is very similar to Thai food and people who like spicy food (like myself) will really enjoy the cuisine in Myanmar.

We visited many temples, such as the famous Inclining Buddha, the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Sule Pagoda. Although Yangon is not the best place to visit pagodas on the whole, the Shwedagon Pagoda was an original example. If you are really keen on temples, I have been recommended many times to visit the city of Pagan in Myanmar. I am not personally a big fan of visiting temples, as I found them rather similar after going to one after another.

We were brave enough to taste Burmese wine – and I would not advise others to try it… Stick to the beer instead!

During our time in Myanmar, there had been a water festival going on, and it was a real experience to see lots of people packed into the back of a truck, throwing water at each other throughout the city. We did not see any violence and watching people having fun was really good. The water festival marks the beginning of a new year for the Burmese people.

Video: Water Festival in Yangoon

For a country where civil war ended only a couple of years ago, and which is opening up slowly, Myanmar has definitely got a lot of potential. With its beautiful people and wide landscape, Myanmar is a candidate to be a real star in the region.

Hospital building from colonial times

Is a new Thailand emerging in south-east Asia?

YES!

All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

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