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Happiness exercise: Describe yourself in positive ways

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Happiness means differently to different people.
To some people,
happiness means a combination of the followings:# Finding love & happily married
# Having children, grandchildren, great grandchildren
# Good health
# Be financially well-off
# Enjoying a successful career
# Ability to maintain work-life harmony
# Happy relationships with extended family (ie. parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, etc)
# Fulfilling friendships
# Making a difference to the world. You laugh … yes, many people, including me, set their dreams so high (and hence raising the standards of attaining their happiness).

To sum up, happiness is fundamentally related to health, wealth, and children.

Since happiness is related to so wide and diverse areas of our lives, how can we work on each area of importance to us? How to prioritize?
I believe in exercises / practice. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to a real talent.
Sincerely, I want you to master the art and science of happiness,
so that you can choose to be happy
even in the face of difficult circumstances and being overwhelmed by negative emotions.

In my designed series of happiness exercises, I would share numerous effective and tested exercise to enjoy happiness in your life.

Today exercise is to describe yourself in positive ways. Write to yourself. List your favorite attributes, your achievements, your roles, your love, and anything elseo about you.

Herein, I do the exercise on myself (in the autumn of 2013)

I am …
# a mother
# a daughter
# a wife
# a student of Coursera, edX
# a researcher
# a storyteller
# an author
# an ex-artist

I love …
# people who love me & whom I love.
You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” Before Sunset (2004)
# food (especially healthy affordable food and desserts)
# simplicity
# diversity
# reading (and writing) and hence books
# gardens & parks in spring & summer, in early mornings & late afternoons
# philosophy of life
# giving smiles, talks in front of groups
# learning diverse things. I believe in the “See one, Do one, Teach one” model.
# dreams
# personal development, making a syllabus for life / bucket list / life planning
# entrepreneurship + unconventional work
# (and honestly sometimes fear) change / dynamics.
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov

I used to love …
# travel
# photography
# fireworks
# movies
But now they are not on top of my priorities.

People who have inspired me (non-exhaustively) include:
# Anthony Robbins
# Cayden Chang
# Chris Guillebeau
# Danah Zohar
# Dale Carnegie
# Dong Mingzhu 董明珠
# Goldie Hawn
# Jean Maalouf
# Jessie Louise Yancey-Siegel, affectionately known as Weezie
# Josh Kaufmann
# Joseph Murphy
# Leo Babauta
# Leong Kaiwen
# Louise Hay
# Luciano Passuello
# Michael Ellsberg
# Napoleon Hill
# Robert Cialdini
# Tahir
# Thich Nhat Hanh
# Tim Ferriss
These people are my brothers / sisters, my mentors, my dearest friends.

Things that I want to have / have more / give more to others:
@~@ Happiness
@~@ Health
@~@ Optimism & Hope
@~@ Gratitude
@~@ Kindness e.g. smile
@~@ Empathy e.g. a listening ear
@~@ Wealth
@~@ Wisdom
@~@ Courage e.g. to make new friends

Things that I want to remove / reduce :
@~@ Fear
@~@ Sadness
@~@ Anger
@~@ Envy / Jealousy
@~@ Clutters
@~@ Disappointment

Written by blueroselady

October 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

From relationships to connection capital: give relevant & valuable advice

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According to Brother Michael, connection capital is anything that can help you expand your network of connections. Seth Godin refers to connection capital as your ‘tribe’.

How to get the snowball rolling when you don’t even have a pebble of snow?
How to use our network to grow our network when we don’t have a network yet?

Eben Pagan believes that most people spend most of their time worrying about these three areas of life: money, relationship, and health.
Brother Michael concludes that very few people have all there of these areas as they like.

Even the more successful (as deemed by society) than us do struggle with at least one area about which we know more than they do.
Nobody can know everything.
The more successful people are also humans, and humans have problems.

If we can give relevant & valuable advice,
we can be a ‘trusted adviser’ to people whom we want to connect with.
Being a trusted adviser to the successful people is one of the most powerful ways to become successful yourself.

When you give, do not focus your attention on the hope to get something in return.
Give with absolutely zero expectation of getting anything in return.
Do not expect gratitude.
Simply be grateful for the opportunity to help someone.

We do not give advice immediately,
it is no difference from uninvited lecturing / preaching.

Instead, find creative ways to serve people.

We can start by asking these questions:
1. What’ most exciting / interesting for you right now in your life / business?
2. What’s challenging for you in your life / business right now?

In a social event (e.g. cocktail party, dinner party), ask about their life.
In a business event (e.g. conference, networking event. talk, symposium), ask about their business.

Tips: Be extremely tactful in bringing up some topics (e.g. weight) up.

Below are areas where we can often give valuable advice to (and therefore greatly serve) people who are more powerful and successful (according to societal standard) than we are:
# food, weight, & nutrition
# health & exercises
# purpose & meaning
# hobbies & causes e.g. photography, education, meditation, philosophy, massage, travel (Yes, I have been to numerous places worldwide!)
# relationships. Brother Michael have met many notable businessman and businesswomen who are so control freaks that they are worried of the vulnerability involved in opening their heart. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love for a reason, grinned.
# marketing & sales
# domain expertise

Read more:
# The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg.
With the inflated cost of formal education, I must develop real-world skills highlighted in this informal book for myself and my own children.

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

6 Inspirations from David Ash to survive & strive in real life roller coaster

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Thank you to Michael Ellsberg (the author of The Education of Millionaires)
for introducing me to David J. Ash
& telling his story
on how mastering the art of selling
has allowed him to help people.

David has bought a boarding house that he has turned into The Vivian: a transitional housing for at-risk, chronically homeless women living with concurrent mental illness, addiction and other challenges (severe sexual / physical abuse).

The Vivian is located in the middle of Downtown Eastside of Vancouver,
1 of the poorest & most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in North America.

Many times,
people have positive perceptions on Vancouver,
one of the most liveable cities worldwide
in terms of safety, education,
hygiene, health care,
culture, public transportation,
but not cost of living!

However, based on my limited experience of living in Vancouver,
and having done a bit of voluntary work at Downtown Eastside,
I am aware of the dire circumstances of people living there.

To quote David,
“These people could be our sisters or mother.
We should not be too quick to judge these people.”

The main inspiration of David for setting up the Vivian is his own mother.
His mother Vivian Grace Ash
died alone on the streets
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I still remember my friend HW
who grew up in the tropical region
remarked that
it is extremely challenging to be poor & living on the streets in Canada,
because of the cold weather.

At that time (in 1999),
David wanted to help his mother but he could not.
Fast forward ~ a decade later,
David have the capacity (his new-found wealth) to help women like his mother,
and he is deeply committed to it.

Although at a particular point of our lives,
we cannot help someone whom we love,
instead of blaming ourselves,
or burying ourselves in regret,
we can focus on giving / helping other people.
(Inspiration #1)

The story also reminds me on
how the rail-road tycoon Leland Stanford
founded the Stanford University in 1891
in memory of his son who died at 15 years old.
The founder’s vision of
“The children of California shall be our children”
has contributed to the birth
of a world-class university.

David’s and Leland’s stories indeed illustrate
老吾老以及人之老 幼吾幼以及人之幼
which literally means to honor old people as we do our own aged parents, and care for other’s children as one’s own.
(Inspiration #2)

When David was 12 years old,
his mother suffered from nervous breakdowns,
frequented the psychiatric wards,
attempted to commit suicide,
left home,
& finally ended up on the streets.

David ended up dropping out in grade 11 of high school.
He moved to Ottawa to take on a job as a pot scrubber,
which Michael refers as a dead-end job.
Most people will think that this is the end.
On average, drop-outs do worse in life
than people who complete their formal education.
However, remember that everything popular is not always right.
(Inspiration #3)

David’s life changed when he met a real estate salesman in Ottawa
who encouraged him to be a real estate salesman.
David committed to passing the course to be a real estate salesperson,
his first educational endeavour in his life.
Every day,
David studied & revised,
made his own notes.
“I studied 4x harder than most of my classmates who were mature adults.
Many were educated professionals with university degrees”

David passed the course &
got a sales job at Century 21.
He had a revival and has since believed in positive mental attitude.

You can do something with your life,
no matter who you are,
no matter where you are from,
no matter what your background,
if you work hard,
as mentioned by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich,
& many similar books.
(Inspiration #4)

David became committed to self-teach himself
motivation & success,
through books, seminars, workshops.

David learned & mastered the craft of sales,
in real estate,
in life insurance sales.
In his 20s,
he was earning $100,000 annually!

However,
he became bankrupt at the age of 29,
because he did not manage his spending & saving.

He learned his lesson,
started to save 10% of his income.
invested it for the future,
by purchasing a little rental property,
& now he owns office buildings, retail centres & a huge hockey arena.
(Inspiration #5)

David’s life sounds like a roller coaster,
yet many people love roller coaster
(that’s why theme parks are always popular)
but to survive the real-world roller coaster
it takes hard work, discipline, resilience, & perseverance.
(Inspiration #6)

I pray for David (& many people like him)
to have a happy ending for his life story,
unlike his mother.

Written by blueroselady

August 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Tips on how to make a small talk from Keith Ferrazi

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I came to know Keith through Michael, and my encounter with Keith, an Italian American somehow reminded me on an experience when an Italian teacher of mine unexpectedly saw me in a professional conference in US, was so happy and rushed to kiss my cheek. Well, as an Asian, I was not used to such a very warm of greeting, but I do appreciate his warmth and caring attitude.

My Italian teacher is a famous professor in his field of expertise, and he remembers me because I am one of his weaker students. I asked him more questions, so like it or not, he ended up remembering me (at least my face). But I guess I have a good attribute too though I am not among his smartest students, it is never give up.

I am grateful to Keith for sharing a lot of useful advice. Herein, I share tips that I learned from Keith Ferrazi on how to make a small talk. They are particularly useful to me because I want to expand my network of friends and acquaintance for my new endeavor next year.

"Friendship si created out of the quality spent between people, not the quantity."

How to make small talks?
1. First, give a person a hearty smile. It says "I’m approachable"
2. Start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond. Be proactive (as Stephen Covey advices).
3. Relax. Unfold your arms.
4. Be yourself. Your uniqueness is your power.
5. Maintain a good balance of eye contact. Unblinking stare 100% of time = leering (scary!). Eye contact less than 70% of time = disinterested and rude.
6. Nod your head and lean in (without invading duifang space).
7. Be sincere, without pride nor insecurity. Do not be an eye darter.
8. Share your passion (e.g. food, cooking, writing, reading stories for children), but do not preach it.
9. Vulnerability is one of the most under-appreciated assets in business today.
10. Adjust your Johari window.
11. Learn to listen.
12. If all else fails, "You’re wonderful. Tell me more."

See also
email "Keith Ferrazi"

Written by blueroselady

October 28, 2013 at 6:49 am