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The power of positive thinking that we could never underestimate

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Positive thinking

# allows us to treasure, enjoy, embrace our lives

# gives us a reason to continue living as illustrated by a story of Viktor Frankl

# makes learning easy for us
# can be inherited (sounds like our genes) to the future generation as suggested by a reader S


When Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in the Nazi camp,
suffered torture and the loss of his family (parents, brother, wife),
he miraculously realized that
between what happened to him (the stimulus) and his response to him,
he still has the power / the freedom to choose his own response.

Viktor Frankl chose to think positively, to imagine positively.
He imagined that he would lecture to his students after being released from the camp.
He imagined a positive future that gives hope and strength to his present.
He survived,
founded logotherapy and
wrote Man’s Search for Meaning,
which highlight the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence,
even the most sordid ones, and hence a reason to continue living.


Learning is a part and parcel of living.

As my saying goes "Live, Learn, Earn"

How can we effortlessly learn difficult subjects and skills using positive thinking?

Think positive.
Do not think that it is difficult.


The best in the world simplify the complex (e.g. complex subjects);
the most common make the simple complex.


A reader S sent me a warm email about her experience with positive thinking.

She wrote:
Although my pregnancy was relatively physically challenging,
I suffered from acid reflux, nausea, and backache that made sleeping flat uncomfortable,
yet I was very happy.

Pregnancy seems to be a long holiday when I was pampered by my family member, tolerated by my colleagues, and showered with kindness by strangers.

I spent many hours reading self-help positive psychology books.
Probably, I read over a hundred books,
making my own notes that I can review later,
they are like short-cuts to happiness for me,
or an instant side-effect-free ‘aspirin’ when I am stress.

As a result, I delivered a healthy baby who is naturally happy.
He smiles within 24 hours in his sleep,
and he smiles the first thing in the morning when he wakes up after a good night sleep and being fed with breast milk.
He smiles often, even to strangers.
People loves him.

God must have given him to us to also let us learn from him.
His natural ability to be happy with himself, with life, and to bring happiness to others through his smiles.

On the other hand,
looking back at my post-delivery experience,
there are things that I wish can be better.

Sometimes it seems that the more people (including grandparents, in-laws, the so-called experts, and well meaning friends giving advices)
are involved in the process,
the more different wants and rules to be met,
which made my life tougher.
What I did not realize that I do not have to live my life to other people’s expectation!

What works for others, may not work for us (my baby & me).
What works for us, may not works for others.
For example,
his grandmother insisted that we do not buy a breast pump,
but the breast pump turned out to be highly useful!
I just have to keep on experimenting and finding ways that work for us.
It is ok to be different & imperfect.

Finally, the most important lesson that I learned,
while I diligently gulped down all the nutritious confinement meals and red date tea,
I forget to consume my positive thinking nourishment.

Everyday, it seems that there are new problems.
Things that I must buy and do.
Grandparents will tell me to do this, to do that, and the list goes on.

To make it worse,
my mother nagged at me,
she told me to sleep more,
not to breastfeed baby at night,
because that was her experience,
but she did not know that by doing so would result in drop of breastmilk supply,
and I would wake up at night worrying for my baby,
because I was not allowed to sleep with him in the same room or same bed.

Moreover, I need to write as it is therapeutic for me.
In recent years, I have been writing using my laptop
but my mother disallowed me to use IT gadgets (including my laptop, mobile phones) because she is worried that they are bad for my eyes.

I sincerely want to forgive my mother,
she just wants the best for me.
Although she does not realize that children are not necessarily inherit the same likings / ways of feeling goods as parents,
she just wants the best for me.

Perhaps, my mother is also learning from this experience,
after all my baby was her first grandchild.
She appears to be more patient with her grandchild than to me or our siblings when we were young.
Oops! I am comparing again.

Well … I am trying to be more mindful when I compare things.
Some comparisons are fruitless.

After all, all those have become the past.
I choose to cherish the happy and positive things from the past,
and live in the present.

Blueroselady says:
Congratulations S for becoming a new mother!
You are doing well and great!

To summarise S’ points:
Cultivate intrinsic happiness daily.
Live in the present.
Live not for others’ expectation.
It is OK to be unique / different.
It is OK to be imperfect.


Bonus: voice note dated 2013 Aug 20th

Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

How to read over 100 books a year? 8 effective tips

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A friend of mine, X, a voracious reader living in Singapore shared with me the effective tips to read over 100 books a year.

1. Read books in the fields that you are INTERESTed in.
"Dear sister, do you remember how you finish reading the thick books of Harry Potter? Your interest and liking drove you to move from a page to the next".
Now, we are interested in happiness, health, and wealth.
Having an interest is like having a reason why you are taking a particular actions.
When you have the WHY, the HOW will reveal to you.

2. ASSOCIATE a book with a specific value.
An Adam Khoo program on "master your mind, design your destiny" costs ~ Singapore $3,000.
X told me that she can borrow the book from the Singapore library.
Instead of spending ~Singapore $3,000,
X only has to spend his efforts (time, brain energy) to read the thick book of ~350 pages.
The thickness of the book never discourages him because the cost of S$3,000 means that
for every page that he consumed, he saves $9.
Whenever you feel distracted to do other activities that give instant reward,
think of your mental image of the book with a price tag of $3,000.

Many people ignorantly perceive that reading is a passive activity,
but the truth is watching TV / movies is worse
because the latter slows down our brain.

Reading can be a social activity,
imagine that we are having discussions with the authors.
Take notes on interesting points,
summarize / simplify the main essence of the book,
and relate the ideas
to other books,
real life experience.

X summarizes by creating mind maps on a piece of paper.
When he forgets some parts,
he will quickly revise his mind maps and
be able to recall the details of what he has read.

X also converts his mind map into a voice note,
so that he can listen while taking public transports.
Through summarizing and revising,
X says that he will always remember what I have read and learned.

You can make notes that include
a summarized visual notes (mind map),
auditory notes (from your mind map or some examples that you find useful).
For summary note,
X recommended to use paper,
you can join few sheets of paper
if there are a lot of info and
still have a 1 large summary page.
X also sometimes writes notes in his notebook,
where he can scribble his own comments,
or photograph / scan few pages (of the book)
that contain useful info.

4. Review your notes.
After you review your notes 3x:
the 1st is immediately after finishing reading the book
and making your notes,
the 2nd time is e.g. 1 week / month later,
the 3rd time is 1 year later,
you will never forget the wisdom you have learned from the book.

5. Apply Pareto 80/20 law.
You do not have to read every word,
this applies to your text book as well.
X suggested to start with
summaries at the end of chapters (if any),
headings / subheadings.
Sometimes X starts reading from middle of the book, or back of the book,
it depends on your judgment.
The more you practice,
the better (faster / more absorbent) you will be in reading.

6. Apply Parkinson law
Set a deadline to finish reading.
X loves reading library books because he does not have to spend extra $ to buy the book,
though X claims that he does spend $ to pay tax that contributes to the purchase of the books by lib, and X has a deadline to return the book.
In order to acquire values from the book,
X must read / extract knowledge / wisdom from it before its due date.

7. Connect / link / associate your knowledge
from a source (e.g. the book that you are currently reading)
to other resources (e.g.
the courses you have taken /
the movies or documentaries you have watched /
talks or seminars or conferences you have attended).

8. Apply what you have read.
Write an article
for your school magazine (you can put it in your CV),
for newspapers.
Give a talk.
Walk your talk.

If you find my writings are helpful to you, please donate to me by clicking here.

Written by blueroselady

March 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

Marriage is a journey, not a destination

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From my old green notebook given by Daddy F:
A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together,
it is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.

Dave Meurer, "Daze of Our Wives"

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
Russian writer Leo Tolstoy

Do you want to make your marriage more magical?
I want so much!

I have been learning many tips and would like to share with you who kindly visit Blueroselady WordPress.

Some daisy tips:
Send sexy looking lingerie to your partner as a gift.

Hand-make a gift for your loved one.
Help your loved one overcome his or her greatest fear to strengthen your relationship.

Plan your next honeymoon together.
Make a painting out of your favorite photo together.

Give your partner "massage" coupons, on your account.
Indulge your loved one with homemade ice cream.

Spend a day alone with your partner, with all communication devices turned off.
Slip a love note into your partner’s wallet or purse.

Give your loved one a gift each day for a whole week.
Surprise your spouse with breakfast in bed.

Recreate your first date with your spouse and re-live the magical moments.
Take a dancing class together and enjoy the physical proximity.

Spread a little sunshine by doing charity together.

How to enjoy the marital bliss?
Some serious tips are shared below from loving couples.
# Stay thankful for each passing day of love.
# Stay hopeful when challenges come.
# Stay faithful to the love of your life.
# Do not set unrealistic expectations.
# DO NOT COMPARE your spouse to others.
# Do not try to change your other half (unless his / her habits / attitudes / actions are damaging / destructive).
# Remember that every couple will experience conflict, but conflict is not necessarily bad and leads to destruction or warrants a break up.
# NEVER ever use the D word! Do not use divorce as a bargaining chip.
# When a party is angry / in wrath, agree to call time-out / calm down first, then discuss the issue later.
# Don’t start an argument with "You never … " or "You always …" because accusations only add fuel to the fire.
# Support his / her passion(s).
# Always communicate, TALK / SHARE about your feelings / experiences / things that matter most, even though if you are trapped in the rat race of work.
# GENTLE ANSWERS turn away wrath. Keep your tone, volume, body language calm & loving.
# SELF-CONTROL of your tongue not to say what you are thinking when your spouse speak; let him / her finish speaking.
# Guys, LISTEN attentively to your woman without judgment.
# Ladies, do not expect your man to mind-read & get your hints too much.
# Aware that routine helps couples to feel safe & secure, it is also very easy to cross the line from comfortable to complacent. Thus, remember not to neglect each other’s needs.

Spouse = soul mate = lover = partner.

Letter writing exercise:
To my wife
I love you because …
I appreciate you for …
I love it when you …
[insert your name]

Financial tips for marriage:
# Shop around. Check prices around if you need to make a major purchase.
# Simplify, simplify, simplify. Declutter your life to downsize your material expectations & upsize your contentment in life.
# Categorize your shopping list according to necessities, desires, & absurdities. It trains your mind to focus / spend only on what is necessary.
# Resist impulse buying. Use wait-before-buying rule.
# Track every cent that you spend. Budget your expenditure. Use spreadsheet.

Marriage & children:
# Remember always that children are a gift to be treasured.
# Making your marriage work is the best gift to your children.
# Having children fulfills our instinctive needs to nurture, protect & love.
# Seek the JOY that comes from nurturing a new life.
Success in the workplace cannot replace the fulfillment that a healthy, growing family can give.
Postponing parenthood has a price, including a decrease in fertility as ones grow older.

see also:
How to survive in-laws and not end up out-laws?
How to build a marriage to last?
Marriage sharing by Blueroselady

If you find my writings are helpful to you, please donate to me by clicking here.

Written by blueroselady

March 14, 2013 at 3:03 am

Posted in family, love

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.

Reading for children (newborn to age 5)

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a min of 10 MINUTES a day.

Don’t worry if babies chew or play the books. It is a learning process.




Enjoy reading.

Explain how reading and writing helps me get things done daily.

The WAY you speak does matter.

The FREQUENCY you speak does matter.

Visit the LIBRARY / BOOK STORES weekly.

Check out their events for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and family.

It is always good for our children to socialize early.

Create a library at home.

This was my dream as a child!

Bring something to read everywhere you go – for you and the little ones.

Limit TV time.

TV viewing decreases language skills.

ACCESSible books. At low shelves to children.

Choose child care providers who understand the importance of reading and talking to young children.

“Readers are not born, they made”.

Below are from:

Speak slowly and enunciate – this helps train neurons in the brain in identifying specific sounds.

Repeat words – this strengthens the neural pathways used for language.

Speak face-to-face when talking to infants – they watch adults’ mouths to match shapes to sounds.

Provide feedback – if a baby says "ma-ma-ma" answer her attempts at speech with "Yes, mama is right here."

Don’t simplify your speech for toddlers – the more complex sentences they hear, the more complex sentences they’ll be able to speak.

Talk with children, not at them – talk is much more effective when it’s interactive.

Note for Blueroselady:

See the booklet placed in the same box as your National Geography magazine.

Written by blueroselady

April 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Posted in book

Tagged with , ,

How to write better?

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"If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write" Stephen King

Who is Stephen King?

Born 1947, he is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction.

His pen name is Richard Bachman.

Notable works: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, It, and The Dark Tower.


listen to


use polls.

follow up with comments, retweets.

For tips and how to, Blueroselady writes universally (for global audience).

Please try to avoid using colloquial expressions or cultural references.

* For some posts that are meant to be reread by Blueroselady, I write freely from the bottom of her heart.


use search engines.

the traditional and tranquil libraries.


use active voice.

be passionate.

be decisive.


"When something can be read without effort,

great effort has gone into its writing." Enrique Jardiel Poncela.

Who is Enrique Jardiel Poncela?

Lived 1901-1952, he is a Spanish playwright and novelist who wrote mostly humorous works.

Clarity is the master over complexity.


"Don’t get it right, just get it written" James Thurber.


"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." Ernest Hemingway


"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.

Art is knowing which ones to keep." Scott Adams

Who is Scott Adams? Born 1957, he is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip.

According to Wikipedia, Adams writes in a satirical, often sarcastic way about the social and mental landscape of white-collar workers in modern corporations and other large enterprises.

Try all possible avenues, e.g. start an article with a dialogue, cite quotes.

Blueroselady loves quotes greatly.


use music, visual (e.g. videos, pictures).


"Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish." John Jakes.

Who is John Jakes?

He is an American writer, best known for American historical fiction.


I love the analogy that both writing and performing surgery requires full concentration.

Before writing: research, collect resources (include the internet)

During writing: disconnect from distractions (include the internet)


Explore the world.

Try something different.

Learn something new.

Make a new connection in the industry.


Our writing will be more specific and intimate.


Writing is a personal thing, yet please do not take writing personally.

Cultivate a sense of detachment.

Seek no approval, as long as my sharing is honest and kind.


"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." Elmore Leonard

Who is Elmore Leonard?

He is an American novelist and screenwriter. Post 1950, Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.

@~@ RE-READ, READ our writing LOUD


It = writing.

Overcome procrastination.

Thank you: Nick Scheidies

Written by blueroselady

April 5, 2012 at 2:54 am

Posted in writing

Tagged with ,

Earn $ from our camera

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I saw more and more ppl carrying SLRs, and I still have no a real SLR even if some of my work has been used by education and tourism website. Darling, I want an SLR for my birthday or Christmas gift, or perhaps my graduation gift. Working hard for my graduation.

Why need to earn $ ?
pay for our next trip, hire studio, buy new lens, etc

retail (from sports heroes to cute cuddly animals) – from pic lib, so join pic lib!
corporate (as a marketing tool)
Approach specialist calendar companies -> 1st ask their guidelines.
can produce our own calendar, but expensive.

high competition
The Postcard Company

put a selection of 20 images together on a CD or DVD + a good quality A4 contact sheet.

maximize our chance by entering; look at prev year’s winners.
Shoot something specifically; don’t compromise by relying on stock image.

Stock libraries:
Alamy, Getty, Corbis.
Tony Pleavin
Travel Library
Shutterstock, istockphoto (waiting for my review to be approved).
Must research for 1) requirements 2) compare our work to what is already online.
Stock only makes up ~ 10% of many pros’ turnover.
Frequent and high quality submissions is the only way to make regular sales.

Shooting weddings:
Turn up on time
bring a backup for everything
have a shoot list in our pocket
Weddings are all about how we relate to people.
Inspirations from wedding websites.
Small details e.g. discarded shoes, hats, and flowers.
Detail in bride’s dress.

Event photography:
biz dinner dances
school / college summer / graduation balls
promotional days
sportng events
Have lots of happy faces

Shooting portraits:
Always keep things simple.
use window light and reflectors (e.g. my umbrella).
Children have a short attention span.
Always get our safety shots 1st.
Use fashion magazines for ideas.
Give children a small toy to hold.
Hands, feet, arms, legs will be our biggest concern in framing, esp children.
Use pockets, seats, get ppl to rest on shoulders in gp shots.

Bureau of freelance photograhers:
must pay member fee.

great for the ego
less friendly on the pocket
can lead to future work
local gallery, lib, community centre, consider local cafes, pubs, restaurants.
landscapes, fine art, abstracts are better sellers.
Have business cards available / postcards with our contact details including a website if we have one.

Tell a story. If it has human element that ppl can identify with, the story is stornger. That’s why in disaster, newspapers tell the story of Mr. A and Mrs. B; rather that the fact e.g. num of casualties.
Somebody visited the Carribean and said “many of the ppl he met had little except each other, but seemed to be the most relaxed, lovely, and happy people ever”.
Simplicity: use 2 pairs of feet (1 big, 1 small – e.g. baby feet) as a symbol of family, love, and a meaing of life.

Below are learnt from istockphoto.

Expression / drama :
“coax an expression that allows the child’s spirit to shine through”
Consider “the emotional impact of a shot”.
Model must not have uncomfortable / awkward message.
Use warmer lighting.
Bring out the model personality.

by using depth of field.
I like this penny stock photo, with can be marketized with keywords / categories: investing, business growth, savings; MOTION: stocks on the rise, making a profit.

My HK-based photography master taught me that light is very important. Through learning light for photography, I appreciate the world better 🙂 灯光很重要
Use photoshop to clean up shadow.
How to get more light? set up softbox, use reflector.

Be an engineer-alike:
Use a little scotch tape to stand the penny vertically.

Be an accountant-alike:
# Pay attention to details. a small error causes a failure: No distracting background.
# If you upload an isolated image on a white background you need to make sure that the background is white. Grayish, beige, pinkish backgrounds just don’t cut it.
# Yes, we can remove background using photoshop, but it took me A LOT OF TIME. Why don’t we get it right while shooting then?
If desperate for ps, use pen tool (not magic wand) -> zoom at least 200% into image (for more detail, see

“The stock image is the right balance between adding too much and being oversimplistic.”

In a nutshell:

Must have expressions, drama.
Use white background, white floor, everything white.
Must think through much of the photo.

“Stock photography is VERY DIFFERENT from photo journalism”, blueroselady.

Composition (be like a painter):
“Get in close. No, closer. Nope, still closer. There! You’ve got it!”
Ask ourself what it is about this specific subject/object that is crying out to have its picture taken.
It’s ok to crop if we have a focus on our images.


Written by blueroselady

November 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Posted in lifestyle, photogprahy