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Recipe for a Happy Life : 44 ingredients and instructions prepared with love

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Towards the end of 2013, I am grateful that I have an serendipitous opportunity to meet & learn from Cheryl Saban. Her eyes, gaze, smiles and life experience reminds me on Louise Hay.

Cheryl introduced me to a coffee table book of her, which is beautifully prepared with pastel-tone, day-wedding-like photos. I am also grateful to Emily Westlake who was responsible for the picture research. Those charming, gentle and simple photographs and images of flowers, glasses, plants, seaside, nostalgic items are indeed heart-warming for cold December. Those soft, natural light falling gently on ordinary items make them look extraordinary.

Reflecting on Cheryl’s sharing, people do face financial woes, marital strife, and health problems. This perspective seems to connect with Michael’s view that it is rare for a person to have excellence in all areas of wealth, relationships, and health.

So, here are the ingredients & instructions for a happy life that I like:

@~@ LOVE & RELATIONSHIPs / CONNECTIONs
# Give love, create love, and receive love.
"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved" ~ George Sand.
# Be kind & encouraging. "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi
# Practice random act of kindness.
"Always be a little kinder than necessary." ~ James M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan.
# Give to others.
"When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed." ~ Maya Angelou.
# Give your time, talent, treasure to others.
# Connect to yourself.
# Connect to nature.
# Connect to God.
# Connect to others : family members, friends, colleagues.
# Find & cherish your soul mate.
"The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person, it is learning to love the person you found."
# Forgive yourself.
# Forgive others.

@~@ GRATITUDE
# Be content with who you are.
"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson.
# Be grateful.
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~ Marcel Proust
# Count your blessings.
# Respect the power of nature, be thrilled by the miracle of birth.
# Appreciate the special beauty that is present in even the most mundane & everyday things, e.g. the very air that you breathe, sunrise, sunset, moonlight.
"The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration." ~ Claude Monet.
# Be happy for others.
"This is not a competition — there is plenty of happiness to go around, once you know where to look." ~ Cheryl Saban.

@~@ HEALTH
# Eat reasonably.
# Sleep deeply.
# Walk.

@~@ BELIEVE & HOPE
# Pray incessantly.
# Nurture your spiritual beliefs
# Journalling / Keep a diary.
# Engage in positive internal conversations.
# Write your story (in encouraging ways).
# Meditate.
# Attract positive experiences.
"Remember the Law of Attraction, and make an effort to attract positive, happy experiences into your life."
# Develop inner strength.
"Be willing to live life to your fullest potential, and believe in the fact that you have plenty of it." ~ Cheryl Saban.
# Search inside yourself.
"The foolish man seek happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." ~ James Oppenheim.
# Learn.
"Master a new skill. When you take the time to engage in activities that absorb your full attention, you’ll experience a sense of well-being and contentment." ~ Cheryl Saban.
Blueorselady : think of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow.
# Look for ways to be inspired.

@~@ INDEPENDENCE & RESPONSIBILITY
"Independence is happiness." ~ Susan B. Anthony.
# Choose happiness.
"50% of a given human’s happiness level is genetically determined (based on twin studies), 10% is affected by life circumstances and situation, and a remaining 40% of happiness is subject to self control." ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness.
# Think positively. "The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts." Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
# Learn positive coping skills.
"Avoid false fixes. Over-indulging in shopping, food, alcohol, or drugs won’t bring you happiness." ~ Cheryl Saban.
# Try to make at least three people smile each day — beginning with yourself!

@~@ PASSION
# Discover your passions.
"Explore. Dream. Discover" ~ Mark Twain.
# Improve your talents.
# Have purposes, dreams, goals.
"It is one of my dreams to publish a coffee table book, I believe I can. A book that can help myself, my loved ones & others to enjoy a lifetime of contentment and fulfilment. Thank you Cheryl for your encouragement!"
# Be proactive.
"Turn wishful thinking into positive action. Those who take a proactive stance in their lives tend to have an ample supply of joy and pleasure" ~ Cheryl Saban.
# Seek positive role models.
# Learn life-enhancing, esteem-building behaviors from your role models, heroes / heroines, masters, jedi / guru / mentors.
# Be persevered for things that matter. https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/perseverance-why-does-it-matter-can-perseverance-be-learned/
# Work.
"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others." ~ Buddha.

Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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Since we were born, we have started learning.
Learning and living are integral processes.

Different people have unique preferences and strengths in learning. The secret is to identify our own preferences and strengths,
and optimize them to develop our talents and creativity,
so that we can be of great service to others (while earning a livelihood simultaneously).

Here are quick reminders for myself to effectively, efficiently & effortlessly learn:

1. Intelligence = nature (genes) + nurture (environment). But, better methods / strategies for learning can boost up intelligence. In an analogy, before dyes and color contact lenses, hair color and eye color were entirely genetic too respectively.
2. Learn from how nature works, when one path gets shut down, we can take a different route.
3a. Must build construct / architecture / framework / blueprint. When we have a construct, we can solve difficult problems even when there is a lot of missing information.
3b. Must summarize / make notes.
4a. Must link concepts / ideas with visuals / feelings (synaesthesia).
4b. Try to link together ideas that do not normally connect (use metaphor / analogy). With patience & perseverance, we can connect any subjects.
5. Must use both: repetition / rote memorization + holistic relating / inter-linking.
6. Must create: write, draw, take photos, make videos.

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

Final remark: I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.

See also:
http://zenhabits.net/how-to-learn-more-and-study-less/

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

Posted in study

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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

Apprenticeship, fatherhood and expensive college education

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Today, a salesperson approached me on my way back to home.
The friendly salesperson was promoting a union membership.
However, I just signed up online for the membership last month.
His son was sitting nearby, playing a toy car by himself.
The salesman sadly said (while looking at his son), "Nobody takes care of him, so I have to bring him here."
The weather was not that hot when I met this salesperson, but I imagined it would be tiring to sit under the hot sun if he had to do his work since this morning or even afternoon.

One may feel sorry for the boy, however if we try to reframe our perspective positively, the boy is actually doing "apprenticeship."

The father is also enjoying both an opportunity to work (hence earn an income) and to accompany his son.

I wish I could help this salesperson to earn a commission, but I can only offer my prayer quietly in my heart. I pray that he will earn sufficient to raise his family, that his son will grow up appreciating his father’s hard work.

@~@

J was sharing with me that in the near future when she is going out to be a salesperson, she is going to bring her toddler.
Her toddler has a talent to make people happy through his charming smile.
J said, "this is not a child labor, this is nurturing her child to prepare for the future competitive world".

J was concerned that her child would grow up to be a spoil brat so she wants her son to respect and value hard work (and of course smart work) and everyday people who do hard work, through apprenticeship under her.

Not every child is the same.
Indeed, every human being is unique.
Yes, you are unique.
So are your progenies.
Today education system has been inspired from the Industrial Revolution,
when efficient and relatively submissive trainees are desirable.
However, our world is evolving;
our learning and education systems must evolve too.
I strongly agree with J on 因材施教^.

^ 因材施教 means to educate someone (a learner / a student / a child) according to his / her personality, aptitude and merits.

Moreover, the constantly increasing cost of college education is worrying and driving us to find alternative avenues to develop the knowledge and skills required for employment or self-employment.
To quote Hannah Seligson of The New York Times, some employers complain that many colleges don’t teach the kinds of technical skills they want in entry-level hires.

Is it worth for parents to sacrifice their retirement funds after they worked all their sweats, tears, and even blood, to fund for their children’s education?
This was what going on in the mind of Steve Job when he quit colleges,
but how many adult children do think like him?
Sadly, there are cases where children do not care about their parents after being funded for college education.

Although apprenticeships has been offered as alternative to college, my personal belief (as of this summer of 2013) includes:

1. it is essential for our trainee / progeny / children / protege to attend colleges where they can interact, network, build long-lasting relationships with their peer and lectures.
Completing a college education has been strong social economic enablers for many people with previously disadvantage backgrounds.

2. it is also essential for our trainee to undertake apprenticeships and to train under a master, if possible the best master.
There are things that one cannot learn merely by reading, one must experience the real world.

3. It is also essential for our trainee to undertake online courses / MOOC such as Coursera, edX, Udacity. This initiative is geared toward developing one into an independent learner and thinker.
As Stephen Covey mentioned, only those who are independent (not the dependent) can be co-dependent / cooperate / collaborate to perform complex tasks / projects.

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Written by blueroselady

June 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Ten Inspirations from Dato Sri Tahir: an entrepreneur & banker

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Dato Sri Tahir / 翁俊民 is the founder of the Mayapada Group, an Indonesian-based conglomerate.

Literally, Mayapada is an imaginary kingdom in Mahabharata.

I first knew Tahir through Forbes. He was born in Surabaya on 26 March 1952.

Below are ten (10) inspirations that I learned from him:

1. Dare to dream.
To quote Tahir, "One is not afraid of failure, one is only afraid of being fearful to dream. Life is like a competition / race with many participants and few winners. If you do not run faster than others, you will never win prizes"

Transform our dreams into our beliefs & vision / 异象.
With vision, we can exercise self-control.

2.Turn adversity into advantage / 逢凶化吉.
Once I attended a talk by Professor Lui Pao Chuen who also advocates turning adversity into advantage.

In the words of Tahir, "I come from a poor Chinese family," the tycoon says of his roots. "My parents used to make becak (a three-wheel rickshaw / pedicab). My father would assemble the parts while my mother painted them."

3. Be resourceful & courageous to make positive use of our resources.

"His wife, Rosy, the daughter of another Indonesian tycoon, Mochtar Riady, recently started h2h Charity, which has a vintage shop in Jakarta, proceeds from which are donated to help provide schooling for underprivileged children in Indonesia."

Tahir’s father-in-law rescued him from bankruptcy in 80s. Having wealthy (and most importantly keen & willing to help) family or friends may be helpful.

Sometimes, we may know wealthy associates but the timing and place are not right for them to assist us.
Do not blame them.
When the people, timing, and place (the spatio-temporal dynamic context) are right,
and we obtain assistance in the forms of any or some financial ($), intellectual resources,
these people become 贵人.

Make positive use of 贵人, even the best universities and Google stand on the shoulder of giant.

4. To win,
one must continuously learn, absorb, observe, and practice.
自强不息, 力求上进.
Practice makes perfect.
Practice creates talent.
It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to an exceptional talent.

5. It is essential to pursue and support education.

Tahir’s Formal Education:
2008 : Obtained Doctor Honoris Causa (an honorary doctorate degree) from Universitas Tujuh Belas Agustus 1945-Surabaya (Major in Small and Medium Enterprises)
1987 : Obtained Master in Business Administration with GPA 4.00 from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, USA.
1976 : Obtained Bachelor’s degree majoring in business from Nan Yang University, Singapore

Tahir has also been appointed as a Board of Trustee at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming the first man from Southeast Asia to hold this position.
On April 2011, Tahir donated $1 million to the University of California, Berkeley for international student fellowships for students in the fulltime MBA program at Berkeley-Haas.

In my humble opinion, education is not entirely equal to schooling. I will write more about their differences.

6. Abide by the rules.
Competition has rules.
If one does not follow rules, s/he will face extinction.
Tahir cites an example using his banking business that strictly follows rules and regulations of the banking world.

"The Mayapada bank went public at the Jakarta Stock Exchange and weathered the 1997 economic crisis (when many banks became bankrupt due to not following rules) and managed to expand even more aggressively after the crisis. With foreign investment partners from the US, UAE and Singapore, the bank now has over 100 branches throughout Indonesia, and in 2007 has been voted as the second best public bank outside state-owned banks by InfoBank magazine, an influential banking magazine in Indonesia."

Though rupiah (IDR) collapsed in 1997, his bank (The Mayapada Bank) was spared because it was small and had not borrowed in US dollars.

7. Self-know.
Know ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses.
Know our level of competence.
量力而为.
If you are of 50 kg, you should not compete in the 100 kg class.

8. Win over your greatest enemy: yourself.
The only challenge Tahir faces, he says, is within himself: "I have to overcome my selfishness, my improper ambitions and greed."

Tahir could say so because he has successfully journeyed through the climb.
For many of aspiring entrepreneurs,
we first have to overcome laziness, faulty pride (e.g. the need of approval from others), negative mindset.

9. Build strong & solid platforms / foundations.

To quote Tahir, "I don’t build deals, I don’t build transactions … I build foundations or platforms."

Tahir has built the following platforms:
financial services (Mayapada Bank, Zurich Insurance Indonesia and Nipponkoa Indonesia).
Duty Free Shoppers.
real estate business (several buildings in Jakarta, hotels in Bali and Batam, and a new tower in Singapore).
healthcare (Mayapada Hospital).
media (Guo Ki*, Forbes Indonesia, Topas TV).

* the largest Chinese newspaper in Indonesia, with a circulation of 30,000 copies.

10. Make others happy, especially let others happy in their last moment.
Perhaps Tahir has lived long enough (as compared to young students) and seen many death to say: "The most enjoyable moment of my (life) is when I help people, especially when you give pride and honor to a person who is in a crisis in (the) last moment of his life."

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Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2013 at 6:57 am

What are the signs of depression?

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Madam S sent me a Chinese newspaper article about the signs of depression.
Depression, can affect anyone.
It affected one of the famous poets of China during the Warring States period : Qu Yuan (屈原),
who has inspired the celebration of DuanWu Festival,
where people enjoy dragon boat races and rice wrapped into 3-cornered packages.

The depression of Qu Yuan started after the change of throne,
after which he was no longer trusted by the new king due to slander by other officer.

It was a great loss of a talented person like Qu Yuan to depression.
Now, the question is how to analyze if one (can be someone whom we care) suffers from depression.

Symptoms (that persist for over 2 weeks):

1. unstable emotional states. Feel like crying or becoming angry easily.

2. loss of interest on any activity / event.

3. change of appetite & body weight. Most cases involve decrease in appetite.

4. daily loss of sleep.

5. often worry.

6. self-blame, low self-esteem / low self-worth.

7. lethargy.

8. decrease in ability to focus / concentrate. often doubtful.

9. often think of self-destructive thoughts.

Once we knows if someone suffers from depression, we can seek further action to help heal him / her.

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22

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Written by blueroselady

May 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Posted in health

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7 Inspirations from the movie "The Grandmaster" by Wong Kar Wai

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A mentor of mine AC shared with me that he obtained a lot of visual inspirations from the movies directed by Wong Kar Wai / 王家卫.
Since then, I have started to study movies directed by the talented director.
In the spring 2013, I watched a movie entitled The Grandmaster 《一代宗師》 about Yip Man / Ip Man / 葉問 / 叶问 by Wong Kar Wai,
which was three years in the making and more than 10 years in gestation.

Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist practising Wing Chun style / 咏春拳 who have taught Bruce Lee.
The Grandmaster is an integration of artistic and kungfu movie.
I refer to this approach as an innovation,
in which the movie viewers are not only showered with fast and furious fighting actions but also the relatively s…l…o…w melancholy musings, philosophy and aesthetics,
which make this movie unique.

Herein, I share inspirations (not a movie review) that I acquire from watching the movie.

1. I find the style name of 咏春 (that sounds like forever spring) meaningful, because many people desire their lives will be youthful forever like spring, but winter is also part of our life journeys.
If life has four seasons, it’s spring to me before 40. But it then just turned straight to winter.

Instead of yearning for the past time, let us be present and cherish the four seasons of our lives!

2. The martial arts arena (江湖) are the fights of survival and striving to be the top among the martial artists,
those with the highest quality of kungfu skills tend to win, but those with wits also win.
Confucius mentions that wisdom is more important than speed, through the story in which the tortoise wins over a fast-running animal.
Today, in everyday lives of many people, we are still fighting like those martial artists,
people fight with their relevant / specialized skills (in offices / corporations, hospitals, institutions, schools, markets, etc).
All these arena are indeed highly similar, there are honor and rules of conduct to follow and abide by;
and as long as one continues to constantly learning to enhance his / her skills and enlarge his / her wisdom,
s/he will do well.

3. Super fine attention to details, a commitment to one’s career / project.
The reflections of water on the street with a moving shadow.
The thundering rain, the splashing water, the drops of water / blood.
The swirling smoke, the macro visual of dried tobacco leaves wrapped inside the cigarette stick.
The beautiful pristine white snow effects that can make audience feels the bone chilling coldness.
The splintering glass at s…l….o…w motion.
Frames and frames: e.g. the snow covered tree on both sides of the wooden residency of the Gong Grandmaster.
I put my hat off to Wong’s attentiveness to color palettes and the talent of the French cinematographer Phillipe Le Sourd.
After all, a movie is a collection of pictures that move, that’s why movie is also known as moving picture;
and the men behind The Grandmaster seem to make every picture beautiful at super fine level.
4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I always love the classic make-up of the 1930s.
The women (referring to the courtesans in cheongsam / qipao 旗袍 in the movie) have curly hair which is time-consuming to maintain in today age, but the effect is glamorously stylish.
They also have thin line eyebrows that are bending like the crescent moon.
I would refer to such a fashionable look of that era as the Ruan Lingyu’s look.
However, some people comment to me that the thin line eyebrows make them look vulnerable and pitiful.
The women express through all their bodies the sorrow, pain, grief provoked by life.
They also imply some mysteries and desires that entice people, including me a modern woman of the 21st century!
Perhaps, women with doe eyes and tiny faces are the most suitable to adopt the Ruan Lingyu’s look, from the perspective of style.

5. The themes of love, loss and the passage of time are prevalent in Wong Kar Wai’s movies, including The Grandmaster.
Even heroes and heroines are not spared from the human experiences of aging, falling ill, and death;
they are often emerging as heroes and heroines due to the tragic of human experiences such as natural disasters, wars, and death of loved ones.
No matter what happen, we want to cherish our love now,
before we loss some people who are truly dearest to us.

6. While we love many things (including people who are dearest to us), we must practice the art of detachment.
To quote Bruce Lee, "My instructor, Professor Yip Man, head of the wing chun school, would come up to me and say: Let your mind, the basic reality, do the counter-movement without any interfering deliberation. Above all, learn the art of detachment."
I will share about how to love and detach in harmonious ways in the near future.

7. Have you ever wondered why artistic movies often have sad endings?
In the movie, Yip Man’s wife died without seeing him after he moved to HK and Gong Er (inspired by female legend, Shi Jianqiao) could only keep Yip Man in her heart since Yip Man is a married man and Gong has vowed not to marry ( 獨行道) for the sake of revenging for the death of his father.
The tragic of life has appeal to the viewers,
人生如戏,
that is why movies, especially artistic movies, explore themes such a ‘tragic fate’ persona.
but we can also create our own real movie that has a happy ending,
let us be a master director of our ‘fate’.

Related:
http://cinemainterruptus.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/movie-review-the-grandmaster-yi-dai-zong-shi/
http://moonlightknighthk.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/meanings-of-the-grandmaster/
http://feelpositive.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/the-grandmaster/

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Written by blueroselady

April 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

How to deal with rude people? 20 diplomatic survival tips

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I was visiting a friend of mine R and witnessed how rude her dishonest employee talked to her.
The employee often gave R condescending look, used swearing words while talking to R, never said sorry after spoiling things.
R is kind, gentle and soft-spoken.
That’s possibly why she has been taken advantage of.
Fortunately, based on my observations, most people whom R encounters in life are kind & respectful to her.

I could understand R’s feeling, she has to spend her hard-earned $ to hire the employee and yet receive such kind of treatment.

R is a positive woman, she confessed to me that her encounter with the rude has made her appreciate her kind, polite, understanding friends (including me!) and family even much more.

However, once in a while, we may encounter rude people.

Rude person abuses others verbally and emotionally.
So, how to deal with rude people (applicable to rude co-workers, associates, customers, employees, managers, bosses)?

1. Do not expect everyone to be nice and friendly;

do not expect rude people to change,
yet we do our best to be nice / polite / kind to everyone. This is the same principle as the gratitude law / principle: we are to express our gratitude in life yet do not expect gratitude from others. Ingratitude is common and when someone expresses gratitude to us, the person really adds rainbow to our life.

2. Do not ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?", instead ask more empowering / better questions, e.g. "How to deal with adversities / overcome challenges (e.g. rude people)?"

3. Reframe our perspectives / perceptions / beliefs.
Do not feel / declare yourself as a victim because you do not want to worsen your pain.

4. Give the rude person kindness, sympathy, empathy.
Note:
Being kind does not mean that you tolerate one abuse after another.
Being kind simply means that you respond to the other person politely.
Being empathic is nice, but being over-empathic is not. Everything in excess disturbs harmony / equilibrium.

5. Understand that irrationality is a human quality.
A person can be rude and channel their frustrations to you for no rational reason.
R’s employee was rude to R probably due to R being too kind, gentle, much younger, more talented, more loved & likable.

6. Understand that prejudice / bias is also sadly a human quality. The rude person may have some prejudice about our age, gender, race, occupation and so on; especially if the rude person behaves differently to others.

The rude person may also judge you for something else that you’ve done.
It is not easy to shift / change other people & their judgment.
Release our need to change the rude person / to improve them.
Practice the art of detachment.
It is better to leap / focus yourself for GREATER PURPOSEs in life.

7. Seek POSITIVE MEANINGs from the unhappy encounter like what my friend R did, she realizes how wonderful her friends and family are.

Many things in life are relative,
if we have never experience bad things in life,
we may take our blessings for granted.

8. Focus on your GREATER PURPOSEs / things in which we can contribute more values to our lives, our loved ones and others.

9. Align / seek help from the more powerful / wise people who can help us. If necessary (e.g. in the case that you cannot immediately employ any exit strategy), humbly request the more powerful / wise to be a mediator.
Observe how others (especially the more powerful / wise) handle the rude person.

10. The art of endurance enables you to endure injustice / insult / pain / stress.
Be resilient.
吃得苦中苦方为人上人
Use thick face & Love yourself.
Never let the words of others hurt you.
Do not take it personally / seriously.
Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. … the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. ~Don Miguel Ruiz

11. Raise your consciousness.
Decide that you are not going to get dragged down into the rude person’s drama; be above the fray.
To quote Rene Descartes, "Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it."
Imagine yourself as any of these:
deeply grounded oak tree that no storm can shake my inmost calm.
bamboo that bend but do not break upon encountering rude treatment.
super filter that listen to only kind words and quick to filter out rude words by others.
shielding bubble that protects you from the rude people, the harmful effects will never hurt you.

12. See the encounter as a learning opportunity.
My friend R told me that she has learned things that she will not do (especially subconsciously) to other people from her rude employee (based on what the employee did to her and the hurtful effects on R).

13. Silent treatment. The saying goes that silence is golden.
A study showed that people who completely ignore those deemed rude and offensive were more mentally healthy than those who engage with the rude.
However, this tips works for the rude person we encounter once in a while, but not the persistently rude (e.g. direct bosses / employees / regular customers).
For the rude person that we may have to deal more often at particular time and location in our lives:
Consider looking at the rude person directly in the eye and don’t say a thing (neither disagree nor agree with them).

14. Master our emotion. Do not express fear, anger, pride, to prevent uttering wrong words that can exacerbate the situation.

15. Understand the sources of our negative emotions (e.g. fear, anger) caused by the rude person, then practice the art of detachment.

16. Do not react immediately. Practice Siberian North Rail Road technique (Stop Breath Notice Reflect Respond).
Then you will have more time to choose your response.
Dearest reader, I know that this can be difficult to do, because you might want to fight back in the heat of the moment,
but with practice, like everything else, you will get better.
You can also consult / reflect on what your mentors / guru / jedi will do if they encounter similar situations,
and then make a firm decision on how to respond.

17. Do not confront / burn the bridge if you have little / no bargaining power, e.g. rude bosses, unless you have nothing to lose, e.g. you have secured a better job.
Know when to stand up for yourself. Choose your battle carefully, if the battle does not worth the fight, just use the exit strategies.
How to stand up for ourselves?
Draw our boundaries. Be clear on what we will tolerate and what we will not tolerate.

18. Do not retaliate using threats to prevent agitating the rude person.
Let the universe judge injustice.

19. Beware of analysis paralysis. Do not over think / over-analyze your behavior or the rude person, your history of interactions.

"Someone who is so hurtful towards you does not deserve any more of your energy."

20. EXIT strategies.
For example, my friend can choose not to continue hiring the rude employee.
Minimize contacts / ignore the rude person.
Stay away from any rude stranger.
Keep the rude person out of sight, out of mind.
Leave / avoid the rude person when there is no reason to stay, e.g. just leave / avoid obnoxious drivers. There is no use to talk to them.

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Written by blueroselady

April 17, 2013 at 6:05 am

Posted in psychology

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Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, You are my Hero

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A friend of mine who is a scientist shared with me about Douglas Prasher’s story. When I was a little kid, I consider the following careers very cool / glamorous / glorious : pilot, adventurers (e.g. Columbus, Everest), scientists, astronauts, … and many others.

However, my friend said that being scientists is not all glorious, there is no guarantee that one can meet one’s basic survival needs (according to the Maslow’s hierarchy) of food, clothes, shelter / home, even after one has done high quality work that deserves Nobel Prize like what happened to Douglas Prasher.

In brief, the Nobel Prize I am referring to is for the discovery and engineering of fluorescent proteins – molecules that can glow in the dark. Sound so fun!

The fluorescent proteins are powerful research tools and have become the foundation of a multimillion-dollar industry.

Prasher was not included among the Nobel laureates, as only 3 individuals can share a single Nobel Prize. “The glow of the GFP gene may have illuminated biology, but Prasher has remained in the shadows.” The humble ^ Laureate Martin Chalfie credited Prasher’s contribution:
“(Douglas Prasher’s) work was critical and essential for the work we did in our lab. They could’ve easily given the prize to Douglas and the other two and left me out.”

^ To share the best of the best to you dearest readers, I have carefully studied Nobel Laureates and summarize their strengths that worth emulating.

My friend J, who is also a scientist and used to work 7 days a week from 9 am to 11 pm daily, shared with me that there are sadly numerous unacknowledged contributions in science. She told me that a lady called Rosalind Franklin also deserves a Nobel Prize but she died too early. J told me that she cried reading the story of Prasher.

To quote discovermagazine, the vanishing act of Douglas Prasher “provides a glimpse into what it takes to flourish in modern-day science, where mentorship, networking, and the ability to secure funding can be as important as talent and intelligence.”

Dear aspiring scientists (especially graduate students), I hope that my sharing provide you with additional perspective. One of a leader of a science research institute sadly told me (in a chance encounter in a public transport) that in the past only the rich can do scientific research because they do not have to trade their time to earn a living. These people were for example the landlord who receive passive income ; they have the time (one of the most priceless commodity in the universe), the brain energy & physical energy to carry out scientific experiments.

He also shared with me about his personal experience, he was previously trained as a medical doctor (a career that may guarantee a better earning), but later switched to become a scientist. Few years down the road after he has children, he woke up in the middle of night sweating and worrying on how to finance his mortgage. The good news is his children are now grown-up.

Dear aspiring scientists, your professors and successful scientists you meet would rarely tell you such stories because they need workers. Graduate students are very cheap to the extent that they are free to the professors. You will rarely meet unsuccessful scientists because they are no longer around in the labs / meetings / conferences to warn you / to be naysayers for you who will eventually become successful scientists. Do not give up on your chosen career easily. After all, scientists will meet countless failures (positive people prefer to refer a failure as a learning experience) because they are at the frontier of discovery and innovation. You really need perseverance in the pursuit of science, science needs you, our world need you ; but one must not neglect what is entrusted to him by the Universe / the Creator / God, e.g. young children to feed, nurture, take care.

Dear aspiring scientists, do not be disheartened by what I share here because if you are really passionate about science, you want and you should give it your best, until you really meet dead ends. You can be like Douglas Prasher, to be humble and willing to take other kinds of jobs, including being a bus driver at $8.50 an hour. I respect bus drivers, they provide essential service to many people, and I personally rely on them often. I view them as my everyday heroes who courier me safely from a place to another. But to be honest, one who had worked as a scientist must have to endure the words of their past colleagues on becoming a bus driver. If you master the art of endurance, are willing to work hard and have integrity in life, no matter what you do / your career / job, you will have inner happiness, which is much more important than prestige (e.g. awards) / glamor. If you want to be successful in a particular career, perseverance * and resourcefulness ^ are essential.

* “Doug doesn’t have the ‘Goddammit, you’re not going to stop me’ attitude,” Ward says.”
^ “It was the kind of resourcefulness that Prasher seemed to lack.”

After all, there are many things that Prasher can be happy and grateful about: his supportive wife, his children, his home-grown vegetables & finally a return to science.

Dear my readers, all careers are similar in the chance of success; they just vary in the steepness of the climb. My kind friend shared that the climbing field for being successful scientists started relatively easy for students who have done well academically / with exceptional scholastic ability, but become very very steep toward the higher place(s).

Final reflection:
Let the (use) value that we bring to ourselves and others through our work / pursuit / career / vocation shine itself.
Do not pursue recognition / award as a goal because it is beyond our control.
Even one of the most deserving Nobel Prize winner – Gandhi, never receive it.

Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, thank you very much! You are my Hero!

Related:
http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/30-how-bad-luck-networking-cost-prasher-nobel
http://galette86.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/the-inspiring-story-of-douglas-prasher/
http://www.bio.purdue.edu/lab/leung/blog/?tag=douglas-prasher

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Travel: Angkor Wat of Cambodia & how it inspires me

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When I have no time, $, energy to physically travel,
I love to virtually travel
through high quality documentaries
such as this one produced by National Geographic.

The benefits of documentaries (which sometimes we do not experience while traveling physically)
include:
# bird view taken from e.g. airplane.
# music.
# expert knowledge.
# 3D models.

Moreover, high quality documentaries e.g. by National Geographic,
incorporate artistic cinematography,
e.g. the use of bokeh, framing techniques,
which are pleasurable to the eyes.

Inspirations:
1. water is critical. Civilizations such as Egypt and Khmer Empire relies on Nile and Mekong River respectively.

2. Western restoration methods do not always work for Eastern architecture like Angkor Wat. Similarly, Western ways of doing business may not always work in the East.

3. Angkor Wat is like a gigantic ship floating on the ocean, thanks to the gigantic moat surrounding the temple. However, this ship is made of stones including the magic stone laterite, that can be shaped yet highly durable (for almost 1 millennium) after it hardens.

4. Over-engineering is not good, as it partly contributes to the decline of the Khmer civilization. How do we know if we are over-engineering?
This is a subset / an example of question for a big question from the serenity prayer:
"God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
"

5. The priests of the ancient time are not only spiritually knowledgeable, they also serve as engineers.
It reminds me on the Renaissance men.
Are we living in over-specialized age?
We need human talent who have broad knowledge as well as deep knowledge for a field of specialization.

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Written by blueroselady

March 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

Posted in travel

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