Blueroselady's Weblog

I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Archive for the ‘career’ Category

Things to do at age 32-47 (1.5 precious decade)

leave a comment »

  1. Be grateful. Gratitude can soothe your desire and competitiveness. More importantly, gratitude is the root of happiness.
  2. Love yourself. Stand up for yourself for things that matter. Get out of a bad relationship.
  3. Believe that you are beautiful.
  4. Believe in miracles. “永远相信,美好的事情即将发生”
  5. Travel and continuously learn and learn how to learn (meta learning). “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” ~ God via Robin S. Sharma | Learn new languages by immersion.
  6. Love your work. If you cannot do what you love, at least love what you do. According to Frankl, “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering”
  7. Take (at least a big) risk(s) to realize your dreams, step by step strategically. Be courageous to explicitly/implicitly express “I love you”. When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.
  8. Be thick face enough not to care too much about what other people think.
  9. Plant kindness. Do your best to ensure that those who are less fortunate than you, believe that there are sunshine and beauty in this world.
  10. Build connection capital. Connection here refers to genuine and authentic relationships, true friendships.
  11. Cherish people, use things (not the other way round).
  12. Appreciate now and here, the moment, the nature and beauty in the forms of visuals, arts, music, delicious cuisine.
  13. Master the art of endurance.
  14. View a painful experience as an avenue to increase your wisdom.
  15. Move / exercise / dance / walk / hike

Ideas are inspired from:

Written by blueroselady

May 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Tips from various magazines

leave a comment »

@~@
To reduce commute time:
www.workshifting.com

Personally, commute time can be used for doing other useful stuff.
Relax (when the public transports are not too crowded).
Listen to voice notes of inspirations and ideas.
Read: study materials, news, facebook.
Plan.

@~@
According to Sally Poon (a dietician from Hong Kong Nutrition Association),
food of eating out are high in SALT, FAT & SUGAR,
which increases the risk of obesity, heart disease & hypertension.
Yes, we know all these but many times we choose to satisfy our

Minimize fried food.
Avoid preserved meat, e.g. salami.

For pasta e.g. spaghetti: red sauce (tomato-based) is healthier than white sauce.

@~@
"The more time a person spends on the job, the more conflict there is likely to be between work and family."
Do you agree with this statement?

@~@ Things that I must do:
# live my life to the fullest.
# appreciate what I have.

@~@
Short-listed things that I find interesting to do:
# Learn copywriting. Learn writing to sell a strategic idea.
# read The happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (since January 2012)
# make DIY flash cards. First picture that I found: polar bear of Churchill, Canada. Remember that the cuddly-looking polar bear (thanks to its shaggy fur) can be dangerous. My friend J was given a polar bear soft toy as the first birthday gift from his man, and his man can be cuddly yet dangerous like polar bear!
# attend a Nobel Prize banquet @ Stockholm (since March 2012).
# eat Vosges Haut-Chocolat (chocolate with unlikely flavors like curry, taleggio, and wasabi), partly because Katrina Markoff is an inspiring entrepreneur!
# FIND TIME TO DO NOTHING. BREATHE. An advice by Tim Park, the author of Teach us to Sit Still: A Sceptic’s Search for Health and Healing.
# Remove dust! Dust can cause your TV, computer, laptop to overheat and reduce its life span. When you do house chores of vacuum cleaning, empty the dust bag when it is half-full. With a fuller dust bag, the machine has to work harder and risks overheating.
# To extend the lifespan of your mobile phone, use its appropriate charger, simply because the voltage is different. Do not charge your phone overnight.
# commit to 30-day challenge of writing a book. Thank you Matt Cutts.
# refuse to let work compromise what my body needs: nutritious, regular meals, 7-8 hours of sleep, 3×10-minute exercise.
# hit the road less traveled with a backpack like Paige Chua. She went for her first solo trip to Beijing & Inner Mongolia in 2007. Interesting reflection: city dwellers seek a simple life when travel, but rural dwellers (e.g. of Inner Mongolia) aspire to move to cities (e.g. Beijing).

Quotes that I like:
# "No one shoots you if you’ve got a smile on your face." ~ Alan Wicker, travel journalist.
# "When I visit somewhere new, I always absorb it first as a human being, then photography it as my hobby and then consider if it’s interesting enough to share with other people through Twitter, Facebook or my blog." ~ Ben Southall, Winner of Best Job in the World (2009), caretaker of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
# "Don’t forget that frequent business travellers are often the most frequent leisure travellers." www.businesstraveller.asia
Blueroselady: The next time someone (e.g. CV) tells you and me that he is busy travelling on business trips, he is likely to include sightseeing and leisure activities too!

Written by blueroselady

January 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

A life lesson from a fallen fruit cart: resilience

leave a comment »

The inspiration below is adapted from the story shared by Subroto Bagchi, a co-founder & CEO of MindTree Consulting.

Imagine a busy road junction in a developing country (e.g. China, India, Indonesia) during the peak hour.
The smoke from vehicles.
The burning hot sun.
The dust that hurts eyes.
Everyone is rushing and rushing.
But it has become worse on a particular day.
A fruit seller’s cart has overturned.

His fruits are everywhere on the street floor.
The rushing vehicles are crushing his fruits.
His business for today is over.

Everyday, he woke up at 4 am before dawn or sunrise,
to buy his commodity from the wholesale market.
Then, he walked pushing his cart over a long distance.
Commodity like fruit is easily perishable,
he must sell them by the day.
Sometimes, he has not been successful because of bad weather.
Sometimes, he consumes the left-overs.
Sometimes, he just gives them away.
When unfortunate things like today happen,
he losses his capital,
and has to borrow more money from moneylender – who normally charges neck-choking interests.

Reading his story is like a wake-up call for my friend S who forward it to me.
S has a comfortable job, with stable salary, bonuses, and health insurance.
However, she often finds herself worrying about the future.
Her progress has been slow mainly because of her maternity leave and feeling of inadequate.
I asked S what the worst that can happen?
Her job contract will not be renewed.
Then, I asked S if this means that she can explore possible endeavors that she always dreams of but was too afraid to explore.

Unlike the fruit cart seller who has no financial safety net,
S still has some savings that can last her for at least half a year,
a supportive spouse.
What S needs more is resilience that she can learn from the entrepreneurial fruit cart seller to deal with life.

Written by blueroselady

October 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Energy levels matter

with one comment

I met a friend who told me about his high-flying colleague CH.
CH is very healthy, has high energy levels, can lead multiple projects simultaneously, a father of 3 children.
He can survive by sleeping little,
because of good health.
He can multi-task, by delegating.

My friend does not like to undertake too many projects, because once he starts, he will continue doing until completion. In the process, his energy is over-drained.

This makes me to reflect on the followings:
Know yourself.
Know your energy levels to decide where to compete.
Sometimes, my friend’s wife who has been raised with a value of contributing (to others) feels stress that she is not doing enough.
Her case reminds me on an advice by Deepak Chopra (in a children book):
Your contribution (dharma) may serve many people, or just few people.
It does not matter, as long as you give / contribute.

Written by blueroselady

October 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Posted in career

Tagged with , ,

DO what you LOVE, LOVE what you DO

leave a comment »

Do what you love and love what you do sound simple, but appear complex in practice.

How many of us do what we love for most time of our lives?
How many of us love what we do for most of our doings?
For many people across different ages and roles of life, here are possibilities:
Dreams change.
Goals change.
Plans Change.

Do you love a doing because you are good at the doing?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing)?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing (even after 10,000 hours of practice)?

A quote by Steve Jobs shared by Jeff Moore:
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart,
you’ll know when you find it."

When I was in high school,
I love (or perhaps prefer) science subjects because my linguistic skills are limited (reason #1).
Apparently and consequently, I did better in maths, chemistry, biology, physics than in language subjects. People love doing things whereby we have a sense of mastery, do you feel so as well?

My native Chinese-speaking classmates who have learned writing and reading since early age, are at ease in the Chinese class.
My Eurasian classmates who have a native speaking father / mother, or those who have English-educated parents, seem to write English so fluently.
They had read thick novels / non-fiction books and easily won the essay writing and elocution competitions.
For me,
to write an essay in English or Chinese,
I had to start from simple structures.
When I have an exam topic of essay to write,
I would quickly jot down some ideas in point form and elaborated on them later as my writing progressed.
Normally, I would write explanatory or argumentative essays, and very rarely narrative essays, simply because of my limited vocabularies.

Reason #2
There are high certainty in science subject exams.
1+1=2. If the answers are right now, they will be right tomorrow.
We love things that we do well.

But in real life (including the real scientific fields as my scientist acquaintances point out),
the rules of game are uncertain.
The rules are not constant; change is the rule of the rules.
That’s why life is the only known example of infinite game is life, according to James P. Carse.
On contrary, examples of finite games are debates, sports, schools, receiving a degree from an educational institution, belonging to a society, or engaging in war.

The surprise in infinite game is the triumph of the future over the past.
So, when you are uncertain about what to do next, an easy step is to
always choose infinite games.

Winning should not be the final goal because after winning, the game stops.
Life is a game that is meant to be continuously played.
Aunt Florence shared some profound advice on how to play the game of life, you may want (and I need) to revise and remember them,
as resilient shortcuts in the moments of negative feelings and events.

Although I honestly feel that my writing is still not up to standard (set through social comparisons with people of similar professional credentials to mine and authors whom I admire),
I will continue writing.
I think this is an example of "DO what you LOVE".

Sometimes we may have to do things that we are not interested, so it is hard to love what we do.
However, the good news are interests are malleable,
they are formed through our past experiences (including education),
so we can change them through learning and unlearning.
Revealingly, you can re-program your minds and interests through conscious efforts,
this attempt will also beneficial to discard some preferences that we would not want to have if we think carefully about them but others manage to incept on us — think of the 2010 science fiction film entitled Inception.

For example, I know a number of people who have focused greatly on their careers,
hate doing house chores or parenting tasks,
but I believe that if they want to,
with right conscious efforts to shift their interests,
they can love what they do.

How to continue love what you do (even if you feel tired / bored / disappointed / frustrated) ?
My friend Tracy suggests using positive feedback loop.
You can establish positive feedback loop when the rewards / pleasure of your doing outweigh the sacrifices / pain.

To DO what you LOVE, you need willpower and courage.
To LOVE what you DO, you need positive feedback and inner security.

Inner security that I means here is not worrying so much about achieving certain levels of success.

More real-world examples:
# Joanna: becoming a mother at age 48
# My friend Leo highlights that people rule out the possibility of great change, because it appears unrealistic.

Finally,
"Do what you love, love what you do & deliver more than you promise!" ~ Harvey Mackay

Written by blueroselady

September 25, 2013 at 4:56 am

Reflections on Coursera: 7 reasons I love it

with 2 comments

This post is not a review of Coursera.

My sincere appreciation to Coursera for providing me an opportunity to learn many interesting subjects and to improve the quality of my life.

These are seven reasons I love it (as of summer 2013).

1. FREE.
Coursera courses are free as of summer 2013.
Some of the best things in life are free,
for example the love of parents to their children.

2. An opportunity to practice GRATITUDE.
According to Thomas Paine, human beings tend to take things for granted.
“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.
It is dearness only which gives everything its value.”
By being grateful, we can live happier and more fulfilling.

3. FLEXIBILITY.
The Coursera lectures are presented in short videos which are ideal for the following people:
workers who want to improve their knowledge and skills.
breastfeeding mothers who have to attend to young babies.
commuters who have to travel far on public transports.

4. SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ENABLERS for those who cannot afford to o for schooling due to their earlier life circumstances.
A friend of mine mentions that he prefers to hire those who have completed Coursera courses* (and are able to apply what they have learned) to those who present traditional educational certifications.
He reasons that those who strive to upgrade their knowledge & skills on their own initiative, need to put efforts & discipline.

* Statement of Accomplishment can prove that one has completed a Coursera course.

Indeed, MOOCs such as Coursera have a great potential to unlock career and educational opportunities, and find new life pathways for people of all ages regardless of current social economic background.

5. an opportunity to practice perseverance, discipline, the art of prioritizing (doing first thing first), and to experience the joy of learning.

Top Ten Reasons Students Didn’t Finish MOOC:

  • Takes too Much Time
  • Assumes Too Much Knowledge
  • Too Basic
  • Lecture Fatigue
  • Poor Course Design
  • Clunky Community/Communication Tools
  • Bad Peer Review & Trolls
  • Surprised by Hidden Costs
  • Shopping Around
  • Want to Learn, Nor for Credential

6. MEET NEW PEOPLE.
Coursera offers a community of fellow students / learners hailed from worldwide.
This satisfy human beings’ need to socialize.

7. ENTERTAINING.
Some of Coursera courses that I have attended have offered a delicious treat to our senses: visual, audio, tastes, odor, and touch.
For example,
(i) from the Coursera course on child nutrition & cooking instructed by Maya Adam (Stanford University),
I have learned how to cook delicious & healthy pasta with homemade sauce.
While watching me cooking in the kitchen, my baby experience the fragrant smell of pasta,
and in the near future he will be able to taste it too.
(ii) Coursera videos feature instructors from different regions worldwide (mostly Americans as of summer 2013).
These videos also serve as an avenue to learn e.g. American English.

What’s next?
Udacity
edX

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

Written by blueroselady

June 2, 2013 at 6:34 am

Ten Inspirations from Dato Sri Tahir: an entrepreneur & banker

leave a comment »

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."

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

Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2013 at 6:57 am