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Posts Tagged ‘choice

DO what you LOVE, LOVE what you DO

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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

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Written by blueroselady

September 25, 2013 at 4:56 am

A journey to Yunnan

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This is a backlog travel note.

@~@
What to bring?
see 2bring4travel.txt in my folder of China2012.

@~@
I make a marking for every (large in amount) RMB note that we bring to China.
Why?
The money changer staff told us that her son was cheated.

Her son gave the shop assistant a large note.
The shop assistant went to look for change.
She came back and told him that there was no change and returned him a fake note!

@~@
Our tour guide to Shi Lin was Mr Wang.

He told us that to travel by yourselves will cost more than joining tour.
Mr Wang said his salary is RMB 1600. A month expenditure is RMB 1000. Therefore, we have to shop, the more we shop, the more commission he will receive.

If one earns RMB 2500 per month, he or she is considered high earner.
The main sources of income for travel company in Yunnan:
1. tourist attractions.
2. air tickets.
3. hotel (we were promised 4* hotel-room but we got a RMB 80 / night 2* motel-room).

4. food (Wang told us to expect the food to be not delicious).

China has 56 tribes.
Yunnan has 52 tribes.
Mr Wang said that fast and dark female are desirable.
女孩十八岁像老太太
老太太像老妖怪

To leave the mountain, the minority people have 2 paths:

1. study well
2. join the army
In his village (Shi Lin), the eldest woman in the tribe is the head. If a man run away to leave the mountain, all family members will be punished.

According to Wang, silver can remove ‘wind’.

To me, A Shi Ma (Yunnan) to greet female sounds similar to Ajuma (Korea).
A Shi Ma 阿诗玛 means diligent and beautiful.
To greet male, A Hei Ge 阿黑哥 / A Bai Ge 阿白哥 / Hei Bai Ge 黑白哥 aka A Hua Ge 阿花哥.

Lake is called Sea.
River 河 is called Jiang.

FOOD that we tried:
@~@ flower pastry. We love it (JiaHua brand).
@~@ over-the-bridge rice noodle.
@~@ The eight treasures of Yunnan. Too sour for me.
@~@ Wild mushroom banquet. Thank you to our tour guide Wang for driving us there (for free), he said he stayed near there. The waitress was also honest to return a forgotten phone.

@~@ Hui cuisine. The wild vegetable was unique, my first time eating such kind of vegetable.
@~@ 青稞饼 (barley bread).

FAUNA
@~@ grazing yaks (black, white, brown) : Zhongdian / 中甸, Blue Moon Valley
@~@ sheep
@~@ horse riding, LaShiHai / 拉市海*. It costs us RMB 350 / person, latter someone told us that you can have the ride for RMB 100. My travel partner was happy for the first time riding horse.

* When I prepared for the trip to Yunnan, 拉市海 seems so tranquil like Lake Bohinj, but when we visited 拉市海, it was hot and crowded (especially at the horse riding sites). The tranquil site was frequently visited by couples taking pre wedding photos.

Be careful of:
pickpockets / bag slashings.
Avoid barber shops, massage centers (con involvement).
police num: 110

Black Dragon Pool / 云南黑龙潭
The front cover of my favorite travel book: DK Eyewitness of China features the Black Dragon Pool with Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and its reflection.

When we were there, the pool was dried that we could see the cracking soil and smell the unpleasant fishy odor.

Sometimes, virtual travel (through travel books / documentaries / videos) seems, sounds and smells more relaxing. Personally, this is possible if only we have experienced similar things before, so that we can imagine and re-feel. If not, we have to travel our lives!
Many times, we have to travel indeed.

Lijiang 丽江 to Zhongdian 中甸:
terraced fields (reminded me on the journey to Sapa in Vietnam).
the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

@~@
See also:
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/dream-of-love-in-the-spring-2012/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/plan-for-our-love-photos-china/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/travel-china-sichuan/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/asia-regional-travel-ideas-2012-2014/
Blueroselady’s travel

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Written by blueroselady

March 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

Giving gives you happiness

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People whom I think deserve listening to and learning from, advocate giving. When we give, we will feel happy.

I have given many things in my life:
Smile.
$$$.
Time.
Gifts.
Things for donation.
Talent.
Energy / sweat.
Blood.
Encouragement.
I hope to give wisdom in the near future.

Most time I am happy to give, but there are times I am forced to give by circumstances.
For example, once a woman asked my man to help her take photo, then she asked me to lend her my (beautiful) hat. I was unwilling because it was drizzling and I did not feel well, yet I still gave in to her request.
This is a very small example, in work / school we are often / sometimes / rarely forced to give as well.

Why are we sometimes unhappy to give?
1. The receiver has more than us. They already have more / better things yet they insist / trick us to give to them.
E.g. An acquaintance WT who spent $ to study in US, then she got a scholarship to study in UK, mentioned that a beggar earns 50% more than her per month (the beggar’s income is in news in summer 2012).

2. There are imbalance of forces / power. People of authority (parents, teachers, bosses) make you to do things in which you have to give more than what you are willing to give.

3. There are inequality of contribution from collaborators / co-workers / team members in giving and receiving. A solution is to enter the joint efforts with the attitude of "giving without expecting to receive", but this does not serve the purpose of group synergy. When you collaborate, you want 1 + 1 = 3 or more. Perhaps not all collaboration makes everyone happy, if this is the case and you find yourself giving more than what you should, you can try to move on to another project then.

4. Naturally, it makes sense not to give to your competitors (e.g. in business), unless you want to turn them into your collaborators. I think the latter strategy is excellent. When you cannot beat your competitors, you join them, which I did well in summer 2009.

5. Emotion / personal likes and dislikes / chemistry. We just like some people more than others, e.g. our good / kind friends. A girlfriend of mine is rich from working in bank and claiming insurance, yet I still love to give her gifts because I love her. We have been friends for ages and I found her like my elder sister (whom I never have), wise and kind. On contrary, we may find it hard to like (hopefully very few) people. E.g. Can you like your housemate if he always leaves post-excretion signs on your toilet bowl? Can you like your neighbor who blast loud music when you want to sleep? No matter what, even if our likes and dislikes for different people vary, we will still try our best to see everyone equally. After all, we are all children of God.

Written by blueroselady

January 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

Is PhD really a waste of time?

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I just finished reading an article in the Economist.

In life, we are facing multiple choices and making decisions. According to the Pareto’s Law, 20% of our decisions will affect 80% of our life. My decision to embark on a graduate study did significantly affect my life, I have learned things that I want to do and things that I do not want to do. I think the most important is, no matter what decisions you make, you tell yourself that you will enjoy opportunities to grow and contribute. It is not like decision A is wrong, decision B is right. It is more like decision A will bring you particular good things, decision B will bring you another kind of good things, so you will never fear in making decisions and regret whatever decisions you made.

Here are things that I am grateful for from my PhD days:

Fulfilling a dream
. Idealistically, PhD is an abbreviation for People Have Dreams. Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue a PhD. One needs good undergraduate records. Honestly, I meet many people who have higher IQ than me (I know that based on how fast they understand concepts / think of answers), but I was diligent and committed to do well in my academic study. None of my parents had enjoyed college or even the basic education, so being able to complete a study until the highest level is a personal and family dream for me during my school time. Then, after I passed my viva, I learned that there are Doctor of Sciences beyond PhD. The person who told me that is one of my supervisors, a professor with Doctor of Sciences. Like the saying, there will always be a higher mountain. However, completing my PhD makes me believe that I can fulfill any dream that I have in life.
Note: some universities may award very prominent leaders in business / government an honorary degree, this is another path to PhD.

Learning to trust my intuition. I made a crucial decision in the beginning of my study, though I had to say sorry to some people (in order not to upset them), I know deep inside I made the right decision. Those people kept on telling me that I would regret, but I have no regret now. I agree with Tim, regret is past-tense decision making. I am glad now that I made the audacious decision at that time.

Meeting friends of lifetime from around the globe. You can also meet international friends if you work in international firm, but PhD students are ‘slaves’, at least according to the Economist article and suffering people find consolation in each other. We have been super good friends.

Living frugally. I could survive without meat for a week until the next free meal opportunity. I managed to save a little from my PhD stipend for my parents. Unlike a senior MR who straight away went to set up her business and honing her sales skills, of course my earning was not comparable to my senior. After all, PhD stipends, if not self-funded, are often from generous donations of charitable organizations, philanthropists, and tax payers money. It does not seem right to be rich from stipend money, whereas it is laudable for my senior to earn 6 digits in her first four years of business.

More academic learning somehow enhanced my analytical and writing skills. It was during my PhD study that I produced writings that won me tickets to inspiring meetings not related to my thesis topic, but more on global issues. I met a friend of Warren Buffett who is so friendly and inspiring. I listened to so many enthusiastic entrepreneurs, decision makers, world leaders. Those are my happiest holidays. I seldom took time off, because I did not know how many days per annum I was allowed to take vacation. In fact, I could be considered over-worked.

Unleashing my courage and becoming a calculated risk-taker. I did some activities that I would never want to take before, I did not know how I managed to gather my courage but I know it has to be from within.

Surviving a hardship. As mentioned in the article, seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, and low pay are for PhD students. It takes great mental and physical strength to survive life like this. But what does not kill you, makes you stronger. Is it always true? But I witnessed how some surviving PhD students, with their white hair, wrinkles at merely 30s moved on to post-doc and continued the hardship, with greater responsibility and demands from their bosses. Indeed, I am concerned with a friend continuous fatigue just after completing his PhD with a supervisor whose interests are to squeeze as much juice as possible out of his students. The article also mentioned that the misaligned interests of academics / universities versus those of PhD students. The academics need cheap labors (PhD students and postdoc). Ideally, these academics play a mentoring role, but in real life, they are like slave drivers. Seeing how a mentor of mine do things, I do not want to be like him, squeezing poor PhD students. Fortunately, I also encounter two nice mentors.

My beautiful alma mater, an open space museum and garden. For the reputation of my alma mater, people like to "wow" in words or eyes, sometimes I feel like carrying an LV bag, that is why I swear not to buy any LV bag. I prefer high quality, non-branded, sometimes ethnic bags, with their own identity. I want to be regarded based on my character and the quality of my work, not based on the bag I carried (the school I went to). A matter of brand aside, I love the fresh air, the grass, the flora and fauna, the romantic architectures, the history, and many people whom I encounter there.

Thank you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

What is next? the art of detachment

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A mentor from Singapore sent me a transcript by Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang.
He was a 40-year-old millionaire and cosmetic surgeon with a stage-4 lung cancer.

Below are what I learned from the sharing which I integrate with my growing thoughts.

Medical aesthetic is a growing field. Richard viewed his patients (sources of income) as vain women, but I empathize with women with low self-esteem. Some people simply do not have the opportunity to grow their inner strength, to detach from the influence of media that worships celebrities and the superficial opinions of other people around them. Sadly, the other people can include parents, spouse, lover, and friends. I remember how my mother’s sister suggested that I should go for a surgery. I was just a primary school kid, and her words did hurt me. Fortunately, I did not listen to her! Later in life, I learned that my attribute is desirable by men whom I am attracted to. Of course, there are also people who have not grown to the stage to accept themselves as a gift from universe. I do not mean to judge, but I respect that different people have different perspectives in life.

A good friend is a gift.
Richard’s friend, Danny offered to extract Richard’s wisdom teeth, went for a 2-day fast for Richard’s recovery.
Danny is a man that goes all the way for his friend.
I want to be like Danny for my friends.

Hebrews 12:7-8
"Endure hardship as discipline as God is treating you as His children"

Cancer patients told Richard that many times, people tell them to stay positive.
But those people do not have the same experience as the cancer patients.
However, Richard, being a cancer patient himself, has the license to encourage cancer patients.
While we have positive intentions to encourage people, sometimes our words / actions may not be received well.
Sometimes ago, I volunteer to work with cancer patients. A lady told me that she needs not help after finding out what my profession is. I felt slightly discouraged, but I respect her perspective.
I also remember when I wish someone "Good Luck", and she said "no need".
Similarly, we often hear angry mothers telling their husband "you will never understand the pain of labor".
In contrast, in countries like Singapore and Switzerland, we also hear angry men telling their women "I have to waste n years of my life doing military services, while you enjoy faster progress in education and career".

It is important to have a trust / belief / faith. For Richard, Danny, Blueroselady, and many people, this includes the belief in God. There are people who do not believe in the religious God, but the act of respecting nature / universe, is a form of belief as well.

It is important to love and make service / contribution to others.
To quote Lusi Lim, "while we are celebrating the glory of human success, we must not forget: One day, our wealth, fame and power will all become irrelevant because it will all come to an end…"

According to Richard, many people are blessed with good wealth, but cannot handle them. The more people have, the more people want.
According to Matthew 19:23, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Hard does not mean impossible.
In the mass that we attended on the same day we celebrated our anniversary, I learned from the priest that church teaching does not forbid us to accumulate private property, but we must not be attached to our materialistic wealth.
Therefore, Blueroselady strives to master the art of detachment.
Wealth on its own is neutral, but the master of the wealth can use it for different purposes, e.g. to build hospitals, schools, to help the poor versus to show off by purchasing lavish luxury things (cars, bungalows / villas).
Moreover, there are also different kinds of wealth, we need to achieve a balance in acquiring each aspect of wealth.
Too much focus on materialistic wealth may compensate the growth of spiritual and wisdom wealth.
If one has dependants e.g. children and old parents / relatives without sufficient social security, a total neglect on the acquisition of materialistic wealth (in the basic form of money) is also against our God-planned purpose.

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

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We have been conditioned (trained / taught) to focus about our weaknesses.
For example,
1. parents scan the report cards of their children to focus on subjects their children need improvement, the failing grades are written in red, screaming for attention. Fortunately, my parents did not bother to look at my report cards.
2. teachers mark our homeworks, assignments, and exam papers with red inks. They do nothing on the correct answers, but our errors are marked with crosses.
3. bossses discuss on our weaknessess at annual performance review.
4. media loves to report stories of people who overcome their weaknesses to achieve great things.

Have we ever stopped to realize that focusing our strengths is more productive than improving our weaknesses?
Both Tim Ferriss and Chu Chin-Ning (whose books I read in autumn 2012) advocate us to focus on our strengths.

Yes, we can improve our weaknesses, but at slower pace.
The end results may be slight improvement, yet still mediocre.

Types of strength:
achiever / has stamina to work long hours
intellect / thinking
strategic / intuitive
futuristic / what can one does
relater / can relate with people
belief / has strong core values that one wil not compromise / stubborn

Note that a strength can also be a weakness, depending on the situations.

Remember that:
1. the key to success is to work with the way God designed us, focus on our strengths.
2. combine our strengths to create synergy and achieve greatness.
Many people may share the same individual strength as ours, but a combination of strengths shapes our uniqueness and identity, makes us outstanding if we can unleash the synergistic effects.
3. There are always abundance of opportunities for our particular combination of strengths. Jobs that do not make use of our strengths, require things that we are not strong in, are exhausting. If we have tried our best and still do not see desirable results, perhaps it is time to change jobs / career.
4. Every knife requires sharpening, similarly we must hone our strengths with knowledge, skills, and practice.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Media diet a la Blueroselady

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by information (e.g. news)?
If yes, you may be interested to go for a media diet like what I do.

Recipe for 1-week media diet:
1. No newspapers. Most (negative) news e.g. wars, crimes, gossips, are bad when read in the early morning and before sleeping. Instead, have a morning breakfast of inspiring notes from the books we have read.
2. No magazines.
3. No non-music radio (but some radio channels have ads for upcoming events), so no radio seems better. I listen to my collection of pre-downloaded music in mp3 format.
4. No fiction books.
5. No newsletters (e.g. from credit card companies, alma maters, community organizers).
6. No web surfing unless it is necessary to complete a work task for today.
7. No news website (I prefer Gmail to Yahoo mail because after I signed off from Yahoo mail, it always annoyingly directs me to news, which I have to quickly shut down with strong will. No Yahoo mail.
8. Throw advertising flyers immediately.
9. Use a-max-of-5-minute important news update. Ask "anything important happening in the world today / this week?" Even if I do not ask, I will hear important news from my family, co-workers, and friends.
10. No TV, no serial drama, except for 1 high-quality 2-hour movie.

PS: I first started the 1-week media diet in the 4th week of Oct 2012.

Recipe for 1-month media diet:
Steps 1-10 of 1-week media diet plus
11. No facebook. I succeeded in surviving alternating months in 2012 without facebook at all. On my laptop screen is a note "no facebook until end of a particular month".
12. Set a time slot (on a day of the month) to collect news related to topic of my interest.

Related:
Blueroselady’s not-to-do list
Time management plan in 2011

Written by blueroselady

October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am