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Posts Tagged ‘friends

Tips on how to make a small talk from Keith Ferrazi

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

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

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

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

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

See also
email "Keith Ferrazi"

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Written by blueroselady

October 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

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

Written by blueroselady

September 25, 2013 at 4:56 am

My simple thought on wedding

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This was a note that I wrote some time ago.

My dream wedding: in a church at an exotic destination,
with Fiance, Dad, Mum, Grandma, Sisters, Brothers.
No uncles, no aunties, no distant relatives.
Simple.

It seems that I will not be able to have my perfect dream wedding,
but at least I will have the church wedding.

The fiance: "There are only 2 occasions when many people gather for us, our wedding and funeral".

Well, Dad had once organized a party where he hosted ~60 tables (600 people).

I personally think that we still can have anniversary, celebration party.

The movie "非诚勿扰2" also has a funeral party where the main host is still alive, though severely ill.

The groom-to-be: "Colleagues seem to be more responsive to invitations than friends."
"Some friends (or acquaintances) seem to ignore invitation by not replying which keeps us wandering, are they coming?". In the past, the groom-to-be had attended their weddings / baby showers.

Well, we do not have expectations on others, then we will not feel hurt.

Some people used to invite us to fill in the tables. We were naive.
How could we politely refuse such requests?
1. We will be overseas.
2. We have other weddings to attend.

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

Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 4:30 am

Reflections on love: Happy Valentine 2013

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Love means giving in without giving up.

Being in love produces the same physiological responses as fear: pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.

Men who kiss their wives each morning live 5 years longer than those who don’t.

Medical experts suggest you are more likely to catch a common cold by shaking hands than by kissing.

Love and marriage are boosts for your health, so much so that one doctor admitted that if a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be recommending it.

“Marriage is 3 parts love and 7 parts forgiveness of sins,” Lao Tzu observed.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
According to research, love at first sight is not just a fairy tale. If a person is in the right emotional frame of mind, it can take as little as 30 seconds to fall in love. Physical appearance tops he list for attraction, but a desire to know more about t person is another factor. Interestingly, men fall first but are usually the most fickle, a sign that it is possible to fall in love with more than a person at a time.

In my darkest moment I found my brightest light. I am so glad I found you.

I not only love you, but love that you love me.

A reflection on universal love through a Swedish proverb,
“Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”
The worst, ugliest, dirtiest, most annoying human being we have encountered is probably the one that we have to love most, because s/he is the one who needs our love or compassion most.

I will tell my children, “when the going gets tough, remember: your mother loves you.”

I love this quote by Antoine De Saint-Exupery:
“Perhaps friendship is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself.”

I also love this quote by Vincent van Gogh:
“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Happy Valentine 2013, with love from Blueroselady.

Written by blueroselady

February 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Christmas 2012: I think I am a geek

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While people are in the mood of celebrating Christmas and New Year, I am finding myself to be more motivated and hardworking than ever.

I had shopped for Christmas gifts early (I did it simultaneously when I shopped for groceries and there were sales / discounts). No last minute shopping for me. Thank you for the new bag and book for my Christmas gifts!

I am learning to forgive my boss who is dragging me down. He is slowing the progress of my work. I am also learning about patience.

Due to medical reason, I am not allowed by my doctor (and mother) to go out (including to go to my workplace, church). Fortunately, I can still work using my laptop, read, reflect and think. Pretty happy.

Counting my blessings:
@~@ Finished reading and understanding a couple of books.
@~@ Have consulted and learned from my mentors more than in 2011: the super kind MT, Uncle Zhou, Aunt Ning, Aunt SQ (Dec), Uncle Toni, Uncle Roger (Nov), Brother Adam, Brother Tim.
@~@ Planned for the education of LS and obtained the approval from the father of LS. See pink 2012 notebook page 51.
@~@ Reflected on my lessons (Always remember that there are no absolute failures, but temporary setbacks), past achievements (e.g. PhD), and future plans (including being a business-owner entrepreneur, an agent of positive change).

An important lesson:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

@~@ Have fed myself with positive food for mind and soul (almost daily and every morning). This is highly important because the Russian psychologist Blyuma Zeigarnik discovered early in this century that human beings remember unresolved problems, frustrations, failures, and rejections much better than we remember our successes and completions.
@~@ Being hugged every morning and night by my man. Tips: Women need to be loved, men need to be respected.
@~@ Sent personalized Christmas cards to my friends.
@~@ Ate Shepherd pie and banana pear yoghurt for the breakfast on Christmas Eve. Shepherd pie reminds me on cold and wet England in the winter.
@~@ No need to spend time on commuting means I can sleep more.
@~@ Delivered an almost 90-minute of talk (based on my notes from books I read in 2012) to LS, with breaks in between. Tired. I must train my stamina because I will deliver more inspiring talks in the future. See books2012.txt
@~@ Dressed up myself on Christmas day, though I could not wear my engagement ring (hopefully for temporary). I love the progress of applying make-up, transforming myself into more beautiful than ever.
@~@ Clean flat (since Dec 23rd) thanks to the cleaning lady. We are sleeping on my favorite bed sheets with the pattern of pink flowers and purple leaves. So far, we only have 3 bed sheets.
@~@ Not being able to attend a Christmas mass, I listened to "On Eagle’s Wings". Always remember that "He will raise you up on eagle’s wings".

@~@ Listened to the songs by Mindy Gledhill. Gothic. Soothing. Fairy Tales.

Finally, Merry Christmas to the readers of Blueroselady. I love you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

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

Human relationships are complex yet I want to build relationships using my simplicity and sincerity

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A successful friend (77), once told me that the most difficult thing is human relationship. In the end of March 2012, due to miscommunication, I realize that my friend is perhaps right.

People of different background are involved in this communication, from the English, the French, the Indian, to the Chinese, so it is hard for me to tone my communication to suit someone, as it involved people of diverse background.
I sent suggestions as my help was requested, but the person feel insulted.
I want to help others.
I have tried to limit myself not to help others, if they do not request my help.
Even so, I still make the other person unhappy.

A piece of advice from the mentor SH:
I think you should have a talk with him to clarify things.
All guys have ego, like your brother, I think it is of similar situation.

Lessons:
1. To tailor make my communication to different individuals.
2. Accept the fact that I cannot make everyone happy.

Another example for sharing:
A close friend of mine (a male) once accidentally asked his former colleague GM if she likes him.
The problem was she knew that he was in a relationship with a girl who is their mutual friend.
With the personality of his former colleague, my close friend made her lose face.
Since then, she refused my close friend to contact her.

Written by blueroselady

December 24, 2012 at 9:38 am