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Posts Tagged ‘hope

30 revealing ideas from social psychology that can help us to appreciate people and our lives

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Below are interesting points (sometimes with some of personal thoughts & reflections) that I have learned from a course on social psychology taught by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan College.

@~@ Know yourself. Seach inside yourself.
LaoZi : "He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is enlightened."
Benjamin Franklin : "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self"
Daniel Gilbert : "We seem to know less about the worlds inside our heads that about the world our heads are inside."

@~@ People often MISWANT.
Blueroselady :
How to overcome the challenge that we are remarkably bad at predicting of what will make us happy?
This question is very important because many of life’s big decisions involve predicting our future feelings.
Examples of life’s big decisions : marriage, career / profession, migration, vacation.
Funny real-life example : a friend J told me that her husband fluctuates between praising-in-the-form of question and complaining:
(1) "why a such a smart woman like you wanted to marry a jerk and stayed on?"
(2) "It’s a nightmare to be with you for the rest of your life, I was enticed by your physical attractions"

@~@ Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to notice our shortcomings (e.g. your pimple, your spiky hair because of having no time to comb your hair because of waking up late).

@~@ "Research has found that audiences can’t pick up on your anxiety as well as you might expect …
Other people are noticing less than you might suppose."
Blueroselady: The next time you have to deliver a public talk / give a company presentation / make a sales pitch, do not worry. Just do it!

@~@ Susan Andersen & Serena Chen, 2002: In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

@~@ Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but automatic and unself-conscious.
Blueroselady: Be mindful. We can choose to practice mindfulness.
Mindful breathing… Mindful eating… Mindful doing…

@~@ self-schema vs possible selves
self-schema = beliefs about self that organize & guide the procession of self-relevant information.
possible selves = images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
self-schema strongly affect how we see / perceive, remember, evaluate other people & ourselves.

@~@ major negative events vs minor irritations
major negative events activate our psychological defense.
minor irritations do not activate our psychological immunity.

@~@ Role playing becomes reality.
As we enact a new role, e.g. college student, parent. salesperson, we initially feel self-conscious.
Progressively, the role playing becomes reality.
This reminds me on the message that Amy Cuddy wants us to remember in her TED talk on body language.
Fake it till you make it.
Fake it till you become it.

@~@ How do we decide if we are rich, smart, or tall?
The answer is social comparison (Festinger, 1954) in affluence, status, achievement.
Blueroselady: Many things in life (that I know of) are relative, particularly those that are measurable.
A reader’s question: "I have made a living comparing data in my job / career. Comparing has become my second nature. How can I stop comparing in life?"
Blueroselady suggestions:
# Gratitude exercises.
# Detachment exercises : Detach your emotions from the outcome of your comparisons. I hear you, it is easy to say, but challenging to do, that is why detachment is an art; for the sake of our happiness, we must practice the art of detachment.
# Mindfulness exercises : Remember that (1) social comparisons can decrease our life satisfaction. (2) 人比人气死人 (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."
# Kindness exercises : Be kind & compassionate to yourself, leave behind comparisons with others.
# Affirmations e.g. It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else.

@~@ Children whom other people label as as gifted, hardworking or helpful tend to incorporate such ideas into their self-concepts & behavior.

@~@ Self-reliance
Self-reliant individual is celebrated in Western literature, e.g. The Iliad, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

@~@ Classifying / pigeonholing / labeling cultures as solely individualist or collectivist oversimplifies.
The oversimplification is because within any culture, individualism varies from person to person (Oyserman et al, 2002).
Blueroselady: Remember not to do hasty generalization.

@~@ Interdependent self
# has a greater sense of belonging.
# is defined by social connections with family, colleagues, loyal friends.
# has many selves: self-with-parents, self-at-work, self-with-friends.
# disapproves egotism, whereas independent self disapproves conformity.
# e.g. collectivistic Asian & Third World cultures.
# persists more on tasks when they are failing because wants to meet others’ expectations (e.g Japanese)
# prioritizes WE over ME

@~@ "So far, most of psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class White American settings studying middle-class White American respondents."
However, there are ways of life beyond the one that each of us knows best.
Blueroselady: In other space & time context (e.g. sociocultural context), there can be different ideas & practices about how to live a meaningful life.

@~@ Tips: eat before shopping.
Gilbert & Wilson (2000) showed that hungry shoppers do more impulse buying

@~@ Why is your friend’s success can be more threatening that that of strangers?
According to Zuckerman & Jost (2001), you feel that your self-esteem is threatened.
How do people react to self-esteem threat?
High self-esteem people blame others or try harder next time.
Low self-esteem people blame themselves or give up.
According to Roy Baumeister, folks with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, & to talk at people rather than to talk with people.
Bonus: It is useful for parents to know that
# among sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greates for an older chld with a highly capable younger brother / sister.
# many people could not escape their tough childhoods, which is a cause of low self-esteem.

@~@ Secure self-esteem
# is rooted more in feeling good about who one is than in grades, looks, affluence / money, others’ approval.
# is essential for long-term well-being.
# Blueroselady views secure self-esteem neither as high nor low self-esteem, but self-esteem in equilibrium / in balance.

@~@ self-esteem vs self-efficacy
self-esteem = if you like yourself overall
Self-efficacy = if you believe you can do something

@~@ How to be less intimated (by others) & less gullible?
# remember that personal testimonies are powerfully persuasive but they may also be wrong.

@~@ Self-serving bias?
# attribute positive outcomes to oneself (e.g. own managerial skill)
# attribute negative outcomes to other factors (e.g. a down economy)

@~@ Examples of self-serving bias
# Group members’ estimates of how much they contribute to a join task typically sum to more than 100%. For instance, husband & wife are members of a group.
# most business people see themselves as more ethical than the average business people.
# Pronin & Ross (2006) reported that we see ourselves as objective & everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight!

@~@ Feedback is best when it is TRUE & SPECIFIC.
Specific feedback e.g. You are good at maths.
General feedback e.g. You are great.
To encourage someone (e.g. children, mentees, students, subordinates), remember that specific feedback is more effective than general feedback.

@~@ To improve performance, give self-efficacy feedback instead of self-esteem feedback.
e.g. of self-efficacy feedback : You tried really hard.
e.g. of self-esteem feedback : You are really smart.

@~@ When to listen to criticism & not to listen?
David Dunning’s gentle rule: "if two people independently give you the same piece of negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that it might be true"

@~@ Terror management theory by Jeff Greenberg: the reality of our own death motivates us to gain recognition from our work & values, but not everyone can achieve such recognition.

@~@ Competence + perseverance = success

@~@ Success requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to motivate concern.

@~@ According to Jule Norem (2000), defensive pessimism can sometimes save us from the perils of unrealistic optimism.
Blueroselady: Negative emotions such as anger and pessimism are not entirely bad, we just need healthy ways to deal with them.
Tips: Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself.

@~@ Tyranny of freedom? too many choices can lead to paralysis.
According to Barry Schwartz, individualistic modern cultures have an excess of freedom which leads to the tyranny of freedom.
# Choice may enhance regret.
# People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices. This is because when people can undo their decisions they tend to consider both the positive & negative features of the decisions they had made. When they could not undo their decisions, people tend to concentrate on the positive features & ignore the negative features. For example, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriages several decades ago when marriage was more irrevocable.

@~@ Love causes marriage, but marriage would also causes love.
Blueroselady: This hypothesis may explain why arranged marriages (in some cultures) have successfully worked and survived.

@~@ The 5:1 ratio of positive:negative activities
To sustain important relationships such as marriage and parental relationships, ensure that you strive to increase the ratio of positive to negative activities by at least 5 fold.
e.g. of positive activities : holding hands, giving a hug, lending a listening ear.
e.g. of negative activities : arguing, complaining.

More
# Book: Social Psychology. Chapter 2. DG Myers. 2012.
# Notes at the end of email

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Written by blueroselady

December 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

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

How to use quotes to better your life? 4 empowering tips

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Do you love quotes?
Do you have a collection of quotes that you love?
Would you please share one or few with me those that you love most (in comment below)?

When I was a high school student, like other boarders, I was assigned to a particular class room for 7-10 pm self-study every Sundays to Fridays, and Saturdays too when it was near the exam period!

I was fortunate that the class room where I was assigned to had inspiring quote written on the black board.
坚其志,苦其心,劳其力,事无大小,必有所成。

Since then, I started to collect my own quotes.

I also learned that by including quotes in my essays, I can improve the quality of my writings, and received higher marks. So, I started to memorize some useful quotes.

Agreeing with my friend Passuello of Litemind, quotes can instantly transform our moods, feelings & emotions, like a keyboard shortcut. Being short & succinct, quotes act faster than books, music & movies.

Toni Robbins highlights the importance of being able to instantly switch our mood, it is a relief to realize that quotes can be one of our arsenals.

We may have already known about the idea that a particular quote expresses, but sometimes we may have forgotten about it. The quote can serve as our reminder.

Sometimes, we may subscribe to popular ideas, but not everything popular is always right. Quotes of different (if not opposing) ideas can challenge our perspectives.

Sometimes, we have an idea on particular issues, but we are struggling to find the right words to express it. Herein, quotes come as a shortcut & springboard for explaining our ideas / established views / formed perspectives to others.

To summarize,
1. quotes are useful to instantly transform our emotions.
2. quotes can make us happy and hopeful.
3. quotes challenge our perspectives.
4. quotes enable us to communicate (write, speak, talk) effectively.

Bonus:
# Quote of the day:
Do our Best
Let God do the Rest
# Quotes at the end of my email

Written by blueroselady

September 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

How to live a healthy life? 17 simple tested tips

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1. Rest well. Sleep 6-8 hours daily.

2. Live a life of integrity, so that you can sleep well at night.

3. Master the art of how to stop worrying, so that you can sleep well at night.
Many years ago, I found the simple tips by Dale Carnegie help.
I have added more tips to my arsenal,
and will share about it more.

4. Know when & how to say NO to unnecessary activities / requests.

5. Remember “Those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind.
Beware of culture-driven narcissism.

6. Remember “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me
Example:
When my good friend L was serving in Students’ Union, she gave her best to serve the students as an act of gratitude.
L was from a relatively poor family but fortunately she received full scholarhsip and some living allowance, so she was highly motivated to give back to other fellow students.
Sadly, her predecessor (in Students’ Union) scolded her ‘lackey’ / ‘running dog’.
Later she realized that her predecessor was just a man who was hungry for power, loved to drink excessive alcohol, and did not care of others.
No need to care about his word.
I personally found L an inspiring leader.
She was willing to help her subordinates much more beyond what her predecessor did.

7. Pray to say your gratitude and aspirations / hope.

8. Forgive.
The most forgiving person I have ever known: Jesus.
When you want to forgive someone (but still feel the hurt inside), remember Jesus.

9. Harbor no intention to harm others.
害人之心不可有,防人之心不可无.
If you have been erred, the best revenge is success.

10. Eat more vegetables and fruit; eat less red meat.
Tips:
cook rice with some healthier choices e.g.
sweet potatoes
carrot
pumpkin

11. Eat home cooked food.
Honestly, cooking can consume a lot of time.
On Vesak Day of 2013, I spent my time from 10am – 4 pm going to shop for groceries, washing, peeling, cutting, and cooking.
Yes, I do take a time out for brunch, feeding and bathing my child.
But, it consumed 25% of my time.
My strategy to cope:
do not cook on continuous days,
if possible cook on alternate days.

12. Try your best to pass motion daily.
When the diaper of my first son was wet,
it was more difficult for him to relax and pass motion, regardless that I train him to pass motion.
That is why he loved to pass motion after I just changed his diaper.

13. Stroll / walk, breathe in fresh air @ park / natural reserves / gardens / beaches. Nature heals!
If you have a dog, you can walk your dog.

14. Reframe your perspectives of doing house chores as a form of exercises.

15. While you pursue the tangible, cherish the intangible.
At the end of the day, it is the intangible (love, happiness, health, harmony / peace) that matters.
However,
to have the intangible,
one must have the tangible : money (e.g. to travel / to learn / to buy), achievements (e.g. degree, career promotion, sales record), materials (e.g. nutritious food, warm clothings, safe home / luxurious bungalow).
Solution?
1. Prioritize.
2. Practice the art of balancing.

16. Write to yourself.
Read
http://goinswriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/The-Writers-Manifesto.pdf
Keep a diary / journal.
Reflect.
This helps to prioritize.

17. Create for yourself & share it to others.
My simple definition of “create” include
think of ideas.
write your ideas down.
do it (e.g. experiments / cooking / dance).
design products.
photograph your creation.
make audios of your ideas & creations (e.g. if your idea is in the form of song / poem / speech).
make videos of your ideas & creations.
make presentations (using e.g. powerpoint).
invent / innovate business ideas / business models.
the list goes on

and most importantly
share them to the world with your greatest LOVE!
Honestly, the act of creating makes me so happy.

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Written by blueroselady

June 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Marriage is a journey, not a destination

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

Dave Meurer, "Daze of Our Wives"

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
Russian writer Leo Tolstoy
books2012.txt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spread a little sunshine by doing charity together.

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

Spouse = soul mate = lover = partner.

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

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

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

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

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Written by blueroselady

March 14, 2013 at 3:03 am

Posted in family, love

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

Make us true servants

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Make us true servants to all those in need,
Filled with compassion in thought, word and deed;
Loving our neighbour, whatever the cost,
Feeding the hungry and finding the lost.

Lord, make us prophets to cry out the way,
telling the nations of mercy’s new day.
Let us break barriers of hatred and scorn,
speaking of hope to all people for lorn

Lord, make us healers of body and mind;
give us your power to bring sight to the blind;
Love to the love- less and gladness for pain,
Filling all hearts with the joy of your name.

Written by blueroselady

September 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Posted in God, music

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

How do I know God's will for me?

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Fr Paul Boudreau suggests need no further than Scripture, the Church and my own personal history.

Finding the will of God is really important for those of us who love the Lord and want to live our lives according to His purpose for us.

We have the Bible, the Word of God that "was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4)

By prayer we can discern ‘what is the will of God and obtain the endurance to do it’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church no 2826).

We already know the will of God.
It is spoken somewhere deep within us, in the hidden part of our hearts where God is known and encountered.
It is where God’s love is generated in us, in our strongest desires.

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US,
through the crooked ways and the straight,
the successes and the failures.

People have a natural desire for happiness.
This desire is of divine origin:
God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it.
Catechism no. 1718

Look in my heart.
What is my true desire?
Follow that desire; do what I love.

I love to share my love, my knowledge, my encouragement and my smiles.

Written by blueroselady

May 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm