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Posts Tagged ‘perseverance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Perseverance: why does it matter? Can perseverance be learned?

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People have focused on measuring cognitive skills such as intelligence.

However, others skills, beyond cognitive skills, contribute to human development and success.
A form of essential non-cognitive skills is perseverance / tenacity / grit.

"Never, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up." ~ Winston Churchill, Battle of Britain.

Angela Lee Duckworth defines grit as "sticking with things over the very long term until you master them."
Her research results indicate that grit mattered more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

People who are not as bright as their peers "compensate by working harder and with more determination." Good friends of mine such as KS and SL seem to belong to this group of people.

Napoleon Hill listed perseverance / persistence as the 8th step toward Riches.
Perseverance is the sustained effort necessary to induce faith.
Perseverance is based on the power of will.

Death is a sad event for many people.
I remember how I still felt sad when my grandmother passed away, after living a long life worth celebrating instead of mourning.
Death of those who are too young to die, is even more saddening for their parents.
I remember the severe heartache I felt when I lost my first brother,
and have since promised myself with great perseverance that I will live much longer than my parents,
so that the white hair do not have to bid farewell to the black hair (this is an Eastern saying).
Ideally, it is the black hair who bid farewell / bury their parents / grandparents (those with white hair and have lived long lives).
The story of Adrian Misic’s mother, Parto Khorsidi of perseverancefoundation.wordpress.com indeed, reminded me on the sorrow of my mother. She wrote perseverance "means to go on when nothing makes sense, when the pain of living is much larger than the fear of death."

We need perseverance not only when things go wrong, but also when things go right, so that we can push ourselves to learn more as highlighted by Jill Gough and kate Burton.
How far could and should we push ourselves?

In our spiritual lives, we must also persevere in prayer, like the persevering widow told in Luke 18:1-8. Andrew Murray, a famous 19th Century South African write, once said "Of all the mysteries of the prayer world, the need for persevering prayer is one of the greatest."
If we are discouraged, pray.
If we have lost heart, pray.
If we don’t know the way forward, pray.

Remember that persevering prayer activates our frontal lobes and anterior cingulate gyrus, resulting in increased compassion, memory function (through neuroplasticity), and stress reduction.

Perseverance is essential to sustain our lives, our marriages, our families, our work, our spiritual quest.

Other inspiring posts:
http://painfighter.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/quote-of-the-day-perseverance/
http://classicbookreader.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/the-tenacity-of-the-human-spirit/

Written by blueroselady

November 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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"

Written by blueroselady

October 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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

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

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

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

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

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

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

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

Posted in study

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8 Life lessons from dog

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Dear my beloved readers,

Are you a dog lover?
Do you have a lovely, cute, or naughty puppy or dog as your pet?
Personally, I have lived with a lovely yet naughty dog (she was only 1~2 years old when we began our relationship).
I walked her sometimes,
we played and jumped at a trampoline,
and she would always rushed down stairs when I returned from work at almost midnight.
She would look at me and pant with happiness (just for my returning home).
Her action was very heartwarming,
especially at the chilling night after a long day of work.

Or have you had a bad experience with dog?
I heard a story that in a developing country,
where the social gap is relatively wide,
a beautiful girl was bitten by a dog of a rich family.
Consequently, she suffered serious fever and died few days later.
Such a precious life had gone just like that.
Although I could not ascertain if this story was true,
it serves a reminder to us that not all dogs are good to us.

A good friend was once complaining about his neighbor’s dog.
It barked suddenly and shocked his father who has heart medical condition.
It barked fiercely at delivery men, babies and children, including those of neighbors.

In my current conclusion, dogs can be our friends (to some people dogs are their best friend) or foes.

According to BBC reports by Jonathan Amos, dog has actually evolved from wolf ‘on the waste dump’.
After knowing about this finding,
would you want to keep a wolf as a pet?
What come to your mind when you think of the word ‘word’?
Dracula.
The Red Riding Hood.
Wolves have not been positively portrayed.
On the other hand,
when we think of our pet dogs,
they are so docile and appear to be permanently stuck in a kind of innocent puppyhood.

What make (some) dogs so lovely as compared to wolves?

1. LOVE is powerful.
Dogs love unconditionally.
Once the dog wins over the love of the master, the master is willing to sacrifice / spend for / to serve the dog.
For example,
Roy Chong was helping an expatriate to look for a bungalow to rent in Singapore.
The comfortable monthly price range of the tenancy that the tenant looked for was SGD25,000 (paid by his company), and the tenant had only a request.
He wanted a pool to be available for his Golden Retriever dog to swim around.
Most landlords rejected his request, except a landlord who asked for SGD27,000.
The tenant happily spent the extra SGD2,000 so that his dog can swim / play at his home.

2. LOYALTY
Some wolves had evolved into our best friend: our dogs that protect our home from the most dangerous animal in the whole world and that is human.
For my experience, S always faithfully welcomed me when I just returned home.

3. NATURE heals. Go outdoor, walk / stroll at the park / garden, breathe in fresh air, let the tree and birds cheer us up!
To quote Threesia Goff, a little fresh air goes a long way to brighten your day.
Note : exception exists. If you live in a heavily polluted city or when haze affects your city, perhaps staying indoor combined with a weekend getaway is an option.

4. TIME is the best gift we can give to others, because even money cannot buy back the lost time.
Always make time for the people in your life.
There is a saying that you choose your friends but not your family.
So where do colleagues fit in?
Many of us who are employed spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our family or friends yet we cannot choose who our colleagues are.
In my humble opinion,
there are situations where we cannot choose who our associates are.
If our colleagues are good, we try our best to maintain harmonious fellowship, learn from them, and emulate their strengths.
If our colleagues are bad, we also try our best to maintain harmonious fellowship (not to turn anyone into a foe).

Some people said that we do not choose our parents.
I also heard that before we were conceived,
God asked us which (biological) parents we want to choose, just that when we arrived as a newborn, we forgot everything.
However, we can choose who our Godparents are.

5. be PRESENT.
Dogs live in the moment and don’t hold grudges.
Christina Villa suggests us to slow down and notice the sights, sounds, and smells of our everyday life,
as inspired by our dogs which stop to smell the roses and little children.
Although planning is important, sometimes over planning may lead to unnecessary worry. I once read from the National Geographic "Don’t worry so much. Worry is praying for what you don’t want.".
Here is some suggestions / reflections on how not to worry.

6. PERSEVERANCE : never give up!
Ever see a dog try to chase a squirrel up a tree? They jump, claw at the tree, and bark their heads off.
Personally, I have had some challenges sometimes while walking S (a golden retriever),
when we just left the gate,
she would half running half jumping instead of walking.
Once a guy remarked,
"It seems like your dog walk you instead of you walk your dog!"
S also loves to chase ducks and pursue them until S fell into a dirty drain,
and we had to spend an evening completely bathing her.

7. KNOW YOURSELF
Don’t go out without your tag. Always remember who you are, where you come from, and the name and number of someone to call if you get lost.
At minimum requirement, know how to return home after running out from your home.

8. Be genuinely INTERESTED in other people.
Being interested in other people here refers to being caring, not interrogating.
Story 1:
Z was sharing with me once she met a President’s Scholar, who interrogated her (at their first encounter) on a train.
Story 2:
When my friends visited me, S would stand on her 2 legs against my friends to welcome them.

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

Written by blueroselady

June 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Posted in experience, lifestyle

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Reflections on Coursera: 7 reasons I love it

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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

Songs that I sing to my children & their inspirations : 1. 男儿当自强

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Once Upon a Time in China soundtrack.

Message: perseverance

Once upon a time in China
〜男儿当自强〜
傲气面对万重浪热血像那红日光
胆似铁打骨如精钢
胸襟百千丈眼光万里长
我发奋图强做好汉
做个好汉子每天要自强
热血男儿汉比太阳更光
让海天为我聚能量
去开天辟地为我理想去闯
看碧波高壮又看碧空广阔浩气杨
我是男儿当自强
昂步挺胸大家作栋梁做好汉
用我百点热耀出千分光
做个好汉子热血热肠热比太阳更光
让海天为我聚能量
去开天辟地为我理想去闯
看碧波高壮又看碧空广阔浩气杨
我是男儿当自强
昂步挺胸大家作栋梁做好汉
用我百点热耀出千分光
做个好汉子热血热肠热比太阳更光
做个好汉子热血热肠热比太阳更光

Written by blueroselady

May 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

Posted in music

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