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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.

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.

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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

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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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Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, You are my Hero

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A friend of mine who is a scientist shared with me about Douglas Prasher’s story. When I was a little kid, I consider the following careers very cool / glamorous / glorious : pilot, adventurers (e.g. Columbus, Everest), scientists, astronauts, … and many others.

However, my friend said that being scientists is not all glorious, there is no guarantee that one can meet one’s basic survival needs (according to the Maslow’s hierarchy) of food, clothes, shelter / home, even after one has done high quality work that deserves Nobel Prize like what happened to Douglas Prasher.

In brief, the Nobel Prize I am referring to is for the discovery and engineering of fluorescent proteins – molecules that can glow in the dark. Sound so fun!

The fluorescent proteins are powerful research tools and have become the foundation of a multimillion-dollar industry.

Prasher was not included among the Nobel laureates, as only 3 individuals can share a single Nobel Prize. “The glow of the GFP gene may have illuminated biology, but Prasher has remained in the shadows.” The humble ^ Laureate Martin Chalfie credited Prasher’s contribution:
“(Douglas Prasher’s) work was critical and essential for the work we did in our lab. They could’ve easily given the prize to Douglas and the other two and left me out.”

^ To share the best of the best to you dearest readers, I have carefully studied Nobel Laureates and summarize their strengths that worth emulating.

My friend J, who is also a scientist and used to work 7 days a week from 9 am to 11 pm daily, shared with me that there are sadly numerous unacknowledged contributions in science. She told me that a lady called Rosalind Franklin also deserves a Nobel Prize but she died too early. J told me that she cried reading the story of Prasher.

To quote discovermagazine, the vanishing act of Douglas Prasher “provides a glimpse into what it takes to flourish in modern-day science, where mentorship, networking, and the ability to secure funding can be as important as talent and intelligence.”

Dear aspiring scientists (especially graduate students), I hope that my sharing provide you with additional perspective. One of a leader of a science research institute sadly told me (in a chance encounter in a public transport) that in the past only the rich can do scientific research because they do not have to trade their time to earn a living. These people were for example the landlord who receive passive income ; they have the time (one of the most priceless commodity in the universe), the brain energy & physical energy to carry out scientific experiments.

He also shared with me about his personal experience, he was previously trained as a medical doctor (a career that may guarantee a better earning), but later switched to become a scientist. Few years down the road after he has children, he woke up in the middle of night sweating and worrying on how to finance his mortgage. The good news is his children are now grown-up.

Dear aspiring scientists, your professors and successful scientists you meet would rarely tell you such stories because they need workers. Graduate students are very cheap to the extent that they are free to the professors. You will rarely meet unsuccessful scientists because they are no longer around in the labs / meetings / conferences to warn you / to be naysayers for you who will eventually become successful scientists. Do not give up on your chosen career easily. After all, scientists will meet countless failures (positive people prefer to refer a failure as a learning experience) because they are at the frontier of discovery and innovation. You really need perseverance in the pursuit of science, science needs you, our world need you ; but one must not neglect what is entrusted to him by the Universe / the Creator / God, e.g. young children to feed, nurture, take care.

Dear aspiring scientists, do not be disheartened by what I share here because if you are really passionate about science, you want and you should give it your best, until you really meet dead ends. You can be like Douglas Prasher, to be humble and willing to take other kinds of jobs, including being a bus driver at $8.50 an hour. I respect bus drivers, they provide essential service to many people, and I personally rely on them often. I view them as my everyday heroes who courier me safely from a place to another. But to be honest, one who had worked as a scientist must have to endure the words of their past colleagues on becoming a bus driver. If you master the art of endurance, are willing to work hard and have integrity in life, no matter what you do / your career / job, you will have inner happiness, which is much more important than prestige (e.g. awards) / glamor. If you want to be successful in a particular career, perseverance * and resourcefulness ^ are essential.

* “Doug doesn’t have the ‘Goddammit, you’re not going to stop me’ attitude,” Ward says.”
^ “It was the kind of resourcefulness that Prasher seemed to lack.”

After all, there are many things that Prasher can be happy and grateful about: his supportive wife, his children, his home-grown vegetables & finally a return to science.

Dear my readers, all careers are similar in the chance of success; they just vary in the steepness of the climb. My kind friend shared that the climbing field for being successful scientists started relatively easy for students who have done well academically / with exceptional scholastic ability, but become very very steep toward the higher place(s).

Final reflection:
Let the (use) value that we bring to ourselves and others through our work / pursuit / career / vocation shine itself.
Do not pursue recognition / award as a goal because it is beyond our control.
Even one of the most deserving Nobel Prize winner – Gandhi, never receive it.

Dear Dr Douglas Prasher, thank you very much! You are my Hero!

Related:
http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/30-how-bad-luck-networking-cost-prasher-nobel
http://galette86.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/the-inspiring-story-of-douglas-prasher/
http://www.bio.purdue.edu/lab/leung/blog/?tag=douglas-prasher

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Do not worry if your child(ren) are stubborn / strong-willed. 10 tips to make a positive use of their strong will

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S shared with me an article from ahaparenting.

“Have a strong-willed child?
You’re lucky! Strong willed children can be a challenge to parent when they’re young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults.
Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious / unaffected to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to “break their will,” strong-willed kids often become leaders.”
It takes two to have a power struggle. You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited!
If you can take a deep breath when your buttons get pushed, and remind yourself that you can let your child save face and still get what you want, you can learn to sidestep those power struggles.”
Blueroselady : S said this is also applicable to handle a big baby at her home.

It is important to know the difference between MORALITY / INTEGRITY & OBEDIENCE.
MORALITY / INTEGRITY is doing what’s right, no matter what you’re told.
OBEDIENCE is doing what you’re told, no matter what’s right.

1. Avoid power struggles by using ROUTINES and RULES.
2. Your strong-willed child wants MASTERY more than anything.
3. Give your strong-willed child CHOICES / alternatives.
4. Give her AUTHORITY over her own body.
5. Don’t push him into opposing you. Remember that : winning a battle with your child always sets you up to lose what’s most important: the relationship.
6. Side step power struggles by letting your child SAVE FACE.
7. LISTEN to her.
8. See it from his PERSPECTIVE.
9. Discipline through the relationship, never through punishment.
10. Offer him RESPECT and EMPATHY.

Blueroselady strives to treat her children as she wants to be treated (with respect, independence).

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Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 4:17 am

China Innovators

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This post is based on the book Chinnovation. I also note down my ideas based on the things I read there.

INNOVATION.
Definition: doing the same things in a new way (process) or doing new things (creating a product / service) pxii.

After learning from the West, it is time for me to focus on learning from the East this year.
Wu Po Chi (HKUST) proposed that "the Chinese and the American culture are different.
The Anglo-Saxon thought, business, legal, medical system is based on the Greek system of linearity – very nice and clear separation of right and wrong. The Chinese are very holistic; little good and little bad.

… the functional MRI of a person thinking in Chinese, many more parts of the brain light up.
The Chinese language is more complicated in sound; it is graphical (so it is very good for descriptive purposes). It requires context.

The English language is not nearly so rich but it is precise."
Blueroselady learned (from an English man at the birth town of Shakespeare) that the English language is actually pretty rich by constantly adapting and adopting, as compared to e.g. the French language.

Perhaps, Blueroselady has to let her children learn some graphical languages, e.g. Chinese, Arabic.

What did you do when you hear the news of Michael Jackson’s death?

My office mate suddenly shouted something that I would not write here. No matter what, he is a nice chap who offered me a headset to prevent me from hearing his loud machine.
A China innovator rapidly secured the rights to build a Neverland Ranch in China.

These innovators capitalize on events happening in the world.

QUANTITY
counts.
Do you know that the Chinese Academy of Sciences alone produces ~ 100,000 PhDs / year?
Wuxi Pharma Tech.
Let’s go to visit / invest in Jiangsu.

No wonder that there are so many influx of PhDs from China to the West.

The best businessmen in China are not Shanghainese, but the businessmen of Wenzhou and Hangzhou.
It is neither because of the innate human talent of Wenzhou and Hangzhou is superior nor the probability of succeeding in Hangzhou and Wenzhou is higher.

It is because (1) everyone in Wenzhou and Hangzhou is trying to succeed as an entrepreneur, so the absolute numbers of attempts generate a lot of successes, (2) failure only leaves the option of trying again. Sorry, no comfortable white-collar job.

RELATIONSHIP & HUMILITY matter.
"good relationship with gov officials in China are much more important thin in other countries.
Building a good relationship with gov officials can reduce unnecessary trouble." (p55).

connectedness = renqin (p53).
"Prioritize RELATIONSHIPS over laws." (p56)
"Remember that people with bigger networks tend to do better."

Zou Bo of Senodia (MEMS-based chips producer) shared 2 avenues which he used to establish connections.

1. government.
The gov would introduce many resources.
2. investors.
Investors have many connections with other similar / related establishments. Zou Bo found the investors back in the US and brought them to China.

Old friends / classmates are existing channels (p243).

Lim Sah Soon (Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce) advised that in expanding to China, you should gain the good impression of being a modest and trustworthy race of people. Do not make the mistake of treating the Chinese as an inferior or backward race as this would cause the loss of trust, and definitely hurt relations for the future." (p184)

While the advice was meant for foreign players intending to expand into the China market, Blueroselady thinks that we should be modest and treat nobody as an inferior (regardless of race / social / economic background).

Perhaps the notion of inferior raised from the relatively poor quality of "Made in China" products in the past, but today many high quality products were also Made in China, such as my laptop.
Moreover, to many Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans), face matters a lot. Being treated as an inferior cause them to lose face.

RESTRICTIONS.
"Often the best movies were shot under budget constraints so severe that the director had to innovate – and the same principle apply for start-ups" (p15)
This phenomenon reminds me on Uncle RT who was poor in Berkeley yet produced excellent results.

The Chinese / The Zhejiang entrepreneurs are not easily deterred by the politic-economic conditions unfavorable to business formation. (p102).

Beijing is a cultural, political, economic & IT center because the Chinese gov is in control of significant resources. (p24)

5 Ms of Zhejiang entrepreneurs:
markets.
masses.
mobility.
management.
meshing / adapting best practices from other industries.

MARKETs / CUSTOMERs
Listen more to market (shichang), listen less to the governor (shizhang) which can be disguised in the form of generous grants / funding. (p102).

Markets believed by most people to be dead tend to have less competition hence lower cost of doing business. Be courageous to enter such markets (p103).

"Technology innovation should be market driven and not technology driven. We need to cater to consumers, just like why Cisco changed its logo" Zou Bo of Senodia (p245).

Management = innovation + operations (p104).

FOCUS & ELIMINATE distractions.
To focus, people choose to work in Hangzhou than Shanghai even though the typical wage is RMB3,000 vs RMB 6,000. (p104)
A big city like Shanghai has too many distractions!

Picking the right battle to fight is a form of focus.
Sun Tzu once said: "If you try to fight every battle, there is no hope of any victory."
Carefully select where to invest / expend resources (time and money).

How to out-innovate the MNC (multinationals)?
Do not fight the elephant head-on.
You will be crushed.
If you are the nimble mouse hat can find the crevices to exploit, your chances of winning are much higher (p265).

OPPORTUNITIES
problems = opportunities.
the larger the problem, the greater the opportunity. (p37).
"To the trained eyes, innovation opportunities appear frequently in daily life." (p56)

Start SMALL, think BIG.
"Every great fashion enterprise, every outstanding financial institution, every mammoth IT company, and every great invention began in the imagination of some one person." (p80).

GROWTH
A company’s growth is the same as a person’s.

Liu Jiren (Neusoft) explains: "You need something when you are young, then you need other things when you become older.
A company with ideals should have a long-term plan.
You should think about your mature phase when you are young.

But in the process of development, you can’t make every step develop as you expected from a microcosmic angle.

Now, when you look forward to to the company’s future, you will find what made you prosper in the past may become what holds you back in the future.


restructure …." (p252)

DIVERSITY
of experiences leads to critical thinking (p43).

PASSION / love.
Qiu Xuefan (Wenzhou entrepreneur), "Love what you do, because you will have to do a lot of it." (p179)

Blueroselady agrees. It is not only about doing what we love, but also loving what we do. It is bidirectional and must act in sync.

Zhang Gang, the founder of Little Fat Sheep mentioned that "I always wanted to have a basic business, selling something simple that people wanted. Many people grow a company like raising a pig. The pig gets fat; you kill it and make money. I grow my company like raising a son. The average life of a restaurant is less than three years in China. I want Little Sheep to last a century". (p202)

Wow! A brand that lasts a century sounds highly ambitious yet cool! This is what visionary leaders / entrepreneurs / innovators should aim for.
Blueroselady was grateful for enjoying a hot pot with Little Fat Sheep recipe (with friends from China), but thought that it was not for her. She felt very thirsty after the meal and decided NO more. Fortunately for Zhang Gang, not all customers are health conscious and bland preferring as Blueroselady.

DETERMINATION matters.
The 30th US President Calvin Coolidge famously remarked,
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." (p46)

PEOPLE / TALENT / human capital

According to Ray Zhang (eHi), people need to find meaning and significance in the things the company does. They need a common platform, an environment where personal careers and company growth are in sync, with no differences between the two (p259).

Vincent Tai (CEO of RDA Micro) repeatedly said, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste".
He trusts his employees even though they make mistakes.
He would sit down with an employee who had made a mistake, asking why it happened and what lessons the employee has learned. (p85).

A way to attract investors is by becoming a magnet talent e.g. Lee Kaifu or Li Kaifu (p110).
Lee / Li won a loyal following from Chinese students through his numerous coaching books, public speeches, blog posts, and most importantly (Blueroselady thinks) his accomplishment in high tech (Apple, Google, Innovation Works).

I am going to read Li’s old book "Be Your Personal Best" published in 1991, perhaps re-published in 2005.

Be doggedly persistent in attracting talent.
Treat talent as though they are family (p130).

Blueroselady notices that her best friend also treats her mentors as family, thank you!

A random quote that comes to my mind "千里马常有,而伯乐不常有".

Be CONTRARIAN.
If an opportunity is obvious to all, it probably has no profits. (p176).

Experiment with the uncommon for supernormal returns.
Judy Leissner (President, CEO of Grace Vineyard) shared her winning strategy, "Whatever old traditional Chinese wine producers do, we don’t." (p142)

Most old traditional China wine producers spend significantly on advertising and pay restaurants to serve wine, Grace Vineyard does not advertise.
Leissner opened up a wine bar to brand her wine. A wine bar allows 2-way communication.

Instead of restaurants, Grace Vineyard serves Grace Vineyard wine in the best hotels, leading airlines (e.g. Cathay Pacific’s 1st class and business class flights serve Deep Blue of Grace Vineyard).
Grace Vineyard also avoids area where dominant local wineries exist.

Blueroselady thinks that everything popular is not always right.

Some interesting COMPANIES / virtual PLACES with potential useful service to you & me:

Baidu
the leading Chinese-language internet search provider.
Baidu name refers to a line from a Song Dynasty poem, meaning "search for one’s dream". Blueroselady thinks that name matters. name = branding.
founder Robin Li, Eric Xu (a biochemist).

Wukong.com
Search engine that aims to be Baidu’s No. 1 competitor.
Nick Yang.

dianping.com
online crowdsourcing guide, paid search, e-coupons.

restaurant review site.
China version of Yelp.

www.5xue.com.
Lee Kaifu, PhD computer science CMU: machine learning, pattern recognition.

Ctrip.com
Co-founder Neil Shen.
NASDAQ-listed.

Tudou
Gary Wang.
Besides watching Youtube, I want to learn more from Tudou.

QQ
QQ has more active users than Facebook (p13).

Career Album
a social platform for individual careeer development and corporate talent hunting.

founder: Crystal (Yanjing) Yin (Stanford).
Blueroselady thinks that this is a place where you try to put everything together, a LinkedIn combined with deviantArt; but Career Album is still in beta version as of Jan 2013. Blueroselady will not use it for the time being.

Fields that Blueroselady are going to explore:
PROPERTY.
Segments of the Wenzhou population speculate in property to get rich. They buy entire plots of buildings. Speculate based on careful planning (p101).

BIG DATA.
"The realm of technology is constantly striving to encapsulate larger and larger volumes of data in smaller devices" (p255)
To win customers, offer quality, convenience, portability.

Places that Blueroselady wants to visit / TRAVEL to:
Bama, Guangxi. Why? 1 of every 3,400 people is a centenarian. Perhaps, I will arrange visiting both Guilin and Bama in a single trip.

Pingyao, Shanxi. Why? The small town of Pingyao, in Shanxi province flourished as the financial hub of China for 300 years, in spite of poor soil and accessibility.

It was home to 22 banks, collectively controlling more than 50% of the nation’s wealth.
The secret of its success? innovation. Pingyao people ventured out to places such as Mongolia and Russia to trade.
The reason of its subsequent failure? complacency.

Always remember that innovation and reinvention is a continual process.