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Posts Tagged ‘simplify

Decluttering in autumn 2013

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I love to remove clutters (declutter),
it cleans my physical, spiritual, and emotional life.

Decluttering allows us to realize that life is full of delightful treasures, if we take a moment to look around.

Cool stuff:
# DNA-based computers. Leonard Adleman.
# Self-tracking / health-tracking devices. Up wristband.
# portfolio career.
# What heals the soul, heals the mind and body as well.

Interesting quotes:
# Time is most definitely a thief.
Questions: What is the longest yet the shortest? What is the fastest yet the slowest?
Answer: TIME

Useful tips:
# Be careful! Over use of medication (e.g. paracetamol), either intentionally or accidentally, may damage liver.
# To fight pimples and minimize scar, I have used tea tree oil and aloe vera.
# Try to move after sitting for 45 minutes, e.g. while travelling on long-distance flight. In terms of radiation, 7 hour flight ~= an X-ray session.

Inspiring people:
# Bernie S. Siegel
# Christine Ong of UBS Wealth Management Singapore
# Reene Ho-Phang

Some random muses and reflections …

@~@ On life
An event that at first seem to be unfortunate / undesirable may actually provide surprising advantages, e.g. autumn 2007 (that affects the next 7 years).

@~@ On being unique
It is a great thing to be unique or different.
The grown ups often tell any kid (e.g. a 6 year old) that it is great to be yourself.
Be unique.
However, the goal of many grown-ups in life is to fit in.

@~@ On career
A career for life vs portfolio careers.

@~@ On gifts
Some people (e.g. KS) value expensive gifts. In case of KS, he acknowledged the hardship in his early life.
Some people (e.g. KF) value heartfelt letter of appreciation much more than expensive gifts. Possibly, people who are relatively richer than me in material wealth and assume leadership roles (e.g. my direct boss in 2013) have similar perspectives as KF does.

@~@ On travel destinations
Some destinations wow me and are perhaps best to be visited once over a short period of time (instead of residing there) in entire life, due to extreme weather conditions or high living expenses. For example, Cappadocia and Antarctica.

What’s next?
# Deal constructively with criticism. Give constructive criticism.
# What are you going to do for the rest of your life? (A question I wrote in a note taken in Switzerland)
# DO, don’t dream.

Written by blueroselady

November 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

The power of positive thinking that we could never underestimate

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Positive thinking

# allows us to treasure, enjoy, embrace our lives

# gives us a reason to continue living as illustrated by a story of Viktor Frankl

# makes learning easy for us
# can be inherited (sounds like our genes) to the future generation as suggested by a reader S

@~@

When Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in the Nazi camp,
suffered torture and the loss of his family (parents, brother, wife),
he miraculously realized that
between what happened to him (the stimulus) and his response to him,
he still has the power / the freedom to choose his own response.

Viktor Frankl chose to think positively, to imagine positively.
He imagined that he would lecture to his students after being released from the camp.
He imagined a positive future that gives hope and strength to his present.
He survived,
founded logotherapy and
wrote Man’s Search for Meaning,
which highlight the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence,
even the most sordid ones, and hence a reason to continue living.

@~@

Learning is a part and parcel of living.

As my saying goes "Live, Learn, Earn"

How can we effortlessly learn difficult subjects and skills using positive thinking?

Think positive.
Do not think that it is difficult.

Simplify.

The best in the world simplify the complex (e.g. complex subjects);
the most common make the simple complex.

@~@

A reader S sent me a warm email about her experience with positive thinking.

She wrote:
Although my pregnancy was relatively physically challenging,
I suffered from acid reflux, nausea, and backache that made sleeping flat uncomfortable,
yet I was very happy.


Pregnancy seems to be a long holiday when I was pampered by my family member, tolerated by my colleagues, and showered with kindness by strangers.


I spent many hours reading self-help positive psychology books.
Probably, I read over a hundred books,
making my own notes that I can review later,
they are like short-cuts to happiness for me,
or an instant side-effect-free ‘aspirin’ when I am stress.

As a result, I delivered a healthy baby who is naturally happy.
He smiles within 24 hours in his sleep,
and he smiles the first thing in the morning when he wakes up after a good night sleep and being fed with breast milk.
He smiles often, even to strangers.
People loves him.

God must have given him to us to also let us learn from him.
His natural ability to be happy with himself, with life, and to bring happiness to others through his smiles.

On the other hand,
looking back at my post-delivery experience,
there are things that I wish can be better.

Sometimes it seems that the more people (including grandparents, in-laws, the so-called experts, and well meaning friends giving advices)
are involved in the process,
the more different wants and rules to be met,
which made my life tougher.
What I did not realize that I do not have to live my life to other people’s expectation!

What works for others, may not work for us (my baby & me).
What works for us, may not works for others.
For example,
his grandmother insisted that we do not buy a breast pump,
but the breast pump turned out to be highly useful!
I just have to keep on experimenting and finding ways that work for us.
It is ok to be different & imperfect.

Finally, the most important lesson that I learned,
while I diligently gulped down all the nutritious confinement meals and red date tea,
I forget to consume my positive thinking nourishment.

Everyday, it seems that there are new problems.
Things that I must buy and do.
Grandparents will tell me to do this, to do that, and the list goes on.

To make it worse,
my mother nagged at me,
she told me to sleep more,
not to breastfeed baby at night,
because that was her experience,
but she did not know that by doing so would result in drop of breastmilk supply,
and I would wake up at night worrying for my baby,
because I was not allowed to sleep with him in the same room or same bed.

Moreover, I need to write as it is therapeutic for me.
In recent years, I have been writing using my laptop
but my mother disallowed me to use IT gadgets (including my laptop, mobile phones) because she is worried that they are bad for my eyes.

I sincerely want to forgive my mother,
she just wants the best for me.
Although she does not realize that children are not necessarily inherit the same likings / ways of feeling goods as parents,
she just wants the best for me.

Perhaps, my mother is also learning from this experience,
after all my baby was her first grandchild.
She appears to be more patient with her grandchild than to me or our siblings when we were young.
Oops! I am comparing again.

Well … I am trying to be more mindful when I compare things.
Some comparisons are fruitless.

After all, all those have become the past.
I choose to cherish the happy and positive things from the past,
and live in the present.

Blueroselady says:
Congratulations S for becoming a new mother!
You are doing well and great!

To summarise S’ points:
Cultivate intrinsic happiness daily.
Live in the present.
Live not for others’ expectation.
It is OK to be unique / different.
It is OK to be imperfect.

@~@

Bonus: voice note dated 2013 Aug 20th

Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

How to read over 100 books a year? 8 effective tips

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A friend of mine, X, a voracious reader living in Singapore shared with me the effective tips to read over 100 books a year.

1. Read books in the fields that you are INTERESTed in.
"Dear sister, do you remember how you finish reading the thick books of Harry Potter? Your interest and liking drove you to move from a page to the next".
Now, we are interested in happiness, health, and wealth.
Having an interest is like having a reason why you are taking a particular actions.
When you have the WHY, the HOW will reveal to you.

2. ASSOCIATE a book with a specific value.
An Adam Khoo program on "master your mind, design your destiny" costs ~ Singapore $3,000.
X told me that she can borrow the book from the Singapore library.
Instead of spending ~Singapore $3,000,
X only has to spend his efforts (time, brain energy) to read the thick book of ~350 pages.
The thickness of the book never discourages him because the cost of S$3,000 means that
for every page that he consumed, he saves $9.
Whenever you feel distracted to do other activities that give instant reward,
think of your mental image of the book with a price tag of $3,000.

Many people ignorantly perceive that reading is a passive activity,
but the truth is watching TV / movies is worse
because the latter slows down our brain.

Reading can be a social activity,
imagine that we are having discussions with the authors.
Take notes on interesting points,
summarize / simplify the main essence of the book,
and relate the ideas
to other books,
real life experience.

X summarizes by creating mind maps on a piece of paper.
When he forgets some parts,
he will quickly revise his mind maps and
be able to recall the details of what he has read.

X also converts his mind map into a voice note,
so that he can listen while taking public transports.
Through summarizing and revising,
X says that he will always remember what I have read and learned.

3. MAKE NOTEs
You can make notes that include
a summarized visual notes (mind map),
auditory notes (from your mind map or some examples that you find useful).
For summary note,
X recommended to use paper,
you can join few sheets of paper
if there are a lot of info and
still have a 1 large summary page.
X also sometimes writes notes in his notebook,
where he can scribble his own comments,
or photograph / scan few pages (of the book)
that contain useful info.

4. Review your notes.
After you review your notes 3x:
the 1st is immediately after finishing reading the book
and making your notes,
the 2nd time is e.g. 1 week / month later,
the 3rd time is 1 year later,
you will never forget the wisdom you have learned from the book.

5. Apply Pareto 80/20 law.
You do not have to read every word,
this applies to your text book as well.
X suggested to start with
TOC,
figures,
summaries at the end of chapters (if any),
headings / subheadings.
Sometimes X starts reading from middle of the book, or back of the book,
it depends on your judgment.
The more you practice,
the better (faster / more absorbent) you will be in reading.

6. Apply Parkinson law
Set a deadline to finish reading.
X loves reading library books because he does not have to spend extra $ to buy the book,
though X claims that he does spend $ to pay tax that contributes to the purchase of the books by lib, and X has a deadline to return the book.
In order to acquire values from the book,
X must read / extract knowledge / wisdom from it before its due date.

7. Connect / link / associate your knowledge
from a source (e.g. the book that you are currently reading)
to other resources (e.g.
the courses you have taken /
the movies or documentaries you have watched /
talks or seminars or conferences you have attended).

8. Apply what you have read.
Write an article
for your school magazine (you can put it in your CV),
for newspapers.
Give a talk.
Walk your talk.

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Written by blueroselady

March 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
1. AFFILIATIONS.
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
2. SELECTIVE READING and SIMPLIFY.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
4. WRITE and PUBLISH.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.