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Posts Tagged ‘survival

How not to feel bad about doing dirty work?

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Sometimes in our lives,
we have to do dirty work for others,
cleaning the mess that others have made.
How not to feel bad about doing dirty work?

Once, S was sharing with me that her tenant used their common toilet and left stains of shit near the toilet seat.
S had to use her hand and toilet papers to clean the toilet bowl.
S told me that if she complains to her tenant,
she may lost her rental income.
S shared that she just reframed her perspective that cleaning the toilet bowl without bad feeling means securing the rental income to support her family living.
S can also pray that a better tenant,
who is willing to pay more and practising more personal hygiene will come in the future.

Currently I am living in Singapore.
Here, I have encountered a number of elderly (about my parents’ age or older) works as janitors / toilet cleaners.
Although the public toilet condition in Singapore is much better than in China in general,
sometimes I encounter dirty toilet cubicle due to previous inconsiderate user.
It is easy for me to move on and go for a cleaner toilet cubicle or go to toilet at other levels.
However, these elderly cleaners have to clean them, e.g. removing stains of shit left by inconsiderate users.
Without these cleaners, we will not have clean toilet; they are really our heroes and heroines!

Then, I think of main motivators of why people choose or end up with (if they have not other choice) a particular job.
Quite often, money is an issue, although not always the issue.
To people who have no money,
they have less choice on what work they can do.
Sometimes, people find satisfaction from doing a job that others may dislike.

Chip Conley illustrates a story of Vivian Van Quach who came to San Francisco from Vietnam in 1987.
She has been working as a main in an inner-city motel in San Francisco owned by him.
According to Chip,
Vivian had sort of a joie de vivre (a French term for the joy of life) in how she did her work.
Although Vivian did not find joy in cleaning toilet,
Vivian has formed the emotional connection that she has built with her fellow employees and the motel’s guests.
Vivian is inspired to take care of people who are far away from home, as she herself is far away from home.

The story sounds like we should try our best to discover goodness in every job, including a mundane one.
When we seek, we will find.
When we seek joy, we will find joy.

However, to some people,
after working some time at a particular job,
they seek a room to grow.
People’s need varies from survival, success, to transformation.
We need meaning in our life.
If one wants to change a job / undertake a new career,
it is important to be educated and skilled for the next job / career.
Preparation matters.
While you are preparing,
affirm the followings:
1. I am grateful for my current position / job that gives me an income.
2. I am grateful for the environment of my jobs (the bosses / the colleagues / the food court / the toilets).
3. I am aware that my current job is only a stepping stone on my pathway of life to contribute to this world through my work.
4. I am happily releasing my current job to the next person who will be delighted to have it.
5. There are people out there who are looking for what I can offer (my skills, my service) and the universe will match us.

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All the best!

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Written by blueroselady

July 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

How to deal with rude people? 20 diplomatic survival tips

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I was visiting a friend of mine R and witnessed how rude her dishonest employee talked to her.
The employee often gave R condescending look, used swearing words while talking to R, never said sorry after spoiling things.
R is kind, gentle and soft-spoken.
That’s possibly why she has been taken advantage of.
Fortunately, based on my observations, most people whom R encounters in life are kind & respectful to her.

I could understand R’s feeling, she has to spend her hard-earned $ to hire the employee and yet receive such kind of treatment.

R is a positive woman, she confessed to me that her encounter with the rude has made her appreciate her kind, polite, understanding friends (including me!) and family even much more.

However, once in a while, we may encounter rude people.

Rude person abuses others verbally and emotionally.
So, how to deal with rude people (applicable to rude co-workers, associates, customers, employees, managers, bosses)?

1. Do not expect everyone to be nice and friendly;

do not expect rude people to change,
yet we do our best to be nice / polite / kind to everyone. This is the same principle as the gratitude law / principle: we are to express our gratitude in life yet do not expect gratitude from others. Ingratitude is common and when someone expresses gratitude to us, the person really adds rainbow to our life.

2. Do not ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?", instead ask more empowering / better questions, e.g. "How to deal with adversities / overcome challenges (e.g. rude people)?"

3. Reframe our perspectives / perceptions / beliefs.
Do not feel / declare yourself as a victim because you do not want to worsen your pain.

4. Give the rude person kindness, sympathy, empathy.
Note:
Being kind does not mean that you tolerate one abuse after another.
Being kind simply means that you respond to the other person politely.
Being empathic is nice, but being over-empathic is not. Everything in excess disturbs harmony / equilibrium.

5. Understand that irrationality is a human quality.
A person can be rude and channel their frustrations to you for no rational reason.
R’s employee was rude to R probably due to R being too kind, gentle, much younger, more talented, more loved & likable.

6. Understand that prejudice / bias is also sadly a human quality. The rude person may have some prejudice about our age, gender, race, occupation and so on; especially if the rude person behaves differently to others.

The rude person may also judge you for something else that you’ve done.
It is not easy to shift / change other people & their judgment.
Release our need to change the rude person / to improve them.
Practice the art of detachment.
It is better to leap / focus yourself for GREATER PURPOSEs in life.

7. Seek POSITIVE MEANINGs from the unhappy encounter like what my friend R did, she realizes how wonderful her friends and family are.

Many things in life are relative,
if we have never experience bad things in life,
we may take our blessings for granted.

8. Focus on your GREATER PURPOSEs / things in which we can contribute more values to our lives, our loved ones and others.

9. Align / seek help from the more powerful / wise people who can help us. If necessary (e.g. in the case that you cannot immediately employ any exit strategy), humbly request the more powerful / wise to be a mediator.
Observe how others (especially the more powerful / wise) handle the rude person.

10. The art of endurance enables you to endure injustice / insult / pain / stress.
Be resilient.
吃得苦中苦方为人上人
Use thick face & Love yourself.
Never let the words of others hurt you.
Do not take it personally / seriously.
Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. … the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. ~Don Miguel Ruiz

11. Raise your consciousness.
Decide that you are not going to get dragged down into the rude person’s drama; be above the fray.
To quote Rene Descartes, "Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it."
Imagine yourself as any of these:
deeply grounded oak tree that no storm can shake my inmost calm.
bamboo that bend but do not break upon encountering rude treatment.
super filter that listen to only kind words and quick to filter out rude words by others.
shielding bubble that protects you from the rude people, the harmful effects will never hurt you.

12. See the encounter as a learning opportunity.
My friend R told me that she has learned things that she will not do (especially subconsciously) to other people from her rude employee (based on what the employee did to her and the hurtful effects on R).

13. Silent treatment. The saying goes that silence is golden.
A study showed that people who completely ignore those deemed rude and offensive were more mentally healthy than those who engage with the rude.
However, this tips works for the rude person we encounter once in a while, but not the persistently rude (e.g. direct bosses / employees / regular customers).
For the rude person that we may have to deal more often at particular time and location in our lives:
Consider looking at the rude person directly in the eye and don’t say a thing (neither disagree nor agree with them).

14. Master our emotion. Do not express fear, anger, pride, to prevent uttering wrong words that can exacerbate the situation.

15. Understand the sources of our negative emotions (e.g. fear, anger) caused by the rude person, then practice the art of detachment.

16. Do not react immediately. Practice Siberian North Rail Road technique (Stop Breath Notice Reflect Respond).
Then you will have more time to choose your response.
Dearest reader, I know that this can be difficult to do, because you might want to fight back in the heat of the moment,
but with practice, like everything else, you will get better.
You can also consult / reflect on what your mentors / guru / jedi will do if they encounter similar situations,
and then make a firm decision on how to respond.

17. Do not confront / burn the bridge if you have little / no bargaining power, e.g. rude bosses, unless you have nothing to lose, e.g. you have secured a better job.
Know when to stand up for yourself. Choose your battle carefully, if the battle does not worth the fight, just use the exit strategies.
How to stand up for ourselves?
Draw our boundaries. Be clear on what we will tolerate and what we will not tolerate.

18. Do not retaliate using threats to prevent agitating the rude person.
Let the universe judge injustice.

19. Beware of analysis paralysis. Do not over think / over-analyze your behavior or the rude person, your history of interactions.

"Someone who is so hurtful towards you does not deserve any more of your energy."

20. EXIT strategies.
For example, my friend can choose not to continue hiring the rude employee.
Minimize contacts / ignore the rude person.
Stay away from any rude stranger.
Keep the rude person out of sight, out of mind.
Leave / avoid the rude person when there is no reason to stay, e.g. just leave / avoid obnoxious drivers. There is no use to talk to them.

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Written by blueroselady

April 17, 2013 at 6:05 am

Posted in psychology

Tagged with , , , ,

Thiel Fellowship allows you to bypass top schools to pursue big dreams

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Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imag(in)e it. — George Lucas

If you are so smart, why are you not rich?
If you are so smart, why are you not changing / saving the world?

About Thiel Fellowship
$50,000 / year for 2 years ($4,167 / month)
gives you easy and quick access to the most successful business people in America
aim: to skip college and focus on work, research, and self-education (LEARN BY DOING)
mentors: network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom.
founded by a VC Peter Thiel (PayPal, Facebook)

Examples of descriptions of the Thiel Fellows:
On experience
"leave Harvard after a single semester and extend his horizons, first by traveling around the world and climbing Kilimanjaro, and now through his start-up"
"has lived and been educated in England, Singapore, France, and the USA."
"began taking college courses at Worcester State in Massachusetts in 3rd grade, and received a certificate in computer science by the time he was 12."
"taught himself programming at the age of 9"
"a home-schooled prodigy who learned calculus at 11, started working in a biogerontology lab when she was 12, matriculated at MIT when she was 14, and now at 17 plans on disrupting the current research paradigm by changing the incentives embedded in today’s traditional funding structures."
"started doing research in a pathology lab when he was 10. By the time he was 12, he had matriculated at the University of Washington. Soon after, he graduated with honors degrees in neurobiology, biochemistry, and chemistry. He was a 19-year-old 4th-year neuroscience Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University when he left early this year to pursue his start-up"
"has worked for Microsoft, Stanford, and Mozilla"
"Has previously worked at iRobot’s Research Group and as a Program Manager at Microsoft."
"In his teens, he built products for companies such as Coca-Cola and Universal Music"
"has designed web interfaces used by millions of people around the world"
"has previously worked for D.E. Shaw & Co., several social enterprises, and a few start-ups"
"founded a vacation rental portal as a high school freshman"
"starting his first business when nine years old"
"co-founded the Electric Vehicle Club at Purdue and was president of Purdue Innovations, the university’s entrepreneurship club."
"began developing her social enterprise when she was 15"
"first worked in a lab when he was 11, interned at Dupont as a teenager, and won the grand prize at the 2009 International Sustainable World Energy Olympiad in Houston."
"run non-profit dedicated to helping the vision-impaired around the world"

On goals / aims
"aims to radically improve our approach to the one thing we all do – shop." / "e-commerce start-up that will revolutionize price comparison on the web" Keyword: radical
"passionate about equipping people with the information to make better decisions." Keyword: information, decision
"interested in helping people protect the wealth they create from the harmful effects of inflation" Keyword: protect
"to help emancipate information around the world" Keyword: information
"to decentralize banking in the developing world with a mobile payment system"
"to create and share online lessons designed to be viewed at home by their own students, leaving class time free for more engaging activities"
"to revolutionize how we develop and demonstrate talent in the twenty-first century."
"to leverage web-based videos and mobile apps to bring the classroom into the twenty-first century"
"to build efficient motor for electric vehicles." Keyword: energy
"to commercialize an invention that enables low cost dual-axis photovoltaic module tracking" Keyword: energy
"to invent a walker-wheelchair hybrid that can provide power to assist its user according to how strong she feels at any moment" Keyword: aging, physically-disabled
"to extract valuable minerals from asteroids, comets, and other planetary bodies" Keyword: resource

Blueroselady thinks that they are very impressive and inspiring. How many people, before reaching 20 years old, have done so much and dreamed do big like them?
The people whom you have worked for also matter.

Reflections by Blueroselady:
Those on Thiel Fellowship seem to have a head start in their childhood (e.g. well educated parents, attendance of high schools that teach akin to college / attendance of college – so why would they still want to attend college again), but many children from less privileged backgrounds will find a college education still essential and enlightening.
Personally, I have met people of the possibly equal calibre to the Thiel Fellows, they started businesses / attended university / led beyond school organizations at early teen, while most teens are worried about growing up, peers, relationships, and juggling schools. The formers are ambitious, lucky, talented, hardworking ((they have built their CVs while other kids probably do not know what CVs are for), and most importantly have the right nurturing environment.
To illustrate this point, I shared my own example. When I was 12 years old, I found that the school was boring. My teacher suffered from diabetes and she was often absent. I could read the textbooks on my own. I told my mother that I did not want to go to school. I was happier reading newspapers and books.
When I was 13 years old, I found that some my school (male) teachers are irresponsible. They taught students bad words, touched female students’ hands / arms (and please do not ask me what else). If my parents had to pay for the school fee, I would probably quit schooling. To make matters worse, some of my school mates went astray. Girls were so cruel with words, I was helpless seeing them bullying a not-pretty girl sitting in front of me. My school mates were more interested in gossips (about seniors, juniors, peers, celebrities), hanging out wasting their lives, than in learning. Few years later after I left the school, I heard about a school mate who died from drug overdose, a school mate who got pregnant in early teen and turned into less beautiful (premature aging) than she was, a school mate who died in motorbike accident.
Then, a macro event happened that changed my life forever. I went overseas for the first time and attended much better schools (in term of quality). I learned about things that were forbidden / not taught before and revolutionized my thinking. I changed for the better, I unleashed my inner characters of hardworking, perseverance, and humility. Like entrepreneurs who focus on generating profits, I had clear focus: I was determined to earn the money required for college education through excellent results because my parents would not be able to support me after high school. My hard work and perseverance paid off, I received my college education (in 3 continents, East and West) with full scholarships. Every stage is like climbing to a higher ladder, I meet people who are more talented, creative, diverse than ever (many of them have better a head start childhood than me), and college education allowed me to learn from them. It is true that the higher you move to, the more you can see, understand, and do. As a result, I evolve into what I am today. At the end of my formal college education, I read analytically, write convincingly, think from multiple perspectives, converse fluently in multiple languages (I can mimic American, British, French, Indian, mainland Chinese accents), had traveled to more countries than the years of my lives, understand myself better, and most importantly have germinated the strongest urge (that I have ever had) to better our world.

From another point of view, colleges worldwide are getting very expensive. Students take loans, enjoy their college experience (sadly some focus on hanging out with friends, buying the latest gadgets), and postpone their sufferings of having to pay their loans while working and struggling to meet an end meet after the honeymoon period of college days. This sounds to me like an upcoming education bubble, which is akin to the housing bubble. To make it worse, colleges seem to mass produce workers (who are happy with the good enough), and to produce (in much less proportion) thinkers, innovators, agents of change. The latter are those that refuse to be entirely submissive and driven to the system. Colleagues and acquaintances are complaining to me about the drop in the standard of recent college graduates.

Nothing remains the same because lives are dynamics. My future generations will do things differently from what I did. If they are academically inclined, they can start learning the college materials (through online courses or immersion in labs) at early teen. If they are artistically inclined / entrepreneurial in nature, they can start interning at early teen. I still view traveling as essential, I learned a lot about independence, responsibilities, management, self-control, and survival while traveling and living in foreign countries far from my family. I made strangers my friends and family. I appreciate the values of every place and person. Get more exposure, discover more, and you will discover what your destiny is.

What’s next?
I will be reviewing my plan on progeny.
To research on things kids need (to learn) to be successful in their lives.
To research on homeschooling curriculum (what are not taught in school).

More about the Thiel Fellowship:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/finding-the-next-mark-zuckerberg/
http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/the-college-scam-11-07-06.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2011/06/20/meet-the-teen-who-got-paid-100-000-to-drop-out-of-school/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239253121093694.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
http://www.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/bs_collegeROI_0621.html

I want to protect and earn $ for my baby

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On the third Friday in Aug 2012, I was taking a public train to go home. My journey home takes 1 hour.
After walking and standing in a crowded train, I just got to sit for few minutes to close my eyes then a woman asked me to stand up to give up my seat for a strong man carrying a baby.
I was on medical leave the day before because I felt dizzy and I still felt dizzy and tired.
I felt like crying and telling her "I also carry my baby".
Fortunately the man indicated that he is alighting at the next stop.

Well, pregnant women can be weepy, so I just have to be aware of that fact. No need to cry for a small thing like this.
That woman was just trying to be nice to the baby, without her knowing that she was being the opposite to my baby.
It was the woman who laid her hand with contact to me while I was standing, but I did not bother because she is a woman and she did that to hold a handgrill, she actually held two so she body contacted me. It is ok that my personal space was crossed, I could tolerate, but I was upset when she asked me to stand up.
Perhaps, in future, I will carry a little card, "sorry, I am carrying my baby" and show to the person who asks a seat from me, if I feel tired / dizzy and do not want to give up my seat.

I have been pregnant for several months, but my bump is not showing much.
My obs-gyn said this is because I am slim.
I read that this is also because of my 1st pregnancy, my muscles are still very tight.
But I was not spared from morning sickness, heartburn, and dizziness. The dizziness is worrying because it possesses hazard when you are traveling on your own, with no family members.
I tried my best to walk slowly, closer to the side of path so that I can quickly hold on to the wall or column if I need, and avoid people who need to rush. It is just like driving on the slower lane to let the faster cars to take over.
From my experience taking public train commuting to work every weekday, there was only once a middle age man kindly offered me to sit. I was so grateful and thanked him. I noted that as a blessing in 2012. Yes, I count my blessings.
Many times I have to fight for my seat.
I also have to be careful especially at the interchange stations, where people were often running to catch the train before the doors close. The next train will arrive in less than 5 minutes! How fast can they be by running and being a hazard to people like me.
I also have to use my both hands to protect my tummy from people carrying big rucksacks / bags including well-dressed professionals, or people to eager to get into the train before those who are alighting come out, sometimes I am holding my hands in fists so I have extra strength to prevent being bumped by careless people.
It is ok, I have no expectation from the world.

I used to get home late to avoid the crowd, but now I have severe heartburn that I have to eat my dinner at least few hours before sleeping. The heartburn gets worse with pregnancy, and I feel tired after a day at work.
I am tempted to leave work early, but I feel that it is not responsible to do so.
Sometimes, it makes me think of what I want to do in this life.
Perhaps, if I have a car, I do not have to squeeze with many people. If I have more $, I can take a taxi.
Honestly, people are nicer when supplies are more than demands, and vice versa.
Sometimes, I think the working crowd is cruel, or perhaps it is just my perception.
Well, they are tired from working, which are different from people who go out to relax at the park.
Perhaps, I am living in a competitive society and country.
If I can do my work at home, or I have flexible working hours, my quality of life will be better.
I am really looking into it.
I want to earn more $ too, so that I can give better healthcare, education, and opportunities for my children.
I want to have more time to spend with my children, instead of working for other people.
In the past, I was happy with my pay because I feel that my job allows me to contribute to great causes, but now I feel that if I cannot take care of my own progenies, how can I take are of others?

Written by blueroselady

August 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm