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How to keep and realize your lifelong dream? inspirations from Ang Lee

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Have you watched any the following movies:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,
Brokeback Mountain,
Life of Pi,
Eat Drink Man Woman
?
If yes, you may wonder who the director is.
He is Ang Lee or 李安.

Recently, I read an article about him from a sharing of my Burmese friend through facebook.
Hearing about the Buddhists-Muslims violence spreads in Myanmar,
made me feel sad,
I can only pray that may peace prevail in Burma,
the land of gold.

Back to Ang Lee, although I do not like his movie Lust, Caution, the biography of Ang Lee is inspiring.

Ang Lee: "In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway. Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation."

Often, people perceive the strong-willed as being stubborn, rebellious, as hard as a stone.
Blueroselady thinks that Ang Lee is among strong-willed people, and only the strong-willed can succeed against the odd.
But being strong-willed alone is insufficient.

Ang Lee: "Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time."
Blueroselady: we must have a THICK FACE to master THE ART OF ENDURANCE for rejection / humiliation / insult / fear / failure.

Ang Lee: "That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support."
Blueroselady: It is never too late to realize our dream(s). Colonel Sanders started selling his fried chicken recipe in his 60s, more twice the age of Ang Lee.
Think of 亡羊补牢.

"My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income)."

Blueroselady: Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman. I also personally listen to this advice from the successful German / Switzerland entrepreneurs in 2009, 2010.

I pray that my sons, my brothers, my male readers will find a strong woman like Ang Lee’s wife, who love her husband and children.

I am grateful that my father has a strong woman – my mother.

"This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality."
Blueroselady: Ang Lee is a film-maker, a narrator of life.
Thre is a saying that 人生如戏 , 戏如人生.
Perhaps, only when one knows and experiences what sufferings mean, s/he can makes movies that touch human soul.
Sufferings are not always bad,
of course there are intolerable sufferings,
e.g. victims of the cruelty / crime of others,
but some sufferings enable people to leap / bounce higher than ever possible,
because these sufferings act as a spring with momentum.

Ang Lee: "Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.

The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’

And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.

Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that YOU ONLY NEED ONE GIFT. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’

And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.

You see, I have this never-ending dream."

Blueroselady:
Never ever listen to naysayers that belittle our dream.
Perhaps, we do not have someone close to us who has the attitude like the Ang Lee’s wife.
You must protect your dreams.
Share your dreams to kind people who have achieved what you want.
They will share with you how they achieved it.
Do not share your dreams with naysayers.
When everything fails,
remember that as long as you are still alive,
you can fulfill your dreams
.
Sometimes,
you may have to struggle for years like Ang Lee,
you may have to take a detour,
but a dream that keep on coming to you,
is a message from God / the Universe on what you are meant to be and to do in your life.

For me,
I re-realize that I love to learn so much
(through reading, socializing, traveling),
then think and analyze,
then appreciate and feel,
and write and share my thoughts.

One of my big major dreams is
to write and share thoughtful, helpful, inspiring writings
to over a million of people
and they benefit (even in a little thing) from my sharing.

In order to achieve my grand dream,
I feel that I need to gain diverse experience,
so that my sharing can be thoughtful.

Sometimes,
as a human being,
I do have the concern of financial security,
because I have dependents,
to feed, to nurture, and to love.
But I decide that I am going to take the risk.

Now,
I am taking care of my baby,
and in a few months,
I will prepare myself for the next career,
in order to realize the grand dream.
Please support me.

See also:
How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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

Written by blueroselady

March 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

Posted in career, choice, family, funding, movie

Tagged with ,

A Snow White of China: Xinyuan Zhang 张辛苑

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Her name is … Xinyuan Zhang 张辛苑
dubbed as the number one beauty in China
loved for her good girl image, a combination of classic and cute features
a model since 18 years old
born in Hubei in 1990
becomes famous by posting her photos through social media
has oval shaped face
has snow-white skin complexion
has black long straight silky hair
Do these attributes remind you on Snow White? I love Snow White!

We think she looks like Yifei Liu 刘亦菲, and her eyebrows remind me of the singer A Mei (Chang Hui-mei).
In a close-up photo of her, with a braid across her head, she looks like the Frida Kahlo of East Asia; Zhang’s features are more delicate and Kahlo’s features are showing more strength, yet both are beautiful!

More photos are here:
www.tumblr.com/tagged/zhang-xinyuan
The collection of her Maldive photos

PS:
1. I hope and believe that my daughter or my daughter-in-law will be as beautiful as her!
2. Both Liu Yifei and Zhang Xinyuan were born in Hubei, perhaps we should go to Hubei to admire beautiful ladies!

Written by blueroselady

November 10, 2012 at 3:46 am

Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

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We have been conditioned (trained / taught) to focus about our weaknesses.
For example,
1. parents scan the report cards of their children to focus on subjects their children need improvement, the failing grades are written in red, screaming for attention. Fortunately, my parents did not bother to look at my report cards.
2. teachers mark our homeworks, assignments, and exam papers with red inks. They do nothing on the correct answers, but our errors are marked with crosses.
3. bossses discuss on our weaknessess at annual performance review.
4. media loves to report stories of people who overcome their weaknesses to achieve great things.

Have we ever stopped to realize that focusing our strengths is more productive than improving our weaknesses?
Both Tim Ferriss and Chu Chin-Ning (whose books I read in autumn 2012) advocate us to focus on our strengths.

Yes, we can improve our weaknesses, but at slower pace.
The end results may be slight improvement, yet still mediocre.

Types of strength:
achiever / has stamina to work long hours
intellect / thinking
strategic / intuitive
futuristic / what can one does
relater / can relate with people
belief / has strong core values that one wil not compromise / stubborn

Note that a strength can also be a weakness, depending on the situations.

Remember that:
1. the key to success is to work with the way God designed us, focus on our strengths.
2. combine our strengths to create synergy and achieve greatness.
Many people may share the same individual strength as ours, but a combination of strengths shapes our uniqueness and identity, makes us outstanding if we can unleash the synergistic effects.
3. There are always abundance of opportunities for our particular combination of strengths. Jobs that do not make use of our strengths, require things that we are not strong in, are exhausting. If we have tried our best and still do not see desirable results, perhaps it is time to change jobs / career.
4. Every knife requires sharpening, similarly we must hone our strengths with knowledge, skills, and practice.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

Thick face, black heart

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Normally, we do not want to be perceived as a person with thick face or black heart.
However, when Chu Chin-Ning cites Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln as the highest level practionists of thick face and black heart, I am curious to find out what thick face and black heart really mean according to the book entitled Thick face, black heart.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence is an extremely active force.
It has no room for cowardice or even weakness.
Not to be coward means one needs thick face.
Not to be weak means one needs black heart.

The author argues that when you want to be kind, you must also have black heart (a protective shield) / be ruthless.
Have you ever felt that it is easier to be compassionate to the nameless and faceless needy people (think of donating to charity, disaster victims) than to those who are special to us?
Through experience, our kindness / compassion / generosity is often abused.
They act as if we owe them.
The more we give, the more we should give.
It is human nature to abuse those who support and love us most.
For example, children abuses their parents or vice versa, husband abuses wife.
A proposed solution is to be kind / compassionate with a protective shield.

See also my mind map.

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

What are the masculine and feminine qualities to adopt for success?

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In the summer 2005, I went to pay a tribute to the Statue of Liberty for what she symbolizes: immense vitality, strength, and beauty. Do you notice that her face shows her inner masculine strength and determination?

In the summer 2004, I did not manage to see the Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence, but I believe that one day in the future I will be able to go around Italy with a lover.
David represents the highest perfection of man. Though he has muscled body, he also possesses sensitivity.

Based on the responses of the all-women participants in CNC’s seminar, here are what many intelligent and open-minded women think of as

MEN’S NEGATIVE QUALITIES
arrogant
demanding
egotistical
immature
insensitive
lazy
chauvinistic
patronizing
self-centered
ungrateful

WOMEN’S NEGATIVE QUALITIES
bossy
emotional
envious
gossipy
indecisive
insecure
moody
perfectionist
petty
timid

MEN’S POSITIVE QUALITIES
adventurous
analytical
bold / confident / courageous / risk-taker / audacious
focused
generous
in control
logical
open-minded
straightforward
strong

WOMEN’S POSITIVE QUALITIES
adaptable
committed
creative
empathetic
independent
intuitive
passionate
practical
resilient / bend but not break
sensitive

Well, if we look carefully in real world, certain women have many masculine qualities, and vice versa.

Sun Tzu teaches: Whether you should be more masculine or feminine depends on the situation / circumstances / environment / people you face. Do not be locked into a style or another. Be flexible.

Our fashion can help.
If you feel that you are too harsh / aggressive, wear a pale scarf or sexy lingerie beneath your power suit.
If you feel that you are too passive, wear a dark banker’s suit.

Written by blueroselady

October 8, 2012 at 1:29 am

How to deal with con artists?

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A mentor of mine CNC admitted that she has met many con men and women in her life.

I am using the law of repulsion, which is the opposite of the law of attraction. I pray that I am having Divine Protection whenever and wherever I am. Though there are bad people in the world, please do not allow me to be in the same time and place as they are. If I have to be in the same time and place as they are, please let them do not have any malicious intention towards me.

Besides using the law of repulsion , here are useful tips on how to deal with con artists.

What are the characteristics of con artists?
1. CREATIVE in both designing their schemes and carrying the cons.
2. DISCIPLINED. They systematically work toward their objective.
3. PERSISTENT. They never think about giving up.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC. They do not lie in bed and feel sorry for themselves. They are trying to get absolutely everything out of life that they can.
5. POSITIVE. They do not doubt that their plan will work.
6. OPPORTUNISTIC. They seize the moment.
7. HARD WORKERS. They are always "ON".
8. COOL under pressure. If you ask a con artist, "Are you conning me?" he or she will look you in the eyes and say, "How could you think that after all we have been through together?"
9. SYMPATHETIC. It is comforting to know that someone in the world "really understand you"
10. EMPATHETIC. They seem to take on your problems as their own.

Many of the characteristics are also shared by good friends, acquaintances, colleagues, mentors, and admirable role models. It is not easy to really know what is inside the heart of a person.

Who are con artists prey on? People with the following …
1. eternal optimism. People with open eyes, but do not see anything negative — or potentially negative — in anyone. Do not be too trusting, this makes you vulnerable. A simple guide is to use the 70:30 trusting ratio that MR told me.
2. greed. People who want to get something for nothing. There is no free lunch! Do not expect something for nothing. No one can con us if we want nothing from him / her.
3. insecurity. Please release the need to have others’ approval. Con artists are happy to butter up and tell insecure people how wonderful they are. Beware of those who praise / compliment us too much.
4. neediness (in emotional comfort). Con artists are sympathetic and empathetic. Is the person sympathetic and empathetic by nature, or only when s/he has something to gain from you?
5. power. Be careful when you have accomplishment. The higher we climb, the stronger the wind that blows us.
6. hunger for advancement. Con artists may take advantage of your ambition.

How to protect yourself from con artists?
1. self-understanding: understand our characters and circumstances. Do we have eternal optimism, greed, insecurity, neediness, power, or hunger for advancement?
2. use both LOGIC + GUT FEELINGS.
3. exhaust the con artist. Let them sing, dance, and give their entire bag of tricks, but we must be more persistent than they are. Do not give in.
4. avoid / stay away.

It is always good to be careful and the good news is many people are honest and good.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm