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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Ferriss

Rules of Blueroselady for increasing love and productivity in 2013

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I strive to be more loving and productive.

Here are my rules for 2013:
Always PRAY immediately after waking up and plan to do one IMPORTANT (not necessarily urgent) thing daily.
To HAPPILY LIVE and ACHIEVE (instead of achieve 1st then be happy).
To CONTRIBUTE / yield.
When it comes to going after what I love in life, I DO NOT TAKE NO for an answer. NO simply means that I have to try other strategies. DETERMINATION!
@~@ Delete emails not personalized to me, emails that are automatically personalized to me, emails with unimportant information to me.
@~@ DO NOT Talk / write anything that are unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate.
@~@ Delete / discard / donate anything that is not USEFUL, BEAUTIFUL or JOYFUL to me.
@~@ Stop posting images / photos to Blueroselady wordpress (because it takes a lot of time). I will write more, share songs / videos by others. I will use other avenues.

Related:
The philosophy of life

Written by blueroselady

January 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

How to discover our strengths?

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It is better to focus on developing our strengths than repairing our weakness. I have heard this piece of advice many times, from mentors TF to SL, who gave me his first book in winter 2012.

To find out about your strength, you can visit
1. http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu
Then, choose "Brief Strengths Test".
It has 24 questions.
I found that the questions somehow drove me to my self-perceived answers, perhaps real life example-kind of questions will be better.

Here are my strengths:
Love of Learning
Humility/Modesty
Prudence
Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]
Gratitude
Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]
Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]
Open-mindedness [judgment, critical thinking]
Bravery [valor]
Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]
Love
Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, "niceness"]
Self-regulation [self-control]
Creativity [originality, ingenuity]
Perspective [wisdom]
Integrity [authenticity, honesty]
Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]
Social Intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]
Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]
Forgiveness and mercy
Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]
Fairness
Leadership
Humor [playfulness]

2. Another test "VIA Survey of Character Strengths"
The test has 240 questions.
Some questions are repetitive.
I had a break halfway taking this test, to make delicious papaya milkshake.

For parents, "VIA Strength Survey for Children" is available.

Here are my results:

Your Top Strength
Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.

Your Second Strength
Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums – anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Third Strength
Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.

Your Fourth Strength
Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Your Fifth Strength
Gratitude
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Your Sixth Strength
Industry, diligence, and perseverance
You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you "get it out the door" in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.

Your Seventh Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

3. A combination of strengths.
Though we may share some strengths, but we are likely to have different combinations of strengths, that make each of us unique. Let us strive to maximize our combination of strengths through synergy.

After thought:
Since we are growing / changing over time, our results may be different from time to time. It will be interesting to re-take the tests in n years down the road.

Related:
Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

Is PhD really a waste of time?

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I just finished reading an article in the Economist.

In life, we are facing multiple choices and making decisions. According to the Pareto’s Law, 20% of our decisions will affect 80% of our life. My decision to embark on a graduate study did significantly affect my life, I have learned things that I want to do and things that I do not want to do. I think the most important is, no matter what decisions you make, you tell yourself that you will enjoy opportunities to grow and contribute. It is not like decision A is wrong, decision B is right. It is more like decision A will bring you particular good things, decision B will bring you another kind of good things, so you will never fear in making decisions and regret whatever decisions you made.

Here are things that I am grateful for from my PhD days:

Fulfilling a dream
. Idealistically, PhD is an abbreviation for People Have Dreams. Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue a PhD. One needs good undergraduate records. Honestly, I meet many people who have higher IQ than me (I know that based on how fast they understand concepts / think of answers), but I was diligent and committed to do well in my academic study. None of my parents had enjoyed college or even the basic education, so being able to complete a study until the highest level is a personal and family dream for me during my school time. Then, after I passed my viva, I learned that there are Doctor of Sciences beyond PhD. The person who told me that is one of my supervisors, a professor with Doctor of Sciences. Like the saying, there will always be a higher mountain. However, completing my PhD makes me believe that I can fulfill any dream that I have in life.
Note: some universities may award very prominent leaders in business / government an honorary degree, this is another path to PhD.

Learning to trust my intuition. I made a crucial decision in the beginning of my study, though I had to say sorry to some people (in order not to upset them), I know deep inside I made the right decision. Those people kept on telling me that I would regret, but I have no regret now. I agree with Tim, regret is past-tense decision making. I am glad now that I made the audacious decision at that time.

Meeting friends of lifetime from around the globe. You can also meet international friends if you work in international firm, but PhD students are ‘slaves’, at least according to the Economist article and suffering people find consolation in each other. We have been super good friends.

Living frugally. I could survive without meat for a week until the next free meal opportunity. I managed to save a little from my PhD stipend for my parents. Unlike a senior MR who straight away went to set up her business and honing her sales skills, of course my earning was not comparable to my senior. After all, PhD stipends, if not self-funded, are often from generous donations of charitable organizations, philanthropists, and tax payers money. It does not seem right to be rich from stipend money, whereas it is laudable for my senior to earn 6 digits in her first four years of business.

More academic learning somehow enhanced my analytical and writing skills. It was during my PhD study that I produced writings that won me tickets to inspiring meetings not related to my thesis topic, but more on global issues. I met a friend of Warren Buffett who is so friendly and inspiring. I listened to so many enthusiastic entrepreneurs, decision makers, world leaders. Those are my happiest holidays. I seldom took time off, because I did not know how many days per annum I was allowed to take vacation. In fact, I could be considered over-worked.

Unleashing my courage and becoming a calculated risk-taker. I did some activities that I would never want to take before, I did not know how I managed to gather my courage but I know it has to be from within.

Surviving a hardship. As mentioned in the article, seven-day weeks, ten-hour days, and low pay are for PhD students. It takes great mental and physical strength to survive life like this. But what does not kill you, makes you stronger. Is it always true? But I witnessed how some surviving PhD students, with their white hair, wrinkles at merely 30s moved on to post-doc and continued the hardship, with greater responsibility and demands from their bosses. Indeed, I am concerned with a friend continuous fatigue just after completing his PhD with a supervisor whose interests are to squeeze as much juice as possible out of his students. The article also mentioned that the misaligned interests of academics / universities versus those of PhD students. The academics need cheap labors (PhD students and postdoc). Ideally, these academics play a mentoring role, but in real life, they are like slave drivers. Seeing how a mentor of mine do things, I do not want to be like him, squeezing poor PhD students. Fortunately, I also encounter two nice mentors.

My beautiful alma mater, an open space museum and garden. For the reputation of my alma mater, people like to "wow" in words or eyes, sometimes I feel like carrying an LV bag, that is why I swear not to buy any LV bag. I prefer high quality, non-branded, sometimes ethnic bags, with their own identity. I want to be regarded based on my character and the quality of my work, not based on the bag I carried (the school I went to). A matter of brand aside, I love the fresh air, the grass, the flora and fauna, the romantic architectures, the history, and many people whom I encounter there.

Thank you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 11:13 am