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6 Inspirations from David Ash to survive & strive in real life roller coaster

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Thank you to Michael Ellsberg (the author of The Education of Millionaires)
for introducing me to David J. Ash
& telling his story
on how mastering the art of selling
has allowed him to help people.

David has bought a boarding house that he has turned into The Vivian: a transitional housing for at-risk, chronically homeless women living with concurrent mental illness, addiction and other challenges (severe sexual / physical abuse).

The Vivian is located in the middle of Downtown Eastside of Vancouver,
1 of the poorest & most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in North America.

Many times,
people have positive perceptions on Vancouver,
one of the most liveable cities worldwide
in terms of safety, education,
hygiene, health care,
culture, public transportation,
but not cost of living!

However, based on my limited experience of living in Vancouver,
and having done a bit of voluntary work at Downtown Eastside,
I am aware of the dire circumstances of people living there.

To quote David,
“These people could be our sisters or mother.
We should not be too quick to judge these people.”

The main inspiration of David for setting up the Vivian is his own mother.
His mother Vivian Grace Ash
died alone on the streets
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I still remember my friend HW
who grew up in the tropical region
remarked that
it is extremely challenging to be poor & living on the streets in Canada,
because of the cold weather.

At that time (in 1999),
David wanted to help his mother but he could not.
Fast forward ~ a decade later,
David have the capacity (his new-found wealth) to help women like his mother,
and he is deeply committed to it.

Although at a particular point of our lives,
we cannot help someone whom we love,
instead of blaming ourselves,
or burying ourselves in regret,
we can focus on giving / helping other people.
(Inspiration #1)

The story also reminds me on
how the rail-road tycoon Leland Stanford
founded the Stanford University in 1891
in memory of his son who died at 15 years old.
The founder’s vision of
“The children of California shall be our children”
has contributed to the birth
of a world-class university.

David’s and Leland’s stories indeed illustrate
老吾老以及人之老 幼吾幼以及人之幼
which literally means to honor old people as we do our own aged parents, and care for other’s children as one’s own.
(Inspiration #2)

When David was 12 years old,
his mother suffered from nervous breakdowns,
frequented the psychiatric wards,
attempted to commit suicide,
left home,
& finally ended up on the streets.

David ended up dropping out in grade 11 of high school.
He moved to Ottawa to take on a job as a pot scrubber,
which Michael refers as a dead-end job.
Most people will think that this is the end.
On average, drop-outs do worse in life
than people who complete their formal education.
However, remember that everything popular is not always right.
(Inspiration #3)

David’s life changed when he met a real estate salesman in Ottawa
who encouraged him to be a real estate salesman.
David committed to passing the course to be a real estate salesperson,
his first educational endeavour in his life.
Every day,
David studied & revised,
made his own notes.
“I studied 4x harder than most of my classmates who were mature adults.
Many were educated professionals with university degrees”

David passed the course &
got a sales job at Century 21.
He had a revival and has since believed in positive mental attitude.

You can do something with your life,
no matter who you are,
no matter where you are from,
no matter what your background,
if you work hard,
as mentioned by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich,
& many similar books.
(Inspiration #4)

David became committed to self-teach himself
motivation & success,
through books, seminars, workshops.

David learned & mastered the craft of sales,
in real estate,
in life insurance sales.
In his 20s,
he was earning $100,000 annually!

However,
he became bankrupt at the age of 29,
because he did not manage his spending & saving.

He learned his lesson,
started to save 10% of his income.
invested it for the future,
by purchasing a little rental property,
& now he owns office buildings, retail centres & a huge hockey arena.
(Inspiration #5)

David’s life sounds like a roller coaster,
yet many people love roller coaster
(that’s why theme parks are always popular)
but to survive the real-world roller coaster
it takes hard work, discipline, resilience, & perseverance.
(Inspiration #6)

I pray for David (& many people like him)
to have a happy ending for his life story,
unlike his mother.

Written by blueroselady

August 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Revising my notes on how to take beautiful photographs

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I love photos because photography literally means painting with light.
When we are taking photographs, we should think it as an act of our respects to beautiful scenery created by God.
Though photography is very subjective (I do like particular photographs but not others), photography enable us to connect to people across nation, geographical, and cultural boundaries.
I strive to have the curious eyes of children, the mind of philosopher.

Here are some tips:
Photography for the very beginners.
Practice!
Mini shoot.
Photo shoot session as a date (cheaper than fine dining / watching movies).
Discovery projects
Study work by others (the same goes for every field of professional pursuit, though I am not a professional, but I strive to create work of high standard). As of early 2013, I have over 6,000 photos for reference. Perhaps, I have to declutter them, to focus more on quality than quantity. Some good online places that I have used include : Flickr, Pbase, Corbis, websites of bridal studios or professional photographers, travel / photography books.

How to photograph people?
How to photograph your little ones?
I am committed to photography my little ones once every month.

How to pose for photos?
Be photogenic!
Not to forget make-up, even for gentlemen.
“The best shots reflect a relaxed simplicity."

Celebrate and take photos. I especially love to celebrate the four seasons.
Do you want to travel and take photos?
Here are interesting locations:
1. China: Beijing (warning the sky is so often polluted that I had to degrain and make the sky blue in a photo taken at the National Palace that I cherish), Yunnan, Sichuan (especially near Chengdu), Hong Kong,Taiwan.
Korea: very romantic for autumn and winter shots.
2. Malaysia : Malacca, Penang
3. Indonesia: Bali (many couples are getting married at the island of God), you can get forever summer photos here.
4. United Kingdom because I lived there. I always love the England gardens! I even love their fine porcelain mugs printed with garden flowers. Think of Alice in the Wonderland, Harry Potter, all magical things! I love England in spring and autumn.
5. France: forever ROMANTIC Paris! Imagine perfume, Lavender, Mediterranean sea of French Riviera, and beautiful delicious food.
6. Oceania : Australia (because I think I am going there more often) and New Zealand (after I finish enjoying and experiencing The Lord of the Ring as promised by my lover).

Some reflections about travel photography:
1. Always bring TRIPOD when you travel, especially on your own. Tripod can help you take photographs with slow shutter and produce magical photos that our normal eyes cannot see.
2. "When we are taking photographs, we should think that they are our love letter to our beloved ones." My love letters sent from Canada.
3. I wrote "Shangrila (Zhongdian) in Yunnan reminds me on Switzerland."
Personally, I do not like Zhongdian.
Switzerland is a better travel destination.
Friendlier people / safer environment.
Lower altitude / more oxygen.
Better experience and memory.

Although I am not considering a career in photography, I believe that my photographic skills are improving with time.
I may also earn some pocket money from my passion in beauty and photography.
If I can, so can you!

Christmas 2012: I think I am a geek

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While people are in the mood of celebrating Christmas and New Year, I am finding myself to be more motivated and hardworking than ever.

I had shopped for Christmas gifts early (I did it simultaneously when I shopped for groceries and there were sales / discounts). No last minute shopping for me. Thank you for the new bag and book for my Christmas gifts!

I am learning to forgive my boss who is dragging me down. He is slowing the progress of my work. I am also learning about patience.

Due to medical reason, I am not allowed by my doctor (and mother) to go out (including to go to my workplace, church). Fortunately, I can still work using my laptop, read, reflect and think. Pretty happy.

Counting my blessings:
@~@ Finished reading and understanding a couple of books.
@~@ Have consulted and learned from my mentors more than in 2011: the super kind MT, Uncle Zhou, Aunt Ning, Aunt SQ (Dec), Uncle Toni, Uncle Roger (Nov), Brother Adam, Brother Tim.
@~@ Planned for the education of LS and obtained the approval from the father of LS. See pink 2012 notebook page 51.
@~@ Reflected on my lessons (Always remember that there are no absolute failures, but temporary setbacks), past achievements (e.g. PhD), and future plans (including being a business-owner entrepreneur, an agent of positive change).

An important lesson:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

@~@ Have fed myself with positive food for mind and soul (almost daily and every morning). This is highly important because the Russian psychologist Blyuma Zeigarnik discovered early in this century that human beings remember unresolved problems, frustrations, failures, and rejections much better than we remember our successes and completions.
@~@ Being hugged every morning and night by my man. Tips: Women need to be loved, men need to be respected.
@~@ Sent personalized Christmas cards to my friends.
@~@ Ate Shepherd pie and banana pear yoghurt for the breakfast on Christmas Eve. Shepherd pie reminds me on cold and wet England in the winter.
@~@ No need to spend time on commuting means I can sleep more.
@~@ Delivered an almost 90-minute of talk (based on my notes from books I read in 2012) to LS, with breaks in between. Tired. I must train my stamina because I will deliver more inspiring talks in the future. See books2012.txt
@~@ Dressed up myself on Christmas day, though I could not wear my engagement ring (hopefully for temporary). I love the progress of applying make-up, transforming myself into more beautiful than ever.
@~@ Clean flat (since Dec 23rd) thanks to the cleaning lady. We are sleeping on my favorite bed sheets with the pattern of pink flowers and purple leaves. So far, we only have 3 bed sheets.
@~@ Not being able to attend a Christmas mass, I listened to "On Eagle’s Wings". Always remember that "He will raise you up on eagle’s wings".

@~@ Listened to the songs by Mindy Gledhill. Gothic. Soothing. Fairy Tales.

Finally, Merry Christmas to the readers of Blueroselady. I love you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

When I celebrate

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It seems that we are celebrating more and more events in life, from the traditional Christmas to the latest Father’s Day, and marketers will entice customers to buy more things to pamper our loved ones.
The list below is not exhaustive:
New Year
Lunar New Year
Valentine’s Day
Easter
Christmas
Halloween
Thanksgiving
Mother’s Day
Women’s Day
Father’s Day
Children’s Day
Teacher’s Day

It is time for me to prioritize.

I used to celebrate monthly by dressing up as beautiful as a movie star, taking photos, and sometimes going out to have fun. Once in a while, I got my nails painted, my hair done by professionals.
Now, I want to concentrate on my venture and focus less on this monthly celebration.

However, I still want to celebrate for:
1. my birthday : I am a firm believer of self-love. Only when I love myself, I can love other people. My birthday is also a reminder how my mother loves me and all the things she has done for me. I want so much to celebrate a birthday of mine by pampering her to the best food and spa I can find.
2. Christmas : I had spent many meaningful Christmas. I learned the value of being responsible in Christmas 2004, when people were enjoying themselves, I was working. Christmas also has a role to play for my first date with my beloved man (with firework), the proposal, the once-in-a-lifetime celebration in Vatican City.
3. our anniversary : growing together to be more mature, wise, and loving than ever. We will remember that on this day n years ago that we both stood across from one another, in front of God, friends, and family and outwardly admitted our love for one another.

Apart from these, it is OK for me to celebrate or not for other events.
Sometimes, resting at home to re-charge is a better options!

In the past, I managed to celebrate the four seasons (finding the winter being the most challenging).
Whenever I have the opportunities, I would love to celebrate the four seasons with my children: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Celebration motivates me to dress beautifully.
I have worn gowns of the following colors:
black : always classic
white : Yes, it is my wedding gown!
cyan / turquoise (2012)
blue sapphire (2003) : which happened to be the same color as the table cloth of the hotel ballroom!
green apple (2002)
red maroon (2011) : beautiful autumn memory of dream and determination, think of red autumn leaves.
magenta (2012)
purple (the knee length) : I love the way it sexily reveals my shoulder


Some colors of gown that I want to wear:
shiny silver grey
red scarlet : when I am the main host
green emerald
Though, I also like colors like soft pink, peach, milk chocolate, but I think gowns of these colors do not make me stand out. I do not mind wearing gowns of these colors for an occasion like being a bridesmaid.
Well, there are other colors that I used to like in the past e.g. green sage, but now I do not find them attractive anymore. I change.
I also do not mind colorful gowns, though they may make me the center of attention.


What kind of make-up that I like?
Snow White : she has a baby face cheek without appearing fat. Snow White is in the right balance of between too fat and too bony. Thank you foundation and blush on.
large innocent doe eyes / like the eyes of Disney princesses / Kumicky eyes. Thank you eyelashes, color lens, eyeliner, concealer, eyeshadow.
sexy red lips that makes man wants to kiss. Thank you lipstick and concealer.

A comment on my preference for eye make-up:
I like that kind of attractive, innocent, yet to some people it appears vulnerable.
Perhaps it has to do with my gentle nature.
However, one can be gentle outward, and strong inward.
To be successful, a lot of inner strength is required.
Only those with inner strength will be taken seriously by customers / business partners.

Hairstyle:
I am flexible to explore with different kind of hairstyle.
Thank you wig!

How to celebrate?
write a prayer / poem / heartfelt letter
dance with your loved one
eat cake
view photos and videos that bring back treasured memory
have fine-dining / special home-cooked meal
travel / nth-honeymoon
make love
appreciate the nature / go picnic / visit botanical garden / zoo / natural reserve / national parks
throw a party : this appeals less to me because I am not a party animal. To save costs, you can throw a pot luck.
volunteer for a cause

Written by blueroselady

October 14, 2012 at 8:01 am

My simple frugal lifestyle in autumn 2012

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In three and half more months, we will be saying good bye to 2012.

Life has been pretty simple for me lately.
I am enjoying my simple life now.
I am grateful for having God, loving family, caring friends, supportive mentors.

I am grateful for my job, where I can earn and learn; I am always learning and preparing myself for the future.

Towards the vision of achieving my financial independence and realizing my grand dream (I want to help many poor children in my chosen ways), I become more conscious about my spending, saving, and financial intelligence than ever. This of course has implications on my lifestyle: the many decisions I make daily.

I strive to kick start and end my everyday with prayers of gratitude and guidance.

I strive to eat more healthy home cooked food using higher quality ingredients (e.g. olive oil).
I try to minimize dining out (for meals above $10 / per person) to once or at most twice per week.

I will go for free food after talks.
Like the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad who waits until the afternoon to buy his fruits and vegetables when the prices drop, we buy discounted bread after 9.30 pm for the next morning breakfast. For more inspiration, see the frugal millionaires.

I am increasing my financial intelligence by reading books borrowed from libraries / read at bookstores / e-books, and consulting my mentor K.

I am having good rests, especially in the weekend.

I appreciate the greenery near where I live: walking, breathing, thinking, nurturing relationship with my lover.
I prefer to watch (inspiring / romantic comedy) movies at home, I no longer need to spend on cinema tickets. If I have to watch in the cinema (e.g. for 3D movies), I will buy the cheaper weekday ticket than the weekend ticket.

I listen to music from radio / youtube (I no longer buy songs / CD).

I use public transport, gently fight for my seat with smiles, use my fist and mouth to protect my baby. I have no car now, but I am happy to have a car to support my future business.

I use delay rule when I want to shop for things above $50. Do I really need it? Can I be creative to use things that I already have?
I ask for samples and discounts, wait patiently for sales.

If possible, I minimize spending my free time in shopping malls to minimize temptation to shop for unnecessary things.
I shop with a shopping checklist.
I maximize the potential of my credit cards (to earn points) and always pay full outstanding amount to avoid the blood sucking 24% interest.

I am not going overseas in this autumn and coming winter (a huge saving on air tickets), yet I can do virtual travel at home, thanks to documentaries and travel books.

Since this summer, I have not shopped for any cloth, except for underwear.

Thankfully, my mother bought me some new clothes, my sister handed me few of her clothes (I do not mind second hand clothes).
However, I foresee that I have to shop for my baby, and it will be a happy bargain hunt.

I still donate a little amount for charity, I hope I can donate more as my income increases in the near future.
My life is simple and blessed.

Written by blueroselady

September 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

Book: The magic and mystery of Scotland

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Photographs by Dennis Hardley

Author Lucinda Hawksley

When I was young, I had no money to buy books other than my school text books. Honestly, I was envious of my friends whose parents can buy them many story books. I also love books with beautiful scenery. I collected travel brochures and flipped them many times before sleeping. Daydreaming to night-dreaming.

With a much healthier economy in my life, my dream of a library has become a realization. My lover and I are starting to build our own library. God, I am so thankful.

From the Cancer Research UK, I was so happy to buy this book at GBP 5 (original price was GBP 20) with so many beautiful images of Scotland. This beautiful book joins my other books, some are so kind and generous in sharing knowledge that I feel that the authors are like caring teachers and friends.

Since this post is about Scotland, I would list below the beautiful things I love about Scotland.

@~@ Towards Cuillin Hills from Loch Slapin, Skye Inner Hebrides : the vivid-green of algae-covered boulders, a biscuit-cloured sand, tantalisingly clear blue of the sky.

@~@ Highland Loch in Winter. I love the icy stalactites hang from lochside shrubs.

@~@ Loch Lomond, Ardlui Argyllshire

@~@ Highland Cow. I found that the long fury hair covering the eyes of these highland cows so lovely in total contrast with the alarming and defensive 2 horns.
I think of an interesting idea for hairstyle: a little bit of hair covering our face can sweeten our look.

@~@ Ruins of Girnigeo and Sinclair Casltes, Caithness.
Love the landscape of unsurpassed grandeur.

@~@ View from Calton Hill, Edinburgh.
In the morning of a late autumn.
I saw the pair of lover from , they are waving to me.
A scene of love that had endured rain and shine.
A scene imprinted in my memory.
A scene that I will remember for the rest of my life.
To remind me on LOVE.

@~@ Listening to the Bagpipes.
“By eliminating the Celtic culture, the English hoped to subjugate (征服) the Celtic soul.
As a result, wearing tartan and playing the bagpipes were forbidden throughout Scotland for many decades.”
I heart the Celtic for I have a similar experience to them.
We were forbidden to celebrate and to learn about our culture.

Q. What are the differences between the Celtic culture and Gaelic culture?
I checked http://wiki.answers.com.
In brief and a math sentence, Gaels are subset of Celts. Imagine a Venn diagram.
I remember once I met a girl who is very proud of her Gaelic root in a formal hall.
So grateful for the opportunity to learn about others and become friends, even if our encounter is as short as few hours.

@~@ Scottish smoked salmon.
“the art of smoking became a very popular one in the 19th century and REVOLUTIONISED the Scotch salmon industry”.
I often added smoked salmon to my bread and rice, while living in UK.
I was grateful. Salmon is rich in protein, good for our brain and body.

@~@ Sandstone Sea Arch. Near Torness East Lothian.
Beautiful sandstone is possible after painful shaping by “the power of the sea and the motion of the wind”.
Think that a beautiful work (e.g. sculpture, make-up) is only possible after painful shaping.

God, I am also so grateful that you grant my beloved an opportunity to stay briefly in Edinburgh. Though it was winter, we enjoyed Edinburgh so much, also thanks to the nice dwelling where we lived in. We cooked and ate together, so happy!

Written by blueroselady

February 4, 2012 at 2:46 am

Posted in book, travel

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