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I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Happiness exercise: write a short introduction about yourself

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In a series of happiness exercises, I brainstorm novel and creative ideas of doings that can boost up our happiness. Today exercise is simple: write a short introduction about yourself. You can memorize it to remind yourself when you experience negative emotions, to make new friends and build new relationships, or simply to make an elevator pitch.

Here is a brief introduction about myself.

I am an ordinary woman with a BIG dream to give extraordinary service to others.

My love include life, family, stories and writing. I dream of writing a book that is enlisted in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers.

Everyday, I give my best to live and learn so that I can share useful tips about education and entrepreneurship / business,
that are thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.

I am also interested in people, travel, food (especially Asian food and Italian desserts), visual arts, movies and creative ideas.

Counting my blessings, I am grateful for being a mother, lifelong student, storyteller, researcher and marketer; and having good health and more wealth than the yesterday-me.

Thank you very much for being interested in me!

Please keep in touch and feel free to comment.

Written by blueroselady

October 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

Posted in writing

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Simple pleasure of life

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Find the place that saw and see You many times through passing years:Son with laughter, tears,
Dad with no fears,
Grandpa pulled with loud cheers.
Turn time back, climb the wooden track.

Baby loves to see the dancing of leaves of the tree standing outside living room.

Cook dinner.
Savor the meal while listening to classical music.

Re-reading what I have written.
Re-learn and unlearn.
Dreaming. Dreaming BIG

Written by blueroselady

October 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

Posted in lifestyle, writing

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DO what you LOVE, LOVE what you DO

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Do what you love and love what you do sound simple, but appear complex in practice.

How many of us do what we love for most time of our lives?
How many of us love what we do for most of our doings?
For many people across different ages and roles of life, here are possibilities:
Dreams change.
Goals change.
Plans Change.

Do you love a doing because you are good at the doing?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing)?
Would you still love the doing if you are not (yet) good at the doing (even after 10,000 hours of practice)?

A quote by Steve Jobs shared by Jeff Moore:
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart,
you’ll know when you find it."

When I was in high school,
I love (or perhaps prefer) science subjects because my linguistic skills are limited (reason #1).
Apparently and consequently, I did better in maths, chemistry, biology, physics than in language subjects. People love doing things whereby we have a sense of mastery, do you feel so as well?

My native Chinese-speaking classmates who have learned writing and reading since early age, are at ease in the Chinese class.
My Eurasian classmates who have a native speaking father / mother, or those who have English-educated parents, seem to write English so fluently.
They had read thick novels / non-fiction books and easily won the essay writing and elocution competitions.
For me,
to write an essay in English or Chinese,
I had to start from simple structures.
When I have an exam topic of essay to write,
I would quickly jot down some ideas in point form and elaborated on them later as my writing progressed.
Normally, I would write explanatory or argumentative essays, and very rarely narrative essays, simply because of my limited vocabularies.

Reason #2
There are high certainty in science subject exams.
1+1=2. If the answers are right now, they will be right tomorrow.
We love things that we do well.

But in real life (including the real scientific fields as my scientist acquaintances point out),
the rules of game are uncertain.
The rules are not constant; change is the rule of the rules.
That’s why life is the only known example of infinite game is life, according to James P. Carse.
On contrary, examples of finite games are debates, sports, schools, receiving a degree from an educational institution, belonging to a society, or engaging in war.

The surprise in infinite game is the triumph of the future over the past.
So, when you are uncertain about what to do next, an easy step is to
always choose infinite games.

Winning should not be the final goal because after winning, the game stops.
Life is a game that is meant to be continuously played.
Aunt Florence shared some profound advice on how to play the game of life, you may want (and I need) to revise and remember them,
as resilient shortcuts in the moments of negative feelings and events.

Although I honestly feel that my writing is still not up to standard (set through social comparisons with people of similar professional credentials to mine and authors whom I admire),
I will continue writing.
I think this is an example of "DO what you LOVE".

Sometimes we may have to do things that we are not interested, so it is hard to love what we do.
However, the good news are interests are malleable,
they are formed through our past experiences (including education),
so we can change them through learning and unlearning.
Revealingly, you can re-program your minds and interests through conscious efforts,
this attempt will also beneficial to discard some preferences that we would not want to have if we think carefully about them but others manage to incept on us — think of the 2010 science fiction film entitled Inception.

For example, I know a number of people who have focused greatly on their careers,
hate doing house chores or parenting tasks,
but I believe that if they want to,
with right conscious efforts to shift their interests,
they can love what they do.

How to continue love what you do (even if you feel tired / bored / disappointed / frustrated) ?
My friend Tracy suggests using positive feedback loop.
You can establish positive feedback loop when the rewards / pleasure of your doing outweigh the sacrifices / pain.

To DO what you LOVE, you need willpower and courage.
To LOVE what you DO, you need positive feedback and inner security.

Inner security that I means here is not worrying so much about achieving certain levels of success.

More real-world examples:
# Joanna: becoming a mother at age 48
# My friend Leo highlights that people rule out the possibility of great change, because it appears unrealistic.

Finally,
"Do what you love, love what you do & deliver more than you promise!" ~ Harvey Mackay

Written by blueroselady

September 25, 2013 at 4:56 am

5 calming tips to overcome anger

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It is OK for you to experience frustration / anger.
You are not alone.
We all experience frustration / anger in our lives.

Anger is not always bad,
anger helps us to assert our rights.

Anger, like other negative emotions and also positive emotions,
are normal and appropriate
under particular circumstances in space and time
(dynamic spatio-temporal context).

However,
when anger is prolonged / intense / unacknowledged,
it may lead to diseases,
which we do not want.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“For every minute you remain angry

you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind.

Negative emotions such as anger / frustration / resentment,
can be extremely destructive,
because these destabilizing emotions blur our vision,
disable us from rational and clear thinking,
and rapidly drag us down to regrettable paths of lives.
There is truth in the saying that
Anger Is One Letter Short of Danger.

It is all right to feel anger
but it is not all right
to express anger violently
or with cruel words.

Anger shows on our face,
can impair our potential to live a happy life.

Angry outbursts / aggression can become a bad habit;
the more one allows anger to take control,
the deeper the brain pathways are carved & reinforced,
because of brain plasticity.
Simply put,
Anger begets anger.

When people are stress / angry,
their body releases stress hormones
like cortisol & adrenaline,
that intensify the amygdala’s sense of danger,
& shut down the calming function of the prefrontal cortex.

We want calmer, more effective & more resourceful ways
to handle our emotions,
especially angry feelings.

We want to prevent ourselves
from getting stuck in deeper problems,
such as depression & anxiety,
in the long run.

Thích Nhất Hạnh / tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ views that
either expressing or suppressing anger
is an end of 2 extremes.
Expressing anger harms those around you,
destroys your relationship with others.
Suppressing anger harms yourself & your health.
Instead, choose to acknowledge our emotions.
Choose calmer & more soothing ways to attend to anger.

Melissa Costello shares that
anger can be a cover up for deep hurt & pain.
In 10 Mindful Minutes,
Goldie Hawn & Wendy Holden also shares that
anger can be due to fear.

The good news is
we can learn techniques
to overcome & deal with
our pain & fear.

Our brain is plastic,
we can train our mind
to be positive.

We can be creative
or learn from creative people
in dealing with our negative emotions.

Roger Weissberg of Yale University
contributed a technique using the traffic signal imagery^
to help people to deal with difficult emotions.

^ Children may prefer we call it traffic signal game,
instead of the traffic signal technique.

How to use the traffic signal technique?
You can get some paper & color pencils / crayons
to draw a picture of traffic signal.

Alternatively,
you can visualize traffic signal in your mind
When you are feeling negative emotions such as anger,
use the traffic signals to help you
to drive & steer your emotions safely.

Red = stop. Breathe mindfully / do some mindful breathing.
Yellow = consider all possible / thinkable / reasonable ways to respond.
In this yellow light stage, we activate our prefrontal cortex.
Green = Respond mindfully.

The traffic signal technique works because
according to Paul Ekman,
we begin feeling a strong emotion much faster
than we are aware of it.

When we use the traffic signal technique,
we allows ourselves to stop and think.
The technique lengthens the time between
the impulse / stimulus and response (either reaction or action)
as soon as
we realize and recognize
our difficult / negative feelings.

According to Victor Frankl,
between our stimulus and response
we have the freedom and power
to choose our response:
the most positive, mindful, meaningful response.
Through frequent practices
of the traffic signal technique,
we can build solid emotional resilience.

Last, but not least,
we can memorize some affirmations & scriptures.
They act as a short-cut
to quickly calm ourselves down
in the intense moment of strong negative feelings.

Examples of affirmations:
# The anger of today is the remorse of tomorrow
# If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb.
# People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing

Examples of scriptures:
# Proverbs 16:32 : “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that controls his temper than he who conquers a city”
# Proverbs 22:24,25 : “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered”
# Exodus 2:11-15 : In a sudden burst of anger Moses killed an Egyptian and had to flee for his life! It then took him 40 years of patiently, humbly tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the Voice of God instead of his own impulses, before he was ready for the slow, la­borious, patient work of delivering the Hebrews from Egypt.

To summarize
@~@ Remember that anger++ = Danger
@~@ Neither express or suppress anger, but acknowledge it
@~@ Traffic signal technique
@~@ Remember that you can choose your response
@~@ Memorize affirmations / scriptures

How to deal with anger? 15 effective tips

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Many times, as human beings,
we get angry because of the mistakes / misunderstanding caused by ourselves and people closest to us,
e.g.
our family members (spouse, children),
our bosses and subordinates,
our colleagues,
our clients.

Imagine a spouse who does not border to help you / who only knows how to nag and nag,
after you work hard and endure stress / fatigue / insult from the morning until night;
Imagine an in-law who only knows to blame you after you expend sweat, tears, and blood taking care of your home / spouse / children (fortunately my parents-in-law are very nice);
Imagine bosses who only know to instruct, take all the credit;
Imagine subordinates who do things wrongly even though you explain many times;
Imagine clients who refuse to pay their debts to you after you deliver the products,
or whose expertise is to complain and complain.

Anger is not always bad,
anger helps us to assert our rights.

Anger, like other negative emotions and also positive emotions,
are normal and appropriate under particular dynamic spatiotemporal context / circumstances in space and time.

However,
when anger is prolonged / intense / unacknowledged,
it may lead to diseases,
which we do not want.

Then,
how to deal with anger?

1. The ART of ENDURANCE, use THICK FACE BLACK HEART.
Some people may think that being thick face is to be shameless,
because the general perception of thick face can be exemplified by an adult child refuses to work but asks money from retired parents.
Thick face that I mean here means that we must be able to endure humiliation / insult / injustice / physical & emotional pain / stress that cause our anger.
Honestly, this is not easy but not impossible.

Black heart here does not mean being ruthless to others,
but be determined enough on ourselves so that we can endure hardship and protect the weak.
Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi are among the finest example of practitioners of thick face black heart.

2. Neither express nor suppress anger.
Both are at the end of 2 extremes.
Expressing anger harms those around you, your relationship with others.
Suppressing anger harms yourself, your health.
Then, what should you do?
ACKNOWLEDGE our emotions, I think this is a piece of advice that I learned from Thích Nhất Hạnh / tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ.

3. Realize that we are the MASTER of our EMOTION.
We have control of our own emotion,
instead of letting our emotion enslave us.
We can practice self-control,
our mind can win over our emotion.

4. IMAGINE / VISUALIZE that your problems / pains are over. Visualize your trespasser as a little baby / child. It is hard to be angry at little children.
Ask yourself, will things / people that cause your anger matter in X amount of time (e.g. 1 year, 5 years time)?
You may not bump into the person again.
You may have moved to better places / positions.

5. Use the ART of DETACHMENT.
We can care / love others, but we have to be detached from our care / love.
We can continue to care, give best advices, but separate our feeling from the outcome of our efforts.
If they do not want to listen to our advice / to receive our kindness,
we just accept their response,
no need to feel bad about it.
Do not attach our happiness to others,
i.e. do not let our happiness be dependent on others (including their thought / words / actions).

6. LEARN from difficulties / crisis.
Believe that opportunities arise out of our difficulties.
There are always things to be learned from every situation.
There are things worth fighting,
there are things that are better ignored,
e.g. the rudeness of rude salesperson / customers, the ruthless bosses.

7. Use POSITIVE THINKING. Reframe our PERSPECTIVEs. There is no failure, there is only feedback.
Be aware that our trespasser(s) may cause unhappiness transiently, but they cannot rob away our capacity to generate inner happiness (including peace of mind, wealth).

8. LOWER / have NO EXPECTATIONS.
Accept things and other people as they are.
It is hard to change other people.
To change a person may be harder than to move a mountain.
Instead of wasting time to change others,
it is better to improve ourselves.

9. Use TALKing therapy,
but you have to find a listener,
who will listen without giving advice
(sometimes when we are angry we may perceive their well-meant advice as something negative).
Do not talk to every person you meet,
because not all people can give you empathy and sympathy in every situation / circumstances,
they may perceive you as a whiner / complain king,
we may end up transferring our pain / anger to other people.
Choose whom to TALK to carefully & wisely.
Many times, I TALK to God,
because God can take our anger / frustration.
Sometimes, I TALK to my wise mentors.
They are my role models,
and I would imagine what they would do if they were in my situation.

10. Use WRITING therapy.
This is what I exactly do now. I wrote this post because I was angry, and I want to find solutions on how to deal with anger.
Then, I think that my tips / strategies may be useful to others and decide to share them with the world.
When you write, do not worry about writing style / grammar.
You can make yourself your audience.
Keep your writing in journal / diary or
you can throw / tear away,
like cleansing / declutter your problem.

11. REST & SLEEP.
Take a power nap.
When we suffer from lack of sleep, we may become cranky.

12. MEDITATE / PRAYER.
Prayer is powerful.
Prayer = talking to God.
God can patiently listen without giving comments.
God can embrace our anger.

13. BREATHing exercise.
Imagine a balloon expanding & contracting in your lower abdomen.
Siberian North Rail Road for Stop, Notice, Reflect and Respond.
Stop to take a deep breath. Taking a deep breath can really calm our minds.
Reflect why you are angry from a 3rd person perspective (neither victim nor offender).
Respond. You always have control / choice in how you are going to respond. Be the master of your emotion, instead of letting your emotion winning over you.

14. EXERCISE e.g. yoga / qigong 气功 / jogging / hiking / swimming.
Physical activity can release emotion,
because our mind, body, and soul are inter-connected.
QiGong can help us to keep a focused mind, good posture, and help us to relax.

15. Use palm-size thermometer.
When we are angry,
blood is diverted from our extreme parts of bodies to vital organs,
our fingers turn cold.
Count to ten.
1 … 2 … 3 …. 4 …. 5 … 6 … 7 … 8 … 9 … 10 …
Focus on calming down until our fingers become warm.
PS: I learned this tips from Oprah Winfrey, thank you!
See also my green old A4 notebook page 32, 129.

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

Written by blueroselady

March 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

"Do It Anyway" poem by Mother Teresa

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Over two years ago, I posted this poem by Mother Teresa, and today I encountered this poem again through DZ. Ideas and questions that come back to you again and again may mean something worth pursuing, this is a sign from the nature / God for me.

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Written by blueroselady

December 12, 2012 at 7:33 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.