Monday, December 29, 2008

Found and Lost

In The Gardener 66, the poet Tagore depicted a madman, wearing an iron chain on his waist, was seeking a touchstone able to change iron into gold. The search became his life – he continued picking up pebbles, touching the chain and throwing them away without even looking a change on the chain – until a boy asked, “Where did you come at the golden chain about your waist?”

Thus, the madman realized he already found and lost the touchstone somewhere unknown. When he returned his footsteps to search anew the lost treasure, he could never find it, so he became madder and more distraught.

You feel bad if you never find what you seek. If you found and lost what you desire and you don’t know where you missed it unconsciously, you may feel worse – tormented by regret, self-accusation, and disappointment.

Some situation can be worse – you found the treasure what you crave, you cherished it very much, but at that timing, you were just too weak to keep it, you saw it slip away from your hand consciously, and then it was occupied by someone who was more capable than you just at that special moment. You were tortured by self-accusation, jealousy and indignation.

Sometimes, life is beyond our control and luck plays a critical role in it. In the film “Match Point”, Chris Wilton murdered his love to keep his lucky life, and he said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” What a cold point!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sparkle of Thoughts

sparkly bits*

If a man has a psychological disorder, he may be called a loony. If a society has developed a chronic psychological disorder, it may be called culture. If you don’t follow this kind of culture in that society, you will be considered unconventional and may be called a loony.

Smart people can change a desert into an oasis, survive and thrive; stupid people can change a luxuriant field into polluted barren land, then die of despair and destituteness. Sometimes, there is no cure to this kind of stupidity. Even death can’t wake them up.

If a person lies the first time, he/she has to invent the second lie to cover the first one, and then invents the third lie to cover the second one until he/she develops into a habitual liar. All the lies will burst out like a balloon at a certain point, and all the shameful pieces will fall onto his/her own face. The best policy is not to lie from the beginning.

Gossips are like fleas: one or two will itch you, but when there are many of them, they don’t irritate you anymore. However, a place, either full of fleas or full of gossips, is definitely low-class.

When men gossip a lot about a woman, they are actually attracted or obsessed by this woman although they don’t want to admit it; when women gossip a lot about a woman, they are jealousy of her and intend to compare with her.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Determined in the Womb

Yesterday I posted an entry “Life is a choice”. I overheard someone said, “Actually, we have little choice about life; ninety percent is already determined in the womb.” 90%? So high?


I did a quick internet research to see what are determined in the womb.


  • BBC news said stroke risk determined in the womb, according to US scientists.
  • Irish scientists claimed handedness determined by 10 weeks in the womb.
  • New York Times make the assertion that weight as adult may be determined in the womb.
  • Philadelphia researchers suggested that food preference may be determined in the womb.
  • Men’s dancing style may be determined in the womb.
  • Researchers in London said male fertility problems may be linked to hormone levels early in pregnancy.
  • Canadian scientists said a man's sexual orientation appears to be determined in the womb.
  • A UK research team stated that even career choice begins in the womb.


Wow! If all these important things are determined in the womb, and our parents make a series of decisions for us before we reach 18, there is little room left for us to make options, so it is important to make good decisions for the small part of life.


When things go wrong or we cannot meet our parents’ expectation, we may have valid reasons to blame our moms. Therefore, to be a good mom starts from very beginning, starts from the womb.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Life is a choice

Life is not unalterable and passive; if we are determined, we have enough power to choose what kind of life we live.


We can choose what we should believe and what we should not believe.


We can choose a goal, then follow it; Even we miss the goal, we are somewhere between our departure point and the goal.


We can choose to give up hope or to keep on going until we break a new ground.


We can choose to have a positive attitude or to be cynics, to be happy or to be unhappy.


We can choose to regret for our whole life for a moment of pleasure, or choose to sacrifice a moment of pleasure for lifelong peace and happiness.


By choosing a career and/or a spouse, we choose what kind of lifestyle we live.


As women, we can choose to cherish our body or abandon ourselves.


A woman doesn’t choose only for herself, she takes responsibility for her child. With good life habits, she can give birth to a healthy baby. With good judgment, she can choose a responsible father and a happy life for her next generation.


As women, we need sense of security. Whichever wealth, fame, achievement, social status, respect, love, family or children can bring us security, we have to choose from our gut feelings, don’t be distracted by others’ opinion.


Life is a series of choice. Any choice comes with alternatives. We have to accept the opportunity cost, don’t regret.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There is no accident

In the film Kung Fu Panda, the clumsy Po, a noodle peddler, is thrust into sky by firework, and then lands in front of the pointing finger of the tortoise Master Oogway with perfect timing. Oogway claims Po to be the Dragon Warrior. Everyone is surprised, but Oogway says firmly, “There is no accident.”

Po is fanatic with Kung Fu; he has passion and determination; his strong desire and secret dream send him into the public tournament. Even Po’s shortcomings are his strong points - his clumsiness can disarm any fighter, and he is brand new and not stereotyped, so no one knows how to deal him. Although berated and humiliated by the Furious Five – Tigress, Monkey , Mantis, Viper, and Crane, Po has learned the highest philosophy of Kung Fu and eventually defeats the evil Tai Lung.

Sometimes people can be deluded by the surface phenomenon. When bad thing happens to a seemingly honest and generous person, they think his honesty brings him bad luck, but they don’t know he may have destructive vices, which are real cause. When a seemingly low person is blessed, they think the cause-effect law is wrong, but they don’t know he may possess grand hidden virtues, which are pleasing to the heaven and earth.

There is no accident. Everything happens with a reason. We create our own fate; we harvest we sow. Something goes around, will come around. Everything that comes to our life is attracting into our life by our own thoughts and behaviors. We are not passive to our environment, either. How we react to a situation will bring about different results. Don’t complain, life never wrongs you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Psychological Sunshine

In very northern countries which have little sunlight in the winter months, people may get winter depression. The sufferers feel gloomy and become listless. They can benefit from bright light therapy.

Sunshine can put you in good mood. Do you know you need psychological sunshine, too? A reassuring book, an encouraging friend and a supporting family, all can cheer you up. Surround yourself with positive people, you will become happier and smarter, you can work more efficiently and feel more fulfilled.
When all the world doubt about you, someone stands at your side, holds your hand and tells you that you are the best. When your heart is overcast, someone breathes the clouds away and breathes confidence in you. Lucky you, you find your sunshine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

You can't argue with...

You can’t argue with God, God only takes prayers.


You can’t argue with time, time waits for no man.


You can’t argue with success, success needs no explanation.


You can’t argue with facts, if you do people will doubt about your intelligence.


You can’t argue with silence, arguing needs two sides.


You can’t argue with a sick mind. Don’t waste your time to argue with a sick mind. The bystanders will think you are sick, too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sunshine and Shadow

Where there is sunshine, there is shadow.
Where there is beauty, there is ugliness.
Where there is virtue, there is vice.
Where there is humanity, there is meanness.
The world is imperfect. However, because there exist shadow, ugliness, vice and meanness, we can appreciate sunshine, beauty, virtue and humanity better.

It is arranged by God. As Benjamin Franklin ever said, “God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“The Saddest Thing in Life is Wasted Talent”

I ever borrowed the movie “A Bronx Tale” from library, primarily because it is starred by Robert De Niro. To my disappointment, the movie tells story about gangs and violence, which didn’t interest me at all. After I got the line “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent”, I turned off the TV. This line is worthy of all my time watching it.

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent”, I repeated this line to myself again and again. It is true. I have witnessed a lot of untapped, misplaced, and unrewarded talents. They don’t have money, social connection, a right advisor or an encouraging environment to make their talents into use. They have talents, but they don’t know what to do and how to do. With potential, they struggle with life pitifully. If they don’t do the right thing, their talents will be wasted.

It is about luck – when you are confused or constrained, a mentor happens to guide you or a person comes to help you; it is about timing -  when opportunity comes, you are mentally, spiritually and materially ready; it is about fortitude – after the darkest night is the sunlight, you ought to have persistence and determination; it is about initiative -  you got to find a way to create a situation for yourself if nothing happens by itself.

Be prepared when you wait; be grateful when you get; be watchful when you win.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Intelligence and Wisdom

Intelligence can be evaluated by well-designed exams, but wisdom is an abstract concept hard to explain. As my understanding, intelligence is the brainpower to understand specific knowledge, to learn new skills and to reason and analyze; wisdom is the insightful perception of people and the world, the willpower to handle change and stress, and the ability to make right decision at right time.

Intelligence and wisdom are codependent and intertwined. With enough intelligence, people can develop wisdom from accumulated experience; with enough wisdom, people can tap the full potential of their intelligence. Intelligence can help people to achieve highly in a particular area. Nevertheless, if you want to be successful in every realm of your life, you need wisdom to make right choice and balance your life. It is a blessing for a person to have both top intelligence and top wisdom. If I have to choose one, I think wisdom is better than intelligence.

I ever witnessed several very intelligent persons had miserable life and brought trouble to people around them. As an intelligent person has a sad ending, it looks more tragic than a brainless one does. What kind of life a person can have is determined by his attitude, philosophy and wisdom. A self-centered and narrow-minded person has trouble to understand the others’ feeling and is unable to get along well with people around him.

I was ever a self-absorbed person unable to handle stress. Under stressful situation, I couldn’t concentrate and couldn’t do anything well. When I was frustrated, my husband said to me, “Don’t worry, no one is faultless. Just use your strength more and develop your weakness.” His kind and supportive words relieved my anxiety.

When I was bothered by people’s gossips, my husband told me, “Do you know why some people are jealousy or mean? They are unhappy, unloved or insecure. Can’t you forgive them? When you forgive and let go, you will feel happy.” Therefore, I released myself from outside words.

I have a stress-free home, in which I can feast myself with good food, beautiful music, and edifying books, and I can have a comfortable beauty sleep to reenergize my body and brain cells. I think my husband is wise, He said, “Sure. At least I did a very wise thing, that is, I married you.” The ability to feel appreciation and gratitude is wisdom, too.

It is good to be intelligent; it is better to be wise. If you can not be wise enough, at least have a wise person around you who can help you build up right attitude and guide you to the right path of life.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Way of Learning

There are three kinds of men, ones that learn by reading, a few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

-Will Rogers


I think Will Rogers left out one kind of men, who learn by listening. Most people learn by listening to the school teachers, to their parents, to the social educators and to the mass media. In school, listening is a prime source of information. Listen well and take notes thoroughly, you will have better chance to get a good grade.


As a visual person, I am a slow learner by listening. My mind is more focused when I am reading than when I am listening. I learn new skills fast by reading and practicing, so I spend a lot of time reading. Reading presents me a lot of mentors and friends I never meet and provides me a new platform of learning and growth.


I also learn through observation. Observing the other people and analyzing why they succeed or why they fail, we can save our time to find the right path to a successful life and avoid getting into a wrong way. Most People learn things by listening, reading and observing. 


Some people pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves. Don’t do that, it is dangerous. I heard that a man really peed on bare electric wire unintentionally in a freezing winter; he was shocked to death immediately. Don’t learn things in a hard way, the result can be disastrous or fatal. But if the disaster doesn’t kill you, it may break you down then build you up to a new person with a different mindset.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Way - Chapter 58 (By Lao Tzu)

When the policy is plain, people are contented and chaste.

When the policy is strict, people are destitute and sullied.

Misfortune can gestate fortune; fortune can evolve into misfortune.

Who knows the evolvement law? There is no predefined rule.

The integrity can be strange; the charitableness can be foul.

The puzzlement of people exists for a long time.

Therefore, the saint should be upright not isolated, plain not crude, straightforward not hurtful, and shining not glaring.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I ever watched the popular Shamu show “Believe” in Seaworld Orlando. In the show, the trainers swim with shamus, kiss them, play with them and ride on them. The trainers perform difficult flips and dives with the support of shamus. A group of shamus jump out of water with similar beautiful curve simultaneously. About 5,000 audiences applaud and acclaim for the unforgettable performance.


In the show you see a boy whose dream is to be a trainer with killer whales. He believes he can do it, and his dream comes true. Yes, every miracle begins with “believe”. The trainers believe killer whales can be trained; the trainers believe they can do it; the trainers believe the killer shamus will not hurt them. Because of “believe”, the audience can enjoy such a fantastic show.


“If you believe and put your heart and mind to it, you can do it!” We have to believe ourselves. Only if we believe we can do it, we can do it. Self-confidence is contagious. It will give us positive attitude and infect everything we do in a positive way. Confidence spreads with successes. When we encounter obstacles and adversities, “believe” can help us sustain in the path, overcome the difficulty and enjoy the sweetness of success finally.


“Believe” is powerful. When I doubted my ability and I thought I could not do anything well, my husband showed strong belief in me. His belief instilled confidence into me. From that point, I find I can do a lot of things very well.


“Believe”, a simple but miraculous word, is the starting point of any achievement.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


What Did I Do Wrong?!

The sage Mengzi wrote a famous article 2,300 years ago. His wise words have encouraged a lot of people to face the adversity intrepidly.

“If a person is predestined to take on a great mission and play a role in the history, he has to endure a process of hard tempering, which exercises his mind by suffering, toughens his sinew and bone by toiling, and subjects him to extreme poverty, and tortures him near to crazy. By this means, he will cultivate himself inner strength, build unusual wisdom, and increase his capability.”

So, we should thank those people who gave us a hard time. They provide a playground for us to reflect us, to practice endurance and patience, to cultivate virtues, and to develop a strong nerve.

I ever met a very unreasonable girl, who made up dirty details and spread evil words about me. I didn’t know it until several people asked me to find a lawyer for myself. I was so hurt and argued with her. The result was that I looked as dirty and as bad as her. I learned from it, if we ignore slanderer, the slander will go back to the slanderer. A girl who ever slandered me got a reputation as evil liar.

But I still have to thank her; she exercised my mind, patience and personality. No one can make me angry anymore. I can keep calm and peaceful with any difficult people. I enjoy a good family life and am adored by my husband and parents-in-law. Thank God send us a difficult person or even an evil one to test us, practice us and prepare us for a better life and a big mission.

If people can hurt us, our self-cultivation is not enough. No one can hurt us without our permission.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Grace of Appreciation

Given a little sunshine, a bud in the shadow will come out; with a gust of wind, a small hand can make a kite fly. Have you met someone who understand you, appreciate you and trust you? Have you met someone who use kindness and belief to rekindle the fire in your heart?
At some point of our life, we need someone to encourage us, to reassure us, to help us rebuild our confidence. It doesn’t take a big person to do that. When Dale Carnegie was nine years old, his father remarried. Dale’s father introduced Dale to his stepmother, “Be careful of him. He is the worst boy in the county. He may throw a stone to you or do other bad things beyond your imagination.”
Out of Dale’s expectation, his stepmother walked to him, held his head, looked at his eyes, smiled, “You are wrong. He is not the worst boy in the county, but the smartest. He is the boy who hasn’t found where to use his passion.” Dale burst into tears.
Because of this word, Dale Carnegie built a beautiful relationship with his stepmother; because of this word, Dale Carnegie was motivated to be good and successful; because of this word, Dale Carnegie helped the other people step onto the path of success.
It is a grace to meet someone who appreciates you. You should cherish that person who believes in you even before you believe in yourself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quotes about Truth and Lie

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it's not going to go away.

-Elvis Presley


Truth is what stands the test of experience.

 -Albert Einstein


You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!

-David Letterman


The man who fears no truth has nothing to fear from lies.

-Thomas Jefferson


A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbor.

- Jonathan Swift


False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.



The slander of some people is as great a recommendation as the praise of others.

-Henry Fielding


Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.



For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (1 Peter 3:10).



The evils of the body are, murder, theft, and adultery; of the tongue, lying, slander, abuse, and idle talk; of the mind, covetousness, hatred, and error.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Wisdom from Buddha (Collected and translated by Jade)

Accept all the fair-weather and bad-weather with a heart full of happiness.

We should have an uplifting heart to respect and accept all the other different from us.

The real greatness is to endure the others cannot endure, and to accomplish the others cannot accomplish.

Getting something you should not obtain will bring you bad luck.

Treat your enemy well, your enemy will disappear.

Hating others will burn you inside and hurt yourself more.

Slandering a person with deep cultivation is like throwing a stone into emptiness, which will cause nothing and hurt nothing.

If you don’t fall down by yourself, nothing can force you down.

Those who say malicious words from a mean heart will hurt their own reputation and bring bad luck to their next generations.

We have to learn to forgive the others’ ignorance.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Forgiving and Letting Go

A Milkwood Pinwheel Flower: Tabernaemontana divaricata, Botanical Gardens, Singapore

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the others’ words and actions. If you hold feelings of anger and grudge within yourself, you can never have real lasting happiness and inner peace.


Some people overact to your words or put words to your mouth; some people make conclusions with little information and they believe their illusions are truth, and they spread falsehoods; some people use worst imagination to think about others and they think they are kind and trying to help; some people are natural liars who can't stop lying.


You can forgive people without excusing their acts. You can free yourself from bitterness and thoughts of revenge. Forgiving will give you a freer and happier life. People are mean because they are losers, or vice versa, people are losers because they are mean. Forgive them; if they can’t hurt you, they are hurting themselves by collecting negative karma.


Let go all the bad feelings; don’t let bitterness grip on you. Let go the past, focus on the present and create a promising future. Move forward to live a life with success, love, happiness, mercy and kindness. Focus on improving yourself; focus on your good life. Your success and happy life is the best revenge to the jealous and mean-spirited people.


No one knows the entire truth. You can’t judge. Only God can. No one can escape the net of destiny.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Love, Concordant Dance

In my imagination, love is kind of concordant dance, as smooth and beautiful as pairs free skating. Free skating is exquisite performance, which entails acting in concert physically and conjugating with each other mentally. It is hard for those skating pairs not to fall in love during this delicate action, so a lot of pairs are spouses in real life.

Real love is like a dance with your entire body, spirit and soul in harmony with your partner. Read your mind from your eyes, and pass on subtle feelings; also, we two can perceive the same direction and perform a serial of complicated leap loop. Then, you receive me stably and confidently. I feel so graceful and peaceful in your arms and experience you masculine power from this performance. In this act, we forget ourselves, only with the desire to fly. There is the sound of wind and music. It is a symphony of inebriation, freedom, body connection, and soul sublimation.

It is a superlative realm. In the real life, I am emotional, and you are appreciative. I recite ancient poetry, and you tell me life wisdom. I like to walk leisurely in the park, and you walk with me hand in hand. We don’t need a lot of money to be romantic, but wealth is important nutrition for love. We will build a life with happiness and balance.

I ever danced lonely under the moonlight waiting for you. Until you joined me, we dance together tunefully.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pearl - Pain and Shine


If you are an oyster, do you want to struggle with organic intruders and endure the pain of sanding and rubbing to produce a shining pearl, or do you want to live a comfortable life and then produce nothing?


Imagining the threatening irritation caused by a parasite, the torture of water attrition and sand grinding, no oyster likes to undergo all the pain to generate a pearl. But they have no choice, it just happened.


That’s life. You want to live an easy life, but you are put into harsh situations, meet all kinds of people and live through adversities. During this painful process, you strengthen your character muscle, fortify your heart and build up your wisdom.


If you already encountered hardship, you should thank God. He provided you a chance to learn important lessons, to get mature and wise, to obtain a gentle but strong heart. The earlier the hardship comes, the earlier you can benefit from it. It is a process of life to smooth and refine you into a valuable and shining pearl.


Naturally, among many hundreds oysters, only one can generate a fine pearl. If life happens to train you into a pearl, don’t complain the pain, but thank the opportunity.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quotes from "As a Man Thinketh" - by James Allen

Man is the master of thought, the molder of character,and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body. Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body.
The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, the vicious, although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so; it helps the honest, the magnanimous, the virtuous.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart-this you will build your life by, this you will become.

The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm.

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Way - Chapter 33 (By Laozi)

It needs wisdom to comprehend others; it requires wisdom and sense to know oneself.
It needs power to conquer others; it needs inner strength and self-control to conquer oneself.
Contentment can give you feeling of riches; Greed is the most serious poverty.
Those who firmly persevere on their target have strong willpower.
You can go far and have a long duration if you never lose your goal and stance.
If your spirit and career can pass on generation by generation, you have an eternal life.

Laozi: a philosopher of ancient China and an important figure of Taoism.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Use Time Wisely

time machine........

Emerson ever wrote about the German writer Goethe: “He is the type of culture, the amateur of all arts and sciences and events;” “He can not hate anybody; his time is worth too much.” Goethe, the admirable scholar, inspires people to spend their time for positive emotions and on constructive things.


It needs more strength and cultivation to be kind than to be mean. It requires more conscience to take personal responsibility than to blame others. It takes more brainpower to create your own luck.


Look around, I am surrounded by sunshine, flowers and green meadows. Life is enjoyable, a good time with my family, my sons' angelic smile, a piece of beautiful music, an edifying book, a cup of refreshing tea, a warm hug, and every other beautiful moment.


I will give all my time for working, reading, thinking, and appreciating. At the seashore of knowledge, I haven’t wetted my shoes yet. I have a lot to learn. I will focus on positives and solutions. I will work out my own luck. I will be so busy feeling happy and peaceful that there is no room for all the negative feelings.


I will focus on myself and do my things well. I will use all my time to work, to love, to enjoy life, to learn new knowledge and to build up wealth. Do I have extra time to hate anybody? No one is worth my precious time for any negative feelings.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Diamond and Balloon

South Coast Resort Balloon

Under long-lasting extreme pressure and high temperature, a pack of Carbon can turn into shining and firm diamond.


If you inflate a balloon excessively, the balloon will explode.


Excessive stress can build up your inner strength. Extreme exaltation may make you generate wrong sense of self; afterwards you will receive unbearable internal and external pressure.


Some excellent people were destroyed not by extreme pressure but by unreasonable exaltation which they were incapable to handle.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Character and Reputation

What you really are is your character; what people say about you is your reputation.

"Character is like a tree; reputation is like the shadow of a tree. "

What really matters is the tree itself, not the shadow of the tree. The shadow of the tree will change as the sun moves around the sky. If a tree wants to find itself from the shadow, it will be confused or totally lost. Because the shadow has different shape and size, and sometimes there is no shadow at all.

Remember, you are who you are. The praise from people will not increase you true value; the criticism will not diminish your true value. If the praise of people makes you be egotistical and overconfident, or if the criticism of people makes you lower your self-esteem, you are not yourself anymore.

Reputation is important; character is more important. Don’t let reputation manipulate you. You should always remember the standpoint you take and the belief you choose.

"Heavy snow presses on the pine tree; the pine stands more straight. If you want to know how noble the pine is, wait until the snow thaws." General Chen Yi's poem shows his unyielding character.

Adversity is the best testbed for character. Mean people can deceive others for a while, but they can not fool people all the time. Keep on who you are, people will find out your character finally.

The side effect of reading too much is that a good phrase pops up, you don't remember who said it, but you are sure not from you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Positive Attitude

Orchid - Bird of Prey

Jeffrey Gitomer is a passionate writer who wrote several books about positive attitude. He said, “If you think that I’m nuts, you may be right. But I’m a nut with a positive attitude, baby.” He is extremely positive and upbeat. It is fun and exciting to read his books.

The phrase from him impressed me most is: “The main reason people rain on my parade is because they have no parade of their own.” This line echoes back in my heart intensely. When some people know you can do something or you can achieve something, they will not give you encouragement for they would rather see you as a failure. They say bad words to ridicule you, discourage you or fail you. If the rain they pour upon you really halts you, they will feel satisfied and confirmed, “See, he is a loser.”  So, don’t let people lead you away from your parade, keep on going until you succeed. Show them you are a success and they are just cynical.

We can be more positive. We can think in this way: because there is wind and rain during my parade, I can see the magnificent rainbow at the end of parade. No one can succeed easily. The bitterness and hardship only make the fruit of success more sweet and tasty.

Wherever you go, you can’t avoid negative people. They will hang around all life long. Don’t lower your level to argue back. If you use your precious time to improve yourself and to reach you goal, you will find you become much better than them. If they are unable to be counterproductive to you, they are counterproductive to themselves. If some people want to prove they are mean-spirited and bad, provide them the stage to do so.

If you have enough inner strength and self-belief, you can take a lot of mean words as compliments and nutrition. Ever endured a nearly nervous breakdown, I have got the strength to take some people's purposeful mean words as praise. I can't prevent the other people's behavior, but I have total control of my attitude. I smile back.

Who smiles last, who smiles best.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Remove a Self-Limiting Mindset

"Baltimore: BELIEVE and CHANGE"

As research said, most people are unable to achieve their full potential, due to external reasons, such as underprivileged origin, limited resources, little education or internal reasons, such as no ambition, no discipline or indolence.

The saddest thing is that we have a self-limiting mindset — we think we cannot or should not achieve something before we even try. A self-limiting mindset is a product of your subconscious beliefs and your low self-image. It cripples you and holds you back in your progress to reach your full potential. It paralyzes your efforts. It is self-defeating.

The biggest obstacle to success is not typically the individual's ability or potential but rather their self-imposed limitations. It is sad to spend our lives under-achieving, not because of conditions, events, environments and luck, but primarily because of our self-limiting beliefs. We can change it. I ever lived through this transformation and I still work on it.

I ever was a motivated little girl, who always got straight A in class and got full mark at Math. I enjoyed admiration from classmates and praise from teachers. However, after I was at college level, I lost all my ambitions. I accepted the skewed preconception that girls are unable to excel at science or girls who excel at science are not loveable. I became mediocre and drifted along time. I may fritter my life away like this, until I realized if I didn’t outshine, I couldn’t survive, not to say to reach my high expectation of life. I became conscious that I was my worst enemy to my progress in life. I needed fundamental change.

My husband played a role as catalyst during my metamorphosis. He is an assertive person, but he always asks for my opinion to show his respect and collect different viewpoints. He asked me to be the home wireless network manager, through which, I found I have computer savvy and am technical shrewd. He always tells me “You can.” My opinion was never taken so seriously before. My husband builds up my confidence and is reducing my self-limiting mindset. Trust and encouragement from caring person make more subtle changes than strict instructions from a knowledgeable person.

I never thought I could do creative writing in English, which is my second language; also, I never took any writing courses. After I heard my alumnus Ms. Yiyun Li published a collection of short stories “A thousand Years of Good Prayers” and she earned Hemingway Literature Award in United States, I got an urge to write in English, too. Although I cannot reach the level that Ms. Yiyun Li ever achieved, I really could express my feelings and told my stories clearly.

If you believe you can, you can. It applies to any field, science, technology, medicine, engineering or sports. Forty years ago, there was a deep-rooted belief that 10 seconds were ultimate human physical limit for 100 meters sprint. The doctors said it was impossible for man to push beyond this limit. Until Jim Hines of the United States ran 100-meter-dash at 9.95 seconds at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, a lot of athletes broke through 10 seconds one after the other. Their physical strength didn’t change much, but their mindset was totally different. Since Jim Hines did it, they could do it, too. They believed they could, they put their mind, heart and strength into their race, and they did it. The Olympic motto “faster, higher, stronger” confers a strong belief in unending improvement. You can always raise the barriers and push the limits.

Yes, we can do a lot of things if we think we can. Eliminating a self-limiting mindset, we can tap our true potential and release our interior energy. We ladies can excel at math and science. We can be emotional, artistic and analytic. We can be beauties, and have smarts and intelligence at the same time. We can have great careers and have beautiful families as well. We can not only enjoy our own life but also make positive impact on society.

You own mind is your hindrance to big achievement. Remove your self-limiting mindset, think positively, and relieve your amazing potential to reach boundless opportunities. Your life is in your own hand.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Way - Chapter 8 (By Lao Tzu)

The superlative manner is like water.

Water carries and channels everything on earth but never competes with them; Water stays at the lowest place where no one is willing to stay, so it is close to the way.


Behaving like water: staying low, keeping a deep and clear mind, having a harmonious and cooperative relationship with others, being honest and truthful, being capable and acclimating to the situation.


Water accommodates to everything but never vies with the other; therefore, it never worries about failings.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

Living Well, Writing Well

mark debernardi at writers workspaceYou sit down there, you feel your brain is empty and you cannot write down a word. You wonder why some people have capability to depict an event so vivid as if you went through it by yourself; why they can describe people and situations so true that you even feel they knew you and they were talking about you.


Good writers care about life and they pay attention to things around them. Here comes my first suggestion: Live your life to the fullest. Put your heart and mind into daily life. Care people, nature, and activities around you. Seize every moment to explore the world. Feel everything around: the gentle breeze, the soothing moonlight, the flowers in the garden, and the flying birds, even the traffic, the pollution, and the natural disasters. Go to a concert. Go to museums. Go to a plantation. Go to Disney World. Don’t miss a thing. Observe and experience the world around you, you will find there are a lot of feelings, memories and thoughts in your mind; you have so much to tell, words flow out under your fingertips.


Think and meditate often. Have a meditation everyday, relax and think: what happened today; what I can learn from it. When good ideas and meaningful thoughts pop up, write down them quickly before you forget. It will build your wisdom and provide you plenty of ideas and thoughts in reserve. Live a truthful and confident life, think in a positive way. All the ups and downs, peaks and valleys, sunny days and rainy days can become writing material for you. After you understand every cloud has its silver lining, you can write an essay or a poem passionately even while you are in the dumps.


Your personal experience and knowledge is still not enough. Read widely to expand your view. Reading is a surefire way to build up your vocabulary, to expand your vision and to create your wealth of knowledge. What’s more, you can learn how to write well from good writers. Read Earnest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Anton Chekhov and all the other good writers. Read the bestselling, there must be a reason they are popular. When you read, not only focus on the information and the story, but also on the way of thinking and the style of writing. Read with a focus mind; memorize good lines which intrigue you. Emulate good writing style, until you are adequate enough to create your own style. As the Tang Poet Du Fu wrote, “Reading thousands of books, you can write magically.”


Put your heart and your passion into your writing. When people read your writings, they want to know you, know your personality, your individuality. Feel free to be yourself. Write with your heart; let your passion shine through your writings. Readers will feel your excitement, be captivated and follow your thoughts. Only heart can touch heart. When they are moved, they will remember not only your writings but also yourself. They will return to you again and again.


Content is the soul of a piece of writing, but the soul needs a fine way to show. Pay attention to structure and flow. Make your feelings, your stories and your points work together smoothly. When you write an essay, you can tell a story, and then make a point; or you can put your conclusion first, then give several examples to prove it; or you can just follow the classic five-paragraph format. Whatever way you choose, you have to grab the readers’ attention at the beginning, drive them to read through to the end.


Content is always the essence, form and style are supportive. What you say is important, how to say it is also important. Saying in the right way will surely enhance your idea; saying it in the wrong way will ruin your purpose. Writing techniques can be learned. To polish your writing, you can read published books which offer you a compendium of specific tips. I just got a copy of “The Elements of Style” by William Struck Jr. and E. B. White, which is highly recommended by a lot of writers. As they suggested, if you only have time to read one book about writing, read this one.


Writing is an important communication tool to express your opinions and feelings. Writing skills are critical for your success at school and at work. By deliberate practice, you can improve your writing skills and will not be daunted by a writing task anymore. You can enjoy the beauty to express yourself freely, to connect with people effectively and to influence people positively.

Published on Vita Issue 5, ASIAPAC Books.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things I learned from "Kung Fu Panda"

This afternoon, I brought my elder son William to a movie theatre to watch “Kung Fu Panda”. It is an entertaining but deep movie, combining Chinese culture elements and Hollywood humor. It embodies wisdom from Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Martial Arts. I learned a lot of wisdom from this cartoon:
  1. There is no secret in any trade – feel free to be yourself.
  2. Your strength comes from focus.
  3. To reach focus, you have to find inner peace.
  4. Believe you can, you can.
  5. Dream big, achieve high.
  6. You can’t judge people by their appearance.
  7. A master can guide you; it takes you to figure out.
  8. Don’t allow what you can’t do to prevent what you can do.
  9. No one can learn things for you, only yourself.
  10. No one can use your ability, only yourself.
  11. Every master is an ordinary flawed person.
  12. The best style is no style.
  13. Emptiness is the ultimate form of anything.
  14. Humility is a basic virtue.
  15. Fight and war is for peace.
  16. However strong the evil is, the good will conquer the evil.
Finally, everyone can be a Kung Fu Panda!
If you wonder how I can get all above from an animated film, go to see it yourself. You should not miss this masterpiece!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Asian Wisdom in American Self-Improvement Books

During past two years, I have read a lot of self-improvement and inspirational books by American writers. It is interesting to see a lot of American authors like to refer to Asian wisdom and philosophy, especially Chinese ancient wisdom.
Several authors used the Chinese explanation of “Crisis” (危机) to educate people not to be despaired by a dangerous situation. Crisis is combined by two words in Chinese: danger () and opportunity (). There is always opportunity in the dangerous situation. If you are not scared and victimized by the crisis, you can utilize the crisis as a changing point for your life or career. Whether the crisis is a danger or a chance, it depends on your wisdom, judgment and quick action. Keep cool in a crisis, protect yourself being hurt and utilize it and benefit from it as a new staring point.

The other story appeared several times in the books I read is “an old man who lost his horse (塞翁失马)” from Lao Tzu’s “Dao De Jing”.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who spent all his money to buy a horse. Unfortunately, one day the horse ran away. What a loss! After several days, the horse returned with a group of stallions. What bliss! However, when his only son rode and trained a stallion, he fell down and broke his leg, and became lame forever. The old man was very sad. Then a war broke out, all the young healthy men were enlisted to fight, but the old man’s son was exempted because of his lame leg. The battles were so fierce, nearly all the soldiers died. Fortunately, the old man still had his son alive.

The situation is changing, so we can’t judge the outcome at the beginning. Losing may be no cursing; getting may be no blessing. Fortune comes from misfortune; misfortune may hide in fortune. Don’t be overjoyed when you obtain something, be careful of the latent change; don’t be despaired by losing, there is still hope.
A male author ever used this story and said it is an Indian one. I had an urge to write to him that it is a Chinese story composed 2,500 years ago, but I stopped. Now, I am reading the book “Inner Excellence at Work” authored by Carol Orsborn, who referred this story to Lao Tzu. Also, Carol Orsborn used several stories from Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and Buddhism to enlighten readers.

Troy Anderson, an entrepreneur and a competent Go player, composed a book “The Way of Go”. Go is an ancient Asian chess game with 361 grids and played by two persons who hold either black chess pieces or white ones. In “The Way of Go”, Anderson told us how to use the philosophies and strategies found in the game Go to succeed in the real life and the business world, such as how to utilize the limited resources, how to deal with global and local, how to read people’s minds, how to change disadvantaged situation to your benefit and so on. Inspired by this book, I tried to play Go, but I can never be a good player of it because I am unable to think five steps in advance.
I read motivational books by American authors to learn Western philosophies and wisdoms, and try to be more proactive and positive. The American writers like to assimilate Asian wisdom in their books to search for inner peace and wisdom. Therefore, I think, the best wisdom should be a combination of both the Western philosophy and the Eastern philosophy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fairer Sex

When I watched Animal Planet channel on TV, I was amazed that most male animals are more beautiful than their female counterparts. Male lions have long, valliant hair on their necks; male leopards have bright and colorful patterns on their glossy fur; Peacocks have showy extravagant tails, which they display as part of courtship. Comparatively, the female have dull and plain look.


Scientists assert that it is a result of natural selection, due to the severe competition among male creatures rivaling for sexual partners for reproduction. A healthy showy male creature has more chance to attract a female counterpart to mate. The brighter color and better figure of an animal are proof that it inherited better genes, was conceived and nurtured in a healthier situation.

Plants are immobile, unable to seek out sexual partners. Many plants have complete flowers that have both male and female parts, some only have male or female parts and still other plants have a mix of male and female flowers. Surprisingly, even male flowers can be more beautiful than female flowers. For example, begonia has both male flowers and female flowers on it. Look the photo below, can you tell which flower is male, which is female?

122006 126a Fr2

Human world is different; the surviving rule is complicated. Although a handsome strong man is attractive, but a man’s ability to possess quality resources is determined by more factors, such as intelligence, learning ability, wisdom and social skills, while physical strength plays a small part. Men’s appearance and figure is not that important in a modern society. Nevertheless, there are quite a few women who still believe in love at first sight and chemistry.

Women are called the fairer sex. People instinctly think all the beautiful and soft things are female. They praise a lady in a long shining dress as a peacock, but they forget a peahen can never be as beautiful as a peacock. They think all flowers and cats are female, however, the truth is that about half of them are male.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Human Nature

The ancient sage Mencius (or Meng Zi, 孟子,372-289 BC) declared the innate human nature is good. He believed that human nature will deteriorate without positive cultivating influence, so education is very important.
During the same period, the other sage Xun Zi (荀子,300-230 BC) believed that people are born with natural tendencies toward “evil” and ethic norms should be established to rectify people.
Is the human nature good or bad? It is always a problem to me. I ever believed the innate human nature is good because every newborn has a pure and kind appearance. Also, it is very easy for me to be kind and it is self-hurting to be mean.
I observe that a lot of people are just naturally mean. Wicked thoughts haunt in their minds; mean words pop up from their mouths effortlessly. They do things which hurt people without helping themselves. They instinctively believe human nature is mean.
Now, I think we can not generally say people are born to be good or bad. I would rather say that some people are innately good and some people are innately evil.
If you are a kind person, just behave kindly and nicely with your principle. Believe in cause-effect and the mighty power of kindness and goodness.
The evil people will be haunted by their evildoings and evil words. I witnessed cause-effect worked faster and better than law in several cases. However, God sleeps sometime. That’s the reason we need legal system.