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.