Monday, July 13, 2009

What does your heart reflect?

Photo courtesy:

Look at the wondrous picture: after a spring rainfall, a lot of raindrops left on the leaves and flowers. In each of several crystal raindrops reflected a whole beautiful daisy, magnifying the refreshing beauty of the delicate blossoms.

After a rain, the meadow is greener; the air is fresher; the sky is bluer; and perchance there is a rainbow highlighting the sky. Without a rainstorm, how can we appreciate a magnificent rainbow?

Wind and rain are natural phenomena, just as ups and downs are inevitable in life. After the rain, a raindrop reflected a beautiful daisy; after adversity, what left in our heart?

During the past several years, I read extensively from a lot of writers and bloggers. The writers teaching people how to overcome depression ever endured depression; the writers coaching people how to rise above poverty ever lived through poverty; the writers telling people to be strong and kind ever encountered financial problem and social difficulty. The bad situations make them stronger, kinder and gentler. Disruption can be turned into the light of a new day.

Each of us is a unique expression of life; our individual choice has greater effect than we know; the peace within us creates peace in the world; the beauty within us breeds beauty in the world.

Maintaining inner harmony takes patience, hope and love. Our inside world can have impact on the outside world. Remember to be kind, generous, loving and grateful.

Ask yourselves what your heart reflects? What ripple effect do you generate in the ocean of life?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beautiful Moments

Dragonfly against Ayvalik sunset Life is composed of a sequence of moments, passing by as flowers come out and then wither, as fallen leaves float in the wind, as raindrops knock crisply on the roof.

Time flies, we can’t stop it and we can’t change it. Some moment is beautiful, some is imperfect, and some is unforgettable.

When I was little, I liked to chase dragonflies along a stream in the twilight. Set against the burning sun, the bodies of dragonflies were golden and shiny, the transparent wings silky and delicate. I caught one dragonfly, held in hands, and then set it free, watching it fly against the inflamed sky. It is a beautiful moment.

The second year in graduate school, we had a Spring Festival Evening Party. My lovely neighbor Andrea drove me to the Hall. When we sat down, a student board member came to me, said, “You look so elegant. The president of University came to the party today. I think she needs help to understand the performance. Can you go to her table as a translator?” I didn’t talk too much, but I remember that moment is beautiful.

After nine months’ pregnancy, and twelve hours’ induced labor pain, my little boy William was delivered. He was cute and wet, crouching on my chest. I kissed his little fingers and noticed his fingers were slim and long as mine. He stretched his hands to me, letting me kiss him more, what a beautiful moment!

Life is a process. If we can enjoy and cherish every beautiful moment, life will be a collection of poems. Even in the hard time, we still can find something small and subtle to fill our soul.

Photo Courtesy: fidelis - Istanbul

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Breadth of Mind

Not refusing any tiny soil and pebble, the Tai Mountain towers into the sky; collecting all the small streams, the rivers and oceans become deep and wide.” – Li Si (280 -208 BC), Qin Dynasty.

TaiShan - 泰山
Photo courtesy: laserspit on Flickr

All flowers compete in splendor, so we can enjoy a beautiful spring. The sea leniently accepts all rivers flowing into it, so it has its awe-inspiring magnificence. A country can take all kinds of talents into good use, so people can benefit from its prosperity and greatness.

When we are narrow-minded, we are easily fettered by anger, prejudice and hatred. If we see through the world with colored glasses, we can never really know its true nature. A prejudiced person will bind himself up with his prejudice; a biased person will be harmed by his partial view.

If everything follows the same pattern, the world may be dull and boring. Different people can live together in harmony with mutual understanding and mutual respect. Different cultures can take in the good thoughts and philosophy from the other cultures.

When people are harsh or the culture is abusive, we can develop a callous heart and a standoffish attitude. If we stand on the mountaintop, we can see far. If we uplift our soul, we will know we can forgive anybody.

It requires wisdom to open your heart and broaden your mind. The wiser a person is, the broader his mind. We can broad our mind and enrich our soul by doing the following:

Be nice to people. You don’t know that there may be a small war inside everyone. A hateful person can be in his troubled time. Use your smile to warm them up.

Learn different cultures and beliefs. Don’t behave like a frog at the bottom of a well – only able to see the little patch of sky above. We can expand our vision by selectively learning from the other people and cultures.

Be tolerant of opinions different from one’s own. People have different family backgrounds, personal experiences, cultural customs and social economic situations. If you think from their points of view and try to walk in their shoes, they may be right.

Be liberal to an opponent. An opponent, whether his perspective is correct or wrong, will provide you some valuable viewpoints, so that you can improve yourself and do better. Looking back, you will find you benefit more from your opponents than your friends.

Be open to new experiences and ways of thinking. Don’t stereotype yourself. There is always a new way of thinking. Even the greatest inventor Addison can resist the idea of alternative current.

Lifelong learning. During this fast-paced information age, if you don’t improve yourself and learn something new everyday, you fall behind. If we open our heart, we can learn something useful from almost everybody.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Bilingual Brain

Reading Girl 1During the last year at graduate school, a delicate young lady lived across the door to my room. At late night and early morning, I heard that she read aloud in a language I didn’t understand at all. One evening, I knocked her door open, asking her why I could not understand her English a little bit.

She said, “I am a Doctorate candidate for Medicine. There are a lot of long difficult Biological and Medical terms and abstract academic content to memorize. I am almost 30, unable to memorize things easily in a foreign language, so I translate them into my native language Romanian first, recite over again to commit to memory, and then I can learn and remember them in English.” I looked at her textbooks, scared by all the hard long words. I guess she spent twice more time than an average student did.

During some sleepless nights, I heard she read loudly and drearily in Romanian, feeling frustrated and bored by school life. I believed I could never get a Ph.D.

Actually, I also had trouble thinking clearly and memorizing text in English during my school years. I felt my native language flew freely from my right brain, but English was stuck in my left brain broken into vague pieces.

The human brain functions complexly. If our mind is in the clouds, we still can muddle along with our study and work in our native language. However, it requires more mental energy, focus and inner peace to think, memorize and analyze in a foreign language. If there is no harmony inside us, it is very hard for us to study and work efficiently with a second language.

According to a research, bilingual people have an advantage: the structure of the human brain is altered by the experience of acquiring a second language - the bilingual brain develops more densely, giving it an advantage in various abilities and skills.

Some US researchers theorize that speaking two languages may increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain and keep nerve connections healthy—factors thought to help ward off dementia. Being bilingual may help to keep the brain sharper for longer.

The brain can be thought of as the command centre of the human nervous system. The more we stimulate our brain with thinking activities and movement the more it will reward us. How well we nourish our brain determine how well our brain functions. We have to eat right and sleep sound to maintain our vigor, vitality and creativity at a high level.

I don't remember the lady's name, but she ever told me she could speak several European languages a little, such as French, German and Czech. She is more than bilingual. And her parents passed away.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pain is Wealth of Life

火凤凰"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." – Confucius

We all would like to live a comfortable and pleasant life, but sometimes adversities and pains are unavoidable. Thinking positively, adversities and pains provide a training ground to refine our character and to strengthen our abilities - they are actually wealth of life.

I ever met the trickiest and the most vexing person, who stepped on my nerve and tormented me, making me unable to have peace of mind day and night. However, after that, I have become emotionally strong, able to keep calm and peaceful with any difficult people. I was hurt so much; no one can hurt me anymore.

Likewise, after you reach the bottom of a valley, every another step is uphill. After the worst scenario, every another day is better and brighter. Tough situations smooth and refine us into valuable and virtuous beings. Pain is blessing in disguise.

Pain is the touchstone of character. Character cannot be developed in ease and effortlessness. Hardships and afflictions provide us opportunity to practice endurance and fortitude, to cultivate morals and virtues, and to refine our personality. With firm and unshakable determination, we can undergo any pain and overcome any obstacle. Hardships cripple the weak, but toughen the strong.

Pain is the first light of wisdom. When a conscientious person feels pain, he will probe deeply into the way and wherefore of the situation, thus obtains patience and insight and gives rise to wisdom. Pain is the best lesson to train us to become mature, wise and strong. Moral improvement and wisdom gain will save us a great deal of trouble in the future.

Pain is medicine to the soul. If something goes wrong, not one side can be 100% right. Even if we are 5% at fault, we reflect ourselves, know our faults and correct them, we are close to have a virtuous and pure mind. When we contemplate earnestly, examine our motives and feelings from a sincere and honest mind, we can uncover our true nature and purify our soul.

Pain is the ladder to success. If we give up when we encounter a small unpleasantness, we can achieve nothing. The key to success lies in patience and persistence. Adversities and pains exercise our mind, fortify our character, build up our wisdom, purify our soul and prepare us for an important mission. Pain is the necessary step stone and ladder to success.

If you already encountered hardship, you should feel grateful. You have been already bestowed a great chance to learn important lessons, to get mature and wise, and to obtain a gentle but strong heart. The earlier the hardship comes, the earlier you can benefit from it.

No pains, no gains. More pains, more gains. Some struggles are what we need to grow fully in life.

If you like this article, you also like this: Pearl - Pain and Shine

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother - Life and Love

The British Council ever asked over 7,000 learners in 46 countries what they considered to be the most beautiful words in the English language. Mother came the top of poll. According to the survey, the top ten most beautiful words in English language are as follows:

  1. Mother;

  2. Passion;

  3. Smile;

  4. Love;

  5. Eternity;

  6. Fantastic;

  7. Destiny;

  8. Freedom;

  9. Liberty;

  10. Tranquility.

Birth is an amazing biological process and a necessity for continuance of society, forming a chain of life. The mother-child relationship is the most beautiful human relationship in the world. Mother is God to her little child.

It is believed all preborn babies possess a soul from the moment of their conception. During the time of pregnancy, the mother is the custodian of the physical and spiritual components of the preborn child in her womb. The quantity of nerve-cells is determined by the nutrition in the womb and the size of nerve-cells is determined by the nutrition after birth.

During infancy, the baby obtains nourishment and pleasure from sucking at the mother's breast. Security and comfort from mother’s care at the early stage play an important role in shaping the child’s behavior pattern in later relationships. An infant feels secure and loved has more chance to become a confident grown-up.

Mother is the first teacher to her child. Her love, care, personality, life style and habits shape her child’s personality, character, intelligence and health. A child receives more influence from the mother than the teachers. Mother’s hands rock the cradle and rock the world as well.

Francis Newman ever said, “All mothers are greater than Pope and more selfless than a saint.” Mother always gives never asking for return. A mother’s love is pure, unselfish and forever. Mother’s love is the greatest love in the world; we should love back unconditionally.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Master Our Emotion

I read this story from a book for kids, but I think the wisdom is deep enough for any adult. In the African prairie, an intrepid wild horse can often be killed by a tiny bat. When a bat attacks a horse, it attaches to a leg of the horse, and then pricks into the horse skin with its sharp teeth and sucks blood from the horse. However hard the horse runs and jumps, it cannot get rid of the bat. The horse can be exhausted to death by raging, running and bleeding. Scientists analyzed the situation and concluded that the small volume of blood loss can’t kill a horse; actually, the horse dies of its uncontrolled fury and wild running.

Usually, we allow the outside events to take charge of our emotions, to stifle our wisdom and to control our reactions. We are not hurt by the other people, but by our own anger, hatred, anxiety or fear. If we lose tempers, we lose our concentration and wisdom; hence, we can’t judge well and react properly. Our uncontrolled emotion can eat us alive. We had better master our emotions and keep calm in any situation so that we can protect ourselves unharmed.

Some researchers believe spiritual living can lead to emotional freedom. Likewise, in Buddhism, as you reach the realm of enlightenment, you can be unmoved by eight kinds of circumstances: - fortune, misfortune, slander, honor, insult, praise, hardship and happiness. If you don’t have right control of your emotion, the good situations can make you go wild with joy and the bad situations can make you feel infuriated or mortified, and then you will become vulnerable. Either good or bad situations can become hindrances.

Slander and insults are most intolerable things for most people. Zen advises people not to dispute or debate when slandered. Being slandered or insulted is helping you eliminate your karmic obstacles and slanderers are collecting their own negative karma. The more you are insulted, the more you are blessed. To remain unmoved by slander is deep concentration and is the revelation of wisdom. It may not be enjoyable, but it is helpful. I think it works sometimes, but you have the right to fight back by resorting to law to get just dues.

As my understanding, to control our emotion means to keep our peace of mind undisturbed and to stick with our principle and belief system at any circumstance. Some people can be mean-spirited and narrow-minded, we can still be kind and fair; some people can be spiteful and slanderous, we can still be warm-hearted and reasonable; some people can play tricks, we can still be generous and graceful.

If we can maintain an undisturbed mind and be our true self unconditionally, we are close to emotional freedom. An emotional mature and strong person is reliable and likable. As James Allen said, “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.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enjoy Cooking, Enjoy Life

Confucius said, “Eat, drink, man and woman, are human beings’ basic desires.” Western people say, “You are what you eat.” Scientific studies prove that what you eat could determine your health, look, even your intelligence. You have to take cooking seriously.

My mom is a very good housewife, who could make delicious food with limited resources when the supply was scarce during the hard time. Since I got married, I really enjoy cooking for my family and enjoy the dinner time with my family.

It is a great joy to cook for someone you care for and see them enjoy the fruits of your creativity. And having a meal cooked with love and care gives you warmer feeling than cooking itself – an experience your whole family should be able to revel in.

Cooking is an art. How to make a dish with good color, shape, taste, and smell is a big knack. I always go to a cooking forum to learn a new menu. Then, I will give my family a surprise with a new dish.

Cooking is a science. How much vitamin, protein and fiber you consume is determined by the material you choose and the way you cook. Eating well, you can get natural beauty, a vigorous body and a sharp mind.

Cooking is system engineering. If you have a general plan ahead and a roadmap step by step, you can cook with less time.

Cooking can be a team work. You can have a good time to pick vegetable, cut meat, fry food with your loved one. Someone even said that cooking is the best way of flirting.

If you really love life, cooking can be relaxing and fun. You can really taste pleasure in cooking as well as in eating. Life is a feast, especially sharing with persons that you love. Enjoy cooking, enjoy life.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Something to Look Forward to

This is a guest post by Ian Scott - An Englishman Abroad.

Bali, Bangkok, Kyoto, Colombo, Istanbul, Samarkand, Des Moines, Ulan Bator, Rio, Marrakesh….

When I was seventeen, I entered that list in the back of my diary, as I lay on my bed, looking out of the window at the pictures made by the clouds in the sky. I never really believed that I'd ever visit any of those places, but I'd just read On the Road, The Great Railway Bazaar and The Lonely Planet Guide to South-East Asia, and I was so full of wanderlust that I was fit to burst.

One day, I just stood on the road in front of my house and stuck my thumb out. It's really true: the first step is the hardest. I've been traveling pretty well ever since. I have visited 94 countries, but I still haven't been to all of the places on my original list, and, in a way, I don't want to...yet. I want to save a few for later.

I've visited some of them though and who'd have believed that I'd wind up one day riding a bicycle around Bali, sleeping on a tatami mat in Kyoto, staying for more than a year in a house on stilts at the edge of the South China Sea, sleeping in a yurt in the Gobi Desert, or traveling overland, half-way round the world by train from Beijing to London or by bus from Mexico to Chile?

I have kept lists of things to do ever since because I think it's important in life to have something to look forward to. Just before the beginning of every year, I get a new diary and the first thing I do is write three lists in the back: countries to visit, books to read and films to see.

Here are the top tens from my current lists:

Countries to visit:
  • South Africa

  • Swaziland

  • Zambia

  • Lesotho

  • Namibia

  • Mali

  • Ghana

  • Kazakhstan

  • Turkmenistan

  • Bhutan

    Books to read:

  • Miss Chopsticks by Xinran

  • Strangers by Taichi Yamada

  • To the Edge of the Sky by Anhua Gao

  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

  • Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

  • Travels with a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

  • Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

  • Losing Nelson by Barry Unsworth

  • Films to see:
  • The Boat that Rocked

  • Frost/Nixon

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Departures

  • The Reader

  • The Wrestler

  • The Cave of the Yellow Dog

  • The Story of the Weeping Camel

  • Milk

  • Take Care of My Cat

  • Why not try making some lists of your own? Then you'll always have something to look forward to.

    Welcome to

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    The Angel Inside

    The Angel Inside, by Chris Widener, is one of the best inspirational books I have ever read. The book integrates life wisdom into a fictional story that a young American businessman, called Tom Cook, has travelled to Italy to search for meaning of life and he meets a mysterious old man who teaches the young man to follow his passion by showing him the art and life of Michelangelo.

    Tom Cook just turned thirty, recently dumped by his girlfriend, and regarded to have zero career potential by his boss. He lives a life chosen by his parents and he is disappointing his parents and himself. He takes his time away from the United States to do soul-searching. In his final day at Florence, he meets an old man, who tells him a story,

    “One day, Michelangelo was working on the marble that would become David, and a young boy came by and asked why he was working so hard hitting a rock. Michelangelo answered, ‘Young boy, there is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.’”

    Then the old man tells Tom there is an angel inside him, a person of beauty and a person of power, and that he is valuable just for who he is. There is a masterpiece within each of us, waiting to emerge. It is important to follow our passion, be confident in our strength, master the details, think big, start from small, plan well, take swift action and persevere on the journey.

    Many people looked at that marble but saw nothing. But Michelangelo envisioned that the marble could become a masterpiece, the great David.

    At the end, the mysterious old man turns out to be Michelangelo himself and disappears like an angel. The book is educational and entertaining, and better to read in one sit.

    At this point, I reminded that I left a comment for a book review of “The Diamond Cutter ” in the blog Awake Your Authentic Self: Everyone is a diamond in rough; he can’t shine just because he hasn’t met the right diamond-cutter.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    April, the Poetry Month

    Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, every April is National Poetry Month.

    Poetry can distill our life, uplift our soul, ease our emotion and heal our wounds.

    Poetry can bring gentle pleasure and delightful wisdom to the shrine in our heart.

    Poetry is love in words, passion on paper, music in silence, and life in distillment.

    Today, let me share with you my favorite quotes about poetry and poets:

    Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; morals, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. ~ Sir Francis Bacon

    Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~Leonard Cohen

    Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is. ~James Branch Cabell

    Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. ~Percy Byshe Shelley

    The poem is the point at which our strength gave out. ~Richard Rosen

    Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. ~Novalis

    God is the perfect poet. ~Robert Browning

    Poetry is life distilled. ~Gwendolyn Brooks

    Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. ~Thomas Gray

    Poetry, like the moon, does not advertise anything. ~William Blissett

    A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. ~Wallace Stevens

    A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. ~Robert Frost

    Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth. ~Samuel Johnson

    If you've got a poem within you today, I can guarantee you a tomorrow. ~The Quote Garden

    Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them. ~Dennis Gabor

    Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. ~T.S. Eliot

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    From Broadness to Focus

    CN Tower from CBC Tall Some people develop a clear goal and a focused interest at their early age, but some people have a tendency to be interested in a broad array of subjects all along their life. The former are more likely to become successful in their career and life than the latter, as my previous post “The Power of Focus” suggests.

    If people who have diverse interests and talents can knit together the full diversity of their experiences, they can also become highly successful and reap the harvest of their intelligence. Likewise, after you build a wide and solid foundation, on which, you can build a taller and stronger building.

    A person, with a diverse interests and a breadth of knowledge, may feel he is good for nothing and unqualified for anything at some period of his life. However, as a multitalented person has a focused mind and starts to concentrate his multiple skills toward one small task or one small project, he is able to do things others cannot, and he even can work as a one-soldier army – carrying on and completing a project on his own without outside help. All the information is processed in a single brain, coordinating the right and the left hemispheres, streamlined, without the inconvenience of miscommunication and misunderstanding among several people, thus in an emergent situation a one-soldier army even can produce better result than a team does.

    For example, if you have good database, mathematical, analytical, writing, design and computer skills, you can actually collect data, analyze data, summarize your findings, create diagrams, do page designs and write a report all on your own. If you have a general understanding of a lot of subjects and have very sharp learning ability, you can develop your knowledge to a higher level in a short time to meet the project’s need by using all the free resources from internet and library.

    A versatile person with collective intelligence can make contribution to cross-disciplinary program or project, can apply technology in the understanding human diversity and can conduct scientific research with an insight of complex social issues. As a lot of disciplines ramify to narrower and narrower branches, and the society becomes more and more technology-driven, we may need broad-based efforts to grapple the vexing problems faced by humankind.

    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Be Free

    If you are quick to take offense, then you will be under the control of those who find you offensive.

    If you are easily angered, then your actions will be dictated by those who anger you.

    If you are obsessed by what other people think, then you will be imprisoned by their thoughts.

    If you yearn for easy answers and quick solutions, then you’ll fall prey to people who offer you nothing but promises.

    If you find the truth too difficult to bear, then you will be enslaved to those who tell you what you want to hear.

    When you have the courage to think for yourself, the strength to accept what is, the commitment and discipline to make a difference…

    Then you are free. You are free to live with purpose, joy, and fulfillment. Let your life be defined, not by reactions to what others do, say, or think but rather your own unique vision.

    Raise your eyes above the pettiness and follow the path of the greatness that is within you. Be free.

    ~ Naseeh Sharafudheen

    I found this from an inspirational forum.

    If we are easily influenced by other people’s opinions or let negative voices balk us on our course, we can not achieve anything. If we try hard to gain other people’s approval, to please or impress others, we may lose touch with our real self.

    It is very easy to fall in line with discouraging voices. Only if we have courage within ourselves to be what we can be and do what we can do, we can realize our highest dreams and goals.

    If we don’t have control of our own feelings, emotions, thoughts and dreams, we will be controlled by other people. Be free to find our real, true inner meaning. Be free to follow our dreams. Be free to be ourselves.
    Be free.

    Continue to read Positive Attitude

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    The Power of Focus

    Grass rustled in the dark woods as wind blew
    In the dimness General Guang Li drew the bow
    At crack of dawn they searched the white feather
    In a corner of a stone buried deeply was the arrow

    Hearing the sound of the wind in the dark woods, General Guang Li mistook a stone for a tiger, exerted all his strength to pull his bow back, because he was so focused, he was able to shoot an arrow into the hard corner of a stone. He initially acted from the mind of sincerity that had no wandering thoughts, thus, the stone was shot through. The next morning, General Guang Li realized that the tiger was actually a stone, he tried several times, but unable to repeat his previous accomplishment. Once he intentionally shot the stone with pride and vanity, he couldn’t make it.

    “Utmost sincerity thus evokes a response from Heaven.” A miracle is achieved when the mind attains a certain point of purity as we sever our wandering discriminatory thoughts and attachments. When the mind is pure, there are no obstacles. With a mind of utmost sincerity, intensity, and dedication, we can do a lot of things we think we can’t achieve.

    It has been claimed by social researchers that the number one reason that stops people get what they want is lack of focus. Lisa Haneberg ever wrote a book “
    Focus Like a Laser Beam: 10 Ways to Do What Matters Most”. Laser light is of one frequency, rather than diffusing off in all directions, running parallel to each other to a tiny target. Due to the extraordinary focus, a laser beam can melt a hole in a diamond.

    Find a right cause and focus on it is not an easy thing to do, for there are too many distractions and temptations, we can be easily thrown off the track. Learning how to harness and implement the power of focus will help you enjoy more time off and improve overall performance. Focus our passion and skills into lasered energy, we can achieve more than in an incoherent mental state.

    If you really want to accomplish something in either your career or personal life, stay focused on it, don't let short-term opportunities or roadblocks distract you. If you are focused on the right things, the payoff can be tremendous – you are a big achiever.

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    The Harmony between the Universe and the Human – for Earth Hour 2009

    The ancient Chinese Philosopher Zhuangzi (369-286 BC) proposed the concept of “the harmony between the universe and the human”, which was developed by Dong zhongshu (179-104 BC) afterwards. Confucius and Taoists believe the theory that the universe is nature, and human beings are integral part of nature; there exists correspondence between man and nature, and man should live harmoniously with the environment.

    At about 500 BC, Chinese people already developed sophisticated technique of smelting cast iron, 2000 years earlier than the Western world, however, the technology and heavy industry had been intentionally obstructed in China, because people felt technology would destroy the natural environment bestowed by heaven, until 1840, they were awaken by the Western world’s guns and cannons.

    Nowadays, while we enjoy all the benefit of technology and science, and utilize the natural resources for our survival, comfort and pleasure, we have also created weapons of destruction and disturbed the natural balance of our earth to a dangerous level. Someday, we may create a world unfit for human habitation any more.

    Vote Earth! Switch Off Your Lights For Earth Hour by Shepard FaireyEarth Hour is an annual international event created by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund), held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Today, March 28, at 8:30 p.m., hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights in a global "vote" for action on climate change. Earth Hour is a symbolic event to raise awareness.

    Click here to sign up for Earth Hour.

    It is just one hour, but we can do more from our daily activities:

    Be mindful of our actions and interactions with our environment: What are we doing? What are the effects? Can we do better?
    Live simply: let go of all the unnecessary attachments, spend our time, energy and money on things truly matter.
    Conserve everything we use: use all forms of energy efficiently, do everything more effectively, not waste things we use.
    Enjoy and appreciate nature: watch the sky, listen the birds, enjoy the flowers, wade in the tides. When we truly love the nature, we would avoid doing things to harm it.
    Make clean choice: buy clean products, recycle things, be environment conscious all the time. Collective changes are made up of many small, individual changes.
    Develop a green spirituality: grow our ecological mindfulness, feel our connections to all the living things, live harmoniously with our environment.

    We human are an integral part of one great living system. We are part of the earth; the earth is part of us. Love the earth we live on; each of us can contribute our positive efforts to change the world.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Zen and Meditation

    Did you reminisce your past and worry about your future so much that you couldn’t live at present and enjoy life? Did you feel so miserable and aimless that you couldn’t focus at the moment and achieve nothing? I did.

    Zen tells us not to dwell on the unchanged past, not to worry about the unknown future, but to focus at the moment, the only thing we can control and make use of is today. It is crucial to live well today.

    Sometimes we feel miserable and unfocused because we have too many illusory and wandering thoughts. Meditation is a practical way to obtain a peaceful and quiet mind. When the mind is tranquil, we will reach a state of relaxation or awareness, wisdom will naturally arise.

    How to meditate?

    1. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, so that you can breathe easily and feel physically free.
    2. Find a quiet and relaxing place. It is essential to find a place without distractions and noisy appliances. If you want to play music, only silent and soothing music is allowable.
    3. Sit in a comfortable position. There are several leg positions, such as lotus position, half lotus position, and so on. I don’t follow this strictly. Sit in a way you feel comfortable, either on the floor or on the chair, keep your back straight, close your eyes and relax.
    4. Breathe deeply, slowly and evenly. Close your mouth, begin inhaling deeply and exhaling gently, put your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, return your attention to the breath (or to the counting).
    5. Focus on one thing, i.e. the feeling of joy. When you breathe in, you think about joy, the joy of being alive, the joy of breathing, the joy of seeing, and the joy of hearing.
    6. Calm and clear the mind. Focus on your breath and your body, relax all your muscles. Get rid of all the wandering thoughts, have a pure and lucid mind.
    7. Set yourself a minimum time (at least ten to fifteen minutes) that you want to meditate and try to abide by the minimum.
    8. Be consistent. Meditate regularly, generate the automatic meditation response, try going to deep concentration each time, and within a week you'll start having deeper meditation.

    Our life can be cluttered with material objects and stresses; meditation can bring us inner peace and bring us back to our true selves. Compose ourselves; our peace and serenity are untouched by the ups and downs of life.

    If you like this post, you also like Becoming Enlightened: A Unique Program of Wisdom & Inspiration

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Nourish Our Body, Mind and Spirit

    Every life is a miracle; every moment of being is a miracle. We all matter. We should cherish our life and nourish our body, mind, and spirit all the time. Don’t let our precious life fritter away meaninglessly.

    Nourish Our Body

  • Eat decent food rich of fiber, vitamin, calcium, protein, omega 3 essential fatty acids. Remove junk food from diet.
  • Rest and relax. Relax in a silent cozy place where pleasant music plays or enjoy our time chatting with a good friend. Reenergize and refresh our body for the next mission.
  • Exercise. It is said chemicals called neurotransmitters are stimulated during exercise, which can mediate our moods and emotions, so exercise can help us feel better and less stressed.

  • Nourish Our Mind

  • Read uplifting books. Good books can increase our mental capacity and improve our understanding of the world, and can enrich, purify and sublimate our mind and soul.
  • Surround us with positive and healthy people. Peaceful and harmonious companionship is vital to our health as food, water and air. Feel loved, respected and needed.
  • Think and meditate often. Have a meditation before going to sleep: what happened today; what I can learn from it, which will build up our wisdom and make us more conscious.

  • Nourish Our Spirit

  • Find the purpose of life. Our Spirit guides us grow in the physical, emotional and intellectual dimensions of our lives. With a clear purpose, we can persevere on our life journey and lead a meaningful and accomplished life.
  • Appreciate beauty everywhere. Soothing music, periods of silence, sunshine, birds singing, water flowing, leaves rustling, enjoy them naturally. Stand in a wild field, breathe all the beauty in. Smile often.
  • Contribute to the world’s consciousness. Live consciously and peacefully with the entire world. The universe is a wondrous miracle, absorb positive energy from it and contribute positive influence into it. Let our spirit be present in everything we do.

  • Life can be very stressful. It is easy to feel bored, angry, depressed or discouraged. But we have a choice to encounter the life with a positive attitude. Get rid of all the negativities; fill ourselves with all the nourishments. Peace, joy and love in the world come from each one of us.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Anyway, Do It Anyway, by Kent M. Keith

  • People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

  • If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

  • If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

  • The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

  • Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

  • The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

  • People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

  • What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

  • People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

  • Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

  • Dr. Kent M. Keith is an inspirational speaker and author who helps people find personal meaning in a crazy world.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Happiness is Everywhere

    Zhuangzi and Huizi were sauntering along the dam of the Hao waterfall.
    Zhuangzi said, “The minnows swim freely and play at ease in the water – they truly enjoy.”

    Huizi asked, “You are not fish - how do you know that fish enjoy?”
    Zhuangzi rejoined, “You are not me. How do you know that I do not know that fish enjoy?”

    It is a famous debate in Chinese philosophy. I would like explain it in this way: You are not me - how do you know that I do not enjoy my time watching the fish swim? You are not me, you can’t judge my happiness. Happiness is a self definition.

    When you are in good mood, you think everything is happy, swimming fish, flying birds, running dogs, playing kids and more. When you smile, the world smiles back to you; when you are happy, you transmit frequency of happiness around.

    Happiness comes from peace of mind. How hard the outside world is, with peace of mind, you can take the tense situation calmly, drinking a cup of tea, reading an uplifting book, and listening soothing music, taking pleasure in a quiet moment. Keep cool you will win through.

    Happiness comes from generosity. Be broad-minded towards others, be kindhearted to the needed, and be tolerant to the different. Spend less time on criticizing others, more time on improving oneself.

    Happiness consists in contentment. Either being rich or being poor, either staying home or travelling, enjoy what you have, proactively develop yourself for better. Feel grateful for people who ever help you and show your true appreciation. A contented mind is a perpetual feast.

    To smile or not to smile is an attitude. Happiness is in your heart; happiness is everywhere.

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Right Timing, Right Location and Right People

    The sage Mengzi (Mencius) ever said, “The right timing is no better than the favorable location; the favorable location is no better than the cooperating people.” If we want to pursue great achievement, we should do it with the right people, at the right location, and at the right time.

    We don’t rise from nothing; we are the product of our environment. The family and community we grow in, the culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape our thinking, behavior pattern, social situation and connection.

    However great and talented you are, if you are at the wrong location with the wrong people, you are unable to tap your real potential and feel shackled, as a misplaced pearl loses its sparkle in the darkness. A dragon should go swimming in the colossal ocean; a tiger should be the king of mountains. If they stay in different surroundings, they lose their power.

    Although when and where we grew up make a big difference, we are not entirely passive to our environment. We are defined, but not limited by our environment. However hard it can be, we can create and change our environment, proactively communicate with people we like and respect. No one truly makes on his own.

    As a tall tree grows from a hardy seed, a lot of highly-achieved people are born in modest circumstances and by virtue of their own determination and talent fight their way to greatness. Hardships and obstacles train their character, refine their skills, bring opportunities to them, and pave a way for them to the tower of success.

    At the right location, with the right people, if we can’t grasp the right timing, the time will pass by quickly. Nevertheless, it needs a lot of wisdom to judge the right timing, the right location and right people. Maybe, a real wise person, living in a realm of freedom, will never be restricted by the limitation of time and location, and will be never disturbed by the wrong people.

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Each According to His Own Lights

    There is an old European saying, there are a thousand audiences, and there are a thousand Shakespeares. Everyone has his own understanding; everyone to his own taste.

    There is an ancient Chinese proverb, “The benevolent see benevolence; the wise see wisdom.” When viewing a same activity, the kindhearted see kindheartedness; the wicked see wickedness; the obscene see obscenity. Each one perceives according to one’s own lights.

    In the real life, we may behave like the six blind men who touch an elephant to figure out how it looks like, stumbling blindly, touching only small parts of the information, and coming away with a narrow and fragmented understanding, jumping at a quick conclusion and then believing we can represent the truth.

    People have different family backgrounds, personal experiences, cultural customs and social economic situations. The reality is observed differently depending on one's perspective, as a result, what is deemed an absolute truth may be relative due to the deceptive nature of half-truths. And a half-truth may be a total lie.

    Everyone has blind spots in every aspect of life; however, we are unaware of our ignorance, we assume we know all and we make good judgments. We have to accept the inadequacy of human observation and reason. Don’t grasp only a part of the object, but claim comprehending the whole, because the result is bound to be false and one-sided.

    The first step to true wisdom is to recognize and accept the limits of one’s own ignorance. Understand we have limitations; there is always something that we don’t know or don’t see, and even what we see isn’t always what it seems.

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Thoughts and Quotes about Fate

    Does everyone have a fate? A lot of great thinkers and philosophers, either Eastern or Western, either ancient or contemporary, believe so.

    To the ordinary Chinese, Heaven is the supreme ruler of the world. All comings and goings in the world is believed to be arranged and controlled by Heaven.

    A good number of the westerners are Christians, who believe that the world was created by God, and all happenings in the world is arranged and disposed of according to God's will.

    Ordinary people are bound by their fate, but destiny can be changed and you can create your own future. In Buddhism belief, usually a person is more fortunate when tending toward kindness but invites trouble when tending toward cruelty.

    Here I share some famous quotes about fate and destiny with you:

    Man proposes; God disposes. –Confucius

    Life and death are decreed by fate, rank and riches determined by Heaven. –Confucius

    There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed. - Napoleon Bonaparte

    How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is. - Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt

    Control your destiny or somebody else will. - Jack Welch

    You are the master of your own destiny. Use your strengths well. They are the keys to your destiny and your success in life. Once you know yourself and take action to realize your dreams, you can unlock the doors to your own potential. - Neil Somerville

    It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate. - Henry David Thoreau

    Our destiny rules over us, even when we are not yet aware of it; it is the future that makes laws for us today. - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

    You are what your deep driving desire is; As your deep driving desire is, so is your will; As your will is so is your deed; As your deed is so is your destiny. - Maitri Upanishads

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up……
    - Ecclesiastes 3 Bible

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Time is the Best Touchstone

    Time can test anything. Under the magic wand of time, everything will eventually shows off its true nature.

    Time is the best touchstone for friendship. You can’t know a person very well in a short time, but during a long time, in a lot of situations, fortunate or misfortunate, you can know if your friend is sincere, reliable and patient. Good friends are not always around, but will definitely show up when you need help.

    Time is the best touchstone for love. The physiologists said that love is a passion waterfall and a chain-reaction to release a few drops of the hormone in our bodies, so love can come and go as ephemeral as a sparkle of fire. However, true love is a kind of human feeling which can endure all kinds of circumstances and can last for a very long time. Only the love without vulgarity can be put to the proof.

    Time is the best touchstone for character. You can deceive some people at some time, but you can not deceive all the people all the time. People can defile your reputation, but if you have inner firmness and strong belief, no one can use your reputation to manipulate your actions and no one has power to defile your character; you are still your true self. “If you want to see how pure and noble a pine tree is, wait until the snow and ice melt down.”

    Time is the best touchstone for talent. A lot of people complain they have unrecognized talents or they have no opportunity to use their talents. As a wit says, being talented is like being pregnant, after some time, people will finally find out, you cannot hide. Even if you have talents, you have to grow with time and grasp the right timing.

    Time is a river, flowing all the time. Time washes away all the wastes and illusions, and shows the truth and reality to the broad light.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Mental Power: the Biggest Energy on the earth

    What is the biggest energy in the universe? Is it oil, charcoal, natural gas, or else? All mentioned above are limited and can be depleted someday.

    We humans are spiritual beings, receiving energy from the universe and emitting energy out. The biggest power is from within, from our heart. The biggest energy is our boundless mental power.

    Electric OrchestraThe power of belief - We can’t be better than what we believe we are; we can’t do better than what be believe we can. Believing is the starting point of any achievement, discovery and invention. True belief empowers, strengthens and energizes us. True belief leads us to conquer any difficulty and achieve any goal.

    The power of intelligence - Intelligence is our ability to think rationally, to act purposefully, and to apply our knowledge effectively in our environment. We can understand, imagine, learn, and improve; we are all wisdom; we are genius beyond description.

    The power of emotion - When we feel good about ourselves and think the good things what we want, they appear in our life. We can use the power of positive emotion to transform our life. Emotion is contagious and powerful. Our love, kindness, confidence, and happiness can transmit energy to positively impact other people.

    The power of willpower -Willpower manifests as inner firmness, determination, resolution and persistence. Willpower is our ability to control our impulses and to exert our will on our actions. When we encounter any obstacle and adversity, willpower gives us resolve and energy to sustain in the path and to overcome the difficulty.

    The power of morality - Morality is a code of values to guide a person’s choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. Our morality defines our way of being, living and succeeding. The power of morality doesn’t show its effect quickly, but exerts its influence in the long term. As to morality, you are not judged by how clean you are, but by how severe the test you’ve lived through and how strong your mind is.

    The mental power is our inexhaustible treasure, always available for use. There is an unlimited supply of ideas and spiritual energy inside us and waiting for us to develop and to bring forth.

    If you like this post, you also likeUltimate Brain Power

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Wealth, Success and Love

    (Author Unknown)

    A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them.

    Then she said, "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

    "Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

    "No," she said. "He's out."

    "Then we cannot come in," they replied.

    In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. So, he said, "Go tell them I'm home, and invite them in!"

    The woman went out and invited the men in.
    "We do not go into a house together," they replied.
    "Why is that?" she wanted to know.

    One of the old men explained. "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and pointing to another one he said, "This man is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now, go and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

    The woman went in and told her husband what was said.Her husband was over-joyed. "How nice!" he said. "Since that's the case, let us invite in Wealth. Let him come in and fill our home with wealth!"

    His wife disagreed. "Why don't we invite Success?"

    But, their daughter was listening from the corner of the room. She jumped in with her own suggestion. "Wouldn't it be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"The wife agreed. "Then, let us heed our daughter's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love in to be our guest."

    The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest." Love got up and started walking toward the house. Then the other two also got up and followed him.

    Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success, "I only invited in Love, as you directed. Why are you all coming in?"

    The old men replied together, "If you had invited only Wealth or Success, the other two of us would have stayed. However, since you invited Love... wherever He goes, we go with him... because wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!"

    Received from an email by a college friend. Please EMAIL this inspirational story to any and all people you care about. Hopefully, they will do the same... and more Love will be invited into our homes.

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Helping Others Is Helping Yourself

    In a dark night after rain, there were no moon or stars, a nonlocal walked carefully on a narrow and winding alley, and saw a spot of yellow light come closer and closer. Finally, the nonlocal saw clearly that it was a blind old man holding a walking stick in one hand and a lantern in the other hand. He asked with surprise,

    “Sir, why do you hold a lantern? It is useless for you.”

    “Though I am unable to see, by lighting up the road, the other people can see me so as to avoid me.” The blind man replied.

    The nonlocal nodded, “Right. I was bumped into twice on the dark road, but I can easily avoid you.”

    The enlightenment from this story: Lighting up the road for others is lighting up the road for yourself; if you make things easy for others, it will also offer convenience to yourself; helping others is helping yourself.

    In the competitive world, we may think if we help others we will harm ourselves, but the truth is that humans are interdependent and can only obtain sufficiency working as a community. We survive better by supporting and complementing each other.

    You help one person and plant love in his heart, he may help someone else and so on and so on. You hurt one person, he may hurt someone else and so on and so on. Do you want to live in a world full of love and kindness or full of hatred and violence?

    You can make the world a warmer place by sharing your love, kindness and wealth. You can make the world a happier place by sharing your humor, artworks and sense of beauty. You can make the world a better place by sharing your knowledge and skills with someone else.

    Helping others can reduce your stress, bring you happiness and boost your self-esteem, eventually improve your mental health. Helping others bring good feelings to the giver and the receiver of the good deeds.

    We are committed to a world where I win, you win, others win and the Earth wins.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Giving Out Roses, Your Hand Has Remaining Fragrance

    In this world, a lot of people would like judge others quickly or think ill of others without any verification. A mature and kind person is sympathy, can view things from the others’ standpoint first, and will not judge people without knowing their social and cultural background.

    Nice words are like spring breeze; vicious words are like winter blizzard. After you give out roses, your hands have remaining fragrance. Nevertheless, vicious speech is like a double-edged sword, not only hurting others but also hurting oneself. Think first before you speak out anything.

    Don’t speak on something you don’t know and you don’t understand. Don’t judge people by their appearance, on one occasion or by your prejudice. Don’t gossip and say kitty things behind the other’s back. Speak with conscience, with nice intention and with fairness.

    When one talks, it is better to speak something encouraging, helping, decent and grateful, try not to fabricate from nothing, spread falsehoods, incorrectly relay erroneous message, or spread malicious rumors intentionally.

    We are creating our own blessings by our deeds and words. It is better to collect virtue of speech than to produce karmatic obstacles of words.

    Be nice, we will make the other people feel warm and make ourselves feel happy and healthy.

    Sunday, February 1, 2009


    When I was young, I always thought that the grass was greener in the next meadow and that there was no beautiful scenery around home. In my thirties, I realised that we can find happiness, love and fortune at any place. It depends on our mindset and perspective. However, life is a regretless journey. Wherever you go, enjoy.

    In the legend there is a place called paradise
    Overflowing with natural beauty and pureness
    Saunter in the path clothed in blooms
    You will forget all the worry,
    only have wholesome bliss

    Driven by the deep desire for superlative beauty
    I left home to search for the paradise
    Roam around the world
    Wondering where is the paradise in my dreams

    One day, a girl said she had already found it
    She showed me pictures of the paradise
    Suffocated by the refreshing exquisiteness
    I realized that is my hometown which I miss

    It was published on Vita Issue 3 by ASIAPAC Books.

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    A Legend of an Emperor and Self-Control

    When I was eight, I overheard my father said, “Zhao Kuangying is really a hero. He escorted the lady Jing home for one thousand li.”

    I thought, “How ridiculous! A general, who led an army of 300,000 soldiers defeating Huns, should be called a hero, how could someone escorting a lady be called a hero?”

    When I grew up, I understood what my father meant. In the widely circulated story, the lady Jing, a seventeen-year-old pretty girl, while worshiping her ancestors in an old temple with her maidservant, two bandits came to bother them; luckily, Zhao Kuangying happened to pass by, beat the bandits away and rescued the two girls. He treated the girl Jing as his own sister without any wicked thoughts, and protected them travel for a thousand li home.

    Zhao Kuangying was highly respected due to his strong self-control, chivalry, expertise in martial arts, and firm stand in justice. His good reputation and strong character enabled him to lead the army and people to reunite China and establish the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). At thirty-three years old, Zhao Kuangying became the first Emperor of the Song Dynasty, called Emperor Taizu of Song, and reigned for seventeen years.

    A high-minded person has self-control, and self-control is the essence of true power. If you lose control of yourself, you also lose the power to influence others. Many religions advocate self control. In Bible, Proverbs 25:28 says, "A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls."

    Different people have different level of self-control. Though Zhao Kuangying earned himself a good reputation, the girl Jing was left to doubt her attractiveness.

    On January 25, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi made the comment suggesting that Italy's women are so beautiful they need military escorts to avoid rape. Consequently, he was criticized widely for his barbarian logic, though Berlusconi claimed he was complimenting women. Most people take his comments profoundly offensive, because he should blame the real cause of crime – lacking of self-control.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    21 Economic Models Explained With Cows

    On the third day of the lunar year of Ox, share something funny with you. (Source: web)

    Two Cows
    Photo Courtesy: Flickr kwerfeldein

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

- You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

- You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

- You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

- You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

- You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

- You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

    AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION- You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive...

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Readiness and Right Timing

    Where eagles fly...
    Photo Courtesy: Flickr Wash52121

    There was a lesson in the English textbook while I was at Grade School,

    A king requested a painter to draw a horse for him. The painter consented and left. After twenty years, he showed up in the palace and painted a horse in five minutes. The horse was so vividly as if it would run out from the paper. The king was pleased and disillusioned at same time, so he asked curiously,

    “Since you can draw a terrific horse in five minutes, why didn’t you do it twenty years ago?”

    The painter replied, “It took me twenty years to learn how to draw a horse in five minutes.”

    The morale I learned from this lesson is that it takes time to achieve something remarkable. Given enough time, drops of water would wear through a rock; given enough time, an iron pestle can be ground down to a needle. Long persistent practice makes perfect.

    Twenty years ago, the painter did not know how to draw a horse. Twenty years after, he was perfectly ready to draw a fantastic horse in five minutes. I have held the question since the English class – why didn’t he show up after five years to draw a fine horse in an hour? Did he really need to wait so long so perfect to show up? Luckily, the king did not pass away during the twenty years.

    Readiness is an important issue in our personal growth. You can not get good results when you are not ready to do it. People ever asked me why I didn’t do something at some time, I answered I was not ready yet. You can be stuck somewhere because you have omitted some form of spiritual, emotional, financial, relational, or vocational growth in your life. You have to work on that to get ready.

    During sometime, I found I was unable to stand up by myself. The weakness and lack of security pulled me downward, no matter what I intended to do otherwise. So I admitted I needed to get strong first and tried to find someone stronger and patient to drag me up. No one can break the universe law – strength and security precede the ability to be free. Find your weak point, work on it first.

    Small streams flow into a river; rivers flow into an ocean. Constant effort brings success; deliberate practice works perfection. But you don’t need wait to be perfect to talk, to do, to launch and to implement. Opportunities are easily missed while waiting for perfect timing.

    Life is about balance timing against available resources. Be prepared, get ready and catch the right timing.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Words, Mirror of Heart

    Photo courtesy:

    There was a famous poet and politician called Su Dongpo, who befriended with a monk called Foyin. They enjoyed time together and occasionally battled of wits with each other. One day, they sat still practicing meditation. After a while, Su opened his eyes and asked Foyin,

    “What do I look like sitting in meditation?”

    “You look like a poised Buddha.” Foyin took a look and praised with nodding.

    Su was pleased. Foyin asked in reply, “How do you think about me?”

    “You look like bullshit.” Su teased Foyin intentionally.

    Foyin smiled and put his palms together continuing meditation.

    After Su returned home, he told his sister proudly,

    “I poked fun at Monk Foyin today.”

    After she learned the whole story, she laughed at Su,

    “Foyin has Buddha in his mind, so he sees everything as Buddha; you have bullshit in your heart, so you see everything as bullshit. Foyin wins with more cultivation.”

    We not only use our eyes watching the world, but also use our heart perceiving it. Our heart colors our view and our view reflects our mindset.

    The internationally renowned inspirational author Wayne Dyer ever said, "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."

    When a person makes judgment about another, it reveals more the speaker’s morality and personality, fair or unfair, biased or open-minded, kind or mean, decent or obscene. Also, from one’s assumptions of others’ life and activities, we can tell that person’s moral standard, inner being, and hidden desires.

    Words are mirror of one’s heart.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Friends of Different Kinds


    About 2,500 years ago, Confucius ever classified friends into two kinds: helpful and harmful. He also stated that helpful friends include, who are candid and straightforward, who understand and forgive, and who are experienced and knowledgeable. Harmful friends include, who are narrow-minded and short-tempered, who are irresolute and unreliable, and who are sycophants and hypocrites.

    Good friends give you constructive advice, encourage you, and still love you though knowing all your shortcomings. They are not always around, but will definitely show up when you need help. They are delighted by your success and happiness; they care about your worries and pains. They push you up.

    Bad friends speak guileful words and pretend to like you but may betray you under certain circumstances. During your good days, they would like surround you and flatter you; when you lose your wealth and status, they vanish quickly. They gloat at your loss and misery. They may lack self-discipline or have bad habits, which exert bad influence on you. They drag you down.

    One takes the color of one’s company; one receives moral influence by close association. So, we have to be careful of what kind of friends we have and be proactive to choose the right kind and avoid the wrong kind. The famous talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey ever claimed some friends could be toxic and would ruin your life, whom you would rather be alone than hang out with.

    Taiwanese writer Yu Guangzhong - I guess he is a leisurely man - ever classified friends into four kinds: classy and interesting, classy and boring, vulgar and funny, vulgar and boring, which sound a categorization of people.

    We can choose our friends; meantime, we are chosen by others. We should be good human beings and beneficial friends first to deserve good friendship.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Stories of Zen

    Help Yourself

    A man was troubled by the hardship of life, so he went to a temple, kneeled down, worshipped a Buddha, and prayed with a string of beads in his hand.

    Afterwards, he noticed the Buddha was praying with a string of beads in his hand, too. He was bewildered.

    A master in the temple said, “You ask the Buddha for help, but the Buddha has his own trouble, too. He has to help himself first.”

    Asking for help is no better than helping yourself first.


    A Zen master met a man on his journey, who disliked the Zen master and tried all his means to insult the master.

    Finally, the Zen master turned to the man and asked, “If someone wants to give you a gift, but you refuse to accept it, then who owns the gift?”

    The man replied, “It still belongs to that person who intends to give me the gift.”

    The Zen master smiled, “Right. Likewise, if I don’t accept your insults, you are insulting yourself.”

    A Tea Cup

    A student went to visit a Zen master for Zen philosophy. The Zen Master asked the student to sit at a table and he prepared tea for him. The student was very talkative and he told the master he knew a lot of ancient classics.

    The master poured tea into the tea cup until it was full; however, he continued to pour tea into the cup. Tea flowed out from the cup to the table, dropped off from the edge and wetted the student’s clothes.

    The student watched the master pouring the tea, and shouted, “It is overflowing. Don’t pour again.”

    “You are like this cup, full of your own opinions and thoughts.” The master said, “If you don’t empty yourself first, how can I teach you Zen?”

    The Light of Comprehension

    When studying the Buddhism scripture, a student asked his master, “You described the pure land; I can’t see it, how can I believe it?”

    The master led the student to a dark room and said, “There is a hammer at the corner of the room.”

    The student opened his eyes wide and then narrowed his eyes; however hard he tried he couldn’t see anything in the deep darkness.

    The master lit a candle, for sure, there was a hammer at the corner of the wall.

    That you can’t see it doesn’t mean that it does not exist. You have to light the lamp in your heart to vision the pure land.

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    Build up Your Core Value

    It is important that you know your core value and you align your core value with your life. If you don’t know what you believe in and what you can do to make a living, at worst, you may feel like you’re an empty cotton sack – you are unable to stand on your own, you have to be held by somebody; if somebody loosens his/her grip, you will likely slump into a pileup on the ground.

    Put rice into the empty cotton sack, the fuller the sack is, and the better it stands independently. Fill yourself with belief, confidence, love, knowledge, skill and other positive elements, and find out your personal passion, your deepest motivator and your strongest trait, stick on them, you can stand in any circumstance and you will not easily be beaten down, even if you were beaten down, you could collect and rebuild yourself in short time. What’s more, your core value can make you build a good relationship, for you have to be independent first, then you can go interdependent.

    You have to figure out what you truly believe in and insist on it. Your inner self may make some people like you and make some hate you. Don’t try to please anyone; you may end up losing everyone. Brand yourself, feel ease to be yourself, send out a strong personal message, you will eventually benefit from your persistence.

    Discover your personal passion and develop your knowledge and skill to actualize it. You have to make a living first, then you can pursue your dream. I know some people intended to rescue others until they found they were struggling with life themselves, and then they chose to be rescued by God first.

    Create your material and spiritual wealth. Without material wealth, you cannot be spiritually free. Without spiritual cultivation, material wealth just provides more chance for you to go lascivious and excessive.

    Use five key words to summary up what are important for you and what are your main qualities. Personal values can be beauty, intelligence, health, wealth, discipline, communication, family, love, fun, hard-working, commitment, generosity, courage, knowledge, skill, leadership, passion, persistence, meaning, prestige and more.

    Live concordantly with your core value, you can find real happiness and success.