Letter to my son on 9/4/2007


I wrote the following to my son in September 2007. This is actually part of the original letter.

Make efforts to keep in mind the following in life.
(1) Independence — learn to think independently; eye on your goal not to be sidetracked by outside influence, nor cave in to popularity.

(2) A healthy lifestyle which includes love of outdoor activities and a good eating
habit.

(3) Time management. The only thing that we are given equally in life is time. Watch out for time-thieves. Practice beating deadline by setting one manageable task per day for yourself and must get it done on that day.

(4) Music is vitally indispensable in life. You have learned both violin and piano. Make an effort to practice one of them.

(5) Keep your promise. Keep your commitment. This is the only sure way to build trust and respect.

(6) Take blame and say sorry when you know you should. A great man is not one who is error-free but one who has the courage to admit his wrong and move on.

(7) Life is beautiful if you can live this way. Take time to enjoy the beauty of nature, of people you go out with. Value all the relationships that you ever build up. They make your life richer and happier.

(8) Stick to your principles and to what you believe even under great pressure from
above and forces around you.

(9) Keep a reading list. Make a point of reading at least a few books in a year.

(10) Take care of your soul — the soul devoid of petty selfishness, the soul of
dedication, of devotion and sincerity. After all, it is the mind that gives rise to a beautiful dream and deed. Life has some transcendental value. Have a goal larger than yourself, reach out and make a difference so that other people might lead a better life because of you.

Ask not how much you get for your time, ask how much value you add in this time. Always try to make your presence felt in a positive way.

Fling yourself to a good cause and you will find no obstacles that you cannot surmount and no suffering that you cannot endure. Identify and hold fast to a good cause that you believe worthy of your dedication, a good cause like saving the earth, feeding the hungry, education for all, protecting the endangered, sustain life on earth, finding a cure, etc. Make sincere and consistent efforts to explore the way to donate, to give and to maximize your contribution to this cause.



New Year Resolution 2015


Since I wrote something about New Year Resolutions, some friends asked if I still write stuff like this, as if we were too old for that trick. I told them, “I do. Every year.” Here’s mine for this year. Good things never retire with age.

1. For brain health: Gain a rudimentary mastery of a new musical instrument–ukulele, one song per month, practice at least one hour per day
2. For finance, start an Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) trading account in the first month
3. Professionally, publish at least one article in a professional journal
4. Time management, limit online social media time to at most one hour per day on the average to keep in touch with friends.
5. Physically, (a) walk at least 45 minutes every day when weather permits. (b) strength training for at least 30 minutes every day

NOTE: Use timer on number 1 and 4

I cannot guarantee that I will stick to the end my resolutions. But I think it always beneficial to have some goal and some expectations of yourself over time. So far, I am on track for my goal. I will constantly come back to this throughout the year just to check myself. When nobody watches me, I have to rely on self-watching.



Reading Gone Girl, how a husband is punished for cheating his wife



Gone Girl
written by Gillian Flynn. I have finished reading this novel today. I must say it is a good book. It makes readers utterly sick while going through the story that is fully packed with lies and dishonesty, but the readers feel happy and satisfied in the end.

The husband cheats the wife when he has an affair with a 23-year-old girl. The wife feels the need to revenge by disappearing from her home and framing the husband as the murderer. In the end, the husband has his due share of punishment, the wife returns home triumphantly by killing another man and goes scot free.

The novel ends with a final unexpected stroke when the wife saves herself and secures the marriage by getting herself pregnant with the much wanted son through fertility clinic.

While the readers might not like either the husband or the wife, they cannot help admiring the wife for her ingenuity and resourcefulness in plotting out her revenge. And it does make readers feel great when the cheating husband suffers in the process.

The parts I don’t like in the wife is she doesn’t seem to have a life of her own. Her husband seems to be the center of her life, which makes her so vulnerable. It is like gambling, when she places her happiness and her life in one basket, her husband in her case, and when her husband cheats her, her whole life collaps. This should be a lesson for all women. Another thing about her is she is not nice to others sometimes, especially to her parents.

Another one, of course, for men is NEVER underestimate the brain power of women.

PS. Actually, the thing that was rather annoying at first is the language that is full of F word, too many of them at first. But the strange thing is by the end of the novel I kind of got used to seeing them, as if it were no big deal. I wish they were not that many in the book.



New Year Resolution: jump over habits


As I was cleaning last year’s calendar, I bumped into this — “Are you able to actually jump over habits? Are you able to actually work on a bigger scale than you normally think and feel that things seems to be impossible are actually possible?”

I forgot where I got it, but I thought it fit the occasion perfectly, when I was working on New Year Resolution with my daughter and also on my own.

Indeed, jumping over habits is what we need if we want to carry out our resolution for this brand new year.



Why people fail in keeping their New Year’s Resolutions


Here’s another one on New Year Resolution. Here are parts of the article.

Even though “People make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, … people aren’t ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate. Another reason is “that people set unrealistic goals and expectations in their resolutions,” which is also called “false hope syndrome.”

“Making resolutions work involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or “rewire” your brain).”

Finally, the author offers some tips for keeping resolutions.

1. Focus on one resolution, rather several and set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be;
2. Don’t wait till New Year’s eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long process, every day;
3. Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big requiring too much effort and action all at once;
4. Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you to whom you have to report;
5. Celebrate your success between milestones. Don’t wait the goal to be finally completed;
6. Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits;
7. Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?
8. Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment-by-moment, rather than living in the past or future.



Happy New Year 2015, another year, another new beginning


Happy New Year to all who visit this site today!

I sent my son to the airport yesterday, the New Year’s Eve and today sent my sister’s son back to Houston. Good days passed so fast. It seems really like yesterday when we went to the airport to fetch them back, now to airport again. Of course, I miss them. But I don’t have any complaints, as long as they are good and healthy, no matter where they are.

Now back to what I have in mind during this time of the year: New Year Resolution — something I have never missed so far.

There are many writings on this topic lately. Here’s one. I am surprised to learn that 45 percent of people make New Year’s resolutions every year, and out of them only “8 percent stick with them.” The author offers 5 tips to stick with your resolutions:
(1) FOCUS on one goal at a time
(2) Know what makes it important
(3) Make it tangible avoid sweeping statements
(4) Think BIG but act small (this is an example of sweeping statement)
(5) Never go “off purpose” two days in a row

Good luck!


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