Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jan 10, 2018

How I handle distractions

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 3:00 pm

If I sit for too long doing one thing, my legs get sore and I tend to become less attentive and efficient. So I always set a 30-minute timer when I sit down.

Very often some random thoughts crop up while I am reading or in the middle of a 30-minute timer. On the one hand, I am tempted to do something right that minute because I don’t want to forget these thoughts. On the other hand, I hate to “break my concentration during pomodoro sessions” or get sidetracked.

So I write them on a post-it note and will take care of them later. When I handle one issue, I set timer for however long I allow myself for this issue, so that I don’t let one issue take over my day or my plan for the day.

I wrote to my daughter today, “I am sure the situation sounds familiar to you. I hope you have some mechanisms to handle this.” She wrote this to me, “Yeah, I also write things down on a notepad window when I don’t want to break my concentration during pomodoro sessions.”

1, Mar 12, 2016

The relationship between meditation and wisdom

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 3:48 pm

I read this article last week “The Relationship between Mental and Somatic Practices and Wisdom” by Patrick B. Williams1, Heather H. Mangelsdorf1, Carly Kontra1, Howard C. Nusbaum1, Berthold Hoeckner. The article is 14 pages long. Below are the key points that I collect from the article. The main thing is meditation helps increase your wisdom.

The article “explore possible mediating relationships of experience and wisdom by characteristics thought to be components of wisdom. Wisdom was higher on average among meditation practitioners, and lowest among ballet dancers,…”

“Common themes [of wisdom] include the skillful use of knowledge acquired through life experience, lowered anxiety in the face of difficult life decisions, careful reflection on the mental states of oneself and others, and action based in compassion and pro-social behavior.”

“wisdom is characterized as a deep and accurate perception of reality, in which insight into human nature and a diminished self-centeredness are acquired through life experience and practice in perspective taking..”

“Experimental research into the malleability of wisdom suggests that wisdom is affected by training specific strategies for gaining knowledge, inferring insight from personal experience, and viewing difficult situations from a distanced perspective…”

“Meditation is a practice long associated with the development of wisdom in Buddhist and Taoist traditions. Meditation may influence wisdom in multiple ways, for example by increasing interpersonal skills and by decreasing general anxiety through increased emotional self-regulation.”

“Wisdom is often characterized by the ability to face difficult situations with lowered stress and anxiety, and meditation may train the sort of emotional self-regulation that leads to this quiescent mental state. In experimental settings, brief meditation training has been associated with increased optimism and reduced recall of negative words, suggesting that meditation influences affect by reducing the impact of negative thoughts and stimuli.”

“…the results suggest that practicing emotional regulation in the course of meditation training leads to a decreased focus on negative thoughts and stimuli.”

1, Mar 11, 2016

13 things you should STOP doing right now to become more productive

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 10:41 pm

I read this piece somewhere earlier this year. I thought of sharing them with my children but kept delaying until today. Then I forgot where I read it. I wish I could give someone some credit. Here are the key points.

Following are 13 things you should STOP doing right now to become more productive:
1. Impulsive web browsing
2. Multitasking–not to do
3. Checking email throughout the day
4. Moral licensing. This idea that we “deserve” to splurge on fancy meal after being thrifty for a week is called “moral licensing,” and it undermines a lot of people’s plans for self-improvement. Instead, try making your goal part of your identity, such that you think of yourself as the kind of person who saves money or works out regularly, rather than as someone who is working against their own will to do something new.

5. Putting off your most important work until later in the day
6. Taking too many meetings
7. Sitting all day with any exercise
8. Hitting the snooze button trying to delay getting up
9. Failing to prioritize

10. Over-planning–Many ambitious and organized people try to maximize their productivity by meticulously planning out every hour of their day. Unfortunately, very often things don’t always go as planned.
11. Under-planning– first determine what you want your final outcome to be, then lay out a series of steps for yourself. Once you’re halfway through, you can review your work to make sure you’re on track and adjust accordingly.
12. Keeping your phone next to your bed.

13. Perfectionism—More often than laziness the root of procrastination is the fear of noting doing a good job. “We begin to work only when the fear of doing nothing at all exceeds the fear of not doing it very well … And that can take time.” The only way to overcome procrastination is to abandon perfectionism and not fuss over details as you move forward. Pretending the task doesn’t matter and that it’s OK to mess up could help you get started faster.

1, Dec 11, 2015

Getting more productivity out of you depends on yourself

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 11:21 am

I read this article today 10 Easy Ways to be more productive at work. Immediately I thought of sharing it with my children and my dear readers here. Below is the whole thing. I categorize it under Emotional Intelligence because anything that needs self-discipline needs certain level of emotional intelligence to execute it. Getting more things done needs more self-discipline than time.

1. Understand Your Body’s Timetable
It’s important to organize your day around your body’s natural rhythms, says Carson Tate, founder and managing partner of management consultancy Working Simply. Tackle complex tasks when your energy’s at its highest level. For many this may mean first thing in the morning, after you’ve rested and eaten. Save low-intensity, routine tasks for periods when you’re energy regularly dips, like late afternoon. Everyone is different, so it’s important to understand your own timetables, she says.

2. Prioritize Prioritizing
Prioritizing tasks takes a lot of mental effort, says Tate, so you should plan to think about your day or week when your brain is the freshest. Then, organize your time considering which tasks are most important, how much time you’ll need for each, and the best time of the day or week to complete them based on your body’s rhythms.

3. Establish Routines
Our brains are wired to be very good at executing patterns. Establishing routines around the way you carry out regular tasks makes you more efficient and productive. For example, Tate recommends creating email rules to automate checking email, responding to routine requests and archiving emails. You may create a similar routine for opening, reading and filing physical documents. In the same way, stick to set routines for starting and completing new projects or delegating tasks to others.

4. Batch Together Similar Tasks
The brain also learns and executes complex tasks by lumping together similar items. Leverage this ability by scheduling similar tasks back-to-back. For example, you may make all of your phone calls one after another, or draft and send emails at one time.

5. Take Breaks
Complex tasks, like writing or strategizing, take a lot of mental effort, and your brain can only focus for a limited amount of time. That means it’s critical to take breaks and let your brain rest. Take a walk or socialize for a bit. Then when you get back to work, you’re energized again.

6. Create A Five-Minute List
When you don’t have the energy to start a major task or you find your energy waning, using a five-minute list: A to-do list of easy, low-intensity tasks that you can do in less than five minutes. It might be an internet search, printing out and sorting documents, or light research. Whatever it means for you, the five-minute list can help you be productive even during the times you have difficulty concentrating.

7. Don’t Multi-Task
One thing the brain is not good at is multi-tasking, or switching rapidly between tasks. Nothing gets your full attention and you’re more likely to forget things. Instead, it’s better to focus on one item at a time.

8. Do A Daily Brain Dump
Eliminating “popcorn brain”–the incessant popping of ideas and to-dos into your thoughts–by doing a brain dump, where you empty the contents of your brain by writing down all the myriad thoughts, ideas and errands that pop up. Just focus on getting them all out and then connect the dots later, she says.

9. Make Routine Tasks Fun
One of the reasons people often procrastinate is that they find a task boring and have trouble motivating themselves to do it. But those tasks still need to get done. Try to make the routine work more fun, perhaps by listening to music or trying a new environment. Have your team meeting in the park or during lunch, for example.

10. Use ‘High-Performance Procrastination’
If you procrastinate, it sends an important signal. Ask yourself why. Is the idea not yet fully formed? Is the task even worth completing at all? Is the project out of alignment with your goals or skills? Use the information to cull your to-do list and focus on what’s really important.

1, Oct 29, 2015

Do your best but don’t aim at perfection

Filed under: Career,Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 3:21 pm

I read this from Harvard Medical School newsletter. “Trying to be perfect can cause anxiety.” Below is the article. I shared it with a colleague of mine today.

“No one is “perfect.” Yet many people struggle to be, which can trigger a cascade of anxieties.
Perfectionism may be a strong suit or a stumbling block, depending on how it’s channeled, as clinical psychologist Jeff Szymanski explains. Dr. Szymanski is an associate instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the International OCD Foundation.

“The core of all perfectionism is the intention to do something well,” says Dr. Szymanski. “If you can keep your eye on intention and desired outcome, adjusting your strategy when needed, you’re fine…. But when you can’t tolerate making a mistake, when your strategy is to make no mistakes, that’s when perfectionism starts veering off in the wrong direction.” In its most severe form, perfectionism can leave you unable to complete any task for fear of making a mistake.

To help you prioritize the projects and activities that mean the most to you and keep your personal strategy in line, Dr. Szymanski has shared the following exercise:
What do you find valuable in life? What would you want 50 years of your life to represent? If that seems overwhelming, think about where you want to put your energies for the next five years.

Think about your current goals and projects, and assign them priorities. Use the letters “ABCF” to help you decide where you want to excel (A), be above average (B), or be average (C), and what you can let go of (F). For example:

• A (100% effort): This is reserved for what’s most important to you. For example, if your career is most valuable, your goals might be to impress the boss, make sure clients are happy, put out good products at work.

• B (above average, maybe 80% effort): Perhaps you like playing golf or tennis or want to learn a new language. You enjoy these activities, but have no plans to go pro.

• C (average effort): Perhaps having a clean home is important, too. But how often does your home need to be cleaned? People aren’t coming to see it every day. Could you just clean up on the weekends? Or focus on a few rooms that get the most traffic?
• F (no effort): Time-consumers that don’t advance your values or bring you pleasure — for example, lining up all your hangers or folding all your clothes in a specific way. Do you have any tasks that, upon reflection, don’t really matter — you’ve just done them one way for so long that you’re on autopilot? These deserve to be pruned.”

1, Oct 21, 2015

Don’t expect perfection of others; tolerate other people’s oversights

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 8:49 pm

This happened on 10/20/2015 when a colleague of mine had one of her impatient moments. During a teleconference, they emailed us PowerPoint slides for us to go with the conference. She became frustrated when she couldn’t open the attached slides. Blood rushed to her head as she acted out her frustration. She was raving about things like “If I need it for my job, I should have it in my computer.” She almost banged her mouse on the desk.

It turned out PowerPoint application was not installed on her computer. I have it on my computer. So I immediately converted the slides into pdf file and emailed it to her.

I can’t believe some people are so short in patience and quick at building up steam and letting it out. They remind me of a terrible two-year-old. The funny thing is this kind of behavior seems to be the norm around my workplace.

They expect perfection of others. They expect to have all their ducks lined up in a row for them. They have zero tolerance of other people’s slightest oversight. Even if they know nobody is perfect, including themselves, they still won’t compromise their expectations.

This is what I shared with my daughter and hope she remembers it.
(1) Don’t expect perfection of others.
(2) Tolerate and forgive other people’s flaws and oversights.
(3) Develop problem-solving skill.

1, Jun 21, 2015

Nine Signs of Low Emotional Quotient

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 1:16 pm

This is a translation from a Chinese site. I am glad that both of my children do not so far show any of these signs. Still, I post them here as prophylaxis.

Here’s a quote on emotional quotient, “Emotional Quotient is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. In the business environment, Emotional Quotient is important because it helps you leverage your awareness of emotions for effectiveness in the workplace.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald said “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Here are the signs of an EQ loser.
(1) Unable to put yourself in other’s shoes. Unable to empathize. Doesn’t care how other people feel.
(2) Like to raise himself up in public by belittling others.
(3) Must have the last word in argument.
(4) Dominated or preoccupied with negative mood or thought
(5) Only care about self-expression, paying no attention to how others react to what he expresses. They are anything but active listeners.
(6) Knowingly ask question that you know the answer with the intention of showing off your smartness. Deliberately poke people where it hurts most.
(7) Over-concern about how others think about him even if other people do not in the least care about him, like not even noticing his existence.
(8) Make judgment about other people’s life and lifestyle.
(9) Put on the most respectful mask in front of strangers while throwing the most nasty temper at those closest to him.

1, Sep 21, 2014

Pray is to focus, to trust, and to surrounder yourself…

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 11:58 am

When you are disturbed by something or somebody, focus on yourself, instead of on someone or something that disturbs you in the first place.

When you find yourself helplessly locked in a seemingly hard-to-change undesirable lifestyle, the best tactic is pray. Pray is to focus, to trust, and to surrounder yourself. It forces you to look inward and connects you to your inner self.

1, May 17, 2014

Easier said than done, always, even in ancient times

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 1:45 am

Read this story about Su Dongpo, a famous poet in Song Dynasty. Laugh at yourself first before you laugh at Su. Find someone to translate it for you if you so want to know it. I don’t have time for it now.
easy said than done

1, May 16, 2014

How to avoid these stupid things

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 1:01 am

I dug out this article and was ready to throw it away when something happened lately and that reminded me one of the stupid things mentioned in this article. I am sure I have posted this one before. Still, it doesn’t hurt to post it again just to remind people to avoid them. Here are these stupid things. For details, please go to the original article.

1. Whose Fault it is
2. Celebrity and Sports Gossip
3. Sexual Jealousy
4. Being Right
5. National Politics
6. Trying to Impress Other People
8. Being Offended
9. The Fact that I skipped Number 7 on this list
10. Buying a Bunch of “Nice” Stuff
11. Waiting in line for 36 hours to buy some new product the day it’s released
12. Hiding Your Flaws

1, May 12, 2014

Put your distractions in another room when you are serious with your work

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence,work — admin @ 12:57 am

My daughter came back on 5/9, last Friday evening. Her connection flight from Chicago back to KS was delayed for nearly 4 hours.

We went to upgrade her phone the next day, Saturday morning. She got an iphone5s, the latest model on the market. After we got back home, I went to Walmart to get a protective case for her phone. When I came back, I saw my daughter working on her project. I asked her, “Where’s your phone? I got this case for it.” She said it was in another room. Her brother told her to put any distraction in another room so that she could concentrate better.

1, May 8, 2014

The power of hope…

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 1:13 am

From Forbes, Thought of the Day, 5/7/2014

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.” — Orison S. Marden

1, May 6, 2014

Building wealth, according to money magazine, Part II

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence,Money — admin @ 1:44 am

Tip 101: pick a clean start day. And then bet on seeing it through. I think it works for setting any goals.

It’s one thing that you know what you should do; it’s another to actually do it. What is harder is to act.

Research suggests that you are more likely to start working toward a goal on days that mark a dividing line. Such as, more people start dieting on New Year’s Day. A clear start date makes people feel disconnected from their past imperfections and promote a big-picture view of life.

Find a tool to track your progress toward your goal and even commit yourself to putting some money on the line, if you fail to reach your goal. More people hit their goals when they have money at stake.

1, Apr 18, 2014

We are the products of our own habits…

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:23 am

I wrote something on this before. While I was reading on Confucianism and the repeated performance of certain ritual, I was trying to make sense of this repetition. I thought of habit formation and these words on habits, character and fate. Nothing reveals better than these words from Aristotle and John Dryden on the relationship between habit and what we have become as the result of our habits.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” –Aristotle
“we first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” — John Dryden

Therefore, constantly examine what you repeatedly do and what you habitually do everyday. This leads to the word of Socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”

1, Apr 15, 2014

Two minutes rule to stop procrastinating

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:46 am

I read this article a few weeks ago on how to get things done.

“The two-minute rule has its roots in Getting Things Done (GTD): If you can do it in less than two minutes, do it now…James Clear adds another rule: When you start to build a new habit, make your goals into two-minute bites so they’re easy to do any time.”

“If you make every step of the way a two-minute chunk that can be done anytime, you’ll be more likely to do it over and over again” until a new habit is formed.

When it comes to doing your weekly review, looking over your to-do list or follow-up list, if you can do it in two minutes, jump on it and get it out of the way. “If it’ll take longer than that—either because you need to research it, talk to someone else, look something up, or produce something, schedule it and get it into your productivity system so you can tackle it when you’re ready.”

Chop a big project into tiny bits, get them out of your way bit by bit, two minutes at a time.

The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it.”

“The 2–Minute Rule isn’t about the results you achieve, but rather about the process of actually doing the work. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.
Of course, you can easily find yourself starting in on a to-do that’ll take two minutes and then working on it for ages, so be careful James even cites this as an example in his article, …, as a good thing—we’d suggest some restraint. You don’t want to while away an hour on a “two minute” to-do only to find yourself behind on everything else because you didn’t properly prioritize.”

1, Apr 5, 2014

Why some people feel bored, sometimes

Filed under: Daughter,Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 1:42 am

When I read this part, I think of the time when my daughter said she was bored.

“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight. Then 16. Then 32. Eventually one discovers that it’s not boring at all.” –John Cage

“When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.” – Eric Hoffer

Boredom is not generated by anything outside. Experience of boredom is really generated by the state of our own mind.

I certainly hope she is not bored now.

1, May 12, 2013

Don’t flow away your life on the Internet

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:10 am

Now there is even a name for this kind of behavior when you spend endless hours in a trance scrolling through pictures after pictures or exchanging meaningless conversation or clicking here and there opening hundreds of browser tabs. This is called “flow.”

This is fully analyzed in the article “Online flow experience, problematic Internet use and Internet procrastination,” by Andrew Thatcher, etc, carried on Computer in Human Behavior journal, vol24, issue5, 9/2008, 2236-54.

Flow is defined as “a total absorption in the work at hand.” Procrastination is to avoid doing what one should do. The irony is flow becomes a tool for a procrastinator to avoid doing his/her work.

We want people to be in a flow state when they are doing what they should do, like fully occupied in their work, but if people use flow to avoid doing their work, they set themselves up for the life of a loser.

1, Mar 31, 2013

The end of the first quarter of the year, time to check your New Year Resolution

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:56 am

Yes, the first quarter of the new year is rushing by before you even get used to the new year. This is what I told my children and keep reminding myself– time and tide wait for no man.

It is time when we should go back to our new year resolution and see where we are now. Because I have not kept up with mine, as always, I need to check out why and how to improve, so that I will do something differently and can get back to the right track.

After I took a close look at my daily work, busy as it is, I have found that I actually still can squeeze out some time for doing what I have promised myself to do. Squeezing out time is what I will do next.

1, Jan 16, 2013

An interesting narcissistic test

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:45 am

On 1/4/2013, I took a narcissistic test. Here’s the result.     

My total: 14. Just an average person.
Average person scores between 12 and 15
Celebrities often score closer to 18.
Narcissists score over 20.

My narcissistic trait scores are:
Authority: 3.00      
Self-Sufficiency: 3.00      
Superiority: 4.00      
Exhibitionism: 1.00      
Exploitativeness: 2.00      
Vanity: 0.00      
Entitlement: 1.00

Interesting! Obviously, my highest score is sense of superiority and lowest is vanity. Here’s brief interpretation of each narcissism trait and what my score relative to that trait may indicate about me.

Authority–Authority refers to a person’s leadership skills and power. People who score higher on authority like to be in charge and gain power, often for power’s sake alone.

Self-Sufficiency–This trait refers to how self-sufficient a person is, that is, how much you rely on others versus your own abilities to meet your needs in life.

Superiority–This trait refers to whether a person feels they are more superior than those around them. You scored particularly high in superiority, suggesting you feel you are superior to most others.

Exhibitionism–This trait refers to a person’s need to be the center of attention, and willingness to ensure they are the center of attention (even at the expense of others’ needs).

Exploitativeness–This trait refers to how willing you are to exploit others in order to meet your own needs or goals.

Vanity–This trait refers to a person’s vanity, or their belief in one’s own superior abilities and attractiveness compared to others.

Entitlement–This trait refers to the expectation and amount of entitlement a person has in their lives, that is, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with one’s expectations. People who score higher on this trait generally have a greater expectation of entitlement, while those who score lower expect little from others or life.

1, Jan 3, 2013

The need to balance and prioritize in this year

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — Tags: , — admin @ 12:43 am

Most people have their guilty pleasures, that is, something they enjoy though they know they shouldn’t do that much, like spending a great deal of time aimlessly browsing the internet or on internet game.

Very often they end up not only wasting time but also postponing doing what they should do.

I have found myself spending a large chunk of time digesting daily news, current events and writing on at least three sites as if it were my day job. Meanwhile, I know I need to spend more time on researching and writing on my job related field.

Very often I find it boring to do what I should do, at least not as interesting as following our guilty pleasures.

In this new year of 2013, I am going to limit my indulgence to certain time of the day. At least I need to complete the should-be-done first before allowing my mind to wander astray.

1, Nov 13, 2012

Discipline at work and at school

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:30 am

On 10/25, a Thursday morning, I twisted my back by accident. The damage to my back lasted for several weeks. At first it was hard to bear the pain. A few days seemed to have taken the edge off its initial attack.

All the time I have not taken a day off, as I want to save my vacation days for the time when my son comes back or when my daughter needs me to or when I go back to China.

On 11/2, a Friday morning, after I reached my office, my daughter called, saying she had a headache and did not want to go to school in the morning. I knew she had a party that Friday evening.

“If you cannot go to school, you cannot go to the party in the evening, too,” I said. She protested strongly. In the end, she had what she wanted: excuse from school in the morning, yes for the party that day. I asked her to write down what happened that day, as I am more worried about her college years.

On the morning of 11/8, my daughter said she was not feeling well with her stomach and wanted to stay home. I told her to go to school and I would get her back if she could not get through the day. She did what I said and everything turned out well that day.

1, Sep 15, 2012

Inaction and procrastination are at work everyday

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:34 am

On a normal no monitor day, I would start the day reading online, current events, news on politics, health, technology, or anything that catches my fancy that day. If I find something that I like to read more or write about later, I would save it on a notepad for further work. Most likely I will forget all about them and never touch these files again. This reminds me of the practice of drinking tea over newspaper at many Chinese offices.

All the time I know there are books that I need to read and work that cries for my attention, though not urgently. Still, I postpone doing everything just for this online reading.

Such random browsing lasts about one to two hours or even longer. I think sometimes inaction and procrastination are at work, especially when I push back some work which I shouldn’t have.

1, Aug 27, 2012

“A promise is a promise, no matter how small it is”

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:31 am

Ten days ago I started, for the second time this year, to get serious about one of the promises that I made on my 2012 New Year Resolution. Gee, after a big chunk of the year has gone, right?

One of the items on my resolution is to pick up my German language so that I can read spiegel in the original. I included this also for the benefit of brain health.

Memory makes up a large part of our intelligence. In fact, a sure sign of mental decline is the weakening of our ability to retain information. Hence, a good way of preserving it is to try to learn something new and commit it to memory. I am glad I pick it up again and hope I will stick to the end of the year, not as long as it seems though.

On another related or unrelated matter, one of my relatives promised July of 2011 to pay for his cell phone with his earned income once he found a job. He found one not long ago and intended to keep his promise. Good for him!

1, Aug 17, 2012

Productive procrastination: how we try to avoid doing what we should do

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:25 am

Many years ago my sister told me she couldn’t start reading or studying if the room was a mess. Very often she started the day by cleaning the room to make it amenable for study. By the time she finished cleaning and finally sat down by her desk, she already felt tired and seemed to welcome a nap more than picking up a book.

I used to think she had something like a compulsory disorder or was a clean addict. But now, I see it differently. A boy that I know of always spends as long time as possible cleaning his desk before he actually starts his math homework. He is definitely not a clean addict.

“Productive procrastination,” so said by my daughter. Most of us have this tendency, that is, avoid or postpone doing something that we should do but we don’t like by picking up the lighter work which we don’t have to do. The lighter tasks can be seen as the excuse not to tackle the hard ones. This is the root of the problem. I have observed this in myself, my children and in others.

Alas, we can save tons of time if we can confront ourselves and handle the hardest task first, even if that is the most headache one.

1, Aug 14, 2012

Don’t add insult to injury

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:42 am

When a child did not do well in a test, he/she already feels bad about it. The last thing that a parent should do is to add insult to injury by whipping out more lectures on the already beaten one.

“I told you to work hard, to over-prepare for the test. You wouldn’t listen. See that’s the result for not listening to me. Now you must admit that I am right.”

Such parent forces the child to suck in both his bad test result and the fact that he was wrong and his parent was right, and much more.

Really, there is no need for vindication or confirmation when the child is already suffering from the bad test score and already knows his defeat, unless the parent’s sole purpose is to prove that he is right?

1, Aug 5, 2012

“Victory belongs to the most persevering”

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:45 am

I received this message at work on 7/30/2012. For some reason, these words make me think a lot about myself and my children. Time is flying faster than our dull brains can catch up. Before we get used to the year 2012, half of it has gone. Yet, victory, however you define, is not in sight. Hence, be persevering.

1, Jul 31, 2012

Email courtesy

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:09 am

Sometimes you send an email, which is important. Of course, you would expect a reply at least confirming the receipt of your email. But when that reply never comes, you are left there staring at your inbox and wondering if you should re-send your email.

This is what happened to me on 7/16, Monday morning when I was expected to submit something via email. I did it once, then I did it again when I didn’t see it in the sent folder. Of course, the third time I did it with an apology and a hearty laughter.

The person on the other end must be annoyed over the bombardment of the same thing. “Gee, that woman must be too bored.”

I share this experience with my daughter. Be polite and send a reply to the sender if it contains some information that needs your acknowledgement.

1, Jul 9, 2012

Flexibility wins

Filed under: Career,Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:19 am

If the mountain won’t move, build a road around it; If the road won’t turn, change your path.” — Master Zheng-Yan

This is what I read on 7/8, Sunday morning. I think the message is be flexible and resourceful. When a huge mountain blocks your path and won’t move out of your way, build a road aroud it; if the road won’t turn, take a different path.

Finally, if you are unable to even change your path, just transform your mind to accept reality.

Lu Xun, the famous Chinese writer once wrote, there is originally no road in the world. A road came into being after many people trod on it.

Be flexible also means to break your own ground instead of following the beaten track. Be the first one to tread on a path.

1, Jun 21, 2012

Good Habit will make life a lot easy

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence — admin @ 12:47 am

I found this piece laid open for a long time. The topic looks familiar but I am not sure if I have posted it before. Here it is, again if I have.

Many people know what they should do but find it hard to drag themselves through the day actually doing it. Life could be a hardship, a challenge, and of course could be a joy at the same time. We need courage all the time to move on.

I see it in myself and see it in my children. It is so easy to coast each day, day in day out, without any progress, going with the flow, with the crowd and ending up being one of the crowd. But if you want to go upstream and lead the crowd, you need to exert yourself.

Life will be made a lot easy if you get into a habit of doing the right thing, that is, giving your best in the most efficient way. With this habit, you don’t fight resistance when you try your best. All you need to do is follow your good habit.

I have told my daughter so many times that she has built some kind of resistence, even though she agrees with what I say.

1, Jun 19, 2012

While good habits yield lifelong benefit, bad ones do the opposite

Filed under: Emotional Intelligence,Happiness,Health — admin @ 12:49 am

On 5/23, I worked on an expired patient who was 58 at the time of death, of lung cancer, with over 40 years smoking history. Like many hard-to-quit smokers, she started smoking when she was a teenager.

One of my co-workers has tried getting rid of smoking many times and still has not succeeded. I can see how hard it is for her to quit. From this I think of the long-term impact of habits on our lives.

It is very hard to change one’s habits, good or bad, once they have been formed early in one’s life. The impacts of those habits developed in our early years will reach over half a century. Hence, it is extremely important to get into good habit when a person is young. Life will be easy if you end up with many good habits and no bad ones.
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