Prioritizing, Organizing, the Order of Things Part I


During my recent drive at house-cleaning, I look with dismay at the amount of stuffs that savagingly attack my sanity — clothes, books, my favorite electronic collections (cameras, camcorders, radios, cassestte players, audio+video recorders, CD players, CDs and tapes, MP3+ MP4 players, gamers, computers, laptops, kindle, cellphones, ipad, tablet), documents (legal, medical, and financial documents), tons of them, that have followed me from Texas to Ohio, to Indiana, to Virginia and finally found their way to Kansas.

I thought of my sister’s son. I was like him when I first entered the States 27 years ago, with only two luggages, not even as big as his. Over these years, stuffs seem to have mushroomed and multiplied beyond control.

I also thought of thousands of immigrants like me. They must have seen the same exponential increase of material possessions and must be deeply buried by their “wealth,” though I am not sure one can enjoy it.
To be continued…



Seven Keys to Happiness


On 7/15, the day my sister’s son arrived in New York from Beijing, the day before my daughter came back from her summer camp, I felt a strong urge to clean the junks out of the house, making it brilliantly luminous. Of course, I found many notes that I scribbled long ago, during days when my children were little.

One of them records seven keys to happiness that I got from a newspaper. Gee, I must be very miserable at that time when I spent so much time committing them on a piece of paper. Here are the keys.

1. Integrity (honesty) 2. Courage (be responsible) 3. Enthusiasm 4. Content (enough is enough) 5. Confidence (self-esteem) 6. Hope (no despair and depression) 7. Love (treat others with due kindness and respect).

Now other I have shared the keys to happiness, I can deep-six this note.



Luminosity: Key to Make Your Home A Better Place to Live


I was reading Time magazine on the way back to America on 7/12/2011. On the last page of July 4 issue, there is a question-answer with architect Renzo Piano. His answer to the last question fit my mood and prompted me to action. Here it is.

Question:
Finally, what could any person do to any average home to make it a better place to live?
Answer:
Throw away some of the furniture, paint everything white, clean the windows and see if you can make them wider. It’s about luminosity.

I did some throw-away but did no cleaning nor painting as it is originally white before dust set in.



Interesting Facts About the World’s Happiest Countries


On 7/14/2010, I read from Forbes a report on the world’s happiest countries by Francesca Levy. Below are some interesting facts.

(1) The five happiest countries in the world – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands – are all clustered in the same region, and all enjoy high levels of prosperity. What is it in that region that generates a high level of happiness?

(2) A a rule, money makes the difference. In general, countries with high gross domestic products beat out those with lower GDP. “Money is an object that many or most people desire, and pursue during the majority of their waking hours,” researchers wrote in the report. “It would be surprising if success at this pursuit had no influence whatsoever when people were asked to evaluate their lives.”

(3) Money is one of the key factors in making a person happy. One’s happiness is also associated with how well one’s psychological and social needs are being met, and that’s harder to achieve with a paycheck. Take Costa Rica. The sixth-happiest country in the world, and the happiest country in the Americas, it beat out richer countries like the United States. That’s because social networks in Costa Rica are tight, allowing individuals to feel happy with their lot, regardless of financial success.

To be sure, money can buy material comfort and good health care. But it takes much more than money to stay happy and healthy, living out a fulfilled life that satisfied one’s emotional and spiritual need.

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