Selasa, 30 September 2008

0 How to Master What You Undertake

Written on 9/30/2008 by Mike S. Mike writes about personal development for intellectual thinkers at his website at his website mikesalara.comPhoto Credit: infomatique

There are all kinds of reasons people do not try their hardest when they do something. Laziness, fear of failure, lack of time, energy, you name it.

The problem with this practice is that you will never know your true capabilities and everyone around you will conclude that you are only capable of the half-ass effort you usually put forth.

Here are some easy ways to ensure you master what you undertake.

Do Things that Excite You

The most common reason people do not do their best at something is because they are just not all that jazzed up about it. If you are not really that excited about doing something, maybe you should not be doing it in the first place. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. I do not expect you to get excited to take our the garbage, but what we are talking about here is discretionary things you do. For example, you are training for a 5K race. Why not train you hardest to get your best time? If you are excited about the race, chances are you will train hard and do your best. Translate that into all other discretionary acts you take.

Ignore the Downers

Many people in this world do just enough to get by. They blend into the background and go through life as spectators and not participants. Stop listening to these people complain to you about things. They will only motivate you to do less than your best work.

Set Goals

I am a big proponent of goal setting to achieve results. Without goals, you are just blindly doing your best and whatever result you get is okay. That may be a good attitude once the task is over with, but when undertaking to do the task you should set an ambitious goal and attempt to reach it. This will further motivate you to work that much harder meet that goal. Additionally, there is something very satisfying about meeting a goal and knowing it was the result of a 100% effort.

Start Small

This sounds like an easy proposition. Just try my best at what I do, blah, blah. However, it practice, it is daunting to all of a sudden go from doing things at less than full capacity and then try your best at everything.

Pick something you do at work and something discretionary you want to do outside of work. Set your goals and resolve to do your very best at those things. I guarantee if you do, the feeling and response you get will be so great you will soon be mastering everything you undertake and reaping the benefits.

Think About the Pay Offs
You are not just doing your best to impress and satisfy yourself, although those are nice perks. By mastering what you undertake, people will view you as a super intelligent, capable and energetic person. I do not know about you, but I love to be around people like this, it is contagious.

The problem with people who are seen as lazy and incompetent is that they try too many things they cannot master and do not try hard enough. Imagine that you only did things you knew you would master and do well at. You would be viewed as an expert at all things you attempt. Success comes to those viewed as competent and energetic. Be one of them.


0 Boost Your Mood in Just About Any Situation

Written on 9/30/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.Photo Credit: wrhowell

Crabby MoodWe all have days when we feel down in the dumps. Whether it’s getting out of bed on the wrong side, having a stressful patch at work, the miserable weather, or just an inexplicably bad mood – there are some easy tactics you can rely on to cheer up instantly.

If the mood is derived from something within your control, fix it as soon as possible and you'll feel a huge weight lifted off your mind. If it's something you simply can't shake, do an end-around and boost your mood simply to spite it.

Here are some simple end-around moves you can consider. More likely however, you'll catch onto the idea and create your own.

  • Wearing your favorite sweater
    If you’ve woken up grouchy, put on your favorite sweater, your lucky socks, or that piece of jewelery your partner gave you. I guarantee you’ll start the day in a better frame of mind. Wearing something which you have an emotional attachment to is almost as good as a hug!

  • Baking a cake
    I love rolling up my sleeves and getting busy in the kitchen, especially when the result is something sweet and delicious! Dig out your favorite recipe for a cake, brownies, cookies or some other treat – and get busy. Long before that delicious baking aroma fills your kitchen, you’ll be cheerful again. If you wake up grouchy everyday, you may want to skip this one. A cake each day is not the answer unless you're giving them away!

  • Listening to Monty Python songs
    Monty Python (a comedy sketch group) has produced some hilarious songs. It really isn’t possible to listen to these and keep a straight face – go on, try it. Here’s a few of my favourites:

  • Walking outside
    If I’m in a ratty mood during the workday, it’s usually because I’ve been at my desk writing for too long without moving around. I find that a brisk walk always cheers me up. Most of us need to improve our sedentary lifestyle. Get outside for half an hour, and walk off some of that excess energy – for the sake of your physical and mental health.

  • The beauty of nature
    Another benefit to getting outside is to drink-in your surroundings. If you can, get to a park, meadow, wood or other green space. Look at the trees, the leaves, the grass, and drink in all the colours. There’s always something beautiful to see – if we just take a few minutes to stop and look.

  • Your friends
    When you’re feeling down, chatting to friends is a great way to perk up. Even if you’re feeling misanthropic, why not give someone a ring and arrange to meet up for a coffee? Or, write an email to someone you’ve been out of touch with for a while.

  • Reading a novel
    Sometimes, we all need to escape from life for a bit. I find getting into a great novel is an ideal way to do that. Curl up in your armchair with a book by one of your favorite authors and let yourself get absorbed in the story. For me, this works much better than trying to cheer myself up reading online – email and other distractions make it very hard to switch off mentally.

  • Tidying up / decluttering
    Although chores feel like the last thing you want to do when you’re in a bad mood, getting rid of mess and clutter will definitely make you feel happier. Our environment has a strong effect on how we feel – so make sure you’re working (or relaxing) in a place that’s comfortable to be in. The other bonus of getting on with some tidying is that you’ll get a sense of achievement from it – a great spur to doing more, if you’re feeling lethargic or lazy.

  • Taking a bath
    I often feel that I’m too busy to luxuriate in the bath – but I know that’s not true. Taking some time out to really relax will make you far more motivated and productive, and a long soak in a bubble-filled bath is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day for a good night’s sleep.

  • Being grateful
    One good way to feel happy is to list all the things you’re grateful about. (This can also be quite humbling if you’re feeling hard done by.) Sit down with a piece of paper and pen somewhere quiet, and write down all the things in your life that you want to say thank you for. They can be little or big, silly or profound.
How do you cheer up when you’re feeling down?


Senin, 29 September 2008

0 Health and Hovid


I've been sent a bottle of "Anti-oxidants" by Hovid, the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in Malaysia.

Quite frankly, throughout my life I've never taken health supplements before! When I was a kid maybe I did chew on those orangey robots vitamins, but that was it.

Mike, however, is always popping vitamin pills.

While I look at him, politely puzzled, he always just says "our bodies don't get enough vitamins".

I guess what he says has some truth in it, coz with all the junk we are eating nowadays, I think it is highly unlikely I am hitting my vitamins quota, and neither are you (if you are not some health nut).

Therefore, health supplements!!

This little bottle that they sent me says "Maxi Bio Absorption" and claims to have this thing called "Coenzyme Q10" in it. What? I don't understand what that is!

Fortunately trusty wikipedia is always around for things that matter (ahem therefore I'm on it, ahahaha!), and I was quite shocked to see how awesome this Q10 thing is!

Skipping the boring parts, in short, it helps:

Mitochondrial Disorders - Dunno what it is but I hope I don't get it.

Migraine headaches

Cancer - as a relief for cancer treatment side-effects and being investigated as a treatment.

Brain health

Cardiac arrest

Blood pressure

And even increased the lifespan of rats who take it!

It's like a miracle thing leh!!

But actually, this Q10 occurs naturally in our bodies (as well as in other things such as chicken leg/pork heart), just that most of the time we don't produce enough, or do not absorb enough of it.

This is where Q10 Supra-Bio comes in. It's absorption formula makes it easy for our bodies to absorb loads and loads of Q10!!

Wait, I hear something...

The pills want out!

These little yellow pills are chockful of Q10 goodness...

I'm gonna eat them!


Today I am going to teach you how to take your vitamins!!

Pose with your pills. No reason. Just do it.

Open bottle. Smell it a bit. Is it moldy?
Check expiry date. 1989? No? 2011? Ok good.

Pick your favourite pill of the lot!

Pop it into mouth! Don't bite, swallow!

Water to flush it down. Plus water is good for you!!

Task finished!

Show love or it won't work for you.

True story.

OK la, those were just lame excuses to cam-whore.

But seriously though... I watched Money No Enough 2 (very sad show leh...), and those of you who have seen it are probably also reminded of the importance of health.

Taking care of one's body is really crucial and people should not take a back seat and take good health for granted.

It is true! If you can't be bothered to exercise, then health supplements should be taken - after all, they are so easy... No effort needed whatsoever.

(Unless of course you are in some desert and water is very scarce so you can't swallow your pills.... But then again people in deserts probably don't take health supplements.)

So, where do you go to if you want to buy some vitamins?

It is no secret I am a big fan of online shopping, and I can't believe now you can even buy health products online!

The steps are really easy - choose your product, register, pay, and if you are in Singapore, you will get your products within one day!

Now that's what I call awesome shipping!

If you have any enquiries, the best thing is, there is a live desk of Hovid staff who are more than willing to answer your questions immediately!

No more need more long emails and waiting for replies (only to realise the person misunderstood your question. Always happens to me).

Hovid's website is exceedingly easy to navigate, and their products range from Teas to Women's Nutrition to Cardiovascular... Got a lot la!

Of course, you have to be very careful and stringent when purchasing consumable items.

Who can forget the Slim10 incidents?!

Therefore, only purchase from the most trustworthy companies!

Hovid Berhad is a listed company based in Ipoh, Perak, and has been around since 1945. It first started when Dr. Ho Kai Cheong founded Ho Yan Hor tea.


It's this one!

My dad and mom love it.

The company has since then grown into one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world with over 300 products and distributing to over 40 countries.

I've personally had the pills and I am feeling fit as a fiddle!!

So get your much-needed vitamins today, you couch potato!

If not, get it for your elderly parents/grandparents, you unfilial person!

Click here to buy!

(Also I suspect it is cheaper to buy directly from the production company...)

Since so many of you have asked me, my lip gloss is from Chanel and its colour 106. It should cost either $40 or $30, I forgot!

0 Hitting the Books

I picked up a few books yesterday afternoon at a store in Pacific Heights, in the midst of assembling my "Further Reading" list for The BLDGBLOG Book, and so I've got books on the brain. I thought I'd take a minute or two to stroll through my bookshelves and call out a few of the titles I happen to be reading right now or have recently finished.
So yesterday I bought Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese. Coal tells "the fascinating history of a simple black rock that has shaped our world – and now threatens it." Freese writes, and I quote at great length:
    To grasp the magnitude of coal's global impact, we must try to picture history without the momentous, high-intensity pulse of industrialization that started in Britain and then swept the world. The mainly agrarian world would have stayed in place for decades or centuries longer, with slower technological progress, less material wealth, and more gradual social change. Mass-production capitalism would not have soared to prominence, industrial working classes and places like nineteenth-century Manchester would not have mushroomed, and the Communist Manifesto would never have been written. The North might have lost the American Civil War, or it might never have started, and the transformation of the American West would have happened slowly by wagon rather than quickly by rail. The World Wars might never have exploded without the industrial rise of coal-rich Germany. Colonial conquests would have been far less sweeping, dramatically altering the history of all the societies that were dominated by foreign industrial powers, including China's (whose ancient history would have been altered as well). The labor and environmental movements, if they had existed at all, would have taken very different forms. In short, none of the defining and epic struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries would have played out as they did.
It's the intrusion of geology into human history – a kind of economic batholith – the interaction between a fragment of the earth's surface and the political development of the modern nation.
I also picked up a copy of The Slave Ship: A Human History – note the identical subtitles – by Marcus Rediker. Here, Rediker looks at the "floating dungeons" of the world's earliest stab at transatlantic globalization:
    For more than three centuries, slave ships carried millions of kidnapped Africans across the Atlantic in a "wooden world" where crew and captives alike lived with the ever-present fear of shipwreck, epidemics, and hungry sharks. As a cruel instrument of war and commerce, the slave ship helped to shape the Western world. Yet until now, it has remained a mystery.
Aside from being a social and economic history of the slave ship, the book also explores the ship's technical structure – the mobile architecture of confinement.
I'll hopefully start reading them both soon.
Books I'm currently in the process of reading, or have just finished, and that I'd recommend, include Kitty Hauser's Bloody Old Britain: O.G.S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life. Crawford was an aerial archaeologist in England in the early 20th century, his "new skills of interpreting the earth from above," discovering previously unknown landscape details, learned while flying reconnaissance missions during World War I.
Crawford and his colleagues, Hauser writes, "thought prehistory should be approached not through texts (as many archaeologists preferred) not through fetishized 'finds' (like those collected and admired by antiquarians), but through the spatial logic of geography. It made sense to think about the distribution of particular kinds of objects or sites over geographical space, rather than looking at them in isolation." This was "a way of spatializing prehistory, restoring geographical connections and the materiality of the landscape to a subject that was too often reduced to disjointed objects or texts." After all, she adds, "It was not just where ancient sites were to be found that interested him; it was how they related to each other, what constellations they formed, and how the siting of those constellations related to topography – geology, vegetation, trade routes, sources of water."

[Images: O.G.S. Crawford and his aerially archaeological airplane; a view of the countryside from above, where remnants of history cast long shadows].

Though I haven't finished Hauser's book yet, I'm enjoying it immensely. Hauser also sent me an essay called "Revenants in the Landscape: The Discoveries of Aerial Photography," from her recent book Shadow Sites. On a casual skim here, that essay appears to deal with the trigonometry of shadows as seen from the air and what these shadows might indicate about unexplored – and abnormal – features in the English landscape. As she writes in Bloody Old Britain, "at certain times of day, when the sun is low in the sky, the outlines of ancient fields become visible over Salisbury Plain, as shadows throw their ridges and dimples into sharp relief; these are known as 'shadow sites'."
Speaking of Stonehenge, a few months ago I read Stonehenge, author Rosemary Hill's excellent contribution to the Wonders of the World series edited by Mary Beard. While it might seem like the world can't possibly need another book about Stonehenge, Hill's approach is consistently interesting and deliberately written for a general audience. Throughout the book she describes the imaginative, political, artistic, and historiographic influence of the ancient monument, from William Blake's engravings and the architecture of Inigo Jones to the Led Zeppelinized druidry of the late twentieth-century. I read a British copy of the book, published by Profile, but Harvard University Press – whose publicity blog is worth a read – has their own version coming out this fall.
For a monument of a different sort, we turn to Glen Canyon Dam. Just last week I finished reading James Lawrence Powell's forthcoming book Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West. I'd say more about that book here, in fact, but I'm reviewing it for another publication and so I'll save my thoughts for that article. But it is an interesting book, if imperfect, and it presents some very large questions quite early on in the text.
Powell writes:
    Why did our government dam nearly every river in the West, some a dozen times or more? Why were dams built even though the associated irrigation projects were obvious money-losers? Why, within a decade or two of the launching of the United States Reclamation Service in 1902, were every one of its founding principles betrayed?
More evocatively, he asks: "What do we do when across the West are spread not beautiful blue-water lakes, but a hundred million acre-feet of mud, some of it laced with toxins? Where then will our successors get their water?"

[Images: The cover of, and spreads from, Ant Farm: Living Archive 7 by Felicity D. Scott].

The idea of speculative futures for otherwise unanticipated monuments brings me to Felicity D. Scott's recent book Ant Farm: Living Archive 7, published by ACTAR. Scott's book is a worthwhile – if slightly over-academic (and thus hesitant to express enthusiasm) – exploration of Ant Farm, a 1960s/70s American architectural avant-garde, whose projects included mobile educational facilities, "investigations into the psychedelic and environmental potentials of electronic technology," inflatable parachute-buildings and "moment villages" in the American desert, and a bewildering variety of other experimental structures, almost all of which, she adds, were "portable, 'instant,' temporary, cheap, and high-tech."
It's Archigram-meets-NASCAR amidst inflatable polyethylene megastructures in the California desert – high on LSD and powered by cheap oil – prefiguring today's ongoing experiments in rogue instant-urbanism, like Burning Man.
The book is very beautifully designed and it includes an awe-inspiring 120-page Timeline of the group's output; these images alone – really only about two-thirds of the book's total eye candy – make it a rewarding and memorable read.
I've been reading a load of other books lately, from Reza Negarestani's future cult-classic Cyclonopedia to Robert MacFarlane's outstanding The Wild Places, but I hope to post more about those titles (and more about Kitty Hauser's book) soon.

0 6 Excruciatingly Simple Steps to Creating an Awesome To-Do List

Written on 9/29/2008 by Grace Kepplin. You can find Grace at Face to the Sun where she writes to share some of what she's learned, puzzle about what she's yet to experience, and to make sense of this crazy world we live in.Photo Credit: purpleslog

I think I wrote my first To-Do list in 4th grade when I was trying to juggle a geography test, getting a merit badge I really wanted, and catching grasshoppers with my little brother. Lists have been faithful companions ever since but there are right and wrong ways to create them. Taking the wrong approach and you risk setting yourself up for failure.

First, remember that you never will finish all the items on your list. If you do, you haven’t put enough items on it.

Rather, consider the list as a planning tool, an anti-anxiety device (if it’s on the list you won’t forget it), a push in the behind to get the engine started, and a rationale in the name of getting something done.

Once you've grasped that thought, use these strategies to make your to-do list even better.
  • Write when you are fresh
    I used to prod myself into making a list before I left the office at night, but after a really hectic day, I was zoned. My brain was in final stages of rigor mortis and my body was chanting home! home! home! in the background.

    Then I tried writing lists in the office when I first got there in the morning and found, often as not, that I hit the deck running, diving into the first crisis of the day. The list got, sort-of, put together by 10 am or so, when I came up for air. By then the day evaporated in front of me.

    What I finally discovered was the art of the 5 minute list - composed after breakfast, before hitting the road. The items that I remembered then, away from the office, turned out to be the ones most important to the day ahead.

  • Keep the list short and simple
    My first boss gleefully wrote his To-Do list on a post-it note that he waved under my nose. There were days I felt like shot-putting him out of the window. The reason why he could do that, I wanted to point out, was that my to-do list was three pages long.

    It wasn’t until much later that I learned the magic of Pareto’s 80/20 percent rule. Eighty percent of the value of anything comes from the 20 percent of the most important items. You just gotta figure out which 20 percent to focus on.

    That’s why you start fresh (see #1 above). If your original list has 20 items on it, save that list, but rewrite your new one with only the 4 most crucial items.

  • Eat dessert first
    To that list, add at least 3 of what Alan Lakein (in How to get Control of Your Time and Your Life) categorized as “C-Low priority” items. Make them things you can do in 10 minutes or less; do them first.

    Then you can get on to the really big stuff with those three items already crossed off your list. Sure it’s playing a game with yourself, but it’s a big psychological boost when you most need it—facing the start of another challenging day.

  • Put the list where you can find it
    My desk gets buried by noon with incoming projects. I found that if I scotch-taped the list to the surface of the desk I always knew where it was. I just dug through the new paper stacks and voila! There it was waiting for me.

  • Start with a new list each morning
    Keep the old list, so you won’t forget anything, but reprioritize and start over each morning. New most important 20%, new three slam-dunk items. That way you only deal with each day’s guilt, not pile on the batch from not-done items on yesterday’s list as well.

  • Keep a bedside worry book—with a pencil
    Ever wake up at 2AM with that problem still tornadoing around in your skull? Write it down. Write down one possible solution, even if it’s only that you’ll work on it tomorrow. If you do it in pencil you know that it’s being recorded. Then go back to sleep. You’ll be much more refreshed in the morning. If the item is still important in the morning, add it to that day’s list.
The rest is just bells and whistles. Use your PDA or computer to set up those long-term ticklers. Break down big projects into smaller doable pieces. Group phone calls together. Turn off the alarm on your email and only check at specified times of the day.

You know that you’ll be working as hard and as fast as you can. That’s what we do. But accept the fact that only so much can be done within an 8 or 10 or 12 hour day. Then your to-do list will become an ally, not an enemy.


Minggu, 28 September 2008

0 Siao one

Short post before I go sleep.

I ordered Mcdelivery.

Suddenly I received 5 smses!

Yes, I got it, you "be reching soon".

Before I even have time to read all the (grammatically incorrect) messages on my frazzled phone, he called me and announced that he is at the door.

When Mike finally got the to door, he (Mike) told me that the delivery was giving him this du lan face.

Like hello? You rushing go where sia??? Deliver more shit?

And isn't it dangerous to be sending out smses on a motorbike?

AND AND........ WHY MUST I STANDBY AT MY DOOR FOR YOU AH??? I take as long as I want to answer the doorbell, goddamn it!

Actually I am not angry lah... I'm just quite amused. Why 5 smses?

Maybe within Macs also got F1 race, then the delivery guys were all competing to see who can deliver the most McNuggets within 61 trips?

Jumat, 26 September 2008

0 Staying Connected to What's (and who's) Important

Written on 9/26/2008 by Jason Womack. You can find him at where he has great tips for making your life and time more effective. While you're there, sign up for his e-newsletter or check out "Making Things Possible", a DVD with tips to gain hours of productive time during your work week.Photo Credit: (nutmeg)

When you are traveling and networking for business, you're capable of meeting many people who can and will be important to your business and your life. Once you've left them, sometimes across the country, they and their importance to you can quickly fade from memory.

That's why you always need to keep a list of those people you can rely on -- peers, mentors, innovators and friends. You want to be able to draw on their wisdom and expertise and keep them a part of your life.

That's easier said than done, especially in these days of hundreds of MySpace friends, LinkedIn connections and Twitter followers.

How do you keep in contact with your core when connections are so easy to let slip away?

Thoughts are Nice, Actions Count
Have you ever had the experience of thinking of someone, and then later that day you got a phone call, E-mail, or letter from them? When it happens, it's great! So why not decided to be the person who reaches out to others. The key is to do something! If you are thinking about something, take action! Call them, write them, text them. RIGHT NOW!

Yes, I'm talking to you! If as you're reading this someone comes to mind, someone to reach out to or write to, consider stopping what you're doing, picking up the phone or writing them an e-mail. This newsletter will be here when you get back.

It won't take as long as you think to share
It is easier than ever to let someone know they are on your mind. Use your camera phone to snap shots of books, art, architecture and flower arrangements, and quickly e-mail them to colleagues with a short note! It takes a less than 45 seconds.

Later they'll say: "Thanks for taking the time to send me that great shot. It made my day. I don't know how you have time for it all!"

Ask yourself — What's one quick thing you could do to let someone know you're thinking of them?

People like to know you're thinking about them

Marshall Goldsmith, a mentor of mine, recently shared a story. He said a client who "caught" his coaching methodology asked the ultimate personal development question: "What can I do to be better to you?"

He said, "Write me a that when I walk to the mailbox I'm excited from time to time."

How can you keep the people in your life excited? Easy. Keep cards and stamped envelopes with you. Also keep your address book current and backed up. When the thought hits you or the mood is right, send someone important to you.

Even across those great distances you'll feel connected.


0 Seven Questions That Will Prevent Regret

Written on 9/26/2008 by Alex Shalman. Alex is an avid reader and is constantly learning how to improve his life. You can catch him at Practical Personal Development . Photo Credit: superfem

RegretOne of the most fundamental and most difficult things that many of us have to do is to make a decision. It only takes a yes, or a no, to change the entire course of our lives. I've recently had to make a decision that put my relationship with my family, my girlfriend, and myself on the line -- there were some questions I had to ask myself.
"I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I'd just been myself." ~Brittany Renée
I recently made a decision to move to Israel for a year of learning about Judaism. My family is not very religious, and you can say they're 'afraid' that I will be. Their fears aren't rational, but they're real, so their consequences on their emotions and stress levels are real as well.

They used a few justifications as to why I should stay:

  • I won't be able to get to Dental School interviews from over there.
  • My girlfriend won't wait 9 months, and won't like the new me.
  • They assume I will completely change, and not be myself after the trip.
  • I'm upsetting my parents too much.
As you can tell, these fears are in my life as challenges so that I can over come them and be stronger than I was before. As Brittany Renée says, I'd rather follow my heart than someone else's. Despite that quote, I'd still rather not live my life with regret and so I used a little exercise that helps me to eliminate all thoughts of regret from my life.

The Ten Year Dream
When you go to bed tonight, I'd like you to try something on. Get ready, brush your teeth, and snuggle up just as you would. However, instead of entering a normal dream sequence, you're going to have a dream where you will meet your future self. You'll go for a walk in your neighborhood, and you'll discuss all the major events that had transpired in your life over the next 10 years.

Your future self is going to be quite ready and willing to fill you in on the joys, sadness's, and major milestones that had passed for him, and are in store for you. This future self will share with you his regrets and plead with you not to make the same bad decisions again.

If you could do 10 years over again, would you? It might not be realistic to go back in time and do ten years over again, but it's possible to prevent regret from occurring in the next 10. I know you're not going to really meet your future self, but you can pretend you did. You can know some of the things that will happen because if you keep doing the same things you are doing now, you will keep getting the same results.

Seven Questions That Will Prevent Your Regret

Say that dream sequence with your future self happened. Would you follow your own advice to make sure the next 10, 20, or 30 years of your life were void of stupid mistakes? Ask yourself these seven questions and see if you're willing to make the decisions that will prevent that regret.
  1. Would you make sure you exercised every single day?
  2. Would you read more books and expand your mind?
  3. Would you floss your teeth, and take care of your gums?
  4. Would you let go of a friend or end a relationship?
  5. Would you change jobs, or go back to school?
  6. Would you say I love you more to your parents or children?
  7. Would you settle for a good life when you know you can have an extraordinary one?
In the case with my family, and moving away to Israel, I think question number seven was the most instrumental. I already have a really good life, surrounded by people I love, I'm healthy, I'm going for an exciting career, and I have a popular personal development blog where I get to share my soul with the world. I'm good, however, I'm convinced that I was built for extraordinary, not good, so there are certain sacrifices I will make and challenges I will overcome in order to get there.
"If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world."~Mercedes Lackey

Kamis, 25 September 2008

0 25 Simple Steps To Becoming Successful

Written on 9/25/2008 by Ritu Pant. Ritu is the editor for Marketing Hackz and Net Hackz. Besides writing for blogs he is also a blog consultant and a social media junkie.Photo Credit: *Zara

Who doesn't want to strive and become successful? Exactly, no one. Deep inside all of us, we have our own personal reasons for striving for success, and really, we all define success in very different ways whether it is for financial freedom or mere sense of accomplishment.

When you go to the bookstore, there is a reason that there are six thousand different books proclaiming to know the recipe for success; it's one of the most sought after things on the planet. Ironically, we tend to think that the most complicated solutions are the most effective and we subsequently ignore the simple facts.

Simplicity is what makes everything possible and with every great feat, there were hundreds of small, simple decisions that had to take place first. Look at Google and their simplistic homepage; did simple work for them?

In this article I am not going to break some earth-shattering news or reveal a 10-step program to success. Instead, I want to refresh your brain a little, tip some simplistic approaches and get you back to basics. The simplest things are easily forgotten, have some of these fallen from your scope?
  1. Let go of the past. Act and apply in the present and shape up the future

  2. Utilize your failures as a guide towards success

  3. Do not try. Just do it.

  4. Make a list of your dreams. No matter how hard they might be to achieve, just sit down and write all your dreams down.

  5. Make a list of your goals and think how you can achieve them

  6. Use negative feedback and criticism to your advantage and better yourself

  7. If you want to be successful in someone else's game (if you have a boss), play by their rules or create your own game.

  8. Make a list of your values. What do you value most and build your success upon them

  9. Keep personal time separate from business time.

  10. Your success depends on your failures as well as your achievements.

  11. If you are in doubt let someone else do it. Doubtfulness is saying I almost believe it. If you don't fully believe it, leave it for someone else who does

  12. Avoid interruptions during your productivity time. Whatever it might be, work or family or some alone time, interruptions can throw you off for whatever it is you are doing.

  13. Determine your peak performance hours. Work at a point in day when you feel like you are most effective.

  14. Breath deeply and let go off any stress.

  15. Rest and relaxation plays as much an important part as exercise itself.

  16. Do not worry. All it does is gets you ready for negative outcomes.

  17. Think happy thoughts and there will be positive outcomes.

  18. Do not step back from the job at hand when fear subsides in you.

  19. Use your brain not only your heart.

  20. Eliminate emotions by letting go off the past and thinking about the present.

  21. What has happened in the past will most probably stay the same; you can't change it. Instead focus on the present and live today instead of yesterday.

  22. Don't let the time control you. You control the time.

  23. Time management is the most effective tool you can utilize and become successful.

  24. Create strategies and build credibility among your peers.

  25. Once again, forget the past and live it up in the present.
Those were my thoughts and what I practice and preach. Feel free to add more through your comments. Another key reason to becoming successful is following advice and suggestions so lets go ahead and use the comment section for that purpose.

Tip us on how we can become successful and for one day lets forget the blog is called Dumb Little Man ;-) .


0 Light Box

[Images: Object 02, including two interesting wire studies for the project, followed by a "light object," all by Jeroen Molenaar – who also took this amazing photograph. Object 02 is on display now at the Cultuurwerkplaats R10 in Zwolle, Netherlands. The structure seems to visually exemplify the idea that a work of architecture could double as a cantilevered lighting fixture installed on its site in the city. Or what if small, inhabitable lamps dotted the urban field? You climb into your lamp at night – and turn it off to sleep. Residents who have gone to bed form a dark constellation of unlit structures against the illuminated backdrop of those who've stayed awake; the city becomes a burning signage that graphs sleep].

0 5 Ways To Fall Asleep Quicker

Written on 9/25/2008 by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: mahalie

Reading in BedDo you struggle with your sleep? Are you one of the millions of people who consistently toss and turn at night, only to wake up dog tired as if you didn't sleep a second? If you are, then you are certainly not alone.

Poor sleep seems to be a by-product of modern living. It is hard to still the mind at night, when all we do in the day is rush around from one appointment to the next. No wonder we can't settle for a good night of sleep. In fact, most people who suffer from insomnia and nightmares would agree that nights can drag on forever.

While many of these issues are stress induced, they can be treated with the right approach. For some, this means to work with a professional sleep therapist. I do prefer the natural approach wherever possible and have found that if I abide by certain rules, I seem to sleep much better than if I don't.

For instance, if I work up until I go to bed my mind is usually restless making it hard for me to relax and go to sleep. On the other hand, if I meditate before bed, I tend to fall into a deep sleep fast without lying there for hours on end. Here are some of the things I do and please note, taking a pill isn't one of them!
  • Meditate Before Bed Time
    Meditation just before bed time is the ideal sleep inducer for me. I find it helps me to calm my mind while keeping me focused. If I tend to worry about something I often find the answer in my meditation quite naturally.

    You only need a few minutes to do this. Sit comfortably in a straight backed chair with both feet on the ground. Alternatively you can lie down (make sure to align your body if you do). Now close you eyes and concentrate on your breath. Watch as the breath flows into your body and back out. Follow mentally along on the journey and breath softly all the while.

    Don't force your breathing. Also, if thoughts happen to flow into your conscience, allow them and then gently dismiss them. Do this for 5-15 minutes. The more you practice, the easier it will get and the more benefits you will feel.

  • Write Down Your Thoughts
    Another great way to get rid of all the daily ballast is to keep pen and paper next to your bed and write down anything that comes to mind before you go to sleep. Don't focus on the quality of your writing, just let it flow and empty your mind of all thoughts, regardless how unrelated they seem.

    Some people prefer to write into a diary, while others use a normal notepad. Whatever works for you is perfectly fine. Others yet use a gratitude journal. I love this, because it helps me to focus on the positive things in my life, rather than the negatives.

  • Gaze Into A Candle For 5 Minutes
    Going to bed in candlelight is magical. You will be transformed from the starkness of modern life into the middle ages. It helps to reflect on the day just gone and softens the environment. Light a candle as you get ready for bed and then sit and gaze at the candle for 5 minutes while you gently calm your buzzing mind.

    Once your head hits the pillow you will probably sleep very fast. NOTE: do not fall asleep with the candle burning!

  • Eat Enough During The Day
    Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. If you got to bed on a hungry stomach, you won't be able to sleep well. It is actually rather annoying. To counter this feeling try to eat enough during the day and drink plenty of water to keep your brain cells hydrated.

    People with a full tummy (but not too full) sleep much better than those who are starving. Some say that it helps to drink a warm glass of milk with honey before bed. While I liked this idea when I was a kid, I'm not exactly sure whether it really helps or simply tricks of the mind.

  • Read A Relaxing Novel
    Novels are great to tune out to the world around us. We can forget all about work, family, money and dive into a world of fantasy and fun. I like to read at least half an hour before I go to sleep. It really helps me to switch off my mind.

    While watching TV is more stimulating before bed, novels are less aggressive. They further our imagination, helping us to indulge into our adventurous side, all the while knowing we are safely tucked away in bed.
What is your favorite way to chill out before bed time? Have you found something to work really well to help you sleep like a baby? I'd love to hear about it.


Rabu, 24 September 2008

0 The bestest blog entry

With regards to my latest Plasticzilla entry, I've basically received these (bad) remarks:

1) Xiaxue you are just jealous. Because even without plastic, Dawn looks better than you.


You are 100% right. Ok la maybe 80%, because I am not actually jealous. The point is, so? At least, I can safely say I never tried as hard as she did. :)

2) Omg you are so mean! How would you like it if someone also dug up your old ugly photos and posted them?


Honestly, I don't care.

I don't!

You think to yourself, what the fuck man, you are just saying this because nobody has exposed your ugly photos.

In order to prove how much I don't give a shit about what you people (and that includes 30,000 of you) think of my looks, I am hereby going to show you an array of my ugliest IC photos - with a timeline from 13 years old to 23 years old.

If I don't care about what people think of my looks, why do I photoshop? Because 1) it is an art that I enjoy doing and 2) it makes ME happy to see prettier photos.

What is appearance? What is image? I cannot be arsed as long as people I love love me... shortness, squatness, lumpiness and all. As for looks, as long as the man I love is attracted to me, that's all that's enough. :) Plus,I am satisfied with the way I look! Not 100% mind you, but it's good enough.

However, just posting goddamn ugly photos does not constitute a bestest blog entry - just a mildly entertaining one.

Therefore, I am additionally going to PHOTOSHOP these horrendous photos into fake but gorgeous versions of me!! MUAHAHAHAHA

Prepare... TO BE IMPRESSED. And horrified.

Age 2

A joke lah! This is obviously not ugly.

In fact, here I am, zhao-genging happily, and I think, relatively cute!

I don't know what happened to me during teenage years to become so goddamn ugly.

How did my mother love me???


Age 13, Sec 1

Single eyelids, humongous nose, centre-parting and a flabby jawline.

To add insult to injury, there are also green ink splotches staining the picture.

Could you blame me for wanting a nose job with that nose? HONESTLY??

Photoshop magic:

Woah! Suddenly got chio blue eyes!

The eyelids are a bit fake-looking though, coz for this pic I actually DREW it on. Just to try and see how it will turn out.

Got tiara somemore!

Side by side:


Age 14, sec 2

Bah. My act ah-lian age.

Eyebrows shaved into a thin, straight line...

Fringe cut by myself, and one side of hair tucked behind ear. To create what look, I don't know. Maybe lop-sidedness was in?

Anyway I wore a SHIRT coz ah lians wore shirts then. :D

At this point, trying very hard to get double eyelids by sticking tape everyday.

Photoshop magic:

No more asymmetrical hair! Got ribbon somemore!

I like what I did to the lips.

Side by side:


Age 15, sec 3

Wah lau eh cannot stand it. Sibeh act chio.
Eyes really opened to the max.

Photoshop magic:

Nothing photoshop can do about the "act chio"ness.

The hair looks spastic but better than before...

Side by side:


Started to get bad case of acne...

Age 16, sec 4

Nothing photoshop can do to save this eyes-half-closed photo, you exclaim.
You are wrong!

Photoshop magic:

I had to liquify the eyes until I almost died.

Side by side:


Worst of the lot:

Age 16, sec 4

Greasy, sallow and pimply... I look so dirty! Reminds me of Professor Snape with the curtains of oily black hair... Eww!!

Don't blame me, blame the hormones, ok!

How come last time when I look like that still got people wanna be my friends?? Eekean!!!!!!!! *Leans close to Eekean with pulsating pimples*

Photoshop magic:

How did I do it?! I am so bloody talented!
Got healthy glow leh!!

Side by side:

Finally got out of secondary school!

Time for make-up!!

Age 17

You all saw this already.
Is it possible to save the eyes?

Photoshop magic:

Look a little startled but still much better than before!

Cloned my hair so that it doesn't look like some weird wind blew it to one side.

Side by side:


Age 18

Finally, after years of painstakingly sticking on double eyelid tape almost daily, I developed double eyelids!

I also found out about mascara and started abusing it.

ZA's foundation, however, does not seem to be able to cover my zits...

Photoshop magic:


Side by side:


A few months later, with my hair a tad longer, I went back to the same place to take another picture.

Age 18

I fucking HATE my huge nose! Thank god it's like heaved into half now. I love you Dr Huang!!!

Somehow my eyebrows became nicer though, and I learned that you could shade your nose bridge... (although that didn't work out coz it made the nose look larger than godzilla's ass)

Also, I think I look like someone who will steal your husband. Why ah? Is it the chubbiness and slanty eyes?

Photoshop magic:

Much easier to edit with make up on. Reduced nose by 20000%.

Side by side:


Age 20

This is not an IC photo but somehow it's inside my pile of IC photos so I included it in!

Complexion cleared up and I now have long hair! Yay for long hair!

Photoshop magic:

Nothing much, just made jawline sharper and nose smaller.

Side by side:


Age 22

Still pre-nose job... Except now I have better eye make up.

What is it about IC photos that makes your nose so big??!

Photoshop magic:

Much chioer!

Side by side:


Age 23, Year 2008

Post nose job. I know it still looks kinda big, but it is already much smaller!!!

This is an unedited photo taken with my digicam for the purpose of my expiring passport!

I just so happened to have a glorious tan that day. Woohoo!

Photoshop magic:

Made nose smaller and jaw sharper as usual.

So... The question you all have been dying to ask me:


Pure talent! Hahaha... No lah... I mean, yes, I am awesome at photoshopping (people), but of course, 90% of the credit goes to the tool liquify!

I also use burn around the eyelids... dodge to create the "coloured" eyes. I change the hues and contrasts, and add lash and hair brushes...

For rouge on the cheeks I simply use the brush tool (colour pick the lips). See? I am so nice, I share!

Let's have a little contest!

Let me pick my ugliest photo...

Ahh.... this one:

Can you try to also photoshop this
and make it chio?!

Send me your work and if the response is good enough I shall post up your artwork (plus link, if you wish) on another blog entry!!

Please don't be childish and make it uglier hor. It is already so ugly, don't need your help, thanks.

Send to xiaxue!

Credits to the various photoshop brushes of hair, accessories and eyelashes I downloaded from I am sorry I can't credit the real creator as I have so many brushes I don't know who created what!



Please stop sending in anymore as I am compiling them up. Thanks for the effort guys!! :) :)
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