Kamis, 31 Mei 2012

0 Seven Lessons to Reboot Your Life

In 2008, I was like most dynamic women: running on life’s treadmill, overbooking myself, pursuing all my passions at once.

Ha. Trying to “live my best life” almost stole it from me.

I almost died from a brain aneurysm. My husband found me on the floor, collapsed and unconscious. Emergency scans revealed a ruptured aneurysm had caused a severe brain hemorrhage. After surgery, doctors had no idea what my brain damage prognosis would be as I lay sedated and on a ventilator in ICU. I spent six weeks in the hospital, blind from retinal damage that had also occurred.

It turned out to be a gift: The hectic pace of my life finally caught up and it was time to make a change.

My recovery was amazing, according to doctors. Eye surgery improved my vision and I spent a long time getting my strength back, learning rehab therapies for the unseen cognitive and psychological deficits common to brain injury. I later learned to use my experience, voice and writing to become a patient advocate, dedicated to educating others about the surprising effects of brain injury and teaching doctors how to improve the patient experience. This drive to inspire led me to share my journey through my recently released memoir, Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life.

As I worked through my gradual recovery and adapted to the New Me, I realized that many lessons I teach my business clients played a huge healing role. I saw that the very same strategies that a business owner needs to build a strong brand, create a transformational organization, and save her sanity also apply to our lives at large. Especially when life smacks you full on in the face and you need to reboot and reframe the conversation if you want to get back in the game.
  • Lesson One: Focus
    With my cognitive issues, I could no longer multi-task the way I once could. Tasks that used to be more automatic now take more time and concentration as I retrained my brain to make those connections again.

    With my brain injury, my brain’s “filter” suffered some damage. I now get overwhelmed by too much stimuli coming at me at once and, like water hitting an electrical device, I can short-circuit. I had to learn how to focus my time and energies on one task at a time, which is really not a bad lesson for any of us to learn in this uber-connected day and age. My new mantra has become quality over quantity.

    Focus on your priorities. There is no such thing as work/life balance. But there is such a thing as prioritizing who and what needs your attention more at certain times. Things will ebb and flow and you can tackle every single one of your dreams and ambitions: you just don’t have to do them all at the same time.

  • Lesson Two: Be Authentic
    You can be who you are but also evolve as times change. During all those months of recovery and dealing with those cognitive issues, I had to accept the fact that there was a New Me, a new sheriff in town. I had to work and play in a whole new way. Never let anyone define you by your deficits. Play to your strengths and promise them to the world instead.

    Don’t try to be something you’re not – in your life or in your work – or even cling to something you used to be. Evolve, adapt, flow. You don’t want to run into the disappointment both you and others will feel due to unmet expectations. Promise what you can deliver and deliver what you promise.

  • Lesson Three: Count on your Tribe
    It’s crucial to build a tribe before you need it and lean on it when times get rough. I had to rely on my husband for a lot; our roles in our house changed from equal partners to a dynamic of caregiver and patient and it was really hard. As I regained my strength, site and health, I had to rely on him for the cooking, the cleaning, the driving … which, come to think of it, doesn’t actually sound that bad, does it?! Seriously, though, it was hard to learn how to be completely dependent on somebody – and do so graciously.

    I’ve always been an independent gal and getting used to asking for help on a continuous basis went against everything I am. But, you can’t live your life effectively or build a successful business alone. You’re not an island. Seek out friends, experts, and cheerleaders when you need them. It’s smarter, less painful and way more efficient. Make the right investments in your life and your business to accelerate your progress and take off.

  • Lesson Four: Practice Patience
    Patience never used to be part of my vocabulary. I don’t think anyone would ever use that word to describe me! But patience smacked me in the face during my recovery and I had no choice but to listen. Even though I lay in a hospital bed after just fighting for my life – shaved head, no vision, poor memory and bony, weak body – I did not fully grasp the severity of what I’d been through. I was ready to jump back into my life again and I thought I was going to just pick up where I left off. But I needed time to recover and adjust to the changes.

    It’s not about being lazy or not doing anything at all. Patience is not about stagnation. Patience is about understanding the realistic steps it’s going to take for you to get somewhere and measuring your forward progress along the way. As long as you can measure the steps along the way and you’re moving in the right direction, then you can keep charting the course. And eventually you’ll get there.

  • Lesson Five: Learn to Say NO!
    Many people, women especially, were never taught how to say no gracefully. Obviously, with my cognitive impairments, the fact that I had to manage my blood pressure and my frequent overwhelm at taking on too much, I had to make choices and turn down things I might otherwise have added to my plate.
    I learned this lesson in stark detail with my first project back to work. Even though all my therapists said ‘Make sure your first project is organized, predictable, there are rules and boundaries’, I decided to take on a client project that was completely unstructured, completely chaotic, with absolutely no rules. It was not the smartest thing to do and I probably should’ve said no.

    Going forward, I made a firm decision about the clients that I would accept and which ones were going to be time and energy sucks so that I could be the best consultant I could be for the clients I did have. This sort of goes back to the lesson on focus.

    It’s hard to say no to anyone in our lives who we love or to turn down amazing activities. It’s especially hard for business owners to say no to clients, partners and potential revenue. But here’s the thing: If you’re spending your entire time saying yes to the wrong things in your life and work, when will you have the time to say yes to the right things? You have to clear the decks and make space so that the precious time and energy you do have can go toward the things that matter.

  • Lesson six: Face the Fear
    Oh boy, fear. I had so much fear given my new role as patient, given the trauma I went through, and given some of the personality and cognitive changes I experienced. I questioned who I was and what I was capable of doing. As I said, I’m normally a very independent gal and this new dependence on people was scary. I went through a period where I was very anxious and panicky when my husband wasn’t around, simply because I got used to him being there all the time. It was rough.

    We didn’t go out very often at first because I wanted to stay in my comfort zone. I was stuck in this scary place because, as an extrovert, I’d never been the person who was scared to go out and live my life.

    I realized that I couldn’t live that way. I couldn’t enjoy the life which I was given a second chance at enjoying if I simply hid out on the couch with my dog.

    So I forced myself to go out; I forced myself to continue going to book club every month. I forced myself to meet people for coffee. I forced myself to dip my toe back into the networking waters and I figured if I kept acting brave, eventually I’d start feeling brave again.
    Great things happen not because people aren’t scared, but because they push through the fear. You don’t want to let fear of the unknown stop you from being the person you want to be, trying new things or building the business you desire.

    If you can embrace the fact that you’re supposed to be scared because you’re blazing a trail and just accept the fear and get on with it, you’ll succeed way more often than you fail.

  • Lesson seven: Find the Humor
    It’s trite but it’s true: laughter really is the best medicine. So much of the early days of my brain injury were tense and scary. Initially, my short-term memory was impacted by both the brain damage and the meds I was on. In ICU, I don’t remember the month of August 2008. But I hear events played back through my husband, family and friends. Given my brain injury, I kept mixing up reality with memories with dreams. I ranted about a lot of nonsensical things: conspiracy theories, imagined appointments and even manufactured hospital intrigue. All of this was normal for both ICU patients and brain injuries.

    So my loved ones engaged in dark humor and found amusement amidst the fear as they dealt with the severity of my condition. They made light of some of my more creative ramblings, like thinking the hospital was a front for the TV show Gossip Girl (more in the book on this one!). They joked about my new inexplicable cravings: I apparently demanded ice cream and cranberry juice at every meal. And my husband gave me his own battery of memory tests about current events. Each day, I would forget what they were and react with shock and excitement when he would tell me the news again….and again…and again. He found this amusing, but also masked a deeper worry that it might be permanent!

    All of these little moments were about finding the humor in a tough situation. Some may find this inappropriate or crass. But finding humor in adversity is vital. Humor helps keep your head clear so you can think and problem solve. If we get caught up in anger, frustration and worry, we’re not going to be productive. Finding the humor helps us take a breath, lower our blood pressure and move forward.
My hope for you is that you don’t have to face a brain aneurysm to apply some of these lessons to your work and your life. Hopefully, you can look at your everyday challenges and adversity as a way to reboot and reframe the conversation with how you approach your life, how you approach your work, and how you approach your relationships. Hopefully the big stuff doesn’t have to happen to all of us for the lessons to sink in and get applied.

I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve recovered to the extent I have and I’m able to share these lessons with other people. I feel like I’m the voice of so many brave souls with whom I was in rehabilitation therapy because I can share the story that perhaps they cannot. There are still everyday struggles that only I can see but that’s okay; I just need to accept that I’m still here and I have the opportunity each and every day to reboot, reframe and approach everything with a fresh set of eyes.

Learn from adversity, big or small. Find the gift. Only when tested by fire do we discover who we really are.

Written on 5/31/2012 by Maria Ross. Maria is a consultant, author and speaker and creator of Red Slice. She’s the author of Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life.Photo Credit: gilliannb

0 How to Make Each Day a Downhill Stroll Instead of an Uphill Struggle

ResistanceBack in college, I came across a life-changing personal development concept. It made an immediate difference to my academic work – and it’s still something that helps me every day.

That concept was the idea of resistance, set out in Mark Forster’s book Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play. Resistance is that feeling you get when you think about a big project or a difficult task; you naturally want to put it off in favor of something easier.

Resistance crops up when:
  • You’ve got a book/article/newsletter to write
  • You need to completely rework your resume
  • You have to make a difficult phone call to a problem client
  • You know you should go for a jog … but it’s raining outside
…and in pretty much any situation when you’re facing something hard.

Why You Shouldn’t Let Resistance Win
Giving in to resistance might feel tempting, but it’s not a good idea.

In the short-term, it means that every day feels like an uphill struggle. You’ll put off the hard, important tasks in favor of the easy, less important ones – and as they day goes by, you get lower and lower on energy as the tasks get harder and harder.

In the long-term, it means you won’t meet your goals. Almost anything worth pursuing will involve at least a few moments of high resistance. If you want to write a novel, run a marathon, have a successful business … you can’t do it if you keep letting resistance stop you.
So, what can you do to stay on top?

Use Resistance as a Signpost
Forster suggests that instead of seeing resistance as a signal to procrastinate, you should see it as a signpost to what you need to do first. If you really don’t feel like making that difficult phone call, it’s probably a good thing to begin your day with.

There are lots of reasons to complete the high-resistance tasks first:
  • Once they’re done, they’ll be off your mind.
  • You’ll feel good about achieving something meaningful at the start of your day.
  • The rest of your day will look simpler and easier in comparison.
When you keep putting tasks off, they get harder and harder. Charlie Gilkey describes them as “frogs”, explaining, “a frog project is just one of those projects that you really don’t want to do but know you need to do.” (3 Things to Do to Have a Productive and Fun Week.) By catching those “frogs” early, you prevent them growing big and ugly.

How to Beat Resistance – Right Now
What are you resisting today? I bet there’s something on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off for a while. It could be something tiny, like tracking down and ordering a spare part for a kitchen appliance. It could be something huge, like starting your marathon training plan.

Today, spend ten minutes working on something that you’ve been resisting. You can do anything for ten minutes, however tough it might seem. (And if ten minutes sounds pointless – do it anyway; you might be surprised how much progress you can make.)

How to Beat Resistance – Tomorrow
Tomorrow (and every other day), take a good look at your to-do list in the morning. Instead of starting off with an easy or habitual task, like answering emails, start by spending 20 minutes on a high-resistance task, like that big report with a looming deadline.

Even just 20 minutes a day makes a difference … but there’s also a good chance that, once you get going, you’ll find that resistance magically melts away.

If you’ve successfully beaten resistance, or if you have any tips to share with us, leave a comment below.

Written on 5/31/2012 by Ali Luke. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.Photo Credit: pasukaru76

Selasa, 29 Mei 2012

0 How To Use Food To Keep Off Of The Energy Roller Coaster

Does this sound like your day?
  • You drag yourself out of bed grumpy and fuzzy
  • A large coffee and muffin or donut perks you up
  • Around 10:30 you grab another coffee when you start to drag
  • 3PM is snack time -- you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open
  • After dinner you settle down, exhausted, snacks in hand
  • You fall asleep in front of the TV or computer, drag yourself to bed, sleep fitfully, and wake up tired – only to start the cycle all over again.
Hippocrates Would Have Said, “I’ve Got A Solution”.  Almost 2,500 years ago Hippocrates, the father of medicine and author of the Hippocratic Oath, thumbed his nose at the superstition involved in healing and prescribed food to prevent and treat disease.

He famously said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” a statement as insightful today as it was then.

Following Hippocrates’ line of thinking – and much of what current scientific research shows to be true: it seems logical that food is both the culprit and the treatment for a big part of our lack of energy, muddled thinking, and mid-afternoon drowsy eyes.

What Food Does For Your Body
Food is your body’s fuel – it’s the gas in your tank that gives your body the energy it needs to function. Your cell phone needs to be charged, your car needs gas, and your body needs food.

Food boosts your energy by giving your body enough calories and hydration to function and it stokes your metabolism so that it functions efficiently.  And, you know what?  We eat a lot of food.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a typical American eats around a ton – actually 1,996 pounds of food every year.  Now, I'd bet this is no where typical for the remainder of the world, but for arguments sake, that breaks down to about:
  • 630 pounds of milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream
  • 31 pounds of cheese
  • 185 pounds of chicken, turkey, pork and beef per person
  • 197 pounds of wheat and other grains
  • 273 pounds per person of fruit (a lot of water weight)
  • 415 pounds of vegetables with the most popular choices being corn and potatoes
  • 141 pounds of sweeteners
  • 85 pounds of fats and oil
But is all that food the premium, high-test variety – or is it the cheaper version – the kind that creates sludge in the gas tank?

How To Use Food To Boost Your Energy
Food doesn’t only charge your body’s batteries. The type of food you eat affects your metabolism and your brain chemistry – which then affects your energy level and your mood. When and how frequently you eat plays a big role in your energy levels throughout the day.

Your body has the easiest time digesting carbohydrates: starches, sugars and dietary fiber. It turns them into glucose, the body’s preferred fuel, the form of sugar that travels in your bloodstream, and the only fuel normally used by brain cells. Because the neurons in the brain can’t store glucose, they need the bloodstream to deliver a constant supply.

Why Carbs Are Important: A Simple And Complex Answer
Carbohydrates come in simple and complex forms. Simple carbs, often called “simple sugars,” break down easily and give you a quick and brief burst of energy. Simple carbs include table sugars, syrups, and most of the sugars found in refined and processed foods – like baked goods, bread, and pasta made with white flour; many packaged cereals; candy; soda; and sweetened drinks (including sports drinks).

Unfortunately, the sugary snacks and drinks that quickly raise your blood sugar give you a boost that’s short-lived. Sugary food causes your pancreas to secrete insulin, which triggers your cells to get the excess glucose out of your bloodstream. That means there’s less glucose available to your brain and neurons. They can’t store glucose so they end up with an energy crisis – which leaves you struggling to concentrate and feeling spaced-out, weak, confused, and irritable.

The Slower Burn
Complex carbs take longer to breakdown. Your body digests them more slowly so they supply energy at a slower and more sustained rate than simple sugars. You can get complex carbs from whole grains and cereals, beans, and vegetables.

Fruit and dairy contain simple but nutrient-rich carbs. The fiber in whole fruit helps to slow down digestion but fruit juice, like soda and other sweet drinks, lacks fiber and is filled with rapidly digested simple sugar. A piece of fruit, like an apple or a pear, will give you more gradual and sustained energy -- unlike the quick spikes and dips you get from sweetened beverages. Dairy, especially low fat dairy, gets its energy sustaining power from the combination of its simple carb, lactose, with some fat and protein.

Healthy Fats Can Be Energizing
After carbs, fats are a big source of energy. Feed your body healthy fats from foods like avocados, olives, fatty fish, seeds, nuts, and vegetable and nut oils. A healthy energizing snack with good fats might be one ounce (14 halves) of walnuts or other nuts, which also contain some protein and complex carbs.

Protein For A Longer Lasting Energy Boost
Because of the time it takes to break down its component amino acids, protein also supplies longer-lasting energy. Prime protein sources are poultry, lean meat, certain types of dairy, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and lentils.

Many protein-rich foods have other energy-boosting benefits, too. Poultry, red meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds contain iron and B vitamins. Iron helps to transport oxygen to your organs -- which helps with fatigue. B vitamins help release energy. To prevent energy crashes try combining a low-fat protein with a complex carbohydrate, like turkey or grilled chicken on whole wheat bread or pita.

Tired? Have Something To Drink
Dehydration causes fatigue. Even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism, drain your energy, and make you feel tired. Water is the main chemical component in your body and accounts for about 60% of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on it.

You need water for the chemical and metabolic processes to take place in your body; for body fluids like tears, sweat, and urine; to flush toxins out of your vital organs; and to carry nutrients to your cells.

There’s no easy answer to the question: “How much water should I drink?” The answer really depends on many factors including your health, your age, how active you are, and where you live. For the average healthy adult who lives in a temperate climate, the Institute of Medicine recommends around 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total water intake a day for men and 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total water intake a day for women.

Total water intake includes drinking water, the water in beverages, and the water in food. All fluids count toward your daily total. On average, food supplies about 20% of total water intake. Many fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, grapes, lettuce, and tomatoes, are 90% or more water by weight. Food from grains like oatmeal and pasta are also hydrating because they swell up with water when they’re cooked.

Keep A Full Tank
To keep off of that energy roller coaster you need to eat the right food at the right time. Skipping meals isn’t a good idea. Your body needs fuel, preferably high-octane fuel, just like a performance car. If you don't give it the right gas it certainly has trouble running smoothly.

Start the day off right. If you want to boost your energy and mood, don’t skip breakfast. The best breakfasts have plenty of fiber, nutrients from whole-grain carbs, good fats, and some type of lean protein. Try some low fat Greek yogurt with fruit and a sprinkling of whole grain cereal.

Energy sustaining snacks can be peanut butter or low-fat cheese with whole grain crackers, veggies with hummus, whole-grain cereal with milk, or a small portion of nuts with some fruit. Be prepared and carry some snacks with you so you don't go for a long time without fuel. Stash some in your car or desk so the good stuff is always readily available and the allure of the vending machine isn’t so great.

Don’t let your tank hover on empty -- to keep your blood sugar stable and to have well fed brain cells have something to eat (a meal or a snack) every three to four hours. Meals or snacks made of complex carbohydrates, protein, a small amount of healthy fat, and accompanied by something to drink (preferably water) provide the type of fuel your body needs to stay off of the energy roller coaster.

Written on 5/29/2012 by Penelope M. Klatell. Penny is a nurse; writer; speaker; educator; eating strategist; and life, health and wellness coach. She blogs about “eating well . . . anytime, anywhere, and at any age” at My Food Maps. Photo Credit: Keoni Cabral

0 Save Money and Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Living paycheck to paycheck is extremely common nowadays. But, did you know that this trend occurs in families regardless of how much money they make? Even after a substantial pay increase, somehow we still find a way to use it all up.

At the time, it feels like there's nothing we can really do without, even though weeks before, while making less money, we were managing just fine! I am going to share with you one of the main reasons why this happens, and show you how you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.

There is a simple truth that underlies much of our financial problems: we want that which is hard to get. Let's consider an analogy: dating. When it comes to dating, women have used this principle for a long time. This is how the saying, “playing hard to get,” came about. And although this tactic may be questionable, it is true that men are typically more interested in women who require at least some effort to obtain.

Exactly the same principle applies to spending money. No matter how much we make (except perhaps the top 1%) there is always something that is just beyond our grasp. Something that we wish we had, but we don’t have quite enough money to afford it. Whenever a product, such as a house or a car, is just beyond our reach, it appears better than it really is. We strongly desire what is hard for us to afford, in large part because it is hard to get.

Look around inside your house, or perhaps at your house or in your garage. Do you have any expensive electronics that you never use? Or maybe overpriced skincare products that hardly ever make it out of the cupboard? Unfortunately, the most common overpriced items, like a car or a house, continue to drain just about all of our income well after the allure of the “hard to get” item has worn off.

But there is yet another factor working against us: it’s what psychologists call “assimilation.” Assimilation is the tendency to get used to things shortly after acquiring them. This is why we don’t come home every night ooing and awing at how beautiful our house is, regardless of how incredible it seemed when we first put in the offer. Actually, most of us get so used to everything we have that we hardly notice it at all. This only makes the tendency to want what is hard to get that much more dangerous. It makes no sense to bleed most of our monthly income into a great looking house or car, only to have our excitement for it wear off well before our debt is paid.

Next time you are about to find yourself wanting to buy something that you find difficult to afford, try the following simple steps:
  1. Pretend that you can afford it.
    Too often we base the quality of a product based on its price and label. Plus, as we already discussed, if it's difficult for us to afford it, we may want it all the more because of the inherent allure of that which is hard to get. By ignoring the price, you automatically protect yourself from the "hard-to-get" factor, and can begin to think more objectively.
  2. List the advantages of buying.
    Now that you are no longer under the spell of wanting it just because it is hard to get, you can begin to think objectively about whether you want this. Sometimes, you may find it difficult to find any good reason to buy the item once you ignore the price. For example, I stopped buying expensive makeup when I realized that I can't think of a single advantage it has, other than that it should be better because of its price and brand. But at other times, some advantages remain.
  3. List the disadvantages of buying.
    This is very important and it's not something that many of us are used to doing. If you are about to buy an expensive house, after you eliminate the "hard to get" factor and list the advantages, considering what are some of the drawbacks of the purchase. It may too far from your place of work. There may be a lot of construction in the area. It may be a lot larger, and so it takes a lot longer to clean. The same idea applies to any other purchase. Everything we buy, or really anything at all, carries both pros and cons. By considering both, you make it much more likely that you'll make an informed choice.
  4. Decide if it’s worth the price.
    After you ignored the price so as to bypass the "hard-to-get" factor, and calmly analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of the purchase, it is time to decide whether it is worth the price. You need to consider how the financial cut will affect the rest of your life. This is especially important for very large purchases. Returning to the house example, if you buy this house, will have money to afford furniture? Going on vacations? Will you still be able to go out to dinner whenever you feel like it? If you stop to ask yourself if it’s worth it, then the few times that it does make sense to make a substantial financial sacrifice, at least you know that you are making an informed choice. But you may find that most of the time, going outside your comfortable price range is simply not worth it.
That's it, ladies and gentlemen. This is what I do whenever I feel the urge to buy something that is difficult for me to afford, and this is how I stopped living paycheck to paycheck, without any hard feelings. By doing these 4 steps, you will find that you no longer want to put more than you can afford into that "hard-to-get" house, or car, or fancy pair of shoes. Do these 4 steps whenever you feel the urge to spend more than you think you should, and you too will find yourself with a lot left over in your account when your next paycheck arrives.

Written on 5/29/2012 by Maya Ackerman. Maya divides her time between research, writing, teaching, singing, and spending time with her family. She has authored over a dozen academic articles and is about to receive her PhD. To share her insights and bring you researched articles on topics such as money, success, happiness, and love, she co-founded Great Living Now, a personal development community focused on helping others make their lives better.Photo Credit: jollyuk

Get a quick payday loan and have the money asap!

Senin, 28 Mei 2012

0 10 Undeniable Reasons Why You Should Exercise Your Self-Awareness (And How to Start)

Are you Aware?

Let's say you want to travel from the East coast to the West. You have your car, but realize that the tires' pressure is unbalanced, the car is in need of an oil change, very little wiper fluid, and the brakes seem a little strange. Nothing deadly, but you know you can make it across the country — it might take a little longer, and the chances of a breakdown is now tangible.

Or, you can take the time to fix up your car, balance the tires, do the whole runaround, and allow yourself a smoother ride.

The idea of exercising your self-awareness is very much the same: you are the vehicle, and by fine-tuning your flaws (bad habits, procrastination, always angry or jealous) you are simplifying and enhancing yourself to meet your goals in a more straightforward, focused manner.

Why reroute your efforts in a constant state of pandemonium?

What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is the ability to be constantly aware of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. It's staying true to yourself and your current situation, while understanding your environment and the people in it. It's about control — over yourself, your motives, principles, thoughts, etc.

How can you tell if most people lack self-awareness? Go drive on the highway, or check out Twitter or Facebook, and you can easily spot people who are unaware of their actions, thoughts, and emotions; it seems like they have no control over themselves, consistently repeating self-defeating acts, acting upon impulses, and always whining and complaining.

The benefits of exercising your self-awareness
Of course there are benefits; there are life-changing benefits.

If you can agree with me on these statements: that always being frustrated, angry, jealous, and stressed out is just a waste of time; that procrastination is a waste of time; not focusing on what is important in our life, our goals, and the people that matter, is a waste of a time. I can name so much more, but you get the idea.

Self-awareness, from what I have learned so far and put into much practice, can eliminate — or at least reduce — most of these hinderances. Ask yourself: Why should I continue self-defeating acts? Why continue to shoot yourself in the foot?

Exercising your self-awareness can help you:
  • ...get to the heart of problems and issues without rerouting your efforts — while fixing them without harming yourself or others.
  • ...focus on what's most important in your life, the necessary steps to achieving it, and actually initiating instead of procrastinating.
  • ...be less influenced by negative emotions that influence you to act subconsciously.
  • ...diminish needless actions, thoughts, events, and people that don't provide any real value to yourself.
  • ...be a better person, a good person — a more mindful person.
  • ...understand yourself better — your train of thought, actions, attitude, strengths and weaknesses.
  • ...develop, learn, and grow at a fluid rate instead of always being distracted and losing focus.
  • ...inspire others to partake in your personal development, your quest on being a better person (because the world needs more of those).
  • ...alleviate stress, unmindful acts or thoughts, and to put forth the effort of developing productive, beneficial habits towards your life.
  • ...live a more fruitful, positive, balanced life because every irrelevant factor has been reduced or eliminated.
  • Self-awareness is a life tool, and with much practice, you can strengthen your mind and develop the habit of always being aware — in a sense, unwavering and indomitable. It will shock you when you see the benefits and change within you when exercising self-awareness.
How does one exercise their self-awareness?
Simple: by being aware.  Paying close attention to what you do as well as how you do it. Self-analyzing yourself — being introspective — and admitting to your bad habits and doing your absolute best to fix them and replace them with more mindful habits.

It's a daily process, something you must always choose to do. When anger or frustration or resentment strikes you, that is the perfect time to be aware of yourself, your next move, your emotions, thoughts, and so forth. Choose to do a harmful act, and as Marcus Aurelius states in Meditations: you're doing more harm to yourself than to others.

But now I want to hear your thoughts on this. Is this something you will start putting into practice? Have you put it into practice already, and have you seen changes within yourself? Talk to you soon.

Written on 5/28/2012 by Paul Jun. Paul is a writer and recent self-published author. He writes about self-awareness, mindfulness, and simplifying your life over at his blog, Motivated Mastery. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@PaulJun_).Photo Credit: mack_nz

0 One Uncomfortable Difference Between Successful and Unsuccessful People

Comfort Zone

Are you one of those people who jealously adore successful people and think, “Why am I not successful? Why haven’t I reached fame - even if I’ve worked hard every day? What’s wrong with me?”

Because of these questions and self-doubts, you may even lose motivation to consistently do the work you are passionate about. You ponder to yourself: “I don’t seem to reach success, no matter what I do. All those other people became successful so easily”.

If this is you, then read on ...

Inability to see the whole picture
When you are thinking to yourself: “They got to their level of success so easily,” or, “There is something wrong with me and the work I do,” you are clearly missing the big picture.

First, thinking that successful people achieved all they have overnight is just an illusion. In fact, it took them quite a few “overnights” until they reached their current level of success.  Second, they had to put in hard work before success was knocking at their doors. And because reaching success took much longer than just overnight, they had to be persistent and consistent in their actions.

Even if those two previous points are true when it comes to reaching success, there is still one crucial difference between successful and unsuccessful people.

Living in your Cozy Zone
Let’s take the average Joe or Jane. He or she is living a cozy life and pretty much doing the same everyday things.. Things go on smoothly and nicely. There are no rocky roads, no rough decisions.  In other words, he or she is s living inside a comfort zone.

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the Sean the Successful. Although he surely has his own comfort zone too, he is also continuously pushing himself outside of that zone.  He fails all the time but uses those as learning experiences to tweak his behavior.    In other words, he is willing to do things that the average Joe is not - even if those things put him in an uncomfortable state at times.

Here is the deal: Even if stretching your comfort zone may feel unpleasant, the payoffs can be huge and you can reach your goals much faster. But if you are not willing to do anything that puts your comfort zone in danger - at least temporarily - then reaching success and achieving big things is going to take a much longer time.

Now, even if you already understand that you should stretch your comfort zone, there are really three major things that are stopping you:
  • You are not confident enough to take action
  • You are afraid of failure
  • You are afraid of rejection from other people
Although this list of obstacles may seem impossible to tackle, you shouldn't be afraid. In fact, you can overcome those things if you want to!

Kick yourself out of the zone
So, how do you stretch your comfort zone and reach success faster?

First, realize that even if you mistakenly think you fail, most likely that feeling is just inside your head.  And after all, what is failing anyway? Would you call someone a failure - even if he/she was striving to push themselves to do the things he/she was afraid of?  I wouldn't! In fact, I would give that person a lot of respect for doing something that others weren't willing to do.

Second, once you take action towards things you are afraid of, your self-confidence is going to get a major boost and you will realize shouting: “Heck, I can do this! I can do this!”  I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like this after accomplishing something I mistakenly identified as impossible to do.

Finally, you may think that people will perceive you as stupid or reject you if you take bold action. Well guess what, who cares!  Why on Earth would you allow someone else's thoughts or reactions to dictate your happiness?

Once you get rid of those irrational fears and expectations and begin to take action, you are already ahead of 90% of others who aren't willing to do anything which puts them in discomfort.  Think about this.  The simple act of BEGINNING is something that most aren't willing to do.  Begin and you are ahead.

Also, a funny thing happens when you take action: Something that you thought was scary eventually becomes so natural and effortless. You just have to be consistent with your actions and do the dreaded task no matter what.

Let the transformation begin
There are many ways to stretch your comfort zone and what may feel like comfort zone stretcher for you, may not feel that way to someone else.

In order to stretch your zone, do the following:
  1. Understand that everyone (even those successful people) started from the scratch. They had to take the same steps you will have to take in order to become successful.
  2. Let go of unreasonable fears. Think: “I’m doing something that most people are not willing to do - that’s why I’m ahead of them.”
  3. Understand that only by taking action will you be able to move things forward. Also, as soon as you take action towards something that you were afraid to do, you will become a stronger person and feel good about yourself; this builds confidence.
  4. Start out small. For example, if you want to become a public speaker, you don’t have to start by speaking to an audience of thousands of people. Start in front of your friends and family members, and then expand from there.
  5. If you have a blog, start interviewing people, start a podcast and at some point, have your own webinars on the topic you are good at.
  6. Take consistent action (preferably on a daily basis), which take you to what I call the “uncomfort-zone” at least a bit.
  7. Once the uncomfort-zone becomes a part of your comfort zone, try to do something bigger and scarier (like talking to a room of 20 people using the public speaking example).
Remember, there are two key actions that you have to remember:
  • a) Start out small
  • b) Stretch your comfort zone on a consistent basis (preferably on daily basis).
By taking these steps, you will be able to improve your self-confidence and start to differentiate yourself from the crowd. When you are willing to take action by doing things you are afraid of, you start to see possibilities that didn't exist before.

Over to you: How do you handle scary things that put you in the uncomfort-zone? Do you have any tips for successfully stretching your comfort zone?

Written on 5/28/2012 by Timo Kiander. Timo, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.Photo Credit: mattastic!

0 Buy a Prison

[Image: Prisons for sale; photo by Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times].

The State of New York is hoping to sell its old prisons.

"One property, in the Hudson Valley, includes a 16-car garage, a piggery and hundreds of yards of lake frontage," the New York Times explains. "Another offers 69 acres of waterfront land on the west shore of Staten Island, complete with a two-story gymnasium, a baseball diamond and an open-air pavilion." Some of the sites actually sound amazing:
Among the facilities the team is considering selling are 23 state-owned residences set aside for prison superintendents. Some are quite lavish: one in Auburn, to be auctioned this summer, is an 8,850-square-foot brick mansion with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, an attached gazebo and a barn-size garage.
The article somewhat ironically suggests that "the ideal buyer" of one the prisons would be "someone who craves space to spread out."

Despite the piece's pessimistic tone—"You couldn’t make it into a hotel. You couldn’t make it into an apartment complex. You’re talking millions of dollars to renovate. Who’s going to do it?"—I can't help but wonder if someone couldn't buy one of these places anyway, admit that most of the complex will simply be left to ruin, consumed by weeds and filled with pigeons, but then transform some core part of it into a kind of architectural research center, its very setting the most intense spatial lesson of your time spent writing and studying there.

(Earlier on BLDGBLOG: Buy a Tube Station, Buy an Archipelago, Buy a Map, Buy a Torpedo-Testing Facility, Buy a Fort, Buy a Church, Buy a Silk Mill).

Minggu, 27 Mei 2012

0 Are You In Control of Your Life?

Your Personal Cockpit
A sentence that our cycling instructor told us a while back made me think. She reminded us that we are in control of our workout. She could be there to motivate us to push harder and try to keep us from giving up, but ultimately it was completely up to us to perform.

This is so true and yet, we so often give up control over important areas of our lives. Whether it is getting promotions, receiving the love and attention we deserve, eating the right kinds of food, getting our exercise in and building our life, we often willingly or unknowingly give up parts of this control to others.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of growing content, neglecting certain areas or plain old ignorance, but I believe that our lives deserve to get our full attention and control. We should be the ones directing and carving out the best life possible for us.  Of course, there will always be areas in life where you simply don’t have the decision or fate in your own hands, but there is a lot that you can do to create the most promising scenarios.

When I gave my eating disorder power over me, I stopped functioning and I was ultimately losing myself and almost even my life. When my brother beat me up over and over again, I felt the enormous amount of powerlessness. When I worked for Starbucks, I gave my boss the power to decide how much money I could make any given month.

3 completely distinct areas of a life. 3 ways of giving up control. In the end, I woke up and claimed the largest weapon we all have in common: setting our minds to a certain outcome and making it happen.

I recovered from anorexia with many setbacks but never giving up. I let go of my brother’s wrongdoings and moved on with my life. After being fired by Starbucks and then being given a job at a different branch, I quit after only one day because I knew there were bigger and better opportunities ahead for me.

I empowered myself and completely changed the course of my life. I knew that I deserved more than I had and here is the great thing: You do too.

There are a few things we can work on in order to take back what is yours in the first place.
  1. Start Dreaming
    What is it you want your life to look like? What have you always wanted to do? We cannot make any changes in our lifestyle if we don’t know what it is we actually want. Maybe you want to move to a different country or travel around the world. Maybe you want to sell your big house in the country and move into a small apartment in the city. Maybe you dream of giving up your well-paying job and pursue the career of your dreams. Maybe you secretly wish to end your relationship and be solo for a while.

  2. Figure out what is holding you back
    Once you’ve determined your dreams, try to zone in on what exactly the reasons are for you not acting upon what you truly want. Why do you let other people rule over your life? Why don’t you go after that job you’ve always wanted? Why do you keep finding excuses for traveling the world? Why do you envy others for having the guts to constantly evolve in all aspects of life but you never step outside your comfort zone? Be honest with yourself. Be ruthless. Take some time for yourself and really dig deep.

  3. Face your fears
    Analyze what it is that scares the heck out of you. When I started to gain weight, I was terrified of being judged, harassed and even left by my husband. Yet none of those fears were rational. My life didn’t fall into pieces because of a few pounds more on my hips. Instead it improved in ways I cannot even begin to describe. So, whatever your insecurities are, ask yourself if they are valid ones. Does your fear of financial bankruptcy really hold true? Does your relationship really keep you alive? Do your toxic friendships really prevent you from being lonely? Is the job you have really the only alternative to living on the street? Try to be as objective as possible, even if it feels very uncomfortable. You’ll soon see that most of your fears are just as irrational as my anxiety of social disgrace because of looking healthy.

  4. Start Making Changes
    Now that you know why you’re not in control of your life and what it is your afraid of, it’s time to make changes. Start small in order to not get overwhelmed. Maybe your diet is worse than it should be. So, start eating healthier food. Maybe your exercise routine is non-existent. Start building one. Maybe your time online is preventing you from moving your business in the direction you want it to go. So, reduce the time on the web to a bare minimum. You don’t have to quit your job in order to take back control; you can start small and work your way up to the bigger life changes. Start growing confident and then rock the world with your newfound freedom.
There is nothing more rewarding than being in full control of your life. Once you realize that, yes, you can have that power too, there is no end to the possibilities and opportunities that will present themselves. You’ll soon see that the world is only waiting for you to make a dent in the universe. What are you waiting for then?

You owe it to yourself to take this leap before it is too late.

Written on 5/27/2012 by Anne - Sophie Reinhardt . Anne - Sophie Reinhardt is a world traveler, an anorexia survivor, a positive body image advocator, podcaster, blogger, digital entrepreneur, speaker, wife, lover of books, aspiring yogi and social media enthusiast. Her blog, My Intercontinental Life, is focused around living a purposeful, free, healthy and passionate life.Photo Credit: Jerry Gunner

0 Time to Dig in and Get It Done

Dig in, Get it done
What do you do when you put loads of time and energy into a project … and you still don’t get any results?
It’s often tempting to just give up. Even if you normally find it easy to stay motivated, there’s nothing encouraging about feeling like you’re running hard and going nowhere.

Whatever you’re struggling with right now – whether you’re trying to lose weight, trying to make money from your own business, or trying to write a book – these four steps can help.

  1. Step #1: Write Down What You’ve Already Achieved
    Even if it feels as though you’ve poured hours of your life into this and gained nothing at all, you have achieved something. That might be:
    • You’ve made some progress towards your goal (even though that progress wasn’t as much as you hoped).
    • You’ve learned new skills, or developed existing skills fur
    • You’ve made new contacts, or developed existing relationships with people who might be able to help you with other projects in the future.
    • You’ve figured out some things that don’t work – which means you’ve got a better shot of figuring out what does work.
    It’s important to write down your achievements, rather than just thinking through them. Not only does this give you a record to come back to in the future, it also aids the thinking process – you’ll find more ideas coming to you as you write.

  2. Step #2: Read About Other People’s Experiences
    When we look at other people, especially personal heroes, we often think that they had a smooth path to success. Inevitably, they didn’t. Every entrepreneur has had failures; every writer has received rejection letters. Every person who’s successfully lost weight or got fit didn’t get there overnight.

    You might want to read biographies of people who share some of your dreams and goals. You could also listen to interviews with these individuals, or look on their websites or blogs for their story of how they got to where they are today.

    The path to success is never smooth, straight, and easy. It’s normal to struggle and to work hard without any rewards in sight … and when you find out more about the lives of your heroes, you’ll realize that they went through just the same things as you.

  3. Step #3: Focus on the Process, Not the Results
    If you’re spending hours of your life working towards a goal, you want to enjoy the process as much as possible. Sure, some goals have more excitement along the way than others – writing a novel is probably a lot more fun than paying off your debt – but you can always find something to enjoy in the process.

    And enjoying the process generally won’t slow you down … it can actually make you move more quickly and easily towards your goal.

    Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight and shape up. If you struggle away each week, trying and failing to stick to a monotonous diet, and putting on a pound as often as you lose one, it’s no surprise that you’ll quickly give up. But if you decide to focus on finding healthy meals and snacks that you genuinely enjoy, and exercise that’s fun rather than a chore, you’ll be much more likely to succeed (and you’ll enjoy the process).

  4. Step #4: Look for Ways to Work Smart, Not Hard
    Of course hard work is important … but it’s not always a sign that you’re doing the right thing. You might be working long days as a freelancer, for instance, when you’d be better off raising your rates by 50% and working a bit less. You could be struggling to get chores done around the house, when you’d be better off paying someone to do the cleaning while you get on with building your small business.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that long hours, or boring work, are an inevitable part of success. If you can find ways to work smart instead of just hard – perhaps by delegating or automating routine tasks, or by focusing on the 20% of your efforts that are bringing 80% of your results – then you’ll find that your hard work begins to pay off sooner.
How do you stay motivated when it feels like your hard work just isn’t paying off? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.

Written on 5/27/2012 by Ali Luke. Ali is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and a writing coach. She blogs about writing on her site, Aliventures.com, and has a free ebook "How to Find Time For Your Writing" available when you join her writing newsletter here.Photo Credit: Joe M500

Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

0 Turn Your Home Office Into A Productivity Zone

Home Office

Sure, having an office at home sounds practical on the surface. If you can telecommute, that’s less time in the car, more time to devote to your work and more time with your family. Plus, you can ditch the tie or pantsuit and set your own hours.

So why does your home office drive you crazy? Neck and back pain, headaches, clutter, frustration, and jealousy toward those who commute an hour to sit in the corporate office all day are all symptoms of a poorly designed workspace. Poor design creates strain and fatigue, but a well designed office can actually help you work more efficiently and frustration-free.

Read on to redesign!
  • Step #1: Assess Your Situation
    Working at a desk is a physical activity. Every time you turn in your chair, crook your neck to use the phone, or focus on the screen, you’re using a certain set of muscles. Those muscles, like a runner’s legs or a weightlifter’s bicep, are subject to fatigue.

    Okay, you’re not a triathlete in the office, but if you’re behind the desk a lot, a poor office design will leave you feeling tense and fatigued at the end of the day.

    Spend a couple hours working and take note of every time you twist awkwardly in your chair, reach for a heavy object that’s too far away, get up to fetch something, or rub your sore eyes.

  • Step #2: Plan for Comfort
    Now that you know where the strain is in your workday, try to eliminate it. But before you start shifting around the furniture and knocking holes in the walls, create some guidelines.

    A professional designer can help you draw up a complete plan, but you can start by just drawing a bird’s eye sketch of the empty room. Then add your ideal office configuration. It should take into account these basic office design principles:

    • Placement. Everything you use regularly should be within arms’ reach. Other items you need to work should be accessible from your rolling chair.
    • Ergonomics. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, your wrists should be level with your elbows while typing or mousing, and your chair should support your lower back. Your computer monitor should be positioned so that your neck is tilted just slightly forward.
    • Organization. Maintaining a clear workspace is key to working efficiently. Stash files under the desktop and away from your feet. Be sure you have shelves and cabinets for books and other objects.
    • Lighting. Use ambient lighting to remove dark corners in your office and focused lighting under cabinets/shelves to illuminate your work surface. Be sure to avoid creating hot spots with bright light bulbs.

  • Step #3: Customize
    Your body is not exactly like any other of the 7 billion other bodies on this planet. Thankfully, height-adjustable desks, custom desk layouts, and adjustable chairs can help. Every room is also designed a bit differently, so be creative in maximizing your space. Consider wall cabinets, a corner desk, and a separate workspace for small meetings. If your room has a window, face it with your desk and computer monitor. The backlight of the window and the fact that you will glance out of it every so often will also alleviate eye strain. If you don’t have a window, add a visually interesting element to the room, like a work of art, a fish tank, or a bulletin board of favorite images.
With a little planning and effort, you can transform your home office into a productive workspace, minimize stress on your body, and emerge feeling good at the end of the day.

Written on 5/24/2012 by Roger Hockett. Roger is the owner of Workspaces, Inc., a custom office design firm based in Newcastle, WA. He has been helping people redesign their home offices since 1995.Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Rabu, 23 Mei 2012

0 The Faces of Haters

It's freaking election time again in Singapore. I don't know what the dude at Hougang did to cause a by-election but WHY?? I thought we won't have to face this crap in Singapore for another 4 years.

Yes I support PAP but this time round I don't give a shit about who wins. Hougang was traditionally the opposition's territory and they can go ahead and keep it. I don't even know who is running for either party. And thus, I have not uttered a single word about this election at all.

I hate politics. I hate that I have an opinion and a party I support. I wish I was apathetic as I was before because elections divide Singaporeans more than ever.

The country is split into two groups that have so much disdain and disrespect for each other. All this vitriol and negativity will get us nowhere. I just want to like all my fellow Singaporeans again without them asking me who I support and judging my views, asking me to validate them, then thinking less of me afterwards... And have me thinking less of them in return.

I've blogged for 10 years and I've covered the most controversial topics. But NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, have gotten me as more hate as me supporting the PAP.

I also got some love for it of course, but usually mean comments die down after a few weeks... This lasted for a whole year, got me several hate sites and hate parody accounts. People wish death upon me and my family, threatening to hurt me if they ever see me. Wow... Even I am amazed by my resilience and courage lol.

Even so, I was still kinda surprised to see that Temasek Review, an extremist online publication biased towards the opposition, posted up 3 photos of Qiuqiu, Sophie and me taken during last year's rally on their facebook page, inviting their fans to write (mean) captions on us.

I don't know what is their problem because as I said I have not uttered a word about this election and the photos are 1 year old.

And the comments are so fucking NASTY.

By nasty I don't mean hurtful.

I mean just extremely distasteful, uncouth, and with absolutely no class at all. Even criticism can be insightful and witty but these are just written by the lowest of society - people with the IQ and sexual urges of baboons who barely mastered language. Most of the comments are about us being prostitutes.

I feel sorry for smart and nice people who support the opposition, I really do. Because most of the noises made by opposition supporters are done by these middle-aged angry uncles who are so bitter and self righteous.

They are so loud that they have inadvertently become the image of the opposition for me. I automatically assume that anything these assholes believe in is definitely wrong for society.

Don't believe me? Here, I have printscreened some of the worst comments:

First post, on me:

 Second post, on Qiuqiu:

These morons know nothing about Qiu so they keep presuming that she is either from China or some sort of super rich girl. Enough with the racist hate seriously!

I also dislike bangalas and I agree that there are too many foreigners in overpopulated Singapore but honestly I'd rather take PRCs than some of these true blue Singaporean fucktards.

At least the blue collar workers clean our toilets and are useful. What have these Singaporeans contributed except whining and inciting hate?

Not everyone who supports the PAP must automatically be a foreigner or a rich person.

Qiu comes from an extremely humble background. Her dad is a trishaw driver and she used to stay with her 5 sisters and parents in a 1 bedroom hdb since she was born until she moved in with her boyfriend. She still stays in a hdb now.

And I used to stay in a dingy 3 room flat in Teban gardens and had no aircon until I was 21 and bought my own. Sure I'm doing ok now but I'm nowhere near "rich".

We are definitely middle-class, born and bred in Singapore. WHAT NOW ASSHOLES? You gonna say we are paid or that we are mistresses of the Prime minister?!

Third post, of Qiu, Sophie and me:

Poor Sophie being dragged into the picture when she isn't even a PAP supporter wtf just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now, I've always said I really, really detest men who write shit about girls online. 

There is really nothing that irks me more... Well maybe some things do but it's really high on my list.

Call me old fashioned but I always believe that men should be gracious and chivalrous towards women, treating them with respect and acting like they are fragile beings that need to be protected.

Men should always be working hard to provide for their families, and they shouldn't be WHINING and COMPLAINING all day long. They shouldn't be quarrelsome and petty. That's for women to do.

Maybe in today's equality driven society my ideals are a little hard to achieve but I believe that at the very least MEN SHOULD NOT BE INSULTING WOMEN ONLINE.

Seriously wtf?! Didn't their mothers teach them how to treat women?? What sort of asshole would hide behind anonymous masks and tell women they are fat or ugly or a whore, and say he doesn't want to fuck her... AS IF HE WOULD EVER HAVE A CHANCE TO. It's just so... URGH!!

Usually the men who write such comments get away with it because most girls don't bother to retailiate.

Usually those to write such comments to ME have the wits to do it anonymously.


Some of the assholes above who left comments about my friends and I have done it openly and shamelessly with their facebook accounts.

The smarter ones made their accounts private but the dumber ones didn't.

I mean, aren't you curious? Who are the men who write such comments and how do they look like?
And since they are so proud of their actions, I shall do them a favour and introduce them one by one on my blog here. I'm being so nice. I usually don't mar my blog with ugly things.

So men... You think you can get away with defamation online with no consequences? 

Maybe you will think twice before you call somebody a whore next time, huh?


All these information are readily available online. I did not hack their accounts or even snoop very hard. Their details and pictures can be found by ANYONE who clicks on their facebook profile upon seeing their comments on Temasek Review's facebook page which has over 10,000 likes.

I was asking my friends and Mike if I was being mean if I post pictures of them with their wives, friends or children. Everyone said no because the information is open and they chose to be open with it. Mike said it is as if I see someone walking around naked and I pointed at him.

Perhaps they aren't even embarrassed or ashamed but if they are, then they have to take consequences for their actions. It's not my business to protect their interest and honestly... I don't want it because they don't deserve it. Furthermore, I 100% believe that this is NOT the first time these men have left such comments on women who never did anything to them.

Sure my words have a lot of impact. But get this: I would NEVER have written anything about them if they didn't bully me or my friends first. Others may allow themselves to be trampled all over but NOT ME. They picked the wrong person to mess with.


Aaron is born 1980 and an avid fan of Man U. He is working with HSR International Realtors as a real estate agent! SINGLE TOO WHAT YOU WAITING FOR? Want him to help you find a house? Contact him here!

Aaron, Aaron... I've always wondered if people who call me fugly are bloody good looking themselves.

Moreover you even called both my gorgeous friends ugly, one of whom is the New Face winner.

So I thought you must look like Brad Pitt. But you look more like an armpit. You have severely disappointed me.

But thanks for confirming my theory that not only are the people who call me fugly not good looking themselves, they are mostly really ugly. This makes me feel a lot better.

As for the answer to your second question, I believe I speak for my friends when I say NO, OH HELL NO NOT IF YOU WERE THE LAST MAN ON EARTH.

Soon Chwee is another one of those guys who presumed that we were prostitutes because well, you know, PAP supporters all are prostitutes.

He is married with two cute kids. I wonder how he will feel like if in future men ask his daughter which part of geylang she works at?

In case you are wondering why he is so tan, he is a swimming instructor!

You DEFINITELY want a man like that teaching your daughter in a swimming pool.

His company Happy Swims is more than glad to accept your children in classes.

Thank you for calling me sexy and pretty *blush* I really hope I help your business in return!

Clement is also born 1980 like Aaron but he is married so stop clementring over him girls!!! HAHA ME SO PUNNY.

To be fair Clement's statement isn't that bad and neither is he calling me a prostitute. But it really irks me when stupid people call me dumb.

I'm ruining Singapore's future Clement?

And I suppose you think you are Singapore's best bet?

I'm sorry I misjudged you. You appear exceedingly smart, replying to your own facebook status. And I am so "dump" in contrast.

Isaac, born 1988, seems to be some sort of bodybuilder... He has so many ugly douchebaggy photos that I didn't know which one to pick.

He is also one of my favourites because he loves to use flowery language that seems to be beyond his linguistic ability so they all don't make any sense. I particularly love him saying PAP has an "excessively glorious nature" or that I am "elitist daft".

"Daft" seems to be his favourite word.

I imagine him constantly calling others stupid so one day he was like "UH IMMA FIND ANOTHER AWESOMER WORD FOR STUPID YO BRO WESTSIDE RESPECT" and he was like typing "tisauris" into google and google was like "It's 'thesaurus' you dumbass please do not breed".

He found a few good ones but "daft" is the easiest to spell so he learnt it by heart and used it happily ever after - as a verb, noun and adjective. How useful!!

I really wish to speak to him in real life and see if he talks like this!!

Jonathan is studying aerospace technology at Ngee Ann Poly. He loves manga!

STOPPIT stop saying I am attention seeking you fucking assholes!! I DID NOT POST THOSE PICTURES THERE!! THEY WERE TAKEN A YEAR AGO!! Usually I'm attention seeking yes very much so but in this situation what did I do wtf... Photos were not even from my blog but from Qiu's!!

Ok I shall calm down...

Dear Jonathan, how did you know I am desperately trying to improve my inner beauty?

I'd like to heed your suggestion of "eating makeup powder" but a few questions...

1) Do you have any suggestions of dosage? Is it before or after food? More effective in the mornings or night? Should I have it as a meal or a supplement?

2) What brand should I eat? I think Anna Sui probably smells the nicest, like roses, but it's quite expensive. Also, please specify - pressed powder, loose powder, 2 way cakes, mousse or foundation sticks? You are being awfully vague. Does the colour of the foundation matter?

3) I notice that you are quite fat... Not in this photo but in your other photos. Is it because you also eat makeup powder? Because I just lost a lot of weight and I don't wish to go back to being fat. Also, you were being quite mean to me so I'm not quite sure if I should heed your advice as you do not appear to have much inner beauty yourself.

Please advise.

Simon likes Law and Order SVU and Desperate Housewives.

Hey Simon, are those ladies surrounding you also geylang chickens? Is your mother a geylang chicken? See, it isn't nice to assume. :)

But I don't doubt with your looks you are familiar with that profession. My only consolation is that you probably won't breed.

Tom got married to his wife in 1984, the year I was born. He has a son and daughter who can't be that far away from my age. And yet here he is, soliciting my friends and me online so openly... Just to be extra safe he wants to make sure we are over 18.

He looks like such a decent dad figure. And yet... Disgusting.

Stephan is born in 1976 and is married with kid/s without kids.

I'd like to thank his wife for uploading that hilarious photo of him... It is nice that he shaves his armpits. I also recommend stretch mark creams.

OK last one is my favourite!!

Here's a picture of Hong Xing with what appears to be his kid and wife.

He seems to have a slight obsession over prostitution and sex... I think he needs to see a psychiatrist. Whole day talking about "damage" and saying only the insiders will know... Yeah lah you super geylang expert nobody knows it better than you do, ok?

It appears he knows that I'm a blogger... I suppose he also knows I'm married, dating the same guy for 7 years, and do not have a history of posting slutty photos... Yet he still believes that I'm prostituting for money because "nobody reads her blog liao".

Oh no no no... You are wrong Hong Xing... A LOT of people read my blog. How many? You will find out soon enough. ;)

It's ironic isn't it? That you claim nobody reads my blog anymore but now people are reading it... And it's all thanks to you and your Geylang-expert friends that I even have fodder! In a sense you prevented me from a life of selling my body and I thank you for that.


Of course, not all the comments written about Qiu, Sophie and me on those posts are nasty. Some rare ones were in our defence. Thank you.

And for the rest of you who disliked me but yet...

"You really think I'm pretty?"

0 Hotels in Zero-G

[Image: "Zero-Gravity Design" at the Domus Academy in Milan].

Given all the justifiable excitement in the past few days about the successful launch of SpaceX, Milan's Domus Academy is hosting a rather well-timed two-week design intensive this summer called "Zero-Gravity Design: Products & Microenvironments for Orbiting Hotels."

It runs from July 2-13, 2012, and will be taught by "aerospace entrepreneur" Susmita Mohanty.

From the studio brief:
As the race to open up the space frontier to tourists revs up, so will opportunities for designers and architects. The participants of this course will design products and microenvironments for living aboard future Orbiting Hotels. The Space Tourists, will have to, after all, eat, drink, sleep, cleanse, exercise, work, play, improvise, relax, move, stay still, contemplate, congregate, seek privacy and look out of the window. These everyday tasks, and more, open up an infinite range of design possibilities.
Participants will be challenged to "come up with creative antidotes for isolation, confinement, boredom, sensory deprivation, bone-muscle atrophy, as well as social-psychological-and-cultural stressors characteristic of living in cramped spaces where privacy is limited and so are resources."

Perhaps, best of all, "this course will groom designers and architects to work for space tourism companies."

[Image: "Zero-Gravity Design" at the Domus Academy in Milan].

More information is available at the Domus Academy website.

(Thanks to Rajeev Thakker for the tip!)
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