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Maybe there is still a chance to have it all

August 18, 2011 17 comments

One of my girlfriends is visiting NY for meetings and she asked me to help her to pick up her wedding gown from Vera Wang the day before. I am so happy for her. You know there are times when you say “good for you” you actually feel “gosh it’s so unfair I cannot believe she is getting this while I didn’t!” But that kind of feeling is not in my dictionary anymore. I am lucky to be surrounded by both guys and girls who are as ambitious, capable, observant, insightful and FUN as myself (sorry I’m complimenting myself again), if not more, and they complement me as a human being, and they inspire me every day to give back more with passion and love.

Ultimately it’s not about a competition after all. It’s about inviting someone to join the life journey with you, to learn, to share, to enjoy; or sometimes, just to sit quietly together while looking out of the window, and maybe laugh, and sing.

 

Treat people right, any people

 

When I was in Hong Kong I went to this Portuguese restaurant once and ordered some baked pork and rice dish. I asked the waiter some standard question on what kind of sauce he recommends, how long it will take, and how big the portion is etc. Apparently he was relatively new and he couldn’t answer half of the questions. I got very impatient. I unintentionally raised my voice and I was at the edge of asking to be served by another waiter. He was embarrassed obviously, and my friend who went with me gave me a very disturbed stare, which I couldn’t quite figure out why at the moment.  Read more…

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So what are you looking for in a long term relationship?

March 30, 2011 17 comments

I watched a few episodes of the TV drama “Never say goodbye 说好不分手” these days in Hong Kong. It’s astonishingly touching. I remember one comparison pretty clearly when one of the lead guys commented on his relationship with two distinctive girls in a very interesting way:

  • The relationship I had with A is like playing video games. There’s always another challenge waiting for me. It’s fun and engaging, it keeps me going. The best part is, you have multiple chances with one challenge, and you can even restart if it’s “game over”.
  • The relationship I had with B is like doing a surgery. I have to be extra careful every second. The more I care about the patient the more nervous and intense it becomes. It gets tiring to be honest, because as a surgeon you have but one shot. If you screw this up you don’t have another chance.

This simple but very insightful comparison and analogy made me reflect deeply on how human beings interact and leave impressions on each other. Then I started thinking about relationships in general, and all the wonderful girlfriends of mine who are still single, and all the charming guy friends of mine who are still confused about what the hell all the girls are thinking. But the fact is: the girls are not less confused, and probably only more.

I am in no position to categorize myself as a relationship expert because I am simply not, but I know one thing that I am actually good at: to state the obvious but in a unique way that would make sense to all of you no matter where you are coming from. I used to tell myself: the first step to achieve anything in life is to decide what you want. So what I am trying to do here is really just to share some observations and understandings on how to make a smarter decision on what you should be looking for in a long term relationship.

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3 stories on knowing yourself better and life attitude

March 17, 2011 8 comments

It was a little bit sad looking out of the window from my seat on the 24th floor in the Park Avenue Plaza building. It was raining badly in the morning when I came in; it was almost freezing when I went to lunch with my lovely Chinese colleagues; yet 5 seconds ago, it suddenly cleared up and it was all sunny. The windows almost felt like non-existent.

But it was sad because I am leaving NY, though only for 3 months. Yes I am going to Hong Kong for a short-term assignment which is a great opportunity and I look forward to the new adventures, discoveries, and I am excited about what else about people, culture, business and life I may be able to share with you. The past few weeks have been hectic with all the logistics and responsibility transfers, and of course, a lot of late night calls with Asia. But at this point, I felt calm. A little bit sad, yet calm.

I am not sure how frequent I will be able to write while I am working out of Hong Kong. I am under the impression that I will be working crazy hours given that’s the only reason they want me there. But before I embark on my new journey I want to leave with you a few stories which I have experienced recently. I thought about naming these under “self-improvement” or “peace of mind” or even “pursuit of happiness in life”, but when I started writing I realized it all comes down to — knowing yourself better, and especially your attitude when you respond to unexpected things in life.

It’s challenging, but it’s not that hard.

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Do one thing that scares you every day

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It was a Wednesday and I just came back from Delaware with our clients for a day trip to our data center. I have 2 hours to kill before Mary Poppins, so I marched into Borders trying to finish Liar’s Poker, and then another book caught my eyes: The 4-hour Work Week. I heard a lot about this book from my friends and I used the next hour flipping through the pages and I’m pretty happy with what I am reading, and I think Tim Ferriss does offer people a sweet DEAL (Definition, Elimination, Automation & Liberation).

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Good ways to spend your Monday Holiday

January 19, 2011 4 comments
My New Year was off to a rocky start. I lost my phone; my new phone didn’t arrive one week after I lost my old one; and I was sick for more than a week. But then I realized it’s probably a good time to say to yourself: things will only get better. It was like how I entered the financial industry. It was great timing as a matter of fact, it was 2 months before Lehman went down. Yes, things will only get better. They always do.
 
And my turnaround came yesterday when I felt much better both physically and mentally. And it was a Monday and a holiday, so what did I do?
 
 
Read something new, or finish up your old book
My friend suggested me a good cafe close to where I live. It was a cozy place, has its own library and serves amazing almond tea. I have been reading this book on “difficult conversations” by people who live and breathe difficult conversations both in a business context and a personal context at HBS. It was a good read, it provided a good learning opportunity to me and although I’m still half way through the book, I can see myself applying some of the strategies and perceptions to my day-to-day work which very much involves challenging communications one way or another. I was quite efficient with my reading that afternoon and my friend also finished up his reading on Russian history (the collapse of Soviet Union and the people involved). Just a few hours digging into the pages and the very scent of words and stories can make a huge difference on how fulfilled you feel about your day. Try it. Try it again.
 

我羡慕那些时光流逝却未能改变他们的人

January 14, 2011 9 comments

Another periodic Chinese blog of mine, in response to a movie based on my very generation, emotionally deep; excuse me if you don’t read Chinese.

“少年的我们,都是热烈而坚持的,那是一种光芒,引人入胜。我羡慕那些时光流逝却未能改变他们的人”
 
——前两天终于看了80后那部电影。不能说每个情节都感同身受,可是很多细节上了东西却仿佛无缘无故的牵扯了我多年没有调动了的敏感神经。这是一部融入了太多感情在里面的片子,让我流泪,在回忆中不知所措,然后一发不可收拾。
 
点击查看: 下一张清晰大图
 
所以我一直很犹豫要不要写这篇文字。爬格子对我来说有时候是一个很痛苦的过程。要么就不写,如果写就需要在沉静中奔放,在压抑中爆发。我总觉得,爬格子是一项只能在深夜才能进行的活动。夜深人静,才可以看透彻自己的心境,等文字终于自然流淌,才终于得以释怀。所以我才一直觉得,写字让我痛苦,却也因此让我沉迷。
 
记得中学的时候读安妮宝贝,看新概念作文,谈论郭敬明。现在想来真的很奇怪,那些根本从来没有在我身上发生过的事情,为什么只是读过就在自己的身体和精神上刻了那么深的烙印。慢慢学会“一半明媚一半忧伤”或者什么“快乐而孤独的等待”还有“爱情仿佛在她心里开出一朵诡异的花”还有那些一切有关长发,阳光,白球鞋的东西。乐此不疲。
 
我们本来都是快乐而简单的小孩子吧。为什么后来我们的文字里有那么多忧伤?
 
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Best of 2010, and Preview of 2011

January 5, 2011 2 comments

I have kept blogs in a variety of places before and this is the first and only time the website sent me a stats summary with such details for the bygone year. For the constant thrive to optimize user experience and the degree of dedication, I want to first thank WordPress for offering me, and many other bloggers in this world, an intimate place to pursue our passions, to share our curiosities, and to develop a legacy. 

I also want to take the opportunity to appreciate every one of you who has stopped by my blog over the past year. For those who have commented on my posts, cheered for me on my facebook walls, left a message to me on LinkedIn and Gtalk, followed me on Google Reader, or mentioned my blog to me face-to-face, I want to thank you for being my constant motivation and inspiration. Your encouragement means the world to me.

Started in mid-April 2010, the blog had 70 new posts and was viewed about 21,000 times over the course of 2010. Not bad for the first year I have to say. Thanks for sharing this with me.

Here are my Top Posts of the Year:

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10. This is the kind of email I WILL respond to!

This was an introduction email on career opportunity that I have been waiting for. As I know most people are still struggling on how to effectively network and communicate, I figured it was a good idea to share the email and my interpretation with you. 

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Top 8 Things I learned in 2010 (Part II)

January 3, 2011 1 comment

5. The easiest thing in the world is to say good things about other people.

Without even seriously meaning it. But it’s so easy, and you see the results. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it makes everybody happy. It really should be something natural to you, because everyone else is doing it too.

But you must be stupid if you don’t know WHY other people are doing it, especially if you are the “target” of the praise. Some people might seriously mean it, and I have every respect for those being honest and genuine with their compliments, but even if you are 10 times better than the compliments, why should they? Because you are a boss? You are a girlfriend? You are his date in this dance club? You are a customer browsing shoes? You are a competition?

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