Glass Half Empty?

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When the “world” is getting me down, instead of turning on it , I turn inward to myself and ask: Why? What is there that is not agreeing with me? Am I biased on certain subjects? Or could there be other possibilities?

Frankly, many of the news on social media are regurgitated sound bites or passed-on wisdom with little original thoughts or insights. Loose references to studies and expert opinions resemble gossips that cloud issues more than clarify them.

In particular I reject the bipolar rhetoric. Artificial news that disguise as reporting with commercial intent. Coverage on Democrats versus Republican, pro-Trump vs. anti-Trump, celebrity scandals are less entertaining than pro wrestling.

Don’t get me wrong. Plenty of real world problems exist. Climate change, food safety, income inequality, government accountability, online privacy are some examples that deserve attention. Not Kim Kardashian studying to become a lawyer ( no offense and my apology to the Kardashians.)

Of course, this too shall pass according to the Buddhist and my meditation instructions.  I will be as good as new after I sorted all  these out in my head. So please carry on.  And  I will join you as soon as I am done.

Is your glass full?

 

 

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The world’s 7.5 billion people, in one chart | World Economic Forum

I love info-graphics like this.  They are intuitive and help me to grasp otherwise very right-brained data.  Some interesting take-away are:

Population:

  • Over 75% of the world’s people live in Asia (blue – 60% ) and Africa (orange – 16%) combined,
  • 10% in Europe (green), and
  • 14% in Americas and others

GDP (Gross Domestic Product):

  • 30% by China (18.2%), India (7.4%), and Japan (4.3%) combined
  • 16.5% by European Union, and
  • 15.3% by US
  • 10%  by Middle East and Africa combined

All data are as of 2017. China is the most populous (1.4 billions) followed by India (1.3 b).  However, India is projected to surpass China in population and reverse the rankings by 2022.

Source: The world’s 7.5 billion people, in one chart | World Economic Forum

What are your take-away?

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Spring Break Run

Stepped outside and the air was refreshingly cool.  Refreshing because I did not need my gloves, windbreaker, or other shields to protect me from the weather elements.  In fact, my tank top and shorts was the perfect choices for my morning run.

It was early in the morning.  I picked to run early to avoid the UV rays from the sun but enough light to see where I was heading.  Most importantly though, I wanted to enjoy my run.  Without worry, no pressure, and no schedule, the beauty of off-season running.  For two more weeks.

Reconnecting with the outdoors.  Not dodging any snow piles, ice patches, or salt sprays. Nor enduring bone-chilling winds that limited my eyes to only a few feet in front of me.  Instead, I relaxed my shoulders, opened up my mind, and just let me legs carried me.

Every step at the pace of my choosing.  Wow.  What a joyful run.

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Week In Review – 7 Apr 2019

Our internal rhythm, or body clock, plays an important role on just about everything we do.  Yes, how well do we sleep,  adapt to change, ability to find happiness, etc. all depend on the alignment of ourselves to our environment.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called it the optimal experience of “flow.”  But the internal rhythms apply to everyone not just the elite performers.  Moreover, as we age, our body clock evolves based on where we are in our seasons of life.

I am, for instance, more patient than my younger self.  Recognizing the dynamic nature of us and our environment, it behooves us to take an inside-out approach (i.e. self first) in achieving the alignment.

Speaking of alignment, the UK is facing the tough challenge of leaving the EU.  The deadline is in 5 days, and I am glad to be on this side of the pond.  Lastly, it wouldn’t be April without the April Fools’ Day.  Which of the two meatless hamburgers did you think was real?

Have a nice week!

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Quality Sleep?

I have bad sleep patterns.  A nemesis that I have been dealing with for a while.  With my marathon training set to start in two weeks, imperative to remedy my poor sleeps.  Otherwise, it will impact the effectiveness of my training.

Just so happen that each year I modify my marathon training with incremental refinements.  In the past, I have tackled my shoes, strides, pace, etc.  This time, it is my sleep cycle.  My root symptoms in particular are two: 1) not falling asleep and 2) not staying asleep.

Nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed comes bed time.  I have a limit of 30 minutes. After that, I get up and try to do something to distract my mind.  Even after fallen asleep quickly, especially during the training season when I am exhausted, I would wake up in the middle of the night.  Eyes wide open.

My past efforts have been hits or misses.  And the symptoms eventually return. So, to help kick the bad habits, I am working with an online health coaching program to get a more systemic solution.  This includes taking data on my sleep patterns with a sleep log.  With data, I can get some specifics to work with.

Stay tune for updates on my progress.

How well do you sleep?

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Change – Love It Or Hate It?

Survival is our instinct.  Ever since our ancestor’s saber-toothed tiger foe, the key to survival depends on how well we adapt to our external environment. It is as true now as then.

Many things we take for granted today are introduced in the last few decades: Twitter (2006), Facebook (2004), cellphone and internet (mid-90’s).  And this trend continues.  Drones, self driving cars, digital printers are jumping out of the scifi realm into the real world.

What it takes to survive today’s fast changing world is not a fight-or-flight response. Rather, how well we align our internal rhythms to the external environment is the key.  Like the right tool enhances the job, the right fit improves the quality of our life.

Only you can tell what is appropriate to take and to leave.   There is no be-all and end-all answer.  But having one’s finger on the pulse allows one to be prepared for the changes, whatever they may be.  Not only to survive but thrive.

Are you in tune with yourself, so to be prepared for change?

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The Four Seasons of Life

Each of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, has a temperament of its own.  The seasons remind me the life stages of childhood, prime, retiring, and senior.

The spring and autumn are the transitions.  Weathers are volatile and unpredictable. Much variations happen. They resemble the childhood and retirement – growth stages that prepare us for the seasons to come.

Always a student of life, I feel the childhood and retirement, in particular, offer opportunities to learn and try new things.  Whether through former education, self studying, or adventuring, the possibilities are abundant.

The summer and winter, on the other hand, are the extremes.  The seasons are more defined in expectations.  They resemble prime and senior stages.  Both are steady states with the former in production and the later in clarification.

In our prime, we are contributing to the overall productive cycle whether it’s job, family, or other pursuits.  Busy time infused with accomplishments.  By the time when we reach the senior stage, life begins to  reveal itself and make sense. Hence the clarification.

I am retired, so the ink on the last two seasons is not dry yet. But from my vantage point, we open more doors during the spring and autumn and closing more doors during the summer and winter.

How about your interpretations on the seasons of life?

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The Path To Finding Happiness

I think most people would agree that we are responsible for our own happiness.  Not our parents, bosses, children, and certainly not government.  The agency is us.

But has anyone told you how to go about finding that happiness?  As far as I know there is no class on Happiness 101, no formula prescribing  A + B = C.  And even there were one, I would be skeptical about it. If only it were that easy.

Hence the question – how does one find happiness?

If I were to take a stab at that question, I would say we find happiness by looking at our negative emotions.  Why? Because life is a good teacher on challenging us.  And we get plenty opportunities to be schooled on our negative emotions than the positive ones.

The operative word is “schooled.”  In the true spirit of the word we learn more about ourselves from our negative emotions.  In other words, we become proficient in eliminating whatever the obstacles to our happiness.

Perhaps best exemplified by none other than Abraham Lincoln.

What is your thought on the path to finding happiness?

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To Leave Or Not To Leave (Brexit)

When I thought American bureaucracy is bad, the United Kingdom government is making us look good.  Particularly on its withdrawal from the European Union.  Also known as the Brexit.

If the government can’t work out a deal on the Brexit, a worst case scenario would be it crashes out of the EU or a no-deal Brexit.  And the deadline for that is April 12, 2019, or in 10 days.

And that is no joke. There would be no transition period for the exit, no agreements, and not to mention the government’s failure to execute what the Brits have voted.  The consequences is dire.

Life as the Brits know it, since the World War II, would not be the same.  The credibility of its government, impacts to trades and the businesses, etc. all point to a rather chaotic scenario.

Basically everyone will be on their own.  As an example, the UK’s National Health Service is stockpiling medicines, in case supplies from EU countries are interrupted.

What happened to the will of the people?

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Two Meatless Burgers

Two new burgers: The Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and McDonald’s McPickle Burger.  Both are meatless, but one is real and the other April fools’ joke.

Which one do you think is real?  Before you decide, here are some clues:  the real burger that die heart fans don’t believe it’s real.  For the fake burger, loyal customers are angry that it’s not real.

Answer at the bottom of the post.

Burger King’s Impossible Whopper

 

McDonald’s McPickle Burger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer – The BK Impossible Whopper is the real deal.  But the McPickle fans are real.

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