Discipline – Further Explained

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Discipline is often viewed with negative connotations.  Such as poor performance due to lack of discipline, running a marathon demands self discipline, and the likes. Generally, it conjures up forced compliance – control, punishment, enforced behavior. 

But what if I tell you that it does not have to be? Indeed, self discipline can be a cinch if your mind and body are aligned. Insofar as if your mind really wants it, your body will make it happen.

For example, I run for my health, a priority for me. That purpose motivates me to overcome excuses like it’s cold outside or I don’t have time. Sufficiently motivated, I will dress for the weather or find time to squeezing in my run.

The difference is in the purpose.  The clearer one’s purpose, the easier it is to follow through. That is also known as the power of why.   

Are you a disciplined person? And why?

 

 

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Week In Review – 8 May 2022

There is no more direct relationship than between a mother and her child.  So to all the moms – Happy Mother’s Day! And to those lucky ones whose mother is still around, I hope you find it in your heart space to call your mom at a very minimum on this special day.

I understand that millions of Ukrainians are displaced from their homes due to the Russian invasion. And millions of children lost their parents because of the Coronavirus. It is not necessary a celebratory occasion for everyone.

Plus, climate instability is wrecking havoc around the world. Wildfire, drought, flood, and hurricane are headline news. Moreover, inflation has people worried about rising prices.  Seems the last thing to do is complaining about the weather, except, this May feels colder to me than usual. 

Tomorrow, 9 May, is Victory Day in Russia. Given what’s going on, do they really have the reason to celebrate? Unless, Vladimir Putin withdraw the Russian troops. The fact that we are not alone in all these should provide some comfort and hope that we can work our problems out.  

Stay safe & Have a nice week.

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SRC & Me

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No icy rain, muddy trail, nor puddles could stop me from running this morning. That’s because every Saturday I run with my running group. It’s my time each week to catch up with my fellow runners while running on the trail or in the coffee chat afterwards.

This is quality time that I would give up chance to sleeping-in or other less activities to be there, and a relationship that I choose to keep for over 20 years. We have been through many races, road trips, and other life events. It is like an extended family to me.

For the past two years because of the Coronavirus, our Saturday runs has been casual. No marathon long runs, no intervals, none of them. Even before the pandemic, some members have dropped out, moved, or stopped running due to personal reasons.

But for me, this group has always been there for me. And I will support it as long as I can.

How would you describe your important relationships?

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Heart Space

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In our heart space, emotional truths reside.

These truths are deep and beg for our exploring.

But, we must first embrace this space.

Like a physical space but limitless in its depth.

Like a mental space but more fiery in its passion.

Find the space,

discover the truths, and

shape your character. 

What’s in your heart space?

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Victory Day!

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Today is Cinco de Mayo, Mexican’s Victory day celebrating its win over the larger and better equipped French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

Apropos the scenario is the war in Ukraine. The Russian invading army is larger and better equipped. But the stiff resistance from the Ukrainians proves the native people are more determined to not give-in. And to date, they are victorious. 

Case in point are the Ukrainian troops holding up in the steel plant in Mariupol, right now. Out-gunned and out-numbered, the defenders are inspirations and heroes in their valor. Regardless the outcome, they will be remembered as such.    

Ironic in symbolism, next Monday 9 May is Russian’s victory day celebration on defeating  Nazi Germany in World War II, 77 years ago. Russian president Vladimir Putin is desperately looking for a win with his botched invasion of Ukraine. 

If the outcome in Mariupol turns out in Ukraine’s favor, poetic justice is done.

How do you think victory will be defined in the Ukraine invasion?

 

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QT & Inflation

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Today, the Federal Reserve (also known as the Fed or US Central Bank) decided to raise interest rate (by half of a percent). A big deal because it’s the the largest hike in two decades. And more is to come. The stated reason for the hike is to tame inflation. 

Now, if you were like me, a question popped into my head: why did they push the rate higher when the inflation is already making everything more expensive? So I did some digging, and here is my take on it. 

The Fed has pumped money to simulate the economy during the last two years of pandemic. The policy worked well. People were able to spend those extra money on car, food, house, or whatever.  The US economy has done well during the pandemic.

Problem arose when our output is slowed due to the pandemic.  Whether due to supply chain crisis or unemployment, the effect is our demand exceeded the supply. And the prices go up. Given the pandemic is not going away, the gap is prolonged and driving the inflation. This is where the Fed steps in.

By raising the interest rate, the Fed is hoping that you and I will borrow less and purchase fewer due to the higher cost of money.  So to achieve the desired effect of cooling down the economy.  The Fed will continue to raise the rate until the economy is not overheated. Meaning the inflation is under control at about 2 percent. 

You may wonder what does QT has to do with the inflation?  First, the QT stands for  quantitative tightening.  It is a technical term in monetary policy opposite to  the Fed pumping money into the economy (also known as QE or quantitative easing). What goes up must come down.

What do you anticipate will take to tame the inflation?

 

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“Climate Instability”

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In Northern Hemisphere, customary to see the weather warming up around this time of the year. Hence the term mayflower. However, we are witnessing unusual events of  extreme climate fluctuations that are anything but typical.

Case in point is the 120 degree (Fahrenheit) heatwave hitting the Southeast Asia. It is so brutal that the condition is “testing the limits of human survivability.” And, it is not an isolated incident.

According to Akhilesh Gupta, head of the Climate Change Program at India’s Department of Science & Technology, “the extreme events are occurring due to climate instability . . . whether it is heat, cold, floods or drought. This will occur more often” than before.

Unless one has been living under a rock, the climate instability is documented more frequent and evident. The naysayer would chalk it to mere blips in the grand scale of the earth history.  But the dinosaurs probably felt the same way without the benefit of the history. 

Quoting from John Maynard Keyens, “in the long run we are all dead,” the question is will we make it that far? 

Shouldn’t we take climate instability more seriously? 

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It’s May 2022

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Yesterday , 1 May, marked the beginning of a new month and the warmer weather for us folks in the Northern Hemisphere. Temperature in the Washington DC area today shot above 80 degree (Fahrenheit). Boom!

What a way to announce the new month’s arrival. And a belated welcome as well. Finally, and I say so with a great relief, safe to stow away the snow shovels until the next winter. And bring out the rake and shears. It’s time to give the yard a trim.

Moreover, the month of May ushers in, besides the blooming flowers, also the Memorial Day holiday in the US.  Many kids take great joy in that holiday and look forward to dip in the pool.  That’s when the community pools open and the beginning of the swim season. 

Are you ready for a change?

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Week In Review – 1 May 2022

First, a slight bit of relief from the Mariupol steel plant stand-off.

United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross were able to evacuate civilians there this weekend. This is after the UN Secretary-General António Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week.

The war in Ukraine is in its third month. It is becoming a war of attrition, and the outcome will definitely not be a win-win for anyone. But that did not stop Secretary-General Guterres from think win-win. For that I am grateful, and my hat off to him.

Clearly, Puttin’s objective for Ukraine is shifting. Probably due to the stiff resistance from the Ukrainian people and their resident Zelenskyy in conjunction with the US and West’s support of weapons. The future course albeit unknown is within Putin’s choice.

Is he looking for a graceful way out? Nobody knows.  But the “so-what” test does not play into his favor. Every one chooses their adventure. But a settlement may just be his best bet at this time before he drags Russia into a deeper mess.

One of the freedoms we enjoy is free speech, protected by our Constitution.  But when it comes to our personal data protection, not so much. Isn’t that incredible? Europeans and others are better off with the GDPR.  Isn’t it about time for us to join the club as well?

Stay safe & Have a nice week.

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A Primer On GDPR

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GDPR stands for general data protection regulation. It is an European Union rule that protects individual privacy by regulating how people’s personal data are used. The rule aims to enhance individuals’ control and rights over their personal data.  Something we can all use now-a-day.

Unfortunately, no comparable law exists in the US (although the California Consumer Privacy Act adopted on 28 June 2018 comes closest). We have a patchwork of local, state, and federal laws that targets only specific industry such as the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

And the GDPR is broad.  Even if a company is located outside of the EU, the rule still apply if the company deals with people in the EU. For that reason, many companies are already GDPR compliant. For additional information, this Microsoft site offers useful checklists, references, and tools on how the GDPR works.

Shouldn’t the Americans be protected by its own version of the GDPR?

 

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