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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Week In Review – 31 Mar 2019

As April knocking on our doors, we say goodbye to March.

Transition is a good time to step back and take a look.  Are there traps that have us locked in gradually?  Yes, traps like the boiling frog.  Since we are all creatures of habits, are there things we developed that no longer serve us?

Confirmation bias is one of such traps, and one’s calling is another.  Why?  When we are sure about things, our attitudes project an aura of confidence.  But over-reach about our-selves, beliefs, and habits make us less willing to try, or be open, to different ideas and possibilities.

Don’t believe me? Take this one word test: Trump.  And see what comes to your mind.

If you are inclined to be unstuck, be not afraid to learn and do something different. It’s a practice that helps to avoid being trapped in our own circle.  Want to learn a new skill?  Any skills can be had in 20 hours.  Why not give it a shot.

As for me, I vote to laugh at the life’s downsides and enjoy the opportunities it offers.

Have a nice week.

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A Good Laugh

“When was the last time you had a good laugh?” I asked myself.  You know the kind that you laugh so hard that you couldn’t help but double over until  tears coming out of your eyes or your stomach hurts.  Whichever comes last.

Have to think about it?  Well, take your time.  But full disclosure, I haven’t figured out the answer. Yes, it has been that long?!  Sad isn’t it?  And adding insult to injury, I also know people who have hearty laughs on a regular basis.  How disgusting.

So in the spirit of getting even with them, and it’s end of March,  here are three puns for you:

  1. Today at the bank, an old lady asked me to help check her balance.  .  .  So I pushed her over.
  2. I couldn’t figure out why the baseball kept getting larger and larger.  Then it hit me.
  3. The other day, my wife asked me to pass her lipstick but I accidentally passed her a glue stick. She still isn’t talking to me.

If you like them please subscribe and donate [Just Kidding], find more here.

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Experiential Learning, Part 2

As an intuitive learner, I find connections quickly.  Unfortunately, too quick sometimes, and the details are lost on me.  Thus I appreciate experiential learning or leaning by doing in that the finer points manifest themselves and smack me in the face.

Allow me to explain with two examples from my meditation recently.

The concepts of “letting go” and “be present” are familiar to me.  I understand to let go of my attachments, whatever they may be, in order to be present in the here and now.  You know, not thinking about the mistake I made and missing the opportunity in front of my nose.  Got that.

But common sense is not always common practice.

It is not until recently did I realize: 1) breathing is going to happen anyway [Duh], and 2) it’s okay to let go of it.  Why the big deal? You ask.  This is a big step because it had taken me awhile to meditate my way to this point, and the breath had been my guidepost along the way.

Then after I grasped the point of letting go of my breath, comes another zinger:  I heard the birds singing outside of my window.  Talking about “be present” in the moment.  What a wake up call.  That meditative session leaves me a very different meaning than my intuitive understanding of the same concepts.

What is your experience in learning?

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Reblog: Learn Any Skills in 20 Hours


Google the definition of “skill” and you get: the ability to do something well, expertise.  And according to Josh Kaufman, just 20 hours is enough to become “reasonably good” at any skill, including to play the ukulele as he demonstrated during his Ted Talk.

Kaufman lays out 4 steps in his “rapid skill acquisition” method:

1. Deconstruct the skill – Break the skill down into its most basic parts. Which parts are necessary for hitting the goal you have? If your goal is to sing a song in Korean, you can primarily focus on pronunciation, not learning a bunch of vocabulary.

2. Learn enough to self correct – Bite-size learning to get started, and just enough to notice when you’re making mistakes.  If the major pieces fit, keep going.  Otherwise try something different.

3. Remove barriers to practice – Turn off your phone, unplug the TV. Put your language book in the middle of your room, not behind your stack of dirty laundry.  And set aside time for the practice.

4. Practice for at least 20 hours – Commit to 20 hours from the start. You may need more practice after the 20 hours, but at least committing beforehand will help you push through any initial challenges or frustrations.

With these 4 simple steps and 20 hours, Kaufman suggests we can all overcome the fear of learning any skills.  Wanna give it a try?

Do you have any skill on your wish list?


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One’s Calling?

Chance upon this quote by Abraham Maslow that says, in my paraphrasing:  If you have a calling, you must follow it in order to be at peace with yourself [Source link below].

An eloquent quote with one important caveat – that one’s calling is known. Because I wonder how many people really know their callings? And assuming they do, follow up with their passion?

Maslow has always advocated that self-actualization being the highest form of human motivations.  So his quote follows his theory beautifully.  But what if I don’t know my calling? What do I must do?

Source: Today’s Quote ‹ Soul Gatherings ‹ Reader —

What do you must do?

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