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Currently reading: I Know How She Does It


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I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam, page 127-128

Fortunately, being mindful of  your time – making a commitment to be there physically and mentally and enjoy life while doing so – makes memories possible. We control a lot less about our children’s outcomes in life than we think. They are their own people. But one thing parents do shape is whether kids remember their childhoods as happy. Creating a happy home is a conscious choice, as is creating a happy marriage.





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What’s your type? I’m an INFJ: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)


extrovert (1)

Many times, I thought I understand the world better than I did yesterday. I thought if I did, it’ll help me to better relate to others, but I was fooling myself.

I know it’s humanly impossible to grasp even the slightest idea of how the world works (even though I always try), so the only way to find meaning behind our existence is through the details: its complex inhabitants that is us humans – us as a collective, us as individuals.

My nature tends to look at the outside world in its totality and try to understand it so I can adjust myself accordingly, when instead I should be glancing inward more than I speculate the outside. Since extraverting is a huge source of my stress, given an extended period of time, this constant adjusting always becomes a problem.

For the born-extraverts, it’s usually the other way around.

You thought you know yourself well enough to relate better with the world than before, but you’re only fooling yourself. Because truth is, when you zoom in from the world at large, you yourself as a human being is one of the greatest mysteries in your life.

Continue reading What’s your type? I’m an INFJ: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

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Currently revisiting: The Art of Thinking Clearly



The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli, page 275-276

This goes out to the fellow chronic overthinkers out there. Hope it helps~

“When do you listen to your head and when do you heed your gut?
A rule of thumb might be: if it is something to do with practised activities, such as motor skills, or questions you’ve answered a thousand times, it’s better not to reflect to the last detail. It undermines your intuitive ability to solve problems. The same applies to decisions that our Stone Age ancestors faced – evaluating what was edible, who would make good friends, whom to trust. For such purposes, we have heuristics, mental shortcuts that are clearly superior to rational thought. With complex matters, though, such as investment decisions, sober reflection is indispensable. Evolution has not equipped us for such considerations, so logic trumps intuition.”





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Currently revisiting: The E-Myth Enterprise



The E-Myth Enterprise by Michael E. Gerber, page 94

“There is something else about E-Myth Enterprises that endow them with such a tangible difference. And it is that these businesses, these E-Myth Enterprises, are created, not by businesspeople, not by so-called entrepreneurs, but – and there is no other way to say it – by children.

These E-Myth Enterprises are created by the youngest part of us, not the most adult.

They are created by that part of us that believes it has the right to expect the world to change, to give us everything we want, exactly as we imagine it.

Not the methodical part, the dependable part, the reliable part, the responsible part, the grown-up in us all, the part one expects the manager to play.

Not the adult who has learned to limit his or her expectations, but the child who wants it all.”





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2 powerful herbs for vitality



In most Asian households, meals are often prepared with herbal ingredients that have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Mine was no different – while as a kid I used to hate the weird dates, the black chicken essence and all those bitter roots in soups she prepares, I eventually learned to love them since I started cooking. This soup was one example, but there are many more herbs in the Materia Medica that I now ingest regularly. The following are just the 2 I try to take everyday.

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10 steps to believe you’re beautiful


How you perceive yourself has a much bigger effect on your day than you might think. Plus, it’s so easy to feel unpretty in the face of roadside billboards and the pages of glossy magazines (especially on bad hair days).

My hair is fine today, thanks, and this morning I want to share my personal battle with self-esteem. I still attempt to overcome it on a daily basis, and there’s a whole dark side to the story that I’ll be sharing next week. But for now, let me just run through what I do to pick myself back up again:

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The road to success

We all know that there is no one-way road to achieving success. Even if there is such an established, perfectly-constructed system, no one has ever succeeded, not even those who have achieved success, in clearly showing others how to get there, though Varun Chablani has made a close call in the clever illustration below.


If we only take a closer look, you’ll find that the successful person just decides to succeed.


Success story

The successful person is the first and the last to know nothing but to catch the one train in time to get himself toward Success.

Looking at the illustration, the successful person starts his humble beginnings at Opportunity and go straight to the railroad station before he misses his train, disregarding the appeals of Bohemianism (draft beers) or the endless spin of Conceit (self-engagement). Once on board under the Right System, the successful person takes no second glance at Hotel Know It All, an imprisonment appealingly masked as knowledge, because he has admitted himself to knowing nothing but catching his train.

Only by withholding his good habits and virtues could the successful person bypass Bad Habits and Vices in order to get into the promised land of the System, wherein the biggest and the only hurdle before success is overcoming the Lack of Preparation tunnel, a dark path where the successful person has chosen to learn True Knowledge and gain wisdom.

Once the successful person saw the light at the end of the tunnel, he becomes successful by autopilot: His train follows his soul beyond the Gate of Ideals across the straight, unobstructive path toward Success, while those who have never gotten onboard in the train could only get to Weak Morals at best, unless they finally choose to make the wise decision to succeed.

Then again, we all know that there are far too many successful people who have been welcomed into the promised land, gained wisdom, and practiced morality without getting onboard in their trains, right? Those who get back on their feet after falling into Failure have found the harder road toward Success by their own ideals.


The public secret

The-Strangest-Secret-e1320849973872I’m currently reading the dean of personal development’s spoken word 1956 record The Strangest Secret, which has sold Earl Nightingale over 1 million copies worldwide even during his time.

Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s 1937 opus Think And Grow Rich, Nightingale wrote the book in honor of history’s most prominent successful persons, their succeeding contributions, and the strangest, yet most remarkable secret of all time, which has preceded these successes in the past as well as the extensive successes achieved today: We become what we think about.

This secret is synonymous with the message written on some of the best-selling self-help books in the industry today, namely Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and the Hicks’ Ask And It Is Given.

Nonetheless, in Nightingale’s own words, success is defined by “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” By this definition, he has devoted a whole chapter to explore the intrinsic value of success, which I think is convincing because let’s face it – success feels better achieved by effort than when it is given.

This chapter is, arguably, a quotation-filled minefield that reflects how we often corrupt the very power of human thought in our lives by thinking in negative terms. Take a look at these clips:


1. A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.

(Marcus Aurelius)


2. A man is what he thinks about all day long.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)


3. The greatest discovery of my generation is
that human beings can alter their lives by
altering their attitudes of mind.

(William James)


4. We need only in cold blood act as if
the thing in question was real and it will
become infallibly real by growing into
such a connection with our life that
it will become real. It will become so knit
with habit and emotion, that our interest
in it will be those which characterize belief.

(William James)


5. If you only care enough for a result,
you will almost certainly ascertain it.
If you wish to be rich, you will be rich.
If you wish to be learned, you will be learned.
If you wish to be good, you will good.
Only you must then really wish things
and wish them exclusively
and not wish at the same time
a hundred other compatible things just as strongly.

(William James)


6. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Mark 9:23


7. This is one of the greatest laws in the universe.
Fervently do I wish I had discovered it as a very young man. It dawned upon me much later in life and I found it to be one of the greatest, if not my greatest discovery, outside of my relationship to God. And the great law briefly and simply stated is that if you think in negative terms, you’ll get negative results. If you’ll think in positive terms, you will achieve positive results. That is the simple fact which is at the basis of an astonishing law
of prosperity and success. In three words, ‘believe and succeed’.

(Dr. Norman Vincent Peale)


8. Our doubts are traitors and make us lose
the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

(William Shakespeare)


9. People are always blaming their circumstances
for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.

(George Bernard Shaw)


In other words, the secret acts like a mirror.

To live a successful life means creating our own reality, and doing so deliberately by using the power of thought.


Mirror, mirror

You’ve probably picked it up from Chablani’s illustration, as well as from your own observations throughout the history of mankind: The road to success is, more often than not, a long and lonely one.

As someone who is prone to overthinking, I believe that I’ve created my everyday reality and am responsible for all my setbacks. It’s comforting to say personal achievements out loud, yet looking forward, it’s all too scary to realize them in the first place.

How you decide to succeed, therefore, makes all the difference.

Right now, at 23, I’m lucky to say that the rest of my life still offers a relatively thick block of blank canvas for me to fill. Because I’m aware that every decision I make, both the major and the minor ones, will eventually make a life that constitutes the sum total of my thoughts, I intend to exceed fulfilling my needs by going after my wants quietly.

I envision a life brimming with abundance of my own ideals, and by ideals, I don’t see material gains as much as I see time-tested virtues I particularly value become practiced and crystallized into reality, namely integrity and perseverance.

I’ve had enough of feeling guilty for rejecting others for fear of the attempt. Reframing fear as a motivator and maintaining love as my drive has served me well so far.

I hold Bob Dylan’s definition of success true, which I also believe was a precursor to Steve Jobs’ lifetime achievements as a father, a brother, a husband, a thinker, an innovator, and a hungry fool: “What is money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

Oh, what freedom it is to desire what you already have.

“Success is going to bed at night in peace,” affirmed Stanley to me once, and I couldn’t agree with him more.


So tell me: What does success mean to you? Share your story on the comments section below.




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If you are a color, what are you?


Personas can be expressed in animal form, or determined from a certain blood type. But I believe every one of us are as unique as how much we allow ourselves to be. In this case, it’s how vibrant or delicate you represent a color from the undulating spectrum.

Get to know yourself a bit better through astrologer Michelle Bernhardt’s COLORSTROLOGY exposé, sponsored by color corporation PANTONE®. The revelatory chart is categorized into months, then dates, that tells you who you are according to the time of the year you’re born in. What follows is the specific tone from a color family that you resemble most.1

Simply select your birth month and you’ll see a rainbow of color tones from various hues. You’ll notice how similar shades of different colors cluster together to depict a common trait or aspect of a person born in the selected month. Apparently February has a dewy palette and is full of subtle pastels, such as salmons, sages, and lavenders. Hover on your birth date to see the specific color tone you represent.

As for me, if I am a part of any color, COLORSTROLOGY says that I belong to the pink/purple family:



PANTONE® 16-3617

16-3617 TCX

          • UPLIFTING
          • PROGRESSIVE
          • DETACHED

The color for the month of February is Sheer Lilac. Inspiring and imaginative, this color invokes the qualities of humanity and kindness. Sheer Lilac helps us comprehend the spirit of mankind and allows us to experience our friends and the people in our community as family.

Use this color when emotionally entangled, as it can help you practice and understand detachment. Wear, meditate, and surround yourself with Sheer Lilac to enhance your spirituality and compassion.


February 24: PINK NECTAR

PANTONE® 14-2305

14-2305 TCX

          • SENSITIVE
          • TALENTED
          • AESTHETIC

You have a soft spot when it comes to loving and caring for people that are close to you. Trying to find a balance between taking care of yourself and the needs of others can be one of your challenges. You are usually good at anything related to the arts or creativity. [So, so true.]

Your personal color helps you express your love without becoming too attached. Wearing, meditating, or surrounding yourself with Pink Nectar accentuates your beautiful spirit and allows you to enjoy the treasures that life brings your way.

* * * * * * * * * *


9781594740251_lThe paperback version, on the other hand, provides more in-depth insights on your innermost anima. I flipped through it once when Borders was still around at San Francisco’s Union Square. It’s interesting how you can use a color tone, whether in any part of your clothing or accessories, to take charge of your mood and make the most of that day. For someone with emotional swings like me, Bernhardt’s COLORSTROLOGY was like a tinge of guidance gently tapping into my subconscious and instructed me to simply trust my color tone on that day.


As for this year’s trendiest color, Emerald Green was chosen because it’s “the color of growth, renewal and prosperity — no other color conveys regeneration more than green,” said Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman on a press release. The colorist further pointed out that all over the world, the natural hue has been chosen to represent healing and unity since antiquity. “Green is the most abundant hue in nature — the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.”

Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is important in today’s complex world.

With people worldwide growing increasingly health-conscious, it looks like we’re already heading toward a balanced, centered, and a more verdant journey so far this year, which is great.

Now you tell me: If you are a color, what are you?



  1. Btw, have you heard? 2013’s color is Emerald~ []