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Month: November 2018

Anger

Nowadays, People get angry over everything. In fact, it feels like people are constantly looking for things to get angry about.
Why is anger present? Anger is a feeling. It is a tool given to us. But just like a sword, if we are clumsy of how to use it, it may harm us more than it can protect us.
Someone may bump against our shoulders during rush hour. Another person may steal our parking lot. And immediately, the anger in us starts to boil. Maybe that person has an emergency to attend to? Give them the benefit of the doubt. Find the grace and magnitude in ourselves to forgive others.
Never allow anger to manifest in our mind and body. Uncontrolled, they’ll turn into violence and violence will lead to more undesirable outcomes. Being constantly angry affects us physically. It increases our blood pressure which leads to health problems like stroke and heart attack. It affects our day in the office adversely. It affects our sleep quality at night. It may even affect our relationships with our family and friends.
When we are prone to anger, we are actually in a vulnerable state. We may see angry people as brave. But actually, they are in a extremely weak mental state. When we are being confrontational all the time, we succumb the controls of our feelings to the people, or things, that makes us angry.
Since young, I never understood how could those grandmasters in kungfu movies be so calm in the face of even the worst calamities. Now, I do. Being angry in angry situations is easy and doesn’t require much strength. On the other hand, being calm in angry situations requires much experience, wisdom and self-control.
So, learn to let go of anger. Control anger, not letting anger control us. Take a deep breath when we encounter a potentially angry situation. Or even better, avoid these situations. Walk away from anger. Suppress anger. Meditate. Sleep through anger. Let time be your best friend in times of anger.
Most of the time, as time passes, you’ll realize how small the issue really was in the first place.

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Scaling

scaling

Recently, I was in the humble city of Maoming.

While in the streets, I spotted this dentist meticulously attending to his patient. The way he was going on with his job, without a care of the hustle and bustle outside, intrigued me deeply.

I whipped out my camera and carefully snapped this photograph.

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A More Positive View

Often, when we attempt to put our points across, we tend to first bring up a lot of negatives of the contrary. The reason for doing so? Justification.

For example, many minimalists tend to talk about how stressful it feels with all the clutter in their lives. How hoarding is bad. How accumulating too much is detrimental to their sanity. How this is bad and how that is bad. And because of all these negative consequences, minimalism is the way to live.

Similarly, environmental groups, religious groups, politicians, etc. these days seemed to apply the common pattern of needing to vilify the views of non-supporters, to promote their own.

These examples may seemed innocuously harmless, but is it?

The problem is that by applying this method of promoting our views, we are inadvertently subjecting ourselves to generating a lot of criticism. Although criticism is not necessarily bad all the time, it creates negativity in us.

If everytime we need to put ourselves in an environment, where we have to create a lot of negativity before advocating our messages, we could be potentially putting ourselves at the risk of ingesting too much resentments. Ultimately, we end up running in loops, seeking happiness and positivity, in vain.

Instead, wouldn’t a piece of message be more beautiful and convincing if it’s able to fully focused only on it’s own advantages and strength, without any need to disparage others?

The next time you’re delivering your message, practise some self-observation. Try to curb your urge to criticize, or if criticisms are necessary, be mindful and attempt to reduce the necessity of it.

By being conscious of what we think, we can get into a habit of generating positive thoughts.

Perhaps our vilification of others is an evidence of how soft and lame ours really are.

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3 Things Not to Give This Christmas

One of the big decisions to make during Christmas period is to decide on what to buy for our loved ones for their Christmas presents. Here’s 3 things that I will be striking off my to-give list.

Clothes

Clothes is a very subjective choice. People have different fashion sense. And also choice of material. And of cos, there’s the problem of mismatching sizes.

If you are buying clothes for your children, that’s OK. But perhaps you may want to consider other stuff if you are buying for your grown up friends and family members.

Wallets

How many wallets does a person need? Unless you are buying for your partner and you know his/her wallet is damaged, you might want to avoid giving wallets as presents.

From my personal experience, most people only carry wallets that are either bought by themselves, or given to them by their partners. This applies to bags as well.

Pets

Never ever buy pets for people, no matter how ‘sweet’ it may seem. We should never give living, and moving, things that are made from flesh and blood to people. It doesn’t matter if it’s fish, terrapins or dogs.

These breathing organisms require a lot of attention, care and money to look after. The animals may be subjected to negligence once the novelty runs out. 

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Watch

my watch

A watch-wearer for most of my life, I decided stop wearing them about a year ago.

In the past, watches play a very important role in helping us tell the time. Today, this role has been replaced by our smartphone. Essentially, we are carrying two watches with us everyday.

I never enjoyed wearing watches. It binds uncomfortable around my wrist. It’s clunky and weighs like half a kilogram. Watches are prone to knocks and scratches. They’re vulnerable to water ingestion. Wearing them obstructs my writing. Watches also require regular maintenance, cleaning and storage.

Once I was able to let go of the need to wear them, I’m absolved of all the perturbance that comes with it.

These days, watches have also evolved into high-tech smartwatches. Not only can they tell the time, they can perform almost everything that a smartphone does.

And of cos, to many, watches are more than just watches. They are also an accessory. People collect and wear them to feel good and impress people around them.

Why do you wear a watch?

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My Minimalist Desk

my desk

This is my desk. Although it looks clean, sometimes, it can get really quite messy. After all, my wife, who is a “maximalist”, tends to leave her belongings on it quite often.

I am always conscious of keeping it clutter-free. Clutter blocks my energy streams and if prolonged, it will leads to lethargy and restlessness.

Removing the unnecessary stuff will unblock these energy streams and keep my days positive and energetic.

Having a clean and tidy desk also improves my creativity and productivity. And not to forget, the peace and serenity that it brings.

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3 Ways to Get Rid of Your Debt

Once upon a time, my financial situation was in an abysmal state. Broke, but stuck in an endless loop of spending and trying to impress others.

Anyone who has ever experienced drowning in the sea of debt will tell you how painful it is.

However, being in debt is not a permanent situation. Getting out of it is very possible. Here’s 3 proven methods to help you get out of debt.

Set Aside a Monthly Portion of Your Income For Debt Payment

The most important part of debt payment is , actually, paying it. Your income, at this point of time, should only fulfil two roles- survival and paying your debt.

You should not be setting aside money for holidays. You should not be attending any parties. You should not be at the shopping malls.

Set aside a reasonable amount of your income for your debt payment. Set a timeline that you want to pay off your debts. Be realistic. If you owe $24,000 and is only able to set aside $1,000 a month. Then stick to it and expect to pay off your debt in 2 years.

Do not forget to factor fees like minimum payment and interests into your plan.

Get Rid of the Small Debts First

You may be owing money to a few loan companies. One way is to get rid of the small debts first.

When we are able to overcome one obstacle at a time, we find motivation to keep going. This is called, “winning small victories” or “chopping down the monster”. It keeps us hopeful and help us see that the possibilities of success.

You will also have to factor in which loan company is charging you the highest interest. If there’s a company that is charging you a much higher interest than the rest, then it is advisable to tackle that first.

Dave Ramsey

I am fortunate to come across Dave Ramsey at a time where I found myself in a messy financial state. I found his satirical way of educating his audience captivating.

If you are looking for get rich quick methods, perhaps you may want to look elsewhere. But if you are trying to find an escape route out of the lybrinth of money troubles, his message is clear and concise.

At our lowest point, it is vital that we find the proper support and guidance to help us navigate through the stormy seas.

https://www.daveramsey.com

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Guangzhou

I consider Guangzhou, China, my second home. I could still remember vividly the first time I went to Guangzhou 3 years ago and how I fell in love with her immediately.

One thing I love about Guangzhou is how it is able to construct such a beautiful metropolis in such a historical city. The architecture in Guangzhou exudes a sense of beauty and simplicity.

I love how the un-missable Canton Tower, the world’s second tallest tower, lit up with it’s vibrant rainbow colours at night. The local affectionately calls it 小蛮腰, xiao man yao (translate: slim waist). And I also love how minimalist Guangzhou CTF Centre, the world’s seventh tallest building, is built.

One of the best experience of staying near the city area is to be able to go jogging in the city. Here’s some photos that I’ve taken during my stay in Guangzhou.

Canton Tower
Guangzhou International Financial Centre
Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre
Guangdong Museum
Guangzhou Library
view from our balcony (Canton Tower lighting up)
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Our Limited Capacity

We often forget that our capacity, no matter how vast it may seem, are limited. Take a look at your own capacity, how much negativity are you holding on to? 10% maybe? Negative thoughts, negative people, negative stuff, negative job, negative environment, negative activities, negative memories, etc.

Ever asked yourself,”Why am I holding on to these 10% negativity?”

Ever imagined how much a better person would you become if you are able to make space for more positives by letting go most, or even all of the 10% negativity?

Don’t deprive you of the best version of yourself. Don’t let the negativity impede your journey to unimaginable greatness.

Life in today’s world is truly depressing. Even being 90% positive seemed to be insufficient.

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We Come With Nothing

… and leave with nothing.

Accumulation is a survival instinct given to us. To be able to survive on the stuff we hoard through thin times.

But in present times, what are we hoarding? Not the food and necessities to keep us alive, but stuff to keep us entertained and comfortable. Perhaps a little too entertained and comfortable, to the point of becoming uncomfortable.

Failing to realize what is sufficient is making us waste our energy to accumulate more than what we require. Accumulation doesn’t come free. It requires fuel. Fuel like our time and energy. Our relationships. Our money. Not learning how to cope with the failure of accumulation and managing of losses have also brought much sufferings to many.

We think everything that we have accumulated belongs to us. They belong to us for eternity. But do they? Of cos not. It is a huge misconception.

When we leave this world, we have to return everything back. We can’t keep a single thing we have ‘owned’. Not even the clothes we wear to our graves. We leave this world cold and naked.

Just like how we came.

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