Saturday, December 31, 2011

7 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Child Who is Studying in Another Country

 7 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Child Who is Studying in Another Country

The best way to make children good is to make them happy. ~Oscar Wilde

When your child is away from home studying in another country, how do you keep in touch, show your concern for his or her well-being and keep them motivated?  Here are a few things you can do to support and motivate them:

1.       Send a daily quote: This is what I do to my son who is studying in Singapore. Every morning, I will, without fail, email him a motivational quote. There is nothing better than some encouraging words to start a brand new day. Motivational quotes inspire and stimulate you to start a new day with the right frame of mind and stay positive and motivated.  

2.       Weekly chat over Skype: In order that he is not interrupted in his study and daily routine, we only chat with our son during the weekend through Skype, which is free.  This weekly session is to touch base and exchange information and also allows us to be on top of his progress. It is heartwarming to chat and see his face on the computer screen. How do you keep in touch with your child and how often?

3.       Help him do homework: My son is studying Business IT. From time to time, I will help him in his assignments through email.  My experience in the real business world and the proper usage of commercial English is a great help to him.  He is happy that he can count on his dad and I am happy that I can help my son.

4.       Be enthusiastic and provide support for your child’s effort and endeavor:  Always encourage your child in what he or she is trying to achieve in their study. When they know that you are supporting their effort, they will try harder and do their best.

5.       Congratulate him for each stage of his success: Share the joy and happiness with your child when he or she has met with success even in a small way. Success breeds success and it is a powerful way to build confidence and stay motivated. By the same token, stay by your child when they meet with setbacks and obstacles. Encourage them to bounce back and be resilience.  

6.       Celebrate his or her success: Don’t forget to celebrate his success when your child has returned home for his or her semester break.  It is to renew their fighting spirits and encourage them to do better in the journey of life.

7.       Remind your child to be health conscious: Does your child exercise regularly? My son is not physically active. We often remind him to move about more often so that he can be fit not only physically but mentally. To be successful in life is to be fit physically and excel academically. 

You will know your child is motivated because of he or she:

·         Sets challenging goals
·         Gets assignments done  with great effort and concentration
·         Is enthusiastic to learn  and know more

When you are motivated, you can motivate your child.   

Friday, December 30, 2011

6 Warning Signs that Your House is Not Suitable to Live

You are getting nowhere in life, your health is deteriorating and you are living without peace of mind. Most likely you are affected by the house where you live:

Power lines
1.       Electromagnetic radiation: Is your house situated next to power lines? According to, an enormous amount of electricity is created at power generating stations and sent across the country through wires that carry high voltages. All power lines radiate electromagnetic fields. There is a danger that living near power lines increases cancer risk, says thedailygreen.

2       Industrial activities: Is your house near an industrial site such as a quarry. Air and noise pollution will affect your health adversely in the long run. You also have to watch out for flying stones during the blasting of rocks.
3.       Places of worship: Is there a place of worship near your home? According to Albert Low, a Feng Shui expert, most religious places exert a unique spiritual influence and they are normally guarded by some special shield against hostile influences. This shield which protects the temple may have an adverse effect on houses nearby. Besides that, a temple also absorbs all positive energy from its surroundings and houses nearby would eventually lose their vitality and good Feng Shui.

4.       Low-lying area: Are you living in the low ground? Your house will be the first one to get affected in case of a flood. It is even worse when there is a road running parallel to your house at a higher ground. You will be affected by the dust generated by on-going traffic. It is even more dangerous that a car may slam into your home when it goes out of control.

5.       T-junction: Can you sleep in peace when your house is facing a T-junction? Oncoming cars with high beams frequently throw light at your house at night. Worse still, a drunk driver or a car with malfunction brake may hit your house directly.

6.       Facing a hill: How do you feel, every time when you go out of your house, you face a hill in front of you? You are literally hitting the wall and making no progress in life. A hill blocks positive energy from going into your house. You are negatively affected every time you look at the hill because you cannot look far away. There is also a danger of landslide because of soil erosion.

In such situations, the best thing you can do is to relocate your home.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are You Happy at Work?

Are you happy working?

The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure.
-- Francoise de Motteville

Google, the number-one-ranked company in last year's poll, maybe the best place to work but it is not one of the top 50 happiest places to work. According to CareerBliss Hilton Worldwide and its 130,000 employees tops the 2012 survey for the happiest company.

You may not be working in one of the top 50 happiest companies, but you can create your own happiness at work.    Here are the things that you can do to be happy at the workplace:

·         Start a new day right: Wake up and get up early with the right frame of mind. Look forward to a new day with eagerness. It is a brand new day; you can make a happy difference in your life when you decide to be so. Take along happiness to work.

·         Project a happy image: It is easy to be happy at work. Just dress your best to project a professional image. Always wear a smile and acknowledge and greet others you meet. When you are lighthearted, you influence others to be happy too.

·         Be excited: Do you enjoy what you do? Be excited and enthusiastic about your work. Your passion to work your best is one sure way to be happy at work.  

I feel sorry for the person who can't get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.
-- Walter Chrysler

·         Be positive: Is your attitude positive? Positive thinking reacts to events with an open mind. They welcome changes, they enjoy learning new things. They welcome problems to stretch their mind.

Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.
-- Colleen C. Barrett

·         Be organized: Working orderly is the best assurance of happiness at work. You work according to your plan and you know you will get the results as expected.

·         Be productive: Smart people are happy people because they are creative to find the most efficient and effective way to do their best work. The happier they are, the more they will be able to simplify their work to achieve excellence.  

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. -Pearl S. Buck

·         Be responsible: Happy people are responsible people. They take pride in what they do because they take the pain to produce quality work. Their work is their brand. They are happy and proud of their reputation.

There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
-- Henry Ford

·         Be confident: To be happy at work is to know your job well. Be competent so that others can count on you. Continuous learning is the way to sustain your competency and build self-confidence. Happiness is knowing that you can get the job done no matter what.

·         Be motivated: You may be praised from time to time for doing a good job. How do you encourage yourself to excel in your work? Set challenging goals and monitor your progress. Reward yourself each time your performance meets with success. Motivation creates happiness and propels you to work harder and achieve more.  

 Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.
-- Johnny Carson
Related post:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 More Positive Attitudes to Work Productively

Positive attitude

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
W. Clement Stone
Technical skills may secure a job for you, but it is your soft skills that propel you to greater height in your career. Here are the attitudes that you should adopt to work productively and achieve career success:

1.       Like what you do: Do you enjoy your work?  It is essential to develop an interest in what you do so that you can work productively.

2.       Enthusiastic: To work enthusiastically is to work with energy. When you work wholeheartedly, you forget the passage of time because you pay full attention at work.

3.       Be confident: Be competent and know your job well so that you can work confidently. It is important that you continue to update your skills and gain the latest technical knowledge to get ahead and stay ahead.

4.       Welcome problems: Solving problems is a fantastic way to gain experience and boost your confidence. After all, you are employed to solve problems. Get over all problems with resolve and resourcefulness.

5.       Take pride in what you do: Do you appreciate what you do at work?  When you take responsibility and produce quality work, it means you care about your reputation. You want to do a good job. You seek excellence.  

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.
Ralph Marston

6.       Take charge: Show initiative and work proactively. Get things done before you are told to do. Observe, anticipate and take preventive measures and not wasting valuable time to put out a fire.

7.       Get the job done: When you start a job get it done completely. It is not the right way or the right attitude to abandon a project. It looks bad on you.

Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.
Pat Riley

8.       Plan your work: The only way to work productively is to work meticulously. Plan ahead and organize your daily tasks using a to-do list.  Working  orderly is the most effective way to achieve productivity

9.       Be trusted: To be responsible is to honor your promises. Be committed to meeting deadlines and get the trust of others in you. Be a valued member of the team

10.   Improve: To grow your career is to make progress. To move forward is to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone. Think and make necessary changes to work more efficiently and effectively. Working the same old way day in and day out will not produce a different result.

My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.
Duke Ellington
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wisely Consider Online Banking

Online banking

In my last post, I discussed wisely selecting a savings account. Today I’d like to share a growing trend in personal finance, online banking.

Why is online banking becoming a popular option?

Online banks generally offer higher rates and lower expenses when compared to conventional branch banks.

The reason: Online banks live in cyberspace, which means no need for physical locations, unlike their branch bank counterparts. Online banks save millions of dollars each year just because they don’t have a physical location.

The bottom line: Fewer expenses for the bank translates into better rates and lower fees for you, the consumer!

So what’s the best online bank?

To provide a definite answer, I’d have to analyze your financial records and hear your short and long term financial goals. Since that’s not possible, I’ll share with you two of the most popular and highest-rated online banks.

 ING Bank is one of the highest rated consumer banks, according to FindTheBest, with a Smart Rating of 85. The bank supports 35,000 ATMs with only one branch (its corporate headquarters).

  • Checking: The Electric Orange checking account boasts an APY of .2 percent (105.9% higher than the average) and requires no minimum balance, making it a great option to consider. However, other checking accounts offer higher APYs. If you’re looking to gain a higher return, consider other checking accounts.

  • Savings: ING offers two standard savings accounts: Orange Savings and Kids Savings. Both of these accounts offer a .85 percent APY and require no minimum balance. If you recall my last post then you know that 1 percent is the industry high. At .85 percent you can expect a competitive return on your investment with an ING savings account.

 Ally Bank is another popular online bank, though it is not rated by the conventional sources (i.e. JD Power, Moody, MSN Money, etc.). Nevertheless, its savings and checking account are some of the most attractive on the market.

  • Checking: Ally’s standard checking account APY is .5 percent (.3% higher than ING). They don’t require a minimum balance but charge an overdraft fee of 9$, which is 70.3 percent lower than all the checking accounts according to FindTheBest’s database. Other features included online bill pay, account alert, and free checks.

  • Savings: Ally offers two fantastic savings accounts, both of which carry an APY of .89 percent. Unlike ING, Ally’s saving accounts require no minimum balance. Though a difference of .04 percent APY may not seem like a significant amount in a savings account, a compounding interest rate of .04 percent can return a hearty amount of money in the long run. Comparing savings accounts is tricky, but if you start with Ally I promise you’ll be starting with one of the best!

What don’t online banks offer?

Although the better rates and reduced fees make online banks an attractive option, it’s important to consider what you’re giving up when you leave a bank with a physical presence. The loss of a physical location means the loss of people. Unlike your local bank, where you can go in and chat with a representative face-to-face. with online banking, you’ll need to be content with phone conversations and IM chats. Therefore, if you’re a “people person,” online banking may not be the best fit for your needs.

Furthermore, cyberspace may allow for a great deal of freedom, but it also opens the possibility of hacking. Research the encryption that online banks use and make sure their track record is spotless. The last thing you want is to log on and see straight zeros where numerical digits used to live!

Once again, do your research and always be an informed consumer when deciding between any products, especially banks.

Byline: Post provided by Kyle Espinola of FindTheBest, an unbiased data-driven comparison engine designed to help you find the best of anything from a credit union to section 8 housing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

7 Ways to Develop a Profitable Idea Online

A brilliant idea is all you need to do business online. How do you start looking for a business idea? It starts with you.  Here are the logical ways to generate your own money making business idea: 

1.       Identify your strengths: What are your talents and skills? Can you covert your expertise into a business idea. It must be something you enjoy doing and passionate about. Your personal interest is important to sustain in what you do day in and day out. As an example, I enjoy writing and it is my idea to be a writer online. The possibility to write and blog is endless.

2.       Can you do it better than others: What are the things you can do better than others? When you have a competitive edge in doing something, think of a way to translate it into a money making idea.

3.       Be different: It is likely that your business idea is similar to many others. Can you do it with a new twist? Can you add something to it? Can you make it bigger or smaller? To be different is to stand out among the competitions.  

4.       Current events for business ideas: Go surfing and look for an idea from successful websites. What can you learn from their achievements? What spin-off can you get out of their effective ways of doing things? 

5.       Provide value: To help others get what they want is the best way to get what you want.  As an example, when you write articles for your blog by providing solutions to everyday problems, you are writing for your readers and you offer valuable information. It is not done once in a while but daily. Over time, you will attract more and more readers to your site. When it is getting popular, you will get business opportunities from advertisers. You can also make money with Adsense Ads, selling your own products or be an affiliate. You can even start a membership site or build an email list to do more business.

6.       Change: Be alert and take note of changing market conditions. Get to know the latest trend, learn from it and improve upon it. To progress and to get ahead, it is necessary to make changes. Change before you are forced to change.

7.       Positive attitude: You will not be successful overnight. You need to be consistent, persistent in doing the right things every day. Be creative and resourceful in dealing with hurdles and problems along the way.  You also need to be focused and optimistic. It has taken me four years to get noticed by advertisers.     

Have you got a bright idea yet to do business online?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

7 Effective Ways to Change


When you change your thinking, you change your life.  How do you make effective changes to transform your life? Here are the things that you can do to change your life for the better.

1.       Change your thinking:  When life is not getting you anywhere because you are doing the same thing day in and day out, you have to change what you do if you want to see a difference result in your life.  Before you do that, you have to change the way you think. Is your thinking negative or possible?  Positive thinking will more likely get you to where you want to go. Negative thoughts will discourage you from getting success. The starting point to change your life is to think positive. 

2.       Change your attitude: Your attitude is influenced by your thinking. Positive thinking will promote a positive attitude in you.  You are sure of yourself, confident, look at life optimistically and face problems positively.      

3.       Change your habits: You will be energetic and enthusiastic about life when your thinking and attitude are positive. You will look forward to each new day with excitement and get things done eagerly.    You will replace your previous habit of procrastinating when you know what you want in life.

4.       Know what you want: You know you are not happy with your present situation and you want to make a change. It is the right time for you to plan ahead and set goals.  You will feel good about yourself because you can see clearly the journey of your life. You will be happy because you finally know what you want in life and you are going for it.

5.       Take action: The most important thing in life is to take action. Your anxiousness to get things done will change your habit of procrastinating. Just do it and take the first step and go on from there. Success is measured by what you do every day and not just once in a while.

6.       Be focused: Look at your goals daily and do what you have to do every day. Avoid distractions and interruptions. Success will not happen overnight. Be consistent, persistent and persevered. Overcome problems with resourcefulness and resolve.   

7.       More changes: Monitor your progress from time to time. Are you getting the results as expected? Do you need to change your plan?  Do you need to work in a different way? Be alert to changing situations and work smartly.

It is your life; you make changes and live the life you want.

Friday, December 23, 2011

7 Ways to be Optimistic


One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. ~ Lucille Ball

Optimism is the right and sensible choice to live with life. Because the world is full of negativity you have to fortify yourself with positivity to survive with courage and confidence. Here are the things that you can do to be optimistic: 

1.       Avoid negative influences: Don’t read newspapers in the morning. It is full of sensational news about rapes, scandals, corruption, murders and disasters. Instead, read motivational quotes to cheer you up and lift up your spirits. Watch less TV at home in the evening to dull your mind, read books to enlighten and inspire you.    

2.       Don’t look back: Do not allow the past to hold you back. Today is a new beginning, do it boldly in a   different way to get things done and achieve the desired results. 

3.       Stay motivated: Exercise daily to be alert and energetic. Plan ahead and take action accordingly to be in full control of your life. Connect with those people who are positive thinking and forward-looking so that you stay enthusiastic and be excited.

4.       Be here and now:   Don’t worry about the future. Live and enjoy life now. Concentrate on what you do and do the best you can with what you have.  Doing superbly well today will ensure a better tomorrow.

5.       Think of your strengths: Focus on what you can do and believe in yourself. Thinking of what you do best is the most effective way to face challenges in life confidently.   

6.       Positive mindset: When you choose to look at the sunny side of things, your outlook is brighter. You will be calm and you worry less.

7.       Be happy: To wake up early in the morning and feel good about yourself is not only good for your health, but it is also a good way to promote happiness in you. Every day do what you like and take delight in what you do. Smile to people you meet and Joke with your friends and laugh out loud. Happiness is an effective way to promote optimism.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. ~Helen Keller

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What an Emergency Fund Can do for Your Car Loans and Credit Card Debts

Emergency fund
Your current earning may be good enough for you to qualify for a car loan or get your credit cards.  However, it is not good enough when you are unemployed. You need an emergency fund.     

Credit card debts
Do you know in most cases people have declared bankrupts because they are out of job?  See the comments in this article: Credit Card and Bankruptcy in Malaysia. Unemployment may be an issue; the most important thing is that there is no emergency fund to cushion the blow. When it happens, the credit card debt is allowed to snowball and facilitated the bank to institute bankruptcy proceedings against defaulters.  With an emergency fund, you can carry on living normally and pay your credit card bills promptly to avoid interest and late payment charges. Start using your credit card only when you have sufficient emergency fund to cover three to six months living expense.

Car loan
 A car loan is quite a substantial amount. The fact is that the car does not belong to you, you are the hirer and the bank is the owner. When you default in installment payments, the bank will repossess your car. Most likely than not, the current car value which has been depreciated over time is insufficient to cover the amount you owe the bank.    The bank will go after you for the difference. When you are unemployed, you have no fund to top up the amount. The outstanding amount together with compound interest will accumulate into a sum like RM30,000 in Malaysia to declare you a bankrupt. An emergency fund will help you avoid such a situation.  

 Do you have an emergency fund? It is good to cover life’s unexpected expenditures such as sudden medical expense but more importantly, avoid being declared a bankrupt.            

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

7 Effective Ways to Review 2011 and Plan Productively for 2012

Review 2011 and Plan Productively for 2012

As we bid farewell to 2011, it is timely to take stock of what we have achieved for 2011.The following areas are what you should be very concerned about because all these are the essence of your life:

1.      Health: Are you getting fitter? Did you exercise every day? Did you get peace of mind? Have you got enough sleep? Did you eat healthily? Have you achieved your health goals for the year?  When your answers are positive. You must be in the pink of health.  
2.      Career: Did you get the promotion you have in mind? Did you get your pay raise and are you happy with the amount? How positive is your attitude at work? Most important of all: Are you happy at work?

3.      Family: Do you lead a balanced life? Have you spent enough quality time at home with your loved ones? Do you leave work at work or do you take home more work? 

4.      Personal finance: Did you manage to reduce your debt? Have you set aside an amount for emergency purposes? Have you got a monthly budget which incorporates an amount for savings? Did you follow your budget faithfully without incurring debt? A debt-free person is a care-free and happy person. 

5.      Relationships: Did you spend time with people you care about? Have you met new friends? A relationship is to give and take. It is also to support and be supported.

6.      Personal Development: Have you taken the time to read books? Did you continue to learn and update your knowledge relating to your work? What new things have you learnt for the year?

7.      Giving: To give is to care and pay attention to others. Do what you can for others in the form of community services or donation. To what extend did you give to others? 

When you know your performance in 2011, it is also a good time to plan ahead and start the New Year with a bang:

1.      Health: What is the number one concern of your health? Are you working too hard and spending not enough time to exercise? Start now and get into the habit of exercising every day. The most important thing is to get it started. 

2.      Career: What is your next move? What are the steps you need to take and move up? It is timely to plan and act accordingly. It is also good to work smart and secure the next pay increment.

3.      Family: There is a saying that your presence at home is more important than your presents. Allocate more time to be with family members. Your children need your time with them more than anything else.

4.      Personal finance: What are your goals for 2012? Getting rid of debt is the No. 1 priority if you are in debt. Setting aside an emergency fund is also crucial for your financial well-being.

5.      Relationships: Find out those people that you have neglected in the past and start calling them. Get to know more positive people and learn from them. Always stay in touch.

6.      Personal Development: What can you learn this year so that you can be more competent to achieve your career goals? Starting a blog and writing articles is a marvelous way to develop your writing skills and sharing what you know for the benefits of others.   

7.      Giving: Think of the people that you are grateful for and express your appreciation. Do something in return. Earmarking an amount for worthy courses is a good move for the New Year. Be more alert to do random acts of kindness.

I hope this little article is able to help you establish what you need to do so that you can start the New Year right and be successful. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for True Relationships


A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. ~ William Arthur Ward

There are many ways to be a friend. The simplest way is to be one:

·       Forgiving: To forgive is to free from anger, bitterness, resentment, depression and other negative emotions. Practice gratitude to forgive gracefully and get a piece of mind.

·         Reassuring:  To be a true friend is to show encouragement and support. You motivate the other person to go beyond what he or she can do.

·         Interesting: A true friend is someone you can share jokes and laugh out loud. Friendship is for happiness.

·         Empathetic: How to be a friend if you are not interested in the other person? To be a friend is to share happiness and as well as sorrow. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

·         Natural: Friendship develops naturally. It is easy going with no string attached.

·         Deliver: To be a friend is to be trusted. When you promise, you must deliver. If you cannot do it, don’t force yourself to make promises, your friend will understand.

·         Sincere: Sincerity is about truthfulness and honesty. There is nothing to hide. Your friend will accept you as you are with the good and the bad sides of you.

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
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