Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Things that contribute to your Happiness

10 Things that contribute to your Happiness

Do you know you are in control of your own happiness?
Check out the following:

1.      Health and fitness: It is about self-care and self-love. Happiness is about calmness, energy and alertness. You have to work your body every day to be fit. Eat healthily and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and nourished. Sleep well at night and get up with a fresh mind and body. Feeling good about yourself is one great source of happiness.

2.      Personal power: Life is about taking chances, making choices, taking action and working on changes. You have the power to live the way you want and be happy.

3.      Creativity: Finding solutions and meeting challenges are some of the happy things in life.
It is satisfying to be resourceful to overcome problems.     

4.      Positive outlook: Life is about how you react to events. You are optimistic when in the face of difficulties and setbacks; you display resilience, determination and confidence. Happiness is seeing light at the end of the tunnel and looking at the half full glass.

5.      Family: Family is the smallest unit of community. If you can’t manage a family you are a failure let alone happiness. You contribute towards the happiness of the family and the family will return to you in more happiness.

6.      Purpose in life: Your goals are your purpose in life. It is your passion. It can be your career or a community project. You find meaning in what you do because it is fulfilling and satisfying.

7.      Money: it is not the amount that measures your happiness. It is how you spend your money. If you can live within your means you are happy. If you spend more than what you have and get into debt you are miserable. 

8.      Live in the moment: The greatest joy in life is to live from moment to moment. Focus on what you do and enjoy it like working, eating, having fun or interacting with others.  Live fully in the present.

9.      Love and kindness: It is a very simple philosophy. Can you be happy when you fill your heart with hatred, jealousy and wanting to get even? When you cannot forgive and forget, the past will be haunting you. Let go of the past, think of goodness and kindness and fill your heart with love.   Happiness will be always with you.

10.  Simplicity: Counting on what you have brings you happiness.  Thinking of what you want for the thing you do not have disturbs your peace of mind. Happiness can be something to do, some people to talk to and simple wants in life like reading, a walk in the park or listen to the falling rain. Live and appreciate a simple life 

Are you in control of your own happiness?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How I Was Voted as One of the Top 50 in an Online Contest

How I Was Voted as One of  the Top 50 in an Online Contest
How I Was Voted as One of  the Top 50 in an Online Contest

Recently I took part in an online contest for the first time. In order to participate and get into the final, you will have to get votes from the public. According to one of the rules, the top 50 entries in each category with the highest amount of votes will be shortlisted as potential winners. I am glad that I am among the top 50 for the category Blogger of the Year. I would like to share with you my tactics to get votes:

·         Press Release: This was the most successful method. I sent a press release at on the eve of the voting period. The title of the press release is 10 Ways to Get Votes Online. It had generated more than 4000 views during the voting period. I do not know how many among the viewers voted for me. Assuming a conservative figure of 10%, I would get more than 400 votes just for one vote each. The beauty of the press release is that there are three clickable links to my voting site.

Take-home message: If you want to get what you want, you have to give to others what they want.

·         Articles: I did the same in the form of an article telling people how to get votes online and posted on my site and on an article directory site.

·         Slides: I turn the article into slides and posted at SlideShare. It was a good move because it had received 70 views.

·          On my blog: I have two contest banners, one at the sidebar and another one at the end of my posts, asking for readers to vote for me. Also at the end of each article, there is a message to solicit for votes.

·         Social networking sites: I sent out a notice daily during the contest period like this:

I need your vote. I am taking part in the Blogger of the Year contest in Malaysia. Voting is from April 23, 2012, to May 13, 2012. If you have the time you can vote daily during the voting period using your Facebook and Twitter accounts. I would appreciate if you can get others to vote too. Please vote at  

Thanks for your support.

Charles Chua C K @ 

By using Pingfm my message was posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other sites.

Take-home message: People do not know what you want. When you want something you have to ask for it.

·         Exchange for votes: It is quite an effective way but you have to do the work. The site is at 

·         Getting votes from people offline: Of course, you will be able to get votes from friends, relatives and family members.

I write this article to thank those who have voted for me, I appreciate your support very much.  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 More Benefits of Living in the Present

7 More Benefits of Living in the Present

Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn't exist and never shall. There is only now.
~Christopher Paolini

You are physically here but are you really present and living now? Living here and now offers tremendous benefits:

1.       Mindfulness: Get into the flow and enjoy what you do.  You perform better with the task at hand because you are conscious of what you are doing and your mind is focused and your thinking is clear.

2.       Getting things done: Living in the present is productive. Things get done as planned because your mind is not drifting here and there. You work with full concentration and energy. There is a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction as you cross out your to-do list.

3.       Happiness: To forgive and forget is the way to live in the present and be happy. You avoid the past to hold you back and enjoy the present.  Start every new day with happiness. When you are in the present, your mind is calm and you breathe slowly, you will feel good about yourself.

4.       Effective learning: To understand and absorb what you are reading is to be engrossed. You will spend less time but get more out of what you learn when you are fully present.

5.       Better interaction with others: You go to a movie and you enjoy it because you like it and you pay full attention. Likewise you will enjoy it more when you fully participate in a conversation. 

6.       Creative: You will be more resourceful in getting ideas when your mind is fresh and not distracted.  A calm and relaxed mind is more likely to work better. 

7.       Appreciate the moment: One of the key ingredients of living in the moment is to go slow. When you eat slowly you enjoy eating your food.  When you take breaks, you avoid stress and regain your energy and stay alert. You will notice more when you don’t hurry by. More importantly you will be able to appreciate more when you take your time to be delighted by the marvels of nature.
Be totally aware of what you are doing, feel it, touch it, enjoy it and be happy.

Related article:

Monday, May 28, 2012

5 Tips to Get Your Mortgage

5 Tips to Get Your Mortgage

Financial institutions may be more stringent and thorough in vetting your housing loan application; you still can get your application considered favorably. Here are the things you can do:

1.       Debt to Income Ratio: According to Wikipedia, a debt-to-income ratio (often abbreviated DTI) is the percentage of a consumer's monthly gross income that goes toward paying debts. The bank may still approve your loan even your debt ratio is above 30%, it is prudent to maintain it at 30% and below. It means for every $100 of your income only $30 or less should go to paying your debt (such as personal loan, car loan and housing loan).

2.       Credit Worthiness: Are you paying your credit card bills on a timely fashion. If you don’t your credit rating will be impacted negatively. It implies that you are not able to manage your personal finance and honor your financial commitments. In Malaysia you can get a copy of your report from Central Credit Reference Information system once a year. It is a record of all your loans and payment pattern. When you default in payments, it is reflected in the data. A bad record will get your application rejected even if you meet other requirements  

3.       Save for a bigger down payment: One effective way to get a loan is to apply for a smaller amount. You need to save for a bigger initial payment. You borrow less, incur less interest and get shorter loan tenure.

4.       A permanent job with a permanent address: It is an important factor that you are able to hold down a job and not moving about without a full-time career and a fixed place to live. It tells others that you may not have a regular income to service your loan.

5.       Budget: Have you factored in the amount you need to pay the bank every month and other debts you need to service? Your monthly budget should be within your income or else you are going to incur new debt. You will be in a danger zone when you need to borrow more to cover your monthly expenditures. Be wise and be comfortable to live within your means to avoid financial crisis.  

A housing loan is a good debt because landed properties appreciate in value over time. Wisely review your financial situation before you sign on the dotted line for a mortgage.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Top 3 Posts in April 2012

Top 3 Posts in April 2012

1.  10 Productive Ways to Adopt

Focus on being productive instead of busy.         
 ~Tim Ferriss

There are simple habits to acquire, but the benefits are far-reaching in your life. Here are 10 ways to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in your life and be happy:

2. 15 Quotes to Live Your Dreams

Here are 15 inspiring ways to realize your dreams:

1. Nothing happens unless first a dream.     
~Carl Sandburg

2.      All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
~Walt Disney

3.      Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
~Henry David Thoreau

3. 20 Delightful Ways to Boost Your Well-Being

"I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends and a wife and children to share life's beauty with you."

~J. Kenfield Morley

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, well-being is general health and happiness. I like the simple explanation and I can think of many ways to promote your well-being:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Can You Do With

Nowadays the Internet is abuzz with curation. To be precise it is about content curation. There is a great platform just for that; is it. Like Pinterest, it is loaded with stunning images, but it is also filled with texts like a magazine.  How do you take advantage of

Curate your interests: Select a topic or topics that you are deeply interested and look for the best articles on the Net and scoop them to your topic pages. You will be building a wealth of information and knowledge on topics such as personal development, blogging and business.  For each post that you have curated, there is a link to the original source of the story.

Interaction: You share your passion with others at Scoop’it.  You get more views from visitors and they will + or rescoop your posts when they find your posts interesting and valuable.  You follow other curators on topics that you like and you can even suggest posts for other curators’ topics that you follow. Score: The site is also able to measure your topic quality based on dynamism, depth and audience engagement. See the number 65 (out of a score of 100) on the right side of my topic, All About Happiness. I have just joined the site and I have 8 topics and you can see the score for each topic.

  Leader board: This is the place to show how influential you are among other curators. You can see how many views and + you have got for each day for your posts.

   Curate your original and best posts: If you are a blog owner like me, share the best posts on your favorite topics at It is one fantastic way to drive traffic to your site. is one of the top 2000 sites on the web with a PageRank of 6.    

Start an account with Scoop’it and start curating if blogging is too much work and time consuming for you. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Worries of the Taiwanese Workers

10 Worries of the Taiwanese Workers

What do the Taiwanese workers worry about the most in the next 10 years? According to a survey by Yes123, a Taiwanese employment site, they worry about the following top ten things:

1.       The persistent rising cost of goods (11.7%)
2.       Cannot afford to buy a house (10.7%)
3.       Can’t find a job (9.7)
4.       Unable to save for retirement (9.4%)
5.       No pay increment (9.2%)
6.       Cannot afford to rear children (7.5%)
7.       Long-term care for critically ill parents (6.7%)
8.       To be Retrenched (6.0%)
9.       Getting seriously ill or met with an accident (5.7%)
10.   No money to get married (5.6%)

 How do you cope with such situations?
Life is full of obstacles and problems and a positive mental attitude is the right way to face challenges. 
Here are some productive ways to address the pressing issues:

·         Solve the problems: Don’t worry and dwell on the problems but focus on getting solutions now to soften the impact or prevent them from happening. Taking action is the surest way to build your confidence and avoid anxiety.

·         Invest in yourself: The best way to combat inflation is to earn more.  To earn more you have to provide value. In order to provide value, you have to be competent in what you do. Acquire more skills and stay updated is the way to be relevant, skilful and keep your job.

·          Save: As long as you are getting a regular income, you can set aside an amount every month. The amount may be small; it will accumulate over time with compound interest.  The most important thing is to start now.  You can save for a rainy day.  You can save, invest and grow your money. You can buy your dream house when the amount has grown big enough for an initial payment.  Managing your money requires discipline and faithfully following a budget to save and live within your means.

·         Look after yourself: Drive with care, avoid smoking and drinking. Exercise often, eat healthily and avoid junk food. When you take good care of yourself, you will stay fit, alert and healthy. You will avoid accidents and critical illnesses.

·         Live life positively: Do the best you can with what you have and be hopeful.  You may not be able to solve all the problems in life, but as long as you live one day at a time and focus on the present on the tasks at hand, life will be worth living.

What is your take?    

Thursday, May 24, 2012

7 More Soul-Searching Questions to Ask Yourself

7 More Soul-Searching Questions to Ask Yourself

Is your daily life fulfilling, satisfying and happy? Do you feel you are living purposefully? Touch base with yourself with these soul-searching questions:

1.       Have I achieved what I have planned to do today?
Have I been productive? Am I able to get things done efficiently and effectively?
Did I procrastinate?  Am I doing the things that are aligned with my dreams and goals in life? Am I satisfied with what I have done today?

2.       Am I present today?
Am I living in the moment? Am I engaged and focused on doing the tasks at hand?
Have I avoided distractions? Living fully in the present and enjoying what you do is the greatest happiness in life.

3.       Have I taken good care of myself?
Have I had enough sleep? Am I feeling good every day and living energetically? Sleep sufficiently every night is the way to be rested and recharged to start a new day with enthusiasm. Have I kept my body hydrated by drinking water throughout the day?
Drinking water is an excellent way to sustain a high level of calmness and concentration.
Incidentally, urination is the way to discharge toxin from your body. Have I exercised today to achieve physical fitness and mental alertness? If you sit around all day doing nothing and watching TV, you will feel more listless and tired.

4.       Did I care much about others?
Did I pay attention to the people around me? Did I smile and greet people I meet? How often did I use the words please and thank you? Am I able to persuade and convince others with my ideas? Am I talking with confidence and energy?  

5.       Have I been positive today?
Am I thinking positively? Positive thinking is the way to influence you to act and react positively. It gives you the right frame of mind to deal with challenges in life successfully.

6.       Have I managed my time productively?
Did I care about my family and pay equal attention to my work? Am I able to manage my time efficiently so that I do not overlook important areas of my life? Have I got a daily to-do list? Breaks and breakfast are some of the productive things to have daily.

7.       What have I learnt today?
Did I learn something new today? Have I sharpened my skills to improve my value at work? Did I try to do things differently to be more productive? Continuous learning is the way to enrich your mind and be more resourceful. 

It is never too late to do what is right. Every new day gives you an opportunity to start afresh and change your life for the better. Do it now.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 Things Taiwanese Workers are Unhappy About

10 Things Taiwanese Workers are Unhappy About

According to Yes123, an employment site in Taiwan, there are top 10 things that workers are unhappy about: 

1.       Lowe pay (19.3%)
2.       Poor welfare (12.7)
3.       Sacrifice quality of life (10.8%)
4.       Long working hours (9.4%)
5.       The work is not what I am interested in (8.4%)
6.       Too much work (8%)
7.       Can’t stand the boss (7.5%)
8.      Under pressure to meet targets (6.9%)
9.       No time to spend with family (6.8)
10.   Can’t get along with co-workers (3.9%)

What do you do in such situations?
Ideas to consider:

·         Create value for yourself: Acquire additional skills and be more competent at work. The key is to be more productive. You are measured by your performance. Be prepared for a promotion.        

·         Ask for it: One effective way to get a pay raise is to ask for it. Before you do, do your homework. Are you performing as expected?  Did your boss notice your good work?  Ask for it at the right time when the boss is in good mood. You may not get it; but if you don’t ask there is no way to get a pay increment.   

·         Work Smart: Plan ahead and get organized.  Do what is important. Work with focus and without distractions. Work on one task at a time and take breaks to regain your energy and concentration. You may not like your job but you have to develop an interest in it and get things done.

·         Change your attitude: Examine yourself closely. Do you need to change your attitude?
Do you show up on time? Do you get things done as promised? Do you miss deadlines often? You have to gain the trust of others in you. Can you accept constructive criticism? Are you willing to make changes? 

·         Work with others: Working together in harmony is the way at work. Learn to be interested in others. Pay attention to the people around you and get others to be interested in you.

·         Lifestyle: Your work is important and so is your family. Start a new day early to avoid working overtime if you can. Spending time with children and spouse is important because family happiness will contribute greatly to your career well-being. Go for a balanced life.  

·         Change your job: Before making a move, you have to change yourself and your attitude. A new job may get you a higher pay and better welfare. You will be frustrated in a new job with a negative attitude.

Wish you more happiness at work.    

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 Things to Learn From Successful Salespeople

10 Things to Learn From Successful Salespeople

Salespeople possess certain positive characteristics that help them excel in what they do.  You may not be a salesperson but you are selling every day. You want to persuade others to accept your ideas.  You want to ask for a raise and you want to negotiate for better terms from your suppliers. At home, you want to motivate your children to study hard and smart in school. You want to convince your spouse not to buy an item.  Here are 10 things you can learn from productive salespeople.
1.       Persistent: They will not take no for an answer. They will review the situation and try and close the deal again. In life, you try to do something and you fail. Just do it in different ways until you get it done.

2.       Confident: They dress smartly and they talk in a firm voice. They are sure of what they are doing.  You have to believe in yourself that you can achieve what you set out to do. Positive thinking is essential to living life and realize your goals. 

3.       Enthusiasm: They are proud of their products and services. They know they are selling something good for you. Are you eager to get to work when you wake up and get up in the morning? Enthusiasm is the fire in you that propels you to take action every day.

4.       Energy: They are energetic and excited to talk to people about their products and services.  They take care of their health and well-being. They exercise, they sleep well and they drink water throughout the day. They need the energy and the drive to perform well. Are you well-rested? Do you maintain physical fitness and mental alertness? To live and work well is to be energetic.      

5.       Challenging goals: Selling is a challenging job. They have targets and deadline to meet. They are driven by their goals. Do you have written goals so that you are focus on your daily life and do the right things every day? 

6.       Know the customers: To sell effectively they have to know the customers well. They have to find out about their problems and offer suitable solutions. When you want to ask for a raise do you know when the best time is to approach your boss? Is the boss happy with your performance? When the pay increment is justified and you approach your boss at the right time, you will get what you want.   

7.       Hard working: Successful salespeople work hard.  They are rewarded by their commitment and eagerness day in and day out.  Are you working on your goals every day? It is your daily effort that counts. You may work smart, but working hard makes a positive difference.

8.       Passionate: The job may be tough, but successful salespeople are not discouraged by problems and rejections. They love what they do and they continue to fine-tune their approach to close more sales. When you are passionate about what you do, you enjoy the challenges and the satisfaction of overcoming an obstacle in your life. 

9.       Stay in touch: They pay attention and are in constant contact with customers. When you care about others, they will notice it and respond to you positively.    

10.   Good listeners: Successful salespeople talk less and ask more questions and listen attentively. They want to find out more about their customers so they can serve them better.   When you listen, you pay attention and actively respond to questions.  By listening  you get to understand the message fully and act appropriately and avoid misunderstanding. Listen to your children and spouse for a closer relationship.  

What have you learnt from top salespeople?

Monday, May 21, 2012

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Get a Job

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Get a Job

Are you getting a job for the first time or are you thinking of changing your job? Answer these soul-searching questions and be sure of making the right move:   

1.       What are you good at?
Are you working with your talents and applying what you do best in your job? The best thing in life is to release your potential in a job you are capable of because you are matching your skills to a relevant job.  

2.       What do you like to do?
If what you like to do is marketable, useful to others, you can build a career out of it.  Passion is the key to excel in your career.

3.       What capabilities are you proud of?
It is most likely that you have overcome some problems in the past successfully. How can it help you connect to a challenging job?  

4.       What are your strengths that others compliment you?
Perhaps you have overlooked what you can do but others have noticed about you.  Find out what it is. 

5.       What have you learnt and you are now skillful?
You should continue to learn and know more so that you can stay ahead with the skills that you have acquired.

6.       What are the things that you have tried and still not good at it?
Don’t waste your time to correct your weaknesses. Instead develop your strengths further and sharpen your skills. You will be able to sustain your effort in things you are interested in.

7.       What are the things that you dislike to do?
Delegate those mundane tasks so that you can focus on those things that you find interesting and productive.

8.       To get the job done well, what skills do you need?
Equip yourself with additional skills and make yourself a more valued employee.

9.       What are the people that you are happy/ angry to work with?
Learn to get along well with everyone in the workplace. It is important to maintain a cordial relationship so that you can get things done easily through others. Be interested in the people around you.

10.   What is your career ambition?
Is the job able to fulfill your dreams in life? Do you see potential for growth in your present job?

Hopeful you are able to find a challenging job which is fulfilling and satisfying after answering the above questions.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Number your List Quickly and Easily with Excel

Are you familiar with Excel? How do you number a long list like 100 or 1000? Do you type 1, 2, 3… manually? You don’t have to and here is a quick and easy way to do so for Excel beginners:

1.       What is the first number of your list?  If it is 1 just type 1 and remain in the cell. You can even continue with a previous number and continue from there. You just remain in the cell of the last number and then click Fill and follow by Series.


2.       You will get the following form after clicking Series. Do you want to fill the numbers in rows or columns? Click accordingly. What is your step value? If your numbering is in sequence it is 1 and it has already done for you. If it is 2 you have to change it and your numbering will be 2, 4, 6……  What is the last number in the list? Just fill in the stop value. It can be 100, 1000, 10000 or any other numbers.    


3.       Press OK when it is done and the numbering job is also done too. Try it. It is quick and easy. 

Numbering a shortlist

There is another way to number a short list, say from 1001 to 1021 quickly:

1.       Type 1001 and 1002.
2.       Highlight the two cells.
3.       Place your cursor at the bottom right corner of cell 1002.
4.       Drag your cursor until you see 1021    
5.       Release the cursor and the numbering is done.

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