Thursday, August 28, 2014


“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” - Leo Buscaglia

Before I talk about the 10 things not to worry about, read this story first: 

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is", he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Author unknown

In most cases, taking action is the only way to combat your worries. Find out what you can do about your anxieties

1.      Jobless: Instead of worrying about getting retrenched, do the best you can to keep your job. Learn new skills, do things beyond your job scope, ask for new assignments, stay cheerful and act confidently.

2.      Failures: Failures are not bad things, it means you have tried. You just need to be smart and do it differently.

3.      What others think of you: What others think of you is none of your business. Besides what you think others are thinking about you is only in your own mind. Live the way you are, be free and be contented.  

4.      Aging: I am a baby boomer, but it does not worry me a bit. I just keep doing the right things such as  jogging regularly, eating healthily and staying cheerful and happy. I am concerned about my retirement fund so I continue to work and earn more. I wake early in the morning because there is something to do every day and I enjoy doing it.

5.      Death: Death is inevitable. The best thing you can do is to live life fully. Spend time with love ones and say the words you want to say, meet up with those you wish you had time to see them and do the things that make you happy. When the day finally arrives you have no regret.

6.      The future: Nobody knows what is going to happen, but you can always envisage the future, live the future now. Imagine the future is now and live the life of your choice.

7.      Bad things to happen: Negative thoughts mean thinking of what can go wrong. It is not a bad idea if you look at it constructively. As an example when you are driving out of town you are thinking of accidents on the road. It reminds you to drive with care and without speeding.

8.      Things beyond your control: It is not a fair world, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Innocent people are killed in conflicts every day. Just pray.

9.      Your work: Instead of worrying about too much work to do, spend time to organize your workload and focus on doing one task at a time  and complete the most important ones.

10.  Outcome: You have an end result in mind but you have to concentrate on the processes and techniques to attain the expected outcome. Live in the present and enjoy the process and be happy. You are more likely to achieve your aim without an attachment to the results.

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action. -Walter Anderson

Monday, August 25, 2014

7 Smart Ways to Protect Your Children

Sweet Child 1

Danger is lurking for your children, even when they are at home. Here are 7 wise ways to minimize anything unpleasant to happen.
Alone at home: Inform your child not to tell anyone on the phone that you are alone at home. Teach your child to call you in case of emergency. Make sure that your child is able to lock and unlock doors and windows. 

Internet: Be aware of your child’s activities on the Net. Inform your child not to provide personal information such as home address, telephone number or school name online. Highlight to your child that the person he is talking to may not be who he claims to be. Never allow your child to arrange for a face-to-face meeting with anyone without your permission. According to an article, Smartphone Pictures Can Give Away Your Location.Taking photo of your innocent child taken with your smartphone and post it online is risky because people can trace the location where the image is taken.
Public area: To avoid abduction educate your child not to accept things from strangers and not to allow others to touch you. Teach your child not to do anything alone. Ignore adult who approaches you for help, It can be a trick. The person should get help from another adult. The best thing to do is for your child to run away to a place with a lot of people.

On the road: Never leave your child alone in the car even for a short while. Be aware of another car bumping into yours at isolated spots; it may not be an accident. Drive on to avoid untoward incident.

Technology: If your child is using iPad or iPhone, you can locate the where about of your child. You can monitor if he or she is on the right route to their destination. When your child is at a different location be alert and find out why.  Find out more about Apple’s iCloud to locate your devices at Find my iPhone, Ipad and Mac.

Communicate with your child: Be open and approachable so that your child will find it easy to talk to you.  Tell your child that he can talk to you about anything and everything   Listen, believe and trust what your child tells you.

Educate your child: As soon as children are learning the body parts, you can introduce the right vocabulary for their private parts such as penis, vagina, breasts and buttocks. Dr. Ian Russ, Ph.D., says that, "If children don't have the vocabulary to talk about their body parts, then if something happens they can't tell anybody. They know that it's off-limits to talk about. They can't get help." By telling your children the right words to use they will feel comfortable to tell you should something bad does happen to them.

How do you protect your child?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What is Personal Integrity?

Image source:

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not. - Oprah Winfrey

Jaycee Chan, the son of Jackie Chan, was caught and retained recently by Beijing police on suspicion of accommodating suspected drug users, official Xinhua news agency reported. Police seized more than 100g of cannabis from Chan’s house, in a swoop which also saw a Taiwanese actor known as Kai Ko detained on drug charges.  Jackie Chan has been a government “anti-drug ambassador” since 2009. Is he going to embrace integrity in his son’s case? 

Integrity is to

1.     Be trustworthy and do what you have promised to do.

2.     Return extra change to the cashier

3.     Return to the shop to pay for something you have forgotten to pay.

4.     Be honest in all your relationships with others.

5.     Not talking bad  about somebody behind his back

6.     Pay your bills fully and promptly to maintain your excellent credit rating.

7.     Not using office supplies for personal use

8.     Admit a wrong doing and apologize for it.

9.     Express recognition for the contributions of others and not take credit for their achievement. 

10.     Disassociate with people of questionable integrity

11.    Remain faithful to spouse

12.     Be responsible at work and not blaming others for  mistakes made

13.      Be consistent in doing the right things

14.   Treat others with fairness, kindness and compassion

15.   Find and return to the rightful owner when you pick up a purse in the        street  

16.     Take pride in your work, do the best you can

17.      Be considerate of other road users, avoid speeding and give clear signals early.

18.     Be competent at work and be a role model

19.     Be willing to change because things are changing 

20.   Treat others like how you want to be treated. 

What is your take about personal integrity?

Monday, August 18, 2014

10 Effective Skills to be Successful at Work

Successful at work
A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.-Larry Bird
To be successful at work is to be able to perform effectively and productively. What are the skills and personal traits essential for you to build a sustainable career?
1.     Technical skills: You are hired because of what you can do with the specialized knowledge you possessed. A marketable skill is the pre-requisite to get a job. What are the top technical skills in demand now?  Skills in mathematics and IT related are highly sought after in the job market. However, a technical skill is not enough to do a job well. You need other skills and personal traits to complement your technical know-how.
2.     Ability to work in a team: As a team member you must get to know others well and listen to their ideas. In a team trust, respect and support for one another is important to function.
3.     Confidence: It is the ability to stay cool when confronted with problems. You must be able to seek help or find ways to solve a problem. When you are working under pressure you are able to decide, organize, prioritize and do the most important tasks. Bear in mind that you are hired to solve problems.
4.     Leadership potential: You must be able to demonstrate that you can work effectively and productively to get things done within deadlines. It is your time management skill.
5.     Business acumen: According to Wikipedia, an individual who has the following five abilities could be described as  someone  having a strong sense of business acumen:
 See the “big picture” of your organization—how the key drivers of your business relate to each other, work together to produce profitable growth, and relate to the job you do each day
 Understand important company communications and data, including financial statements
 Use your knowledge to make good decisions
 Understand how your actions and decisions impact key company measures and the objectives of your company’s leadership
Effectively communicate your ideas to other employees, managers, executives, and the public
6.     Communicate: The ability to express yourself clearly is an important skill at work. The Ability to influence and persuade others in a presentation or negotiation is another vital skill. Fluency in written reports is definitely an essential skill.
      Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but       strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.-Mireille Guiliano

7.     IT skills: The ability to use software programs such as Word, excel PowerPoint, One Note and Outlook is essential to survive at work. Understand operating systems such as Window 7 & 8 and possess basic HTML knowledge. Know how to upload documents to an email and store files in a cloud server. Take advantage of online applications to organize your work productively.    
8.     Analytical skills: Know where to get the right information and digest it well. Be able to analyze and interpret figures and make important decisions.
9.      Attitude: Your core values determine your attitude. Positive values such as honesty, integrity and trust are some of the good examples. You need to be, among other things, puncture, dependable and responsible at work.  A committed staff who is willing to do more and go the extra mile is highly valued.   
10    Lifelong learning: It is necessary to update your skills in this ever changing world. Learn new things and employ new ways of doing things and be more effective and productive. 

What other skills do you need to be successful at work?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Productive Use of Technology for Free

Hand On Keyboard
This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy.
–Cory Doctorow

When you have the necessary hardware like a personal computer, an iPad, a printer and internet connection you can take advantage of technology and utilize for free and productively:

1.      Line: According to Wikipedia Line is a Japanese proprietary application for instant messaging on smartphones and personal computers. Line users exchange text messages, graphics, video and audio media, make free VoIP calls, and hold free audio or video conferences.  Our son is in Singapore and we are in Malaysia; we always connect and talk till the cows come home without spending a single cent by using Line. While we use an iPad, my son is using Samsung Android smart phone, so we can’t use Apple‘s FaceTime to chat online face to face.

2.      Email: I am sure you have subscribed to free email services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. You get free and instant written communication instead of a snail mail which still cost you a postage stamp.

3.      Sending Documents: You can send a document instantly just by scanning it and attaching it to your email. It is very much faster than using one of the courier service providers which is also costly.  

4.      Time management: There is no need to use a hard-copy calendar. Use Google Drive calendar or iCloud calendar. It is free and very versatile and productive. I use iCloud calendar to record things to do weekly, monthly, yearly and in the future like renewing my passport in 5 years time. All you need to do is to develop a good habit of checking your calendar daily.  You can add, update, revise and delete items in your schedules anytime anywhere because the application is in the cloud.

5.      Breaking news: Where can you get instant breaking news? It’s only on the Net. By the time the news hit the newsstand it is already stale news.

6.      Work: There is no need to buy Word or Excel, just use the applications of Google Drive to crunch your figures and write your articles.

7.      Save and read later: Pocket is an easy to use application to save what you want to read later anywhere anytime on your PC, laptop, smartphone or iPad. Again it is free.

8.      Cloud storage: There is no need to keep a hard copy of everything and avoid clutter. Leave all your files, listing like passwords, memo, photo, and mind maps in the cloud. The storage is free. Use Google Drive or iCloud.

9.      Explore and learn: There is no better place like the Internet to read and learn new things and keep yourself updated. As a writer I get ideas and do research on the Net. The other day I was unable to access my site. I checked and found the error message: Error 105 (net::ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED): Unable to resolve the server’s DNS address. I did a quick check and found this site  Error 105 – How to Fix Error 105 In Google Chrome. I followed the instructions step by step and solved my problem immediately.

10.  Online transactions: Previously you have to drive bumper to bumper, under the hot sun to run your errands. When you arrive you have to look for a parking lot and then queue up later to pay. Now you can buy movie tickets, do banking, pay bills, purchase bus and airline tickets in the comfort your own home online without wasting time and paying for petrol and parking fees. As a smart shopper you can even save money like getting a free movie ticket when you buy online on a Thursday at GSC.

Are you making use of technology productively and for free? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

What can you do productively when there is no internet connection?

System Fail

In most places of work people are at a loss when the system is down and without internet connection. Here are a few tips to occupy your time productively when the system is offline:

1.      Software in your hard disk: For those people working on finance and accounting they still can carry on working like a breeze because the software is installed in the hard drive. You have no choice but to stop work when your system is stored in the cloud. While your accounting system is disconnected and out of reach your still can use Excel to crunch your figures and as a writer you are still able to use your word processor.

2.      Clear clutter: It is a good time to tidy your desk and arrange your files so that you don’t have to search high and low for a misplaced file.

3.      Think and write: In the event that your computer system is totally out of order you still can spend time productively using your pen and paper to generate ideas for your project or the next article. 

4.      Take a break: It is the best thing to do when you have to stop work. Take a coffee break, catch up with your co-workers and release your tension. When the system is up and running you are fully charged to carry on working online.   

5.      Run errand: Need to post a letter or pay your grocery bill nearby? Do it now and use the time wisely.  It’s good to get out of the office and get some fresh air outside.

6.      Communicate: No email? No problem. Communicate by phone or visit the person in the next office and sort things out face to face. You can study the other person‘s body language while discussing an important issue.

7.      Review: Take a look at your to-do list for the day; reschedule and eliminate those things that you can do in the following day and identify the next important task to do. You can also review your personal goals and objectives. Are you on target? What is the next important step to take?  
8.      Getting things done without online distractions: Take advantage of the time to complete whatever that you have put off doing provided it is not an online-related job.

9.      Organize your PC: Clean up your PC and delete unwanted files and programs to create more space. Your system will also run faster. Create categories and delete those bookmarks that are no longer used.

10.  Spring-clean your PC: Unplug and remove the cover and clean the dust. The cooling fan is especially dusty. 

What else can you do when the computer system is down? 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

10 Delightful Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

Oak Tree On Green Hill
Life has different perspective for different people. For some life is to enjoy, some live casually to make life easy going, some live for adventure, some explore it as beauty of living with nature, and for some it is a lesson. But at the end, you must ensure to make your life meaningful and make it worth living with positive impact on life with your endeavor to work hard.

Here are some pertinent points to help you live a meaningful life:
1.      In the moment: The only time worth living is the present because you are able to breathe, feel, think and act. Are you able to live in the present focusing on what you are doing without drifting your thoughts into the past or future? Are you in the flow when you are at work? Can you let go and enjoy yourself while at play?  When you eat are you savoring the food or doing something else without really appreciating the food that you are eating? Slow down and concentrate on the task at hand or fully indulge in a moment of relaxation.    

2.      Care of your body: A meaningful life starts with your own body. Are you alert, full of energy and in high spirits? Your vibrancy is a key factor to live in the moment and do what you do with full force.

3.      Positive values: What are your values in life? I find that the positive values of integrity, honesty and trust are important in the journey of a meaningful life. To show you true worth and to be trusted are your greatest assets because your thinking and your attitude will manifest in your action every day.

4.      Purpose in life: What can you do to contribute? A giver’s life is more likely to be meaningful.  What are you good at and passionate about? This will determine your role in life. It may be a minor role but you will find meaning in it because you serve the society.
5.      Positive emotions: A sense of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness and forgiveness generate positive meaning in your life because you get a sense of fulfillment.

6.      Knowledge: To learn is to understand and obtain insight and wisdom. While it is a great way to find meaning in our existence, the knowledge you have gained can be applied effectively in what you do and be more productive.

7.      Self-growth: Change your thinking and improve yourself. Try new things every day and do things differently. Look at things from another angle.

8.      Family: Family is part of a meaningful life. Living together harmoniously is a challenge in life. Bringing up children is never easy but satisfying to see them growing and doing well in life.

9.      A simple life: A meaningful life is not about getting more for your own good.  It is not in alignment with your purpose in life. Living within your means is to be responsible and not getting into debt.

10.  Facing challenges in life: A meaningful life is not a smooth sailing one. There are setbacks and obstacles ahead. Overcoming difficulties in life to achieve your goals is rewarding and satisfying.

What are the other things you consider relevant to live a meaningful life?     

Monday, August 4, 2014

12 Healthy Habits to Live Life

Assorted Fruits
What you do every day can be beneficial or detrimental to your health. Staying up late every night and getting insufficient sleep is bad for your health while early to bed and early to rise promote good health.

Here are 12 healthy habits to adopt and change your life for the better: 

1.      Maintain a balanced diet: The key word is natural.  Avoid processed food with additives and take in less sugar and salt. Consume more fruits and vegetable and eat less meat as it is cancer causing acidic food. Find out more about Cancer Prevention - Acidic and Alkaline Food. Maintain the habit of having breakfast and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Give up the bad habit of smoking and try to drink moderately. Have seeds grain and nuts as part of your natural food.  The habit of drinking green tea every day will strengthen your immune system.

2.      Oral hygiene and eating habits: Do daily brushing and flossing and it is also heart healthy. Chew your food and eat slow is good for your digestive system.

3.      Exercise: Jogging is one of the best exercises because you connect with nature, enjoy the great outdoors, get fresh air and sunshine for vitamin D. Remember  total fitness is about  boosting your stamina (jogging), flexibility (stretching) and strength (weightlifting). Every day breathe slowly and deeply right down into your stomach to promote calmness in you. This is what I do. I breathe in at a count of 5 and then I hold my breath for a count of 20 and then I breathe out at a count of 10. It is also good for your lymphatic system. If possible, park your car far away and walk to your place of work.

4.      Sleep: Your sleeping habit is more important than your late night TV  program. A good night’s sleep will rejuvenate your body and naturalize the harmful effect of stress during the day.

5.   Spiritual wellbeing: Learn to forgive and get peace of mind. It is the best way to stay calm. Fill your     heart with gratitude and kindness. Thinking of love instead of hatred and revenge is the way to live.

6.      Avoid negative emotions:  Try to get rid of some of the negative emotions such as anger jealousy, grievances, worries and holding grudges. It is toxic for your mind and body.

7.      Control stress: Getting into a habit to unwind and relax is important to reduce stress.  Meditate and perform Tai Chi are some of the ways to regain your balance after a hectic day.    
8.      Enjoy your work: Look at your job from a positive perspective; you are productive and contributing.  Besides, an active lifestyle is good for your brain. It stays sharp and alert.  Do take breaks while at work to restore your energy and maintain your concentration at work.

9.      Live within your means: The aim of financial freedom is to get peace of mind. Wanting less and leading a simple life are ways to stay out of debt.

10.  Positive thoughts: Good and bad things will happen to you, it is your positive response that counts. Be hopeful about life because tough time never last but tough people do.

11.  Medical examination: Make it a habit to do a thorough check annually to make sure that you are in the pink of health. In case of an early detection of critical illnesses it means a good chance to be treated and be cured.

12.   An attitude of gratitude: As mentioned in No.5, forgiveness is able to maintain your wellbeing while an attitude of gratitude will generate happiness in your life. One effective way to promote appreciation and thankfulness is to write a few things that you are grateful for. Counting your blessings is a healthy habit to develop in your daily life.

The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones. ~ Jerome Hines
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