This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Archive for July, 2017

15 Tips for Productivity

productivity

1. Don’t wait for others to set your deadlines, set them for yourself.
Successful people don’t wait, they set deadlines for their personal goals. While meeting external deadlines (those that are given to you) helps you to survive and meet the bare minimum, internal deadlines (those that you give yourself) make you push through your boundaries. The key is to be proactive, not passive.

2. Keep track of your time like you do your bank account.
Time is the most valuable resource we have. You can always earn more money, but you can never get back wasted time. Keep a time-sheet to record how much time you spend on tasks. Even everyday/personal tasks. You’ll be surprised to see how much time you waste on certain things.

3. Don’t focus on your weaknesses, work on your strengths instead.
It’s common to improve your weaknesses. But that shouldn’t be your primary focus. The most important thing is to first improve your strengths as you already have a foundation for it and acquired the basic skills. Weaknesses cause limitations because you’re starting from the ground up and it’s difficult to identify what will work. You can utilize your strengths to help turn your weaknesses into an asset.

4. Rank tasks by importance, not the order you received them.
Every task does not hold the same weight of importance as others might. Always ask yourself: What needs to be done right away? Regularly rank your tasks, and get the vital ones out of the way.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
We always think we can handle enormous tasks on our own. But taking on too much at once can be discouraging, and will ultimately lessen your motivation. Break down big tasks into smaller, digestible tasks to create order and relieve some of the stress.

6. Smart people know when to delegate.
Doing more doesn’t mean doing better. If you have too much on your plate you are very likely to make careless mistakes because you’re trying to do too much at once. Recognize which tasks can be passed on to others so that you can focus on more challenging and important tasks.

7. Use your brain for thinking, not remembering.
Information is unlimited, it’s impossible to remember everything. There’s a variety of tools that we can use to organize our thoughts and ideas for us, such as: computers, notebooks, our phones, etc.

8. Review your productivity at the end of the day.
At the end of your day, take the time to reflect what you have accomplished, and what could be improved. When we don’t reflect, we rely only on natural growth. Even if you feel that you’ve done a job well done, still consider what could be done in terms of improvement. There is always something.

9. Sometimes cutting tasks is better than adding them.
Make it a practice to regularly clear out what isn’t useful to you. This can be manual tasks, physical items, or even relationships. Just like we need to de-clutter our surroundings, we need to do the same with our digital space, only making room for what it important and deleting the rest.

10. Estimate time for your task.
Sometimes this is something that we slack off on, going into a project without considering how much time it is going to take us. Neglecting to estimate your time can cause you to waste time; because you do not have a real goal in mind or deadline you are trying to meet. If you don’t set a standard, then you won’t know which aspects need to be improved upon and tweaked for efficiency when the task is repeated.

11. Stretch your creativity no matter what your job is.
We need a bit of creativity for every task that we complete, no matter how mundane it may seem. Creativity is not always a naturally given talent, but a muscle that can be trained. You can drum up some out-of-the-box ideas along with the best of them. We need a bit of creativity in order to step up our efficiency.

12. Know when to stop as tasks tend to devalue overtime.
When the productivity of a project beings to diminish, you need to know when it’s time to call it quits. Tasks tend to devalue overtime. The longer a task is taking, the less likely it is to be successful. When it starts to seem that progress is declining, it’s time to cut your losses and reevaluate your game plan.

13. Always assume that you don’t know as much as you may think you know.
There’s an endless supply of information relating to just about anything. Never be overly satisfied, always know that there is room for improvement. Just because you have a good product, it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be better. Always continue to strive for more and look for new insights. You’re really only the best if you look for new ways to grow.

14. Identify your instant gratification and ditch it.
You might think that you don’t have an instant gratification trigger, but everyone has one. This is something that you don’t really need to work for, but fills you with enough confidence and feeling of productivity that you don’t feel you need to do anymore. What is yours? Identify yours, and overcome it.

15. Start with the big picture, work down to the details.
Identify the ultimate goal at hand, and start from the beginning. Then, break down every task in sequential order that needs to be achieved in order to reach this ultimate goal. Double check your tasks at hand, ask yourself how it fits into the big picture and if it is really necessary.

Life is to Keep Experiencing

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When we’re young, it’s so easy to picture ourselves exactly where we want to be. Our parents and teachers encourage us to chase these dreams because of the benefits. If we decide to be a doctor, then we get to save lives. If we decide to be an architect, we can design beautiful buildings and bridges so people can travel and live comfortably.

What they don’t tell you is how hard it is to achieve these dreams. It takes tons of work and self-sacrifice, and in the end might not work out. This is the part that adults like to leave out. What they should tell us, is that if we want to be a doctor then we need to study very hard, no holidays, you need to work shifts in the hospital while you study which makes it very difficult to maintain a work-life balance. And worst of all, you can’t save all of your patients.

So we can’t blame ourselves for giving up so easily. We were led to believe that if we wanted something hard enough, it would be ours; but we were never shown how to work for it. We were never told how much suffering comes along with chasing a dream.

Adulthood sucks and we all know it. Where did we go wrong? It’s because our expectation does not match the reality. Growing up is different than growing old, because getting old is inevitable. Your experiences have shaped you, define the person that you are, and the person you continue to grow into. Maturity is defined by the way how you perceive experiences, how you react to them, self-reflection after the fact, and the way that you carry on after the fact.

Any experience is a chance to shape yourself. You can let the outcome make you a better person; or let it break you. Face responsibility and sort out a solution. These are actions of a grown-up individual.

Growing old is easy, but growing up is painful. To be the best person you can be, you need to experience as much as you can. Take those experiences, and let them shape you into being stronger, smarter and better. Things are going to constantly blindside you, so learn to adapt. Keep your mind open, always be receptive to more knowledge. The moment that you stop learning is the moment that you stop growing.

Avalanche

It was Alex’s dream cabin – 10,000 square feet of luxurious space overlooking a majestic waterfall, near the famous Sundance Ski Resort. It took him and his wife several years to design, build and furnish it. But it only took 10 seconds to completely destroy it.

It had snowed heavily that day. Still, Alex’s wife braved the weather for the 30-minute ride up the canyon from their current home to visit their newly completed mountain home. Alex was to join her later and bring their nine-year-old daughter.

Alex received a call from the Sundance Ski Resort at about 3pm: “There is a problem at your cabin. You’d better come immediately.”

They gave no more details. Alex anxiously dashed up the canyon on snow-clogged roads. When he arrived at the ski resort, the director of the resort and his staff greet him.

“There’s been a catastrophe at the cabin. We think your wife was there. Jump in the four-wheel drive. Let’s go.”

The cabin was adjacent to the ski resort and was accessible only by a narrow, winding mountain road. As they frantically raced up the road and pulled near the cabin, Alex spotted his wife in the roadway surrounded by several members of the ski patrol. As Alex jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward her, she pointed to the trees above the cabin. Alex was shocked.

The swath of a monster avalanche had blasted down the mountainside, leaving massive trees snapped and broken in its wake like match sticks. In seconds, the avalanche had blown out all of the windows and piled tons of snow into the huge living room, collapsing all the floors. What remained was just a shell. Outside, the carefully selected furniture were smashed to bits in the snow.

The ski patrol hustled them out of the avalanche zone quickly, as new avalanches threatened. The loss of the cabin really shook Alex and his wife. Why did it happen to them?

The story could end here. But there was a miracle happened that day and Alex didn’t discover it until eight months later.

At a business meeting, a colleague of Alex asked him, “Did your wife ever tell you that my wife and your wife almost had an accident on the road to your cabin on the day of the avalanche?”

“No,” Alex replied. “What happened?”

“Well, my wife and our boys were staying at our Sundance cabin that day. Because of the heavy snow, they decided to leave and come back home. They then started down the narrow road. Your wife, driving up the road, saw my wife and the boys in our Suburban. But when my wife slammed on her brakes, the car wouldn’t stop. It skidded down the slick mountain road gathering speed. There was nothing she could do to stop it. Finally, at the last moment before the two vehicles were to crash into each other, she turned the wheel, slamming the front of the Suburban into the snow bank on one side of the road while the rear of the vehicle slammed into the bank of the other side … virtually blocking your wife from proceeding up the road. They tried for almost an hour to get the Suburban unstuck and finally had to get help from the ski resort.”

“That’s amazing,” Alex said. “My wife never told me.”

They chuckled about the accident and parted company. Then the force of what had just revealed hit Alex.

If it hadn’t been for this accident, his wife would most certainly have been killed in the avalanche! He could imagine about that accident in the roadway. He could see his wife sitting there in frustration as the Suburban blocked her way to the cabin. He could see his friend’s wife at the scene, embarrassed by the whole situation. He could see her boys upset and wonder why this happened to them.

At the time, everyone viewed the situation as a complete disaster. And yet, with perspective, it was obvious that they had all unknowingly participated in a miracle.

To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage. When “accidents” happen, instead of wondering “Why me?” simply say “Thank you.” Then wait until all the evidence rolls in.

Dogs in Photo Booth

Photographer Lynn Terry had an amazing artistic idea: she put two dogs in a photo booth so as to capture some amazing moments. But she could never expect how sweet the results would turn out to be.

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Life is to Keep Trying

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Life is full of interesting twists and you don’t know what’s coming next. But if we continually pursue things that we enjoy doing whether for a job or hobby, it will make the journey interesting and more fun. If you are creative, enjoy solving problems and like to make things work, you can be a top class engineer or programmer one day.

You can’t know what’s going to make you happy in the future. But you can know what makes you happy right now and if you are unhappy with your current position, then you need to move on. Life is often about trying things and realizing what you don’t want to be. At the end of your life, you won’t regret trying things and failing, you will only regret not ever trying at all.

Life is sometimes uncomfortable. But try to be comfortable with discomfort. We possibly don’t have enough money or the time to do all of the things we want to do. If you have something you really want to pursue, then you must be able to live with some amount of discomfort in order to do that. For example, waking up at 6am to have a morning run or saving up money to make that trip.

You’re not getting younger. If you don’t start taking the time to pursue your dreams, you might find yourself at the end of your life with nothing to show for it but a lot of Facebook posts and a bunch of TV shows you had watched. If you are serious about pursuing a dream – whether it’s a famous blogger or a professional computer guru, you better get on it. Take those first steps. You won’t get anywhere merely thinking about how great you could be.

Opportunity may be knocking but if you don’t answer the door, how can you take advantage of it? You must take opportunities when they are presented to you even it’s not the right time. Opportunities happen when they happen. Answer the door or that opportunity will walk on by and knock on someone else’s door.

There is no dead end in life, only crossroads. Life is uncertain. Go with it. Take uncertainty and turn it on its head. Now close the laptop and go get your life.

The Accident

Christmas Eve came on Sunday that year. As a result, the usual Sunday night youth group meeting at the church was going to be a big celebration. The mother of two teenage girls asked Robert after the morning service if he could find a ride for her girls that night. She was divorced. Her ex-husband had moved away. She hated to drive at night, especially since there was a possibility of freezing rain that night. Robert promised to get the girls to the meeting.

The girls were seated beside him as they drove to the church that night. They came up over a rise in the road, only to see that a multiple collision had just taken place on a railroad overpass just ahead. Because it had started to freeze and the road was very slick, they were unable to stop and slammed into the back of a car. Robert turned to see if the girls were fine when he heard the scream from the girl beside him. “Oh, Donna!” Robert leaned forward to see what had happened to the girl seated by the window. She had been thrown face first through the windshield. The jagged edge of the broken windshield glass had gouged two deep gashes in her left cheek. Blood was streaming down. It was a horrible sight.

Fortunately, someone in one of the other cars had a first aid kit and applied a compress to Donna’s cheek to stop the bleeding. The investigating police officer said the accident was unavoidable and there would be no charges made, but Robert felt terrible that a beautiful 16-year-old girl would have to go through life with scars on her face. And it had happened when she was in his care.

At the hospital emergency room, Donna was taken immediately to the doctor to have her face stitched up. It seemed to take a long time. Afraid there were complications, Robert asked a nurse why the delay. She said the doctor on duty happened to be a plastic surgeon. He took many small time-consuming stitches. This also meant there would be minimal scar tissue.

Robert dreaded visiting Donna in the hospital, fearful she would be angry and blame him. Since it was Christmas, the doctors in the hospital tried to send patients home and also postponed elective surgery. As a result, there were not many patients on Donna’s floor. Robert asked a nurse how Donna was doing. The nurse smiled and said she was doing just fine. In fact, she was like a ray of sunshine. Donna seemed happy and kept asking questions about the medical procedures. The nurse confided that with so few patients on the floor, the nurses had time on their hands and made up excuses to go into Donna’s room to chat with her!

Robert told Donna how sorry he was for what had happened. She brushed the apology aside, saying she would cover the scars with pancake make-up. Then she began to excitedly explain what the nurses had been doing in the hospital. The nurses stood around her bed smiling. Donna seemed very happy. This was her first time in a hospital and she was intrigued.

Later at school, Donna was the center of attention as she described again and again the wreck and what happened in the hospital. Her mother and sister did not blame Robert for what happened and even went out of their way to thank him for taking care of the girls that night. As for Donna, her face was not disfigured and pancake make-up almost covered the scars. That made Robert feel better, but he still ached for the pretty girl with the scarred face. A year later, Robert moved to another city and lost touch with Donna and her family.

Fifteen years later, Robert was invited back to the church for a series of services. The last night, he noticed Donna’s mother stood in the line of people waiting to tell him goodbye. He shuddered as the memories of the wreck, the blood and the scars cascaded back. When Donna’s mother stood before him she had a big smile on her face. She was almost laughing when she asked if he knew what had happened to Donna. Of course, Robert did not know what had happened.

“Well, did you remember how interested she was in what the nurses did?” Donna’s mother went on:

“Well, Donna decided to be a nurse. She went into training, graduated with honors, got a good job in a hospital, met a young doctor, they fell in love and are happily married and have two beautiful children. She told me to be sure to tell you that the accident was the best thing that ever happened to her!”

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

10 Advices from 100-Year-Olds

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  1. Don’t look at the calendar. Just keep celebrating every day.
  2. Don’t compare. You’ll never be happy if you do. The grass is always greener.
  3. Keep going and never give up.
  4. Even if you feel hatred, keep it to yourself. Don’t hurt other people for any reason.
  5. It is very important to have a widespread curiosity about life.
  6. Learning new things makes you happy and keeps your mind active.
  7. When you laugh at yourself, you prevent others from laughing at you.
  8. Try not to worry. Just try to live.
  9. Forgive.
  10. Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks.

Remember, life is happening now.