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

Archive for the ‘Scrapbook’ Category

20 Facts You May Not Know About

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  1. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – Food, attractive people and danger.
  2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years.
  3. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.
  4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.
  5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their weight is determined by their mother.
  6. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia.
  7. Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.
  8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side.
  9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.
  10. According to Albert Einstein, if honey bees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years.
  11. There are so many kind of apples, that if you ate one new kind everyday, it would take over 20 years to try them all.
  12. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.
  13. Stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razor blades.
  14. Laziness and inactivity kills just as many people as smoking.
  15. If a part of your body “falls asleep”, you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.
  16. Our brain uses same amount power as 10-watt light bulb.
  17. Our body gives enough heat in 30 minutes to boil 1.5 liters of water.
  18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell.
  19. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.
  20. Smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
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Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called “The Whole Earth Catalog”. It was created by Stewart Brand, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of “The Whole Earth Catalog”, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, on the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

– Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005

Before You

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Before you speak, listen.
Before you write, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.
Before you die, give.
– William Arthur Ward

Don’t expect anything from anyone. In the end, people will judge you anyway, so don’t live your life impressing others, live your life impressing yourself. Do things for yourself; in 10 years, no one is going to remember your choices except for you. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy life. Life is short, so love yourself. Be happy and keep smiling. Just live for yourself.

Memory Palace

I first read about Memory Palace was in Thomas Harris’s novel – “Hannibal”. If you had watched the movie “Silence of the Lambs”, you will know the character Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a mnemonist of an unusual kind, able to internally adjust time so that he may quietly wander the precincts of his own psyche. In the book “Hannibal”, this conceit is enlarged to depict the entire scope of Hannibal’s Memory Palace: a four-dimensional building containing all the art works, texts and enactments of torture which he wishes to preserve intact.

So, what is this Memory Palace? Similar to using your knuckles to remember which months have 31 days, it is a method of memory enhancement using visualization and spatial memory. It anchors familiar information so you can quickly recall data. It is credited to the ancient people of Rome and Greece and is used by memory champions across the world. The key is to forget about trying to force facts and information into your mind through repetition. Instead, try to link the ideas in interesting ways that allow you to easily recall the data. Essentially, this is a journey through your mind.

To creating a Memory Palace:
Step 1: Choose a location you are familiar with (such as your home).
Step 2: Rehearse this journey in your mind several times. Try to think of your emotion in each room.
Step 3: Place a piece of information in each room and anchor it in a corner or on a physical object like a bed.
Step 4: Draw your Memory Palace.
Step 5: Begin your journey and make things interesting so they pop in your mind. The key is for the information to stick. Essentially, go wild and crazy with this technique, you don’t have to tell anyone.

Let’s see how this technique works.

The number Pi is a mathematical constant. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Typically, people will approximate it to 3.14 or 3.14159. Let’s look at an easy way to remember Pi up to 10 decimal places. To do this we simply create a sentence: May I have a large container of coffee ready for today? Then count the number of letters in each word. The length of each word represents a corresponding digit in Pi: May (3) I (1) have (4) a (1) large (5) container (9) of (2) coffee (6) ready (5) for (3) today (5).

Pi = 3.1415926535

You may put this information somewhere in the kitchen of your Memory Palace. You will be amazed how powerful these techniques are once you start practicing them. They are fun, easy to learn, easy to use and they work immediately. Stop memorizing, start having fun. Get weird and develop a superb memory!

Marriage Advice From A Divorced Man

Obviously, he’s not a relationship expert. But after losing a marriage of almost 16 years, this gives him perspective of things that he wishes he would have done differently.

Never stop dating
Never ever take her for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be the man that would own her heart and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. She chose you. Never forget that. Never get lazy in your love.

Protect your own heart
Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for her. Keep that space always ready for her and refuse to let anyone enter there.

Fall in love over and over again
You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were dating her. She doesn’t have to stay with you, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else, and you may never be able to get it back.

Always see the best in her
What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to have her as your wife.

It’s not your job to change or fix her
Your job is to love her as she has no idea of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

Take full accountability
Take full accountability for your own emotions. It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and also she can’t make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

Never blame her
If you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of you. They are your emotions and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of you that is asking to be healed.

Allow her to just be
When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to hold her and let her know it’s fine. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. Don’t run away when she’s upset. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

Fill her soul everyday
Learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and cherished. Ask her to create a list of things that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make them a priority everyday.

Be present
Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully with her. Treat her as your most valuable client. Actually she is.

Don’t be an idiot
And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

Give her space
Sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Tell her to take time for herself. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you and the world.

Be fully transparent
If you want to have trust you must be willing to share everything. Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in. Drop the mask and show up perfect all the time. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

Never stop growing together
The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

Don’t worry about money
Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

Forgive immediately
Focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. Forgiveness is freedom and cut the anchor loose.

Always choose love
In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

A Father’s Thank You Letter

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Our daughter Martha was born on 22 May 2015 at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. She was the big girl in the Therma Kid vest with the doting parents who were probably a little bit in the way. Sorry about that.

During labor, my wife, Sophie, suffered a concealed placental abruption – Martha was without oxygen for some time. The ultrasound revealed that her heart rate was low and Sophie was taken to have an emergency C-section. Martha was born a few minutes later. A doctor cried with us as she explained that Martha had severely impaired brain function and was unlikely to live long. This doctor spoke to us with clarity and compassion and she and her colleagues did lots of clever stuff with lots of clever machines that I pretended to understand because I’m a science teacher. I didn’t understand them, but I loved how they kept our daughter with us.

The level of care given to Martha in the baby unit was extraordinary – Martha’s dedicated nurse, the close attention of her expert consultant and the state-of-the-art medical equipment. Thank you all for keeping Martha comfortable and safe. We were encouraged to play an active role as Martha’s parents – we read her stories and we sang her songs. When I changed her nappy, I was, for a brief moment, the best dad in the world. These dedicated professionals made us feel important.

On the afternoon of the second day, we were told that the situation had improved – Martha’s brain function was on the up. “We will have another night with Martha,” I said to our relatives outside the hospital as the sun shone. A passing doctor took a lovely photo of us all celebrating in the park.

And so the next day … We were all there, in that little room, for the discussion. One of the doctors said: “I think tomorrow would be a good time to ask Martha the question,” and we agreed. Despite the tears, Sophie and I were entirely at peace with the decision that was made that morning.

That evening, we each held Martha. It took five nurses to hold the life support equipment, the ventilator etc. It was so exhilarating finally to cuddle our daughter. At lunchtime on Tuesday 26 May, Sophie and I held hands as Martha’s ventilator was carefully removed. A few valiant breaths later, the consultant gave us a regretful smile; Sophie let go of my hand and took Martha in her arms. She talked quietly to our little girl as she slipped peacefully away.

You – the doctors and nurses of the NHS – gave life to Martha. You gave her five happy days, surrounded by care and love and laughter. That Sophie and I can think back on Martha’s life with deep pride and natural sadness, without the invasion of blame or resentment, is something for which we are immeasurably grateful.

Martha’s younger brother is five weeks old. A week for every day of Martha’s short life and yet he has barely begun. I can’t wait to tell him about his big sister and her charmed life. He will be so proud.

– Ed Tolputt, 31-Jul-2017

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
― Marilyn Monroe

A Tribute to Wife

Not every love story has a happy ending. Rafael, 35, from Brazil, lost his wife Tatiane, 27, in 2013 after she was killed in a road accident. To honor his wife, Rafael organized a photo shoot with his three-year-old daughter, Raisa, that mimicked photos he had taken with his wife in the week before their wedding in 2009.

Raisa, whose mother died before she’d even reached her first birthday, wore Tatiane’s jewelry and clothes, and mimicked her poses with her dad. The family dog, which was around when Tatiane was still alive and featured in the original shoot, also appears in the pictures. In one photo, Raisa grins as she wraps her arms around her father’s neck while in another she tenderly touches his face. She also recreated a solo shot of Tatiane, in which she appears wearing her beaded jewelry and a similar white tank top and jeans.

Sometimes love won’t fade over time and true love can overcome distance, even life and death.

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