How to remember where I put my car keys.

I do not have a powerful memory. I cannot always remember birthdays and anniversaries. I sometimes cannot even remember where I put my car keys!

To help myself remember, I went to study some memory techniques which I can apply. I was very impressed when I attended a preview of a seminar on “How to improve your memory.” The speaker was very impressive and could remember a list of 50 random words which the audience came up with. It started with the speaker asking the audience to suggest 50 words which he wrote on the white board. After finishing writing all the 50 words, he turned away from the whiteboard and then proceeded to read out all the 50 words from memory, in the order in which they were written. He could even recite the words in the reversed order. When we were asked to repeat the words we could only managed a few words and not in the order in which they were written.

The speaker then proceeded to explained that he used his imagination to remember the words and their order in which they were written. I will try to explain the method that he used to remember all the words. Suppose you want to remember five words in a particular order. Let us say that the five words are as follows:

1.            Cake
2.            Grass
3.            Airplane
4.            Mary
5.            Umbrella

The method is to image a giant cake made of grass. Just then an airplane flew into the grass cake with Mary the pilot carrying an umbrella.

So you can easily picture in your mind and remember the cake made from grass with an airplane flying through it with Mary the pilot carrying an umbrella.

Or you can remember it backwards in the following manner. The umbrella was carried by Mary who was piloting the airplane and flying through a huge mold of grass that looks like a giant cake.   

This memory technique is very good when I want to remember a list of words but I find it does not work very well, when I want to remember where I put my car keys! The reason is that I did not make an effort to remember where I put my car keys. You see, to remember something you must make an effort to remember. But if you do not make an effort to remember, you can’t remember it at all. This usually happens when I get home and I absentmindedly toss my car keys somewhere. It is somewhere, I can’t remember where. That’s when I can’t remember where I put my car keys.

So, what is the solution? What is your solution to this problem? Is it even a problem? It becomes a problem when you cannot find your car keys.

My solution to this is to put a little basket on the table, near to the door. When I get home, each time I will toss the car keys into this little basket. It is a very simple trick and it works every time. Well to be honest not every time. Sometimes, the car keys stayed in my pockets because I forgot to toss them into the little basket.  

What about remembering birthdays and anniversaries?

I use my hand phone for reminders on birthdays and anniversaries. My hand phone has a calendar application. I just click on the date in the calendar and a screen pops up where I key in the information on birthdays, anniversaries and whatever events that I want to be reminded of. It even comes with a function that makes your hand phone buzz or ring on the time when you want to be reminded of the event. Let’s say that you have a meeting on the 20th. December at 3.00 pm. You can set the reminder at 2.00 pm on the same day. So, at 2.00 pm, 20th. December, your hand phone will buzz or ring and reminds you of the meeting at 3.00 pm.                                                     

This is my method for remembering anything that is of importance to me and I hope this will help you to remember too.

Have a good day!

WHEN YOU DON’T GIVE UP YOU CANNOT FAIL!

I am going to tell you a story about Mr. Derek Redmond. He was a runner taking part in the Barcelona Olympics Games in 1992.

“Derek Anthony Redmond is now a retired British athlete. During his career, he held the British record for the 400 meters sprint, and won gold medals in the 4×400 meters relay at the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. (Wikipedia).”

The story goes like this.

Derek was favored to win a medal in the 400 meters sprint in the Barcelona Olympics games. He was at the height of his career. He was injury free and he felt good about himself. When the 400 meters sprint started, he went off the blocks like a bullet and was racing along the tracks like a gazelle. Round about 150 meters into the race, the spectators saw Derek started to limp and then fell to the ground. It was clear to everyone there on that day, that Derek was in great agony and had probably suffered a torn hamstring in his heel. The other runners quickly overtook him as he struggle to get up to continue the race. It was a herculean effort on Derek’s part because he was limping and shuffling along the race track. An older man broke through the security guards and ran to Derek’s side. It’s was Derek’s father. Derek’s father told his son, “You don’t have to do this.” Derek’s replied, “Yes, I do!” Derek’s father said “Well then, we are going to finish this together.” Putting his arm on his son, they continued the race, limping and shuffling along the race track. Shortly before the finish line, Derek’s father let him go to complete the race. Derek received a standing ovation from the over 65,000 people from all the nations represented in the stadium.

The lesson we can learn from this story is that not everything that you planned, wished and practiced for, will work out the way you like it to be. Many times you will not get what you want. It is even worse when instead of getting a reward for your efforts, you receive sufferings and abuse and rejection and insults. Sometimes you get all this not from your enemies but from your friends and people who you think you can depend on to help you in your time of crisis.

But you must remember the Derek Redmond story that there is always someone who believes in you and who is concern about your well being. That person is someone who is your true friend, a fellow soldier and a soul mate.

Remember this:

“WHEN YOU DON’T GIVE UP YOU CANNOT FAIL!”

Be the champion that you are. Let your heroic inner self shine forth.
You will receive the standing ovation that you truly deserve.

I will end with this quotation from Les Brown; “You have greatness in you but greatness is a choice; it’s not your destiny. It’s a choice that you have to make every day. ‘Choose Ye this day, whom you will serve’, the mediocre part of yourself or the greatness that you were chosen for”

“Tuhao” A New Social Group in China

A new social group has emerged in China. They are referred to as the “tuhao”. The word “tuhao” is not a new word. It original meaning was a rich landowner. The word was first coined in the Song and Qing Dynasties. It referred to the villainous rich landowner and class enemy of communist China’s proletariat.

The term’s modern revival began with a joke that made its rounds on Chinese social media in early September. A young rich man asks a Zen master, “I’m wealthy but unhappy. What should I do?” The Zen master responds, “Define ‘wealthy.'” The young man answers, “I have millions in the bank and three apartments in central part of Beijing. Is that wealthy?” The Zen master silently holds out a hand, inspiring the young man to a realization: “Master, are you telling me that I should be thankful and give back?” The Zen master says, “No … “Tuhao”, can I become your friend?”

His response implies that even a Zen master, who is supposed to live a simple, non-materialistic life, is eager to be associated with the rich.

The joke explains a social phenomenon in China, where people yearn to befriend the rich in the hope of benefiting from the relationship, even though they might secretly despise them out of jealousy.

The modern definition of “ tuhao” is — tu means dirt or uncouth; hao means splendor. They seem to be everywhere, throwing around their newly minted renminbi and well-used debit cards; yet they are elusive and shun the media. Their love for bling has become the backbone of the global luxury goods industry, yet they are also the subject of disdain, the butt of jokes, and the punching bag for that which is offensive to good taste.

Although people used the word “tuhao” in a light-hearted context, it shows the desire of materialism in China. They might be hoping to become a ‘tuhao” themselves through the contacts with the “tuhao”.

A commentary in Global Times said having the right connections with “tuhao” is seen as a shortcut to success in China, where “people lose confidence in changing their fate through knowledge or personal capabilities”.

“Although not glorious and solid, it is better than struggling at the lowest end of society,” it said.
A report by the Foreign Policy echoed the same sentiment.

“Small wonder that while Chinese may resent “tuhao” and poke fun at their taste, making their acquaintance (or better yet, marrying into their families) remains a convenient and enviable way to move up China’s increasingly treacherous social ladder,” it said.

Are you having a great day?

Are you having a great day or are you having a miserable day?

In actual fact the day is neither great nor miserable by itself. We feel that the day is a great day or we feel that the day is a miserable day. It is all in our feelings about the day that make it a great day or a miserable day. Now that we know that it is our feelings that make a day great or miserable, then why do we choose to have a miserable day instead of a great day?

The answer lies in the situation and the state of mind that we are in at the moment. Suppose you have just been retrenched from your job due to the poor economic situation and your company needed to downsize. You will be worrying about finding a new job. That is how you will be feeling.

When you start to worry and fret, you will feel very miserable and you feel afraid and unsure about the future. Many questions run through your mind and when you do not have the answers to them, you will feel lost and sad. It generally true that human beings are prone to thinking negatively rather than positively. It is very common for us to consider problem solving. We seldom consider resource finding! We will always look at the negative aspect rather than seeking the positive part of life.

When a person considers the negative aspects of life he will not feel resourceful, creative, imaginative and capable. He feels that he is locked up in a cell or room with walls that limit his abilities. He cannot come up with answers and all the while endless questions are asked in his mind. If he keeps at it in this situation he will soon feel helpless, lethargic, sluggish, weary and lifeless.

If we pause here for a minute and consider the situation, we can identify that all this happens because of how we feel! It is only the feelings. It is all in our thoughts. Right?

If we feel bad and miserable, it is because we look at the situation with negative thoughts. We feel downcast, depressed, sad and unhappy because we think negatively!

The situation that we are in cannot change if we feel worry and sad. The situation can only change for the better if we decide to change ourselves. Instead of looking at the situation with fear and anxiety we should look at it with hope, confidence, positive expectations and anticipation.

In a positive mood and feelings that we create in ourselves by thinking positive thoughts and feelings, we will start to feel good about ourselves. We will become resourceful and creative. The situation does not look so bleak after all. In actual fact the situation is still the same and unchanged. It is we who have changed. We have change for the better.

The possibilities for a better future seem to be within reach and are brighter. The day seems to change from being a miserable day to become a great day. By thinking positive thoughts and being positive we have regain control over the events in our life. Isn’t this better than being miserable? So, instead of having a miserable day, have a great day!

I will end this with a quotation from Winston Churchill and a poem by English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). At the age of 12, Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone and he had his leg amputated below the knee at age 17. Despite his disability he lived an active life and died at age 53. (Source; Wikipedia)

“Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
― Winston Churchill, The Crisis

 

Invictus [Latin for “unconquered”]

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley –