Time end Amazon Prime membership (and how-to)

Today, Amazon announced that they will raise the annual subscription price for Prime membership from $99 to $119, a 20% increase.

After some self-reflection, I have decided that it is no longer worth it to pay the fee. $99 was borderline extravagant for me. Aside from the 2-day shipping, I do not make use of all the other services that come with Prime membership. On top of that, even without 2 days shipping, I remember that many items still have free 3-5 days shipping (correct me if I’m wrong).

Steps to end your annual Amazon prime membership :

  1. Go to Amazon.com
  2. Click on “Your Account” or “Accounts & Lists” near top right
  3. Click on the “Prime – View benefits and payment settings” box toward top right
  4. Click on “End Membership and Benefits” link on the left
  5. Click on “End My Benefits” button
  6. Click on “Continue to Cancel” button
  7. Click on “End on [date]” button

And you are done. Your Prime membership will now expire at the stated date.

To be honest, I am not too fond of the wordings because they purposely word the buttons as if the membership will end right the way. I can only guess their intent where most people will have a psychological block to end membership immediately rather than allowing the membership to expire.

Originally posted 2018-04-26 23:41:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Do You Have What It Takes?

Thanks to my roommate renting the Bluray, I got to watch the Dark Knight again tonight. There is no argument that it is a great movie. I love it. Let along the acting, I enjoy much of the dialogues between Batman and the Joker. Especially the Joker’s, much of his was quite philosophical.

There is actually a lot to be learned from being a hero, despite we often think that it would be fun to have their power.

Do you know what the toughest part of being a hero is? The toughest part of being a hero is his power. Quoting Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

Power is a gift and a curse because with great power, he has a lot more options including many that are not available for normal humans. A hero has to make choices that normal people don’t have to and cannot make either because they lack the abilities or they possess not the same perception. Also, power puts someone at a higher place to have an opportunity to look at the world differently, so there is a choice for him to see or denies what he sees. Put together with the fact that his choices will influence exponentially more people versus one that you or me will make. Boy, so many things to consider and he just has to make the best choice he could. Things may or may not turn out okay, and there are times he must sacrifice something or somebody to do “good”. What a tough job being a hero. Certainly glad neither you nor I is a superhero.

But if we take a minute to think, we normal people aren’t so different.

To get something done, to accomplish a goal, to make a change, you first observe and then you must make the choices for it to happen, many of which maybe simple but not easy. They may not sound conventional to you. They may not feel right. They may make people who are your friends and family dislike you.

As you are growing, as you learn more and obtain more knowledge and wider perspective, which is the equivalent of “gaining power”, you will need make the choices that you couldn’t have made before the growth. As you have outgrown your environment and your peers, if you so desire to become better, you likely need to make more choices that maybe against “common sense”, against “standards”, against “traditions”, against “pervasive believes”. Sometimes, that will lead you out of the crowd and you end up being by yourself.

Imagine you want to buckle down financially, save up, clear some debt, or simply get rich. Perhaps it would be the case that you need to cut back on social outings, or not buy things that others have that you want, or drop a hobby or two, or sell somethings they thought are so important. How easily do you think people can make up their mind to do so? Who would want to do that?

Same applies to health. For example, if you have always been couch potatoes, or going out every night with your best buddies, do you think you can choose to do otherwise? Maybe head to the gym instead? Maybe cook at home? Maybe read up on fitness and nutrition (beyond the marketing crap)? Even though it means you will end up being by yourself?

Would a so-called normal person chooses to be chased after like a fugitive by the people he chooses to protect like Batman did? Would a so-called normal person chooses to bring chaos to break the social norms like the Joker did?

Do you have what it takes to kick old sets of habits? Do you have what it takes to perhaps be different than your family, friends, and peers? Do you have what it takes to make the tough choices, like Batman did? Do you have what it takes to choose “uncommon sense”, like the Joker did? Do you have what it takes to wield your own power? Do you have what it takes to be who you want to be, who you are inside?

I want to get this out of my system before bed, so now… time for bed, peace!

Originally posted 2008-12-12 01:40:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Our Ultimate Goal – Happiness

We talk about personal development (PD). We talk about personal finance (PF). Bunch more people talk about both topics out there. In our journey to both of these paths, I’d like to lay down the ultimate goal that is not to be overlooked and ever forgotten.

That ultimate goal is happiness.

The reason I feel it is important to remind ourselves is that sometimes I see people lose themselves in their zealous attempt to be successful in either or both of the PD and PF paths.

I have a friend who is very much into health/fitness, and she consistently go to the gym 3/4 times a week. However, there are times I feel that she’s too tired from work or sick to go, and she will force herself to go. I understand it’s a very positive thing that she has that drives. I also go to gym and exercise (play basketball) consistently myself and force myself alike, but I’d like to point out that we need to be careful not to push ourselves to the point of burning out and get hurt in the end. As long as we’re keeping up with the routines frequently, it is OK to take a break if we feel we should.

On the financial side, I am reminding myself of the ultimate goal to keep myself from becoming cheap vs. frugal…haha. We have to understand that we have to save for the future but at the same time, we may not live to see tomorrow, and hence, it is OK to spend money on things that will make ourselves happy. Just remember to spend under your means.

One last thing I’d like to point out, especially being in the Silicon Valley Bay Area, that people get so focused into their work that they forget to take care of themselves. Yes, our career is important. Yes, we need to work hard to become successful. However, we cannot forget to do things that will make us happy. Gym/Exercise is important because health is important and we will not be happy if we’re sick. Having hobbies is important because work may not be always enjoyable and hobbies will give us something to look forward to.

We don’t live to go to gym or to exercise. We do those because they give us health, make us look better :), or are hobbies that we enjoy. So in turn, they’ll make us happy.

We don’t live to save money. Wealth lets us buy things we like, buy convenience in lifestyle, take trips to places we’d like to see, etc. In other words, it lets us live a better life, and we save for retirement because we also want to live a better life later, but it’s important to remember the present.

Remember to do things you like and make your happy. Happiness for ourselves and people around us is the ultimate goal.

Originally posted 2007-04-07 11:06:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It

In the past two years as I learned fitness/exercise/gym as a habit, one thing that is very pertinent in life is that – If you don’t use it, you lose it.

One doesn’t have to be a kinesiology major to understand that. My experience has been that even if it has just been a week of inactivity, I notice a deline in my weight training (very obvious) or cardiovascular performance. How do I tell? The answer is the amount of soreness I can feel. Even more obvious is the immense soreness + pain whenever I start some new training. And hence, the need for us to emphasize on consistency of exercise. To avoid the benefits that we have worked so hard to archieve, it’s best to continue to do something at least, even just to maintain a moderate level of the benefits. In addition…

The idea of “If you don’t use it, you lose it” does not only apply to fitness and health. On my path of exploring and learning singing myself, I continuously discovered that many of the causes for my difficulty to produce more beautiful tone are muscular apathy of head/facial area muscles. It is over time when I consciously practice these muscles that I am able to improve.

Actually, not only is this the problem for people trying to learn how to sing, but this is the problem for people between ethnic group learning a foreign tongue. Certain languages only require us to use certain facial muscles. It is one of the many reasons that when we try to learn a new language that we have difficulty with announciation. What we need to do is to practice using all the muscles on our face :)

Well, another thing is that us humans have a tendency to be lazy and use less, or just enough, muscle to perform a certain task. That is exactly why we need to re-learn deep breathing for our health, and also exercise our mind to maintain our mental sharpness, and of course, exercise our body to make sure we don’t lose those muscle.

In fact, I would go as far to say that everything in our body is governed by this concept of “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Therefore, everyday we need to consciously use every part of our body and push it to improve, expand, and realize our potentials!

Originally posted 2007-05-02 23:01:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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