Saving On Beverage In Restaurants

When you read the title, did you think “So this guy only drink water, what a cheapo”?

Hey now! I am not gonna ask you to never order a soda or other kinds of beverage at restaurants and ONLY drink water. Let me describe what happened:

I was at lunch with colleagues at an Indian buffet restaurant. Being an engineer, I prefer to have some caffeine in my body for the afternoon (I’m an avid coffee drinker, one cup of coffee everyday is not bad for you). So I ordered a coke. To my unpleasant surprise, the glass they use is at most 6 oz in volume and half filled with ice, so I can essentially drink the whole thing w/ one tenth of a breath. I was not happy.

But here is the lesson:
Before ordering drinks at restaurants, pay attention to surrounding tables’ order of beverages. If most people don’t order beverages other than water, follow suit because something must be off. Then check out the glass size they use for non-water beverages, get it if it’s a decent size in your mind.

That’s it for the day…
Oh wait…
What did I say at the beginning?
Or rather, what did I not say?

Why not just drink water?
It’s good for your health.

Originally posted 2007-08-15 23:25:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Spiral of Life and Power of the Mind

Have you ever think that…
“God, bad things keep happening these days. When is it going to stop?”

It’s like whenever bad fortunes befall you, they come like a tempest of hail, a destroying storm, a flood of mighty water that seems to want to swallow you whole, and they don’t stop coming?

I’m sure somewhere along your life, you have felt that way.
If not, lucky you!

Going back to the title of the post “The Spiral of Life, featuring Power of the Mind”.
What a great title…just kidding.
It’s not as philosophical as it sounds.
Let me explain.

When things turn sour in life, you start feeling down, depressed, frustrated, angry… You expect more bad things to come your way and think “God, bad things keep happening these days. When is it going to stop?” With the negative mentality in place, you then see everything happening with a negative perspective, put a negative spin on all events, and accordingly, act negatively in response, which then lead to more bad and perhaps worse things to happen. Then you get more down, depressed, frustrated, angry… Eventually and finally, you hate the entire world, think everyone is against you, and go to gun down people at school or in the office with an AK-47… wait, they like to use those automatic pistols these days… alright, that maybe too cynical, not very funny, and besides the point.

“Oh… you are just exaggerating.”
Oh really?
Pay attention to what’s happened out there and ask again.

Anyways, in the explanation above, we are depicted seemingly in equivalence to be asking for more bad things to happen, albeit unknowingly and unconsciously. That’s exactly what is it. That’s why we have the saying, “Misery loves company.” Simply put, it’s all about our mentality and attitude, which essentially materialize themselves as our actions, or reactions.

From my observation, almost everything in life operates like a spiral… relationship with your boss, relationship with your spouse, progression in your career… In personal finance, once you fall behind on payments, your credit gets degraded and you get slapped with fees, which will make you future payment worse. Also look at how hatred spawns hatred, how people are suing each other these days. To generalize…

When our thoughts are negative, negative things happen because we react negatively. Things will continue to spiral downward from there.

BUT!

Just the same and conversely, when our thoughts are positive, positive things happen because we react positively. Things will spiral upward from there.

“What can we do to break out of this chain of negative mentality?” You ask.
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, or catch-22, or whatever you want to call it.

There needs to be something that breaks the spiraling downward.
There needs to be some form of energy that changes things around.
That something, that some form of energy is the power of the mind.
Right inside your head.

There’s a catch, though.
It has to be the power of YOUR OWN MIND.
It’s up to yourself to use your own mind.
Nope, you cannot use mine.
Nope, I cannot do it for you.

You have to use your own head.

Sorry if it’s not easy.
Sorry if this is bad news.
I never said it’s easy.
Plus, not very many things in life are ever easy.
But it will most probably be worse news if you do not change.
It is a choice, and you will have to make this choice yourself.
A choice to make a change.

Whatever ways you can find… Whatever you can dig up inside yourself to change your mentality…
Be it sheer will, a distaste of presense, a desire to be excellent, a stubbornness to compete…
Whatever you can find inside yourself to trigger this change in your mind.

So either, you make up your own mind and use its power to plow through obstacles and clear the fogs in your head to allow yourself to think more positively and clearly or… keep doing what you were doing.

It’s your choice after all.

But once you make the choice to change your mentality to one that’s positive (so you can think clearly and optimistically, be genuine and kind, etc.), I assure you more good things will happen to you AND around you, making the world a better place, at least in your vicinity.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a scenario, relating to to personal finance since that’s what I also talk about here on this blog.

Now if you are poor and don’t make a whole lot of money. You can:

  1. Think that you will always be poor and therefore, continue to spend all your money, and therefore, continue to stay poor.
  2. Think that you are able to become financially secure and therefore, spend less than your earn and save a portion of every paycheck, and therefore, have a sizable savings eventually.

The choice is yours.

Originally posted 2007-08-14 23:34:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Keeping an Open Mind

Last time I mentioned Awareness; however, there is one thing that goes hand in hand with it. It’s being open-minded. Being aware alone is not enough. If we’re close-minded, how do we change ourselves? How do we allow our thoughts to change and to improve?

You may already think, “Of course I’m open minded.” Well, let’s not be so sure yet and give yourself some leeway to be skeptical about that.
Continue reading Keeping an Open Mind

Originally posted 2007-02-25 21:59:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Win Win Win: Ever More Glory from the Olympics

I don’t know since when, but it seems life has become all about winning. Among everything, right now there is all the fuzz about winning in the Olympics.

Simultaneously as I marvel at the amazing abilities these athletes, I cannot help but feel the meaning of the Olympics is lost. (As for the stories about the lip-sync’ed girl, CG fireworks aside… don’t get me started… )

With an earthly population where the majority barely moves their butts and feet each day and a good fraction who can barely run, I wonder how many can truly appreciate the spectacle performed by these athletes. I really wonder. Not very many is my guess. This is more reassured from observing how the Chinese runner, Liu Xiang, got cast away by so many of his very own people, as if he himself is not in enough anguish for his inability to participate already — something he trained day in and day out for. Yet many are inhesitant to criticize him. But I digress.

As a bit of an athlete myself, I fully understand the hard work, focus, discipline, pain and sacrifice they had to go through for training to reach such level. If without such appreciation that people are watching the Olympics, I wonder why people are so glued to the Olympics. Some even pull all-nighters. Risk dozing off at work. Perhaps a dire need for distraction and a cause for celebration from mundane life? Or perhaps watching and hoping athletes from their very own nation, “their own people”, win some medals in order to share in the glory? Or it could be for pure entertainment, I suppose.

In my (simple) mind, the Olympics carries a meaning that is analogous to what Jet Li tries to convey with Wushu, a.k.a martial arts. You can also call it sportsmanship. All in all, it is about improvement of the soul, mind, and body. It is about the time and energy spent in learning something and consequently train those three things. And with such process, it brings out the best of us, builds characters in people, creates a mutual understanding, brings unity among humanity, and allows for both external and internal peace. Too much for you? I still believe that is the ideal.

But it seems the focus has been shifted a little too much to the winning of the medals. I understand the celebration of winning and achieving you fight so hard for, but it just seems to be ALL about winning. What does that says about the Olympics? It makes it almost no different than the way of capitalistic and materialistic world. Always about winning and getting more, MORE!

Like martial art satisfies people’s thirst for violence and gore, currently the Olympics quench people’s (nation’s) dire thirst to conquer and beat out each other and at the same time, the population received temporary cure for their need of excitement and fun — things that they forever seek — and perhaps distraction, or maybe a different form of TV entertainment.

As the true meaning of Wushu is not readily understood, the idea of sportsmanship is not very visible in the very event that symbolizes it.

Thank you for reading my rant.

Originally posted 2008-08-20 23:09:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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