Handling Reality – aka Duality – Use Compromise

2 posts back I talked about importance to perceive duality in life. 3 posts back I said that life is all about relationships.

Life in the existing reality is a combination of countless relationships between dualistic elements. Therefore, solutions to problems in reality can only be a compromise within each relationship. UNLESS, you choose to destroy that relationship.

Knowing that, we should know to be cautious when we proclaim that we need to defeat this or we need to beat that to solve our problems in real life.

If you take away sadness, you will not be happy. (Therefore, it’s a futile battle against depression.)
If you try to control or take over someone else’s life, you are destroying your relationship with that person. (It will become one between owner and slave.)

All the duality in life…

Happiness and sadness.
Saving and spending.
Student and teacher.
Certainty and uncertainty.
Selfishness and selflessness.
Good and evil.

Our well being, along with nature’s well being, is when duality is kept in balance without one side overpowering the other. Therefore, an aware person’s solution to a “problem” is always one of compromise to bring balance back.

Remember, compromise.

Originally posted 2009-06-01 21:42:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Illusion of Going Green

img_2422.jpgSorry to disappoint you if you arrive today to read about personal finance or self-development or to nose about me. Nope, today’s none of those. Instead, I want to point out some silliness I observed about the social hype of going green.

Hybrid Vehicles

If you are going to get stuck in traffic for hours with a hybrid, you are still burning fuels like all other cars, albeit less. And don’t even get me started on those hybrids driving 80 mph on the highway. You know the urge from watching a motorbike that haplessly swerves by you and wanting to run him into the boulder? It’s the same feeling.

How about drive less, carpool, plan your driving trips, walk/bike when possible, or not buy a house that comes with a 10-hour commute just to own more square footage…

Solar Panels

Solar panel itself is a solution. But guess what, these panels have to be produced, and guess where over half of them are being produced? Yep, none other than the almighty China. With loose regulation, by-products from the production of solar panels – chlorine and hydrochloric acid – are freely dumped in nature.

Go for it if the thought of many to-be-dead Chinese excites as much as going green.

Carbon Offsets

Personally, I think this is the dumbest idea of all, where you pay a company to “go green” for you and you say “Oh, I’ll pay someone else to do my responsibility to save the environment”. How irresponsible is that. It’s like paying someone to not cheat so you can cheat on your husband/wife.

On top of that, carbon offsets companies are not required to disclose what they do with your money. Half of the money probably end up in their pockets while the other half will go into investment of other “green technology”. The left over money will probably be used to hire gorgeous interns naively excited about “going green” while you think a tree must have been planted by now. But honestly speaking, most of the money will be used to pay for administration and personnel cost.

I’m not saying the above three things matter naught. Each of them can be part of the solution if people truly adjust their behaviors. To truly minimize pollution to the environment, we have to begin by minimizing our wasteful behaviors, where each humble citizen of Mother Earth should be mindful of what their actions mean to the environment and act accordingly – recycle, turn off lights, lower the heat and A/C, stop littering… We must understand how we are all connected and stop thinking selfishly.

I wish people can stop being silly, but I’m afraid Einstein is yet correct.

Originally posted 2008-03-30 15:51:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Idea of Sunk Cost and Letting Go

Sunk cost is a most important idea I learned in a Decision Analysis class. In “technical” terms, sunk costs are costs that had already been incurred that is irrecoverable.

Why is this so important?

Sunk cost is an indispensable idea that enables you to have rational thinking and to make rational decision, and rational thinking and rational decision are what you need to prevail in many areas in life, such as investing, making business decision, deciding the next move in relationship/career/life, etc.

In a practical example of whether to sell your car, you can:

  1. Compare current selling price with how much you paid for the car and think about the loss (the difference) if you sell the car now. If the loss is too big, you keep the car.
  2. Think about how much you gain by selling (maybe use that toward a more fuel-economical car) and/or the maintenance and insurance you DON’T have to pay later, which will lead to more saving. And if those gain and savings do not provide more value than not selling, you will keep the car.

Now I didn’t cover every aspects and parameters involved in the decision of car-selling in real-life, but you get the idea.
Which do you think is a rational decision?

In the 1st scenario, you let something that has already happened in the past to drive your decision.
In the 2nd scenario, you consider all future potentials and base you decision upon those.
Pretty obvious.

The price you paid for the car is no longer relevant. However, you can imagine how people will choose not to sell like in the 1st scenario in real life.

Quickly, we can translate the same idea into making decisions in a business project and a personal relationship setting.

Instead of deciding whether a project should be continued with focus on how much money and human resources had been invested, you need to focus on how much potential investment return if the project is to be finished, the probability of the project failing, and how much more cost will be incurred, etc. You do not focus on those “wasted” resources because they are already sunk cost.

Now in terms of personal relationship, instead of deciding if you should stay with somebody based on the amount of time and effort spent, you evaluate about the current trust/confidence/comfort level you have with this person (that is a result of past experience, but NOT the past experience), the potential amount of happiness/sadness, whether he/she can change bad habits or if you can endure them, and many many other aspects involved in a intimate relationship looking into the future.

Those are just some very generic examples. But to put in more generic term of how sunk cost assist you to be more rational is that “what happened has happened and you should not let yourself get dragged down by the past”. I’m am not urging you to be completely rational and throw away the past, but it’s age-old wisdom that you do not let the past becomes the burden of future, especially the mistakes and bad experience. This is the same idea as we tell each other to “let go”.

Look into the future and based your decisions on those visions, my friends.

To have all the details and technicality on the idea of sunk cost, visit here.

Originally posted 2007-09-10 23:29:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Having Alone Time and Feeling Lonely, What is Your Comfort Level?

With today’s hectic life style, it’s hard for us to have alone time. I am talking about authentic alone time, where you are all by yourself (alone physically) and completely in the moment with yourself (alone emotionally), not distracted from doing or thinking about other things. True one on one time. Just be there, with yourself.

How much one has mastered himself and his own mind directly shows in the comfort level when he is truly by himself.

“Oh my god, I’m bored, I need to…
… call someone on my cellphone!
… check Facebook!
… browse the web/YouTube/blogs!
… go out somewhere fun!
… go shopping!”

And BAM, you end up spending money. Therefore, to be comfortable being alone and lonely will help both yourself and for you to save money. Follow me.

I dare to say a majority of people are not comfortable with themselves. Look at the rampancy where people are constantly, and I do mean constantly, talking on cellphones, texting, writing emails, browsing social networks, etc. Never a minute to be truly by themselves.

Being alone and lonely. To get used to themselves. To provide quiet moments for the mind to digest information. To simply let the mind rest so to stay calm. Through which, they can come see things as they are. But no, people are way too busy. They even try very hard to stay busy. They must fill every moment in time doing something. They must succeed! But remember, what is success?

Consumerism is probably a result of this, where people fill their moments with the excitement of buying things, owning things, bragging about the things they own. They fill their moments and physical space with things, things, and more things as distraction.

Existing common knowledge says aloneness is bad. People avoid being alone. They even get depressed. “Oh my god, oh my god, I am all by myself!” Is being alone so bad? Is being lonely so bad? In reality, we are all alone since birth because nobody can fully be you, and nobody can fully understand you.

Like avoiding people they do not like, people avoid being alone. If you never get time alone, how do you ever understand yourself? Without such understanding, your action may or may not align with what you truly want out of life.

Do you want your life to be like rolling the dice? Or do you want to choose to be who you want to be? Is such busy life worth it?

Originally posted 2008-06-05 00:16:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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