Size Does Not Matter

One thing I notice in Japan was smallness. No, I am not insulting their people. No, I am not insulting their men, either. Actually, many girls there are very cute… uh, yeah, getting off track.

I should say — large space does not matter.

Take a look at this picture.
IMG_3492

It is a picture of my hotel room in Kyoto. There is barely space between the bed and table for my butt. It reminds me much about the living space from my past years in Hong Kong.

But, I am not complaining.

The common sense we have is — “Oh, we got so many things, we need more space”

In a way, our desire for space is directly related to our desire for things. Conversely, when we get more space in the house, we often want to fill that space with more things. Oh, what a dilemma.

Perhaps, we can consider the following chain of thought — “Oh, we got so many things, perhaps we need to make space by getting rid of things, that we don’t need, or use.”

Personally, I loooooove having space, and also cleanliness. They are very soothing.

Let’s face it, most of our stuffs end up sitting around collecting dusts. Instead, why don’t we carefully consider what we reeeeeeeeeally need, and if we are getting something, make sure it is something we will use frequently?

Oh, I am such a genius. Just kidding.

Another thing that is small is the portion of a meal. Each dish and even hamburgers from McDonald’s are smaller, which sucks for me because I am constantly hungry from my intense gym’ing. But for most Americans, who sit most days in office and sit some more in front of TV at home, can be a great idea.

That leads me to my final thoughts.

Perhaps we can use more limits. Yes, you heard me, limits, instead of more freedom.

Perhaps too much freedom had lead us to lots of indulgence, and indulgence is a result of not being clear about what is truly important. More limits in our environments force us to value what we have and cherish the resources that are available.

In other words, physical limits can be a great catalyst for internal growth.

Using the living space as an example, if you have so few square feets, there are only so many things you can have. And what you have will be what you need or truly find important.

Or if parking size is like this, you think twice before getting an SUV!
IMG_4481

Ok, the car example is not very good. The living situation is too different. But about driving in Japan, most people from America probably can’t drive in Japan, uh, due to poor driving skills. I personally DON’T want to drive there.

Anyways, I want to say this…

Evolving the idea on limit. Next time when we are frustrated and want to complain, or feel like we are suffering immensely, or seem to have insatiable desires for other things, consider that, there will forever be somebody somewhere else who are a lot worse off than we are.

IMG_3257Maybe things could be better, but they can be a lot worse. Look at this picture featuring the tight quarters in Tokyo Metro’s human sardines.

I guess that is why seeing the world, experiencing different things, how people live differently, are so important. So we realize how things can be worse.

On this note, I attribute my non-narrow perspective and sometimes unique and bizarre mentality to my fortunate experience (well, also unfortunate because it sucked big times sometimes) of having moved and lived in drastically different places at an age (12) that I could make my own perception already. However, I give myself credits for choosing to look at both sides of things rather than seeing only the green on the other side.

Last thing, totally unrelated, is a picture near the famous cross section in Shibuya, Tokyo by Center Gai (センター街). Pretty, eh? (It was shot in Lost in Translation too — one of my favorite movies)
IMG_3251

Originally posted 2009-07-17 01:06:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pinning all hopes on Bernanke

Let’s face it, many of us are looking at the stock market these days and wondering what on earth is going on. By that I mean, how on earth that stocks keep going up and up while there are not only very little good news but plenty of bad ones!

However, I think it’s become very clear in the last couple weeks now that the amazingly yet-increasing stock market is moving becase of one condition — Bernanke, or namely the Feds.

At the moment, Bernanke has the last card — QE3. So long as he continues to dangle the QE3 carrot in front of the traders, and we know most of the stock market now is moving due to traders — especially there are less retail investors now since all the crashes.

The question is, how long will this dangling of carrot work? I don’t know but I think it won’t be pretty when it stops working. And ultimately, Bernanke is not going to use this last card until something drastic happen that bring the market lower first.

That, is my humble view… mixed in with a bit of rant. I expect and await the market to come down in the next couple months when the “carrot” loses affect and I’m afraid it probably will not be pretty. Then Bernanke will not no where to go and QE3 the crap out of the market.

I’m simply really curious as to what will happen from now until end of year.

Originally posted 2012-09-03 20:20:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Some Tips for Students Looking for Internships or Jobs

I have mentioned a few times that I participate in the recruiting event for my company, and I had just visited a local university few days ago. Desperate time makes desperate students (people) *sigh*

Look for job is definitely money-releated, so I am going to offer some tips for students. Assuming you have the skills and technical criteria, I offer the following tips on how you approach and talk with company recruiters, and in all practicality, the tips should be also useful in your day-to-day interaction with people in general.

Disclaimer: I am not a “professional” coach — meaning, I have no certificate — but I do have the perspective of a recruiter, having done it more than I can count with my two hands and talked to hundreds, if not thousand of students.

Here I go.

  1. Do not behave like a robot — You are not a piece of meat. The recruiter is not a piece of meat. No one is just a piece of meat. So don’t treat people like a piece of meat. Should not we treat all people courteously anyways? Examples such as…
    • Do not simply walk up to a recruiter and recite a planned speech or essay.
    • It follows that, greet the recruiter and do not ignore him or her when greeted with “How are you?” or similar questions. (That happened a lot.)
    • Similarly, it’s good if you have a plan, but if the recruiter behaves or responds “out of sync”, adapt.
  2. Slow down your speech — It is great that you are prepared. It is okay that you are nervous. But it is NOT okay that you speak so fast that the other person cannot understand you, or simply zone out because you “buffer overflow” his or her brain. Speak at a decent pace.
  3. Breathe — Yes, literally, you need to breathe. This goes hand in hand with your speech. First of all, without breathing, you die. Without enough air, your speech will suck, and then you will try to speak even faster. At which point, you will get even more nervous. Breathing also helps your body handle the adrenaline rush. So, breathe. Breathe between sentences. It is okay to have a moment of silence.
  4. Stand tall — This will enhance your presence and image of confidence. Do not mistake this with puffed chest. Personally, I believe this has a huge impact on our impression on people in general, consciously or subconsciously. Fix your posture. If you don’t know what a good posture mean, go study what yoga, martial art, or singing talks about in a good posture.
  5. A nice and firm handshake — Besides posture, handshake is another good sign of a person’s attitude and confidence. A nice firm handshake is one which two persons’ hands cross with the concave part between the thumb and the index finger followed by a quick but firm squeeze. Do NOT crush the person’s hand.
  6. Pass on your resume once introduced and greeted — At career fair. This one is common sense, right? Give recruiter the resume so he or she can take notes of you and mark key points you that you are pointing out. (Literally, a few students did not give me the resumes until half way or when we are done talking… does not make sense, to me at least)
  7. Format your resume for easy glancing or browsing — Especially for career fair, the recruiter is to find key information in very limited time. Format key information so they are easy to spot at a glance, like graduation date, GPA, companies and job description of your previous work, important skills for the job you want, etc. Ask friends, teachers, strangers and see if they can find those information in 2-3 minutes. That will most likely make them happy.
  8. Resumes’s “One-page-ness” — This is targeted to undergraduate. Unless you have many very very important and relevant information that you MUST present, keep it to one page.

Note: Let alone the hard-to-browse resumes. I am very surprised to see many poorly done resumes yet these days. By that I mean, some of them are so obvious that the person did not even try.

Even though this may not be what all recruiters look for or how they feel, I believe these should be some good starting point, and the first 5 tips are generically useful for your interaction with other people in daily life. That’s all I have for now. Hope you find it useful.

Originally posted 2009-02-27 02:07:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Robert Kiyosaki and Rich Dad, Poor Dad

It is safe to say that almost everyone knows, has heard of, or has read the book “Rich Dad and Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I myself read the book about 2 years ago. Before I introduce what other people have said about Robert Kiyosaki and his book, let me briefly mention my opinion.

The Good Stuff

  • Encouragement for people to change their mentality and to a paradigm shift in financial thinking — This is a big plus because not being trapped in a narrow perspective and having the right mentality is the first step to do anything right.
  • The importance of passive income — It is necessary to set yourself up with passive income to become financially secure and get rich faster.
  • The mentioning of various financial concepts — I classify this as good stuff because this introduces people to new concepts and therefore, motivates and intrigues people to go out and learn about them. I became more apt to go study how the market and personal finance works. Financial knowledge and literacy is essential for financial security.

The Bad Stuff

  • The mentioning of various financial concepts — I also classify this as bad stuff because I believe he either exaggerates in his stories or provides misleading information. In a few places, he seems to be nearly promoting illegal behaviors.
  • Strong opposition to formal education — I believe formal insitutions still have their practical values and useful knowledges depending on how much individuals make use of the experience. It is detrimental to discourage and turn people away from academia.
  • Negligence to mention or explain the risk in the entrepreneur endeavors that he advocates readers to do — From what I read in news, this has led people to take reckless financial actions leading to financial disasters. I am not holding him responsible because people should think for themselves, but as an author of a “financial book”, he should provide the full picture and cover the topic of risk somewhere… especially in the high-risk financial maneuver he tells people to do.
  • Many vague areas in his stories — This makes me wonder how many of his “successful business” stories are true, and that he created them just to boaster himself and to help sell the book.

In short, I think the book is good in that it incurs people to think about their own finance and to do something about it. It is bad because of possibly misleading, false, and incomplete information, which can lead to dangerous and disastrous consequence if read incorrectly. That’s all from me. Below is what other people have said.

John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad – I read this VERY detail research and analysis on Robert Kiyosaki and his book recently. Together with the vagueness that I personally noticed in his book, we need to remain skeptical of this man and his words.

Let’s Read Some of Robert Kiyosaki’s Drivel – Silly words spoken by Robert Kiyosaki. This teaches us to do our own research and be cautious and skeptical about advice from “financial advisor”.

Kiyosaki is a Liar? – More “interesting things” said by Robert Kiyosaki!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad :: review – Brian and I agree on the positive points in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Concise review on the book stating the good and the bad.

Cautions on “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki – Frugal talks more about things we need to be careful about the author and his book. He then talks about his view on how to obtain wealth and the importance of formal education.

Robert Kiyosaki, A Smart Investor? – Once again, you probably should not take Robert Kiyosaki seriously when he advises you how to invest. Let’s just keep him as someone who may inspire people to think differently.

Deconstructing Robert Kiyosaki – Trent provides insights into the kind of man who he thinks Robert Kiyosaki is.

Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Full book review by Trent.

It seems that people generally agree on the few ideas Robert Kiyosaki has done correctly on his book, and they also agree on the same skeptical things. It’s probably enough Robert Kiyosaki for one day.

Originally posted 2007-09-20 23:41:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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