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Monthly Archives: December 2017

水滴石穿
Shuǐdīshíchuān

Constant effort brings success

The quote means that water droplets can wear through rocks.

Do not be discouraged if your effort seems weak, small and feeble.

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Visiting limestone caves of stalagmites and stalactites is a good reminder that they were created from.deposits of droplets of water. Similarly valleys are created when the caves collapse through change in direction of water flows.

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Here, I am in the Valley of Gangala in Okinawa, Japan

A quote mom used to teach me.

“Little drops of water, little drops of sand,
Makes a mighty ocean and a pleasant land ” or is it a pleasant man?

Happy New Year 2018!

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How 7 days in Okinawa pondering its secret of longevity change my view of the future.

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1. Keep active
Many in their 60s and above are still working, selling simple essentials with low margin. Perhaps out of necessity and certainly the opportunity for social interaction, out and about, walking and driving.

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Outside of hotels, shopping belt of Kokusai Street (and international brands) most of the service staff by local outlets are above 50 yrs old. In the exceptions above, where ability to speak a foreign language to cater to tourists is a must, young people are employed.

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In the supermarket near my hotel, 60 yr olds were serving as cooks in the takeout counter or cashiers/packers at the checkout.

In “Making a living without a job” by Barabara Winter, she wrote about a tiny restaurant, the Milky Way ran for 25 yrs by Leah Adler, mother of Steven Spielberg, who at the time of the writing was 81 yrs old. She was at the restaurant from 830am till closing and seemed to have a good time making her customers happy and chatting with everyone. Adler recently passed away this year at 97.

2. Simple living
Simple needs, simple food and vegetables. Practicising hara hachi bo or 80 percent full.

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3. Outdoors island living with fresh air and sun

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4. Slow pace of life
Lights out by 7pm. No street lamp, not much electronic entertainment. Sloooow.

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First world amenities of Japan without too much social restraints. Less outwardly polite than Tokyo which may be less stressful

创业难,守业更难
Chuàngyè nán, shǒuyè gèng nán

Difficult to start a business, its even more difficult to maintain it.

What do film and cosmetics have in common?
Fujifilm survived the digital age with an unexpected makeover. The same technology used to innovate on chemicals like collagen/pigments for film and photography allowed them to apply on researching skincare.
They now have a line called Astalift!
In some counters, it is next to the Shisedo and Kose counters.

“The will to make such drastic changes and adapt quickly to seismic market disruption allow Fujifilm to still be a player, even as rival Kodak became bankrupt in 2012. Diversification is the name of the game. Although, still within the core line of business, and using synergies of the expertise of one’s business.

Are you afraid of disruption?
Take stock of your skills. Kaizen, comes from a Chinese word meaning constant improvement. In today’s fast changing world, can we rest on our laurels?

Constant innovation, constant improvement.

As we move into the New Year, what new skills do you want to pick up?

What growing areas or industries/ trends can your skills be transferred?

Read more at:

How to Ask for a Salary Increase. Joke I received from Whatsapp.

An employee sends a letter to his boss asking for an increase in his salary!!!

Dear Bo$$

In thi$ life, we all need $ome thing mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company.

I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.

Your$ $incerely,
Norman $oh

The next day, the employee received this letter of reply:

Dear NOrman

I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed.

You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet. NOw the newspaper are saying the world`s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the world may be headed for aNOther recession. Looking at ecoNOmic fundamentals, things may turn bad.

I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean.

Yours truly, Boss

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Photo credit: M from COOS

临渊羡鱼,不如退而结网。
lín yuān xiàn yú,bù rú tuì ér jié wǎng
《汉书·董仲书传》《han shū · dǒng zhòng shū zhuàn 》

Rather than admire the abundance of fish [opportunities in front] of the lake, why not retreat to sew your net [to catch the fish].

This proverb was used as a parable from 董仲舒, a politician and a philosopher, who warned the Han emperor to use systematic/benevolent manner to govern a country.

Its about goals and process. Does the goal justify the means/process? While having a grand goal is important, the how to accomplish is equally important.
Otherwise it is akin to “building castles in the air”, an illusion.

《汉书·董仲舒传》,书中说:“故汉得天下以来,常欲治而至今不可善治者,失之于当更化而不更化也。

古人有言曰:‘临渊羡鱼,不如退而结网。’”意思是说,汉朝希望国家能得到很好的治理,却没有达到这个目的,原因在于“当更化而不更化”,也就是没有在观念上、制度上做出必要的改革和调整,于是他借“临渊羡鱼,不如退而结网”这句古训,来告诫统治者,要治理好国家,必须抓住观念、制度这个根本。

“临渊羡鱼,不如退而结网”这一典故,也告诫人们,在目的与手段之间,有明确的目的固然重要,但如果没有实现这一目的的必要手段,目的将是空幻而不切实际的。

Source of mandarin write-up
https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/1302103067889920139.html

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/the-man-who-brought-hope-inspirasian-9494998
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I chanced this write up at Brightside. #What $1 brings you#. A snicker bar in Japan, a bowl of chicken rice in Indonesia, a can of coca cola in a hawker centre in Singapore.

https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/what-1-dollar-will-buy-you-around-the-world-386510/

This year I am inspired to do more. My students in SMU inspire me. Many of them genuinely want a career in helping profession.

Watch Corine Tiah’s documentary on an Inspiration Asian Ken who trekked the hills to bring light to the villagers.

Incidentally, Corine is a journalist whose documentaries are about #people who bring hope to others#.

#Fragrance lingers on the hand that gives flowers#

#CNA#, #InspirAsian#, #$1#

学如逆水行舟,不进则退
Xuérú nìshuǐxíngzhōu, bù jìn zé tuì
Learning is like rowing a boat against the tide, not advancing will subject one to slide backwards.

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Have you experienced Monday blues? I did. Often a toxic co-worker shouts an insult and our head mulls over retorts.

After wasting 8hrs searching out social media, I decided that I shall think about whatever is noble, whatever is good to improve my Mandarin with proverbs on Mondays.

Indeed, even though I have learnt Mandarin in school and worked in Taiwan for 3 years, I have difficulty holding a sentence today.

Surprisingly with language, one loses it when not used. Same goes for my French and Japanese. At least I use some Japanese during my travels to Japan.