Beautiful Bags by Ling Wu

I’m not one who advertises for free but Ling Wu has fashioned some of the most gorgeous bags I’ve laid eyes on. Unlike loud monogrammed bags designed to flaunt riches, Ling Wu bags are understatedly beautiful and rich in details. Every bag tells an unpretentious story of uniqueness and hard work. If shoes can tell you what the character of a person is, then bags like these lets you read their souls.

Why is Humility so Underrated?

from Huffington Post

Insight often arises from simultaneously holding two seemingly contradictory notions — and then allowing a deeper understanding to develop. Take, for example, David R. Hawkins’ idea that, “A universal characteristic of genius is humility.” Generally we don’t equate genius with being humble. If anything, we expect the opposite, and are pleasantly surprised when we find a counterexample. But this presumption is actually relatively modern. The writer Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how ancient Romans believed that a genius was actually an invisible, divine entity who would assist a person in a creative work. In effect, this view positions a person as an instrument of their work, as opposed to the supreme creator of it; built-in to this perspective was a way of fostering humility within the gift of extraordinary capability.
In today’s increasingly connected world, humility becomes relevant not only for us as individuals, but also for groups. A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University showed that collective intelligence had little to do with the IQs of individuals in that group. So even if you bring together the smartest people, there is no guarantee of better team performance; in fact, it’s been shown that team outcomes have much more to do with how skillfully people collaborate. Individual motivations for actively engaging in a group effort lie at the heart of effective collaboration. Such motivation is rooted in how much value we ascribe outside of ourselves. A key aspect of this is humility: it motivates a right-sized assessment of our own abilities and an awareness of our limitations. A self-view that recognizes its limitations is vital in order for real synergy to occur. This is what allows us to be receptive to other people’s contributions, knowing that they often augment our own. In a group, the more that people are rooted in a mindset of humility, the greater the potential synergy.
It works in the other direction as well: the more we experience synergy, the more we recognize our interdependence, and the more likely we are to reinforce a sense of self-value that is real. An inflated self-valuation is clearly problematic, but so is a faltering sense of self-worth; both extremes feed into an insecurity that becomes more vested in proving value rather than simply adding it.
A conscious humility, one in which we accurately know our boundaries, makes us explicitly aware of what we do have to offer. This appreciation of our abilities is important, and yet, there’s a significant distinction between strengthening a known and limited self — and growing beyond it. As columnist David Brooks recently articulated in his encouraging survey of recent psychological research on humility, “Self-affirmation is about being proud and powerful and in control. Self-transcendence is about being engaged in activities in which the self is melded into a task or a relationship.” Viewed in this light, the problem isn’t in having a sense of self, but rather in being identified with its limitations, and therefore being unable to go beyond them. When we have a static and inflexible identity, what we experience becomes filtered and severely reduced. A repeated affirmation of this limited self is ego — and its fuel is habituated thought. We are what we think.
To soften the boundaries of identity, we must first become aware of our thoughts, and then recognize how certain thought patterns color our perception. It’s a flavor of what psychologists call inattentional blindness. In the classic Invisible Gorilla experiment, study participants are asked to watch a group of people pass a ball around. As they watch the video, a man in a gorilla suit walks across the screen, and yet half of the people don’t notice it. There is a similar but subtler inattentional blindness at the level of our thoughts, and this is where deepening in awareness is crucial. It allows us to tune in to the totality of our dynamic present experience. We then have more conscious choices in what we engage with and a greater freedom to choose our own responses — internal and external.
While thoughts may be hard to tune in to in a vacuum, in reality, the mind and body are inextricably connected. What we actually sense on the body-level tends to be much more tangible. Sensations within the body tug us firmly back into the moment and serve as a proxy for mindfulness. When someone says something that we perceive as a threat to our ego, we can actually sensitize ourselves to the physical sensations associated with that emotion. Anxiety often translates to a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach, and with anger we feel red-hot. It all happens in a split second. But if we are mindful of our thoughts and sensations, we then have a lever to stop the flow of previously subconscious reactivity, and we actually discover space.
Perhaps that’s what humility really comes down to — space around our perception of the world, as well as our own selves. Space to hold conflicting information, take in other people’s views and, to borrow Bruce Lee’s words, take the shape of the container we find ourselves in. Humility gives us permission to withhold conclusion and realize that what we are is always still emerging. And this is good.

Ways to entertain yourselves

(Article by guest writer E. Martin)

Entertainment plays very important role in your lives. It helps you recharge your batteries and start work with a renewed vigor. It provides you ample scope to amuse yourselves in your leisure time. Entertainment may be active as well as passive. If you are watching a drama or a movie, you are a part of passive entertainment. Again, if you are engaged in a sports or musical performance, then you are actively participating in some entertainment activity.

Entertainment helps you get rid of the monotony of day to day mundane life. It provides you ample fun, laughter and enjoyment. Over the centuries, the entertainment industry has also grown by leaps and bounds. Entertainment may be of different forms such as sports, theatre, cinema, clowns, pantomimes, dance, music and many more. Some popular forms of entertainment include:

• Theatre and cinema

Theatre and cinema are popular forms of entertainment which have huge mass appeal. Over the years, these forms of entertainment, have evolved and have taken today’s shape. In fact, cinema industry has grown  gigantic and is offering quality entertainment opportunities to the masses.

• Animation

With the development of computer technology, animation industry has grown stupendously. Many people, young or old, find animation to be entertaining and amusing. The introduction of 3D has broadened the scope of animation industry, creating cartoons which have evolved into realistic animated works. These animation provide ample scope for amusement and entertainment to both children and adult.

• Sports and games

Since the dawn of civilization, sports and games are part of our lives. The secretion of adrenalin as well as the fun, skill and excitement associated with sports enliven spirits and rejuvenate minds. Sports may be played by one person or by a group of individuals. Various competitions and championships have raised the appeal of sports among the people. Games may or may not be of physical contact in nature. Non-physical contact games such as playing cards and chess, also provide a quieten, more civilized form of entertainment.

• Music and dance

It is said that music is the medicine of mind. Many of us find music as a wonderful way to entertain ourselves. Various forms and genres of music cater to the requirement of varied types of listeners. Alongside with music, you may find dancing as also a popular way to amuse one self.

Life without entertainment becomes completely dull, boring, mechanical and lifeless. Innumerable ways are available before you to entertain and amuse yourselves. Entertainment does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to involve anyone else.  Pick the one which suits you the most and you may never be acquainted with boredom again.

Multiple Sources of Income

“A horse cannot gain weight if not fed with extra fodder during the night; a man cannot become wealthy without earnings apart from his regular salaries” ~ Chinese proverb

The Auntie prefers public transport to having her own vehicle to travel around. Why so? Because not only do you, NOT have to drive your own car, you actually get to hear / see amazing things on the buses and trains, such as comments like “Whoa!!! I wish I can be Li Kah-shing’s god-son, then I won’t have to worry about the rest of my life.” Yeap, I did hear such a thing before.

Aunty Scroogey can’t think of any ways to turn you into Li Kah-shing’s god-son or god-daughter, but I can breakdown the big picture and explain in laymen terms how people like him get to where they are, and perhaps from there, you could strategize and brainstorm a financial path for yourself to walk. Let’s, for a moment, examine how did Li Kah-shing himself get to the stage where he need not worry about the rest of his life? Well…. he built multiple streams of income. Same goes for people like Wee Cho Yaw and Robert Kuok. What do I mean by that? Quite simply, these people do not just depend on one source of income.

Take Wee Cho Yaw for example, what business do you think he is involved in? Many of you would say banking, being that he is the Chairman of United Overseas Bank and the largest shareholder of the bank. However, the story doesn’t end there. If you dig around a little bit more, you’ll find that the guy also has a substantial stake in and controls property company UOL Group Ltd (in which the Pan Pacific and ParkRoyal hotels are part of), diversified corporation Haw Par Corp Ltd, real estate developer Kheng Leong Co. (Pte) Ltd just to name a few.

What about Robert Kuok? His business interests are wide ranging, stretching from the sugar trade to oil palm production to Shangri-la Hotels to property development to publishing, and the list goes on. As for Li Kah-Shing, the list is almost endless – telecommunications, real estate, port operations, energy, infrastructure, life sciences, retail, etc. And oh, did I forget to mention that he owns Aunty Scroogey’s favourite personal store, Watsons?

How about yourself? Do you only depend on only one source of income? What happens when that source collapse? What do you fall back on? It takes time to see the fruit of your labour, so start thinking of building up alternative sources of income NOW, if you haven’t done so. Afterall, the 3 men mentioned above did not build their various sources of cashflow overnight either. Aunty Scroogey’s role is not to spoon feed you what you should be doing, but rather to get you thinking so that you will start to take some actions. Only you yourself will know what you are good at doing and what suits you best. And most importantly, have fun while you are at it :)