Tuesday, December 30, 2008

1. Make a list of things that make you happy. Focusing on what makes us happy has a way of, well… making us happy!

2. Keep things in perspective.

3. Imagine yourself smiling. Smiling sends an internal message that all is well.

4. Be here now! Take small steps. If, for example, your mood may brighten just by stepping outside routine, and reaching for a small spontaneous moment. Here’s a hint: Start small. Watch puppies, kittens and small children. Watch…and learn.

5. Release anger, envy & resentment! This are self-destructive.

6. Forgive! Forgiveness is something we do as much for our own healing as for that of the other.

7. Let go and laugh.

8. Write Thank You notes! Keep a journal of all the people and things you are thankful for. This is especially helpful on rough days.

9. Avoid depression triggers.

10. Shake that body! Exercise is a great way to avoid or alleviate depressive symptoms.

Stay Happy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Your Guide to Longevity.

Turning off your television will gain you, on average, about 4 hours per day. Imagine if you took that time to exercise, give your brain a workout and develop strong relationships. Not only would you be adding years to your life, you would become more interesting, energetic, and fun. So take the plunge and try not watching TV for a week. At first it will be strange and awkward, but stick with it and soon you will love all the extra time.

1. Television Eats Your Time

The average U.S. adult watches more than 4 hours of television a day. That's 25 percent of waking time spent every day. Imagine if you suddenly had 25 percent more time -- that's three extra months per year! You could get in all your exercise, cook your meals from scratch and still have time left over to write a novel.

Over a lifetime, an 80-year-old person would have watched 116,800 hours of television, compared to only 98,000 hours of work. As a nation, adults watch 880 million hours of television every day or 321 billion hours per year. Whew! Imagine what could get done if we all just stopped watching TV.

2. Television Makes You Stressed

With the average of four hours a day gone, it's no wonder everyone is feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. We put aside paying bills, finishing projects, making phone calls and cleaning our homes to watch TV. We feel overwhelmed because of all the things we should be doing (exercising, spending time with family, eating right) go undone.
And when we feel overwhelmed, tired, and exhausted we don't have energy to anything but -- you guessed it -- watch TV. It is a dreadful cycle. So take a break from TV for a week and see what happens to your life.

3. Television Makes You Overweight

Eating while distracted limits your ability to assess how much you have consumed. According to Eliot Blass at the University of Massachusetts, people eat between 31 and 74 percent more calories while watching TV.

This could add, on average, about 300 calories extra per TV meal. Now consider that at least 40 percent of families watch TV while eating dinner. It becomes clear that TV is a big part of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and that TV, in fact, makes you gain weight.

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4. Television Makes You Uninteresting

Many people have whole conversations that are recaps of TV programs, sporting events and sitcoms. When asked about their real lives, there is little or nothing to report and no stories to tell (except the TV shows they have watched).
Life is too interesting and wonderful to spend your time either watching TV or recapping television to your friends. Find something interesting to do: volunteer, read, paint -- anything but watch more TV.

5. Television Ruins Your Relationships

A television is turned on an average of 7 hours and 40 minutes per day in many U.S. households. With the TV on that much, there is little time for you and your significant other or children to spend time together, share experiences, and develop deeper relationships.
Sitting together and watching TV does not grow a relationship. Turn that TV off and find something to do together -- cooking, exercising, taking a walk, anything.

6. Television is Not Relaxation

TV is the opposite of exercise. If you are watching TV you are usually sitting, reclining or lying down. You are burning as few calories as possible. All that extra food you eat while watching TV does not get burned off. Your brain goes into a lull.
But you are not relaxing -- your mind is still receiving stimuli from the TV, you are processing information and reacting emotionally. Have you ever found yourself thinking about TV characters? Do you ever dream about TV shows? These are signs that the brain is working hard to process all the TV you have been watching.

7. Television Loses Opportunities

If you are sitting and watching TV, nothing new or exciting is going to happen to you. New opportunities and ideas come from being out in the world, talking to people, and reading interesting things.
Watching TV isolates you. Nothing is going to change in your world if you are watching TV. Turn off the TV, go out into the world, talk to people, and see what happens.

8. Television is Addictive

Television can become addictive. Signs of TV addiction include:
using the TV to calm down
not being able to control your viewing
feeling angry or disappointed in how much TV you watched
feeling on edge if kept from watching
feeling a loss of control while watching
If the idea of giving up TV for a week is horrifying, you may be addicted to television. Luckily, TV addiction is a habit and not a physical addiction like smoking. You should be able to control it once you are aware of the problem and make a decision to change.

9. Television Makes You Buy Things

By age 65, the average American has seen 2 million commercials. Your knowledge of products and brands comes from these TV commercials. Your perception of what you need also comes from these commercials.
If you didn't know that your iPod could talk to your running shoes, you wouldn't feel like your current shoes are too low-tech. If you didn't know about vacuums that never lose suction, your current vacuum would seem fine. Our perception of need is determined by what we see. Need less by watching less TV.

10. Television Costs Money

A basic cable package costs $43 per month and many packages cost much more than that. That comes to at least $500 a year spent on TV. For that much money you could: buy a membership to every museum or zoo in your town, get a gym membership, buy a nice bicycle, invest it every year for 10 years at 10 percent interest and have more than $10,000.

Mark Stibich, Ph.D.,
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

Saturday, December 20, 2008



One day a woman was walking down the street when she spied a beggar sitting on the corner. The man was elderly, unshaven, and ragged. As he sat there, pedestrians walked by him giving him dirty looks they clearly wanted nothing to do with him because of who he was - a dirty, homeless man. However, when she saw him, the woman was moved to compassion.

It was very cold that day and the man had his tattered coat - more like an old suit coat rather than a warm coat - wrapped around him. She stopped and looked down. "Sir?" She asked. "Are you all right?"

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, as so many others had done before. "Leave me alone," he growled.

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling - her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" She asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" The man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone."

Just then, a police officer came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" He asked.

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old jack. He has been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" She asked. "I am going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" The homeless man resisted. "I do not want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I did not do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, jack," the officer answered. "Do not blow it."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by the table. "What is going on here, officer?" He asked. "What is all this. Is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the police officer answered.

"Not in here!" The manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."

Old jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you will let me go. I did not want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with eddy and associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course i am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a good profit from providing food at the weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

"I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the Company."


The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I am on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I will get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes "I think so; I mean you do look familiar."

"I am a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I have even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" The officer said questioningly. He could not believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I could not find anything. Finally, I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that i could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually, I started my own business that, with the help of god, prospered."

She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He is the Personnel Director of my Company. I will go talk to him now and I am certain he will find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet and if you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you," he said.

"Do not thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank God. He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And thank you for the coffee."

She frowned. "I forgot to ask you whether you used cream or sugar. That is black."

The officer looked at the steaming cup of coffee in his hand. "Yes, I do take cream and sugar - perhaps more sugar than is good for me." He patted his ample stomach.

"I am sorry," she said.

"I do not need it now," he replied smiling. "I have got the feeling that this coffee you bought me is going to taste as sweet as sugar."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Once a boy went to a shop with his mother.

The shop keeper looked at the small cute child and showed him a bottle with sweets and said 'Dear Child...you can take some of these sweets...

but the child didnt take them. The shop keeper was surprised, such a small child he is and why is he not taking the sweets from the bottle. Again he said take the sweets... this time the mother also heard that and said... beta take the sweets.

Yet he still didnt take any...

The shopkeeper seeing the child not taking the sweets... he himself took the sweets and gave to them to the child... the child was happy to get two hands full of sweets.

When they returned back home, Mother asked the child... Why didnt you take the sweets... when shop keeper told you to take...

Can you guess the response:-

Child replies... Mom! my hands are very small and if i take the sweets I can only take a few.. but now you see when the kind shop keeper gave with his big hands...
how many more sweets i got!

When we take we may get little but when God gives...HE gives us more, beyond our expectations.... more than what we can hold..........

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joy of Living

One of the major complaints I've heard about being alive is the pain of loneliness. In this day and age, many people live isolated lives of quiet desperation. They go to work in the morning, come back in the evening, heat up a microwave dinner, switch on the TV, stone for two hours, drink some alcohol, maybe surf the Internet, then fall asleep. In the past, it was not easy for a person to lead an isolated lifestyle. Everything we needed to survive had to come through interaction with other people. For example, buying bread from the baker, meat from the butcher… in the past, there were no huge supermarkets where you could do all your grocery shopping in silence; quietly comparing prices by yourself. You had to talk to different people to get what you need. This might be a lame example but its rather obvious that the increase in convenience also increases our separation from others. Do any of you talk to the guy at the checkout counter? You could complete the entire transaction in silence if you wanted to. Just nod your head, pay your money and go. In the past, there were also no fancy computer games, no Xbox, PlayStation, or the Internet to feed your entertainment needs. If you wanted fun, you'd have to play a game with others. Whether it's a table game like Chess or Scrabble, or a physically active one like the Kampong (village) game, chaptek, where players do kicking stunts with a flat rubber shuttlecock. When you were young in school, I'm sure you played many such games with your friends during recess period or after school. But as we age, many of us lose touch of this precious joy that comes from group games and sport. It's just all about work, money, and survival.

There are good reasons why you should shut off your TV and gather your friends for a game or two. The church of Christ understands this principle well. They call it fellowship. Cell group leaders will take the effort to organize group activities, outings, games, discussions, pot luck dinners and more. Friends can bring new friends — the more the merrier. In my opinion, they are doing a great job of helping people experience the joy of being together. This is a condition you should try to create in your life. Whether you want to join a fellowship organization, a special interest group, a book club, a school alumni, or simply call up old friends, every one of us needs to work at reconnecting ourselves with others. Especially when you live in a world designed to convenience you into separation and isolation.

You see, you don't need a lot of money to be happy. Many people think they can only be happy with the lifestyle of the rich and famous. They want to jet-set around the world, have non-stop sex with a harem of harlots, swim in the opulent blue pools of Miami and such. Now as fantastic as that sounds, there are many rich people who are experiencing loneliness in life. They think everyone around them is just there for their money and nobody really loves them for who they are. The old saying is, 'it gets lonely at the top'. And these people at the top of the pyramid are experiencing their disconnection from the rest of the world. So you see, the problem is the same. What they lack and what we lack, is love. And money can't buy love. It takes an investment of your time, energy, and emotions, to build up fruitful relationships.

If you consider that every one of us is a soul animating a physical body, then on a spiritual level, we are all connected because all spirit emanates from the same source — God. (When I speak of God, I mean so in the universal sense as a higher power and not biased to a particular religious order.) As 'children' of God, we are here to explore and express the beauty of life. Thus the magic is hidden in our interaction. Spending time to know others can help you learn more about yourself. That is the higher purpose of the Big Bang — why God split himself up into the infinite number of stars and souls which inhabit this universe — to know thyself; to know himself. Because even for God, infinity is a lonely place to be if He's by himself. So He opened himself up to the Universe within, which is why there is you and me, and we are all part of something greater, part of a whole, and we must not be afraid to explore ourselves; explore each other. And this is done not in isolation, but by getting out there and interacting with others. For such is the purpose we are created. To explore and experience everything, including the gamut of human emotions — the good and bad, right and wrong, the seven sins and the ten commandments — we go through it all. So some people ask why does God allow people to suffer? Why are there 3 billion people living on less than $2 a day? This is not God's fault… this our fault. Too many people only think of taking, keeping, getting more, and hoarding in order to create the opulent, luxurious lifestyle they think will give them unlimited pleasure. So in a country where we gorge ourselves on burgers, porn, pizza, spa massage, horror movies, celebrity gossip, computer gadgets and more, there are people who scrape rotting meat off leftover fish bones from the factory to fry and eat as a daily meal. This is not a problem for God to fix because He is an observer. If the social condition bothers us, then we should find it in our hearts to reverse our Taking mindset and focus on how we can give to others. Now some people say, "What if I give and give and nobody gives back?" I say, this is a good excuse people give themselves for being greedy; an excuse to relieve themselves of the guilt of wanting to take but not to share. Such a person is driven by a pleasure-seeking mindset and has not learnt the joy of helping others. Their ego is screaming, "I, Me, Mine! I Want, I Have, My Precioussss… ."

When you play games with others, you learn the importance of sharing and taking turns; offering others encouragement, complimenting their efforts; building camaraderie and deeper bonds. You learn about the joy of giving to others, the joy of competition, and the joy of fellowship that money can't buy. Everything we enjoy — food, sex, money, fun, friendship, social approval, and more — comes from other people. Loneliness and boredom happens when we isolate ourselves; thinking that this is the norm when it is actually an abnormality of the human condition. So now is the time to experience joie de vivre (joy of life) by reaching out and connecting with others. Rid yourself of those old isolation policies and start trading with other people. You'll find that the magic of living is found in connecting your heart to others around you. Touch the spirit in every person.

February 10th, 2008 by Lance Ong

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You (The Golden Rule)

Do you notice if you smile at someone, most likely they will smile back at you? If you pat someone on the back to as if to say 'hey buddy', you will get many pats on your back too? This is a reciprocal world. You get what you give out. And as they say… Love begets Love, Hate begets Hate. So if you want the world to treat you better, treat it better first. Say more thank yous, more good mornings, pardon me(s), and I'm sorrys. Pay back what you owe, open more doors for others, and help more old people cross the street. More importantly, always be polite, never hurt others, and always tell the truth. These are basic principles that never go out of style.

You can avoid much disaster by following the Golden Rule. I remember one night, I was sitting at an outdoor McDonald's in Singapore's Orchard Road. When I hear the smack of a tray hitting the ground. Six metres away, two large-sized Caucasian men, corner a shorter, stout Hawaiian man. All three men are in their late 20's. It seems like they failed to give way to one another at the door, so they bumped and the tray fell. I hear some insults, and they start to push each other. I count the pushes, 1.. 2.. 3.. and then they had a scuffle. Somehow, the Hawaiian man manages to grab hold of one Caucasian man's neck, and swing him head first into the marble edge of the building! His forehead splits open, and the gash starts spurting blood. The other Caucasian man says, "Stop! Stop! Why are you trying to kill us, man?"

I can't believe all this started over failing to give way at the door, and not apologizing for the mistake. Instead, they chose to push and intimidate each other into a fight. So you see, whatever you give out, will come back to you, ten times stronger. "You push me, I'll push you harder. You punch me, I'll knock you out." These men let their egos get in the way of a peaceful resolution. They could have simply apologized and offered to pay for each other's meal.

As you know, this is not a rare case. Often, just staring at someone can start a fight. Or pushing someone out of a queue. Or snatching someone else's parking space. Or tailgating. Or flashing your car's high beam out of irritation. It's sad when we let our anger get the better of us. As they say in Buddhist philosophy, anger is a form of hell. So is greed, envy, lust, and hate. All poison the heart and mind. Disrupting the inner peace that would make your life wonderful. So before you take an action you might regret, ask yourself, "Is this what I would like to bring into my life?" The moment you perform that action, you are giving permission for the Universe to take the effect, multiply it by ten, and return it to you.

December 12th, 2007 by Lance Ong

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mental Stress Release Technique

There may be moments in life which are hard for you. Heavy responsibility and multiple pressures from the outside make it difficult to cope. The high tension puts us in panic mode and we become frustrated as we scramble in a haphazard attempt to do our job. Prolonged stress response seriously damages your health. Your hair falls out, you might go bald; you become old and haggard-looking; your perfect California body becomes a sack of potatoes. How sad is that? To age not because we partied ourselves to death, but because we worried ourselves to the grave. Mental stress is an enemy you have to learn to defeat.

Stress Release Technique: Disassociation

Before you attempt this technique, spend a few minutes to quiet your mind. You can do this by sitting in a relaxed position with your arms on your lap or by your side. Close your eyes and begin breathing slowly through your nostrils. Focus your attention on the breath. Anything else that comes to mind, let it go and bring your attention back to the breath. You will find that as you continue this process for a few minutes your breathing becomes shallower and shallower, the thoughts entering your mind slow down, and you feel calmer with more peace in your heart. Now you are ready to use the following technique:

All you have to do is imagine you have died. When a person dies, there are no more worries and responsibilities to handle. The soul is free to travel to heaven and continue into its next life. Now I'm not asking you to die… just imagine it. See your body lying there lifeless while you feel your soul floating upwards to connect with the heavens.
See all the memories of your life drop way down below you. From this higher viewpoint, you can see all the events of your life which have shaped you. Your past, present, and future form one continuous line of memories below you.

Float even higher and you can connect with the Spirit of God and gain wisdom by looking at your life situation through 'Heavenly Eyes'. Capture this feeling of inner peace and remember the insight gained.

Bring it back into your body by gradually floating down through the galaxy, stars, and clouds, into your city, your home, and back to your body.

Our whole life is designed to help us grow to develop spiritual qualities. Naturally, we will face situations which test our patience, endurance, and willpower. A person cannot stop these challenging life situations from occurring… we have no control over that. But what we can control is our own emotional state (our feelings). Many people allow themselves to be swung about by the rollercoaster of life. But some people are able to ride that rollercoaster and feel calm on the inside because they realize that the events we experience are the situations which God, Buddha, or the Universe wants us to face in order to help us grow and gain enlightenment. In every adversity lies the seed of Satori [Zen Buddhism: a state of sudden spiritual enlightenment].

The key is not to REACT immediately when you face a challenge, but to first calm down and find your centre from which you can respond with clarity and confidence. Like was said earlier, when a person becomes frustrated, we tend to do things in a haphazard manner. That is called Reacting. When you realize you have a choice over how you wish to feel, you are instead Responding from a powerful position of calm control. Whether it's your egotistic colleague or the ton of assignments blocking your way, keep a cool head when facing your opponent. Watch their movement and think calmly how you will respond to defeat them. Sure, they will try their best to scare you with their psychological tactics and throw you off your feet. And yes, you might fall. But a Master is one who stands up again and again despite being thrown a hundred times; a thousand times — as many times as it takes to learn the secret of inner balance and emotional control, regardless of whether they face a man, a giant, or a mountain.

May you become a Master, my friend.

April 12th, 2008 by Lance Ong