Yes, I can 

Life should be easy and hassle-free only when we perceive that there’s always a way out for every problem we have. Having said this, we need to have a preconceived idea (“we/I can solve this”) before we begin our daily activities. The question is how we build this preconceived idea.

1. Learn from others or observation.  We watch how others solve a similar or difficult problem

2. StudyWe could read books, articles, biographies, blogs, or journals related to our field of interests

3. Practice. We put what we have learned from others into practice. It is also a great idea to have a mentor to guide you during this process, whether you are in the process of finishing school/college, obtaining a job, opening your own business or improving your overall behaviors.

4. Open to constructive criticism. This part is challenging mostly because we basically allow others to criticize our work, behavior, etc. Learning to differentiate constructive from demeaning critic is crucial. 

A good critic often shows us the example of the part that we are not doing well, and more than one people mention the same thing. People who have known us for a while usually give us a supportive feedback, too. Even if we cannot accept that feedback, it’s always a good idea to revisit this critic once we are calm, not in the defensive mode. 

On the other hand, demeaning critic only points to our flaws and often is expressed without checking the facts. We could also use this bad-poor critic to improve our overall attitude, too by asking ourselves what makes this person says a bad thing about us. What other actions should we do to prevent this from happening again? 

5. Surround ourselves with good-positive people. We need to be around people who give us inspiration and are supportive.

6. Faith. I personally think having a strong faith is necessary to help us to persevere and remain positive. 

7. Clear goal(s) What we want to achieve in 1, 5, 10 years from now.                                 “Am I moving in the right direction?”  Creating our own timeline or chart is necessary to remind us what our priorities are. 

Obviously, there are more steps or suggestions to help us to always think positive. These 7 steps not only remind us to always stay positive, but also help those who want to improve their confidence. 

The Girl from the Graduate School

I met a girl in the graduate school through our mutual friends. She is my friend’s roommate. Although we seldom hung out together, I remembered that my friend described her roommate as a someone who has bold personality and is very persistent.
I did not comprehend these traits until I saw my friend’s ex-roommate maternity pictures this morning.

My friend and I moved to New York after graduation, while this girl married her boyfriend who worked in the Bay Area. She then opened her own business in CA, too. I then learned that she and her husband were expecting their first child, but something happened, she had a miscarriage.

Fast forward, I saw her maternity pictures this morning. I saw her glowing face, her bright-lovely eyes as she looked at her husband. She also included her dog in her maternity pictures. I could tell from the pictures that this dog means a lot to her and her husband. I secretly wondered if the dog helps her to cope with her lost.

Seeing her maternity pictures left me with an understanding that we need to be determined, brave, and faithful to achieve our goals, and to deal with challenges or lost.


Choose Your Choice Wisely

Stork carries a baby and drops the baby to a family. The parents-to-be are either excited or miserable upon learning the news. Regardless, the baby will grow in this family and will learn whether he/she is loved or not. The child will look to please his/her parents all the time, act defiant, or seek for outside support, depending on the situation.

Imagine you are the baby, you don’t know whom you will meet and what you will encounter a few seconds from now or tomorrow. Once you are “dropped” to a specific “family” (situation/case/place/ person, etc.), you have to deal with the situation/person or adjust with the environment. During this time, you could fight for your dream, continue to become a better person, get a revenge on someone, or give up everything. Your choice will influence your future.
Thus, choose your choice wisely.


Sewing Machine

I was invited to the religious event at the Vihara last night, and one thing that I remembered most from this event was the speech’s take-home message delivered by the Vihara’s director. She reminded us that we could achieve our dream when we work on it.

In her speech, she shared with us that debt collectors took her family’s house including food supplies when she was young. Her mother at that time begged to the debt collectors to not take her sewing machine. Later, her mother used this sewing machine to sew clothes and use her earning to buy food for the family. She worked long hours and eventually was able to send her children to college.

The director said to us that she would not be a director if her mother handled the situation with anger at that time. She also said her mother did not blame her father for his carelessness that caused them to lose their house.

Furthermore, the director also told us that we may encounter unfortunate or difficult situation at some point in our life. She said that we will be able to get through this difficult situation and eventually return to the stage where we were used to be or perhaps better, when we persevere and maintain a positive attitude during stressful time.

* sewing machine’s picture is from