You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2014.

While watching the exciting games in the World Cup, just doing a sanity check on the seating capacity of the stadium: FIFA World cup 2014 stadium guide.

This World Cup has been filled with thrilling and unexpected moments so far.  Teams that had been given high expectations are slipping, and those that might have been valued moderately have been fighting and playing their best games.  It’s amazing to see some goals are scored within a minute of each other, and some are scored even during additional time.

This is a game of persistence, testing the players’ physical and mental capacities.  It’s admirable that players from countries that are much cooler in weather and lower in humidity to fight on till the last minutes of their games.  It’s not an easy test to run for 45 minutes non-stop in a weather that would feel somewhat like a toaster oven. The threat of dehydration is ever so real and lurking, and the sudden attacks of high stress when the opponent charges towards their own team’s goalie are ever so imminent. These players need to press on regardless of how many minutes are left on that clock, how far the gap is between their score and their opponent’s score, and how worn out they are mentally and physically.  Their goal is to break through defense walls that made of muscles like steel, and seize the perfect moment to send that soccer ball into the crocheted white net, and let it rest there like a baby sleeping in a cradle.  The players fighting spirit has to be relentless.

The excitement is not through yet.  More games to come until that final battle for the ultimate honor and praise in the soccer field on Sunday, July 13th, 2014.  Here’s the FIFA matches lineup. Will you follow the games to the end?

A while back a friend was talking about the topic of productivity and presented this diagram:

Merrill Covey Matrix on productivity

These squares divide tasks in life into 4 big categories:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but Not Urgent
  3. Urgent but Unimportant
  4. Not Urgent and Unimportant

It’s almost our basic instinct to tackle as many tasks in square 1 as possible; after all, those are frantic fires that we must put out, a relationship that we must fix, and an exam that’s happening tomorrow that we’re cramming for. But, let’s take a step back and think this over, is operating in this “fire hose mode” really the most effective and productive? How about we shift our perspective and ask “how did these tasks end up in square 1”? That might raise the insight that we have procrastinated our study, put off the problems in our relationship and let the negative emotions piled up, ignore to eat healthily and exercise and we fall ill, or postpone working on things that help our dreams come to fruition until we can’t stand it anymore. Tasks in square 2 will bring benefits, happiness and contentment in the long run, and they require careful attention and commitment, so why don’t we keep working on them to prevent them from falling into square 1, and let square 1 house what are truly emergencies?

What about the other squares then? How do we deal with them to increase our productivity?  It’s easy to understand why we want to drop tasks in square 4, they’re the 20 episodes of the “must watch” TV show, the hottest gossip over certain celebrities or people around us, or the cell phone ring tone and wallpaper that we have to change every day; these are merely time wasters and bring us almost no benefits or values; if they’re a must, we should find ways to complete them more efficiently. We want to eliminate time wasters and distribute our time and effort over more meaningful ones. For tasks in square 3 – the urgent but unimportant ones, such as a 5-hours-only sale that ends in 2 hours, a text message you receive when driving, or an afternoon tea invitation when you’re studying, they are more so distractions than matters that you must deal with. It’s okay to entertain these issues every now or at appropriate times, as they could be one of those “seize the opportunity” chances or things that can be put off, addressing them could bring joy and/or future potentials, but they should not be our priority.

As we can see, by increasing attention to tasks in square 2, we put our focus on things that improve quality of life and self-value, and we’re always doing something meaningful with composure. It benefits us to give these essential tasks the effort and thoughts that they deserve, rather than rushing through them and end up doing sloppy jobs (if we’re handling them this way we’ve put them in square 1 already). There’s always the wisdom of placing tasks into the correct squares, and for that, we need to really ask ourselves what are the things that are truly important and bring long term values, and what are things that if not done, subtracts nothing from our lives.

父親節將到,送上一篇應題的文章。

一夜白髮的覺悟

歲月溜逝的聲音隨著時代的進步變得越來越微小 — 掛鐘滴答滴答的聲音被電動跳版的肅靜替代了,曾經不時相遇的時針跟分針也變成了互不相干的兩組數字。這樣的寧靜讓我在不知不覺間錯過了生活上的一些事,尤其那些日以繼夜都在自動發生的事情,就如門外那棵樹的葉落了又長,屋子的白色外牆慢慢的變灰,家人放在門口的鞋子款式與尺碼的改變,以及我與爸爸那公式化地差距四小時的早出晚歸… 生活每天規律地播放著,各人日出而作,日入而息,二十幾年的日子就這樣快速搜畫地掠過了,細節被忽略了。這天,我起床,腦袋開始甦醒,突然察覺我與爸爸那四小時的差距不再了;我揉揉眼睛,眼前的影像變清楚了,看見面前的爸爸忽然變老了,才驚覺一夜白髮是什麼一回事。

都怪電視旁邊放在的照片把我瞞了。那永遠黑髮,永遠帶笑的爸爸,樣子變了 — 烏絲悄悄地被銀色的腳印鋪滿,首飾般閃爍著;飽滿的臉頰漏了氣,掛上了皺紋,像是電影院螢幕旁厚厚的簾,當上笑容的配角。人生若是一齣戲,若能倒帶至我還是上學年紀的那部分,會看見我一大清早起床,換上校服,背上書包,手拿著一大堆書往鐵路站乘車去;四個小時後,爸爸起床,換上西裝,打上領帶,提著工事包往公車站乘巴士去。晚上,爸爸總是等我把工課勉強做好了,洗好澡了,上床睡了,才帶著他的疲憊與工事包走進屋內。作為女兒,老實說,都沒怎被爸爸寵過-成績好是非文的規矩,由小學到中學,考第一也只是得到一聲「嗯」。而不知怎地,我的作業總是在爸爸放假的日子堆得特別高,我不得不埋頭苦幹的時候也總是他提議到冒險樂園或是去游泳的時候,結果我一次又一次地錯過和爸爸去玩、吃冰淇淋和看電影的機會… 我是否因此也錯過了他的衰老?

面對著一頭銀髮的爸爸,竟有點不敢正視;是羞愧嗎,還是有點害怕?也許是有點不知所措吧。成績可以在我控制之下,工作可以在我控制之下,但時間的韁繩我拉不了。我想逃了,逃回到爸爸滿頭黑髮的時空裡,回到那個我不用為生活奔波的時空裡,那個我可以自私地讓爸爸為養家而勞碌的時空裡。可惜,「時間」這強大並固執的巨輪不會停止旋轉,它還是高傲地、毫無憐憫地、耐心地向前壓過去。但願厚厚的課本總為我添了點智慧,讓我懂得珍惜眼前人,並懂得怎樣不讓我的孩子也碰到那一夜白髮的覺悟。

Choose your company wisely

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain