Win Win Win: Ever More Glory from the Olympics

I don’t know since when, but it seems life has become all about winning. Among everything, right now there is all the fuzz about winning in the Olympics.

Simultaneously as I marvel at the amazing abilities these athletes, I cannot help but feel the meaning of the Olympics is lost. (As for the stories about the lip-sync’ed girl, CG fireworks aside… don’t get me started… )

With an earthly population where the majority barely moves their butts and feet each day and a good fraction who can barely run, I wonder how many can truly appreciate the spectacle performed by these athletes. I really wonder. Not very many is my guess. This is more reassured from observing how the Chinese runner, Liu Xiang, got cast away by so many of his very own people, as if he himself is not in enough anguish for his inability to participate already — something he trained day in and day out for. Yet many are inhesitant to criticize him. But I digress.

As a bit of an athlete myself, I fully understand the hard work, focus, discipline, pain and sacrifice they had to go through for training to reach such level. If without such appreciation that people are watching the Olympics, I wonder why people are so glued to the Olympics. Some even pull all-nighters. Risk dozing off at work. Perhaps a dire need for distraction and a cause for celebration from mundane life? Or perhaps watching and hoping athletes from their very own nation, “their own people”, win some medals in order to share in the glory? Or it could be for pure entertainment, I suppose.

In my (simple) mind, the Olympics carries a meaning that is analogous to what Jet Li tries to convey with Wushu, a.k.a martial arts. You can also call it sportsmanship. All in all, it is about improvement of the soul, mind, and body. It is about the time and energy spent in learning something and consequently train those three things. And with such process, it brings out the best of us, builds characters in people, creates a mutual understanding, brings unity among humanity, and allows for both external and internal peace. Too much for you? I still believe that is the ideal.

But it seems the focus has been shifted a little too much to the winning of the medals. I understand the celebration of winning and achieving you fight so hard for, but it just seems to be ALL about winning. What does that says about the Olympics? It makes it almost no different than the way of capitalistic and materialistic world. Always about winning and getting more, MORE!

Like martial art satisfies people’s thirst for violence and gore, currently the Olympics quench people’s (nation’s) dire thirst to conquer and beat out each other and at the same time, the population received temporary cure for their need of excitement and fun — things that they forever seek — and perhaps distraction, or maybe a different form of TV entertainment.

As the true meaning of Wushu is not readily understood, the idea of sportsmanship is not very visible in the very event that symbolizes it.

Thank you for reading my rant.

Originally posted 2008-08-20 23:09:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stop Talking, Do Consistently

It is not rare for me to run into someone, or hear indirectly, where the conversation goes like this…

I have cut my spending by half in this last month!
I have control my diet (Whatever kind: low-carb, Atkins, full-vegan…) in the last 2 weeks! (Sometimes they celebrate 2 days! Woot!)
I have gone to the gym or exercise everyday for the past week!

Following all these are usually..
“I’m awesome! Time to celebrate! Reward Time!”
To which my response is… *chuckle*

My prediction for these people is, with almost certainty, that they will not last. They will not keep up whatever they are doing. Because they had just demonstrated that they are five-minute enthusiasts (more on why later). And indeed, that is what most people are.

Inevitably, if I do run into those people again in a few weeks or months and ask them about “how they are doing with…”, nearly 100% of the time, they had stopped whatever they were doing. This is excluding those who didn’t even start with all their talks, which there are many. Quite sad.

Am I being pessimistic? I’ll let you decide, but only after you consider the following situations that surround us now. Maybe you are part of it.

The amount of health problems and the issue with obesity.
The amount of people struggling financially.
The amount of people with all kinds of mental, emotional, personal issues.

It is a fact that these difficult situations are with us now. It is also a fact that we have more information than ever on what and how to do to help ourselves. Such irony.

What happens? Inconsistency. We are good talkers. We know the right thing to say. We memorize all the great tips and theories. Yet, we don’t do. And for majority, if we do at all, it is only for short period of time, which does not lead to learning.

So, I mention above about people who celebrate their milestones are more than likely five-minute-enthusiasts. It is not that celebration is bad. A little celebration, patting yourself on the back is all good and dandy, and sometimes necessary encouragement.

However, these celebrations are over dramatization. It is excessive drama of a small step on a journey to become something better, or further, something great — that is, if they truly aspire to be better or great. They had expended more efforts in celebrating than focusing on what they need to continue to do and thus completely miss the point. Therefore, such excitement, celebration, over dramatization is a sign that their effort is doomed to inevitable quitting.

Another problem with over excitement and over dramatization is that people binge on whatever they need to do and then burn out in no time. Not only will that not help but often make matters worse.

They binge on saving for a month, only to spend more than they ever did before the month.
Or they binge from eating for a month, only to eat a crate of chocolate afterward.
Or they binge on exercising for a month, only to burn out and quit, or had overdriven to the detriment of the body causing more harms.
Or they binge on abstinence, only to sleep with 10 people in one night… uh, wait, is this possible?

Anyways… just don’t binge!

Whatever tips, methods, doctrines you follow. Give it your consistency without binging. I can assure, whatever you did, right or wrong, after you’ve given it some time and effort PLUS sincerity, you will learn something. And it will be a type of learning that stays with you forever. And that, will allow you to decide what’s next and how to improve beyond your current self.

Perhaps it is a good idea for you to start doing consistently, and not just reading, thinking, talking, celebrating consistently.

Originally posted 2009-08-04 00:16:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Robert Kiyosaki and Rich Dad, Poor Dad

It is safe to say that almost everyone knows, has heard of, or has read the book “Rich Dad and Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I myself read the book about 2 years ago. Before I introduce what other people have said about Robert Kiyosaki and his book, let me briefly mention my opinion.

The Good Stuff

  • Encouragement for people to change their mentality and to a paradigm shift in financial thinking — This is a big plus because not being trapped in a narrow perspective and having the right mentality is the first step to do anything right.
  • The importance of passive income — It is necessary to set yourself up with passive income to become financially secure and get rich faster.
  • The mentioning of various financial concepts — I classify this as good stuff because this introduces people to new concepts and therefore, motivates and intrigues people to go out and learn about them. I became more apt to go study how the market and personal finance works. Financial knowledge and literacy is essential for financial security.

The Bad Stuff

  • The mentioning of various financial concepts — I also classify this as bad stuff because I believe he either exaggerates in his stories or provides misleading information. In a few places, he seems to be nearly promoting illegal behaviors.
  • Strong opposition to formal education — I believe formal insitutions still have their practical values and useful knowledges depending on how much individuals make use of the experience. It is detrimental to discourage and turn people away from academia.
  • Negligence to mention or explain the risk in the entrepreneur endeavors that he advocates readers to do — From what I read in news, this has led people to take reckless financial actions leading to financial disasters. I am not holding him responsible because people should think for themselves, but as an author of a “financial book”, he should provide the full picture and cover the topic of risk somewhere… especially in the high-risk financial maneuver he tells people to do.
  • Many vague areas in his stories — This makes me wonder how many of his “successful business” stories are true, and that he created them just to boaster himself and to help sell the book.

In short, I think the book is good in that it incurs people to think about their own finance and to do something about it. It is bad because of possibly misleading, false, and incomplete information, which can lead to dangerous and disastrous consequence if read incorrectly. That’s all from me. Below is what other people have said.

John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad – I read this VERY detail research and analysis on Robert Kiyosaki and his book recently. Together with the vagueness that I personally noticed in his book, we need to remain skeptical of this man and his words.

Let’s Read Some of Robert Kiyosaki’s Drivel – Silly words spoken by Robert Kiyosaki. This teaches us to do our own research and be cautious and skeptical about advice from “financial advisor”.

Kiyosaki is a Liar? – More “interesting things” said by Robert Kiyosaki!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad :: review – Brian and I agree on the positive points in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Concise review on the book stating the good and the bad.

Cautions on “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki – Frugal talks more about things we need to be careful about the author and his book. He then talks about his view on how to obtain wealth and the importance of formal education.

Robert Kiyosaki, A Smart Investor? – Once again, you probably should not take Robert Kiyosaki seriously when he advises you how to invest. Let’s just keep him as someone who may inspire people to think differently.

Deconstructing Robert Kiyosaki – Trent provides insights into the kind of man who he thinks Robert Kiyosaki is.

Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Full book review by Trent.

It seems that people generally agree on the few ideas Robert Kiyosaki has done correctly on his book, and they also agree on the same skeptical things. It’s probably enough Robert Kiyosaki for one day.

Originally posted 2007-09-20 23:41:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Sucker Rally of 2013?

Since Janary, the stock market has been on a non-stop bullish trend. While there are a lot of articles that argue stocks will reach new high this year (even though it already has) and much money’s flowing back into stocks from retail investors, there are enough nay sayers that speak of a coming market correction. This realy keeps us on our toes.

An Yahoo article tday that argues the coming of a correction predicated by a surge of inisider selling.

There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company’s stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 (^GSPC) went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year.

I know the sound investment strategy of buy-and-hold once you’ve picked your choice of investment but I wonder how everyone’s feeling? Do you think a market correction is coming? (Note a correctio is as least 5% and up to 20% price drop).

Will you sell portions to collect the gains now or just hold steady? What will you do?

Originally posted 2013-02-06 01:03:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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