Tuesday, March 11, 2014

happiness = reality - expectation

you either change reality by working harder,

or you change your expectation and mindset by:

control thoughts through meditation (push away negative thoughts)
lower expectations. e.g. starcraft player said "most important thing is that you set your ego aside"

Funny that it's sometimes actually pride that causes us to give up and not try. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More on failure, and overcoming it, maybe

I've been thinking a lot about failure recently. And so far it has boiled down to something like this:

Secular worldview:
What gives me worth:
My accomplishments.

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-confidently say "they missed out because they didn't choose me for this position", "i was too good for that position anyways", or "it was not my fault"
-bank on my past accomplishments
-bank on the hope of my future accomplishments - i.e. look towards other successful people who have failed hard in the past yet are now successful and have that make me feel better because there's a chance that i can be like them and be successful

Christian worldview:
What gives me worth:
The inherent value God has given me by 1) creating me, 2) choosing to enter a relationship with me

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-keep reminding myself that what I had set really high hopes on was an idol and not God's will for me at this time
-bank on the fact that in the past (in fact before the begining of time), God pre-elected me for salvation. So I need to keep reminding myself about the fact that I am christian
-bank on the hope of my ultimate future destination (heaven), and all this world and life will pass

Other views (still looking into this; maybe this is a magic pill):

What gives me joy:

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-remove the thoughts of the past from the present from the thoughts of the future. (Echkart Tolle stuff)

Misc. thoughts:
Humans do not give other humans time/care/respect based solely on that other human's "inherent value". Even the godliest Christian would not prefer to spend relaxation time with a thief/murderer/rapist/etc. All Humans value other humans not because of "who they are", but because of "what they do", and Christians, being human, are bound to these emotions.

This blog post on value and grace was terrific:
One quote from it is about a students thoughts on a professor taking him to coffee despite him doing poorly in the class:
"By taking me to coffee, he had shown me he valued me as a human being, independent of my academic record. And having my worthiness separated from my performance gave me great freedom! I could truly enjoy learning again. Whether I succeeded or failed would not affect my worthiness as a human being. Because even if I failed, I knew: I am still worth having coffee with!"
But that student was still valued by the professor because of what the student had done in the past (because he was after-all, accepted into the school, is a math major, obviously cares about the subject... etc). Even if the professor didn't value that student based on the student's academic record in his class, the professor still valued the student based on the students record of some kind.

"You must not only be sincere, you must also be right"

More Thoughts - TBD:
Where does confidence come into play? Athletes, performers, interviewees, everyone basically, does better when they are confident...

How do you cope with failure that is unrecoverable? I.e., you caused someone to pass away...?

For all my shit-talking, complaining, whining, fist-shaking...

I'm reminded of how weak and useless I am when I am sick.
Without energy, throat so sore can't even breath, every body part aches.

It really humbles me and shuts me up - in a good way.
Reminds me that I am nothing but dust.
Thankful for all that I have. Thankful for the days when I am not sick.

If only I can remember this daily, yet not be sick. But the memory is so fleeting.
I guess the past only hurts when you relive it and it affects the present.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

failure, failure failure failure

This week, has been a pretty big week of failure for me.

1. More or less bombed a grad school interview that i had a lot of hopes on. A friend did a mock interview with me and told me to know my resume really well. For some dumbass reason, i didn't study my resume but kept preparing examples (because most online forums said the interview was a going to be a "give an example of..." type of interview). Well, it turned out to be a "tell me about yourself..." type of interview, and i choked up a lot and gave stupid answers because i didn't know/study my resume. Bombing that interview and thinking of all the things i could have, should have, would have said, makes me want to throw up.

2. Took time off work, requested my dad's time and help, and replaced my leaking water heater last week, paying money out of my own pocket. Then i discovered that i had home warranty coverage that could have paid for it all. It was a really difficult job that mainly my dad did (I eventually left for work and had him do most of the job). I feel like i risked his health and lower back by asking him to do all that moving with me.

When i think about these failures. the only thing that keeps me hoping are those quotes from famous people about how failure after failure leads to success.

I don't think i ever really appreciated those quotes until now. When the failure feels so bad that the hope of future success is the only thing that makes me feel better.

The other good outcome is it made me love and respect my dad that much more. I often balk at him when he needs my help (translating documents, moving furniture, etc.), but he's always prompt to come help me.

I hope i can learn from this...
What are my lessons learned?
-love and respect my dad more
-before making big actions, examine options, even "out of the box options" like "my water heater is leaking water, oh no, but oh wait, i have a home warranty that i've never used that'll cover a water heater replacement!"
-study broadly before studying deeply when it comes to studying for interviews

Been sulking and pity partying this whole week. time to dust myself off and get back into the fight of life.

cool article i just read about failure: http://www.askmen.com/entertainment/austin/how-to-deal-with-failure-2.html

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PET vs CT vs MRI

How they work:

CT scans are like many many xrays. (Like a ring of xrays)

PET scan scans for glucose intake and causes areas/cells/parts of body that have high glucose intake to glow. (Cancerous cells have high glucose intake because they are dividing so much). PET scans can't position the results very well, they are normally done together with CT scans.

Magnetizes the water molecules in the body (or something like that) and measures their response. Body parts that don't have water (such as bones), don't show up at all.

This website is amazing:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Patterns I'm noticing in japan

Subway makes me an idiot and results in change (three packs of people come and go through the ticket counters in the amount of time I try to buy one ticket)
Change weighs me down, and takes forever to discard.
The politeness and nodding is getting out of hand

and people don't speak english!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vacation Log - What Actually Went Down - Day 1 - Osaka

I get to osaka and it's raining. This kind of threw a wrench in my plans

I had originally booked a bicycle tour for the day through http://cycleosaka.com/routes.html, and I now wanted to cancel it because of the rain. I emailed the company and the guy said it's up to me if want to try. I was mainly worried about getting sick due to exercising in rainy weather added onto the lack off sleep. Well, do i pussy out, call it a day and twiddle my thumb at the airport? Heeellll nah. I decide to go through with it because this was something I was looking forward to and I didn't want to see Osaka by having to go from site to site through the subway or bus system. Future me would have to take care of future-sick-me.

And guess what? The rain died down :)
The bike tour turned out really well. We basically biked through every touristy spot in Osaka (albeit we didn't really get off and enjoy each spot). Ben, the tour guide was really cool too. He was from the UK, was fluent in Japanese and knew more Chinese than I did, so he was able to explain a lot of Japanese terms to me in Chinese, and it made a lot more sense.

We started on some river front

Then we checked out the castle. We didn't actually have time to go in and Ben didn't really recommend it. He said a really good point though about how the the castle is famous for how it looks on the inside, and from the outside, you can't see the castle. He told me the story about how author Guy de Maupassant hated the Eiffel tower but always ate lunch in it, and when asked why, said that it was only from within in the Eiffel tower that he couldn't see the Eiffel tower. 

Here's me and the castle and the bike I used (it was a really decent bike). 

Then we had lunch near this retro, sci fi tower in a district call Shin-sekai. (The tower was built in the 1930s as a part of a theme park to represent "tomorrowland", melted down for steel in ww2, then rebuilt. It reminds of one of those different universe movies, where its like the 1930s and 1940s, but there are hovering cars. Btw, shin-sekai is 新世界 - xin shi jie in Chinese, which is literally, "new world")

We then proceed to other neighborhoods in Osaka. Such as this one in Namba with Glico running man:

This ad is super old and basically famous for being famous. Apparently, all the ads around this glico man ad changes, but not this guy. Sometimes other companies would rent out the words in the middle (like adidas, for example).

By the time we're done with the tour, I'm exhausted, it is pouring (it started raining hard the last 30 minutes of the tour). I find my way to the hostel by 6pm, get to my bed, set my alarm to nap for 2 hours so that I can wake up to check out Namba's nightlife and food. I knock out. (the hostel was Hana Hostel in Osaka, and it was great.)

I wake up feeling really refreshed. Really really really refreshed. It was 2am. Fuuuuudge. I missed out on checking out Namba's food and neon lights. By this time, there's nothing open except clubs. I go out to eat at some 24h restaurtant. It was aite. I consider going to a club nearby but decide against it. I get back and try to sleep.

I can't fall asleep and it's about 530am. (damnit, i should've just gone clubbing).
At that point I get up and look for hostels in Kyoto (cuz I still hadn't planned it yet). I found JAM hostel, and booked them. I get up and ask the current hostel's front desk about what I can do now to sample Osaka's food (Osaka is known to be a foodie place), and I'm told to check out Kuromon market. 

I head towards that area, passing through Shinsaibaishi and Dotonbuir (the 2 areas of Namba that I meant to check out last night that are bustling at night, but now closed in the morning - damnit, what's with me and getting to places when they are closed due to poor planning and bad sleep habits?)

But i get to Kuromon market and it turned out to be a wonderful local market with lots of good streetfood. (And unlike how Shinsaibahi was dead during the morning time, Kuromon was bustling because locals come here to do their morning shopping).

I notice a shop that was slicing a fish and packaging the slices for sale immediately. I never really ate a chuck of sashimi before as if it was steak (like getting a real mouth full), and i figured this was the time to try.

I bought this and ate it like a candy bar. It was good but I'm not sure if it was amazing (but that's because my taste buds aren't that refined, and i think everything is good)

So technically it's now day 2, and I had planned to be in Kyoto by now. So I get back to the Hostel, grab my stuff, and go to Kyoto.