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Books

Mud or Stars (New Prisoner Welcome Booklet) by Peter Sage

New Prisoner Welcome Booklet

Mud or Stars by Peter Sage is not exactly a book, it is a fictional story that Peter Sage wrote when he was in jail. It is part of the New Prisoner Welcome Booklet that he designed for new inmates but I think the principles of this story is applicable to all areas of life. 

These are the 6 principles of this story from New Prisoner Welcome Booklet (I have made moderations so that they are applicable in daily life): 

  1. Everyone has grievances and unhappiness but nobody really cares about them so don’t go around talking about your unhappiness. 
  2. I always get to choose what I focus on. Mud or Stars. 
  3. Don’t cry over spilled milk, crying over it won’t make it any different. Accept that the milk is spilled and figure out how to deal with it. 
  4. Life is like a mirror. If I am angry at the world, the world gets angry with me. 
  5. Circumstances can restrict my liberty but not my freedom. No one can ever do anything to me emotionally without my permission. 
  6. Set myself up to win. Learn the ropes, get busy, set a goal. 
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Books

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Purple Cow

I have read quite a few articles talking about the book Purple Cow. I was intrigued but not motivated to get the book until I read about it in the TradeBriefs newsletter that sends articles many times a day to my email. Maybe it was because I was looking for something new to read, but I bought the book Purple Cow.

Purple Cow revolves around the concept that you or your company needs to be remarkable to stand out from the competition and thrive.

The author believes that TV-industrial age is long over (I agree) and consumers are advertising-adverse (I agree too).

Seth Godin argues that the only way for anyone and any company to survive in the current era is to be a Purple Cow. Your company or business needs to stand out from the crowd so that sneezers (people who like new things and who likes to share) can help you spread the word about your product or company. 

3/4 of the book are case studies of companies that either adopted the Purple Cow mindset and thrived or did not and fizzled out. It is inspiring to read all the case studies and see how those companies did it. 

The last chapter is a new addition where readers wrote in to tell stories of Purple Cow companies they have encountered. 

Every company and everybody should read the book Purple Cow. Get Purple Cow by Seth Godin here

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Books

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

I have always felt that I was in the wrong profession. After the initial passion wore off after a few months into the job, I was more convinced that I was not cut out for this job. 

I read many books on how to find the job you love and each one of them tells me that I need to discover my passion. After many years of trial and error, I still have not figured out what my passion is. 

So Good They Can’t Ignore You gives a refreshing new perspective on finding work you love. 

According to this book, there are people who make a great career following the passion hypothesis (what your work offers youbut it is very rare. 

Most people aren’t born with pre-existing passions to be discovered.

That makes me feel a little better about not figuring out what my passion is.

If the passion hypothesis is not the way to go about finding work that I love, am I doomed to get stuck in a job that I do not love?

When I did a careful analysis of my work, I realized that I do not like this job because it lacks these traits:

  • control: I can’t choose to shorten my hours
  • recognition: I am not valued for my skills 
  • impact: I don’t feel that my work have any directly positive impact on people’s lives

All of these actually coincides with So Good They Can’t Ignore You is saying, that career passion is rare. 

I realized what started many people on their successful careers is: making extra spending cash. That is why Steve Jobs first dabbled in electronics and why Ryan Voiland became a farmer. 

The book goes on to describe in detail how to go about finding work you love. The steps are: 

  1. Have a craftsman mindset: in other words, be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  2. Career capital: work on and improve on buildup of rare and valuable skills with constant immediate honest feedback using deliberate practice (activists that stretch your abilities) 
  3. Leverage career capital to gain control of your work but 
    • control requires career capital to support it 
    • employers will fight your efforts to gain more autonomy 
  4. Do what people are willing to pay for:  money is a neutral indicator of value. By aiming to make money, you’re aiming to be valuable 
  5. Have a clear and compelling mission: have a unifying focus on your career and maximizes your impact on the world
  6. Think small act big: get to the cutting edge of your field, find a career mission and go for it 
  7. Take incremental steps: deploy small, concrete experiments that return concrete feedback 
  8. Be remarkable: for a mission to produce a sustainable career, it has to produce purple cows, the type of remarkable projects that compel people to spread the word about the project in a venue that supports these remarks

At the last part of the book, the author Cal Newport details how he put what he learnt into practice. 

Get So Good They Can’t Ignore You. 

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Books

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah totally blew my mind. It is such a revolutionary book that altered what I knew about the evolution of mankind. 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind Part One – Cognitive Revolution

Part one of Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind talks about the Cognitive Revolution and how it allowed the Homo sapiens to evolve from animals into what we are now. 

I thought that the Homo sapiens species was the only one of its kind but this book says that “there used to be many other species of this genus besides Homo sapiens”. A few of our siblings were  Homo rudolfensis (East Africa), Homo erectus (East Asia) and Homo neanderthalensis (Europe and Western Asia).

The book gave various theories why Homo sapiens survived while the other species of the genus homo didn’t.

The “Interbreeding Theory” tells a tale of attraction, sex and mingling. According to this theory, as Homo rudolfensis spread around the world, they bred with other human populations, and people today are the outcome of this interbreeding.

The “Replacement Theory” tells a story of incompatibility, revulsion, and perhaps even genocide. According to this theory, Sapiens and other humans had different anatomies and they would have had little sexual interest in one another. Even if they did, they could not produce fertile children, because the genetic gulf separating the two populations was already unbridgeable.

According to the “Replacement Theory”, Homo sapiens could have driven the other species to extinction. Sapiens were more proficient hunters and gatherers – thanks to better technology and superior social skills – so they multiplied and spread. The less resourceful species found it increasingly difficult to feed themselves. Their population dwindled and they slowly died out. 

Another possibility is that competition for resources flared up into violence and genocide. 

An accidental genetic mutation changed the inner wirings of the brains of Sapiens, enabling them to think in unprecedented ways and to communicate using an altogether new type of language. This Tree of Knowledge mutation allow Sapiens to connect sounds and signs to produce an infinite number of sentences, each with a distinct meaning. We can thereby ingest, store and communicate a prodigious amount of information about the surrounding world.

Mind-blowing right? There’s more to come.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind Part Two – Agricultural Revolution

Part two of Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind talks about Agricultural Revolution and the domestication of farm animals.

Agriculture sprung up from different parts of the world between 9500 and 3500 BC. 

People in Central America domesticated maize and beans while Middle East domesticated wheat and peas. South Americans domesticated potatoes and llamas while China domesticated rice, millet and pigs. North Americans cultivated pumpkins while New Guineans tamed sugar cane and bananas. West Africans domesticated African millet, African rice, sorghum and wheat. 

The book Sapiens argues that the Agricultural Revolution was not the “great leap forward for mankind” as scholars proclaimed. Instead, humans became slaves to the domesticated plants and animals.

From a narrow evolutionary perspective, which measures success by the number of DNA copies, the Agricultural Revolution was a wonderful boon for chickens, cattle, pigs and sheep. Unfortunately, the evolutionary perspective is an incomplete measure of success. These domesticated animals may well be an evolutionary success story, but they are also among the most miserable creatures that ever lived. The domestication of animals was founded on a series of brutal practices that only became crueler with the passing of the centuries. 

The Agricultural Revolution turned foragers into farmers. The food surpluses allowed the Homo sapiens population to increase radically. Farming created stress for the farmers because they had to produce more than they consumed to build up reserves. 

Without grain in the silo, jars of olive oil in the cellar, cheese in the pantry and sausages hanging from the rafters, they would starve in bad years. 

These fortified food surpluses fueled politics, war, art and philosophy. They built palaces, forts, monuments and temples. 

Homo sapiens used their advanced cognitive abilities to invent stories about great gods, motherlands and joint stock companies to create the needed social links to cooperate effectively.

According to this book, all religions, government systems, economic systems are imagined order created from the imagination of the Homo sapien’s mind. The way to make people believe in imagined order is to never admit that the order is imagined and educate people thoroughly. 

From the moment they are born, you constantly remind them of the principles of the imagined order, which are incorporated into anything and everything.

The desire to take a holiday, for example, was born from romantic consumerism. 

Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people.

The book also describes the process of how language came about. Ancient Sumerians who lived in southern Mesopotamia invented a partial script by combining two types of signs. One type of signs represented numbers and the other type represented people, animals, merchandise, territories, dates and so forth. More and more signs were added to the Sumerian system, gradually transforming it into a full script that we today call cuneiform. 

At roughly the same time, Egyptians developed another full script known as hieroglyphics. Other full scripts were developed in China around 1200 BC and in Central America around 1000–500 BC.

The next few chapters talks about imagined hierarchies, the birth of racism and the hierarchy of mankind.

Different societies adopt different kinds of imagined hierarchies. Race is very important to modern Americans but was relatively insignificant to medieval Muslims. Caste was a matter of life and death in medieval India, whereas in modern Europe it is practically non-existent. One hierarchy, however, has been been of supreme importance of in all known human societies: the hierarchy of gender. 

There are various theory for the patriarchal nature of our society such as Muscle Power, Aggression, Evolution but none of them can really explain the patriachal views. 

During the last century, there has been revolutionary changes in gender roles. Women are not only given equal legal status and political rights, they now also have equal economic opportunities. 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind Part Three – Unification of Mankind

Part three of Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind talks about the unification for mankind in terms of geopolitical, economic, legal and scientific systems and how they laid the foundation for the united world of today. 

Over the millennia, small, simple cultures gradually coalesce into bigger and more complex civilisations, so that the world contains fewer and fewer mega-cultures, each of which is bigger and more complex.

The first millennium BC witnessed the appearance of three potentially universal orders: economic system, political systems and religious systems. 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind Part Four – Scientific Revolution

Part four of Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind talks about the Scientific Revolution. 

The Scientific Revolution started when mankind was willing to admit its ignorance. Modern science aims to obtain new knowledge by gathering observations and then use mathematical tools to connect these observations into comprehensive  theories. These theories are in turn uses to acquire new powers and develop new technologies. 

The leading project of the Scientific Revolution is to give humankind eternal life. The average life expectancy jumped from well below twenty-five to forty years, to around sixty-seven in the entire world, and to around eighty years in the developed world. 

Science, like all other parts of our culture, is shaped by economic, political and religious interests.

Most scientific studies are funded because somebody believe they can help attain some political, economic or religious goal. Scientific research can flourish only in alliance with some religion or ideology. The ideology justifies the cost of the research. In exchange, the ideology influences the scientific agenda and determines what to do with the discoveries.

The Industrial Revolution created more efficient ways of exploiting existing resources and completely new types of energy and materials. Steam engines, petroleum, electricity are a few examples. 

At heart, the industrial Revolution has been a revolution in energy conversion. 

The modern capitalist economy started promoting consumerism so that people bought whatever new stuff industry produces. 

Consumerism sees the consumption of ever more products and services as a positive thing. It encourages people to treat themselves, spoil themselves, and even kill themselves slowly by overconsumption.

The Industrial Revolution also bright about adjusting to industrial time, urbanization, disappearance of peasantry, rise of the industrial proletariat, empowerment of common person, democratisation, youth culture and disintegration of patriarchy. But the most monumental social revolution was the collapse of family and local community and their replacement by the state and the market. 

Imagined communities such as the nation and consumer tribe fills in the emotional vacuum left by collapse of intimate community. 

We are living in a peaceful era due to decline of violence due to rise of the state. 

As kingdoms and empires became stronger, they reined in communities and the level of violence decreased. In recent decades, when states and markets have become all-powerful and communities have vanished, violence rates have dropped even further. 

The British, French and Soviet empires fell without much bloodshed. With very few exceptions, since 1945 states no longer invade other states in order to conquer and swallow them up.

There is at last real peace, and not just absence of war. For most polities, there is no plausible scenario leading to full-scale conflict within one year.

A few factors contributes to this happy development:

  • price of war has increased dramatically 
  • profits of war declined
  • peace became more lucrative 
  • domination by peace-loving elites 
  • tightening web of international connections erodes the independence of most countries

The second-last chapter of this book concludes that material wealth is only one part of what makes us happy. Social, ethical and spiritual factors have a great impact on our happiness too. Money bring happiness, but only up to a point.

Family and community seem to have more impact on our happiness than money and health.

People with strong families who live in tight-knit and supportive communities are significantly happier than people whose families are dysfunctional and who have never found (or never sought) a community to be part of. Marriage is particularly important. Repeated studies have found that there is a very close correlation between good marriages and high subjective well-being, and between bad marriages and misery. This holds true irrespective of economic or even physical conditions.

Happiness depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations. Mass media and the advertising industry May unwittingly be depleting the globe’s reservoir of contentment. 

So maybe Third World discontent is fomented not merely by poverty, disease, corruption and political oppression but also by mere exposure to First World standards.

Biologists believe that our subjective well-being is determined by a complex system of nerves, neurons, synapses and various biochemical substances such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.

Some scholars believe that some people are born with a cheerful biochemical system while others have a gloomy biochemistry. External stimuli does not change our biochemistry, they can startle it for a fleeting moment, but it is soon back to its set point. 

A famous study by Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, demonstrates that happiness consists in seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile.

As far as we can tell, from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan. Hence any meaning that people ascribe to their lives is just a delusion.

The last chapter of this books talks about how mankind is now beginning to break the laws of natural selection, replacing them with the laws of intelligent design. 

Sapiens started this during the Agricultural Revolution. By mating the fattest hen with the slowest cock, they produced the fat, slow birds that we now know as chickens. 

Today, in laboratories throughout the world, scientists are engineering living beings. The replacement of natural selection by intelligent design could happen in any of the three ways: 

  • biological engineering – modification through manipulation of genes 
  • cyborg engineering- combining organic and inorganic parts 
  • engineering of inorganic life e.g. computer programs that can undergo independent evolution

The only thing we can try to do is to influence the direction scientists are taking. But since we might soon be able to engineer our desires too, the real question facing us is not ‘What do we want to become?’, but ‘What do we want to want?’

Get Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah

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Books

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen

I found this book when I was browsing Amazon’s Kindle books one day. I was intrigued by the title so I brought the ebook. 

This book offers different theories to look at different aspects of our lives. There are no “one-size-fit-all” answers or miracle cures, but this book offers the formula for you to figure out the answer yourself.

The first part talks about how to find jobs that we love. Since we spend at least 40 hours a week on work, it’s important that we do work which we love. I keep feeling that my job doesn’t really have a meaningful contribution to society. According to this book, both hygiene factors (status, compensation, job security, work conditions, company policies, supervisory practices) and motivation factors (challenging work, recognition, responsibility and personal growth) have to be fulfilled for us to love what we do. 

The next section concentrates on finding happiness in your relationships. I learned that face-to-face talking using sophisticated adult language to 0-36 months infants gives them incalculable cognitive advantage. I also learned how to view relationships using the “what job are you being hired for” lens. 

This book also teaches me how to raise children, indirectly.
Besides learning new skills, children need to be challenged, they need to solve hard problems, they need to develop values. Children will lean when they are ready to, not when you are ready to teach them. So in order to raise great children, I need to display the priorities and values that I want my children to learn through my actions. 

Decide what you stand for, and then stand for it all the time.
In the epilogue of the book, the author answers the question posed in the book – how will you measure your life with this:

The only metrics that truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people.

Get How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen

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The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

I bought this ebook many years ago. In fact, it is one of the first ebooks I bought after my father got me my first Kindle Paperwhite. 

This is about the 3rd time I am re-reading the book. I think the reason why I keep going back to this book is because I have always wanted to become an entrepreneur.

I know that being a nurse is a noble job and all. It pays the bills and it is an “iron rice bowl”. I am sure that in the grand scheme of things, I am indirectly contributing to the health of patients and the world, but I don’t feel satisfied. I don’t feel like I am making a difference to the world by drawing blood and getting consent from patients for procedures. 

I think that’s why I like blogging so much. When someone likes my blog post or forwards it to someone else, I feel like I am making a contribution to the world. Although I am nowhere near able to support myself from my blogs, but that is the main goal. 

Being an entrepreneur is less about earning money than about providing solutions to everyday problems. The amount of money you earn is proportional to the enormity of the problem you have solved.

Everytime I read this book, it gives me hope that I will able to help the world become a better place, one small product at a time.

Get The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

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The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult is talking about rape and the aftermath of it. It is also talking about the bond between parents and how children change. 

I wanted to do a better job than my parents, I don’t want to make the same mistakes they did. I wanted to give my children the best childhood, to give them all the love they need and protect them. 

If you are wondering, the “tenth circle” is talking about the tenth level in hell, for those who lie to themselves. If there were really a level like this in hell, I think 99.9% of all humans will end up there. We have all lied to ourselves one way or another.

Get The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

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犹太人的赚钱智慧(Jewish Phenomen)- 让我们跟犹太人学习吧

Jewish Phenomenon Chinese

这本书我是几年前在一个卖二手书的展销会上看到的。我一直对犹太人和怎么赚钱有兴趣,便买了这本书。

犹太人特别会赚钱,这是周所皆知的事。虽然犹太人只占全世界60亿人口百分之 0.2%,但

  • 《福布斯》杂志的美国四百大富豪排行榜中,最富有的40大富豪是犹太人。
  • 美国三分之一的百万富翁是犹太人。
  • 美国大学中,20%的教授是犹太人。
  • 华府主要的律师事务所中,40%的合伙人是犹太人。
  • 在收入超过5万美元的美国家庭中,犹太人的比率是非犹太人的两倍。
  • 美国犹太人家庭收入低于2万美元的比率,是非犹太人的一半。
  • 犹太人在经济地位上的强势延续到今天,一直都高于白人新教徒和天主教徒,甚至在相同年龄、结构和地区的家庭中,也是如此。
  • 获得诺贝尔科学奖(物理、化学、医学或生物学奖)的美国人中,有31%是犹太人。
  • 所有获得诺贝尔奖的美国人中,有25%是犹太人。

原来,犹太人之所以会这么成功,是因为他们遵守这7大秘诀:

1。拥有真正的财富-知识 

在犹太人家庭里,问题不在于上不上大学,而是上哪所大学、在大学里专攻哪一门专业。

犹太人重视教育

  1. 帮助孩子建立自尊心
    • 如果孩子重视自己,认定自己是独一无二的人才,他就比较可能会去追求好的东西。要让你的孩子真正觉得自己是“上帝的选民”,不管他们的出身和经济状况如何。
    • 教导孩子知道家族的历史,了解家族的祖国。
    • 培养孩子的国际观,用地球仪或地图让他们了解全世界,以及自己处在世界中的那个地方。
  2. 培养延后享受新理念:
    • 父母必须在孩子很小的时候,开始为孩子的优良行为,进行长期的奖励。孩子做了简单的家务事,就可以给他们报酬,等孩子长大一些之后,可以给他们更有价值的报酬,以奖励良好的学业成绩。
    • 培养延后享受的另一个方法,是把钱投资在银行账户或股市中,不要让孩子把钱花在立刻能获得享受的花费上,让他们自己管理自己的投资,让他们看着自己的投资逐渐增加。
  3. 尽可能选择最好的教育:父母亲可能犯的严重错误之一,是把孩子送去就读课程和能力比自己孩子差的大学,因为从同龄人身上获得知识和能力是教育的一部分,因此寻找能力高超的同学很重要。
  4. 发展和发现博学多闻与求知习惯
    • 父母亲展现求知的习惯,可以为小孩立下模仿的榜样,让孩子知道阅读和知识广博的价值。
    • 为了使你的孩子“高人一等,你可以从小就读书给小孩听,当书中出现生字时,则要不厌其烦地反复向他们解释。
  5. 用储蓄为孩子创造教育上的目的期望:如果事先多年计划,可以帮助我们在孩子选择学校时,避免根据自己家庭经济状况做决定。在孩子很小的时候就开始实施储蓄计划,会使大学教育的费用负担大大减轻。
  6. 使自己的技术“与时俱进”:要让孩子看到你在成年之后仍继续学习,这样会在他们心目中强化教育很重要的观念,也会让他们与你一起分享教育的经验。

2。成为专家和企业家

犹太人在决定职业时,一般将自己的职业限制在以下三种职业:律师、医师与企业家。

3。拥有追求成功的动力

如何激发自己成功的欲望:

  1. 制定长期目标:首先写下三件你认为最重要的事情,然后写出你未来半年、一年、五年和十年的目标。采取下一步行动-写出要实现这些目标,你必须实施的三个明确行动。
  2. 更努力做需要智力的工作:学会把工作分配给别人(学会授权),教导他们如何做事,自己当策划人员、战略专家和领导者,节省自己的精力和时间,做更有价值的事情。
  3. 采取适当的冒险行为
  4. 选择你热爱的事情,为赚钱而赚赚钱是行不通的,但报酬可以促使你在事业中更上一层楼。
  5. 要接受个人贡献能够明显表现出来的工作
  6. 经常阅读 “The Wall Street Journal”、“Inc.”和“Fast Company”杂志,研读其中的成功故事。
  7. 相信自己的自决能力

4。赞美个性,发展创造力

犹太人母亲遵守的七大原则:

  1. 用非体罚的方式控制孩子
  2. 在家里允许彻底的讲话自由
  3. 尽可能给孩子提供最好的学习和生活条件
  4. 培养孩子强烈的自我意识和自尊心
  5. 维持亲密的家庭关系,延迟让孩子离家独立,减少同龄人压力的影响
  6. 为子女的教育与专业发展制订高标准
  7. 作为教养孩子的一个整体,反复强调这些高标准

犹太父母为孩子提供广泛的经历、实践机会,允许他们成功或失败,也允许他们一再尝试。

犹太人在小孩的成长期间,容许小孩自由发掘自己的才能,发个人的风格,建立自信心。

如何发展创造力:

  • 宽容且呵护周到的教养方式法:亲密的家庭关系和松散的教养方法
  • 允许失败,奖励行动
  • 建立自己的“创意引擎”:
    • 不理会否定的字句和没有意义的规则
    • 挑战普遍被人接受的想法
    • 善于模仿
    • 了解时事和趋势安排利于创造新构想的家庭

5。发展言语信心

如何发展言语信心

  1. 鼓励孩子提问
  2. 主动向孩子解释新概念
  3. 全家人共进“主动”的晚餐
  4. 鼓励孩子参与艺术表演与运动
  5. 成人可以参加国际演讲协会

6。助人而后人助

  1. 支持尼所属族裔的慈善机构
  2. 创立基金会,以追求长期自立为宗旨
  3. 尽量减少其他族裔的支持
  4. 持续不断地组织、投票和参与政治
  5. 支持你所属族裔开设的企业
  6. 支持你所属族裔利益的一般议题

7。奢侈有选择,节俭精打细算

  1. 购买便宜一些的汽车,开长一点时间
  2. 不抽烟
  3. 放弃垃圾食品和咖啡
  4. 利用互联网,购买定期人寿保险公司
  5. 一周带一次便当
  6. 常在家吃饭
  7. 尽量维持婚姻、因为离婚很昂贵
  8. 注意身体健康
  9. 买房子,不要租房子
  10. 避免到会员制大卖场大买特买
  11. 避免信用卡债务,利用它作为收入来源
  12. 将商业银行的货币市场储蓄户移走
  13. 降低长途电话费用
Categories
Books

Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke

My girlfriend knows how much I love to travel so she got me this travel guide as a birthday present a couple of years ago. I liked the book but I did not have the time and patience to read it from cover to cover, till now. 

This travel guide is different from other travel guides. It does not focus on one country but a mash-up of different countries under 5 themes. I have renamed the different sections as “Near-Death Experiences”, “Weird Art”, “Cheap Fashion”, “Street Food Galore”, “Music and Weed” and “Getting Laid”. 

This is a one-of-kind travel guide that will give you a new way to look at travel. 

Get Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke.

Categories
Books

The Best I Could by Subhas Anandan

A friend gave me this book as a birthday present a year ago but I never got around to reading it till now. 

I have never liked lawyers or lawyer as a profession. I don’t know why I have this perception, but I have always felt being a lawyer is a depressing job. Their job is so demanding and even though they earn a lot, they always look so tired. 

The cover of this book does nothing to motivate me to read it. There is just the picture of an Indian man and the words “The Best I Could”. 

This book turned out to be a pretty interesting read. As Subhas Ananda was a Singaporean, I could relate to the places and court cases mentioned in the book. 

After reading the whole book, the first part of the book where he described his childhood and schooling days. I thought lawyers like Subhas Ananda were probably very studious and model student, but Subhas Ananda was actually very mischievous. He played pranks and played truant. But he was also very bright and he took on many leadership roles in school. 

This book gave me a peek into the world of criminal lawyers and how the legal system may not be so fair all the time. 

Get The Best I Could by Subhas Anandan.