Image Credit: @NeilPasricha

Clicky Quotes:

“Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – LAO TZU

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – American philosopher William James

“It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.” – The Happiness Advantage author Shawn Achor

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” – Aristotle

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens and 90% how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

“As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.” – Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the Japanese martial art aikido.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” – Physicist Richard Feynman

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Greek philosopher Epictetus

“Freedom and autonomy are critical to our well-being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy,” says Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice.

When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life. —ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN LENNON

I learned it’s not easier said than done. It’s easier done than said. – Neil Pasricha

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie

“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” – Eckhart Tolle

“When there are no enemies within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” – An ancient African proverb

“Ninety-seven percent of lung cancer patients are smokers and ninety-seven percent of smokers never get lung cancer.” – Good for thought


Don’t put a barrier/condition to happiness.

Study Hard -> Straight A’s -> Be Happy

Interview lots -> Great Job -> Be Happy

Work overtime -> Get Promoted -> Be Happy

** The “BE HAPPY” should be at the beginning of every equation.

4 Simple words that block all criticism


[ Billy Chan ]This has been my one of my mantra. Ensure that all our action is what we truly want to do in our heart. We do it for our self. It is not for our wife, for our kids, for our parent, for our friend, for our boss… But it is really for yourself. As long your heart feels to do it. No matter how hard. Doing happy things that rhyme with you. Everyone has their rights to express their perspective but it should not be the “de-motivation” factor of our actions.

First, remember there are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic is internal. You’re doing it because you want to. Extrinsic is external. You’re doing it because you get something for it.

[ Billy Chan ] Upon my deep experience. My ultimate source of happiness and success is first from the intrinsic. This is what lack in most of the people. It is an endless chase for external happiness. At the time, I felt the power of calmness when I extracted “noise” from my life. Exclude extrinsic items from my life.

For all, first is to believe -> search inside and feel -> enjoy the journey of your finding


Image credit: l@NeilPasricha

  1. Get sales of your service and product

  2. Get social proof that you are doing a success by your family and friend.

  3. Inside yourself, you felt the strong satisfaction of success. Then that is what real success is. Not one narrow scope, but a wider space of your life on success.


Image credit: @NeilPasricha

[ Billy Chan ] The illustration summarized our level of confidence. Believe in yourself and have a great credibility for others to be confident in you.

3 simple steps to journey of self-acceptance

This steps mentioned in the summary of phases toward self-acceptance. Accepting of our actual self. These steps are:

#1. Hide: it is about hiding and not accepting the fact. The fact that we are lazy. The facts that we procrastinate.

#2. Apologize: it is about awareness of our drawback and strength. However, we are still apologetic on the fact. Create excuses.

#3. Accept: This is the phase where we accept the way we are. Be proud of it. Or have a clear action plan if progress is identified.



I directly quote the whole story from the book, this is one good one to read and reflect.

“He had become a religious man, also called a Brahman, and was traveling from town to town to share his message. He was becoming so popular that when people heard the Buddha was coming they went to hear him speak. As a result many other Brahmans lost their audience. One Brahman was so upset with the Buddha that he found him and went to see him late at night. He was furious! “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!” Buddha smiled at the Brahman and listened until he was done with his rant. When the Brahman was done, Buddha still sat, smiling at him. This made the Brahman even angrier. “Why are you just sitting there smiling? What do you have to say?” Then Buddha spoke. “Tell me something, Brahman: Do friends and colleagues, relatives and kinsmen, ever come to your house as guests?” “Yes,” the Brahman answered. “And tell me something, Brahman,” Buddha continued. “Do you serve them foods and delicacies when they arrive?” “Yes,” the Brahman answered, “I do.” “And tell me something, Brahman,” Buddha continued. “If they don’t accept them, to whom do those foods belong?” “Well, I suppose if they don’t accept them, those foods are all mine.” “Yes,” said Buddha. “In the same way, Brahman, I do not accept your anger and your criticism. It is all yours.” The Brahman was stunned and could think of nothing to say. His anger continued to bubble up inside him, but he had nowhere to put it. Nobody was accepting it or taking it from him. Buddha continued: “That with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting, that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting, that with which you have berated me, who is not berating, that I don’t accept from you. It’s all yours, Brahman. It’s all yours. “If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy. All you have done is hurt yourself. If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. “Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, Brahman. It’s all yours. It’s all yours.””

One single GRATITUDE that I truly believe in my heart. Well said by Neil in this 2 sentences:

Being alive means you’ve already won the lottery. You are among the wealthiest people in the entire world.

To be healthy has been one of the blessings in my life. To be born in this era of possibility and advancement has made me among the wealthiest people in the entire world.


The above is in my own words. The second part is the gist, “Full of Life Purpose”. It is always good to live a long age. However, the more meaningful is to find your life purpose and live by that purpose as a fuel.


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The secret based on the interview with Japanese that live to a very old age; ikigai (pronounced like “icky guy”) which roughly means “the reason you wake up in the morning.” You can think of it as the thing that drives you most.

Practical to live the ikigai: Have an ikigai card by the place that you will see or be when you wake up. It serve as a reminder and fuel to keep you going. Thinking about that, may be one of the upcoming ikigai card written, “Have a great vacation in China with my wife.”

EVERYONE HAS 168 HOURS IN A WEEK. No more. No less.


Image credit: @NeilPasricha

It is quite nice to have this visual image from Neil. He puts it in 3 different buckets of time that we have in a week. By having the first bucket of 56 hours gone to sleep. Most of the people would have the next bucket of 56-hours dedicated to working.

The good news is that we still have the whole full bucket of 56-hours for our passion and our ikigai.

When I speak to companies I ask everybody in the audience to spend thirty seconds writing down one awesome thing that happens to them at work. We leave cue cards on their chairs beforehand. Then I ask people to trade their cue card with somebody who they’ve never talked to before. And then we read the cue cards in front of the room. That’s when we realize that in a span of seconds we came up with thousands of awesome things together.

[ Billy Chan ] Good idea to have this exercise to gather “experience” of the awesome thing that we can learn from each other.

Good reflection on where we are in our thinking and doing. Although it should be a balance I think that people need to spend ample of time in the reflection kind of thinking. And a space to relax the mind. Not to forget to get the thought going by the doing.


Image credit by Enrichment Lab, inspired by @NeilPasricha

One of the concepts that Neil has mentioned in his book is to hack the time to gain back the time to go to more think/space.

“Space in calendars comes from hacking at meetings. Space in your life comes from hacking at choice, time, and access.” – Neil Pasricha

There is one more good concept that I had tried just last week. Set the right expectation with people, much more like negotiate to gain more space back. Let me discuss that on the next learning.

How to never being too busy again

The worst is making a decision under decision fatigue. When this happens, humans tend to have 2 options:

  1. Make no decision.

  2. Make a bad decision

Always have a good end in mind what we want. What is our purpose to make a just decision?

It correlates with my learning to make good investment process and habit.

This is what I think is the “plateau of decision”

We avoid the decision or we make a bad decision. And we always worry we made the wrong choice. This is why I always failed to invest any money.

Avoiding the decision in order not to make a bad decision. Now. What can be worst than “not making a decision” in order to avoid failure? That is a failure by itself. I remembered that someone said, “How do you hit the target when you are not shooting.”

As what I learned, Plan properly, Do immediately. If we fail, we fail fast and we learn fast.

Humans learn from failure. Great failure with open hands as it is the learning opportunity for us.

The options for our decision

“Freedom and autonomy are critical to our well-being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy,” says Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice.

Guess what Stanford researcher Sheena Iyengar reports Procter & Gamble found when they chopped the varieties of Head & Shoulders on the shelf from twenty-six to fifteen? When you remove half the number of bottles the customers sees, your sales must go down, right? Nope, they got a sales increase of 10%. When we are presented with too many decisions, we either: Do nothing. Our brains are exhausted, so we stop making decisions completely.


Image credit: @NeilPasricha

#1 Automate the thing that we can control. Like doing groceries on a single store or order online. Automate the credit card payment or move it to a single date for all credit card.

#2 Regulate the time frame for specific work. Example to check email at single time. Put the phone on airplane mode on a certain period of the day.

A debate is taking about big decision such a buying a house where need more time and consult with an expert. Effectuate means just get it done. Both of this 2 is a common sense to me.

Creating more time for a project.

Neil said it well, “work expands to fill in the time available for its completion.” We need to create a last minute panic scenario.

This really rhymes with me thinking back to the old days:

  1. I’m in rush for revision for my exams.

  2. I’m also hooked up to playing video games. While playing, and have the mental stress that I’ll need to study for my exams. Nevertheless, I choose to play the game.

  3. 1 day before the exam, I felt remorse and burn the midnight oil.

The moral of my story is that my emotion in between is useless. I should set a strict goal or checklist. Or even a time limit. My mind needs to know when is complete. This can give me more peace of mind in my study and my leisure.

One good idea from Neil well said, “Move deadlines up, revise them for yourself, and remember you are creating space after the project has been delivered. Remember: A late deadline is painful. Nothing gets done.”

Neil said it as,

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline,” for instance. “If you leave it until the last minute, it takes only a minute to do.” Or how about: “The contents of your purse will expand to fill all available space.”

A fake early deadline created more space.

Learn how to response email RESPONSIBLY

I had just learned and implemented this. To put me in other’s shoe, we can follow this rule:

  1. Don’t immediately respond to an email if really not necessary. 2 possible things that might happen if we do not respond. It is either, someone else responded or they send the email again if it is really urgent.

“Neil,” he said, “there’s a problem with email. After you send one, the responsibility of it goes away from you and becomes the responsibility of the other person. It’s a hot potato. An email is a work given to you by somebody else.”

The truth of multitasking, there is not really in getting the thing done faster.

multitasking. How was it defined? “The ability of a microprocessor to apparently process several tasks simultaneously.”

How to add more hours (Production hours) in your LIFE

Neil said it this way,

“How do you add an hour to your day with only one small change? Remove access. Close the doors. Lock the windows. And pick the bell you will answer and focus on. Delete and remove all access to yourself except for that one. Watch as your productivity spikes, your days become more productive, and you create beautiful space.”

I normally:

  1. Put my phone into airplane mode when I’m doing serious and planned work.

  2. Put my phone as far from me as possible, to makes it really hard for me to

  3. Have a clear plan on important work. Put that as priority

  4. A good checklist that I really put a good time to create it. However, it serves as a good list for the future.

Hacking to get more space in your life:

How to make every decision at twice the speed? Remove choice.

What’s the counterintuitive way to having more time? Remove time.

How to add an hour to the day with only one small change? Remove access.

Spend thirty seconds putting yourself in a situation where it’s easier to do.

[ Billy Chan ] I found out that to learn is actually to un-learn; sometimes. More precise is to eliminate our bad habits. I found it to remove the bad habit is eventually to identify the good habit that we wanted to kick in, and at the same time make it harder for us to do the bad habit.

And did he believe in the Do Circle? Absolutely. He explained it best in his First Law of Physics. “An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted on by a larger force.” Put it another way: Start doing something? You’ll continue. Why? Because motivation doesn’t cause action. The action causes motivation.

The Saturday Morning Test What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do? Your authentic self should go toward that . . .

The Bench Test How do you feel when you put yourself in a new situation? Your authentic self will lead you toward that.

The Five People Test Who are the five people closest to you in the things you love most? Your authentic self is an average of those people.

“You are the average of the five people around you. . . . You are the average of the five things that inspire you the most. . . .

My thoughts are the average of the five things I think about. . . . My body and mind are the averages of the five things I ‘eat.’ . . . I am the average of the five things I do to help people each day.”

Happy people know when it’s important to stop taking advice and start listening to yourself.

Any cliché, quote, or piece of advice that resonates with you only confirms to your mind something you already know.

The Theory of The Seven Things

# 1 – Three Walks

“We found that people who are more physically active have more pleasant-activated feelings than people who are less active, and we also found that people have more pleasant-activated feelings on days when they are more physically active than usual.”

# 2 – The 20-min Replay

Writing for twenty minutes about a positive experience dramatically improves happiness. Why? Because you actually relive the experience as you’re writing it and then relive it every time you read it.

# 3 – Random Act of Kindness

Carrying out five random acts of kindness a week dramatically improves your happiness.

# 4 – A complete unplug

“The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal,”

# 5 – Hit Flow

Be in the zone. Find your flow. However you characterize it when you’re completely absorbed with what you’re doing, it means you’re being challenged and demonstrating skill at the same time.

# 6 – 2-min Meditation

meditation can “permanently rewire” your brain to raise levels of happiness.

# 7 – Five Gratitude

Find a book or a journal, or start a website, and write down three to five things you’re grateful for from the past week.

Experiment worth doing

  1. “We have the ten-foot rule. You say hi to everybody within ten feet of you.

  2. Write down the self-gratitude on a cue card and exchange with the person that you do not know or speak with.

  3. The calendar system to mark is clearly in the work done. Giving self a pressure to complete a task by having daily look at the calendar.

Recommended Books or website recommendation:

  1. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

  2. is a record of gratitude by Neil Pasricha

  3. John Tierney is the New York Times–bestselling coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

  4. Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness


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The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything

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