Despite my busy schedule these days, I’d manage to squeeze out some free time last night and catch my favorite artist in these days, Vienna Teng at The Hotel Cafe in LA.  My friends and I left Irvine a bit late, and I was concerned actually that we wouldn’t be able to get there in a hour with LA traffic.  Fortunately, though for us, we make it just in time.  It was a very enjoyable evening!  As a fan, I’d hope the evening would have lasted forever, but of course it is not possible.  Vienna Teng and her band Alex Wong were not only awesome on-stage performing, but in our very short conversations, I found them to be very personable, real, and down-to-earth people.  You can just feel it in them…  

Thinking further, what has been a recurring theme that have been confirmed by many now (who I’ve interacted or listened to), is that the path to success really starts first by figuring out what one enjoys to do, whether we’re good at it, and then focusing our efforts to be the best. Being a musical artist is perhaps not the typical path to take in one’s career, similar to say becoming a professional athlete.  However, if only we are passionate, dedicate our time, and willing to take some risks, I do believe something will nurture, and there just might be a path of light in the tunnel.  After all, life is too short to not give ourselves a chance, and especially when sometimes the most rewarding parts of life isn’t about the successes we achieve, but failures along the way that makes other things so much more sweeter.  Vienna and Alex, thanks again for the wonderful evening!

In modern society, I find that many things happen very rapidly. Starting from our daily decision-making process to the various forms of personnel interactions such as face-to-face, phone, emails, online chats, and social networks. And this upcoming “Generation Y” group (which I am borderline for qualification myself) is indeed a very special group of the young generation, with people that are bound to quick grasps, self-teaching students, and fast responses. Gone are the days of reading a book from start to finish (e.g. page 1-400), but in the form of online texts. No longer are people staying 1 or 2 jobs for entire lifetime, but rather a rapid job changing cycle. Our patience, emotions, and thoughts are often short-fused, rather than deep. However, in a nice positive side, these Generation Y are constantly learning new skills and acquiring know-hows.

It was through interaction with a friend talking about skills and interests, that define how my own Gen-Y traits may possibly include:

  • the brain of an engineer
  • the spirit of an entrepreneur
  • the mind of a psychologist

And certainly among my pool of friends, many other categories come up in the list of multi-facet skills:

  • the patience of an educator
  • the legs of a dancer
  • the sound of a musician
  • the taste of an iron chef
  • the health of a nutritionist
  • the strength of an athlete
  • the body of a model
  • the beauty of a rose
  • the leadership of a manager
  • the language talent of an interpreter
  • the fun of a comedian
  • the words of a philosopher
  • the knowledge of an encyclopedia
  • the energy of a motivational speaker
  • the engagement of an effective communicator
  • the participation of an activist
  • and many others…

I do feel that in order to have a role in the modern and future society, one does need to accumulate a large pool of capacities, expose to a variety of things, and have a “multi-facet” development plan to stay competitive in a society of emerging Generation Y upbringings, globalization, and information traveling at the speed of light.

For the past two years, crude oil in U.S. has seen a steady rising price going from $50 a barrel to the $100+ a barrel in the current situation. And certainly, people are paying attention to the rising gas prices at the pump and having second thoughts in trying out alternative public transport, which is unpopular in places such as California. The issue of rising oil prices isn’t that it is at an “all-time high” as the figure below indicates that per inflation adjusted, we’ve seen comparable gas prices now and the days back in the early 1980’s.

What is more concerning, as some experts predict and that I agree with, is as follows. The issue is that oil is a depleting natural resource and more than 30+ countries have already peaked their oil production. At the same time, the rising growth in China and India, whether industrial, technological, or other sectors, will necessitate the demand for oil with more industrial developments. Their demand will be in more dire need in the future.

Furthermore, driving a hybrid vehicle in past time has been a self ful-filling feeling to be more “green,” but now the concern is that it is not only environmentally friendly but may make more economic sense. Gone are the days for large SUVs and heavy vehicles, especially in a place like U.S. where the majority of behind the seat drivers are solo. Recent trends have seen the rise in a number of new compact vehicles out in the market, including the European Smart Car, and small vehicles from Tata and General Motors.


Traditional wisdom says that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In the Information Age, the continuous explosion of data growth makes information processing and representation ever more important.

Here are some of my favorite Infographic collection, convey intriguing meanings.

The Food Pyamid

The U.S. Sub-prime Foreclosure Statistics, 2008

The U.S. Sub-prime Foreclosure Statistics

What People Do Online – An Empirical Study of Age Comparison

Global Distribution of World Water

(and raising concern on the shortage of drinkable water)

Open Communications

Every now and then, I bumped into people with high caliber personality. They are determined, know what they want in life, and follow through to execute and get it. Often times, these are the same people who are charming and charismatic and possess the characteristic of upright integrity and leadership skills (or the potential to become one). Furthermore, they make us feel at one’s comfort zone within minutes of interacting with them as if we’re talking to one of our long-lasting childhood friend. The connection is quickly formed and the conversation can be deep and stimulating.

From my observation, this is achievable because these individuals are very “open in communications” and able to “share things or information” that for most people would find sensitive or private. Of course, going into specific details might in fact be harmful as privacy continues to be more and more transparent in society at large today (with the acceleration of technology such as web cameras and usb voice recorders). However, revealing information while stating in general terms allow the listener to gain insights, learn from it, and apply it in their own lives.

Core personal traits such as integrity, trustworthy, motivation, leadership, charm, charisma are rare to find. However, I believe one very good way these values can be expressed starts with open communications.

As I have grown older over the years, I started paying more attention to health. I believe health is one of those long-term commitments that we need to make and stick to it. Not only does it prevent us from getting sick or illness, but in an introverted way, eating well allows us the ability to accomplish more things in life with more energy and work more long and productive hours. And it starts with exercise and eating well. The former requires a personal drive to stick with the periodic repetition and not be lazy while the latter requires us to pay attention in our daily in-takes.

Recently, through an observation of a friend while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I found out that Blueberries is a natural food source that is highly concentrated with complex supply of quality nutrients. Blueberries is almost like a healing power gem, attributes that include low sugar, high fiber, anti-aging, good skin-care, improve memory, and better eye sight. In fact, Blueberries is at the very top of the food chain, considered as a “super-food.” In this journey of eating well for the 21st century, I hope to find other super-foods that is convenient (easily accessible to purchase and eat), decently priced (without going broke on food), and even better, tasty foods (so that we can enjoy it while eating healthy)!

It is interesting to note that human nature are embedded with greed. And yet, as history has shown, it teaches us lessons over and over again, how things need a reality check sometimes. If it seems too real to be true, it probably is. Something within just doesn’t sound quite right… We’ve seen this happen during the dot-com days where every tech stocks go up everyday. And in the recent years, we’ve seen the same with real estate where housing has boomed. Of course, we envy others who make smart financial decisions, and questions why we didn’t pull the trigger in buying that stock or property when we could have done so. But in fact, patience and careful planning are critical virtues to make sure that our human greed do not overtake us. A reality check makes us vulnerable, makes us more humble, and gives us the wisdom to know better. Reality check preserves people from getting side-tracked by the fantasized idea of “get rich or successful fast” when in fact, living is a life long journey and learning process.


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