The 6 Keys To Being Awesome At Everything

Aristotle had it exactly right 2000 years ago: “We are what we repeatedly do.”

1.Pursue what you love

Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.

2.Do the hardest work first

We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain.

Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.

3.Practice Intensely

Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break.

90 minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.

4.Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses

The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments.

Too much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.

5.Take regular renewal breaks

Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning.

It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.

6.Ritualize practice

Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it.

The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to ritualize them — build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

 

Source: http://au.businessinsider.com/the-6-keys-to-being-awesome-at-everything-2010-11?op=1#ritualize-practice-6

Starbucks presses social media onward

Source: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020862483_starbuckssocialxml.html

Back in the social-media stone age, about 2005, customers who yearned to interact with Starbucks could talk to a barista or read quotes on its coffee cups.

“Love wins,” read quote No. 257, from television and radio host Tavis Smiley.

“Evolution is beautiful,” said No. 35, creating a bit of a stink in anti-evolution circles.

Now fans interact with the world’s largest coffee-shop chain without even visiting a cafe. They just log on to their favorite social-media site and there’s Starbucks or Frappuccino or Starbucks Indonesia chatting away.

One of the most successful brands using social media, Starbucks wins more than a popularity contest with its vast numbers of online fans. The sites have become an important way to advertise daily and, occasionally, drive huge numbers of customers into stores.

The fifth-largest brand on Facebook, with 34 million fans, Starbucks trails only Coca-Cola, Disney, Red Bull and Converse, according toSocialBakers.com.

Starbucks executives figure that through Facebook fans and their friends alone, they have access to nearly 1 billion people — a seventh of the world’s population.

On Twitter, its 3.6 million followers rank it fourth, behind Samsung Mobile, iTunes Music and NASA.

And that’s just for the main Starbucks name. The chain has dozens more pages and handles for Frappuccino, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tazo Tea, other brands and foreign markets.

There are even “Starbucks Partners” pages for the chain’s employees, more than half of whom in the United States are 25 years old or younger. A recent Starbucks Partners photo on Instagram and Facebook touted a California store where three workers made 40 drinks in 10 minutes — for a nearby zombie movie shoot, naturally.

Fans into dollars

Although having followers is important, the real test is interaction and sales, and Starbucks has been winning there as well.

“Starbucks was holding Facebook promotions before most restaurants even figured out this was a space they needed to be in,” said Alicia Kelso, senior editor at Networld Media Group in Louisville, Ky., parent company of FastCasual.com and other online trade publications that track the restaurant business.

Starbucks’ first big social-media promotion came in 2009, about a year after it launched on Facebook and Twitter. It offered a free pastry with drink purchase before 10:30 a.m.

A million people showed up, proving “the channels are not just about engaging and telling a story and connecting, but they can have a material impact on the business,” said Alexandra Wheeler, who’s in charge of Starbucks’ global digital marketing.

It is difficult to quantify a brand’s interaction quotient, but the site Klout.com tries by using more than 400 pieces of information from various social-media networks.

Klout gives Starbucks a score of 83, better than Peet’s Coffee at 77 but below Dunkin’ Donuts at 86and McDonald’s at 92.

Not all interaction is welcome, however.

A McDonald’s campaign backfired last year when it tried to use Twitter to highlight the farmers from whom it buys produce.

Although McDonald’s used the “#McDStories” Twitter hashtag just twice, the Twitterverse quickly adopted it to post items denouncing and ridiculing it.

“My brother finding a fake finger nail in his fries. #McDStories,” tweeted someone with the handle PrettyTallerr.

Staffing social media

Posting on social-media sites used to be a one-person job at Starbucks.

Now five people are on the job, veterans of social media from Microsoft, the Seattle Art Museum and the Phoenix Suns.

Their charge is to “be authentic” and “be the best barista online.”

That means writing pithy posts like the recently popular, “Sometimes a good cappuccino and a good book are all you need.”

It also means being on top of popular culture.

Sometimes, there may be a reference that resonates with an older crowd, like a photograph on Dr. Seuss’ birthday of his cat’s striped hat drawn on a Starbucks coffee cup.

Often it’s something for younger people, responding, for example, to singer and actress Demi Lovato’s lament that Starbucks baristas do not know her name with a photograph of a specially decorated cup just for her.

Well-planned posts

The posts are not always so spontaneous.

Starbucks’ schedule for social-media topics looks like the departing-flights board at the airport.

Some weeks it focuses on Evolution Fresh juices, other weeks on its global month of (volunteer) service.

The whole social-media team takes photos for posts. Paige Dell’Armi, who has posted for Starbucks for about a year, even keeps backdrops tucked under her desk.

One recent weekday, she and others on the team shot photos and video of another headquarters employee, Major Cohen, making coffee in a French press. The post highlighted how to brew the perfect cup at home.

Whatever the focus, posts on each platform are relatively spare — maybe one a day, sometimes fewer.

“They’re not cluttering up your news feed,” said Kelso, of Networld Media Group. “That’s so important, because people do not want to have brands in their news feeds.”

Starbucks also does not push products or causes too hard, she said.

Its posts are just as likely to be a smiley face, an accidental tweet that in 2011 generated more than 1,500 retweets.

Often they call to mind the quotes on cups from way back in the mid-2000s, some of which are preserved on a Starbucks photo board at Pinterest.

There are new, noncup quotes there as well, like, “Keep calm and make coffee.”

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com. Twitter @AllisonSeattle.

Day 151 – Emma is 5 months old today!

Let’s show your little face for the celebration, shall we?!

5个月了,小颜曦!时间过的飕飕飕,转眼你已经是个大宝宝了!!爱跳,爱笑,爱看电视的可爱小萌宝,你已经非常称手了,知道吗~ 再长胖点爸爸妈妈妈可就抱不动你啦~~

Day 105 – 今天亲Emma脸蛋儿的时候。。

下午回到家,换好便装,抱起了baby Emma。因为是结婚2周年纪念日,我让老婆换衣服准备拍照留念,故一个人陪Emma玩。看着小宝贝貌似又变大了一点,我想抱抱,看她有没有变重。Emma看我抱她,就开始眯眼冲着我笑^ ^ 我一开心,就大大的亲了她脸蛋儿一口,没想到她发出了愉悦的笑声;D 哈哈,我大喜,又换另一边亲,她貌似非常开心,有咯咯直笑。。听声音有点儿像打着小鼾的意思,非常有趣:) 于是我就开始左右两边换着亲Emma,每亲一下她就笑一下,屡试不爽!!太可爱了~ 难道她的神经系统又生长完善了一些,能感觉到痒痒了?估计是 ^_____^

叫老婆过来看我的新发现,小Emma一看妈妈来了,也“表现演示”了一番,妈妈也开心的不行。。baby就是家里的小活宝,随着一天天的成长,她会慢慢开发出更多的能力,需要更多的与父母互动。

爹地以后要早点回家陪Emma好好玩耍1个小时,说到做到>0<

 

Cry Decoder: What’s your baby trying to tell you?

Wouldn’t it be nice if your baby could hold up cue cards that spelled out exactly why he or she was crying? A simple “I’m hungry!” or “I’m tired” could save you both a lot of trouble. While we can’t give you those cue cards, we have the keys to understanding what your baby’s wailing really means. (Hint: The pitch, tone, and timing of crying can tell you a lot!) Take our quiz to test – and improve – your cry decoding skills.

Take the quiz again

Your results

Your score: 4 out of 6 points

1.Your baby’s cry is repetitive, loud, and just gets louder. It eventually sounds frantic.Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I’m gassy.
b. I’m hungry. correct!
c. I’m ready for a nap.
d. I need some cuddling.

“Your baby’s hunger cries are repetitive and don’t let up until he gets what he wants – the breast or a bottle. Then they’ll stop completely,” says Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson. “Parents get to know what this cry sounds like pretty quick.”

Sometimes babies get so worked up in their cries of hunger that when they begin to nurse or take a bottle, they take in too much air. This can lead to gas and even more crying. As you learn to recognize your baby’s “hungry” cry, you can start your feedings before your baby gets too agitated.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: Smacking his lips, rooting (a newborn reflex that causes babies to turn their head toward your hand when you stroke their cheek), and putting his hands to his mouth.

2.Shortly after eating, your baby lets out piercing, intense cries.Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I’m ready for my post-meal nap.
b. I’m still hungry.
c. I need to be burped. correct!
d. I need a new diaper.

Loud fussing right after feeding is often tied to tummy pain, which can make your baby miserable until she works it out. Try burping your baby – giving small repeated pats on her back – to bring some relief. Just remember to keep a cloth handy for spit-up. Some parents prefer holding their baby against their chest or shoulder; others prefer sitting their baby upright and cradling their baby’s chin with one hand and burping with the other.

Many parents also swear by over-the-counter anti-gas drops for babies. “There isn’t much data to support their use, but there’s no harm in using them as directed,” says Swanson. Still it’s a good idea to get your doctor’s okay before using anti-gas drops for your baby.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: She’s bringing her knees up to her chest. Try helping her eliminate the gas by laying her on her back, holding her feet, and moving her legs in a gentle bicycling motion.

3.Your baby’s cry is inconsistent and may alternate between laughter and fussing. Eventually it intensifies.Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I’m starting to get hungry.
b. I need to be burped.
c. I need a new diaper.
d. I’m overstimulated. correct!

Your baby is taking in the world around him – the lights, the noise, being passed from person to person. He may enjoy the stimulation, but it can start to be too much to process, which is why he sometimes alternates between laughing and crying. This behavior, followed by intensified crying, can be your baby’s way of saying, “I’ve had enough.”

Other clues your baby may be giving you: He turns his head away from stimulating sights and sounds. Many newborns enjoy the security of being swaddled when the world gets overwhelming. If your baby’s too old for swaddling or doesn’t like it, try retreating to a serene spot and letting your baby calm down for a while.

4.Your baby’s crying is fairly soft, and it starts and stops. You may be able to soothe your baby, but eventually the crying builds up to a steady jag.Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I’m really tired and need to go to sleep. correct!
b. I’m bored. Let’s do something else.
c. I’m colicky.
d. I’m having tummy trouble.

Parents often overlook the sleepy cry when it comes at a time they don’t expect their baby to be tired. “Some babies have sleepy days,” says Swanson. “They may be growing or just extra tired.” Even if your baby just had a nap an hour ago, if her cries aren’t the piercing kind and she can be comforted for a little while, she may be telling you she’s ready for a rest.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: She’s rubbing her eyes, crying while her eyes start to close, and yawning.

5. Your baby’s cry sounds unusual, different from any of the regular crying you’re used to hearing.Your baby’s trying to tell you:
a. I’m starting to teethe.
b. I’m more tired than usual.
c. I don’t feel well.
d. I need extra cuddles. wrong

The correct answer is c.The cry of a sick baby tends to be distinct from one caused by hunger or frustration. If your baby’s crying “just doesn’t sound right,” or if he is inconsolable and has been crying for several hours, trust your instincts and call your baby’s doctor.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: He has a fever; he isn’t hungry; he’s difficult to wake up or put to sleep; he isn’t going through his usual amount of diapers; or he just isn’t behaving like his usual self.

6.You’ve tried every trick in the mommy book and you still can’t stop your baby’s strong, steady cries. And this is nothing new. The crying can happen every day and last for hours.Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I have colic.
b. I need more stimulation.
c. I’m hungry.
d. I’m overly tired. wrong

The correct answer is a.Colic is a term used to describe excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby. If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are he’s colicky. Colic isn’t a disease and won’t cause your baby any long-term harm, but it’s a tough thing for both you and your baby to go through.

Other clues your baby may be giving you:

A baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively, often at the same time of day, frequently in the late afternoon or evening. If your baby has colic, his belly may also look enlarged and he may alternately extend or pull up his legs and pass gas as he cries.

“These cries can be intense for babies as well as parents,” says Swanson. “Remember that when you get tired or frustrated from your baby’s cries, it’s perfectly okay to put your baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes to get a break.”

The good news? It doesn’t last forever. Colic tends to peak around 6 weeks, then improves significantly between 3 and 4 months. By 5 months, your baby should be past it.

Contesting a parking infringement

Dear Sir/Madam,

The infringement (No. 003305725) I got stated that I parked in a loading zone at 8:58AM, on Saturday 16/02/2013.

I believe it was mistaken by the officer because I went back to where I parked (in front of Coles super market), and could not find any parking sign around where I parked that says “Loading Zone”.
I have witness who can prove that I parked in the rightful customer parking area at Cooke St East OSCP.
Unless the officer who issued this infringement notice can provide evidence that I parked in a loading zone, I will not pay the infringement notice and have the matter heard and determined in Court.

Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,
Al


Where I actually parked – same position as the red car with a couple standing near the boot.

Day 94 – Emma is teething since Day 88

88天的时候我们还以为Emma开始厌奶了。。谁知道昨天医生说是宝贝开始发牙了!

刚开始发牙时,宝贝先是厌食嗜睡,过几天也就是昨天Day 93,她重新振作起来。。白天不睡了,发牙的奇怪感觉开始让她用手去顶牙床,以至不好好吃奶,大哭大闹。。

今天先是帮她在牙床涂了gel,不怎么管用。晚上又滴了1ml Baby Panadol,慢慢的她终于能静下来好好吃奶了,晚上也睡得不错。再次感慨,Panadol实乃万用神药!

Best Advice: No Regrets, and Practicing What You Preach

I read this article on Linkedin, posted by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and found it invaluable to myself and for child education.

Original article:
“The best advice I ever received? Simple: Have no regrets. Who gave me the advice? Mum’s the word.

If you asked every person in the world who gave them their best advice, it is a safe bet that most would say it was their mother. I am no exception. My mother has taught me many valuable lessons that have helped shape my life. But having no regrets stands out above all others, because it has informed every aspect of my life and every business decision we have ever made.

It is one thing to dish out advice; it is another to lead by example and show exactly what you mean through your actions. My mum has always had a keen entrepreneurial streak herself, and still does today. When I was a child, she inspired me to take risks in all manner of business ventures. Most of them didn’t work out (notably growing Christmas trees and breeding budgerigars!) but the lessons learned were invaluable.

The amount of time people spend looking back on failed projects has always astounded me. If we were to add up all of the hours spent regretting mistakes and use that time to develop new ideas, who knows how many brilliant new businesses would be created. Even now my mother starts more new projects in a week than most people do in a year.

She explained how to think of setbacks as part of a learning curve. Sometimes it will be steep, but if you concentrate on looking forward rather than back, the climb will be easier. My mother was able to ingrain that advice in me – not just through words, but through actions.”

by Richard Branson
Source: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130226113150-204068115-best-advice-no-regrets-and-practicing-what-you-preach

Day 92 – Emma you are three months old now

Time flies! Emma, you are three months old today!
Daddy and Mommy took a lot of pictures for you today, and we say “you little ugly monster!” Mommy says “she has got your ugly gene, that’s why!”
We say “No matter how you look like, we will always love you… because you are our precious sweetheart!”

Emma three months - in Mom's arms
Emma three months – in Mom’s arms
Emma three months - in Daddy's hands
Emma three months – in Daddy’s hands