It Is Not Just About Connecting the Dots, It’s About Making Them

It Is Not Just About Connecting the Dots, It’s About  Making Them

Majority of the well-educated adult Chinese workers are hanging on to their day job and had not possessed 2nd marketable skillets, some didn’t even know what are their own passions and hobbies of which some degree of grooming and investment are needed and many didn’t even bother to start as they were unknowingly engrossed with the almighty self-glorifying and instant gratifying social media platforms draining off whatever precious limited stamina and mental capacity that left over after work.

“It’s what you do in your free time that will set you free—or enslave you.”  ― Jarod Kintz,

As a results, many didn’t live up to their full potential, one also observes the self-worth has been in free fall in China, signaling concerns about meaningful personal growth for many especially since China opened up to the World in 70s, decades of robust continuous economic growth is nothing short of spectacular. However, many had also unilaterally moved away from the socialist regime that had underpinned the post Chairman Mao society, leading to a turbulent breakdown in Chinese legacy of mainstream beliefs; relentless accumulation of monetary wealth become the only obsession. Naturally, this was a pronounced shift toward a different life goal approach that was better suited to an era of fast-paced lifestyle but had unknowingly shut us out of many potential future opportunities.

Master Oogway: The more you take the less you have 

So, it is as good a time as any to explore new experiences. Making it voluntary may not be as big of a chance as most of us are conditioned to evaluate immediate pros and cons and helplessly incapable of visualizing the potential long term gains and simply give up avoiding the hassles in the beginning. The broad values underpinning this phenomena ought to be examined closely, prosperity confined merely to monetary possession had often blinded people from seeking the greater significant meaning of wealth which also include overall well-beings; health, belief, family, jobs, network and so on. One needs to take the first step without being too calculative as these could well be one of many dots that’s comes in handy later on. Adopting a mindset of welcoming new experiences in diversity would also help one to overcome the fears of unknown; having a strong faith that things will always work out well eventually so long you believe it will.

There’s always a reason behind everything that has happened… It change you into better a person—unknown

For example, those of your friends who persisted in their hobbies and interest eventually became dedicated swimming coaches, amateur photographer, foreign language tour guide, musician, pedicurist, florist and so on. Some become who they want to be not necessary all had to do with their primary area of disciplines in their professional training but because they are making their own dots believing these will eventually pay off not necessary in monetary perspective but in overall well-being in the long term.

“If you only do what you can do,you‘ll never be more than you are now.” Master Oogway.

All of us, overemphasizing on connecting the dots forward and didn’t create enough dots in the beginning for connecting them backward much later on. E.g. Give up swimming lesson at age 15 and missed the chance when someone you had a crush on asked you out for a swimming date at 18. Belly up in Japanese lesson at 18 and had to pass out a great job opportunity at 28 of which a command of good Japanese is a prerequisite. The more we being calculative at the beginning to learn a trade, pick up a hobby, groom our interests, making new friends, the more likelihood we lose the opportunities for broader meaningful engagement later on.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill

So, Instead of greeting the toll of missed opportunities due to our short sighted calculative obsession with a collective shrug, we ought to embrace new experiences with a brand new perspective, these are all the doors one is opening for one own growth in wider time horizons of years if not decades down to roads.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”― Steve Jobs


In summary, from time to time, we give up things we have an interests in just because it’s too much hassles and if this develop to become a habit, we are losing the most previous resources as we after all are not immortal and nothing beats leaving a legacy and being excellent in what we do. Have a ready mindset and altitudes of welcoming new experiences would also help to mitigate the fears of the unknown compelling us to walk out of our comfort zone for new and rewarding experiences, in fact, wealth creation includes all aspects beside monetary possession; friendship, knowledge, network, health, core belief, sense of significant and contributions, are things and experiences that’s will make us live more deeply.

Wealth:  An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches

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Don’t Worry, I fell down myself. Give me a hand?


The massive Cultural Revolution in the 60s had single handedly wiped out legacy of traditions Chinese had accumulated and established over the centuries on matters of morality, values and so on. it’s the era where everyone is for themselves; Excessive argument is the norm to fight for fair treatments; black and white, good and evil were clearly defined in the propaganda, scholars and landlords were placed in force labor while teenagers cladded with red scarfs were delegated to carry out Chairman Mao’s mission to “cleanse” and “purge” the system of traditional elements and remnants of capitalist while preserving true communist ideology. Those who is loudest and offensive usually wins for the day with Millions of people persecuted in the violent struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, sustained harassment, and seizure of property.


Cultural Revolution propaganda poster. It depicts Mao Zedong, above a group of soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army. The caption says, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is the great school of Mao Zedong Thought.”

As a result, decade of pitching against one another even among married couples on their royalty and dedication to party’s principles simply for survivor had led to a habits in over simplifying manner of character judging streamlining people into either good or bad and unfortunately the same phenomena had continued into modern China although the revolution only lasted ten years (1966 to 1976). As a matter of facts, not unique to Chinese, humanity is a rather complicated issue with no straightforward definition, most of us actually carry both elements of light and darkness depending on circumstances, system and common practice to bring up the best in us or likewise the worst. This had pretty much encapsulates the current stand on majority Chinese’s state of mind on all range of matters; distrusts, anxiety and paranoid toward one another as hundreds of millions of them moving along the social mobility all within a short period of time frame of 20 to 30 years ever since Deng Xiaopeng took over after Mao’s death and started liberalizing the economy since 1978

The Chinese government took notice of this and had rolled out countless of campaigns usually with non-nonsense eye catching slogans and education to rectify the phenomena and although Education is of paramount important but it had failed to turn all mankind into good Samaritans but it remains effective enough to restraint negative desires from dwelling within us; affirmation and encouragement of good and despise the bad behaviors.  Likewise, Chinese well known harsh Law and order had successfully established a base line one shouldn’t cross but simply incapable of bringing out our highest level of desirable code of conducts. Robbery, stealing and killing are prohibited and comes with serious repercussions of forced corrective behavioral confinement and death penalties.

In fact, what proven working in other countries is an environment of peacefulness and kindness to induce the best version of us as our “good” elements are being harnessed and encouraged. After all, a community with strong cohesiveness, unconditional love and inherently considerate and courteous for others doesn’t means we screen out the best “candidates” of model citizens and put them together but rather establishing a grand scheme of things to bring out the best in each of us.

For example, strict rules effectively enforced will ensure Chinese parents take regulations seriously safe guarding their minors minimizing rampant cases of children’s abductions and negligence, same goes for the Chinese truck drivers being  accused of knocking down an old ladies when in fact they were merely helping out the self-fallen seniors; rare incidents  but were dis-proportionally reported over the internet virally and had caused serious unintended consequences where many were now  hesitant to extend much needed helping hands anymore when they came across someone in dire situations, unlike their peers in western society where “Good Samaritan law” was legislated to minimize the potential legal consequences one might face while providing urgent helps and assistance. Many has ramped up self-protectionism and interest as social tension flared following massive detailed coverage of sizable incidents of one being accused as the perpetrator or being victimized when extending a helping hand; either to a tripped over senior in the streets or some random scam. The row within all social events ever spread with massive social media platform has fanned the embers of the many with rather negative sentiments went out of proportions, shaping bias confirmation bringing the worse from each others.

In fact, it’s either the seniors wasn’t of sound mind or they simply couldn’t afford the exorbitant medical fees and didn’t want to add on unnecessary financial burdens on their children and took the extreme measures of clanging on to whoever is helping them like a drowning man holding on to the only life line. None would had happened if they were insured medically either personally or mandatory.

For example, the move of mandatory country wide automobile insurance coverage is laudable and comes close on the heels of another coup for respectful Chinese nation. Gone were the days to fight for compensation in an automobile accident, accusing each other for liability and so on as the only way not to lose out. Now, merely cigarettes and particulars were exchanged for insurance claims instead of punches and shouting not unlike during the ten bizarre years of cultural revolution.

Moreover. the current economic slowdown and an unfolding political crisis in China didn’t improve their sense of security and fairness, in fact, it got worsen; public disclosure of corrupted officers were beyond layman wildest imagination; i.e. Private palace, tons of gold and foreign currencies stashed away in the basement and so on, instead of being obsessed with income equality which in reality is the nature of things; 20% of upper income or interest group always dominate 80% of the overall wealth, Equity should be emphasized and taken priority for the bottom layers of the food chains to have access to basic fundamental resources; medical, education and social mobility. Anxiety grows as economic soar as nobody wanted to be left out as most acknowledging that lavish lifestyle spending is a priority in shift from austerity basic for a respectful living

 “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”― Mahatma Gandhi

In summary, China success at achieving high civil mindedness appears to be a long shot without corresponding systems and safety nets as there was an unmistakable air of anxiety on daily affairs as the moral compass dell to its weakest level. Measures are needed to be to unveiled to restore confidence and well-being, there are lessons to be drawn from the motor insurance deployment because it fulfills a role of relatively fairer platform for mediation between legitimate individuals with coverage. The good part of the structure cannot shake off the burden of the bad. There are more reasons to induce fair and acceptable behaviors with relevant safety nets such as basic medical accessibility, food banks, unemployment benefits, affordable living quarters and basic public transport infrastructure like their more advance counterparts in western Europe.


Good Samaritan laws offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated.[1] The protection is intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.

David F

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The End of an Era of Cheap and Good China Lighter?

For the past few decades, there is no end in sight to increasing cost down pressure across full ranges of products from high end telecommunication gadgets although of foreign brands all the way to daily necessity like lighters in China. A visit to “WenZhou” city last century in the 90s where thousand of small factories were churning out 1 to 2 billions of “Cheap and Good” lighters annually with retail price as low as RMB$1 as compared to USD$1 of the Japanese equivalent. A local owner demonstrated this by dismantling the lighter down to its respective components; cost price was 5 to 20 times different and labor was 5% of their Japanese counterparts. “we can wipe out the other guys easily”. Said the grinning and confident owner.

As a results, the rest of the world watched in awe the unprecedented rise of thousand of small to medium size enterprises which begun to compete with prices and taking tight cost control over raw materials, production process, labor, environmental, taxes, and rental and had swiftly beaten their international competitors and created “Made in China” legends flooding the world with dirt cheap products altering the world’s consuming behaviors; Products there were once considered durable became disposable overnight where quality wasn’t up to the standard were accepted; buy and throw away lighters, screw drivers, shoes and so on become the new norms as the price we paid for these “Made in China” tools was a tiny fractions of what it used to be.

“Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose.” ― Baltasar Gracián

Gaining market share in world economy has been a Chinese obsession for 30 over years ever since it opened her door to the world for business. It is the chief item of current and previous administrator and remains the focus of Chinese economy modernization, the 30% hard bottom line was used by all Chinese consumer electrical appliance manufacturer like TV and refrigerators to remain competitive in the global market; Chinese product had to be 30% or more cheaper that their European and Japanese competitors but current situations demanded a review on whether should the same modus operandi remain relevant going forward.

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.—Steve Jobs

After all, the China made brand lighters simply weren’t as durable as the Japanese one, it took more than 3 attempts to ignite and sometimes it just malfunction; There was indeed a hidden cost incurred for the RMB$1.0 lighter; the huge cost advantages means a degradation of the component quality as well as user experience. Imitators merely duplicate the manufacturing process with no incentive for productivity improvement and technical upgrade. There also weren’t significant contribution for the past decades on lighter technology by these “Wenzhou” lighter manufacturers.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”
Peter F. Drucker

As matter of fact, the rise in material cost and gigantic shifts of demographic portfolio in recent years had reduced the once bustling lighters sweat houses in Wenzhou from 3000s to less than 100 where the profit margins dropped to below 2%, the same phenomena affected other industries in household appliances, zippers, buttons, automobile, textiles and so on of which despite being risen to number 1 in manufacturing capacity the huge cost advantages China had benefited with much lower baseline had all but disappeared. Factories simply couldn’t kept up with the rising inspirations of new Z-generation production operators of whom were raised like a King or Queen in their own one child households, many simply couldn’t bear the the relative low wages and mundane working environment, the massive labor demographic surplus China had enjoyed for decades simply had vanished.


On the other hand, evidence suggested that million of new middle income Chinese may be more predisposed to pursuit of high quality services and products due to their financial autonomy and inspirations for more fulfilling lifestyle. Many welcome the shift in relentless pursuit of low cost to premium products with reasonable quality as it will bolster the nation’s faltering advantages of global factories. Hundred of million of influential Chinese who had ventured out of countries clearing stocks of the foreign well established merchandises like there is no tomorrow from designer bags, luxury watches to Japanese electronic rice cookers many of which was “OEM” back in China but not available through regular retail channels. They had all embraced the new consuming appetites not unlike what other advance countries like European, North American and Japan had experienced before in the past and majority exhibit the following commonalities;

“The Master said, “If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.” ― Confucius

1. Most were obsessed about product differentiation; closets full of summer and winter apparels; both formal and recreational, emphasizing on details, positioning, quality and branding.

2. Many discards crude and misleading advertisements and emphasizing on user experiences; believes on peer’s reviews and words of mouth sharing; despise blindly product endorsement but once conquered become consistent repeat customers and wouldn’t hesitate to share with others.

3. Majority of them would generously open their wallets for higher prices on premium products and services to reward and affirmation of the brands for their designs, quality, fashion and their dedication to pleasant users experiences

4. Actual product cost is less relevant to the retail price tags than to consumer’s value recognition. Eg; Fans who Splurge on a piece of RMB12,000 apple watch had no interest to compare prices and had no interest on the cost prices.

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Henry Ford

Unfortunately, most of the manufacturers had not taken this new phenomena to their own advantages and continue the cut throat pricing competition even into the e-commerce platform where pricing strategy although remains an important part of the overall marketing plots but had lost it “magic” and had no chance to transform “Made in China” to the another new milestones despite ten of thousand of foreign OEM had been enjoying the lower production cost and efficiency the world factories got to offer but most of the fat margins were remitted to the native home (for design and innovation) with merely less than 3 to 4% of profits (for H/W manufacturing) left behind for local infrastructure development and so on.

With few hundred million of newly minted high value Chinese consumers who willing to fork out more for premium products and services giving a helping hand to their favorite brands, rewarding them with higher profit margins anticipating more dedication and R&D for even better consuming experiences in future, its critical timing now for Chinese companies to turn this into their own competitive edges. That’s not just because Beijing is muscling for higher end territory in home grown automobile and local and acquired semiconductor and so on, the anxiety and uneasiness of Chinese appetite for more of their own premium brands are mounting. From high speed rail infrastructure to financial industries to commercial airplanes manufacturer, the peripheries of Greater China are being quickly taking shape reclaiming the glorious days of being the exclusive producers and exporters of highly sought after fine porcelain China, silks and tea  just couple of centuries ago and this would also signal the end of an era of Cheap and Good China Lighter.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. —Confucius

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The New Chinese Ship Load Line

An audacious pursue for wealth in China is increasingly likely to face macroscopic hurdles and deep skepticism about the level of meaningful fulfillment amid recent major economic restructuring from export led business to driving local domestic consumption as the next new growth engine with many Chinese had inevitably embrace the social contract of guaranteed progressive economic gains forgoing more political autonomy pledged by current Chinese administrator.

As a results, significant economic transformation took place for hundred of million of Chinese households since the 1980s; everybody ranging from migrant workers, factory workers to executive and so on enjoyed unprecedented access to decent jobs and plenty of business opportunities had also helped created many new upper income individuals and private entities, however the era of  sailing these ships in these water allowed rather deep “ship load line” limit satisfying all kind of inspiration is over as one begin to observe  increasing number of wages and labor disputes all over China where the Chinese State had since mandated a minimum increment of wages from rather lower baseline in the past few decades until it now becomes unsustainable for majority of the business operations of which had either winded up business or relocated. The transition to lower growth therefore present a challenges to Chinese Government to maintain the integrity of the social contracts.

“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”― Oprah Winfrey

Yet many people continue to rush to get on the bullet trains of prosperity not unlike their predecessors , not recognizing the underlying depression or anxiety driving these phenomena were actually the fear of losing out and lack of self esteem; need for respect from others and manifests itself as the need for self-respect; relies on an inner competence established through experience. The obsession to wealth reflects a widening push to establish more self-esteem climbing along the  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

As a matter of fact, Chinese is particularly weak in self esteem, having no right to vote to have  a say on their destiny and often compromising self-interests for the sake of the higher course of Party’s interest; Many houses were demolished or forced relocation making ways for mega infrastructures like the high speed rails and so on despite being well compensated. Farmers were clustered into new satellite multistory townships with slim chances of integration uprooting from their precious plots of soils which provided probably the only dependable sustenance for generations.

Fears of a prospects of inferior life economically further pressuring many irrationally on acquiring wealth as a hedge against uncertainties ahead, as a result, many were cruising with depressed “ship load line” vaingloriously overloaded with far too much desires in the uncharted water either not being able to accept the status quo or refuse to compromise comparing with one another rather than having a solid faith of self-worth and self-respects on one’s need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom for their higher self-esteem.

Our business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves.”– Maltbie Babcock, clergyman and writer

On the contrary, worries of a contagion effect from China’s slowdown are overblown. For they assume that the country’s enormous economy plays a proportionate role in driving global growth. In reality, the impact of a dramatic and sustained downturn would likely be more psychological than material and will take a toll on the self-esteem. Not unlike Ship complying to the “ship load line” for stable voyage depending on the specified water types and temperatures in order to safely maintain buoyancy. Individual had to take an assessment of the situation and offload non essential desires like the need to seek fame or glory of which will not help the person to build their self-esteem until they accept who they are internally.

This debacle dramatically underscores a new change of direction in the governance of China under President Xi Jin ping. Decision making has become top down, more rushed and far less predictable probably as to further strengthening the regime as the Country progressing into middle to upper income state where people will inevitably demand for higher autonomy and having a say in how an administration should be managed if decades of years of good times enjoyed beginning to look uncertain ahead. It’s a potent reminder that nothing is so blinding as the illusion of seeing.

In summary, its time to adjust the New ship load line for many Chinese into the Era of slower growth avoiding massive capsize ahead, extraordinary efforts are also needed to continue to maintain high esteem levels through accepting perhaps the current hybrid system of authoritative Communist and planned economics are the only effective way uniquely for China. One cant have the best of both world forever; western style democratic and high degree of materialistic prosperity at least not during the transition period. 

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”― Mahatma Gandhi

P/S: The water line also know as “Plimsoll line” establishing a legal limit to which a ship may be loaded for a specified water types and temperature in order to safely maintain buoyancy after countless capsize accident due to overloading in 1800s.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom[1]


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Chinese Slave Redeemption in 11th BC

 Chinese Slave Redemption in 11th BC

We should ask ourselves whether relentlessly doing things well solely for our own peace of mind and benefits are ultimately a greater threat to overall well being of others than weighting the pro and cons upfront before any actions taking into macroscopic consideration and sometimes doing nothing might be a wiser choice. We are obsessed in the feeling good factors and didn’t prioritize on focusing in doing the right thing every time the first time of which perhaps is the most effective and efficient way.

We had a tendency of repeating the same mistake over and over again and hopelessly incapable of getting things straighten out correctly despite having abundant of precedence and advice within reach. We fail to think out of the box and prefer staying in our own comfort zone being a habitual being, getting by and accept compromises fooling ourselves this is the way it is and no other ways around.

The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.”

— Oscar Wilde,writer

One of the ancient China county dated 11th century BC had a magnificent and generous scheme for anyone to redeem slaves of the same statehood they come across in other states with own expenses upfront to get reimbursed later from the state treasury department so long one produces legitimate invoices. The redemption scheme had seen significant recovery results, reuniting families and solidifies the nationhood with strong bonds.

The contemporary scholar Confucius had many disciples, Zigong being one of his most favorite protege of whom is also a well established affluent businessman took the opportunities to demonstrate his superior nobility invalidating the relevant receipts in public upon “freeing” a slave he stumbled across during one of his field trip, making a head turning wide publicized statement of his willingness to absorb the expenses rather than burdening the local government. Upon returning home, Confucius made known of his displeasure of Zigong’s conduct and declined to meet up with him. Mystified, the depressed Zigong broke through the barrier and faced up his beloved master;

Confucius: “I am very disappointed in what your have done, despite you gaining popularity of nobility for yourself, you had greatly compromised the redemption scheme’s original intention and brought great harms to the community”. How ancient wise man , despite being lack of access to internet and information, outpaces modern man on the proper way one should carry himself having deep insights on all ranges of matters, drawing sensible judgement and capable of refraining from carrying out feel good actions knowing its potential repercussion if any.

Indeed, the complication of Zigong’s conduct had gone way beyond after the news went viral, its gives hesitations to many others who wanted to do good deeds by “freeing” slaves” going though the hassles willingly as they were caught in the dilemma; to claim from Government and risk being labeled as calculative or to absorb the sizable financial expenses, as a result, the scheme eventually lost the intended intentions and many more slaves lost the potential chances to be “released” and go home to their families. Zigong acted with good intention  and overlooked on the unintended consequences of repercussion and crippled the whole system unknowingly. in fact, Zigong has become an unlikely culprit undermining State efforts to increase the pace of freeing her citizen from involuntary slavery as its society is in the face of weakening cohesion.

Even common folks who mind their own business tend to be far less accepting of its physical and social consequences if things got out of control due to an individual seemingly harmless conduct. Unfortunately it’s the ordinary people , far removed from the subjects who are bearing the brunt of unintended side effects, while those who are responsible for the origination of the troubles remain insulated from the backlash.

In addition, fleeting experiences of empathy redefine the self in terms of the collective and orient our actions toward the needs of others. Researchers believe that awe deprivation has had a hand in a broad societal shift that has been widely observed over the past 50 years: People have become more individualistic, more self-focused, more materialistic and less connected to others. Blocking out distractions can create an environment conducive to insights. So can having a positive mood. While many of the suggestions contain caveats, ultimately it seems that there are ways to be more open to these moments.

In summary, during its breakneck urbanization and modernization, China a traditionally Confucian country, with a history of reverence for hierarchy; emperors, officials and civilians all had their respective roles and lines are seldom crossed.- Has struggled to address how to accommodate they new swelling level of wealth while preserving good old Confucian values.


Spending Level up but Happiness Barely Keeping Pace with it in China

Spending Level up but Happiness Barely Keeping Pace with it in China


With average Chinese consumers facing unprecedented lifestyles choices increasingly attractive and within reach ranging from extravagant holidays to luxurious possessions like time pieces and designer bags, the more they need a dose of the 21st century rationale mindset to stay prudent and practical. As a matter of fact, the combination of rising disposable income of the middle class and burgeoning of consumerism has yielded dramatic changes in Chinese consuming behavior in the pursuit of the good life heavily influenced by western public media and contemporary popular values. The way they spend money on often offer a glimpse into Chinese inner modus operandi and a better understanding of the primary motives behind the expenditures enhance the satisfaction levels giving more bang for their highly sought after RMB bucks.

Ever notice how the initial holiday enthusiasm plunges right after collecting a handful of “likes” and “shared” of the vacation pictures posted online either after the trip or like what many other increasingly did now instantly? Or having troubles paying attention to the fine culinary cuisines served at a candle light dinner in an expensive restaurant right after taking food pictures and selfies and having them collected respectable number of “likes” in a spectrum of social media networking platforms in your virtual supporting network instantaneously?

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone.”Henry David Thoreau

Worry not, you are like many of the contemporary Chinese smartphone users had unknowingly being conditioned as Pavlovian dogs (  craving for the common human desires to be accepted, acknowledged or to the extent of being envied; the actual exciting occurrences of nursing coconut juice at a pool side under a shade at a white sandy beach with blue sky in a hot summer day had to take the back seat, it’s the corresponding “likes” and “share” we are addicted to not unlike the dogs salivating with anticipation in response to the bell, achieved by repeated pairings of the neutral stimulus and the potent biological stimulus that elicits the desired response.

The secrets to be back on our two feet again are to examine the primary motives behind the expenditures; parting away with hard earned legal tenders just to impress others didn’t do justice to the money as euphoria produced if any is anything but short lived. Opening wallets to what and why doing so in the first place are equally important. The satisfaction is half gone if we merely wanted to show off as compared to having our essential desires being addressed.

“Once you really accept that spending money doesn’t equal happiness, you have half the battle won.”Ernest Callenbach, 

For an experiential acquirement and genuinely fulfilling lifestyle had more powerful lasting influences on our state of happiness as these will help one grows, satisfying the physiological cravings with sense of achievement and in control, higher level of  emotional and an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of contentment. Expenditures toward achieving these had a more profound dollar values  So long the motive behind our spending matches with our personal psychological needs and the initiative origins from the strong inner drives, interests, passions and values we would exhibits stronger happiness, sense of satisfaction and solid association with others, our whole body and souls can be truly recharged and in harmony.

For example, for enthusiastic collectors, one didn’t mind paying seemingly exorbitant price to own a piece of rare item like antiques or paintings as they truly capable of appreciating their values and derive pure sense of joys without the need to entice admiration from others. Likewise, any expenditures to feel good on the expenses of others just isn’t worth it as they didn’t appeal to core needs, for example. Someone who has not acquired a taste of premium red wines consumed a bottle of fine wine just to impress his guests and so on.

In conclusion, China which had gone through a generation buffeted by famine in the 1950s and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and ’70s now faces challenges that include the new rich’s relentless flaunting of wealth and a near 100% rate national past time of simmering resentment of the rich during its breakneck urbanization and modernization since 80s, a traditionally Confucian country, with a history of reverence for hard working and thrifty lifestyle has to learn  to address how to spend wisely for their swelling wealth for their own benefits.

Money is an opportunity for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don’t.”-Elizabeth Dunn, Daniel Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson,



David Foo


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