Showing posts from February, 2015

Day 12 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: 15 minutes of cardio and help someone today
The 15 minutes of cardio exercises are easy as I tend to walk a lot. 
I helped a few people at toastmaster today, and gave my glass desk to a friend. As I have been cleaning and packing for the upcoming move, I am donating lots of stuff. I am excited to hit the reboot button on my stuff and keep only what I need and use.

Day 11 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Take one extra step towards your goal and treat a friend
I spent a little bit of extra time practicing the three piano songs (goal). I will be able to record at least one of them soon.
I went out with some friends and made sure I met this challenge.


As I have even appreciating little moments throughout the day, I started another 'project', more like a habit. I started tweeting conversations, thoughts, moments, statements, etc. that are memorable in some way shape or form. A lot of them are cute little lol moments. I tag them with hpmm (my initials + moments matter). I wanted to make it something unique to keep a log of them. I have been adding a lot lately since there is a back log from recent conversations, but I hope to update these in real time as much as possible. Side note, condensing such things in 140 characters or less is an art in its own way.

Day 10 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: write down one moment that made me happy and do something you love 
There are many moments that made me happy today. My morning started a bit hectic and frustrating, but it got better as the day went along. At work, we had a mini fire that we worked together to put out. I went to lunch with Pranav and Mohammed to get my phone fixed and we had Acai bowl and amazing jalapeƱo bread. I ran into two Safeway people at Stoneridge mall during lunch. I did a little bit of shopping. I came home and have been relaxing. Now, I will watch a movie and go to sleep. Overall, it was a good day and I felt happy many times throughout the day. This challenge makes me more aware of enjoying little moments throughout the day, and I love it's impact. 
I love painting, but I am not good at it and I rarely do it. I spent some time just painting different colors on blank canvases.

Day 9 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Find a common negative thought and turn it into positive one and take a valuable photo

This is a good exercise. I get specific variations of this type of negative thought, so it’s good that I can now turn those specific negative versions into a positive one. Common Negative Thought: “I won’t be able to stick to my decision to let go of certain things that are not in my control." Another words, I can't break a cycle I have been in for a long time.  Positive Thought: “I control myself, my thoughts, and my behavior. I have made the decision, so stick to it, hold my ground, and I can do it!” Treat a cycle like a habit, and use the principle of breaking a habit to break the cycle.
I don’t really know what ‘valuable photo’ means in this context. I took a photo of the black diamond ring I wear on the right ring finger every day. It’s the piece of jewelry I cannot leave the house without. It feels weird if I forget to put it on or accidentally leave the house without it. It’s…

Day 8 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Learn how to do 1 thing and list 10 things you do well
The new thing I learned how to do today is learn some little tricks in excel that are extremely helpful for my job.

10 Things I Do Really Well     Create presentations    Organize and clean    Create and follow structure    Execution and follow through    Simplify    Learn    Make lists      Sarcasm    Motivate and teach      Focus

Achieved My Competent Leader (CL) from Toastmaster

This weekend, I completed my Competent Leader, first level of leadership certificate, award from toastmaster. I am working towards achieving Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), so completing the first communication and leadership awards this month is very fulfilling.
This certificate entailed working on ten leadership projects. These projects are composed of specific tasks that are integrated in attending and participating in toastmaster meetings, which includes: The Toastmaster is a meeting's director and host. The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any overused words or filler sounds. The Grammarian helps club members improve their grammar and vocabulary. A Timer is responsible for monitoring the time of meeting segments and speakers. The Topicsmaster delivers the Table Topics portion of the meeting. Evaluators provide verbal and written feedback to meeting speakers. The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting.
Project 1 Listening: Listening is an…

Day 7 of 30 Days of Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Take 5 minutes to enjoy present moment and confide in someone
I spent some time ‘enjoying the present moment’ in my room. I am moving in three weeks, and I am really going to miss my room. This was the first time I have actually spent some time decorating and designing it to making it my ‘own’ space where I can do things I like (I referred to this in my new year post) I gave it a certain feel and structure overtime, and I loved it.  
When I am going through a lot, I usually don’t express how I really feel to anyone. i just tell them a the problem in one line and my plan on solving it in another line.  Because I knew this challenge was coming up, I spent some time confiding in couple of people how overwhelmed I was this weekend. Friday was a crazy day at work. I was the chair of our spring club contest at Toastmaster which one hell of a thing to pull together. I had my piano lessons a day early, so I had a lot to practice and learn to make the lessons useful. I was signing a l…

Day 6 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Write 5 things you are grateful for and set a realistic goal
The five things I am grateful are: 1) Friends. I have cultivated a good and diverse group of friends here, and I am glad to have the people I have in my life. 2) Living in California. The entire weekend the weather was between 65-70 degrees. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I love that you can do anything everything at anytime in California.  3) Ability to Learn. As I have been going to toastmaster and piano lessons on weekly basis. I keep being reminded that I am a fast learner and can easily grasp new things quickly.  4) My body. I am reasonably healthy, and I take care of my body by eating well and working out. 5) My pain. I wouldn't be the strong independent person I am today if I hadn't gone through the situations I have been through. 
Goal: My goal is to smoothly play Love Me Tender, My Heart Will Go On, and Beauty and the Beast on the piano within next 30 days.

Day 5 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: 15 minutes of cardio and try a new food or a drink

I went for a long walk for three hours, so I got a good amount of cardio exercise. As for a new food and drink, I tried two new things: 1) Dippin Dots Ice Cream 2) Mike's Harder Black Cheery Lemonade.

Day 4 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Smile at a stranger and practice random act of kindness. 
Smiling at a stranger was easy since I tend to do that with a lot of people anyways. In particular, when I went to Starbucks with Richard today, I smiled at a lady that was dressed really well. She looked at me and smiled back probably thinking that I was checking her out.
For random act of kindness, I donated a guess purse that has been sitting in my trunk for a while. It's orange and flashy, so I kept debating whether I wanted to keep it or not, but I finally donated it.

Day 3 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Have a 30 seconds spontaneous dance party and phone a friend

I called Manon, my high school friend from Boise, after a long time today. It's a small world. We went to high school together, but after undergrad we both ended up in Bay Area. Before she use to live in Oakland, but now she lives less than two miles away from me in Fremont. Her daughter is turning two next month and she is having another daughter in few months. I am very happy for her! It's great to be connected to people from years ago. 
Yes! I did a 30 seconds dance party! First, I used my Just Dance 4 Wii game and then I just did free style with some music from Zumba. Here is the proof: 

Day 2 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Write down one meaningful thing that happened today and three good things about today. 

One meaningful thing that happened today was that I gave Laarni, zumba instructor, a little gift. I had bought a guitar pick from Zazzle, so they gave me a $10 off coupon. I thought about using it towards making a cute little tote bag for Laarni. It's a tan tote bag that says, "I Love Zumba with Laarni Ngo Fueretes". I totally misspelled her last name on the bag, but she loved it. 

Three good things about today:
1) I bought a bowl of but mangoes from Safeway. They were so good. I also got some chocolate covered pretzels, which are yummy and healthy. 
2) I had a wonderful zumba class today. There was a lot of great energy and it was so much fun.
3) I started writing in notes to fully learn the 'Stay with me' song on the keyboard, and I realized that my music life would be easier if I learned the advanced chords, so I am putting in a lot of effort to gather up and learn al…

B&W Journey: Key Signatures: Sharp, Natural, or Flat

A sharp raises the pitch of a note by one semitone or half step (black keys on the piano) A flat lowers the pitch of a note by one semitone or half step (black keys on the piano). A natural restores a raised or lowered note to its original pitch. In other words a natural is used to cancel a previous sharp or flat sign (white keys on the piano) If a specific note such as ‘F’ or ‘C’ is to be played in sharp or flat throughout the entire song, it will be indicated on the specific note’s line at the beginning of the song. If the sharp or flat is only meant to be played in certain parts of the song, then the sign will appear next to the note within each measure. 

Day 1 of 30 Days Happiness Challenge

Challenge: Name three things you are grateful for and have an early night.

Three things I am grateful for: I am grateful for all the people in my life, including but not limited to family, friends, coworkers, mentors, toastmaster members, zumba dancers (I mean the list goes on).I am grateful for the basic things I have: place to live, a healthy body, a good job, etc. I am grateful for my independence and my strong mind. I have built myself up to who I want to be, and continuing to work on that.   As for an early night, I am heading to bed now. I wish I could have went to bed earlier. I took a sleeping pill thirty minutes ago, and I am going to shut off my phone and get a good night sleep.

30 Days Happiness Challenge

I just realized that it is about 30 days from my 26th birthday (March 17, 2015). I thought I would make something of the last 30 days of being 25, and do the 30 Days Happiness Challenge. I see these things all the time and I always 'pint it', but I rarely put it in action, so here we go to execution! I found a few different versions of it, so I created a personalized one for me based on the different ones. Of course, to keep me on track, I will blog about my daily challenges for next 30 days!

Achieved My Competent Communicator (CC) from Toastmaster

I joined toastmaster in March 2014 and in this year, I finished the first level of certification on the Communications Track: Competent Communicator. This includes doing ten speeches each with a different objective. It had been a great journey so far. I learned a lot and have improved my public speaking and communications abilities. In the process, I got to learn more about specific topics, and reflect and share my personal experiences. Most importantly, I have met a lot of great people from different walks of life who are simply amazing. It’s heartwarming to connect with other toastmaster members and learn about them and share my experiences with them.
Here are the ten speeches with a link to each speech:
Icebreaker: Get started by talking on a subject about which you are the expert (YOU): introduce yourself to the club. Find out what communication skills you want to develop. Keep Moving Forward
Organize Your Speech: Organize your thoughts into logical sequence leading to a clearly defi…

Keep Moving Forward - Part II (TI Speech Project 10 from CC)

Competent Communicator Project #10 Inspire Your Audience Select a topic about which you feel strongly, analyze your audience’s mood and feelings, and inspire them using all the skills you have developed in the preceding speeches in this series. 8-10 Minutes

Few months ago, I was walking up to attend toastmaster, and I ran into the security clerk, and he looked at me, smiled and said, “Are you ready to tackle the world?”, and naturally, being the person I am, I gave him a big smile and responded, [P] “Everyday”!As I was researching what to talk about today, I thought that the first speech in CC was an icebreaker about me, so I figured I would complete the circle and do a little bit deeper dive about me and share some of my experiences and lessons [P] in hopes to inspire you. Body
I have three key lessons for you today:
One: It's ok to fail, but it’s important to pick yourself back up and realize the value of the experiences. [P] Graduated high school a year early, Bachelor'…

Valentine's Day

Here is my valentines post (similar to mylast year's valentines day post). I decided to write about this a little early because every other person is talking to me and asking me about valentines day. So I am just going to get this out of my system now. I don’t really like valentines day. It’s meant to promote love, but I think it does the opposite. One of my psychology professor in undergrad use to say that valentines day was much more about heart breaks and loneliness rather than love. It also seems like its about checking boxes rather than celebrating it for what it means. Love should definitely be celebrated--everyday!

Here is my valentines wish to the world: I wish everyone genuine love no matter what form it comes in!
I haven’t been a super emotional person in a long time, and I don’t have romantic fantasies of love. I believe in being there for each other and supporting each other, being encouraging, compromising and sacrificing, companionship, affection, and day-to-day happi…

Learn How to Make Music (TI Speech Project 9 from CC)

This was a difficult speech for me at the beginning. I couldn't nail down the topic, and I think I wrote three different outlines before I decided to move forward with this one (Importance of Reading Newspaper, Importance of Financial Education, Why Everyone Should Learn a New Language). Overall, it turned out well because I was able to integrate my personal experience with music. That personal touch always makes a speech/storytelling a lot stronger and impactful. 
Competent Communicator Project #9 Persuade with Power Persuade your audience to accept your proposal or viewpoint. You will appeal to your audience’s self-interest, and arouse a strong emotional commitment to your cause.5-7 Minutes
Opening How many of you know how to play a musical instrument? How many of you have thought about playing an instrument and never really picked it up. My goal today is to convince you to learn a musical instrument.Body My Story with Musical InstrumentsFlute: Started with flute when I was in 5th g…

The Power of Habit

Original Post 2/2/2015
I started reading ‘The Power of Habit’ book a while back, and am still in the process of reading it, but wanted to start reflecting on it. This books does a very deep dive in habits with three dimensions: Individuals, Organizations, and Societies.
Habits are very powerful, and without knowing, we are using habits to run our daily lives. They truly shape our lives, but we have the ability to change them by understanding how they work. A habit loop is an automatic pattern that seems to be based on well-reasoned logic Cure: the preceding action Routine: the habit Reward: the payoff The way to change a habit is to use the same cue and reward, but change the routine. The key to habits is steady small changes on an ongoing basis, which result in large lifetime goals and wins. The book gives many example of how developing, altering, and managing habits has helped heal numerous serious mental illnesses and have been used by corporations to drive consumer behavior.
After I s…