26 November 2006


"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst." Anonymous

Everyone wants to be happy. But how? There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Nothing is free, because everything has an opportunity cost. Even air, the necessity of human life, is not free. Everyone has to spend effort to breathe in and out effortlessly. Healthy life cannot be achieved at no cost. If one wants to acquire cleaned but not polluted air, effort will be enormous.

One gets what one pays for. Nobody is nice enough to offer anyone anything for free. Unconditional offering is a smokescreen. Sooner or later, everyone expects at least something in return. After all, who is willing to forever give without ever taking? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Happiness? Try UPOD.

UPOD stands for "under-promise over-deliver." Why under promise? Simple. Set low expectations. When nobody has any expectation on anything, disappointment is distant. Life will be easier. Once expectation is set, especially high expectation, everything starts to tense up, and becomes fragile. Touchpoint experience is usually negative when expectation is high.

Touchpoint experience is more likely to be positive when there is no expectation. No expectation is different from no hope. Expectation asks for something in return. Return is a condition. Hope is just a wishful thinking, and does not necessarily have an expectation. Return is a bonus.

Peter hopes he has a girl friend. No harm done if he has not. John expects he will have a girl friend soon because of his achievement. He will be upset if he is still single for months. David expects a so-so girl friend, but his girl friend is angel from heaven. He is more than happy!

When the deliverable is over-delivered, the experience will be positive. How to OD? UP!

UPOD makes WOW possible.


"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." Buddha

Hatred is settled anger.

19 November 2006

Music Beta

"There is no noise, only sound." John Cage

A song consists of two major elements: melody and lyrics. People are easily attracted to good melody, but may not pay much attention to lyrics quality.

Melody is just like words. As long as one knows the 26 alphabets, one can create any words using any combination. Be creative, and think out of the box. They don't have to make sense. Play with the notes, and anyone can then be a composer.

But lyrics, it's trying to make sense out of nothing. Each word has to form rthyme with the melody. The deliverable is produced within limitation, or a defined framework.

Lyrics is more difficult to create than melody.

Melody is like outer beauty, and lyrics inner beauty.

One may love a song because of its melody. There is "love at first sight", so there has to be "love at first sound."

One can have three types of feelings towards a song: positive, neutral, and negative. It is a very subjective feeling. Nobody can force anyone to love a song. Great songs have the ability to
touch people's heart. Bad songs simply create noise!

Noise is sound when the melody is relevant. Some people like Jazz but don't like Rock. To them, rock is noise. Some people like R&B but not folk, folk to them is noise. It's all about relevance.

However, relevance won't lead to compromise and deliver positive results. Relevance is the A in the AIDA model, or Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Relevance definitely helps attract attention, and may also help arouse interest, but it may not be able to stimulate desire and prompt action.

Desire is an emotion. Nobody can force anyone to do anything the person isn't willing to do. Sometimes logic just won't do. Social pressure may help, but people with strong ego won't be affected.

Action is taken under two situations: impulse and calculated.

13 November 2006

Zebra Beta

"Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash." Louis Aragon

Zebra exists in the form of black and white, similar to panda. The only difference between the two is the color layout. Zebra comes in stripes, where panda is usually white with black patches around the eyes, ears, shoulders, chest, legs, and feet. Although both animals are in black and white, zebra is more complicated. Is zebra is white with black or black with white? This is an unorthodoxical. It is like asking which comes first: chicken or eggs.

Interestingly enough, this is human nature. People like to do sophisticated things to either show off or pretend that they are deep. They want to be different. Everyone has the tendency to complicate simple things. If the complications bring in benefits, it at least is worthwhile to understand the results. Else, if the complication is complicated only for the sake of complication, then it is only going
to be a waste of time.

Black and white has a sharp contrast. The opposite of black is white, and vice versa. In the world of black and white, there is no rainbow. There is no red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Everything is simple, and there is a clear line drawn between everything. What is yours is not mine, and what is mine is not yours. Everything is clearly defined that no grey area exists.

Color creates significant visual impact, but everything becomes complicated. Everyone has to make choice when there is more than one, and he or she has to go through more complicated decision making process when there are more than two.

Which color is better? Grey? How grey? Red? Bloody red? When color is color, the choice is simply personal preference. But when color is used to represent personal character, everything is simply in chaos.

If black is negative and white is positive, then where is neutral? It has to be somewhere in between, and that is the grey area. In the grey area, nobody is sure of anything. It is like the color of sky. If it is blue, the weather is fine. If it is black, then it will rain like cats and dogs. But grey, is it going to rain or not? How should everyone prepare? Everything is indecisive and in a wait-and-see
mode. Nobody can move forward or backward. It just stucks!

When there is only black and white, even the mathematical function is simpler. Black plus white equals grey.

04 November 2006

Happy Birthday

"I binge when I'm happy. When everything is going really well, every day is like I'm at a birthday party." Kirstie Alley

Everyone has a birthday, and everyone has only one birthday. The birthday is unique. Because it is so unique and it is "owned" by the person, the birthday person expects something special on his or her birthday. If nothing happens on birthday, the birthday person may get upset because of expectation.

Birthday is usually celebrated with gifts and surprises. Birthday is about happiness. No matter how unhappy the person is, he or she has to be happy if the day is birthday. It is simply not right to have sadness on birthday. It is against the norm.

However, if birthday is really about happiness, then every day is birthday when every second is filled with joy. If continuous efforts are required to create happiness, then it is not true happiness. It is only about return on investment. True happiness is a natural state, and definitely not artificial.

Happy birthday is only an excuse to do something special. But why anyone needs this excuse? Follow heart, and just do it!

Nobody is going to be truly happy if the happiness relies on something external, like a job, a spouse, or money. True happiness comes from within.

Happy birthday!