《the dip》let me think… and think deep

“A Dip is a temporary goal setback that you will overcome if you keep pushing.”

“Too often, we get stuck in a situation where quitting seems too painful, so we just stay with it, choosing not to quit because it’s easier than quitting. That choice—- to stick with it in the absence of forward progress—- is a waste. It’s a waste because of the opportunity cost—- you could be doing something far better, and far more pleasurable, with your time.”

“Quitting is difficult. Quitting requires you to acknowledge that you’re never going to be #1 in the world. At least not at this. So it’s easier just to put it off, not admit it, settle for mediocre.

What a waste.”

“If you’re considering quitting, it’s almost certainly because you’re not being successful at your current attempt at influence.”

“If you are making a decision based on how you feel at that moment, you will probably make the wrong decision.”

“Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.”

“Seven Reasons You Might Fail to Become the Best in the World

You run out of time (and quit).

You run out of money (and quit).

You get scared (and quit).

You’re not serious about it (and quit).

You lose interest or enthusiasm or settle for being mediocre (and quit).

You focus on the short term instead of the long (and quit when the short term gets too hard).

You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world (because you don’t have the talent).”

—- Seth Godin 《the dip》

Eating at home

A month ago, I was interviewed and observed by a journalist of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool about making dumplings (饺子jiǎo zi) for the column “Thuiseten” (eating at home) of the Saturday Edition. I got this opportunity from the manager of Dun Yong supermarket, which is the oldest Chinese family business in Amsterdam’s China Town.

Making dumplings is not very complicated unless you make the dough. I’ve never really had a chance to learn how to make dumpling dough because my mother always did it as she is efficient and my father kneaded the dough. So I bought the dough from the package at the Chinese supermarket when I settled the time with the journalist for the interview. The dumpling pastry from package is well made, but they need to be defrosted before being used and need to be pressed hard while folding. The rest I made by myself including the forcemeat and the spicy sauce. The journalist watched the whole making and cooking processes, and we ate together at the end. We talked a lot while making those dumplings such as the life here and in China. She was curious and surprised to hear my stories, and thought I’ve experienced a lot in my entire life. Yes, it’s true.

At the end of the interview, I had some leftovers. Of course, she took a doggy bag when she left my place. This whole interview, talking and making dumplings reminded me my parents who are still living in China, reminded me my joyful childhood. We used to fold the dumplings together with three of us after the doughs are made by my mother. The funny thing is that each of us has our own style. I didn’t learn my way of folding dumplings from neither my mother nor my father. I learned a complicated way of making dumplings from the father of my childhood friend when I stayed overnight at her place.

I didn’t receive the draft of this article before it’s published on last Saturday, January 2 because the journalist was too busy so that she forgot the whole thing. There are actually type mistakes about the name jiǎo zi, but it’s now too late to correct them.  Anyway, I think it’s a worthwhile article to be read.

Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

汉语大赛 hànyǔdàsài

Accidently I found the TV show “汉语大赛hanyudasai” Chinese Language Competition for foreign students in China on CCTV-4 when I was switching TV channels. This competition started last year and is to effectively assess how well the non-Chinese students can manage the Chinese language from listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation five specific paths with a particular emphasis on listening and speaking skills of the candidates. At the same time, this competition tests candidates’ strengths as well as their unique elegance. The organizer behind this competition aims to create a platform where the international students who came to China for studying can share their experience of learning Chinese language, so that they can find their own suitable learning methods and foster their confidence in learning Chinese.

The show I’ve been watching recently is the final session. Watching the performances of the finalists makes me thinking how much energy and time they spent on my mother tongue. It’s not just a language competition but also a cultural and literal contest. They are really amazing! They showed their strong interest in Chinese language and history, and understanding of Chinese culture. Some of them speak even better Mandarin than some of the native speakers. In particular, their multi-talented performances made me convulse with laughter. They are indeed the “Old China Hand” (中国通 zhōngguótōng). I really respect their enthusiasm and perseverance for learning Chinese.

There is a saying in China: “台上一分钟,台下十年功 táishàng yìfēnzhōng, táixià shíniángōng。” It means that one-minute stage performance implies a decade of practice off the stage. An advice to the Chinese leaners: Don’t give it up when you meet dificulties!

The encounter with Twitter

The first time I heard about Twitter was two years ago on the PICNIC network event in Amsterdam. Many visitors were playing with their mobile phones while the companies were presenting their innovative development. This caught my attention, so I intentionally glanced at a mobile display holding in a visitor’s hands who was sitting in front of me. Aha! She was tweeting. I remembered also on that day while I was having lunch with Marc van der @Chijs a man was walking by and then Marc told me “he is the CEO of twitter!” Since then, this new social network application started running in my head. But at that time, I neither tweeted on my mobile phone nor on my computer, as I didn’t have a smart phone that I could tweet everywhere at every moment.

Until last year I bought iPhone, the things have got changed. I took the iPhone recharger all the time because I tweet all day long;-) I felt I had a lot of things to share on Twitter and friends to make. Twitter is really fabulous! I registered another account @pinyin besides my personal account at the suggestion of @casparterhorst who I met on Twitter. Of course, I’ve made more friends on Twitter with who I can share my passion for Chinese Language and for life;-) Now I’m twittering daily with new friends and discussing issues about Chinese language and helping people to improve their Chinese Characters and way of saying things. Also I daily update a voice sample via Twitter so people can listen to Chinese as well and learn from it.

Going to China

More than two weeks ago, I started a project with 5 other classmates from the minor study “Management of Creativity and Innovation”, which is called SchoolForSchool, to further develop our creativity. For more information of this project, please visit the website http://www.schoolforschool.com. June 1 is the Children’s Day in many countries including China. This holiday is simply set to honor children and minors. Schools in China usually hold activities on Children’s Day to allow students to have fun. However on June 1, 2008 the day was made even more memorable, as many people remembered the children who died in the earthquake just two and a half weeks before. 3 group members and I will leave late today for China to celebrate an extra Children’s Day with the victims from Guixi primary school in Beichuan county on June 3. We will arrive Chengdu China on the Children’s Day. I contacted a couple of TV stations and newspaper in China and they might reporting on the spot. I still have to arrange few things when I get there and I hope everything will go smoothly. After the event, I’ll visit my parents in Chongqing as they miss me very much. Yes, I’m the only child they have;-)

I would like to thank all the sponsors of this SFS project or actually my network, Ortel Mobile, Spil Games, Target Media, Jonge Sla, Help China. I on behalf of the entire team, we are really appreciate your contribution. Without your support we can’t make it happen.