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Drive- The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Book title: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

  • URL

  • A good summary

  • Some interesting text from the book:

    • three types of motivations: (1) biological drive (2) reward-and-punishment drive, (3) third drive: deep-seated desire to direct our own lives, to extend and expand our abilities, and to live a life of purpose.
    • to motivate the third drive, we need: (1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
    • Tasks are either: (1) Algorithmic— mostly do the same thing over and over in a certain way, or (2) Heuristic— need to come up with something new every time because there are no set instructions to follow.
    • Heuristic type of jobs are more prevalent and need more from the 3rd type of motivation.

A Mind for Numbers- How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)

Book title: A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) tags:

  • URL

  • A good summary

  • The book is geared toward helping students study well. Despite the title for math, most of the advice in this book is appropriate for just about any subject. It is especially appropriate for subjects with concepts that might be challenging to grasp;

  • Some interesting text from the book:

    • Education is about getting good at challenging things!
    • Create the best conditions for focused and diffuse thinking
    • Robust learning takes a long time (quickly learned = quickly forgotten). Your brain is like muscle. It takes time to absorb new concepts and new ideas;
    • Occasional knowledge collapse is inevitable, natural and temporary
    • common pitfalls:
      • Procrastination (to avoid, e.g., do the hardest task of the day first, Use to-do lists, Set a quitting tim)
      • Distraction (including multitasking – has big switching costs and depletes limited willpower resources; to avoid, e.g., Eliminate cues)
      • Getting stuck (see Einstellung effect often as a result of too much focused thinking, focus too narrow; to avoid, e.g., Consciously alternate diffuse and focused )
      • Confirmation bias (overconfidence in your own solution without checking)
      • Illusions of confidence (following as opposed to understanding; to avoid, e.g., Test yourself frequently)
      • Fatigue (increasingly proven to be caused by build up of toxins in brain; to avoid, e.g, exercise, sleep, ..)

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

Book title: Measure What Matters

  • URL

  • Objectives and Key Results (OKRs):

    • written goals with systematic follow-ups
    • many stories from various companies/individuals who have used the framework to great effect.
    • Objectives point us in the direction we want to go.
    • Key results are how we get there. They are specific, time-bound, and measurable.

Made to Stick- Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Book title: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  • URL

  • Main problem in communication: the “Curse of Knowledge”;

  • Strategies to make the ideas stick: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional (for the times), and a story;

  1. find the core: simple and distilling to the most important idea at the core.

  2. Unexpected:
    • effective communication needs attention and keeps the attention;
    • unexpected: to break these patterns, but still connecting and reinforcing the main message.
  3. Concrete:
    • the “curse of knowledge” is the main enemy of being concrete.
    • the main difference between an expert and novice is the ability of the expert to see things abstractly
  4. Credible:
    • people believe ideas based on authorities - parents, traditional, experts, etc.
    • If can, bring in a true authority
    • If cannot? several ways: (1) Use an anti-authority, (2) use concrete details, (3) use statistics (and make the statistics more concrete), (4) use like the Sinatra Test (looking for the one test case that make your idea completely credible) and (5) use testable credentials (asking the reader to test for themselves the idea).
  5. Emotional
    • goal of making message “emotional” is to make people care
    • For people to take action, they have to care.
    • To make people care about ideas, create empathy for specific individuals; or show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about, or appeal to their self-interest (more important to appeal to their identities - not only to the people they are right now, but also to the people they would like to be).
  6. Stories
    • A key to making an idea sticky is to tell it as a story.
    • Most good stories are collected and discovered, rather than produced de novo.
    • a few existing plots:
    • 6.1 The Challenge Plot: the obstacles seem daunting
    • 6.2 The Connection Plot: A story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap – racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, or otherwise. All connection plots inspire us in social ways. They make us want to help others, but more tolerant of others, work with others, love others.
    • 6.3 The Creativity Plot: This involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, or attacking a problem in an innovative way.
    • stories usually automatically meet other criteria for making ideas sticky: almost always concrete, often emotional and have unexpected elements. The real difficult is to be sure the stories are simple enough.

How to think like Leonardo da Vinci


  • Strategy using mind map for important life-stage planning
  • DaVinci review of your mind map :
    1. Am I Asking the right question?
    2. How to improve my ability to learn from experience ?
    3. What is my plan to strengthen when aging?
    4. What is plan to sharpen my ability?
    5. Am I balancing?
    6. How to nurture the balance
    7. How to connect all things well?
  • One hour per day for a few days to draw your mind map
  • Day1: Sketch with big keywords, representing big areas you care / Ask yourself what you want in each
  • Day2: draw multiple colors in depth of each area / e.g. , what questions in each? / where questions?
  • Day3: clarify each goal/ asking why you have those goals in day2? Now make a list of your top10 values / match your values with your goals
  • Day4: ask yourself what is your life purposes. A stream of writing about a statement of purposes with 20words or less / rewriting until you know/ask what are negative purposes ?
  • Day5: add perspectives/ e.g. what is the current status of each goal you listed in day1?
  • Day6: new mind map to find connections among goals, now make a big mind map as vivid as possible / read it to find repeated keywords/ are my goals and purposes matching? / is my life in proportion? With correct priority?
  • Day7: change mind map into a 5year plan to realize each goal / measurable? Actionable? Now? / weekly mind-map plan ? Checking if matching with the overall plan? / each day 5 to 10 mind to review your plan and mind map

Homo Deus- A Brief History of Tomorrow + Homo Sapiens- A Brief History of Humankind

  1. Book title: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
    • URL
    • Educational, Intuitive
    • ” spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? “
  2. Book title: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
    • URL
    • “Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.”

Decisive- How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Book title: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work Book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  • URL

  • A few practical recommendations for rational thinking:

  1. Widen your options
    • never only just two choices
    • think about opportunity costs, or creative ways to get everything.
    • Find someone who has solved the same problem in the same or different domain.
  2. Reality-test your assumptions.
    • What would it take for your assumptions to be wrong?
    • Can you test your assumptions?
  3. Attain distance before deciding.
    • Get away from short-term emtions.
    • Define your core priorities.
  4. Prepare to be wrong.
    • Define acceptable operating boundaries.
    • Define milestones that are acceptable operating boundaries.
    • Set tripwires where you will check along the way.

Switch- How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Book title: Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard Book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  1. Three main factors for a decision
    • This book teaches how make a change through the image of a rider, directing an elephant, on a path from A to B.
    • The rider is the rational (often problem-focused and over-researching) mind
    • The elephant is the emotional (sometimes out-of-control) side, and
    • the path is shaping the situation (badly done may freak the two previous parts and make things complicated).
  2. To direct the rider to do something, you can
    • 1) Find the bright spot; (go through your past experience and find instances in which something was working for you)
    • 2) script the critical moves; (have to give detailed instructions)
    • 3) point to the destination.
  3. To motivate the elephant, you can:
    • 1) find the feeling; (making people feel something - fear, compassion, indignity, absurdity, anything. )
    • 2) shrink the change; (break down the change into manageable size)
    • 3) grow the people. (by cultivating an identity; and the growth mindset.)
  4. To shape the path
    • 1) tweak the environment; (make easier to do one thing over another)
    • 2) build habits; ( “action triggers”, checklists)
    • 3) rally the herd. (behavior is contagious; social pressure effectively like stand-up meetings; Having spaces for people to talk and rally.)

Quiet- The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

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  • A must read and an eye-opener.
  • Being an introverted person, this book helps me understand many social phenomenas that have puzzled me for years!

  • Interesting concepts to take away:

  • Be true to yourself, and try to get into situations that play well with your personality, rather than forcing uncomfortable situations.
  • A list of positive characteristics are attributed to introverts, such as creativity, depth, focus, value-driven instead of reward-seeking and etc.
  • The biggest difference between introverts and extroverts is how they respond to stimuli!

  • The first part of the book “The Extrovert Ideal,” discussed the historical creation of the “Culture of Personality” and the author’s views that introverts are highly undervalued, particularly in leadership positions.

  • The second part of the book “Your Biology, Your Self?” used scientific evidence to explain a so-called “rubber band theory” of personality, meaning that we are elastic and can stretch ourselves beyond our innate traits, but only within certain limits.

  • The third part “Do All Cultures Have an Extrovert Ideal?” stated that many cultures do not emphasize traits, such as class participation, as a measure of success.

  • The fourth Part “How to Love, How to Work,” discussed the potential difficulties in communication between introverts and extroverts, how to foster traits such as depth and sensitivity, rather than trying to force introverted children to be extraverted.

Algorithms to Live By- The Computer Science of Human Decisions

  • URL

  • A must read for computer science graduates.
  • Not an easy read. But definitely worth to read for multiple times.
  • Lots of knowledge and insights compiled in an applicable manner.

  • Interesting principles/concepts to take away:
  1. Optimal Stopping: 37% rule of “optimal stopping” (when to stop looking and just commit);
  2. Explore/Exploit: The Latest vs. the Greatest (how to perform AB test: Explore/Exploit is better than random test; chance of finding a new gem vs. certainty of enjoying a known)
  3. Sorting: Making Order (last recently used-LRU sorting as an efficient strategy for searching; soccer tournament as robust sorting)
  4. Caching: Forget About It (layered caches as metaphor for human memory, like “cache miss”)
  5. Scheduling: First Things First
  6. Bayes’s Rule: Predicting the Future by considering priors (p. 128)
  7. Overfitting: When to Think Less (when interpreting data: prefer simple accuracy to complex precision)
  8. Relaxation: Let It Slide (constraint relaxation as a technique)
  9. Randomness: When to Leave It to Chance (cases of the importance and usage of sampling)
  10. Networking: How We Connect (buffer-bloat: when backlog bad, best to reject all incoming requests until it clears)
  11. Game Theory: The Minds of Others (e.g., exponential back-off, double your wait time before trying again); Computational Kindness p. 256 (by reducing the options on the table as a good strategy to help people communicate and collaborate)

Triggers-Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be

  1. Our behaviors are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. But we have a choice in how we respond.

  2. Good things happen when we ask ourselves. Discovering what really matters is a gift, not a burden.

  3. When we have structure, we don’t have to make as many choices; we just follow the plan. And we’re not being depleted as quickly.

  4. People are visionary Planners but blurry-eyed Doers. Awareness and engagement: Trigger - Impulse – Awareness – Choice – Behavior Bridging the gap between the visionary Planner and the short-sighted Doer in us.
    • e.g., Meeting Questions: Where are we going? Where are you going? What is going well? Where can we improve? How can I help you? How can you help me?
  5. Forecasting the Environment: Anticipation. Avoid. Adjustments.

  6. Daily Questions – reinforce our commitment. They ignite our motivation where we need it, not where we don’t. They highlight the difference between self-discipline and self-control. They shrink our goals into manageable increments.
  • a simple “magic bullet” solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions.
  • These are questions that measure our effort, not our results.
  • the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve

  • Did I do my best to set clear goals today?
  • Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals today?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning today?
  • Did I do my best to be happy today?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?
  • Did I do my best to be fully engaged today?

Outliers- The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Personal success depends on

  • Special Opportunities
  • Street smart, social Savvy about knowledge how to talk/communicate with people and authorities - general intelligence
  • Parents’ guidance: wealthy parents arranging more activities for children / signaling children’s talents / talk through reasoning with children/ not intimidated by authorities / give children entitlement to negotiate/ assert themselves/
  • Right timing / not too late not too early/ with the right opportunity available/
  • Family trajectory: e.g.,meaningful work with rewards/
  • culture where from / even many generations above / e.g. Culture of honor: / e.g., South Korean airline crushes- rule of culture / categorize cultures: how much individual expects to care themselves, expects to follow rules/
  • power distance index: how cultures expects to respect authorities/ expects to respect seniors. / low pdi, e.g. USA / high pdi, e.g. Brazil/ High PDI , up to listeners to understand the meanings, not effectively if from lower level to authority level ; up to the authorities to solve the issues / Low PDI , up to the speakers to deliver the message clearly
  • duration of learning: Kids from Wealthy and poor families differ academically because of summer. Summer should be used in studies. / enough study time is the key, e.g. Keep program. / e.g. China rice industry make Chinese long history to cherish hard meaningful work with rewards
  • In the end, the author provided an explanation of family/ the education history of the author’s mom / the explanation of comedians from outsiders/

The Coaching Habit- Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

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  • Seven essential questions: / less advises / more curiosity / ask one question at a time / get comfortable with silence for 3 seconds

  1. Q1. What’s on your mind? / coaching for performance: / coaching for development: rare, more powerful / silence is ok / 3P model: Project: People: Pattern
  2. Q2. And what else? (3 to 5 times)
  3. Q3. What is the real question or challenge here for you:/ focus question/ stop yourself to jumping to providing solutions, slow down to get the real problem /coaching is about the mentored, not other things
  4. Q4. What do you want? Really want? / Foundation question / the fundamental functions of brain: 5 times a second to scan situations as environmental safe or not / clear expectations? High Rank speaker ? Autonomy, some self choices?
  5. Q5: how can I help? / do not be a rescuer / overuse term: strategic plans only on top shelf/ be very clear what to fully committed to / yes is nothing without a clear definition of no /==> use 3P models to choose necessary NO: what projects to avoid / what people you do not need to manage / what patterns to avoid/ say YES MORE slowly after better understanding
  6. Q6: Stay curious and ask: ==> planning: 1. What is our winning aspirations?; 2. What and where impact? Where do we play? 3. How will we win? 4. What capabilities need to have? How to become and stay as strength : 5. What to measure? What management design? ==> strategic question: / say YES to work meaningful for you and important/
  7. Q7: what was the most useful to you? / what did you learn? / ==> the learning question: people only learn when in double-loop, in the second loop reflecting the thing in the first loop. This is because Brain has very low retention rate in learning/ neural model: AGES MODEL for longer term memory: attention, generation, emotion, and spacing! / use Generation strategy here: ask the mentored to generate questions from yours, to interrupt forgetting/
  • Formula How to trigger New habits:
    1. short and specific cue->ask questions in all possible channels, e.g. Ask talks or meetings (a strong and positive way to finish a conversation) /
    2. rewards->clear of the payoff /
    3. micro-habit that can finish in less than five seconds to do- / when habit breaks down- be resilient and return / nothing stronger than habits
    4. Five types of triggers: time, location, people, actions / starts from easy, small / Coaching, weekly checking, 3/months checking,
  • The end : author recommends a list of great books **

Option B, Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Five things To build resilience when facing Adversity:

1. Personalization, Pervasiveness, Permanence

From the book: “We plant seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization-the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness-the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence-the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever,”

2. Kick The Elephant Out Of The Room

The book wrote: there is a lot of evidence that speaking about traumatic events improves mental and physical health, helps people understand their own emotions and feel understood by others.

3. Self-Confidence & Self-Compassion   From the book: “ I didn’t have to aim for perfection. I didn’t have to believe in myself all the time. I just had to believe I could contribute a little bit more…Over the years, this lesson has stuck with me whenever I feel overwhelmed.“

4 Suggest to write down three things did well every day. From the book: “gratitude is passive: it makes us feel thankful for what we receive. Contributions are active: they build our confidence by reminding us that we can make a difference”

5. Pay Attention To Joy From the book: “Rather than waiting until we’re happy to enjoy the small things, we should go and do the small things that make us happy. ” When you seize more and more moments of happiness, you find that they give you strength.

6 The rest of the book is about how to raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces.

The Happiness Hypothesis- Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

  1. great idea of thinking self as a logical rider + an elephant (hard to control)
  2. suggest three ways to change/guide the “elephant”-self
    • meditation
    • cognitive therapy, like using music
    • medication
  3. social Happiness: understanding the deep workings of reciprocity can help to solve problems
  4. confirmation bias, thinking about our own fault, do not treat self too seriously
  5. happiness: = set point + condition + voluntary activities
    • set point and life condition are mostly hard to change factors
    • external conditions bad for happiness: noise / lack of control / shame / …
    • key to finding your own gratification is to know your own strengths
    • doing challenging and achieving things make you happy!!!
  6. great summary of insightful nuggets from URL
    • e.g., Pleasure comes more from making progress toward goals than from achieving them.
    • e.g., Haidt’s belief that the chief causes of evil are moral idealism and high self-esteem.
    • e.g., Wisdom is the ability to adapt, to shape the environment, and to know when to move to new environments.
    • e.g., The three levels of work are a job, a career, and a calling. The more autonomy at work, the more happiness.
    • e.g., Vital engagement in the world leads to love made visible, which is a sign of deep happiness. Work that does good for others and that leads to income and recognition will enhance happiness.
    • e.g., Eastern views and conservative politics focus on the collective, while Western views and liberal politics tend to focus on the individual.

Zero to One- Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  • URL
  • Inspiring
  • 0 to 1 vs. 1 to n

The Lean Startup- How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

  • URL
  • a great read, powerful, logical



Thinking, Fast and Slow

  • BookURL

  • a lengthy, self-conscious and a challenging read but highly recommended

  • author: 2012 winner of the National Academies Communication Award

  • Three main parts: cognitive biases, prospect theory, the author’s later work on happiness

  • main idea: Kahneman describes two different ways the brain forms thoughts:
    • System 1: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious.
    • System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious.
    • the differences between these two thought systems: coherence, attention, laziness, association, jumping to conclusions, WYSIATI (What you see is all there is), and how one forms judgments. The System 1 vs. System 2 debate dives into the reasoning or lack thereof for human decision making, with big implications for many areas.
    1. cognitive biases
      • One great figure summarizing human’s cognitive bias. Image Credit from URL cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet
    • explanations for why humans struggle to think statistically.
    • The “anchoring effect” names our tendency to be influenced by irrelevant numbers. Shown higher/lower numbers, experimental subjects gave higher/lower responses
    • The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that occurs when people make judgments about the probability of events on the basis of how easy it is to think of examples.
    • Substitution: System 1 is prone to substituting a difficult question with a simpler one.
    • Overconfidence: Kahneman writes of a “pervasive optimistic bias”, which “may well be the most significant of the cognitive biases.” This bias generates the illusion of control, that we have substantial control of our lives.
    • Framing effect (psychology)
    • Sunk cost fallacy: to avoid feelings of regret or loss
    1. prospect theory
      • The author discusses the tendency for problems to be addressed in isolation and how, when other reference points are considered, the choice of that reference point (called a frame) has a disproportionate impact on the outcome. This section also offers advice on how some of the shortcomings of System 1 thinking can be avoided.
      • Kahneman developed prospect theory, the basis for his Nobel prize, to account for experimental errors he noticed in Daniel Bernoulli’s traditional utility theory (not take into account cognitive biases).
      • The theory describes the decision processes in two stages:
      • a. During an initial phase termed editing, outcomes of a decision are ordered according to a certain heuristic. In particular, people decide which outcomes they consider equivalent, set a reference point and then consider lesser outcomes as losses and greater ones as gains. The editing phase aims to alleviate any framing effects.[3] It also aims to resolve isolation effects stemming from individuals’ propensity to often isolate consecutive probabilities instead of treating them together. The editing process can be viewed as composed of coding, combination, segregation, cancellation, simplification and detection of dominance.
      • b. In the subsequent evaluation phase, people behave as if they would compute a value (utility), based on the potential outcomes and their respective probabilities, and then choose the alternative having a higher utility.
    1. the author’s later work on happiness
      • “experienced-self”: an alternative measure that assessed pleasure or pain sampled from moment to moment, and then summed over time.
      • “remembered-self” that the polls normally attempted to measure. The author’s significant discovery was that the remembering self does not care about the duration of a pleasant or unpleasant experience. Instead, it retrospectively rates an experience by the peak (or valley) of the experience, and by the way it ends. The remembering self dominated the patient’s ultimate conclusion.


The Power of Habit- Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

  • URL
  • a very powerful book to help you understand human behaviors.
  • Habit = cue + reward + craving
  • change of habit <=
    1. a replacement habit process that follows similar cue+reward
    2. the replaced process can create a sense of craving as well
    3. true belief

The 7 Habits of Effective People

  • URL
  • practical, Effective and easy to follow
    • Be Proactive
    • Begin with the End in Mind
    • Put First Things First
    • Think Win-Win
    • Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
    • Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork
    • Balance and renew energy and health for a long-term development


  • URL
  • practical, concrete
  1. Different types of goals
    • getting better goal works if you want to enjoy some tasks
    • what goal for difficult tasks
    • why goal for simple tasks
    • when speed matters, use promotion goal
    • when you want to do something flawlessly, use prevention goal
  2. prevention type vs promotion type

  3. three basic needs: relatedness / competence / autonomy (freedom of choices)
    • prevention mind — too much confidence not good
    • prevention goal to cure procrastination
    • whenever goal controlled by others, will suffers
    • when need creativity, promotion and self-chosen
    • when resist temptation, prevention goal / why goal
  4. to help others accomplish goals:
    • give choices -> joint decision
    • open written contracts -> clearly stating why value / give positive trigger cues , e.g. Positive words or poster of role models ,
    • framing the goals, promotion by listing a list of achievements OR preventing by providing a list of potential losses
    • framing the evaluations , e.g., be better goal /
  5. how to achieve goals:
    • constant self-monitoring
    • if-then derailed plans
    • self-control muscle need exercises !!!
    • not two goals at a time
    • maintain sugar level -protein
    • do not even start bad temptation
    • not too confident, aware difficulty
    • associating with rewards /
  6. how to praise :
    • focus on detailed facts/ on efforts on strategy, not on ability
    • do not compare / praise to keep antonym / praise using goals that are possible to achieve /
  7. habit: cue (when,where,who,action) / process / reward

So Good They Cannot Ignore You- Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

  • URL
  • Intuitive, light-read, Interesting
  1. Only following Passions is a bad idea
  2. The idea of Career capital - rare and valuable skills need deliberate practice
  3. A sense of control is important
  4. Do remarkable things like painting purple cow


  • URL
  • powerful, Effective
  1. a sense of in control, making choices improves motivation
  2. Team safety/ culture, making all team members possible to participate and make suggestions
  3. Mental models to increase focus/ Focus by envision/ imagination
  4. Stretching long-term goals + smart achievable goals
  5. Use forecasting/probability by considering outcomes/rewards to improve decision making
  6. Creativity: thinking carefully of own past, be humble to idea crisis, add diversity/ disturbance
  7. absorbing data through hard action / do something hard on the knowledge (because it makes you learn more);
  8. Use engineering design framework for any problem/decision making - think forward of possibilities


  • URL
  • A great read, eye opener
  • Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

Lean In- Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

  • URL
  • Inspiring, a life-changing book

How to Win Friends and Influence People

  • URL
  • Eye opener, a life-changing book
  • Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
    • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
    • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
    • Arouse in the other person true interests.

Grit- The Power of Passion and Perseverance

  1. Goal hierarchy
  2. When being compared with the construct of persistence, grit adds a component of passion for the goal
  3. With hope / with purpose/ with calling
  4. Growth mindset

Crucial Conversations

  • URL
  • Powerful, A must-read, Interesting

A Brief History of Time

  • URL
  • Educational, Intuitive

Books for Writing well

Book Title: Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded

  • URL
  • Most important tip: As a scientist, you are a professional writer.

Book Title: Style towards Clarify and Grace

  • URL
  • Great tip: As you write, shift from the familiar, simple to the more complex, unfamiliar information. You can do this in the space of a sentence, a paragraph, or a section in your writing.
  • Tip: While you can begin a sentence with “and” or “but”, keep such sentences to a minimum (one or two per page).
  • Tip: Use a mind map to lay out the main sections and subsections of the “story”, and then add details to flesh out the narrative. Introduce the topic with the first sentence of the first paragraph, then end the first paragraph with your topic sentence.
  • Tip: Write in active voice. Use passive voice when you need it or when it will add to the grace and style of the writing.

Book Title: The-Elements-of-Style

Book Title: On Writing Well

Useful Books about Family

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

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  • Mentoring has a close connection to raising up children. I like this book which gave me many insights about mentoring.

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood


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  • A wonderful children book. Touching, moving and encouraging.


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  • Touching, powerful, and a must-read for the first-generation immigrant Family

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

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  • Funny, powerful and an eye opener.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

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  • By Dr. Gary Chapman, who five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

The 7 Habits of Effective Family

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  • Useful, practical, and Effective
  • Genius concept of “Emotional Bank”

Other Useful Books

The millionaire next door

Rich dad poor dad

Thinking and grow rich

48 Laws of Power

The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife” by James Hollis

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  • “In Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology, Marie-Louise von Franz notes five stages of projection. First, the person is convinced that the inner (that is, unconscious) experience is truly outer. Second, there is a gradual recognition of the discrepancy between the reality and the projected image (one falls out of love, for example). Third, one is required to acknowledge this discrepancy. Fourth, one is driven to conclude one was somehow in error originally. And, fifth, one must search for the origin of the projected energy within oneself. This last stage, the search for the meaning of the projection, always involves a search for a greater knowledge of oneself.”

  • “In asking more of ourselves, we forego disappointment in others for not delivering what they could never deliver; we acknowledge that their primary responsibility, just like ours, is their own journey. We become increasingly aware of the finitude of the body and fragility of all things human. If our courage holds, the Middle Passage brings us back to life after we have been cut off from it. Strangely, for all the anxiety, there is an awesome sense of freedom as well. We may even come to realize that it does not matter what happens outside as long as we have a vital connection with ourselves. The new-found relationship with the inner life more than balances losses in the outer. The richness of the soul’s journey proves at least as rewarding as worldly achievement.”

The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

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  • the opening lines: “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

  • then the books starts with the four tools/techniques of handling suffering, the discipline - to experience the pain of problems constructively.

  1. delayed gratification,
  2. acceptance of responsibility,
  3. dedication to truth, and
  4. balancing.

The books pointed out that the life problems cannot be avoided in life. To experience happiness, they need to be identified and solved: “Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”