Tuesday, February 19, 2019

7 Quote-Lessons from Alita: Battle Angel

Here are Seven (7) Lessons I Learned from watching Alita: Battle Angel. Don't waste RM10.00+ and not learning something, right? For explanations for each quote, CLICK [AT YOUR OWN RISK] HERE

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From Ruth to Rich: Jesus Did Not Feed All the Hungry

As I read late Billy Graham’s Just As I Am (1997) autobiography, I’m encouraged by his wife, Ruth Bell, for her life, support, and works in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry. About Ruth, Billy writes, “God gave Ruth many, many gifts, one of which was writing.” I agree. In this series, I try to imagine (one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind) what would Ruth Bell says to encourage young man like me – and perhaps, you. I hope you enjoy it!

Dear Rich,

Son, someone pointed out that Jesus did not feed all the hungry, heal all the sick or raise all the dead. Yet when He came to the end of His life’s work just before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Hours later, His final words on the cross were: “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Often when I am exhausted, I have said, “It is enough!” We each have a limit, like the Plimsoll mark, a line around ocean tankers that indicates when a ship has reached capacity. He who made us knows just how much we can take. He never overloads us. But neither has He promised us strength for tasks that we take on without His direction.

I want God to so order my life that when the end comes, I can say, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” I do not want to feel compelled to say, “It is enough!” before I can say, with His help, “It is finished.” Pray this prayer, my son:

Lord, sometimes I let myself get overwhelmed with unnecessary tasks.
Starting today, I will allow You to arrange
and order my life so that I may accomplish Your will on earth.

God be with you,


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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Likeable Business (2013) by Dave Kerpen, Book Review

Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver (2013)
by Dave Kerpen with Theresa Baun and Valerie Pritchard

Dave Kerpen ends this book with Seth Godin’s quote but I’ll put it at the beginning: “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” All individual is inherently likeable said Dave. With all the advancements and accomplishments in the world today especially in technology and social media, it is easier (high probability, great potential) for us “to be remarkable” – and at the same time, unlikeable, too. Before I read this book, I asked myself, why likeable is important? Can’t business just be… business? Who cares about some complaining customers? After I read the introduction of this book, I changed my mind. “In hyper-connected, social media-driven society,” explain Dave, “businesses can no longer afford to be mediocre. Businesses large or small must be obsessed with their customers, making and keeping them happy.” When I read about how one angry customer, Dave Carroll, damaging United Airlines’ reputation and stock price by uploaded a video onto YouTube (over 12 million views) because United breaks his guitar and treated him rudely, I’m ready to learn to be likeable.

It seems scary that one disgruntled customer could negatively impact a business. Scary yes, but this is also good news. If one person can damage a reputation and stock price with just one negative feedback on social media, imagine what one or more customers share positive recommendations. “Stories of customer service failures can spread quickly, writes Dave, “so can stories of going above and beyond to delight your customers.” Agree! There are three (3) reasons why I LIKE this book: 1) Although Dave admits that the 11 principles that he outlines in this book are not new, he makes it interesting by sharing stories, personal examples and straight to the point anecdotes that even a non-marketing background person like me can understand; 2) Each chapter and subchapter is broken up into bite-sized chunk for easy reading and to come back to if you’re a busy person, and 3) Action items at the end of every chapter are very helpful to apply the principle. Here are the 11 Principles of Likeable Business that together make for more likeable leaders and better, more customer-centric organizations:

#1 Listening: One Mouth, Two Ears, Many Opportunities. “Listening is the foundation of any good business.”

#2 Storytelling: Tell, Don’t Sell. “A likeable leader has a strong vision and purpose and always has stories to see that vision.”

#3 Authenticity: Just Be Yourself. “Likeable leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional life together.”

#4 Transparency: The Truth Shall Set You Free.Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers – and a happier you.”

#5 Team Playing: There’s No ‘I’ in Team (or Culture).Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader.”

#6 Responsiveness: Taking Listening One Step Further. “Responding shows you care and gives your customers and employees a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on your company.”

#7 Adaptability: Change or Perish.Stubbornness is no longer desirable. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.”

#8 Passion: Love the Work You’re With. “People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike.”

#9 Surprise and Delight: Every Mistake Is an Opportunity. “Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way.”

#10 Simplicity: Be Simply Human. “The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity – in design, form, and function.”

#11 Gratefulness: The ROI (Return on Investment) of ‘Thank You.’ “Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and successes.”

Meg Cadoux Hirshber, author and entrepreneur, writes this praise for Likeable Business: “This important, persuasive book will change the way you think about and operate your business. Anyone who hopes to lead successfully in the twenty-first century needs to read this book.” Amen. With that, I must return back this book to the state library, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, hoping that another reader will be blessed like I do. Can’t wait to incorporate these principles into my new small (perhaps smaller) business – online bookstore. By the way, do you want to buy great and valuable books? CLICK HERE.


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Thursday, February 14, 2019

6 Books on How-to-Think-Like

In the 1670’s Sir Isaac Newton wrote in a letter to his friend Robert Hooke, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” That is exactly what reading How-to-Think-Like biographies can do for you – allow you to see further because of what these people have achieved. These 5 people are what I think are - geniuses - and reading about them makes me feel like one:

#1 Think Like Da Vinci
#2 How to Think Like Da Vinci
#3 How to Think Like Einstein
#4 How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
#5 How to Think Like Bill Gates
#6 How to Think Like Steve Jobs

If you want to think like one of these geniuses (even a fictional character like Sherlock!) a.k.a. buy a copy or two or more, CLICK any of links below and ask about the books:


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Perbezaan diantara Bosku (Ini Kamu Kena Malu) dan Pemimpin (Ini Yang Paling Perlu)


Memberkati kamu?
Pergi ke FB Page: https://web.facebook.com/LEGASI.tv/


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5 Reasons You Should Buy Used Books

Ah, used books. They smell like childhood, and they’re good for the environment. What could be better? Here are 5 Reasons why, I think, you should buy used books:

Do you want to buy used books, still good quality and cheap? CLICK LINKS below:


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From Ruth to Rich: Be Afraid of the Right Things

As I read late Billy Graham’s Just As I Am (1997) autobiography, I’m encouraged by his wife, Ruth Bell, for her life, support, and works in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry. About Ruth, Billy writes, “God gave Ruth many, many gifts, one of which was writing.” I agree. In this series, I try to imagine (one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind) what would Ruth Bell says to encourage young man like me – and perhaps, you. I hope you enjoy it!

My dearest son, Richard,

The shot through the rattlesnake’s head had all but demolished it. The snake was twisting on the driveway, and we all gathered to look at it. One of your nephews reached out to touch it but your dad, Bill, grabbed him and held him back, explaining that even a dead snake can be deadly. Still, your nephew was totally without fear and determined to grab the snake’s tail. But as he reached for it, the snake’s mangled head struck out. He jumped back, getting the message: Rattlesnakes are to be feared.

Son, education, it has been said, consists of being afraid of the right things. All this while, when you were young, Bill and I taught you and your siblings to be careful with matches and open flames; fear of house fires and forest fires prompts sensible precautions. We also taught you all not to run into the street without looking both ways; a proper fear of cars is also legitimate.

There is one grand, noble fear we are taught from Genesis to Revelation – fear of the Lord. This is more than being scared. It is a reverential trust, not only a fear of offending but a loving to the point that one would not want to offend. My son, I underlined this verse this morning: “The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:5-6). Wonderful!

Mommy loves you,

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Angelus' Quote: Jangan Bawa Luka Lama dalam Perhubungan Kamu Sekarang

Maria (bukan nama sebenar) pernah mengalami keretakkan rumahtangga dan bercerai selepas dua tahun bersama dengan bekas suaminya. Dia kawan lama saya semasa di sekolah. Dia berkata kepada saya bahawa sejak daripada hari itu, dia berdoa kepada Tuhan supaya dia akan menjumpai calon suami yang lebih menyayangi dia. Tidak berapa lama kemudian, dia menjumpai seorang lelaki yang baik, berjaya dan yang menghormati dia. Mereka mula berkawan dan akhirnya menjadi pasangan romantik. Setiap kali mereka dating, Maria tidak pernah habis-habis menceritakan tentang betapa teruknya hubungan rumahtangga dia dahulu. Lelaki ini beranggapan bahawa Maria lambat-laun akan mula lupa tentang hal itu, tetapi setelah sekian lama, Maria masih lagi mengungkit kisah-kisah yang lalu. Akhirnya, lelaki itu berhenti berhubungan dengan Maria dan memutuskan hubungan mereka…

Bila saya mendengar cerita itu sendiri daripada Maria, saya bersimpati terhadap dia tetapi pada masa yang sama juga, saya memahami kenapa lelaki itu meninggalkan dia. Maria seorang yang cantik, berpewatakan yang agak baik dan mempunyai kerjaya sendiri. Daripada apa yang saya dengar, sebab utama kenapa lelaki itu memutuskan hubungan mereka ialah kerana Maria masih lagi ‘dihantui’ dengan kisah hubungan masa silam dan belum lagi melepaskannya. Saya berkata kepada Maria, “Perkara pahit dan sedih masa lalu memang susah untuk kita lupakan. Jangan memaksa diri kamu untuk melupakannya. Apa yang kamu boleh buat sekarang ialah kamu harus melepaskannya. Kamu mengakui yang ia pernah terjadi – itu sebagai permulaan. Biar hal lalu menjadi hal lalu. Jangan biarkan ia memenjarakan kamu daripada menikmati hari ini.”

Jika kamu masih lagi membiarkan memori dan luka lama mengganggu fikiran dan kehidupan kamu sekarang, ia bukan hanya akan meracuni diri kamu sendiri, malah orang disekeliling kamu juga akan turut menjadi mangsa. Lelaki itu betul-betul berminat dengan Maria, tetapi siapa tahan kalau asyik mendengar kisah hubungan lama dulu diulang-ulangkan semula? Kamu mungkin – seperti Maria pada mulanya – berfikir bahawa orang lain yang mendatangkan masalah dalam kehidupan kamu. Tetapi kamu kena menghakimi diri kamu sendiri dahulu: Adakah kamu masih lagi dikuasi oleh kepahitan masa lalu? Adakah kamu yang tidak mahu menerima hakikat sebenarnya? Dengan kasih kurnia Allah, serahkan beban dan kesedihan kamu kepada-Nya. Berdoa. Jadikan hal lalu menjadi hal lalu. Teruskan dengan kehidupan baru dengan penuh harapan, “buang segala halangan yang menhalang [kamu] dan dosa yang berpaut kepada [kamu]” (Ibrani 12:1).

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Monday, February 11, 2019

5 Books on Social Media and Technology

Why you should learn more about technology, especially social media? Because the way we interact, communicate, think, grow and move forward in today's world is through social media. If you don't learn fast and deep enough (as opposed to shallow media today), you'll be left behind. How fast you should learn? That depends on you, as long as you're faster than you were 3 years ago. But to avoid shallowness and go for deep(er) thinking, one of the most effective ways, is to read books - actual, physical books. Here are 5 books on how to think deeply about technology, especially social media:

#1 The Church of Facebook
#2 Reclaiming Conversation
#3 How to Tame Technology
#4 Dot Complicated
#5 Unfriending My Ex

To get a copy (or more) of any of these books, just go to:


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Membaca Memerlukan Konsistensi

Jika kamu mahu memulakan tabiat membaca buku, amalkan hukum Kuasa Konsistensi. Selamat menjadi pembaca!


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4 Books by John C. Maxwell (minus 1) on Leadership

You can't be a leader just by reading. Impossible! But you can learn valuable lessons on leadership through reading. When I first work in a company, I was so fresh and new that I needed to learn how to lead people fast (that sound almost impossible, right? Still is). Where do I go to? Books! Particularly, John Maxwell's books! Then over time, I s
eek for real-life mentors. No matter how old are you or what position you are now, you must keep learning, reading and leading. Here are four (4) books suggestion for you to read.

On Personal Leadership:

#1 The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership 
#2 The 21 Laws Tested by Time

On Lead-Teamwork:

#3 The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
#4 The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

To own a copy (or two or more or all!) Go to:

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

7 Lessons I Learned from "Alita, Battle Angel" that Beautiful-Eyes Warrior [Warning: Spoiler Alert!]

After Ryan’s birthday (my cousin’s son) dinner last night, we went to watch movie Alita: Battle Angel, a movie based on Yukito Kishiro's manga series Gunnm, also known as Battle Angel Alita. My mom and my aunty love it so much. Rancid and Ryan, two hyperactive boys, were glued to their sits. My brother and cousins were mesmerized (although my brother later said, “Sikda fight alu juak orang jaik ya”). I’m happy that we choose to watch a movie rather than go for karaoke that night. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie: full of action pack, superb graphics, moving storyline, and awesome settings and since I already warned of spoiler alerts – valuable lessons in life which I will share in this article.

In the year 2563 (what a very random year, right?), a catastrophic war is known as The Fall has left the Earth devastated. While scouting the junkyard metropolis of Iron City, cyborg scientist Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a “disembodied female cyborg with a fully intact human brain.” It was thought that she was fallen from the sky city, Zalem. Ido then rebuilds the cyborg, who don’t have any recollections of her past, and names her ‘Alita’ after his deceased daughter with Chiren, Ido’s ex-wife. Ido once said to Alita, when she asked about who she was in the past, “I don’t know… [but] you are someone very special, not just a teenage girl.” As the story evolves, indeed, Alita is very special. I fall in love with her character and my heart melted when I see her beautiful big eyes. Wow! Here are Seven (7) Lessons I Learned from watching this movie:

#1 One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure. What one person may consider worthless could be highly prized or valued by someone else. Dr. Ido works as a clinical doctor. Most of his patients are cyborgs (part human, part machine) and so, most probably he scouting for spare parts at the junkyard. There he found Alita, who soon will become the most highly prized Motorball champion! If Ido doesn’t discover Alita and bring her home and give her body, she might still be a worthless, useless and unwanted junk! Normal workers might see her like trash, but Ido sees the treasure. In life, the greatest treasure probably can be found in the most unlikely places and events.

#2 Know Who You Are. Alita don’t know who she was and what she did in the past. After she gets adjusted with the new body, she asks Ido, “I don’t mean to be rude, but am I supposed to know you?” In which Ido reply, “Actually we just met… when I found you, your very human brain was miraculously intact.” Once she admits, “It’s the loneliest feeling not to know who you are.” Ido comforted her by saying, “In time you’ll remember.” Throughout the story, she slowly recalled bits of her memories. The more she knows about her past and who she was, the more she became determine and soon discover her purpose in life. She is empowered by the revelation of who she really is. “I’m a warrior!” she said as she displays her lethal Panzer Kunst fighting skills one night during one of her first fights. BeyoncĂ© said, "Knowing who you are is the greatest wisdom a human being can possess. Know your goals, what you love, your morals, your needs, your standards, what you will not tolerate and what you are willing to die for. It defines who you are.”

#3 Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin. The Free Dictionary defines this idiom as “displaying relaxed confidence in and clear understanding of oneself and one's abilities.” For the case of Alita, when she found and brings home a Berserker body (a very advanced fighting cyborg body made from nanotechnology) from a drowned ship outside the city, Ido refuses to install her in it, fearing the consequences of her heart's full compatibility with it. She ‘stuck’ with Ido’s daughter’s body, while she is very sure that a Berserker body is meant for her (Once she said to Ido in anger, “I’m not your daughter!”). During her fight with Grewishka, her body is sliced up with bladed fingers. She survives during the fight and Ido have no choice but to transplants Alita in the Berserker body, which automatically interfaces with her system. She says, “This body, I feel a connection to it that I can’t explain.” The Berserker is meant for Alita and she knows it all along (The Damascus Blade, originally wielded by Zapan, is actually meant for Alita too). “To be comfortable in your own skin,” Charles Handy asserts, “is the beginning of strength.”

#4 Touch, the Sense that Makes Us Human. What makes us human? Dr. David Linden, in his book Touch: The Science of the Sense that Makes Us Human, as you can guess the answer, writes, “Touch is the most important sense we have. Without it, we cannot entirely feel pleasure or pain - we are less than human.” Alita fall in love with Hugo. But she knows that she is a cyborg and Hugo is a fully human. After she was transplanted in a new body, she asked Hugo to touch her. Then she asks, “Does it bother you that I’m not completely human?” Hugo reply is sweet as sugar, “You are the most human person I have ever met.” Oh, Hugo… here we go….

#5 Always Be Good to Others, Until They Can’t Ignore You. There are lots of funny scenes in the movie. One of it is when Alita challenge all the Hunter-Warriors to join her cause to take down Grewishka which end up with a riot (bar fight). Ido, the least Hunter Warrior breaks the fight by saying this to all of them: “If all of you won’t stop fighting, I will not fix you anymore.” With that, they all stop fighting. Why? Surely it’s not because Ido is the greatest warrior of them all. He’s old. Obviously, it’s because Ido has helped them all in the past! John Templeton reasons, “It is nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” When you treat others nicely and good like Ido, you’ll be an important person that no one can ignore you.

#6 Family/Relationship is More Important than Ambition/Dream. After the death of her daughter, Chiren, Ido’s ex-wife, work for Vector in order to achieve her dream to return to Zalem, the sky city, again. But after she witnessed Alita’s love for Hugo, it reminds her of what’s really important in life and turned her attention to help Alita win. Hugo too dreams of going to Zalem at all cost. But when he falls in love with Alita, he slowly fixes his focus on the relationship (although later in the movie, Hugo did try to climb to the city and then changed his mind again). Chiren and Hugo’s ambitions to go to Zalem hinder their focus on what’s really important and right there by their sides. Chiren left Ido; Hugo tries to leave Alita. Michael Imperioli puts the perspective right, “My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what's important to me.” Don’t be so heavenly minded [or Zalem’s minded] that you’re no earthly good [or forget about what’s really important HERE and NOW].

#7 Dream Big Dreams! But there are dreams that are noble and good. I’m not saying (in Lesson #6) don’t dream a big dream or be lack of ambition. I’m saying don’t let it distract you from what’s important here and now such as family and good relationships – that’s all. In life, however, we must have dreams or something that you want to achieve in life, preferably, big dreams. After the death of Hugo, Alita, in the ending scene, points her sword [as the crowd cheers] towards Zalem while Nova watches her from above. Her focus is upward – not to stay there, but to destroy it! Now she knows what her mission in the past, what she meant to do – to destroy Zalem and killed Nova. Of course, it would not sound right if I encourage you to dream to kill and destroy. The motive behind Alita’s mission is to change the way people think about Nova and Zalem. They are not beyond reach and they are not untouchable. Nova is not God or divine and Zalem is not impenetrable. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” explains Harriet Tubman as if he refers to Alita, “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Alita: Battle Angel is a great movie. Go watch it in the cinema! (Or probably not, since you already decided to read my spoiler alert article to the end. Then, buy a DVD). You will fall in love with Alita as I do. I imagine she says this to me: “I’d do whatever I had to for you [Richard]. I’d give you whatever I have. I’d give you… my heart.” Awwwhhh. Sweet! But not too intimate ya... remember what Alita said to Vector? "You make the biggest mistake of your life..." "And what's that?" "Underestimating who I am." Move away!


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Pray for Me Ya... From Starbucks to My Dream of Book Experience

I’m passionate about books as much as Howard Schultz passionate about coffee. While on a business trip to Italy, Schultz stumbled across his passion in an espresso bar: “I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community among them, and from that moment on I was determined to bring world-class coffee and the romance of Italian espresso bars to the US.”

As new FES staff workers, we need to go through (at least) 1-Year Training Programme at central office PJ. While at Peninsular Malaysia, I became a learning machine: consumed lots of books and participated in the training. I spend about RM200-RM300 on my salary monthly to buy theological books. If I’m not at my office table upstairs, you can find me at the library downstairs. Just like how Schultz saw the wonder of what Italian’s espresso bar can do to the US, I also see the potential of what (good) books – the Bible as the Good Book – can do to the people, especially my students, in Sarawak. The power of savoring a good book can alter the life and mind of our young people. I believe this with all my heart.

Before Schultz’s Starbucks, coffee wasn’t something American consumers were passionate about. But with his unwavering passion, Schultz was able to inspire thousands of consumers to fall in love with the bean. When I reflect on the Starbuck’s story, I see hope and I'm dedicated to cultivating the reading habit among the students in campuses and universities that I assigned to. We all know passion alone is not enough, I – oh yes, we – need to do something about it. Besides encouraging the habit during my talk, sharing, training, and conversation with the students, I also write on the subject in my personal blog [here] and create FB Page Richard Angelus’ Bookstore to influence them (and fellow ministers too) in this social media age. Pray for creativity, resourcefulness and God’s grace for me okay? Thank you.


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Friday, February 8, 2019

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016) by Cal Newport, Book Review

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016) by Cal Newport

What is Deep Work? Dr. Cal Newport, a graduate from MIT and currently a computer science professor, divides our professional work into two categories: Deep Work and Shallow Work. Deep Work (what he called the “superpower of the 21st century”) is defined as: “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” On the other hand, Shallow Work consists of tasks that can be performed while being distracted. If you spend more time doing shallow activities such as checking your emails for hours even during meals or chat on WhatsApp while listening to lecture and scrolling mindlessly on Facebook simultaneously, your capacity to perform on Deep Work decrease dramatically. In a distracted world like today, Deep Work is important and thus valuable – and rare.

I understand the concept of Deep Work for so long now but nobody put it into words as awesome and awestruck as Cal Newport. I need this message, I must be converted, and I want Deep Work as part of my life. In order to survive and prosper in today’s ever distracted world, Newport said we need to develop these two skills: #1 the ability to quickly master hard things [speed] and #2 the ability to produce at an elite level [quality]. If you like an equation, it looks like this;

[High-Quality Work] = [Speed or Time Spent] + [Deep Work or Intensity of Focus]

I confess Deep Work is easy to read but very hard to practice. If it’s easy, everyone will do it…. but the fact is, most of us don’t. Yet, we must! Newport emphasizes, “To remain valuable in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work. If you don’t cultivate this ability, you’re likely to fall behind as technology advances.” What separates Carl Jung and Albert Einstein from the rest of their other genius contemporaries? Their ability to think deeply. What separates Stephen King and J.K. Rowling from other amazing novelists? Their commitment to Deep Work. “Human beings, it seems,” writes Newport, “are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.” These deep people (including the author) understand that “less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking.” I remember I went into Deep Work mode when I wrote an eBook to help my students to understand this one particular false religion that was spread in campuses and student’s residents. I start in the afternoon after lunch, shut off my smartphone, locked myself in the office, only drink water and coffee, and I finished the book by 1.00am. I was in the flow, super focus and away from any conscious distraction. It was one of the most productive and great works that I’ve ever done.

There are lots of lessons I learned from this book. Some I disagree (such as Quit Social Media), but to most of his wisdom I say, “Amen” (especially on Embrace Boredom, Drain the Shallows, and the 4DX Framework). Like I said, Deep Work is easy to read but hard to practice. But it worth it. Everything worthwhile is hard at first. “The differentiating factor in the 21st century is going to be those who can focus and those who cannot,” says Newport. Read this book and increase your Deep Work capacity. I’m always reminded of that when I end every blog with this philosophy…


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Thursday, February 7, 2019

From Ruth to Rich: How to Start Praying? Just Pray

As I read late Billy Graham’s Just As I Am (1997) autobiography, I’m encouraged by his wife, Ruth Bell, for her life, support, and works in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry. About Ruth, Billy writes, “God gave Ruth many, many gifts, one of which was writing.” I agree. In this series, I try to imagine (one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind) what would Ruth Bell says to encourage young man like me – and perhaps, you. I hope you enjoy it!

My dearest son, Richard,

            About the previous letter, I wrote about prayer… and let me continue with that theme here. A balance. As you know, my child, men of God whose prayers are recorded for us in the Scriptures, never read a book on prayer, never went to a seminar on prayer, never heard a sermon on prayer. They just prayed. Satan fears prayer because God hears prayer. Satan will stop at nothing to distract a person from praying or to get us to postpone praying or, failing to do that, to discourage us in our prayers.

This letter is simply to encourage you to START. Start praying where you are, as you are, about whatever concerns you, about whatever is lying most heavily on your heart, about whatever is irritating or frustrating you at present. Here is my suggestion: Keep a prayer list. Make your requests specific and date them. Then date the answer. Like the ungrateful lepers, we tend to forget. It may be impossible to date the answers to certain requests. For instance, if I pray for patience, I will not find that on such and such a date I suddenly become patient. But if I pray for guidance in a particular problem, for the conversion of a friend or for the resolving of some apparently hopeless difficulty, recording the answer as well as the request will be a cause for worship and a means of strengthening my faith.

You may not likely to keep a prayer list, I know you. But let this be an encouragement for you to just START praying. Be pointed. Be persistent. Be patient. But pray!

With love,
Ruth Bell Graham
(1920 – 2007)


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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Fight / Your Fight (2015) by Ronda Rousey, Book Review

My Fight / Your Fight (2015) by Ronda Rousey with Maria Burns Ortiz

I am a fighter,” Rousey writes as a start, “To be a fighter, you have to be passionate. I have so much passion, it’s hard to hold it all in. That passion escapes as tears from my eyes, sweat from my pores, blood from my veins. So many people assume that I’m cold and callous, but the truth is you need a big heart to fight. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I have had it broken too. I can compete with broken toes or stitches in my foot. I can take a hit without batting an eyelash, but I will burst into tears if a sad song comes on the radio. I am vulnerable; that’s why I fight.” At first, I’m skeptic about this statement. And then after I finished reading this book, I’m repented of my sin. Truly - either you hate her or love her; you think she is a bully or a real fighter; a poor actor or a champion - no doubt her life stories are amazing, inspiring, moving, personal and broken-but-beautiful. You can’t deny her talent, determination, focus, and hard work. This is surely one of the best autobiographies (and biographies) I’ve ever read. Rousey taught me what it is to be a fighter.

“Rowdy” Ronda Jean Rousey is an Olympian, Fighter, Actress, and Wrestler. Before she became a fighter, she trained for judo and mixed martial arts. After she became a fighter, she also explores a career as an actress (she was featured in The Expendables 3, Furious 7, Entourage and recently, Miles 22). As of December 2015 when this book was first published, Rousey is ranked the #1 Female Bantamweight Fighter in the world according to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and #2 by Sherdog and Fight Matrix. Sherdog lists her as the #3 Pound for Pound Women's MMA Fighter in the world, while ESPN and Fight Matrix lists her #4 Female Pound for Pound Fighter. She was the UFC’s highest paid fighter at the age of about 28 years old. In short, don’t mess with her! She is "The Baddest Woman on the Planet"! She is now, as we all know, currently signed to WWE and holds the Raw Women's Champion title. I agree with Dana White, president of the UFC, when he writes, “Ronda is an incredible role model, empowering women and girls... [she] has changed the world of sports, and by the time she’s done, she may change the world as well.” Rousey may need to learn how to deal with the trauma of failures (ego and pride too, especially after her back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes) but other than that - she has nothing to prove. With all of her accomplishments and wins, Rousey is, in my opinion, a legendary fighter.

Each chapter of this book begins with an anecdote that summarizes her philosophy of life. Chapter titles are quotable and if you want to get a brief summary of what this book is all about, you only need to read these awesome anecdotes. Rousey (with the help of her sister, Maria Burns) writes a book that is engaging and to my astonishing, not a single chapter is boring, as far as I can remember. She tells the stories of how she almost died due to the heart failure as an infant, how she struggles to speak when she was young, how she faced the death (suicide) of her father, how she learned to fight even in the midst of pain and suffering (there were times when she even competed with broken toes and sprained ankles), how her mom sometimes believes in her then also doubt her decisions, how she continues to train harder than anyone else, how she handles painful relationships, criticism, and discouragement from the people close to her, how she was so poor that she slept in the car many nights and have to work three part-times a day, how she rises to stardom, and many more. I read this book less than 1 week and the only reason I didn’t finish it sooner is that I have other works to do. Let me summarize this book with five (5) of my favorite anecdotes that I learned from Rousey:

#1 You Have to Be the Best on Your Worst Day. “My mom always says that to be the best in the world, you have to be good enough to win on a bad day because you never know if the Olympics are going to fall on a bad day... You have to be able to win every match twice on your worst day.”

#2 Everything Is as Easy as a Decision. “...How you feel is entirely your mind. Your mind has nothing to do with your environment. It has nothing to do with anyone around you. It is entirely your decision. Making a change in your life is as easy as making a decision and acting on it. That’s it.”  

#3 Someone Has to Be the Best in the World. Why Not You?My mom asked me a variation of this question every day. ‘Why not you?’ she said, ‘Seriously, why not you? Somebody has to do it. They’re handling out Olympic medals. They’re literally handing them out. Why don’t you go get one?’ Her question was not rhetorical. She knew what it took to be the best in the world... Being the best in the world is not easy, but it is completely achievable - if you are willing to put in the effort. My mom taught me to expect that I could be the best.

#4 You Will Be Tested. “I have lost tournaments. I have lost friendships. I have lost my father. I know that I can deal when things are bad. I can come back when things are at their worst. I’m not afraid of losing all my money or losing my career, because I know I’m capable of living in my car and rising up. Once you’ve conquered the worst things that could happen, there is no need to fear the unknown. You are fearless.

#5 If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It. “People are always looking for the secret to success. There isn’t a secret. Success is the result of hard work, busting your ass every day for years on end without cutting corners or taking shortcuts. It was Michelangelo who said, ‘If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.’ It is not hard to figure out what goes into being successful, but it’s also not easy to do.”

Like I said, every chapter and anecdote in this book is worth reading. Borrow or buy this book even if you’re not a fan. Marvin begins his comment on amazon.com with “I was a Rousey hater” and then end with “now a fan.” If you only follow her career, public impressions, and persona, you might dismiss her for her alter ego. But if you go deep into her mind (as beautiful as her beauty) as portrayed in this awesome biography, you’ll love her. In fact... I already fall in love with Ronda Rousey. Love you.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Maximize God-give Time: 4 Basic Time Management Tools

Alan Lakein puts it this way: “Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” Ouch! It is difficult to manage time if you don't have the right tools. Here are the tools that I use personally. For me, it doesn't matter whether your tool is paper or Apps base, as long as you have them, use it!

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5 Lessons I Learned from Chinese New Year (CNY) 2019

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4 Books on Creativity/Innovation/Inspirational for SALE

Latest Books Addition! 4 Books on Creativity/Innovation/Inspirational:

#1 The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma
#2 The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
#3 Little Bets by Peter Sims
#4 Ingenius (my favorite!) by Tina Seelig

To get your soon-to-be-favorite-copy and/or browse other books, go to https://my.carousell.com/richard_angelus/

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

R.I.P. Tracy... And F**k You Death!

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
(1 Corinthians 15:55, NIV)

"Do not be afraid. I [Jesus Christ] am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
(Revelation 1:17-18, NIV)

We are not a close friend, Tracy and I (I need to put it up front in all honesty and integrity. I don't want to have that appearance of BFF with the deceased when in fact, I'm not). A bit higher than an acquaintance but slightly lower than a best friend. Although we were a good friend during secondary school, like most school friendship, after SPM everyone was doing their own things – continue form 6 or further studies to college or university (in her case, matriculation) or went straight to workplace. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you get to be with some of your old friends. Sometimes you just get updates from one another once in a while (this was before the social media boom). And sometimes you just follow the flow – let it be – leaving the friendship under the hands of time and event. Either way, we all need to move on with our lives, right?

Occasionally, I met her at coffee shops and malls. Twice at the food fair. Since she used to work with my cousin, I get to hear some news about her. And because I met our mutual friend, John (who truly her best friend), more often than her, he will fill in the blank of what news that I might be left out. To cut the story short, we get to talk during John's wedding because we were on the same table and then to add to the festive mood, she gave me her coming-soon-wedding invitation card. I was surprised! Not just because she invited me [As I said, we were a good friend but over time, we are not a close friend] but primary because she was getting married! Do you know how HUGE is that? TRACY GETTING MARRIAGE, that's HUGE! Souness Peter, brother, if you read this, let me explain why you're VERY special to her:

Tracy was a lovely girl who became a beautiful woman. Back in secondary school, many boys like to flirt with her – you can't ignore a girl like her – but Tracy won't bother with most of them (There are some hilarious and memorable stories related to this which I won't mention here, only those who were close to us know about it). Besides all of her admirable qualities, gracious attitude and not-so-perfect characters, one exception which stands out for me is this: She often chooses the wrong guys (a**holes) as boyfriends. I told her so, she admitted it, and yet, she did it again (I know because it takes one to know one). So, you see, TRACY GETTING MARRIAGE is a HUGE thing. Was it possible for her to make a wrong decision again? Heartbroken, weaken trust, bad memories, try again? Most people won't be that quick to start all over again. Healing requires time, trust needs to be built, memories over layer the old ones. To open up again, he got to be bigger than all of this mess. "Beautiful Mess," as Jason Mraz puts it. And then you come into her life, Souness. I don't know much about you but I know this much about both of you: you and Tracy are meant to be with each other. As an outsider, I only can observe behaviors and find clues. She loves to travel, her family and cousins can witness this, but not as much as she explores places with you. You can imagine her sense of accomplishment when she conquered mountains and hills, but hiking is not as special as walking with you. Everybody say her smile is beautiful – it is – but not as bright as the day she married to you. That's when I (we, friends) knew that she was not making a mistake this time. She made the right decision, a decision that she should be proud of, a decision that she can say her own. That's HUGE. You are VERY special to her. You're the man!

And now, Death… let me ask you, how are you able to deal with the pain you cause so many of us? Days full of tears and an unbearable void that makes it hard to focus on our daily tasks. Days where the thoughts of our loved ones bring back the hurt and pain. Death, do you get tired of hearing the cries and shouts directed towards you? These few days we mourn for our beloved friend Tracy [most probably due to QT Syndrome. Google check it]. You take away her life at its prime. I can compromise when you take life when it's due or something caused by our own stupid mistakes and when you gave mercy to the suffering when they needed it the most. But why take it all of sudden? We are in shock! F**k you! She couldn't say proper goodbye or last eye contact. Empty words, just the sound of the cardiac monitor. F**k you Death! I don't hate you per se, I just don't like the way you work. You are created with a purpose, I respect that, but l can't stand "the mysterious way." Maybe we all should realize that you can come anytime – unexpected, unanticipated, and unwelcome. Maybe we all should take heed of the late Steve Jobs words, "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life." Or Avenged Sevenfold lyrics, "Seize the day or die regretting the time you lost." Or as the Bible says, "Making the most of every opportunity…"; "Making the most of your time…"; "Redeeming the time…" (Ephesians 5:16). We all must realize that life is short. I get it. But it is appropriate to say for now – as we grief and bereave, in pain and sorrow – F**k you, Death! (I've cursed you all the way from my place to Pusat Jantung Sarawak the early morning when I heard about the news about her). 

Tracy, do you remember when you asked me for book recommendations and I point to you John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life? Do you remember when you enquired me about why there are so many Christian denominations and I said it doesn't matter as long as you believe and have faith in Christ of the Scripture? Do you remember at the coffee shop during our ‘accidentally' lunch together you probed me to revealed the motive of I'm doing student's ministry and I answered you in the form of a quote, "Only one life 'twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last"? I believe you're with our Lord Jesus Christ right now. You have passed from death to life. In Christ, we ask sarcastic questions to the death-face, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" Paul responded: "Death has been swallowed up in victory… [So] thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). I'm sad. The family, friends, and colleagues are also sad right now, but let me end this rumbling article with a hopeful note, a declaration from the One who "hold the keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18), an eternal promise from the Son of God, Jesus Christ: "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life!" (John 5:24). Tracy, yes, you have passed from death to life, so Rest In Peace!

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