Every semester, I will end by saying “Time Flies”! Indeed, time flies, and I still have many thoughts and ideas to share with you! Guess I will have to leave them for next semester, as this is the last Friday of the semester before your examinations. Speaking of examinations, you will have a lot of encounters of studying together, burning the midnight oil only to find that you still have a lot of materials to go through and time is running out. And so on and so forth. After the exams, you might be happy that they are over, happy that you did well, or upset that you could have done better. Very often, you also have to cheer up your friends. What will you do?
People like to send texts such as “How are you? What can I do to help?” or “Any updates?” when they want to show support to their friends and family members. Have you sometimes found that as much as you appreciated the care, you just wanted to be left alone? I would like to end the Friday emails of this semester by sharing with you “how not to help a friend in need”! Sound surprising? Read these points first.
The following dos and don’ts are from Tara Parker-Pope, a columnist of New York Times (click the author name to the hyperlink).
- Think twice before you call. (The very instant you have the urge to call is probably the same time when others do. The person who needed to answer was probably frustrated by the nonstop ringtone.)
- Send a text of support, such as “Just thinking of you. No need to reply.”
- Make a specific offer to help. (Instead of asking how to help, just help! Help with chores, picking up stuff, walking the dog, run the errands, make some food, etc.)
- Send a card or a letter, or some surprise deliveries such as fruits or flowers, or chocolates. Real ones, not emails!
- Share a story, be it happy or caring, or just for a laugh. But of course, be sensible about the content not to offend your friend.
- Text for updates (The person might want peace, quietness. He/she might want to keep silent for some time. Do not force him/her.)
- Ask what they need (“What can I do to help?” is not helpful.)
Sometimes the biggest challenge for you who want to help is to let the person or patient lead. But you as a friend should be sensitive. Small gestures or help matters!
Wish all of you great successes in your examinations!
Until next semester!
I bet most, if not all, of you must have already had your midterms, whenever applicable. Some of you might be happy about the results, while others might be more disappointing. If you need some cheering, please bear the following ideas in mind, treat them seriously, and you will find your lives will change in time. They are some of the direct quotes from “25 Pieces of Life Advice: My Personal Favorites” by Mike Donghia (available from: https://thisevergreenhome.com/life-advice/).
- Take simple ideas seriously.
- Do the real thing. Stop planning/reading/learning about it. Get started before you feel ready.
- Find a way to clear your mind and sleep. Even the best plans are derailed by a lack of rest.
- One of the most practical ways to love others in your daily life is by being reliable & responsive.
- It’s not rocket science, it’s consistency. Keep showing up and doing the work, especially when you can’t see the results. If results were instant or certain, everyone would be doing it.
- Be decisive. Not deciding now almost always means a more complicated or painful decision later.
- Don’t wait until you feel like it. You tell yourself you will tomorrow, but you won’t!
- Enjoy the journey. Don’t be in such a hurry to be a day older.
- Focus on the things you can control. Focus on what you can do today. Your life will be filled with far less anxiety.
- Be curious about the world around you right now and how it works. Master this skill and you will banish boredom forever.
Hope you will find them useful. If not now, perhaps some time later, some years later!
Have a good and restful weekend.
For those who could not join the Honours Forum on Wednesday when Dr. Claudia Xu, the Vice Rector for Administration of UM, talk about startups, here are a couple takeaways. As I mentioned at the opening introduction of the Forum, Dr. Xu has been working on technology transfer for many years. If you do not know what technology transfer is, you must have at least heard about the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. You can always learn more about Dr. Xu from the UM website. What I would like to share with you in here are the few points that she shared with those of you who were here at the Forum.
Some of you have thought of being entrepreneurs, running your own business, because you don’t want to work for others. If you have such thought, ask yourself why. Is it because you do not want to be ordered by others? Let me tell you, you will have many more “bad moments” running your own businesses than running the businesses for others. But if you really have some vision and innovative ideas that are worth running a startup, here are some points to keep in mind (and these are also necessary for entrepreneurship). First, leadership/entrepreneurship includes having vision and the faith of keeping it, i.e. patience, and then executing it while making necessary adjustments whenever deemed appropriate. Never be too stubborn in holding your ideas that actually do not work. Second, to even have a hope to do startup, you need a team from different disciplines. Never be overly confident that you can do it all by yourself. Find a few of people, each from a different field, to form a team. You will be amazed how the synergy can work out!
Also for your information, like most well established universities, UM also has an incubating unit. So if you have brilliant ideas, you can seek a lot of help from UM. If you want to know more, do NOT ask me! I am sure smart young people like you should be able to find it out. It is just “around the corner”.
I shall not write to you next week, which is the Good Friday. So, let’s “talk” two weeks from today.
These couple weeks are probably your midterm weeks. Hope you have managed to study well!
Have you thought about why you have to study something so difficult, or so difficult to get good marks, and/or so boring? Do you feel what you are studying seem to be irrelevant to what your major is supposed to offer? How about let’s try from a different angle?
Someone likes physics a lot, but really cannot find interest in biology. He decided to learn fluid mechanics, staying away from biology as far as possible. Little did he know that he eventually ended up with applying fluid mechanics in the cardiovascular system. That is, a multidisciplinary study with physics, mathematics, and, guess what? biology on our circulation system! If you are familiar with physics, you might be familiar that the flow of liquid such as water can be defined with turbulence, velocity, and resistance. When this is applied to our circulatory system, tension, stress, and capacitance will also be used on the quality or resilience of our blood vessels. If you are interested in this topic, please take a look at “Blood in Motion: The Physics of Blood Flow”, a short lecture by Professor Tim Pedley of the University of Cambridge. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZL9G6Z7-qQ
My point is, please have some faith that some courses included in your programmes/majors are designed for reasons that you might not see or understand now. Not convinced? Then please consider that learning is never “useless”, nor “pointless”. If you do not see the use and the point, it is because you do not see them yet. Some concepts need years to acquire and be fully understood. Instead of puzzling why you have to study them, why not find ways to enjoy them, or at least not to hate them?
Keep it up! You can do it! Good luck!
For those currently not physically with us in Macau, guess you would not miss much about the current weather! It was 15 degrees, with a high of 20, two days ago, and 24 now, with a low of 20! Worse off, it is so foggy, with a relative humidity of 100%. I wonder if we are swimming!
What is that boring weather to do with the title, multidiscipline? Not much!! At least not intentionally! But if you think twice, it is really not unrelated. Today, I would like to share with you the periodic “Finance & Development” report from the International Monetary Fund (click on the title for the link).
I understand that some of you think because I am a finance professor, most of what I talk about would be related to finance, economics, or business. Indeed, that might be true because I tend to be more sensitive to related news. That is exactly my point. I see a lot of cross disciplinary ideas. My article to share today is the following:
“Listening to Social Silence” by Gillian Tett (click the title to go to the article)
Gillian Tett is the chairlady of the editorial board of the Financial Times. She earned her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. In the books she wrote, she always talked about financial markets and economies in an angle that people trained in finance might not see. This is how interdisciplinary studies work. In the article above, she talked about how people overlook the differences in cultures, or what culture could impact, in different economic developments.
I hope you can think, learn and embrace the beauty and essence of interdisciplinary thoughts, ideas, and facts. I will share more about how IMF link different disciplines together in solving global problems for the benefit of our future.
Have a great weekend, amid the strange weather!
My topic today is a reflection of the HC Leadership Seminar last Wednesday by Ms. Karena Lei. For those who were here, you probably agree with me that Ms. Lei has very positive thoughts and attitudes. Choosing to study and work at the same time, she did not complain at all, but instead did all that full time people at the company did, while studying and maintaining a very high GPA simultaneously, not remembering when she went to bed (which was about 5:00am) but remembering her first class was at 8:30am.
I do not intend to repeat what she said. Rather, I would like to highlight a few reflections:
- Everything you do is an opportunity to experience and grow. If you keep weighing the benefit/reward of the task, you will miss the meaning of that opportunity. Suppose you are given a big job! Are you ready for it? Nope!!! Because you did not even give yourself a chance to handle small tasks well. Think of every task as a chance to grow, not a time to sacrifice/lose!
- Dreams are built from experiences, not sheer dreaming! “Find” yourself before identifying what you like.
- If you cannot change your shortcomings, focus on expanding your competence!
- Time management is done better by those who are really busy. We often think we do not have enough time to finish and do all that we want. And there have been many analogies about time you have as a jar and your tasks as stones and pebbles of different sizes (Haven’t heard about it? Google please!). I want to use another analogy – packing for vacation. Given the same suitcase, some can pack a lot, and having overweighed case; others have cases that cannot be closed but still underweighted. Why? You can always make time for tasks only if you want, and if you think the tasks are important.
- “Leader” is only a name if you are not one! (I do not have to explain further, as I have shared a lot about it with you. Please retrieve previous Friday emails!)
- Having a right attitude is way more precious than being capable but not devoted.
Ms. Lei also shared a game at the seminar, which you can try it yourself. Name five reasons why you want to be a leader. Then check which can be classified as “Give” and which as “Take”. There is no right or wrong. It is just a reflection. Most people tend to have more “takes” than “gives” (or no “gives” at all). But in the end, what is the meaning of life if you do not like to “give” even a little?
On a last note, I noticed some of you choose not to join HC Forums and seminars because the speakers come for backgrounds other than what you study, and therefore not relevant to you. FYI, Ms. Lei did not talk about finance or selling insurance policies at all. When we invite speakers, we have all of you from different Faculties in mind, and that you will definitely be able to learn something from them. That’s where interdisciplinary knowledge come from. Try to open yourself! Trust me, you don’t know what you don’t know! If you close your ears, you learn nothing even if Einstein is talking!
Hope to see you at other HC seminars!
To close the discussion about the Foreword by Malcolm Gladwell, I would like to quote the following:
“Experts were terrible at predictions.”
“A small group of people actually were really good at making predictions. And who were they? They were people who were open-minded, who were willing to change course, when necessary and admit their mistakes. They were generalists, not specialists. They were people with the ability to look at a problem from a number of different perspectives.”
“It lay in curiosity and an endless sense of wonder about what the future might bring.”
Here are a few of my comments:
- I cannot help but agree with him in that experts were terrible at predictions. So, please do not ask me to predict the stock market for next week! 😊
- The second quote is not dissimilar to what I always share with you. You have to be open-minded, put your feet in others’ shoes, think outside the box. And a simple way to improve that is to read different books and articles across different disciplines. But one thing that is much easier said than done is to admit your mistake. When you really mean it when you say “I am sorry” (not just “Sorry!” as in you accidentally bumped into someone), you have leaped a big step forward.
- The last quote is almost analogous to one always asking “why” and “how” in everyday life. But most importantly, you have to walk slowly and embrace every moment of your days, even if you think you are just repeating them. Everyday can be different. Every person you met can be very different. How different depends on how you want to explore, and therefore learn from, it.
The second example from Malcolm Gladwell shows how “The technological part comes into focus pretty quickly. The social part takes forever to evolve.” shared in order to explain that technology has to be “adopted, understood, accepted, embraced” as quoted in the following.
“The first ATM was introduced in the late ‘60s. But in the ‘80s, I was still going to the bank to get my money, and I suspect you were too. Did you trust a machine to give you money? Not until you had thought about it, and experimented with it, and slowly changed your routines.”
Here are a few comments to share:
- Do you know what ATM is, and stands for? This is a question especially for your generation because all you need is a smart phone.
- I was like Malcolm Gladwell in the beginning. And I always counted the money I collected from the machine, thinking, “Don’t trust the machine! What if it counts wrongly? What if two bank notes are stuck together?” That’s why I also very seldom used machine to deposit money, thinking, “It would not be easy to argue with the bank staff how much I put in versus how much the machine has counted wrongly!”. Little did I know that the machine can count and can do the math much better and more accurate than human beings.
The first example that Malcolm Gladwell shared in order to explain that technology has to be “adopted, understood, accepted, embraced” is quoted in the following.
“Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone in the 1870s. The first international telephone call is made in 1881. When does the telephone take off, in terms of public acceptance? The 1920s. It took 40 years for the public to embrace the telephone. And why? Because it took 40 years for the world to figure out what the telephone was. For the longest time, for example, telephone companies were convinced that it was primarily a business instrument – it was B to B, they thought, not C to C. They actively discouraged what they referred to as trivial uses of the instrument, meaning one person calling another person to say hello. They didn’t want women using it. It took them years to realize that it might be more useful for farmers – people socially isolated – than city-dwellers.”
Here are a few questions:
- Why did he use “invents” (present tense) for Bell’s invention in the 1870s?
- What are “B to B”, and “C to C”?
- Can you imagine you yourselves not being able to call one another just to say hello?
- What is your take when you see “They didn’t want women using it (i.e. the phone)”?
In this and the coming Fridays, I would like to take a different approach in sharing something I thought is meaningful about how you can help create the future. This book is by Jeremy Gutsche called “Create The Future: Tactics for Disruptive Thinking” (published by Fast Company Press, 2020. By the way, most of you know that this is not a proper way of citing a book. Please check for the proper way, to be added to the Reference section. I did not do it properly because I am writing a mail, not a report; still, I have to give proper credit to the author).
To begin, I would like to share what Malcolm Gladwell, a proclaimed best-seller writer, wrote in his Foreword for the book. What he tried to say is that innovation is everywhere. But for technologies to be broadly accepted and used, it has to be “adopted, understood, accepted, embraced”. I think this process can also be easily applied to leadership. Your team has to adopt you as leader, then understand who you are and what your thoughts are, accept you and your thoughts, and then embrace them to be part of your team.
I shall quote some of what he wrote in the Foreword in the coming Fridays.
Hope you have enjoyed the Chinese New Year with a lot of fun and laughter!
More on quotes this week. I just received a collection of quotations from friend in California, who is a professor turned businessman, and I would like to share with you. Guess what? These quotations are all from Ben Affleck. You might not know him because you are not old enough. 😊 Anyhow, he is a celebrity who has undergone a lot of ups and downs. And at this age, he finally finds how to find ways to live a life that he thinks will be happy. Here are his quotes.
“I am very lucky in my life that I have benefited from second chances, and I am aware that other people don’t even get first chances.”
“Life is difficult, and we are always failing and hopefully learning from those failures.”
“Shame is a really toxic, awful way to feel. There’s no effect of shame except to be corrosive and to continue in a death spiral that is the hardest to pull out of. Shame just makes me feel miserable and shitty.”
“My life now reflects not just the person that I want to be, but the person that I really feel like I am – which is not perfect, but somebody who tries very hard and cares very much about being honest and authentic and accountable.”
“Your best is whatever you can do comfortably without having a breakdown. That’s the truth, because that is where you’ll do your best. And that’s the best you can expect of yourself.”
I hope these quotes can inspire you somehow. Try to spend some time to think of them, and then think of how they might apply to you or someone you know.
I will start this mail by sharing two quotes and one website:
“There are two kinds of people in the world: people who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and people who don’t.” from Louis Menand, journalist.
“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” from Tom Stoppart, actor.
I hope the first would remind you of what I keep telling you (for those new to HC this year, please check out the Friday emails on our HC website: https://hc.um.edu.mo/current-students/friday-emails/academic-year-2020-2021/), which is to “put your feet in others’ shoes”. The second one reminds us to stay positive, or “Half glass Full!” But of course, the other interpretation of the second quote is that whenever you think you are fortunate, please also prepare well for what not so fortunate to possibly happen in the future.
In order to learn to stay positive and be prepared, to learn to understand others, and to learn about the world, a very good way is to read more books. But what books should you read? I hope the following website can be useful to you. It provides not only the suggestions of books in different areas, but actually interviews with the authors, from which you could learn about why and how they write about the topics.
There are many “best book lists” in the world. Just Google them. Here are some suggestions:
- About Novels, including that by Kazuo Ishiguro (the Nobel Laureate in Literature): https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g34931305/best-books-2021/
- About Business, selected by McKinsey and Financial Times: https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/for-your-reading-list-the-2021-business-book-of-the-year-shortlist
- Other “Best Books”
- From The Times Book Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/books/review/best-books-2021.html?campaign_id=7&emc=edit_mbae_20211228&instance_id=48813&nl=morning-briefing%3A-asia-pacific-edition®i_id=125429639&segment_id=78042&te=1&user_id=71f82277718081aaa46f2c7a46afd5b5
Hope you enjoy these resources whenever you have time!
The Chinese New Year break will start on next Thursday. Hence, I will “meet” you again after the Chinese New Year break.
Happy Chinese New Year! Wish you and your family health, happiness, and prosperity! Just to remind you, “prosperity” to me is not about money. Wealth in life is all about a contented, meaningful life.”
Have you started your exercise routine? Don’t procrastinate!
This week, I would like to talk about mental health. I find it odd that people are eager to tell others that they are sick or they have caught a flu, but never want to admit that they are sad, upset, or depressed. Our minds also need care and can get sick at times, like our bodies. Let’s face it. Let’s talk about it. We live in an era of uncertainties, frustrations, and complications. We always find ourselves lost at times, with or without reasons. Many of you might find maintaining good scores very stressful. Others might suddenly ask why are you doing what, and for what, for whom. Mental health has become a bigger issue now in this pandemic years than ever after the lockdown, and no travelling “new normal”.
I would like to share with you the article on New York Times entitled “How to Improve Your Mental Health in 2022” (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/30/well/mind/mental-health-advice-2022.html). If you need subscription to get in, here’s some noteworthy points:
- Do not shy away from your feeling. You can even give your feeling a name. Talk to people you trust and/or professionals (Counsellors of SAO are very helpful). But do not “talk” about it in social media. Please observe the possibility of cyberbullying.
- Find purposes of your everyday activities. Amazingly, simple chores like cleaning your room or doing your laundry can give you a sense of accomplishment, and stop languishing.
- Try meditation. One easy way is, by Dr. Brewer: “Hold one hand in front of you, fingers spread. Now, slowly trace the outside of your hand with the index finger on your other hand, breathing in when you trace up a finger, and out when you trace down. Move up and down all five fingers. When you’ve traced your whole hand, reverse direction and do it again.”
- Allow yourself to grieve “small’ losses. An example, similar to that in the article, is to consider growing a small plant to represent burying your loss, which could be cancelation of an airline ticket, or a birthday party invitation.
- Take a “Sad Day” if your brain and body need a break!
- Write down what’s bothering you before going to bed so as to stop the matters lingering in your mind and stopping you from falling asleep. When you write, you will bravely confront to the matters. Very often, you will then realize they are more trivial than you think.
- Count sheep, or something. Counting will calm and bore you to sleep. But make sure you do not cheat yourself by continuously thinking and letting your mind roll.
- Give back whenever you can. Join volunteering work. Help others.
Hope this is helpful! It is important that we admit that we are not always as strong as we look, as we are expected, or as we want! We are just human beings! Even computers need switch-off time. So do we!
Happy New Year! Welcome back to school, and in particular, to HC! Hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas break, and wish you a happy start of the new semester!
To kick off a fresh start, let’s do something different. I am not going to talk about anything intellectual. Instead, I want to ask you to move! Yes, move! Work out! I am not saying you are chubby and therefore need to lose weight! In fact, some of you might actually be too skinny, especially girls! It is always OK to eat more, if more means healthy amount and healthy food!
Studies have confirmed that exercise enhances our mind. We can think better, sharper, and more creative, after a good workout. Sorry, not a 5-minute workout; that is not a workout! For any benefit to kick in, you need to do aerobic exercise for at least 20-30 minutes. Exercise can also strengthen our immune cells. Even better is that exercise brings us a sense of purpose. You tend to have goals and plans that make you think you find the meaning of life. In other words, physical activity is closely linked to psychological well-being!
I am telling you this because that is my own experience. I used to play tennis, squash, badminton, and swim. None of this, however, fitted the definition of “exercise” for me. They were only “sports” = for fun by spending time with friends once in a while. Now, my exercise is jogging and/or HIIT (high intensity interval training), every other day. No excuse! Just like you won’t have excuse for not sleeping, not eating!
Come on! Give your new year a fresh start! Pick some exercise that you will do frequently. And do not give up! A nice fast walk for 20-30 minutes will be a good start if you have no preferred exercise yet. Let me know when you can carry on with it throughout the semester! I shall wait for your replies in May! 😊 Again, feel free to share with me your valuable experiences!
I always start the last email of the semester with “Time Flies!”, which cannot be more suitable for other semesters than this one, thanks to the pandemic and the typhoons! Hope you could still catch up with your coursework without much difficulty! As usual, I will not bother you during your exam revision break, your exam period, and your lovely Christmas break.
In this last mail of the semester, I would like to suggest you the “S.T.O.P.” method for relieving your emotional blocks or stresses and restore your mindfulness, especially when you prepare for your examinations.
Stress can affect your judgement. So, before you even feel stressed or restless, you should practice the following so you can apply it anytime you need.
Stop: Pause! Stop whatever you are doing for a moment!
Take three slow deep breaths: Focus on your breaths, and you will find yourself more relaxed and relieved.
Observe yourself and your circumstances: Try to imagine you are another person looking at yourself, your feeling, your body, your reaction, and your surroundings.
Praise yourself in any way you can, big or small, and Proceed: Think about what you have done right, and/or what you are good at. Thank yourself for not making worse decisions. You will start seeing your issues with clearer views. Then, find your focus and proceed now with your clearer mind.
This method can help you not only when you are stressed, but also when you cannot think clearly. Practice by trying to remember some not so good moments of yours, such as those that would score 3-5 in your stress scale of 10. Then do the above S.T.O.P. After practicing this a few times, you will be able to apply it whenever you need it. Here are some sites that you can refer to: https://theantiburnoutclub.com/the-stopp-or-stop-method-for-anxiety-and-overwhelm/;
Start practicing today, and get ready for your exam weeks.
Good luck to your exams! Hope you have enjoyed this semester! Merry Christmas in advance!
Some of you are still at your hometowns rather than UM. We all miss you! I am quite sure you miss us too! No matter where you are, have you ever thought women at your place are, or being considered as, less capable? A recent study, “Women in the Workplace 2021”, showed that women have shown to be stronger leaders, but were being unrewarded over the past 18 pandemic months. One in three female says that she has considered “downshifting” her career or leaving her work during that period. The situation is worse for moms who were taken for granted children caretakers.
Upon reading this type of reports, I cannot help but feel really fortunate to be in the Greater China, at least in Macau, where I do not really feel much discriminated. So what is my point? Girls, nobody has the right to look down on you if you do not! March along your life with confidence (but not arrogance!). Show others that you are equally competent. Boys, you have no right to assume girls are not as good! Girls can be strong, more resilient, and persevere! Boys, you will find yourselves happier and more charismatic if you can respect everyone, including the other half of the world (i.e. female). Well, I must admit girls can be less capable in some aspects. However, that doesn’t mean girls are always inferior. Remember, every person, male, female, or other, has a role on earth! Even if you excel in many ways, you won’t excel in ALL ways. If someone has failed several times, guess what? He/she has already learnt enough to be stronger in the future! After all, who said all boys are strong? (Imagine me having a skeptical Emoji face 😝) Sorry, boys, if I sound discriminating you! My point is that we should not presume who is more capable and competent than whom.
Please respect everyone, and I mean EVERYONE and be better persons yourselves! Please help build a better world!
Did you try to browse about COP26? I would like to continue discussing the topic in a broader sense. Reduce creation of waste is only a very small step we each could do. What can countries do to slow down climate change? I suggest you to browse for answers. Examples of resources are: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58073295; and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-d6338d9f-8789-4bc2-b6d7-3691c0e7d138.
Countries have been advocating people to switch to electric cars. Why? Carbon emissions! Carbon dioxide constitutes a major part of greenhouse gas emissions, the latter of which come mainly from transportation, generating electricity, industry, agriculture, and others. You may ask how is agriculture, which is part of nature, related to greenhouse gas? Interestingly, another component of greenhouse gas is methane, which is emitted by livestock. Cows and sheep produce methane when they belch after eating grass (like we burp after eating). So, can you imagine human beings eating less meat can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
While I am not particularly asking you to eat less meat, I am sure you can help in many ways. Try carpooling and using public transportation and avoid only you driving a 4-seater car! You can also help by switching off lights and air conditioning whenever you leave the rooms. Do not wear a lot of clothes and turn on the air conditioning. Even better, please check this out: https://www.un.org/actnow:
Start with ten impactful actions
I am sure you can help! Please start from today if you have not done so yet!
What has been the big news over the week, and will continue till the next? The COP26!
What is it? Why is it important enough to worth discussion? COP26 is short for “The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference”, which is the 26th conference of UN Climate Change, held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. This conference is right after the G20 meeting in Rome, Italy. Their goal is simple: to cut emissions by 2030 so that global warming will not be over 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and eventually cut emission to zero by 2050.
Have you ever thought of how big a difference has 1.5 degrees Celsius made? It is November now. My personal experience is that I would have to wear cardigan in November 20 years ago. What are we wearing now? Short sleeves! Extreme weather, flooding, drought, avalanche, wild fire, you name it! All have occurred more frequently than ever.
The time for change in our life style is long overdue! Yet, it’s never too late. Do not keep giving yourselves excuses that your changes are too small to matter! When you change, the people around you will also change, even if not immediately.
Have a nice weekend, and start to change your lifestyle by reducing waste, recycling whenever possible, and reusing as much as you can!
Also for fun, here are some questions for you: (1) How are “climate” and “weather” different? (2) What can you “reduce, recycle and reuse” in your everyday lives? (3) What are G20, and G20 meetings for? (4) What is the role of China in this (G20 and COP26)?
Welcome to Autumn! Last Friday was actually cooler than today. Still, I could feel the light pleasant breeze in the early evening, which perhaps can be more enjoyable on campus than on the busy streets in Macau.
Fast approaching is not only the last one-third of the semester, but also Halloween! What are your plans over the Halloween weekend? I can see some RC HAs already preparing their RC haunted houses! Have fun being scared!!
I bet you have known since primary school that kids could “trick and treat” by knocking at neighbors’ doors and collect all sorts of candies. Remember how you were being stopped or complained by your parents for having too many candies? In today’s (New York is still having evening time) article on the New York Times, it is mentioned that Dr. Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia said children like sweet food 20 times more than adults! In the same article, Dr. Jennifer Orlet Fisher, professor at Temple University, commented, “It’s really not so much about the candy as the larger picture of what’s happening on all the other days of the week that really matters.” The article went on to mention a study at Pennsylvania State University about the consequence of forbidding the children to eat cookies in a clear jar (Poor kids!).
How’s that related to you, HCers? What can “the larger picture of what’s happening on all the other days of the week that really matters”, and “Don’t put the good stuff out of reach” remind you of? To me, the first sentence is about how one should not make judgement, perhaps on a person, by only one incident! Do not label people! The second one stimulates me to consider what good leaders should do. If I were a teammate, I would hope my team leader to embrace the people around him/her, understand our capabilities, be fair, and never set unreachable goals and unreasonable rules.
For “old” HCers, “Long time no see!”
For new HCers, “Welcome to the big HC family!”
I have done a couple of orientations last month. On Wednesday, I had a very nice chat at our orientation with those of you who joined UM this year. Today I am very excited to finally kick off my Friday emails for this academic year. For those who do not know what it is, I always send you an email on Friday of every teaching week, usually about topics I come across and/or feel worthy to share. These include notes on leadership, the latest development or news in different areas, how to work efficiently and effectively, how to appreciate life and appreciate people and nature, the ways to relax or overcome obstacles, and so on. I hope you will like them. We have uploaded most, if not all, of those email contents on our HC webpage. Please feel free to do some browsing. In particular, please dig out one about “Respect” and one about how to write emails properly.
Today, I would like to start by sharing an article entitled “Self-Disciplined People are Happier (and Not as Deprived as You Think)”, which you can find from the TIME magazine, or here: https://healthland.time.com/2013/06/24/self-disciplined-people-are-happier-and-not-as-deprived-as-you-think/
I am sure you as HCers will have less trouble disciplining yourselves. That said, please be realistic! There are always times when you really want to procrastinate. You might feel bad afterwards, especially when you ended up not having enough time to finish your work before the deadline. Why not tell yourselves that better self-control will make you happier? The article ended with this favorable line, “… it may mean saving now to get a big payoff later.” I shall leave this as an open question for you. Please feel free to share with me your thoughts if and whenever you like.
By the way, if you are Chinese, you might have noticed that “Long time no see!” is a direct translation from Chinese. This is only one etymological explanation. The other one was that it was first used by a native American long time ago. In any case, please make sure you use it only for informal greetings!
Welcome back! And for those newly joint HC, welcome to our big HC family!
It’s been over a month since the semester has started! I did not send any mails to you because I have been waiting for our new HCers, Class of 2025, to join us. But it takes so long that I cannot wait to say “Hi!” to you anymore!
To start off this semester, even though we don’t have a full family at the moment, instead of sharing new thoughts with you, I would like to remind you what HCers should do. Remember “ELITE” in our slogan? If not, search for it! In case you have not noticed, we have already held some HC activities. For instance, I have already given a couple of Honours Project briefings. We have had an alumnus sharing session by Henry Sio. There will be research workshops, Afternoon Break with HCers, and HC Leadership Lecture Series in this week and the next. I hope to see you there, especially for those who have registered for the activities and events! Being HCers means being responsible people who respect others. Once you have signed up events and activities, you have agreed to go, both physically and mentally, even if there is no signed agreement! You listen and participate, not using your smart phones! If you cannot come in the end due to some urgent matter, a responsible way is to inform the HC Office as soon as you know you cannot come. Four of the five attributes in “ELITE” are related to you being responsible and respecting others. Show me you are HCers!
Have a great Mid-Autumn Festival!