13 thoughts on “Two books I am reading this holiday”

  1. i just came back from Oklahoma, spend a week there like vacationing at home. had some good and needed rest. seeing friends, eating greasy food, hearing some gossips, waking up with no pressure waiting at all. the bad thing is, a week passed sooner than i liked. so i am back to the grind, again.

    learning is a life long process. we are constantly taught by things happening around us or situations we faces everyday. if we be able to change and adjust by what we learn, then we are improving and become better and happier. along with these experiences, we make our choices. and these choices could be only right to us. that’s the wisdom we accumulate as we age on. have the courage to choose what we want, is the best way to live. i admire you.

    spa treatment is very much the thing of the day now. seeing so many spa houses in NYC, i know business must be good. before i retired usually i would have my session after work before i went home every other week. now i can only go on weekends or holidays. every time, i was so relaxed and let loose, i would fall asleep. this is one of the best ways to nourish our body and sometimes our soul. i will love to continue doing it until the end of my days.

    my sister now is back in Taipei to stay. maybe next year i will go back to visit her and have a longer stay. some of my friends from Oklahoma are back in Taipei to retire too. at our age, we do look for better fitting place to spend time and enjoy life. Taipei definitely is a very good city to be in. you are ahead of us on this subject, again.

    ok, that’s all for now. good day.

  2. Dear Freda:

    I agree with you that life fills with so man simple pleasures. Reading, listening music, engaging a creative process and a cup of hot tea are my kind of happy moment. Of course, if I can make someone’s day that day, it would be a perfect day for me. 🙂 I don’t have TV in my house, therefore, I have plenty of time to be with myself.

    Your writing here always made my day.

    We are the lucky few who have the option to live either in metropolitan area or countryside. For most young people, they are still busy realizing their dream or simply struggling to survive the cruel reality.

    Actually, I am still busy realizing my dream and redefine a sustainable business model so we don’t need to engage the conventional competitive game. We are more into collaborative, co-creation and ecosystem buiding model. There is enough success for everyone to enjoy only if we know who we are and what not to do.

    Spa treatment is a form of preventive medicine if you ” choose ” spa treatment the priority in your life. ( not affordability issue ). I consider spa as a tune up for your body and mind. I am thankful for the spa healers ( masseurs ) to care for my body whenever I was be taking care of. I never want to feel being pampered, instead, it is nurturing and knowing you are taking care of your body and mind through meditative and loving touching. If you go to spa as a pampering service or indulging luxury, you will not cultivate this positive gratefulness feeling.

    Your mom is a good gardener. It is this simple mindset that will grow the beautiful produce. I am not so good because I don’t pay enough attention and patience to allow nature take her way. I am still learning.

    Good to hear from you as usual.


  3. my mom used to farm a good size garden in my back yard. she was a total success on producing our daily organic vegetables, most of them were the kinds we couldn’t find in the market at that time in Oklahoma. she had such joy everyday seeing her plants first thing in the morning. usually she would harvest more than we can consume, then she would make them dried and cooked them in soup. i can still smell the fragrance from my memory. she was an amateur. farming is a good therapy for the body and soul.

    recently i have finally found a new Aveda full service salon in my neighborhood. the facial lady was very much a living example of Aveda life style. within the 1.5 hour facial time, she had told me her life story. so positive and energetic. she is a complete day maker. she was surprised by how much i knew about Aveda, then i told her i have a guru brainwashed me. life is good when you have good haircuts and facial massages regularly. the older i get, the more i enjoy these kind of leisure pleasures.

    reading for fun is my major accomplishment besides raising my grandson nowadays. Jane Austen has always been my favorite novel author. reread her fictions and listen to 蔡琴,sometimes made my days ended on a high note. i can not imagine a world without books. loving to read is a habit we have to cultivate from a young age. easiest way is to be modeled by parents. keeping a high curiosity level is the other key to reading. you just have to love learning for new things and ideas.

    i do compare my city living here in NYC with my country style in Oklahoma, often. even though i love the quietness of the countryside, i am learning to enjoy what the city offers to me now. there is a lot of convenience that i can find here which is indeed pleasant. it’s very much like living in Taipei, which i do miss from time to time.

    ok, enough said. until next time, be good.

  4. live life fully is success. exactly, right on. i wasn’t talking about your business empire, or the fact that you are quite famous now in Taipei’s social and cultural arena. it’s the fact that you choose what you do and do it so very well, and being such a positive influence to our society, yet keeping yourself grounded with a simple life. all these are very admirable. if you don’t call that successful, i don’t know what can you all it?

    no, i am not biased. you know how square i am.

    reading is important. i keep telling to my kids, if you want to have a happy marriage, read a lot. reading is one major key to reinvest and rejuvenate, enrich and improve our lives and personal characters, which in turn, will inject with surprised interests and pleasant beauties into our daily routine. and technology has made this task so much easier now. there is no excuse not to read anymore. yes, i did go back to old books too. i usually have older music on while i read them, the songs i thought was secular and didn’t care to listen at all. it must be the age thing, now the older wisdom makes sense to me now.

    one big reason i enjoy your book very much is, it’s resourceful. you introduce many valuable up-to-date informations from the top of our modern world, which lead us to open our eyes and eventually open our hearts. i like that. it may just be the cure to my age’s dementia. i can see how hard you have worked on each and every one of these articles. your attempt has been achieved. soon you’ll be a guru.

    keep farming. i want to see your produces soon. take a picture or something.

    good day.

    1. Dear Freda:

      I like to see our dialogue here, back and forth like a sounding board.

      I know some of readers here also read your comment and learned from your perspective in life and in the meaning of living a life fully.

      I often told my team that only they, themselves, would know if they are growing, professionally, personally and spiritually. They don’t have to prove this to me or anyone else.

      One good measure of this is to see if you read any books lately. I was amazed to know there are so many people who seldom read books, spending most of time in front of TV screen or meaningless chatting or socializing.

      Thank you for commenting on the effort I intentionally made to encourage readers to explore more and be in touch with the world class info. We have too many books on ” filtered info ” and not enough books with copious ” reference ” or “index”. It is a lazy part of the authors in Taiwan and unsophisticated readers. I choose books on the basis of how authors have done their own research and pay homage to where their idea comes from.

      Yes, we are getting old. Yes, our body has broken apart. Yes, our energy level is down a lot. Yes, our memory fails us a lot.

      However, our resolute to become a better person everyday is never fading. This is why I still right click on the underlined word and check the dictionary of this word on my Mac. I don’t want to lose a chance to learn a new word, even I may forget the word in a few minutes. It is this spirit and desire to learn that keep us young at heart and at mind.

      I just wrote something about there is no such thing as amateur farmer. 🙂 It was a total disaster when I planted some vegetable patch in my little farm land.

      OK, I will post some photos on this blog in the future.

      Love you dearly,


  5. Dear Freda:

    Success in life is relative. You have raised two kids with beautiful souls. This, to many people and to the world, is a major success in life.

    I don’t think I am successful. I just decided to live an authentic life at the cost of being a good father and husband. To many people, I am a total failure.

    Again, success or failure, the main issue is to live a life of your choice and be accountable for your choice.

    Live life fully is success.

    Thank you to read my book with such an enthusiasm. I know you are biased. 🙂 However, you are the few people know where I come from in Taiwan. I am glad we did not grow apart, at least, from the point of positive emotion and an engaged life.

    I admit that I am a veracious reader. I read almost anything. I picked up some old classics on Tang and Song poems lately. I cannot remember any of these beautiful verse. I just think it is the right moment to review these old verse in a new environment in Dulan, Taitung. I will learn how to relate my emotion with these new and old verse. Poems are the best way to be in touch of your creative soul.

    You should start writing. A Daily Journal could be a good start. A novel is an ultimate story telling and creative exercise. I wish one day I could write a novel.

    Only through farming by honest hard labor will you build a new relationship with land and nature.

    Be happy,


  6. it sounds so wonderful, Ping. a farmer’s life is very much admired by a lot of people who live in city. all these not so new facts of life are rare and fresh to us now. in between the lines, though i can totally read your satisfaction and explosive happiness. direct contact with our mother earth is one of the most natural things from the core of our being. cherish your time there, it’s a hard earned treasure.

    farmer’s market is one of my most desired places to go in NYC. their organic produce and products are fast goners in the morning, so for serious shoppers, we have to go early to get the best ones. you are right, a lot of times, those veggies are hard and tough, not so easy to chew. but organic farmers here are getting better and better, some of their produces are hard to tell from conventional ones. forgive me by using conventional vs organic, that’s what they use in the store. arguably, organic should be the conventional and the only standard of farming. well, anyway, noble or not, i am supporting the local farmers by eating for my health and mind.

    i almost finish reading your book. have to say, i admire your indefatigable effort of sharing your philosophy of life and experience of reaching happiness to our general public, especially the younger generations. your sense of mission is vividly jumping out of your words without any reservation. your reading habit is totally a beautiful role model for your young fans. i am completely defeated in comparison. the fact of you reading everything in insight, is an amazing mystery to me. i can only read the subjects that interest my curiosities. and being a librarian for a life time, i have read a lot. now i can see why you succeed so vigorously. that is a wonderful accomplishment.

    for now, good day. happy new year!

  7. you are totally right. we vote with what we buy. and we want our health above most of all. i see more and more company turning to the eco friendly direction to build up their business. the younger generations totally woo to the concept. in Brooklyn, New York, a new Chinese restaurant uses only organic produces to cook in their menu, the menu is quite small compare to the regular restaurant, but the business is wonderful. likewise, Whole Food’s success is well known. the world definitely is going to a right and better direction. eventually, the price will cool down once most of the companies are doing the same thing. right now, the affordability still is an issue for a lot of lower income population.

    1. Dear Freda:

      A belated Happy Chinese New Year. I stay in my Dulan retreat during this holiday.

      Let me share one thing with you as a small part time farmer. It is so difficult to cultivate an organic vegetable garden in sub tropic climate like Taitung. I have to race with the worms or bugs for the tiny share of fresh leafy vegetables. I tried to pick the leaves that bugs leave it alone. Guess what? Now, I realized why bugs did not eat these beautiful leaves. It is simply too tough to eat for human too. 🙂

      Now, I also realized that the roadside beautiful vegetable patches were sprayed with pesticide during the germinating period. Once they overcome the early attack of bugs, the farmer stop spraying so the pesticide residue is harmless to human consumption. Otherwise, you will need to grow vegetables inside a netted dome.

      I also realized why farmers did not like butterfly. In my small cultivated land, there are thousands of small white butterflies. It was a magic ever moving dance ritual, beautiful and lively. Farmers know that these beautiful creatures are busy laying their eggs so they can be hatched on time to eat all the young shoots. I can see the entire patch of vegetables disappeared over night. Luckily, I don’t make a living on selling vegetables. If I were farmer, I will have to use pesticides to have better yield so I can raise my family.

      Now, you also know why organic leafy vegetables is expensive. It is difficult to scale it up. Unless you cultivate leafy vegetables in the manmade controlled facilities, it is almost impossible to produce “large scale” leafy vegetables in the open air natural environment.

      Let’s support small farmers whenever we can. They deserve our support for treating earth gently. It is a much noble reason than the self interest based on eating healthy organic food. 🙂

      May you stay healthy in body, mind and spirit.

      Love from Dulan,


  8. Dear Freda:

    I am interested in Method because they claimed to be a true C2C inspired company. However, C2C has different levels. Aveda have a few products being certified by a much higher level of C2C.

    We vote with what we buy.

    The world will become a better place only if we become a conscious consumers.


  9. Dear Cerise
    The second book is by psychologist Roy Baumeister. Baumeister discovered that willpower actually operates like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse. Willpower is fueled by glucose, and it can be bolstered simply by replenishing the brain’s store of fuel. That’s why eating and sleeping- and especially failing to do either of those-have such dramatic effects on self-control (and why dieters have such a hard time resisting temptation). http://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Rediscovering-Greatest-Human-Strength/dp/1594203075

  10. yes, i actually love the Method hand wash products. it was the clean and simple design caught my eyes in the beginning. then i found their philosophy of the non-toxic idea was really appealing. i have not read the book yet, i am sure it must be a good read.

  11. hi Mr. Chiu,

    Happy Holidays 🙂

    Believe that you’ve enjoyed your holidays a lot.

    Just travelled by myself for 10 days around Switzerland and Austria, was so touched and moved by the unspoiled nature and peaceful living pace there. Feeling so grateful that I could be exposed to such breathtaking scenery in life. To me, the advantage of travelling alone is to have time to talk to myself, facing the challenges and being confident enough to sort it out. And because of the nature of travelling around Europe via trains, I got more time to read (on Kindle, the gift from my company).

    I am therefore very interested in the books you are reading now. I’ve done some researches and found out that the first one is The Method Method:Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down, by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry. Already found it on Amazon would definitely give a it a read!

    Yet I failed to find the second one, so I wonder could you please share some information about this book related to ‘willpower’? To be honest, I’ve been discovering/improving my own willpower in various ways in my life, so I guess this book might be helpful me and I believe other readers of your blogs would surely benefit from it as well.

    By the way I am coming back to Taiwan for election and Chinese New Year and have decided to visit the Canmeng Institute 實習沙龍, just because I think new talents deserve opportunities and appreciation. Hopefully they will make you proud. 🙂

    All the best and many thanks,

    Cerise from UK

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