Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Friday, July 1, 2022

Use of Tenses

To write well, you need to know how to use English tenses correctly. Tenses are difficult to many because in many languages tenses are not used to express "time" or the "relationship of sequence"; instead, adverbs, such as "yesterday", "tomorrow", "soon" etc. are used.

To learn how to use English tenses correctly, you must have a perception of the "time" element.

Let's take a look at present tense, present continuous tensepresent perfect tensepast tense, and past perfect tense with the following examples:

PAST<----------------------------------------------------->PRESENT

e.g. I am a U.S. citizen. (present tense)
                            
e.g. I haven been a U.S. citizen for many years. (present perfect tense—I was and still am)

e.g. I live in the United States. (present tense—a fact)   

e.g. I am living in the United States. (present continuous tense—sometimes I live in other places, but right now I am living in the United States)

e.g. I lived in the United States. (past tense—a fact in the past)

e.g. I had lived in the United States for many years, but now I no longer do. (past perfect tense—an action that took place for some time in the past)

Can you now tell the differences between the following sentences?

e.g. I am still a student in this community college.

e.g. I was a student in this community college last year.

e.g. I have been a student in this community college since 2016.

e.g. I had been a student in this community college between 2010 and 2013.

Hopefully, the above examples have demonstrated how you should use some of the English tenses correctly.

Read my book Effective Writing Made Simple. Click here to find out more.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 30, 2022

FREE BOOK - Living in Reality

 

"Living in Reality" is accountability.

Here is a hypothetical illustration of "accountability":

You were one of the last two persons at a bar. You were sitting close to each other. The person finished his drink and left the bar, leaving some cash for the bartender, who, at that moment, was away with your credit card. You grabbed the tip left on the table by the man who had just left, and then placed it toward you. The bartender returned with your credit card, looked at the money right in front of you, and said: “Thank you.” 

Did you do anything "wrong"? 

If you had intended not to give the bartender any tip anyway, what you did had not "changed" the scenario—the bartender would still have said: “Thank you” with or without your tip, and she would have received the same amount of tip. 

What is important in that hypothetical illustration is the accountability. The reality of one minor misbehavior with no accountability will often lead to many more serious ones with no accountability. 

The "No-Accountability" Mindset 

In this world, many have developed their own “no accountability” mindset based on their own beliefs, their own justifications, and their own rationalizations. They simply have no accountability to the law and order, not to mention to God. 

For example, the laws are made to be broken because some of the lawmakers themselves do not comply or even obey the law they have created. That explains the prevalence of crimes committed in society. For example, the police are not to be obeyed, because the police are corrupt, and often racially biased. For example, the Church is not to be trusted because there are so many sexual scandals among priests. So, pastors and priests are not to be trusted and accountable to. For example, God is neither fair nor just: there is so much discrepancy between the abundant and the lack; between the good who suffer and the bad who prosper and are seemingly blessed. So, why should there be accountability to God? The thinking mind: “I am not the only one with no accountability; I am just one of the many. So, what is wrong with that?”

But, if you are a true believer, you will believe in your accountability to God, and you will live your life quite differently from an unbeliever.

Get this FREE BOOK to find out how to become a believer.

Stephen Lau


 


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

American Idioms


Eat like a horse: eat a lot
e.g. They won’t invite you to dinner next time; just now you ate like a horse.

Don’t hold your breath: it might take longer than you think
e.g. At last the law might be passed at the Congress, but don’t hold your breath.

Ins and outs of something: details to do something right
e.g. Take your time; you need to know the ins and outs of this procedure in order to do it right.

Has had its day: no longer popular
e.g. This bulky lawn mower has had its day. We need to get a new one.

Run in the family: a characteristic in all members of a family
e.g. Longevity runs in the family: they all live to a ripe old age.

You bet: yes, of course
e.g. “Are you hungry?” “You bet!”

Easy does it: go carefully and slowly
e.g. This TV set is heavy, so easy does it.

In nothing flat: in exactly no time at all
e.g. Don’t worry! I’ll get you to the airport in nothing flat.

All at sea: confused
e.g. The lawyer was all at sea when he read the two conflicting reports of the incident.

Alive and kicking: living and healthy; okay
e.g. I had been sick for some time, but now I am alive and kicking.”
e.g. “How are you?” “Well, alive and kicking.”



Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Preparing Yourself for Effective Writing

Preparing Yourself for Effective Writing

To write effectively, you must prepare yourself.

Getting Some Basic Tools

Effective writing requires lifelong learning and finding answers to all your questions about writing. Accordingly, you need to get some basic tools for your effective writing: 

A dictionary 

Use a dictionary to find out what words mean and to make sure that words mean what you think they mean.

Use a dictionary to see a word in context so that you have better understanding of how that word should be used in your own writing.

Use a dictionary to find out the preferred spelling of a word because the same word can be spelled differently.

Use a dictionary to determine the usage of a word, such as the preposition that normally goes with it

A thesaurus

A thesaurus may help you find the right word to use. Sometimes you cannot recall a certain word that you may wish to use; in that case, a dictionary may not be able to help you. A thesaurus provides words and phrases that are close in meaning. 

Understanding the Purpose of Writing 

You write not just for your teachers or your readers, but, more importantly, for yourself. There are several reasons why you should write: 

Writing may be a part of your job description. Writing letters, memos, reports, minutes of meetings, and sending e-mails may be your daily tasks at your workplace.

Writing affords you an opportunity to explore yourself—your thoughts and feelings. Writing is often a journey of self-discovery: you begin to find out more about who you are, and what your values are. Writing is more than an expression of self: it creates the self. To that end, you can write a diary or journal for self-expression. Regular journal writing not only improves your writing skill but also expands your thinking.

Writing helps you organize your thinking. Effective writing requires you to put your random thoughts into a coherent pattern. Through writing, you learn to mentally articulate your ideas in a more logical and systematic way. Writing regularly improves your logic and sharpens your power of reasoning.

Writing enhances your ability to use language for specific purposes. You begin to realize how some writers use manipulative language to persuade others. Accordingly, you learn to “read between the lines” as well as to recognize the truths from the myths.

Writing is an effective means of communication with others. Even when you write an e-mail to your friends, you have to make yourself intelligible by writing what you mean and meaning what you write.

Writing is an important communication skill. Reap all the benefits of writing by learning how to write. Make a virtue out of your necessity.

What separates EFFECTIVE WRITING Made Simple from other books on how to improve your writing skill?

First, this book is presented in a simple and easy-to-follow format: it is easy to read and understand. Second, this book is comprehensive: it covers every aspect of good writing—from basic grammar, correct sentences, effective use of words, paragraph development, to style and usage. With many examples and illustrations, this book is like a handy manual at your fingertips for easy reference. Effective writing is an essential communication skill in inter-personal relationships and in almost every profession.


In English, sometimes words and phrases are slanted to the right--the use of italics. Effective writing requires the use of italics appropriately. The following  shows how to use italics effectively:

(1) Use italics for titles.

e.g. The film The Interview has caused much controversy.
e.g. Have you read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace?

(2) Use italics for foreign words. The English language has acquired many foreign words, such as chef from France, and spaghetti from Italy, that have become part of the English language and they do not require to be put in italics.  However, many foreign words still require to be out in italics.

e.g. Gato is a Spanish word for cat.
e.g. Balance is expressed in the concept of yin and yang.

(3) Use italics for names of aircraft, ships, and trains.

e.g. Titanic  hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage.

(4) Use italics for emphasis, but avoid its overuse:

e.g. It is easy to find out how you can avoid credit card debt, but it is difficult to actually do it.

(5) Use italics for words, phrases, letters, and numbers used as words.

e.g. The alphabet b and d are easily confused by young children.
e.g. Do you know the difference between allude and delude?
e.g. Many people consider 13 an unlucky number.



Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Stephen Lau

Monday, June 27, 2022

Learning Grammar Basics

ADJECTIVES

An adjective describes a noun. Adjectives often give precision and meaning to sentences; in other words, they add color to your writing.

Beware: some words are both adjectives (describing nouns) and adverbs (modifying verbs).

e.g. This is hard work. (an adjective)
e.g. He works hard. (an adverb)

Linking verbs, such as bebecomelookseemsmelltaste, require the use of adjectives rather than adverbs.

e.g. He is happy.
e.g. She became angry. (NOT angrily)
e.g. He looked angrily at you. (it was the action expressed in the look)
e.g. The man looked angry. (it was the expression, not the action)
e.g. The cake smells wonderful. (NOT wonderfully)
e.g. The wine tastes good. (NOT well)

Conjunctions

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses in sentences. They are coordinating or subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. They join two or more complete or independent sentences.

e.g. He likes coffee, and so do I (like coffee).
 e.g. He likes cheese, but I do not (like cheese).
e.g. (You ) work harder, or you will not succeed.
e.g. I don’t want to go, nor will I (go).
e.g. Summer is approaching, for the days are getting longer.
e.g. He worked hard, so he passed his exam with flying colors.
e.g. He worked hard, yet the result was far from satisfactory.

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions join unequal elements in a sentence or clause that cannot stand alone.

e.g. When we arrived at the station, the train had left.
e.g. We will not succeed unless we get your support.
e.g. I will help you as long as you ask me.
e.g. I will help you whenever you ask me.
 e.g. I will help you provided (that) you ask me.
 e.g. I will help you if you ask me.
 e.g. Although I am your brother, I will not help you.
e.g. You will stay here till everything is done.
e.g. He behaved as though he were better than you.
e.g. Though he had lost his fortune, he remained cheerful.
e.g. Since spring is coming, we have to prepare the garden.
 e.g. Because spring is coming, we have to prepare the garden.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Correct Use of Pronouns

Correct Use of Pronouns

Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that stands for a noun. Effective use of pronouns allows flexibility in writing.

e.g. Peter left for New York. He drove there in his new car.

e.g. I bought myself an expensive watch. It cost me one thousand dollars.

Relative pronouns (who, whom, which, that) introduce clauses that describe nouns or pronouns. These relative clauses can be restrictive (i.e. containing essential information), or non-restrictive (i.e. containing only additional but non-essential information).

Compare the following pairs of sentences:

e.g. The van that hit my dog was a mini van. (correct)

The relative clause above identifies the van, and therefore is essential to meaning of the sentence.

e.g. The van, which hit my dog, was a mini van.(incorrect)

The non-restrictive relative clause above provides only additional information. The use of a non-restrictive clause with the two commas further implies that it can be deleted; however, without which hit my dog, the sentence would not make much sense.

e.g. The reporter who took the photos is now being sued for invasion of privacy. (correct)

The relative clause above is restrictive because it identifies the reporter being sued.

e.g. The reporter, who took the photos, is now being sued for invasion of privacy. (correct)

The relative clause above becomes non-restrictive with the addition of two commas, and who took the photos becomes extra information non-essential to the meaning of the sentence. The sentence without the non-restrictive clause who took the photos would still make sense, and therefore is correct as it stands.

Knowing the difference between a restrictive and non-restrictive relative clause will help you in effective sentence construction.

Incorrect use of subjective pronouns is a common grammatical error.

e.g. My father and I went to see the show. (NOT me: both of us went to see the show)

e.g. It is I who made the decision. (NOT me: I made the decision.)

e.g. The real losers are we ourselves. (NOT us: we are the real losers.)

e.g. The man who called us was who? (NOT whom: who called us?)

e.g. The woman who killed her baby was she. (NOT her: she killed her baby.)

e.g. Peter and he went to the movie. (NOT him: both went to the movie.)

The correct use of pronouns can be difficult with certain expressions, such as, as and more than. The following pairs of sentences are correct, but the meaning is different.

e.g. She likes him more than I. (She likes him more than I like him.)

e.g. She likes him more than me. (She likes him more than she likes me.)

e.g. I like Peter better than she. (I like Peter better than she likes Peter.)

e.g. I like Peter better than her. (I like Peter better than I like her.)

Use possessive pronouns with gerunds (words ending in ing) correctly.

e.g. You don’t like my going to the fair by myself. (NOT me going: you don’t like the “going” not “me” the person.)

e.g. Your smirking irritates me. (NOT you smirking: not “you” but your “smirking” irritates me)

A pronoun must agree with its antecedent (the noun that a pronoun refers to).

e.g. All is well. (referring to the sum of all things)

e.g. All are well. (referring to a number of people)

e.g. Everyone wants to get his or her application submitted. (NOT their)
e.g. None of them is going to succeed. (NOT are: the subject is none)

e.g. Some is better than none. (referring to a quantity)

e.g. Some are good. (referring to a number of things)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Healthier and Younger

 





YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER FOR LONGER

All About . . . .

Today, the mass media have bombarded the public with tons of information about health and wellness, so much so that it may become even stressful and confusing to some individuals.

One of the objectives of this book is to present relevant information in a readable and easy-to-follow format. You need not read the entire book, though it is recommended that you do. This book is organized in such a way that you can scan the detailed contents page with appropriate headings to find the information you need to deal with your own specific life problems and health issues.

This book is comprehensive in that it covers virtually all aspects of a healthy body, mind, soul—the requisites for becoming younger and healthier for longer.

Life is a myriad of complex problems, which are often inter-related. This book provides you with different choices of solutions. Instead of getting old gracefully, why not mature healthily and youthfully?
The ominous reminders of old age and mortality are your more frequent visits to doctors, the wrinkles on your face, and the change of shape and structure of your physique, among others. Overcoming these ravages of aging is what this book is all about.

This book (more than 200 pages) has a holistic approach to anti-aging; it is a handbook for both men and women in the art of living well in different phases of life through a healthy body, mind, and soul.

This book looks at the reasons why prayers are seldom answered; not from the perspectives of Biblical or spiritual wisdom, but from the perspectives of human wisdom, more specifically, from the TAO wisdom, which is the profound wisdom of the ancient sage Lao Tzu from China more than 2,600 years ago.

Irrespective of whether you pray or not, understanding why prayers are seldom answered may provide a blueprint for your daily life and living in a toxic world so that you may survive and live as if everything is a miracle.

The above is what this book is all about. Click here to get your copy from AMAZON.

The  Outline of the Book . . . .

Foreword
Chapter One: AGING
(1) THE AGING PROCESS
The hard facts of aging
(2) THE DIFFERENT THEORIES OF AGING
The free radical theory of aging
The genetic theory of aging
The hormone theory of aging
The immunity theory of aging
The rate of living theory of aging
(3) ACCELERATED AGING SYNDROME
Potentials for accelerated aging
Factors contributing to accelerated aging
Chapter Two: LOOKING FOREVER YOUNGER
(1) A YOUTHFUL LOOK
Your skin is your youthful look
(2) HOW SKIN AGING BEGINS
Intrinsic aging
Extrinsic aging
(3) THE FACE AGING PROCESS
The twenties
The late twenties
The thirties
The forties
The fifties
The sixties
(4) SAVING THE FACE
Botox
Collagen injections
Fat injections
Restylane
(5) HOW TO SAVE YOUR SKIN
Antioxidants to save your skin
Protection from the sun to save your skin
Washing and massaging to save your face
(6) BODY IMAGE
Body weight
Weight training to stay younger for longer
Chapter Three: AGING ACCELERATORS
(1)THE RAVAGES OF FREE RADICALS
What are free radicals?
The sources of free radicals
Fighting free radicals
(2) DISEASE AGES
Balanced acid and alkaline levels
(3) PAIN AGES
Pain as an agent of aging
Pain reactions and responses
Dealing with pain
Arthritis pain
Back pain
Cancer pain
Headaches
(4) STRESS AGES
What is stress?
How stress can age you
Signs and symptoms of stress
Causes of stress
Perceptions of stress
Practical measures to manage stress
Relaxation techniques
Chapter Four: AGGRESSIVE AGE ERASERS
(1) THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Your cellular health
How your cells may become damaged
The damages by free radicals
Boosting your immunity
Protecting the immune system
Removing toxins
Balancing the immune system
(2) YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY
Health awareness
Health decision
Chapter Five: HEALTHIER FOR LONGER
(1) YOUNGER AT HEART
Heart health according to body shape
Enhancing and maintaining heart health
Medical procedures to treat he
art disease
A younger and healthier heart-the Oriental way
(2) BREATHING RIGHT
Enemies of the respiratory system
Breathe right for healthier lungs
(3) A HEALTHIER FOR LIVING LONGER
The importance of the liver
Liver dysfunction
Presence of Gallstones
Alcoholic liver disease
Enhancing liver health
(4) A CLEANER DIGESTIVE SYSTEM FOR LIVING LONGER
The digestion process
Incomplete digestion
Efficient digestion
Efficient elimination
Disorders and diseases of the digestive system
Colon cleansing
(5) MORE FUNCTIONAL KIDNEYS FOR OPTIMUM URINARY HEALTH
Dysfunctional kidneys
Symptoms of dysfunctional kidneys
Kidney Cleansing
(6) HEALTHIER FOR LONGER WITH A HEALTHIER BRAIN
Health factors optimizing brain health
Brain activities to retard aging
Social activities to stimulate brain vitality
Physical activities to help mental activity
Chapter Six: YOUNGER FOR LONGER
(1) ATTITUDES
Humor
Confidence
Creativity and imagination
Health prospects
(2) MENTAL HEALTH
The important minerals
Omega 3 fatty acids
Food allergies and toxins
Antioxidant vitamins
Changing mental perceptions
Changing the thinking mind
The don’ts about depression
(3) SPIRITUALITY
Ways to become more spiritual
(4) SEXUAL FULFILLMENT AND LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
Sexual fulfillment
Love relationships
Marriage
(5) LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Positive facts about aging
More than a life of leisure
Volunteer work
Self-improvement
Self-expression
Making the best and the most
Exercise
Relaxation and Sleep
Dealing with life problems
Chapter Seven: EATING FOR YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER
(1) THE BASICS OF HEALTHY EATING
(2) FOODS MAKING YOU YOUNGER FOR LONGER
Chlorella
Wheat grass
(3) FOODS MAKING YOU HEALTHIER FOR LONGER
Apples
Brown rice
Garlic
Sea vegetables
Sweet potatoes and yams
(4) DRINKS MAKING YOU YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER FOR LONGER
Burdock and daikon drink
Four greens drink
Pine needles drink
(5) EATING FOR THE BALANCE AND HARMONY
The yin and yang concept
The Five Elements
Chapter Eight: WHAT EVERY MAN NEEDS TO KNOW AND DO
(1) SUCCESS
In pursuit of success
Preparing for success
Success and self-esteem
Building self-esteem
(2) MAJOR DESTROYERS OF YOUTH AND HEALTH
Smoking
Excessive drinking
Worshipping the sun

(3) LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
How a man is assessed
Understanding a woman’s emotional needs
Marriage
Ending a relationship
(4) SEX
The Importance of male sexual health
Testosterone and your sexual health
Are you in good sexual health?
Male erectile dysfunction
Herbs and nutritional supplements for men’s better sexual health
Male low libido
Prostate problems
Post-marital sexual desire
(5) MEN’S BODY IMAGE
Body shape image
Facial image
Hair image
(6) MEN’S MAJOR HEALTH ISSUES
Bladder tumors
Colorectal cancer
Diabetes
Heart disease
Kidney stones
Lung cancer
Osteoporosis
Prostate problems
(7) HERBS FOR MEN
Herbs for sexual health
Herb for mental stress
Herbs for general wellness
Herb for a healthy heart
Herb for energy and strength
Herb for weight control
(8) PREVENTIVE SCREENING
Chapter Nine: WHAT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW AND DO
(1) BE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
The three commandments for a beautiful face
Facial regimens for a beautifu
l face
Cellulite
Double chin
Varicose veins
(2) BE A SUCCESSFUL WOMAN
Sexual harassment
(3) LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
Seeking a love relationship
No great expectations
Self-Esteem in a love relationship
Making yourself appealing to men
The right man for the right relationship
A failing relationship
Making a good love relationship better
(4) A STABLE MARRIAGE
Health benefits
What a marriage entails
Marriage and basic human needs
Foundation of a happy and good marriage
Dealing with marital conflicts
Divorce
(5) SEX FOR A WOMAN
Sexual receptivity
Sexual dysfunctional problems
Sexual fantasies
Affair-proof your marriage
(6) HEALTH PROBLEMS
Disease advantage
Healthier and younger for longer
Herbal cures
Bladder problems
Breast cancer
Hysterectomy
Menopause
Osteoporosis
CHAPTER TEN: RECAPS AND HIGHLIGHTS
THE MENTAL
THE PHYSICAL
THE INTELLECTUAL
THE EMOTIONAL
THE SPIRITUAL


YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER FOR LONGER

Friday, June 24, 2022

Money and Marriage

 



LOVE AND MONEY WISDOM

The wisdom of love

If you feel gratitude for those you love and for those who love you, you‘ll be happy.

If you appreciate what you now have, you’ll not feel the lack.

If you love and forgive yourself totally (only you can do that, and no one can do that for you), you’ll learn to let go of the past and move forward with your happiness.

The wisdom of love will give you the energy within for you to do anything and everything in every aspect of your life to give you happiness.

The wisdom of love and money

If you want to marry rich, do you think of love first, or the one you’re going to marry?

If you’re rich, does your loved one love you or your money? The rich and the wealthy, due to their ego, often don’t really care.

If you aren’t rich, do you love an individual irrespective of that individual’s abundance or lack?

There’re no definitive answers to all of the above questions. True and genuine love is unconditional, which is loving someone with or without money, and love is priceless.

The bottom line

Money cannot buy love, and love cannot buy money—that’s the reality. But love is hardly disconnected from the reality of living in the material world that involves money. And that’s also the reality.

So, you must focus on your own core values, such as honesty, integrity, love, compassion, generosity, and gratitude, among others. Your core values have little to do with money; instead, they demonstrate the values of what life has to offer, and not the values of things purchased with money. Your core values affect how you may live for the rest of your life, including with your marriage partner.

So, look at love and money from your own perspectives, such that you’ll not end up only loving money, and not its wisdom.

Getting Married to Make You Happy?

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The TAO in Everything

 


The TAO is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago. as 

The TAO has thrived and survived thousands of years for a good reason: what was applicable in the past is still applicable in the present; what was true in the past is still true today. Another testament to this universal truth is that "Tao Te Ching"-- the only book written by Lao Tzu -- is one of the most translated books in world literature -- probably only after the Bible.

The TAO is easy to understand but most controversial. The explanation is that there is no absolute truth about human wisdom, which is all about self-intuition and self-enlightenment. That is to say, your mind is uniquely yours, and your thinking is your own thinking.


The TAO plays a pivotal role in every aspect of your life. With wisdom, you will see the TAO in everything, including the following: