Funny coincidences


Funny coincidences occurred to me while reading Sense and Sensibility of Jane Austen :))
– “Certainly not; but if you observe, people always live for ever when there is any annuity to be paid them; ….. An annuity is a very serious business; it comes over and over every year, and there is no getting rid of it. You are not aware of what you are doing. I have known a great deal of the trouble of annuities; … Twice every year, these annuities were to be paid; and then there was the trouble of getting it to them; … It has given me such an abhorrence of annuities, that I am sure I would not pin myself down to the payment of one for all the world.” (Learn about annuity at the same time and wonder how people of 18th century were so good at finance :)))
– “The setting always casts a different shade on it.” (Go by this sentence at the same day when the crowd got mad about white-gold vs. black-blue)
And I feel highly amused at reading this part:”…idleness was pronounced on the whole to be the most advantageous and honourable, and a young man of eighteen is not in general so earnestly bent on being busy as to resist the solicitations of his friends to do nothing. I was therefore entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since…”

“… for to be unaffected was all that a pretty girl could want to make her mind as captivating as her person”, I think I may be listed among the most captivating ones in this world.

Sense and Sensibility was too good for a debut and I cannot help being captivated by the author’s good sense of humor and her attractive way of writing. Now it comes clearer to me that why some people may recite Jane Austen’s novels by heart.



Frictional something…

It has been 1 month since my very last post “Entry into love”. It has been 1 month for the most recent crush. Such passing period of time should be one of the toughest periods for my heart when it ran the whole gamut from crushing, having all the hopes shattered to being lightened up with little hope. It made me recall about the time when I was applying for jobs after graduation. It made me think a lot about “frictional unemployment”.  Sometimes I do hope that such feeling will be over soon, hence, I can come back to my old life before such crush. Sometimes I do hope the uncertainty may linger for a longer while as I do not want to come back to the monotonous period of time. Sometimes I wonder myself that how things do not come in my own ways when it comes to the matter of affection. I try to find the answers but the more I delve into the problem, the more I get into the maze.  And sometimes, however, I do realize that it is not a problem, so it would be by no means easy to find an answer. Maybe as I say, it is frictional and it will just happen for a while soon before it disappears.44867.jpg


Entry into love


This post has been written in more than one sitting. I hope that it does not need the any further one.

The reason for such hesitation to have it published is neither for fine-tuning the writing nor my lack of ideas to develop it. The reason may be my shyness for such theme mentioned in my blog. Should you be a frequent visitor of this blog, you will find out the theme that mentioned below is quite unusual.

I have thought of naming it “random thoughts that happen to be love-related” or something with higher sense of sarcasm like “a story of a “fixed-asset””, however, I have not been quite persuaded by these titles.

Why not “Random thoughts that happen to be love-related”? While the theme was quite random in comparison with the frequency of other themes mentioned throughout this blog i.e. personal development or trivial thoughts relating to life, the thoughts are not random, actually. It gets accumulated for the last few days and turns out to be too abundant to be of randomness.

Nor can it be “a story of a fixed asset”. Please do not associate what I mention in this title with things related to accounting treatment. What I actually mean here is the same word that happens to share the same abbreviation with Forever Alone, a word shared among the young to specifically refer to ones not being in a relationship. I have thought of writing about the Forever Alone (hereafter referred to as FA or Fixed Asset), how it is like to be a “fixed asset”, how they thought about navigation into love, so on and so on. However, I am not that confident to represent for such an asset and should it be the case, I do not think I can write something original or interesting.

And I decide that it is “Entry into love”. For the rhythm of “Way back into love” came across my mind all of a sudden and I remember I even have not got an entry into this field yet, then, it is the reason for “entry into love” (where the barrier to entry is too high for some including me to afford).

I just want to say about my own feeling. I have a crush, which means to have a burning desire to be with someone who you find very attractive and extremely special (as defined on a website named Wikihow). I am glad that I am not shy of admitting it. And I am glad because that I have a crush on someone means I have not been old yet.

I am not one who gets nervous for not getting into a relationship, even when my friends keep posting their wedding photos with gorgeous wedding gowns and sweet honeymoon trips. I am always annoyed when my relatives keep asking me about my current status and they will say something kind of “you should be like this or you should be like that at your ages” or be disappointed at hearing me about registering for a language course or having any intention of studying abroad. My relatives always compare me as a fixed asset that keeps depreciating day by day and some day when the salvage value becomes zero; such fixed asset will be disposed at a loss. I always think such comparison is kind of ridiculous and keep silence when such comparison is made. I am not that nervous as I think that I will meet someone someday and it is kind of weird to compromise my own dreams or ambitions for love as I think love, in its pure existence, does not go against any personal dreams or achievement and should it be the case where something cannot be achieved for love’s sake, it does not mean that we have to sacrifice something for the sake of love but it is our choice to rearrange our life’s portfolio to satisfy our own demand.

But what if we cannot meet the right one? I have heard stories about people who are still “on the shelf” at their thirty accept to get married to ones they may have some feelings for but I do not think the feeling shared among them is as ardent love shared among the young couples. To support for these stories, there exist many stories or many quotes purporting to say that it is not love that motivates marriage to go that far or we do not marry the ones who we love the most. Though I have not experienced one in my life but I shiver at the thought that I will marry someone at my thirties for the urge of time rather than for the urge of love. Maybe the right one does not exist and we will give up on finding the right one but start to seek the fine one.

Sometimes I also wonder about how people get into love. Should it be that romantic like what I have seen on the movie? How do they know they have special feeling towards someone? How do they know that this someone shares the same feeling to them? How do they make the other one know that they have feeling for this one? How do they know that it is the right time to say love to each other? Should the first time to say love come from the boy or the girl? How will I look like when the Cupid goes by and decides to shot someone with his arrow? What kind of conversation will I share with him? Will he stand the awkwardness of mine for loving to keep silence and thinking all the time and suddenly being talkative in some impulsive moments? It is kind of circling thoughts that bothers me for once or twice. Unlike the other circling thoughts simply solved by actions (as what I have said in my previous post about over-thinking), may I take actions toward this circling thought and how could it be?

Coming back to the crush, it has been a long time since my last having crush on someone. It is a little uneasy when I have a crush as I have some nights in a row without sleeping well and I wonder if this night will be the next one. This crush may not last for long as far as my own (“discouraging”) experience. May it diminish and disappear like it has never appeared. I have told myself of setting lower expectations every time the crush goes by but every time it comes, it makes my life a sudden yet gentle mess. May this crush be the same or I will get further this time? I do not know what to do next or what comes up next but perhaps try enjoying this ambiguous time.



It is the first post of mine in 2015. It is simply the first one cause there was no post written in 1 January and it was not until 23:00 of 2 January that I felt like writing something. It was quite abnormal for I have not made any review for 2014 or listed any resolution for 2015 as I did to 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Instead of writing a review and making up a list, I spent my first day of 2015 wandering around my favorite corners in Hanoi. I walked into the book stores to find a book that I rarely have any idea about it but brief introduction on Wikipedia, accidentally went by a book which have been popular among my friend’s book bucket challenge, and picked a book which I have read in Vietnamese before.

The first one is “Great Expectations” written by Charles Dickens. I remember turning on the television one day and seeing the movie with the same title broadcast on television and the next day I found it in a corner of my favorite book store. The idea of “being kind to others will pay off” (I may have read somewhere during my search about this book) has lingered in my mind recently and made me try my best to find this book. Such effort paid off when I finally pulled down the other books just to find it hidden in the farthest corner of the bookshelf.
The second one is “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. I have heard about this title a couple of time during my time at university and seen it listed on the book bucket challenge list made by many friends of mine. The subtitle “The story of success” made me dubious once or twice for my disbelief in a sure-fire formula leading to success or any kind of one-size-fit-all definition of success for everyone. Skepticism remains, however, I challenge myself reading something that I do not believe in and try reading the book without bias or any prejudice. I have already been through the first half: “Opportunity” and wondered about what made the book that successful for its repetition of the obvious things that everyone knows. While I was not stunned at the statistics that the writer made throughout the book and disagreed with some points like the cut-off age, the book, however, made me think hard on some points like the effect of family background on the assertiveness of the children, which in turn may be translated into success and reminded me about the importance of preparation for success taking off.
The third one is “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. I used to read this book when I was a child and I now want to gauge it again in English.
The three books bought in the first day of the year somehow reflect my expectations for 2015. 2015 will be a year with great expectations of mine with loads of plans for the future kicked off. I do not think of myself being an Outlier but I do want to get some insights into the story of success and build one myself and I hope that this year will come as a revelation to me as what an adventure may bring about, except for the terrible or adventurous thing.
Happy new year and wish me and everybody all the best to our future endeavors!

word cloud for year 2015

2014.12.29. Random thoughts – An attempt to get over the state of over-thinking – Rationalizing the irrational thoughts

Liz on top of the world 

Maybe I have to leave some notes on this blog to make sure that I have not left this page starve for long.

This post is not an organized one (like a lot of posts in this blog). It just attempted to bring all the randomly fragmented thoughts in my mind recently.

I take a special liking to thinking. When I am alone, I think about everything, the relationships that bind them together, the common things shared among seemingly unrelated ones. I think when I commute to work, when I take a bath, when I do the housework. I hate that there exist no machine that helps people capturing all their streams of thoughts out directly when these thoughts are coming out naturally and my mind is always blank when I get down to writing.

I think that thinking is good. The practice of get your mind work every day should do more good than harm. Over-thinking, however, is not good. Thinking too much without actions taken accordingly only makes yourself stagnant and screw your minds with all the circling thoughts.

I thought a lot about my steps after university and I rarely take actions towards any goals that I set out. This year turns out to be a bland one with few goals in my resolution list crossed out.

Then, I decided to take actions. Even these actions are small but I do feel I am getting to my goals closer.

I registered for Chinese class in August and took the Chinese exam in November.

I started learning CFA.

As mentioned in the resolution list for 2013, I wrote about taking exam for CFA level 1 in December 2014, however, due to my insufficient saving, I have delayed this plan until June 2015. Such 6-month delay in application for the examination turns out to be another test to my determination to pursue this designation.  Sometimes I wonder if it is worth my time spending long hours learning such huge amount of knowledge while at the same time it may be interesting to wander around my favorite street corners and reading all the books in my bucket lists. I wonder if it is worth all my saving going through this journey while I may expend this amount of money spending on traveling or doing something else. I have found loads of information to find the answers myself, including checking some pieces of advice available in the Internet and seeking for the insights from ones who have been through one or a couple of levels in this designation and the more I ask the other people, the more I feel confused. I finally decide to rationalize the pursuit of CFA myself based on my own perspective. When people found reasons to pursue this designation, they put much emphasis on their intention to develop themselves in sort of careers in investment or finance and some of my friends also make it highlighted to me that the journey I am about to embark on is by no means an easy one and without a strong motivation of working in this industry, it would be a waste of time, effort and money (of course). However, when I think about my desire to understand financial industry in a systematical way, my willing to undergo another study-related challenge after university and even the uncertainty of the future, inclusive of any new opportunities opening upon such embarkation, I summon all of my courage and savings (the fundamental oneJ) and embrace this challenge. The very first learning sessions somehow proves my choice to be an enjoyable one. I do enjoy the feeling of reveling in something totally new, the idea of being enlightened and the idea of having some goals to reach for in 2015. Though it makes me shivering at the thought of heavy workloads awaiting in the upcoming peak season, I try taking my good times as much as possible with this enjoyable learning experience.

I have just mentioned the act of rationalizing. I always try rationalizing every action I take every day. I want to make it clear that such action of rationalizing is not the practice of making excuse for the absurd or insane thoughts. I always think that everything happens for a reason and every action should be taken by choice rather than by order of other forces than our own rational minds. To be always of rationality, in my perspective, is by no means an easy task but taking into account the irrational factors in decision making makes such process a rational one.

Maybe I will incorporate the irrational behaviors of mine to set out a more reasonable resolution list for the upcoming year. It will surely make room for irrational thoughts and unreasonably impulsive moments to take place.

Nice week! :D


Office story: What is your purpose? Why are you here?

It starts with two questions hovering in my Company recently (and I mean “physically hovering”).

What is your purpose? Why are you here?


The “flying” questions Credit to a colleague of mine for this pic


Few people confirmed to get any idea about its reason of existence in the office (we get used to seeing the balloons hung around during Women’s International Day or Vietnamese Women’s day instead), though I think they did. When I asked some about what they think about such ideas, they guess that these short questions may be reminders from the leaders to everyone working under such huge hierarchy to think about their purposes of applying to this firm at the first place before making complaints and perhaps have their senses of purposes which have been deeply buried under load of deadlines and working paper awaken. (haha I am trying to be sarcastic here)

Though I have not totally understood the whole rationale behind these ideas, its appearance reminded me about an interview of mine with some representatives from YSEALI which just took place one month ago. The interview was held with a view to choosing some youth leaders in Southeast Asia to attend a workshop on Power of Human Capital in Singapore during the first week of this December.

The name of the workshop sounds big at the first place but the details of the workshop fell short of my expectations with its main focus on skills only as the key element for getting in the workforce (and they may go astray from the main topic, which is “Human Development” not merely “Getting into the workforce”). Specifically, the participants are expected to leave the workshop with:

(i) the ability to articulate the value of developing employer-driven soft skills;

(ii) enhanced soft-skills themselves;

(iii) the ability to impart this information to others in their communities; and

(iv) an expanded network of employers, mentors and trainers who they can reach out to for on-going professional growth and employment opportunities.

Accidentally, human development is among my favorite themes of interest, therefore I decided to go for this opportunity and spent one day working on the application form. There was one question in the application form, being “In about 250-word personal statement, please tell us what about your background and/or interests make you competitive for this particular workshop.” I choose to challenge the above-listed targets by making my own statements in the answer as follows:

“When I first get to know about the workshop’s call for application, I thought that this workshop was perfectly suitable to my liking. However, with a further look, I find myself confused at reading one expected aim of the workshop: “the ability to articulate the value of developing employer-driven soft skills”. As I strong believe that a sustainable employment relationship should be based on a mutual beneficial value exchanges, the idea of being employer-driven makes me feel uneasy. This idea has driven many students I have known to run into the rat race for getting into prestigious firms by participating in short-term soft skill training courses, surviving through interviews by behaving in the ways that people expect them to do without thinking about the value that they will contribute to society when doing these jobs. Lots of them, as I observed, left the workforce after 1 or 2 years of working. Some came back to schools to get another degree or jumped from jobs to jobs with vague ideas about what to do next. The matter was not their lack of soft skills but their lack for a sense of purpose. Therefore, I do think it’s time to rethink on the way that we approach the issue of youth development or human capital development by not merely providing them with short-term aids like career fairs or soft skills but paying more attention to building a young workforce driven by their own senses of purpose for the sake of society’s goodness.”

As I expected, my answer captured attention from the interviewer during my interview with representatives of YSEALI and they have asked me to give further explanation for my answer. I brought out the ASK model (Attitude – Skill – Knowledge), in which I do think that Attitude is somewhat like the sense of purpose I mentioned there. I also stated that such a young person driven with a strong sense of purpose will be more likely to make right career decision and less likely to be a job jumper, which I believe to make up great cost for the employers. Considering about the cost of jumpers (which is commonly incurred by some with good skills but in lack of strong sense of purpose) does more good than harm to the employees. The interviewers challenged me that a sense of purpose may be of more importance for recruiters from NGO than ones from private sectors and they hold an assumption that private companies will prefer ones possessing good skills to ones living with purposes. No matter how much I try convincing with my own arguments, it seems that my ideas did not match their intentions when organizing this workshop and it comes as no surprise to me that I have not received any phone calls from them since then.

Coming back to the story of “flying” (“hovering” should be more suitable but “flying” seems to be much more imagery) questions, I feel a little bit more consoled that my idea about “the purpose” appears to be shared by my employer. Though I am not sure about the determination of the leaders towards promoting the sense of purposes among its employees, the “flying” questions somehow show us that large companies do pay attention to “the purpose”.

After writing all these things about the purpose, maybe I will spare some minutes thinking about my purpose of getting here.



1. About YSEALI:

2. About the workshop: Find the call for application Annoucement_YSEALI Generation Workshop in Singapore_140912

3. I want to mention this post of mine here for it is kinda related to what I say in this post: “A cause to support”

2014.10.09. Random thoughts

After a quick chat with my Chinese teacher about HSK and realizing that the passing score for level 5 was 180/300 and there exists no minimum passing rate for each separate part, I feel way relaxed and get some symptoms of a serious disease called “laziness”. Actually, I am not a lazy one but spending one or two straight hours looking at the Chinese books after a whole day working my a** off at work makes me really bored. I spend some of my times staring at the laptop and ask myself where I am heading to.

This post is not about to mention anything like work-life balance or idealism or anything. It is just some random thoughts of mine casually jotted down.

I think of buying a guitar to practice my favorite songs but my hesitation keeps me for so long.

I think of studying Russian but busy work along with my trouble with pronunciation in Russian (which was perceived as a huge problem by my father and he seems not to accept this problem) makes me study at such a slow rate.

I think of improving a novel that I have read recently and trying recounting the story from the third person viewpoint but it was way difficult and I have not summoned enough courage to do.

I think of freedom while I still accept the trivial things holding me tight.

I think of flying to the faraway land but I am afraid of booking the ticket online for my fear of making wrong transactions.

I do know that these fears will lead me to nowhere.