Personal Development

Life is Like Chinese Checkers

My family went to my father’s hometown for Chinese New Year. On the night before we left, we played a fascinating game of Chinese checkers.

Do you know how to play Chinese checkers? If you do not know how to play it, here are the basic rules:

Number of players
Chinese checkers may be played by 2, 3, 4 or 6 players.

Game board
The Chinese checkers board is shaped like a star with 6 points. Each player starts the game with 10 marbles filling all 10 spaces in their point of the star. This is their home point. The color of the player’s marbles matches the color of their home point. Sometimes pegs or other types of playing pieces are used instead of marbles.
When 2 players play, they set up in points opposite each other. When 3 play, one empty point is left between each player. When 4 play, each player must be directly opposite an opponent. Five players cannot play since the game will not be balanced. That is, one player would be opposite an empty point.

The object of the game is to move all your marbles into the point of the star directly opposite your home point. The player that does this first is the winner.

Starting the game
Players decide among themselves who will start. When only two players are playing, players may flip a coin to decide who starts. Players take turns, clockwise.

Moving and jumping
The player may move one marble to any adjacent space. Or the player may jump over an adjacent marble to the space immediately past that marble. A player may make as many consecutive jumps during the same play as is possible. Marbles may be moved in any direction. The player can jump over any colored marble.
Unlike checkers, players do not capture a marble when they jump over it. Nothing happens to the marble that was jumped over. No marbles are removed from the board during the game.
Once a marble has entered the destination point, that is, the point directly opposite the home point, it may not be moved out of that point. It can only move within that point.

Now, this is a game of Chinese checkers I have never played before because it is the first time I had ever played with five players (me, my mom, my dad, and my aunt, and another aunt), which is the maximum number of players the game could hold.


So, we started the game. At first, I was happily playing because wow… there were so many pegs for me to jump over to the finishing point. There were happy jumping times for other players, too. But soon, as the game went on, everyone’s pegs were stuck, in the middle of the 6-point star. We can barely move as our pegs are blocked.

It took some time before the pegs were free again.

One of my aunts was almost winning. But as we played. I soon found some paths, which made me the winner (my aunt was in the second place).

My father was going to beat my mother at that time. There seem to be no way for my mother to beat my father, but then, my mother realized that she actually could beat him!


I realized that life is just like that.

Sometimes, you feel that life is so easy and you are very happy; everything is so perfect for you. But sometimes, you are ‘stuck-in-a-traffic-jam’ and it seems that there is no way out and there are a lot of obstacles. But as you go on, you would find a way out of the ‘traffic jam’, and become happy again.

Moral is, never lose hope, even when it seems that there is no way out. If you go on, there would be a way.

P.S. The game lasted for about 2 hours. Time flies when you are having fun.

Photo Credit: Psymeg&Chooch

Personal Development

Some Methods to Successfully Remind Yourself of Something

Forgetfulness is one of the problems we face in our life. If we should do something but we forget to do it, we wouldn’t benefit anyone. Instead of forgetting to do what we have to do, we should ‘walk our talk’. It means we should do what we have spoken. This will benefit you and others – you gain trust from others, and others will feel happy about it.

I’ve discovered some methods to remind yourself to do something, but you can also use this method to remind yourself of useful or inspiring quotes.

Most of you who are reading this go on your computer everyday, right? Whether it is to check your email, browse the web, or opening a program that you always use, these methods should work successfully for you.

Reminder at the taskbar

The taskbar is one of the things on the computer screen you see frequently. If you open multiple programs, you would have to click on the minimized programs to get them maximized. So, if you place a reminder there, you would always be reminded. Here’s an example of the taskbar reminder.

That note always reminds me to complete my unfinished homework from school.

To do this, first, you create a folder, named whatever you want to be reminded of (I usually create them at ‘My Documents’). Then, right-click the taskbar. After that, click Toolbars >> New Toolbar… A small window will show.


Then, select the folder which you have just created, and click OK. The message (or the folder’s name) will appear on the taskbar. Now, you should be reminded about that.

Personal Development

First Impressions are Very Important

Are first impressions really important, or is it the inside that really counts?

If you answered ‘the inside that really counts’, you’re wrong. First impressions are really important. It is estimated that people judge you within the first 30 seconds of meeting somebody.

We should also be good person on the inside, too, but that’s after the first impressions.

How we look

You are going to a cinemas. When you arrive, you sit at a comfortable chair, and wait for the movie to start. Not so long later, a man, with dirty clothes and messy hair comes along and sits next to you. The man is strong and polite, and has very good manners. You move to another chair far away from that man because you don’t feel comfortable next to him.

See? First impressions are very important. Polite or not, when we meet a smelly, messy person, we would probably avoid him. Because of that, he has no chance of showing us how good he really is on the inside.

As I said earlier, it is estimated that people form a first impression within the first 30 seconds of meeting somebody. So, how are we going to prove that you are really good, when we look so badly? So, we should wear neat clothes, comb your hair, do whatever to make ourselves look good… Then we can attempt to talk to people without risking anything.

How you talk

So, then continues the story –
After you moved away from the dirty but polite person, a man with fine clothes and well combed hair comes along and sits next to you. You begin to talk with him. He says thank you arrogantly when you said he is the most handsome man you’ve ever seen, and talks with a rough voice. You don’t feel comfortable, and break the friendship by going to the toilet and come back, seated at another place.

We should deal with the way we talk – the tone of our voice and mannerism. Although we may look well, if we talk roughly, people will slip away from us. So, we should talk softly and politely instead.

Although some people don’t judge by appearances and skip the ‘how you look’ part, they might judge by how we talk.

What You Say

And so the story continues –
Just then, a well dressed man comes to sit beside you. You greet him. You two then have a conversation. After a while, he points to the dirty man and says he is so stupid. He then points to the smart dressed man, and says he snores like a hog. You feel surprised. You then pretend to go to the toilet, and come back seated at another place.

We must say good and positive things, not foul words. We mustn’t criticize and make fun of other people. People we meet would feel bad about us when we do this. So, we should say positive things, and use manners. What would you feel if you met a man, and then the man shouts ‘shut up’ to the person next to him?

The Real You

It’s not over yet! After the first impressions, the person we met and us become friends. Now, we have to show our good insides – loving, courageous, bold, polite, friendly, kind, helpful, gentle, and etc.

And not sly, cowardly, hateful, rude, rough, and etc. If we have a bad inside, people whom we have befriended would dislike us. Being good on the inside is very important too.


First impressions are very important. If people were to judge us in about 30 seconds, how are we going to show our insides if we look or speak badly?

After we had made friends, we must be good on the inside, too.

This is what a page in was written:

Studies at UCLA have found that:

55% of first impressions are visual — how we look
38% of first impressions are based on how we speak — tone of voice and mannerisms
7% of first impressions are based on what we actually say — our words.

And that’s why we should have a good impression when meeting somebody.


Update (28/11/08):

That goes to blogging too.

The look of the blog – is it nice, is it easy to read?

How you say in the blog – is it polite, does it offend the readers?

What you say in the blog – does it bring value to your readers?


Personal Development

How NOT to Lose Your Belongings

Okay, here, I am talking about cell phones, cameras, and other belongings which you bring along with when you go out, and not pianos, TV’s, CPU’s, or washing machines. Ok, you know what I’m talking about.

Today, on 25 October 2008, my school held a carnival. There were a lot of stuff there, such as inflatable castles, paintball, horse rides, archery, a haunted house, food, performances, and a lot more.

I was beginning to feel droopy and tired after the archery, so I settled down for some food. I only ate a burger, and then I got up to go home. Seconds later when I was walking, my mother checked her handbag and asked me where is the camera. I was shocked to realize that I left it on the bench where I ate.

I ran back there to take it back, only to find that it was gone! I was feeling truly shocked then. I then looked everywhere – in the canteen, in the hall, in peoples pockets, in peoples bags (LOL), just everywhere. While my mom made an announcement about it.

I was feeling more droopy than ever! I finally sat in the canteen, hoping that I could spy someone holding my camera or filled-with-large-things pockets. And of course, luck does not come that easily. So, I stumbled home with my mom.

After that, she gave me a little advice and tips on how not to lose your belongings, and I thought of some, too. And I thought that I might want to share them with you, here on my blog.

  1. Try not to hold your belongings with your hand.
    You never know when you are droopy and tired, and when you sit down, you may just put it on the thing you are sitting on and walk off without realizing that you have left something behind.
  2. Instead, tie your belongings to you or your clothes.
    You can tie your belongings using a string to your neck, like a pendant, but insure that it is comfortable so that you won’t hurt your body.
    You can also tie them to your waist, like how some people do with cell phones.
  3. Try not to place your wallets or expensive stuff in your pockets.
    That’s because they can result in being stolen by pickpockets.
    You barely realize what is happening when you are in a crowded place or public vehicle, when you are droopy and tired.
    And then, somebody secretly picks your pocket without you realizing.
    But if you want to place them in your pockets, be sure to attach them to your pockets.
  4. Update: Do not let go of something unnecessarily.
    You are traveling in a bus bringing an umbrella. As the bus travels, you feel sleepy and you put your umbrella under the bus seat. When the bus arrives, you go out of the bus. After some time, you realized you left your umbrella behind. Come on, at least put the umbrella on your thigh.
  5. Update: Do not be surrounded by children
    Although this may sound weird, some children are trained to steal and rob people. An article in Malaysia’s national newspaper, The Star, says that there was a traveler surrounded by children. The children said to him, “You’re an American. I love Americans!” The next moment the traveler was robbed of something by the children, who dashed away.
  6. Update: Do not dress expensively.
    Some sneaky thieves may just snatch them away. You’ll never know.

That’s all

I will update here as soon as I get new ideas.