Start Your New Year In The Best Direction

I know, I’m 7 days late. Remember that rough patch I was telling you about? I’m still roughing it out, but I’m feeling better and better as time goes by. Some of you already know – I broke up with my girlfriend. Maybe one day I’ll share the lessons I learnt from that, but not yet.

Today, we kick-start your new year in the best direction forward – because it’s never too late to start a new year 😀 And I won’t be doing it alone, I’m bringing along luminaries like Steve Pavlina, Christine Kane, Senia and Tony Robbins to help you along.

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The Monk Talks: How Understanding Death Teaches Us To Care

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

The death of a friend or of a loved one changes our life forever. Even the deaths of those we don’t know, such as the thousands who died in the Tsunami at the end of last year, alters the way we think. Death is a fact of life and, when understood, teaches us how to care.

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What Would A Modern-Day Magician Say About God?

As a student of the esoteric science, specifically the western mysteries, I come across interesting questions from close friends regarding what I do and what I believe in.

One of the most recent questions posed to me was an age-old popular one: do I believe in God and is there a ˜divine plan™? It™s a loaded question that requires some clarification instead of a œyes or œno answer. (more…)

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Why Go On When Life Is Meaningless?

I was re-watching The Matrix Revolutions the other day during a nice little party with my friends.

We were just finishing the chicken wings when we got to this scene near the end of the movie (spoiler alert if you haven’t already seen it!). I loved it because it highlights the key to the question; why go on if you feel life is meaningless?

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why, why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting?

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The Monk Talks: How To Have A Harmonious Marriage

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

It is said that there are three rings to a marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffer-ring!

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Igniting The Fire Within

How do you lead a life of fulfillment instead of disappointment?

By focusing on your human needs. Not human wants, like a brand new iPod, but human needs, and here is a method that helps you live a life of fulfillment and ignite the fire within.

Here Is A Powerful Method To Direct The Time Of Your Life

A time-tested way to manage the time of our lives is to compartmentalize the different areas of our lives into easy-to-manage, bite-sized pieces. You can think about these areas like career, family, health, finance, studies, relationships, the list is endless. (more…)

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The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do When Bored?

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraodinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammer tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

If you find one thing boring,

You’ll find everything boring.

Dogen, ‘Guidelines for Studying the Way’

Boredom lies in our character, not in the world. “If you’re bored,” I’ve heard it said “you’re boring”. Think about this. (more…)

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The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do When A Loved One Dies?

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

What Would Buddha Do When A Loved One Dies?

Not through weeping and grief do we obtain peace of mind. We increase misery; we increase misery; we harm our bodies. We become thin and pale, destroying ourselves by our own power:

Sutta Nipata 584

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

This is weird. I went to a friend’s beautiful wedding last Saturday, and first heard the proverb “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:21)

On Friday night, I saw it in big bold letters on the building across from the seat I’d randomly managed to secure in the food-court, plastered in shining letters as part of Christmas decorations (CK Tangs, for those of you in Singapore. You can’t miss it on the front of the building).

Now, just reading through my RSS feed, I saw it mentioned in the comments of The Happiness Project’s post on a major epiphany about the nature of happiness.

Maybe there’s a message in all of this.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“

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The Monk Talks: What Would Buddha Do If Someone Hated Him?

Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3-month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

What would Buddha do if someone hated him?

Not by hate is hate defeated;
Hate is quenched by love.
This is the eternal law.

Dhammapada 5

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Pay Yourself First

If you won a million dollars today, would you spend it all immediately buying loads of stuff so that by this time tomorrow, it’d be all gone?

I’d bet you wouldn’t, but that’s what a lot of people are doing; not with the money they win, but the money they make. (more…)

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How To Deal With Someone’s Anger

(Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3 month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email to share the insights he’s gleaming from this unique experience. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

Other people will sometimes get angry with you, even your loved ones. It happens to all of us. Some people even got angry with the Buddha!

So what can you do when you are on the receiving end of someone else’s anger? The answer can be found in the following story: (more…)

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What Are You Grateful For Today?

After watching The Pianist, the true story of how Vladislav Spelman survived the Holocaust as a Jew living in occupied Poland, I wasn’t only struck by the horrors he endured, but also by how privileged I was living my own life.

One of the most effective ways to stop worrying and boost your personal power is to simply focus on what you can, right now, with what you have.

Another way is to acknowledge what you already have in your life right now that you’re grateful for. The little things that you take for granted in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that already make your life sparkle if you’d only see them with renewed eyes.

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What To Do When You Make Mistakes

Taking a leaf from Senia’s wonderful quotes posts, and because I seem to have made a few this past week (ouch!), here’s what greatness has had to say about what to do when you make mistakes.

Cicero:

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.

George Bernard Shaw:

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

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Who Binds You?

This Zen parable is for someone for whom I’ve been talking for a while.

A man once went to a Zen master and asked; ‘Master, I must seek liberation.’

The teacher asked, ‘Who binds you?’

The student answered; ‘I do not know. Perhaps I bind myself.’

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9 Steps to Transform Stress into Strength

If you’ve noticed I didn’t write much the previous week, it’s because work has been crazy and I’ve been under a lot of stress.

I’m sure you’ve been there too, haven’t you?

So how do we thrive in the midst of stress? How do we transform stress into strength so that when the going gets tough, the tough get going?

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NLP 101: 10 Plus 3 Beliefs That Create Wild Success

What is the Structure of Magic?

In the 1970s, Richard Bandler and John Grinder set out to answer the questions: ‘how do wildly successful people create their success?’ and ‘can these methods of success be replicated?’.‘can these methods of success be replicated?’.
They studied the best therapists of their time, and through observation, testing and trail and error, codified what they found into sets of prinicples and techniques. When they taught and used these strategies and found that they could reproduce the success these therapists had, they knew they were on to something.

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NLP 101: So Dark The Con Of NLP

Throughout history, NLPers have been hunted down by the Evil League of Anti-NLPers, who have waved the Torches of deBunk (+2 agility) at us and angrily shouted big, big words like ‘pesudo-science’, ‘quackery’ and ‘you’re too hot for NLP’ (I get this one all the time).

For every claim for NLP, you can find one against. What’s going on?

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NLP 101: Life Is A Series of Systems

It was confusing; here was this bright, strong young woman who clearly had goals she passionately wanted, but somehow something held her back from going after them.

As I worked with her through the roots of her beliefs, I thought we were almost on the way to breaking her limiting patterns and on to action, when her face fell and she said she couldn’t continue.

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NLP 101: Everyone Already Has All The Resources They Need

Had enough rolling your mind over the Pygmalion effect? Because the next NLP presupposition ties in nicely with it:

Everyone already has all the resources they need or the ability to get them

which also complements nicely the presupposition that people are not broken.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming believes that experience has a structure, and that structure is composed out of 5 senses: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory or gustatory. And if every experience is composed out of these same building blocks, so is every state or resource.

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NLP 101: Experience Has A Structure

The next NLP presupposition is a pretty integral one to making things work with Neuro-Linguistic Programming:

Experience has a structure

Neuro-Linguistic Programming believes that experience has a structure, and that structure is composed out of 5 senses: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory or gustatory. And because every experience is composed out of these same building blocks, so is every state, habit, skill or resource.

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NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate: The Pygmalion Effect

Something came to me so obviously connected with the NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate post that I regret not putting it up.

Have you ever heard of the Pygmalion effect? It refers to situations in which people perform better than other people simply because they are expected to do so.

In a study conducted by Robert Rosenthal, teachers of students were told that certain students were more gifted than others, when in fact, they were just students that were randomly selected. The amazing thing is, compared to an IQ test they took at the beginning of the year, and the same test at the end of the year, those randomly selected students showed more improvement than the other students!

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Struggle

There’s been a slight leave of absence here at Life Coaches Blog, not mainly because I’ve been so busy, but also because I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. I’m sure some of you know the feeling.

At the same time, a book I bought and began reading, Coaching Into Greatness, challenged me with a few new and interesting ideas through the week. (more…)

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NLP 101: People Are Not Broken

People are not broken

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we believe that people are not broken, and they work perfectly.

For example, a phobia is normally considered a ‘bad’ thing, someone who has an irrational phobia of envelopes is considered ‘broken’.

But the phobia works perfectly, there is never an instance when the phobia doesn’t work. If you have a phobia, it doesn’t break down one day and come back the next. The person above wouldn’t hold an envelope for 5 minutes normally, and then suddenly remember to scream!

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When Heroes Get Stuck: Workshop Junkies

When I was coaching motivational workshops, I saw a lot of people who were ‘workshop junkies’; they’d be landing from workshop to workshop, seemingly learning loads, but never really producing fantastic results in their own lives.

While my fellow coaches and I discussed many reasons as to why, lately I realized another elegant way it could be explained using the metaphor of The Hero’s Journey.

In The Hero’s Journey, you travel through 2 worlds: The Ordinary World, and The Extraordinary World.

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NLP 101: People are Always Making The Best Choices They Have

If I told you that one of the key presuppositions in Neuro-Linguistic Programming was:

People are always making the best choices they have

you might think I was off my rocker.

“Alvin,” you might say, “what about people who abuse their bodies with drugs and alcohol, take it out on their kids, and listen to euro-trance? You can’t say those are the best choices anyone can make!”

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NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate

The obvious follow-up to a post like The Meaning of Your Communication is The Response You Get is this next Neuro-Linguistic Programming presupposition:

You Cannot Not Communicate

We’re all always communicating, even when we don’t mean to or want to. Remember when I wrote that words only form 7% or so of our communication, the rest is 38% tonality and 55% body language? You might be pretty slick with your wordplay, but how aware are you of your tonalities and body language?

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The 20% That Makes You 80% Happy

What’s The Next Best Thing To Do?

I’ve been living on a more micro than macro level the last couple of months, ever since being inspired by Adrian Savage’s The Simplest Path to Success post. Instead of asking myself, ‘what would go on my 10-year plan?’, I’m just asking ‘what’s the next best thing to do?‘ instead. I figure if I take the next best actions, the next best future would settle itself.

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NLP 101: Every Behaviour Has A Positive Intention

The most controversial and easily misunderstood of all the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) presuppositions:

Every behaviour has a positive intention

Widely contested and misunderstood, until you add in this second half that makes it easier to understand:

Every behaviour has a positive intention, just not always for everyone else

Every behaviour you, I and everyone else engages in, has a positive intention behind it, even destructive behaviours like violence, drugs and listening to euro-trance.

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NLP 101: There is No Failure Only Learning Experience

Continuing with the NLP 101 series, we come to the next presupposition:

There is No Failure Only Feedback (I prefer to say Learning Experience)

In NLP we say there is no such thing as success, failure, happiness, depression, good taste (accounts for euro-trance). Not that people don’t feel these things, but that they’re convenient labels we tack on things. Your subjective experience of happiness is quite different from mine.

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NLP 101: The Map Is Not The Territory

What are The NLP Presuppositions?

The most basic and essential parts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) are the presuppositions.

Think of the NLP presuppositions as the guiding principles or beliefs holding the NLP model up, like how a programming language maintains an entire computer operating system. Without the programming language, you can’t build the operating system and it collapses. But if you use the coding principles, your ability to create is limitless.

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NLP 101: What is NLP Special for The Super NLP Hardcore

Hold the press! Extra Special Definition for the Super Hardcore NLPers!

For the non-hardcore NLPers (I know you’re out there), take a chance. Read on, and see what new thoughts and ideas emerge, and tell me if you think I’m the greatest genius since Da Vinci or talking smack. Don’t look for me if your head explodes.

For the non-NLPers amongst us, you don’t have to read this, as I go a little more in-depth into the territory and you need some prior experience, and it’s not exactly life coaching stuff.

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NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 1

Throughout history; men and women have sought the answer to the question: what is NLP? who is NLP? when is NLP? is NLP better than sex?

In these next few posts, I shall reveal the ancient secrets as they were exclusively given to me in a top secret location by a Very NLP Person (VNLPP). While you’ll notice my slightly flippant take on the subject, you’ll also hopefully find some useful gems along the way.

I’ve been an NLP junkie for 10 years now, becoming a practitioner at the tender age of 16 to a master practitioner a couple of years ago. In between I’ve devoured whatever NLP books, audio programs, and videos I could get my greedy hands on.

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Proof That Happy People Are Good For You!

Kathy Sierra has posted scientific evidence of why building secret rapport with great feelings work!

In that post, I detailed a 9 step process to build rapport secretly by making yourself feel wonderful and then extending that feeling to others.

In Kathy’s fabulous post; Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain, she talks about scientific research that I had no idea about, including mirror neurons. Get this:

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Build Secret Rapport with Great Feelings

How would you like to be more attractive, and develop strong rapport with that special someone and feel fantastic at the same time?

Reading my friend Kloudiia’s post on her Dating Affairs blog about the 5th secret to your Attractive Quotient made me remember this little visualization that helps you increase good feelings and rapport.

Ever been with someone who’s had such good energy that you feel energized yourself just by being with this person? Doesn’t having this effect on you make you want to hang around this person more? Want to be a people magnet yourself?
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Guide to Flirting

The Social Issues Research Centre has put together a 26 page Guide to Flirting! Talk about upping your Attraction Quotient!

26 pages is a lot, but if you want the highlights, check out Arieanna’s summary on She Knows Best (one of my favorite websites for clueless guys like me). She’s even offered to answer questions from a female perspective…guys, this is your chance!

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Upping Your Attraction Quotient

For anyone who needs help with attracting the opposite sex (that’s everyone I think, unless you swing the other way, then it’s about attracting the same sex), my dating expert friend Kloudiia has interesting articles on upping your Attraction Quotient (AQ).

Hence, the question here is, how to make yourself attractive? Not all of us, in fact, most of us are not blessed with killer features and a devilish figure. Natural result – a less than 10 score in the looks department.
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What Are You Doing About It?

One of the quickest ways I’ve found to stop people when they go overdrive into victim mode with their complain stories is to just stop, and ask them in the midst of a ranting session; ‘So what are you doing about it?’

A bit harsh I know, but I only pull it out when there’s desperation involved: they’re desperate to change, in which case they’re committed to hearing whatever it takes, or I’m desperate, because they don’t look like they’re going to stop whining :p
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How To Suck and Still Be On Top

Ahem, disregarding the highly suggestive title of this post…

I’m going to tell you how to suck and still be on top…in a personal development sort of way. Only.

😉

I got this idea from reading Death by risk-aversion on the always good Creating Passionate Users. While Kathy talks about risk aversion in the state of companies, you can also read it through as it applies to you, personally.
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 7

Today I met up with an old schoolmate of mine, we’ve known each other for nearly 9 years now and he’s one of the best friends I have.

We went to the Esplanade roof-top, a cultural building just besides the river. And as we both laid there on the wooden floor, just lazing and gazing up at the sky, he said; ‘how often do you get to just lie here on a monday afternoon on the roof of the Esplanade, watching the sky and looking at planes flying overhead leaving little cloud trails in their wake?’
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How to Give Your Special Someone a Magical Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Now, if I had a special someone to celebrate it with (I don’t…volunteers anyone?), I’d know what I want to do for her on Valentine’s. I’ve always believed that the greatest gift you can give someone isn’t something from a paper bag, it’s something from the heart. Something that really touches someone at the core of who they are, not just on a material level (which is nice too…expensive gifts for me, anyone?).
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 6

Oops…apologies again for being late! Been out late again 😉

Yesterday was an interesting day. I got to make a new friend recently and last night we went out for the first time. It was a new opportunity to make a friend and I’m really grateful for that, especially since one of my goals this year is to widen my social circle.

Yay, goal accomplishing! 🙂

What about you? What’s one goal or direction in your life that you’re grateful to have accomplished?

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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 5

I apologize for being 2 hours, 40 minutes behind on the 5th day of gratitude…I’ve been out til late 😉

It was my friend Gabriel’s birthday earlier this week, and I met him today for some coffee and to pass him his birthday gift (one of my favorite books; Veronika Decides to Die). We had a nice chat, had dinner with his girlfriend and friends, and decided to go play LAN games afterwards (DOTA Allstars on Frozen Throne, one of my all-time favorites!).
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 4

Today is my brother’s birthday, and since I was staying at home, I got to watch my home lovingly prepare a wonderful dinner and cake for him.

I really love my mom.

She works so hard to take care of everything in the house so that the rest of us can do what we do. I don’t care what anyone else says, being a homemaker is as tough a job, and as important a job as they come, and it deserves the ultimate respect.

I’m very grateful to have such a loving person in my life. Today I’m grateful for my mom.

So today’s coach’s challenge to you is this, who is one person that you’re absolutely grateful to have in your life?

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Get Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone

This may a little bit deviate from Alvin’s theme on Gratitude. At the same time, from another angle it’s really related because you should be gratified of all the challenges that are coming into your life.

And that’s reason why you should be comfortable coming out of your comfort zone.

If you remember the earlier post by Alvin on stretching, yes, stretching will get your comfort zone bigger and you should be comfortable with getting the stretch.
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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 3

This 7 Days of Gratitude is going places I never imagined.

I’m typing this as it just happened, a few minutes ago. I was on my way home from the neighbourhood gym when I saw a downed motorcycle at the traffic light. I saw a few people rush over to help and so did I, and when I helped lift the motorcycle up I saw her: a little girl of 8 had been hit and was lying crying on the ground.

The men helped carry her over to the side of the road while I called for an ambulance. I noticed, however, that her mom wasn’t showing the usual high levels of distress or anxiety I’d expect…nevertheless, I made the call, and told her about it.

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7 Days of Gratitude: Day 2

Today has been amazing.

As I was having lunch I bumped into a good friend of mine who happened to be in the area, totally unexpected and out of the blue! It was a good chance meeting, and we had lunch together with his colleague, and afterwards they taught me how to buy the lottery, which I was intending to do but had no idea how (I normally don’t, but it’s a $10 million special draw for the Lunar New Year so I thought why not, keep my fingers crossed!).

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