Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wisdom in Asking Questions

One of the first things you should teach your children is asking questions: the whys and the why-nots. Life is habit-forming. Once children develop this mental concept of asking questions, they will like to ask questions for the rest of their lives. Asking questions is self-enlightenment, which plays a pivotal role in wisdom. To live well, you need wisdom, not just knowledge and expertise. The latter may give you a successful career, while the former provides you with the key to the art of living well. One of the essential ingredients in wisdom is self-intuition, which involves asking questions to find out not just one's true self or nature, but also the reality of all things. 

According to Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese sage, knowing yourself is true wisdom.

“Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing ourselves is true wisdom.
Overcoming others is strength.
Overcoming ourselves is true power.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33)

“Who you are” determines where you are going, what you are going to do, and what kind of a person you are going to become for the rest of your life. Nobody can answer those questions for you, because nobody knows you better than you know yourself. People can be your mentors or role models; they can even provide you with a road map or even a compass. But only you can decide where you are going to turn or make a detour along your life journey, and this is where wisdom comes in. 

Life is all about asking questions, internalizing them in your mind, and finding appropriate answers to those questions asked. Asking questions is introspection, which is a process of self-reflection, without which there is no self-awareness and hence no personal growth and development. A static life is not worth living. Therefore, asking questions is self-empowering wisdom—a life-skill tool to trigger a set of mental answers, leading to actions or reactions based on the choices you make from the answers you have obtained. It is the natural habit of the human mind to try to solve problems by making things happen. According to Samuel Butler“Life is the art of drawing sufficient questions from insufficient premises.” 


Finding out who you really are also determines your physicalemotionalintellectual, and, spiritual needs. They all play a pivotal part in your life because they not only determine your attitude towards the challenges and changes you may encounter, but also define your purpose in your life. 

Socrates once said: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Examine your life with Tao wisdom. There is much to learn from this ancient wisdom from China. 

Tao wisdom is the essence in the art of living well, It is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, one of the most translated works in world literature. The book has been popular for thousands of years due to its wisdom, which is simple but controversial, profound and yet intriguing. To fully understand it, you need to get all the essentials of Tao wisdom. Click here for more details.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Simple Lifestyle to Live to 100 and Beyond

Consciousness of living a simple lifestyle is the key to happiness and longevity. In this day and age, living in this complex world of technology is not easy: The complexity of this world has taken a toll on the human mind, creating undue stress, as well as many emotional, mental, personal, and psychological attachments in the material world. For these reasons, profound human wisdom in living is essential to overcoming stress and letting go of all attachments. Simplicity is the first step towards detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to happiness. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that may have a negative impact on your mind.

Epicurus, the Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a pleasant life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost.

The late Robert Kennedy once said: “Sometimes I think that the only people in this country who worry more about money than the poor are the very wealthy. They worry about losing it, they worry about how it is invested, they worry about the effect it’s going to have. And as the zeroes increase, the dilemmas get bigger.” 

Can you live a simple lifestyle to help you let go of all the trimmings of life?

When you were in your younger days, you might have had many attachments to life that define who you were, such as the car you were driving, the designer dress you were wearing, or anything that defined your social status. Can you, at this point in your life, let go of all these attachments and just lead a simple life? 

A classic example is Ann Russell Miller, a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph, She, who had ten children and nineteen grand-children, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and decorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life. That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public,  even for the close members of her family.

With less focus on your attachments to the material world, your heart will be more on your spirituality, which is critical to your living to 100 and beyond.

YOU JUST DON’T DIE!” 

This 154-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle if you just don’t die as you continue with you life journey with the many changes and challenges confronting you, including your loss of vision.

Human existence is meaningless without life purpose and human happiness. The pursuit of longevity has been going on since time immemorial. Consciousness holds the key to the success of this pursuit. Consciousness of living is wisdom of the mind to understand the self, others, as well as how and why certain things happen. Wisdom in living enables one to complete the rest of one's life journey and reaching the destination.

To live to 100 and beyond—if you just don’t die—you must ask questions about life; after all, living is about asking questions and seeking answers to the questions asked, and thereby instrumental in providing wisdom or a blueprint to continue the rest of your life journey.

The first question you should consciously ask yourself is: "How long do I wish to live?" Of course, that is only a hypothetical question because you really don’t have much of a choice—unless you would like to purposely end your life prematurely. Naturally, the answer to that question may also change over different phases in your life, depending on the quality of your life in that particular phase.

The second question you should consciously ask yourself is: "Why do I want to live long, or why not?" This question will be naturally followed by the third question: “How do I live long, or what can make me desire to live longer?”

The final question—if you just don’t die—is: "How should I live the rest of my life to overcome my daily problems and life challenges?"

The objective of this 154-page book is neither to convince you to crave longevity, nor to show you how to live to one hundred and beyond. It simply presents you with the consciousness of living the rest of your years—if you just don’t die!

Click here to get your digital copy, and here to get your paperback copy.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Some of the Causes of Depression

You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it.” Albert Ellis

Although unhappiness is the underlying cause of depression, there are many other factors that may actually cause or trigger the onset of depression, because depression does not just happen by itself. If you have the attitude of “my way, or no way” and when you do not have the things you want “your way,” you may then become more easily susceptible and vulnerable to depression.

Disappointment and frustration

Disappointment and frustration are most common experiences, and they can be due to just about anything in life. But one of the most common sources is people: from one’s spouse who does not meet one’s expectations; from one’s children, who are disobedient or rebellious to one’s values and principles; from one’s parents who do not approve of one’s behavior and temperament, or, even worse, who wish they had never given birth to one.

Disappointment and frustration are more acutely felt when an individual has a distinct and strong ego-self, who loves himself or herself more than anyone else.

Self-criticism and self-denial

Self-acceptance is an important element in the art of living well. We must all learn to accept ourselves as who we are, and not as who we wish we were. We must never cherish unrealistic expectations of ourselves, which may often lead to low self-esteem. In other words, a perfectionist, ironically enough, may become more easily susceptible to the ultimate lack of self-esteem, which is frequently expressed in depression.

If you cannot accept yourself as who you are in spite of your imperfections and shortcomings, how can you accept others as who they are? If you do not love yourself as who you are, how can you love others as who they are? The bottom line: self-acceptance holds the key to having better relationships with others, which is often the source of human happiness.

Comparison and contrast

Any comparison and contrast between self and others—or even between the current self and the self in the past—is often a stumbling block to self-contentment, the lack of which will direct one’s thoughts inward and generate depression. Indeed, if you are discontent with what you have or what you are, while matching an area of your own deficiency with that of someone else’s obvious strength, you are in fact preparing the groundwork for your own depression. It is just that simple!

Despair and despondency

Feeling trapped in a dire situation or circumstance with no foreseeable exit only distresses the mind. It could be any situation or circumstance, such as getting an unwanted pregnancy, having several children early in a marriage saddled with many financial burdens but with no vocational skills, being stuck in a bad love relationship with no way out, and many other despairing and despondent situations.

Adversity and loss

Adversity and loss are inevitable in life. Adversity may come in many different forms, such as accidents, injuries, and diseases; while loss can be physical loss, such as loss of mobility, material loss, such as loss of a home due to foreclosure, mental loss, such as loss of memory, spousal loss, such as separation or bereavement, and spiritual loss, such as loss of life purpose and meaningful existence in life.

Inactivity and lack of goals

An inactive individual is more vulnerable to depression, because that individual spends most of his or her time drifting about and doing nothing in particular. By the same token, an individual lacking life goals ceases to struggle in life—that may explain why depression is more frequent among the senior and the elderly. Man is basically a goal-seeking creature. Therefore, after reaching one goal, an individual should set another higher goal in order to avoid the feeling of being letdown after the achievement of the goal, and thus setting off a depression.

The bottom line: never stay in a mental vacuum; always keep yourself mentally and physically busy and engaged, with something to look forward to. Remember, happy people always have strong goals, which have little to do with money, according to Earl Nightingale, an American author and motivational speaker.

Regret and self-pity

A depressed individual often looks back at the past with anger and bitterness, accompanied by regret and self-pity. “What if” and “I wish it were” are always on the mind of that depressed individual, wishing things were different. Regret and self-pity always go hand-in- hand with that depressed individual.

Biological malfunction and chemical imbalance

Of course, with the advancement of modern medicine, medical authorities have now attributed many cases of depression to biological malfunction, such as an abnormal thyroid, or imbalance of certain brain chemicals. However, it should be pointed out that it is difficult to determine whether it is the thinking mind or the chemical imbalance that actually causes the biological malfunctioning. The explanation is that an individual’s own negative or self-destructive thinking patterns may also ultimately lead to the chemical and hormonal imbalance in that individual.

Therefore, we should always look at the whole picture, and not just a part of it; after all, depression is a complex and complicated disease of the mind, and we are also living in a world of depression.


My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!

TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression



TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.


TAO is looking at life not as a series of both happy and unhappy episodes, but simply as a journey of self-discovery and self-awakening to the real meaning of life existence. You are defined not by your words and thoughts, but by the ways you act and react, as well as the impact you may have on others around you. You exist not because you are simply here; you are here in this world to love and to learn how to live, as well as to help one another do the same."


To get your Amazon digital copy, click here; to get your paperback copy, click here.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Friday, June 16, 2017

Don't Look Like Santa Claus

Why shouldn't you look like Santa Claus?

Santa Claus is a mythical figure loved by children because he always brings presents during Christmas. Santa is imaginary and therefore he will be around next Christmas. However, if you wish to be around when he comes back next Christmas, then don’t look like Santa Claus. Your body shape is a good indicator of your current health conditions.

If your body shape is like that of an apple, that is, with extra weight in the midsection, you may have a propensity for diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke further down the road. The reason is that in a beer belly, your abdominal fat is more easily converted into cholesterol, and hence ultimately affecting your heart health. On the other hand, if your body shape is like that of a pear, that is, with extra weight around the hips instead of in the midsection, you may be less at risk for heart disease.

If you don’t want to look like Santa Clause, be mindful of your body shape. Exercise your body and manage your body weight.

Yoga is the best exercise not only to normalize your muscle tone, as well as to balance the activity of opposing muscle groups, but also to enhance your physical and mental awareness. They all play a pivotal part in weight loss. Remember, effective weight management is more than about eating fewer calories through dieting; the mind and the spirit also contribute to your body metabolism.

Because of its holistic approach to wellness, Yoga exercise also requires the application of its basic principle of nutrition, which is the consumption of small quantities of high-quality life-giving foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, with meat in strict moderation.

Brilliant Yoga: A 200+page e-book with videos on body-mind-spirit transformation! There is all-in-one support you need in every chapter with comprehensive and easy-to-follow steps to guide you on how to make yourself look, feel, and live your life to the fullest. This is the perfect yoga program with everything you need to know about healing yoga. It is for everyone-from the beginner to the advanced learner-who believes that yoga is a science of health. Brilliant Yoga comes with additional bonus books on back pain, pilates, stretching, and weight loss.

Your Golden Years and Santa Claus shows you all the dos and don’t of Santa Claus to help you live your very best in your golden years.This 252-page book is about the wisdom in living in the golden years. This is a comprehensive book on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of successful aging. The book covers frailties and challenges encountered by many seniors in their golden years, such as vision loss, falling, memory impediment, breathing problems, health and money issues, among others. It shows you the wisdom to overcome or cope with them. In addition, it opens the doorway to making new waves to live a meaningful and purposeful life in your golden years. The wisdom is in using Santa Claus as your role model to believe in yourself, to think and act like Santa Claus. 

Remember, looking like Santa may also make you become depressed, TAO wisdom is the only Way to avoid depression in our golden years. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Pivotal Role of Saliva

According to Chinese medicine, saliva—a clear, watery fluid made by the body's salivary glands located inside each cheek at the bottom of the mouth and ears, as well as near the front teeth by the jawbone—has a an intricate relationship with the mind. As spiritual fluid, saliva nourishes not just the body in terms of providing digestive power, but also the mind, giving it the qi necessary for the growth and rejuvenation of brain cells. Thus, the mind becomes empowered with enhanced mental energy. Even conventional Western medicine begins to understand the subtle relationship between saliva and memory, and research is being conducted to establish the connection between saliva and the mind.

Therefore, human saliva plays a pivotal role in mind power, especially from the Taoist perspective. Taoism is not a religion but a philosophy of life and living based on the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher (some 2,600 years ago), who authored the famous ancient classic Tao Te Ching, which has become one of the most translated books in world literature.

According to Tao wisdom, saliva is the “spiritual fluid in the body.” From the Chinese medicine perspective, qi is the internal life energy, which is present in the human body. Qi goes to every organ through hundreds of energy channels known as meridians. If qi is blocked or becomes stagnated, internal imbalance or disharmony may result, which is the underlying cause of all human diseases and disorders. Those who practice Qi Gong exercise may experience the welling up of saliva during their practice sessions—this is a testament to the surge of qi, causing saliva to well up in the mouth.

Given the immense benefits of saliva to the body and the mind, we should make saliva readily available by drinking more water (more than 8 glasses a day), by getting more natural sleep (without the use of medications), and, most importantly, by thoroughly chewing our food (as many as 30 times) before swallowing. Sucking on sugarless candies or using sugarless chewing gums to exercise the mouth and the teeth is also highly recommended. In other words, keeping the mouth active by hitting the teeth and massaging the gums with the tongue is a simple but effective way to increase the amount and volume of saliva to benefit not only the body but also the mind.

According to Chinese medicine, saliva—a clear, watery fluid made by the body's salivary glands located inside each cheek at the bottom of the mouth and ears, as well as near the front teeth by the jawbone—has a an intricate relationship with the mind. As spiritual fluid, saliva nourishes not just the body in terms of providing digestive power, but also the mind, giving it the qi necessary for the growth and rejuvenation of brain cells. Thus, the mind becomes empowered with enhanced mental energy. Even conventional Western medicine begins to understand the subtle relationship between saliva and memory, and research is being conducted to establish the connection between saliva and the mind.

Energy Healing for EveryoneIt is a complete, holistic health system for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of energetic imbalances that will lead to illness in the body if left untreated. Learn how qi can work for you instead of against you.

Tao Te Ching (道德經) is an ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom. This unique piece of literature by Lao Tzu, is one of the most translated books in human history and world literature. The book, written more than 2, 600 years ago, by Lao Tzu, a Chinese sage, is a beautiful collection of Chinese wisdom poetry, in which the author expresses his wisdom in living life in all of its beauty and joy, as well as in all of its pain and sorrow. The language is simple and poetic, but controversial and paradoxical. Above all, the wisdom is intriguing.

There are 81 short chapters, expressed in only 5,000 words. It must be pointed out that there was no punctuation in the original text. A plausible explanation was that Lao Tzu was very much reluctant to express his wisdom in words. As a matter of fact, at that time he was at the point of leaving China for Tibet when he was stopped at the city gate and told by the guard that he had to put down his wisdom in words before he could leave. Reluctantly, he put down his wisdom concisely and precisely in 5,000 words with no punctuation mark.

Letting go of the ego-self is the central theme of Tao, a philosophical belief based on Lao Tzu's immortal ancient classic Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way). Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, advocated following the natural order of things, because all things came from nothing and will become nothing in the end, and this "nothingness" is God. Even though Lao Tzu lived several hundreds of years before Jesus Christ, his philosophy helps humans to connect to their Creator through faith, instead of relying on human effort.

Click here to get the digital copy; and here to get the paperback edition.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, June 9, 2017

My New Book Publication

Here is my new book publication on ESL:


Prepositions are words that indicate the relationships between various elements within a sentence. In formal English, prepositions are almost always followed by objects.

e.g. The policeman shot (verb) the man (object) with (preposition identifying the man being shot) a knife.
e.g. I put (verb) the pen (direct object) on (preposition indicating the position of the pen) the table (indirect object).
e.g. I put (verb) the pen (direct object) under (preposition indicating the position of the pen) the table (indirect object)

Prepositional phrases always consist of the object and the preposition. Prepositional phrases can act as adjectives or adverbs. When they are used as adjectives, they modify nouns and pronouns in the same way single-word adjectives do. When prepositional phrases are used as adverbs, they also act in the same way single-word adverbs and adverb clauses do, modifying adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs.

Prepositional words and phrases are difficult, especially for ESL learners, because different prepositions may impart different meanings to the prepositional words and phrases. Even the same preposition may have different meanings to the same verb.

Break in: enter without permission; interrupt; train; get used to something new.

e.g. A burglar attempted to break in last night but without success.
e.g. Don’t break in while someone is talking; it’s rude!
e.g. The manager has to break the new employees in so that they may know what to do.
e.g. You should break your new car in before you drive on the highway.

This 121-page book has hundreds of prepositional words and phrases with explanations and examples, just like the ones illustrated above, for you reference. Improve your English with your mastery of prepositional words and phrases. 

Click here to get the digital copy,  and here to get paperback copy.

Stephen Lau





Monday, June 5, 2017

Be Happy and Not Be Depressed!

Everybody wants to be happy because happiness is the essence of life and living. What is the point of living in this world if we are unhappy most of the time? Indeed, many people are depressed and unhappy. Sadly, to many, the quest for happiness is forever unreachable—just like a carrot-and-stick in front of a mule; the more pain it experiences, the more desire it shows to reach out for the forever unattainable carrot in front. In many ways, we are like the mule.

Why is happiness so difficult to attain?

Without human wisdom, the pursuit of happiness is like wandering in the wilderness without a compass and a roadmap. So, human wisdom is the key to unlocking true human happiness.

First and foremost, you need to be wise so as to be good in order to be happy.

What is wisdom? Wisdom has to do with the thinking mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The ancestor to every action in the physical world is a thought.” In other words, wisdom comes from the mind: how you think, and how you perceive and react to your thought. Wisdom is different from knowledge in that a knowledgeable person may not necessarily be wise, and by the same token a wise person does not have to be knowledgeable. Wisdom has much to do with the interpretation and application of what an individual knows to his or her everyday life and living.

If you are wise, you will know how to be happy, and never become depressed.

My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression

This book is perhaps one the few books with an unconventional approach to depression, a universal mind disorder affecting many people worldwide. Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you can ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

 Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau