Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered

<b>Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered</b>
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.”

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Controlling and Letting Go

Controlling and Letting Go

Thanks to our artists, we all pretend well; but deep down the layer of pretense is the awareness of the underlying reality. To suppress that reality, we turn to controlling, which is a subconscious way to enhance the reality of our expectations in life.

Most of us are controlling to some extent. Thanks to our culture, underlying every one of us is the inherent belief that we should be in control of everything around us at all times. The American culture advocates control for self-independence and survival.

What exactly is controlling? Why makes people want to control others as well as their own destinies?

Controlling is a coward way of running away from everyday problems; it is a futile attempt to avoid everyday stress. Essentially, it is a direct or subtle way of exerting influence over others so that we may have power over the turns of events in our own lives. In other words, we delude ourselves into thinking that we can make things happen the way we want them to happen in our lives through control and manipulation of others, including ourselves.

Reflective Thought

Control and discipline may look similar but they are different.

Case in Point

We can discipline our children so that they may do the right things without getting into trouble. But many of us still want to “control” them even when they have turned adults; we may want to steer them away from the difficult paths we had trotted ourselves when we were young. That, in reality, is controlling. We can give them advice, but imposing anything on them is deemed as exerting control. “It’s for their own good!” is no more than an excuse to control.

Reflective Thought

Not controlling means willingness in letting go of one’s expectations in life.

Case in Point

The Biblical story of the parable of the prodigal son is a good illustration of what is NOT controlling. (Luke 15: 11-32) In the story, a man had two sons, and the younger son asked for his fortune; the father gave it to him, and he spent it recklessly on women  and gambling. When he was out of money and the land was struck by a famine, he returned home to his father, who welcomed him back with open arms. To many, the story highlights God's forgiveness of repentant sinners. But the story also illustrates the power of letting go and not controlling. 

Thinking Question

If I were the father of the prodigal son, would I have given him the inheritance due to him knowing that he would squander it?

Clearly, in addition to being wayward, the younger son was rebellious, asking for his inheritance before the time was due. If the father had said “no” to his son's request, he would be seen as “controlling” the destiny of his son. The father must have admonished his son for his reckless behavior. So, saying “no” to his son’s request should be viewed more as “controlling” than as “disciplining” his son. It must be pointed out that the father must have anticipated the possible tragic outcome of giving his son his inheritance. Nevertheless, the father gave him the money; he was, in fact, saying “yes” to the realities of life. He would sacrifice his life expectations to give his son an opportunity to learn the valuable lesson from the potential life-transforming changes that might befall on him.

In the Biblical story, the ending was favorable because the father put his trust in God, who oversees the big picture. For those who do not believe in God or divine intervention, the story could have ended the same way too. Why? It is because events and things in nature follow a natural course or pattern. We should go with the natural flow rather than fighting against it. Spontaneity brings harmony, while resistance results in disharmony. If the prodigal son wanted his inheritance, there was no way to stop him. If he would squander his money, he would do the same then or later when he duly inherited his money after his father's death. The objective was not to avoid the spending through controlling but to let the son learn a valuable lesson from the spending. Of course, in real life, the ending could have been tragic: the son spent the money and never came home—but, again, that is life! 

If you stop controlling, you are learning to let go. If you let go, you are learning how not to control.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind said at the end of the movie: “Tomorrow is another day.”                      

As a parent, you may want to make plans for you children. But the most important thing is to enjoy them. There is so much enjoyment teaching them everything, such as how to read.

Yes, tomorrow is another day, but that day may or may never come. Fortunately or unfortunately, we always choose to believe that it will come. Fortunately in that it may give us hope and expectation; unfortunately in that it may divorce ourselves from the realities of life, making us less grateful of the present or less thankful of what we already have.

But living in the now is exemplary of the consciousness of being. Today is now, and mindfulness of the present is realization not only that tomorrow is another day but also that it might never come. This mental consciousness may make you aware that you are precious and unique because now you have become fully awake. Living in the now means asking yourself mind-searching questions: What do I need to know now? What do I need to love now? What do I need to be grateful for now? In short, today provides the compass and road map for your life journey, which might abruptly end tomorrow.

Living in the now is easier said than done because the human mind has a tendency to focus on the past or to project itself into the future, but seldom stays in the present.

Our actions or inactions are derived and driven by our thoughts and memories of our past experiences. If those experiences were negative, our conscious and subconscious mind will tell us to avoid them in the future; on the other hand, if they are positive, they tend to instruct us to repeat them in the future. Accordingly, the human mind will constantly shuffle between the past and the future. As a result, it seldom stays in the present moment. To illustrate, while talking on the cell phone, how often do we talk about what happened or what we are going to do next? If we think more deeply, the subject of our conversation mostly involves mostly the past or the future. In a worse scenario, many of us are talking or texting while driving, in other words, our mental focus is certainly not on the now—which is driving our car.

Mindfulness is your purposeful attention to the present moment. This purposeful attention enables you to recognize your thoughts as they occur, but without paying judgmental attention to them; in other words, they neither distract nor disturb you, and you just observe them objectively, like watching a movie about yourself unfolding before your very eyes.

To train your mind to focus more on the present, concentrate on your breathing. Most of us are totally unaware of our breaths, unless we are short of breath after running or climbing stairs, or due to some medical conditions. Concentration on how you breathe in and breathe out, as well as your body’s sensations during the inhalation and exhalation trains you to develop mindfulness. Understand that your body is yours only, and it is always with you. Finding the moment-by-moment relationship with your body through your breathing is your pathway to wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, September 13, 2019

How to Change Your Perceptions

Wellness is feeling good about self with respect to the body, the mind, and the soul. Wellness may be synonymous with happiness.  Wellness comes from the mind – the mind’s perceptions of what the body  is experiencing in the physical world. Wisdom, surprisingly, can change the mind’s perceptions to make one feel better and happier.

Are you happy? What makes you happy? A successful career, satisfying relationships, good health, or material possessions? Which one, or all of those? No matter what, wellness is what makes you feel good about yourself, and what makes your life meaningful. If your life is without a purpose, and you are always drifting from here to there, you won't feel good about yourself or life in general.

Feeling good about oneself requires wisdom -- wisdom to know who you are and what you want in life. Without wisdom, you will not experience lasting well-being. Without wisdom, your living is like like chasing the wind, without any direction.

Wisdom is essential in the art of living well. It involves wisdom of the mind, the body, and the soul. They are all inter-related and inter-dependent on one another. For example, if you have satisfying relationships but your health is rapidly deteriorating, you will not feel well; or if you have a successful career but are emotionally distressed, you will not be in good spirit. Therefore, the overall wellness is contingent on the holistic wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. To cherish and nourish this holistic wellness, your need wisdom, which holds the key to happiness and well-being of any individual.

Which is wisdom? Where does it come from?

Wellness begins with the mind first, and not the body or the soul. After all, you are what you have become by reason of your thinking. You are a summary of your thoughts, which make you who you are or what you have now become. Your past experiences and your perceptions of those experiences have "preconditioned" how you currently think. In other words, your background, and upbringing predetermine how your mind perceives your present life experiences. Given that your past exposure might not be telling you the whole truth, you, therefore, need wisdom to "empty" your mind and re-define your current mindset. That is to say, you must learn how to rethink your mind. Thinking is never easy and that is why so few people do it, according to Albert Einstein.

You are living in a physical world, and your life experiences are perceived by your body through the five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching). But these sensations may be positively or negatively interpreted by the mind, which stores past experiences of those sensations of body in both the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The former voluntarily accepts or rejects those sensations, while the latter involuntarily includes whatever the subconscious mind is exposed to. True wisdom is the capability of the mind to know what is real and what is unreal. 

Tao wisdom is the ancient wisdom from China that shows you how to have an empty mind first to rethink your mind in order to separate the truths from the half-truths t Perceptionso Changeor myths.

Tao wisdom is the essence in the art of living well, It is the profound wisdom of the ancient Chinese sage, 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.

With Tao wisdom, you may live a much better life, without depressive episodes now and then.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Free Yourself of Depression

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. 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.

Here is the INTRODUCTION to the book:

“TAO is neither a religion nor a philosophy.

TAO is simply a way of life about the Way of life, that is, a general way of thinking about everything in life. It is a pathless path of humanity to live as if everything is a miracle.

TAO is the Way through anything and everything in life in order to fully experience them and live in balance and harmony. TAO is not about avoiding or getting out of anything unhappy and undesirable in everyday life, such as depression; rather, it is about going through depression by experiencing every aspect of it in order to become enlightened, if possible, with the profound human wisdom to continue living in peace and harmony in a world of depression.

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.

TAO is formless, shapeless, and inexplicable in words; after all, it had existed long before there were even words. TAO is infinite human wisdom, which is a pathless path to the infinity and the origin of all things.

TAO is not about making your life any easier; it is about acceptance of all aspects of your humanity that need to be fully experienced, embraced, and then to be let go of in order to become wholesome at other times of your life and living—that is the essence of TAO wisdom, which is true enlightenment of the human mind."

Click here to get your Amazon digital copy today!

Stephen Lau

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Use Your Mind Power to Live a Stress-Free Life

According to the CNN health news “Learn to Live with It: Becoming Stress-Free” is enlightening in that it demonstrates the role of the mind in living a stress-free life.

According to the news:

“People the world over believe that stress comes from external sources.

One complains of a nagging wife or hysterical husband. Another finds fault with the demands of work or the exploitation of management. Someone else grumbles at summer being too hot or winter being too cold.

Everyone thus lives with the belief that factors outside themselves produce stress -- so their entire focus is on correcting the external world. Yet despite our best efforts to fix these external factors, the problems remain unsolved and our minds continue to be consumed by stress.

Pleasure or pain, joy or sorrow, peace or stress—these are not found in external objects or beings. They are found in the relationship you have with those things.

In life, be it with business or family, relationships matter. Lack of a proper relationship leads to frustration and builds up stress. Ironically, people take utmost care to choose the "right partner," but fail to set up the "right relationship" with that person -- and lose peace and harmony in the process.

It is not whom or what you meet in life that matters but how you meet it.

Your relationship with the world is entirely dependent on the nature of your inner personality. Your inner personality comprises two things: the mind and the intellect.
The mind desires and feels. The intellect reasons, judges, and decides.

When the intellect loses control over the mind's desires, you become disturbed. Stress is the mental agitation caused by unfulfilled desires. Thus the fundamental requirement for a stress-free life is to develop a strong intellect and control desires.

Intellectual strength is distinct and different from intelligence. Intelligence is mere storage of information—knowledge acquired from external sources and educational institutions, from teachers and textbooks. Any amount of intelligence cannot, per se, develop your intellect. The intellect is developed by individual effort through exercising one's faculty of questioning and reasoning.

With the lack of development of the intellect, people fail to understand that every human being is distinct and different from another—that each is governed by his or her own singular nature.

Therefore, we should assess the nature of each human individually. But few follow this practice in life. Without making individual assessments you are not able to relate to others properly. As a result, you expect one to behave differently from one's fundamental nature.”

The wisdom in living a stress-free life is to expect others to behave differently from your own perspectives, that is, always putting yourself in someone’s shoes. Remember, nobody stresses you, except yourself, because you have an ego and you expect others to gratify your ego. Let go of your ego to let go of all your attachments, which are the sources of human stress. NO EGO NO STRESS may show you how to use human wisdom to let go of your ego to live a stress-free life. 

Bottom line: use your mind power to let go of your attachments, which define your ego-self. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Asking Questions

There is an old proverb: “He who cannot ask cannot live.” Life is about asking questions and seeking answers from the questions asked.

Human life is complex, and living is complicated. In order to truly understand what life is all about, you must distill life to one simple but difficult question: “Am I happy?”

This is a simple question, but the answer may not be as simple and straightforward as you may think. This simple question is about life, which is never simple; living for life may, indeed, be very complicated, especially for those who are always unhappy.

If your life is getting more complicated, you may have problems with life and living. If, on the other hand, you never have problems with feelings of anger, fear, frustration, or you never have felt that life is meaningless, you are probably not human.

So, constantly and consistently ask yourself two questions: “Am I happy?” and “Is my life getting increasingly simpler or more complicated?” These two simple but difficult questions are inter-related.

Generally speaking, the purpose of living is two-fold: to enjoy life, and to expand happiness.

But how can one enjoy life if one is not happy by nature, or how can one expand happiness if one has no idea what happiness is all about? Indeed, living for life begins with that simple question: “Am I happy?”

You may want to ask another poignant question: “Why would one even bother to ask or answer that question if one is already unhappy with life?”

So, if you wish to be happy, you must ask yourself on a regular basis that one simple question: “Am I happy?”

The art of asking questions is your source of wisdom in the art of living well. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, September 9, 2019

Mindfulness Is Everything in Life

Mindfulness is everything in life, in particular, the true pathway to true human happiness.


If we look back in anger, we may have regret and remorse; if we look forward with hope and expectation, we may develop anxiety and disappointment. 

Mindfulness is staying with the present moment; after all, the “present” is the only reality because the past was gone, and the future is yet to come. The now is a gift, and that’s why it is called “present.”

We are living in a world of technology with many attachments and distractions that cultivate a compulsive mind.

What is a compulsive mind?

A compulsive mind is unable to slow down, because it is forever focusing on what to do next.  If you’re texting while driving, or talking on the phone while walking—you definitely have a compulsive mind. Even if you’re walking to a supermarket, and your mind is all about what to buy, instead of observing what is around you—you don’t have mindfulness.

Mindfulness relaxes the mind first, and then the body. Relaxation avoids stress and enhances concentration. All in all, mindfulness holds the key to good health and get well-being of an individual—the groundwork of human happiness. That said, mindfulness is easier said than done; you need mindfulness resources to help you get your mindfulness.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Life Changes

Have you been striving to make changes in your life, but without much success? Life changes are life goals we need to live a better and happier life.

We all need to make some changes in our lives because everything is changing in every moment. But making changes may not be as easy as we think: many of us are not only reluctant but also resistant to change. We all love staying in our comfort zones and hate venturing into an area of the unexpected and the unpredictable.

But the truth of the matter is that life is changing all the time, whether we like it or not. Any change is neutral: neither good nor bad; but our perceptions of the changes may play a pivotal role in the changes we are going to make in our lives. According to James Allen, author of As A Man Thinketh, men are “makers of themselves” and the human mind is the “master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance.” That is to say, it is all in our minds. So if you can change your thinking, you may change your life—being a better and happier you. It is your choice.

The human mind is composed of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, both of which process and interpret our physical sensations, leading to thoughts that may be positive or negative, depending on our mental input. Thus the human mind may play a pivotal role in either changing negative thoughts into toxic desires, or controlling them in a positive way.

Your conscious mind voluntarily controls your mental input (that is, what you want to and what you don’t want to remember); while it is your subconscious mind that involuntarily remembers all the physical sensations you are exposed to. But it is your subconscious mind that directs and controls your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind is the master mind behind all your actions and decisions in your life. Therefore, it is important to have the wisdom to understand better how your subconscious mind works in order to have better control of your conscious mind.

Your mind is powerful only if know how to control it. Learn how to empower your mind to control your mind to control your desires. For example, when you see something that pleases the eye, such as a beautiful dress or a watch, you may become desirous of it. That perception can be voluntarily rejected by your conscious mind, but it may be imprinted involuntarily on your subconscious mind, which, ultimately, controls and directs your conscious mind.

Make changes in your life, adapt yourself to these changes, and live your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Why Good Posture?

If you wish to live long, improve posture. Good posture holds the key to longevity

Physical activity extends longevity; it is one of the closest things to an anti-aging pill for longevity. Physical activity invigorates the whole body system, keeping it in its optimum conditions. Unfortunately, there is often a dramatic decline in physical activity as aging continues. Partly, it is due to the onslaught of diseases and disorders, which incapacitate an individual. Partly, it is due to poor posture acquired by that individual over the years.

Why is good posture so important, and why is it often neglected?

If you have good posture, you have good body balance, which prevents falling—one of the most common causes of death in the elderly. As a matter of fact, falling is the 2nd leading cause of death in women aged between 65 and 85, and the leading cause of death for most individuals over 85. Improve posture to improve body balance to prevent falling, which is due to weak body muscles, aggravated and perpetuated by incorrect posture.

Another good reason for good posture is to avoid debilitating back pain, neck pain, leg pain, and even headaches, which often interfere with longevity living. Due to poor body posture, all the muscle groups supporting the crooked spine become stretched and strained, causing wear and tear, resulting in lower back pain. In addition, an arched lower back exerts undue pressure on the joints and nerves, causing joint pain and rheumatism.

There is yet another good reason to improve posture: enhanced breathing. Healthy breathing not only provides ample oxygen to your lungs for long-term longevity health, but also nourishes, in the form of qi (internal vital life energy), different parts of your body for maximum growth and rejuvenation. Good posture contributes to breathing right. Incidentally, rodents, with the shortest breaths in the animal kingdom, also have the shortest lifespan. Therefore, breathing correctly is an important component of longevity. But you cannot breathe right without correct posture.

Despite the importance of good posture for longevity, correct posture is often overlooked because there is no one constantly reminding you to improve posture. To successfully improve posture, you must develop an acute awareness for good posture at all times.

  • Your head is directly above your shoulders.
  • Your chin is tucked in.
  • Your ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line from a side view.
  • Your upper back is straight, not slouched.
  • Your shoulders, relaxed and straight, are flat against your back.
  • Your pelvis is in a neutral position.
  • Your knees are unlocked.
Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Forward Head Posture Fix :  It fixes your ugly forward head posture to make you not only look younger but also feel healthier. Unlike other posture programs which focus on stretching exercises, this unique program focuses closely on the “sequential flow”. In other words, it isn’t necessarily about what exercises and stretches are performed, more about completing them in the right sequence in order to open up and “unravel” the neck so you can begin to fix your Forward Head Posture and restore balance to your body.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Conventional Wisdom


Conventional wisdom is “conventional” in the sense that the majority of people have already accepted it as the norm, with the implication that others should follow suit—something like a blueprint.

However, if you want to live an extraordinary life, you are going to have to think for yourself, do the unimagined, and create your own definition of the reality for living—that is, living with your own wisdom, not necessarily following conventional wisdom or that of someone else.

What Conventional Wisdom Says About Living

In general, conventional wisdom has the following to say about how one should live.

Life Purpose

Most experts agree that life has to have a purpose, and living is to identify that life purpose and then follow a pathway to attaining that purpose. The explanation is that with no central purpose in life one may easily become a prey to fantasies, imaginings, and longings—the root causes of all emotional problems in contemporary life, such as anxiety, fear, and depression.

Thinking Questions

What is my life purpose?
Is a life in search of happiness purposeful?

Life Goals

The next step is to set clear and achievable goals with a timeline for each in order to bring one’s life purpose into fruition. Based on specific life goals, a person then develops a direction in life in order to achieve what he or she has set out to accomplish.

Life goals, however, must be clear and definite, achievable, and, above all, life-transforming in order to make life meaningful.

Thinking Question

Does life still have goals when I am nearing its end rather than its beginning?

Life Priorities

Determine the priorities of life goals by focusing on current skills and strengths that facilitate the attainment of certain immediate short-term as well as long-term goals. Meanwhile, explore and discover hidden gifts and talents for other life goal further down the road.
Life priorities have to be adjusted accordingly as life proceeds.

Life Passion

A life well lived must be a life of passion. Follow your heart: instead of following anything or anyone. Do what you are good at or what you are passionate about, and you will find your true self. If you like what you do and do what you like, you will do it well. Passion gives life and substance to whatever you do.

Thinking Success

An individual who develops the process of right thinking is more likely to succeed than the one who does not because that individual knows how to rule himself or herself under any difficult circumstance. Success in any endeavor in life has to do with the mind, which creates the attitudes for success.

Attitude towards discipline

Govern yourself to avoid ungoverned grief, tumultuous tempers, and unbridled passion—the root causes of some of the major disasters in contemporary life.

Attitude towards input

Great success requires great sacrifice.

Find the one thing you do well, and do not do anything else—or at least do not try to do everything at the same time.

Develop a strong inner circle to provide you with the right input. As for others, just ask certain friends to keep you updated on what is happening in the lives of your other friends. You cannot possibly catch up with everyone you know.

Spend time wisely. Focus on knowing and learning what is important to you. Remember, 99 percent of everything in life is what you do not need to know.

Sacrifice short-term enjoyment for long-term value goals. It is important to know the things you are giving up in life and how important they are to your life. Being willing to give up some of the things you love in order to focus on what has the greatest impact is not only a difficult life lesson to learn but also a difficult life choice to make. But living is about balance, which requires give-and-take.

Attitude towards failures

Learn to cope with ups and downs, obstacles and drawbacks in life.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Letting Go of Attachments

Human unhappiness comes from the human attachment to the many material things in the physical world they are living in.

Attachment is only natural and instinctive, but too many attachments may become a burden to the mind and the soul—the human flaw that leads to depression, which is no respecter of persons. Letting go of all human attachments may help knowing the right way to finding both human wisdom and spiritual wisdom, which may ultimately point the right pathway to attaining true human happiness.

It is also important to know that we all have a body, a mind, and a soul living in the physical world. They are all inter-connected and inter-dependent on one another for their co-existence in order to live and survive in the physical world. The mind, the body, and the soul all work together as a system of life energy. The free flow or stagnation of this life energy is dependent on the “state of being” of the body, the mind, and the soul at each moment. It is this moment-to-moment alignment in the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as their alignment with one another, that creates the unique state of being, which is a miracle in itself.

On the other hand, the misalignment of the body, the mind, and the soul may stem from the human flaw of attachment, which may adversely affect the body; given the close body-mind connection, the mind contaminated by the body may ultimately infest the soul too.

According to Simone Weil, the French philosopher, “Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” Attachment is no more than a safety blanket to overcome fear—fear of change and of the unknown from that change. To cope with that fear, all attachments become distractions. Attachment is basically your emotional dependence on things and people that define your identity, around which you wrap your so called “happiness” and even your survival. Attachment is holding  on to anything  that you are unwilling to let go of, whether it is something positive or negative.

The antidote to attachment is letting go. Get the Wisdom of Letting Go.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau