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Hong Kong's Hidden Gems #2 -- Hong Kong Jockey Club Central Stanley Street Shop

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) owns all government approved sports betting and lottery stations in Hong Kong.  These establishments normally offer few reasons for me to visit.  But I recently ventured into one HKJC venue.  This Stanley Street branch in busy Central has won the title of the luckiest (or most unlucky if you are the HKJC) betting site in recent years.  Quite a few have won the grand prize in lottery, known locally as Mark Six, from this premise.  The shop has recently undergone a major facelift.  It now houses two restaurants, various horse racing and lottery artefacts, along with fun facts showcases.  Upon entry, there is an unexpected caravan setting that provides a homey feel for visitors.   A real lottery ball drum machine is also on display.  Opposite it is a historical wall detailing the evolution of Mark 6 over the years.  Did you know that the lottery went from thirty-six numbers in 1976 to forty-nine in 2002?  This made your already low odds of winning much w

Book Review: The Magic of Thinking Big

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I recently finished a self-help book called  The Magic of Thinking Big ,  by David Schwartz.  The title caught my attention as I have had first-hand experience on the topic.  My expectation from the book was to see if there are consistent means to induce big thinking and in turn, derive its benefits.  It turned out there is no magic pill on how to think big. Instead Dr Schwartz provided a few lifehacks that resonated with me:  Believe you can and so you can. Self belief is key to success.  If you believe you are good enough, then you are on the right track to attaining results.  This message reminded me of Morpheus telling Neo in the Matrix , "Don't think you are. Know you are." This has been my mantra for some time so the chapter served as a good reinforcement on self belief. On the flip side, if you believe you cannot, that is equally self-fulfilling    There is no excuse for mediocrity.  Whether it is health, intelligence or the age-old "age" (pun intended),

Hong Kong's Hidden Gems #1 - Hong Kong Monetary Authority Information Centre

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COVID-19 has certainly taken much lustre out of Hong Kong's star on the world stage.  Travelers into the city still require a 3-day compulsory hotel quarantine at the time of writing, leaving many holding off on a trip to the Asian hub.  Shame! In view of this, I have decided to use this blog to occasionally showcase Hong Kong to the world.  Feel free to use these posts as a guide to plan your future travel here.  Even if you don't have plans to come, my hope is the introduction of these sights will offer unique perspectives on the buzzing city.   To start us off, we have a boutique but interesting information centre in Hong Kong's Central Bank.  The Hong Kong Monetary Authority ( HKMA ) Information Centre is one of a kind.  It is located in Two IFC , arguably the most iconic skyscrapper in town.  That said, it is certainly off the beaten path and not very well known to even the locals. Visitors information can be found here . This gallery can probably be explored within a

Quote of the Day

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The surefire formula to succeed in anything:  Talent + Perspiration + Belief => Success  - PTS

An Unusual Perspective and Strategy on Wordle

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You must have heard of (and maybe for some, forgotten about) Wordle .  This 5-letter word guessing game took the world by storm earlier this year.  Despite losing some of its shine by now, many are still considering it their daily routine.  I know people who eagerly anticipate the stroke of midnight so they can be the first ones to crack the daily puzzle.  This New York Times darling actually reminds me of the long running TV show Wheel of Fortune  especially its bonus round. Pat Sajak's reciting of the gimme letters  R, S, T, L, N, E still seems like a memory from yesterday.  If I seem to know too much about this show, this is because I watch it on Netflix when feeling the need for an extra challenge in life.  This post was written to commemorate the 100-day anniversary of my playing the game.  For full disclosure, I do not play every day especially when the schedule gets tough.  My record is not too shabby however, as I win in three or less tries 50% of the time.  It has continue

Book Review: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

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I have always prided myself on leading a meaningful life.  Neither a Nobel laureate nor celebrity, but there is a sense of "balance" that makes my days mostly enjoyable.  A strong career, adequate finances, a loving family and fun hobbies all contribute to the experience.  Though not by design, I have perhaps a become a "generalist" in life.  I finished the book,  Range , a couple months ago and enjoyed it immensely.  David Epstein did a superb job highlighting the importance of generalists in today's world. Here are my key takeaways:  The book started by comparing two schools of thoughts on raising successful athletes.  Tiger Woods vs Roger Federer , two undisputed all-time greats in their respective genres. What is more, Woods represented the deliberate training camp while Federer was exposed to a range of sports both from a young age.  This clever comparison intrigued me to find out whether range can prevail over focused deliberate training. Epstein believes

Quarantine Life

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My business trip to Singapore last month led to a mini-hiatus from blogging.  I am now going through a 7-day quarantine in Hong Kong.  A similar experience last year turned out to be a blast.  Although quarantines are not something most people look forward to, they are appealing to me in a number of ways.  Last year, I experienced what life was like living in a hotel room 24/7  where you eat, sleep, exercise, do HITT/yoga and go to the toilet in a small, confined space.  I gained more appreciation for people who choose to live in tiny bachelor units.  Then there was the lack of face-to-face contact with anyone for days.  Having less communication with my family and social circle can be a blessing in disguise.  The new found quietness put my mind at ease.  It helped me venture beyond the daily routine and reflect on life.  The extra me-time allowed me to get in touch with my inner self.  At times, I felt like a monk full of zen.  With less external distraction, even the 9-5 became more