Author Archives: dailytools

About dailytools

I live in Singapore. Out of impulse, I decide to try out wordpress blog, despite having always blog my daily readings on for over the past 2 years.



unshakeable+tony.jpgBy Tony Robbins with Peter Mallouk (2017)

In this book, Tony Robbins talk about 7 facts of financial market.

The Seven Facts:

    1. 1. On average, corrections have occurred about once a year since 1900 – Historically, the average correction has lasted only 54 days—less than two months! In other words, most corrections are over almost before you know it. Not that scary, right?

2. Less than 20% of all corrections turn into a bear market – if you panic and move into cash during a correction, you may well be doing so right before the market rebounds.

3. Nobody can predict consistently whether the market will rise or fall.


4.The stock market rises over time despite many short-term setbacks – Despite a 14.2% average drop within each year, the US market ended up with a positive return in 27 of the last 36 years.


5. Historically, bear markets have occurred every 3-5 years. But know that they don’t last for ever, on average, they last about a year.
6. Bear markets become bull markets and pessimism becomes optimism – when the mood in the market is overwhelmingly bleak, super investors such as Buffett tend to view it as a positive sign that better times lie ahead.


7. The greatest danger is being OUT of the market – If you stay in the market long enough, compounding works its magic, and you end up with a healthy return—even if your timing was hopelessly unlucky.



Four Principles That Can Help Guide Every Investment Decision You Make

  1. Don’t Lose. The best investors are obsessed with avoiding losses. Why? Because they understand a simple but profound fact: the more money you lose, the harder it is to get back to where you started.
  2. Asymmetric Risk/Reward. You need to take big risks to achieve big returns. The best investors don’t fall for this high-risk, high-return myth. Instead, they hunt for investment opportunities that offer what they call asymmetric risk/reward: a fancy way of saying that the rewards should vastly outweigh the risks.
  3. Tax Efficiency. Taxes can easily wipe out 30% or more of your investment returns if you’re not careful. Yet mutual fund companies love to tout their pretax returns, obscuring the reality that there’s only one number that truly matters: the net amount that you actually get to keep.
  4. Diversification. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.


What asset classes will give you the highest probability of getting from where you are today to where you need to be? In other words, the design of your portfolio must be based on your specific needs.

  • Asset allocation drives return. Deciding on the right balance of stocks, bonds, and alternatives is the most important investment decision you’ll ever make.The moral: never bet your future on one country or one asset class.
  • Use index funds for the core of your portfolio.
  • Always have a financial cushion.
  • The rule of seven. Ideally, we like our clients to have seven years of income set aside in income-producing investments such as bonds and MLPs. If stocks crash, we can tap these income-producing assets to meet our clients’ short-term needs.



Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World


makeyourbedBy William H. McRaven(2017)

The author uses his own experience as a naval SEAL to relate as to how little things such as making your bed will give you a good feeling that you have completed one task of the day.

He say one must never give up.  One must have hope.

There is one interesting story in which he relates how a single decision by one person manage to save a lot of people. This in turn is saving their children and their grandchildren.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim, you have to deal with it. If you want to make a difference in the world, don’t back down from the sharks.  If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in your darkest moment.



The Language Instinct

The Language Instinct

languageinstinctBy Steven Pinker

The author believes that language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution.

Fluent grammatical language can in fact appear in many kinds of people with severe intellectual impairments, like schizophrenics, Alzheimer’s patients, some autistic children, and some aphasics. For example, if you ask a normal child to name some animals, and you will get a standard inventory of pet store : dog, cat, horse, cow and pig. But if you ask a Williams syndrome child, you will get a more interesting menagerie : unicorn, sea lion, yak, pteranodon, koala, dragon, saber-tooth tiger etc. A person can have all the environmental advantages such as parents who will bathe you in language, but still not be a competent language user if you lack the right genes or just the right bits of brain.

One of his theory is on language of thought called metalese. He ask himself 2 questions :

  1. Is thought dependent on words?
  2. Or is our thought couched in some silent medium of the brain (language of thought called metalese) and thus merely clothed in words whenever we need to communicate them to a listener?

He believes that knowing a language is knowing how to translate mentalese into a string of words and vice versa. People without a language would still have mentalese. According to Pinker, mentalese exist in all species. and he argues that mentalese is simpler than language as it does not deal with Grammar or pronunciation.


Modern Romance


modernromanceBy Aziz Ansari (2015)

There were some funny aspects in the beginning part of the book. The book did examined some research that was done, but it did give me a feeling that times have changed and future relationships have become more vulnerable than ever.

Finding someone today is probably more complicated and stressful than it was for previous generations – but you’re also more likely to end up with someone you are really excited about.

The search for the right person – the meaning of “right person” has changed radically in a very much short amount of time.

A few generations ago, if I had been a young person, I would have gotten married pretty young say around 23 years old. Most will end up marrying someone who live in the neighbourhood.

In today’s era, at 23years old, I wasn’t thinking about marriage at all. Instead I got the chance to experience “emerging adulthood” and grow as a person. I met people from all over the world in this part of my life. I wasn’t limited to just the folks I knew in my neighbourhood.

The “good-enough marriage” is definitely not good enough for today’s singles. We are not content to marry someone who happens to live down the street and gets along okay with our parents. We want a soul mate. We want a lifelong wingman/wingwoman who completes us and can handle the truth.

Today, once you start dating someone, your physical lives aren’t the only things that get entangled; your phone worlds also merge. Treat potential partners like actual people, not bubbles on a screen. With online dating and smartphones, we can message people all over the world. However, it is important to analyse options in the real world, not just on the screen.




Making Modern World : Materials and Dematerialization


By Vaclav Smil  (2013)

Makingmodernworld Over the course  of time, the modern world has become dependent on  unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rate.

I am still at the beginning of the book. I think it is a little dry though it does start to explore the history of how organisms use materials.

The use of materials fall into 5 major categories :

1) Rarest to inconsequential category : use collected natural materials as tools. Chimpanzees use blades of grass or twigs to collect termites or small stones and they use stone anvils to crack open nuts.

2) Use of secreted materials to build protective / prey catching structures. Spider silk is one of the most remarkable secreted material, with a tensile strength similar to that of good quality steel.


3) Removal of biomass and man made materials to create remarkably designed structures example from beaver dams to intricate nests. Leafcutter ants (genus Atta) harvest leaves, drag them underground into nests to cultivate fungus. Beavers are active harvesters of wood used to build their dams. Birds’ nests offer the most varied and sometimes spectacular examples of construction using natural materials.


4) Removal and repositioning of soils  and clays (termite mounds, intricate rodent burrow) Some bower birds of Australia and New Guinea attract females using colorful natural objects such as shells, berries, leaves and flowers, but also discarded bits of plastic, metal or glass. Termites are the greatest aggregate movers and users of soils in subtropical and tropical environments as they construct often impressively tall and voluminous mounds that not only shelter the massive colonies, but also provide induced ventilation driven by pressure differences.


5) Extraction of minerals from water, mostly to build ecoskeleton example corals, phytoplankton.  The largest use of natural materials are the marine biomineralizers that are able to secrete the inorganic compounds they produce from chemicals absorbed from water. Great Barrier Reef may be the world’s largest structured built by largest animals.


Breakthrough creativity

Breakthrough creativity

breakthrough_creativity.jpgBy Lynne C.Levesque (2001)

The author define creativity as the ability to consistently produce different and valuable results. There is no one right or best way to be creative.

Creativity takes many forms and manifests itself in many different ways. By defining and identifying your talents, you can then figure out how to be more consistent, purposeful, and effective in producing your creative results.

One method for discovering how you are creative is to determine how you recognize information, define problems and challenges, and then go about producing creative responses and solutions.

Levesque uses C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological patterns for gathering information and making decisions about it. Her explanation of the theory and how we can use it is clear and easy to understand. She presents a method for self selecting our creative talents (we all have them) and then creates eight interesting, attention grabbing profiles. The profiles give us something to identify with as individuals and team members. Breakthrough Creativity makes it clear that all people are not pegged or pigeon-holed in only one area of creative talent. With exercises designed to help us learn more about our own creative processes and the barriers and blocks associated with them, we have the freedom to seek to expand our talents and capabilities.

There are 8 creative talents :

  1. Adventurer
  2. Navigator
  3. Explorer
  4. Visionary
  5. Pilot
  6. Inventor
  7. Harmonizer
  8. Poet

Example of

Results and Contributions
– Provocative questions that challenge the group to find profound answers and solutions.
– New designs and solutions through unusual connections.
– imagination full of hard to describe images and futuristic possibilities
– multidiscipline perspectives.
– Penetrating, far reaching insights into future trends.
– Ability to integrate, synthesize and move the group forward.

Maximizing their contributions
– Structure the right environment.
– Provide focus and limit
– Provide space and time.
– Work with their ideas to ground them.
– Help them share their thoughts and ideas.
– Help them with managing conflict.
– Encourage the use of their decision making talent.
– Work on development plans.
– Encourage time out and play.


Results and Contributions
– An aesthetic appreciation for grace and elegance in solutions.
– Building an environment of trust, respect, support and a safe place for testing out new ideas and solutions.
– independent and thoughtful perspectives on the challenge, addressing people related values, content and circumstances.
– serving as the team’s ethical backbone.
– Generation of new possibilities and options through reflection and incubation.
-Articulation and portrayal of values, feelings and perspectives, often through writing.

Maximizing their contributions

-Check to be sure structure is needed.
-Provide time and space needed to be most creative.
-Make sure they are engaged and motivated.
-Recognize their sensitivity and show them uniqueness.
-Allow them opportunities and show them uniqueness.
-Help them build their conflict management and communication skills.
-Help them define objectives, set boundaries, prioritize and plan.
– Encourage critical thinking
– Build objectives for improving new skills into their performance plan.
– Watch for symptoms of stress.






How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

howtolearnShortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast by Tansel Ali (2015) 

The author list out a 7 step guide to learn anything in 48 hours.

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (3 hours)

2. Develop memorization strategy (2 hours)

3. Organize / prioritize materials (1 hour)

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour)

5. Memorize (30 hours)

6. Review (spaced repetition) (1 hour)

7. Practice and apply (10 hours)

Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN SCOPE and bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can visualize.


S : Senses / Sensation
M : Movement
A : Association
S : Sexuality / Self
H : Humor
I : Imagination
N : Numbers

S: Symbolism
C : Color
O : Order
P : Positive images / negative images
E : Exaggeration

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how you can create memorable mental images and link the story. There is a 4 step guide to make something memorable.

  1. Abstract – identify abstract thing.
  2. Image – Need to convert abstract to image example the word “creativity” is abstract, but we can use the image of a light bulb or even Albert Einstein to convert the abstract nature of the word to an image we recognize and understand.
  3. Association  – use physical connectivity to make a strong association.
  4. Communication -consider ways to craft info that others can understand.

When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve your comprehension.

When linking numbers, make sure you don’t mix up the order of the numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story, you will recall wrong numbers.

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection makes for stronger memorisation. The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. Create as many loci as you can so you don’t get your stories mixed up by repeatedly using the same location.

Create a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helping when using the Dominic system.

Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your mind from everyday routine. Don’t ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and changes in the world.

Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data.

For languages, make sure you memorize the pronunciations before memorizing the phrases. It will make learning much more effective.

The best way to promote 21st century skills is to embrace Art of Memory techniques.

Real life examples of high speed learning exist. One competitor at first World Memory championships, Bruse Balmer taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then went on a talk show in that language.  These individuals have nothing special about them. Rather, they all employ a small set of simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. The Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost universally practiced by the thinkers of the ancient world.