• We’re in the Press + Other News


    Lots of exciting news at Think Simple Now headquarters. In addition to having two new contributing members (lisa and scott) to the TSN team, we’ve had some press coverage.

    1. Glamour Magazine

    Glamour Magazine in the June 2009 issue.

    The coverage was for their annual salary survey article in the Life & Happiness section for the magazine (page 124).

    For those curious to know, I was contacted one year ago, answered a series of questions, they came up with a quote to best fit their article, and I approved the quote.

    Since the article came out many months after its original planned date, the quote was modified many times by the editors.  At one point, it mentioned my trading in a six figure salaried job to have flexibility and freedom to follow my passion, and then later it mentioned me cutting costs by switching from my cell phone to skype, etc. 

    I didn’t have a whole lot of control over what was quoted or how it was quoted. So technically, I did not actually say, “I get to work at home and no boring meetings, ever!”  The editors added that to spunk it up.

    In all, I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to be quoted. I am now asking the universe for more such opportunities in traditional press (let me know if you have ideas).

    2. Yes Magazine

    Yes! Magazine had a small feature about Think Simple Now in their Winter 2009 issue (Issue 48) on Sustainable Happiness (page 37).

    The feature was written by an editor of the publication in late summer of last year, based on articles she saw on TSN and Google web stats I had provided for her.

    See the article online.

    3. Book Mention

    Think Simple Now and myself were mentioned as a sample case study for the online personal branding section in the book “Tell Me About Yourself” on page 174, published in April, 2009 – written by Katharine Hansen of Quintessential Careers.

    4. Amazon Kindle

    Think Simple Now articles are now available to be subscribed to on the Kindle – Amazon’s wireless reading device.

    For 99 cents a month, you can have specially formatted TSN articles delivered to you, and stored on your Kindle. Support us and subscribe here (Free 14-day trial), and if you could leave a kind review (even if you don’t own a Kindle), I will LOVE you for it.

    On an interesting note, Jeremy did the photos of the Kindle on the Amazon site.

    5. Updated About Pages

    We’ve updated the much needed about pages for Think Simple Now:

    • About page – to include a more up-to-date description, social media links, bios of the team and contact information. Be sure to scroll down to read the bio descriptions for Blackie and Tommy – all in good fun.
    • About Tina page – much of what I had posted prior to the update was no longer relevant. I have grown so much since the start of this site, and the description badly needed this update. This page was pretty much re-written. Check it out.


    There are some exciting new projects coming up on the horizon, I can’t wait to tell you about them.  Keep an eye out here and on TSN for announcements.

    In other news, I’m heading to India in three weeks for a month long spiritual retreat.  While I’m gone, I will not be blogging.  If you are interested in submitting a top-notch guest post, send it to Lisa (lisa@thinksimplenow.com).

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  • Insecurities: A Slice From My Diary


    Photo by: Asaf Einy

    The beautiful topic of relationships has occupied much of my mental space over the past few weeks. This is apparent through my recent articles on “How to Get Over Breakups” and “How to Find True Love” (New) via Think Simple Now.

    To write these articles, I had to dig deep within myself and recall my own romantic journey and all of the empowering things I’ve learned through the ups and downs of my own relationships.

    The most significant day in my personal growth was November 19, 2006. It was through the state of despair and depression I was in that the pain I was experiencing helped to nudge me into sudden clarity about what I’ve been doing wrong all these years.  It was an exceptionally exhilarating and liberating day for me.

    The following is a snapshot of my realization from that day, as written in my journal.

    From that day on, my life has never been the same.  The cycle of destruction had finally come to an end. Sometimes, life can only turn around when you’ve hit rock bottom.

    I hope that by sharing this slice from my diary, it will help to shine some light on your story and whatever it is that you are going through.  For anyone who’s ever felt insecure and insufficient, you are not alone.  There is hope, and the future is VERY bright!

    ” November 19, 2006

    Uncertainty is the topic of my day. No, actually it’s insecurities – the insecurity of not being liked, of not fitting in, of not belonging, of being alone, of not being loved. Through much realization about myself in the past few days, I discovered that I used to have a psychological dependency on men, or the idea of having a man there for me.

    In the most extreme sense, it was as if my entire self worth relied on this dependency, on this idea of support. Once that dependency is challenged and uncertainty is added into the equation, I become this insecure little girl, unable to continue. I scramble, I panic, I look for plan B, I start to seek out alternatives, replacements … pads to protect my body from shattering into little pieces should I fall from that balcony of visions that I’ve created.

    Visions and fixation, of hope, of ideals, of situations, of longing… all of which I have projected onto this man who is the current holder of my self-worth and whom I’ve depended on such that I cannot function normally without. He helps me to feel together, to feel complete. But he also hinders me from achieving my ultimate goals.

    In a deeply unconscious state, without knowing it, I’ve asked him to put an invisible leash on my self-worth and my security. As a result, he’s got all of my time, my attention, my heart, and my love and a momentary pause has been placed on my true passions.

    I have goals, but in the pursuit of keeping him happy, I set aside my goals and grace him with my attention and time. Deep down, secretly, I feel that without his image around, I will not be able to excel, and that I will not be okay. This of course is a false illusion, but because it’s been deeply buried in my subconscious, I have not been aware of it until now.

    With each partner, when their true, ugly qualities re-surface above the perfect image I’ve projected upon them, I abruptly leave and start seeking the next holder of my invisible leash.

    Today, I declare to the Universe that with this self revelation, I shall let this go, completely. I do not need it in my life, for it is no longer serving me.

    My true self worth comes from myself, my heart, and my perception of my world. I adore myself, I love myself, and I am a wonderful being with lots of love to share.

    I am in complete control of my life and my experiences. I gain more security in myself each time I do something that pleases me. I gain when I read wonderful books and learn new things. I gain when I am writing and exploring my feelings. I gain when I re-organize my life (living space, routine, health, goals). I gain when I think about all the wonderful blessings in my life. I gain when I take pictures that capture truth. I gain when I have meaningful conversations. I gain each time I accomplish a goal. I gain each time I think – with absolute faith that – I will always end up in the best possible place no matter what happens. There is something wonderful and valuable from every situation I encounter.

    I learned something today:
    Love yourself, and love others as if they were me.
    Smile lots, and spread joy.
    Be truthful, be compassionate, be patient, and be forgiving.
    Live with the big heart you were born with. ”

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See where I buy affordable stock images for my website. The Best Quality.

  • Swimming Through Life


    Photo by: Colleen Yancy. See her flickr stream.

    I started training for swimming a month ago. For a sprint triathlon, one will have to swim 800 meters without stopping.  Alright, that’s my goal.  I’ve calculated the length of the pool I use: 25 meters. Okay, 32 laps it is!

    On my first day I started with great optimism. “Okay Tina, you can do this! 10 laps without stopping! Go!” By the end of lap 2, I was collapsed over the edge of the pool lane, huffing and puffing to catch my breath.  My performance was pathetic and it brought with it the clarity I needed to practice harder. I continued to swim laps every other day, stopping only to catch my breath when needed, until I’d finished a cumulative of 32 laps.

    Two weeks later, I overheard an older lady talking about her experience with a sprint triathlon, and I went over to ask a few questions. She said for the swimming leg, I’ll need to prepare to be able to do 40 laps, since it’ll be in a lake and the measurements are not very exact.  And also that it was important that I train myself to be able to swim all 40 laps non-stop, or risk drowning.

    Forty LAPS??? Holy Crap!

    I recall hearing a small voice in my head whispering, “I‘ll never be able to do that”, and then a few pulses later, I heard Tony Robbins’ voice yelling, “If you can’t, then you must!”

    Well, all I can say is that there’s nothing like the threat of death by drowning that motivates one to get creative.  With that in mind, that very same day I was able to swim the 40 laps without stopping.

    Four to Forty Laps in One Day

    For one thing, I noticed that I had been experiencing breathing issues when I did the freestyle stroke, which made me super tired and in need of catching my breath at the end of every two laps. So, I started to do back strokes – something I am more comfortable with.  My goal wasn’t to look like a professional freestyle swimmer, my goal was to stay afloat and swim the length of 40 laps continuously, so that in an emergency situation, I wouldn’t drown.

    Now I do 40 laps each time I hit the pool.  Here’s what I’ve observed:

    I start with enough confidence and energy to complete all 40 laps.  The first 2 laps are easy.  But then I start to feel tired.  The next 10 or so laps are the hardest. I start to witness my mind looking for excuses to stop. I feel it finding and pointing out the discomfort in my body so that it can maybe convince me that I’m too tired to continue.

    Once I get myself to complete 10 laps, things gets significantly easier, and my body is just riding out the repetitive movements.  Laps 20 to 30, and from 30 to 40 are a breeze.  When I actually hit lap 40, I feel that I can easily do 10 more laps.

    Life Patterns

    Upon further thought, I have noticed that this pattern of easy-difficult-easy can be seen in many other aspects of life: starting a business, starting a blog, learning a new skill, long distance running, etc.

    Let’s take blogging as an example. When a blogger first starts out, they are enthusiastic and hopeful for the future. Pretty easy so far. But all bloggers will go through a period near the start of their blogging career where they experience friction. They may feel discouraged that it’s tough to attract new readers or to market themselves. Or they may run into technology issues and they feel the urge to quite. But if they just hang on and persist through the discouragement and friction, they’ll reach a certain threshold where blogging and marketing become natural and easy, at which point they will be capable of continuing on indefinitely.

    The same is true for starting and running a successful business. It starts with fresh enthusiasm which makes the job appear easy. But soon, we experience some form of hardship or problem where we have to work long and challenging hours. The friction makes it tempting to quit, but more likely than not, if we soldier on, staying innovative and persistent, we will succeed.

    Take Away Lesson

    What I’ve learned through this observation is that persistence is the key! The ability to hanging on, when others have easily given up separates the failures from the triumphs.  In life, it isn’t about finding the most comfortable route, but rather finding destinations you want to arrive at and keeping moving until you get there.

    No matter how insurmountable a goal may seem, if you just keep trying, one step at a time, there will be a point at which the steps necessary to get there become an easy and effortless trek.

    Anything is possible.

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  • The Beauty of Simplicity


    Photo by: Noah Kalina

    Now Do This is bloody genius!

    It’s a productivity tool that gives you exactly what you need (& nothing more): the task you should be working on right NOW.

    I now have one window open to just this page. And when I start to browse around online aimlessly, I’ll see this window and be reminded to get back to work. I totally underestimated this trivial tool when I first saw it a few months ago…. until I started using it this week, and baby, it works!

    Today, I accidentally discovered a mysterious “about” link in edit mode, clicked on it and discovered that the site was created by Jakob Lodwick and William Cotton. I was totally inspired when I saw Jakob’s extremely simple homepage with just the essential links – including a mention that he created Vimeo(!!!).

    What can I say, brilliant people create brilliant things, time and time again. And each time I find someone brilliant, I become inspired and infused with creativity. Through Jakob’s page and his sites, I am completely inspired by the power and sheer beauty of simplicity.. that and a sweet balance of style, function and usability.

    Who or what inspires you? Please do share!

    My Daily Routine

    … has been changed to something like this:

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  • Update: ‘Blackie’ Travels to America


    Six weeks ago, I had written about my encounter with a puppy on the streets of Beijing. Many have since written asking about his safety and status. This is an update following up on the first post.

    After spending four happy weeks in Beijing with friends and family, Blackie and I have successfully, safely and stress-free-ly landed in Seattle.

    Blackie would like to thank you all for your concern and curiosity regarding his well being. Your love is gratefully received and gladly reciprocated.

    Blackie in Beijing

    After spending 2 weeks in a doggie hotel with a loving care taker while I traveled to XinJiang, Blackie and I reunited. Surprisingly, dogs weren’t allowed on Beijing public transports, and you couldn’t try to sneak him in, since all bags need to go through X-ray machines. So, we took taxis everywhere we went.

    He was small enough (under 3 lbs) to fit into my day purse, and we brought him along with us pretty much everywhere we went: restaurants, shopping malls, people’s homes, museums, the Olympic Stadium, the Great Wall of China.

    My parents and I were to rendezvous in Beijing, they had arrived from Toronto a week prior. Since we live in different cities, it was super nice to spend time with them while seeing a ‘foreign’ city (so much about the city has changed and in unfathomable ways), while carrying a small puppy around. My parents loved their new grand-doggie, Blackie, and hope to see him soon on their next trip to Seattle.

    Blackie touring around Beijing’s major tourist attractions in Tina’s purse.

    Resting on the shoulders of Tina’s dad on a road trip just outside of Beijing.

    While shopping, Blackie met his long lost twin. We had to take a picture. :)

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  • ‘Think Simple Now’ in Aussie Press


    A reader from Australia wrote last week to inform me that he had found out about Think Simple Now via Sydney‘s biggest newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald. Coool!! Unaware of this press mention until his email, I was stoked to learn of it and attempted to get my hands on a copy through local libraries and international news stands… without too much success until …

    Jason (the reader) was kind enough to then scan a copy of the paper.

    Here it is if you wanna check it out (click on the paper on your left to enlarge).

    Otto – my best friend from College, who also happens to be living in Sydney just informed me that he got a physical copy of the paper and is mailing it to me. YAY!! *bounce bounce*

    Thank you Otto and Jason!

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  • Roadtrip: Karakul Lake via Karakoram Highway


    Jason and Jeremy at rest stop on Karakoram Highway. Photo by Tina Su

    Back in 2006, when I was roaming around Tibet on my own, I was approached by a couple of Americans to join them on an overland Jeep trip to Nepal. I remember how relieved I felt knowing that I wouldn’t be venturing out all alone. Besides, it’s so much cheaper to split the rental car costs and much more interesting doing a trip with other souls.

    In Kashgar, when I saw the very colorful Jason Carter in the hotel lobby, I knew I had to approach him. He was traveling alone and he decided to join us on the 2 day road trip to Karakul Lake.

    As my intuition had suggested, Jason is one of the most interesting characters I’ve encountered. A bloke from London living in Spain, has sold everything he owned and plans to travel for the next 3 years. Jason was hilarious, fast talking and he swore twice with every sentence he spoke. He had just spent a month in Mongolia and passionately disliked his remote highland prairie experience. Oh the stories he had… I laughed until tears came out.

    Top: Jason mingling with locals at rest stop.
    Bottom: On Karakoram highway.

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  • Kashgar: A Colorful Celebration of Life – Part 2


    Photo by Tina Su

    For Part 1 of the post, go here.

    The old town takes up about a 20 block radius. Here life is still of the traditional Kashgar-ian flavor, with the pounding and chiseling sounds of the hundreds of craftsmen seated along the back alley ways, and where every imaginable handcrafted item can be negotiated for in the tiny shops that line the streets.

    Kids roam freely along the side alleys in the old town, most of whom are packing plastic bee-bee guns. We were shocked by the sheer number of unsupervised children running about during the day time.  They were constantly either harassing us for a picture, or shooting at us with their bee-bee guns when we weren’t looking.

    The kids were cute, until we became targets of their harassment. Lemme tell ya, those bee-bee gun shots really hurt!! They can take an eye out! An accident waiting to unfold, I can just feel it. A few times, I had to physically remove the little plastic guns from the kids’ hands when they shot too close to me, or were about to shoot someone else.  They actually listened to me when I pretended to be mad (well, sometimes).

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  • Kashgar: A Colorful Celebration of Life – Part 1


    Koran sellers in Kashgar market. Xinjiang, China.
    Qoran Sellers. Photo by Tina Su

    Kashgar (or Kāshí 喀什) is near the western most edge of China bordering Kyrgyzstan and within driving distance to Pakistan. Its remote location, vastly diverse cultures (mixture of Uyghur, Han, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek ethnic groups), and intense colors spread throughout the city are what draw in the curious tourists.

    It was a long journey to get there, four flights from Seattle. And this was the fastest option, with trains being another popular option from Beijing. However, one would need to take two different trains at 36 hours a piece, making it a total of around 4 days of land travel. Yikes! We ended up booking flights from Beijing via CTrip.com, since the Chinese airline websites were virtually unusable.

    Top: Kabob seller making fresh lamb barbeque kabobs.
    Middle: Running girls in old town. Kashgar, China.
    Bottom: Butcher shop along the streets of old down Kashgar.

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