Wisdom from Books

    Stephen Lau

TAO is the ancient wisdom from China, more than 2,600 years ago. It is based on the  wisdom of Lau Tzu, the ancient sage, who wrote Tao Te Ching, the immortal classic on human wisdom,  one of the most translated books in world literature.

The Tao of Success and Failure

Doing may lead to success, while non-doing may result in failure. Success often brings with it contentment and satisfaction-ingredients of human happiness.

However, if the happiness excessively satisfies and saturates the ego, the doing may lead to over-doing, which is doing more than what is necessary, and this may result in undue stress and unreasonable expectation-ultimately bringing about unhappiness.

A case in point: Lance Armstrong, the-once-celebrated-but-now-disgraced cyclist who had won numerous national and international medals, chose to use performance-enhancing drugs to win more medals, and ended up being stripped off all his previously won medals.

Remember, what goes up must also come down; success is inevitably followed by failure, and nothing lasts forever.

“Success and failure are no more than expressions of the human condition.

So, accept both gracefully and willingly, with no judgment, no preference.

The Creator loves us unconditionally, irrespective of our success or failure.

What is meant by “accept both gracefully and willingly”?

Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the sources of human suffering.

Seeing ourselves indiscriminately as everything, including success and failure,
we see not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of the creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 13)

Click here to get The TAO of Living for Life.

Click here for more TAO wisdom.

Click here to get The TAO of Living Longer.

Biblical wisdom is for the soul. The human body, which lives in the material world, is controlled by the human mind. Both may affect  each other, positively and negatively in everyday life and living. 

The pivotal role of the soul is providing wisdom to the mind, giving it appropriate advice and even instructions.

Biblical wisdom is not easily and readily accessible to all: it requires the profound human wisdom of an individual to seek and self-intuit it. Without this very passionate search and deep self-intuition, Biblical wisdom may remain unfathomable and unattainable to that individual.

Enhance your soul with spirituality to enable you to be in the world, but not of the world.

With Biblical wisdom, you live for life, and not just for yourself in the material world.

TAO: The Way to Biblical Wisdom

Click here to find out more about the book, as well as to read some excerpts from the book.


Your Emotions, Your Perceptions, and Your Health

Your mind is the generator of your emotions because it perceives, interprets, generalizes your thoughts, which then become your assumptions that affect how you act or react in the physical world. Your mind affects your body; as a matter of fact, there is a close connection between the body and the mind.    

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of many diseases and disorders because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to diseases and disorders.  

In addition, human behaviors -- often a byproduct of human emotions -- affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.  

The inter-connection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

With the body wisdom, human diseases and disorders are sometimes preventable and avoidable.

Get the body wisdom to cope with any disease or disorder you may be dealing with currently.

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease more than two decades ago. I was on steroid medications for a while until I decided to have a holistic approach to my disease.

For the past 20 years I have been 100 percent drug-free.

Get the body wisdom to prevent and heal any disease or disorder you may have.

Even a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Empower the mind with the body wisdom to combat and cope with cancer. As a matter of fact, a cancer diagnosis may j be an opportunity for personal growth and development, as well as for looking at one's own health and life with totally different perspectives.

Get the body wisdom on self-healing, instead of depending on medications, which are no more than toxic chemicals that only suppress the disease symptoms, instead of curing it.

Self-healing comes from the inside, and not the outside.


The human body lives in the physical world, where the flesh is often weakened by the toxic environment.

One of the functions of the  human mind is to control and monitor the human body. But the human mind may also become contaminated  and infested by what is in the material world, given that there is a close connection between the body and the mind.

Fortunately, all humans are also provided with a spirit, which is divine guidance in the form of conscience, love, sympathy, compassion, and loving-kindness. The spirit is like a compass and a road-map   any individual to go on his or her life journey.

The spirit is inherent in any individual, but that individual has to look for it, embrace it, and apply it to his or her daily living. That is when and where the spirit wisdom comes into play.

Ways to Become More Spiritual

Man is born with a spirit: a conscience to know what is right and wrong, as well as a desire to connect with his Creator-or God’s desire to be connected with man. In the course of life, man may disregard the human conscience when he chooses to do evil, or may even suppress the innate desire to know his Creator when he purposely turns away from Him.

If your mind so desires spirituality, there are still ways to help you become more spiritual.

These are some of the ways to become more spiritual:

Simplify your life: clear away the physical clutters in your life as the first step towards freeing yourself from your material and mundane attachments. Material things do not define who you are. Once you have cleared the physical clutters from your living environment, you may get to know more about yourself, especially your needs and values. Remember, needs and wants are not the same; your wants often create toxic desires and their accompanying toxic emotions.

Learn to look within yourself for answers to your life problems: you will become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Find your inner voice: what you love to do, and what touches your heart and your soul. Your inner self knows the truth when you hear it. Nobody knows you better than yourself-just as there is no better physician than yourself, who know what is best for your body. This intuitive wisdom is self-healing, which gives you a healthier body. Consciously improve your everyday attitudes and feelings, not just about yourself, but also towards others around you. Each and every moment in your day-to-day interactions provides an opportunity for you to become more spiritual, if you consciously avail yourself of that opportunity to see miracles in your life. Using Mother Teresa’s example, begin by conveying warmth to someone who least expects it, and this generous gesture of compassion is a strong testament to your innate spirituality. It is your spiritual thinking that causes your personality and daily interactions with others to become an expression of your soul: your daily actions speak you mind. A healthy mind is full of spirituality.

Another way to help you develop your spirituality is to feed your mind with positive thoughts to avoid any distorted thinking that may disenfranchise the soul. Consistently replenish your soul with spiritual feelings, such as unconditional love, generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness, among others.

Always look outside of yourself, too, and not just inside. Believe in miracles. Learn to pray. Prayers work by altering your brain chemistry. Like anti-depressant drugs, prayers can help you build up the feeling-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin. Prayers restore your hope, strength, and health.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Relationships play a pivotal part in everyday human life.

It is not easy to get along with people due to their differences in race, culture, upbringing, and belief. In many respects many think they are right, and, worse, think that they have the "right" to impose on others what they think is right.

Good human relationship begins with self-love -- which is loving yourself as who you are in spite of all your imperfections.

Recognizing all your perceived
imperfections may help you see the imperfections of others  as well, thereby instrumental in accepting them as they are.

is also critical to having good relationship with others. It enables you to be in someone else's shoes and see things from his or her own perspectives.

Meditation may also change your perspectives of many things that happens to and around you.

Love and Relationships

“Love is happy when it is able to give something. Ego is happy when it is able to take something.” Osho

“Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.” Anais Nin

“Love” is a big word in all human civilizations. For all religious disparities, love still plays an essential role in all the world’s religions. Love plays an important role in human lives and happiness, especially living in a world of conflicts and aggression.

What is the real meaning of “love”? Love involves our emotions and feelings. We all love some things and some people. Love, ironically enough, gives us both happiness and unhappiness. When the love is fulfilled, we feel happy; when the love is rejected or unrequited, we then feel pain, which becomes the unhappiness. That, unfortunately, is the reality of love.

Loving others is not that easy, and loving yourself is sometimes even more difficulty. That is also the reality of life and love.

The truth of the matter is that to truly love someone is very difficult, if not impossible, unless you love yourself first.


In a general sense, self-esteem is the positive or negative evaluative perception of self. It is a rating of self based on a partial assessment of current and/or past traits. Many mental health professionals claim that achieving higher self-esteem is the keystone of good mental health, in particular, in avoiding unhappiness; such claims, however, are dubious at best.

Low self-esteem is self-doubt, often expressed in not asserting oneself in public or workplace, and not pushing past one’s comfort zones.

To love yourself is self-acceptance, which is accepting who and what you really are -- and not who and what you wish you were (that is, your ego-self). It should also be pointed out that “loving yourself” and “loving your ego-self” are not quite the same. The former is loving yourself for who you really are despite all your imperfections; the latter involves loving or craving to be the person you wish you were. “Loving yourself” means you can love others as well because they are not very different from you in that they, too, are as imperfect as you are. On the other hand, “loving your ego-self” means it is very difficult to love others because you want to distinguish and separate yourself from others; accordingly, others must somehow satisfy your ego first before you can love them. That explains why if you have a big ego-self, you cannot easily and readily love others.

The bottom line: if you can accept yourself as who and what you are, then it may become much easier for you to accept and love others as who and what they are.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Success and Satisfaction

Doing may lead to success, which brings about contentment and happiness. However, if the happiness excessively satisfies and saturates the ego, the doing may easily become compromised, leading to unhappiness.

A Case in Point

Lance Armstrong
, the once-celebrated-but-now-disgraced cyclist, had won seven consecutive Tour de France titles and the Olympic bronze medal.

Armstrong’s initial success inflated his ego that led to his craving for more success, resulting in his “wrong” doing -- using performance-enhancing drugs to win all his races that ultimately brought about his downfall, and he was stripped of all his previous winning titles.

Spiritual Wisdom

The Bible says that pursuing happiness is often just “like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2: 11) This is especially true if it is pride that generates the happiness. Pride requires an object, such as an expensive car, or an action, such as winning in a game -- neither of which lasts.

Therefore, human effort does not guarantee happiness; it may only create the illusion of an environment that is conducive to only temporary happiness. To illustrate, one may work diligently in one’s career to excel and to get to the top of the profession only to find that one has a terminal illness, or has incurred a debilitating accident. For example, Steve Job, the co-founder of Apple computers, had his life cut short by pancreatic cancer at the height of his successful business career.

In addition, pride, which is all about “me, myself, and I”, is the first one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  St. Augustine of Hippo once said: “Pride is the commencement of all sins.” The sin of pride is the preoccupation with self to the exclusion of everything else, including the Creator. Pride -- its arrogance, self-centeredness, and self-exaltation in the bag and baggage of the ego-self --poisons human happiness because it is unbecoming of a believer, no matter how right is the doing in the eyes of the Creator.

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,” (Jeremiah 9: 23)

Tao Wisdom

According to Lao Tzu, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

Seeking success and avoiding failure are no more than pride and fear; they are only expressions of the human conditions erroneously perceived by the flawed human mind with a big ego.

“Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the source of human suffering.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13)

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

We all want to be happy, but life is seldom, if ever, full of happiness and joy. We all want to pursue our own happiness, but our pursuit is often like chasing the wind, elusive, evasive, and forever unattainable.

Get the happiness wisdom to understand the science of happiness: happiness and pleasure are not the same; both do not last, and that is the reality.

Happiness and depression are no more and no less than the perceptions of the human mind. Wisdom may help you  understand why you are happy or unhappy in this world of depression.

The word "happiness" is a term difficult to define because it is very much subjective and individualized. But the truth of the matter is  that genuine human happiness has to be holistic in that the body, the mind, and the soul all feel some sense of satisfaction.

Happiness is a state of mind. The mind records all your mental perceptions and your  own interpretations of those perceptions, and then stores them at the back of your subconscious mind, where they become your memories, and hence the fabrics with which you weave the "realities" of your life. In short, it is your mind that decides whether you are happy or unhappy.

The Happiness Wisdom

Click here to find out more about the book, as well as to read some excerpts from the book.


To live long requires an understanding of your own longevity wisdom.

Your Creator has given you your built-in body wisdom to keep you forever young and healthy.

Essentially, it is an innate awareness of not only the basic needs of your body, but also all the signs and signals by which your body warns you of what is wrong with you.

To attain the longevity wisdom, you need a new level of consciousness to create  your new world in which the biochemistry of your body becomes the substance of awareness of your beliefs, emotions, and thoughts. That awareness begins with intent, which is a desire to live long; intent enhances your attention to the needs of your body. So, invoke and embrace that body wisdom in order to keep yourself disease-free.

Your body wisdom is no more than your everyday eating and living habits. Eating is a science, and living is an art -- the art of living well. They complement each other, just as the yin and the yang do, and keep you in balance and harmony.

Together, they constitute the longevity wisdom that has accumulated from the counsel of sages on calorie restriction, the ancient longevity wisdom from the Orient, and also some of the recommendations of contemporary anti-aging health experts.

You constitution is not much different from that of your ancestors thousands of years ago. Therefore, the longevity wisdom in yesteryears is still relevant to the anti-aging living today. Nowadays, anti-aging living to 100 years is no longer a rare phenomenon. The number of centenarians is forever growing. Thanks to medical science and the accumulation of the longevity wisdom throughout the ages, anti-aging living to 100 years and beyond is easily within your reach.

Be wise, and be one of the centenarians, if you wish to live to 100 and beyond.

Of course, there are still many challenges and obstacles you have to overcome, such as stress, weight management, diet, and diseases, among many others.

The Wisdom from a Celebrated Centenarian

Calorie Restriction

Luigi Cornaro
, a Venetian nobleman, was one of the most celebrated centenarians, who lived from 1464 to 1566 AD. Luigi is famous for his longevity living in relation to calorie restriction. His wisdom, expressed in his discourse when he was in his eighties and nineties, has been an inspiration for more than five centuries. His longevity wisdom was simple and down-to-earth:

Avoid overeating.

Avoid environmental stress, such as extreme heat and cold, or environmental toxins in contemporary society.

Avoid extreme fatigue, and interruption of sleep.

In his youth, Luigi had abused his health with a lifestyle of wantonness and excess, resulting in an extremely weak constitution. His recklessness and dissipation had plagued him with many physical ailments so severe that he often thought of the comfort of death.

At the age of thirty-five, he was given up by his physicians to die. After first trying various medical treatments to no avail, Luigi’s physicians prescribed a temperate lifestyle as the only way to end his suffering and preserve his fragile life. That temperate lifestyle was essentially the exercise of self-restraint or self-discipline in relation to diet and drink for calorie restriction. His physicians recommended that he eat only certain foods, and only in very small quantities -- a calorie restriction diet.

At first, Luigi did not follow that recommendation. In his own words, Luigi wrote:

" . . preferring to live as I pleased and being weary of such foods, I did not refrain from gratifying myself by eating freely of all those things which were to my taste, and being consumed, as it were, by fever, I did not hesitate to continue drinking, and in large quantities, the wines which pleased my palate. Of all this, of course, after the fashion of invalids, I never breathed a word to my physicians. . ."

Luigi’s persistent ill health finally made him succumb to his physicians’ advice. In desperation, he opted for calorie restriction on food, cutting down to 12 ounces a day of solid foods of bread, a vegetable soup with tomato, an egg yolk, and a little meat, divided into two meals, and fourteen ounces pure grape juice, also divided into two servings. When he decided to embark on that course of anti-aging temperate lifestyle with calorie restriction, he did so with great enthusiasm and determination:

". . . I entered upon my new course so heartily that I never afterward swerved from it, nor ever committed the slightest excess in any direction. . ."

Within days, not even weeks, Luigi began to see the significant difference resulting from his change in temperate lifestyle. The results were well worth the effort:

". . . and persevering in it, in less than a year -- though the fact may seem incredible to some -- I found myself entirely cured of all my complaints. . ."

Life had become a real joy for Luigi, and his later years of life were by far the best, enjoying complete freedom from pain, ailments and diseases because he simply ate only as much food as he needed to survive and no more -- a calorie restriction diet.

It was his anti-aging living that had saved his life. He lived on that minimal diet of calorie restriction from age thirty-five until eighty-five, when his relatives began to urge him to eat a little more since he was getting old and he required more physical strength. Complying with and succumbing to their well wishes and importunities, Luigi reluctantly agreed to increase his food intake from twelve to fourteen ounces.

Immediately, he became seriously ill with high fever. Eventually, Luigi had the longevity wisdom to revert to his former anti-aging living with a diet of calorie restriction. As a result, he lived in a state of unbroken health and happiness until the age of one hundred and two.

When he died, he died in an ideal natural way: he was in his rocking chair; he closed his eyes, took a nap, and did not wake up. There was no pain or suffering in his later years -- ever! His mind was as clear as a bell until the very end -- no senility, and no memory loss! Truly, Luigi was one of the most famous centenarians in history.

The key to Luigi’s ant-aging living and longevity wisdom was calorie restriction, or how much he ate:

". . . I accustomed myself to the habit of never fully satisfying my appetite, either with eating or drinking -- always leaving the table well able to take more. In this, I acted according to the proverb: 'Not to satiate one’s self with food is the science of health. . "

Essentially, moderation or temperate lifestyle is the science of anti-aging living. However, Luigi did not suggest you eat the same foods that he did, or the same calorie restriction, but only that you eat in moderation. Luigi's temperate life is easy to follow, and does not require much effort.

". . . he who leads the temperate life can never fall sick, or at least can do so only rarely; and his indisposition lasts but a very short while. For, by living temperately, he removes all the causes of illness; and, having removed these, he thereby removes the effects. So the man who lives the orderly life should have no fear of sickness; for surely he has no reason to fear an effect, the cause of which is under his own control. . ."

According to Luigi, "each person is his or her own best physician" and "the temperate lifestyle is the best medicine."

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Be a wise and smart parent.

Parenting may bring you satisfaction, only if you are intentionally starting a family.

Parenting is undertaking a difficult new venture with many responsibilities, which are not only challenging but also  very unpredictable, requiring much wisdom.

Given that children create more work for those who love them, young parents, single parents, and moms may not find happiness in bringing up their children unless they have the wisdom to raise them properly, to develop their potentials, and to turn them into responsible adults.

According to some Californian psychologists,“overall, parents report happier, more satisfied, and thinking more about the meaning in life than non-parents do.”

Be A Smart Parent

Congratulations! You’ve got yourself a smart baby. Well, at least most parents tend to think that their babies are smart. No matter what you think, make your baby become smart, and smarter with each day passing. You can do that because you are a smart parent yourself.

Are you wise? Well, what is wisdom?

If you have wisdom, most probably your parents are also smart and wise. However, that does not mean that wisdom comes solely from genes. You may have wisdom because you desire to be wise; that is, you want to know more, and the more you know, the wiser you may have become.

If that be the case, then is wisdom closely related to knowledge acquisition? Well, not exactly. Wisdom is more than just being knowledgeable: it is the capability of the mind to see things as they really are, and not as what they may seem to be, or are supposed to be.

To illustrate, if you place a baby in front of a mirror, at first the baby may think that it is another baby in the mirror. But, soon enough, the baby will find out that it is just his or her own reflection in the mirror. Likewise, many of us may think that we are who we are; however, with true wisdom, we will perceive who we really are, and not who we wish we were. Wisdom helps us separate the truths from the half-truths about ourselves or just about anything. That is why the path to wisdom involves asking many probing questions about self and others. Therefore, it is important to teach and train your child to ask questions as often as possible.


Asking questions was one of the many first things that I taught my daughter when she was a child. I remember once she asked me why her shadow was always following her. I was amazed at how observant as well as how inquisitive she was. Even now, her husband comments that she always asks questions about this and about that.

Asking questions activates brain cells, and thereby instrumental in promoting brain development and enhancing intelligence. Encourage your smart child to ask questions.

Remember, as adults, we have utilized less than 20 percent of our brain cells; there is still plenty of room left for enhancement. All in all, wisdom is the mental capability to see the truths through self-intuition.

Being clever or intelligent, on the other hand, is the capability to acquire appropriate and relevant knowledge, and then apply it to solving problems in everyday life situations. If you are clever, you may have acquired the skills to put things together because you are quick to learn and understand how things work. However; being clever or intelligent does not necessarily mean that you must be wise. Being knowledgeable means knowing what to do, and being wise means knowing when and how to do it in different circumstances to suit one’s unique self and purpose.

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Writing is a daily and lifelong communication skill.

You communicate with others via emails, letters, reports, academic writing etc. You also communicate with others through conversation, oral presentations, and speeches.

To master that skill, you need wisdom to empower your mind with knowledge and information, as well as to apply it to your everyday writing and speaking.

To learn and master a language is never easy, especially if that language is not your first language.


To live your life in this material world as if everything is a miracle, you need wisdom -- self-intuited wisdom from your own life experiences, as well as the wisdom expressed and experienced by others in their books.

If you are wise, you live a good, happy, and purposeful life.


The Way to Biblical Wisdom

God’s omnipresence is a manifestation of His creations. Seeking God means we see His presence in everything around us, both visible and invisible. God’s mystery, on the other hand, is manifested only in His wisdom, expressed in the Bible.

In the Bible, Jesus is the personification of God’s wisdom. Only through Jesus can man come to know God’s wisdom.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14: 6)

The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore a source of God’s wisdom through reading its verses. Reading the Bible can provide spiritual wisdom to many, which is necessary for their spiritual growth in order to understand and appreciate God’s wisdom.

Intent to Seek

First and foremost, the human mind must demonstrate its intent to seek God’s wisdom through specific knowledge of the Bible. In other words, the mind must be in a seeking-and-learning mode to grow in the knowledge of God.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29: 13)

Seeking Biblical Knowledge

God’s wisdom is freely available to all through the Bible. Seeking Biblical knowledge will reveal God’s wisdom to man because the Holy Spirit is within all of us to reveal it to us.

Growing in the Knowledge

Growing in the knowledge of God through reading the Bible is transformative because God is more than happy to communicate His knowledge to us if we are willing to receive it. Jesus assures us:

“’Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7: 7)

To find out how to use the profound human wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago, to understand Biblical wisdom, go to Biblical Wisdom.
Learn Some Idioms

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Learn Some Slang

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Learn Prepositional Words and Phrases

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Learn Prepositional Words and Phrases

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Learn Prepositional Words and Phrases

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Learn the Correct Use of  Words

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This 100-page book explains with many real-life examples to illustrate the different perceptions of “anything is everything”, “everything is nothing”, and “nothing is everything” -- based on the ancient Chinese wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago, and the Biblical wisdom.

Knowing and understanding the truths of anythingeverything, and nothing may enlighten you so that you can intuit the ultimate truth that everything is actually nothing, but this nothingness is paradoxically your only pathway to everything in your life.

Click here to get your book.

For more detailed information, go to the following:




Get the wisdom of the miracle of living in the world, but not of the world.

Remember, living is always a discovery process. Life is a journey of self-discovery -- finding who you are, why you are here, what you really need, and how you may meet your basic needs, so that you, like every one else, can fulfill some of your life goals and purposes that are exclusively designed for you. But to do just that, you need profound human wisdom and spiritual wisdom to continue that journey as if everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein once said:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.”

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Learn Some Common Sentence Errors

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The TAO of Living Longer

This 145-page book shows you how to use your thinking mind to intuit all the whys and hows of living longer. Be awakened to the realities of your true self, of others around you, and of the circumstances you are in

Click here for more information.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Stephen Lau
Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered

There’re many books on “why prayers are seldom answered”; nearly all of them are explaining it from the Biblical or the spiritual perspectives.

But this book is totally different in that it looks at the same controversial topic but from the perspectives of the TAO wisdom, which is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago.

The TAO of Healing Myasthenia Gravis
by Stephen Lau

This 200-page book is about how the TAO, the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, can heal myasthenia gravis, one of the many autoimmune diseases afflicting humans worldwide.

According to Western medicine, there are no known cures, only medications to control the many disease symptoms. But from the perspectives of the TAO, there may be a healing from the mind. This book provides self-intuition of the thinking mind with a compass and a roadmap to embark on your own healing journey of any disease you may have.

Click here to get your paperback copy, and here to get your digital copy for your own self-healing journey.

Paragraph Development

Many people wish they could write well. To write well, you must practice writing. Writing a diary or a journal is good daily practice to improve your writing skills; at least, you will not be self-conscious that people are looking at what you have written. The more you write, the more you will master the skills of developing your paragraphs; that is, you will have more to say, instead of not knowing what to say.

Paragraphs are about ideas, facts, and beliefs. A good paragraph must be adequately developed. In other words, every aspect of that topic has to be fully covered. There are generally different methods of developing your paragraphs:


Definition is required of an abstraction, such as democracy.

You need to define or explain certain terms or ideas that you think. You can define it by using synonyms, that is, explaining something abstract in different words, usually simpler words.


If your topic sentence is a general statement, you need to support your generalization with some concrete examples. Illustration shows that you are not talking through your hat and that you know your subject.


If you think the idea is important, simply restate it. Repeating what you have just said in a slightly different way is an easy way of developing a paragraph. A word of caution: make sure your sentences are not in the same structure, and the expression of the same idea is slightly different:

You can say what is not the case, and then assert what is the case. For example, in the case of democracy, you can say what seems to be democracy, and then show what is real democracy.

You can also make your restatement from a general to a more specific one by giving more details.

Comparison and contrast

In comparison and contrast, you are dealing with at least two topics with similarities, or differences, or both.

e.g. In many ways London and New York are alike.

e.g. London is very different from New York in many respects.

e.g. Intelligence is not exactly the same as wisdom.

Use of analogy

Analogy is a special kind of comparison in which another topic is introduced to explain or justify the main subject.

You may use analogy to clarify an abstract or difficult statement previously made; you may also use analogy to persuade the readers.

Causes and effects

Paragraphs are about facts, ideas, and beliefs. Accordingly, you need to explain why something happened, or why it is true or false. Within this framework, you may have to give examples, compare and contrast, and restate your ideas.

Paragraph development is an important part of effective writing.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Building Vocabulary

Confusing Words

Correcting the Incorrect

Learning Grarnmar

Learning Prepositions

Learning Sentence Style

Learning Some Slang


The human mind is one of the most important body organs: it controls how one acts and reacts; how one makes daily decisions and life choices. They are all instrumental in creating the life experiences that ultimately become the realities in the mind

The mind wisdom is the capability to see the absolute truths in the realities in the mind, that is, separating the myths and the half-truths from the realities.

The mind wisdom enables you to see things as they really are, and not as they are supposed to be, or as you wish they were.
Get YOUR MONEY WISDOM from the perspectives of human wisdom, Biblical wisdom, and the TAO wisdom from ancient China in order to know how to make, save, and spend your money wisely!

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YOUR MONEY WISDOM, and to read some excerpts from the book.

Use the TAO wisdom to ask questions and seek answers to find out how and why real people in real life have committed the Seven Deadly Sins.

Remember, we all commit the Seven Deadly Sins of pride, envy, lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, and sloth, without any exception because we are humans, and are prone to sins. But the TAO wisdom may show you how to live in reality, instead of living in fancy and fantasy,which is why humans continue to commit the Seven Deadly Sins. book.

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This book isn’t about how often you pray, what you say in your prayers, or if you pray at all; instead, it’s all about how you are going to live the rest of your life as if you were praying devoutly and diligently. Hopefully, you may have a better understanding of how and why your prayers are seldom answered, or not answered at all.

This book isn’t about God or any specific religion; it’s only about you -- after all, it’s you who are saying your own daily prayers.

This book doesn’t provide you with a blueprint to live your life as if you were praying, because it’s your life and only you can and must live it according to your own beliefs and ways of thinking.

This book explains how attachments to the material world have created the flawed ego that has created the "expectations to be fulfilled" in daily prayers.

Click here for your digital copy, and here for your paperback.
Positive aging requires the Biblical wisdom from the Book of Revelation, which enlightens the mind with salvation and eternal life.

In addition, the TAO wisdom may also help the elderly live in reality in advanced years, especially when they are confronted by many daily changes and challenges.

This book explains in detail all the aging problems and their solutions.

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The Book of Revelation show you how and why you should become a believer and live in reality, especially when you are aging.

In this world, there are many who commit crimes and do evils, thinking that they can even get away with murders--they are not living in reality.

A believer will do the righteous things, especially as aging continues. A believer will always look back into the past with repentance, knowing God's fairness and judgment. With spiritual guidance, the believer will know how to cope with suffering and death as aging advances.

Click here to find out the outline of the book.

Double Negatives

e.g. I didn’t see nobody. (incorrect)

I didn’t see anybody. (correct)

e.g. We are not going nowhere. (incorrect)

We are not going anywhere. (correct).

e.g. There isn't no money left. (incorrect)

There isn't any money left. (correct)

Omission of Key Verbs

e.g. The room was cleaned, and the curtains washed. (incorrect)

The room was cleaned, and the curtains were washed. (correct)

e.g. I never have, and never will do such a thing. (incorrect)

e.g. I never have done, and never will do such a thing. (correct)

Omission of Words in Comparison

e.g. His performance was better. (incorrect)

His performance was better than that (i.e. the performance) of the other candidates. (correct)

e.g. Your hands are bigger than any man that I know of. (incorrect)

e.g. You hands are bigger than those (i.e. the hands) of any man that I know of. (correct)
Dangling Participles

e.g. Walking down the street, the City Hall could be seen. (incorrect)

Walking down the street, we could see the City Hall. (correct)

e.g. By exercising every day, your health will improve. (incorrect)

By exercising every day, you will improve your health. (correct)

Misuse of Dependent Clauses

e.g. Because he had no money was the reason he stayed at home. (incorrect)

He stayed at home because he had no money. (correct)

Because he had no money, he stayed at home. (correct)

Having no money was the reason he stayed at home. (correct)

Which of the following sentences are incorrect?

(1) The Bible tells us to follow Jesus’ teachings.
(2) Follow William Bates’s methods of good vision.
(3) You must do this for your own conscience’s sake.
(4) The Old Testament explains in detail Moses’ Ten Commandments.
(5) A wise dog scratches it’s own fleas.
(6) Hurry up! It’s getting late.
(7) She is Charles’s girlfriend.


You must do this for your own conscience’s sake.
A wise dog scratches it’s own fleas.


Always form the possessive of singular nouns and abbreviations by adding an apostrophe and an s. This rule applies even if the noun or abbreviation ends in s.
The exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names, such as Jesus and Moses, and such forms as for conscience’ sake, and for righteousness’ sake.

“It’s” means “it is”, while “its” is a possessive.

Which of the following sentences are incorrect?

(1) Coming home from school yesterday, I met my cousin who came to see me.
(2) My cousin is older than I. An undergraduate of Harvard University who is studying medicine.
(3) The man was screaming for help. No response.
(4) I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours, I felt completely exhausted.


My cousin is older than I. An undergraduate of Harvard University who is studying medicine.


“An undergraduate of Harvard University who is studying medicine” is a subordinate clause, which has to be attached to a complete sentence.

My cousin, who is older than I, is an undergraduate studying medicine at Harvard University. (improved)

My cousin is older than I. He is an undergraduate studying medicine at Harvard University. (improved)


I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours, I felt completely exhausted.


Never join two independent sentences with a comma. Instead, use a period (full-stop). You may use a colon for explanation, a semi-colon to replace a conjunction, a coordinate conjunction (e.g. and, but, or, nor, for, so yet), or simply use a full-stop to have two independent sentences.

e.g. I felt completely exhausted: I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours. (improved: the colon explaining why I was exhausted)
e.g. I felt completely exhausted: I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours. (improved: the semi-colon replacing the subordinate conjunction “because” or “for”)
e.g. I felt completely exhausted because I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours.(improved)
e.g. I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours, and I felt completely exhausted. (improved)
e.g. I had worked at the computer for more than ten hours. I felt completely exhausted. (improved)

Which of the following sentences are incorrect?

(1) He is one of those few students who get into an elite college.
(2) She is the only one of the students who get into Harvard University.
(3) Everybody thinks they are smart.
(4) None of us is perfect.
(5) None are so wrong as those who think they are always right.
(6) In the burglary, every window, door, and mirror were smashed.
(7) The long and the short of this proposal are that it is easy but costly.
(8) Give and take is important to a healthy marriage.
(9) Politics are something that many like to pursue.
(10) The police are coming.

(2),(3),(6), (7), and (9)


(2) She is the only one of the students who gets into Harvard University. (improved: there are many students, and she is the only one student who gets into Harvard University. In sentence (1), a few students get into an elite college, and he is one of them.)

(3) Everybody thinks he or she is smart. (improved: “everybody” is singular. A singular verb is used when “none” means “no one” or “not one”(4); a plural verb is used when “none” suggests more than one, as in (5).

(6) In the burglary, every window, door, and mirror was smashed. (improved: “every” is singular.

(7) The long and the short of this proposal is that it is easy but costly.(improved: certain common compounds are often considered singular, requiring a singular verb, e.g. “bread and butter”, “give and take” (8); and “the long and the short.”

(9) Politics is something that many like to pursue. (improved: some nouns, although appearing plural, such as “economics” and “politics” (9), require a singular verb. Likewise, some nouns, appearing singular, such as “police” (10), may require a plural verb.

Which of the following sentences are incorrect?

(1) The woman reported to the police that the man stole her car with long white hair.
(2)  Does this pair of trousers come in a different color?
(4) Two-thirds of the congregation have left before the meeting even begins.
(5)  My dog often scratches it’s own fleas.
(6)  Hurry up! It’s getting late.
(7)  She is Charles’s girlfriend.
(8)  Twenty dollars to buy this is outrageous!
(9)  With who are you going to the concert?
(10) Each of the dogs needs their carrier to board the plane.

Incorrect Sentences:

(1) The woman reported to the police that the man stole her car with long white hair.
(4) Two-thirds of the congregation are leaving before the meeting even begins.
(5)  My dog often scratches it’s own fleas.
(9)  With who are you going to the concert?
(10) Each of the dogs needs their carrier to board the plane.

Once again, go through the sentences above to see if you know why they are incorrect.


(1) The woman reported to the police that the man stole her car with long white hair. (The woman reported to the police that the man with long white hair stole her car -- correct)

(4) Two-thirds of the congregation are leaving before the meeting even begins. (The subject is “congregation”, not “two-thirds.” In sentence 2, “pair” is the subject, not “trousers”, and therefore a singular verb is used. In sentence 8, “buying” is outrageous.)

Always form the possessive of singular nouns and abbreviations by adding an apostrophe and an s. This rule applies even if the noun or abbreviation ends in s.
The exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names, such as Jesus and Moses, and such forms as for conscience’ sake (sentence 3) , and for righteousness’ sake.

(5)  My dog often scratches it’s own fleas. (“It’s” means “it is”, while “its” is a possessive.).

(9) With who are you going to the concert? (“with whom” is the object; compare: “who is going to the concert with you?)

(10) Each of the dogs needs their carrier to board the plane. (Each of the dogs needs its carrier to board the plane -- correct.)

Effective Writing Made Simple

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Your Marriage
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Accountability in Marriage
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                                                  MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

How common is divorce in the United States? About 40 percent of the married coupled end in divorce; and half of those divorced couples have divorced parents.

According to the CDC, the five states with the highest divorce rates are: Nevada; Arkansas; West Virginia; Oklahoma; and Idaho.

The reality is that divorce is no respecter of persons: no matter who you’re, or where you live. It happens to deeply religious people and atheists; the young and the old couples; the rich and the poor; the educated and the uneducated. Another reality is that money is the No.1 underlying cause of divorce.

Divorce involves alimony, custody, child support, and 50/50 division of marital properties -- these marital financial problems can be complicated and stressful for divorced couples, affecting their children and family members.

Nowadays, divorce can even be done online with little or no hassle-just like returning a purchased item with full refund. If that’s the scenario, then why should you-or shouldn’t you-get married?


Despite the prevalence of divorce, most Americans still want to get married, not just because of legally binding themselves to one another, but because of the marital bliss and happiness to be enjoyed, even though not for long. According to science of happiness, married people tend to the wealthier, healthier, and more sexually fulfilled than unmarried people. Of course, there’re many exceptions.

Marriage can-but not should-make you happy. What you need to do is to invest a lot of time and energy into your marriage to make you happy by turning it into a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. In other words, a good and happy marriage brings out the best in each other, and thus instrumental in bringing more-lasting happiness to the marriage.

The reality

The truth is that, according to several studies, those who’re wealthy and educated get divorced much more than those who struggle; also, splitting happens more frequently later in life than they once were.

The reality is that a good marriage makes you happier and healthier. Marital bliss lasts longer than the happiness of unmarried couples.

Asking Self-Intuitive Questions

So, before getting married, ask yourself some self-intuitive questions regarding what‘s going to happen to you and your marriage partner in the days to come, not to mention the years ahead.

·As of now, other than getting married to the one you dearly love, what’s the most important to you: your parents; your children (from your previous marriage); your education; your career?

·Are you spiritual and religious? What’s your expected role of your marriage partner in your faith?

·Do you have a role model in your life? If yes,  who’s that role model?

·What’s the meaning of life? What’s its purpose? (Obviously, it’s not easy to define them.)

·Are you physically healthy? Any major health issues, such as depression? Any addiction to alcohol or drugs?

·Are you emotionally healthy?

·What‘s your greatest fear in your life? Are you always worried about many things in life, and what’re they?

·What happens when you’re angry? Do you want to talk or sulk? Do you easily become depressed and withdrawn? Do you throw a temper tantrum, or even become violent? What can calm you down, and how long does it usually take?

·Do you have a sense of humor? Do you laugh easily?

·Are you forgiving? Do you always bring up the past-both the pleasant and the unpleasant?

These questions aren’t just for yourself, but also for your future marriage partner.

Changing personality in marriage

To survive and thrive in marriage, you must change your personality as well as that of your marriage partner.

What’s personality?

Personality comes from within. Personality traits are the characteristic patterns of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that uniquely define who you are. Some of the most common personality traits are:

·Conscientiousness is the looking forward or the planning ahead to do the right things. This personality usually begins in the 20s of an individual and then slows down in the 30s and 40s.

·Agreeableness is the showing of warmth, kindness, generosity, and helpfulness to others. This personality accelerates usually in the 30s and 40s in a person’s life.

·Companionableness is the being of sociable and energetic, always knowing what to say and how to say it.

·Distressfulness is the frequent displaying of worrisome and temperamental behaviors by an individual.

First and foremost, you must be aware of your own personality, and then make some change to adapt your personality to that of your marriage partner, as well as to adjust it to all the changes in the new life of “two becoming one.”

If you don’t like some of your personality traits or those of your marriage partner, can you still change them?

Yes, you can, but it’s not that easy.

According to Sigmund Freud, the Austrian psychoanalyst, some of the personality traits of an individual are already set in stone by the age of five of that individual.

So, how to change the personality traits of an individual?

·Show and express the desire and the determination to change the personality.

·Change the habits and behaviors related to that personality trait by doing the opposite. For example, if you’re shy and reclusive, then join a crowd and start talking profusely.

·Focus on the effort or the doing, rather than on the thought or the thinking. For example, say “I was successful because I worked hard on it” instead of “I was successful because I was smart and talented.”

·Set goals to change your self-beliefs through repeated self-affirmations.

The reality

Your happiness has much to do with your personality development throughout your life. In other words, your life experiences and your own perceptions of those experiences not only define but also shape your personalities, which are uniquely yours.

So, it’s impossible to say why some people are happy, and why others aren’t. Just as Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian author, said in the beginning of his novel “Anna Karenina”: “Happy families are alike; unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways.”

So, you need to change personality to have a happy marriage.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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