Saturday, July 19, 2008

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience."

(Elbert Green Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer, publisher, artist & philosopher;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

MOVIE REVIEWS: 'THE ROCK' & 'THE PEACEKEEPER'

I simply love to watch - as well as rewatch, especially when I have enough of blogging & nothing better to do - action movies on StarHub cable television.

One of my early mentors, Patricia Danielson (she taught me 'PhotoReading'), likes to to call such movies as "no brainers"!

This is primarily because I like to be entertained for the next 90 minutes or so in one stretch.

Hopefully, I can also learn something useful along the way.

The movie is one specific area where ideas often build on ideas, sometimes just with a little bit of twist to the story plot. So, creativity in the movies is, in some way, giving an old story a new spin, besides concocting an interesting plot, adding a exciting climax & throwing in some fancy thrills. I have mentioned this phenomenon in my earlier posts.

In the last few days, I had watched two action movies which bore this phenomenon.

One was 'The Rock', starring Sean Connery & Nicholas Cage; the other was 'The Peacekeeper', starring Dolph Lundgren & Roy Scheider.

In the first movie:

A group of US marines, under the command of a renegade general (Ed Harris), had taken over the abandoned island prison, Alcatraz, & threatened to blow up San Francisco Bay with biological weapons.

After a failed attempt by a US Navy Seal team to neutralise the bad guys, a chemical weapons specialist (Nicholas Cage) & a former Alcatraz prisoner & escapee, & also a former SAS operative (Sean Connery) were left on their own to tackle the ensuing chaos on the island. Of course, they succeeded at the end.

The action sequences were great to watch, especially the cat & mouse games in the utility tunnels under Alcatraz.

It was also fun to watch the younger Nicholas Cage (I last saw him playing the magician, who could see into the future, in the sci-fi fantasy movie, 'Next') pitting his fine acting skills against the much older Sean Connery (I last saw him playing a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon in the sci-fi fantasy movie, 'Outland').

In the second movie:

A group of terrorists, led by a disgruntled & psychotic colonel (Michael Sarazin), had taken over an ICBM silo facility & threatened to blow up one third of the United States, including Washington DC.

Earlier, they had hijacked the US President's personal communications computer for launching the US arsenal in the case of war. Our reluctant hero (Dolph Lundgren) was supposed to look after it.

Naturally, he was really annoyed, & with the aid of the lone surviving commander of the ICBM silo facility, managed to neutralise the bad guys just in time, & only after Mount Rushmore was obliterated by the first ICBM fired the terrorists.

The action sequences were great to watch, especially the protracted car chases on & across the roof tops of several adjacent buildings.

It was quite sad to see a fine actor like Roy Scheider playing a restrained role of the US President in the movie.

I had seen many of his better movies, namely 'The French Connection', 'The Seven Ups', 'Jaws' & 'Jaws II', 'Blue Thunder', '2010' (the sequel to '2001: Space Odyssey'), '52 Pick Ups', 'Cohen & Tate', 'The Fourth War', as well as the TV series, 'SeaQuest' during the nighties.

For me, Dolph Lundgren was as usual in top form, especially when he often played a "one-man wrecking machine" (as Ivan Drago in 'Rocky IV', 'The Punisher', 'Joshua Tree', 'Red Scorpion', 'Universal Soldier', & 'The Mechanik, just to name a few).

"Brainers" or "no brainers" - they don't bother me, as long as they are packed with action sequences to make my day, knowing very well that a lot of ingenuity & imagination, plus meticulous planning & precision timing went into choreographing them.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Acting is a continual challenge . . . The more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. It's like golf. You can never be good enough."

(Tay Ping Hui, MediaCorp artiste; one of several celebrities who presented the National Geographic Channel's top 30 programs as voted by viewers last month;)

INFORMATION: A FORCE MULTIPLIER WITH IDEAS!

I was somewhat intrigued by MediaCorp artiste Tay Ping Hui's comments in The Bag Page of the recent 'Urban' supplement of the Straits Times:

"I'm in love with information. My friends call me an encyclopedia of useless information."

Today, the world is full of information. Internet & other modern technological conveniences make it worse.

From my own experiences over the years, I have come to the conclusion that, the crux of surviving & thriving in the information age - or rather the knowledge economy - is making intelligent use of the information that comes our way.

Firstly, we got to know what we want - our goals, our expectations, & more importantly, our priorities.

Next, we got to be observant. Attune to the environment, so to speak.

Then, start thinking about new ideas. Einstein constantly did that since he was a young boy.

It's from the new ideas churning inside our heads that we can then start to think about using the information around us. The available information helps to embellish our idea generation.

More information seemingly helps to elaborate our thinking too, but ideas must always come first.

It's also new ideas in our heads that determine what other new information is needed. That's to say, ideas ignite the search for new or apporpriate information.

Without ideas, information is useless! That's essentially the thinking of Edward de bono, whose brilliant work in the early years has first taught me the distinction.

Robert Kiyosaki puts it very beautifully, to have money in your hands, first you must have ideas in your head.

His apparent argument is that, information is everywhere & everybody has it, but information doesn't add value into your hands.

That's to say, ideas give you the edge - they add value to the information!

In business, your competitors have more or less the same access to information you have, but it's your ingenuity & imagination - with all the wonderful ideas gelling inside your heads - that makes the difference.

In reality, information becomes the force multiplier provided you have ideas!

I reckon that's the way Tay Ping Hui must be thinking, since he yearns to be a director & producer of TV shows across borders in the not-too-distant future.

Best Wishes to Tay Ping Hui!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Is there anything worse than being blind? Yes, a man (or woman) with sight but no vision."

(Helen Keller, 1880-1968, well-known blind & deaf American author, activist & lecturer; she altered our perception of the disabled & remapped our understanding of the boundaries of sight & sense;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CRANIAL CALISTHENICS: PHYSICAL EXERCISE STIMULATES BODY & MIND

I have read a small ad in the Straits Times a few days ago that Dr Paul Dennison will be coming in late August to Singapore to teach Singaporeans how to use cranial calisthenics - a series of structured physical exercises - to stimulate the body & mind in reading & writing.

The proprietary term is Brain Gym, developed by Dr Paul Dennision & his wife, Gail Dennison.

I am self-taught in Brain Gym, drawing on the published work of Dr Dennison & a few others.

Over the last fifteen years or so, I have practised selected techniques from Brain Gym for developing & sustaining a resourceful & receptive mind state for high performance reading.

In fact, I have also synthesised their techniques with eye aerobics from Natural Vision Improvement from Janet Goodrich. I have mentioned about them in my earlier posts.

I have also taught them to participants in my own creativity workshops.

Out of the 26 proprietary techniques from Brain Gym, I have chosen only a handful for my own purpose, namely:

- drink water;
- neck roll;
- the owl;
- thinking cap;
- brain buttons;

- hook up;
- diaphragmatic breathing;
- cross crawl;

From my own experiences, Brain Gym routines are great for their intended purposes.

I know that there are scientists &/or psychologists out there who like to throw pot shots at Brain Gym. My frank advice: don't bother about them!

[For thirty years, MM Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore to what it is today, & yet western journalists still like to throw spanners at him.]

For more information about Brain Gym, readers can visit Dr Dennison's corporate website.

If you are interested to meet Paul Dennison, you can register online at the local organiser's corporate website or call 62466068 (Sumiati Said).

[Recommended readings: 'Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Whole Brain Learning' & 'Brain Gym: Teacher's Edition', by Dr Paul Dennison; also 'Smart Moves: Why Learning is not all in the Head', by Dr Carla Hannaford;]

A GUIDED TOUR OF YOUR BODY

Changes in our health are inevitable as we get older. But while doctors tell us to focus on the basics — eat right, exercise & keep cholesterol & blood pressure in check— is there more that we need to know about staying well as we age?

The New York Times offers readers an opportunity to learn the best that science & medicine can offer for taking care of yourself.

Please proceed to this link to start your guided tour.

You can also test your knowledge & read more health news at their Well blog.

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN

Just follow the following tips to help keep your brain — & your body — vibrant & healthy throughout your life:

Do:

1) Exercise your body regularly & get involved in physically active leisure pursuits;

2 ) Keep your mind exercised! Engage in active learning throughout life & pursue new experiences;

3) Stay socially engaged with family, friends, & community groups;

4) Maintain a positive mental attitude & a sense of control over your life;

5) Take steps to manage stress, by doing some relaxation routines from time to time;

6) Eat a balanced diet, & focus on brain - healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants & omega-3 fatty acids, & consider taking a multivitamin supplement that includes antioxidants & folate;

7) Mind your numbers: Lose any extra pounds, lower your cholesterol if it is high, & keep your blood glucose and blood pressure under control;

8) Get adequate sleep;

9) Get proper medical attention & treatment for any underlying health problems;

Don't:

1) Drink to excess, smoke, or use illicit drugs;

2) Ignore sudden changes in mental status (but don't be overly concerned about normal slips of memory like forgetting names or where you put the keys);

3) Avoid going to the doctor if you notice changes in your physical or mental health;

4) Overlook the possibility of drug interactions that can affect mental functioning, especially if you are taking more than one prescription medication;

5) Become isolated in your home;

6) Think you're too old to take up something new!

[Source: Staying Sharp, a partnership between NRTA: AARP's Educator Community & the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.]

ABSOLUTES vs GREY AREAS

As I was walking back home from the gym today, I was just thinking about "absolutes" & "grey areas".

I believe that it is our willingness & courage to deal with the "grey areas", rather than spending time to brood over "absolutes" that eventually help us to build resilience in dealing with challenges ahead.

To me, "absolutes" are "certainties" or "limits", to which there is nothing you & I can do about them.

In other words, they are the "blacks" & "whites".

"Grey areas" are areas between the two extremes, having mingled characteristics of both of them. They can be situations where there are no clear-cut distinctions.

In other words, they are the mixtures of "blacks" & "whites" - with little or no hue, so to speak.

I was born, actually without my personal permission. My late Dad & Mum decided to get together in matrimony, & I was the productive result after 9 months of hard work from both of them.

That's an "absolute". I can't change that.

Also, from the astrological standpoint, I was born a battling Ram under Aries, according to the Western zodiac, or more appropriately, a earthen Rat under the Chinese zodiac.

I can't change that too, i.e. to say, they are also "absolutes" - unless the star charts are proven wrong.

Interestingly, both the ram & the rat have their respective good traits as well as bad traits.

Rams - the first of 12 Western zodiac signs - are good explorers; are adventurous, energetic, pioneering & courageous; nearly always ready for action [personal motto: ready, fire, aim!]; are loyal to family & friends; like physical, emotional & mental extremes; tend to be frank & open, but also self centred & willful; are impulsive, & often not finishing things once started;

Rats - occupying the first & most prominent position on the Chinese zodiac - are leaders, pioneers & conquerors; have keen observational skills; charming, passionate, charismatic, practical & hardworking; intelligent & cunning at the same time; highly ambitious & strong willed, who are keen & unapologetic promoters of their own agendas; quick tempered & aggressive;

As one can see, these are the "grey areas", at least from my personal perspective.

I can choose to leverage on my "strengths" or I can brood over my "weaknesses".

In reality, I have chosen the former.

For sixty years, I have traversed through the bumpy highway of life, building on & amplifying my "strengths", & to be frank, I have never given two hoots to those "weaknesses".

On my own personal choices, I went to technical & engineering schools, became an engineer & subsequently became a manager, not by personal design, but more by an opportune situation.

Thanks to the late Mr Heinz Waetcke of Behn Meyer for believing in my managerial potential.

During the early nineties, when I had decided to venture into small entrepreneurship from the corporate world to pursue my fondest dreams - that's an "absolute", at that point in time -, I knew I was getting myself into many "grey areas" as far as putting dreams into actions was concerned.

Interestingly, according to Chinese astrologers, "rats" & "horses" are incompatible, romantically speaking. No!, No!, No! - that's what I was told in no uncertain terms.

My current wife, Amay, is a Vietnamese lady born under the Year of the Horse.

We met by chance in late 2004, & it was love at first sight. To my great delight, she actually possesses many personal characteristics of my late first wife, Catherine. That's how I got attracted to her in the first place.

[I had known Catherine for 35 years, but married for 18, till end 2001. On hindsight, did Catherine arrange that for me from above? I really don't know. Well, it's certainly a "grey area".]

Frankly, I have never thought of marrying a foreigner even in my wildest dreams. In fact, I have heard many horror stories about foreign wives. (No offense intended!).

Yet, we chose to get married in early 2005, & have celebrated our third wedding anniversary half a year ago.

During the early periods, we have had our fair share of minor squabbles, but I attribute them to an initial mutual misunderstanding of each other's language nuances & cultural idiosyncrasies.

Now, we are having a great time together. She is a great cook - that's an "absolute"!

A Vietnamese astrologer in Ho Chi Minh city has once assessed that we would live happily together, until I am well into the early 90s. I have learned to take predictions from others as "grey areas".

One thing I am very sure of, Amay is an "absolute"; but all the other stuff - I really mean all the other stuff - are just "grey areas". I can certainly live with them.

GROWING OLD, STAYING ACTIVE

The foregoing is actually the title of a cover story by June Cheong in the 'Mind Your Body' supplement of today's Straits Times.

I particularly like the following definition for successful ageing from Dr Reshma Merchant, a consultant at NUH's division of geriatric medicine, department of medicine:

"It's defined as preventing or avoiding disease & disease related disability, maintaining mental & physical function & engaging in life."

Engaging in life. That's the vital key.

According to Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of the Council for Third Age (C3A), that's "doing the things that fulfill our needs & give meaning to our existence."

Inspiring stories about ordinary people who are in the 70s & 80s abound - spending time in keeping up with technology, running marathons (" . . .until the end of time"), working out muscles & mind, & writing mystery novels.

Retiree Rambeth Gopalan Nambiar, 81 ["Writing (mystery novels) keeps my mind active . . ."], summed up very well, when he was asked what advice he would give to younger folks hoping to live a long, healthy life:

"I take things easy & I'm not the sort to brood. If a problem can't be solved, I'll forget about it . . . Learn to enjoy what you have. Get married. If you're married, you feel secure as you have someone there for you all the time."

Nothing beats social support in the form of family bonding &/or buddy networking. Personally, I can relate to that, especially when my beloved Catherine passed away suddenly in end 2001 & I remarried in early 2005.

Sad to say, the story about Mrs Gina Tham (not her real name), 79, who was fired from her job as a teacher's assistant in a kindergarten for being too old, was a sore counterpoint to ageing in Singapore.

I agree with Dr Wong Chek Hooi, consultant in geriatric medicine at SGH with regard to "the systematic stereotyping of & discrimination against people because they are old".

Greater public awareness & more importantly, a change of entrenched mindsets among employers, both private & public, are absolutely needed in the longer term.

Likewise, senior citizens must also change their own prevalent mindsets about themselves as they age.

I like to juxtapose part of Mr Gerard Ee's remarks in the cover story to close this post: " . . .live, but (don't) forget to have a life!"

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"The price of education is paid only once. The price of ignorance must be paid forever."
(Author Unknown)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MEMORABLE QUOTE FROM THE MOVIE


"What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they'd never believe you?"

from the sci-fi thriller movie, 'Deja Vu', starring Denzel Washington; interestingly, this pertinent question was posed twice in the movie, once into the past time window & subsequently in the present time window - you just have got to go & watch the movie to get the picture!

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Last night, I rewatched the fascinating sci-fi thriller, 'Deja Vu', starring Denzel Washington, who played an inquisitive ATF agent, on StarHub cable television.

The story plot was quite complex, especially when the principal characters were talking about some Einstein's stuff.

In a nut shell:

There was the devastating explosion of a ferry transporting some 500 party-going sailors from an American aircraft carrier. The place was somewhere in New Orleans on Mardi Gras.

A dead woman was washed ashore. The clues pointed to a connection with a terrorist attack on the ferry.

Our hero was brought in to join an experimental FBI surveillance unit to investigate the terrorist attack.

With the help of advanced satellite technology & the fancy Humvee time machine contraption, the unit had apparently found a time window - or Einstein-Rosen bridge; as I understood, it's some sort of playing with the time dimension, through a space-folding frame - to look back 4-1/2 days in time.

After watching the satellite imagery, he was smitten by an idea: Could he use all the wonderful technology to actually travel back in time & not only prevent the attack, but also the murder of a woman, whose pickup truck was used in the attack?

The rest of the movie revealed how our hero went back in time to 4-1/2 days before the attack & made his successful attempt to change some body's destiny.

In the end analysis, it was a terrific action movie, despite some technical flaws here & there in the story, but what intrigued me most is the question to ponder:

what if I could change the past?

Monday, July 14, 2008

CAN YOU DRIVE WITH A JOYSTICK?






A good friend has sent me the following information:

It's about the new Mercedes Benz SCL600. This car is really different!

There is no steering wheel. You drive it with a joystick.

No pedals either.

Can you drive with a joystick? Your kids & grand kids probably can.

The influence of video games in our lives has really arrived, wouldn't you say?

Come to think of it: It's a scary thought that now a 7 year old could steal your car & probably drive it better than you!

MEMORABLE QUOTE FROM THE MOVIE

Last night, I rewatched the entertaining sci-fi fantasy movie, 'Hellboy', on Channel 5.

The movie opened with the voice of Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm (John Hurt) asking a question that would shadow the rest of the movie:

"What is it that makes a man 'a man'? Is it his origins - the way things start? Or is it something else, something harder to describe? For me it all began in 1944 . . ."

The answer to that question came at the ending segment of the movie, which formed a memorable quote as far as I am concerned by one of the characters, agent John Myers (Rupert Evans), playing opposite superhero Hellboy (Ron Perlman):



"What makes a man a man? A friend of mine once wondered. Is it his origins? The way he comes to life?


I don't think so. It's the choices he makes. Not how he starts things, but how he decides to end them."

LESSONS FROM JOHN WOO

John Woo is one of a kind. I would consider him as 'The King' of action movies.

He certainly reminds me of the legendary Japanese action movie director, Akira Kurosawa, whose masterpieces included the '7 Samurai', 'Yojimbo' & 'Rashomon', starring Toshiro Mifune.

According to a recent Straits Times report, it took John Woo 22 years, US$80 million & a cast of thousands to make his latest action movie, 'Red Cliff', based on 'Chronicles of The Three Kingdoms'.

I have seen most of John Woo's action movies when he was directing in Hollywood, including:

- 'Hard Target', with Jean Claude van Damme;
- 'Broken Arrow', with John Travolta & Christian Slater;
- 'Face/Off', with John Travolta & Nicholas Cage;
- 'Black Jack', with Dolph Lundgren;
- 'Mission Impossible II', with Tom Cruise
- 'Windtalkers', with Nicholas Cage;
- 'Paycheck', with Ben Affleck;

Of course, I have also seen his earlier signature Chinese gangster movies, which made him famous for the slo-mo gun-fights & blood-splattered action sequences ("bullet ballets"):

- 'A Better Tomorrow I & II';
- 'The Killer';
- 'A Bullet in the Head';
- 'Hard Boiled';

What he has impressed me most from what I have seen in a live interview on StarHub cable television a few years ago, & also from what I have read off the web is his humility & soft-spoken demeanour, despite all the international fame of a cult movie director.

When he was given the job to direct his first Hollywood movie, 'Hard Target', I read that he had tremendous problems dealing with budget, production scheduling, editing, politics, plus a host of other constraints not found in Hong Kong, notwithstanding the typical pressures from American studio chiefs.

He did not utter a single adverse comment about anybody. In fact, he was very philosophical about the whole affair.

He remarked: "I'm not a master; I'm just a hard-working filmmaker. I would like everyone to see me as a friend rather than a master."

Take the incident regarding Chow Yun Fatt, who dropped out over contractual disputes just as shooting for 'Red Cliff' began.

John Woo, who turned Chow Yun Fatt into an international star, says he has no hard feelings against the actor for declining the movie:

"I still admire Chow. He is a very good actor & also a good friend, & we will work together again."

Surprisingly, he considered the death of a stuntman during the making of 'Red Cliff' as "the biggest regret of my career".

Best of all, he is still married to the same woman, Annie, for 32 years.

From my personal perspective, his many action movies, in spite of the violence depicted or rather choreographed, often carry a powerful message: it's about justice, courage, honour, loyalty, chivalry & more importantly, intelligence.

This ironic quote attributed to John Woo said it all:

"The killer is a man who does bad things, but he wants to be good."

I read that his early influence in gangster movies came from French director Jean Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai', starring Alain Delon as a ruthless hit man - with the trademarked trench coat & sunglasses -, during the late sixties.

[In the late sixties &/or early seventies, Alain Delon was among my favourite actors, especially, in addition to 'Le Samourai', when he portrayed the killer elite very realistically in the spy-thriller, 'Scorpio', opposite the character of Burt Lancaster & in the spaghetti western adventure, 'Red Sun', opposite the characters of Charles Bronson & Toshiro Mifune.]

Interestingly, I also read that his movies' signature gun-fights with combatants wielding weapons in both hands were influenced by the climactic scene in the action movie, 'Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid', during the late sixties.

Well, the foregoing revelations also drive home my point in earlier posts: Ideas Build on Ideas!

SUCCESS DEFINED

Coach John Wooden has this great definition for 'success':

"Success is the peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you have made the effort to become the best person that you are capable of becoming."

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."

(Coach John Wooden, a retired American basketball coach, with 12 undefeated national championships to his credit;)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SECOND SIGHT: HOW DO WE ACTIVATE IT AT WILL?

I have fished out the follow interesting aspects from the multi-page ad of SM Motors for their new Volvo S80 model in Saturday's issue of the Straits Times:

DETECT THE UNSEEN
Blind Spot Information System
alerts you whenever a vehicle enters your
blind spot - making changing lanes effortless.

PREDICT
DISASTER
By monitoring driving behaviour,
Driver Alert Control warns
tired drivers of potentially dangerous driving.

FORESEE
WHAT'S
AHEAD
Collision Warning with Brake Support
monitors the distance to the vehicle ahead
and prevents an impending collision.

ACTIVATE YOUR 6TH SENSE.

Obviously from the safety point of view, the new car has 'Second Sight' as standard equipment.

Wow! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we can also be equipped with this 'Second Sight' to 'detect the unseen', 'predict disaster' & 'foresee what's ahead'?

Experts in the field of 'subtle energies' strongly believe that we are already equipped from Day One with such a powerful facility.

It's called 'Psychic Intuition' or just 'Intuition' for short. Or 'Sixth Sense'.

The question that has always been puzzling me: how do I activate it at will?

I have spent years trying to understand this phenomenon, & I am still learning.

In fact, the foregoing Volvo ad said it best at the end: 'Trust Your Instincts'.

I reckon just follow your gut feeling about a situation you are taking is the first step towards using what you have got in everyday life.

GOOD TIMES AHEAD, BUT AFTER THE TOUGH TIMES

In contrast to what veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw said the other day, MM Lee Kuan Yew's recent remarks at the Economic Society of Singapore's Annual Dinner, as reported in the Straits Times, were encouraging, even though he also acknowledged both immediate & long term challenges facing the country.

He said:

"The next 5 to 10 years will be the most promising in the country's history."

"If there are no big recessions worldwide, growth can easily be 4 to 6%, may be 7 to 8%."

I like what he said further:

"The point is that we have got enormous options [obviously referring to the ongoing major developments in the Marina Bay area]."

I certainly want to wish that he is right.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What would I change if . . . my annual income suddenly became my monthly income?

inspired by Bob Proctor

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might-have-been has never been, but a has-been was once a are."

(Milton Berle, 1908-2002, Emmy award-winning American comedian & actor; one of the pioneering legends of television, earning the nickname 'Mr Television';)

THE BIG FOUR

I came across this comment on the Amazon.com website, in conjunction with the review of
the book, 'Think & Grow Rich for Coaches', by Will Craig & Napoleon Hill:

"I have long advocated that there has been nothing really new written in the area of self-development since the Masters wrote their Big Four:

1) James Allen's 'As a Man Thinketh';

2) Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win Friends &Influence People';

3) Norman Vincent Peale's 'The Power of Positive Thinking';

4) Napoleon Hill's 'Think & Grow Rich'";

The comment was made by David Herdlinger, a success coach at Herdlinger Associates.

Frankly, I don't think I can find fault with the reviewer's selection, as I also consider the four books as great classics with wonderful life lessons.

Although, I would generally agree that there is invariably nothing new under the sun, so to speak, I often find that, in the works of some new authors (or established authors who come out with new titles) in the field of self development & personal growth, there are always new viewpoints or fresh perspectives, fleshed out in the form of their personal experiences or observations or anecdotes interweaved into their stories.

From the reader's standpoint, at least in my personal case, I often look out for:

- what's good & new;

- what makes sense (in today's changing landscape);

- what works (in the long run);

- what would get the work done, the goals met &/or the future delivered;

MAKING DISTINCTIONS

A quick one.

I reckon most of us are pretty clear about knowing vs. doing.

That is to say, thinking about it & putting it to work.

But I now realised that there is a missing element here.

The issue is not one of do we know what we need to do, but rather do we want to do what we need to do.

The seemingly critical missing element is desire. Ardent desire, as Paul J Meyer put it in his 'Million Dollar Personal Success Plan'.

We will talk more about it.