Saturday, March 7, 2009

3 SIMPLE STEPS TO A PEPPER LUNCH

This late morning, my wife & I visited Orchard Road, on our routine weekend shopping spree.

We popped into the popular Pepper Lunch outlet in the basement of Shaw House. We had been to the place several times. My wife had ordered the Rib Eye Steak, while I had the Beef Pepper Rice for a change, with their Shake! seaweed salad to go for both of us.

Why we had always enjoyed eating there was that we could sizzle the food our way. No wonder it tasted so good!

For us, there were only 3 simple steps to sizzle:

In my wife case, she just spreaded the special butter over the beef steak, sizzled it till desired doneness, & lastly, added the honey brown sauce.

For me, I just mixed evenly the rice, already premixed with butter, & the uncooked beef slices to cook well, & lastly threw in some garlic soya sauce, plus freshly grinded pepper.

To top up our enjoyment of the culinary experience, the price was real value for money (S$32.80), especially in today's harsh times.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“Finish each day & be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders & absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely & with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803–1882, American essayist, philosopher & poet;

Friday, March 6, 2009

A GREAT WAY TO LEARN FROM THE WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED THOUGHT LEADERS

If you are looking for learning opportunities, where you can watch, listen & learn from the world’s most celebrated thought leaders, just grab your pet mouse, fire-up your favourite browser & enter a very special website, known as TED Talks.

What is TED? “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design”. It is an annual conference that defines its mission as “ideas worth spreading”. The talks are typically limited to about 20 minutes or so.

TED was founded by information architect Richard Saul Wurman. He wrote the classics, 'Information Anxiety' (1 & 2) [Please read my review in an earlier post.], as well as 'Information Architects'.

So, if your favourite subjects happen to be personal growth or human potential, TED Talks is a great place to start.

Here's the link.

WHAT COACH WOODEN CAN TEACH US ABOUT AGING GRACEFULLY

Thanks to Google Alert!

It has led me to a wonderful article by Stuart Wolpert (from UCLA, California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 38,000 students; four alumni & five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize) about the interview of Coach John Wooden, 98, the legendary former UCLA basketball coach, by Alan Castel, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Here's the link.

The latter has in fact written an earlier article, entitled 'Memory and Successful Aging: A Conversation with Coach John Wooden', in the February issue of the Observer, the monthly journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Here's the link to the article.

In a nut shell - straight from Coach John Wooden:

"Stay busy, stay active, enjoy every day like it is your masterpiece, have some variety and try to learn something new every day . . . When I am through learning, then I am through . . . Staying positive and upbeat, having a loving family that you cherish, having strong social support, having interests, working hard [by maintaining an active work schedule] all of these help."

Something else in his disciplined daily routines strikes me: He reads, writes & recites poetry, & he has been doing that for 80 years!

[Coach John Wooden is the author of 'They call me Coach' (2004) & 'Wooden on Leadership' (2005).]

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

How do I find meaning in my life?

How can I find meaning in my work?

~ inspired by the work of world-renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who wrote 'Man's Search for Meaning' to document his personal story of finding a reason to live under the most horrendous circumstances of the Nazi concentration camps during WWII;

ANALOGICALLY SPEAKING

I just happen to be quite fascinated by 'The Baggage' interview segment of the 'Urban: Your Guide to Looking Good' supplement of today's 'Straits Times'.

The interviewee is Bjoern Leiss, a 33-year old driving instructor with the Porsche World Road Show, now running in town. The annual event is essentially a series of test-drive sessions for prospective owners & their mean machines.

When told by the interviewer that cars are confusing & the German bachelor responded that women are much more mind boggling:

"When there is smoke coming out of a car boot, you can pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the car. But with women, try asking them what is wrong a hundred times & you still can't get an answer."

Wow! What a beautiful analogy for the comparison of a woman with a man's mean machine!

LEARNING AGILITY: A VERY CRITICAL SKILL FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Looking retrospectively, I reckon, my deep fascination for learning, & also the technologies for augmenting learning, go way back to the eighties as well as the early nineties.

During those years, the most influential books that I had read with gusto were those written by futurists like Alvin Toffler & John Nasibitt, & by economist Paul Zane Pilzer & peak performance coach Denis Waitley, just to name a few.

In fact, I had pulled out many of the key relevant passages from their books to get them framed up on to the walls of my office, throughout the years from early 90s to mid-2005.

Here's a quick sampling to share with readers:

From Alvin Toffler, whose works include 'Future Shock' (1971), 'The Third Wave' (1980) & 'Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth & Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century' (1991):

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."

"In a turbulent environment filled with revolutionary reversals, surprises, & competitive upsets, it is no longer possible to specify in advance what everyone need to know . . ."

From John Naisbitt, whose works include 'Megatrends: 10 New Directions Transforming Our Lives (1988)':

"In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn."

From Paul Zane Pilzer, whose works include 'Unlimited Wealth: The Theory & Practice of Economic Alchemy' (1990):

". . . The key to achieving financial success today, or success in any field for that matter, is being able to learn new things. The key to having the ability to learn new things, is developing confidence in your ability to learn . . ."

". . . The overwhelmingly largest determinant of success today for both the individual & the organisation is the speed with which they can accept, learn, & work with technological change . . . Prosperity today belongs to the person & organisation that learns new things the fastest . . ."

"Indeed, technology is advancing so rapidly on so many fronts that the main constraint on innovation today is not so much the capacity of engineers & entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas, but their ability to keep abreast of & integrate the latest developments from fields outside their own particular specialty . . ."

From Denis Waitley, whose works include 'Empires of the Mind: Lessons to Lead & Succeed in a Knowledge-Based World' (1995):

". . . Knowledge is a lifelong experience, not a collection of facts or skills. What you learned in school is no longer all you need to know . . . Every 30 seconds some new technological company produces yet another innovation. Your formal education has a very short shelf life . . ."

I must say, in a way with some wisdom of hindsight, the foregoing books, & in conjuction with other resources, were instrumental in nudging me to make the self-proclamation of becoming a Knowledge Adventurer & Technology Explorer.

In a nut shell, that's how I got started on the journey to pursue personal mastery.

Actually, all the books or rather all the four authors were talking about one very critical skill for the 21st Century:

Learning Agility, which is the ability to learn, unlearn & relearn rapidly.

As such, I am glad that, despite the transpiration of time, their singular principal message is still very relevant today.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Life is trying things to see if they work."

~ Ray Bradbury, 89, fantasy/horror/sci-fi/mystery writer; best known for his dystopian novels, 'Fahrenheit 451' & 'The Martian Chronicles'; he is widely considered one of the greatest & most popular American writers of speculative fiction of the 20th century; many of his works have been adapted in more than 20 television shows & movies;

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ACTION-MINDEDNESS

I find the two full-page ad, back to back, from the credit card giant VISA on the Home page of today's issue of the 'Straits Times' fascinating, not so much from the standpoint of the advertiser.

I look at it from a personal viewpoint.

Here's the partial text:

"Go.
It's one tiny, two-letter word that makes amazing things happen.
Go is action.
It's the spark that starts the flame that sets everything in motion.
Go gets us to try things we've always wanted to try.
Go keeps us going no matter what life throws our way.
Go reminds us it's a big, beautiful world out there, & it's time to make the most of it . . .

. . . to get out there & play.
To get out there & do.
To get out there & experience all the incredible things life has to offer."

The ad certainly reminds me of the importance of a bias for action or action-mindedness.

In fact, thinking about action-mindedness also brings back memory of this wonderful quote by engineer & entrepreneur Nolan Brushnell, 66, who founded both Atari, Inc., & the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters chain:


"The critical ingredient is getting off your rear end & doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But TODAY!"

SINGAPORE: A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD IN THE NEXT 5 TO 10 YEARS

I like the way MM Lee Kuan Yew paints a brisk future scenario for Singapore, as reported in today's issue of the 'Straits Times'.

According to him Singapore has to prepare itself for "a very different world" that will emerge in the next 5 to 10 years.

He foresees tougher competition coming especially from China & India, both of which have "very talented people".

I remember PM Lee Hsien Loong had shared more or less the same strategic insight with university students about 15 years ago at the NTU when he said:

"Singaporeans must run even faster, to stay ahead of the competition coming from neighbouring countries & emerging economies. It is a marathon & we have to run fast & run without end."

Nonetheless, MM Lee has added that Singapore should avoid competiting them head-on, & instead look for niches "before the Chinese & the Indians move in".

Frankly speaking, with their sheer large numbers, plus their unquenchable hunger for knowledge as well as superb learning agility, probably to catch up with lost time (on account of the Cultural Revolution initiated by Chairman Mao), I just wonder whether there are any real niches left for us to make our forays.

I remember some statistics quite some years back: Singapore produces about 11,000 university graduates annually vs China's more than 1 million of them annually.

Anyway, I reckon Singaporeans are generally more concerned about the interim future, rather than to worry about what would happen 5 to 10 years down the road.

It seems that everything hinges on the performance of the US economy. As it stands now, it really sucks!

This is what MM Lee has said about the US economy:

"The world will have a better idea in about 9 months when US President Barack Obama's team would have tried out their policies for a year . . . Without that (US) recovery, I don't see Europe & Japan - whose largest exports go to America - or large parts of Asia bouncing back."

Meanwhile, Singapore has to braced itself for the GDP shrinking 10% this year.

Another bad news: GIC assets are down 25% from peak.

Looks like we just got to put on our thinking caps quickly, & also to tough it out.

CRITICAL REALISM FOR YOUR INFORMATION

I just happen to stumble upon the article, entitled 'Creativity, Skepticism, & Visioning the Future', by a futurist-to-be (?) Wendell Bell, while snooping around for stuff about future studies on the net.

Here's the link.

What intrigues me most is her mention of a body of knowledge known as "critical realism".

First, she quotes an observation by R L Henshel:

"A contemporary futures conference attracts more frauds and phonies than any other form of meeting, but it also generates more genuinely important ideas . . . The question is how to have the one without the other.”

Her "short answer is to apply a healthy dose of skepticism", & her "long answer is to use a theory of knowledge known as critical realism, which includes serious efforts to falsify, logically and empirically, futurist assertions, so as to minimize the chances of accepting and spreading false beliefs. Falsifiable assertions that survive such efforts may be provisionally accepted as true."

She adds further:

"Critical realism in no way discourages creativity, innovation, or the construction of positive visions. But it does remind us that for an action science—that is for us futurists who hope our visions of the future will be taken seriously and acted on by others out there in the real world—there is a special obligation not to lead people astray and not to encourage them to act in a way that would be futile or harmful to themselves and others.

The world is already overfilled with such false prophets from among the ranks of politicians, corporate executives, advertising pitchmen, media pundits, and religious leaders, to name a few.

Futurists and futures studies have enormous contributions to make to the well-being and freedom of humankind, if we can keep our feet firmly planted on solid foundations of knowledge."


I reckon "critical realism" is akin to a critical thinking perspective about information, just as futurist/researcher Adam Gordon has described his methodology in his wonderful book, 'Future Savvy'.

Even creativity guru Edward de bono has taken a quick shot at it, with his newly concocted methodology, through his book, 'Six Frames'.

However, from my perspective, I believe "critical realism" applies not only to future studies in the foregoing case, but also to all the stuff we learn & acquire from others, experts or otherwise, as well as in formal or informal settings.

I would love to know more about it, especially the pragmatic aspects of how to execute it, beyond what Adam Gordon & Edward de bono have talked about quite recently.

NOTES FROM MY SCRATCHPAD: 7 LESSONS FOR EMBRACING CHAOS

In their book, 'Seven Life Lessons of Chaos: Spiritual Wisdom from the Science of Change', authors John Briggs & David Peat reveal seven enlightening lessons for embracing the chaos of daily life.

According to them, life is chaos, & hence, is seemingly impossible to control. Instead of fighting this truth, they show how to accept, celebrate & use chaos to live life to the fullest.

1) Be Creative:

- engage with chaos to find imaginative new solutions & live more dynamically; in other words, learn to unlock creativity through heightened tolerance for ambiguity & ambivalence;

2) Use Butterfly Power:

- let chaos grow local efforts into global results; in other words, learn to recognise - & accept - that each individual is an indivisible aspect of the whole, & a tiny action, when amplified throughout a system, can have unexpectedly disproportionate effects at the end, since each chaotic moment of the present is a mirror of the chaos of the future;

3) Go With the Flow:

- use chaos to work collectively with others; in other words, learn to go with the flow of events;

4) Explore What's Between:

- discover life's rich subtleties & avoid the traps of stereotypes; in other words, learn to pay attention to subtlety, in addition I reckon, to gray areas;

5) See the Art of the World:

- appreciate the beauty of life's chaos; in other words, we can actually make chaos not only understandable, but actually usable; instead of resisting life's uncertainties, we should embrace the possibilities they offer;

6) Live Within Time:

- utilize time's hidden depths; in other words, learn to act according to one's internal rhythms;

7) Rejoin the Whole:

- realize our fractal connectedness to each other & the world; in other words, learn to appreciate the inter-connectedness of all things;

[More information about David Peat & his consulting work can be found at this link.]

THE PIT STOP & THE STRATEGY OF WINNING IN LIFE

Yesterday evening, as usual in accompanying my wife to attend her English Language class in Jurong East Central, I brought along a new book, 'Success Intelligence: Essential Lessons & Practices from the World's Leading Coaching Program on Authentic Success', by Dr Robert Holden.

Immediately, I was struck by what he wrote at the beginning pages about 'Pit Stops' using the analogy of a Formula I motor racing, the fastest spot in the world.

This is his piece in the book:

"Central to the strategy of winning a Formula I race is the pit stop. No driver, no matter how fast he or she drives, can win a race without taking a pit stop. In the pit stop the drivers get refreshment, receive instructions, have engine repairs, fill the gas tank, & set off on fresh tyres. A Formula I race is all about speed & strategy - & it is in the timing & management of the pit stop that the race is often won.

In life, a pit stop can take many forms.

A coaching session cab be a pit stop. meditation can be a pit stop. Prayer can be a pit stop. A Sabbath can be a pit stop. So too can a lunch break, an inspiring book, a game of golf, a regular yoga class, & time with friends.

Stopping can help us remember our vision, connect more deeply to our wisdom, & make us more open & available to inspiration. Stopping can save us so much time, so many mistakes, & so many heartaches."

I really like what he has written. He is obviously talking about time-out for the busy generation in a sped-up society of ours.

In fact, on the next chapter facing the page of the book from where I have extracted his particular piece, & entitled 'The Busy Generation', I could see a small caption prefacing the first paragraph, as follows:

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy . . . dead!

Wow! What an anti-climax? That's definitely food for serious thought. Better still, get the book to read. It's a great book even though I have yet to finish my reading.

In a nut shell, the book examines how to enjoy real, soulful success while living in a manic, busy, & hyped-up world.

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS


“To prepare for the 21st century, companies need to imagine alternative scenarios for the marketplace of the future, & use these scenarios to stimulate their thinking about possible contingencies & strategies. My advice, therefore, is get busy building scenarios & determining what they imply in the way of strategic planning. Do not think business as usual!”

~ Philip Kotler, 78, internationally acclaimed marketing guru; hailed by the Management Centre Europe as "the world's foremost expert on the strategic practice of marketing."

[More information about the guru & his consulting work can be found at this link.]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Every epoch is an epoch of transition. We know only one thing about the future or, rather, futures: it will not look like the present"

~ Jorge Luis Borges, 1899–1986, Argentine writer, poet & lecturer;

LIFE HAS NO WARNING SIGNS!

On Monday evening, while enjoying black pepper sirloin steak for dinner with my wife in Jurong East Central, at a coffee shop of Block 134, I noticed a fully yellow-painted SBS Transit bus streaming into a bus stop just opposite the coffee shop.

A caption on the bus body had caught my immediate attention. It read: LIFE HAS NO WARNING SIGNS! - reflecting an ad from Prudential Insurance.

I thought about it while exercising in the gym yesterday.

My thinking: I don't concur with the ad.

To me, life has warning signs! The crux is whether we know how to recognise & read them.

Again to me, as an analogy, life is like driving on the highway. The highways have ups & downs, undulations as well as curvatures. To travel safely from point A to point B, & oftentimes, back to Point A, we need to be observant as well as be alert to road traffic conditions.

Not only that, we also have to pay attention to the natural elements, which often can go against our favour, like raining.

Sometimes, we also got to watch out for "blindspots", especially when reversing the car from a parking lot or just overtaking a stationary vehicle even in a carpark.

In Singapore, where even expressways are getting very congested all day long, there are limited roadways where you can really speed. Even then, we got to be on a constant watch for portable speed traps!

On Malaysian highways, it's a different ball game. However, there is another kind of menace Singaporean motorists have to watch out, besides highway robbers.

If one is not too careful, especially when your right foot on the accelerator pedal doesn't cooperate with your brain, one can easily end up in unexpected zones, where you will learn the hard way that Cash is King!

Actually, this game of luck can be played to your advantage, as long as you learn to read the signs.

Malaysian registered vehicles, usually those travelling from the opposite directions to you, often flash their head-lights to signify "troubles" ahead.

Do you pay attention?

Also, whenever vehicles ahead of you are seemingly hogging the highways for no apparent reason, you should already smell a rat. Overtaking the slow convoy at breakneck speed is definitely courting trouble with the law of the land that believes only in money talks!

Reading the warning signs - in this case, "weak signals" as illustrated in the foregoing - is an important skill on the road. However, it also applies to our own lives.

The signs are always there. You just got to pay attention. Learn to trust your instincts.

A case in point: Every morning, when I wake up, I will do my first thing - grab my 'Straits Times' & answer nature's morning call.

If I have to visit the toilet more than three times in a day doing the same thing, I know straight away my system is upset. I will automatically pump in two tiny tablets of Lomotil, especially if it's just a cautiously optimistic scenario.

However, if it's a worst case scenario, where I have to visit the toilet incessantly for half a dozen times, I will throw in quickly two small bottles of 'pau jai yen' (a popular & proven Chinese medicinal concoction).

Jokes aside, in real life, even attacks of the heart and brain - heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke - have early warning signs.

We - touch wood - just got to learn to heed the red flags, so to speak.

By the way, being obese is by itself already a big warning sign for trouble on your way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What do I want?

What do I really want?

What do I really, really want?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Man is genius when he dreams. The harder you dream it, the sooner it will come true."

~ Akira Kurosawa, 1910–1998, famed & award-winning Japanese filmmaker & producer, well-known for his cult classics, like 'Seven Samurai' (remade as 'Magnificent Seven', starring Yul Brynner), 'Yojimbo' (remade as 'A Fistfull of Dollars', starring Clint Eeastwood; 'Last Man Standing', starring Bruce Willis), & 'Rashomon', with Toshiro Mifune;

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"Creativity is a response to life that involves actions and solutions that are novel or a little different from what we usually do or think we should do. The anxiety associated with feeling "stuck" in life can be viewed from the perspective of creativity. It requires a step into the unfamiliar and unknown, which is ironic because creativity is an expression or reflection of our unique personal qualities.

Creativity leads us to self-discovery. We make better use of our imagination to solve our problems and to make even the routine events of our daily lives more enjoyable. It requires that we view ourselves as "everyday creative" people.

Every life experience holds potential for moving ourselves forward or holding back. Our initial solutions will be the least imaginative and the most similar to what we are already doing.

Generally they will not lead to success in living life more fully. Lacking promise, those thoughts result in self-defeat. Often if we can't see success immediately, we don't believe it is possible.

Conversely, when we believe creative solutions and personal growth are possible, we can see many opportunities.

Our first thoughts serve to prime our minds.

Our imagination then allows us to travel more and more freely away from the stuck place we usually inhabit. It opens up possibilities and opportunities beyond the few limited options we initially considered.

The eventual outcome is a re-definition of ourselves that we would never, never have imagined when we first set foot on the path."


~ Dr Gary Holdgrafer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, & Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer, artist & teacher;

[More information about the Holdgrafers & their work can be found at this link.]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"You have to leave the city of your comfort & go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover is yourself."

~ Alan Alda, 73, award-winning actor, director & screen-writer; he is well known for his role as "Hawkeye Pierce" in the television series M*A*S*H (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) of the 70s/80s - about a bunch of doctors, nurses, administrators & soldiers who were unwittingly stuck in the middle of the Korean war;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Why is the Industrial Age ending, & why now?

What forces are driving this transformation?

What new way of living is struggling to be born within us and among us?

What I can do now to become an agent of change?

What will it cost me if I do . . . & if I don't?

~ inspired by the work of Canadian futurist & change strategist Ruben Nelson;

THE GAME IS CHANGING: A Poem by Ruben Nelson

Partly led by Google Alert on the subject of 'strategic foresight', I have stumbled upon the following beautiful poem, by Ruben Nelson, one of Canada's pioneers of serious futures research. Today, he is one of Canada's few professional futurists. He is also the President of Square One Management Ltd., & The Alliance for Capitalizing on Change.

"We used to live comfortably...
At home within a known and unchanging society.

All that was asked of us
was to work expertly within our own area of responsibility,
as limited by our specialty and set out in our job description,
within our particular department, in a division of our organization,
with a view to enhancing its well-being
under the authority of those in charge.

We knew then that all else was secondary - an externality.

Now we struggle...
To learn from, about and within a profoundly changing society;
with colleagues, suppliers, clients and citizens
who are themselves changing.

We know we need to learn how to nurture and sustain
a capacity for self-critical learning,
in ourselves, our colleagues, our organizations,
our clients, our suppliers, our families and our communities.

We face this challenge...
Learning to live as co-creators,
openly and consciously participating
in the re-design and transformation
of all our ways of working and living;
of the structures, processes, and cultures of our organizations,
and ultimately of our whole societal order.

And now we know...

That this must be done in light of
the well-being of all persons and all the earth,
through all time; that all else is secondary."

UNDERSTANDING THE FEAR CYCLE

Carmine Coyote, founder & editor of 'Slow Leadership' weblog wrote a great piece, entitled 'Security is an Illusion—Especially in a Time of Fear'.

According to her, "fear & obsession are linked in an endless cycle of hopeless attempts to change reality.

In a time of fear, the temptation is to try somehow to ‘cure’ the problem that you’re afraid of by focusing on its opposite. This is a mistake. The more obsessed you become with safety, the more sources of risk you will find. The more you focus on achievement, the more opportunities you will create to fear failure.

The reality is that there has never been a way to ‘cure’ the ups & downs of life. The only answer lies in accepting reality & working from there."

I fully concur.

Here's the link to her apt graphic illustration of the fear cycle.

Monday, March 2, 2009

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

How do I feel right now? (emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually)

What does my heart yearn for?

How are things going with my friends and family? With work?

What’s causing me pain? What’s bringing me joy?

What fears, frustrations, or worries are getting in my way?

What’s contributing to my success? Limiting it?

What am I grateful for in my life?

~ inspired by Julia Cameron’s 'The Artist Way';

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"If I ever feel there's nothing more to learn, I will stop acting. It's the worst thing that can happen to anyone, to feel like there's nothing more to learn. Even when I am not working, I am learning. I learn from taxi drivers, I learn from waiters, I learn from ants."

~ Malaysian-born actress Yeo Yann Yann, 31, on what keeps her motivated every time she takes on a role; she was last seen in Jack Neo's comedy movie, 'Love Matters';

[Source: Straits Times' Life page, 'Monday Interview']

NATURE & BEAUTY



The foregoing composite pictures, which, according to my perspective, epitomise the apt concept of 'Nature & Beauty', have been extracted from a powerpoint presentation sent to me by David Tang, a Polytechnic buddy of mine from the sixties.

Isn't this an intersectional moment between nature's resources & artistic designs?

So, in a way, the Renaissance genius Leonardo da vinci (1452-1519) was absolutely right - to me, he seemed to have that foreknowledge - when he exhorted that, in order to develop a complete mind, one must study the science of art & the art of science, among other important things.

Please read my earlier blog post entitled 'da vincian Principles: Personal Perspectives I' in my 'Braindancing Smorgasbord' weblog.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

DEVELOPING PERSONAL CREATIVENESS & INNOVATION ADEPTNESS

Interestingly, I have noted that the creativity self-assessment test from CREAX nv, a Belgium-based innovation consulting outfit, actually offers some very valuable perspectives about developing personal creativeness & innovation adeptness.

In a nut shell, the test measures one's creativity in 8 different areas:

1) Abstraction:

- the ability to abstract concept from ideas;

2) Connection:

- the ability to make connections between things that don't initially have an apparent connection;

3) Perspective:

- the ability to shift one's perspectives on a situation in terms of space & time & other people;

4) Curiosity:

- the desire to change or improve things that everyone else accepts as the norm;

5) Boldness:

- the confidence to push boundaries beyond accepted conventions; also the ability to eliminate the fear of what others think of you;

6) Paradox:

- the ability to simultaneously accept & work with statements that are contradictory;

7) Complexity:

- the ability to carry large quantities of information & be able to manipulate & manage the relationships between such information;

8) Persistence:

- the ability to force oneself to keep trying to derive more & stronger solutions even when good one shave already been generated;

The returned test result on a radar diagram instantaneously allows you to visualizes how you score compared to the others that took the test or compared with the global average score.

But I feel that the most important aspect of the test will be the deliberate introspection & initiating actions one would systematically undertake to make improvements in all the eight areas.

They certainly would take some hard work, but would be definitely worthwhile in the longer term.

By the way, here's the link to the test.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Do I know where my next adventure will take me?

Can I predict what experiences this will involve?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Do not train children to learn by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."

~ Plato, 428BC–348BC, Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, & founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world; along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy;