Saturday, May 16, 2009

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

"Dare to be different; life is so full
Of people who follow the same push-and-pull,
Poor, plodding people who, other than name,
Try to pretend they’re exactly the same.

God made us different; there never will be
A replica soul made of you or me.
The charm—the glory of all creation
rests on this very deviation.

Your charm—your own glory, too,
Lies in being uniquely you—
Lies in being true to your best,
That part of you different from all the rest."

~ Mrs Helen Lowrie Marshall (1904-1975), a prolific poet who had lived in Denver, Colorado, during the sixties/seventies;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

For whom do I labour & to what end?

LESSONS FROM THE MOVIES

Yesterday, I had watched an old MGM movie, 'Memories of Me' (1988) on StarHub cable television.

It was actually a comedy, starring Alan King, Billy Crystal with JoBeth Williams.

Although the movie, as its backdrop, gave a reasonably good background of how beginning actors struggled to get their bit parts in Hollywood, while holding down other mundane jobs to survive, it had sort of a father-&-son bonding story plot.

The plot had centred primarily on a heart-surgeon son Abbie (played by Billy Crystal), who had reluctantly & unwittingly spent the last few days with his estranged bit-part actor father Abe (played by Alan King), who eventually & unexpectedly passed away on the eve of securing a movie contract.

There was one particular scene in the movie, which I thought was really interesting, at least from the creativity standpoint.

The father had brought his son & the son's girl-friend (played by JoBeth Williams) to a touristic place where there was Mexican food, music & fanfare.

They had a joint photograph taken at an attraction spot by a Mexican instant photographer. The photograph was supposed to be a colourful one, but it turned out black & white, to the chagrin of the father.

Naturally, the father was angry, but the photographer gleefully responded that there was a black colour, a white colour...

The father took the photo, gave the guy 5 bucks, instead of the originally agreed price of 10, & walked away.

Whether it was wit or humour or just plain hustle, I thought for a moment: The Mexican photographer had a reasonably valid point.

Black & white can be colourful, too. What an interesting perspective!

Nonetheless, I had enjoyed watching the movie, especially the witty dialogue between father & son & their antics.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"All things in life are in constant flux, and are to some degree unpredictable. The person we are today is to some degree a stranger to what we were ten years ago. We also can't know today some aspects of the person we will be twenty years from now either but they'll be here sooner than we'd like."

~ Ben Lippincott;

Friday, May 15, 2009

WHAT'S THE PRESCRIPTION FOR LONGEVITY? II

[This is an extension to my earlier post.]

Do you want to learn how to live to be 90, 100 or even older?

Researcher & author Dan Buettner scoured the world for blue zones, areas where abnormally high numbers of people 100 years of age or older live. Spending time in these blue zones with centenarians, Buettner identified the Power 9 - nine principles that have allowed people born 100 years ago to live a longer, healthier life:

Buettner describes the nine principles practiced by blue-zone centenarians in his book, "The Blue Zones."

Here is a summary so you can incorporate the Power 9 into your life:

1) Stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Okinawan blue-zone residents use 9-inch plates when eating. People who use smaller plates often eat 20 to 30 percent less food.

2) Eat more plants and cut back on processed foods. One common food consumed by centenarians, especially in Costa Rica, is nuts. Tofu is another popular food among those who live long lives; it has a plant estrogen that makes skin look younger. You can find it in a grocery store, or look for foods made from tofu at a health store.

3) Drink moderate amounts of red wine. Buettner recommends Sardinian canonau wine. This vintage has the highest concentration of antioxidants of all red wines, and Sardinian centenarians consume it daily.

4) Find your purpose in life and live it. Buettner's blue-zone Web site says that practicing your life's purpose can add an extra decade to your lifespan. A good start here is to write down your mission in life: What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning, ready to face a new day? And think about your purpose in life when making daily choices: What choice will help you achieve your purpose?

5) Have a spiritual practice and belong to a religious community. Those who regularly participate in faith groups have lower mortality rates.

6) Slow down, work less and rest more often. Buettner recommends taking an "hour of power" each day, a period to do something slow such as nap, meditate, pray or take a walk.

7) Move your body, walk more and give up the remote. An excellent way to move is playing with your grandchildren. Play provides low-intensity exercise and strengthens families. Walking, especially when walking with others, can give you exercise as well as a chance to keep connected.

8) Develop meaningful social relationships. Socializing fights depression and may preserve your memory.

9) Make family a priority. Family members are important for support, and having people to love and care for increases your chances of living longer.

[For more information, please go to this link.]

WHAT MAKES US HAPPY?

Here's a link to a great article on 'What Makes Us Happy?" in the Atlantic magazine.

Read it; it's good!

Hopefully, it may offer you a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life.

JUST FOR LAUGHS GAGS

I am often very impressed by the Canadian program, 'Just for Laughs Gags'. It's always great fun to watch human nature at work.

In a nut shell, a hidden camera captures unsuspecting people in confusing, impossible, embarrassing, ridiculous, & hilarious situations.

It reminds me of the black & white comedy classic, 'Candid Camera', with Allen Funt of the sixties.

I am always amazed by the ingenuity of the producers to come up with wacky but entertaining episodes, practically every week to amuse people.

For me, just watching 'Just for Laughs Gags' offers a wonderful opportunity for the mind to unwind as well as de-stress.

Here's the link to several good ones I have really enjoyed watching.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What if the lack of money, time or talent isn't really what's stopping me?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"Somehow I can't believe there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."

~ Walt Disney, founder of Walt Disney Co;

Thursday, May 14, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: COURTESY


I have spotted this courtesy mascot during a window-shopping romp with my wife at the Centrepoint shopping mall this afternoon.

SPOTLIGHT: 'Every Day is a Brand New Game'


While window-shopping at Suntec City shopping mall this afternoon with my wife, I have spotted this wonderful slogan inside the Ashworth branded sportswear store.

I reckon if we can continue to treat every day as a brand new game, our brains will definitely stay alert, agile & anticipatory throughout our lives.

SPOTLIGHT: PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES



Sir Richard Branson, the chairman & CEO of the Virgin Group, often described as flamboyant & brash, but tremendously successful, is well-known for his insatiable desire to push the boundaries of common business practices. The Virgin Group includes an array of businesses under the Virgin brand ranging from air travel to megastores.

According to Wall Street Journal, Samsonite - "people still think of that hard, plastic suitcase when they think of Samsonite; it's often associated with durable, not with style - is striving to reinvent itself as a "sexy, high-end label" in the luxury goods marketspace.

Last year, Samsonite acquired Lambertson Truex, a high-end leather-goods maker.

The brand has now launched designer luggage & high-end men's shoes; sunglasses & stationary are in the works. They're looking to compete with the likes of Burberry & Coach.

So, it comes as no surprise to see its association with Sir Richard Branson.

I have spotted the ad at the Samsonite outlet in Suntec City shopping mall this afternoon.

[Readers who are interested to explore the "success habits" of Sir Richard Branson can go to this link to take a look.]

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

If I could be God for one week, & he gave me the power & knowledge for making the world a much better place, what would I do?

[inspired by the two fun movies, 'Evan Almighty' (2007), starring Steve Carell, & 'Bruce Almighty' (2003), starring Jim carrey;]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Every time you try & fail, you are one step closer to getting it right. The number of steps required depends on how well you prepare."

~ Gail Dreis Brown;

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Why think outside of the box?

What if the answer lies inside the box?

MEMORABLE QUOTE FROM THE MOVIES

"Where am I going?
I don't know.
When will I get there?
I ain't certain.
All that I know is I am on my way."

~ from the lyrics of a song in the entertaining musical-comedy-western, 'Paint Your Wagon' (1969), starring Clint Eastwood & Lee Marvin, with Jean Seberg; in the movie, both Clint Eastwood & Lee Marvin did their own singing; in fact, Lee Marvin's rendition of the song "Wandering Star" went to #1 on the British charts, earning him a gold record;

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“Five to ten years ago you would set your vision and strategy and then start following it. That does not work anymore. Now you have to be alert every day, week and month to renew your strategy.”

~ Olli-Pekka Kallasvvuo, CEO Nokia;

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: 'LET BUSINESS GET PERSONAL'

I am just struck by the catchy caption on the shopfront window of a gentlemen's clothes store (G2000) in VIVO City.

As far as I know, all business is personal. In the case of the store, they sell, we as customers buy.

Likewise, the store pays & its workers do what they are paid to do.

Even all the financial numbers & management ratios won’t change that. At the heart of its operation, all business transactions boil down to inter-personal relationships, among customers & employees, as well as all the other people from suppliers, financiers & facilitators.

A word of caution, though: In business, we shouldn't get too personal. Productivity counts at the end of the day!

SPOTLIGHT: 'EVERY BOOK BEGINS WITH PAGE ONE'


I am just struck by this catchy caption on the pillar, just in front of the Page One book-store on the second floor of VIVO City.

Whenever I am hanging out at VIVO City, I will often pop into the store for a quick browse.

In reading, especially non-fiction, most of the time the first few pages of the book will be able to tell me whether it's worth my time to read it.

SPOTLIGHT: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC


This structural formation of a picturesque horse, formed with an artful conglomeration of natural wood pieces, stands at the entrance of the newly established National Geographic store - its first in Asia - at VIVO City.

Obviously, art is science, because it requires methodology as well as discipline to get the display done; science is also art, as it needs craft as well as aesthetics to embellish it, so that people can appreciate & enjoy the viewing.

By the way, the National Geographic Channel on StarHub cable television is my favourite channel for popular science, technology, natural history, archaeology & natural mysteries.

SPOTLIGHT: WHAT'S IN A NAME?



While on a routine window-shopping romp at VIVO City this afternoon with my wife this afternoon, I was just intrigued by the two brand names, which seemingly have no direct bearings to what they do - in this case, fashion clothes.

In fact, there were many other similar instances in the shopping mall.

So, just for fun, I took digital snapshots of two of them.

SPOTLIGHT: SEE SOMETHING OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY?


If you are a regular MRT passenger, you will probably be "greeted" by this sign in the cabin.

Personally, at least from the tactical perspective, I reckon a much better & more effective question to use in this case would have been: "See something out-of-the ordinary?".

I have learned that US Secret Service agents, while protecting the US President in open pubic places, often do broad sweeps of the immediate surroundings with their roving eyes, just to catch anything out-of-the-ordinary in their fields of vision. [Experts call this 'splatter vision'.]

For example, a guy in the crowd wearing a thick jacket on a hot day. Or a guy in the crowd with hands in his pockets, while all others around him are waving.

As a matter of fact, the brown spot on one of the balls as shown in the pictorial image is a case in point.

Just a creative spark of mine.

[Go & read the book, 'Wide Angle Vision', by Wayne Burkan for a good understanding of 'splatter vision', as applied in the field of business.]

SPOTLIGHT: 'VALUE LIFE. ACT RESPONSIBLY. LIVE DELIBERATELY.'


I have seen this signboard on the tracks at the Lakeside MRT station countless times, but only today it suddenly triggers my thumb on the Nokia N93 handphone camera.

The caption, "Value Life. Act Responsibly", is certainly apt as a personal safety reminder to all MRT passengers.

However, I just like to add a third line to it: . . . "Live Deliberately".

I reckon we should also therefore observe the renewed caption - as well as act on it - in all aspects of our personal lives, especially from the standpoint of surviving & thriving in today's rapidly changing world.

Life is short but precious. We will pass this way only once. So, we better make the best of it.

CHAMPION MINDSET

I am certainly impressed by Miss Ng Khai Yin, 21, from Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, who recently bagged more than 30 distinctions in her Pharmacy Science program at Ngee Ann Polytechnic - not bad at all for someone the school had nearly rejected 3 years ago.

When she applied for the program, & got rejected, she took a bus all the way down to Singapore & convinced the school that it would not regret giving her a chance to study about drugs, drug manufacturing & clinical trials, in preparation for a hospital or pharmacy career.

As it turns out, she has kept to her end of the commitment.

She has what I would call a champion mindset.

According to one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen from Down Under [7 times world champion marathon swimmer), Shelley Taylor-Smith, now a life coach:

"The greatest asset of any champion is not their ability, it is the power of their mind . . . whether you want success . . . whether you want to achieve your life goals . . . it all starts with a decision and your commitment to achieve the consistent results demanded of YOU!"

Congratulations & Best Wishes to you, Miss Ng.

[Source: Today's issue of the 'Straits Times']

DO WE RUN OUT OF IDEAS SOMETIMES?


Over the weekend, I had watched two entertaining action movies on StarHub cable television.

One was 'Pale Rider' (released in 1985), starring Clint Eastwood; the other was 'Missionary Man' (released in 2007), starring Dolph Lundgren. Both are my favourite action stars.

'Pale Rider' was set against the backdrop of gold rush in California during the 1850's, whereas 'Missionary Man' was set closer to our modern times.

After watching both movies, I couldn't help thinking that I was actually watching more or less the same movie twice, as the story plot was basically similar, except for the setting.

In the first movie, a mysterious man, dressed up like a preacher (in fact, his name was just 'Preacher', & played by Clint Eastwood) rode into a mining camp one day on a horse. The miners were meanwhile harassed by a ruthless land-owner, who wanted to grab their land, in cahoot with the local sheriff.

Naturally, our hero - in his famed Dirty Harry's style: shoot first, ask questions later - gave the bad guys a really tough time.

In the second movie, a mysterious man, always carrying a small bible (but he loved to drink tequila; called himself 'Ryder', & played as well as directed by Dolph Lundgren) rode into a small town, built on Indian Reservation land, one day on a big bike. The town folks were meanwhile harassed by a ruthless land-owner, Reno, who wanted to grab their land to build a casino.

Naturally, our hero - in typical Steven Seagal's style - gave the bad guys a really rough time.

In both movies, there were a major shootout at the end - to me, more fun to watch than excitement - with hired guns or mercenaries engaged by the bad guys from outside.

Of course, there was also a momentary distraction in the form of a love interest to complicate or embellish the plot.

More interestingly, in both movies, there was even a young girl, who looked upon our hero as a fatherly figure, to touch our heart strings.

As a matter of fact, the ending of both movies was truly identical: our mysterious hero rode off into the sunset, with our young heroine in hot pursuit, more or less!

Does it seem that Hollywood producers have run out of ideas for their movies?

Possibly. Maybe not.

I reckon they just love to build their movie ideas on other movies' ideas, which is a quick & easy way out to make fast bucks.

A quick one on fast recall.

One of my most favourite westerns, 'The Magnificent Seven' (1960), starring Yul Brynner, was a remake of the legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's cult classic 'Seven Samurai' (1954), starring Toshiro Mifune.

'A Fistful of Dollars' (1964), among the first European spaghetti westerns, which brought Clint Eastwood to fame, was a remake of another of Akira Kurosawa's classics, 'Yojimbo' (1961).

Interestingly, 'Last Man Standing' (1996), starring Bruce Willis, was a remake of 'A Fistful of Dollars' (1964).

In fact, I couldn't help thinking that 'Rogue Assassin' (2007; already reviewed by me in an earlier post) had stolen some story elements from 'Last Man Standing' (1996), especially our hero, played by Jet Li, who had played out two warring crime parties in the story plot.

Anyway, come to think of it, do we run out of ideas sometimes?

For me, I like to think of it more from the issue of mental block, & also more of the problem of how to get old ideas out of the way.

That's why it is often important for us, when we are stuck for new ideas, just get up, move our butt, & get moving.

A simple physical movement can often jog the memory!

So, the image of a corporate executive pacing in his office is not about random activity; he is thinking about new ideas!

Here are some other personal suggestions:

1) create an idea tank - I use a scratchpad & always carry a pocket notebook wherever I go;

2) make notes &/or lists - I keep a lot of notes & also review them from time to time (as far back into the eighties!);

3) observe our surroundings - look out for that 'intersectional moments' from everyday objects or experiences;

4) watch & talk to people - everybody has a 'story' to tell;

5) interview smart as well as naive people - find out what's hot;

6) read books as well as newspapers, with an 'eye' for new ideas;

7) listen to news, with an 'ear' for new ideas;

8) watch movies, with a quick 'eye & ear' for learning points, like I do;

9) steal from Mother Nature, who knows what truly works;

10) browse other people's weblogs;

11) adapt ramblings & musings from daily conversations;

12) surf the net - serendipitous encounters can be valuable, too;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What about my work that makes me jump out of bed every morning?

What makes me press the snooze alarm?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."

~ Edward Gibbon, Author, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire';

Monday, May 11, 2009

EMBRACING FAILURE AS A STRATEGIC MODEL


Recently, I was very delighted to receive an email from award-winning innovator & also author of 'Innovate or Die: A Personal Perspective on the Art of Innovation' (1996) Dr Jack V Matson.

[Please refer to my review of his book in an earlier post.]

Dr Matson wrote to me after having read my blog posts on the subject of 'Intelligent Fast Failure', or IFF, which he had orginally conceived in the early nineties, as part of the engineering curriculum design for The Penn State University (The Leonard Center for Innovation & Enhancement of Engineering Education).

He had sought my personal views, by posing the following questions:

- what is your experience with the IFF concept?

- has it been difficult for others to grasp?

- do you know of people who have used it successfully? if so, how? in what ways?

What follows is an edited part of my response to his email request:

I have come to realise, with a little bit of wisdom on hindsight, that my broad understanding of the IFF concept came from few major strands, prior to reading his wonderful book, 'The Art of innovation: Using Intelligent Fast Failure' (1991), which was the precursor to 'Innovate or Die'.

#1) over the years, reading the life stories of inventive minds like Thomas Edison, Alexander Grapham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Paul MacCready, James Dyson, as well as entrepreneurial minds like Richard Branson, Sim Wong Hoo (Creative Technology), Ronald Sim (OSIM), etc., especially understanding how they had dealt with various failures in their own unique ways;

#2) from the 'Money & You' seminar in Adelaide, Australia, during the early nineties, from where I had learned of the "axiom": [Please refer to my earlier post.]

"The greatest failure in life is the failure to participate in your own life."

#3) reading about the global iconoclast/futurist R Buckminster Fuller & his great work, especially when he had chosen to dedicate 56 years of his remaining life to working for global humanity, as documented in his wonderful book, 'Critical Path' as well as manifested in many of his patented artefacts e.g. geodesic dome, Dymaxion map, just to name a few; it was actually his 56-year personal experiment as 'Guinea Pig B' (B for Bucky as he was affectionately known to most people); one of his "axioms" stood out, among many others:

"There are no failed experiments; only unexpected outcomes".

[Note: Bucky had failed miserably in several business ventures. In fact, he had also failed to honour his last personal commitment to his daughter, who later died in his arms, as he had spent too much time boozing.]

#4) eventually reading Dr Matson's 'The Art of Innovation', from which I had picked up two superb insights:

i) move as quickly as possible from new ideas to new knowledge, by making small & manageable mistakes (read: "learning experiences");

ii) keeping multiple experiments going on simultaneously that require minimal investment with the idea that one of these might bloom first;


I also took the opportunity to point out to Dr Matson that, while most "successful" people had approached "learning from failures" as launch pads for renewed actions after the "failures" had happened, he had established "embracing failures" as a strategic mental model to allow people to fail forward & fast in an intelligent & fearless manner.

That's to say, his IFF concept is proactive & anticipatory. That's the distinction I see.

On that note, & with all the understanding that I had gained from the foregoing exposures, I had started my small post-corporate-world ventures during the early nineties, as follows in one go:

- promoting seminars from overseas;
- writing a subscription newsletter;
- setting up a small book store;
- creating a strategy consulting business;


Sadly, my first two ventures ran only for about two years, & ceased immediately after that, but the knowledge & experience gained allowed me to try out the design & development of my own seminars & workshops, which went off well, following a slow start.

Then, the foregoing change, plus the remaining two ventures, became my "bread & butter" lines.

Frankly, as I had told Dr Matson in my response that, I don't think it would be difficult for people to grasp the concept of using "failures as learning experiences", or "bouncing back from failures", so to speak, but whether they could understand the distinction from his orginal IFF concept would be something else.

As a nation, at least from my personal perspective, I reckon Singapore had been a great example of the "embracing failures to move forward" philosophy, especially when Singapore was kicked out of the then Malaysian confederation in mid-1965, & also when the British colonial forces pulled out completely in the early 70s or so.

The complete historical events had already been documented in Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs, 'From Third World to First : The Singapore Story: 1965-2000';

As for the knowledge of individuals from the "failures as stepping stones to success" perspective, I told Dr Matson that the published stories of:

- the Malaysian businessman Billi Lim in his book, 'Dare to Fail' ;

[Please refer to my book review in an earlier post.]

- the late Malaysian entrepreneur Lim Goh Tong, of the Genting Group, in his autobiography, 'My Story'; &

[Please refer to my book review in an earlier post.]

- the chairman of global technology outfit Creative Technology, Sim Wong Hoo, in his semi-autobiography, 'Chaotic Thoughts from the Old Millennium';

[Please read my earlier post entitled 'What I have learned from Sim Wong Hoo'.]

would be worth pursuing.

Dr Matson was delighted with my response. He wrote back:

"Thank you so much for your insightful response. You placed IFF in exactly the correct context. Many others have commented on failure and its meaning in retrospect. As you point out, my spin is a proactive embracing approach to failure as the price of knowledge aquisition."

In reality, as I thought about it further, 'Intelligent Fast Failure' is in fact a rapid learning methodology.

Unlike our traditional school system, where we learn the lesson first, & then take the test . . . with IFF, as applied in the real world, one takes the test first, in order to get the lesson.

In layman terms, this is often known as the "university of hard knocks".

As a strategic model for a venture, irrespective of whether it is business or professional or even personal, it nonetheless takes personal courage in dealing with the perceived fear of failure, a strong conviction in self-efficacy, & most importantly, the personal willingness to play, explore & experiment in its execution.

Drawing from my own personal experience, I reckon another defining factor is the focus on primary objectives set out at the beginning of the venture, with the added operational flexibility in the final approach to reaching those objectives amidst unexpected changing circumstances.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What would my life be like today if I could not or did not remember anything that has happened to me before today?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"What every one knows is what has already happened or become obvious. What the aware individual knows is what has not yet taken shape, what has not yet occurred.

Everyone says victory in battle is good, but if you see the subtle & notice the hidden so as to seize victory where there is no form, that is really good."

~ Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War';

Sunday, May 10, 2009

THE SIGHTS: HINDSIGHT, FORESIGHT, INSIGHT, according to V P Mosser

I have stumbled upon the following strategic insights while surfing the net this everning.

There once was a wise man in the village who was visited by a fellow who had questions he'd been pondering for quite some time.

The fellow said to the wise man, "I've been trying to figure out what's more important, Sir. The looking backwards that comes with hindsight, or the looking forward that comes with foresight? I have found that I'm able to learn lessons from past experiences by using hindsight, however, I'm also able to foresee future potential road blocks and pitfalls by using foresight."

The wise man sat patiently, listening intently to the fellow with his question. When the fellow was finished, the wise men reached over and handed him a straight board and then asked the fellow to bend the board. The fellow tried to bend the board, but it was too thick.

"The board is like the dilemma in your question…it's one board with two different ends," said the wise man.

"That's exactly it, so now what?" asked the fellow.

The wise man went on to explain that one needs a balancing point, a point where you can see both ends, or both points, simultaneously. "What you need, my fellow, is insight; which is vision in the moment, that's the transfer point between hindsight and foresight. Insight is neither hindsight or foresight, yet it is of both."

Even more confused, the fellow muttered, "I don't quite follow."

The wise man continued, "Have you ever seen a teeter-totter?"

"Yes I have," replied the fellow.

"Well," said the wise man, "The focal point, or in other words, the point of balance in the middle of the teeter-totter that makes the ride possible is like insight. That focal point makes it possible for hindsight and foresight to transfer their energy and wisdom between one another.

This point is also the birthplace of the two endpoints because it is the only spot that isn't a part of the past or a part of the future. What you do at this point of insight becomes your past, and what you do here at this point of insight determines your future.

So, my friend, you might say that the balance point is insight-and the board represents hindsight at one end and foresight at the other. Just as the balance point transforms a simple board into a fun ride as a teeter-totter; so does insight effect our lives when we use the balance point of insight."


The wise man paused, allowing the fellow to absorb what he had said.

To paraphrase:

You see, insight operates in the moment, it's instantaneous-it's not of time-it's simply a marker between the past and the future; another way to explain it would be as a porthole between the past and future. Insight is a transformational point in which life happens when one is completely attentive to each moment, to the present, which is where we live our lives, moment by moment.

The problem we so often experience is that we give our attention to the past or the future, at the expense of attending the all-important present moment. We worry about our past or fret about our future and in that process we give up our opportunity to exercise any influence we have in our lives, which can only happen in the here and now.

[The author is V.P. Mosser, entrepreneur, consultant & creator of the Learn the Lessons Technologies Series, the Life's Journey publications & numerous thought-provoking articles.

To learn more & receive free chapters or issues of his publications, readers can visit this link.]

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What am I doing that scares me a bit?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"All things in life are in constant flux, and are to some degree unpredictable. The person we are today is to some degree a stranger to what we were ten years ago. We also can't know today some aspects of the person we will be twenty years from now either but they'll be here sooner than we'd like."

~ Ben Lippincott;