Saturday, July 25, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence only of trial & error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes."

~ R Buckminister Fuller;

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"It is far better to have sloppy success than to have perfect procrastination. It is easy to get caught up in the endless tinkering and perfecting of a project. It is true some things require perfection – most simply need excellence. All need action today!

Do you find yourself waiting to launch important projects? Are you forever splitting hairs about elements that are not mission critical. Do you spend hours and hours on details that don’t matter much?

Start your Monday with action! In taking action you may fail – but even that failure will move you forward toward ultimate success. Pick a project you have been putting off and begin today to take the action which will accelerate your path to achievement."


~ Tom Peters;

[Extracted from the Ivan Carmichael: Motivation & Strategies for Entrepreneurs' weblog.]

Friday, July 24, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"If there is radiance in the soul
it will abound in the family.
If there is radiance in the family
it will be abundant in the community.
If there is radiance in the community
it will grow in the nation.
If there is radiance in the nation
the universe will flourish."

~ Lao Tzu;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

If I cannot see clearly the options I have, am I making a free choice?

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"Successful aging is actually about acceptance of self, inner growth & development, adapting to illness & disabilities, having wisdom & sharing that wisdom, humour, relationships & more... but mostly it's about community involvement - the community
efforts that support successful aging."


~ Dianne Freeman, social worker;

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DESTINATION VIETNAM 2009: CENTRAL MARKETPLACE (CHO DALAT), DALAT


In Ho Chi Minh City, more or less right in the city centre, where the local residents call it 'Saigon', there is the famous marketplace Ben Thanh Market.

Similarly, right in the city centre of Dalat, there is also this central marketplace, known as Cho Dalat in Vietnamese, comprising a multi-storey building & its immediate surrounding streets.

It's located within close proximity of the western end of Lake Xuan Huong, & at the end of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, fully accessible at the roundabout, where Nguyen Thai Hoc & Le Dai Hanh meet.

During the visit, what had impressed me about this busy place was the abundant variety of sundries (dried & candied fruits, strawberry preserves, coffee, green & artichoke tea, local wine, dried venison, orchids, strawberries, avocados, & other fresh produce), & best of all, the absence of hassling tourist touts.

The merchants or vendors were generally friendly. One could walk around without too much hassle here, because mostly the local residents were doing all their shopping.

At the time these snapshots were taken, it was late afternoon. The entire place was what I would call the 'dry market'.

In a separate post, I will show some more snapshots of what I would call the 'wet market' taken outside the building, along the side-streets, during one early morning, around 6am.

















[Destination Vietnam Schedule: 3rd to 10th June 2009]

MEMORABLE QUOTE FROM THE MOVIE

Zorba: "Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everything except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else..."

Basil: "Or else?"

Zorba: "...he never dares cut the rope and be free."

The foregoing memorable quote comes from the award-winning movie (it's a black & white) of the sixties, 'Zorba, The Greek', starring Anthony Quinn [one of my favourite actors during that period while I was enjoying my "growing pains"), Alan Bates & Irene Papas.

In a nut shell, the story revolved around a quiet Englishman, Basil (played by Alan Bates) who discovered that he had a small inheritance on a Greek island, Crete. His apparently mundane existence was disrupted, when he met Zorba (played by Anthony Quinn), a Greek who pursued his life with spontaneous guts & a keen nose for zestful living.

Following that encounter, the Englishman eventually found his outlook on life changing.

[The movie had gorgeous cinematography & great music. That memorable imprint in my mind during the sixties eventually led me to visit the island during the mid-eighties as the starting point of my honeymoon tour across Europe with Catherine.]

DESTINATION VIETNAM 2009: DALAT PALACE GOLF CLUB, DALAT

The Dalat Palace Golf Club is Vietnam’s oldest (established in 1922) & best-known golf course, which sits right in the city center.








[Destination Vietnam Schedule: 3rd to 10th June 2009]

SPOTLIGHT: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

[continued from the Last Post.]

SPOTLIGHT: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

[continued from the Last Post.]


[To be continued in the Next Post.]

SPOTLIGHT: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The following digital snapshots were taken at the Far East Plaza on Scotts Road.

I have always thought that choosing a trade or business name is a very serious affair, as the name often charts out one's future course, & may well determine one's future in time.

Nonetheless, I am still intrigued by the catchy & trendy names chosen in this particular case.


[to be continued in the Next Post.]

TODAY’S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“There’s no great universal truth that provides happiness, just a series of small actions that can be taken, each bringing us nearer to such a goal.”

~ Sir Robert McAlpine, author of ‘Triumph from Failure: Lessons from Life for Business Success’;

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

THE ART & SCIENCE OF AGING GRACEFULLY

Here's the link to an interesting article entitled 'The Art & Science of Aging Gracefully'.

In a nut shell, here are my take-aways from it:

“Grow old, but don’t get old... To grow means that you accept change, adjust to change,... And “growth implies activity. You must stay active—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

~ Annie Mays Larmore of Atlanta, 102:

According to Leonard Poon, director of the UGA Institute of Gerontology & principal investigator of the Georgia Centenarian Study, there are some commonalities among centenarians, which include:

■ High levels of family and social support

■ An engaged lifestyle that includes volunteering, travel, and life-long learning

■ A tendency toward a relaxed and stable personality

■ A personality that is dominant when the need arises; Centenarians generally aren’t pushovers.

■ A cluster of genes that appear to promote longevity and protect against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s

■ A high level of spirituality that helps the individual cope with life’s stresses

■ Good diet: Centenarians eat breakfast regularly and tend to consume more carotenoids from orange and yellow vegetables.

■ Good problem-solving skills.

TODAY’S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Life doesn’t obey the rules of common sense. That’s why relying on common sense through our lives usually leads us to a place where everything is the same as it ever was, but nothing seems
right."
~ Dr Greg Sipes, author of 'Lead As You Live, Live As You Lead: Discovering the Six Principles of Uncommon Sense for Uncommon Success';

TODAY'S Q2P (Questions to Ponder)

What's really new?

What's really different?

What's really unexpected?

What's really changing?

What's Next?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"There seems to be no limit to which some men will go to avoid the labour of thinking. Thinking is hard work!"

~ Thomas Edison;

Monday, July 20, 2009

RAPID RECAP: GENIUS BY DESIGN

According to creativity guru Michael Michalko & author of 'Thinkertoys', geniuses often engage a multitude of skills to look at problems or challenges, as follows:

1. Look at a problem in many different ways;

2. Make your thoughts visible;

3. Produce a lot;

4. Combine things in new ways;

5. Force relationships;

6. Think in opposites;

7. Think metaphorically;

8. Prepare for chance or serendipity;

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"If you believe that your talents are inborn or fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. People with a fixed mindset like to solve the same problems over and over again. It reinforces their sense of competence.

Children with fixed mindsets would rather redo an easy jigsaw puzzle than try a harder one. Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new languages. CEOs with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right.

But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.

Michael Jordan, arguably the world’s best basketball player, has a growth mindset. Most successful people do. In high school he was cut from the basketball team but that obviously didn’t discourage him: "I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game wining shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

If you have a growth mindset, then you use your failures to improve. If you have a fixed mindset, you may never fail, but neither do you learn or grow."


~ Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University, & author of 'Mindset: The New Psychology of Success';

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What drives me to do what I do?

Could it be that my path in life was mapped by my DNA?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“. . . by pitting multiple scenarios of the future against one another and leaving many different doors open, you can prepare yourself for a future that is inherently unpredictable. Brainstorming pays off. And the more possibilities you can entertain, the less likely you are to be blindsided.”

~ Peter Coy & Neil Gross, '21 Ideas for the 21st Century', Business Week (August 30, 1999);

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MEMORABLE QUOTE FROM THE MOVIE

I had rewatched the western classic, 'The Magnificent Seven', once again this morning on StarHub cable television.

'The Magificent Seven', which was actually a Hollywood-remade of the legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai', has always been one of my personal favourites, in terms of westerns.

The story plot is very simple, but what has impressed me most is how it traced the adventurous exploits of a ragtag team of seven American gunslingers, led by Chris (played by Yul Brynner), with Vin (Steve McQueen), O'Reilly (Charles Bronson), Britt (James Coburn), Lee (Robert Vaughn), Harry (Brad Dexter) & young rookie Chico (Horst Buchholz).

They seemingly had a purpose-driven mission, although some of them came board with vested interests initially: to drive out a marauding group of bandits led by Calvera (played menacingly by Eli Wallach) from a Mexican village who had hired the gunslingers.

Despite the odds, they stuck together to do the job.

Unfortunately, & betrayed by a handful of villagers who was against the idea of engaging the gunslingers, Calvera managed to capture the Seven in one swift move.

I thought for a moment that the following lines that followed in the movie were amusing & memorable.

Calvera: "What I don't understand is why a man like you took the job in the first place, hmm? Why, huh?"

Chris: "I wonder myself."

Calvera: "No, come on, come on, tell me why."

Vin: "It's like a fellow I once knew in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, 'Why?'"

Calvera: "And?"

Vin: "He said, 'It seemed to be a good idea at the time.'"

The Seven were luckily released by Calvera, which turned out to be his fatal mistake.

At the US border, I thought Britt's candour more or less summed up the Seven's bruised ego:

"Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody."

With that note, the Seven returned almost immediately with vengeance to finish their job.

Calvera & most of his bandidos were eventually eliminated, but Chris lost four of his buddies in the final gunfight.

As Calvera laid on the ground badly wounded, I felt amused when he persisted to pose the same question again to Chris with his last breath: 'Why?"

DESTINATION VIETNAM 2009: XQ HISTORY VILLAGE (SU QUAN), DALAT

[continued from the Last Post.]

Other gastronomical delights at the XQ History Village include sweet potatoes, wrapped in aluminium foil & burnt over charcoal fires, as shown in the first photoshot. My wife's as well as the kids' munching favourite.










[Destination Vietnam Schedule: 3rd to 10th June 2009]

DESTINATION VIETNAM 2009: XQ HISTORY VILLAGE (SU QUAN), DALAT

Understandably, two of the lunches for our group in the city of Dalat were actually taken at the Gastronomical Centre of the XQ History Village.

It wasn't intended that way, but the food was so finger-licking good, so to speak - more importantly, the price was also right to fit our budget-consciousness - that we had to go back again.

Interestingly, we were served by smiling waitresses in their traditional petite 'ao dai'. Actually, together with the happy cooks, they were full-fledged artisans working in the village.

What we liked most about the lunches was that the food items came all in bite-sized portions. So, we got the opportunity to savour all the items on display at the cooking stations.

On the whole, it was an appetising & yummy gastronomical experience, as the sumptuous food - but at low cost - reflected the traditional Vietnamese cuisine around the country.














[to be continued in the Next Post, with more photoshots.]
[Destination Vietnam Schedule: 3rd to 10th June 2009]