Saturday, August 15, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: GIORDANO ESSENTIALS


Frankly speaking, I didn't know why I took this digital snapshot, but this shopfront display at a retail boutique in Ngee Ann City certainly caught my roving eye.

Maybe I was intrigued by the young naked couple behind the hanging row of Giordano denims under the new label.

Maybe I was trying to figure out the more subtle message behind the display.

Maybe it was the adjacent display with all the smiling faces, designed to cheer up customers as they walk by, as shown below:

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"... We've learned that no matter how smart you are, you can't out-think every problem. Likewise, no matter how empathic you are, people skills will be ineffective when you try to deal with complex trade-offs, & no matter how quick you are to roll the dice & take action, getting things done may not grow or move the business if you're doing the wrong things.

Given the increasing demands on organisations & those who lead them, becoming a whole leader will become as important as experience in determining leadership success in the future.

Using your head to anticipate, understand, analyse & respond to new strategic directions, your heart to see the world from the perspective of a diverse range of stakeholders, & your guts to make tough decisions based on clear values will be the key leadership navigation tools that you will have to make your way through the storms of uncertainty, diversity & complexity that will constitute the environment for all leaders in the future..."

~ from the new book, 'Leading in Times of Crisis: Navigating Through Complexity, Diversity, & Uncertainty to Save Your Business', which I am just starting to read; the authors are David Dotlich, Peter Cairo & Stephen Rhinesmith;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What can I do to make my latter years as profitable & productive as possible?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators ... They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty & without pain. They can wait for evidence & weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices & all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens."

~ William Graham Sumner, 'Folkways', 1906;

[To understand more about critical thinking & its importance to life skills, please visit this link to 'The Critical Thinking Community'. It has a myriad of wonderful resources e.g. The Thinker's Guide series, to help you think better.]

Friday, August 14, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RICH TO BE CLEVER



While doing my walkabout early this morning along Jurong West Street 42, this delivery truck from IKEA with the catchy slogan caught my personal attention.

SO MUCH POWER IN A 1.35 KG MASS BETWEEN MY TWO EARS...


I understand that a 'googol' is basically a very large number. It's represented by 1, followed by 100 zeros.

It is believed to have been invented by a 9-year old boy, a nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner (1878-1955).

I also understand that the number of synaptic interconnections one neuron in my brain can make is nearly 3 'googols'.

Numerically speaking, it's 1, followed by 270 zeros.

According to neuroscientists, the total number of neurons in my brain is about 12 trillion.

That's 12, followed by 9 zeros.

In a nut shell & from the standpoint of synaptic interconnections, my brain capacity is unbelievably formidable.

So much power in a 1.35-kg or 3-pound mass between my two ears...

Now, I can really appreciate what Glenn Close, award winning lead actress in the hit TV series, 'Damages', has meant when she once remarked to the effect that she has always felt like a parked Ferrari in a garage, whenever she isn't working.

A NICE THANK YOU NOTE FROM A FELLOW EXPLORER

One of the most rewarding experiences for a book reviewer on the net is getting the 'pat on the back' in the form of an email thank you note, especially from a distant reader, whose life has apparently been impacted in some way by the writing.

I often get such nice notes from friends I have not met.

Recently, I have received a nice - & extended - one from Pat Johnson, whom I like to acknowledge as a fellow explorer in the field of self-directed learning & accelerated self-growth.

Pat wrote:

"Hello Mr. Knowledge Adventurer,

This is a thank you note for your extensive reviews on Amazon.com. I went looking for books on information overload and came across your review of 'Information Anxiety' by Richard Saul Wurman.

Your review stood out for the way it compared IA 1 and 2, and your mention of how it affected you personally.

I looked to see what other reviews you had written and found a treasure box full of them. Most were very comprehensive and helpful in the way you compared one book with others, your descriptions and comparisons of learning techniques, and with comments of how they affected you personally.

I have a tendency to dive right into a good resource when I find one so I wanted to read many of your reviews in one big chunk...

I (have) copied many of your reviews into a text document and printed them out. Even though I had been selective with the reviews I chose to copy I still had 122 pages worth (double sided!)

Reading through what you've written I learned a lot about learning techniques, thinking, and problem solving. I've always been a self-directed learner but your reviews helped to kick-start a new phase of self-education for me.

After taking a couple of days to go through all the reviews I had printed, with liberal highlighting, I selected a range of used books to purchase:

- 'Peak Learning';
- 'What Smart Students Know';
- 'A Whack on the Side of the Head';
- 'ThinkerToys';
- 'Everyday Wonders';
- 'Information Anxiety'; and
- 'Photoreading';

I've been reading 'Peak Learning' first and taking many notes. I've already noticed an improvement in my ability to summarize (which still needs a lot of improvement.) So far it has mentioned a lot of things that I have noticed over the years but never really looked at closely.

One example is dipping into a book to get what you need. I've often done this but had a sense of guilt that I was missing something by not reading the whole book. 'Peak Learning' mentions this specifically and helps to dispel that feeling of guilt by examining it and seeing how unreasonable it is.

There are some books that I don't recall seeing on your review list that I thought you might enjoy as a knowledge adventurer:

1) 'Logic and Design', by Krome Barratt;

A simple, completely inadequate description is that It focuses on many of the design principles that underly life. But it's much more than that. This is the kind of book you can open to any page and learn something interesting, something to contemplate. Many illustrations on every page."

2) 'The Art of Looking Sideways', by Alan Fletcher;

An very large, very well done idea stimulation and exploration book. Open to any page and discover. The amazon description gives a good overview. The price is excellent considering it's a full color hardcover book that measures 2 1/2 inches thick from cover to cover.

3) 'A Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe', by Michael S. Schneider;

A highly visual, very accessible book that shows the influence of number and geometry in the universe. Another book to open anywhere and explore, but this one could benefit from a more linear reading since some areas refer to previous ones.

4) 'The Logic of Failure', by Dietrich Dorner;

An excellent book by someone who studied why otherwise intelligent people fail when a situation becomes complex, or when certain human behaviors become involved. He identifies some underlying causes that can be generalized to many situations. The descriptions of simulations and how people behaved when presented with various problems is very interesting reading.

5) 'How to Solve It', by G. Polya;

A problem solving classic. Mathematics oriented but applicable to any kind of problem solving. I haven't read the entire book but what I have read is interesting and has influenced my thinking in positive ways. One example is that the author refuses to accept one solution to a problem and likes to explore alternatives.

6) 'Visual Literacy', by Judith Wilde;

A workbook on developing visual problem solving skills. It contains problem sheets that present a certain challenge for the reader to try, along with hundreds of solutions created by the author's students. Just flipping through the book can generate ideas based on how students have solved the problems. There is an amazing array of artistic ability and variation in the solutions.

7) 'Graphic Idea Notebook', by Jan White;

Considering your reviews on graphic oriented idea books I think you'd really like this one. It's packed full of sketches on many different themes and ideas. The reviews give a good idea of the contents, and you can use Amazon's Search Inside feature to get a good look.

8) 'I've Forgotten Everything I learned in School', by Marilyn vos Savant;

A book on learning and thinking. I haven't read it yet but purchased it based on the description and table of contents. It looks like a good, varied approach to thinking improvement.

And finally a few other useful things to check out:

The Teaching Company (www.teach12.com) has an amazing array of educational courses. They are very high priced but the sale prices are very good considering what is provided. Many of their materials are available used on eBay.

Whitelines paper - I take many notes on paper (... partly because I seem to think better on paper.) Something that has annoyed me for years is the intensity of the lines on printed paper. I want faint guidelines, not prison bars.

I think reading Edward Tufte's works and seeing how much visual noise can detract from content is what really triggered my annoyance with strong lined paper.

Whitelines is one solution to this problem by using slightly grey paper with white guidelines. I love it!

For me the lines just disappear from conscious awareness when writing. When reading I see the writing, not the lines. It's good quality paper that is nice to write on. The company that produces the paper also offsets the carbon output by planting trees.

My note seems to have turned into a letter. I hope you are able to benefit from some of the books I have listed. Thanks again for your comprehensive reviews on Amazon.com (and your blog postings.)

-Pat"

I responded immediately:

"Hi, Pat:

Many thanks for writing, & also for sharing some aspects of your learning journey, plus a list of your favourite books. You have made my day.

You should take full credit for your own personal achievements, as they are the deliberate results of your decision & commitment. I am only the catalyst, in a small way, through my writings.

I have all the books you have listed in my personal library. Of course, I have also read them, & do concur with your brief comments about them.

Not all the books I have enjoyed reading go into reviews on Amazon.

Writing reviews is most of the time at-the-spur-of-the-moment disciplined activity, & dependent on my mood at the time of writing, especially when I feel compelled to share my thoughts.

That's why, additionally, I have created the Listmania! Lists on Amazon - more than 120 of them, each with at least 25 to 40 of my favourite books on the focused subject. You can access them on my page at Amazon.

Also, the 'So, you'd like to...' guides - 6 of them.

If you are interested in my further & other learning explorations, please drop in to browse my personal weblogs...

By the way, do you have any objection, if I reproduce your email, especially the part you talked about your learning journey & the books you have listed, in my weblog?

Best regards, Say Keng"

Many thanks, Pat, for sharing your learning journey & also your reading pursuits with the world.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become
older."


~ Abraham Sutzkever, 96, Yiddish poet;

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What is the thing I'd most like to change about the world?

SAGE ADVICE FROM THE GURU

Two ideas that should be cherished in our hearts:

1) Forget the harm that anyone has done to you;

2) Forget the good that you have done to others;

~ A Recapitulation of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Divine Teachings;

Thursday, August 13, 2009

THE ART OF AGING GRACEFULLY

I have gleaned the following salient points from a belated CBS News Report, pertaining to the above subject:

1) Aging gracefully isn't always easy, but attitude matters a lot - wisdom, resilience & a mature perspective are often cited as the hard-won prizes of aging. But growing old itself is an accomplishment!;

2) A dose of healthy denial can improve outlook in one's later years;

3) Accept the inevitable changes of aging, rather than seeing them as aberrant crises;

4) Accept that your life won't stay the same; aging changes every one;

5) To age gracefully, one needs to focus on what's working & anticipate the changes that are inevitable;

6) Get over your own stereotypes about growing older;

7) Continue to find meaning later in life; part of the challenge of aging gracefully is that you have to continue to find things that are important to you: that includes travelling, spiritual pursuits, hobbies, new social groups, lifelong learning, or recapturing time with family;

8) plan for purposeful activities before you retire; it's time to follow where your passions lies;

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

According to Wilson Learning Corporation, a worldwide provider of Human Performance Improvement solutions:

“Just as interpersonal versatility skills are key for sales organizations looking to offset competitive pressures, instilling the concept of acting as both consultant and strategist in your salespeople is key to differentiating your offering – especially in highly competitive marketplaces."

This is highlighted in one of their research studies (2004), entitled 'Sales as a Source of Competitive Advantage: How Salespeople Differentiate Their Offering'. It's available for download at this link.

As I read it, the study demonstrates the power of a consultant/strategist mindset in the context of sales, & clearly shows that organizations that focus on developing their salespeople’s strategist skills in addition to their consultant skills are much more likely to realize a sustained competitive advantage in the marketplace.

To paraphrase, this is because salespeople who apply both skill sets in tandem need not solely rely on brand recognition or even product performance to succeed.

They can identify and respond to customer needs, priorities, and interests better than the competition. And they can do so while ensuring that each opportunity they pursue and every activity they engage in will also benefit the organization.

The reports adds:

“It’s not enough for salespeople to act as solution consultants on behalf of their customers. Because unless they also develop sales strategies designed for optimal return for their own organization, the revenue stream may broaden, but at the risk of net income slowing to a trickle.”

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR WORLD!




I believe it was creativity guru Edward de bono who had posed this wonderful question:

"What's the point of having a mind if you don't change it?"

Also, many great thinkers & motivational gurus have often exhorted, through their teachings & writings:

"Change your mind, Change your world or your life"!

Somehow, the following exuberant call for action from thinkologist Dudley Lynch continued to reveberate in my mind:

"Believe it! You can literally change your brain, change your mind, change your luck, change your work, change your life & change your world when you focus on how to handle yourself & others better, smarter & wiser in the universe of people!"

So, yesterday I changed my mind of going to the gym at the Jurong East Sport Centre - a break from my normal daily morning routines.

I took a brisk walk instead, along the Jurong Park Connector. I walked one round, as it was then already 9.30am, with the hot sun looming almost overhead.

This morning, starting at about 6.30am, I took a different path.

I walked along the pathway hugging the monsoon canal that delineated Jurong West from Jurong East, round the edge of the Pan Island Expressway, all the way to Jurong Town Hall Road, & back to my place via Jurong East Avenue 1 & Jurong West Avenue 1.

It took me about an hour or so. The distance covered was just under 10km.

There were many tall Angsana trees as well as some sort of palm trees, & a variety of lush green shrubs, to shield the rising morning sun & the noise from the heavy rush-hour traffic on the expressway. Interestingly, I even saw some fruit trees along the way.

It was a pleasant walk, & naturally I also took my own sweet time to look around.

I passed by several neighbourhood school compounds, which had green plant-encroached fences around them, as well as open exercise or playgrounds, which served the immediate neighbourhoods. There were some old folks doing their morning exercise routines at these places.

Along Jurong East Avenue I & Jurong West Avenue I, the morning traffic was extremely heavy.

Naturally, I thought to myself - luckily, I am not in this daily madness loop.

Overall, it was a completely refreshing change for me, for once to escape from the air-conditioned luxury of the gym, & to get closer to Mother Nature with all its glory.

Best of all, I also had my digital camera with me to take some interesting snapshots.

On the way back, I even stopped by an old food court in the Jurong East side to have my cuppa of Teh-C, or milk tea.

I also took the opportunity to engage in a brief chit-chat with the elderly stall-holder, because he still practised the old-fashioned way of keeping his empty cups in a hot-water basin. So, when he served me the Teh-C, it was piping hot with the heated cup, & I liked it that way.

We both lamented that this old tradition had died with the newer food courts.

The new walking routine in the neighbourhood also gave me an opportunity to think about &/or deliberate through some interesting stuff inside my head.

This simple blogpost is just one of the stuff. Others are on the way to becoming blogposts. Please stay tuned!

I must concur that walking does jog & move my brain cells, especially those connected to movements. As I walk, & think along, the clarity of thought is attendant.

Also, the thought of 10,000 steps every day, as envisaged by Adrian Yeo aka Yeo Ning Hong, former Singapore cabinet minister, who wrote the book, 'The A2Z Diet', makes a lot of sense.

Looking back at what I had done in the last two days, especially changing my old mind, I can only say that it's still too early to say whether the whole new endeavour had changed my world.

At least, I changed my mind & my morning routines.

As a matter of fact, this is the first time in my life I have had the opportunity to circumnavigate a larger area of my Jurong West/Jurong East neighbourhood.

Nonetheless, I certainly feel good about it. It's a small step to do something different for a change, anyway. Let's see what happens in the next 21 days or so, which is a requisite for new habit formation.

Thanks, Lao Tzu, for your inspiration!

















TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

It has been theorised that most people use less than 10% of their mental capacity.

So, what will my untapped 90% change be in my life?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"When changes are coming at us as fast & furious as they are today, there's simply no substitute for tuning up our personal evolutionary thinking processes & searching for new insights &
new ways to personally take our mind higher (i.e. to the Next Level!)"

~ thinkologist Dudley Lynch, also author of 'The Mother of All Minds', among many other great books & resources for accelerated self-growth;

[More information about Dudley Lynch & his incisive writings as well as substantive offerings can be found at his corporate website.]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

JUST AN IDEA: NEGOTIATING SINGAPORE'S ISLAND-WIDE PARK CONNECTOR NETWORK


A new discovery as reported in the latest Fast Company news story has caught my personal attention [Here's the link to the original story.]:

An Olympic cyclist, Chris Boardman, has put together some of the coolest bike-technology out there to create a vision for the next-generation urban two-wheeler.

It's slick; solar-powered, & more importantly, theft-proof!

As a matter of fact, the other day I was just talking to my gym buddy that I would get a bike - as well as one for my wife - to cycle round the Singapore island, through the park connector network.

[More information about the Park Connector Network in Singapore can be found here.]

The government has yet to complete the full island-wide connection. So, my wife & I will probably have to start first with the Jurong Park Connector, which has a distance of about 4.3 km. Plus, a not-to-short ride along the tail end of the Pan Island Expressway towards the Tuas Checkpoint, we can reach the Jurong West Park Connector, which is about 1 km long.

Sad to say, & to my chagrin, the foregoing slick bike will only be available for the mass market in another 20 years' time.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight. Be a connoisseur..."

~ Rumi, (1207–1273), a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic jurist, theologian, & mystic;

KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING & ARTICULATING

Knowing something & understanding it to the point of being able to articulate it, especially in your own words, are two different things.

Knowing can be achieved easily by reading a book, attending a seminar, talking to an expert or even surfing the internet.

To me, knowing is measured by what is stored in your head... not necessarily you have understood it completely, unless you can articulate it.

So, knowing something is actually only having a foggy idea about something. To put it bluntly, your understanding is not precise.

Articulating something you already know calls for an understanding on your part.

As I have said in my earlier posts, understanding is measured by your ability to articulate something you already know in your own personal words.

In fact, your understanding goes below the surface, so to speak, if you could offer examples from your own personal experience to illustrate it.

Of course, if you have had already applied what you already knew to your own life, in terms of a personal, professional or even business application, your understanding goes even deeper.

From this perspective, you would know what works & what doesn't, at least from your own background experience.

In the crux, I would add that putting something you already know to work - & if possible, evolve it further - holds the key to deeper understanding.

Under such circumstances, you definitely would be able to articulate to someone about what you already know.

At a deeper level, true understanding entails your ability to relate what you already know to all other known concepts stored in your head.

The foregoing issue was one of the interesting subjects I talked with Dilip on Monday, when we had one of our regular "pow-wows" at the NLB's ground floor cafe on North Bridge Road.

Among many other issues, he had lamented about a trainer-friend, who was involved in a lot of stuff, like Systems Thinking & Spiral Dynamics, but could not give him a simple iota of explanation or elaboration when he asked. His question was : "What is a causal loop diagram"?

My own analysis is this: a lot of trainers are often taught to deliver a body of knowledge via a structured sequence of presentation by their so-called gurus. When they are eventually certified & then go out on their own to run classes or workshops, they just replicate the model of presentation - lock, stock & barrel.

A trainer-friend of mine once told me many years ago that training was just:

Substance --> Sequence --> Showmanship!

Also, I have discovered that a lot of trainers don't actually apply the stuff, for which they are trained &/or certified, in their own personal lives. They just go out to the public with the view of making money, & replicate the learned model, like a dog & pony show.

I have found this phenomenon to be very common among many young NLP trainers. Just because they have been to the United States for certification, they even call themselves success coaches. I had in fact already touched upon this issue in my earlier posts.

As I see it & to put it in the spiritual sense, the knowing has not yet reached the being or way of life of the trainer.

Hence, I reckon when such a trainer is suddenly posed with a naive but inquisitive question outside the classroom setting or workshop venue, especially in a one-to-one, social setting, he is invariably stunned to be confronted as to what he actually knows, because the sequence is unwittingly disrupted by the questioner, who also happens to be another competent trainer, but from a different sphere of competence.

In the worst-case scenario, many trainers are often stuck in their own world or the world of their so-called gurus. That's to say they don't move further or go to the next level to explore what else is there to know, or entertain the nightmare perspective of what they actually don't know.

Nonetheless, they are adept in defending what they already know.

Sad to say, many Buzan mindmapping trainers fall in this category, because they only think that mind-mapping alone solves all your problems.

Just imagine you have only a screw driver in your toolbox, when your spouse calls you to tackle an emergency household problem.

In a nut shell, I always hold the view that true knowledge is always measured by what you have done & experienced, i.e. your productivity, in a myriad of constantly evolving real-world applications, & not by what is stored rigidly - & theoretically - inside your head.

Harry Palmer, a teacher who became the well-known founder of the expensive AVATAR training after a sensory-deprivation experiment, calls this phenomenon the "world experience", as opposed to the "word experience".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I don't care whether I win or lose. I just want to be standing on my feet when the fight is over."

~ Rocky Balboa, played magnificently by Sylvester Stallone, in the action movie 'Rocky I' (the movie more or less paralleled his own personal exploit in life);

Monday, August 10, 2009

THE 10,000 HOUR FORMULA

A couple of days ago, my good friend, Dilip, & I had an exploratory meeting with an enterprising lady, Geraldine, who had grand plans to develop manga comics as a viable marketing vehicle for local companies.

In fact, she had already developed lesson plans with manga comics to teach the Japanese Language, through her Japanese husband.

During the course of our meeting, she lamented the difficulty of recruiting young local Singaporean artists or illustrators to beef up her business, as manga comics required hand-drawn artforms.

According to Geraldine, young local Singapore artists did not have the disciplined skills to do manga comics renditions. Her lead artist was a young lady from Japan.

I mentioned about the 10,000 hour formula, as popularised by social scientist Malcolm Gladwell in his recent book, 'Outliers'.

According to the book, the key to becoming extraordinarily competent in a particular field requires at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.

Personally, I don't think a young Singaporean of today is prepared to go through that extended period of focused & determined work.

Especially in today's context, with all that jazz in high-tech, low-touch stuff, I believe our Y generation is more geared for quick-fix, instant-gratification, communication-on-the-fly mode.

Although I am not an artist, I am aware that manga comics call for a painstaking, concentrated & persistent work ethic, besides a good head for creative imagination.

In nut shell, deliberate practice entails hardwork. So, it isn't much fun.

I reckon the transient nature of our younger generation, at least in Singapore, also does not dovetail very well with the demanding nature of manga comics renditions.

Nonetheless, Geraldine had put forward an interesting point: manga comics artists could get big bucks in Japan, where manga comics had first originated, already constituted big business, but not here.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What would I like to do something worthwhile today?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"It takes action to change the trajectory of your life. This is the only way to overcome the issues you face... indeed, to transform your problems into tremendous opportunities. (These are not just 'words'. They are the facts of life that some of us learn way too late in life.)"

~ E R Haas, CEO of ThinkTQ, a world leader in virtual personal books & on-demand resources & training products;

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What's really in store for me in the months (or years) ahead?

SAME BOOK, DIFFERENT FOLKS, DIFFERENT STROKES

While poking or snooping around - my favourite daily routine - the many book reviews on Amazon online catalog, fueled by my curiosity & wonder, I was intrigued by a reviewer's comments about one particular book.

'The Book of Five Rings', by legendary Japanese combat strategist of the 16th century, Miyamoto Musashi. I had read the book as far back as the early eighties.

For me, it's a great strategy guide, in the same philosophical scope as Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'.

However, what I had found intriguing recently was not so much the intellectual ballast of the book & its author.

Interestingly, two different scholars had wrote the translated work from their own perspective.

One passage was singled out as an example by a sharp-eyed reviewer.

Thomas Cleary, a noted Asian scholar had translated it as such:

"Upset happens in all sorts of things. One way it happens is through a feeling of being under acute pressure. Another is through a feeling of unreasonable strain. A third is through a feeling of surprise at the unexpected."

William Scott Wilson, another noted Asian scholar, had translated it as such:

"There are many kinds of agitation. One is a feeling of danger, a second is a feeling that something is beyond your capability & a third is a feeling of the unexpected. This should be investigated thoroughly."

So, one question crosses my mind, which one was the closest to the original work?

My first copy of 'The Book of Five Rings' was the 1974 edition, translated by a Victor Harris.

I had also subsequently read a newer version by Thomas Cleary, as well as another translated work, 'Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings', by a French guy, Boye Lafayette De Mente, which I thought gave me the most in terms of learning takeaways.

Come to think of it, my question may be academic.

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"It’s certainly clear that great achievement is possible without putting in 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Indeed, I’d go so far as to suggest that it’s perhaps even relatively common among the greatest discoveries within science, and would not be surprised if this were also true in some areas of technology.

I believe it’s a mistake to focus on building up 10,000 hours of deliberate practice as some kind of long-range goal. Instead, pick a set of skills that you believe are broadly important, and that you enjoy working on, a set of skills where deliberate practice gives rapid intrinsic rewards.

Work as hard as possible on developing those skills, but also explore in neighbouring areas, and (this is the part many people neglect) gradually move in whatever direction you find most enjoyable and meaningful. The more enjoyable and meaningful, the less difficult it will be to put in the time that leads to genuine mastery.

The great computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra said it well:

"Raise your quality standards as high as you can live with, avoid wasting your time on routine problems, and always try to work as closely as possible at the boundary of your abilities. Do this, because it is the only way of discovering how that boundary should be moved forward."

The only exception to this strategy is if your heart is truly set on working in an established field, doing work that builds on that tradition. If you want to become a classical pianist, or a writer, or a string theorist, you probably need to put in your 10,000 hours of deliberate practice."

~ Michael Nielsen, scientist, writing in his personal weblog & commenting on Malcolm Gladwell's book, 'Outliers', with specific reference to the magic number of 10,000 hours;

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Remember, you can have that new beginning for your personal life or your company anytime you want. Be willing to pay the price & make it happen."

~ Terry Brock, marketing coach, 'Achievement Systems';