Saturday, May 1, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"When you have a powerful, long-term vision for something, even against all odds and adversity, you will continue to make progress and people will want to get on board. Why? Because everybody wants to be a part of something great."

~Robin Crow, writing in 'Rock Solid Leadership: How Great Leaders Exceed Expectations';

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: MY FAVOURITE DETOUR

My favourite detour whenever I happen to be window shopping at ION ORCHARD with my wife.

Prologue is basically the snob version of Popular Bookstore. It's owned by Popular.

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: WALK ON THE SIDE OF STYLE


This certainly reminds me of the local Malay expression, "Style Mesti Ada, Kalah Tidak Apa" (loosely translated: "Style Must Have, Lose OK".)

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: MADE DIFFERENT


At the point of time while I was taking this digital shot, a random thought came through my mind: I wonder what could have happened if I had made different choices with regard to the second half of my life?

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: I'M IN MY ELEMENT


Is that another way to say "I'm comfortable"?

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: RESIST EVERYTHING EXCEPT TEMPTATION


A funny oxymoron, but I reckon it makes sense when it comes to Singaporeans' favourite pasttime: shopping.

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: LOOK OUT FOR NEXT CHANGE


In other words, are you future-savvy?

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: CATCH EYEBALLS?

Friday, April 30, 2010

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: BE VEG! GO GREEN! SAVE THE PLANET

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: LIFE'S COLOURFUL WITH 2+2


RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: DIFFERENT FOLKS, DIFFERENT STROKES?

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: ADORE THE PLEASURE, FLAUNT THE TREND

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: TO PUSH YOUR LIMITS ONE MUST FIRST POSSESS THE POWER


I fully concur with the statement, but my spontaneous response is this, especially to those who drink & drive, what's the point of power, when there's no control.

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: YOUR MOVE


A crispier way to say, "The ball is now in your court".

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: PRESERVE THE OLD, BUT KNOW THE NEW

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Ownership is a key ingredient of finding fulfillment in our work and in our lives. When we don't create an attitude of ownership, we leave ourselves open to the whims and ways of circumstance and the choices of others. Ownership is going beyond pulling your own weight, and beyond doing your share. It resides in a place of doing what needs to be done. Regardless."

~John G. Blumberg;

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE WISE

"Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions. When the proper mechanics of practising are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy & calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life & promotes proper perspective on all of life's difficulties."

~ Thomas Sterner, an accomplished musician as well as a concert piano technician & rebuilder, writing in his book, 'The Practising Mind: Bringing Discipline & Focus into Your Life';

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"One must learn by doing the thing. For though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try."

~ Sophocles (BC 495-406, Greek Tragic Poet);

"You don't eat where you shit, or shit where you eat."

That's the humourous quote from the principal character of comedian Adam Sandler in the crazy action-packed slapstick comedy, 'You Don't Mess with the Zohan', which I had watched for the first time last night on StarHub cable television.

He played an Israel counter-intelligence operative, Zohan, who faked his death - he was sick of all the violence in the Middle East - so that he could reinvent himself as a hair-stylist in New York City, without realising the hilarious consequences amidst an unwitting mini-Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Manhattan.

To some extent, it was quite a dumb movie to watch, but I had thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

As I reflect, if only Singapore's well-known comedian & film-maker Jack Neo had embraced the personal philosophy of Zohan, as exemplified in the entertaining & fun movie, he would not have gotten himself in deep shit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I can live with doubt & uncertainty & not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers & possible beliefs & different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything & there are many things I don't know anything about... "

~ Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, confiding to the audience of the BBC program, 'Horizon';

[as reported in the wonderful book, 'The Mother of All Minds', by Dudley Lynch;]

"HOW FAR OUTSIDE THE BOX ARE YOU PREPARED TO GO?"

Last night, for the umpteenth time, I had rewatched the thriller movie, 'XXX: State of the Union', on Channel 5. It was supposedly a sequel to the earlier smash-hit movie, 'XXX'.

Both movies centred on the adventurous exploits of a new breed of secret agent working for a top-secret national security establishment of the United States, headed by Augustus Gibbons (played by Samuel Jackson).

In the first movie, 'XXX', an underground thrill seeker & extreme sports athlete, Xander Cage (played by Vin Diesel) was recruited to infiltrate - & neutralise - a ruthless East European crime ring, known as 'Anarchy 99', which had sworn to bring down the world.

In the second movie, 'XXX: State of the Union', an ex-US Navy Seal with a troubled background, Darius Stone (played by Ice Cube), who was thrown into jail for insubordination - he got twenty years - but was sprung out & recruited to stop the first military coup d'etat in the history of the United States.

[The movie somehow brought back sweet memories of a very entertaining black-&-white movie from the sixties, 'Seven Days in May', starring Burt Lancaster & Kirk Douglas, about a military plot - from within - against the United States.]

Strangely, but interestingly, both actors playing the reluctant & renegade secret agent bore unorthodox names, which unwittingly lived up to their characteristic 'anti-establishment' attitude' as shown in the two movies, which in turn resulted in the eventual resolution of the evil designs of the perpetrators.

I had talked about an interesting lesson from the first movie in an earlier blogpost.

Likewise, for me, there was also an interesting lesson from the second movie. It was the question posed as a title in this blogpost.

When the security authorities headed by agent Kyle Steele (played by Scott Speedman; last saw him in 'Underworld') [in the movie, Augustus Gibbons was caught by the bad guys & his entire outfit was eliminated], who found themselves in a dilemmatic logjam with no possible solutions in sight, they sought urgent help from the renegade secret agent. They were prepared to "go outside the box".

That was when our hero posed the critical question.

Going outside the box is one thing for creative problem solving, but how far are we prepared to go is worth considering too.

What a fascinating question!

For the record, I have truly enjoyed rewatching the two non-stop-action-packed movies.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Am I too smart for my own good?

Is my intellect an asset or liability?

Monday, April 26, 2010

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE WISE


"Personal success is built on the foundation of character, and character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you may make that gradually turn who you are at any given moment into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you’ll still be somebody—you’ll still be alive—but you may have a personality rather than a character, and to me that’s something very different.

Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you must take responsibility for forming. You build character by how you respond to what happens in your life, whether it’s winning every game, losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times.

You build character from certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself, just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood to build a campfire. You’ve got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You’ve got to chisel away in order to find them, just like chiseling away rock to create the sculpture that previously existed only in the imagination."

But the really amazing thing about character is that, if you’re sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, you’ll strengthen them and re-create them in abundance, even as you’re drawing on them every day of your life. That’s why building your character is vital to becoming all you can be."


~ master coach Jim Rohn, writing in his influential book, now a classic, 'Leading an Inspired Life' (1996), in which he had shared the foundational philosophies that anyone can learn to achieve success in both business & in life; celebrity coach Anthony Robbins often refers him as the latter's mentor;

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS


A thought crossed my mind as I took this digital shot of a branded wear apparel retail shop in VIVO CITY during my recent regular window-shopping spree.

"Can retail therapy resonates with the pursuit of happiness?"

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: PERSONAL MAGIC?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Personal magic is unexplainable power & is seen by some as supernatural power. You have to find it for yourself. When you apply your magic to your work, you see miracles happen... "

~ Hattie Byrant, the producer & host of PBC's 'Small Business School';

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: OCEAN OF ABUNDANCE


The foregoing signboard of a beach wear retail outlet at VIVO CITY caught my personal attention.

'Ocean of abundance' naturally came to my mind as I took the digital shot. Somehow, it was an apt strategic fit. The store repertoire surprisingly offered abundant designs & colours to fit.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"If I do things, I'll do it my way."

~ well-known lawyer Subhas Anandan;

[from an intervew as reported in today's issue of 'Sunday Times', about his desire in taking over the leadership of the Singapore Athletic Association;]

"Everybody wants to be the tough guy, but nobody wants to pay the price."

I love to watch international action star Steven Seagal in the movies.

As he has been highly-trained as a martial artist [he holds a 7th Dan in Aikido], his movies often gave him many opportunities to show off his physical prowess & pugilistic skills.

He first caught my personal attention with his debut movie, 'Above the Law', during the late eighties, followed by 'Hard to Kill', 'Marked for Death', 'Out for Justice', 'Siege' & its sequel, 'Siege 2', in the early nineties, which were all very entertaining, with reasonably good story plots, too.

Others along the way included: 'The 'Glimmer Man', 'Exit Wounds', 'Half Past Dead', 'Out for a Kill' & 'Into the Sun'.

He even had a small role as a US Navy Seal team leader in 'Executive Decision'. [The only movie he had died.]

For me, they were all entertaining nonetheless.

Two of his movies, 'On Deadly Ground' & 'Fire Down Below', surprisingly even showed the apparently soft side of him, especially his open support for eco-sustainability.

However, the other movies of his, especially those in recent years, e.g. 'Attack Force', were somewhat disappointing, partly because he had grown fat, haggard-looking, & had also used stunt doubles in the action sequences. Strangely, even his voice was dubbed.

I was quite surprised that, after watching, one of his most recent movies, 'Driven to Kill' [designated as 'Ruslan' on StarHub cable television last night] was not too bad.

In the movie, he played a New-York-based-Russian mobster-turned-crime novelist, Ruslan Drachev [he really looked comical working on the computer], who had to return to his past to settle some scores with the bad guys, when his family members were threatened. Naturally, high-octane mayhem ensued when he went into gun-blazing action, which left no enemy standing.

That's what I like about watching his movies, some of which, I must admit, are pure no-brainers!

Who cares... especially when I could be entertained for 1-1/2 hours of downtime & picked up something worthwhile along the way.

Hence, the foregoing memorable quote which came from the movie.