Saturday, July 3, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Imagination, industry & intelligence - "the three I's" - are all indispensable to the actress, but of these three, the greatest is, without doubt, imagination."

~ Kitty O'Neill Collins;

Friday, July 2, 2010

8 STEPS TO PRODUCTIVE AGING

According to Rita Altman, R.N., National Director of Memory Care Services for Sunrise Senior Living, all of us can systematically render help to our "seniors" at home to take charge of their sense of control and empowerment - a purpose to their lives for which doing all the things that keep their brains active become natural parts of their days again.

Many experts are calling it "productive aging."

She recommends these eight steps to "productive aging":

Step 1: Reminisce with them about the things they once did but no longer seem interested in doing. This conversation helps them recall how much passion they used to have.

Step 2: Ask them to tell you about one hobby or activity that they really miss doing. One example might be gardening.

Step 3: Don't give up when they say they refuse to consider one. In many cases, you may need to involve yourself more by asking them for their advice and offer to help them reengage themselves. In the context of gardening, you may want to ask them for help in starting a garden for yourself.

Step 4: Be persistent in your encouragement. Be a motivating force, but not a commanding one. You want them to feel empowered. For your garden, ask them for strategic advice, not for them simply to be your "helper."

Step 5: Engage in the activity or hobby with them. If you are unable to participate, enlist the assistance of another family member, friend or neighbor.

Step 6: Show your support and pride through ongoing dialogue. Tell them how you've been bragging to friends and family about their success. Show them pictures of the garden, bring them some of the harvest and invite them to share with others around them.

Step 7: Schedule special occasions or events where they can come together with you and other loved ones to showcase and celebrate their achievements. Host a harvest party for your garden and make them a co-host.

Step 8: If a particular activity isn't working out, don't be afraid to start over with a new one or suggest an additional one to pursue simultaneously. A good companion to gardening could be cooking.

[Source: The Huffington Post]

8 QUESTIONS TO REFLECT BEFORE YOU START A BUSINESS

1. What Do You Do?

2. Who Do You Do It For?

3. What Makes You Different?

4. Do You Know What Cashflow Is?

5. What Employees Do You Need?

6. How Will You Manage Customers?

7. What Are Your Goals?

8. Do You Really Want To Run Your Own Business?


Go to this link to read the entire write-up. To share my personal & professional experiences from hard knocks, please pay attention to questions #3 & #4!

[Source: PPC Blog]

POINTS TO PONDER (P2P): A MAASAI PRAYER

"Father-Mother Earth,

We pray thee at sunrise and sunset, that you may not abandon your sacred duty of sustaining our lives. The water that quenches our thirst, the air that we breathe, the trees that provide shade, and the animals that give us company, all make life real and creation complete.


We the children of the Earth pray for wisdom, that we in turn may be good custodians of these precious gifts to us and our unborn generations.

For if we fail to safeguard these resources, man's moral standing as the most intelligent animal will be questionable.

Furthermore, if we fail Nature, we shall have failed ourselves and the generations that come after us.

And judgment will be very harsh on us."


~ Maasai Elder;

"If a man hasn't found something he is willing to die for, he isn't fit to live!"

from the thriller movie, 'Traitor', starring Don Cheadle, playing Samir, a devout Muslim who was suspected to be a shady supplier of explosive devices to Jihadist terrorists, while acting as a deep-cover covert operative under a wing of the US Government.

He was born in Sudan [as a young boy, he saw his father killed in an unexplained car bomb], but grew up in the United States.

Interestingly, he had a stint in the US Special Forces as an exposive expert. So, he was caught in a deep emotional dilemma, torn between his sworn allegiance by citizenship & his steadfast religious beliefs.

By the way, Samir made the foregoing memorable quote.

In a sense, the movie - a thinking one, though complicated; as Samir put it: "The truth is complicated." - was trying to answer the question: was he a traitor to his country or was he a traitor to his religion?

Nonetheless, I must say that it has been one of the best thriller movies about a political conspiracy, against the backdrop of Jihadist terrorists - moving from Yemen to Paris to London to Toronto to Chicago & all the places in between - who were all out to create mayhem on mainland USA, I have seen for a very long time.

The sinister plot in the movie, which was for them to send 50 suicide bombers via Greyhound buses to every state on the mainland, was eventually foiled by our reluctant hero, with the aid of a straight-arrow FBI agent (played by Guy Pearce).

Actually, the one stark & most chilling quote in the movie, with real-world ramifications, came from Nathir (played by Raad Rawi), one of the terrorists' ringleaders operating in the United States:

"In chess and in war the key to winning is to anticipate what your opponent will do in advance. Think two moves ahead. The art of asymmetrical warfare is less about inflicting damage than provoking a response. Terrorism is theater. And theater is always performed for an audience. Ours is the American people. But they are dispersed across a large country. The question is how to convince them that nowhere is safe."

Definitely something worthwhile for our homeland security & intelligence agencies to think about.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Sometimes you are too close to be able to see clearly."

~ Kashiwa Sato, a high-profile art director in Japan;

FOLLOWING THROUGH, by Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic

I have found the following excellent piece of advice by way of analogy in the 'Japan Close Up' [March 2010] magazine passed on to me by my younger brother.

"A spacecraft is launched, heading for the moon. With a roar and trailed by the rocket's plume, it shoots up high into the sky, and before we know it disappears into the distance far out of sight. Various devices, however keep track of its flight, enabling the launchers to observe it constantly until it reaches the moon. thousands. tens-of-thousands of kilometers away.

Every step of the flight is tracked and observed.

Indeed, the tracking, the results, are all part of the significance of a space flight. If it were not tracked, the event would have no meaning. To launch a spacecraft off into outer space without a trace would be nothing but useless squandering of money.

The same is true in society and human affairs. People order others to perform some task. They give directions, request things to be done. But it is meaningless if they simply send off orders, issue commands, and make requests without following up on them, and the results would be minimal.

Wherever orders are issued, they should be followed up on. Everything should be checked back on, made responsible, reported on. Those who order work to be done are responsible for making sure, no matter what it takes, that it has in fact been completed.

Follow-up is neither easy for those who have been put to work nor for those who have to do the follow-up.

More care may be needed even than those who track a rocket's flight, and more perseverance.

Both those who do the follow-up and those who are followed-up on must cultivate the resolve and the courage to resist the tendency to leave things unresolved and unfinished."

I recall vividly a simple but powerful experiment in demonstrating the power of "following through" by Patricia Danielson, co-developer of the PhotoReading technology during the early nineties, when I had attended the debut 4-day course conducted by her in Singapore. It was done on the last day as part of the graduating ceremony.

Each participant was given a raw potato & a drinking straw. We were asked to push the straw through the potato. It was an impossible task.

Then she instructed all of us to follow her. She picked up the raw potato with her stretched-out left-hand, holding the potato only with her index finger & thumb.

Grasping the drinking straw in the palm of her right-hand, with the thumb on one end of the straw so as to trap a column of air, she swung in a consistently circular motion, as if readying herself to throw a base ball.

As she muttered "following through", & still swinging relentlessly, she pushed the potato into the trajectory path of the straw. The straw punched through the eye of the potato effortlessly.

Every participant then replicated her motion, & all of us succeeded in punching through the potato with the drinking straw.

For me, it was a memorable experience in understanding the power of "following through".

In a nut shell, the most valuable lesson I got out of the experiment is that, success in most endeavours, be it PhotoReading or otherwise, is just a matter of "following through", besides applying the right strategy & undertaking the planned execution.

Thanks to my sensei Patricia. [She was the one right in the centre, kneeling on the floor. I was standing behind her. Catherine was standing on the right of the photo, which captured the participants of one of the PhotoReading classes on the last day.]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE WISE

“People who are good with people. If the person at the top cares about the person cleaning the floor and the people on the switchboard, then everyone comes alive. If the people at the top are not good with people, then it ricochets down and the culture of that organization is miserable for everyone.”

~ Sir Richard Branson on the Leadership qualities he values; he has adopted this approach in his businesses, & often promotes people way beyond what they would expect, citing an example of the cleaner of Manor Recording Studios in Oxford who ended up running fifteen studios;

[Source: ReSource Magazine, January 2006;]

"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

from the adventure movie, 'Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981), starring Harrison Ford.


The memorable quote - from the reel world - certainly reflected Harrison Ford's personal perspective - in the real world - about aging, as he continued to play the famed archaeologist-adventurer Prof Henry Jones in the fourth instalment, 'Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008).

[I read that the actor - he was already 66 when he reprised the role - had spent three hours a day at the gym, & subsisted on a high-protein diet of fish & vegetables, thus building his physical stamina into a condition where he could perform his own stunts. Even director Steven Spielberg later stated he was so impressed with our hero that he could not tell the difference between the shoots for the third & fourth instalments, despite the time gap of almost twenty years.

(The third instalment was 'Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade' in 1989.)

In fact, he once quipped in an interview that he felt compelled to do his own stunts for the Indiana Jones movies because they were very "action oriented", & that he felt if he weren't in the middle of it, then there really wasn't much else for him to do.]

This time, our hero got entangled with Soviet agents [it was supposed to be Josef Stalin's era] led by Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko (played by Cate Blanchett), but surprisingly found his son, Mutt (played by Shia LaBeouf) & his long-lost girl-friend Marion (played by Karen Allen), while searching for the mysterious quartz skull as well as his missing old colleague, Oxley (played by John Hurt), in the deep jungles of Peru, near the Nazca lines.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"The Land of Opportunity is an attitude. It is an openness to new ideas, a willingness to listen, an eagerness to learn, a desire to grow, & the flexibility to change."

~ B J Gallagher & Warren Schmidt, 'A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Tale of Diversity & Discovery';

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 LAWS OF PRODUCTIVITY

According to the Behance Team, which operates the leading online platform for creative professionals, as well as the 99% Conference, a major annual symposium on execution in creative industries, here are 10 laws of productivity consistently observed among serial idea executors:

1. Break the seal of hesitation.

2. Start small.

3. Prototype, prototype, prototype.

4. Create simple objectives for projects, and revisit them regularly.

5. Work on your project a little bit each day.

6. Develop a routine.

7. Break big, long-term projects into smaller chunks or “phases.”

8. Prune away superfluous meetings (and their attendees).

9. Practice saying “No.”

10. Remember that rules – even productivity rules – are made to be broken.

Readers can go to this link to read the entire report.

[For more information, read 'Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality', by Scott Belsky, founder & CEO of Behance. Their Action Method [with the apt tagline: "It's not about Ideas. It's about Making Ideas Happen!"] is interesting, & is worth exploring.]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."

~ actor Steve McQueen (1930-1980); just saw him last night in the Oscar-winning razor-edged crime thriller from the late sixties, 'Bullitt', in which he played a no-nonsense, taciturn, dedicated but maverick detective - my kind of hero!; to me, his other most memorable movies included 'The Hunter', 'The Getaway', 'Magnificent Seven', 'The Great Escape', 'Thomas Crown Affair', 'Pappilon', & 'Nevada Smith', as well as the 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' television series during the early sixties;

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What have I changed my mind about?

What is my most dangerous idea?

What am I optimistic about?

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Be who you are & say what you feel because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind."

~ Dr Seuss;

"Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking less about yourself."

[Source: Bob Sutton's weblog, with attribution of quote to Gina DeLapa of Maestro Consulting Group; Bob Sutton is the author of 'Weird Ideas That Work' & 'The 'No AssHole Rule', among others;

By the way, if you are keen to find out whether you are a 'Certified Asshole', please proceed to the 'Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE): A 24-Question Self-Exam by Bob Sutton!]

Monday, June 28, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

“Any idea that is held in the mind that is either feared or revered will begin at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical form available.”

— Andrew Carnegie;

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"... I think it's not dying you're afraid... it's living..."

from the fast-paced, action-packed adventure movie, 'Transporter 3', starring Jason Stratham, who reprised his role as the mercenary-for-hire, Frank Martin, whose job was to transport packages - human or otherwise - from point A to point B.

I really don't know how many times I had already watched the third instalment of the 'Transporter' series, hemmed by France's master taleblazer, Luc Besson, whose masterpieces included 'The Fifth Element', 'The Professional' & 'La Femme Nikita', just to name a few.

I had watched it again last night on StarHub cable television.

In 'Transporter 3', Frank had to deliver a package, in the person of Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian government official from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he had to contend with a ragtag group of bad guys, who were all out to intercept his safe delivery.

Somehow, against his own steadfast adherence to a set of rules, which had marked his reputation in the underworld transport business, he got romantically entangled with the package, which to some extent added adrenalin delivery of watching the movie.

By the way, the foregoing memorable quote came from Valentina as she successfully engineered the romantic escapade with Frank, while on the run - temporarily - from the bad guys.

Among others, the high-octane action sequences involving his Audi car on the moving train were among the best I had seen.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"... So stretch your minds a bit - & be daring. Guide around in the 'possibility' zone where your acquired knowledge, education, & convictions do not automatically reject new perspectives..."

~ Patricia Cori, 'Atlantic Rising: The Struggle of Darkness and Light';