Saturday, January 3, 2009


While browsing the Amazon online catalog today, I have stumbled upon the audio program, 'The Million Dollar Mindset: How to Harness Your Internal Force to Live the Lifestyle You Deserve ', by James Ray as well as his Amazon weblog.

I haven't yet acquired &/or listened to the program, but I like the author's offer of ten tips for thriving in this economic winter, which I prefer to call bleak times.

Readers can go to the author's Amazon weblog via this link.

Anyway, here's the gist:

1) Clearly define what inspires you;

2) Control your focus;

3) Feed your mind - with good books, of course!;

4) Strengthen your body;

5) Inventorise your friends;

6) Quiet your mind;

7) Rid your life of escapist activities;

8) Make a daily gratitude list;

9) Change your attitude;

10) Get resourceful;

I particularly like the first one, as I would generally concur with the author that one should always take action out of inspiration rather than desperation.


“Living more fully means the ability to open yourself up to the possibility that you are capable of more than you are currently doing. It is about recognizing the frustration you feel about where you are in your life, the negative & positive feelings you have about yourself, & knowing that there is more about you that you haven’t developed yet.”
~ Korby Waters, business coach & founder of Precision Mastery;

Friday, January 2, 2009


Is it realistic to assume that what made me successful in 2008 will make me successful in 2009?

If not, where do I go from here?


"Most people spend most of their life earning a living rather than designing their life."

This was the provoking & yet intriguing phrase which confronted me when I first came to know about the popular 'Money & You (M&Y) Seminar' during the early nineties.

I was then attending a one-day seminar called 'The Nuts & Bolts of Management' conducted by D C Cordova, an American businesswoman of Chilean origins.

At the seminar, among a few other very interesting stuff, I had learned about the great work of R Buckminster Fuller & quality guru Edwards Deming.

I had also watched the video based on the classic, 'Paradigms: Discovering the Future', by corporate strategist/futurist Joel Arthur Barker.

I couldn't get out of my curiosity streak since then. So, together with two other like-minded Singaporeans, I actually flew to Adelaide, Australia, to attend the 3-1/2 day 'M&Y Seminar'.

The seminar was a real eye-opener for me.

It wasn't a conventional seminar. Of course, there were the usual short lectures in short staccato bursts with colourful flip-charts, interspersed by interactive exercises, discovery games, group dynamics & other fun stuff, followed by debriefing & note-making.

I reckon the most memorable games, at least for me, were the Ring Toss, the Barnyard, & the highly controversial Blocks Game. I will probably write about them in a separate post.

The room environment was kept rather cold for comfort, thermostatically controlled at 19-20 degrees C throughout, with soothing background music. Pachelbel Canon in D was seemingly the principal music anchor.

The accelerated learning methodology as conceived originally by Bulgarian psychologist Georgi Lozanov during the fifties/sixties permeated the entire seminar curriculum.

The classroom environment was specifically designed to fully engage all the participants' sensory impressions, while having both hemispheres of their brains activated & stimulated in a fun & joyful way.

Key concepts via key words only, with the accompanying 'key' iconographic, were often imprinted in participants' minds via strategically-placed completed flip-charts on walls in the class room.

To every one's dismay, only plain water, fresh fruits &/or fresh juices were served during the breaks. The walls of the room were splashed with short & brisk reinforcing messages.

For me, & in retrospect, it was more of a roller-coaster ride, with never-ending energetic blasts of kaleidoscopic bombardment with audio-visual-tactile-kinesthetic experiences involving the deliberate manipulation of intellectual & emotional responses from all the participants, beautifully choreographed by the instructor, supported by a well-coordinated logistics team.

I remember vividly that the instructor for the seminar was Wayne Morgan, a tough-talking middle-aged American guy from mainland USA.

Judging from his odd behavioural disposition during incessant interactions with the class over 3-1-2/ days, I could sense that he had continued to hold a troubling emotional past, which I had later learned that it formed the prerequisite for all M&Y seminar instructors.

To them, that was "hits by Mack trucks" in M&Y lingo, or in layman terms, "learning experiences".

Notwithstanding that particular observation, I had picked up quite a good number of practical stuff, intellectually as well as experientially, from the seminar.

Also, the "business success model" as conceived by the original founders (Marshall Thurber is reportedly one of them) of the 'M&Y Seminar' is still a valid & sound one. I have in fact mentioned it briefly in one of my earlier posts, & I will probably talk about it again in a separate post.

In addition to understanding the fascinating concepts of "precession", "synergy", as well as the significance of the "Trim Tab Factor", as defined by R Buckminster Fuller (which I will endeavour to elaborate & share in separate posts), here's a quick snapshot of pragmatic take-away insights from the seminar, based on my total recall, sketchy notes, & personal interpretations:

- "take 100% personal responsibility for all your own performance results in life";

[In a nut shell, we have to take charge of our own lives; we are personally accountable for our performance outcomes; we are truly responsible for our executed actions & subsequent consequences, & own everything that takes place or shape in our work & in our lives.]

- "don't whine; don't justify; & don't lay blame";

[The reality of this axiom was that, the day I had stopped making justifications or excuses was the day I had actually started to see dramatic changes in my life.

By the way, how about this reality? If you point your finger at someone else, three fingers always point back at you!]

- "for things to change, first I must change";

[I reckon this was obviously influenced by the great Indian leader, Gandhi, "you must be the change you want to see in the world";

In reality, & also interestingly, change will happen with or without our personal inputs; so, we might as well exercise our power to choose the extent of change we wish to embrace; & to choose how we allow change to affect us.

That's to say, in order for things to change in our environment, & also to deal with a constantly, rapidly changing world out there, we got to be the change master.]

- "those who don't change with the times find themselves left behind";

[There is nothing permanent, except change. Change or be history. Actually, with the wisdom of hindsight, I find that change is good - it keeps us fresh-minded & young at heart, & also more focused on finding new ways to see & do things differently today & tomorrow, thus keeping ourselves in tune or ahead of what's happening around us all the time;]

- don't fight the forces of change; use them;

[This is essentially based on the earlier work of futurists Alvin Toffler & John Naisbitt, & also of business strategist/futurist Frank Feather, to some extent.

To ride on the forces of change, from the standpoint of using & maximising change as a window of opportunity, I suggest reading 'The Innovation Formula', by Michel Robert. It offers brilliant execution strategies.]

- "the only failure in life is the failure to participate fully in your own life";

[What we are personally responsible for is our full participation in the change process. After all, change is inevitable, but growth is optional. Growth is essentially a personal choice. We therefore can participate by the personal choices we make in our lives, & in consideration of the kind of world they serve to create in our living spaces.

Interestingly, I have come to realise that success achievements in life always come from playing full-tilt, holding ourselves to higher standards of performance, & doing what most invariably don't.]

- "removal of past mental &/or emotional blocks - through our subconscious negative programing - is the first step to personal success";

[As one success guru once said: "We are born to win; but conditioned to fail!";

Interestingly, the subconscious negative conditioning or programming can come from our parents, our teachers/guardians, our bosses, our colleagues, our friends, & sad to say, even our society in general & the government in particular, especially through the mass media.

I know, most readers will definitely agree with me that the single most powerful mental &/or emotional block is the fear of change.]

- "clarity is power";

[In a nut shell, when we have clarity in our thoughts, we know precisely what matters. When we know precisely what matters, we know where to place our focus, energy & resources.

Getting clear in our minds & then staying that way takes diligent effort as well as personal courage.]

- "if it's possible in the world, then it's possible for me; it's only a question of strategy";

[I have learned over the years, in whatever we do, strategy dictates our success or failure. With the right strategy, everything in life as well as in business is possible.

To me, the '7 Habits' from Stephen Covey is one good strategy to embrace in life pursuits.

Another good example is the 'Million Dollar Habits' from Robert Ringer.

To turbocharge your creative thinking, the 'Six Thinking Hats' from Edward de bono is definitely a good bet.

In business as well as personal success, 'The Strategy of the Dolphin' from Dudley Lynch of Brain Technologies fame is worth exploring, too.

- "if you fail to plan your life, you will automatically plan to fail in your life";

[That's goal setting, plain & simple. In corporate lingo, its strategic visioning. Visions & goals give us a focus, & more importantly, a purpose, in life.

As success guru Anthony Robbins loves to put it: "One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular."

- "it won't just happen for you, you will have to work at it, but it will be worth it;

[Remember, life is a do-it-yourself project! It's what you make the best of it at the end of it.]

- "it's not always the answers you get, but the journey of questions which will expand your mental horizons";

[Success guru Anthony Robbins once said:

“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, & as a result, they get better answers.”

Also, he loves to say that thinking is really just a series of questions & answers we pose to ourselves. We are constantly asking & answering, asking & answering, asking & answering.

Now, if we believe that we're constantly asking & answering questions, here's the reality to confront:

"What kind of questions are we asking ourselves?"]

- "scarcity exists only in our minds; there is an ocean of abundance out there";

[Especially, considering what we can do with the aid of knowledge & experiences gained to date & the ready availability of plus the modern advances of today's technology, & also the power of synergy or shared minds;]

- "education is the highest form of leverage";

[I fully concur, & I would even qualify, it's self-directed, life-long learning, using the low or no-cost auspices of street, automobile & invisible university curriculum.]

- "if you are not leveraging, you are working too hard";

[It's essentially doing more with less. Leveraging can come in many forms - through people, systems, processes, technology, etc. The 80:20 Rule is an excellent example in personal productivity. The Internet is a god-send, especially with webcasts &/or podcasts. So, is social networking on the net. In business, outsourcing, strategic alliances or project consortiums, & licensing are some great examples.]

- "personal integrity is the essence of everything";

[Come to think of it, all the global problems we see them happening today boil down to the lack of personal integrity, which often drives people in power to more greed & selfishness.]

- "Ego is the biggest learning disability";

[I find that the ego can always get in the way of our learning & growing, because it is predicated on our desire of wanting to be right all the time, & our fear for making mistakes in the presence of peers, which often can blindside us for seeing other possibilities &/or exploring new ideas.

Come to think of it, an over-inflated ego can also unwittingly accentuates our self-denial, which if left unchecked, often prolongs our personal struggle to lead better lives unnecessarily;]

- "wealth is the total number of days one can survive if one stops working tomorrow, while maintaining one's current lifestyle";

- "money is only a tool to quantify & facilitate the exchange of products & services; we can choose how to earn it as well as how to spend it";

[I like the way Robert Kiyosaki once puts it:

"Money is only an idea; if you want to have more money in your hands, change your thinking."

Putting it in perspective: Thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions, which lead to results, & hence the key to attaining great wealth begins with thinking - like rich people do. New ways of thinking & acting will then lead to new & different results.]

- "there is no failure; only feedback";

[This is one of key presuppositions in NLP training.

Nonetheless, R Buckminster Fuller had once put it beautifully:

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

The point here is this: We shouldn't be afraid to fail. We should go out there & experiment & learn & fail, & get a rate based on the experiences we have. We should go for it, & when we go for it, we'll learn what we're capable of, what our potential is, where the opportunities are, but we can't be afraid to fail because that's when we learn.]

- "thinking is the hardest of all work, that's why very few people engaged in it";

[This came from the great industrialist Henry Ford, & he was absolutely right.

That's why we got to spend more time thinking first, before executing any actions, especially thinking about our thinking. A bias for action is excellent, but thinking must always comes first.

Likewise, in business, strategic thinking must supersede strategic planning.

Come to think of it, a major stimulant to thinking is focused questions. A well-worded question that often penetrates the heart of the matter & triggers new insights.

Philosopher James Allen once suggested asking yourself these four questions:

Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?]

- "always think & act win-win";

[This came from Stephen Covey's '7 Habits'. It's a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutually satisfying benefit in all human interactions.

For me, it's simply collaboration, which I define as a purposeful, meaningful & productive relationship between 2 or more parties, is the key to personal as well as professional success in today's business landscape.]

- "your life experiences form your biggest asset";

[For me, the most important thing is knowing & learning about myself, my strengths & capabilities, trusting my own instincts, following my bliss, with the foundation of my personal convictions, & using every aspect of my life experiences as an opportunity to learn & grow;]

- "the most powerful force you have is what you say to yourself on a daily basis";

[Words are really powerful, so be mindful of what you often tell yourself. More realistically, be aware of what you are thinking about. They always start with thoughts in the first place.

It has been proven that the words or phrases we think & speak affect our lives, the world & everything around us.

Guru Deepak Chopra often relates that about 50,000 thoughts go through our minds on a daily basis; & 95% of them are often repeated.

Remember also, I often say, not to use phrases like "I try . . ." &/or "I hope to . . ." in your daily vocabulary - replace them immediately with the empowering phrase "I plan to . . ."

I can't remember who said this:

"It's not the world outside you that dictates your circumstances or conditions; it's the world inside you that creates the circumstances or conditions of your life."]

- "more than 85% of a system's problems are always man-made; so change the system if it doesn't work, but don't try to change the people";

[This came from the work of quality guru Edwards Deming.

It's actually, change the environment & leave the people alone.

I have always remembered this great advice from Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers:

"You can't mandate productivity; you can only create a conducive environment where people can excel."

I reckon R Buckminster Fuller had put it more succinctly for us:

"It's not for me to change you. The question is 'how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom'."]

- "listen to the taps on your shoulder";

[For me, this is trusting my personal instincts - there are always right the first time, from my own personal experiences. I certainly share the belief with R Buckminster Fuller that the 'Great Spirit' is always watching us, & talking to us too from time to time.

We just have to put ourselves in a more relaxed & resourceful state, so that we are better able to see the signs & synchronicities, so to speak.

Sometimes, a "tap on the shoulder" can be a gentle reminder to us that we are on the wrong track. So, slowing down is necessary, especially when we are rushing, & start to pay attention to the "weak signals", so to speak, & in a way, to be intuitively ready to ask appropriate questions.

For me, I always reckon that a "tap on the shoulder" is some sort of a warning sign to indicate that we got to make corrections or adjustments as we travel on the highway of life.

As readers are probably aware of, progress towards success is always the function of correction.]

- "be careful of getting too much data in your life, as they probably will only add more drama; go about living your life by discovering your own truths, based on your direct experiences";

[I fully concur. Nothing beats direct experiences. Be a guinea pig in your own life experiments, just like what R Buckminster Fuller had documented in his classic, 'Critical Path', & nobody can challenge you for what you have gone through.

Oftentimes, we just love to rely on having more information in our heads or spending too much time on rationalising, before we make a life decision. We forgot the power of the heart & the experience of the gut.]

- "time is the most important & yet limited resource that we can spend";

[At the end of the day, it boils down to embracing proactive self-management & putting first things first.]

- "all personal breakthroughs begin with a change in personal beliefs";

[For me, this particular axiom had impacted me the most, intellectually as well as experientially.

My habitual domain - comprising my core beliefs, unconscious rules, life values, frames of reference, habitual questions, & even emotional states - affect my decisions, my actions, the direction of my life, & therefore my ultimate destiny. But all these daily influences are just a product of my thinking - of the way my brain has constructed an internal system for evaluating & creating meaning throughout my entire life.

In reality, it's not the events that had shaped my life that determines how I feel & act, but rather, it's the way I had interpreted & evaluated my life experiences, particularly with a feeling of certainty about them.

The bottom line was: I had created my map of reality on a daily basis, based on the way I had always believed & thought.

The valuable lesson I got was that, since I had created the generalisations based on my interpretations of painful & pleasurable experiences in the first place, I now naturally have also the power to dis-create or dissociate them, just by changing the way I believe & think.

That's to say, I have the power to effect personal change. Wow!]

- "small things, which when done correctly & consistently, will create massive impact";

[This is another important axiom I had learned. Over the years, I have realised that the ultimate key to personal excellence is doing all those little things correctly & consistently, all the time, every time, so that our every action produces a quality result.

With each detail, no matter the size, lovingly attended to, & with each step in the process given complete & careful attention, the end result becomes inevitably the highest quality.

So, in the end analysis: Everything Counts!]

- "mastery requires that you constantly & consistently produce results beyond & out of the ordinary";

[This was based on the principal teachings & writings of Stewart Emery, who has often been considered as one of the founding fathers of the human potential movement.

He had suggested that the first step to mastery is the removal of everything in our environment that represents average or mediocrity.

Another interesting suggestion is to surround ourselves with friends who demand more of us than we often do.

What do you think?]

Looking back, I have probably covered a lot of ground in this post for readers' benefit.

In retrospect, I believe the name 'Money & You' is somewhat of a misnomer, although I must add that it had offered me wonderful "aha experiences" in terms of the many proven approaches &/or fast-track means to creating wealth, & breaking free of the self-imposed blockages or limitations that often kept people from living the life they so desired.

If I were to put the essence of the seminar in one simple sentence, it's all about becoming true to yourself, daring to dream, following your bliss, designing the life you want it to be, doing whatever it takes to making it happen, & living more fully.

The only unique selling factor of the 'M&Y Seminar' I can think of, on hindsight, is its systematically structured 'world experiences' as opposed to just 'word experiences' for the seminar participants.

For me, the 'world experiences' were simulated in all of the games, often tension-filled & emotionally charged up on purpose, & played by all seminar participants to the full tilt, which were actually true reflections of harsh realities in the real-world out there.

Mistakes made in the games were true learning experiences, as there were only winners & learners at the end. Best of all, we didn't have to invalidate ourselves or others.

I am well aware of the negative perceptions of the 'M&Y Seminar' in some quarters, in the light of its apparent cultic norms &/or new agey connotations, & also the not-so-good publicity & controversy surrounding Robert Kiyosaki, who has been one of the early 'M&Y Seminar' purveyors & instructors, on account of his reportedly questionable credentials.

I have one simple philosophy to follow when it comes to my learning pursuits: Absorb what's useful; reject what's useless; research my own experience, & add what's specifically my own.

Many thanks! to the legendary Bruce Lee, for sharing with me this great learning philosophy through his writings.

Also, in reality, I must say many thanks to the 3-1/2 day 'M&Y Seminar' as well as the subsequent 16-day 'Excellerated Business School' on Kona island in Hawaii, which had empowered me to pursue what I love to do with the second half of my life, starting in the early nineties till today.


"The quest for understanding requires that we give up the search for certainty & go on a voyage of discovery."

~ John Dunne, 1932-2003, American novelist, screenwriter & literary critic;

Thursday, January 1, 2009


"Don't be afraid to fail. Get out there & experiment & learn & fail & get a rate based on the experiences you have. Go for it & when you go for it you'll learn what you're capable of, what the potential is, where the opportunities are, but you can't be afraid to fail because that's when you learn."

~ Michael Dell, American technology billionaire & founder of Dell Computers, one of the world's largest computer companies;


What if there was a better way?

What would I do?

What could I do?

What should I do?

~ inspired by the work of Samuel Palazzolo, author of 'The Influential Leader: 10 Critical Skills You Must Possess For Success...Whether You Want To Lead Others OR Just Lead Yourself!';

[The author is also the President / CEO of Pathos Leadership Group, which works with other CEOs & their organizations so that they have the “Influential Edge”, both professionally as well as personally!

He offers a toolbox of "10 critical skills" as follows:

1) Interpersonal Communication;

2) Salesmanship;

3) Team Building;

4) Coaching People;

5) Mastering Technology;

6) Strategic Thinking;

7) Customer Relationship Management;

8) Change Management;

9) Building Trust;

10) Storytelling;]


"You don't change the old by resisting it. You change the old by making it obsolete through superior methodology."

~ attributed to R Buckminster Fuller, planet Earth's friendly genius;


On New Year's Eve, my wife & I, together with members of informal 'The Wednesday Club', plus some other friends, celebrated the countdown to 2009 at the newly opened Black Angus steakhouse restaurant located on the Bukit Timah Campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

All the original members of 'The Wednesday Club' were there. They included my wife & I, James Kwok & Sophia, S T & Gek Wee, Jeffrey Tan & Betty, Bosco Chen & Alice. There was a total of seventeen of us, & the rest included mostly friends of S T & Gek Wee's brother, C S.

The restaurant decor was obviously spanking new. Despite the very soft lighting, the ambience wasn't that cosy, as I would have expected.

One quick observation: No table cloth at all i.e. bare table tops throughout, probably typical of American style restaurants.

The food for the occasion was somewhat pricey, even though the 200gm beef steak was juicy & tender. I actually took a small bite from my wife's selection, because I had ordered the broiled lobster - not realising it was one meagre chunk - for a change.

Surprisingly, & to my disappointment, we had to order bread & butter at additional costs - it seemed to me that cost-cutting measures in the light of bleak times had now superseded customer's value for money. Worst still, the customer service wasn't great either, to say the least.

For me, to my pleasant delight, the desert, tiramisu, was just nice & sweet.

Nonetheless, we were all there primarily for the comradeship, & naturally, the countdown for the new year.

Because of C S's connections as he had specifically arranged the dinner for the group, corkage charges were waived for the evening.
Naturally my buddies, & of course C S, being wine connoisseurs, had brought their own favourites to share with the group.

For the record, I was strictly - & I am still - a strong supporter of mineral water. My wife had orange juice.

From my view, to compensate apparently for the restaurant's "shortcomings", I must say that the plucky lady owner of the restaurant was generous enough to throw champagne drinks on the house for the countdown.

She also participated merrily with the small but relatively noisy crowd.

The general consensus from the casual conversations - my gut feel response anyway - was that 2009 would be a tough year.

[Photo Legend: 1st - Jeffrey, Bosco & C S (in the background) in jovial mood; 2nd - Bosco & Alice; 3rd - Jeffrey & Betty; 4th -James & Sophia; 5th - S T & Gek Wee; 6th - Yours truly & my wife; 7th - My favourite drink; 8th - The plucky lady owner of Black Angus leading the rumpus;]

[Please also read my earlier post, 'A Gathering of Eagles'.]

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


"Initiative can neither be created nor delegated. It can only spring from the self-determining individual, who decides that the wisdom of others is not always better than his own."

~ R Buckminster Fuller, (1895 - 1983), inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet & cosmologist; best known for the invention of the geodesic dome - the lightest, strongest, & most cost-effective structure ever devised; he called himself a Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist, which he explained as "an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist & evolutionary strategist"; he was truly a man ahead of his time as well as a practical philosopher who demonstrated his ideas as inventions that he called "artefacts" - some were built as prototypes; others exist only on paper; all he felt were technically viable; he was in fact a dogged individualist whose genius was felt throughout the world for nearly half a century; even Albert Einstein was prompted to say to him , "Young man, you amaze me!"

[More information about Bucky as he was often affectionately called, especially his great work & his patented artefacts, is available from The Buckminster Fuller Institute.]

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ULTIMATE SUCCESS FORMULA, according to Malcolm Gladwell

According to Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, 'Outliers: The Story of Success', which I have yet to acquire & read, but some excerpts of which have already been covered in recent newspaper reports, ultimate success is dependent on the following factors:

a) Do work that is meaningful & inspirational to you;

b) Work hard;

c) Deserved reward depends on the effort you make to achieve it;

By the way, the '10,000 Hour Rule' - the number of hours of deliberate practice that are likely required to achieve the level of mastery associated with a world-class expert in anything - mentioned in the book is also interesting.

To me, I love to interpret it as "do what you love & love what you do."


"We learn through experience & experiencing, & no one teaches anyone anything. This is as true for the infant moving from kicking to crawling to walking as it is for the scientist with his equations. If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he chooses to learn, & if the individual permits it, the environment will teach him everything it has to teach."

~ Author Unknown;


This is a quick snapshot of the research findings from the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease held this year in Chicago, where researchers from 60 countries shared groundbreaking information & resources on the cause, diagnosis, treatment & prevention of Alzheimer's & related disorders:

"It has been shown that people with better physical fitness have less brain atrophy in key areas of the brain associated with memory."

"Growing evidence shows that physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or require a major time commitment. It is most effective when done regularly & in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity & social interaction."


1. What is one thing I am grateful for today?

2. What do I look forward to tomorrow?

3. What would I like to dream about tonight?

~ The 3 Magic Bedtime Questions;

Monday, December 29, 2008


Am I working IN my business rather than ON my business?

~ inspired by Michael Gerber, entrepreneurial business strategist & author of 'E-Myth';


"Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger even though it is hard to realise this. For the world was built to develop character, & we must learn that the setbacks & griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward."

~ Henry Ford, 1843-1945, founder of the Ford Motor Company, & often recognised as the father of the modern assembly lines used in mass production;

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I have picked up the following rules known as the 'Moscow's Rules' while watching the latest episode of 'The Middleman' on StarHub cable television today.

The television series, based on a graphic novel, traced the quirky exploits of two law enforcement agents - one known only as 'The Middleman', played by Matt Keeslar; the other a new recruit, Wendy Watson, played by Natalie Morales - both assigned by a secret agency to fight evil forces, comprising mostly alien beings, genetically-engineered apes (as in the pilot) & other futuristic weird creatures.

Here's what I have understood:

1. Assume nothing.
2. Murphy is right.
3. Never go against your gut; it is your operational antenna.
4. Don't look back - you are never completely alone.
5. Any operation can be aborted. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
6. Maintain a natural pace.
7. Lull them into a sense of complacency.
8. Build in opportunity, but use it sparingly.
9. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
10. Don't harass the opposition.
11. There is no limit to a human being's ability to rationalize the truth.
12. Technology will always let you down.
13. Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

I have read that, during the Cold War, CIA operatives working behind the Iron Curtain often had to follow these informal rules of engagement in order to survive &/or just to handle threats to their lives.

As far as I am concerned, they certainly make sense, even in daily ordinary situations.


"With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice."
~ Oprah Winfrey, celebrated TV host;


How should I live my life so that I am fulfilled content in the new year?

Am I becoming the person I was meant to be on the day I was born?

In order for me to make more money in 2009, what habits must I begin to initiate immediately?

What should I begin doing today in order to leave a lasting legacy once I'm gone?

Which behavioural vices must be removed & replaced with virtues?

How can I can contribute & make myself more useful as a human being?

~ inspired by Gary Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy, 'How to Create a Personal Revolution in 2009';