Friday, February 26, 2010


"Each of us wants to be part of something bigger than
ourselves. Call it purpose, destiny or a simple desire to get beyond the insufficiencies of our current existence. An individual's yearning to reach outside his life is a seed of greatness waiting for a stream of inspiration. Carving that stream to people's hearts is a simpler task if the endeavor you are leading them into is attached to a bigger story."

~marketing consultants Mac Anderson & Tom Feltenstein, 'Change is Good . . . You Go First: 21 Ways to Inspire Change';


Last night, I had watched a very entertaining movie [directed by Roland Emmerich, with a voice-over narrative by Omar Sharif] that depicted a fictional event during the prehistoric era.

In a nut shell:

A young mammoth hunter, named D'Leh, went through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe. When a band of horse-riding marauders raided the village and kidnapped his love interest, Evolet, along with many others, D'Leh was forced to lead a very small group of hunters south to pursue the villains to the end of the earth to save her. Driven by destiny, they eventually teamed up with unlikely bands of hunters-warriors along the way to battle saber-toothed cats and terror birds.

Despite the setting, I really enjoyed the beautiful cinematography, in addition to watching the many action sequences, especially the mammoth hunting & the subsequent mammoth stampede, as part of a tactical diversionary manoeuvre, during the tail end of the movie.

For me, what stood out most was the memorable quote, touching essentially about leadership, delivered by the reining village hunter Tic Tic to the young hero D'Leh:

"A good man draws a circle around himself and cares for those within. His woman, his children. Other men draw a larger circle and bring within their brothers and sisters. But some men have a great destiny. They must draw around themselves a circle that includes many, many more. Your father was one of those men. You must decide for yourself whether you are, as well."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Have I noticed that sometimes I can perform at my best, & still fall short of my goal?

Monday, February 22, 2010


"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

~Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC), Greek statesman, orator, & general;


A few nights ago, I had enjoyed watching the crime thriller, 'Transporter III', for the first time on StarHub cable television.

In fact, I had also enjoyed watching - as well as re-watching a few times - 'Transporter I' & 'Transporter II' previously on StarHub cable television.

In a nut shell, the three movies featured the adventurous exploits of Frank Martin (played by Jason Statham), an ex-US Special Forces soldier who turned mercenary driver, hence the name 'Transporter', for whoever engaged him to deliver packages from point A to point B, with no questions asked. He drove a specially-configured Audi.

For me, the most thrilling part of the three movies was what I would call the high-octane "brute force" action sequences, involving the man & his car, & not discounting the exciting hand-to-hand combat, more or less Jackie Chan style, with his many assailants. [Martial arts choreographer was Corey Yuen from Hongkong.]

As part of his professional job, Frank had four simple rules, which served more or less as his basic "rules of engagement" or "code of survival":

1) Never change the deal once it is made;

2) No names;

3) Never look into the package to be delivered;

4) Never make a promise you can't keep;

To many other viewers, the three movies might seem to be "no brainers", which I tend to concur. Naturally, I am well aware that some parts of the story plots didn't gel with reality.

However, for me, whenever I sit down on the sofa to watch a movie, I just like to be entertained during the supposedly two hours of running time. That's why I love to watch only action thrillers -war, crime or otherwise, as long as there is plenty of action.

In the case of the foregoing three movies, the story plots seemed nonsensical or ridiculous, but even then, I feel there are valuable life's lessons, as far as I am concerned.

Here are my quick takeaways in terms of life's lessons from the 'Transporter':

1) Being the best in the business, Frank was meticulous & methodical in his planning of the 'transportation'. As he said, "Transportation is a precise business".

In 'Transporter II', he refused to move his car at the crime scene when hired by a bunch of bank robbers as their getaway car. The leader had to shoot one of his own gang members, & threw out his body, before Frank finally drove off. Frank's argument was that the extra weight would impede the escape. [By the way, the car needed to be digitally encoded before it could be initiated.]

Lesson: I reckon, when you are the best in the business, you can often call the shots!

2) Frank was always immaculately dressed, & likewise, his car was impeccably clean, inside & outside.

In the first 'Transporter', when he was unexpectedly cornered by a bunch of armed carjackers, he coolly stepped out of his car, took off his jacket & folded it nicely onto to the car roof - he told them that he had just got his from the dry cleaners - & whacked every one of them.

In the second 'Transporter', when Frank was assigned to pick up a young boy under his care from school, he reminded the boy of the first rule: "Respect a man's car & the car respects you."

The boy dutifully took his feet off the back seat.

No wonder his most unlikely "ally" Inspector Tarconi once uttered: "I always say, the way a man treats his car is how he treats himself."

Lesson: First Impression Counts! It resonates with the local Malay expression: "Style mesti ada; kalah tidak apa." [literally translated: Style, must have; it doesn't matter if you lose." ]

3) Although Frank was known for his steadfast adherence to his own "rules of engagement", he broke Rule #3 right in the first movie, which sparked off an unwitting chain of reactions, which formed the story plot.

Lesson: Rules are made to be broken. Also, break rules in order to tap into your personal creativity.

4) Frank was an extremely adaptive improviser. I reckon that was part of his past military training.

The fight choreography at the garage in the first 'Transporter' was the best I had ever seen, when he had to improvise his way out of a deadly & sticky situation, especially with so many thugs after him.

In the second 'Transporter': To outsmart his enemies, he had to drive his Audi at high-speed up a ramp, flipped the car upside down, in order to dislodge a bomb placed underneath, with the aid of a dangling hook from a nearby port crane.

In the third 'Transporter': With precision timing, he had to drive his Audi from an overhead bridge onto the roof top of a moving train, where the bad guys were holed up. Also, to catch up with the last bad guy, he drove his Audi from the rooftop into the front carriage which was already dislodged by the bad guy.

Lesson: A little bit of the MacGyver Factor certainly helps.

5) Under dicey circumstances, especially with a gun pointed at his head by a bad guy, & worst still, with an explosive attached to his wrist, Frank had to break all his own rules in order to stay alive.

That's what happened in the third 'Transporter', in which he had to outsmart the bad guys every step of the way with his quick-wit & resourcefulness.

Lesson: Change the rules to play the game.

6) To stay ahead, Frank oftentimes had to obtain outside help, especially from the wise-cracking Inspector Tarconi, his most unlikely "ally" during difficult times, in all the three movies.

Lesson: Connections count too!

7) Interestingly, while escaping from his "predators", Frank also managed to snatch some opportune time to "fool around" with the damsel-in-distress in each of the three movies.

Lesson: Don't forget to enjoy life. Seize the moment! Life is short.


Do I really know what I do for a living?


Here's the link to a great movie about the rules of being human.

In a nut shell: You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called LIFE, where you have the opportunity to learn LIFE's LESSONS.