"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Writing in an online magazine many years ago, Dilip Mukerjea gives an enlightening perspective about building brainpower:

Question: How is it that a 3½ pound mass of tissue with the consistency of raw egg is able to generate a mind, produce thoughts, craft personalities, encapsulate memories, mould feelings, and give birth to the magical kaleidoscope that is consciousness?

Part Answer: The brain, an organ which is tantalizingly different to any other within the human body.

The question was a beguiling conundrum until very recently. However, in the last two years we have witnessed the most astonishing and spectacular progress in the excavation of facts, clues, and ideas on this subject.

But why focus on the brain now?

Lester Thurow, leading world expert on economic issues and noted author in this domain, offers us this insight from his research: In the decade of the 1960s the world economy grew at the rate of 5.0 percent per year after correcting for inflation. In the 1970s, growth dropped to 3.6 percent per year. In the 1980s there was a further deceleration to 2.8 percent per year, and in the first half of the 1990s the world could manage a growth rate of just 2.0 percent per year. In two decades capitalism lost 60 percent of its momentum.

Yet we have seen the defeat of capitalism’s nineteenth and twentieth century competitors – fascism, socialism, and communism.

What has emerged as the new order out of chaos, is a novel form of capitalism. It is Intellectual Capitalism. How wonderfully ironic that the word ‘capitalism’ emerges from the Latin caput, meaning ‘head.’ It is the currency of the intellect that will spawn the currency of commerce.

A spate of literary headlines, articles, and books on the subject of Intellectual Capital have emerged in response to the focus placed by governments on The Brain. The challenge facing players in the corporate ecosystem is the conversion of employee candlepower into institutional wattage. Intellectual Capital is the raw material from which financial results will emerge.

And this is why, at the beginning of the 1990s, both the Congress of the United States and the European Parliament declared the 1990s as “The Decade of the Brain.” We are now approaching the dawn of a new millennium which will commence with “The Century of the Brain” and surely blossom into “The Brain Millennium.”

Tracking back to the genesis of civilisation, we saw the emergence of the Agricultural Age about 10,000 years ago. This was succeeded by the Industrial Age some 300 years ago, following which, in the last few decades, we saw ourselves functioning in the Information Age. Today, we are in The Age of Competitive Intelligence, where an avalanche of information is available for conversion into usable intelligence. The life-span of information however, is all too brief, and if we are not able to swiftly avail of its characteristics, it will almost instantly metamorphose into dead data!

The signals that reach us arrive as data, ready for conversion into information, mutating into knowledge, finally crystallising into wisdom. But none of this can transpire if we are not equipped with the techniques and tools for instant processing of this constant cascade of sense-ations.

It is my firm belief that we are all equipped with the infinite capacity to become multipreneurs. Naturally, we cannot achieve anything because of what we are going to do; we must DO.

Thought leads to action.
Action influences behaviour.
Behaviour shapes destinies.

Tools & Techniques

In this age when so much focus has been placed on Creativity, we need to apprise ourselves of the elements involved in the new dimensions of learning. ‘Creativity’ comes from the Latin creare, which means ‘to make out of nothing.’ Since only God can do that, we need two essential ingredients: knowledge and memory. The manipulation of these two items via formidable processing tools is now a ‘brain skill’ avidly sought after by the Fortune 100 companies.

One of these tools is Mind Mapping ®, the brainchild of Tony Buzan, the world’s most formidable living genius. It is a skill which enables one to quickly, and powerfully sift through an avalanche of information, with clear focus and total recall. This is a technique based on the physiology of the brain and on the psychology of memory.

If there is anything worse than too little information it is too much information.

The average executive needs to read over 4 million words per month, almost 50 million words a year.

The average reading speed of most people is about 240 words per minute (wpm), well below the rate stipulated by the U.N. for functional literacy, 400 wpm.

Knowledge today, doubles every five years, but by the year 2000 it will do so in less than 2 years.

We have received more information in the last 50 years than in the last 5000. How do we deal with ‘information anxiety?’

The fundamental techniques involved in developing a powerful memory come from the ancient Greeks. These have evolved into a set of skills which any executive can use with great force in the competitive world of business. Areas such as Sales & Marketing, Communications, Law, Accounting, Engineering, Public Relations, and other diverse vocations, would benefit immensely if people were to develop a trained memory.

Scientists now believe that we use less than 1% of our brain power. How can we gain access to the other 99%?

Research shows that the human brain forgets 80% of detail in 24 hours . . . if revision is excluded. This means that 80% of an investment, for example, in say seminars, can be lost in a day if one is not trained to use his or her brain optimally. Most executives have top-heavy workloads, and frenetic schedules . . . how much time can they devote to revision?

And yet it takes five to six revisions to transfer data from short-term to long-term memory. What’s to be done?

A solution lies in Mind Mapping ®. It is the ONLY technique in the world where vast amounts of data can be effectively distilled onto one sheet of paper. Revisions then take barely minutes. This means that 80% of an improvement in savings can be made . . . IMMEDIATELY!

When merged with the other skills of Speed Reading, Memory, Creative Problem Solving & Solution Finding, and Perceptual Skills in Drawing, we have a smorgasbord of items on the intellectual menu ready for immediate application in ANY field of endeavour.

We were born unarmed; our mind is our only weapon!

In today’s world, where knowledge is power, the conversion of raw data into competitive intelligence will hinge on how effectively an organisation is able to harness its brain power.

Dr. Abraham Maslow, psychologist and visionary, prescribes we can no longer approach information-age problems with industrial-age thinking skills.

The development of your brainpower leads:

1) To the conversion of information into usable intelligence;

2) To the emergence of simple solutions to complex problems;

3) To the understanding that true TQM equates directly with effective brain usage;

Are YOU ready to begin expanding your corporation’s Intellectual Capital?

Say Keng's expert comments: Dilip's principal premise is building & sustaining a repertoire of brain skill sets, thus embracing the 'Law of Requisite Variety', in order to deal effectively with a rapidly-changing world.

Dilip also emphasises action-mindedness, to push what you have learned to work immediately in your own lives &/or other spheres of predominant activity.

Albert Einstein had once put it beautifully:

"Knowledge is experience; everything else is just information."

As for Mind-Mapping, which has its own merits, there are a lot of other visual tool alternatives. Splash Maps, as conceived by Dilip in recent years, is a good example. Others include concept maps, causal loops, fishbones, venn diagrams, holonomic frameworks, just to name a few.

The most important thing is not to get stuck with one single viewpoint &/or truncated perspectives.

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