"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, March 8, 2009


I have had this wonderful book for quite a while & I have also reread it several times. I have been attracted to the book in the first place by what the author writes in the Introduction:

- Every recognized innovation has, in some way, been a product of human thought. It stands to reason, then, that the thoughts appearing in your mind have an enormous, potential value to you & the world;

- Sometimes your best thoughts must be coaxed out, & played with, before they reach their fullest potential;

- The world's most progressive companies have sophisticated infrastructures just to develop, and protect, the kinds of thoughts that you've already had or are capable of having;

What does this book do, in a nut shell:

It teaches you how to get at what you're thinking on paper, so you can convert the raw material of your thoughts into something useable, using an energising body of techniques called 'private writing'. It entails examining all kinds of work/life situations & creating solutions for them through personal reflection and free-form writing.

The chapter on 'Extracting Gold from a Business Book' is my personal favourite.

For me, I have often used the author's writing techniques as a catalyst to guide my own best thinking on paper. I use what I often like to term as my 'scratch pad', in the form of Bienfang NoteSketch pads.

Alternatively, I also use the A3-sized, spiral-bound, 100-pages-per-pad, 100-gms-weight drawing blocks, which most graphic artists use, in conjunction with a multi-colour/multi-utility pen from Rotring.

On many occasions, I have astonished myself by being able to wrestle with the valuable business & life insights from my own seemingly disparate 'private writing' pages. I have translated many of my valuable insights into pragmatic projects.

My sideline projects include writing book reviews on website as well as writing my own weblogs.

I have noted that one of the most outstanding results of 'private writing' is honing my own critical & creative thinking processes.

Because of my personal interests in visual thinking, I often incorporate the 'rapid visualisation' & 'deliberate doodling' techniques I have picked up from Kurt Hanks as well as Joy Sikorski into my 'private writing' processes.

As most readers may know, the foregoing author crafted the classic book, 'Rapid Viz', among many others.

Joy crafted the following three marvellous doodling books, which I also own:

- 'How to Draw a Cup of Coffee & Other Fun Ideas';

- 'How to Draw a Radish & Other Fun Things to do at Work';

- 'How to Draw a Clam: A Wonderful Vacation Planner';

I have drawn phenomenal power from my purposeful integration of 'private writing' with 'rapid visualisation' & 'deliberate doodling'. That's why I always use a multi-colour/multi-utility Rotring pen in my work.

My scratch pad is always a visual smorgasbord of relatively heavy text, mystical doodles & logical illustrations (thanks & no thanks to my engineering training!).

To conclude my review, 'Accidental Genius', is a real, rare gem.

I strongly recommend this book to any reader who wants to explore powerful insight generation, &/or to apply some structure & purpose to - & at the end, extract some value from - all those notes you've been writing to yourself.

[Extracted from the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.]

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