"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."

Monday, May 18, 2009


This is essentially a syntopical review of two small but great books, which I had read - & followed many of the ideas - more than ten years ago.

During spring cleaning of my home to usher in the 'Year of the Ox', I just happened to find the two books on the shelves, & naturally took the opportunity to reread them.

They are:

1. 'The Art of Doing Nothing', by Veronique Vienne & Erica Lennard;

2. 'The Art of Napping', by William Anthony;

Ever since I had read Jeff Davidson's classic, entitled 'Breathing Space', also many years ago, I have always valued - & benefitted tremendously from - the power of time-out.

In a world where the future is hurtling at breakneck speed with hurricane-force changes, all of us must learn to do some time-outs!

In fact, & sad to say, we are doing too much & yet, living too little!

The first book is beautifully illustrated with light-hearted but informative essays, interspersed with superb B&W photographs of nature scenes & human forms, encompassing a total of ten appropriate chapters covering:

Procrastination, Breathing, Meditating, Lounging, Yawning, Napping, Bathing, Tasting, Listening & Waiting.

Most of us are probably aware of all these areas, instinctually, but how many of us really know how to make the best of each or how to savor life's simplest moments in each?

That's to say, the book actually gives us the full permission - & more importantly, also show us the way - to celebrate idleness & cultivate serenity in all their mesmerising forms.

As for the second book, which is also equally light-hearted, but more humourously illustrated with funny cartoons, I find myself nonetheless amused & entertained by the author's introduction to a napaphobic culture.

In a nutshell, these are the author's fun stuff in the second book:

- profiles in napping (stories of legendary nappers, including JFK, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edision, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan!);

- napping strategies (from novice to advanced levels);

- nap management (getting the most from your naps);

- the future of napping;

In some way, the second book reinforces the chapter on 'The Art of Napping' in the first book.

To sum up my syntopical review, I want to say that the above-mentioned two books (plus, Jeff Davidson's book) are excellent handy guides & timely reminders for the time-pressed, over-achieving generation.

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