"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, October 12, 2009


Motivation results from actions that satisfy inner needs. It is inspired not from what we do, but from how we perceive what we do.

Essentially only two things motivate a person to do anything: reward, or pain.

How we perceive reward and pain determines our behaviour.

It is amazing how many people will do more to avoid pain than to reap a reward. Such people are perhaps, busy dying, not busy living.

All that has been learned empirically about evolution in general and mental processes in particular suggests that the brain is a machine assembled not to understand itself, but to survive.

Our perceptions are therefore, not the absolute truth of reality per se, just as a map is not the territory.

William Whewell, in his 1840 synthesis 'The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences', was the first to speak of consilience, literally a “jumping together” of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation.

We cannot acquire a balanced perspective by studying disciplines in fragments. It can only be done through pursuit of the consilience among them.

There is a need for us to bring coherence and context to the major forces reshaping our lives.

Reward and pain, though separate, are intricately connected, and there is a continual trade-off between them.

Since they govern our motivation, we must get to know them on an intimate level … or else, these major forces could overwhelm us.

In order to motivate ourselves in the business of living, and in the context of problems olving, we can do the following exercise:

1. On a blank sheet of paper, write or sketch out the problem or situation across the top section of the page.

2. Below this, divide the page vertically so that you now have two columns.

3. In the left column, write the header: “Rewards ~ upon solving the problem / improving the situation”

4. At the head of the right column, write: “Pain ~ if no action is taken, or if the outcome is unsuccessful.”

5. Now itemise all the rewards and pains you can come up with in their respective columns.

Do not rush this step; take your time.

Once this has been completed, put the paper away, and let the thoughts ‘cook’ for some time.

This incubation period will help you reflect upon your perceptions.

Eventually, you will have several insights bubbling to the surface, all of them intricately linked to motivation that energises you.

{Excerpted from the 'Lifescaping' seminar participant's manual. 'Lifescaping' seminars are conducted by Dilip Mukerjea about four times a year under the auspices of the Singapore Institute of Management.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

What Dilip Mukerjea has asserted in the foregoing certainly resonates well with what peak performance coach Anthony Robbins has summed up as follows:

"The truth is that we can learn to get leverage to create change in our lives by associating pain or pleasure to whatever we choose.

By changing what we link massive pain to [e.g. unwanted, old conditions], & massive pleasure to [e.g. desired, new conditions], we will instantly change our behaviours."

In fact, he has gone further to elaborate as follows:

"Success is creating consistent pleasure in our lives, thus causing us to learn & grow; failure is being able to find pain no matter how good it is."

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