"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."

Friday, November 20, 2009


[My personal musings, inspired by Page 3 of 'The Brainaissance Program of iCAPitalism Seminars with... The World's Most Powerful Learning Systems for... The Learning Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea]

Where do you see yourself?

What is the significance of the foregoing question posed by Dilip Mukerjea, against the backdrop of a beautiful imaginal brain profile created by him?

He is basically accentuating what author, futurist & film maker Joel Arthur Barker has exhorted in the proprietary 'The Power of Vision' video training program, first released during the early nineties:

'A positive vision of the future is the most powerful motivation for change'.

Citing the research done by Dutch sociologist Fred Polak, American business researcher Jim Collins, Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl & Canadian educator & psychologist Benjamin Singer, respectively on the successes of nations, companies, individuals & even school children, it has been found that, when they began their climb they did not have the right resources & they didn't even have any strategic advantage.

What they all had in common was a positive vision of their future.

The message here is that circumstances do not determine the outcome, only vision does.

Having a vision is imperative to success. Vision is an essential ingredient in living to win.

Even a child building a sand castle on the beach has some sort of picture in his or her head telling them what to do next. It’s vision.

If you want to be successful in any significant endeavor - you first need to have a 'vision of the future'.

From the neurological perspective, I always like to correlate the 'vision of the future' to the 'image of achievement' as postulated by Dr Karl Pribram, Professor Emeritus of Stanford University, one of the prime architects of our modern understanding of the brain.

According to him, all our behavioural actions are governed by our 'image of achievement', & without it, we cannot succeed in our endeavours.

A 'vision of the future' or an 'image of achievement' is a picture that is seen with the mind's eye.

It is not your present reality, but what you believe as your destiny manifest in the present.

It is more than just being able to imagine something in the future. In a nut shell, the 'vision of the future' or 'image of achievement' becomes so powerful that it cause you to step into it, & live your future each day.

I often like to use the personal example of Arnold Schwarzenegger in my training workshops to illustrate the power of vision.

As documented in the book, 'Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger', by Laurence Leamer, Arnie was interviewed about what he planned to do now that he had retired from body building in 1976. He nonchalantly responded with his thick Austrian accent:

"I'm going to be the #1 box office star in all of Hollywood."

Arnie's first attempt as an actor was a box office flop, but he explained as follows that he would use the same process he had used in bodybuilding. [By the way, Arnie was five times Mr Universe & seven times Mr Europa.]

"What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, & then live into that picture as if it were already true."

Closer to home, a great personal exemplar of the power of vision is Sim Wong Woo, founder, CEO & Chairman of Creative Technology. Readers can go to my earlier post in 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog to read about what I had learned from him.

As a successful nation, Singapore is a classic exemplar of the power of vision.

When Singapore was unfortunately kicked out of the Malaysian federation in 1965, most political analysts around the world had seriously thought that Singapore was a gone case.

It was the foresightedness & tenacity of the vision of Lee Kuan Yew & his close team of stalwarts, like Goh Keng Swee, S Rajaratnam, Toh Chin Chye, among others, & his pioneering cohort of dedicated civil servants like Hon Sui Sen, J Y Pillay, Sim Kee Boon, just to name a few, who built Singapore for what she is today.

Throughout the nineties, I had done extensive random surveys of Straits Times interview reports on students who had done remarkably well in their PSLE, 'O' Level, 'A' Level exams, as well as in the presidential scholarship nominations.

I had narrowed down their peak-performing successes to the following common characteristics, in order of priority:

- they are goal-oriented (that's vision! & correlates to Benjamin Singer's research findings);

- they apply study strategies;

- they are passionate & enthusiastic in their academic as well as extra-curricular pursuits;

- they receive parental as well as teacher support;

To end my musings, & I am very confident that Dilip will concur with me that, as long as we have a 'vision of the future' or an 'image of achievement', & we then act upon what we believe or assume will be true of the future or upon our aspirations for the future, our decisive actions in turn will create the future in which we will find ourselves.

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