"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 31, 2010



"One way of opening ourselves up to new opportunities is to make conscious efforts to look differently at our ordinary situations. Doing so allows a person to see the world as one rife with possibility and to take advantage of some of those possibilities if they seem worth pursuing...

Another attitude that leads to what many of us would consider "good luck" is the ability to reframe, to look at a situation that fails to go according to plan and turn it into something beneficial..."

~ visionary educator and cultural leader Sir Ken Robinson, writing in his book, 'The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything';

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Here are some interesting stuff I wrote to myself in my idea scratch-pad about two decades ago, just as I left the corporate world to follow my dreams. I had in fact posted them (an expanded version) on the Amazon website under my profile.

In essence, I have used them as my guiding principles for operating "in the future".

Somehow, they still seem relevant today. Glad to share with readers.

1) Always establish a definite purpose or principal objective in whatever you do;

2) Invest in self-directed life-long learning;

3) Stay ahead & embrace change;

4) Be curious & always ask questions;

5) Constantly challenge your assumptions & expand your habitual domain;

6) It's OK to be skeptical, but don't be afraid to play, explore & experiment with new &/or weird ideas.

7) Get out of your comfort zone & take some risks;

8) Network with people who demand more of you;

9) Take personal responsibility for your life;

10) Always think about new ideas;

11) Don't just talk only, take action;

12) Stay focused on your goals, but be flexible in your approach;

13) Remain persistent;

Thursday, May 27, 2010


In his wonderful book targetted primarily at a corporate audience, 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital for a Knowledge Economy', Dilip Mukerjea writes his beautiful prologue as follows:

"Combinations are spark plugs for creative combustion. An item by itself is a unilateral entity - filled with potential, but static, until it meets another. Then whoosh! Creativity!

All of us harbour forces within us. Within the vast ocean of consciousness, we have it in us to set loose a groundswell that can explode into mighty waves of unstoppable magnitude.

When we surf along these waves of human dynamism, our destination becomes inevitable. Often unplanned, serendipitiously, we reach the shores of wonder. Such terrains, alive with infinite waves of potential, define the human intellect.

Surfing the Intellect is a metaphor with connections and combinations at multiple levels, often synchronous in their significance.

May you surf with joy. May the rhythm of your spirit create a song in your heart. May you never be the same!"

The Creative Spirit

Be not a puny candle with flame so ready to be extinguished by the slightest adversity.
Instead, be a raging bonfire; burn bright, and dare the world to eclipse your glory.
Enjoy the simple rapture of being alive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The foregoing generates synergy, energy and power.

Brain-body coordination is enhanced significantly through the considered use of movement, and it has been recognised that mental fitness equates directly with physical fitness. Since we have a brain, and since it does happen to be connected to the body, we should know that one complements the other. Move one, move the other, and raise your intellect!

It is of utmost importance to be physically fit. This is because it affects your health and well-being, creating a balance between mind and body. Furthermore, it will help you develop poise in your movements. Activities that can help in this respect are the martial arts such as akido, t'ai chi, judo, or juggling, and the Alexander Technique. Sports in general are highly recommended.

Indulge in aerobic forms of exercise at least three times a week, building up strength and flexibility in your muscles. Involve yourself in physical as well as mental gymnastics, but make sure you get sufficient rest and time for play.

Take up sports, develop new hobbies, acquire poise through various activities. Eat and drink sensibly, as your behaviour in this respect directly affects the performance of your brain.

Remember, every time your heart beats, the first place your blood shoots to your brain. This blood contains oxygen, that powers your brain... more oxygen equates with greater creative ability.

Great brain power leads to a formidable memory.

We are shaped by the books we read, the people we meet, the thoughts we think, and the actions we perform. None of this would be possible without being physically and mentally energised.

The ultimate consequence is to be spiritually revitalised so that we allow ourselves to be plugged in to the energy of our universe.

Remember, mens sana in corpore sano...

[Excerpted from 'Brain Symphony: Brain-blazing Practical Techniques in Creativity for Immediate Application', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

All I know is that, our body is designed to move, & not to sit on the butt all day long.

This has to do with human evolution: our forefathers were hunters-gatherers ~ roaming the savannahs, hunting for food & searching for new landscapes.

Just in case you are still wondering about what your boss is thinking about you: pacing in the office, while deep in thought, is a productive activity. It's 'Thinking on Your Feet'!

In fact, according to neuro-scientists, movement is the only thing that unites all brain levels & integrates the right & left hemispheres of our brain.

In a nut shell, action is the cutting edge of the mind.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

THINK LIKE A SPERM: Six Lessons in Leadership from the Y Chromosome

Here's a link to a witty and fresh perspective especially for women executives who keep running into the glass ceiling.

I like the authors' end analysis, for the ladies of course:


Scientifically speaking, of course, that’s a biological impossibility for women. By virtue of having two X-chromosomes, there are no Y-chromosome characteristics per se encoded into our DNA.

If we are to avail ourselves of the positive aspects of leadership traditionally associated with male leaders, we must do so consciously. The opportunity lies in expanding our appreciation of gender differences and deepening our capacity to lead with impact


The following is the prologue to the book, 'Building BrainPower: Turning Grey Matter into Gold', by Dilip Mukerjea:

"The Knowledge Economy has transitioned to The Learning Economy.

Brain Force has trumped Brute Force.

The secret to success lies in building your brainpower.

Brainpower transports you from:

- confusion to clarity;

- hostility to harmony;

- self-posioning to self-poise;

- entropy to ecstasy;

Your most valuable asset is your learning ability. It is the architect of your identity. Everything you are was conceived as an idea in your brain.

The primary creative force in your life is the aulity of your imagination.

This has never been more true.

The velocity of life has reached lightspeed. The volatility of evolution has aradicated certainty. The viscosity of prehistoric attitudes has created monuments to incompetence.

Ask youself:

What is the cost of confusion, & the value of clarity?

Make a start by building your brainpower.

Read this book!"

Say Keng's personal comments:

For me, building brainpower is more a strategic question of enhancing one's self-mastery ~ understanding our own brain, with all its intricacies & idiosyncrasies, since it is our preeminent information processor & perpetual idea generator.

More importantly, brainpower is a mere function of how we use our own brain on a daily basis ~ the more we use of it, in novel ways of course, the better it is.

Nonetheless, I like to share with readers one pragmatic way to reduce confusion & enhance clarity, especially when reading a book, or listening to a speech or a presentation, or participating in a workshop:

Within the first ten minutes or so, you should quickly ask yourself these questions:

1) How is this relevant to my sphere of work or current job or existing business?

2) What are the immediate Next Steps after this reading/presentation/workshop?

3) What does successful application of this reading/presentation/training look like?

4) What follow-up tools & support do I get after this reading/presentation/workshop?

5) What's in it for me ? or How do I, personally, benefit from this reading/presentation/workshop?

These powerful questions help you to ignite your reticular activating system (RAS) ~ your automatic goal-seeking system, so to speak, just like the servo-mechanism in a Tomahawk missile!

My knowledge has been inspired & fine-tuned by the brilliant work of productivity strategist Bill Jensen, who wrote the classics, 'Simplicity' as well as 'Simplicity Survival Handbook'.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here's the link to an excellent exposition from thought leader Gerald Sindell, who spends his professional time guiding leaders and organizations of all kinds to maximize their return on the most precious capital of all: their intellectual ballast.

In a nut shell, his foregoing exposition is all about creating differentiation ~ understanding the axis of distinction & the map of value. I have enjoyed reading it, because his ideas are simply thought-provoking & are worth exploring. This guy is really good.

By the way, he is also the progenitor of the Endleofon innovative thinking process, as embodied in his marvellous book, 'The Genius Machine', which I had already reviewed in this weblog. Please refer to my earlier post.


“Thinking is the skill of leading your self. Leadership is the skill of helping others to lead themselves. So is selling. Like all skills, thinking, selling and leadership can be learned and developed with training”.

~ Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, creativity expert & founder/creator/principal of The School of Thinking on the net;

Sunday, May 23, 2010


In his book, 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', Dilip Mukerjea writes:

"The ancient Greeks had a word for the concept of 'education' ~ it was paideia.

One letter short, their concept for 'play' was paidia.

When play is infused into education, learning becomes fun and natural."

Dilip & I believe that when play is infused into the corporate landscape, learning becomes fun & natural too.

Interestingly, we have come across that 'play' often ignites creative sparks in the corporate landscape.

However, since our left-brained corporate culture frowns upon 'play' in the workplace, the big boys have coined an apt term, 'Serious Games', for it.

According to IBM, "one study found that a great lecture can improve learning by 17%, but serious games can improve learning by 108%!"

Read the following belated report, 'Playful Innovation' from Philips Design.


Not surprisingly, 'Creativity' has been chosen as 'The Most Important Leadership Quality', according to the latest IBM 2010 Global CEO Study (involving more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 nations and 33 industries).

[Readers can go to this link to download a copy of the study.]


[Read the interesting story behind the foregoing picture at this link.]

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have created a bank of exercises to illustrate the importance of gathering, extracting & generating insights, using the book, 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea, as an intellectual platform in a personal coaching assignment.

The ultimate purpose of the assignment is creating concrete deliverables from the insights, such as a plan of action for building personal effectiveness & enhancing peak performance.

Any reader who has a copy of the foregoing book can make use of the exercises for his or her personal as well as professional development.

1. Read, if not skim & scan, ‘Unleashing Genius’. Pay particular attention to the 3 sections, namely, ‘01: The Brain’; ‘04: Reading Dynamics’ & ‘06: Creativity’.

2. What do you think are the significant ideas of the book mentioned in (1)?

Additionally, can you provide some highlights in terms of salient aspects, pertaining to each significant idea? You can use a mind-map to illustrate your response.

3. How can you relate your personal insights from ‘01: The Brain’ with the concept of developing personal effectiveness & enhancing peak performance?

4. What do you understand by the following phrases mentioned in the book:

(a) ‘Reading on the lines’;

(b) ‘Reading between the lines’;

(c) ‘Reading beyond the lines’;

(d) ‘Reading beyond the page’ (or what I like to term as ‘Reading outside the lines’)?

From the standpoint of building strategic agility & operational versatility in a rapidly- changing, chaotic world of ours, I would consider (c) & (d) as very vital, as one needs to constantly come up with new & novel ideas, & also putting them to work (i.e. 'translating ideas to ca$h', as Dilip likes to put it!).

Do you agree? If so, what are your personal thoughts with regard to practical lessons you can draw upon?

5. Given a choice, how can you synthesise & factor in the key insights from (3) to build a long-term personal efficiency program for your own self?

6. Dilip has a favourite catchphrase: ‘Are You Busy Living or Busy Dying?’ in the book. What comes to your mind when you read it?

How best can you draw practical lessons from your understanding, within the context of your own personal & professional development?

7. In ‘06: Creativity’, Dilip starts off with the statement: “Elements of ‘Braindancing’ to help you kick-start your journey towards entrepreneurial excellence”.

Firstly, what is ‘Braindancing’ to you? What do you think is its association with ‘Creativity’?
Now, how can you synthesise these intellectual deliberations with what you had already completed earlier, in (3)?

8. On page 363 of the book, Dilip has outlined a simple exercise: “Convert these empty circles into meaningful images.”

Now, take out a blank sheet of A4-sized paper & replicate the page. Do the exercise as instructed.

How about doing a variation of the exercise: instead of ‘circles’, use ‘squares’ this time? What is your new outcome, when compared to the earlier exercise, with ‘circles’?

[We will debrief/discuss the outcome of this exercise to help you draw valuable lessons.]

9. On the inside back-page of the book, Dilip has created a mnemonic ‘CATSEYE’.
Think about its application possibilities, & share your personal thoughts, using yourself as a personal test case.

10. In association with key insights from (9), & combining them with the pictorial ’12-spoke wheel’ illustrating the “stunning array of learning miracles” on the back-cover of the book, explore how you can draw up a tentative implementation schedule, say for the next 90 days, as far as your own personal & professional development is concerned.


‘Unleashing Genius’, by Dilip Mukerjea;
One Drawing Block, preferably A3-sized;
One Lecture Note-pad;
Colour Markers;

Monday, May 17, 2010


"Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve."

~ Dr Tehyi Hsieh, (1884-?), Chinese educator, writer, philosopher & diplomat;

Friday, May 14, 2010


Serving as the epilogue of his book, 'Building BrainPower: Turning Grey Matter into Gold', Dilip Mukerjea writes:

"Technology shapes the evolving mind. Today's children are exhibiting amazing electronic precocity. Computers have become ubiquitous in their lives. This does have some benefits, one of them being faster reaction times to visual stimuli.

Yet, there is much evidence that demonstrates how computer "learning" of young children is far less brain building than spontaneous play, indoor and outdoor games with older children and adults, adventure trips, and activities such as hide-and-seek, tree climbing, or catch-me-if-you-can.

The growing proliferation of educational software does not guarantee quality in quantity. There is alarming evidence of over ninety percent of such software being brain-numbing, not brain building, crafted solely for the gratification of the software creator.

What is worse, some of the most popular "educational" software may even be damaging to creativity, attention and motivation.

The American essayist and poet of the mid-19th century, Thoreau, was prescient in his warning that if we aren't careful, we could all become the "tools of our tools".

Most successful toddler-to-teen technologies are the offspring of innovators that did not grow up with computers; what they had in abundance were rich, fertile imaginations, raw material for incessant creativity.

Today's children have an attention span that ranges from eight to twelve seconds. In order to retain focus, they seek constant novelty. Our brains are malleable masses of protoplasm. New technologies are altering societies by altering our mental skills and the brain's synaptic structure of people using them.

Rapid-blast television and computer displays have largely replaced sustained attention to verbal input, such as reading and listening, with faster-paced visual stimuli. This has created a severe imbalance, and many "screenager" are barely able to complete a sentence articulately, or perform simple mental arithmetic.

The media has much to offer beyond mere techno-stimulation. Today's children still need close adult mentoring and educational projects that offer values reflective of mental, physical, and spiritual harmony. Technology can be a worthwhile partner in this venture.


Children never stop learning, but they're not always learning what we think they're learning, despite their link with technology.


Does the software stimulate imagination? Does it encourage original thinking? Is there a gender bias? Both male and female characters should be portrayed as active problem solvers. And is the software connecting well with the quiet intelligence of the child's thoughts?"

Thursday, May 13, 2010


[continued from the Last Post]

While 'reading on the lines' leads to literal-level comprehension, 'reading between the lines' leads to interpretative-level comprehension, whereby the reader needs to think, analyse & search for answers in the reading material.

Unlike literal-level comprehension, where the meaning is found directly in the reading material, i.e. a reader can literally put a finger in the reading & point to the answer, interpretative-level comprehension requires a little bit more intellectual effort, plus more careful reading.

The reader has to search for clues, textual as well as contextual, within the reading material to locate the answer.

That's to say, the answer cannot be found directly in the reading material. The answer is hidden somewhat "between the lines", so to speak.

In more explicit terms, the reader has to interpret what is implied or meant, rather than what is actually stated in the reading material.

Tactically, the reader will be:

- making sense of & seeing relationships among ideas;
- drawing inferences;
- making logical leaps & educated guesses;
- making generalisations;
- predicting outcomes;
- tapping into his or her prior knoweldge or past experiences;
- attaching new learning to old information;
- summarising key ideas not explicitly stated;
- selecting conclusions by gathering evidence to support the inference or deduction;

To me, to be able to do 'reading between the lines', the reader also has to attain a reasonably good command of the English Language, as he is expected to understand the figurative as well as connotative meaning of words, besides the denotative meaning.

In terms of reading material, reading literature or literary works requires a lot of 'reading between the lines'.

This is not to say that other forms of writings do not require 'reading between the lines'.

In any form of writing, one should always be aware of figurative language, connotation, nuances, imagery, symbolism, irony & satire within the reading material.

I suggest the following approach, from the standpoint of generating insights:

Think about the reading material in 3 ways:

1) Consider the text itself, the author, & the basic information given right there on the page;

2) Next, think about what is "between the lines", the conclusions & inferences the author wants you to draw from the page;

3) Finally go beyond thinking about the page. What new & different ideas come into your mind when you combine your prior knowledge & past experiences with the perceived ideas off the page?

Incidentally, 'reading between the lines' can also be applied in another situational context: while conversing with some one, or listening to a speech or presentation.

In this case, one looks out for the body language of the speaker, hand gestures, eye balls; also, listen to his or her tonality of voice, choice of words, equivocative expressions, inconsistencies, etc.

Naturally, this calls for a 'gut' check. For me, if something doesn't feel right from the speaker, then it probably is.

I like to call this phenomenon: 'reading the signals'.

[to be continued in the Next Post]


"The true martial art is love."

"Surrounded by a forest of enemy spears, enter deeply, and learn to use your mind as a shield."

"Depending on the circumstance, you should be hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space."

"Those who are enlightened never stop forging themselves... the most perfect actions echo the patterns found in nature."

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea;]

Say Keng's personal comments:

I am no martial artist. In contrast, Dilip is a dedicated Aikido enthusiast, & goes for his regular disciplined practices almost every Friday evening.

However, I love to watch martial artists doing their fancy routines in the cable television documentaries, as well as in the movies.

My favourite martial-artists-turned-action-stars include the legendary Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Sho Kosugi, Sonny Chiba, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude van Damme, Wesley Snipes, & Steven Seagal.

In the early years, especially during my teenaged years, I was often mesmerised by the antics of the Shaolin monks, the Japanese samurais, ronins & ninjas, & not forgetting Wong Fei Hung & the Blind Swordsman.

All I know about true martial arts is that they have a lot to do with mental toughness training, governed by a disciplined soft-focused mind, which flows fluidly into the physical prowess & bodily agility of the practitioners.

The true spirit of martial arts has nothing to do with beating your opponent into a pulp, as often depicted in the movies, although I must admit I have always enjoyed watching Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal whacking the bad guys in the movies.

If you ever had the chance to meet up with Dilip in person, he will tell you a lot of wonderful stories about his personal encounters with real masters of the craft.

Point to Ponder:

"I don't study martial arts to learn to fight. I study martial arts so that I won't have to."

(Source Unknown)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


[All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]


Laughter is the food of the soul. We can't live without it. If we don't laugh, we disintegrate, and then we die... slowly pine away. Everything we do in life is relative to laughter. To laugh is to love, to laugh is to understand, to laugh is to forgive; we must laugh.

The laughter of children is beautiful, and a smile can be devastating. let me tell you the meaning of a smile.

It costs nothing, it creates much, it enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give; it happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. There are none too rich that can get along without it and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature's best antidote for trouble, and yet it cannot be begged, bought, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no earthly good to anyone, until it is given away.

So if in the course of the day, your friends may be too tired to give you a smile, why don't you give them one of yours, for nobody needs a smile more than those who have none left to give.

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

I recall an old song with the wonderful lyrics that go something like this: "When you are smiling, the whole world smiles with you... "

Nonetheless, somebody once told me that even if you start smiling when answering the phone, the person on the other end can tell that you are smiling.

Also, when you smile at a stranger, he or she will smile back!

Point to Ponder: "A smile is the shortest distance between two people." (Victor Borge)

More importantly, there is definitely a connection between HA!HA! and AHA! – humor and creativity go hand in hand.

If you are looking for reference resources on this particular domain of knowledge, please proceed to this link at The Humour Project.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


In his book, 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', Dilip Mukerjea shares a sampling of areas where future careers will emerge & create opportunities for economic growth.

They are:








Please refer to my earlier post or read Dilip's book for more information.


In his book, 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital in a Knowledge Economy', Dilip Mukerjea has captured the distilled wisdom of global strategist Cyril Levicki, who identified 'The Great Growth Industries of the 21st Century'.

They are:






Read Dilip's book for more details.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I like to take this opportunity to reproduce the following post, which first appeared in my 'Optimum performance Technologies' weblog slightly more than a year ago. It offers interesting lessons on 'Strategic Anticipation'.

"The other day, my good friend, Dilip Mukerjea, & I had afternoon tea in my neighbourhood coffee shop. We were having our usual pow-wow!

I was sharing with him how he could explore using action movies as part of his training props to motivate under-achieving students to pursue their fondest dreams.

We talked at length about 'Rocky III', with the character of Sylvester Stallone regaining his fight - using the 'Eye of the Tiger' - against the menacing character of Mr T, as the loud-mouthed Clubber Lang.

Our conversation also went into 'The Rumble in the Jungle'.

In a nut shell, 'The Rumble in The Jungle' was a historic boxing event that took place on 30 October 1974, in the Mai 20 Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo).

It had pitted the then world heavyweight champion George Foreman against former world champion & challenger Muhammad Ali.

As we all knew by then that Ali had been suspended from the boxing sport for 3-1/2 years following his refusal to obey his army draft.

The boxing world also knew that the younger Foreman was obviously an overwhelming favorite against an aging Ali.

Also, Foreman was greatly feared for his punching power, physical size, & sheer ring dominance.

Dilip told me that Foreman & Ali had in fact spent much of the summer of 1974 training in Zaire, getting their bodies used to the weather in the tropical African country.

However, unknown to the Foreman's camp, Ali was actually training his physical body to take on horrendous punches from his sparring partners during the training. He knew that the only way for him to beat Foreman was his newly hardened body against Foreman's formidable punches.

Interestingly, according to Dilip, Ali also had somehow mentally psyched the Foreman's camp that he would probably stay on course with his conventional strategy of amazing speed & maneuvering skills.

Ali started off the first round by attacking Foreman. While this openly aggressive tactic may have surprised Foreman, it failed to significantly hurt him, despite getting a few solid punches from Ali.

Before the end of the first round, Foreman caught up to Ali, & began landing a few punches of his own. Foreman had also been trained to cut off the ring, preventing escape. Ali realized that he would easily tire if Foreman could keep making one step to Ali's two, so he changed strategy immediately.

Almost right away in the second round, Ali started lying on the ropes, in his classic pose & allowing Foreman to keep punching him, without any attempt to counter-attack Foreman (a strategy Ali later dubbed as the 'rope-a-dope').

As a result, Foreman spent all his brute force by throwing punches (remember, in oven-like heat), that either did not hit Ali or were deflected in a way that made it difficult for Foreman to hit Ali's head, while sapping his own strength.

This loss of physical energy on the sad part of Foreman was essentially the key to Ali's 'rope-a-dope' technique.

After several rounds, this really caused Foreman to be somewhat disoriented. Worst still, his stamina looked to be gradually draining from him.

So, after the fifth round Foreman was really very clumsy, & he looked increasingly exhausted too.

Ali, in his usual classic provocative self, continued to taunt Foreman by saying "They told me you could punch, George!" & "They told me you could punch as hard as Joe Louis."

Finally, in the eighth round, Ali landed the final combination, a left hook that brought Foreman's head up into position so Ali could smash him with a hard right, straight to the face.

Foreman staggered for a while, then twirled across half the ring before landing on his back. He finally managed to get up, but it was already too late.

Dilip & I concurred that this is the greatest demonstration of strategic anticipation & tactical execution ever displayed in a heavyweight fight.

[Dilip has also revealed that fight was also analysed as a case study by Harvard Business School.

By the way, the events before & during the fight were captured in the Academy Award winning documentary, 'When We Were Kings'.]

Ali came into the fight with a brilliant strategy, executed it beautifully, & achieved a great triumph.

The fight also revealed just how great Ali was at taking punches, & also highlights the different, perhaps dangerous, mid-ring strategy change that Ali had made in his fighting style, by adopting the 'rope-a-dope', instead of his former style that emphasized speed & movement.

This fight has since become one of the most famous fights of all time, because it resulted in Ali, against all the odds, regaining the title against a younger & stronger Foreman.

After this fight Ali once again told the world that he was the greatest.

[Incidentally, Dilip also revealed that when Ali was defeated in his fight with Ken Norton, & while still lying on the floor with all the reporters hanging around & waiting for his comments as a loser, Ali, grabbing one of the microphones, blurted out to the effect:

"He may be the champ, but look at me (apparently pointing at all the reporters around him), I am still the greatest!".

To me, this guy has really true mental strength.]

Amazingly, Foreman & Ali became great pals after the fight.

As I have always said, everything is possible in life or business; it's just a question of strategy & discipline, as exemplified by Muhammad Ali in 'The Rumble in the Jungle'.

[If you had watched 'Rocky III', you would certainly recall the movie segment near the tail-end when Clubber Lang (Mr T) was interviewed by a reporter prior to the final fight, He was asked about his strategy to defend his title against Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). In response, he just arrogantly blurted out 'PAIN!'. He got it, man!]"


"Critical thinking, without creative and intuitive insights, without the search for new patterns, is sterile and doomed. To solve complex problems requires the activity of both cerebral hemispheres; the path to the future lies through the corpus callosum."

~ Carl Sagan, (1934-1996), American astronomer, astrochemist & astrophysicist;

Hip, Hip, Hurray!

As Dilip Mukerjea has so eloquently put it in his book, 'Unleashing Genius, with the World Most Powerful Learning Systems':

"Genius is unleashed when both the 'left' and the 'right' attributes of the brain are working in harmony with one another."

This is how Dilip & I envision it:





















Yesterday morning, a group of eager parents spent a beautiful Sunday - about an hour - at the Arts House with Dilip Mukerjea. He gave a presentation on 'Brainchildren', under the auspices of the Asian Parents Forum 2010.

The focus of his presentation was "The First Wonder of the World is the Mind of a Child".

He started off the presentation with an interesting & useful idea. Every participant was given a blank A4-sized paper. Each piece of paper needed to be folded four times. When opened, each side consisted of sixteen "noteboards", plus the flip side, that made 32 "noteboards".

The surprised participants were asked to fill in the "noteboards" with the multiplicity of insights captured during his presentation. What a great idea!

Naturally, besides talking about VUCA perspectives of the rapidly-changing landscape of the world, & the important role of parents (as well as teachers) in forming learning communities, also, inculcating self-efficacy & future-savvy skills, with the elements of learning through play & joy quotient, in the education of our younger generation, he played some brain-teasing games with the participants.

The games really tested the limits of the participants' mental boundaries, so to speak. Dilip's point: Expand your consciousness! Don't restrict yourself!

He ended the fun-paced presentation with some fascinating insights:

1) What is the opposite of 'OUTSTANDING'?

Participants threw up a good number of responses, but the most appropriate answer should be 'VERY GOOD', according to Dilip, who explained that in today's context, 'VERY GOOD' was not good enough.

We have to be OUTSTANDING in whatever we do. In other words, BE DISTINCT or Be EXTINCT!

2) An antidote for handling FAILURE in a child, posed by a participant. Dilip's response: Note the 'ILU' or 'I LOVE YOU'.

According to him, "Love is the only operating system".

What a beautiful Sunday!

[VUCA stands for VOLATILITY, UNCERTAINTY, COMPLEXITY & AMBIGUITY. To deal with these dilemmatic perspectives, we need VISION, UNDERSTANDING, CLARITY & AGILITY.

These come from the brilliant work of futurist Bob Johansen, who wrote 'Leaders Make the Future'. I have already reviewed it in an earlier post. Dilip has also done a beautiful splashmap on the book's key ideas.]


“Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.”

~ attributed to Robertson Davies;

Sunday, May 9, 2010



I came across - rather belatedly - the following interesting perspective about the distinction between an idea & its execution, from Derek Sivers, while surfing the net today:

"To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.



SO-SO- EXECUTION = $10,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000

To make a business, you need to multiply the two.

The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.
The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000."

Think about it.

No wonder celebrity success coach Anthony Robbins often said : "The secret to success is taking massive, consistent action."

[Derek Sivers calls himself "a hopeless learning addict, who's endlessly fascinated with the technical/programming/design process". He spends most of his time inventing and re-inventing the code behind his growing company's music distribution websites.]

Saturday, May 8, 2010


A fox entered the house of an actor and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it and said, "What a beautiful head! Yet it is of no value, as it entirely lacks brains."

~ Aesop (from 'Aesop's Fables, The Fox and the Mask');

Children use the fist until they are of age to use the brain.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning;

"All geniuses are leeches, so to speak. They feed from the same source - the blood of life... There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we only have to open up, only have to discover what is already there."

~ Henry Miller, novelist;

"Real intelligence is a creative use of knowledge, not merely an accumulation of facts. The slow thinker who can finally come up with an idea of his own is more important to the world than a walking encyclopedia who hasn't learned how to use the information productively."

~ Kenneth Winebrenner;

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

~ Winston Churchill;

"It takes considerable knowledge just to realise the extent of your ignorance."

~ Thomas Sowell;

We must admit that the divine banquet of the brain was, and still is, a feast with dishes that remain elusive in the blending, and with sauces whose ingredients are even now a secret.

~ MacDonald Critchley (from 'The Divine Banquet of the Brain', 1979);

A knowledge of brain science will provide one of the major foundations of the new age to come. That knowledge will spawn cures for disease, new machines based on brain function, further insights into our nature and how we know.

~ Gerald Edelman (from 'Neuroscience, Memory & the Brain', 1975);

[Excerpted from 'Unleashing Genius with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea.]

Friday, May 7, 2010


According to creativity expert, Michael Michalko, writing about his 'A Theory about Genius' in the wonderful book, 'Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius', creative geniuses in science, art, and industry throughout history often relied on their visual thinking approaches to make important breakthroughs.

One great example came from Albert Einstein.

"One of the most complete descriptions of Einstein's philosophy of science, was found in a letter to his friend, Maurice Solovine. In the letter, Einstein explained the difficulty of attempting to use words to explain his philosophy of science because, as he said, he thinks about such things schematically.

The letter started with a simple drawing consisting of (1) a straight line representing E (experiences), which are given to us, and (2) A (axioms), which are situated above the line but not directly linked to the line.

[Note: This is an approximation. Einstein's original sketch is in the Albert Einstein Archives, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.]

Einstein explained that psychologically the A rests upon the E.

There exists, however, no logical path from E to A, but only an intuitive connection, which is always subject to revocation. From axioms, one can make certain deductions (S), which may lay claim to being correct.

In essence, Einstein was saying that it is the theory that determines what we observe. Einstein argued that scientific thinking is speculative, and only in its end product does it lead to a system that is characterized as "logical simplicity."

Unable to satisfactorily describe his thoughts in words, Einstein made his thought visible by diagraming his philosophy's main features and characteristics."

What intrigues most about the Einstein Sketch is the "intuitive connection" from 'E' to 'A'. That's the fuzzy part, which I like to know more about. Dilip Mukerjea likes to call it, 'Junction Dynamics'.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Look at the picture below. What do you see?

There are a myriad ways of looking at a situation.

We sometimes hard focus and miss the entire picture.

If you saw "it" straightaway, good. However, others may not have seen it, as they were concentrating on only one aspect of the picture. In such a case, all you do see clearly, you cannot not see it.

There is a perception switch that has occurred. We often need to switch our focus from narrow to broad, shallow to deep, or a combination of these, in order to go beyond the obscure towards the obvious.

You should have seen "it" by now. It's the little white arrow inside the corporate logo.

[adapted & excerpted from 'Brain Symphony: Brain-blazing Practical Techniques in Creativity for Immediate Application', by Dilip Mukerjea;]

Say Keng's expert comments:

Please refer to my earlier blogpost.

Essentially, the secret to opportunity discovery lies in this exercise.

As a matter of fact, most entrepreneurial opportunities come from pedestrian observations.

I leave it to the following experts to drive home my point:

"You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence & success. The problem is, you just don't see them."

Jay Abraham, marketing strategist & author of 'Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got';

"Successful opportunities for innovation & growth are right here, in front of us, & we often can't see them or don't act on them."

Erich Joachimsthaler, strategy consultant & author of 'Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find & Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy';

"Everyone is surrounded by opportunities. But they only exist once they have been seen. And they will only be seen if they are looked for."

Edward de bono, creativity guru & author of 'Opportunities: A Handbook for Business Opportunity Search';

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My "mentor" in the field of brain-based, change-oriented, future-focused technologies, thinkologist Dudley Lynch, & progenitor of 'The Strategy of the Dolphin' methodology, has compiled a wonderful list of top websites - all promoting self-improvement by fueling your curiosity!

Go & take a look! Here's the link.


As one opens up the visually captivating, high-content, information-rich book, 'Unleashing Genius, with the World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', by Dilip Mukerjea, you will find his 'Foreword' as follows:


Leading through learning depends upon a special kind of ignorance... that of never knowing what you can't do! Develop this quality; it will be a faithful companion in your quest for the best.

To know about is never enough; you must be! Be a seeker, not a blind believer. Search, enquire, experiment, and march forth bodly into the future.

Mistakes, mishaps, and misfortines will come your way; treat them as opportunities for discovering who you are. They are a gift from the Universe, designed to help you grow.

This book offers you some raw materials to enhance your life. I am grateful that the magic within has come my way. With great pleasure, I now pass it on to you, dear Reader! Enjoy, and Unleash Your Genius!"

I must say that 'A Book on Learning Miracles for Children of all Ages' as shown on the front cover is certainly an apt secondary title.

This is the only book in Dilip's evolving portfolio that truly transcends both the enducational & the corporate domain.

To put it more explicitly, this is one book that can be read - easy to follow, so to speak - by students, teachers, parents, home-schoolers, managers, professionals & entrepreneurs as well as senior citizens.

As Dilip puts it, "by the time you finish the book, you will have become a Certified Learning FUN-atic! This means that you and your brain will have:

- become incredibly more creative;

- a powerful memory;

- a top class capability to read fast and to remember more;

- escalated your skills in the English Language;

- acquired expertise in Mind Mapping and other ways to process information at top speed;

- activated the art & science of 'power learning';

- had fun with the world's most powerful learning systems!

[As a matter of fact, a pictorial 12-spoke wheel on the back over illustrates the stunning array of learning miracles! - appropriate for building intellectual capital & strategic agility!]

In other words, you will have been unleashing your genius!


There is a New World to be won; NOW! The choice is yours:

Creativity or Catastrophe!

It is about your ability to generate streams of ideas and to translate these ideas into business items.

The pages that follow are meant to design your destiny. The people whose neurons fire quickest and best are the ones that will forge ahead!

The future belongs to the children of today. Let the journey begins... "

What follows is a tapestry of the selected "raw materials" in the wonderful book.

Just click on the foregoing 'Lotus Blossom Map' to get a sneak preview via close-up view of the key pages!

The book is already available at Kinokuniya Bookstores.

Alternatively, you can preview &/or order it from the author's corporate website.

Monday, May 3, 2010

LIFESCAPING SEMINAR @SIM, scheduled 15-17th September 2010

Dilip Mukerjea is scheduled to conduct the next session of his foregoing popular 'Lifescaping' seminar under the auspices of the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) from 15th to 17th September 2010.

The synopsis of the seminar is outlined as follows:


- Are YOU learning as fast as the world is changing?

- Are YOU agile enough to boost growth and profits?

- Are YOU exploiting opportunities?

- Are YOU living your life out loud?

- Are YOU creative enough to combat corporate challenges?

Savour the exhilaration of your embedded talents via these offerings:

Leadership, Innovation, Fellowship, and Entrepreneurship!

Lifescaping™ helps you to:

• Develop Strategic Response Capabilties for your business

• Design & Develop Projects to move from aspiration to activation to actualisation

• Design blueprints for your life and career

Lifescaping is a unique, visually provocative, highly interactive business (and work *) planning, and personal, life-design tool. It provides a gestalt, large-picture perspective by slashing learning curves normally deployed for preparation and consolidation of plans.

[* Public Sector agencies and non-profit]

Benefits to You:

Fully interactive experience that enables you to amplify your capabilities via INITIATIVE, CREATIVITY, and PASSION, in order to become:




It gets you to define your vision, and chart a course towards it. Achieve this by recognising your needs, determining your values, and crafting your beliefs. Success is inevitable.

Significant enhancement to your sense of motivation. Puts you in control of your life via control of your mind, guided by the purity of your spirit. With power, purpose, and forward direction.

Entrepreneurship and Leadership:

Acquire a range of techniques that give shape and dimension to your life. Create a vision that needs no revision.

Direct your attention to The Triple Bottom Line of: Economic Prosperity, Environmental Well-Being, and Social Justice. Awaken your spirit and allow yourself to experience success.

Programme Outline:

· Identifying lessons from the past

· Envisioning possibilities and scenarios by charting with Lifescapes™

· Preparing for contingencies and risks

· Lessons and exercises in entrepreneurial thinking

· Understanding current realities relevant to markets and competitors

· Developing strategies and SMART goals

· Monitoring progress and growth for continual success

· Multiple insights on leadership across domains

· Conducting ‘vulnerability & opportunity audits’

· Creating game plans

· Creating business plans

· Suite of techniques in creativity & innovation

· Strategic Thinking skills to move ahead from aspiration, to action, to actualisation!

Who Must Attend:

Executives at all levels and from any discipline in the corporate and educational ecosystems. Anyone who desires to leap ahead, from confusion to profitability. People who wish to connect with the symphony of their spirit.


Time : 8:30 - 18:00

Fee : S$1,605.00 (SIM Members) (Inclusive of 7% GST)

Enquiries : 62489407

For more information about seminar, you can download a brochure from this link.

For seminar registration, please proceed to this link.


First, let us see how you see.

Which is the odd number and letter respectively in the following formulation:

1) Thirteen;
2) Thirty-one;
3) One-third;

There are several answers that one could select.

For example, the odd number could be:

- Thirteen ~ it is the only unhyphenated number; the only superstitiously unluck number;

- Thirty-one ~ it is the only number with three syllables; the only number where 3 comes before the 1;

- One-third ~ it is the only fraction in the list or the only number less than 1;

There are various other options within this selection.

However, the only number that truly stands out is the number (2); it is the one that does not contain the digits 'one' and/or 'three'.

If you were focusing solely on the numbers written in words alone, then that is a virtual box created by you as a prison!

[Excerpted from the wonderful book, 'Surfing the Intellect: Building Intellectual Capital in a Knowledge Economy', by Dilip Mukerjea;]

Say Keng's expert comments:

Actually, Dilip has already given readers a pretty good hint - probably to reduce your agony - when he posed the above question.

Given a choice, I would have posed 'Which one of the following is most different?'

Nonetheless, what Dilip has highlighted in his book is a classic example of a 'cognitive trap', which illustrates a common phenomenon among most of us whenever we look at the world unconsciously with our blinkers on, so to speak.

In essence, & sad to say, it's a self-imposed limitation.

Personal productivity guru Stephen Covey once illuminated it best: "The way you see the problem is the problem."

Readers who are keen to explore this phenomenon can read the following works:

- 'Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas', by James Adams; [he had identified many other key 'mental blocks': perceptual, emotional, cultural, environmental, intellectual, & expressive]

- 'More Ways to Use Your Head: New Methods for Developing Better Brain Power', by psychologist Stuart Litvak [he had identified almost a dozen of other interesting 'cognitive traps'];

- 'Mindfulness', by psychologist (of Harvard University) Ellen Langer;

That's why, Dilip & I always believe that, in order to realise our fullest creative potential, we must constantly check our perceptual sensitivity to the world.

I recommend one quick way, as a self-check, by asking the following questions:

- what do I choose to see?

- where do I direct my attention?


"People want me to do everything for them. What they don't realise is that they have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle!"

~ Morgan Freeman, who played God, in the hilarious comedy movie 'Bruce Almighty', while talking to funny man Jim Carrey, who played a reporter down on his luck;