"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, December 10, 2012

Here's a beautiful essay, 'The Quest for Self-Conquest', by Dilip Mukerjea.

This is a hi-res graphic rendition of the 21st Century Workplace, illustrating the six Disruptive Drivers and the ten Essential Skills, by Dilip Mukerjea.

Saturday, November 10, 2012



UPDATE: Inter-relationship Map of the SUPERBRAIN STUDY SYSTEM, by Dilip Mukerjea

Again, this is the student learning menu, illustrated in the form of an inter-relationship map. As mentioned in an earlier post, it serves as a component part of the curriculum design of  'The World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', developed by Dilip Mukerjea for the schools and institutions of higher learning.


This is actually the student learning menu, as a component part of the curriculum design of 'The World's Most Powerful Learning Systems', developed by Dilip Mukerjea for the schools and higher institutions of learning.


To understand the purpose of this fun game, you can go to an earlier post, 'Twenty Questions to Rack Your Brain', to read about it


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


In continuation of an earlier post:
Here's a simple mind-map done on the fly by Tony Buzan, capturing the essence of his important meeting with my good buddy Dilip Mukerjea, during which the latter shares future-forward strategies on how to leave behind a memorable and powerful legacy, using the metaphor, "Life2Death and Death2Life"!


This is a nice snapshot of what I like to call Guru Meets Guru... in a nut shell, my good buddy Dilip Mukerjea, now more or less based in Mumbai, India, recently meets up with Tony Buzan in Singapore.

Friday, May 11, 2012

QUESTIONS TO PONDER: 10 Questions That Create Success

I am always fascinated by questions, and have quite a large personal collection gathered over the years from a multitude of sources.

I often like to apply them in all my spheres of daily activity, so that  I can get to ponder about my own personal growth, as well as to help me focus quickly on what really matters.

Here's a great sampling from Geoffrey James writing in the 'Sales Source' column of the widely-read online magazine.

1. Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?

2. Have I done something today that improved the world?

3. Have I conditioned my body to be more strong flexible and resilient?

4. Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?

5. Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?

6. Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?

7. Have I accomplished something worthwhile?

8. Have I helped someone less fortunate?

9. Have I collected some wonderful memories?

10. Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?

[Source: online magazine, 23rd January 2012]

Friday, April 20, 2012


I didn't realise that 15th to 20th April is 'World Creativity Week', which has its humble beginnings from a sort of community event held eleven years ago in Canada, until I have read a blogpost by Lisa Canning today on the 'Innovating Through Artistry' weblog.

By the way, I have also learned that the Renaissance maestro Leonardo da vinci's birthday anniversary also falls on 15th April.

To commemorate the event, here's a short blast, though belated, from braindancing maestro Dilip's writings:

"Creativity is the ability to cast light upon darkness, to see with fresh eyes, to come up with 'silly' solutions to serious problems!

Creativity is having fun with life! 

Creativity is helping the world become a better place for all life on our fragile planet!'

From the foregoing observation, it is evident that creativity comes from within all of us, but it takes personal responsibility, personal initiative as well as personal discipline to get started and to get moving.

The "casting of light" and "seeing with fresh eyes"  perspectives, as mentioned by Dilip, imply that personal creativity, in tactical terms, anchors on two attributes:

- our ability to see the fine details or little things that others overlook in our field of vision;
- our ability to take the big picture or broad view of any scenario that falls withing our field of vision;

Nonetheless, I often cajole Dilip on the point about personal creativity, whereby some folks - Dilip himself is a classic example - are somewhat lucky, with the hot flame on their Aladdin lamps burning bright consistently all the time, despite the wind, whereas other folks have to work much harder to keep on rubbing their seemingly rusty Aladdin lamps, so as to get the flame flickering, so to speak.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"As a parent I would love to help my children to be creative and innovative. Perhaps, nurturing the young ones for innovation can begin at home. How do you reckon we can do this?"

"... You have to invoke curiosity in your children this is the source of all creativity. Start a questioning culture at home. Children are natural “question-askers”. Encourage them to ask, don't stop them.

Another thing is to let them experiment without imposing our paradigms on them. For example, there is no reason why an elephant cannot be purple, is there? So let them colour their elephants purple.

At a later stage, introduce critical thinking skills as a “reality check”... "

~ Datuk Dr Kamal Jit Singh, CEO, Unit Inovasi Khas, Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia;

[Source: The Star Online, Malaysia, 7th April 2012]

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Begin by questioning all the assumptions you have taken for granted. Ask, “Why am I doing this? Isn't there a better way?”

Next, look for what others cannot see. Most of us look at an object or scenario and see the same thing. An innovator looks for what is present but not obvious to the masses. This is called “separating the signal from the noise.”

Finally, whenever you encounter a certain situation, ask yourself two questions: “What does this really mean?” and “How can I benefit from this?”

Datuk Dr Kamal Jit Singh, CEO, Unit Inovasi Khas, Prime Minister Office of Malaysia;

[Source: The Star Online, Malaysia, 7th April 2012]

Monday, April 2, 2012


Last night, by chance while channel surfing, I made a choice to re-watch once again the adrenalin-pumping action drama, 'XXX' (2002),  on Max cable television in Ho Chi Minh City. In fact, I had re-watched the movie countless times on DVD before, including once in the movie theatre in Singapore.

The entertaining story centred on how Xander Cage (played by Vin Diesel), an extreme sports athlete with a very bad attitude, was recruited by a secret US government outfit, headed by Gibbons (played by Samuel Jackson)  on a special covert mission to gather intelligence on a Prague-based organization that wanted to  destroy the world, led by the crazy dude with a fancy name, Yorgi.

I really enjoyed rewatching the particular segment when he was finally coerced into accepting his unsolicited assignment to help Uncle Sam, as illustrated in the following fascinating dialogue from Gibbons: 

"... You ever watch lions at the zoo? You can always tell which ones were captured in the wild by the look in their eyes. The wild cat. She remembers running across the plain, the thrill of the hunt. Four hundred pounds of killing fury, locked in a box. 

But after a while, their eyes start to glaze over, and you can tell their soul has died. The same thing happens to a man. 

Leavenworth Federal Penetentiary is no joke. 

They'll take a wild man like you and throw him in solitary just for the fun of it. No more mountains to board, no more oceans to surf. Just a 6-by-8 cell with no window and only a bucket to shit in. You can avoid all of that by doing me this small favor... "

Somehow, this wonderful lesson from the movie resonates with another adrenalin-pumping action drama, 'Rocky III' (1982), which I had also re-watched numerous times on DVD.

In the particular movie, world champion boxer Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) was knocked out by the arrogant Clubber Lang (played menacingly by Mr T).  As a result, nobody believed in Rocky anymore, except for one man, former world champion boxer Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers). 

The seemingly daunting challenge for Apollo was whether Rocky could regain that hunger in order to get back into the ring as a real fighter.

As Apollo attempted to stimulate Rocky's fighting spirit, and wanted the latter to be back in top-form quickly, the following memorable dialogue segments in the movie, fueled by an equally pulsating signature song/music from the Survivors,  summed up the motivation very well:

Apollo: "... Now, when we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man; the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning. You know what I mean?... "

Apollo: "... See that look in their eyes, Rock? You gotta get that look back, Rock. Eye of the tiger, man... "

Apollo: "... Damn, Rock, Come on! What's the matter with you?" 
Rocky: "Tomorrow. Let's do it tomorrow." 
Apollo: "There is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow!"
At the end of the movie, Rocky ultimately regained his former self  by  giving his former rival a really brutal lesson,  aptly exemplified by the real-world champion boxer Mike Tyson who once said:

Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the face!"

The foregoing two insightful lessons somehow bring me back to the eighties to reminisce what senior statesman Lee Kuan Yew, while serving as Prime Minister, had grappled with the crucial issues of cabinet leadership renewal.

He was concerned that the new bunch of young PAP leaders-to-be did not have that "fire in the belly", because they did not go through the ‘baptism of fire’ during an election.

Unfortunately in recent years, to the chagrin of all Singaporean folks, the hot potato of unprecedented ministerial salaries had to a great extent altered the political equation in the country.

Nonetheless, against the backdrop of what I have been talking about in this post, just ask yourself:

"Do you have 'the look of the lion in the wild'"? or

"Do you have 'the eye of the tiger'"? or

"Do you have 'the fire in the belly'"?

For me, as a professional success coach, the three phenomenons basically accentuate the power of purposeful focus, from the tripartite perspectives of mind, body and spirit. 

In a nut shell, I hold the explicit view that it's the mandatory prime driving force for anyone wanting to pursue personal as well as professional excellence.

Think about it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


We are truly blessed by Mother Nature.

Each and every one of us is given a superduper portable computer on the day we were born. It comes with a necktop cranial configuration, linked intricately via an information superhighway running through our entire physical body.

Even though it does not come with a factory instruction manual, it has been specifically designed for continual lifetime usage.

It is true that it may not have the mathematical crunching power of a computer from Cray Research, and neither can it match the fast evaluation capability of the one once known as IBM Deep Blue, which eventually out-maneuvered World Champion Grand Master Gary Kasparov in several chess games during the mid-nineties or so.

However, it's an established fact that no known computer system  in the world can surpass its intuitive sensing capability. As an example, it can quickly "connect the dots" or instantly "smell a rat", so to speak, which a computer of today will hardly be able to do it.

Scientists of today have yet to realistically fathom the breadth and depth, of its vast neuronal power, which is believed to run into millions and millions of gigabytes, considering the intensity and complexity of its neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, notwithstanding its often idiosyncratic aspects.

Within its elegant cranial configuration located tightly between your two ears, there are, at least as I view it, three state-of-the-art, multi-core CPUs, running under an active, as well as interactive, self-organising operating system, with multi-modal, multi-path, multi-sensory, parallel networking and pattern recognition capability.

Unlike any known computer system ever been built by man, its retinal-resolution binocular - and stereoscopic - camera, with each aperture opening far more complex than the entire space shuttle, and twin super high-fidelity sound recorders, each with acutely discerning capacity, are far more superior and unparalled in terms of their ability to scan and sense the environment, distant or near.

It has also a virtually unlimited memory capacity, with holographic capabilities. With such a memory, you can learn, think, strategise, reason, decide, plan, anticipate, judge, evaluate, create, design, execute, play and work with it to your fullest potential and to your heart's content.

All basic softwares are already factory-installed, so to speak, and ready to run, but you have total freedom to delete old programs and to download or upgrade to new programs.

Interestingly, it has an uncanny propensity to create its own programs, especially when you least expected them, some of which may be good, and some may be  malicious.

Sad to say, just like any computer system, it is always susceptible to virus, especially the deadly type known as thought virus.

Hence, you need to seek out and get skilled training, and also, you need to invest in learning more about how to keep yourself future-ready, particularly from experts like learning chef and braindancer Dilip Mukerjea.

Operationally, it never has to be taken out for cleaning or recharging or even maintenance. However, when riding a motorbike, it's strongly advisable that you put on a crash helmet. This is to make sure that your bony framework around it stays intact in the event of an unlikely accident.

It weighs about 1.5 kg, and that's about 1% to 2% of your body weight, but its energy consumption alone accounts for more than 20% of that of your physical body. Hence, it is imperative that you constantly keep your physical body in peak performance state all the time.

Nonetheless, you can rest assured that it can go wherever you go.

Best of all, it requires no special carrying case. Also, you do not have to incur additional handling and shipping costs, even when flying.

You do not have to consign it to the baggage section of any carriage.

You do not have to place it under the seat or in the overhead compartment, especially when flying.

More importantly, it cannot be lost in transit, and always arrives safely in one piece when you do.

It has its own perpetual built-in bio-electro-chemical power supply, and requires no additional batteries, extension cords, adaptors and connectors.

You can use it day and night, almost everywhere, on land, sea and in the air.

You can take it into any country without a special customs permit.

As long as you stay in peak performance state, and unless you subject it to abuse, it will remain functional throughout your life span.

The only unpleasant thing for a large majority of folks in the long run is that it has a low component reliability, due to aging and disease, but high system dependability, with a design life of up to 90 years or more, provided that you keep yourself physically active, intellectually alive and socially interactive.

Although it does not come with factory warranty, many renowned end-users, including Albert Einstein and Gary Kasparov, had confirmed that the more they had used it, the better, faster and more powerful they became! To echo Dilip Mukerjea, your brainpower is defined by usage, and not age.

Many thanks to Mother Nature!

Monday, March 26, 2012


“... that in today’s economy, knowing things is more important than making them... ”

~ Bill Fischer, co-author of 'The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas & Make Them Happen', as related by his co-author, Andy Boynton, in a Forbes' article, 'Ideas Trump Gadgets'; [Bill points to the back of his iPhone, which reads: “Designed by Apple in California; Assembled in China.” There’s a difference.]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

YOUR HEART IS A KEY TO A BETTER NIGHT SLEEP, according to Sara Childre, President, Institute of HeartMath, USA

The following useful information came to me via an email subscription from Sara Childre, President, Institute of HeartMath, USA:

It’s harder for many people to get a good night’s sleep in these times. You probably have heard the statistics. Sleeplessness affects all age groups. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that disordered sleep – difficulty falling asleep, light sleep or non-restorative sleep for several nights or more weekly – affects nearly two-thirds of American adults at some point.

Not enough sleep affects quality of life – emotional well-being, mental clarity, communications, performance at work or elsewhere, even our sense of connection to our authentic self – and ultimately our long-term health.                       

Stress is a leading cause of abnormal sleep patterns. For many of us, worries and concerns we’ve been pushing aside finally get their time to play out on the stage of our minds without distraction at night. Then we get anxious about not sleeping, which only makes it harder to sleep the next night.

Anxiety releases adrenaline which prompts body and mind into action – the opposite of what we need for sleeping. It’s a catch-22. But the result is usually the same.

You are foggy or exhausted the next day. Maybe you keep yourself alert with coffee, sugar or other stimulants, but then you crash and drag around. Many of us have tried a lot of the remedies and still often find ourselves lying awake a good part of the night. What are we to do?

If any of this describes you or someone you care about, there is a place about one to two feet under your nose (depending on how tall you are) that you may not have looked for a remedy. That place is your heart.                     

How Your Heart Can Help You Sleep Better

Tip 1: Reset your inner rhythm.

Your heart beats in a rhythm. When you are worried, anxious, stressed or overstimulated, that rhythm becomes irregular. The more stressed you are, the more chaotic your heart rhythm becomes.

So what makes the heart rhythm smooth out quickly?

It’s sincere positive feelings, like: love, care, gratitude, appreciation, compassion, kindness, peace and ease. These feelings not only feel soothing and good, but they are good for you. They bring a smooth order to your heart rhythms, reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) to help you sleep more soundly and increase DHEA (the vitality hormone) so you wake up more refreshed.

You can see in the picture below how jagged the heart rhythm pattern is when you’re anxious or frustrated and how smooth and sine-wave like (coherent) it becomes when you’re bathing in a positive feeling.    

Both of the above graphs are of the same person feeling anxiety then using a heart technique to shift to a positive feeling and their heart rhythm pattern changed within a period of a few minutes!

What’s even more important for the sleep deprived is that scientists have found that this smooth, coherent rhythm is the pattern your heart rhythm naturally goes into during deep restful sleep.

So why not give it some help? Here’s what you can do:

When you close your eyes at night, tell yourself you aren’t going to overdramatize your concerns about sleeping.

Then do this heart-focused technique we call Attitude Breathing to help you create the coherent rhythmic pattern that can facilitate deeper and more effective sleep: Gently breathe an attitude of calm, ease and relaxation for a minute or two.

When relaxed, breathe an attitude of appreciation, gratitude or love for someone or something – a pet, a time in nature, etc.

Do this for a few minutes or more to activate coherent heart rhythms and release beneficial hormones to reduce stress and restore your system.

Tip 2: Have you ever noticed what happens when you go to bed without resolving a real or imagined conflict with someone?

Your mind won’t stop rehashing what you could have or should have said. Your heart can help. Here’s how:            

If you can, communicate with the other person, even by phone, before you go to bed. With a caring open-heartedness and latitude, try to work it out.

First ask yourself if there’s something you need to correct within yourself to help the situation.

Apologize if you need to and listen from your heart with an attitude of genuine care.

Ask questions to sincerely understand where he/she was coming from, even if you think you know. If you can’t reach the person, talk about the problem with someone who won’t automatically take your side and may provide another point of view. Then talk to the person as soon as you can. Don’t chicken out.

Even if the situation doesn’t resolve right away, you can release yourself more knowing that you tried.

Breathing the attitude of self-compassion (using Tip 1) has helped many people in "hard-to-resolve" situations.                  

Tip 3: Realize that emotional reactions during the day can affect how you sleep at night.

If you allow stress to build-up during the day, it throws off your body’s rhythms and can lead to overload, headaches, backaches, indigestion, energy drain and more.

Your heart generates the strongest rhythmic pattern in the body, and your brain and nervous system entrain to your heart’s rhythm whether coherent or incoherent.

Shifting your heart into a smooth coherent rhythm a couple times during the day helps release stress as you go and resets your body’s rhythms for better sleep at night.

Here’s how:

Take a coherence break in-between activities, at your desk or anywhere.

Shift your attention to your heart (look at picture of a loved one, remember a favorite pet, or recall a time in nature) and feel appreciation or gratitude.

It’s important that the appreciation be heartfelt (not just from your mind) to activate heart coherence and the hormones that help bring harmony and stability to your mental and emotional nature.

Breathe a true feeling or attitude of appreciation through the area of your heart for a minute or two (without mentally multi-tasking as you do this).

Taking a coherence break also increases balance and resilience, and it helps you listen to your heart’s intuitive guidance on what else you need to do to release stress or prevent stress build-up.

It may take several days using these tips for your sleep rhythms to reset if they’ve been out of whack for a while. Even if you don’t sleep like a baby the first night, you will start to accrue benefits from the practice.

To speed up the process, practice the Quick Coherence® Technique several times during the day to reduce the stress that’s keeping you awake at night. You’ll learn to relieve worry, fatigue and tension.

Improve your emotional, mental and physical balance during the day so you’re prepared for restful sleep at night.

Or you might want to try the emWave2 solution for Better Sleep, a heart rhythm coherence trainer technology to watch in real-time when your heart rhythms shift into that smooth coherent state and a booklet of personal stories and instructions will help you sleep more peacefully more often.                   

[More information about the exemplary research work at the Institute of HeartMath, and access to their Research Library, can be found respectively at this link and/or this link.

Throughout the nineties, while my small but unique retail store, aptly called 'The Brain Resource', was in operation at the periphery of the Central Business District of Singapore, I often carried many of their books, audios/videos, and other resources.]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I had probably watched the thriller movie, 'Shooter', on DVD more than half a dozen times.

In fact, I had watched it again a few weeks ago.

The exciting story centred on how a retired US Marine scout-sniper, Bob (played by Mark Wahlberg) was hook-winked and double-crossed by a high-powered rogue group led by an enigmatic Colonel Johnson (played by Danny Glover), in collusion with a mysterious senator in deep cover within the US government establishment, to take on a seemingly patriotic assignment, with the objective of flushing out a known assassination attempt on the US President.

At the end, he escaped and eventually tracked down and neutralised all the bad guys, with the unlikely aid of a disgraced FBI agent, Nick (played by Michael Pena).

Naturally, as in most Hollywood movie productions, a beautiful woman also got dragged into the web of intrigue, serving unfortunately more as eye candy.

As a matter of fact, many nights earlier, I had also watched another thriller movie, 'Enemy at the Gates', on DVD about a deadly cat and mouse game between a Russian sniper (played by Jude Law) and a German sniper (played by Ed Harris) at the tail end of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Several years ago, I had also watched the thriller movie on cable television in Singapore, 'Sniper', followed by its two subsequent sequels, 'Sniper 2' and 'Sniper 3'. Tom Berenger had played the US Marine sniper veteran featured in all the three movies.

In a nut shell, somehow I seem to have this unquenchable fascination for watching snipers at work, even though they were conceived in the minds of creative Hollywood producers.

Well, for me, I always hold the view that reel life reflects real life, and vice versa. That's why whenever I sit down to watch a movie, I always make it a point to mine and extract my learning experience from the movie beyond the entertainment perspective.

I have read that real-world snipers actually work in team of two, as depicted in the movie, 'Shooter'.

What actually fascinates most is the skills repertoire of the scout-sniper, which comprises:

- the mental skills, especially the ability to think ahead (I call it "anticipatory prowess", as depicted by Bob in the movie), and to look at the situation critically;

- the patience to wait for the perfect opportunity to fire upon a selected target;

- the ability to "neutralise" environmental distractions; and, more importantly,;

- the ability to manage the countless mathematical variables in the head, about wind speed, wind direction, range, target movement, mirage, light source, barometric pressure, temperature and even the earth's rotation (that's why he works with a spotter in a sniper team);

- the physical discipline and survival skills;

- the observation, reconnaissance and surveillance skills, especially the ability to catch the slightest "unnatural disturbances" in the environment around them;

- the camouflage skills, to avoid detection and staying alive;

- the stalking and infiltration skills, including stealth adeptness as well as the ability to adapt and improvise with whatever resources at hand;

on top of the clever marksmanship with tactical weapons and a precise understanding of ballistics.

Interestingly, I read that marksmanship accounts for only 10% to 20% of their overall skills repertoire.

The skill and the power of observation are rated very highly.

While digging through the net for information on scout-sniper training, I found the following interesting games as part of their observational skills training, known as the KIMS game:

It goes something like this.

A number of different objects are placed randomly on the table: a bullet, a paper clip, a bottle top, a pen, a piece of paper with something written on it.

They may be 10 to 20 items.

Trainees are given a minute or so to look at everything on the table.

Then, they have to go back to their desks & describe what they saw.

They are not allowed to say "paper clip" or "bullet".

They have to say, like, "silver, metal wire, bent in two oval shapes."

In other words, the training requires you to observe the objects more closely or critically.

The foregoing game is repeated with more objects to look at and with less time to look at them.

To add to the challenge, the time between seeing the objects and describing what is seen gets longer as the scout-sniper training goes on.

By the end, they may see 25 objects in the morning, train whole day, and then at night be asked to write down descriptions of all the things they saw in the morning.

Another observation skills training happens in the field with a sniper scope.

What they are required to do is to scope out random but hidden objects in a field.

For me, this intense observational practice is intriguing.

Now, I can understand how all these observation training manoeuvres eventually help the scout-sniper to function superbly with stalking, infiltration, and  reconnaissance manoeuvres in the field under dicey circumstances.

I reckon the same acute observational skills of a scout-sniper can also readily apply in the skills repertoire of today's business professional, except for the "one-shot, one-kill" score.

To be able to spot opportunities, a business professional today must exercise active and intense observational skills in novel situations as well as in ordinary encounters, besides a substantial dosage of personal creativity and a broad network of contacts.

Monday, March 12, 2012


"Every one is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing that it is stupid."

~ Albert Einstein, (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist, who developed the 'Theory of General Relativity', effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the 'Father of Modern Physics';

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Peter Schwartz, an internationally renowned futurist and business strategist,  and cofounder of  the Global Business Network (GBN) has written a simple, short and easy-to-understand article,  'Winning in an Uncertain Future through Scenario Planning'.

Prior to founding GBN, he served as head of scenario planning at the Royal Dutch/Shell Company, and is the author of “The Art of the Long View”, which is often considered a bible on scenario planning.

As I have mentioned earlier in this weblog, the Royal Dutch Shell Company's pioneering and successful application of scenario planning before the Middle East oil crisis of the mid-1970's was a great business example of strategic preparedness.

The oil embargo caught most oil companies by surprise, but Shell had already considered the impact of an increase in oil price as a possible future scenario, and thought of the actions they should take if it happened. By practicing this scenario planning methodology, they managed to avoid the worst shocks.

Shell even emerged after the oil crisis as the strongest player in the field.

Here's the link to the article.


Further to what I have written about Visual CV, in an earlier blogpost,  here is another way to embellish one's professional profile with a pictorial-textual approach, which has been conceived by Dilip Mukerjea, as a real example for his own use.


[continued from the Last Post]

My voracious reading pursuits over the years have often fueled me with a rich variety of inspiring quotes, especially those pertaining to the subject of "developing action-mindedness".

Here are a selected few I like to share with readers:

"The critical ingredient is getting off your rear end & doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But TODAY!"

~ Nolan Brushnell, 69, American engineer and entrepreneur, who founded both Atari Inc., and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters chain:

"We have to understand that the world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye... The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974), Polish-born British mathematician and man of letters who eloquently presented the case for the humanistic aspects of science; was also the presenter of the BBC documentary series, 'The Ascent of Mind', which inspired Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' series.)

"It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."

~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), preeminent Indian leader;

Here's an interesting excerpt from an earlier blogpost I have written in my 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog, entitled 'TALK DOESN'T COOK RICE', drawing inspiration from  a very interesting article, 'Move from Intent to Action', by Leo Babauta in the 'Third Age' weblog. Here's the link .

My quick takeaways:

1. Don’t overthink, just do;

2. Forget perfection. Get going;

3. Don’t mistake motion for action. Slow down. Focus;

4. Focus on the important. When you’re done with that, repeat the process;

5. Move slowly, consciously. Be deliberate;

6. Take small steps. And each step is a victory, that will compel you to further victories;

7. Negative thinking gets you nowhere. Positive thinking really works;

8. Meetings aren’t action;

9. Talking (usually) isn’t action. Communication is necessary, but don’t mistake it for actual action;

10. Planning isn’t action. Get to work!

12. Sometimes, inaction is better... if you find yourself spinning your wheels, or you find you’re doing more harm than good...

Now, I can get to work on DEVELOPING THE S.M.A.R.T. GAMEPLAN

As I have mentioned before, getting an idea or ideas is actually a piece of cake. All of us can do it pretty well.

On the other hand, putting them to work or converting them into reality - my good friend, Dilip Mukerjea, likes to use the term: moving ideas to ca$h - takes a lot of hardwork.

It requires deliberate and diligent efforts on our part, in addition to decision making as well as action planning.

Not only planning and scheduling the pertinent tasks to put the ideas into action, but also planning for possible consequences, as actions have dire consequences.

Maybe, that's why very few people like to engage in it.

I reckon another way to look at the whole endeavour is understanding that ideas alone don't create success. Breakthrough or good ideas in the head may give you the euphoria for a short while. That's about it.

I certainly recall my hectic days in the corporate world.

My former bosses in the corporate world (from 1967 to 1991) - Swiss, German, Chinese, Swedish, Indonesian - were not at all interested in - of course, they probably listened to (or maybe, they just pretended to listen to) - my fancy "theories to work", whenever I did my presentations to them or to the board.

All they were actually interested - or should I say obsessed with - were the performance results... the bottom line, to be more precise. Ultimately, actions spoke louder than words.

I also recall a very simple but valuable quote during my years as a general manager - actually, more of a lesson - that goes back to the 80's from Sim Kee Boon (1929-2007), at one time Head of the Singapore Civil Service (1979-1984) and best known for his pivotal role in building the Changi International Airport - making it the best in the world - and also turning around the loss-making Keppel Shipyard:

"The secret to success... is getting things done!"

So, how does one get things done?

How to develop action-mindedness, so to speak?

I like to share some ideas from my own experiences.

I reckon the first thing is to deal with fear, be it real or imagined, as it has substantial bearing on our willpower to execute.

The fear of the lack of ability. The fear of making mistakes or failure. The fear of looking stupid or ridiculous in front of our peers when our ideas don't work. The fear of snide remarks behind our back. The fear of the unknown, because actions require a change in our status quo.

Worst still, we want to wait for the perfect conditions. We want more information for decision making.

The harsh reality is that, in today's turbulent world, where changes are often exponential, how can we wait for perfect conditions or more information? We just got to trust our own gut instincts.

We have to "grok", to paraphrase a science fiction author, whose name I have long forgotten.

Moving out of our comfort zone is always uncomfortable. I had gone through that journey myself. As a result, for many of us, we prefer to stay put.

The resultant problem with this choice is that often a host of other problems start to ensue, like procrastination, inertia, anxiety, worry, etc., which aggravate the situation.

Interestingly, most peak performance experts - so do I - believe that action actually conquers fear.

All it takes is essentially the first step. Baby step, as they say. Once we take that first step, all fears dissipate. This fact drives home the point:

Fear = False evidence appearing real!

In fact, I like the way Michael Jordan, probably the greatest basketball player of all time, puts it:

"Any fear is an illusion. You think something is standing in your way, but nothing is really there."

I reckon another good way to deal with fear is to consider the pleasure/pain equation, as postulated by celebrity peak performance coach, Anthony Robbins.

What gives you pleasure? What excites you? What gives you pain? What bugs you?

Focus on the pleasure or excitement side. It will automatically takes good care of the pain or bug side.

So, to go with NIKE's most enduring marketing message over the years: JUST DO IT!

I would suggest, as a first step, sit down and write out a simple plan of action, with a number of important objectives you wish to achieve.

[Naturally, I am assuming that you have already narrowed down to one viable idea, or "the mother of all ideas", so to speak, after having considered various major issues like market attractiveness, competition intensity, and strategic fit.]

I often use the acronym, S.M.A.R.T, to think about my gameplan:

S = specific objectives with the attendant tasks to achieve each objective: list out all the objectives, according to the various dimensions of your life [e.g. physical health; work/career; financial; mental/educational; family relationships; social/networking; artefacts and possessions; vacations; hobbies; spiritual pursuits;], then, all the attendant tasks you need to execute in order to attain each and every objective, with priority, from beginning to end;

M = metrics: define how you would like to measure the tasks to be executed, so that you know immediately when you have completed them; in a way, it's your feedback mechanism;

A = accountability: sometimes, your tasks may involve the participation of other people, e.g. your spouse, your boss, your colleagues, your subordinates, your suppliers or facilitators, etc.; so, you also need to apportion or allocate accordingly for better control and effective monitoring;

R = resources: you need to identify all the contributing stuff, like manpower, money, materials, machines, methods, management aids, etc., you would need to get all the assigned as well as shared tasks  done;

T = time for completion of each specific task: by next week; next 30 days; next 90 days; short-term, medium-term, long-term;

Once you have the final gameplan in place, all you have to do is just to follow-up and follow-through.

In a nut shell, I would like to add that action-mindedness boils down to revving up our ingenuity engine. Luckily, each and every one of us is born with one.

To understand the engine metaphor further, it's our delivered horse-power - i.e. power delivered to the wheels, where rubber meets the tarmac - that measures how powerful we are.

Here's a fascinating advisory, at least from my personal viewpoint, taken out of  a corporate advertisement of the credit card giant VISA in the Singapore 'Straits Times' newspaper many years ago.

It's one tiny, two-letter word that makes amazing things happen.
Go is action.
It's the spark that starts the flame that sets everything in motion.
Go gets us to try things we've always wanted to try.
Go keeps us going no matter what life throws our way.
Go reminds us it's a big, beautiful world out there, and it's time to make the most of it . . . to get out there and play.
To get out there and do.
To get out there and experience all the incredible things life has to offer."

The advisory certainly reminds me of the importance of a bias for action or action-mindedness.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


What readers are seeing here is a visual CV of Dilip Mukerjea, done by the braindancing maestro himself.

That's one good way to sell yourself on paper with all the good and pertinent stuff encapsulated on one single page, instead of several sheets as in the conventional CV.

You can "zoom in" to look at some of the detailed aspects, and you can also "zoom out" to have a gestalt perspective of what's there.


Not too ago, a blog reader from Singapore has emailed to me to enquire about a particular seminar which I had attended many many years ago.

I wrote back with the following request:

"... If you don't mind, please let me know your intention of attending,  your current age, and profession, so that I can advise you better... "

He responded quickly, by saying that:

"... I have just turned 30 this year and I quit my full time job 2 years ago to try and find my passion in life as I felt I was at a dead end with my job. I couldn't see any future and definitely could not picture myself doing what I did for the next 20 years. Now I am studying full time in sound and I hope to be able to do something with it and gain financial freedom whilst delving into my passion. So that's where I am at now... "

He also mentioned that he had attended several high-powered seminars in Australia, which really intrigued me as to his continuing inability to move on with his life.

I wrote back: "... Let me be very blunt. From your writeup, I can sense that you already have what you actually need to move forward.

First, your passion in "sound", even though I don't know the exact details... presumably, sound as applied to health.

Secondly, you have all the rich material from both the Loral Langmeier's Cash Machine Workshop and Reuben Buchanan's Rich Business Workshop.

Your problem, as I see from here, is that you lack the creative ability to take away what you have already learned from the two seminars/workshops to generate viable ideas for conceiving and plotting a roadmap for achieving your "sound" pursuits.

All I can say is that attending Money and You will not solve your current problem. It's not skills-based; it's just "self awakening". I don't think you need that.

[Their "business school" is more skills-based, but in recent years, it has been watered down to conserve costs for the purveyors. I had attended it in Kona, Hawaii, during the early nineties. It's duration was 16 days.

BTW, don't trust what they talk about "mastermind network".  Most graduate folks, especially those "still looking good, but going no where",  go into it for that "feeling good" environment.]

Drawing on my own experience, you are now entering the most productive phase of your life, i.e. from 30 to 45.

I am sure you understand the following harsh reality:

It's not what's in your head; it's what you do with what's in your head.

I believe Einstein said it well: "Nothing changes, until something moves... "

There was a further brisk email exchange, whereby I shared with him some other ideas, and after that, I didn't hear from him.

Somehow, the foregoing email exchange sets me thinking about how seemingly intelligent folks can still remain blur and lead "screwed up" lives, after having attended purportedly powerful life-changing seminars.

Then, I began to reflect on my own mid-life transitional experience during the early nineties, and also recall an inspiring piece of advice from the legendary American football coach, Vince Lombardi:

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."

That to me, lies the primary problem with a lot of intelligent folks, who unfortunately turn out, with all due respects, to be just "seminar junkies".

Frankly speaking, most folks can generate a lot of ideas in their head, and with the attendance of more seminars, they probably can get some more ideas, but the basic and crucial problem remains: they simply can't narrow down the workability, and translate one of those viable ideas into commercial reality.

Most folks don't realise that all the stuff in seminars are just "word experiences" of other people. Only when one puts those "word experiences" to work in your own life, to produce the results you desire, then only will they become "world experiences".

In a nut shell, only "world experiences" can truly put cash in your hands.

In fairness to the poor seminar attendees, it's a known fact that some unscrupulous seminar purveyors and/or workshop presenters don't tell you precisely and systematically what you need to do to create the intended results in your life with their stuff, which give them ample room to sell more follow-up seminars.

As part of my own personal quest to navigate mid-life transition, I left Singapore on one weekend of May 1991 to attend the Money and You seminar in Adelaide, Australia, which was followed by the Excellerated Business Schools in Kona, Hawaii in May/June 1991. It was on the last day of the final seminar that I had crafted and designed the second half of my life.

Shortly upon my return to Singapore, I then said good bye to the corporate world for good - where I was a hardworking rat  for almost a quarter of a century - at the end of 1991.  I was only 43 then.

With vivid imagination, sincere belief, ardent desire, and enthusiastic action, I had ultimately translated my passion for reading and personal hobbies into three small entrepreneurial ventures.

As I told the blog reader from Singapore, "My last GM bonus, plus some small savings and all the credit I could draw from banks through their advertised cards - I had applied for all the available "ready credit" facilities against my GM position/salary before I left."

The rest was history.

Maybe, it was my disciplined training as an engineer that had given me the iota of willpower, as engineers are trained to "get things done".

Or maybe, I have the innate ability to convert tasks into results. 

Interestingly, in the profile assessment - Asset Report®: The Book of You  - done by my "mentor", Dudley Lynch, founder of Brain Technologies, and author of several excellent books on accelarted self-growth, I had been rated as a "Task Commander".

Nonetheless, to cut to the chase, I like to share with readers the quickest way to put ideas to work, by using the S.M.A.R.T. Gameplan.

[to be continued in the Next Post: Developing the S.M.A.R.T. Gameplan.]


Dear Stakeholder in Learning,


I salute your presence here. As teachers, you are the sacred custodians of the next generation. I applaud you and look to your learning leadership to transport all students from stress to strength, and from strength to success. Strength-based learning trumps stress-filled swotting…any day, all the time.

We are living on a plundered planet, in the Pressure Tense, but in an era of powerful possibilities. The future demands a fresh résumé. The Children of the Third Millennium are owed a future…one that has been stolen from them. My passion is to champion children, whom I consider to be the first wonder of the world.

I think about, write about, and coach, skills from within the world’s most powerful learning systems. You teachers and stakeholders in learning, are the pivotal learning champions in a nation that I would love to see become The Learning Capital of the World.

I aspire to see inspired people inspiring other people; you have it in you already, or else you would not be where you are. Yesterday’s peacock is today’s feather duster. Yesterday’s world records have become today’s entry-level requirements. It is in your hands to decide to move the world from breakdown to breakthrough. How? By starting now, with what we have, to do all we can. Let me help you.

I can help you attain spectacular success. The past is no more, the future is not yet. We only have now! The present… in which to act, and to activate, a range of smart systems. Why? Because the choice is: get ahead, or get left behind.

Yesterday’s success has never mattered less; today’s success has never been more fragile; tomorrow has never been more uncertain. Let us advance, together, and create a Learning Planet.

The aim is to become future-ready. How? By incorporating a suite of unique Success Strategies via a learning menu that moves one from average to amazing. To move ahead, from hope to fulfillment.

If you wish to outperform your lackluster peers, you’re going to have to bring more than basic thinking to the basics. You’re going to have to bring radical thinking to the basics. With the courage to lead the kind of transformation that does justice to the worth and value within the quartet of vision, purpose, goals, and dreams.

Love is the only operating system and self-efficacy is the envisaged outcome for every student. My Learning Menu will get them started with massive momentum, and the incorporation of Brain Clubs can build on this impulse to ensure the drive towards this land becoming the world’s first Learning Nation. Where people like YOU will be the pioneers of this crucial movement.

With love and respect, I put to you: you can stay where you are and then retire, or you can propagate a learning revolution, and make history!

It is my vision, on your behalf, to see your schools and institutions be the best in the world. It is no longer good enough to be good enough, or even…to be very good. Very good has become very boring. We must be outstanding.

On a cosmic scale. This is where I can help you help yourselves come up with superquick, winning outcomes. The future is what we do now, today; we must act. We cannot recycle wasted time. Come forth… ignite and catalyse the learning revolution.


Dilip Mukerjea was interviewed about three months ago on television by 'Global Perspectives' (produced by Today's Youth Asia) in the capital city of Katmandu, Nepal.

He has shared many insightful perspectives about the brain and learning, and more importantly, what it takes to be a learning genius.

Friday, March 9, 2012

2 Billion Jobs to Disappear by 2030, according to Thomas Frey, futurist

According to Thomas Frey, who is acknowledged as the “Dean of Futurists“, and who also runs his own thinktank, known as the da Vinci Institute, happened to make a pointed remark at the TEDxReset Conference in Istanbul, Turkey recently to the efffect that "2 Billion Jobs to Disappear by 2030... " (that's, according to him, roughly 50% of all the jobs on this planet).

As I interpret it, a young boy beginning with his Primary I study in a Singapore school today, and by the time he finishes university, probably half of the jobs available in the marketspace upon his graduation, will soon disappear.  That's assuming, of course, if the schools, junior colleges and universities, in Singapore were stuck in the status quo of a "factory model".

That's certainly a frightening thought. As a matter of fact, Dilip Mukerjea poses an interesting question:

"Are we heading for such a level of technological sophistication that we might become obsolete?"

Readers can go to this link to read the entire article which the futurist has written to elaborate on that point.

Thomas Frey is also the innovation editor for THE FUTURIST magazine from the World Future Society.


So, what is a business strategy?

According to Strategy & Leadership: The Capable Strategist,

Strategy is "the result of choices executives make, on where to play and how to win, to maximize long-term value."

It is different from vision, mission, goals, priorities, and plans.

Go to this link to read further so as to understand the clear distinction from Booz & Company senior partner Ken Favaro.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Dilip Mukerjea walks his talk when it comes to putting his own personal as well as professional creativity to work.

He conceives and designs all his own advertising and promotional posters.

In the foregoing poster, which he has designed specifically for use by his new publisher in India, in connection with the launch of his two books on the sub-continent, his close attention to details as well as his aesthetical appreciation of iconographics, text and layout is impeccable.

His artistic design skills are not confined to poster design. He will be most happy to offer them to clients in need of conceiving and designing of corporate logos, office stationery, product brochures, and all the related ancillaries, plus portrait and caricature.

It is pertinent to point out that no commercial clip arts are used, as everything you see in the design is originally conceptualised and hand-crafted first, and then technology-enhanced.

Interested parties can get in touch with him by writing to

What follows is another latest example of his artistic virtuosity.

THE CREATIVE SEQUENCE: 'The Mother of All Wealth Building', as envisioned by Dilip Mukerjea

'The Creative Sequence', which represents Dilip Mukerjea's elaborate 8-stage creative thinking process has been featured earlier in this weblog, together with the 'Lifescape of the Creative Sequence', which is his graphic rendition of the process.

What braindancing masetro has done here, as shown in the foregoing, is a consolidated splashmap of the two features on one single page.

Also, following the ongoing evolution of his consulting work in recent years, the creative thinking process has now taken centrepiece in the whole concept of wealth building.

As Napoleon Hill,  author of the cult classics,  'Law of Success' and 'Think and Grow Rich', has so aptly put it:

"All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginnings in an idea."

and, in a nut shell, creative thinking is thus, in fact, the "Mother of All Wealth Building".

To recap what I had mentioned earlier in this weblog, money in your hands is essentially a function of the creative thinking process.

To put it bluntly, if you want to put money in your hands, change your thinking. As a matter of fact, I believed this is precisely the stance taken by cash flow guru Robert Kiyosaki.

As illustrated in the splashmap, the Creative Sequence, has 8 important stages in the thinking process, and the braindancing maestro has already outlined the salients aspects of each stage:

1. Intake;
2. Cogitate;
3. Generate;
4. Debate;
5. Incubate;
6. Create;
7. Activate;
8. Celebrate;

What I want to do in this post, as well as subsequent posts, is to build on and amplify some of the salient aspects, as follows:


We are sentient beings, and live in a luxury world of sensory impressions - sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc. - which form the basis of our productive thoughts.

Much of the discoveries and inventions of today have their origins in pedestrian observations. That's to say opportunities are in fact everywhere, but the crux of the matter is whether we see them as they are.

That's why I have always maintained that perceptual sensitivity to the world at large is a very important skill for all of us to acquire and develop in order to thrive in today's rapidly-changing world.

Interestingly, even the great Renaissance maestro Leonardo da vinci (1452-1519), had talked about it many many years ago, since his power of observation was legendary:

"... for the development of a complete mind... develop your senses, especially learn how to see... "

Internationally renowned creativity guru Dr Edward de bono said it best:

"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."

"The reasons that many opportunities pass us by is a perceptual one - we do not recognise an opportunity for what it is. An opportunity exists only when we see it."

He has offered the following expert advice, but stopped short of detailed elaboration:

1) Decide to spend some time and effort in a deliberate and systematic search for opportunities;

[My recomendations: Read Dr Edward de bono's 'Opportunities': A Handbook of Business Opportunity Search', and strategy consultant Michel Robert’s ‘Innovation Formula’ for exact methods of initiating and implementing a deliberate opportunity search process.]

2) Use a scan approach which allow you to broaden the direction of search instead of being too eager to pursue one direction in depth;

[My recommendations: Read innovation strategist Wayne Burkan's 'Wide Angle Vision’, as well as consultants George Day and Paul Shoemaker’s ‘Peripheral Vision: Detecting the Weak Signals that will Make or Break Your Company’. Both books offer very good suggestions.]

3) When something comes into your view, make an effort to look at it in many different ways;

[My recommendations: Herbert Leff’s ‘Playful Perception: Choosing How to Experience Your World’ is a good book to explore this perspective, where as The Private Eye: A Guide to Developing the Interdisciplinary Mind by Kerry Ruef, is worthwhile, too.]

4) Spend some time on a deliberate search for benefits in a situation instead of always expecting the benefits to be self-evident;

[My recommendations: entrepreneur Art Turock's 'Invent Business Opportunities No One Else Can Imagine', shares many interesting as well as refreshing insights, especially from the standpoint of business development.]

Nonetheless, Dr Edward de bono has zero-ed in on what he has termed as "idea-sensitive areas", as follows:

- high cost areas: process bottlenecks; and others in terms of money, time, people involvement, unrelaibility, fault densiy, personal friction, boredom, risk and responsibility;

- specific problem areas that require solutions;

- further development areas, where improvement is an ongoing process;

- emotional target areas, based on emotional feeling or hunch;

- general, where one can start thinking about an area with the view of using the thinking as lead to an opportunity;

Dilip is absolutely right on the ball when he singles out the infinite stimuli coming from Mother Nature, from which we can analyse her attributes, especially from the standpoint of creative thinking to spark off ideas and insights

It is true that Mother Nature has always been modern technology's first teacher.

Man's continuing conquest of powered flight today with the latest Airbus 380 and Boeing 777 has its origins from the study of birds in natural flight. So, are today's nuclear submarines that can submerge below the Polar cap for extended periods. Thanks to deep-sea marine animals.

Likewise, the basic stuff that goes into silicon chips comes from sand. 

Without Alexander Graham Bell's early exposure to understanding how the human ear works, we probably will still be using smoke signals for communications.

Even architect F Buckminster Fuller, widely known as planet earth's friendly genius, owed his design and development of the geodesic domes, which have to date given shelter to millions across the globe, to the eye of the common house-fly.

The tunnelling machines, which were used to build the underground network for Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit System, owed its pioneering design and development to Sir  Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849), a French-born engineer who had settled in the United Kingdom.

Interestingly, Brunel had found the inspiration for his tunnelling shield from observing the tunnelling habits of the ship worm, "teredo navalis", a pest that ate the wooden hulls of ships.

[to be continued in the Next Post]