"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, 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]

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Recently, I have stumbled upon two interesting articles while surfing on the net. That's what I to like to call, serendipity at work!

One is 'The Kaleidoscope Mind: Some Easy Ways to Teach Creativity', by Laura Seargeant Richardson, a principal designer at frog design, a global innovation firm.

In a nut shell, the author defines a "kaleidoscope mind" as "a type of mind that is agile, flexible, self-aware, and informed by a diversity of experiences...

... It's a mind that is able to perceive any given situation from a multitude of perspectives at will - selecting from a rich repertoire of lenses or frameworks...

... a kaleidoscope mind is playful, and it must be able to "see patterns, connections, and relationships that more rigid minds miss... "

The few limited examples highlighted in the article to illustrate a "kaleidoscope mind" are certainly fascinating.

Here the link to the original article in  The Atlantic, 26th November 2011.

The other article is 'To Move Your Business To A Higher Plane, Learn To Play 3-D Chess', by innovation strategist Kaihan Krippendorff. He is also the author of 'OutThink the Competition', among a few other good works.

In the article, the author draws some useful analogies from the fictional 3D game, which Mr Spock had played in exercising his mind, as featured in the 'Star Trek' television series, as well as a piece of strategem from the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, well-known for his 'Sun Tze Bing Fa' or better known internationally as 'The Art of War'.

The author's pertinent point is that, as a business professional, one must always see and think on multiple planes, at least from the standpoint of strategy formulation.

From Sun Tzu, the author advises how business professionals can transpose the three planes of the battlefield to the business arena:

- the "heaven" plane ~ the external marketing environment;

- the "man" plane ~ the internal environment within the company;

- the "ground" plane ~ the other players in the external environment, just like the five forcefields as propounded by global management consultant Michael Porter:

Next, he also throws some provoking questions to help you to plot your strategy from multiple planes:

1. Considering the "Heaven" plane:

What environmental factors should you be preparing for?

Consider four factors:

Macroeconomic trends. What will interest rates and GDP growth rates look like over the next five years?

Societal shifts. How will customer buying behaviors and needs change?

Technological innovations. Will the growth in cloud computing affect your industry? What other industry-specific advances are in the pipeline?

Regulatory shifts. Will regulation grow tighter or loosen in your industry over the next five years?

2. Considering the "Ground" Plane:

What will other players be doing over the next five years and how can you turn these possibilities to your advantage?

Consider at least four types of players:

Competition. Who are your top competitors and what do you think they will be doing over the next five years?

New entrants. What new competitors or competing products/services are likely to enter your market (e.g., from abroad or from another industry)?

Suppliers. How is your industry’s supply chain going to change? Are suppliers getting more powerful or less?

Distributors. Will your dependence on distributors grow or shrink? Will the need for distributors disappear as is happening in so many industries? How will your distributors’ needs and goals change over the next five years?

3. Considering the "Man" plane:

Define who you will be in two ways:

Vision: Describe what your ideal will look like.

Metrics: (this is often the hardest part). What one to three metrics can you use to define if you have achieved your vision? What numbers are consistent with you achieving your vision?

Here's the link to the original article in Fast Company, 22nd November 2011.

In reality, I like to say that the two competent authors have given a new spin to what creativity guru Dr Edward de Bono had broached way back in the sixties or so.

In a nut shell, his central premise in lateral thinking as a tool for finding creative solutions actually boils down to shifting our focus and enhancing our perceptual sensitivity to the world around us.

According to the guru, what we choose to look at and where we direct our attention have a critical bearing on the initial perceptual phase of our productive thinking.  This is because our brain follows only one direction: the direction of our current dominant thought.

So, how do we shift our focus?

By firstly, learning to embrace multiple perspectives, and, secondly, learning to switch between different perspectives, so that we don't get stuck in or from one viewpoint, especially when we are looking at the world out there or looking at a problem right in front of our face.

I recall one very interesting anecdote from Dr Edward de bono's books, but I can't recall which book was that. Nonetheless, for my purpose in this post, it serves as a good illustration of what I am talking about.

During the early years of space exploration, NASA engineers were focused on "developing a pen to write in zero gravity".

They apparently spent a lot of money on the research.

The Soviet engineers had the same dilemma. They were "looking for a writing implement to write in zero gravity".

They eventually found a quick and even a low-cost solution: the pencil.

Did they shift their focus?

Yes, and invariably, shifting focus comes in many forms.

We can take a helicopter view to see the forest, so to speak, or we can spin down for a closer tree-top or even ground-level view. Feeling the pulse of the ground, so to speak.

Or, we can just follow the examples as mentioned in the foregoing two articles.

Alternatively, I would suggest learning from strategy guru Prof Henry Mintzberg, who had propounded about "strategy formulation as a seeing process", way back in the mid-nineties, as follows:

[By the way, he is also the author of 'Strategy Safari', which describes the process.]

- seeing above; [as mentioned earlier, taking the helicopter view](*)

- seeing below; [as mentioned earlier, feeling the ground and exploring root causes]

- seeing sideways; [finding lateral solutions]

- seeing ahead; [making "flash-forward" casting]

- seeing beyond; [creating long-range scenario projections]

(*) Senior statesman Lee Kuan Yew once acknowledged this "perspective", while he was Singapore's Prime Minister for three decades, as "the helicopter ability: the ability to rise above the immediate scene and see it from a total and overall perspective" among his four principal criteria in selecting ministerial candidates for his cabinet.

I recall that Dr Ellen Langer of Harvard University, who wrote the classic, 'Mindfulness', and the 'Power of Mindful Learning', has once offered the following valuable suggestions in shifting focus:

Looking at what’s there  to looking at what’s not there;

Seeking your conclusions  to checking your assumptions;

Examining the various details  to evaluating the overall concept;

Concern about your goals  to regard for the entire process;

Focus on objects  to focus on relationship between objects;

Looking at the object  to looking at the surrounding space;

Listening to what’s said  to discerning what’s not said;

To continue in sustaining the capability of shifting focus, one must also be open-minded to an entirely new way of doing things, like breaking old patterns, making unusual connections, challenging past assumptions, seeking curiosity and novelty, exploring like a kid (but don't be childish), playing with metaphors and analogies, asking naive (and more dumb) questions, respecting uncertainty,  embracing ambiguity and entertaining paradox.

Interestingly, I reckon there is still another route we can take in shifting our focus.

We can use "reframing", which apparently has its origins in neuro-linguistics programming or NLP.

In a nut shell, "reframing" is just a simple process of changing the context or representation of a problem or issue at hand. That's to say, it is "shifting the meaning of" or "changing the way we think about" the problem or issue at hand.

This is because the meaning of anything that come into our path  is found essentially in the mental frame within which we view it.

According to NLP experts, when we perceive something as a problem, that's the message we send to our brain. Then, the brain produces states in our body that make it a reality.

When we change our frame of reference by looking at the same problem from a different viewpoint, we can change our response to it.

More precisely, we can change our perception and/or representation about anything – object, event or process, situation, circumstance, people, idea – by according it a different meaning, and thus, allowing us to take a different approach and giving us new possibilities for the actions that we might take and the responses we might execute.

I will touch on the possible "reframing" strategies, not necessarily from the NLP perspective, which we can take in a separate blogpost, otherwise this blogpost will be too long.

Collectively, all these interesting  ideas and novel approaches as mentioned above are designed to  help one to expand mental horizons as well as to enhance perceptual sensitivity, and the diligent application of the approaches will eventually lead one to the formulation of productive strategies.

Enjoy your exploration and assimilation!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Once again, Dilip Mukerjea, has captured the essence of the 'Secrets of the Millionaire Mind', by wealth-building coach T Harv Eker,  visuo-spatially on one single splashmap, as shown in the foregoing.

From my personal perspective, I have observed that the central premise of the author's work as embodied in the book, and as illustrated in the splashmap, as follows:

- If you want to change the visible, you will first have to change the invisible;

- Look to the roots, to enjoy the fruits;

- If you want to change the fruits, you will first change the roots;

- Money is a result; We live in a world of cause and effect; [not illustrated in the splashmap];

is actually a new spin to Napoleon Hill's original concept of wealth building:

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

As I interprete it, money in your hands is just a physical manifestation of an idea in your head.

That's to say, if you want to have more money in your hands, you must first change your thinking, or to put it precisely, you must replace the old idea with a new and better idea in your head, so that you can generate more effective results in your life with the new and better idea.

Also, Eker's causal example for thoughts leading to feelings, from feelings to actions, and from actions to results, is basically a function of the thinking process, which again must take precedence in order for results to manifest.

Likewise, his concept of four planes of existence: "spiritual", "mental", "emotional", "physical", with "physical" as the printout of the other three, and with "spiritual" being paramount, and being contributed by the other three, has to feed back - and feed forward - to the creative thinking process at the beginning, which is invariably governed by the values that are closest to our heart.

In other words, as the author has rightly acknowledged and advocated, we create our own performance results.  Therefore, we have to take personal responsibility and accountability. We cannot wimp, lay blame, and justify.

In a nut shell, we are the steering wheel of our own financial future.

To change our financial future, we have to change our thinking of the future. Ask yourself: Just how do we think?

In the end analysis, as concurred with Dilip, I am emphasising that personal creativity is critical to wealth building. To put it bluntly, it is the "mother of all wealth building".

According to Dilip, it is the intelligent and diligent efforts in creative thinking that one initiate - irrespectively of whether personally, professionally and organisationally - that ultimately converts "ideas" into "cash".

As a matter of fact, Dilip offers an elaborate  8-step creative thinking process, which he calls the Creative Sequence, which I will talk about in a separate blogpost.

I am not hinting that the T Harv Eker's work is frivolous or insignificant. He does offer new and interesting approaches in creating a millionaire mindset, even though some of which are in reality different spins, especially from the standpoint of syntactical variations, to Napoleon Hill's seventeen success habits.

Don't forget, the seventeen success habits were also the distillation of some 500 of the rich and famous, including Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, in America during that era.


In retrospect, throughout the nineties when I was still running my own unique book store, aptly called 'The Brain Resource' [1992-2005], located just outside the Central Business District in Singapore, I often played with random dot stereograms, or better known to most folks as "Magic Eye" pictures, one of which [from] is shown above, since I was also retailing them in my store.

In fact, I had also used them in my creativity classes to illustrate the power of the human mind, especially its innate ability to discern a hidden image of 3D, amidst the seemingly chaotic mess of random dots organised on a black-and-white or colour picture of 2D.

The principles of random dot stereograms were first invented by Prof. B. Julesz in during the early sixties, and refined further during the late eighties by Prof. C. W. Tyler, who had made significant improvements, which in turn facilitated the many popular 3D pictures to be created around the world.

It is pertinent to note that the  technology for constructing those 3D pictures was intended beyond just fun and entertainment, as we knew them then. They could be applied in 3D modeling as in architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and even in medicine, as well as for Visual Science research, including brain behaviour research.

As an engineer by training, I was naturally intrigued by random dot stereograms. In fact, my introduction to them came actually from Patricia Danielson, co-developer of the PhotoReading methodology with Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies Corporation, and one of its international master trainers, in early 1992.

Frankly, I couldn't see them the first time, and to my chagrin, it took me several months later to be able to discern the hidden image of each random dot stereogram which came my way.  As a matter of fact, I had since then amassed a large collection of beautiful 3D posters, which are still in my personal library today.

At its primary core, a random dot stereogram is basically composed of two arrays (or frames) of randomly scattered dots, organised with the aid of computer technology.

The arrays are identical except for the fact that in certain areas, one of the arrays has been  "shifted" horizontally to create a deliberate  disparity between the two arrays.

The two arrays  are usually displayed side by side to allow the viewer to compare them visually.

When viewed "monocularly", i.e. with one eyeball functioning, the viewer is confronted with a mass of random dots, and often fails to make any correspondences across the dots.

However, when the images are "stereoscopically" fused, with both eyes functioning, correspondences across the random dots are made in one's perceptive mind, and the "shifted area" in the stereogram appears at a separate depth level from the "unshifted area", in a manner of speaking.

Because of your innate capability of stereoscopic vision of the world around you, on account of the inherent binocular disparity of your eye balls, discerning a hidden image in a random dot stereogram is a piece of cake. In a nut shell, your eye balls  can see "depth".

Unfortunately, from most of my customer encounters while running my book store during the heydays, I had found that, in general, accountants, economists, engineers like yours truly, lawyers and psychologists, often encountered tremendous displeasure of not seeing the hidden image, at the beginning, whereas most folks in the visual and performing arts had absolutely no problems at all from the beginning.

This is because of what is generally known as "brain dominance".

In simplistic terms, when we are too logically-oriented in our natural disposition, our left brain - with its preferred focus on logic, analysis, sequencial processing, and words - has the dominant tendency to exert executive control of our cognitive functions. Hence, it becomes a major obstacle in viewing random dot stereograms.

Only when we are able to tap on our right-brain, with its preferred focus on pictures, imagination, random processing, and images, the whole brain comes into play, through our densely-packed corpus collasum - that's the marvellous inter-connecting and inter-active superhighway in our brain -  to facilitate the 3D viewing.

In fact, during those heydays, I had surprisingly found that kids generally could embrace random dot stereograms more readily as well as spontaneously, as compared to adults. This could be attributed to the fact they still had that sense of wonder and sense of discovery when dealing with novelty, and had yet to be "degeniused" by the school system.

By the way, it is pertinent for me to point out that, about 10% of the population are always unable to view the random dot stereograms because of their eye defects or other medical reasons.

Having played with them for so long, I have come to know that there are usually two appropriate  ways to view random dot stereograms.

- divergent or far-eyed viewing method;

- convergent or cross-eyed viewing method;

In the first method, while looking at the random dot stereogram, you turn both your eye balls "outward" and straight-ahead, to maintain a sort of a long-distance focus, as if you are looking out of the window and gazing at the horizon. It almost like you are daydreaming.

In the second method, with your nose almost close to the random dot stereogram, you turn both your eye balls more or less "inward" to maintain a sort of a near-distance focus, with your eye balls crossed, so to speak.

In both methods, it is important for you to stay relaxed but persistent, and not to give up too soon.

It takes some time for your brain to make sense of the random dots, and after a few practice attempts, your brain will then gradually form the combined image.  Just be relaxed and curious with what you are attempting to do.

From a physiological standpoint, controlling how we use and "aim" our eye balls at the world out there together as a "team" is an important skill.

The ability to use both eyeballs as a singular functioning pair, is what allows our brain to fuse the two separate "pictures" coming in from each eye ball into a single combined image. These innate abilities are the essence of binocularity disparity and stereoscopic vision.

By the way, random dot stereograms can also provide an entertaining way to relax the eye balls, especially after you have spent inordinate amount of time glued to the computer screen.

It is refreshing to note that random dot stereograms are still available today in some Singapore book and/or stationery stores, especially in the form of post-cards and pocket-books.

Here is a quick sampling of random dot stereograms excerpted [from the gallery of] for your lesiure viewing:

Readers who are hungry for more random dot stereograms to play with are welcome to explore the following interesting links on the net:

[Notes: The hidden images in the foregoing stereograms are: a skull; two fishes; a dinosaur, and three dolphins.]