"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Friday, 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!