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Posts from the ‘preparation’ Category

Organizing Your Thoughts (and Maintaining Your Creativity)


Being sleep deprived can really take its toll on our mental alertness.

Think about the time when you had to burn the midnight oil – catching up on those deadlines.

Somehow your brain just lost its ‘sponginess’ in the morning following the very late night (or too early morning).

And don’t even think that your favorite double shot espresso can work its same magic in that morning.

The caffeine will only add up the feeling of being ‘wired up’. You can get so ‘wired up’ that you feel like all your nerves in your head is just like an overly stretch elastic band – any additional ‘pull’ to stretch it will only break it.

Don’t despair. (Imagine your favorite jingle in the background with a crisp booming voice over advising the following solution to your (good) problem)

Clear headedness is the solution of the problem. And being calm too.

But how? Adrenaline has been flowing like crazy – you just feel like you can literally spread your wing and fly away there and then.

Introducing.. Endorphin.

Not only that it induces feeling of happiness, it also helps you think clearer (at least in my own experience). How clear? Well, do you get ideas or inspiration when you have your morning shower? Now, multiply that ‘clarity’ by 2 or 10 for that matter – depending on your level of endorphin.

[Before you get any idea of how I ‘generate’ this happy hormone into the system, let me scope down the process first. We will focus on getting the endorphin through intense endurance exercise requiring  cardiovascular fitness: running]

So.. What to do when you need to bring the sponginess back to your brain so that you can organize your thoughts and draw creative ideas from that ‘well of ideas’?

Lace up your running shoes.

Hit the road running. A good 5 km of run (or around 30 minutes) should do it!

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Leap of Faith


the-dark-knight-rises-pit

 

 

When was the last time that you took a leap of faith?

Was it a calculated risk? Did you prepare all the necessary risk mitigants?

The well trodden path might provide you with reliable road signs. The problem is that, the last time I checked, the well trodden path was in its ‘rush hour’. The road is still so jam packed that to even call it a rat race is an understatement.

So what to do now?

‘Beef up’ yourself for a rough journey. Strength and endurance — both figuratively and literally speaking — are the necessary factors. Gear yourself up — as the sufficient factor — with the necessary tool (a reliable GPS is definitely a must).

Now that you are in the physical and mental  state like an Olympic athlete, you know that you are ready.

 

picture credit: http://reelreflections11.blogspot.com/

 

P.S. In case that you are still wondering about the picture.. It’s the pit from Batman movie of Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne took the leap without the safety rope to climb up.

On Free Writing [Write Your 2013 Now]


I love Sunday.

My own version of paradise is to sit at home on a Sunday afternoon and watch movies with my loved ones. So relaxing…

Half of the time if not most of the time, I would have a mini-sleep or dozed off during the movie… Perhaps due to the strenuous long run prior to the movie watching.

Yesterday, it was a bit different. My better half picked ‘Sixth Sense’ as our Sunday afternoon movie. It brought fond memories since this is the one of the first movies that we watched during our ‘dating years’ back in college years.

What’s interesting.. I learned new thing from this movie: free writing. It’s the exercise of writing down your thoughts and keep writing and pouring the thoughts to dig your inner most ‘creative’ side. …Or perhaps to dig down deep in your subconscious part of the brain.

Yesterday, I did not doze off during the movie watching session. The conversation on free writing sparked an idea in my head.

Hey, I could actually use this newly-found tool to plan for my new year’s resolutions!

I simply write down my goals in this coming year and try to picture myself already (almost) finishing 2013 with all the written goals achieved.

The exercise simply energized me! The feeling that you are ‘THERE’ is quite powerful.

Having been energized, the thoughts are overflowing in my head. How I feel when I achieve the goals. I can picture the obstacle which I overcame. Working through the limit by going around the ‘barrier’ .. One thought leaps to another and spurs branches of thoughts.

The challenge will be to reconcile the seemingly disparate thoughts into coherent and structured ones so that the words can be ‘ACTIONABLE’ in time when the implementation part comes..

Try it yourself.

1. Imagine you are at the end of 2013 with all the achieved goals.

How do you feel? By feeling this surge of energy, I can assure you that you will be ‘dizzy’ with abundance of possibilities that you can write or should I say you can plan to do in order to achieve in this coming year.

2. Write and write and write. Do not worry whether your thoughts make good sense or not (at least not for now).

3. Reconcile the thoughts. You can frame the thoughts in simple chronological order (e.g. the timeline on initiatives that you need to implement) or cause and effect or even perhaps issue and solution.

To give you a glimpse of my exercise:

” It’s the time of the year again, December. Yep, the Mayans were out stone perhaps or other logistics to create their calendar  beyond 2012.. We are already in 2013 and I feel so blessed to hit my long time goal of publishing my own book. Any intellectual(s) [with strong alter ego] would have got the same ambition or dream: to be an author or influential thinker. I could have done this without the strong support from my loved ones to help me go through the grind every single day. A page a day. A dozen of pages during the weekend. Daily reminder of how I should progress.. Inch by inch.. The stacks of printed papers grow taller…”

What do you think?

Do try this free writing and share your thoughts.

The Power of Writing


Writing things down does not only ‘download’ or should I say ‘unload’ your seemingly disparate thoughts into perspective but it also clarifies your thoughts — most importantly — to yourself; thus structured and logical analysis can be thoroughly performed in a relatively easier way to that idea inside your head.

A visual person might argue on this point and tries to prove that ‘images’ brings better perspective. Well, let’s not debate about that — at least for now.

Texts also capture your thoughts instantanously. You never know when you can get distracted and lose your train of thought while you are trying to solve great problems; or when a ‘light bulb’ moment strikes you.

So, my two cents at the end of this 3rd week of October 2012 is that I need to write things down more frequently to be more productive as well as creative.

What Day Is It?


Sounds like a not-so-intelligent question?

The question actually begs a much more profound thought then simply answering the obvious: Friday.

 

How would you remember today?

Is it a day when you turn your life around?

Is it the day when you find the solution to the ‘burning’ platform of your organization?

Is it the day when you hit the ‘wall’ in exerting your energy in running for a marathon?

Is it the day when you find THE ONE?

Or is it the day when your kid can utter his/her word to call you?

Well, perhaps, life has not been that kind to you lately. Take it easy. Remember that today is the day when you learn a very great lesson in life.

Have a great weekend, folks!

The Curve Ball (A Rehash)


Scenario planning.

This exercise would map all possible events (even Black Swan phenomenon if needs be) so that we can be prepared (i.e. all risk mitigation measures are in place etc…).

Moreover, we also prepare initiatives which support Key Success Factors in each scenario.

When we talk about initiatives, of course we must prepare all the necessary resources (i.e. people, capital, technology and so forth) to reach the aim of the initiatives within the agreed timeline (surely we also need to be mindful on ‘deliverable’ for each milestone of the initiatives).

Putting our project manager’s hat on, all the activities that I am talking about are all ‘matter of fact’ things that we execute (hopefully) seamlessly on daily basis — in a detached manner (devoid of emotional attachment).

Now, let’s exercise this idea into a much more personal (with much more emotional baggage).

We try to plan to deal with the ‘unusual event’ which involves us personally.. Well, we can try..

When the ‘curve ball’ (unusual event) finally hits us, somehow ‘muscle memory’ declares ‘amnesia’.

Perhaps the ‘muscle memory’ is not ‘muscular’ enough?

Just my two cents on a Friday 🙂

Happy weekend, folks!

Photo credit; http://tuftsjournal.tufts.edu

On Habit


They say old habit dies hard. It is also hard to form a new habit.

As a follow up from my past blog on ‘The Checklist’, I should say that I really didn’t know what I got myself into when I committed to such aggressive ‘action points’.

..and writing this blog is part of my ‘action points’.

So how did I make or should I say force myself into writing this despite the other ‘screaming’ and demanding workloads?

During lunch break, I watched a very ‘moving’ 5 minute video on youtube by Nido Qubein. He said that there are 2 kinds of pain: pain of discipline and pain of regret.

So there you go.. In this blog, I am sharing my pain of discipline to those of you out there who are also striving to discipline yourself in reaching your goals.

I’d also like to leave you with one moving quote:

“Next time this year, you will wish that you start it today”

Have a great week and a great month of July!

Do You Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into?


Most of the time, we think that we know what we’re doing; be it in our personal or professional life.

As a young person, you would tend to say that we’ll make it up with hard work and enthusiasm for whatever we lack of.

Time is changing and therefore even prior experience can also be irrelevant.. [And so I thought.]

As you get older, you’ll get more and more accustomed to uncertainty and ambiguity..

Next time, anybody asks me that same question when I am doing something for the first time, I will definitively admit: “I don’t know”.

Let’s re-write risk management.. Let’s re-write history for that matter. Future belongs to the brave!

[photo credit: usmansheikh.com]

Do You Overprepare?


Or do you just wing it?

I know that I am on the verge of over-preparation for my ‘fun’ 10K run this weekend. Or at least that’s how I think.

How do I know that? For sure, I exceeded the mileage required as per the training plan or mileage plan for a 10K run. In the past 2 months, I have been running with mileage of 30km per week.

Come to think of it.. This over-preparation might  be counter-productive as I started to think that the 10K run will be another regular running session. Well, the thing is, I have a quite modest goal: to finish the run within 1 hour.

Will definitely post the result when I get back from Bali.

Perhaps, the more fundamental question that we need to ask ourselves is that whether over-preparation is better than simply winging it.

Well, in that case, I can still safely say that ‘over-preparation’ is the way to go.

If they say: “victory loves preparation”. Then they should also say: “victory is infatuated with over-preparation”.

Live Your Life — A Re-post


This one is a post that I wrote in the first week of December last year..

Still very much relevant though..

Life is good 🙂

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

Calvin and Hobbes

I think I’m done for today.. With all of the complexities, anxieties, constant (internal) battles..

Yes, we need to take life seriously otherwise it will not take us seriously either.

But I believe that there’s a merit to let the ideas brew inside your head, let it sink in, let it re-organize itself. Well.. Sleep on it.

Done jotting down things to follow up for tomorrow..

Can’t wait to catch the train and meet my son.

What stories do you want to hear before going to bed Aslan?