Archive for April 1, 2007

Being a Fool…

April 1, 2007

April Fool’s Day originally started as a festival in Europe, a day filled with practical jokes, some are minor while others lead to embarrassment. It is there to get people to lighten up and have some amusement.

I wouldn’t be suprised if nobody wants to be an April Fool, but what if you are already at the receiving end of a joke, a hoax or a con? Well, then its better to learn from it and be sharper the next time round. Laugh about it and let it go, but always learn from it.

It also leads me to reflect on the observation that many people in this culture seem to rather keep quiet for fear of embarrassment than to ask or clarify. Hence they remain to not be in the know for a long time.

The saying “If you ask, you are a fool for 5 mins. If you don’t, you are a fool for life.” reminds us to just relax. It encourages us to make enquires whenever we need those information, rather than to “act smart” while we don’t know and cause problems to escalate.

It highlights on our ability to keep learning and improving despite those inner voices that scream, “Don’t ask!”. At least after that moment of ‘foolishness’, we gain new knowledge and understanding, we emerge a better person.

So sometimes its really ok to be a fool for a day, an April Fool, just make sure you’re not being a fool for the rest of the days.

Why are You Sad to Go to School?

April 1, 2007

Just overheard on the radio that a listener called in to say that she is very sad because she has to go back to school tomorrow. Its Monday.

Unfortunately this is hardly an uncommon feeling for most students…

Just a thought, if school is a place for learning, and one is going back to learn even more, why would a person be sad about going to school?

The reason is because either one does not like to learn or the place does not serve the learning function well for that person.

It takes both sides to make learning an enjoying experience. The school must constantly strive to make learning more interesting and fun for students, while the students must appreciate the beauty of discovery and joys of learning.

Whenever I do consultation for the schools, I will put this idea into perspective that we have a responsibility to ensure an interesting session for the students, meanwhile the students must play their part too. Hence the school management and I will work on the different ways and techniques to make learning interesting for students so that they will ‘not be sad’ to come to school.

As a student, I’ve always enjoyed going to school, new things to explore and discover… even if my homework is not really done or the sleepy cobwebs are still in my brain. (a confession). Put the passion in learning and nothing will get in your way of enlightened knowledge.

Tomorrow I will be conducting a two day Leadership training for the management leaders from different schools, lets see how we can work more on this concept of learning… 🙂

What Happens if You are Blind?

April 1, 2007

I’ve always thought about the different situations mankind will have to face, not only the natural disasters but also life’s challenges. One of the questions that I did contemplate before is… what happens if I am blind? What can I do from then on? How will I survive in life?

Granted its a thought few want to dabble in, but for me, its something that I will approach with reverence and reflection. To me, being blind shapes a certain unique way of looking (no pun intended) at the world and at life.

Is it truly darkness? Pitch black? Multi-colored or just plain nothingness. Is there a difference between the natural-born visual handicapped and those that had seen the world previously?

These are questions no one can claim to have the ultimate answer because nobody truly knows. We will never fully know the world of others.

For me, I have honed my other senses over the many years to improve their sensitivity: my hearing, sense of touch, smell and taste. Whether I still have my visuals or not, I can still rely on my other senses for aid. The less you have, the more you need to keep the faith and focus to rely on what you still have.

What is most interesting and unexpected is that as I work on my senses is that my mental capability has also improved. Some of the improvements include the imaginative and creative powers, the ability to remain centered and focused, read faster and processing my thoughts quicker with better reflexes.

Life teaches us and presents us with different challenges with turn of events. I just want to be equipped to face up to as many of them as possible.

The point is if things happen to us, are we prepared to deal with them and are we equipped to handle the challenges?

Hmmm……

And the Toughest Types of Communication is…

April 1, 2007

When it comes to communication, the different types or forms include counseling, networking, expressing ideas, debating, speaking, facilitating, teaching, others or even gossiping??!

In the midst of so many types of communication, the toughest and most demanding of all types is Sales and Negotiation. I usually explain in my seminars under The Hierachy of Communication, Sales and Negotiation rank right at the very top of the pinnacle, the most exalted of communication skills.

Its not just about speaking, its about getting people to believe your ideas, agree with you, commit to you, act on it and be inspired by it as if it is their own will…. even if they do not even believe in it in the first place. In short, it’s really about the changing of minds and the inspiration of action.

You will not only have to make people buy your ideas, you will also have to ensure they act and follow through their commitment even if you are not around. Hence you must also inspire them with a united ideology. Now that includes a certain form of leadership within, doesn’t it.

Selling is usually done with a more informal and unstructured flow while negotiation tends to include formalized commitment with lots of fineprints in a form of a contract, an official document or a treaty. Both are not mutually exclusive and there will always be a fair amount of selling and negotiating going on in any situation. Thats why you may tend to hear the words, “sales and negotiation” together.

Both communication types are very closely linked yet they also bring to the table certain sets of skills somewhat within. Sales requires you to understand the different forms of persuasion and influence, consciously and sub-consciously or subliminally, while negotiation equips you with the many tactics, gambits, applications and measures of power to get you what you want.

A competent level of skills in both will allow the person to get many things going his way, whenever he wants, be it in money, relationships, career and whatever that you can think of.

As sales and negotiation are the toughest types of communication, the expectations and demands on the person learing the skills will be just as tough. Not only does the person have to learn the skills fast, he must also train himself to be alert and react quickly. His mind will have to be tip-top mental condition. Therefore Mind Mastery can be very much involved in the basic and advanced level.

Just as the training is tough, the rewards are also enormous. The question is, are you ready to claim life’s reward?