Posts in category: Resilience

Commitment and happiness

Commitment and happiness

Science says we need commitment to be happy. Death is needed for happiness. Life and death are two permanent states we are committed to. There are no other options. Choice can make us unhappy. Committing to “permanent” course of action can make us happier...
Weeding the lawn

Weeding the lawn

How easily we forget the grand and good stuff we have; and focus instead on the small imperfections or setbacks. We train ourselves to notice the weeds growing amongst the lawn. So much so that we no longer see the lawn itself; no matter that the lawn is actually...

Reframing for new perspectives

What if the problem you are facing now is actually a blessing? List all the positives you can possibly imagine. However fantastic. Reframing a problem changes our perspective, and in doing so often reveal previously unconsidered and unexplored possibilities and...
Answers from unexpected places

Answers from unexpected places

Most of us are trained to think in a linear way within the confines of our subject-matter specialisations. Where the variables are constrained (ie when our jobs are more tightly defined, and where the outside world is not changing too much too quickly) this has served...
Start an ideas diary

Start an ideas diary

Starting and maintaining an ideas diary is a great way to exercise your creativity. Get a small paper note book – either feinted or blank. Or you can use your tablet/phone (with an application like Papyrus, S Note or OneNote which lets you combine text and...
Managing small-stuff overload

Managing small-stuff overload

Richard Carlson is spot-on when he wrote Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life. One of the enemies of breakthrough thinking is getting caught up in the details too early in the project. Attention to detail is...

Cultivating self-awareness

Good EQ starts with good self awareness. Starting an inner-state diary is a useful way to practice self-awareness. Set the stopwatch or timer on your phone; say once every 2-4 hours. When the timer goes off, stop what you are doing for a moment and check in with your...
Try on their shoes

Try on their shoes

Empathy – the ability to genuinely understand what a situation is like from another person’s perspective is a powerful tool for building relationships and de-escalating conflict and strong emotions. When we understand what it is like to walk in...
Visual reminders of the big picture

Visual reminders of the big picture

When we work on projects lasting more than a week or so, we can become increasingly caught up in the minutiae, and lose sight of the big picture. When we lose sight of the big picture, the details can end up driving the project; a squeaky wheel can derail...
See you in 2015

See you in 2015

In a couple of weeks, 2014 will be the past. Whether 2014 was good, bad or indifferent there is nothing more we can do about it. 🙂 How do we want 2015 to be? What change can we choose to make? What sort of people can we be? See you...
Captain Hindsight

Captain Hindsight

Hindsight is a not terribly useful during a crisis. It diverts attention from the immediate priorities. It fosters blame. It retards action (because we cannot go back to the past to fix things); all these is more fuel for the fire at hand. Image from Know Your Meme...
Escaping the status quo

Escaping the status quo

Read this inspiring story about Brian Lim’s journey from a “bottom feeder” misfit to a space industry kickstarter. The systems around us, even the ones that nurtures and protect us, can limit us from reaching our full potential. The Singaporean education system Brian...
Export from Freemind to Word outline

Export from Freemind to Word outline

If you use Freemind to plan a document before writing it in Word, this is how you export a Freemind map as a Word outline. From the File menu, choose Export then Using XSLT… For the XSL field, browse to and choose the mm2wordml_utf8.xsl file. On my computer, the XSL...
Two must-learn Word features

Two must-learn Word features

If you think and write long, structured documents, these are the two features in Microsoft Word you MUST learn. 1. Outline From: Create a document outline in Outline view The outline view and associated controls let you move, demote and promote topics. When you move a...
Excuses for not improving

Excuses for not improving

These common excuses keep organisations stuck repeating the same mistakes or unethical behaviours. Tradition: We have always done this. Rules: We just do what we are told we have to do. Relativity: But everyone is doing it. Scope: Who cares? This doesn’t affect...
Design thinkers and the MBTI

Design thinkers and the MBTI

Industrial designer Michael Roller asked designers to take the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) to see whether designers fall into certain personality types. He compiled the results here. http://www.michaelroller.com/?p=996 Apparently “designers are less akin to the...
Blinded by potential?

Blinded by potential?

Seeing the potential in a person or a situation is great. It is one of the strengths of being a problem solver, a designer, a fixer. But we mustn’t let that blind us to the reality: that potential we see so clearly may not ever be realised. And even it it were,...
Convert Thinking to more Doing

Convert Thinking to more Doing

Don’t like what’s showing on the TV of your work or life? You have to pick up the remote to change the channel. The idea of change alone won’t change anything. Only actions will. Observations and thoughts are interesting. Asking probing questions to...
Investing in not-haves

Investing in not-haves

We invest a lot of time, energy and other resources in what we don’t have. Just like how we focus on fixing our weaknesses, instead of magnifying our strengths. Have you noticed how quickly we can list our lacks and weaknesses? We entertain this fantasy that we...
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