Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Read: Turning Goals into Results

Source: Amazon.com


Title: Turning Goals Into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms
Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation


A book the size of a note-book, this book is part of the Harvard Business Review series where each volume contains a groundbreaking idea that has shaped best practices and inspired countless managers around the world.

The catalytic mechanism is a codified term that Jim Collins named as 'the crucial link between objectives and performance... They make big, hairy, audacious goals reachable.' This term came out from his observation and study of a simple yet extremely powerful managerial tool that has helped organisations turn goals into results.

One question that one could ask in the formulation of a 'catalytic mechanism' could be: "What would it take to actually reach an ambitious goal?"

In this book, the author describes the various characteristics of a catalytic mechanism. He also illustrates examples of how catalytic mechanisms have been used to achieve big, hairy, audacious goals.

In summary, a catalytic mechanism share five distinct characteristics. These are:

1) Produces desired results in unpredictable ways

2) Distributes power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the great discomfort of those who traditionally hold power.

3) "Has teeth", it puts a process in place that all but guarantees that the vision of the organisation will be fulfilled.

4) Ejects viruses, i.e. it helps organizations to get the right people in the first place, keep them, and eject those who do not share the company's core values.

5) Produces an ongoing effect

In this book, the author also provides a few general principles based on his research that supports the process of building catalytic mechanisms effectively. These are:
- Don't just add, remove
- Create, don't copy
- Use money, but not only money
- Allow your mechanisms to evolve
- Build an integrated set

This book is an accessible read to expand one's perspectives on what it would take to reach an ambitious goal with a long time frame. Check it out: https://hbr.org/product/turning-goals-into-results-the-power-of-catalytic-mechanisms-harvard-business-review-classics/10099E-KND-ENG


Monday, June 12, 2017

Read: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Title: The Fountainhead
Author: Ayn Rand
Publisher: Signet

In this fiction book, the author, Ayn Rand, explores and presents her vision of the following themes:
1) Independence: Thinking for oneself, Judging for oneself, Making Decisions based solely on one's own thinking and judgement.

2) Second-handers

3) The morality of individualism

4) Creativity

5) Central purpose: In The Fountainhead, the protagonist, Howard Roark is motivated by the intellectual challenge of solving architectural problems and the artistic drive to create structures of beauty.

It appears that the theme of independence, individualism, creativity and central purpose could be related to the concept of "integrity" which was stated in page 313 of this edition as "the ability to stand by an idea". The protagonist, Howard Roark, was a representation of the 'ideal man' and a person of integrity.

I learnt that the author has eventually used the title to highlight that it is firsthand thinking of history's great creative minds that is the fountainhead of human progress. A book that urges me to think about what could the ideal man be and what it means to think independently for oneself.

SparkNotes Editors.(2002) SparkNote on The Fountainhead. has put up summaries and analysis of The Fountainhead. These can be available here: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/fountainhead/

Monday, March 20, 2017

The story of "Heartfelt Gratitude"

Heartfelt Gratitude

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived -
This is to have succeeded

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fast forward time to December 2016. I was at a Lindwall Releasing retreat that was titled "The Power of Releasing River Retreat". The organizers and trainers, Heiko and Selina, shared about a Sponsorship Fund which sponsors beneficiaries who need financial support either partially or completely with the fees involved to receive healing through the various Lindwall Releasing programmes that they conduct. I learnt that Heiko and Selina will carefully screen their recipients to ensure that the sponsorship fund goes to people who are genuinely motivated and deserving.

Near the venue of the retreat. Dec 2016.

I practice as a Social Worker in a voluntary welfare organization based Singapore. After three and a half days at the retreat organized and facilitated by Heiko and Selina, I could appreciate the value and power of their work in the area of Lindwall Releasing, and how their work could benefit humanity. I could appreciate that there could be people who have gone through trials and tribulations in their lives who would greatly like to and will benefit from receiving healing via Lindwall Releasing, yet would need some support financially.

I felt a heartfelt sense of compassion for the people who could benefit from Heiko and Selina's work, and decided to contribute to the Sponsorship Fund.

I went privately to Selina, and passed her my humble contributions to the Sponsorship Fund. What I did not expect to receive was, I felt the essence of gratitude radiating from Selina. I felt very thankful that I was in a financially adequate position to give and to contribute. The unexpected gift was the gift of gratitude radiating out for me to receive. A beautiful gift so precious that money could not even buy.

A couple of days after that retreat in December 2016, I went for an art jamming session and painted the painting "Abstract Landscape". I felt I could use the painting to contribute to one of my preferred charities in Singapore, so I made an appeal via my Facebook account to sell "Abstract Landscape" and pledge that all the sales proceeds shall go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. This Fund supports school-going children from low-income families to better meet their school-going needs, for example, be able to buy a meal for themselves during the school recess period.

After weeks of no positive response, I started to wonder if there would be anyone who would believe in the same cause as I do. Thankfully and eventually, I found a loving owner who bought "Abstract Landscape" and donated generously to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund through the purchase of the painting.

I felt very grateful that I could, through the sale of my artwork, contribute to the cause of supporting school-going children from low-income families better meet their school-going needs, for example, be able to buy a meal for themselves during the school recess period.


When I decided to attend yet another "Power of Releasing River Retreat" in Feb 2017, I felt it would be a great idea to schedule for an art-jamming session the day after I return from the retreat.

An art-jamming session I went, on 6 Feb 2017. It was held at Artefakts at Block 3007 Ubi Road 1, #06-444. I had a relaxing and pleasant time playing with the paints and the brushes, and completing "Heartfelt Gratitude".

Artefakts

After completing "Heartfelt Gratitude", an idea came. How about donating 90% of the sales proceeds to a worthy cause? The remaining 10% from the sales proceeds shall be used to cover the cost of painting the artwork and to sustain future art-projects of similar nature.

Which worthy cause to donate to? The compelling desire was to donate to the private Sponsorship Fund set up by Heiko and Selina. The sponsorship fund sponsors the carefully screened beneficiaries either partially or completely with the fees involved to receive healing through Lindwall Releasing.

Turning the time back to the 5 Feb 2017, the last day of the second retreat that I had attended. As I was seated with the rest of the retreat participants in a circular formation, Selina shared about the private Sponsorship Fund. She went on to share how the donations I had contributed shortly after the first retreat that I had attended had contributed to fund part of the fees for a gentleman in another part of Eurasia to benefit from Lindwall Releasing. As she shared the story of this gentleman and how his life have been positively transformed from Lindwall Releasing, I felt very moved and touched. I felt grateful for the opportunity for an ordinary person like myself to contribute in my humble way to improving the life of a person whom I have never met, in another part of the world. A honour and a privilege, indeed.

A glimpse of the river near the venue of the retreat.

After the very last day of that very retreat, my heart was radiating with gratitude. I felt grateful for the opportunity to contribute!

After I have completed the painting, "Heartfelt Gratitude", I decided that the painting shall be made available for sale to a loving buyer who would like to receive an opportunity to contribute to the worthy cause of improving lives, at least one at a time.

When the painting was put up for a silent auction, there was no valid bid by the closing date. Every unsuccessful endeavour can serve as a learning opportunity to be better and to do better.

I have decided to share the story of "Heartfelt Gratitude". May this story touches your heart with heartfelt gratitude that we each have at least a gift to contribute to humanity. In our own individual ways, we are each significant. We each can be a significant contribution, no matter how small our gift may seem.

To enquire about "Heartfelt Gratitude", please email me at oceanskies@hotmail.com

So I end this post with the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that was at the start of this blog post.

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived -
This is to have succeeded

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Read: Mycoskie's Start Something That Matters

Title: Start Something That Matters
Author: Blake Mycoskie
Publisher: The Random House Publishing Group.


When I was at Booktique looking for a book as a gift to one of my friends, Anthony of Booktique gave me several recommendations. Out of which, Mycoskie's "Start Something That Matters" stood out as the perfect gift. Anthony of Booktique shared with me that this was the book that had inspired him very much. To find out more, visit Booktique and read about the story of how Booktique started out.

Back to the book, after deciding to get the book for my friend, I felt I could get a copy too for myself. So I did.

An accessible read. Blake Mycoskie has a great gift of communicating his ideas and life experiences in simple and clear fashion. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to start something that matters, no matter how small or huge this 'something' could be.

The book weaves in Blake Mycokie's TOMS story and I could not help but want to buy a pair of TOMS from my local store if I could find out soon enough.

The book is weaved together by eight different chapters:
1) The TOMS story
2) Find your story
3) Face your fears
4) Be resourceful without resources
5) Keep it simple
6) Build trust
7) Giving is good business
8) The final step

While I was about to share which would be my favourite chapters, I realized that each chapter was a gift for me to deepen my understanding of how to start something that matters. I have enjoyed each chapter. A book to read and to keep.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Places: Good OH' Holland Village 2017

Holland Village. the HDB flats.






Please join me to explore one of Singapore's Oldest Bohemian Enclave, Holland Village, at the Good OH' Holland Village event. To find out more, please visit: Places: Good OH' Holland Village 2017



OH! Holland Village

Saturdays and Sundays

4 - 19 Mar 2017

Tours run from 4 p.m.

$25 for three 45-minutes tour

http://ohopenhouse.org/holland-village/

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Read: Sonia Choquette's Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose

Title: Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose: A Channeled guide to Why You Are Here
Author: Sonia Choquette
Publisher: Hay House (2008)

An accessible and clear book to read. This book is a book channeled by Sonia Choquette's spirit guides, The Three Bishops, as well as Joachim and the Emissaries of the Third Ray.

A loving book to read. The guides state that Earth is "soul school" and that we are here to master the basic 22 soul lessons in order to fulfill our purpose.

The soul lessons are as follow:
Learning to Use Your Creative Power
Soul Lesson #1: You are a Divine Immortal Being
Soul Lesson #2: You are a Co-creator with the Divine
Soul Lesson #3: Creation Begins with Thought
Soul Lesson #4: Engage Your Feelings
Soul Lesson #5: You Create in Pictures
Soul Lesson #6: Live in the Present
Soul Lesson #7: Divine Energy Flows Through You, Not from You.
Soul Lesson #8: Refine Your Reason
Soul Lesson 9: Follow Your Inner Voice
Soul Lesson #10: Open Your Heart
Soul Lesson #11: Detach

Working with Divine Law
Soul Lesson #12: All Is in Divine Order
Soul Lesson #13: Reverse Your Perceptions
Soul Lesson #14: Accept Death
Soul Lesson #15: Embrace Life's Tests
Soul Lesson #16: Temper Your Ego
Soul Lesson #17: Address Your Mistakes
Soul Lesson #18: Actively Meditate
Soul Lesson #19: Love Your Body
Soul Lesson #20: Regenerate Your Soul
Soul Lesson #21: Shatter Negative Patterns
Soul Lesson #22: Waste No Time

This is a book that I will be pleased to read again or to receive as a gift.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Read: Mel & Joe: I play and Sing

Title: Mel & Joe: I Play & Sing
Authors: Mel & Joe Ferdinands
Publisher: Candid Creation Publishing, 2011

This was a thoughtful gift of a book from a friend. In essence, the book celebrates a musical journey of Mel & Joe Ferdinands in Singapore spanning 40 years.

The book began with narrating the humble beginnings of Mel & Joe. Music has been a major part of the Ferdinands' family. A book is about Mel & Ferdinands' love for music, and simply, Love.

For a copy of a book, please visit:
http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/getTitle.aspx?SBNum=052613

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Read: Sonia Choquette's Trust Your Vibes At Work, and Let Them Work for You

Title: Trust Your Vibes At Work, and Let Them Work for You
Author: Sonia Choquette
Publisher: Hay House, Inc.

This is an interesting and inspiring book to read. I had borrowed a copy of the book from the local library. I will love to receive a gift of this book one day.

One of the ideas that stood out was that on broadcasting our love, and we will attract our heart's desire.

For more information on books by Sonia Choquette, please check out: https://soniachoquette.net