Why Getting Better is the only way…

In the world that keeps moving faster and faster, everyone is challenged. The constant velocity of  change set pace to an even greater need to become better and better at a multiplied rate than before. Innovation has become a sacred word that even books on the topic become hunted by entrepreneur, managers, CEOs, even daily house mother that just try to run a business while baby sitting her children.

As country against country and organizations against each others to take the lead in the competition, it seems that the race to become better seems to take additional burden on personal level. It is because organization behaves as organism because indeed humans drives it and when organization would like to become better, humans inside it has to become better as well.

baby while making his first steps 

“You learn something everyday if you pay attention” ~ Ray LeBlond

The pressure that will build into personal level is actually where the challenge is the biggest. In this micro level , with the already many life problems that faced by each ones of us, loads of responsibility to improve are put on our back by the necessity of organization to improve. Even it is understandable that if organization is not improving, at the end we will have the consequence by having much more problems (such as layoff, salary cut,etc.). Thus this becomes non-negotiable deal that led to rapid change in our lives. Those who can learn fast will adapt to the organization and those who do not improve will be left alone.

“Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old.” ~ Robert Brault


My remarks is that to keep pace not only we have to learn something to get better. Getting better means not only to learn something new, but also to never hesitate to re-learn and most importantly unlearn the things that is of no value for the future.

Education consist mainly of what we have unlearned.” ~ Mark Twain


Learning to Learn : The Feynman Technique for Productivity

Researchers have been recently analyzing about organizational learning so vigorously because the many facts that proves that organization that could learn faster than their competition could lead the race. One of it is the works of a notable researcher from MIT, Steven. J. Spear in his book The High Velocity Edge. He mentioned that the top organizations that he investigated could lead their industry year in and out because the learning capability. It means success comes not only because of a good performance or planning, but more accurate is when learning and learning it fast.


brain (Photo credit: TZA)

The value of learning could not be emphasized further by human as every parents sent their children to school and for some until university. The result expected is beyond a paper that prove the child to be graduate as an engineer or a doctor, but to prove that the child can actually learn. In school and/or university, people learn how to learn because it is no doubt that those who could learn faster has a big probability of getting way easier in this life and be more successful than those people who are considered a hard learner.

Feynman  is an influential theoretical physicist and his works is radically changing the world. one of his works is in the development of atomic bomb as an important assistant. He is also considered a pioneer  in the field quantum computing and introducing the concept of nano-technology. Behind his successful career, he shares with the world a method called Feynman Technique to teach how to learn anything faster.


Productivity cannot be separated from learning as by learning, one can devise a thousands of ways to reach a goal and hence increase their productivity. Leaning to learn as a way to become more productive is very deep concept. In a sense that being more productive involves updating and enhancing our foundational concept and remake the structure of our minds in learning things. This knowledge inside our head will at the end gives additional capability to us to think about probable improvement of methods that will later increase productivity of our desired goals.

To get to know who is Feynman:

What else increases productivity : Brain Tweaking!

I could  agree when the crowd mainstream shout for so long that psychology is a degree that apparently not so useful in the job market. Just take a look at yahoo answersocial anxiety forum, until student awards. Most of the graduates indeed found their job have a little or no relation at all to the degree they obtained. Psychology even included in 20 most useless degrees in a famous blog the Daily Beast.

Actor businesswoman express sadness isolated in white

People who don’t intend on becoming Psychologists or working in the field as a mental health professional shouldn’t pursue degree’s in Psychology.

Somehow, I felt that the quote above is right to the point and contain a bitter pain fact that should be accepted by those who hold first degree in psychology. However, I always captivated to watch an expert in psychology shows their understanding and ability to understand human.

When psychology combined with TED Talks, it’s exactly my guilty pleasure. Who wouldn’t like to watch TED with all the inspiring persons talk about how we can actually improve our self, our community, and even not surprisingly our world. This week, I came across a video which lighten up my mind and open my view into another eye opening fact about increasing productivity through the use of Neuropsychology.

Improving your brain means everything in your life start from your body, to your money, your relationships, to the level of innovation.

Daniel Amen, a psychologist gave a TEDx Talk about what impact a healthy brain has on innovation that human produced. He revealed a study about brain using a sophisticated brain scan study that looks at brain blood flow and activity pattern to figure out at how brain is working and what it can bring to human productivity.

His thesis is simple that healthy brain makes us happier, wealthier, wiser, more creative, more innovative whereas unhealthy brain will bring sadder, sicker, poorer, not as smart, rigid and inflexibility to us.

We can accelerate the aging process with our behavior and you can decelerate it. It works the same with innovation. ~ Daniel Amen

What is interesting about his talk is that he presented about some activity that could lead to unproductivity. I was so amazed when I saw the video because not only he mentioned the kind of activities, but also the reason why. It turns out that obesity damage brain function in a way that as the weight goes up, the actual physical size and function of our brain goes down. Additionally, smoking and high blood pressure also very important to monitor. High pressure causing low flow blood to brain and smoking cause upnormal blood flow.

Exellent idea, kid with illustrated bulb above his head

Below, is the quick summary from Daniel Amen talks about what kind of activities we should have to enhance productivity by means of making our brain healthier.



These powerful recipe will guide us to a more effective journey toward gaining more productivity. In fact, I started to apply some of the techniques given by his TEDx Talks and in the near future I will let all of you fellow travelers know about my journey on this one.


Remembering the Real Santa Claus

At mid-night, I suddenly heard a rushing wind flowing into my house. I woke up and thinking if the sound was actually real or a part of my beautiful Christmas dream in the midst of Christmas night. I was curious yet a little bit afraid because my parents have already slept and no one is there to protect me in case if anything should happen to me. In the curiosity I tried to keep silence with my blanket on top of me covering my whole body. I pretended that I was sleeping, hoping that I actually fell a sleep and just forget about this weird night. The next sound I heard, I was so certain that someone was in the ground floor indeed. I then opened my door room  and walked very slowly, to avoid to get noticed. I went down the stair to the ground floor and turned on the lights very quickly with a wish that the intruder will got shock by it and ran away. But after I turn the lights on, there was nobody in the room. I looked right and left, my eyes searching for the source of noise that I had heard from my bedroom. I found no one there but surprisingly when I glanced to the Christmas tree that my parents and me assembled just before I went to bed, one additional red boxes with my name is placed under the tree. As I approached the tree to hold the box, I heard bells ringing and I ran quickly to the window and saw Santa Claus was there, he saw me back from his sleight with all his reindeers, smiled, waved at me and laughed out loud “ ho ho ho”.


How many times, we heard the stories and movies about Santa Claus that tells the tales about a big man riding his sleight with all his lovely reindeers giving presents in the night of Christmas traveling very far from South pole where he manufactured all the gift helped by all his dwarfs.

When I moved  to Belgium, I surprised by the fact that the Santa Claus that I have known for my whole life is not exist. It is not entirely a fictitious character though. But only here when I stay in Belgium I discovered the true Santa Claus. Santa Claus or also being famously called by religious catholic by the name of Saint Nicholas is a Santa in Catholic religion. Here in Belgium, people has a huge respect on the true Santa Claus. He is very famous that he became the patron of many things from archers, children, merchants until pawnbroker.


Indeed, some of the story of Santa Claus that we knew today was originally a fruit of the real Saint Nicholas’ heroics and charity acts. He was a Christian bishop of Myra. He was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas.


In Belgium, 6th December turns out to be a great feast day of Saint Nicholas that is celebrated publicly by a festival. A noticeable difference exists in the way Santa Claus dress in Christmas event in Belgium. With the effort to combine the famous American way of Santa Claus and the real Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas, usually a man who became Santa in Belgium will dress with a combination between both Santa Claus that just look similar in the picture above.

In addition, recently I just found a fact of one of the big influence of the famous American Santa Claus tales. It  is the book titled “The Life and Adventures of Santa Clauswhich is a children’s book, written by L. Frank Baum in year 1902 that has shaped world perception of our currently held wide belief of Santa Claus. The book has later got into production to become a film in year 1985 with an ever good rating in IMDB website until today.