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  • The Three Things you Need to Make Peak Performance

    James Arthur Lovell, Jr., one of the first American astronauts to fly and orbit the moon once said, “Be thankful for problems,​​ if they were less difficult, someone with less ability ...

  • Four Tings That Can Make Your Life More Meaningful

    When we spend our lives merely surviving, life can start to seem a little empty and pointless. Nevertheless, this is exactly how many of us live:

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  • A Prayer For Wisdom

    This prayer is quoted from the Bible in the book of Wisdom 8:17-21; and Wisdom 9:1-18 NLT (New Living Translation: Catholic Edition).

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Remarkable Cases On Necessity Is The Mother Of Inventions

The ‘Queen of Crime’, Lady Mallowan, the best-selling fiction writer of all time - with sales topping up to 2 billion copies, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, who with all those accolades, surprisingly, didn't believe in the saying that: necessity is the mother of invention. On one or more occasions she was quoted as saying: ‘I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble.’

Still wondering about that, She was not alone but had great company on the opposite side. Alfred North Whitehead, the defining figure in both Mathematics and the Philosophical School, also didn't believe. Whitehead went further in supporting Agatha Christie's opinion by expanding more with these words: ‘Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for its vigorous exercise. "Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity.’ And there’re countless others who nod ‘yes’ to that kind of thinking.

But the persistent application of that saying in modern society proves that there is some undeniable truthfulness in the said old adage. There’re a lot of cases to support in favor of the argument rather than the contrary. This article is going to present a few remarkable cases of necessity-driven innovations and we'll conclude that: necessity is truly the mother of inventions.

Let’s go back to its background story. The saying "necessity is the mother of invention" is believed to have originated from the Roman poet Plautus. He wrote in his play "Asinaria" (The Comedy of Asses) "Necessity is the mother of invention" which means that when people are faced with a problem or a need, they will come up with creative solutions to meet that need.

The phrase highlights the idea that when people are in dire need of something, they will find a way to make it happen no matter what. This phrase has been around for centuries, and it implies that when people are in a situation of urgency, they will come up with new and innovative ideas to solve the problem at hand. The fight-or-flight physiological response is one example of solving problems, urgently. This is the automatic reaction that occurs in the situation of a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.

The saying emphasizes the power of human ingenuity and how it is driven by the need to survive, improve, and evolve. It reflects the idea that when people are in difficult situations, they will find ways to overcome them. This process of overcoming difficulties can lead to new ideas, technologies, and solutions.

The phrase "necessity is the mother of invention" is relevant today, not just in technology but in all aspects of life, and it is used to express the idea that problems or obstacles can lead to creative solutions, progress, and advancement.

Smartphones: Necessity-Driven Innovations:

For your information, the smartphone is one popular product today created out of necessity. The first smartphones were designed in the early 1990s, but they didn't become mainstream until the early 2000s. The need for a device that could make phone calls, send messages, and access the internet on the go, led to the development of the modern-day smartphone.

Before the invention of smartphones, people had to carry multiple devices with them, such as a cell phone, a PDA (personal digital assistant), and a laptop. The need for a single device that could perform all of these functions led to the creation of the smartphone. The first smartphones combined the functionality of a cell phone with the capabilities of a PDA, such as email, calendar, and internet access.

Over time, the capabilities of smartphones have expanded to include a wide range of features, such as GPS navigation, social media, and mobile banking. Today, smartphones have become an essential part of everyday life for many people, allowing them to stay connected with loved ones, access information, and complete tasks on the go.

The development of smartphones was driven by the need for a more convenient and efficient way to communicate and access information. The success of the smartphone is a perfect example of how the saying "necessity is the mother of invention" applies in the technology industry. Smartphones have become a necessity for many people, and it has changed the way we live and communicate. According to Statista, the number of smartphone subscriptions worldwide, as of 2023, surpassed six billion and is forecast to grow further. The data showed that this is equivalent to almost 85 percent of the world’s population. Frankly speaking, it’s impossible for a worthless device to attain such high usage. The inference is - the smartphone is truly essential for everyday life and almost everyone needs it.

"Necessity is the Mother of Innovation: A Comedic Take"

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you a pandemic, you make a face mask out of a t-shirt. Ha ha ha! Necessity truly is the mother of innovation, and you know what, 2020 has been a year for necessities.

But before we dive into the world of COVID-19 innovation, let's take a look back at the history of necessity-driven innovation. We all know that cavemen discovered the fire after rubbing two sticks together for hours on end, but did you know that the wheel was also a necessity-driven invention? The cavemen (and women) were tired of carrying heavy rocks and boulders on their backs, so they came up with the brilliant idea of putting the rocks on a circular object and rolling it instead. Genius isn’t it?

Fast forward to the 21st century, and necessity is still pushing us to come up with new and creative solutions. The pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we live and work, leading to innovation in remote learning, telemedicine, and contactless payment systems.

But let's not forget the more lighthearted innovations born out of necessity. With the rise of Zoom fatigue, people have gotten creative with their virtual backgrounds, from tropical beaches to outer space. And let's not forget the "quarantine haircut" trend, with many taking the scissors to their own hair in the absence of salon visits.

"Zoom Backgrounds: A Necessity-Driven Innovation"

The pandemic has also led to a rise in remote work, which in turn has led to an increase in Zoom meetings. And with so many Zoom meetings comes Zoom fatigue. To combat the monotony of staring at the same four walls, people have taken to spicing up their virtual backgrounds. From tropical beaches to city skylines, the possibilities are endless. Thanks to the necessity of remote work, we now have the ability to take a virtual vacation during our workday.

Necessity truly is the mother of innovation. From the wheel to the toilet paper bidet, history has shown us that when faced with a problem, humans will come up with a solution. So when life gives you a pandemic, make sure to think outside the box and come up with a solution that not only solves the problem but also improves our lives in some way.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention in the Context of Artificial Intelligence:

One notable and profound example of the saying "necessity is the mother of innovation" in the context of artificial intelligence technology is the development of deep learning. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning that involves the use of neural networks with multiple layers or "deep" layers, to process and analyze large amounts of data.

Before the advent of deep learning, traditional machine learning algorithms were limited in their ability to process and make sense of large, complex datasets. However, with the explosion of data in fields such as image and speech recognition, the necessity for more powerful and sophisticated algorithms became apparent.

Researchers and engineers in the field of artificial intelligence began to develop and refine deep learning algorithms, such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and recurrent neural networks (RNNs), which have the capability to process large amounts of data and learn patterns and features that would have been impossible for traditional machine learning algorithms to detect.

As a result, deep learning has been able to achieve breakthroughs in a variety of applications such as image classification, natural language processing, and speech recognition. The necessity to process large amounts of data and to improve the performance of AI systems led to the development of deep learning, which has had a profound impact on the field of artificial intelligence and has led to many new innovations and advances. 

One notable example of these advances is the AI-powered chatbot launched by OpenAI, which in late 2022 it took the internet by storm. The viral ChatGPT as it is famously known still has multiple limitations, but nevertheless, it can excellently mimic human-like conversation, and the users of the system reported that it has the ability to do copywriting, write essays, code computer programs, compose music, fairy tales, poems, and much much more. To some extent, these are the fruits of deep learning invention.

Atomic Bomb: Necessity-Driven Invention:

As said before, "Necessity is the mother of invention" is a phrase that is often used to describe how difficult situations or challenges can lead to the development of new and innovative solutions. During World War II, the United States found itself in a race against time to develop the atomic bomb before Germany could do so. The Germans were thought to be ahead in the race, but under the guidance of scientist Albert Einstein, the Americans were able to successfully develop the atomic bomb in just a few years.

Einstein, who was a refugee from Nazi Germany, alerted the US government to the potential of nuclear weapons and the possibility that Germany was working on developing them. This prompted the US government to launch the Manhattan Project, a top-secret research and development program aimed at creating an atomic bomb before Germany could.

The Manhattan Project brought together some of the best minds in science and engineering, including physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who led the project. They worked tirelessly to develop the bomb, using the latest technologies and techniques available at the time. The project was extremely successful, and the first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 in a test code-named Trinity.

The atomic bomb played a crucial role in bringing an end to the war. In the same year 1945, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, respectively, resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people, but it also forced Japan to surrender and ultimately ended the war.

To summarise, necessity was the mother of invention in this case as the potential of nuclear weapons was known and that, the Germans were thought to be ahead in the race of developing it, Einstein's warning prompted the US government to launch the Manhattan Project, a top-secret research and development program which brought together some of the best minds in science and engineering. The project was extremely successful and the atomic bomb played a crucial role in bringing an end to the war.


Sunday, January 8, 2023

The Optimistic View In The Saying: Never Say Never

Unknown (United Press International), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The saying - Never Say Never - is a hypocritical statement. Why? Because it commits the sin it forbids. It restricts its readers by using the same word 'never' it advises being avoided. In this way, the expression has already said the forbidden word 'never' when saying: never say never! In other words, we can say that it doesn't practice what it preaches. Nevertheless, those hypocritical shortfalls mean nothing compared to the massive benefits of the optimistic view learned from the phrase, and in this article, we'll delve to argue in favor of it.

Sir Roger Bannister and the Limitless Human Potential: A Never Say Never Prototype

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister made history by becoming the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. On that day when the announcer declared that the time was 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, the cheers and uproar from the crowd of onlookers went wild in such a way that the last words of the announcer were not heard. This achievement was a monumental moment in the world of sports around the world and proved that the impossible was indeed possible. Prior to Bannister's record-breaking run, many experts believed that it was physically impossible for a human being to run a mile in under four minutes. However, Bannister's accomplishment shattered this belief and opened the door for others to follow in his footsteps and he instantly became a never-say-never prototype.

Fast forward, on 12 October 2019, in the city of Vienna, Austria, a Kenyan legend, Eliud Kipchoge made history by being the first human in history to run a sub-two-hour in an unofficial marathon race. Kipchoge ran a 42.195 KM distance in a remarkable time of 1 hour 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds. Kipchoge's mantra has been always that: 'No Human Is Limited'. And here's what he said after becoming the first ever person to run a marathon in under two hours, 'It's a great feeling to make history in sports after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954. I'm the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run in under two hours and I can tell people that No Human Is Limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.' Up until 2023, Kipchoge holds a record of running four out of six fastest marathons in history.

Sir Roger Bannister's and other athletes' achievement serves as a powerful reminder that we should never say never when it comes to our limitless potential. Their determination and hard work proved that with the right mindset and training, we can accomplish things that were once thought of by experts as impossible. And surprisingly, those close to Bannister, said he achieved that with minimal training as he was spending much time in his neurologist profession. He was only intensifying training when competition arrived. And it's worth noting that, he did set a personal goal to be the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. Henceforth, Bannister's record-breaking run was not only a triumph for him personally, but it also showed that human potential is indeed limitless.

In the years following Bannister's achievement, many runners have broken his record, but his legacy lives on as a symbol of human potential. In fact, his record was broken down 46 days later by his rival athlete, John Landy. But his determination and perseverance continue to inspire people to push themselves to new heights and to never give up on their dreams.

Bannister's achievements and other heroes teach us that we should never underestimate our own abilities. With hard work, dedication, and the right mindset, we can accomplish great things. So, let us take inspiration from Roger Bannister and other heroes and never say never when it comes to our own limitless potential and believe we can command success regardless of what we're going through.

Roger Bannister's achievement in breaking the 4-minute mile is a testament to limitless human potential. It teaches us that with dedication and perseverance, we can achieve the impossible. Let's again take inspiration from Bannister's legacy and strive to push ourselves to new heights in all dimensions of our own lives.

The Power of Positive and Possibility Thinking: Why You Should Never Say Never:

National Gallery of Ireland, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever heard the saying "never say never"? It's a phrase that encourages us to keep an open mind and stay optimistic, no matter what challenges we may face. But why psychologists are saying it is so important to adopt this mindset?

First of all, let's look at the flip side of the phrase: saying "never" is essentially giving up on something before we've even given it a chance. It's like declaring defeat before we've even entered the battle. This kind of negative thinking can be incredibly damaging to our goals and aspirations.

On the other hand, by refusing to say "never," we are leaving room for the possibility of success. We are telling ourselves that anything is possible and that we should never give up on our dreams. This kind of optimism can be incredibly powerful and can help us overcome even the most difficult of obstacles. Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington who is known for defeating the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, was quoted as saying: 'Victory is the ability to fight five minutes longer than any other army in the world.'

But it's not just about staying positive for the sake of it. When we adopt an "anything is possible" mentality, we are more likely to take action toward our goals. We are more willing to put in the hard work and dedication required to achieve success because we know it is within our reach.

So the next time you find yourself thinking "I could never do that," remember that you are much more capable than you give yourself credit for. Don't let negative thoughts hold you back – embrace the power of "never say never" and go out there and make your dreams a reality!

The Sky's the Limit: How 'Never Say Never' Can Help You Achieve Your Goals:

It's easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world – to believe that our dreams are out of reach and that we will never be able to accomplish what we truly desire. But this kind of thinking is not only damaging to our motivation and self-esteem, but it is also simply not true based on humanity's record-breaking historic achievements.

As the saying goes, "never say never." This phrase encourages us to keep an open mind and stay optimistic, no matter the challenges we might face. By refusing to say "never," we are telling ourselves that anything is possible and that we should never give up on our goals.

But it's not just about being positive for the sake of it. When we adopt an "anything is possible" mentality, we are more likely to take action toward our goals. We are more willing to put in the hard work and dedication required to achieve success because we know that it is within our reach.

Never Say Never in the Context of Football Game:

PeeJay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Line-ups for the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final between AC Milan and Liverpool FC at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005.

One notable example in the world of football that demonstrates the truth of the saying "never say never" is the match between Liverpool and AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final.

Going into the match, Liverpool was considered the underdogs, with many people doubting their ability to come out on top against the strong and successful AC Milan team. But in a stunning turn of events, Liverpool managed to come from behind and win the match, with a final score of 3-3 (Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties).

This is how the match unfolded. AC Milan's Maldini volleyed in the fastest final goal in first minute of the game. 39' minutes later Crespo scored from a lighting-quick counter attack. Then one minute before half-time, Crespo scored again in the 44' minute. Up to the half-time the scoreboard read Liverpool 0 - 3 AC Milan. By all counts, it was considered the gameover. 

But the dramatic comeback started to take shape in the 54' minute when Liverpool's Gerrard headed in Riise's cross to score the first goal for Liverpool. Then the next six minutes is the time which AC Milan will never forget because, in the 56' minutes, Smicer's low drive evaded past Dida and hit the back of the net to make 2 goals for Liverpool. Then the pitch drama was completed at 60' minutes when Alonso scored from a penalty rebound to make the scoreboard read Liverpool 3 - 3 AC Milan.

The scores remained the same during the extra time. Then the winner was decided by taking the penalty shootouts. Ultimately, Liverpool won 3-2 after Shevchenko's penalty was saved by Liverpool's goalkeeper Dudek. 

This match often referred to as the "Miracle of Istanbul," is a prime example of why it is so important to never say never. The Liverpool team never gave up, even when they were trailing by three goals in the second half. They kept fighting and pushing forward, believing that they could still come out on top. And in the end, their determination and refusal to give up paid off in a miraculous victory.

This match serves as a reminder that no matter how unlikely it may seem, anything is possible if you never give up and always keep pushing forward. As the saying goes, "never say never" – you never know what amazing things you may be able to accomplish if you adopt it in your mindset. 

Never Say Never: A Lesson from the Prophet Elisha and the Skeptical King's Officer:

In the biblical story of Elisha and the King's officer in 2 Kings 6:24-7:19, we are reminded of the importance of maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude, no matter what challenges we may face. This story is a great demonstration of the saying: never say never.

The King's officer, it seems, was a bit of a skeptic. When Elisha prophesied that the prices of flour and barley would significantly decrease the next day, the officer was having none of it. "That could not happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!" he declared. By implication he was saying - never! 

He confidently declared that because on that day in Samaria's markets, as the severity of the famine escalated, the donkey's head was sold for eight pieces of silver, and a cup of dove's dung was sold for five pieces of silver. On the other hand, Elisha prophesied that the next day, seven liters of choice flour will be sold for only one piece of silver and fourteen liters of barley grain will be sold also for the same - only one piece of silver.

Elisha was not discouraged by the officer's negative thinking. "You'll see it happen with your own eyes," he responded, "but you won't be able to eat any of it." Oh snap! Elisha was not about to let a little thing like skepticism get in the way of his positive attitude and belief in the power of his prophecy. He believed that since his prophecy was backed up by the LORD himself, then it will certainly happen no matter how unlikely it may seem.

And as it turns out, Elisha was right. The prices of flour and barley did significantly decrease the next day, just as he had said. The moral of the story? Don't be like the skeptical King's officer – embrace the power of "never say never" and stay positive and optimistic, no matter what challenges may come your way. Who knows what amazing things you may be able to accomplish with your unwavering faith?

So the next time you think, "I could never do that," remember that the sky is the limit and that you are much more capable than you give yourself credit for. Don't let negative thoughts hold you back – embrace the power of "never say never" and go out there and make your dreams a reality!

Here's the recorded YouTube video depicting the historic moment when Sir Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes and set a new world record. The interesting thing about this video clip is that the voiceover of the video's commentary was narrated by the man himself: Sir Roger Bannister.


Sunday, January 1, 2023

This Is Why Wisdom Is Mightier Than Strength

David Vs. Goliath

The most authoritative book in the literature of wisdom, The Proverbs, which is attributed to the wisest man to ever live - King Solomon - declared the following maxim about the wise and the strong: “The wise man is more powerful than the strong, and the man of knowledge adds to his strength.” (Proverb 24:5, NCB). 

In response to that passage of scripture, I have composed a poem in order to try to elaborate on its message.  

Wisdom is Mightier than Strength - A Poem:

Wisdom, the mightiest force of all

It conquers mountains, breaks through walls

A weapon stronger than swords or shields

It breaks the chains that bind and yield

Might may make men seem great and grand

But it's wisdom that commands the land

It guides us through life's stormy seas

A light that shines with elegance and ease

In wisdom we find a strength divine

A power that is truly intertwined

With knowledge and understanding deep

It helps us climb and never sleep

So let us seek wisdom in all we do

For it will guide us, strong and true

And though we may not be the mightiest of men

We will be rich in knowledge, and wise within

Wisdom is Mightier than Strength in the Context of the Corporate World:

In the cutthroat world of multi-national corporate, it's easy to get caught up in the pursuit of power and strength. We're told that we need to be the biggest, the baddest, the most dominant player in our field in order to succeed. But is that really true?

Before I delve into the analysis, the above claim is not an exaggeration, to prove my point, take a look at the following summary of the popular 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli called ‘The Prince’

JoJan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 (Niccolò Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was a Florentine statesman, political philosopher, historian, musician, poet, and comedic playwright. Statue by Lorenzo Bartolini outside the Uffizi, Florence.)

The summary: The book is about how a prince should rule and is based on Machiavelli's personal experience as a diplomat in Renaissance Italy. The main message of the book is that a prince should be willing to use any means necessary to maintain power and control, even if it means acting immorally or brutally. Machiavelli argued that the ends justify the means and that it is better for a prince to be feared than loved. He believed that the most important characteristic of a successful ruler is the ability to maintain power and that a ruler should do whatever it takes to keep control, even if it means going against traditional moral and ethical codes.

Now, let’s get back to our objective analysis, and to start with we’ll dissect the business sector in the corporate game. As it turns out, wisdom might just be the ultimate secret weapon in this fierce game. Here's why:

  • Wisdom allows us to make better decisions. Sure, brute force can sometimes get us what we want in the short term. But over the long haul, it's the ability to think critically and make sound decisions that really pays off. Wisdom helps us avoid costly mistakes, navigate tricky situations, and make the best choices for ourselves and our businesses.

  • Wisdom attracts the right people. It's not just about being the strongest person in the room - it's about having the right team around you. And people are naturally drawn to those who exude wisdom and intelligence. When you're the smartest person in the room, people will want to work with you, learn from you, and follow your lead.

  • Wisdom helps us adapt to change. In the business world, things are always changing. Markets shift, technologies evolve, and new competitors emerge. Wisdom helps us stay nimble and adapt to these changes, rather than being left behind. It's a crucial skill to have in today's fast-paced world.

So next time you're tempted to clench your fist, flex your muscles and show off your strength, remember that wisdom might just be the better route to success. It might not be as flashy, but it will get you exactly where you want to go in the long run.

Wisdom is Mightier than Strength in the Biblical Context:

One example of wisdom being mightier than strength can be found in the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. In this story, the Philistines and Israelites are at war, and the Philistines send out their champion, Goliath, to challenge the Israelites to a one-on-one fight. Goliath is a giant of a man, strong and formidable, while the Israelites are afraid and unable to find a worthy champion to fight him.

However, a young shepherd named David volunteers to take on Goliath. Despite his small size and lack of military training, David trusts in the Lord and uses his wisdom to defeat Goliath. He chooses to fight with a slingshot and stone, rather than a sword, and uses his knowledge of the terrain to his advantage. In the end, David's wisdom and faith in God triumph over Goliath's physical strength, and he emerges victorious.

This story demonstrates that wisdom and faith can be more powerful than physical strength and military might. It also shows the importance of using one's gifts and resources wisely, rather than relying solely on brute force or fragile human strength.

The Tale of Two People: The Wise and the Strong:

The right image is adapted by permission of Senivpetro on Freepik

Two people were tasked with cutting down a large tree using an axe within three hours. One was strong, while the other was wise. As soon as the timer started, the strong one immediately began chopping away, relying on his physical strength to get the job done. However, his axe was dull and he didn't take the time to sharpen it before starting. After two hours of labor, he had only managed to cut a quarter of the tree trunk. As time passed, he became increasingly exhausted and the task became more and more difficult.

On the other hand, the wise one didn't start right away. Instead, he took some time to come up with a strategic plan for how to tackle the task effectively. He spent half an hour drawing up his plan and another hour sharpening the axe. Once satisfied with the sharp edge of the axe, he made his first stroke on the tree trunk when there was just half the time left. It only took him half an hour to bring down the entire tree and he finished with an hour to spare. He used the remaining time to treat himself to some refreshments as a reward for a job well done.

Meanwhile, the strong one was still struggling as time went on. By this point, even lifting his axe to make a stroke had become a burden. When the time was up, he had only managed to cut half of the tree trunk and had failed to complete the task. This scenario demonstrates that wisdom is indeed mightier than strength.

Here's a YouTube video translated from Russian to English by Kate Bochevar which depicts situations where wisdom showed to be much stronger than physical strength. There's an interesting story on how classical philosopher Archimedes protected his city from military invasion by applying the knowledge of his wisdom.


Saturday, December 31, 2022

How Wise Is The Idea That Less Is More!

Do you agree that in the photos above - the half-topless is more beautiful?

Is being half-topless add something to the woman's beautiful appearance or not?

Less is more is a phrase that has been popularized in recent years as a way to describe the idea that sometimes, having fewer possessions or simplifying our lives can lead to a better overall quality of life. The phrase is often attributed to the minimalist movement, which advocates for living with fewer possessions and a more simplistic approach to life.

On the contrary, Dolly Rebecca Parton, an award-winning American singer-songwriter for country music who in her career has composed over 3,000 songs, has a different view on less is more. On one occasion she was quoted as saying: ‘Some people say that less is more. But I think more is more.’ These words were spoken by an artist who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. But an in-depth look at her career, we noticed that in the 1990s the sales of her albums flopped and became a total commercial failure. We do not know for sure what was the reason for that but this blog post is going to argue in favor of the idea that less is truly more.

Olivia's Story on Less is More

The following story affirms the simple concept that less is more. In the bustling city of London, there was a young woman named Olivia. Olivia was a successful businesswoman, and she had worked hard to build a successful career and accumulate a large number of material possessions.

Despite her success, Olivia found that she was often stressed and unhappy. She worked long hours and was constantly trying to keep up with the demands of her job and her busy lifestyle. She reached a point where she became a victim of recreational drugs.

One day, Olivia decided to take a break and go on a solo retreat in the countryside of ​​St Albans, Hertfordshire in the vicinity of London. While there, she discovered the joys of living a simple life and began to understand the value of slowing down and focusing on what truly mattered.

Upon her return to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street in London, Olivia decided to downsize her possessions and simplify her life for the better. She sold her large city home and moved to a small cottage she bought in the countryside of ​​St Albans, Hertfordshire, where she was able to focus on her passions and find a sense of peace and contentment. Still, happily ever after, she went on to live one of the fullest and most satisfying life that existed only in her imagination.

Olivia came to realize that sometimes, less really is more and that a simple life can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment.

The Background Story of Less is More:

(Bust of Epicurus, from the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany)

You’ve to understand that the concept of "less is more" is not a new one. In fact, the idea has been around for centuries and can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. One notable example of this concept can be seen in the works of the philosopher Epicurus, who lived in the 4th century BC.

Epicurus believed that the key to living a happy, fulfilling life was to focus on what truly mattered and to avoid unnecessary distractions. He argued that material possessions, wealth, and power were not the keys to happiness, and that true happiness could only be found by living a simple, virtuous life.

This idea is exemplified in one of Epicurus' famous quotes: "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." This quote emphasizes the importance of being content with what we have and not constantly striving for more.

Less is More in the Context of Modern Architecture:

Photo by Pia Fuhst on Unsplash
(Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, Spain)

Another notable example of the concept of "less is more" can be seen in the work of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Mies was a pioneer of the modernist movement in architecture, and his work is characterized by a focus on simplicity and minimalism.

One of architect Mies' most famous works is the Barcelona Pavilion, a building that was designed for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The Pavilion is a prime example of Mies' philosophy of "less is more," as it is characterized by a simple, uncluttered design and an emphasis on clean lines and geometric shapes.

The Pavilion has become an iconic example of modernist architecture, and its simple, minimalist design has had a lasting impact on the field. Mies' work serves as a testament to the idea that sometimes, less really is more.

The Wisdom of Less is more in the Bible:

Bringing the Bible into the discussion, we have one biblical example of the concept of "less is more" which can be found in the story of King Solomon. Solomon was known for his great wisdom and wealth and was said to be the wealthiest and most powerful king in the world at the time.

Despite his great wealth and power, Solomon recognized that these things were not the keys to true happiness and fulfillment. In the Book of Ecclesiastes 4:6 (NCB), Solomon writes "Better is one handful of peace of mind than two handfuls of toil and chasing after the wind." This quote highlights the idea that sometimes, less really is more, and that peace and contentment can also be found in simplicity.

Solomon's story serves as a reminder that material possessions and wealth are not the keys to happiness, and that sometimes, having less can lead to a more fulfilling life.

The Lord Jesus Christ didn't want to leave us guessing on what would be his teaching on whether more is more or less is more. He clearly expressed his view that in some instances, truly the idea of less is more holds true. His comment on the matter is found in the book of Luke 12:15, (NCB) It says “... ‘Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for the quality of your life does not depend on the possession you have, however great they may be.’ “

Less is More in the Context of Internet Marketing:

Now let’s turn to the world of online marketing. With so much noise and clutter on the internet, a savvy internet marketer is advised to cut through the clutter and get straight to the point. That's why simple, concise messaging is key to online success. Just remember, it's not about saying more, it's about saying it better. So it is advised to keep it short and sweet and let your message do the talking. It’s the quality of the content that counts and not the quantity of the content.

Summing up: the concept of "less is more" has been around for centuries and has been espoused by philosophers, architects, and others who have recognized the value of simplicity. Whether it's in our material possessions or in the way we live our lives, the idea that less can be more holds true and can lead to a happier, joyous, and more fulfilling life in the long run.

Here's the interview where the award-winning singer-songwriter Dolly Parton while speaking to Knoxville News Sentinel commented on why she thinks - more is more!


Friday, December 30, 2022

Here's Why The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

The saying "the pen is mightier than the sword" has been a popular adage for many centuries. It suggests that words, when put to paper, have a greater ability to influence and change the world than physical force. This is especially true in the modern world, where the written word is more prevalent than ever before. And today it’s no wonder that the news media or the press is considered the fourth branch of the government.

In the past, the sword was seen as the ultimate symbol of power and might. It was a weapon used by warriors and kings to conquer and subdue their enemies. But as time passed, the power of the sword began to wane. With the revolutionary invention of gunpowder and other advanced deadly weaponry, the sword became less effective as a tool of warfare. If we were to find its best use nowadays then it’s no surprise that it might find its place in the kitchen or in the farm's works but no longer on the battlefield.

On the other hand, the pen has only grown in power and influence. With the rise of literacy and the proliferation of books, the written word became a powerful tool for spreading ideas and influencing people. In the modern world, a pen is a tool that anyone can use to make their voices heard and to have a real impact on the world around them.

The written word is a powerful force because it can be used to educate, inform, and persuade. It allows us to record our thoughts, experiences, and knowledge, and to share them with others. It allows us to express our ideas, opinions, and emotions in a way that is clear, concise, and compelling.

The Mighty of the Pen and Online Marketing:

In the context of online marketing, the saying can be related in the following way. Arguably, the pen is mightier than the sword, but in the world of online marketing, the keyboard is the ultimate weapon. With just a few clicks, you can conquer the digital realm and slay your competition and become an industry authority. So don't underestimate the power of a good copywriter – they may not have a physical double-edged sword, but they influence the ultimate weapon of persuasion to the almost 5 billion internet users worldwide. The statistical data about worldwide internet users is published by Statista.

Similarly, one of the greatest strengths of the written word is its ability to withstand the passage of time. Unlike a sword, which can rust and break, words on paper can last for centuries. This means that the ideas and thoughts of past generations can be preserved and passed down to future generations.

In addition, the written word has the ability to cross borders and cultures. It can be translated and shared with people from different parts of the world, allowing for the exchange of ideas and the fostering of understanding and cooperation. This is especially important in today's globalized world, where it is crucial for people from different backgrounds and cultures to be able to communicate and work together.

How the Mighty Pen Helped African Americans to Fight for Civil Rights:

One notable example of the saying "the pen is mightier than the sword" is the role that the pen played in the fight for civil rights in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, African Americans and other minority groups used their pens to write letters, essays, and articles about their experiences with racial discrimination, segregation, and other forms of social injustice. These written works, which were often published in newspapers, magazines, and books, helped to raise awareness about these issues and influenced public opinion and policy.

One would remember the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed into law following years of activism and campaigning by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and others. This legislation, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, was essentially the result of the efforts of these activists to use their pens to bring about social change.

In this way, the pen was used as a powerful tool to advocate for justice and equality, and it played a crucial role in bringing about significant social and political change. This example illustrates how the power of words and ideas can be more potent and influential than physical force or violence in the pursuit of social justice.

In the Bible Ezra and Nehemia Turned to the Power of the Mighty Pen:

Ezra Reads the Law to the People (Gustave Doré's illustrations for La Grande Bible de Tours, 1866)

In the biblical context, one biblical example that shows the power of the pen is the story of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Ezra was a scribe and a teacher of the Law of Moses, while Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king of Persia. The entire story could be read in the Bible referring to the books which bear the respective prophets' names i.e. Ezra and Nehemiah.

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylon, they faced many challenges in rebuilding the city and its walls. Nehemiah, motivated by his love for his people and his faith in God, approached the king and asked for permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls.

The king granted Nehemiah's request, and Nehemiah set out to Jerusalem with a group of people, including Ezra. Together, they worked tirelessly to rebuild the walls and restore the city.

But they faced opposition from their enemies, who tried to stop them and spread lies about their intentions. In response, Nehemiah and Ezra turned to the power of the pen. They wrote letters to the people, encouraging them to continue working and reminding them of God's faithfulness and protection.

Through their words, they were able to rally the people and keep them focused on their mission. They also wrote down the laws of God and taught them to the people, helping to restore the spiritual foundation of the nation.

In the end, their efforts were successful, and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. This story demonstrates the power of the pen to inspire, encourage, and guide people toward a common goal, even in the face of adversity.

The pen truly is mightier than the sword in this case, as it was through the power of their words that Nehemiah and Ezra overcame the obstacles and achieved their objective. Their writing not only helped to rebuild the physical walls of the city but also played a crucial role in rebuilding the spiritual foundations of the nation.

This story serves as a reminder that the power of words and the written word can be a powerful force for good, and that the pen truly is mightier than the sword.

Wrapping up, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. While the sword may have been a powerful tool in the past, it has been surpassed by the written word. The written word has the ability to educate, inform, persuade, and withstand the passage of time. It is a powerful tool that anyone can use to make their voices heard and to have a real impact on the world around them and beyond.

Here's the famous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's penned speech delivered at the steps of Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963, entitled: I Have a Dream. There were more than 250,000 civil rights supporters who joined the march for jobs and freedom.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Three Things you Need to Make Peak Performance

James Arthur Lovell, Jr., one of the first American astronauts to fly and orbit the moon once said, “Be thankful for problems,​​ if they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job”. He simply means that sometimes your ability may determine what kind of job you’ll be qualified to do. The more job difficulty is, the rare the ability required to execute it. And this article is going to argue that in order to make peak performance in any job, you need - ability, skills, and effort.

In today’s workplace, the popular career advice is - to follow your passions no matter what. Well, that is OK, but I think we should apply this advice with caution. In my opinion, I think the best advice should be - to follow your talent first then make it your passion. To defend my argument, let’s take, for example, the following scenario. Let us use the same lens to magnify this scenario and look again honestly inside it. Let’s suppose that you are a university professor and you’ve been asked to recommend one candidate among the two to become a practicing medical doctor. Whom one would you recommend from the following two candidates’ profiles? 

The first candidate has a deep passion for piano music but also he or she is intelligent and has demonstrated to possess a very high IQ. He or she is also talented in problem-solving ability.

The second candidate has a deep passion for neurosurgery but, unfortunately, he or she is a little bit mediocre and has shown to possess a below-average IQ. He or she has also shown to be a talented comedian. 

The question is: who among those two candidates would you endorse to follow his or her passion? Would you really recommend the second candidate to practice brain surgery simply because he or she is passionate about it? It’s my hope that you’ll agree with me that following your talent over your passion is the best advice.

Perhaps - you might argue that - becoming a qualified neurosurgeon is not a matter of choosing people randomly but it involves long training and graduating with passing marks. Yes, but here we assume a really mediocre candidate who has no ability to score above the passing mark but inside him/her has a deep-seated passion for neurosurgeon practice.

There are others who are lucky and multi-talented people. I would say for those people, they can choose to follow their passion among their talents. They're already multi-talented so they can choose which talent they're passionate about. Following their passion among their talents make sense to them.

In my personal research, I concluded that in order to make peak performance at work, you basically need only three things: ability, skills, and effort. And those three things need to be executed in the following sequence: first, assess your ability, second get the required skills, and third, attempt to succeed by applying all your efforts. 

In the simplest words, we could define the ability as the power to do something. We define skill as the ability to use your ability to do something competently. While an effort is a serious attempt to do something.

 If your personal aim is to pursue excellence and perform wonders at work, then the first thing you need to do is to assess your ability.

"In the simplest words, we could define ability as the power to do something. We define skill as the ability to use your ability to do something competently, while an effort is a serious attempt to do something."

 Assessing Your Ability:

Generally speaking, assessing your ability depends on your in-born qualities and what kind of job are you doing? But one way to assess your ability is to seek the advice of career advisors. You can also find a way to do a personal SWOT analysis. Check for both your strength and opportunities against the threats and weaknesses to avoid bias and also get the full picture. If you are smart and you do it honestly, you can be confident to apply that evaluation of yourself to capitalize on your outstanding abilities. Because you can see in your heart, then the truth is that the heart reflects the actual personality (Proverb 27:19).

Others could get insight on this by simply listing those abilities they think they possess based on their real-life experience. And in the case of Christian believers, they need not be afraid because they have a choice to seek Divine Guidance. Christianity teaches that the Holy Spirit gifts each person for the greater benefit of the entire church (1Corinthiants 12:4-11). It is your duty to discover or pray for your gifts. To some extent, life may be similar to forced military duty with a scenario of - do or die. This is because, in the grandstand of things, things are already at stake.

It is very important to do a kind of job which you know for sure that you have got the necessary abilities to do that job very well.  Contrary to that, things might be like how the following illustration is going to explain. For the sake of this illustration, let's take the example of a blind person. We both know, to drive a car safely in the city, you must have the ability to see through the windshield while you’re driving on the road unless it's a self-driving car. Now, what do you think will happen if that blind person is allowed to drive a manual car at high speed? Obviously, a collision is imminent. The danger here is that a blind person does not have the ability to see and is therefore disqualified to drive on his/her own on the roads.

Believe it or not, most people who have ignored the process of assessing their abilities first are doing exactly the same as that blind person above. And they are doing it by driving at a top speed through their daily struggle, as evidenced by talent misappropriation and poor work performance. In other words, their peak performance is below the general average performance.  

There is an ongoing debate of whether talented people are born or are made. Today let's spare that discussion for another day but let it be enough to say that it is possible to fill the gap in your ability’s shortcoming. One way to overcome that is to acquire the required skills by doing what it takes.

 Working on Your Skills:

The good news about skills is that it is acquired through a certain process. You can gain a new skill or develop or polish a current one through training, tutorials, or on-the-job practice in real life.

Similarly, to make general peak performance at your work, do not underestimate the importance of learning the required identified job skills.

The following story illustrates the point on how skills help to get things done more efficiently. 

One day in a certain company, a piece of certain factory machinery went down and caused a machinery malfunction. The factory manager quickly called an engineer who was skilled in fixing factory machines with malfunction like that. On arriving at the site, the engineer started by asking probing questions so that he could understand the nature of the problem that led to the breakdown. After that, he inspected the factory machinery. Then he went on to change just one piece of nut situated in the middle of the factory machinery plant. Wow, when the factory machine was switched on, the factory machine started to work again and was up and running,

Subsequently, the engineer billed the factory manager with a $1000 invoice. The factory manager protested claiming that he could get that one nut from the nearest hardware store for less than $10 then why the bill is so ridiculously high?  The engineer smiled on his face and together with a cool composure replied, “The itemized breakdown of that invoice is: $10 is for the nut and $990 is for the labor charge required to know which nut to replace and deal with!”.

To have the ability and the skills is half the story, you need to make efforts in order to make peak performance at your work.

Making Effort to Make General Peak Performance at Work:

You have the abilities and you have the required skills then you should add your personal effort to succeed. The memorable quote of social commentator, William Penn Adair Rogers reminds us that “Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there”.

Once you have identified your abilities and you have learned the required skills then you must make a serious personal effort to make peak performance and succeed at your work. No more, no less - just that.

Conversely, there are many people who make mistakes of thinking that effort itself can accomplish almost anything. They say that all you ever need to succeed and make peak performance is to work very, very hard.

My research findings have revealed that applying effort alone is not enough without having the other two things in place: ability and skills.

To make this argument clear, let's take a look at the following scenario. Suppose you do not have the abilities and the skills to fly or land an airplane. Suppose again that you happen to be a passenger in one of the flying airplanes. Assume that while you were 35,000 feet above sea level suddenly all your pilots collapsed and they have asked you to assist to land the airplane safely on the ground. Within those few minutes before the airplane explodes, how much effort do you think will be enough to make you land the airplane safely like a qualified commando pilot?

It’s from this point of view that I insist you need to assess your abilities first, get the skills and finally add personal effort to do the extraordinary by making a peak performance. 

Making a truly serious effort is going the extra mile. (Matthew 5:41).

Most self-help publications’ ideas revolve around the core issue of putting into flame your inner abilities to exert unwavering efforts. But in a nutshell, the secret is to make you, give it your ‘all’. Fight to win. Work to excel. And be wise.

In colleges and in classrooms, we learned the perfect education models, and sometimes some other varying factors were held constant for the sake of proving a working theory or model. But the fact of the matter is - in real life all factors vary, and vary at varying rates. The hell is broken loose all the time. So, to navigate successfully and make the general peak performance at your work, you need three things - ability, skills, and a lot of effort.

Here's a talk presented by Angela Duckworth at Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau, claiming that: effort matters more than talents.


About Me

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​​Text Wisdom's mission is to provide an entertaining but faithful and objective exploration of the wisdom behind some popular text speeches like: "Less is more", or "Wisdom is better than strength" and "The pen is mightier than the sword" and so forth. We've committed ourselves to do that so that the readers of our site can appreciate and learn why they should become wise and be transformed to live their lives in all fullness. We strongly believe that wisdom, once gained, can help anyone attain any level of success in any situation. In an actual sense, we strive to live up to the Golden Rule that says: Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Similarly, the idea of what we try to accomplish is well-expressed in this biblical quote: “Be instructed, whatever be the cost, and you’ll gain what is better than gold.” Sirach 51:28, (New Community Bible). LM Edward is a university graduate with a keen interest in working hard to finding out a universal step-by-step method, if any, on how to become wise, and then share those findings to our curious worldwide visitors.

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