• The Power of Flow State and How To Access It

    In neuroscience, the concept of ‘flow’ is currently a popular topic in the field. Flow describes a specific mental state that allows us to focus intensely on a single task or subject matter.

  • 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:

  • How To Stay Calm In the Storm ...

    The storm is all around us. The Coronavirus COVID-19 disease which was declared a global pandemic by WHO has an alarming fatality rate and it instills fear and panic in our daily lives.

  • 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, 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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