Friday, October 06, 2006


Take time to think each day.

I do not mean ruminating and worrying and being anxious.

I mean to think. To go over your activities, your problems, your goals, your dreams, your visions, your observations, your relationships, what you said, what you did, what you want to do.

And then organize all of your experiences from that day, and link them to your past experiences.

You may combine thinking with your quiet time. In fact, you should, because I don't think God wants followers who don't think or leave their brains at the door.

Thinking is hard work. It is not endless meandering and rumination. In most cases it means coming to a conclusion (if possible) or solution or synthesis of a new idea or a plan of action. What conclusion/plan/solution/action? That is a question that also needs to be answered.

When Bill Gates was just a boy, he was sitting in his room and his mother asked him to come down for dinner and he said he was busy--"I thinking, mother! Don't you ever do that?" (or something to that effect).

And what is the motto of IBM--"THINK"

3M allocates 15% of employee time to do their own research. Google gives employees 20% of their time (1 day out of 5) to do their own personal projects.

Without corporate and management support, thinking would seem to be a lazy activity. Why? Because it seems so passive. Just sitting there in your cubicle or desk or at some cafe drinking coffee, perhaps with a notebook in front of you. Just observing with our eyes and ears and we would conclude that that person is doing nothing.

The problem is that you can't observe or measure thinking with the 5 senses, though you can see a person write an essay or hear a speech, these are the products of (perhaps) long hours of hard thinking.

Bill Gates has an annual "Think Week" for his management where they hole themselves up to just think.

The more I think about it... I realize the more I must be thoughtful about thinking purposefully and yet also realize that thinking also involves just letting your mind go free and just to observe and read and bemuse myself in this world.

SIR DAVID: There was a wonderful phrase your mother said that they would sometimes "lose you completely for a few hours." And "where have you been," and you would reply, "I’m thinking, mother." Great reply. Do you still wander off? Do people still lose you? And, Bill, where the hell have you been? "I’m thinking, Melinda."


BILL GATES: She knows what I’m doing. (Laughter.) I actually do this thing where I take a week and I call it "Think Week" where I just get to go off and read the latest Ph.D. theses, try out new technologies, and try and write down my thoughts about where the market is going. Things are going fast enough that instead of doing one think a year, last year I started doing two a year. And that’s one of the most fun parts of my job. So, you know, not only trying things out, but seeing how the pieces fit together and thinking ahead what kind of software will that require, that’s a big part of my job. And I get lots of great ideas coming from the people inside Microsoft, whether it’s sending e-mail, or meeting with me, and it’s important for me to synthesize that and so there’s a lot of thinking that I’ve got to do. And, you know, that’s fun.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Art of War

Sun Tzu talks of the 5 Factors for Success they are:

1. The Moral Law: Do you have the right cause, the right meaning, the right motivation to engage in your endeavour.
2. The Law of Heaven: Is the environment right, are the market conditions right to do so?
3. The Law of Earth: Do you have enough resources, can you reach your goal? Is it near enough?
4. The Law of Leadership: Do you have the wisdom, the courage, the kindness, the benevolence to do so?
5. The Law of Techniques and Discipline: Do you have the right techniques, the best tools, the best system of organization, and behaviour?

These are the 5 factors that will determine your success or failure. Ignore them at your peril!