Being ready to die, he was more likely to live

Last night I attended my first kendo class. As a beginner, I felt clumsy and awkward as I tried to coordinate my footwork, proper holding of the shinai, and basic overhead strikes. And awed as I watched the senior members of the club do some free sparring toward the end of class. I am looking […]

Uncertainty is far more challenging

In How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom, former world chess champion Gary Kasparov discusses the challenges of solving “puzzles”: Knowing a solution is at hand is a huge advantage; it’s like not having a “none of the above” option. Anyone with reasonable competence and adequate resources can […]

James Gleick’s “Isaac Newton” a great introduction

After reading Quicksilver, the first book in Neal Stephenson‘s Baroque Cycle, I became very interested to learn more about some the historical figures around whom the story revolved – Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, John Wilkens, Christopher Wren, …, and Isaac Newton, the founders and early members of the Royal Society. Given my interest in physics, […]

A tale of two trainers (in which one is a factory worker and the other an artist)

The following descriptions are of two personal trainers who provide training to their clients using equipment and methods based on the work of Joseph Pilates. Trainer 1: Received training from one school. Her approach to training: This is the way I learned it, this is the way I’m teaching it to you. Don’t question me, […]

Dissatisfied? Dan Pink tells you why, Seth Godin tells you what you can do about it

In his new book, Drive, author Dan Pink talks about what really motivates us, the “instrinsic drive” that we want to – but don’t always – follow. He describes the three pillars of this instrinsic motivation: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. These three, working in concert, provide the foundation for satisfaction, and if any of these […]

Seth Godin wants you to become indispensable

When I was young, I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark with my mom. At the conclusion of the opening sequence, as Indy’s escape plane flies away, my mom leaned over and said, “Oh my God. Is the whole movie going to be like this?” I had a very similar feeling when – on […]

Compliance or engagement: Which do you prefer for your kids?

Like many parents, I always enjoyed taking my sons to their first day of school when they were young. One year in particular stands out. My elder son was just starting the second grade, his second year at this school. As we walked in on the first day of class, it seemed as if a […]