Ageism at Work: “Unfit to be on Campus”

Standard

 

  • Discrimination is discrimination. And none more so despicable, pathetic and cowardly than when perpetrated against the elderly.

 

Today’s News in Australia:

 

Dr David Goodall – a 102 year old botanist and ecology scientist – has been told to pack up his office with the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia declaring him unfit to be on campus.

His career spans 70 years resulting in more than 100 research papers, earning him three doctorates and the Order of Australia for his contribution to serving Humanity.

David Goodall is also a Shakespearean actor of note.

Below link will take you to a short article on this 102 year old scientist:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-21/102yo-researcher-told-to-leave-his-edith-cowan-university-job/7769422

 

This will be a death sentence. Most of his social exchanges are at the University.

This man is a scientist. Not a fitness instructor. Why send him home?

 

The Edith Cowan University is a public university, thus taxpayer-funded.

We also fund jails.

  • And this is where they are sending this man who has devoted his life to Humanity.

 

Says Dean of the School of Sciences, Andrew Woodward:

  • “This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly, this is something that has been considered over a period of time.”
  • “We are now of the opinion where the situation is at a point where we really do need to make this change in David’s best interest and our own.” (my accentuation)

 

(George Orwell: Rule # 3 on writing: “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out”

Question: Can anyone spot the excess words in the above statements? Or are both statements excessive?)

 

Here is a snip from Dean Andrew Woodward’s public LinkedIn profile:

  • “In my leadership role at ECU, I have a strong commitment to quality teaching, engaged research and a focus on expanding international partnerships. I believe strongly in ECUs values, particularly those of integrity and respect, and make sure that I demonstrate these values in my dealings with others.” (my accentuation).

 

Mr. Andrew Woodward, let me put this in a different context:

  • So, a person can be too black and must move off campus?
  • Or too white?
  • Perhaps too short?
  • Too tall?
  • Bald?
  • Wrong sex”

 

Or Too Old?

 

With modern science you may even be able to change some of the above parameters.

But age?

 

Here is a suggestion:

  • Let us put in place forced retirement of Deans after one year in their job. And move them off campus. For their best interest.

 

Sounds silly doesn’t it? But to paraphrase Andrew Woodward:

  • This is not a suggestion I make lightly, this is something that has been considered over a period of time.
  • I am now of the opinion where the situation is at a point where universities really do need to make this change in their Deans’ best interest.

 

I repeat: Discrimination is discrimination. And none more so despicable, pathetic and cowardly than when perpetrated against the elderly.

 

I would like to close with 6 points on “Remember – Age is Mostly a Number” from my 2nd book “50 PERSEPCTIVES – The Value of Things Unseen”.

 

KEY POINTS

  • How ‘old’ would you be if you didn’t know your birthdate and real age?
  • Ageism is another –ism, and is as offensive as racism and sexism.
  • Some reach mental maturity earlier whilst others are slower and even stagnate.
  • To age is a privilege. It is neither a sin, nor anti-social. Character is what counts.
  • Knowing and understanding things become easier as we age.
  • Ageing is as much a spiritual journey as a physical one with challenges taking on different hues.

 

I note Andrew Woodward was an IT Network Security Manager and Advisor for 10 years of his life. I can relate to that having been in the IT domain for 43 years of my life, and having had IT Network Security Managers work for me….

I can share the passion for acting with Dr. Goodall, having been able to play in numerous student movies and one feature film (at age 68/69) care of Singaporean independent filmmaker, director and producer Tzang Merwyn Tong. And am thankful for that opportunity to do something outside of the IT world…

 

Hence in closing:

 

“You are not old until regrets take the place of dreams” – Adapted from John Barrymore

Dr. Goodall – don’t be bullied. May you be spared for many fruitful years!

 

We all get old. Or die on the way trying to get there.

Auto-renewal of Car/House-relate Premiums on Credit Cards

Standard

(This is an extract from my forthcoming book on Credit Cards)

 

  • Many insurance companies will now auto-renew your annual car / house-related premiums. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but also not necessarily a good thing.

 

Unexpected or Inconvenient Time

Unless you keep close track of this it may cause you an “unexpected” problem or at minimum a surprise at an often inconvenient time.

My recent experience is that:

(a) it is difficult to get real bricks and mortar car/house-related insurance offices to visit in Australia

(b) the auto-renewal stunt is pulled after they have recorded your credit card number during the sales conversation, and normally also in a much more matter-of-fact oh-by-the-way remark-like way.

 

“The Way We Do Business”

I had that experience recently and even though I asked for the auto-renewal to be removed, I was told that it is the way the company does business.

Check in your country if there is an authority that can give you more advice on this. In Australia the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has taken up this matter and six of the insurers informed that it is part of their business model. Of course you do not have to abide by this and can call them before the policy renewal date or even afterwards to cancel and get a pro-rata return.

  • One way to stop auto-payments is to not give your credit card number and insist that you will pay the premium at the Post Office or through an internet transfer (such as BPAY).
  • Another option is to buy a pre-filled temporary credit card which you can dispose of afterwards. These cards are normally also available at Post Offices. And the insurer (or whomever they are) cannot get their hands on your real credit card number. The ball is, however, now in your court to remember your premium payment’s date to ensure you do not become uninsured.

 

Reversal of Premium

You should be able to get a cancelled premium reversed though and that is often another bone of contention: trying to get them to reverse the debit in time for you to use your card to pay for a better deal.

I just went through that process and though the money is normally taken off your card immediately, it takes 5 – 7 business days for the card company to reverse the money back into your credit card account.

 

Cancel Your Card

  • There is another way to stop insurance companies and it is to cancel your credit card and get your bank to issue a new card. This is however a real hassle and it may cause issues with other transactions such as pre-paid flight tickets where you often have to present the card you bought the tickets with months earlier. But it is one way to protect yourself from such companies.

I also think you should be able to cancel and if the insurer auto-renews without permission then you should be able to take them to court for at least theft, but the law is an ass at the moment.

 

Shop Around at Renewal Time

The benefit and argument that the insurance companies use is that it keeps you insured. However, the decision should still be yours because near the end of the period you may want to (in fact perhaps SHOULD) shop around for a better premium.

  • It is known that insurance companies increase your 2nd year policy sometimes out of proportion since they know that they have already taken the money off your card.
  • And it is also known that insurers entice new customers with cheaper initial rates. Loyal customers pay the price to lure new clients instead of being rewarded for their loyalty.

 

oooOOOooo

Credit Card Fraud – $16.3 BILLION last year

Standard

Credit card fraud is on the rise.

Important Points

Let’s look at some important bullets:

  • 2014 credit card fraud was $16.3 Billion (with a B)
  • Credit Card fraud (19%) outpaced the growth of credit cards (15%).
  • US fraud loss was 12 ¾ c for every $100.
  • Rest of the world fraud loss was 3 ¾ c per $100.
  • Estimates are that it will average $30 Billion per year over the next 6 years, by which time it would have more than doubled today’s figures to $35 Billion.
  • Banks / investigators estimate that is will decrease after 2020. I predict that it will not, especially with the Asian market still very much in growth/expansion mode. It will not slow down unless all credit card business stops – which will not happen.
  • New protective technology is introduced every year, but the fraudsters are often out-running the protectors.

 

Two points are important to note:

  • It sounds small – until you are the victim.
  • I hesitate to say that this is the full figure, since organizations and individuals may in fact hide some of the cases – for obvious reasons.

 

Five cases

Let me summarize 5 of my own cases:

  • 24 Dec 1973: Amex card stolen. Before the card was stopped I had lost a whole month’s salary. In 1974 things were different than today. It cost me
  • 2003: Received a call one Sunday morning informing that my card had been compromised in another country. I lost no money and my replacement card was with me within a week.
  • 2008: It took me 3 years to get an internet provider to stop billing me for services I terminated when I moved to another country. I had my bank behind me and we disputed it every month until we won the argument.
  • 2010: My card was compromised in another country (with a fraudulent card – something I will expand on more later) by someone buying first 4, then 2, then 1 airline tickets which he sold to people for trips between Australia and NZ. I was in Singapore at the time, and could prove it – luckily.
  • 2012: I made a one-time payment from Singapore to a company in the US, which they subsequently auto-renewed without my knowledge (or warning) and I ended up losing my credit card. I got most of my money back. But losing the card is what hurt – to some degree. This is something I will touch on again later – and the way that you can overcome it.

 

Notice the Pattern?

It took 30 years from case 1 to case 2. Then it picked up speed and now repeats every 2 years.

And it is not just fraud but blatant money-grabbing and the card-holder has very few ways to fight back except for inconveniencing him/her-self.

Cases is known where 3-star generals were caught with 2,500 blanks which they were busy turning into fraudulent cards which were for sale at USD2,000 but with $10,000 loaded. That is aside from having been caught with the Reserve Bank signatures for printing false notes – which has not been configured into the $16.3B fraud.

 

Just One of the Frauds

Credit card fraud is just one way to become a victim. Other fraud activities include:

  • Cloning / phishing / skimming at ATM’s and other sites.
  • Account take-over (often via changing the victim’s address details – physical and or email.
  • Card users themselves also “clean out” their cards and then run away.
  • “Friendly fraud” perpetrated by someone whom the victim knows. These are often not reported due to people trying to protect relationships / family. However, these cases are starting to appear with regularity on some current affairs programs.

 

How to Fight Back

I spoke with my bank representative two days ago who informed me that she herself is now fighting 2 cases of fraud involving her credit card number. She has settled one so far.

  • Keep you card in a safe place (on your person is one way, depending on your movements and location). In fact, check your cards from time to time.
  • Study your statements every month.
  • Report any breach or loss of a card immediately.
  • Gather supportive information to prove where you had been at the time. In my case it was my passport that came to the rescue.
  • Do not give up, even if the bank seems to tread water (which was in my instance number 4 above. I eventually made enough public noise that my case was taken into a private office and settled but not after I was threatened with them calling the police – which I said I would welcome).
  • Think very hard who you give your credit card details to, especially in today’s internet shopping world. I spoke to my lawyer yesterday and her response was “giving your credit card number to someone (person or company) is like giving them a signed cheque” to which I would like to add “several signed blank cheques”.
  • Whatever you buy / when you eat out, and pay for by credit card, check the relevant paperwork before leaving the queue. Years ago, when cards were still imprinted, I used to follow the person to the pay point and forced them to do the imprint in front of me – also taking with me all “bad imprints”. I never left them behind since there was a market for those.

 

There are more ways to protect yourself – some of which will be covered in an upcoming book – but it causes some inconvenience to yourself.

 

FOOLS OF OUR TOOLS – Revisited

Standard

Recently I wrote a piece titled “FOOLS OF OUR TOOLS” which I concluded as follows:

 

And I am still happy with an “older model” of my mobile phone.

 

So, have we become the fools of our tools?

Not yet, but it may be a work-in-progress.

 

Yesterday I saw a post which seems to be very much aligned with the uneasiness which I have been approaching technology over the past number of years – since cars were in fact fitted with odometers that would tell you the exact kph (mph) you were driving – to a decimal place.

By the way one of my friends made her husband get rid of their car since it really made her feel uneasy to drive at 83.9 kph on their way to Sussex inlet.

I have now followed with trepidation something they call “robo- advice” where algorithms (written by whom, and with what input?) will replace financial advisors in an attempt to lower the cost of financial advice. There are several points to notice here:

These “robo-advisors” will not be owned by banks – which I think is a good thing – to a point.

They can spark a sell-sell-sell cycle and as recently seen in the USA can cause a stock exchange blip that can wipe billions of dollars off the market in minutes – off companies that investors rely on for retirement and other finances.

 

Now here are four instances where Bernd Struben, Managing Editor of The Daily Reckoning (in Australia) feels that we should definitely say NO to technological “advance”….

 

…. much of which reminds me of George Orwell’s two classics “1984” and “Animal Farm”.

 

  1. Road safety

AustRoads – Australia’s top road safety body – has called for alcohol interlocking devices, cameras and finger print recognition devices in cars to stem alcohol-related death on roads.

Whilst I thing drink-driving should be regarded as an extreme offence, so do I think drug-driving should be regarded the same as should be other types of driving.

Question: Why just not take cars away completely? That should stop most road deaths.

But the deeper question is: Why should the 90+% of the drivers be saddled with technological crap so we can stop the “10%” hoons and reckless drivers out there? Let them pay for their mistakes – with more than a slap on the wrist. And I mean make them pay in terms of finances. And if they cannot or will not, then extract it from them in other ways – which may be seen as draconian

but the many should not pay for the stupidity of the few.

 

Footnote – of course we would all be tracked via GPS.

 

  1. 2. Photo sharing

Facebook is busy testing a feature that will share your photos with “friends” – even before you decide to upload them to facebook. They will go through new photos on your phone’s camera and share them with your “friends”.

It is time to really think who your “friends” are.

Of course this will be done “with your permission” but how many of us have actually read all the small print, and keep reading it (as they change this when it suits them) and who knows where to find all the “switches” to “opt out” of what we don’t like? In fact, if you have ever shared a photo with friends via Messenger you might have already given them permission to do this – without you knowing it (“opted in” being the nice word to describe it).

 

  1. Fitness tracking devices and Intelligent watches:

The sweetner that they give you is that you will know every one of your vital signs at any point in time. But so will your insurance company AND probably your government.

You strap this device on and it helps you pace your walk, your run, the number of steps you take in a day, your blood pressure, your heartbeat, how many calories you ingest, etc.

And your insurance company will craft you a “better and cheaper” policy based on this.

Question” When last did your insurance go down? They always find “more new technology” to install which makes things more expensive. Not to mention the multi-million dollar bonuses and severance packages they pay themselves.

 

  1. Black Boxes for cars

And cars to be installed with more “black box” technology to track how you drive – for the same purpose: to offer you “better and cheaper” insurance.

Question: Same as above.

 

I think the BIG question to come out of all of this is:

  • This is data that I generate. So who owns it?

The answer is simple: I own it.

 

  • And what do they do with it?

Answer: Who knows. You will never get a straight answer out of any of them.

 

  • So, why should I share it and for what benefit to me?

You are being told by these organizations and corporations that it is for you benefit.

 

Really? When last did you get a royalty cheque in the post for sharing any of this data / information with them? Or lower insurance for that matter? Do they send your child to school?

 

~~~~~

PERSPECTIVES: RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND “BAD WORDS”

Standard

Rights? Privileges? Wrongs? Confusion!

Much of what we humans may think are rights are actually privileges.

And even those can be quickly redefined with a short walk in the jungle.

Go stand in front of a hungry lion and say “I have a right to life and to be here.” And see what happens.

The King of the jungle gets to write the rules.

And you are food.

ABU DHABI

Now what has this got to do with Abu Dhabi?

Well it depends. This week an Australian woman and her family were deported from Abu Dhabi for posting a photo of a car parked in a parking spot for handicapped people and “writing bad words” on the internet – after having lived there for around 3 years.

I have spent 15 years working in Indonesia – another Muslim country – and almost half of my life as a visitor and guest in countries of which I am not a citizen. One learns to respect the laws, customs, mores of the places that give you stamp in your passport to visit them, even make a living there.

QUICK ANALYSIS

So let me try to analyze a few things:

It is Ramadan. The Muslim holy month of fasting. During this period people are prescribed to be extra careful with word, thought and deed. And keep that which may be considered “bad” or offensive to themselves.

Posting a photo of a parked car – in whatever location – and adding some “bad words” is not the way to behave during Ramadan. We do not know who parked the car there and for what reason. It might have been an emergency.

The woman says she only posted a photo. No words. The news did mention “bad words” without describing them. If they were not good enough to mention on the news, then why would someone consider it good enough to post on an almost worldwide platform?

CRAZY ORGAN?

A judicial source says she added “crazy” and “a slang term for a male sexual organ” (crazy dick?)

Not the way to behave when referring to a person you don’t know and in a country where you are a guest. And not knowing why the car was parked there.

Observation: Different countries, different laws, different customs, different mores. Respect them.

Did the parked car inconvenience the woman? We don’t know, but let’s assume not.

So what has it got to do with her? Minding one’s own business is preferable in a country where you are a guest. I repeat “a guest”.

One more point: One would have thought that after 3 years in a Muslim country one would have developed some cultural sensitivities – especially around fasting months.

CULTURAL SENSITIVITY

Observation: Maybe the company who employed the husband should have run a cultural sensitivity course for the family.

Was there a lesson learned here? One would hope so.

One more thing: The Abu Dhabi State Prosecutor said that the actions committed by the woman fell foul of the 2012 Federal Anti-Information Technology Crimes Law No. 5.” Now the woman probably did not know of this law – all the more reason to be careful in a country you visit and work in.

APPRECIATION?

And to close this off: The woman also posted her apparent “appreciation” of her government’s action as “…belated efforts of the embassy..”. More “bad words”?

Question: Is an embassy there to mop up the personal problems of those who land themselves in strife through publishing “bad words”?

Maybe the relevant department should take note of this appreciative comment when dealing with a request to re-issue or extend a passport in future.

CRUEL AND BARBARIC

In Singapore, some years ago, an “under-aged” male was given 3 cuts with a rattan (cane) after spraying someone else’s car with paint. The West called the caning a cruel, barbaric and middle age deed.

Well was it? It was not the sprayer’s property. He acted stupidly in a country where he was a guest.

Question: What is so difficult to understand? Different countries have different laws.

Apparently the person was caught back in his home country 9 months later doing the same thing. Question: 3 cuts were not enough? No lesson learned?

Go spray your dad’s car – and see how he likes it. Or their TV set. Or couch. Or bedroom. Or the car of the President who stood up for you. Or better still: go buy your own car and spray it.

In Australia, this same week, two men who shot dead another man and then set the corpse alight, each received a 9 year sentence. Only 9 years. The reason? “They are from broken homes”.

Broken homes? So tell me, whom of us are from perfect homes? Is that an excuse to kill someone and then set his corpse alight? But there are whispers that this was a drug-related matter. Drugs. Yes drugs.

Not a broken home. Now wasn’t that a cruel and barbaric deed?

SELF-DESTRUCT

People tend to do silly things, even self-destruct on social media platforms.

Recently a person was given a job at a fast-food chain. On a Friday. Over the weekend she posted on Facebook saying she didn’t really like the job. Her manager posted back “Don’t bother coming in on Monday”. Fired before she started. In today’s tough environment should one not respect being employed?

There is no “right” to be employed, as she soon found out.

Again, was there a lesson learnt here? One would hope so.

SUMMARY: 

  • The public domain is not there for you to insult, gripe, slander.
  • You are not a citizen of the web. You are a guest on the web.​
  • We live on a planet that we are not in control of – and we all share.
  • We don’t really have many rights. We have privileges. Most of today’s “rights” are recent politically correct inventions.
  • We need to learn respect and behave respectfully.
  • We need to behave responsibly. And take responsibility for our actions.

If we do not, then we may have to face consequences. Some of which may be very unpleasant. The choice is ours. And that is right.

 

Or am I just old fashioned?

RAP SHEET

And to top the week off: A foreign sportsman was arrested in Miami after playing music too loud in his hotel room and refusing 3 times to tone down the party. He then resisted arrest and has now been charged with two offences.

Consequences? He may now have a police rap sheet in a foreign country.

The newscaster mentioned that the sportsman has also not been picked to represent his country in a prestigious event and that he must earn the right to do so.

The newscaster got it wrong. It is not a right. It is a privilege. Let’s get it right.

KEY POINTS

  • Rights are often confused with privileges.
  • Not everyone sees things your way. It helps to be sensitive – and establish the facts.
  • Man has very few “rights” – if any – on a planet we do not control.
  • Technology can be a dangerous platform if used unthinkingly.
  • Different countries, different laws, different customs, different mores.
  • Criminals are often excused due to “having been brought up in broken homes”.

ACTION STEPS

  • Learn to respect others and behave respectfully.
  • Behave responsibly. And take responsibility for our actions.
  • Learn the difference between a “right”, a “wrong” and a “privilege”.
  • Be prepared to face the consequences of your deeds and words.
  • Don’t write “bad words”. You don’t have a right – and it’s not right.

~~~~~~~~~~

PERSPECTIVES: NUMBERS COUNT. PASSION TRIUMPHS

Standard

“Act your Passion – not your age”.

“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, available from Partridge Publications Q3 2015

They say you cannot manage what you cannot measure.

I am a numbers man. I love maths. And I am passionate about things. Music. Books. Movies. Plants. Animals. Nature. And sometimes about people. Sometimes they clash. Numbers and Passion, that is.

The top management of the previous two IT companies I worked for were taken over by numbers people – one with a doctorate in numbers. And they started chasing numbers. Turn-over. Sales figures. The share price. Not replacing staff who resign but sharing the workload amongst those who remained. All done to make the numbers look better. Whilst these soul-crunching execs made the shareholders happy, they lost some very passionate people in the process.

A business is made up of people, not numbers. I saw a whole accounts department – who sat on the other side of a partition, and people I worked with daily and respected for their diligence, late hours, personal sacrifice – closed down and their jobs outsourced to somewhere where wages were lower – to save money. One person was a widow who lost her on-duty policeman husband the previous Christmas Day in an accident. She had two school-going kids. And had been working there for 10 years. Our executive flew to London once a month – Business Class – “to report numbers”. And the ticket cost the same as the combined monthly salaries of the four people who were laid off.

Shareholders are just one group in a symbiotic community of four, or more. There are clients. Worker bees. And management. All four make a business go round. And when there are actually real products, such as food, involved, then we must include farmers, truck drivers, and others in the “pip-to-plate” supply line equation.

Will there ever be a Wall Street for Passion?

No!

Because you cannot trade Passion.

Let us use another example: The Olympics.

Passion is what keeps the athletes training. Through hurt. Winters. Rain. Disappointments. They may treasure two things: medals on the podium OR just participating. For every gold medalist there are perhaps 20 non-medalists. But they participate in the same lofty event. Kudos to them all!

If you are world number one is it because you love running, throwing the discus or javelin, jumping high or long – or just being number one and occupying the highest place on the podium?

You will be on a personal high after every good run, throw, jump – but perhaps only once on the podium. Perhaps. And perhaps be rich afterwards. Perhaps. But think about it, what is more satisfying in the long run (or throw or jump)? The admiration and inspiration of kids? Hearing your anthem play on the podium? Or your bank account? Whichever one you choose will define you. Maybe you love them all – but can’t eat neither.

Be yourself. Because that is the person you have to live with for the rest of your life. Every morning wake up with.

Who are you? A number? Or a Passionate Human?

And as for numbers. They mean a lot. Explain a lot. But they cannot measure or explain Passion.

KEY POINTS

  • Sometimes numbers and passion clash.
  • Executives’ numbers-chase often end up losing passionate people in the process.
  • A business is made up of people – not numbers.
  • There will never be a Wall Street for Passion.
  • Everyone who participates is a winner. You don’t have to stand on a podium to be one.
  • You are defined by the choices you make – and how you act them out.

ACTION STEPS

  • Act your Passion. Not your age.
  • Be yourself. Because that is the person you have to live with for the rest of your life.

~~~~~~~~~~

PERSPECTIVES: ZEST IN EVERY DAY

Standard

 

“Carpe Diem!”

 

“Carpe Diem” – the essence of which is to do what you can to enjoy today AND act on what will make for a better tomorrow.

Today is a Gift, a Present to be unwrapped. It is what we do whilst unwrapping our allotted 24 hours a day that will shape our future and set us apart from others.

It has been said that you are a good reflection of the latest three books you have read and your four closest friends. “Carpe Diem”.

 

Physical

If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person – or do it yourself. Busy people have learnt to manage their life and get the most out of every day.

You can choose to get out of bed early and go for a walk, a swim, a work-out before you start your busy day – oxygenated and pumped with a reserve of energy – or laze in bed till you HAVE to get up and dash to work. “Carpe Diem”.

 

Social

People enjoy engaging with those who are energetic and zestful, fun to work with and inspiring to talk to.

See the world as a community, not just as 8 billion individuals. Connect with the people around you during the course of a morning or a lunchtime. You will soon feel both relaxed and re-energized. If you work in an office, go chat with a colleague rather than send an email.

Today’s tech-driven life has diminished much – including the relationships that were built and strengthened around the “Ten o’clock Tea Trolley” and a chat at the water cooler – can anyone remember those? Thankfully in later life I was blessed with a few good friends who would come around and invite me for regular tea breaks – which became an institution, cookies and all – after which we would all return to our desks, refreshed and having further cemented our friendships. “Carpe Diem”.

 

Mental

Many people – as they age – simultaneously develop a fear of ageing as well as a sense of freedom to do certain things that had been holding them back earlier in life. When Arthur Rubenstein was asked at the age of 88 why his piano-artistry had more freedom and a feeling of fun about them, he replied that he was now playing for himself, not an audience anymore. What an insight:

  • Play Life for yourself, not for the audience!

 

Emotional

Follow your passions, your purpose, and your dreams – do not hesitate or wait for a better time which may never come. In fact, go out and create your own “better time”. ”Carpe Diem”.

 

Intellectual

No-one denies that inspiration may come in a flash. But works of art are not done in seconds or minutes. Great composers do not set about working because they are inspired. They become inspired because of, and as they are working.

Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and others set about their work day after day after day writing moving music – not necessarily waiting for a flash of inspiration. Case in point: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony was written between 1804 and 1808, frequently interrupted to do other works of art.

The masterful Renaissance statues of David and Moses took Michelangelo respectively from 1501 to 1504 and 1513 to 1515 to sculpt. It took him a further 4 years between 1508 and 1512 to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Leonardo da Vinci took four years to paint the Mona Lisa from 1503 – 1506/7.

And nothing, if anything, can beat any of these magnificent pieces of High Renaissance art in terms of beauty and inspiration. “Carpe Diem”.

 

Spiritual

“Three score and ten”. Such is our life on earth said to be measured in. Some go earlier. Others live longer. Still others linger, and may even pray to exit. If you are a spiritual / religious person, there are days when you will feel tested and days that you feel blessed.

Enjoy them both, since they are the spices sprinkled into your Life. “Carpe Diem”!

 

KEY PRINCIPLES

  • Busy people have learnt to manage their lives, thus do more in a day.
  • People like to engage with others who are energetic and zestful.
  • Many people – as they age – simultaneously develop a fear of ageing as well as a sense of freedom.
  • Passion, purpose and dreams are what should steer you.
  • Great works are not necessarily the result of a flash of inspiration but take perhaps years of “working at it”.
  • There will be days when you feel blessed and days you fell tested.

 

ACTION STEPS

  • Do not wait for others – do it yourself.
  • Connect with the world around you.
  • Play Life for yourself, not for the audience!
  • Follow your passions and dreams – what you see as your purpose for being.
  • Do not wait for inspiration – work towards inspiration.
  • Enjoy every single day of your life – both days on which you feel blessed and days you feel tested.

 

(“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, to be published by Partridge Publications in early 2015.)