Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On Purple Shirts and Blink-Thinking

The last two nights have been lucky and creative, respectively, and I don't know if it's because I wore purple shirts (yes, two different ones!) yesterday and today, or used the power of Blink-thinking from Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, Blink. The other common denominator was that I worked late in the office, but I don't think that has anything to do with it.

I wore Purple Shirt #1 for my passport photo shoot yesterday. I shut down, locked up the office and headed out to the parking lot. I noticed my left front tire needed some air. I remember thinking twice (aabot pa siguro ako sa bahay...) but decided otherwise, on Blink-think, and stopped at a gas station to get air. The Universe gave me an angel in Mang Robert who noticed that my right rear tire was completely flat! He changed the tire with the spare I keep in the trunk. Whew! I don't even want to think what could have happened if I had just kept driving.

I wore Purple Shirt #2 under a black suit (I had to be wear my grown-up hat today for the MAP International CEO Conference). From the Makati Shangri-La, I had to make my way back to the office to participate in a conference call with fellow Marketing colleagues from all over the world. We finished at around 8:30 PM and I debated between packing up and heading home, or staying and starting on my PBBY story. My Blink-think said stay. I'm glad I did. All alone in the WriteRoom until nearly midnight, I was able to write a good 1,500+ words - and a first draft that I was quite happy with!

When asked what Blink is about, Gladwell answers: It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.

I Blinked and in two seconds, I decided to stop at the gas station and decided to stay at the office. Two blinks, two good decisions. Or, simply, just two purple shirts. You decide.

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