Your bubble

The internet created an interconnected world at your fingertips. Never has the world been as connected. This bombards us with astronomical amounts of information. We do not know how to deal with the stimulus.

Enter the algorithm. The holy grail of typecasting. It allows us to define people by likes and searches and behaviour. These algorithms surround us, monitor us, and offer us convenience. We love it.

It also disconnects us from the world. It reinforces the things we already like, or search or engage. Eventually, we are surrounded by our view of reality, our interpretation. My life according to Facebook. Limited to the exposure of the person I am right now.

We need to look for smart ways to expose ourselves to realities just outside our peripheral experience.

The world is not so small after all.

Originally posted here.

Co-Essentials

Georg Hegel fathered an interesting idea: Triad theory. Based on the principle that we start with a thesis. An idea so brilliant that it becomes the accepted norm. The standard against which we measure. This is only partly true. Some are excluded. Revolution ensues. The antithesis is created. The exact opposite. Everything is wrong with the previous idea and therefore it must be shunned into oblivion.

We find challenges with this antithesis. We stop to realise there is truth in the original idea and there is truth in the revolution. We create a synthesis. A new truth based on both experiences that achieves a higher state of understanding.

We face many dualities. Leadership vs management. Profit vs Social Impact. Male vs Female leadership.

Turns out Hegel was right.

Could we stop thinking in contrasts? Let’s be opportunity minded. Not either-or but both. What could our generation achieve if we started thinking in Co-Essentials. Each beautiful, each necessary, each valuable, but together – Masterpiece!

Ionut Necula

 

Originally posted here.

Resilience

I am so inspired by the person on the other side of a sales call. They deal with an incredible amount of rejection on a daily basis. Often in a disrespectful manner.

They quickly learn to become like water. It is never hindered in its ultimate pursuit. It meets whatever stands in its path with respect and flexibility. Water teaches us the value of time. What could be achieved if we changed the timeframe of our decisions?

Big change is possible. In fact, it is our mandate. We have the capacity to accomplish extraordinary feats. We need only prepare for the long run. We need resilience. The ability to bounce back. This is easy to do when we know what we are fighting for. It is easy to do when we see the end goal.

Enter hyperbolic discounting. It is very difficult for me to associate myself with the person I will be 30 years from now. That person is a stranger to me. Why put in all this time with limited gratification. Why sacrifice now for what will be to the benefit of a stranger later.

The same things happen in retirement planning.

 

Originally posted here.

Why You Might be in Prison

I recently spent some time in prison. Sadly, I found many of my friends there. Suppose it supports the adage “Mind the company you keep.” We all wear the same orange jumpsuit. It is what the system requires. It destroys our individuality and treats us all the same based on one shared trait, our propensity to break the law.

Every day we get our allotted rations. It is a scientifically calculated amount containing all the nutrients required to sustain our lives. For some, this is not enough. They prey on the weak and consume more than their allocation. This creates scarcity, which leads to even more want, which leads to even more aggressive competition.

The cycle ends with the weak living off the charity of some, while the strong grow fat and slow.

From my cell, I saw something peculiar. Outside my window, I could not see a fence around the prison. Upon inspection, I found the only obstacle between me and freedom to be a door, guarded by two armed wardens.

Considering the number of prisoners, I was dumbfounded that these two guards could keep the prisoners at bay within the walls. That was until I learned their names.

They had a hard-earned reputation as the world’s best riot response unit. They were called Scarcity Mentality and Complacency.

For us to accept the constraints imposed on us by the rules of our prison, we need to be indoctrinated by one thing: Scarcity. This truth perpetuates all of society from prisons to business schools. We are all competing for limited resources. Your survival is dependent on whether you secure your required amount. This necessitates you impeding on the resources required for the survival of another.

This belief encourages aggressive competition in our personal and professional lives. It subjects us to survivalist attitudes which reflect in the way we negotiate, design products and market to the masses.

The one thing it does not do is create hope for a brighter future. With lack at the basis of everything we believe, we can never maintain peace, achieve equality, or make significant strides towards our Utopia.

The perspective created by this first guard makes the job of the second so much easier. With our highest hope that we will rise to the top of the food chain within a prison we struggle to see, complacency becomes the norm. We are so consumed by the game in which we have been forced to participate that we spare no effort or attention in conceiving another way.

Complacency inspires us to accept the rules we have been given and to do the best we can within them. How does the saying go, “If you cannot beat them, join them”?

Our world is undergoing a revolution. One which starts to make obvious the complacency we have accepted. Education is no longer monopolized. Information and knowledge are free and available at the touch of a button.

The world outside the walls of our prison is governed by a new set of rules.

What is that, you ask. Let’s suppose for a moment that I am an ant. Now explain to me the size of the internet.

Where would you begin?

This is a world that does not function in lack and complacency. It is a world of abundance waiting outside the door.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Consider this. The world’s biggest taxi service owns no cars. Yes, but that was conceptualized in a first world country, we don’t have the resources.

OK, closer to home then. One of the biggest kitchen retailers in the world owns no stores and employs less than 100 people. They are homegrown and proudly South African. They are Yuppiechef.

How about Siyabulela Xuza. Our own, Harvard educated, rocket scientist. Grew up in a township and cooked up rocket fuel in his mum’s kitchen.

He is reinventing fuel cell technology for the Africa of tomorrow, skyrocketing us past the computer age straight into mobile business technology, no matter the energy shortages.

NASA even named a minor planet after him.

Ultimately, the only thing holding us back, if we reflect honestly, is our belief system. A set of constraints we have been taught to accept. Like Galileo Galilei, I urge you to consider what would happen if we dared to believe the earth was not the center of our solar system. What would happen if we, like the Wright brothers, believed it possible for things heavier than air to fly?

We all have the keys to set us free from our own prisons. We are equipped to disable the guards at the door. The key is to change our thinking and question the structures on which we choose to build our world.

The truth is that we live in a world we have never seen before, filled with the potential to achieve the seemingly impossible. We live in a world of abundance. Our own Utopia, just outside the walls.

 

*Blog originally published here.