What we learned together this week

Quick takeaways and key references

This is an exciting week for us. We have a bunch of new things planned. The Serendipity Tool has its first session scheduled for Thursday; our policy and campus placement bootcamps start over the weekend; and we have our writing challenge with a cash prize of Rs. 10,000.

As we think and prepare for these new updates and developments, here’s a recap of the week gone by.

Mental models and reflections

  1. The Art and Science of Tragic Optimism - According to Frankl, the true meaning of life is discovered in the world rather than within ones psyche. This implies that we need to create contexts for people to discover their reason for being. Some practical tips are - 1. Have low expectations; 2. Care less about outcomes; 3. Let your hope motivate you, not debilitate you; and 4. Life rewards the specific ask but punishes the vague wish. Read more here.

  2. Is Facebook a country? - The sort answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that while it is not a country it does redefine the social contract we have with our countries. Read more here.

  3. Is your intuition really all that reliable? - The key to making effective and smart decisions is to combine your intuition with a sound rationale and ensure proper planning. Neither of these should be neglected, and we must regulate our use of either based on the importance or significance of the decision to be made. Read more here.

  4. The Serendipity Tool - With the Serendipity Tool, we want help members build shared experiences and and relationships. We have never been an advocate for networking for the sake of networking. Instead, we believe in the potential of random encounters, serendipity and meaningful conversation as the best way to expand your luck surface area and build a category of one. This is how it will work -

    • Our AI Algorithm that matches you to two other members based on the areas of interests you share. The idea is to not create predictable matches of ‘like’ people, but to have a balance of comfort, surprise and delight in each of the group matches our algorithm recommends. 

    • Circumventing the scheduling and small-talk. Most conversations (especially with acquaintances) tend to start with a tinge of awkwardness and a plethora of emails for scheduling. We avoid this by having a weekly fixed slot for the session and by sharing prompts and context for each group to get all Serendipity Tool Sessions started.

    • The shared context of the Network Capital community. Over the past couple of years, we have worked on multiple products, helped numerous people get to their dream job and college, found many meaningful partnerships; but amongst all of this we value and cherish the Network Capital community we have build the most.

    Read more here.

  5. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging - The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No one wants to prolong a fight for the heck of it. We do it because we get sucked into trivial issues and lose sight of the bigger picture. We become antagonistic towards what we cherish the most - our inner sanity. To overcome such a situation, some obvious yet practical tips include - 1. Recognise you are in a hole; 2. Create distance; 3. Buy time; and 4. Avoid using phrases like “you always do this”. Read more here.

  6. How to break into politics? - Srđa Popović, Serbian political activist and author of Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World, offers a five-pronged strategy to create successful social movements. 

    • First, define the change you want to see and unite people over a shared vision.

    • Second, shift the spectrum of allies.

    • Third, identify the pillars of power. 

    • Fourth, seek to attract, not to overpower.

    • Fifth, construct a plan to survive failures and victories.

    Start by solving a problem (a real one) for your community. Pick anything but do it well. With practice, you will start getting better at it. Read more here.

Quote Worth Pondering

“What is truth, but a lie agreed upon.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Have a mindful week ahead. 

Your INSIDER Team,

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