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Be Original

It’s Graduation month for many US Universities. This year there won’t be commencement (graduation) speeches. Like there have been in the past.

Many of the speeches have been an inspiration not only to the graduates they are delivered to but to all us individuals around the world.

i’m sure all of us have at some point or the other read or listened to a moving commencement speech delivered with absolute brilliance leaving a substantial imprint on our lives.

I encourage you all to research some of the most memorable speeches ever delivered to young graduates and pick up a few life changing nuggets of inspiration.

Here are a few to get you started - click here

The Most Famous:

Steve Jobs Stanford 2005

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”

Possibly one of the most famous quotes from Steve Jobs.

Another strikingly fundamental statement made by Jobs in this speech was:

"You can't connect the dots looking forward."

We only have enough mental ability, emotional strength, and physical power to determine outcomes for right now. None of us can determine the outcomes for the future. Live in the present, ensure we are living our most fulfilling “today” tomorrow will reveal itself.


Lean into the suck

“It’s the hard days — the days that challenge you to your very core — that determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but how you survive,”

Sheryl Sandberg (UC Berkeley, 2016) - click here

Resilience is a muscle, you can build it and draw on it as and when you need.


Amy Poehler, Harvard 2011 - click here

"Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people's faces."

My Personal Favourite:

“I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all”

Jeff Bezos, Princeton 2010 - click here


Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew, often referred to by his initials LKY, was a Singaporean politician and lawyer who served as the first Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. Making him the longest serving Prime Minister in History.

During his long rule, Singapore became the most prosperous nation in Southeast Asia.

Most autocrats drive their nations into the ground. Lee did the opposite. For three decades as Singapore’s prime minister, starting in 1959, he oversaw one of the most successful social engineering feats in human history.

Lee turned a chaotic and malaria-ridden harbor in Southeast Asia into a gleaming city state where the per capita GDP exceeds that in the US.

“Singaporeans, if I can choose an analogy, we are the hard disk of a computer, the foreign talent are the megabytes you add to your storage capacity. So your computer never hangs because you have enormous storage capacity.”

He acknowledged that Singapore would be used by the more developed states and companies as a workhorse, and convinced his people to accept their status in society and to work diligently. For success comes to those that accept challenges and are patient.

You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools.”

— Lee Kuan Yew

For some his best teachings click here

“A nation is great not by its size alone. It is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people, and the quality of their leaders which ensure it an honourable place in history.”

To give you an idea of the magnitude of success that Lee Kuan Yew achieved, when he took over, per capita income was about $400 and now, in only about two generations, it exceeds $50,000.

For a detailed account of the success of LKY’s rule - click here

For his views on the world - Read The Grand Masters Insights.


“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.”

— Charlie Munger

The truth of this quote strikes me - One of the surest ways of learning and acquiring knowledge is to read.

The only way I am able to continue delivering content on these blogs is by constantly reading, absorbing information and learning.

Reading is a thinking process. It develops the mind and enhances cognitive processes that lead to heightened intellect. Reading enhances mental flexibility and memory.

The fact that the quote was delivered by Charlie Munger (Arguably one of the best read people on the planet) is testament to its authenticity.


The Feynman Learning Technique

“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.”

— Mortimer Adler

Only when you can explain your understanding without jargon and in simple terms can you demonstrate your understanding.

If the explanation isn’t simple or sounds confusing, that’s a good indication that your understanding in that area still needs some work.

If you really want to be sure of your understanding, run it past someone. The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.

This is the Feynman Technique, a wonderful recipe for learning, it’s also a window into a different way of thinking that allows you to tear ideas apart and reconstruct them from the ground up.

A sure way to demonstrate knowledge on a topic, is to write it down, apply it and teach it to someone else.

Our society is flaunted with imitation, “copy cats” as opposed to creative individuality. It’s much easier to be an imposter than an original, but far less rewarding.

To explore more on the Feynman Technique - click here

The existence of imposters dates back centuries and their existence is referred to as Batesian Mimicry.

For a detailed explanation on Batesian Mimicry - click here

This concept is best explained through biology. In nature, there are many species that have near similar replicas. Although the characteristics of these imposters are very different to that of the original.

This phenomenon is best illustrated when comparing the Texas Coral Snake and the Mexican Milk Snake

Texas Coral Snake

Mexican Milk Snake

According to Wikipedia, the Texas Coral Snake’s venom is a “powerful neurotoxin, causing neuromuscular dysfunction”, and terrifyingly describes its bite as coming from “a pair of hollow, small, fixed fangs in the front of its upper jaw, through which the venom is injected and encouraged via a chewing motion. Due to this method of venom delivery, a coral snake must bite and hold on for a brief time to deliver a significant amount of venom…”

The Milk Snake, on the other hand, is described as a pretty ideal pet: “The Mexican Milk Snake adapts well to captive care, and its smaller size and striking colourations can make it an attractive choice for a pet snake. They are normally docile, and not typically apt to bite or expel musk.”

In the 1850s, the naturalist Henry Walter Bates found a certain set of butterflies who were clearly not of the same species but whose wings looked almost the same to the naked eye. After thinking it over, Bates eventually figured out what was going on: While the butterflies which were toxic to potential predators (the “models”) were able to operate freely and relatively unmolested, there had also developed a “mimic” population of butterflies which wasn’t toxic at all, yet still went untouched!

To avoid falling into the “Batesian Mimicry” trap yourself, spend valuable time and energy learning about diverse aspects of life, and make yourself an original - the real deal.

Widget Of The Week...

Digital ‘Contactless’ Business Cards For Social Distancing Times

Switchit’s digital business card platform makes designing a card simple, convenient, and reliable.

The world has changed. We are likely to accelerate the move to a more mobile workforce, able to work virtually and at a distance.

The transfer of electronic contact data is going to be the new “norm”

For the last four centuries, people around the world have used paper business cards.

Over the years, a number of startups have attempted to demolish a business card, but these archaic pieces of paper have managed to stick around, despite our move to the digital age. Switchit is the modern alternative to paper business cards. You no longer need to rummage around a drawer or a bag for business cards to follow up on a connection. Switchit provides professionals and teams an easy way to share their contact details using feature rich digital business cards that support engaging video content in the actual card, helping you to market your brand, product or service when connecting with people.

Switichit supports video and branded graphics - directly inside your card - because of this amazing feature, you have a golden opportunity to grab a person’s attention.

Digital Business Cards are cost-effective, it’ll help you to save your money that you would have to spend on the paper business cards.

You can change your demographics smartly, let’s say you need to change your email address, then if you’re using paper cards then you need to reprint your cards. But, with digital business cards, you can personalise it anytime on the go.

Watch Video - click here

Express yourself by cultivating your own style, tastes and personality.

See you next week...


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