The power of introverts : Susan Cain

susan cain

This is the most popular TED talk of 2012 and my personal favorite. For the first time a TED talk was given by an introvert which was a quiet and powerful explanation about introverts and their abilities. One of Bill Gate’s all-time favorite TED talk.

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

“When it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best. A third to a half of the population are introverts — a third to a half. So that’s one out of every two or three people you know. So even if you’re an extrovert yourself, I’m talking about your coworkers and your spouses and your children and the person sitting next to you right now — all of them subject to this bias that is pretty deep and real in our society. We all internalize it from a very early age without even having a language for what we’re doing.”

“What introversion is? It’s different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about, how do you respond to stimulation,including social stimulation. So extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments. Not all the time — these things aren’t absolute — but a lot of the time. So the key then to maximizing our talents is for us all to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.”

Our most important institutions, our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts and for extroverts’ need for lots of stimulation. And also we have this belief system right now that I call the new group think, which holds that all creativity and all productivity comes from a very oddly gregarious place.”

And when it comes to leadership,introverts are routinely passed over for leadership positions, even though introverts tend to be very careful, much less likely to take outsize risks — which is something we might all favor nowadays.”

“An interesting research by Adam Grant at the Wharton School has found that introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes than extroverts do, because when they are managing proactive employees,they’re much more likely to let those employees run with their ideas, whereas an extrovert can, quite unwittingly, get so excited about things that they’re putting their own stamp on things, and other people’s ideas might not as easily then bubble up to the surface.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi all these peopled described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to. And this turns out to have a special power all its own, because people could feel that these leaders were at the helm, not because they enjoyed directing others and not out of the pleasure of being looked at; they were there because they had no choice, because they were driven to do what they thought was right.”

And we all fall at different points, of course, along the introvert/extrovert spectrum. Even Carl Jung, the psychologist who first popularized these terms, said that there’s no such thing as a pure introvert or a pure extrovert. He said that such a man would be in a lunatic asylum, if he existed at all. And some people fall smack in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum, and we call these people ambiverts. And I often think that they have the best of all worlds. But many of us do recognize ourselves as one type or the other.”

“When psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people, what they find are people who are very good at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas, but who also have a serious streak of introversion in them.”

“Solitude is a crucial ingredient often to creativity. So Darwin, he took long walks alone in the woods and emphatically turned down dinner party invitations. Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, he dreamed up many of his amazing creations in a lonely bell tower office that he had in the back of his house in La Jolla, California.”

Steve Wozniak invented the first Apple computer sitting alone in his cubical in Hewlett-Packard where he was working at the time. And he says that he never would have become such an expert in the first place had he not been too introverted to leave the house when he was growing up.”

Steve Wozniak famously coming together with Steve Jobs to start Apple Computer — but it does mean that solitude matters and that for some people it is the air that they breathe. And in fact, we have known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude. It’s only recently that we’ve strangely begun to forget it.”

If you look at most of the world’s major religions, you will find seekers — Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad seekers who are going off by themselves alone to the wilderness where they then have profound epiphanies and revelations that they then bring back to the rest of the community. So no wilderness, no revelations.”

This is no surprise though if you look at the insights of contemporary psychology. It turns out that we can’t even be in a group of people without instinctively mirroring, mimicking their opinions. Even about seemingly personal and visceral things like who you’re attracted to, you will start aping the beliefs of the people around you without even realizing that that’s what you’re doing.”

And groups famously follow the opinions of the most dominant or charismatic person in the room, even though there’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas — I mean zero.”

You might be following the person with the best ideas, but you might not. And do you really want to leave it up to chance? Much better for everybody to go off by themselves, generate their own ideas freed from the distortions of group dynamics, and then come together as a team to talk them through in a well-managed environment and take it from there.”

The same religions who send their sages off to lonely mountain tops also teach us love and trust. And the problems that we are facing today in fields like science and in economics are so vast and so complex that we are going to need armies of people coming together to solve them working together. But I am saying that the more freedom that we give introverts to be themselves, the more likely that they are to come up with their own unique solutions to these problems.”

Susana Cain shares three calls of actions to be followed:

1. “Stop the madness for constant group work. Just stop it.” We need to be teaching kids to work together, for sure, but we also need to be teaching them how to work on their own. This is especially important for extroverted children too. They need to work on their own because that is where deep thought comes from in part.

2. “Go to the wilderness. Be like Buddha, have your own revelations.” I’m not saying that we all have to now go off and build our own cabins in the woods and never talk to each other again, but I am saying that we could all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads a little more often.

3. “Take a good look at what’s inside your own suitcase and why you put it there. So extroverts, maybe your suitcases are also full of books. Or maybe they’re full of champagne glasses or skydiving equipment. Whatever it is, I hope you take these things out every chance you get and grace us with your energy and your joy. But introverts, you being you, you probably have the impulse to guard very carefully what’s inside your own suitcase. And that’s okay. But occasionally, just occasionally, I hope you will open up your suitcases for other people to see, because the world needs you and it needs the things you carry.”

Know more about Susan Cain here…….

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I did not clip her wings, I am father of Malala….Ziauddin Yousafzai


Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school. “Why is my daughter so strong?” Yousafzai asks. “Because I didn’t clip her wings.”

In many patriarchal societies and tribal societies, fathers are usually known by their sons, but I’m one of the few fathers who is known by his daughter, and I am proud of it.”

And there is one more norm of the patriarchal societies that is called obedience. A good girl is supposed to be very quiet, very humble and very submissive. It is the criteria. The role model good girl should be very quiet. She is supposed to be silent and she is supposed to accept the decisions of her father and mother and the decisions of elders, even if she does not like them. If she is married to a man she doesn’t like or if she is married to an old man, she has to accept, because she does not want to be dubbed as disobedient.”


I used to appreciate the intelligence and the brilliance of my daughter. I encouraged her to sit with mewhen my friends used to come. I encouraged her to go with me to different meetings. And all these good values, I tried to inculcate in her personality. And this was not only she, only Malala. I imparted all these good values to my school, girl students and boy students as well. I used education for emancipation. I taught my girls, I taught my girl students, to unlearn the lesson of obedience. I taught my boy students to unlearn the lesson of so-called pseudo-honor.”


 “We came across a new phenomenon. It was lethal to human rights and particularly to women’s rights. It was called Talibanization.”

At the age of 10, Malala stood, and she stood for the right of education. She wrote a diary for the BBC blog, she volunteered herself for the New York Times documentaries, and she spoke from every platform she could. And her voice was the most powerful voice. It spread like a crescendo all around the world.”

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 And she abruptly told me, “Please don’t blame yourself. You stood for the right cause. You put your life at stake for the cause of truth, for the cause of peace, and for the cause of education, and your daughter in inspired from you and she joined you. You both were on the right path and God will protect her.”

People ask me, what special is in my mentor-ship which has made Malala so bold and so courageous and so vocal and poised? I tell them, don’t ask me what I did. Ask me what I did not do. I did not clip her wings, and that’s all.”

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Ziauddin Yousafzai

Education activist
Despite an attack on his daughter Malala in 2012,
Ziauddin Yousafzai continues his fight to educate children in the developing world. Full bio….
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Jon Ronson: Strange answers to the psychopath test

The strange answers to a Psycopath test
The strange answers to the Psychopath test

Is there a definitive line that divides crazy from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test (Public Library), illuminates the gray areas between the two. (With live-mixed sound by Julian Treasure and animation by Evan Grant.)

In his nail biting and gripping story telling about “Psychopathy”, he revealed some interesting points….

Watch it with sub titles and sound & See the Full transcript here…..


One in a hundred regular people is a psychopath. So there’s 1,500 people in this room. Fifteen of you are psychopaths. Although that figure rises to four percent of CEO’s and business leaders. So I think there’s a very good chance there’s about 30 or 40 psychopaths in this room. It could be carnage by the end of the night.”

“Capitalism is at its most ruthless rewards to psychopathic behavior — the lack of empathy, the glibness, cunning, manipulative. In fact, capitalism, perhaps at its most remorseless, is a physical manifestation of psychopathy. It’s like a form of psychopathy that’s come down to affect us all.”

And then I realized that becoming a psychopath spotter had turned me a little bit psychopathic. Because I was desperate to shove him in a box marked psychopath. I was desperate to define him by his maddest edges. And I realized, oh my God. This is what I’ve been doing for 20 years. It’s what all journalists do. We travel across the world with our notepads in our hands, and we wait for the gems. And the gems are always the outermost aspects of our interviewee’s personality. And we stitch them together like medieval monks.And we leave the normal stuff on the floor. And this is a country that over-diagnoses certain mental disorders hugely.”

“You know what, Jon? Everyone’s a bit psychopathic.” He said, “You are. I am. Well obviously I am.”I said, “What are you going to do now?” He said, “I’m going to go to Belgium because there’s a woman there that I fancy. But she’s married, so I’m going to have to get her split up from her husband.”

  Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker who dips into every flavor of madness, extremism and obsession. <a class="l3 talk-speaker__link" href="">Full bio</a>
Jon Ronson, Writer and filmmaker

Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker who dips into every flavor of madness, extremism and obsession. Full bio…..

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The Psychology of your future self and the “end of history illusion”…..

Dan Gilbert's Psychology of yourself...
Dan Gilbert’s Psychology of your future self…

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the “end of history illusion,” where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we’ll be for the rest of time.

Philosopher Joshua Knobe recently posed a perplexing question in contemplating the nature of the self: If the person you will be in 30 years — the person for whom you plan your life now by working toward career goals and putting money aside in retirements plans — is invariably different from the person you are today, what makes that future person “you”? What makes them worthy of your present self’s sacrifices and considerations? That’s precisely what Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbertexplores in this short and pause-giving TED talk on the psychology of your future self and how to avoid the mistakes you’re likely to make in trying to satisfy that future self with your present choices. Picking up from his now-classic 2006 book Stumbling on Happiness (public library), Gilbert argues that we’re bedeviled by a “fundamental misconception about the power of time” and a dangerous misconception known as “the end of history illusion” — at any point along our personal journey, we tend to believe that who we are at that moment is the final destination of our becoming. Which, of course, is not only wrong but a source of much of our unhappiness.

See the full transcript of Dan Gilbert’s TED talk…..
Dan Gilbert_ The psychology of your future self _ Talk Video _ TED.pdf

At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to become, and then when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made.”

The question is, as a psychologist, that fascinates me is, why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?”

“We have a fundamental misconception about the power of time. Every one of you knows that the rate of change slows over the human lifespan, that your children seem to change by the minute but your parents seem to change by the year. But what is the name of this magical point in life where change suddenly goes from a gallop to a crawl? Is it teenage years? Is it middle age? Is it old age? The answer, it turns out, for most people, is now, wherever now happens to be.”

“All of us are walking around with an illusion, an illusion that history, our personal history, has just come to an end, that we have just recently become the people that we were always meant to be and will be for the rest of our lives.”

“People predict that the friend they have now is the friend they’ll have in 10 years, the vacation they most enjoy now is the one they’ll enjoy in 10 years, and yet, people who are 10 years older all say,“Eh, you know, that’s really changed.”

The ease of remembering versus the difficulty of imagining: Most of us can remember who we were 10 years ago, but we find it hard to imagine who we’re going to be, and then we mistakenly think that because it’s hard to imagine,it’s not likely to happen. Sorry, when people say “I can’t imagine that,” they’re usually talking about their own lack of imagination, and not about the unlikelihood of the event that they’re describing.

The bottom line is, time is a powerful force. It transforms our preferences. It reshapes our values. It alters our personalities. We seem to appreciate this fact, but only in retrospect. Only when we look backwards do we realize how much change happens in a decade. It’s as if, for most of us, the present is a magic time. It’s a watershed on the timeline. It’s the moment at which we finally become ourselves.

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.”

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.
Psychologist; happiness expert

See the full Bio of Dan Gilbert….

Dan Gilbert 1  Dan gilbert 2


“Difficult”…..Let us make it “Simple”……

Difficult? Let us make it simple....
Difficult? Let us make it simple….

There is a great quote by the writer Thomas Mann:

” A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people”.

In his view, he says that things should be difficult for a writer to express…..If you feel writing is not difficult, it means perhaps that you are not trying hard enough.

Personally, I feel the same and I used to think that “it is not my cup of tea”….but you know when I meet with certain people or stories or when I was happened to read or see something very impressive, I feel that I have to pen down all my views and most of the time I feel that I am very bad at language usage…..which used to prevent me to do so….because I thought that it was a “Difficult” task and still “writing” is very difficult for me…..

But once in a while you have to realize that “the shortest route to solve a problem is to face it”…..

As a Chemistry Research Scholar, we used to tell stories in our lab, especially to our professors ;-), for being late (first and greatest), for being absent, for being forgetful….etc. Most of the time, we cook stories…you know, with added spices and ingredients and in my case, it was amazing….even I used use this trick in sometimes, when my lab mates gathered at my desk for chatting while I am serious about working, then I used to say “guys, I have a story”…you know everybody disappears. Well, that was fun, but sometimes i was desperate and grabs someone’s hand (juniors) and take them to walk or canteen to have tea or snacks and slowly I used to start…”you know, from many days one story tickling my mind and you have to listen this”…they have no choice…….but finally, after many days, some one says….”bro, long back you told me a story, you know that was really nice actually”………”Are you serious?”

There are certain aspects makes us to feel “difficulty” and tests our tolerance and I was very bad at handling difficult things. What could be those aspects…….

1. Difficulty in “Starting”: Well, most of us stops or almost kills our ideas even before we start them and that’s a big productivity killer. This might happen when we are not sure that “Where to start?” or ‘When to Start?”. Abdul Shahir says that “Start anywhere, somewhere that we can start it easily which could automatically increases the chances of completion by building a momentum. (Read, The art of the start – 5 little mind hacks to get your dream projects started.)

2. Procrastination makes things difficulty: We are good at this, because most of the times we postpone or delay the things and we think that we can do it in the last second also. But we also experienced the difficulty in last-minute working-outs and we generally feel that ‘it could be done simply yesterday’…….So, procrastination makes things difficult and the reasons for it may vary. (Read, Top 10 reasons why you procrastinate, and what you can do about them – Part 1 & 2).

3. Difficulty in our Society: For a while, Let us blame the society. I know, that’s a good idea, because we are conditioned by our education and later by marketing “to take an easy road”, to take everything  which is about being comfortable :easy, faster, cheaper and convenient. Because everyone needs something that could be done easier. We all want immediate results and success. We judge the quality and character of things by its “difficulty” by keeping our convenience in our minds. In my view, the task of doing a “difficult” thing can be surpassed by doing more difficult thing and that’s an old and traditional idea.

4. Comparison with successful people: We are always very eager to hear the stories of successful people, what they have done, how they made it….somehow skipping the difficulty things. Most of these success stories have commercial goals to attract certain genre of people and make them believe that those things can be achieved easily. Someone says in a commercial, “I have reduced my wait in a month simply by drinking this tea” and someone says “I read the book of Shiv Khera, and I have got succeeded in my life”.

Everybody should keep in mind that “nobody will be succeed without doing difficult things”, even though someone get name and fame, that could not be permanent. Adam Westbrook says that “no one should have the feeling that everyone is successful than us”. He says that, “Even Leonardo Da Vinci, was a loser who got his first break at the age of 46”.

The Long Game Part 1: Why Leonardo DaVinci was no genius from Delve on Vimeo.

Make it Simple: The ultimate idea to overcome “difficult” things is “to make it simple”. The strategy is simple that you should follow is “breathe air and get up, start doing your work”, start it from simple points that might make you feel comfortable, something which ultimately brings you closer to that you are supposed to be.

To the Difficult.

Somewhere, I have started and finished somewhere…….

" A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people".
” A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people”.