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Your Life is Driven by Network Effects


We don't get to choose this fundamental layer of our network topology.

Families and extended families are uniquely influential in shaping our networks, and we tend to adopt our cosmological views, dietary preferences, religious, linguistic dialect, and worldview from them.


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Your Life is Driven by Network Effects

Your Life is Driven by Network Effects


Key Ideas

Network Effects

Network effects are the unseen forces that are guiding our destiny and exerting a powerful intervention on our lives, creating energy that escorts us down a path that is not always fully our intention.

90 percent of these network forces are established in 7 major life events or crossroads, which compound over time: Our Family, High School Network, College Network, First Job, Marriage, Our City, Reassessments.

    Zipf's Law

    Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.

    One of the implications of this law is there are unconscious network forces and mathematical patterns governing our lives, with human beings just being nodes exchanging information.

    Dinner Party Mathematics

    When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.

    When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.

    Six Degrees Of Separation

    The Six Degrees Of Separation theory states that there are a maximum of six degrees (or layers) of separation between any two people in the world. This is now verified by social media connections (like Facebook).

    Five conditions of Network Forming

    We all are interacting with our layers of connections, and five conditions (catalysts) contribute to forming our network:

    • Frequent and repeated interactions withing new groups of people
    • A high degree of overlapping of relationships in new groups
    • When people are changing and evolving their identity
    • A high density of people (Network Proximity)
    • Handling a difficult challenge or situation together

    Network Levels

    There are three major Network Levels:

    • Physical Network: Our core network.
    • The People Network: Our school, college, company, and social get-together network.
    • The Digital People Network: LinkedIn, Facebook

    Dunbar's Law, which is based on the brains 'node' structure, states that humans tend to interact most with 5 family members, 15 intimates, 50 acquaintances, and 150 total familiar people that we see on a regular basis.


    We don't get to choose this fundamental layer of our network topology.

    Families and extended families are uniquely influential in shaping our networks, and we tend to adopt our cosmological views, dietary preferences, religious, linguistic dialect, and worldview from them.

    High School

    Our high school isn't usually one's choice, and are the first peer network that one has to deal with.

    High Schools work on popularity and status, and a constant game of winning and losing is played among teenagers, shaping their future life. Certain other factors like school size, locality, diversity, and the level of academic success determine our network.


    Your college network can have an exponential impact on your life and opens up ideas, relationships, jobs, aspirations, attitudes, and resources, setting a virtuous circle in motion.

    College also influences where you live, and who you end up dating (or marrying). The four years spend with people your age, result in repeated interactions forming lasting bonds.

    The First Job

    Our professional relationships during our first years of work are the seed of our professional network, influencing the arc of our career.

    Normally we pick the highest paying job, but if we think of networks as a form of wealth, our first job should be with people whose career path we want to follow.  As high achievement is communicable through word of mouth in the network, and innovation is contagious, it pays to be with the right people.

    Marriage/Life Partner

    Choosing a life partner is one of the most important decisions one makes and can be one's joy or suffering. When we are marrying we are adding a whole new network to our existing network, and it affects not only us but our future generations.

    Extremely close friends are poor network nodes for marriage due to a network overlap effect, making your weaker ties more vital. Acquaintances become a bridge between two network clusters, exposing people to new ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles.

    Where We Live

    Cities and our neighborhood are our most readily available, fully functioning networks, both physically and socially. Everything flows out of our city: our job, spouse, income, friends, and new opportunities.

    Cities naturally have a higher rate of social interactions, and human networks within the city are formed using offline 'clubs' and social events and also online tools that facilitate offline networking.


    At any point in time, one can forcibly make a change. Changing one's surroundings and the resulting network has a big effect on one's self-transformation and lives.

    Our networks, build of people we care about and those who care for us, are our most valuable resource, making us express our lives.


    Homo Narrativus
    Homo Narrativus

    We, humans, seek stories.

    We are essentially ‘story finders’ looking for meaning, narrative and shape in everything around us. We tend to not believe in improbable...

    Bias Towards The Individual

    Stories built around individuals provide relatability and a sense of being in the shoes of the people involved, living in the narrative.

    Our tendency to give a ‘face’ and a story to a group or collection of people made us invent a dominant leader of the group, like the President, or the Team Captain, or the Monarch.

    How Fame Alters Our Perceptions
    • The popularity or fame of an individual or a piece of art (like a painting, song or a movie) alters how we perceive it.
    • The characteristics and behaviour of the people among whom fame spreads matters more than the actual merit or quality.
    • A study showed that more people liked the songs that were topping the charts, copying the behaviour of other listeners, and if the same songs were arranged randomly, they were not chosen or liked that much.

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    The Most Important Test For Success
    The Most Important Test For Success
    • Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is a well-known investor and a vocal champion of personal development.

    • He talks a lot about personal success and ...

    Love As A Powerful Force

    Love is the most powerful force in the universe and the more love you give away, the more love you get.

    Love, kindness, empathy and trust are, believe it or not, the pillars of success. When your customers, employees, clients and stakeholders are blessed with your sincere love and care, everything else falls into place.

    You Are Your Job
    You Are Your Job

    Life has shaped us to do our jobs in a weird, almost comical way.

    We are entangled to our jobs, and keep doing it way after our office hours, not because we are scared to lose our j...

    Jobs: The Early Years

    Dialling back a couple of generations, jobs were just jobs, plain vanilla. No one liked working, but it was a compromise of 40 to 60 hours a week of stressful or boring work. Due to this, our parents could live their lives, enjoying with family in evenings, and weekends, celebrating special days, vacationing once a year and doing other things that were provided by the security of a monthly income.

    It paid for the food, the car, our education and the bills. There was nothing romantic about it.

    Jobs: Now

    Technology and modern consumerism, coupled with peer pressure have created a perfect storm of our work dominating our lives in unheard-of ways. Securing and maintaining a high-profile job is not possible for the laid back slacker, trying to enjoy his weekends doing gardening the whole day.

    The older generation is baffled by our approach, and feel that we are doing the impossible by trying to find meaning and purpose in our jobs.

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    Behavior is contagious

    Context is the most powerful catalyst for changing your life. And the persons you associate with often determine the type of person you become. 

    For people who want improved he...

    Making friends = Making happiness

    Time spent making friends has a higher happiness Return on Investment than time spent making money.

    Also, introduce friends to friends. Friends becoming happy increases your chance of happiness by 45%. Keeping the network happy protects you against unhappiness.

    Friends are family

    A few studies looked at the genetic similarity between friends and found that on a very deep level you resemble your friends genetically. 

    What this means is that, basically, your friends are kin that you choose.

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    Understand the process
    Understand the process

    There has recently been an important change in the way clinical psychology is being handled.

    Nowadays, it can be clearly seen that what is the most important is the understanding o...

    Process Based Therapy

    Process Based Therapy bases itself on Network Science, which emphasis the importance of networks, nodes and possible barriers to change in order to get a better understanding of the mental illnesses.

    Process Based Therapy implies the belief that variation and flexibility are the elements that influence the most your recovery.

    Extended Evolutionary Meta Model

    This Meta Model refers to the idea according to which dynamic and complex networks change or shift dramatically rather than gradually.

    When this occurs, the so-called Process Based Therapy aims to turn the network from maladaptive to adaptive while using strategies such as exposure or mindfulness.

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    Purpose of Career Networking

    It involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field, or another field you'd like to work in....

    Top 7 Networking Tips
    1. Include the right people: anyone who can assist you with a career move
    2. Know what your career network can do for you
    3. Keep in touch - work your network: People are more willing to help when they know who you are
    4. Give to get - what can you do for your career network
    5. Keep track of your network

      make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.

    6. Network online
    7. Attend networking events.
    Note Taking - Starter Tips

    Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

    • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
    • M...
    Outline Method

    Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

    • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
    • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
    • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

    The Mind Map

    The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

    It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics. 

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    Connection and belonging
    Connection and belonging

    These are essential for a healthy and happy life.

    Humans need close connections to be healthy, no matter the form they take: friendship, marriage, or family.

    Meditation reduces stress and anxiety

    Meditation improves your quality of life and boosts your immune system.

    Research showed that meditation decreases anger and improves sleep, even among prison inmates.

    The positive health effects of religion and spirituality

    People with strong faith release control of their struggles and worries to a higher power, which helps to relieve anxiety and stress.

    Religious groups also offer a strong source of community and friendships, which is critical for health and happiness.

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    Procrastination has a price. It's related to:
    • Depression
    • Irrational beliefs
    • Low self-esteem
    • Anxiety
    • Stress
    Willpower Doesn’t Work. Systems Do.

    People shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” But in order to get things done, you need rules.

    To get things done, research found effective:
    • Self-imposed deadlines.
    • Accountability systems (commitment with friends, or a coach).
    • Working/studying in intervals.
    • Exercising 30 minutes a day.
    • A healthy diet.
    • Eliminating distractions.
    • And most importantly: Internal motivation.
    Developing our strengths

    Although we usually see our weaknesses as more changeable than our strengths, research shows that we should not focus on improving our weak parts, but to develop our strengths.

    Identifying strengths

    Try to see your strengths in relation to what energizes you. Something is a strength if: 

    • it makes you feel successful
    • you're drawn to it
    • it fully engages you
    • after doing that activity, you feel energized and fulfilled.
    Ask the people around you

    It's difficult for us to see our own strengths, but people around us (friends, coworkers, family members, mentors) will most likely see them clearly.

    The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.

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