After reading 1984, it leaves one questioning how to avoid getting there. But with Brave New World, it's more difficult. Everyone is satisfied and happy. There are no resistance or secret police. Yet, we have this very uneasy feeling that something is very wrong with a society that's been hacked in such a way that they're content all the time.

When it was first printed, it was a frightening dystopia, but today, many people read it as a utopia. It says a lot about the shift in our worldview.

Lila S. (@lila_ls86) - Profile Photo




It is uncertain how many times a person can reinvent themselves during a lifetime. Reinventing yourself five or six times would cause immense psychological stress.

It would be interesting to see a science fiction movie that explores the mundane issue of someone reinventing themselves. Just when they settle down in a job, they hear that the new job has been automated, and they have to reinvent themselves again.

On immortality: Another interesting science fiction movie considers what kinds of relations parents and children would have when the parents keep on living to be 200.

On technology: Many science fiction scenarios can't materialise because society can take action against dangerous technologies, such as envisioning huge body farms where millions of people are raised to harvest their organs and then sold to rich people.

Science fiction and public opinion

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling books Sapiens and Homo Deus thinks that science fiction shapes the understanding of people on issues such as intelligence and biotechnology, which will likely change our society in the future.

Science fiction wrestles with concepts such as AI taking over the jobs of workers. One good science fiction movie is worth a hundred articles in Science of Nature.

Do not sprinkle your resume with jargon and buzzwords, as it does not convey any story, but only feels like hollow boasting to the person screening your profile.

Go for the simple approach and craft a story that hooks the recruiter, and sets you apart from others.

The prospective candidate needs to end the story as a hero, giving the listener a reason to care about the conflict, the handling of the problem and the main characters, and eventually the final resolution (an impressive metric) to provide a sense of closure and accomplishment that says: Hire me now!

The narrative should have a big idea in the beginning, followed by the conflict and the characters who are impacted. One can then describe the setting and add more characters. After fleshing out the conflict and creating suspense, one can end the story with a resolution.

Just by narrating the same facts which are already listed in your resume in a storytelling format, one can influence the recruiter.

Knowing your audience, who are recruiters, in this case, matters while we are trying to get a job in a sea of candidates competing for the same profile. Recruiters look for technical skills as well as soft skills:

  1. Being a people person.
  2. Having emotional intelligence.
  3. Being authentic.
  4. Strong communication skills with equally good listening skills.
  5. Mindfulness and inclusivity.

Listing your accomplishments as narration is only half the work done. We need to expand our profile and let our personality shine by giving context to our story, the three elements that flesh out the narrative: Setting, characters and conflict.

The Three Basic Elements Of Your Story:

  • The setting is the place where the events of your story happened.
  • The characters are the people in your story, like your family, your team, your client, or your boss.
  • The conflict is the crucial problem of your story that spurred you into action.
The Right Narrative

Storytelling has always been a powerful, influencing tool since ancient times.

Crafting a good story around yourself is a great way to make anyone feel better about you. If we simply voice out our opinions, it sounds polarizing instead of persuasive, and if we really want to tug at the other person’s heartstrings and change their mind, we need to weave an engaging narrative.

We can conduct research on Linkedin and find out what the recruiter wants, and the needs of the industry. We need to find out the problems, issues and challenges that the hiring managers have and provide them with a solution.

The recruiter should look at our resume/cover letter and find the answer to their current problems.

A job candidate has an incredible tool to use during an interview: Crafting a beautiful story that evokes positive emotions in the recruiter.

The art of storytelling releases a rush of dopamine in the brain of the listener and makes the meeting memorable. It is also good to have a theme that you promote in your job hunt with consistency, as it builds upon the memory and makes your profile unforgettable.

We normally dole out a lengthy list of accomplishments, experience, projects and activities in our job application, hoping to be caught by the keyword searching tools used by recruiters.

While this seems logical in this competitive world, we need a different approach to stand out from the crowd: To not be a cookie clutter applicant, but a real human.

Emails are fundamental to our daily communications

About 300 billion emails are sent around the globe every day. On average, people working in an office get 121 emails per working day. We often send and read them without thinking about them for a second.

But emails are vital. We send them because of traceability or a time difference, or we need many people reading the same thing.

Research shows that many emails aren't read but just skimmed or deleted. Every word you write past your first 40, you directly reduce the chances of getting an answer.

  • Be very brief, around 280 characters. But that may be impossible.
  • Otherwise, the part where you ask for something can be kept to the length of a tweet.
  • Meeting notes can be included as an attachment.

The last impression can be just as powerful as the first impression. It's the one thing that sticks with your reader.

If there is one important thing to say or one vital thing you need from your recipient, try to wait until the end and put it in the P.S. line.

An effective subject line consists of three things:

  • It is short
  • It calls for action
  • It indicates familiarity with the recipient

For example, Meeting tomorrow, please respond!

Sending an email written in black and white is like speaking in a monotone voice, without using your body or face.

We can add feeling by using different kinds of punctuation and emojis - the digital body language. Think of digital body language as the spices and seasoning - depending on the culture, environment and background, you may use more or less, or none at all.

Dale Cargenie stated that "A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

If you use a person's name at critical moments and in proportion, you will increase the likelihood of getting an answer. But, if you misspell the person's name, you can completely ruin your email.

Fake Smile Vs Genuine Smile

People think of a smiling person as likable, trustworthy, cooperative, and believable. But smiling is so easy anyone can fake it and exploit the other person.

Genuine smiles involve a few wrinkles around the eyes and are also called Duchenne smiles. The problem is people can also crank out a seemingly genuine smile on demand.

A smiling face is better than a non-smiling one, so many people put on a plastic smile.

According to research on human social interaction by Alex Pentland, a computer scientist: An engaged, responsive smile that is contextual is likely to be genuine. A consistent smile, without paying any attention to what is being said at the moment is most probably fake.

Often, a personal attack has nothing to do with the subject of the argument. Most people have good reasons for thinking or feeling the way they do. People also have good intentions. They don't feel a certain way because they're heartless or mean but believe their opinion is really "better " in some way.

Recognise their good intent and refuse to use ad hominem attacks to bring them down and thus "win" the argument.

It is frustrating when you're arguing with someone, and you feel like they don't listen. But you really only have control over what you do. You can't make someone listen to you, but you can listen to them.

Instead of accusing the other person of not listening, say "I'm listening," followed by repeating what they just said. Once they feel heard, they'll feel respected. When they feel respected, they're more likely to return the favour.

Improving conversations

Differing opinions and debates are good things as they help us balance each other out and move us forward as a society. But, such discussions can often turn into a situation where feelings are hurt, egos are wounded, and rifts end up much deeper than before.

This kind of damage is easily avoided by choosing phrases that will improve conversation.

Sometimes it is best to say nothing at all. For example, if one or both of you are getting emotional or worked up, you're repeating the same arguments, or arguments are starting to get personal.

If you get to the point where your relationship might be in jeopardy, or you're starting to be unkind, it's okay to let it go. If the discussion needs to be stopped, be the one to stop it.

Most people have more in common than they think. A genuine agreement is a great tool during an argument. Saying, "You're right" or "I agree with you" can establish some common ground to have a productive or meaningful conversation.

Along with that, you should still avoid saying "You're wrong" as it immediately puts someone on their guard and alienates them.

We don't know everything, especially when it comes to someone else's beliefs and opinions. People are complex. Someone who belongs to a political party, group, or religion, may not agree with everything that group does or believes.

When someone is trying to explain how they feel, don't assume you already know. Instead, ask clarifying questions. Repeat back what they say to demonstrate and build comprehension.

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