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Parv Mangal








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Emotional Intelligence: The Assumptions

Emotional Intelligence(EQ), or the ability to be able to identify and respond to the other person’s feelings is a soft-skill based on two flawed assumptions:

  1. It is possible to detect or gauge the emotions of the other person accurately.
  2. Emotions are triggered by outside events and can be controlled by rationality.

New studies find that faces and bodies are not the perfect communicators of a person’s emotional state, and one cannot control someone’s emotion using logic, making the traditional understanding of Emotional Intelligence outdated.


Emotional Intelligence Needs a Rewrite

A scientific way to define and understand emotional intelligence is to view your brain as a construction, an on-the-fly builder of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.

The reflex-like emotional reactions are just the tip of the iceberg, and the brain is constantly shape-shifting itself and processing the sensory inputs that are received into useful predictions and actions.

If the brain has a large, flexible range of diverse emotions in any given situation, it’s emotional intelligence is wide-ranging and finely tailored. This ability of a flexible, emotion-rich brain is called granularity.

Real emotional intelligence means understanding that sometimes feelings and emotions cannot be distilled and expressed using a predefined slot. Emotional granularity is the coming-of-age of the decades old understanding of EQ, now evolved and unfolding its many facets.

Definition Of Mastery

Mastery is the curious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.

If there is any sure route to success and fulfillment in life, it is to be found in the long-term, essentially goalless process of mastery. It's available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it—regardless of age, sex, or previous experience.


by George Leonard

  • Linguistic
  • Musical
  • Logical/mathematical
  • Spatial
  • Bodily/kinesthetic
  • Two types of personal intelligences that might be described as intrapersonal and interpersonal.
The Mastery Curve

Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it. 

To take the master's journey, you have to practice diligently, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so, you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere.

  • A stage ends when the habitual system has been programmed to the new task, and the cognitive and effort systems have withdrawn. 
  • This means you can perform the task without making a special effort to think of its separate parts. 
  • At this point, there's an apparent spurt of learning. But this learning has been going on all along.

Practice for the sake of the practice itself. Not for the result.

Rather than being frustrated while on the plateau, you learn to appreciate and enjoy it just as much as you do the upward surges.

The Anti-Mastery Mentality

It is focused on quick fixes: Heart surgery rather than diet and exercise. Lottery tickets rather than retirement savings.

"Fast, temporary relief" is the battle cry. Symptoms receive immediate attention; underlying causes remain in the shadows.

"The achievement of goals is important. But the real juice of life, whether it be sweet or bitter, is to be found not nearly so much in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself, in how it feels to be alive."
  • The Dabbler: Starts everything with enthusiasm. He delights in signs of progress. The plateau that follows is unacceptable and he starts looking around for new things.
  • The Obsessive: He or she knows results are what count, and he wants them fast. He simply won't accept a plateau. He redoubles his effort. He pushes himself mercilessly and is likely to get hurt. 
  • The Hacker: After sort of getting the hang of a thing, he or she is willing to stay on the plateau indefinitely. At work, he does only enough to get by, leaves on time or early, takes every break, talks instead of doing his job, and wonders why he doesn't get promoted.
  • Instruction: For mastering most skills, there's nothing better than being in the hands of a master teacher, either one-to-one or in a small group. 
  • Practice: It can be anything you practice on a regular basis as an integral part of your life—not in order to gain something else, but for its own sake
  • Surrender: The courage of a master is measured by his or her willingness to surrender.
  • Intentionality: Intentionality fuels the master's journey. Every master is a master of vision.
  • The Edge: Playing the edge is a balancing act. It demands the awareness to know when you're pushing yourself beyond safe limits. 
"To see the teacher clearly, look at the students. They are his work of art."
Our Resistance To Change

Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.

Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it's for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain, and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits and to snap back when changed.

"A human being is the kind of machine that wears out from lack of use. There are limits, of course, and we do need healthful rest and relaxation, but for the most part we gain energy by using energy. Often the best remedy for physical weariness is thirty minutes of aerobic exercise. In the same way, mental and spiritual lassitude is often cured by decisive action or the clear intention to act."
"Ultimately, liberation comes through the acceptance of limits. You can't do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another. In terms of energy, it's better to make a wrong choice than none at all."
  • Conflicting way of life
  • Obsessive goal orientation
  • Poor instruction
  • Lack of competitiveness
  • Overcompetitiveness
  • Laziness
  • Injuries
  • Drugs. If you're on drugs, you're not on the path
  • Prizes and medals
  • Vanity
  • Dead seriousness
  • Inconsistency. Consistency of practice is the mark of the master
  • Perfectionism.

Black history month honours the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history.

The celebrations began as "Negro History Week," created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. In 1976, it became a month-long celebration. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Black History Facts

  • First Lawyer: John Mercer Langston passed the bar in Ohio in 1854.
  • First Supreme Court Justice: Thurgood Marshall served in the U.S. Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991.
  • First Senator: Hiram Rhodes Revels represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.
  • First Woman Representative: Shirley Chisholm was elected to the House of Representatives in 1968. She represented the state of New York.
  • First Black President: Barack Obama became U.S. president in 2008.
  • First Black Vice President: In 2021, Kamala Harris became vice president.
  • Heavyweight Boxing Champ: Jack Johnson became the first African American World Heavyweight Champion in 1908.
  • First Professional Black Baseball Player: On April 5, 1947, Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American to play Major League Baseball.
  • Oscar Winner: In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award for her performance in Gone With the Wind. She portrayed a loyal slave governess.
  • First Black Billionaire: Robert Johnson sold his cable station, Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2001 and became the first Black billionaire. Other billionaires include Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan.
  • Eminent Scientist: George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts, including cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils, and cosmetics.
  • Self-Made Millionaire: Madam C.J. Walker invented a line of African American hair care products. She established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories.
Early European chess players changed the game

Early European chess players turned the chess game to reflect their society's political structure.

  • Originally, chess was a game of war. Horsemen, elephant-riding fighters, charioteers and infantry protected the "shah" and his counsellor, the "firz."
  • But Europeans changed the "shah" to a king, the "vizier" to queen, the "elephants" to bishops, the "horses" to knights, the "chariots" to castles, and the "foot soldiers" to pawns.
  • Instead of representing the units in an army, the pieces now stood in for Western social order - those who fought (knights), those who prayed (clergy) and those who worked (the rest).

In ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and beyond, chess holds up a mirror to life

  • Initially, the chess queen could only move one square.
  • In the 15th century, the queen gained unlimited movement in any direction.
  • The queen's elevation to the strongest piece appeared first in Spain during the time when the powerful Queen Isabella was on the throne.

The 13th-century Dominican friar Jacobus de Cessolis described the ways each chess piece contributes to a harmonious social order.

  • He distinguished paws by trade and connected each to its royal partner.
  • The first pawn is a farmer and tied to the castle because he provides food to the kingdom.
  • The second pawn is a blacksmith who makes armour for the knight.
  • The third is an attorney who helps the bishop with legal matters.

Jacobus's allegory becomes the central message of the mini-series "The Queen's Gambit." Beth becomes a figurative queen after she learns to work with other players. Just like the pawn, she converts in her final game.

  • Delayed Gratification: Scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first.
  • Accepting Responsibility: I can solve a problem only when I say “This is my problem and it’s up to me to solve it"
  • Dedication to Reality: The only way we can ensure our map of the world is correct and accurate is to expose it to the criticism of others.
  • Balancing: The capacity not only to express our anger but also not to express it. Moreover, we must possess the capacity to express our anger in different ways. 

The Four Tools of Discipline

Memory: The Hard Disk Of The Mind

Our memory is perceived by us as a database in our heads that can never go wrong.

New evidence paints a different picture, and our memory may not be as consistent or even as true as believed.

Are memories reliable? Expert explains how they change more than we realise

The Game 'Chinese Whispers'

In the game Chinese Whispers, where a certain message is passed on from person to person, it is almost always proved that the final message is completely different from the original.

The same ‘chain’ effect is happening in our memories, where certain tiny details may not be what were true, but what we wish were true, or perceived to be true.

The Audience-Tuning Effect

Storytellers form a different memory of a story they are reciting, due to mutation in how differently it is told to audiences each time, and how much of an artistic licence is used to change certain details of the story.

Over time the changed or mutated story seems like the original one in the storyteller's mind, something known as the Audience-Tuning Effect.

Memories Are Malleable

Social experiments show that people in general are stubborn about the accuracy of their memories, which may have mutated or even changed beyond recognition.

So many tiny, false details have been added to the original memory over time, that one theory says that the mere act of recalling a certain memory takes it out of the ‘freezer’ and puts it back, changing its shape and form a bit.

The result is that it is highly unlikely that our treasured memories are completely accurate.

Stoicism and life's adversities

Stoicism is generally understood to be detached and non-reactive towards any of life’s adversities.

In the words of the philosopher William Irvine, the ultimate goal of Stoicism is ‘tranquillity’ or the avoidance of ‘spikes’ in one’s state of mind. The things that are in our control are not something to be worried about. The things that aren’t in our control, we can do nothing about, so it is no use worrying about them.

The Most Important Question

It is a stoic practice in which one deliberately imagines how things could be really bad, much worse than they are now. It is a visualization of one’s biggest fears. It is a kind of psychological trick that lowers your expectations and makes reality look better.

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, apart from embracing the negative emotions, one needs to maximize the positive outlook and learn how to feel real joy.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing."
  • Being happy for a reason is a trap, as then throughout our lives, we keep on looking for a reason to be happy, or to celebrate.
  • Real, everlasting joy is found within us, when the soul discovers it by itself through a deep dive inside.
  • We all have the capacity to have a personal religious experience, beyond dogma and preachings, by looking deep within us.
  • Mystics who have experienced this describe a blissful state of pure consciousness.
Bruce Lee: The Symbol

In the 32 years he inhabited this planet, Bruce Lee created a legacy that is unparalleled in modern times.

His work, philosophy and lifestyle have influenced everything from video games to political protests. Bruce Lee’s short life garnered enough momentum to keep the flame glowing, powering future generations.

What It Means to Understand Bruce Lee

While trying to diffuse his anger, Bruce Lee once started punching in the sea and had a profound realization.

Water, he understood, is of a neutral nature, having no form or shape of its own. He realized that to be invincible, he had to be as formless as water.

The continued fascination with Bruce Lee and the never-ending need to capitalize on the man and the myth is the opposite of what he really intended.

His insights of being like water showcase his philosophy of having no philosophy at all. The formless structure that has to be assumed to live one’s life is destroyed the very moment anyone is influenced or tries to emulate Bruce Lee.

Finding Meaning

Sir Isaac Newton, was the famous English mathematician and physicist whose profound works on gravity, mechanics, optics and calculus, among other subjects have greatly shaped science in the coming centuries.

His contributions have altered and reshaped everything that Science had to offer.

The Process of Meaning-Making | Zat Rana

The concept of meaning, points to objective and subjective modes.

  • Objective: The world or the universe as it exists.
  • Subjective: The ‘I’, the person that exists to experience the universe.

Isaac Newton gave visibility to this very fabric of reality, making meaning an action, a synthesis of objectivity and subjectivity, both of which are vital.

The architect Christopher Alexander concludes that life is everywhere, in an interconnected way, by design. Nature, animals, plants, mountains, clouds, rivers, valleys, birds and insects just fit together in harmony. Nature’s design is integrated and flawless.

If there was no matter and no design, life would have been a blank dream, with no color or flavour.

Meaning is found when matter and objects collide with consciousness and subjectivity. The cycles of nature are prime examples of this, showing to us that meaning is the vitality and the action that we fill in matter.


The content shared online is always changing because of the creativity of users who remix, parody, or caption popular images or videos, to create memes.

Memes may seem basic, but from a linguistic point of view, they're remarkably sophisticated, expressing and sharing ideas and opinions.

The surprising academic origins of memes

Memes have their origins in the world of academia. Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins describes a meme as "a unit of cultural transmission or imitation."

The word comes from the Greek 'mimema', meaning imitated.

Going viral

Internet memes are units of popular culture that are shared, imitated, and changed by users.

The first meme on the internet was the sideways 'smiley' :-) , created in 1982. The practice of using punctuation markers to show emotion spread quickly and later other expressions, such as :-( and ;-) were added.
The first example of digital viral content is the Hampster Dance meme - rows of dancing hamster GIFs - created by an art student in 1998.

New memes emerged that included animals with human characteristics, such as Advice Dog and Grumpy Cat.

Later in the naughties, memes began to feature celebrities and ordinary people, like Charlie Bit My Finger and Leave Britney Alone. These memes came from viral videos or a media event.

Memes are also used to promote certain political ideas or ideologies.

Websites such as Meme Generator can use the humor of memes to try and destroy the arguments of rival political movements.




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