Why Human Nature

The Zeigarnik effect (remembering unfinished tasks more than the completed ones) on the Human Nature series is killing me πŸ™ˆ

So, I decided to get this commitment done before I go to my Vipassana on Dec 12th. That should make me sleep better this week and stay silent for the rest of December πŸ€ͺ

Before we roll, a little background on why this topic interests me so much and why you also should care about it deeply.

First thing first, you are a human being. You make things for human beings everyday irrespective of your domain. You live with human beings. You work with human beings.

Whether you make a cup of chai or a digital product, the end user who consumes what you make is a human being (one person or many including you). When you understand the human nature deeply, you unlock many secret codes around human relationships, human performance, human success, human wellbeing, material wealth and happiness. This is yet another subject, we are rarely taught in schools or workplace. I find it both fascinating and frustrating why such important things are not taught to us 🀨

My aim with #pifo is to bring all those valuable growth accelerators to you that are not taught in schools or workplaces. There are many but for now let's focus on Human Nature.

I studied human factors in my masters. I specialised in anthropology and cognitive psychology. I didn't have time to go through every listed elective during my masters. So I took it upon me to learn this fascinating subject all by myself. I did to a large extent for the past decade and half. I am slowly realising that I will be a forever student of human nature given the vastness of the subject.

There is a point where law of diminishing returns starts kicking in and that point hit me in 2017. The more and more I explore, I end up coming back to the same core principles again and again. I don't have the guts to say "this is it" because there is so much for me to learn. While that is true, I also know inside me that the core is only so much and further evidences might help me validate the core even better. That is what pushed me to share Human Nature as a first topic to all my design students. While they explore the subject in depth with me for months together, here we will touch on the important aspects.

Exploring human nature is hard. Multiple disciplines are trying hard to grapple different aspects of being human in their own lenses. Anthropology is trying to understand human beings from the lens of society and culture. Whereas artificial intelligence is trying to simulate human intelligence in repeatable and scalable fashion. Psychology is trying to understand the facets of human mind and the relative human behaviours. The list goes on. In shorts, a human being is a complex, composite, magnificent meat machine. Understanding all by yourself is hard but understanding the nature of this machine will help you work with the system better and avoid working against the system.

Look closely, it is not a subject for just designers. It is a subject for all human beings who work with human beings. Like compounding, he who understands will win life, he who doesn't will struggle with life.

Starting from product design to leadership to org culture everything is built on the human nature. It is a crime that human nature is not taught as a subject in schools and colleges.

Let's roll...

Tomorrow, we will discuss why Philosophy peeps into human beings.

πŸ₯‚ to human nature!

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