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The Biggest Lie Ever Told: Abhineet Sonkar

December 11, 2017 snfblog

The Biggest Lie Ever Told: Abhineet Sonkar

“How many of you have lied at least once in your life?”

This is how digital strategist, innovator and design thinker, Abhineet Sonkar, began his talk at the second edition of TEDxShivNadarUniversity.

Surely, not one soul in the audience was pure. Everybody lies.

But the biggest lie we’re ever told is something much more insincere. It is something that shapes our entire lives, our jobs, our expectations from ourselves, what we wear, who we spend time with; literally everything. The biggest lie is how we’re always told that we are not creative.

“Every brain generates 6000 ideas per day,” Sonkar said while holding up a model human skull. He continued that the left and the right brains are both the same size, but perform widely different roles. The left side of the human brain handles all the planning and logic, while the right side is rebellious and innovative. “It is what responds in terms of crisis”, Sonkar explained, as he recalled the 2008 Financial Crisis when he lost his job and finally took a stand for what he wanted to do for a living. Next, Sonkar posed the audience a simple question, skull still in his hands.

“Since the left side of the brain is the same size as the right one, then why do you believe that you are more analytical and less creative?”

Sonkar’s powerful statements struck a chord as they deeply emphasized the ideologies of Shiv Nadar Foundation, where the importance of art, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is constantly reinforced through our use of holistic education and creative philanthropy that empowers our students to become well – rounded individuals. We know that the world will never stop innovating, so why should we?

To make the most out of our creative minds, we need to have certain key paradigm shifts in our ways of thinking. Sonkar shared these concepts with the crowd in the form of a few mantras:

  • Boost in Creativity: There is always that one room in the house or that inspirational quote that brings out the best in us. Sonkar calls it the ‘sacred place’. Our sacred places lift our creativities, and hence we should be very protective about them.
  • Fall in Love with the Problem: The perfect mantra to find the solutions to all the problems, no matter how crazy. When we’re faced with a problem that is seemingly insurmountable at first glance, our desire to find the solution will never be strong enough until we’re completely obsessed with it.
  • Value Your Company: No one likes to be alone at the top of the food chain. Besides, it is near impossible to achieve great success without someone holding our backs and picking us back up in times of peril.
  • Embrace the ‘F’ Word: For all the wicked minds out there, ‘F’ is for failure. As long as we don’t accept our failures, there is no way for us to figure out where we went wrong. Sometimes we need to work harder on some things than others.

These lessons are ones that personify the way in which Shiv Nadar Foundation is constantly striving to transform the mundane and narrow minded education system in India. With a deep emphasis on art, creativity and innovation, we are committed to highlighting those facets of knowledge that are all too often ignored in most mainstream educational institutions. As said by Abhineet Sonkar, the world will never stop changing, knowledge will never stagnate, so why should we?

At the end of his talk, Sonkar further emphasized the power and impact of creativity by revealing a lie he himself told at the start, “The human brain generates 60,000 ideas on a daily basis. It took me fifteen minutes to make you believe a simple lie. And we spend all our lives believing that we are not creative.


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