October 27, 2018

Find your way to the Fractal Fringe – That’s where you will find your best self

Perspective – It makes the world look different & it makes a world of difference.</strong

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Every time I take the middle elevator in my office building, I am accompanied by the word fractal on the wall – that is how I got introduced to it. A new word, one I had not heard of before. My son visited me in office yesterday after a long while and when we were leaving the word fractal come up, we got talking about it. Looked up what it meant to understand it better. Now my mind is spinning with possibilities of seeing the world afresh.

To get onto the same page, first a quick definition. According to the fractal foundation “A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc.” https://www.facebook.com/fractalfoundation/

A simple example would be a fern. The full fern is an exact replica of the smaller frond, that is a part of it. The beauty of fractals to me is – how the extremely complex finds a way to express itself in a way that looks so simple and elegant.

Another thought it provokes is, in the face of so much alikeness, we all want to be unique. Stand out. Make our mark. Be special. Be the special someone to someone special. And yet we are all also so similar. History repeats itself. Love. War. Winner. Loser. So, what is the secret to standing out in a world that seems to be designed for symmetry.

I believe the answer lies in playing at the fractal fringes. Its where the dots connect. Where magic happens and that something new and special comes alive because of the intersection of two fractal worlds. This is where creativity thrives, and innovation happens.

An ex colleague of mine, loves motorcycling. He also enjoys public relations. At the intersection of these two worlds he has found his place in the world and made his grandma proud in the process. The fractal fringe of these two worlds creates a special place for him to play. Follow him on https://twitter.com/MotorcycleTales, https://t.co/LrS9vWsHIg, https://twitter.com/parakram_h

A class mate of mine became a scratch golfer and then found a way to harness technology to create solutions that help golfers and a host of others lift their game. He calls it a ‘fitbit for the mind’. Another intersection of two worlds bringing the fringes together to create something mind-blowing. The journey he took, worked through two complex worlds to find one simple and easy to use solution. Find out more at TGA Brain Train

My family found this intersection where the planters world and that of hospitality intersect. Which resulted in the pioneering of the homestay movement in Wayanad, Kerala many years before it became mainstream. www.tranquilresorts.com and www.amarylliskerala.com are shining examples of living on the fractal fringe.

Yes, there is place for specialists. But the really special ones stand out from the crowd by specializing in more than one thing. Narrow blinkered specialization is too easily available right now. Being a jack of many trades but a master of at least two seems to be the new recipe for success. That way one can bring to bear all the rich and diverse experience of the generalist to your specialist tradecraft. See the bigger picture. Integrate.

Don’t be afraid to dabble. Find some new passions. Become good at them.

Look within. Find the different worlds you are passionate about. Bring two or more worlds together. Don’t colour within the lines. Create something new at your fractal fringes.