Master the Indian head wobble and say “Yes” AND “No” to Limits !!

Navi Radjou
3 min readJun 13, 2024

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Today I attended the amazing Madrid Book Fair with 350 booths where major publishers and librairies showcase and sell a wide range of books.

As an American, I was surprised to see several bestselling books by US authors translated in Spanish with the words “without limits” in their titles.

For instance, Dr. Peter Attia’s “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity” got translated as “Without limits: Outlive — The Science & Art of Longevity”

Dr. Becca Levy’s “Breaking the Age Code” was translated as “Break the Limits of Age(ing)”

Of course, there were also US books by Tony Robbins and John Maxwell whose original titles invite us to believe there are NO LIMITS and find “Power without Limits”

Clearly, European nations like Spain admire America for being the Land where you can PUSH and BREAK ALL LIMITS

Hence, they want to promote US books to European readers with translated titles that extol the virtues of Pushing the Frontiers of the Possible and surpass all limits.

Yet, as a French citizen, I found that in recent years, many bestselling and popular books in France carry ominous titles warning us to RESPECT LIMITS — like planetary limits — and play safely within boundaries, rather than cross them.

The rebellious 29-year-old Navi who immigrated to the US and spent 22 years in America looooves the idea of Breaking all Limits, especially our Mental Limits

But the mature 54-year-old Navi who now lives in Europe sees the wisdom in the French asking humanity to Respect Vital Limits like planetary boundaries

Mmmmm, how do we reconcile these 2 contradictory injunctions:

⨁ : the American urge to PUSH the boundaries and BREAK all limits
⊖ : the European call to RESPECT boundaries and PLAY SAFELY within limits

The Indian in me found a jugaad solution: the famous Indian head wobble.

I used the Indian head wobble as an allegory to show how we can both accept and surpass limits

Peculiarly Indian, the head wobble — as I show above — could mean “YES” and/or “NO” depending on the context.

India is the Syncretist Land of Advaita Vedanta — non-dualist philosophy — where opposites can be reconciled harmoniously

We Indians don’t have a Manichean (good vs bad) view of the world: rather than treat reality as Black & White, we have a polychromatic (nuanced) perspective of life, so we appreciate all its rich hues.

Indians reason “Both … And” insted of “Either … Or

Hence, it is with my head wobbling that I wrote my next book The Frugal Economy, which shows how we can daringly push the limits of human growth ⨁ while respecting planetary boundaries ⊖

Read my Medium post on my new book published by Wiley and Thinkers50.

The Infinity symbol showed above is a Möbius strip : it’s One Single Unified Reality that “appears” to be two Opposing Dualities.

When you open your 3rd eye 👁 you can see beyond dualities 👀 and perceive the underlying Unity of our world.

HAPPY HEAD WOBBLING !

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Navi Radjou

Indian-French-American Scholar in Frugal Innovation + Wise Leadership. TED Speaker. Based in France. Visit: NaviRadjou.com