The Most Important Question You Can Ask - Tony Schwartz by Tony Schwartz | 8:52 AM February 9, 2012 Why are you here? It’s arguably life’s most important question, but is it one you ask yourself? I recognize it’s a question some people might view as self-indulgent, while others would see it primarily through a religious lens. But is there any part of an answer we could all agree on? I’ve found a very simple one for myself, and it’s provided me in recent years with an increasingly powerful sense of clarity, inspiration and even joy. I use up resources every day — the gas I burn driving my car, the heat and electricity for my house and office, the food I eat. I spent the first 45 years of my life accruing value — trying to earn enough money to feel financially secure, sufficient success to feel respected, and enough relationships to feel safe and loved. To the extent that I felt I didn’t have enough, I didn’t imagine I had a choice about how to live my life. I believe in the law of reciprocity. I’m inspired by her. I fall short, frequently.
Jedi Mind Tricks: 17 Lesser Known Ways to Persuade People Want to know how to persuade people online and get what you want? The power of influence is usually all that separates the successful from everyone else. These are some tactics, discovered through psychological research, that you have probably not yet heard about, but have the potential to increase your persuasive abilities. I’m not going to cover reciprocity, scarcity or social proof and all those widely known persuasion principles. You already know all about those (in case you don’t, stop everything and read this book by Cialdini). Related: How Nike’s Making Persuasive Product Pages 1. The best way to persuade audiences that are not inclined to agree with you, is to talk fast. Want to boost persuasive power? Don Moore from Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Behavioral Decision Research has published research showing that confidence even trumps past accuracy in earning the trust of others. People naturally associate confidence with expertise. 2. Light swearing, that is. Image credit 3. 4. 5. 6.
How to Start the Big Project You've Been Putting Off - Peter Bregman I want to write a screenplay. I wanted to write one last year, but other work took more time than I expected, and I kept pushing “write screenplay” off my to-do list. I know I’m not alone in struggling to make incremental progress on long-term projects or goals. How do you get started when you have “all the time in the world”? Maybe you have a project with no deadline, like my screenplay. Or maybe you have a deadline that’s months away — like preparing a speech, developing a business plan, or designing a training program. Doing something big and important is rarely as simple as just getting it done. I know the basic advice: break the work into smaller, more manageable chunks, focus on the next small step that will move you forward, set intermediate deadlines. It’s good advice. Because, ultimately, the reason we procrastinate on a big, long-term project isn’t just because we have too much time or don’t know where to start. I’ve never written a screenplay. I’m afraid. So what’s the antidote?
Startup Therapy: Ten questions to ask yourself every month by In the last post I beat you to death about ditching your business plan but failed to provide an alternative. Okay okay, “Planning == Bad,” but the supposed benefits of planning are still important: designing for profitability, understanding your customers and competitors, focusing your attention, deciding what’s worth doing next, changing directions, and ensuring the founders agree on important issues. To help you, I’m stealing a trick from therapists. Cartoon by Andertoons Therapists don’t tell you what to do. You’re smart. That’s where this article comes in: To splash cold water on your face, forcing you to face reality and continue to defend or change the important choices inside your business. What follows is your startup therapy session. In one sentence, what does your product do and who buys it? Cartoon by AndertoonsThe first thing this does is force you to nail down your monthly expenses and accounts payable. What tips do you have? To help you, I’m stealing a trick from therapists.
The Disadvantages of an Elite Education Exhortation - Summer 2008 Print Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers By William Deresiewicz June 1, 2008 It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. It’s not surprising that it took me so long to discover the extent of my miseducation, because the last thing an elite education will teach you is its own inadequacy. I’m not talking about curricula or the culture wars, the closing or opening of the American mind, political correctness, canon formation, or what have you. The first disadvantage of an elite education, as I learned in my kitchen that day, is that it makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you. But it isn’t just a matter of class. I also never learned that there are smart people who aren’t “smart.” What about people who aren’t bright in any sense? There is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s intellect or knowledge.
Supplement Manufacturers, Vitamin Manufacturers - PrivateLabelNutra.com 3 Words That Guarantee Failure People who fail to achieve goals almost always signal their intent to fail by using three little words: "I will try..." There are no three words in the English language that are more deceptive, both to the person who says them and the person who hears them. People who say "I will try" have given themselves permission to fail. No matter what happens, they can always claim that they "tried." People who hear "I will try" and don't realize what it really means are fooling themselves, by thinking there's a chance that the speaker will actually succeed. People who really and truly achieve goals never say "I will try." Instead, they always say "I will do" something–or, better yet, "I must do" whatever the task is. As a wise (though fictional) guru once said: "Do, or do not.
16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days. But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier). 1. This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think. You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things. 2. You can do things quicker than you think. So focus your time on finding solutions. 3. 4.
Macho Cultures Are Fairer for Women - Avivah Wittenberg-Cox by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox | 12:08 PM April 27, 2012 In the past decade, and long before Dilma Roussef was elected the country’s first female (and wildly popular) President, Brazilian women have been on the rise. As in many other countries, women now outnumber men in the country’s universities. But the female edge in education (63% vs 37%) in Brazil is at the top of the scale, next to Sweden’s. Just as significantly, there has been a big move of women into the paid labor force in Brazil, and in Latin America more generally. “The female employment-to-population ratio in Brazil,” writes the ILO, “increased by 3.8 percentage points between 2000 and 2010. How will Brazilan society cope with this shift in gender roles? In the 2012 Grant Thornton survey of the gender balance in senior executive roles, for example, Brazil had 27% women and 73% men, compared to the US with 17% women and 83% men. How come? The Brazilians never fell into this trap. My experience on this trip confirmed my guess.
Banned “Tax the Rich” TED Talk slides and text here For those of you wondering if there's ever a TED Talk that presents an idea too controversial for the group to publish it, there definitely is, and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer was the one to make it. What we've got here is the full text of the TED Talks presentation Hanauer made at the March TED University conference as well as the full set of slides he presented at the conference. We do not have the video for this TED Talk because TED officials have decided not to publish it, not streaming, not for download, and certainly not for consumption on Netflix or your iPad app. This TED Talk speaks on how widening income inequality is bad in the United States (and abroad, for that matter), and how the rich should pay more in taxes. This speech was made on the 1st of March, but according to the National Journal, TED officials just this month (May 2012) told Hanauer that his remarks were both too controversial and too "political" for them to post.
Las ficciones malignas | Opinión Los seres humanos no pueden vivir sin ficciones —mentiras que parecen verdades y verdades que parecen mentiras— y gracias a esa necesidad existen creaciones tan hermosas como las bellas artes y la literatura, que hacen más llevadera y enriquecen la vida de las gentes. Pero existen ficciones benignas, como las que salieron de los pinceles de un Goya o de la pluma de un Cervantes, y malignas, que son aquellas que niegan su naturaleza subjetiva, ideal e irreal y se presentan como descripciones objetivas, científicas, de la realidad. En los últimos tiempos hemos tenido muchas ocasiones de ver los efectos perniciosos que las ficciones malignas, difundidas por algunos gurús procedentes de la economía sobre todo, pueden tener sobre la vida social. Una de las ficciones malignas que, desde la Edad Media, circula como un tópico, en la cultura europea es la de la decadencia de Occidente. Se presenta a la señora Merkel como un ser insensible, para la que sólo cuentan los números
Print - The Perfect Compliment I got bolder. One afternoon, I stood next to a little toothpick-chewing guy wearing a black Members Only jacket over a T-shirt that read I LOVE FIREWORKS! He was watching people do tai chi in a park. "You seem ready," I said. He clucked at that, one little laugh bit off in the center of his chest. That just kind of sat there. Then there came a day, as there does for every man, when I stood on a street corner, next to a lithe twentyish woman in a tight jogging suit, who stared indifferently into the immediate abyss of a short city distance. "What a great dog," I said. I was off my game. Sometimes the exercise led to other kinds of trouble. "This's my brother's coat," he said. I sighed. "He's dead," the man said. I could smell the empty old apartment on him.
Narcissism: The Difference Between High Achievers and Leaders - Justin Menkes by Justin Menkes | 6:00 AM July 4, 2012 A chief executive had a dilemma. After working in a fast-growing company as COO, he accepted an offer from venture capitalists to start his own company. Within five years he had built a new enterprise generating revenues over $300 million and profit margins so high that his company had compiled a substantial cash reserve with which it was poised to go on an acquisition run. His passion, strategic and analytical brilliance, and relentless focus on practical results made him a rare, virtually unstoppable force in industry. So what was his problem? He asked me for counsel: Justin, I have two people on my team that I think can grow into my role. It’s a good question, one I’m often asked. Those selected for development have one universal trait in common: They are by definition high achievers. There is powerful evidence (pdf) that narcissists have difficulty forging long-term relationships. Then, press hard against any behaviors that self-aggrandize.