Overcome Your Brain’s Decision-Making Limitations

4 factors that limit our ability to make good decisions and how to beat them

Which vehicle should I buy? Should I marry this person? Do I take this job or keep the one I have? Do I fire Susan or put her on an improvement plan? People have proven time and time again how difficult it is to make a good decision. Below I’ve shared some insights from the book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

In the book, authors Chip and Dan Heath explain the research behind decision making and why we’re notoriously bad at it. For example, 83% of corporate mergers provide no return on investment. Seems like a pretty clear sign that we should avoid them right? Nonetheless, there are hundreds of mergers going on right now. What is it about the human mind that keeps us so blind to the facts? Chip and Dan dub them “the four villains of decision making.” They are…

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Even in the Face of Adversity, Pursue Greatness

This is not about ego, it’s about living a full life, helping others succeed and contributing something positive to the world. Intentionality, kindness and serving others: three characteristics of every one of “the greats” that have ever lived. Each of these characteristics is a key ingredient to living greatly, but not for the sake of being called “a great.” Rather, it is the fulfillment of living out those characteristics that makes us feel as if we were living greatly. Let’s explore how each one fosters greatness. 

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How to Handle Bad News Better

What neuroscience research says about stress and gratitude

Pause for a moment and imagine that you’re sitting in your boss’ office. He’s behind his desk and you’re in one of those smaller, more uncomfortable “guest” chairs. Your boss is staring at his computer screen and mumbling something about your employee file. After an awkward length of time, he finally breaks his gaze from the screen and turns to face you. You can see it in his face, this isn’t going to be good news… but how bad is it? That’s when the Human Resources rep walks in. 

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Are You Busy?

I wanted to share this perspective from an email Chris Brogan sent me. I’m a big believer in doing only what’s essential, but sometimes we all need a reminder. Thanks for the thought provoking note Chris.

Take the Backpack Test

If I gave you a backpack and said “Walk around for five minutes and put stuff in this backpack until it’s full,” you could finish the task in probably 30 seconds. It wouldn’t take long to fill that backpack with whatever’s nearby. Full? You could stuff that baby with things.

Now, instead, what if I said, “Your house is going to burn down. Take 5 minutes and put in the backpack the only items you can pull from the fire.” Five minutes isn’t nearly enough. The backpack is too small. How can you possibly fit it all in?

Guess how you are normally filling that backpack? A or B?


The Consequences of Drifting Through Life

Plus 4 scenarios that cause drifting and tips to avoid each

Have you ever looked at your situation in life and thought “how did I get here?” It feels a bit like vertigo, where suddenly your sense of balance is eerily off kilter, and you temporarily struggle to find your bearings. It can last from 20 minutes to 24 hours! In life, this sensation is called “the drift”, and most of us have experienced it at some point.

It’s where our mind had an idea of where we thought we would be in life, but because we weren’t paying attention we drifted off course. Drifting can happen for different reasons, but the consequences are always the same – it’s confusing and costs us time, money and opportunities.

In their new book Living Forward, Michael Hyatt and Dan Harkavy identify four times we’re most easily caught by the drift, and the five telling consequences that usually accompany it.

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