Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

It’s almost impossible to sell the future

If you’re trying to persuade someone to make an investment, buy some insurance or support a new plan, please consider that human beings are terrible at buying these things.

What we’re good at is ‘now.’

Right now.

When we buy a stake in the future, what we’re actually buying is how it makes us feel today.

We move up all the imagined benefits and costs of something in the future and experience them now. That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet (because celery tastes bad today, and we can’t easily experience feeling healthy in ten years). That’s why we make such dumb financial decisions (because it’s so tempting to believe magical stories about tomorrow).

If you want people to be smarter or more active or more generous about their future, you’ll need to figure out how to make the transaction about how it feels right now.

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Difficult decisions

These are the decisions that are forced on us, the ones that feel unfair, the ones where there are no seemingly good outcomes.

How to proceed?

Acknowledge that it sucks. That you’d rather not be in this situation. That it’s not what you hoped for. You can return to this step as often as you like, but don’t permit it to have anything to do with the other steps in the process.

Consider the sunk costs. The things you did to get to this point, the hard work and investments you made to have what you had until recently. Now, ignore them. They’re sunk. They have no connection to the decision you need to make.
Outline your options. None of them are as happy as you’d hope. None are perfect. All involve a measure of discomfort. That’s okay, because that’s what’s on offer. Write them out.

Now, consider each option based on the future, not the past. Ignoring the sunk costs, ignoring what you deserve, which of these options offers you the happiest series of future days, weeks and months? Choose that one. Don’t look back. Go.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Been done before

What percentage of the work you do each day is work where the process (the ‘right answer’) is known? Jobs where you replicate a process instead of inventing one…

The place where we can create the most value is when we do a job where exploration and a new solution is what’s needed. Not rote, but exploration. Which means we’re doing something that’s not been done before, something that might not work.

This isn’t something to avoid, it’s the work we need to seek out.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The confusion about competence

A friend was describing a clerk he had recently dealt with. “She was competent, of course, but she couldn’t engage very well with the customer who just came in.”

Then, of course, she wasn’t competent, was she?

It doesn’t take a genius to see that competence is no longer about our ability to press certain buttons in a certain sequence. Far more often, competence involves the humanity required to connect with other people, in real time.

It requires emotional labor, not merely compliance.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Look around

Proximity matters a great deal.

Detroit car executives in the 1970s and 1980s consistently failed to respond to the threat from Japanese imports. They weren’t merely arrogant—they were blinded by proximity. Everyone in their neighborhood, everyone on their commute, everyone in their parking lot was driving an American car. How could there be a problem?

We define the universe around us as normal. It’s one of the only ways to stay sane—we assume that the noise in our head is in the head of other people, that what we yearn for or buy is what others do as well. And we look to the world around us for confirmation.

This truth can take us to two insights:

if you want to understand what part of the world is really like, you should make special efforts to surround yourself with that world. If you market to bodegas, consider taking an apartment upstairs from a bodega.

there’s a huge bonus to being famous to the family. If you can be locally dominant, the locals will instinctively decide that you are globally dominant. Have 100 customers in one neighborhood (virtual or real) is worth much much more than having one customer in each of 100 neighborhoods.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Decision making, after the fact

Critics are eager to pick apart complex decisions made by others.

Prime Ministers, CEOs, even football coaches are apparently serially incompetent. If they had only listened to folks who knew precisely what they should have done, they would have been far better off.

Of course, these critics have a great deal of trouble making less-complex decisions in their own lives. They carry the wrong credit cards, buy the wrong stocks, invest in the wrong piece of real estate.

Some of them even have trouble deciding what to eat for dinner.

Complex decision making is a skill—it can be learned, and some people are significantly better at it than others. It involves instinct, without a doubt, but also the ability to gather information that seems irrelevant, to ignore information that seems urgent, to patiently consider not just the short-term but the long-term implications.

The loudest critics have poor track records in every one of these areas.

Mostly, making good decisions involves beginning with a commitment to make a decision. That’s the hard part. Choosing the best possible path is only possible after you’ve established that you’ve got the guts and the commitment to make a decision.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The market for used eclipse sunglasses

It doesn’t matter how many you have.

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for them.

It doesn’t matter how long the line was yesterday…

The market is gone. It’s a sunk cost. Falling in love with what you have and reminding yourself of what it cost you is no help at all.

The same goes for the value of the assets we invested in, the rare skills we used to possess, the position in the marketplace we worked so hard to get.

New days require new decisions.

Rreblogged from: here