Achilles and Ajax

We all seem to have a very specific explanation for why we can’t do something or why we behave a certain way. Often it’s only this story which keeps us from moving forward. We find reasons for being unhappy instead of just doing the things that make us happy.

We look for some external cause or an innate flaw that will alleviate us from taking responsibility for our own choices. Continue reading

Modeling Motivation Weights

Where does motivation come from and how can we get more of it?

A boy falls in love with a girl. There’s just one problem: this girl is currently dating the captain of the football team. So, our boy hatches a plan to steal her from his competition by becoming the captain himself. Surely then she will notice him and reciprocate his love.

To achieve this goal, there’s a lot of work to do. Our hero isn’t really much of a hero. He’s out of shape and doesn’t really play football. There are many practices, training sessions, sprints to run, and weights to lift.

So how do we determine if our hero will be motivated enough to do all this work? We can use mathematical modeling to predict how motivated our hero will be, and we can use those models to discover how we can find our own motivation.

First we start with an older, but simple model developed by Victor Vroom. Continue reading

Overwhelm

It’s easy to look around and say I feel overwhelmed or I don’t have time. We’re constantly bombarded with distraction and other people’s priorities.

However, the vast majority of this stress and distraction we bring on ourselves because we seek out things that aren’t really productive and aren’t really relaxing. We are caught in this middle ground of mildly annoying or mildly entertaining, but never fulfilling.

In the last 24 hours how many of these activities have you done. Write down the corresponding number for each one you’ve participated in. Continue reading

How to protect your privacy

At the time I started writing this article the NSA drama was unraveling, and everyone seemed to be very concerned that their lives were no longer private. What I intend to show you is that the NSA recording your phone calls is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s actually the least scary thing happening right now.

A quick overview of what we’ll cover:

  • Privacy is very important.
  • We are all leaking massive amounts of data about ourselves.
  • This data is being recorded and monitored by many people, not just the US government, mostly legally.
  • That data is very insecure.
  • We can do many things to protect our private lives, but most of them require technical proficiency and they must all be used together with consistency.

Along the way I will show you what little you can do to protect your privacy. Continue reading

Ferrari Testarossa

Qualifying can help us no matter what our task. Whether you’re trying to convince your girlfriend to go camping or you’re trying to negotiate that million dollar deal, you can save a whole lot of time — and therefore massively increase your ability to persuade — by first qualifying your prospects.

In sales, qualifying is simply evaluating whether a customer is able to buy your product. Whether they need it. Whether they can afford it.

The more time you waste pitching unqualified prospects, the less time you have to close clients who are qualified. The faster and more accurate your qualifying, the more sales you can make.

Qualifying applies to a lot more than sales. Continue reading

Over Pay

Have you ever inherited something that’s really old?  When you held it, did you notice that it’s different than what you can buy at the store today?  Chances are your grandparents saved up for quite some time to buy it, and that’s why it’s lasted until now.

Often something that costs twice as much doesn’t perform twice as long, it lasts ten times longer.

When you multiply this over a lifetime, when it becomes the default, rather than the exception, you get more for your money.

People buy the cheapest stuff so they can afford to buy more with their money.  But because more expensive stuff often provides more value in the long term, paying more means you can actually buy more.  When you buy a John Deer or a Snapper you don’t have to replace it every other year like that random wally world lawnmower. Continue reading

What often separates those with massive success and those that end up average is their ability to turn down work.

When I did IT audit the biggest thing that separated our company from the big four accounting firms was our inability to serve large companies. Large companies come with larger budgets, better margins, and longer smoother engagements.

It wasn’t that we didn’t have the staff or that our staff wasn’t as good. In fact our IT people ran circles around most any other firm.

The problem is that we never said no to clients that weren’t as profitable. We were too busy with small clients to focus on winning large clients.

We’d burn through staff people running them all over the country for one week jobs. They grew tired of the travel and tired of the pressure. Eventually I was one of those staff.

That same thing happens in small business and particularly the fitness industry. Type A, motivated people often fail because they can’t say no. They try to promote every way they can, serve every customer, and they never become really great at one thing. They’re not so great at everything. You never get famous for being mediocre.
Continue reading

Why am I so tired

If you’ve ever asked this question, you’ve come to the right place. The importance of sleep can not be underestimated. Improving your sleep can, quite literally, change your life, if you’re sleeping poorly.

You may not even realize that you’re not sleeping well. If you’re always tired during the day, or having trouble falling asleep this guide can help you get better sleep as well as find ways to make time for more sleep. The improvement in quality of life can be substantial. Continue reading

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How to Shave7

Posted In How-to

The Internet allows obsessive people to gather ‘round their obsessions and document the minute details surrounding a single aspect of life. Somewhere in the far reaches of the Internet I happened upon various groups of people who treat shaving like it’s some sort of hobby. Sociology might call this a tiny subculture.

To you and me shaving is just one more thing we have to do. But to some people, shaving is their profession. There are people who collect razors, people who spend their evenings arguing the merits of different shaving creams; and people who restore shaving gear.

What’s so great about these subcultures is that their years of expertise and trials can be condensed very quickly into a single recommendation. Novices can obtain answers that have taken years for experts to figure out. This can get us to that 80% proficiency without all the initial effort.

Whats more, these subcultures have found all the outliers; the best deals, the vastly superior products. They know about the $60 headphones that sound like $200 headphones. In this story, they know about the blades that cost twenty cents a piece, but outperform the latest $3 razor cartridge.

That’s what this blog is all about. Going straight to the answers, and more importantly finding answers to the questions we didn’t know to ask. Continue reading