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Selling Sizzling Steak: Performance and Promotion

Doing the job right is the “steak.” Looking good while you do it is the “sizzle.” There was a time in my life when I was focused almost exclusively on the basics of delivering my…

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Lying About Your Vegetables…

Most of us like to think we are good decision makers, that we have a firm grasp on reality, that we “know the facts.” Yet…

Take a Deep Breath. Stretch.

Breathing is one of the most under-noticed, under-rated body functions. Yet there is a lot of power in controlling your breathing. “Take a deep breath.”…

In Memory of Courtland Alden Collier

Courtland Alden Collier passed away Thursday, July 17, 2008, just before 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Here is the text of Nathan’s prepared remarks for…

Chicken Little Rides Again?

“Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them,” by John E. Mueller “False Alarm: The Truth About…

“…not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,…

“Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

The thesis of “Nudge” is that it is possible to design choices to make it easy to do what is good for us and just…

No Individual Raindrop Takes Responsibility But the Flood Still Happens

Occasionally I hear someone lambasting politicians for pandering* to the masses in order to be re-elected, or bemoaning the lack of community spirit, or the…

The Pros Make it Look Easy: On the importance of doing a great job AND looking great while you do it

Did you ever notice how Olympic gymnasts often smile at key moments as they execute those difficult maneuvers? I sincerely doubt that it is because…

Don’t Let the Other Side Rent Space in Your Head: Winning the Mental Game

I’ve been playing racquetball regularly for more than 30 years and over that time I’ve played a lot of people. One of my regulars is…

Use Your “I & R”

Use your “I & R,” your “Initiative and Resourcefulness.”* Initiative: An introductory step or movement; an act which originates or begins. Resourcefulness: Able to meet…

It was true…Until it wasn’t

It was true… Until it wasn’t. Years ago, a wise friend made an observation about a certain aspect of the financial market. Something was a…

Does Screaming Improve Behavior? An Error in Intution

In the mid-60s a future Nobel Prize winner (2002 for Economics), Daniel Kahneman, lectured to a group of Israeli air force flight instructors on the…

In Praise of Disappointment

The ability to handle disappointment is one of the more valuable life management skills. The capacity to take disappoint in stride and continue on toward…

Habits: A Liberating Perspective

“First we make our habits, and then our habits make us.” ~ Charles C. Noble “Could the young but realize how soon they will become…

We Change When We Want To

We change when we want to. The catalyst can be whatever we want it to be. I’m fascinated by human beings, what makes them do…

Reframing Revisted

A while back I wrote about reframing, the technique of choosing to look at something in a positive light, in a way that served you,…

Training Shamu: Lessons for Humans

Amy Sutherland has written a short, amusing book called “What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People From Animals and Their…

The Drunkard’s Walk and The Law of Small Numbers

“The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives” is a fascinating book on probability by Leonard Mlodinow (with a nice cover blurb by Stephen Hawking).…

One Thing Boldly Different Every Day

Lord, I love my routines! I eat at the same place almost every morning. The people there know me and greet me like family. Don’t…

18 Simple Ways to make a Habit

Along the lines of finding new ways of being and behaving, here is some excellent and concise how-to advice on creating new habits, found on…

We see the world as we are. We see the world as we expect to see.

Our expectations, our outlook on life, our personal norms, powerfully impact the world we see. This theme of self-fulfilling prophecy is one I return to…