Modifying Your Behavior

Everyone has a list of habits they would like to create or destroy in themselves.  Whether it is exercising more, eating healthier, stopping smoking or treating your spouse better, change is HARD. B.J. Fogg at Stanford’s Persuasive Tech Lab has been tackling this very problem and has released a [...]

47 Psychological Facts About Yourself

I’m always a sucker for articles on the brain and the various ways our hardwiring affects us.  And this article gives us 47 to think about.  Since a lot of financial planning is helping people do the right thing, understanding the brains landscape and how to work with its biases rather than against [...]


Daniel Kahneman gives a great TED talk helping people understand there is a difference between “in the moment” happiness and the happiness of your memory of the moment and you cannot optimize them both.  He goes on to say that people more often try to optimize their memory happiness (would you go [...]

Science of Motivation

Dan Pink gives an excellent TED talk about what does and doesn’t work with respect to motivating people to higher performance.  It turns out that while traditional incentives (e.g., money) improve people’s performance on mundane well understood tasks, traditional incentives actually reduce [...]

Happiness Wisdom from Adam Smith

I was reading some Adam Smith and came across the following and was struck by the timelessness and relevance of his insights.  It is worth your while to work your way through the dense prose (typos and formatting is mine, words are Adam Smith’s).  With all the negativity that swirls around us in [...]

Improve Creativity & Problem Solving Ability in 2 Minutes a Week

Spend two minutes each week (more if you prefer) thinking of three things you are grateful for that benefit you and without which your life would be poorer.  Then think about the causes for these good things. Be creative with your gratitude to avoid habituation. Positive emotions are associated [...]

Discerning Expertise

In these days of spinmeisters and talking heads, figuring out who to pay attention to is a difficult task. In two recent studies Cameron Anderson and Galvin Kilduff discovered that people who offer suggestions first and most often in a group are generally perceived by that group to be the most [...]

Bet on Experiential vs. Material Purchases

Positive experiences (e.g., going out to dinner) provides greater happiness than material purchases (e.g., clothing).  If we compare a negative experience with a negative material purchase, the results are more mixed on which will have the more deliterious effect on your happiness. Researchers [...]

Brain Rules – Attention

Here are two additional insights from John Medina‘s excellent book “Brain Rules“. Our attention is given out in 10 minute increments.  When giving a presentation you must hook your audience in the first minute. That means conveying why they should care and a broad outline (or gist) of what you plan [...]

Getting Past Procrastination

New psychological study shows that abstract thinking feeds procrastination while concrete thinking helps get things done.  You know that exercise routine you’ve been talking about starting up in January? Well, forget about how virtuous it is, or how healthy, or how it might boost your confidence. [...]
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