Monthly Archives: February 2012

Should you love your job?

There is an increasingly significant economic reasoning for doing what you like in this world as a career.

It involves two axioms.
Firstly: that the competition for particular jobs is ever-increasing. As the population grows, so also does the amount of jobs (that’s why the unemployment rate stays a +/-3% range usually), however the amount of different jobs does not grow as much.

Secondly: that you are generally better at a particular job if you like it.

Therefore, there will be (and are) increasingly more people who will apply for a particular job who are also likely to literally LOVE that job. This means that if you don’t LOVE that job, others will be able to be better at that job than you. You will either have to work harder or be smarter than the competition. And that’s tough. Because if they love the job more than you, they’ll likely want to work even harder than you. And especially harder if they see you beating them out for the job (when either applying or while working there).

So, if you want to be amazing at your job. Just like yo momma said, do what you love. As time goes on, it is increasingly more efficient and beneficial to choose something you love.

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The point at which failure exists

Most people believe that failure exists at multiple points in a life.

However, if we view failure as simply an interaction through which we learn a new lesson about how to succeed, than that moment of failure because unfathomably small. I use the word ‘unfathomably’ because an ‘instant’ or ‘moment’ in time is a hard concept to grasp. How long is ‘now’? Is it a second? A millisecond? Smaller?

Anyways, the point is that failure is only present in an instant of time. Before it, you haven’t failed. After it, you’ve learned something you didn’t before. And so failure in a sense, barely exists. The only thing that exists for a significant amount of time is the affects of failure, which are learning points (or the effect of success, which is awesome-o).

And so the importance and usefulness of A) acceptance, B) the ability to let go of the emotions involved with failure (knowing they’re useless and unfounded anyways) and C) the ability to re-evaluate the situation and progress, become incredible.

Sure, failure sucks, but the moment at which failures occurs you must immediately accept the unchangeable circumstances and know that you’ve learned something.

Do better from the point at which you are. The relation to the point behind you is unchangeable and therefore irrelevant.

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Visualization and religion

Life trainers, sports coaches and psychologists have long argued the benefits of visualization. The most interesting endorsement comes from psychologists and neuroscience who have found that when you visualize yourself doing something in your mind (or watch someone performing the desired act), many of the same neurons involved in performing that action yourself are firing (about 20% of the neurons for just watching someone do something, let alone actually visualizing yourself doing it too). Remember the finger strength experiment with people actually doing finger curls and others just visualizing it?
And, we now know from recent research that the more neurons fire together,  the more they wire together and therefore can more easily fire together in the future.

I think religion has it’s place in this realm. And it has to do with conviction and confidence. I think it’s one of the main benefits religion has had in the past.

The ability to visualize yourself succeeding or winning is most influenced by your belief that you can achieve that particular outcome. If I’m trying to visualize myself scoring a basket, it’s much harder to do so if I don’t actually believe I can do it or that I haven’t practiced enough. But if I truly believed that I had a divine power, transcended upon me from an energy I couldn’t possibly even understand, well then by god I think I would be a little more confident.

And if you lived in a time when burning sacrificial offerings to your god was a way of life and you truly believed he/she had ordained your victory in battle, how much harder and more confidently would you fight? How much more easily could you visualize (likely through prayer) winning?

So, there are two interesting things:
A) That religion likely had some very interesting benefits to humans who truly believed
B) That…

… now that most people (most people who read this, I think) believe that there likely isn’t a third party dude sitting in a cloud picking me out to be a winner, we must find that which makes us most confident in life such that we can visualize our desired future successes with the same degree of confidence that divination would promote. And I think to attain said degree of confidence, your entire being must be made to believe that you deserve said achievements. But more on that later…

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Marketing slight of hand

In the 1980’s North American brewers began to do something very interesting. They started advertising the fact that they used 100% malt in their beers and zero adjunct. Now that sounds well and fine, expect for the fact that the had been doing this for a very long time. And also, that adjunct didn’t actually mean anything bad at all.

The term adjunct in brewing in simply a term for other types or substitutions of malt that have been used for centuries. Rice, wheat and corn are all adjuncts. It coincided with the explosion of micro breweries onto the brewing scene.

The marketers are a tricky bunch. Because of the simple way they phrased these new ad campaigns, the wording makes you think that adjuncts (a term previously unknown to consumers) are bad. What were adjunct using beer companies to do? Start advertising that adjuncts are ‘okay’?  That’s almost an admission of guilt.

It’s a very interesting nuance about the way consumers interpret new information. The marketers are explicitly advertising that they use “100% Malt”. That’s what, as consumers, we think they’re trying to convey. It’s hard to argue with, “I’m sure they can’t advertise ‘100%’ without actually using 100% malt”.
But we gloss over the implicit message; that 100% malt is good and that adjuncts are bad. If the marketers had explicitly said “adjuncts  in beer are bad and we don’t use them”, you as a consumer would question the ad more.

It marketing slight of hand – just like my blog was knocked off the #1 blog charts for being too real and edgy.

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