Why You Read 1000 Things About Change and Never Change


TIME

Knowing isn’t doing.

I post a lot of stuff about getting better at things. A common response to my posts is “I know that.”

Knowing is great for watching Jeopardy. It’s not nearly as good for life.

So why is learning about improvement so easy and actually improving so damn hard?

Most any change that requires a lot of consistent mental effort is going to fail because you spend most of the day on autopilot.

Via Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.

Any change has to work when you’re on autopilot. The importance of self-control is one of the biggest myths about improvement.

Almost all the techniques for change…

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What Do the Words You Use Say About You?


TIME

A lot.

Your personality can be determined just by looking at the way you text message. You can make accurate judgments about your favorite author’s personality just by reading their work. You can probably tell a great deal about my personality from the words I use in my blog posts.

Word choice can predict whether you’re depressed, suicidal or lying. Swearing makes you more persuasive. It’s true, asshole:

…obscenity at the beginning or end of the speech significantly increased the persuasiveness of the speech and the perceived intensity of the speaker. Obscenity had no effect on speaker credibility.

Word choice changes when you’re lying:

An analysis of 242 transcripts revealed that liars produced more words, more sense-based words (e.g., seeing, touching), and used fewer self-oriented but more other-oriented pronouns when lying than when telling the truth. In addition, motivated liars avoided causal terms when…

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10 Things You Should Do Every Day To Improve Your Life


TIME

1) Get out in nature

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter,happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (

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