The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower

The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower

Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Paulette Perhach. Paulette writes about finances, psychology, technology, travel, and better living for the likes of The New York Times, Elle, and Slate.


I learned how to respect authority from my father. At the top of a huge water slide at a theme park, he put me, my siblings and cousins in a huge, round raft, then started to get in himself. “No sir, that’s too many,” said the attendant. My father simply replied, “Hup, too late!” Then jumped in and shoved off. We caught air on the bumps, making the ride much more wild than it would have been, had we followed the rules.

“Think Different” is Bad Advice

Nir’s Note: This guest post is an excerpt from the new book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Factors that Shape Behavior, written by my friend and Wharton School professor, Jonah Berger.

book coverBeing different, the notion goes, is the route to success. Think different was even Apple’s motto for a period. And Apple is often held up as a poster child of the benefits of this ethos. Conventional wisdom suggests that products like the iPhone and Macintosh succeeded because they were different from the rest. Steve Jobs was a visionary because he thought different from everyone else.

There’s only one problem with this advice. It’s wrong.

It’s How You React to Failure that Matters: Why Ego is the Enemy

Nir’s Note: This guest post is an excerpt from my friend Ryan Holiday’s new book, Ego Is the Enemy. Ryan is the author of three other books and his monthly reading recommendations, which go out to 50,000+ subscribers, can be found here. 

It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character.

—Marcus Aurelius

EgoIsTheEnemy_final jacketJohn DeLorean ran his car company into the ground with a mix of outsized ambition, negligence, narcissism, greed, and mismanagement. As the bad news began to pile up and the picture was made clear and public, how do you think he responded? Was it with resigned acceptance? Did he acknowledge the errors his disgruntled employees were speaking out about for the first time? Was he able to reflect, even slightly, on the mistakes and decisions that had brought him, his investors, and his employees so much trouble?

4 Cures for Feeling Overwhelmed: A Book Review

Nir’s Note: This book review is by Sam McNerney. Sam writes about cognitive psychology, business, and philosophy.

OverwhelmedMany of us feel we’re drowning in the rising tide of emails, updates, and digital distractions. According to a survey by the Families and Work Institute, the majority of American workers report feeling overwhelmed or overworked. In her new book, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time, Brigid Schulte acknowledges that although the deluge of to do’s is inevitable, there are ways to regain our sanity.

3 Ways to Make Better Decisions Using “The Power of Noticing”

Nir’s Note: This book review is by Sam McNerney. Sam writes about cognitive psychology, business, and philosophy.

The Power of NoticingIn Moneyball, Michael Lewis tells the story of Billy Bean, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who transformed the A’s using sabermetrics, the data-driven approach to understanding baseball. Bean noticed that instead of using data to predict player performance, baseball professionals relied on faulty intuitions and anecdotes. Commentators debate how effective sabermetrics actually is, but Bean’s original insight—that we can’t learn that much about baseball just by watching—changed the game.

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