• Conan O’Brien takes on Boron, the fifth element: http://adjix.com/58jm
  • If you’re a girl wearing a red shirt in your Match.com profile, guys will choose you more often. (NYT)
  • I figured out a really good metaphor for writing academic papers: it’s the same as writing a patent. It has a specific format, you have to organize the needed information, and the goal is to make the steps the experimenter took transparent and replicable. Nice. That makes it all make sense.
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A few questions:

  1. 1) If left to your own devices, would you eat the dessert at around 6pm, and then have dinner later around 8pm or so OR the other way around?
  2. If you have two credit cards overdue (one has $300 due and the other $1,200), which do you make payments on first?
  3. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up or get to work: check email or attend to the most important things?
  4. Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or later in the day?

What do you think today’s post is about?




It’s about finishing!

negative imageI have a presentation to give, and I’ll tell you my style – I’m not sure it’s the best style. I finish the thing that is quickest to finish and then move on to the harder part. That way, part is already done.

  • I exercise in the morning – or I feel guilty toward myself until I do.
  • I eat veggies first – except on the weekends! I am like a negative image of myself on the weekends! I do everything the opposite – no exercise, lots of sweets. Two different people: weekend Senia and weekday Senia.
  • I pay off the easier to pay off due amounts first. So in the case above, it would have been the $300.
  • BUT … I check email first. Just to make sure there are no fires. And… this is probably one big mistake because people are different, and people are productive at different times. I am productive early mornings and late afternoons. I should be – for productivity reasons – going straight at the papers and research in the morning, and then doing the emails as a fun break around a later breakfast. So on this email/good work habits spectrum, I know where I am, and I know where I want to work towards. I sound to myself on this post like Dave Seah and his productivity tips! That’s cool!

I’m not even certain these are all on the same spectrum. I would assume these are the easier steps (exercise early, eat veggies, pay off $300, and don’t check email), but I do the opposite on the last one. How about you? What do you do? 1) Exercise, 2) veggies, 3) pay off amount, 4) email or prioritized work?

I like to finish. One year, my NY resolution was about finishing. Since I like finishing, I like learning tricks and techniques to finish. One of them so far is doing the easier thing first, and then the harder thing.

I’m still working this out – – –
. . . I think it’s the same as being a good guest: care about the host, about other guests, about being clear, about a nice good-bye, and about having “a-ha” moments.

  1. Lisa WexlerCare about the host of the show! Find out what the host is interested in. What aspect of your topic he/she most wants to talk about. I think a good radio host is like a good lawyer – this person will lead you through the right questions to make a compelling case for the listeners! Plus, you’ll have more fun is this interview is not like all the other interviews you’ve done (it never is!). You’ll have more fun if you speak to the host ahead of time: send a few bullet points or talk on the phone. Just get a sense of what’s fun for the host. If the host is having fun, the listeners are having fun!
  2. Care about your listener – help them. Prepare info for them. Before I went on this radio show with Live! with Lisa host Lisa Wexler, I put together some reference materials for listeners and posted it on my blog. (Because with radio, you may not have time to write everything down).
  3. Care about being clear – simplifying, repeating, and summarizing. Being clear in audio format means speaking not too fast and definitely not too slow. It means simplifying a message into the core ideas and not into all the information you know about that topic. This is really, really hard for me. The authors of “Made to Stick” call this “The Curse of Knowledge.” Trying to explain ideas to friends helps you simplify them for future re-telling. : )
  4. salsaCare about a good ending. There’s a concept in positive psychology called the “peak-end rule,” which states that people remember the high point and the end of most events. So your last vacation – what do you remember most? Likely the peak experience and the end. This means that as guests, we’ll want to leave on a great note. Just like if you’re dancing with someone at a salsa club, you will remember how that dance ended. End the show on a fun note.
    This also means “care about the time.” The first radio show I did about positive psychology was 15 minutes (that means 11 minutes if you count the commercials). I had prepared a fun walk-through of the ABCDE Resilience method for getting out of a slump, and I got the C part of ABCDE by minute 10. I summarized D and E, and did not have a great ending that time. C’est la vie.
  5. a-haCare about “a-ha” moments. Think about when you’ve gone to a party that you’ve really enjoyed – just a few people at dinner for example. Typically, there was something that resonated with you – some “a-ha” thoughts. “A-ha” thoughts don’t happen with a gaggle of words. Care about pauses, questions, and time to think. Care about what Kathy Sierra calls the “oh cool! / oh sh#t!“/ two words of passion response: if your listener thinks it’s really cool or a really big mistake, he or she will remember it much clearer – that’s how the brain works.

If you’re a rock star, also keep these optional mastery-level techniques in mind:

  • Come to the interview with THREE STORIES. People like stories.
  • Know in advance what your two-three summarizing points will be – people will only remember a few take-aways, especially on radio. One of these can be mentioning a resource or website for people about the topic you just discussed.
  • Make fun of yourself in some way. Yes, you’re on the show as an expert, but show vulnerability. Show that you’re a real person because you are. And that makes you much more approachable through the radio.

Have fun! Let me know how it goes.
All of the above applies to being a guest in general.

In order for people to really get you (MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE KATHY SIERRA POSTS):

Group dynamics:

Brain functioning news that can help you be a more effective/efficient/productive/happier person:

Her posts that you can use for writing your book:

Friday is question day!

Where can you travel to – to learn more about yourself? Reply here in the comments or on twitter with the hashtag “#Qofday”: see here for example.

Where could you travel to that would actually change, influence, inform, enliven your point of view?
What is a place that would make it easy to be more YOU?

* * * * *
My answer is:

  • Japan again – and the quietness of the Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples
  • Alaska again – and the nature that is so peaceful and so fresh
  • Rome again – with all the gelato. I can discover more of myself in gelato :)
  • Patagonia – for the hiking. My friend Chris has incredible photos from there.
  • Small cities, small streets like Montreux, Switzerland, and other places I have not yet been to in Europe.

The title is a little misleading.

It is in fact not because you dabble in Attribution Theory that you are most exhausted, but because you – and I, him, her, them – we are all acting using aspects of Attribution Theory every day. Here is a description of Attribution Theory:

We all have a need to explain the world, both to ourselves and to other people, attributing cause to the events around us. This gives us a greater sense of control. When explaining behavior, it can affect the standing of people within a group (especially ourselves).

When another person has erred, we will often use internal attribution, saying it is due to internal personality factors. When we have erred, we will more likely use external attribution, attributing causes to situational factors rather than blaming ourselves. And vice versa. We will attribute our successes internally and the successes of our rivals to external ‘luck’.

When a football team wins, supporters say ‘we won’. But when the team loses, the supporters say ‘they lost’.

It’s like Michael says, it’s almost as if we are psychologically wired to blame, and to be upset at people for not doing things the way we prefer things. It’s as if we are wired to be dissatisfied. And it’s as if not-blaming exists only as a conscious, specific task.

This post works best together with this other Job-Seeking Resources post from yesterday.

For both employed and unemployed job-seekers (you’ll see the answers will be different):

1a) How many hours are you spending each day on your job search?
1b) How many hours are you spending each week on your job search?
1c) How many resumes did you send out last week (by email or mail)?
1d) How many people did you speak to last week about a potential job for you?

2a) What are your one-two most important goals when speaking with someone about finding a job?
2b) When deciding what information to include on your resume, what are your criteria for including and emphasizing something you have done?
2c) What is the single best thing you can do to prepare for the interview?

3) What has been your favorite project you worked on in the past five years?

Continue reading

The topmost lines are the end of the conference.
For the start of the day, start at the bottom. This was all from twitter.com/senia.

End of conference! What we ask questions about, what we focus on is what we change, say closing panelists! 9:35 PM Jan 24th from txt

Csikszentmihalyi says, here is the eightfold path, three of which seemed to have disappeared. Ah, the fun of ppt fonts! 9:12 PM Jan 24th from txt

Yes! Freedom causes happiness. For proof, follow my dad, @publicani. He writes novels like the John Grisham of freedom. 8:58 PM Jan 24th from txt

Csikszentmihalyi speaks of each age making us more liberated… Yes! 8:56 PM Jan 24th from txt

For Nadya and @eve11, Csikszentmihalyi says myths and rituals liberated us in 10000 bc from the terror of death. 8:54 PM Jan 24th from txt

Csikszentmihalyi speaking! He got HUGE applause! We all love him. Plus we’re all psyched he won Clifton prize! 8:52 PM Jan 24th from txt

David Cooperrider: they don’t even have a room at the UN for talking together in groups. 8:51 PM Jan 24th from txt Continue reading

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