Risk Taking

As analytics increasingly permeate sports, we learn that taking risks has it benefits.

For example, in football going for it on first down or trying a two-point conversion instead of an extra point kick are analytically safer than they appear.

The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl by aggressively betting on analytics all season – statistical evidence relating to the effectiveness of different play scenarios.

When push comes to shove in life, we often make the wrong decision to play it safe.

In essence we’re betting on losing or at least to avoid losing.

In a research study (featured in Gray Matter, New York Times), fans were asked to imagine that their team scored a touchdown but half the participants were told that they needed one point (an extra point kick) to tie the game.  The other group was told they needed a two-point conversion to tie.

Those who were told they only needed one point thought the two-point conversion was more likely to fail than the group that needed the two points to tie the game.

The same decision was thought to be riskier when it was seen as optional instead of unavoidable.

Taking risks is sometimes necessary to attain success.

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When to Quit Your Job

Most of us stay at our jobs at least a year.

The next key date is two years.

So here is the question that gives you a heads-up on whether a job change is in your future:

Do you want to be doing your present job six months or a year from today?

Research shows that people are funny about their careers.

The great predominance of evidence shows that even when talked into staying in your current job with more money, benefits or other things we may want, people still leave after deciding they might like to change jobs or accept another offer.

But only we know if we’re ready.

By projecting one year ahead to determine if we actually would want to be doing our present job.

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Picture One Person You Appreciate

We’re getting too self-absorbed in our world.

Changing that is hard to do.

One way is to picture a person you appreciate.

How do you appreciate them and why?

What do they mean to you?

Focus on them – not you.

Thinking in real terms about the details on why we appreciate special people in our lives makes us happier, grateful and less concerned about our ups and downs.

It’s an anti-depressant without the pill.

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Fresh Starts

Author Daniel Pink (When) says there are 86 days in the year when you can make a fresh start.

The first day of the month (twelve)

Mondays (fifty-two)

The first day of spring, summer, fall, and winter (four)

Your country’s Independence Day or the equivalent (one)

The day of an important religious holiday—for example, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Eid al-Fitr (one)

Your birthday (one)

A loved one’s birthday (one)

The first day of school or the first day of a semester (two)

The first day of a new job (one)

The day after graduation (one)

The first day and back from vacation (two)

The anniversary of your wedding, first date, or divorce (three)

The anniversary of the day you started your job, the day you became a citizen, the day you adopted your dog or cat, the day you graduated from school or university (four)

The day you finish his book (one).

When things are going poorly, you can always start over.

A fresh start completely changes the dynamic of a bad day.

Too often we waste time trying to salvage what really can’t or shouldn’t be saved.

Start over anytime – that’s the winning formula.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

He was drafted as a franchise quarterback a few years back.

He had one really good season.

Then he was traded – eventually became a backup.

Considered retiring even though he was only in his 20’s until he got one more chance as a backup on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nick Foles won the Super Bowl and became the game’s MVP beating an elite Patriot’s quarterback, Tom Brady.

“The big thing is don’t be afraid to fail … In our society, with (social media) it’s a highlight reel. I think when you have a rough day, you’re feeling you can’t – failure is a part of your life. I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t failed a million times”.

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