Lessons in fear from the whaling ship Essex

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius 121 – 180 AD On August 12, 1819, the whale ship Essex and its crew of 29 sailors set out from Nantucket, Massachusetts on what was intended to be a two and a half year journey to whaling grounds off the west coast of South America. Only two days after leaving port, the Essex encountered a storm that did considerable damage to the vessel. But …
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Want better answers? Improve your problem-solving skills

It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. Abraham Harold Maslow 1908 – 1970 From time to time, everyone has problems. No matter how successful you think someone is, they still encounter setbacks. Most people take a somewhat limited approach to solving problems, and consequently, they don’t always get the best results. I’d like to share a better approach with you. But to drive the lesson home, I want you to try a quick experiment. I want you to stop reading for thirty seconds, get a pen …
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Are you too attached to your ideas?

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Anais Nin 1903 – 1977 Do you get too attached to your ideas? Are you too invested in the way you think things should work? Do you believe you can be objective about your own plans? Before we get too deep in a discussion of these questions, let me share a famous experiment that researchers conducted using a unique lottery. Half of the study’s participants were assigned ticket numbers, while the other half were allowed to select their own numbers. Just before the drawing, the researchers offered …
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