Friends and other influencers

Birds of a feather flock together. Aesop c. 550 B.C. Today, I want to talk about ethics and behavior. Do you think your moral choices are influenced by the people you consider friends? If so, what about people who only have a remote connection to you? Do you believe they can influence your behavior? Before I answer these questions, I want to share an experiment carried out at Carnegie Mellon University by professors Francesca Gino (Harvard), Shahar Ayal (IDC Herzliya in Israel) and Dan Ariely (Duke University). The experiment involved college students completing an ability-based task under time pressure: students …
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You win, I lose

But I like not these great success of yours; for I know how jealous are the gods. Herodotus 484 BC – 409 BC I’ve noticed a worrying trend lately among different people and groups: the habit of viewing another person’s victory as a personal defeat. Don’t get me wrong; it’s perfectly understandable to be disappointed if you and another person are directly competing for an award, promotion, or other accolade and you don’t win. In that case, the natural reaction when learning the news is to consider how the outcome affects you. The problem arises when someone’s victory has no direct bearing on you, …
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The high price of avoidance

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. Jim Rohn 1930 – 2009 It’s unfortunate, but most people tend to avoid doing the things which will have the biggest impact on their lives. We’ve been taught since childhood to be careful, to avoid failure, and to stay away from danger. We’ve become conditioned to steer clear of conflict and problems and to avoid threats to our sense of self. But avoidance comes with a price. All worthy goals in life require us to try something new, to explore unknown territory, to …
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