Interesting thanks really great

“Broke doesn’t scare me.”

Arian Simone — entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, international speaker, and best-selling author of The Fearless Money Mindsetsays that from experience.

After getting laid off, moving into her car, and selling her clothes to buy food, Arian applied to 153 different jobs and got hired for exactly zero of them. Plan…Z? She got scrappy, built her own PR and Marketing firm from the ground up, and landed entertainment clients like SONY, Universal, and Walt Disney Pictures.

After massive success in business, Arian went on to co-found The Fearless Fund — the first ever venture capital fund led by women of color that invests in women of color — because she’d promised herself, “One day you’ll be the business investor you’re looking for.”


People have more fear of being broke than have faith in abundance. @ArianSimone
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In today’s MarieTV, Arian Simone reveals what really determines your wealth (hint: it’s not your IQ, address, age, or even your bank account). Plus, how to master the one success tool that transcends gender gaps, ethnic disparities, and socio-economic boundaries… your mindset.

You’ll learn:

2:19 — The abundance mindset that took Arian from food stamps to successful CEO.
10:23 — What are you *actually* attracting? Learn the key beliefs that’ll bring you better results.
17:30 — How to master your mindset for unwavering confidence.
22:15 — What a 5-year-old can teach you about abundance.
28:57 — How to be a smart steward of your money.
31:22 — What Arian did that no investor had ever done before.
41:02 — The #1 factor behind her success in venture capitalism.

Hit play to watch now or listen on The Marie Forleo Podcast.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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DIVE DEEPER: Release money beliefs that are holding your back with Kate Northrup and try these 6 little money mindset shifts that pay off huge (Arian uses #2 all the time).

Now it’s your turn. What’s one insight from this conversation with Arian that you can put into action today?

As she says, “By default you will believe in something, make sure it’s something you can stand on.” What do you believe in? On a daily basis, do you put more energy into worrying about scarcity or having faith in your own abundance?

In the comments below, let me know one positive belief you have, or would like to have, about money.

It may seem impossible right now, but remember, when you create an abundant life for yourself, it serves us all. 

All my love,

XO

The post “Broke Doesn’t Scare Me” — How to Create an Abundance Mindset With Investor Arian Simone appeared first on .

Great thanks I love mindset

With quarantine limitations still in order here in the US, spending so much time at home has brought up some interesting challenges.

Even though I’ve worked from home for two years, this period of time has taught me that working from home can easily blur the lines between work and self-care.

When your home is also your office, bringing work into your self-care space can create some hazy boundaries. This makes it hard to a) find the motivation to work and/or b) switch off from work.

Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

When I was working in an office, I found it easy to mentally check out from work as soon as I left the office at 5pm. But now, I’ll catch myself making dinner at 5 then going back to my computer while I eat (so bad, I know).

Working from home means the same place where you eat, relax, and socialize becomes associated with work.

If you’re on regular Zoom calls, your work meetings are now in your sacred space. It’s almost like inviting your co-workers into your living room for a meeting.

To add to this, your typical forms of escape from work might not be available with quarantine limitations still in effect. For example, the yoga studio, the gym, your local pool, and the coffee shop where you would catch up with a friend.

The places and activities that you associate with self-care aren’t available right now. This can make it hard to disengage from work while simultaneously making you feel like you’re resting too much.

In this post, I’m sharing a few tips that have been helping me to set boundaries so I can better balance work and rest from home.

How To Balance Work & Self-Care When You Work From Home


Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

1. Create a ritual to bookmark the start and end of the day

When working in an office, your commute might have been your signal that the workday was starting or ending. Working from home makes it a little harder to keep a similar structure.

A friend of mine said during the first few weeks of working from home, she would roll out of bed at 7:55am to check in on her computer at 8am. She was enjoying getting the extra sleep knowing she didn’t have to commute.  After doing this for a while, she started to crave some time to herself before work. She began getting up around 7 instead to make time for a cup of tea and journaling, which gives her a chance to get ready for the day ahead.

Be intentional with how you want to start and end your day. Think of the time before and after work like your wind-up and wind-down time.

At the end of the day, do whatever you can to get out of the work mentality. Turn off your computer screen, close your laptop, and get away from your desk. I also find that going for a walk around the block at the end of the workday helps to decompress, and it almost feels like a mini-commute (but much more enjoyable). 


2. Set a time to stop working and checking notifications

When you’re spending most of your time at home, it’s tempting to check your phone or computer after hours. Since they’re always in close proximity, you might find it hard to resist checking in if you find yourself with nothing to do. 

Create a boundary to help you maintain this separation between work and rest time. That might look like not checking emails before 8am or after 5pm, or setting app limits from 6pm until 8am the next day.

On the weekends, it can be tempting to work when you have the resources right in front of you. If you want a work-free weekend, try putting your laptop out of sight, keep your office door closed (if you have an office), and delete your email app from your phone until Monday.

The thing is that you have to set these boundaries for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.


3. Separate your spaces for work and self-care

Try to create separate spaces, even if they’re small, to separate your work and self-care areas. For example, I have a corner in my living room that I’ve dedicated as my workout spot (which just means it’s where I put my workout mat). It’s not very big, but it’s enough space to do what I need to do.

Another example is sticking to doing work from a dedicated area. If you’ve been using your couch or bed for both work and relaxation, it might be sending confusing signals to your brain. I find that when I work on the couch, I’m less productive and it’s harder to concentrate (even if I’m not watching anything on TV). My back and legs also tend to hurt more because my coffee table isn’t tall enough to work from. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working from these spots sometimes, but it’s better to have a desk and chair set-up that you use exclusively for work.

If you don’t have the space to separate your work and non-work life, try to create different moods in your home.

For example, you can use scents, sounds, and textures (from clothing) for different times of the day. You could use one essential oil during work and another one for after work. Or you can wear form-fitting (but still comfy) clothes during work and change into your comfiest, loose clothing afterward. Subtle changes like this can create the illusion of separation when you don’t have much space to work with.


More Tips to Balance Work and Rest

If you feel like you’re working too much and not getting enough rest, check out these posts:


If you feel like you’re resting too much and not being productive at home, check out these posts: 


Share your thoughts! How have you been maintaining boundaries while working from home?

The post How To Balance Productivity and Rest When You Work From Home appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

Tremendous very interesting I love method

Stop Asking Couples When They Are Having Kids

“So, when are you having kids?” my aunt asked me soon after I got married. At that point, I had just been married for a few months. I didn’t even know *if* I wanted kids, much less *when* I was having them.

Caught off guard, I replied matter-of-factly, “I have not decided if I want to have kids.” Little did I realize that I would spend the next hour listening to stories of women who put off having children until it was too late, as well as women who had difficulty conceiving for various reasons, with the implicit message being that I was going to regret it if I didn’t hurry and work on producing babies.

This would be my life for the next few years, where I would receive constant questions around “When are you having kids?” from relatives and random people, followed by a routine, almost ritualistic pressurization to have kids.

Lest you think that it ends after having a child, it doesn’t. The people who previously tried to tell you to have “just one kid” when you were indifferent to the idea, will now tell you to have a second one, along with reasons why you should do so. It seems like this questioning process never ends.

The problem with asking people “When are you having kids?”

I understand why people like to ask this question. Find a partner, settle down, get married, and have kids. This is the life path that we’ve been taught to follow since young. This is the life script that we’ve been told is *the* way of life, that would bring us ultimate joy and happiness.

This is especially so in the Chinese culture, where having kids is seen as the ultimate goal in life. There are even sayings built around this notion, such as 生儿育女 (shēng ér yù nǚ), which means to birth sons and raise daughters, and 子孙满堂 (zǐ sūn mǎn táng), which means to be in a room filled with children and grandchildren, used to signify the epitome of happiness.

Multi-Generation Chinese Family at the Park

A multi-generation family, often used to depict a vision of happiness in the Chinese culture

So after you get married, people automatically assume that you should have kids. “When are you having kids?” they ask, somehow expecting you to give them a straight answer to what is really a personal question.

The problem with this question is that it’s rude. It’s presumptuous. It’s also insensitive.

1) Happiness can come in different forms

Firstly, everyone has their own unique path in life. Some people want kids, while some don’t. Some think that having kids is the greatest joy in life, while some see them as a burden to their already stressful life. At the end of the day, having kids isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are significant ups and downs that come with having a kid, and for some people, the ups may not justify the downs. For these people, it may simply be better to remain childless, rather than having kids just to fit in or to fit societal expectations, and then set their lives up for unhappiness. To assume that everyone should have kids, just because you think that having kids is great and important, is rude and disregards that person’s own preferences in life.

For example, Oprah Winfrey is an inspiring woman and humanitarian who chose not to have kids, but has instead dedicated herself to her personal life purpose of serving the world. Oprah hosted her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years, founded a leadership academy for girls and became a mother figure to the girls in attendance, and started her own television network. These are things that most do not get to do in their lifetime. Through the years, she has inspired millions and become a champion for people worldwide. As she says,

“When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children. Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age two, 10, or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.” — Oprah[1]

Is she not being a responsible or purposeful person or woman by choosing not to have kids? Definitely not. In fact, I dare say that she lives a much more purposeful life than many in the world, including some people who choose to have kids.

There are many famous celebrities who have chosen not to have kids as well.

  • Chelsea Handler is a talk show host who chose not to have kids. She has said honestly in interviews that she doesn’t have the time to raise a child, and she doesn’t want her kids to be raised by a nanny.[2][3]
  • Betty White is an actress and comedian who chose not to have kids because she’s passionate about her career and she prefers to focus on it.[4]
  • Ashley Judd is an actress and politican activist who chose not to have kids because she feels that there are already so many orphaned kids in this world. To her, her resources can be better used to help those who are already here, and I respect her for such a noble choice.[5]

And then there are others, such as Cameron Diaz, Chow Yun Fat, Marisa Tomei (the actress for Peter Parker’s aunt in Tom Holland’s Spider Man film series), Renée Zellweger, and Rachael Ray. These people choose not to have kids for different reasons, such as because they’re already pursuing paths deeply meaningful to them, because they do not wish to be tied down with a child, or because they just don’t feel a deep desire to have kids.

Not having kids has not prevented these people from being happy in life, and there’s no reason to assume why people must have kids in order to be happy. People need to stop painting this narrative that one must have children in order to be happy. There are plenty of people with kids who are unhappy, and plenty of people without kids who have found inner fulfillment in life through other ways. There is no one path to happiness, and people need to realize that.

2) You may well cause hurt and pain

Secondly, you never know what others are going through.

Some people may want kids, but maybe they are facing fertility struggles. For example,

  • Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan went through three miscarriages before having their firstborn.[6]
  • The Obamas had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF.[7]
  • Friends star Courteney Cox had a total of seven miscarriages before having her daughter, as she has a MTHFR gene mutation which raises the risk of miscarriage-causing blood clots.[8]

About 10% of women have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant,[9] while 13.5% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages, with the figure rising as the maternal age rises.[10]

For some people, the journey to conceive is fraught with deep pain, struggle, and losses as they experience miscarriages, undergo round after round of invasive fertility treatments, and wait in hope of the double blue lines on their pregnancy kit each month.

And then there are people who cannot have their own biological children due to issues with their reproductive system, which could have been there since birth.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and family

Barack and Michelle Obama had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF

While you may be think that you’re being helpful or funny by asking people when they’re having kids, your question may well trigger hurt and pain. As Zuckerberg said,

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.”[6]

3) Not everyone is in a position to have kids

Thirdly, having kids is simply not a reality for some people due to their circumstances in life.

Some people may lack the financial resources to have kids, a reality in a place like Singapore.

Some people may be facing problems with their marriage, in which case their priority should be to work on their marriage, not to have kids.

Some people may be so burdened with caring for their dependents that they are unable to consider kids, at least not at the moment.

And then there are people facing chronic health issues, issues that you don’t know and can’t see, which make pregnancy difficult due to the toll it would take on their body.

4) Some couples could still be thinking

And then there are people who are neutral to the idea of having kids, like myself when I just got married. These people need time to think it through, because having kids is a permanent, lifelong decision with serious consequences. There’s no reason to assume that having a kid should be an automatic decision, because you’re bringing a whole new life into this world. This is a decision that will change your life forever, as well as the life of the child you’re bringing into the world.

For those yet to have kids, they need the space to figure out what they want, not have people breathe down their neck day in and out about having kids.

My experience

For the initial years after I got married, I just wasn’t thinking about kids. Firstly, having a child is a lifelong decision, and I wanted to enjoy married life with my husband before diving into a decision as serious as that. Secondly, both my husband and I were genuinely happy spending the rest of our lives with just each other — we didn’t feel the need to have kids at all, not in the way my culture obsesses about it. Thirdly, my husband was dealing with some personal problems, and I was fully focused on supporting him through these. These were issues that we needed to sort through before considering kids, if we were to want kids.

Yet I kept getting nudges to have kids, even though I never said anything about wanting them.

“So, when are you having kids?”

“This person’s baby is so cute, isn’t it? Why don’t you hurry up and birth a baby?”

It was as if I was some vehicle, some production machine to have kids, where my own views in the matter didn’t matter. The most frustrating thing was that I kept getting this question, while my husband would never get it (as a man), not even when we were in the same room together.

It was as if my sole reason for existence as a woman was to have kids, and until I had them, I was regarded as unworthy or incomplete.

The decision to have kids

Yet the decision to have children is a personal one. It is also a complex one. It is a decision that will permanently change the lives of the couple in question.

It is not a decision that one should be pressurized into making because their mom wants to carry grandchildren or their aunt wants to play with kids. It’s a decision that a couple should make because they genuinely want to nurture another life.

Because when a child is born, the people bugging others to have kids aren’t the ones who will be caring for the baby 24/7, whose lives will be set back by years (even decades) as they care for a new life, or who will be responsible for every decision concerning the child for the next 18-21 years.

It will be the couple.

And the people who aren’t ready, who were pressured into having kids because they were told that it was the best thing to do, may have to deal with regret as they are stuck with a decision they cannot undo. Because there are people who regret having kids, and we need to be honest about that. These people regret, not because of the child’s fault, but because they were simply not ready to have kids, be it financially, emotionally, or mentally. Unfortunately, the children are the ones who eventually suffer, from living in dysfunctional households to dealing with issues of violenceabuse, and anger.

We need to recognize these realities, and not make parenthood seem like it’s some magical band-aid that solves a lack of purpose or life’s pressures. Things don’t magically get better because people have kids; existing problems usually worsen as having a child puts a big strain on a couple’s lives. Digging into people’s plans to have kids, and pressurizing them into one of the biggest life decisions they can ever make, will only stress them out and perhaps push some into depression. As this redditor shared,

“I have a friend who went through 6 years of miscarriages and fertility treatments before the doctors figured out the problem and she had her son. The nosy ladies at her work and her in-laws questioned her constantly. The depression from that made it harder for her to conceive.”

Stop asking couples when they’re having kids

So, if you tend to ask others when they’re having kids, it’s time to stop that. It’s rude, insensitive, and it disregards people’s privacy. It’s also none of your business.

The reality is that if people want kids, they will work on having kids. They don’t need you to prod them about it.

If they don’t have kids, it’s either because

  1. they really don’t want kids,
  2. they are not in a position to consider kids right now, or
  3. they want kids but they are facing some struggles.

For people in group (c), they aren’t going to share such deeply personal experience over some afternoon coffee chat, and certainly not by you asking, “When are you having kids?”

The best thing you can do is to give people their personal space. Understand that having kids is a personal decision, and people don’t have to share or explain anything. Respect that others have their right to privacy. Respect that people are individuals on their own path, and this path may not involve having kids. And this doesn’t make them incomplete or lesser in any way.

Instead of asking women or couples, “When are you having kids?”, talk to them like how you would a normal person. There’s no reason why conversations should suddenly revolve around childbearing after marriage; it’s not like a person’s identity changes to revolve around having kids. A person still has their own passion, goals, and dreams. Talk to them about what they’ve been doing. Understand their interests. Know them as a real person, not some random being here to fulfill society’s checklist.

If you’re really interested in someone’s plan to have children, you can simply ask, “Are you and your partner planning to have kids?” If they wish to share more, they will do so. If they give a generic answer, then take the hint and move on.

Ultimately, having kids or not doesn’t change a person’s self-worth. A woman is complete with or without kids. A marriage doesn’t need kids to be deemed complete. Having kids should be a conscious choice, not a result of external pressure. Don’t judge people by whether they have kids or not. Some people will have kids, and some people will not have kids. Some will have kids early, while some will have them later in life. All of these are different paths and there’s nothing wrong with them.

For Me

For my husband and I, we eventually had a few discussions and decided to have a baby, and had our baby girl this year (2020). 😊 Yet other people’s comments and nudges to have children didn’t make me want to have children; it only annoyed me and made me want to avoid these people, because having a child is a personal decision between me and my husband, that has nothing to do with them. It was after we had the space to settle down and enjoy married life without kids, and took some time to actively pursue our goals and interests, that we finally felt ready to try for a kid last year.

In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well. There are other things that I’m working on, other things that are happening that I look forward to sharing in time to come. Sending lots of love to you, and remember that whatever life challenge you’re facing, you have it in you to overcome it. I’ll talk to you guys soon! 🙂

I <3 self-improvement ?

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

Tremendous post very informative

By Leo Babauta

I was talking with a group of people in my Sea Change Program who had success with some difficult habits for a few months … and then hit a dip.

This dip is something everyone faces when changing habits: we lose motivation, we get discouraged, we encounter difficulty, we lose focus because other things get in the way, we get sidetracked by life.

The dip is completely normal and even predictable when you’re changing an old habit or forming a new one. In fact, anytime you take on a project or goal, you will face this kind of dip.

That’s the bad news — you’ll always hit a dip in motivation, focus, energy.

But there’s good news too:

  1. The dip is temporary, if you keep going through it; and
  2. The dip is an incredible place of learning

The last point is so important I need to repeat it: the dip is an incredible place of learning.

It’s the place where we learn and grow, and get better at facing difficulty.

When things are going well, everything seems easy, and you just have to keep doing the same thing. There isn’t a lot of learning there.

But when things are hard, you have to face the difficulty if you want to keep going, if you want to avoid going to your usual pattern of discouraging yourself or quitting.

The dip is where the most learning can be found.

The Learning of the Dip

There’s so much to learn in the habit dip (and all other dips of motivation & focus):

  • How to face difficulty instead of avoiding it
  • How to encourage yourself when you feel discouraged
  • How to let go of the ideal you have that’s making you feel discouraged
  • How to deal with your difficult emotions of frustration, discouragement, fear
  • How to nourish yourself when you’re feeling depleted
  • How to give yourself compassion when you feel you’re doing something wrong
  • How to not run for your usual methods of control, avoidance, quitting when things are hard
  • How to practice letting go of your usual focus on your self-concern

This is just some of what’s there. There’s so much more. It’s incredibly rich, if you learn to open up to the dip.

The Dip is Temporary, if You Keep Going

Habit and motivation dips are always temporary. Everyone who has run a marathon or ultramathon knows what it’s like to want to quit, to get bored with training, to feel discouraged when things are hard. And so many of us who’ve faced that have finished the marathon!

We’ve all given up when things are discouraging. We’ve all avoided even thinking about getting back on track when we’ve been thrown off the track. We’ve all messed up on projects and goals and habits. We’re human!

But if we get back on track, if we encourage ourselves when things are dark, if we find compassion for ourselves when we’re not living up to our made-up ideals … there’s more available down the road.

Everything is temporary, even failure, even success, even getting off track. These are not the end points, they’re waypoints. Keep going.

How to Practice with It

So if you’re ready to learn while you’re in the dip, then there are ways to practice and gain from this difficult area:

  1. Come in with a learning mindset, one that is focused on growing instead of judging yourself.
  2. Let go of your ideals, and bring curiosity instead. What can you find out about this?
  3. Learn to face the difficult feelings in this area. Bring mindfulness to them, feel the bodily sensation of them. They’re not a big deal, just emotions.
  4. Notice how you’re discouraging yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for discouraging yourself! But notice what you do.
  5. Find ways to encourage yourself instead. Find ways to give yourself compassion. These are incredible skills to practice!
  6. Find something new to learn, every time you bring your awareness to the dip. What else can you find out? And what else?

If you go in with a mindset to embrace this difficult area, you’ll actually find your own ways to practice. But start with these.

If you can bring this mindset, so much is there for you. Be grateful when you find it.

Who else? <3method ?

With quarantine limitations still in order here in the US, spending so much time at home has brought up some interesting challenges.

Even though I’ve worked from home for two years, this period of time has taught me that working from home can easily blur the lines between work and self-care.

When your home is also your office, bringing work into your self-care space can create some hazy boundaries. This makes it hard to a) find the motivation to work and/or b) switch off from work.

Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

When I was working in an office, I found it easy to mentally check out from work as soon as I left the office at 5pm. But now, I’ll catch myself making dinner at 5 then going back to my computer while I eat (so bad, I know).

Working from home means the same place where you eat, relax, and socialize becomes associated with work.

If you’re on regular Zoom calls, your work meetings are now in your sacred space. It’s almost like inviting your co-workers into your living room for a meeting.

To add to this, your typical forms of escape from work might not be available with quarantine limitations still in effect. For example, the yoga studio, the gym, your local pool, and the coffee shop where you would catch up with a friend.

The places and activities that you associate with self-care aren’t available right now. This can make it hard to disengage from work while simultaneously making you feel like you’re resting too much.

In this post, I’m sharing a few tips that have been helping me to set boundaries so I can better balance work and rest from home.

How To Balance Work & Self-Care When You Work From Home


Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

1. Create a ritual to bookmark the start and end of the day

When working in an office, your commute might have been your signal that the workday was starting or ending. Working from home makes it a little harder to keep a similar structure.

A friend of mine said during the first few weeks of working from home, she would roll out of bed at 7:55am to check in on her computer at 8am. She was enjoying getting the extra sleep knowing she didn’t have to commute.  After doing this for a while, she started to crave some time to herself before work. She began getting up around 7 instead to make time for a cup of tea and journaling, which gives her a chance to get ready for the day ahead.

Be intentional with how you want to start and end your day. Think of the time before and after work like your wind-up and wind-down time.

At the end of the day, do whatever you can to get out of the work mentality. Turn off your computer screen, close your laptop, and get away from your desk. I also find that going for a walk around the block at the end of the workday helps to decompress, and it almost feels like a mini-commute (but much more enjoyable). 


2. Set a time to stop working and checking notifications

When you’re spending most of your time at home, it’s tempting to check your phone or computer after hours. Since they’re always in close proximity, you might find it hard to resist checking in if you find yourself with nothing to do. 

Create a boundary to help you maintain this separation between work and rest time. That might look like not checking emails before 8am or after 5pm, or setting app limits from 6pm until 8am the next day.

On the weekends, it can be tempting to work when you have the resources right in front of you. If you want a work-free weekend, try putting your laptop out of sight, keep your office door closed (if you have an office), and delete your email app from your phone until Monday.

The thing is that you have to set these boundaries for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.


3. Separate your spaces for work and self-care

Try to create separate spaces, even if they’re small, to separate your work and self-care areas. For example, I have a corner in my living room that I’ve dedicated as my workout spot (which just means it’s where I put my workout mat). It’s not very big, but it’s enough space to do what I need to do.

Another example is sticking to doing work from a dedicated area. If you’ve been using your couch or bed for both work and relaxation, it might be sending confusing signals to your brain. I find that when I work on the couch, I’m less productive and it’s harder to concentrate (even if I’m not watching anything on TV). My back and legs also tend to hurt more because my coffee table isn’t tall enough to work from. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working from these spots sometimes, but it’s better to have a desk and chair set-up that you use exclusively for work.

If you don’t have the space to separate your work and non-work life, try to create different moods in your home.

For example, you can use scents, sounds, and textures (from clothing) for different times of the day. You could use one essential oil during work and another one for after work. Or you can wear form-fitting (but still comfy) clothes during work and change into your comfiest, loose clothing afterward. Subtle changes like this can create the illusion of separation when you don’t have much space to work with.


More Tips to Balance Work and Rest

If you feel like you’re working too much and not getting enough rest, check out these posts:


If you feel like you’re resting too much and not being productive at home, check out these posts: 


Share your thoughts! How have you been maintaining boundaries while working from home?

The post How To Balance Productivity and Rest When You Work From Home appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

who else loves method ?

With quarantine limitations still in order here in the US, spending so much time at home has brought up some interesting challenges.

Even though I’ve worked from home for two years, this period of time has taught me that working from home can easily blur the lines between work and self-care.

When your home is also your office, bringing work into your self-care space can create some hazy boundaries. This makes it hard to a) find the motivation to work and/or b) switch off from work.

Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

When I was working in an office, I found it easy to mentally check out from work as soon as I left the office at 5pm. But now, I’ll catch myself making dinner at 5 then going back to my computer while I eat (so bad, I know).

Working from home means the same place where you eat, relax, and socialize becomes associated with work.

If you’re on regular Zoom calls, your work meetings are now in your sacred space. It’s almost like inviting your co-workers into your living room for a meeting.

To add to this, your typical forms of escape from work might not be available with quarantine limitations still in effect. For example, the yoga studio, the gym, your local pool, and the coffee shop where you would catch up with a friend.

The places and activities that you associate with self-care aren’t available right now. This can make it hard to disengage from work while simultaneously making you feel like you’re resting too much.

In this post, I’m sharing a few tips that have been helping me to set boundaries so I can better balance work and rest from home.

How To Balance Work & Self-Care When You Work From Home


Working from home can blur the lines between productivity and self-care. Here's how to balance work and self-care when you work from home.

1. Create a ritual to bookmark the start and end of the day

When working in an office, your commute might have been your signal that the workday was starting or ending. Working from home makes it a little harder to keep a similar structure.

A friend of mine said during the first few weeks of working from home, she would roll out of bed at 7:55am to check in on her computer at 8am. She was enjoying getting the extra sleep knowing she didn’t have to commute.  After doing this for a while, she started to crave some time to herself before work. She began getting up around 7 instead to make time for a cup of tea and journaling, which gives her a chance to get ready for the day ahead.

Be intentional with how you want to start and end your day. Think of the time before and after work like your wind-up and wind-down time.

At the end of the day, do whatever you can to get out of the work mentality. Turn off your computer screen, close your laptop, and get away from your desk. I also find that going for a walk around the block at the end of the workday helps to decompress, and it almost feels like a mini-commute (but much more enjoyable). 


2. Set a time to stop working and checking notifications

When you’re spending most of your time at home, it’s tempting to check your phone or computer after hours. Since they’re always in close proximity, you might find it hard to resist checking in if you find yourself with nothing to do. 

Create a boundary to help you maintain this separation between work and rest time. That might look like not checking emails before 8am or after 5pm, or setting app limits from 6pm until 8am the next day.

On the weekends, it can be tempting to work when you have the resources right in front of you. If you want a work-free weekend, try putting your laptop out of sight, keep your office door closed (if you have an office), and delete your email app from your phone until Monday.

The thing is that you have to set these boundaries for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.


3. Separate your spaces for work and self-care

Try to create separate spaces, even if they’re small, to separate your work and self-care areas. For example, I have a corner in my living room that I’ve dedicated as my workout spot (which just means it’s where I put my workout mat). It’s not very big, but it’s enough space to do what I need to do.

Another example is sticking to doing work from a dedicated area. If you’ve been using your couch or bed for both work and relaxation, it might be sending confusing signals to your brain. I find that when I work on the couch, I’m less productive and it’s harder to concentrate (even if I’m not watching anything on TV). My back and legs also tend to hurt more because my coffee table isn’t tall enough to work from. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working from these spots sometimes, but it’s better to have a desk and chair set-up that you use exclusively for work.

If you don’t have the space to separate your work and non-work life, try to create different moods in your home.

For example, you can use scents, sounds, and textures (from clothing) for different times of the day. You could use one essential oil during work and another one for after work. Or you can wear form-fitting (but still comfy) clothes during work and change into your comfiest, loose clothing afterward. Subtle changes like this can create the illusion of separation when you don’t have much space to work with.


More Tips to Balance Work and Rest

If you feel like you’re working too much and not getting enough rest, check out these posts:


If you feel like you’re resting too much and not being productive at home, check out these posts: 


Share your thoughts! How have you been maintaining boundaries while working from home?

The post How To Balance Productivity and Rest When You Work From Home appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

Stuff about mindset are why I love social media

By Leo Babauta

I was talking with a group of people in my Sea Change Program who had success with some difficult habits for a few months … and then hit a dip.

This dip is something everyone faces when changing habits: we lose motivation, we get discouraged, we encounter difficulty, we lose focus because other things get in the way, we get sidetracked by life.

The dip is completely normal and even predictable when you’re changing an old habit or forming a new one. In fact, anytime you take on a project or goal, you will face this kind of dip.

That’s the bad news — you’ll always hit a dip in motivation, focus, energy.

But there’s good news too:

  1. The dip is temporary, if you keep going through it; and
  2. The dip is an incredible place of learning

The last point is so important I need to repeat it: the dip is an incredible place of learning.

It’s the place where we learn and grow, and get better at facing difficulty.

When things are going well, everything seems easy, and you just have to keep doing the same thing. There isn’t a lot of learning there.

But when things are hard, you have to face the difficulty if you want to keep going, if you want to avoid going to your usual pattern of discouraging yourself or quitting.

The dip is where the most learning can be found.

The Learning of the Dip

There’s so much to learn in the habit dip (and all other dips of motivation & focus):

  • How to face difficulty instead of avoiding it
  • How to encourage yourself when you feel discouraged
  • How to let go of the ideal you have that’s making you feel discouraged
  • How to deal with your difficult emotions of frustration, discouragement, fear
  • How to nourish yourself when you’re feeling depleted
  • How to give yourself compassion when you feel you’re doing something wrong
  • How to not run for your usual methods of control, avoidance, quitting when things are hard
  • How to practice letting go of your usual focus on your self-concern

This is just some of what’s there. There’s so much more. It’s incredibly rich, if you learn to open up to the dip.

The Dip is Temporary, if You Keep Going

Habit and motivation dips are always temporary. Everyone who has run a marathon or ultramathon knows what it’s like to want to quit, to get bored with training, to feel discouraged when things are hard. And so many of us who’ve faced that have finished the marathon!

We’ve all given up when things are discouraging. We’ve all avoided even thinking about getting back on track when we’ve been thrown off the track. We’ve all messed up on projects and goals and habits. We’re human!

But if we get back on track, if we encourage ourselves when things are dark, if we find compassion for ourselves when we’re not living up to our made-up ideals … there’s more available down the road.

Everything is temporary, even failure, even success, even getting off track. These are not the end points, they’re waypoints. Keep going.

How to Practice with It

So if you’re ready to learn while you’re in the dip, then there are ways to practice and gain from this difficult area:

  1. Come in with a learning mindset, one that is focused on growing instead of judging yourself.
  2. Let go of your ideals, and bring curiosity instead. What can you find out about this?
  3. Learn to face the difficult feelings in this area. Bring mindfulness to them, feel the bodily sensation of them. They’re not a big deal, just emotions.
  4. Notice how you’re discouraging yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for discouraging yourself! But notice what you do.
  5. Find ways to encourage yourself instead. Find ways to give yourself compassion. These are incredible skills to practice!
  6. Find something new to learn, every time you bring your awareness to the dip. What else can you find out? And what else?

If you go in with a mindset to embrace this difficult area, you’ll actually find your own ways to practice. But start with these.

If you can bring this mindset, so much is there for you. Be grateful when you find it.

Thanks big mindset fan here

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “How are there so many idiots in the world who can’t seem to see what is right in front of them?” You’re thinking, “Why do *I* seem to be blessed (or cursed) with the ability to see truth through a torrential downpour of bullshit?” You’re thinking “What can I do to make people understand? How can I make them see what I see?”

I know you think this because everyone thinks this. The perception that we understand life in a way that nobody else does is an inherent facet of our psychology. That disconnect we feel is universal.

Here’s a factoid to ruin your Sunday morning breakfast: the human mind did not evolve to be good at understanding truth—the human mind evolved to be good at understanding what is most useful for the human mind. And spoiler alert: what is useful is usually not true.1

It turns out that we are not very objective in our beliefs. It turns out that our perceptions and reasoning are heavily influenced by cognitive biases.

Imagine that you’re looking at an image on a computer screen of a big party somewhere. Now, imagine that you tell the computer you want to believe that everyone with blonde hair is an asshole. And let’s say as if by magic, the computer’s algorithm gradually edits the image to make it look as though each blonde-haired person has a smug, condescending, highly-punchable look on their face.

Now, pretend you tell the computer screen you want to feel rich. Voila! The computer morphs the clothing and jewelry and hairstyles of everyone in the picture to look drab, cheap, and mundane.

Now, let’s say you tell the computer that this party, whatever it is, clearly sucks. And like a genie obeying your wishes, the party is quickly morphed into a stultifying, tepid affair. People appear to be slouched in corners, staring intently at their feet. Few conversations are happening and the ones that are seem forced.

This computer is not a computer at all. It is your subconscious. And like the computer, your subconscious alters what you perceive in highly predictable ways. Our moods color our experiences. Our identities steer our attention. Our self-interest dictates our interpretations.

So when we sit around and think, “If only people could see what I see to be true,” without knowing it, we mean that literally—people can’t see exactly what we see. 

You and I can look at the same scene of the same party, yet our internal graphic design software alters it in completely different ways.

This graphic design software of our minds is what psychologists call “cognitive biases,” and we all have them. Below is a summary of some of the more prominent cognitive biases and how they affect our perceptions. Understanding these biases is important because they not only help us stop lying to ourselves, but they also help us empathize and understand the perspectives of others.

This list of biases is by no means exhaustive.2 But these are arguably the most common and important cognitive biases that we regularly fall victim to.

Confirmation Bias

What it is: The confirmation bias is when you look for and only use “facts” that support your pre-existing beliefs while, at the same time, ignoring any information to the contrary.3 This is often thought of as “cherrypicking,” although cherrypicking facts to support one’s views is usually done consciously. Confirmation bias happens unconsciously. If you believe your lucky color is yellow, you will actually start noticing the color yellow more often.

And it’s not that you’re wrong either. There are tons of yellow things in your life and some of them are involved in your positive experiences.

So the problem with confirmation bias is not that you’re wrong, it’s that you’re not seeing the whole picture.

Confirmation bias venn diagram

The strange—but fascinating—thing about the confirmation bias is that it seems to run rampant when information is more available to people. That might seem counterintuitive on the surface. After all, more information should lead to better, truer beliefs, right?

Well, no. The existence of the confirmation bias actually predicts the opposite: more information creates more opportunities to cherrypick the “facts” we use to support our beliefs. So, exposure to more information actually polarizes beliefs.4 This explains, in a nutshell, why the internet is a festering shit-heap for political discourse. Instead of changing our beliefs to adapt to new information, we adapt new information to fit our beliefs.

In fact, the easy availability of confirmation bias online has created what researchers call “echo chambers,” where people continually only get fed information that supports their pre-existing views.5 Echo chambers are good for the big tech companies because they keep you fat and happy on their platforms. But they’re bad for truth.

How confirmation bias makes you an asshole: The confirmation bias generally causes us to become over-confident in our beliefs, thus potentially making you an insufferable dick in a conversation about anything even mildly controversial. You will think to yourself, “But look at all of this evidence saying I’m right!” while being completely oblivious to all of the evidence against your view. Similarly, the person you’re talking to (or god forbid, commenting under) will be in a similar situation, aware of all of the evidence supporting their position, while oblivious to yours.

You will both be looking at the same picture, yet each seeing what you want to see.

But there are other, more subtle ways the confirmation bias fucks up our lives, as well.

For example, confirmation bias can play a role in who we allow into our lives.6 If you think all men are pigs or all women are two-faced, you’re more likely to date a lot of pig-headed men or two-faced women.

Why?

Because your belief that all men/women suck will cause you to only notice shitty behavior from that particular gender, meanwhile ignoring all of the caring, compassionate people you could be meeting.

Or, if you believe the world is a flaming pile of goat turds, you will spend all of your waking hours obsessing over everything that’s wrong with the world and conclude that—lo and behold—it’s a flaming pile of goat turds. Who knew?!

If confirmation bias were a family member, it would be: Your overly-judgmental mother who never misses a chance to say, “See? I knew it,” even though she was wrong a hundred other times.

Negativity Bias

What it is: The negativity bias is the tendency to notice what’s wrong with everything far more often than noticing what is good about a situation.7 You could call it pessimism except that it’s not even about believing things will go bad. It’s actually seeing bad things as more important and obvious than good things.

Evolutionarily speaking, this is an adaptive strategy when you think about it. The caveman who noticed every potential problem or crisis is the caveman who survived. The caveman who was perpetually grateful for the beauty of the world and kicked back to appreciate how bitchin’ these blackberries taste, well, he was the one that got eaten by the angry pack of hyenas.

The negativity bias shows up in all sorts of different forms. We perceive the loss of something as more painful than the joy of gaining it. We take negative feedback more seriously than positive feedback. We see pessimistic predictions as more intelligent and credible than positive ones. We form bad impressions and believe negative stereotypes quicker than we believe positive ones. We weigh negative behaviors far more heavily than positive behaviors when judging someone’s character.

Loss aversion - negativity bias graph
A diagram describing “loss aversion,” or the tendency to bias avoiding loss over achieving gains.

The list goes on and on… in fact, in every domain psychologists have researched, our minds naturally give extra weight to negative experiences.

How the negativity bias makes you an asshole: The danger with the negativity bias is that we lose perspective on what’s actually a problem and what’s just us losing perspective.

Think the yuppie douchebag with an otherwise cushy life that flies off the handle when the barista puts too much caramel swirl in his coffee.

Or the girl who complains when the wifi isn’t working on the plane, oblivious to the fact that she’s experiencing the miracle of human flight.

But it’s not just the minor inconveniences in life. The negativity bias creeps into some of our most intimate relationships. The negativity bias is in full effect when you meet someone wonderful but their dirty shoes make you think they’re a slob and you never talk to them again.8 It’s there when you ignore the hundreds of amazing qualities your partner brings to the relationship, obsessing instead over that one thing you wish they would change.

Negativity bias can extend to large organizations and even societies too.

There’s an old saying in management that even when things improve, the complaining employees never go away—they just start complaining about better and better things.

I think that’s true for the world, at large. In my book, Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope, I describe a lot of evidence pointing to undeniable progress by almost every metric across the world.

It’s easy to forget this, but it was only a few generations ago that most of the planet lived in some form of slavery or extreme poverty. Wars ripped across continents murdering tens of millions of people. By almost every standard, life today is the best it has ever been in human history.9

Yet, if you spend a few hours on Twitter, you would think the apocalypse has come and gone and is coming back again.

If the negativity bias were a family member, it would be: Your ungrateful teenage daughter, for whom you provide clothes, food, housing, education, and money for all sorts of enriching activities and hobbies. And yet she still says you “ruined her life” because of that one time you talked to her friends while wearing a bathrobe and Crocs.

I mean, what kind of bias makes you hate on Crocs?

camo crocs
The pinnacle of Dad fashion.

Incentive-Caused Bias

What it is: Humans are incredibly responsive to rewards and punishments. We’re like dogs, salivating at the very thought of a tasty treat and whimpering away with our tails between our legs with even the threat of something unpleasant happening. And just like a dog will piss on your ficus plant unless you give him a better option, we humans will piss all over everything unless a better option presents itself.

As Upton Sinclair put it, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The incentive-caused bias causes us to make irrational, stupid, or unethical decisions due to our own incentives.10

There’s a causal chain that tends to happen within our minds. We feel good emotions about things that benefit us. We feel bad emotions for things that don’t benefit us. Similarly, we tend to rationalize reasons to pursue what feels good and make up reasons to avoid what feels bad.

Ergo, if our incentives are lined up in such a way that we benefit from doing something, our minds set to work convincing ourselves that it must be a good thing to do. Normal people regularly ignore ethical or broader social concerns because they stand to immediately benefit from some terrible action.11

It’s easy for you and me to sit here and say, “What a bunch of assholes, I would never do that!” But we would. In fact, we do. We just can’t see how we do it because our minds cut us off from seeing it.

How the incentive-caused bias makes you an asshole: I’m not sure the incentive-caused bias makes us assholes so much as it just goes to show how inherently awful we can be under certain conditions.

Think of the CEO who’s incentivized with stock options and a “golden parachute” to take short-term risks at the expense of the long-term health of the company.12 They make more money for themselves now, but they put the company and all the employees at greater risk down the road.

Or take the fucked up prison system in the United States with its quotas and even privatized detention centers. They’re incentivized to actually keep more people in prison for longer periods of time and discourage rehabilitation or education that could prevent the prisoners from returning for future crimes.13

Taken to its extreme, the incentive-caused bias can turn us into not just assholes, but monsters. Many of the atrocities of the holocaust were not carried out by high-ranking, evil psychopaths in the Nazi military, but by regular foot soldiers who were incentivized to “just follow orders.”14

Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann, the mastermind of the holocaust, on trial in Israel. Eichmann was not the evil anti-Semitic monster people expected, but rather a boring bureaucrat simply trying to impress the bosses.

The good news is that we can design more intelligent systems that remove bad incentives and promote good ones. As the incentive-caused bias shows us, humans are responsive to carrots and sticks. We just need to think more carefully about when and how to use them.

If this bias were a family member, it would be: Your dickhead uncle who makes a shitload of money in highly questionable ways flipping real estate, yet somehow finds the time to lecture you about how lazy everybody else is because they’re not as successful as him.

Actor-Observer Bias

What it is: The actor-observer bias is the tendency to explain our own negative behavior based on external causes we can’t control while explaining the negative behavior of others based on internal causes they can control.15,16

So basically, if you fuck something up, you search for external reasons to explain said fuck-up so it doesn’t feel like it’s “your fault.” But when someone else fucks up—even if they do the exact same thing you did!—you’ll likely blame it on them being a terrible human being.

When I cut off cars in traffic, it’s because I have an important meeting and I can’t be late. But when you cut cars off in traffic, it’s because you’re a selfish, reckless prick.

Peanuts cartoon - cognitive bias

How the actor-observer bias makes you an asshole: If you couldn’t already tell, the actor-observer bias turns you into a giant, hypocritical assface in so many ways, it’s hard to single out just a couple examples.

It happens when you argue with your partner, justifying your own bad behavior yet condemning them for theirs.

It happens when you justify cheating a little bit on an exam at school because you had so many other responsibilities that you couldn’t study, but when the other kid gets busted for cheating, you judge them for their dishonesty.

It happens when you show up late and blame traffic, but when your friends show up late you take it as a personal affront to your dignity as a human.

If the actor-observer bias were a family member, it would be: Your asshole older brother who used to beat the living snot out of you every time you annoyed him or messed with his stuff. But then, when you sneak into his room and steal his baseball bat and walk up behind him and crack him over the head and he goes to the hospital and your parents act as though you just killed him, everyone thinks you are the evil one…

Oh, uh… wait. You never did that? Umm… next bias, please!

Group Attribution Bias

What it is: The group attribution bias causes us to assume a person’s traits are similar to the traits of the group(s) to which they belong.17 The most obvious examples of the group-attribution bias are stereotypes based on race or gender.18

It’s probably worth mentioning that your brain consumes a lot of energy. There’s a lot of sensory data and information to sift through. As a result, all of these cognitive biases are “shortcuts” the brain takes to save itself time and energy.19 Traditionally, these shortcuts have been useful, especially back in the caveman days. It’s only in modern social contexts that they begin to cause problems. And this is perhaps most true with the group-attribution bias.

How it makes you an asshole: Obviously, the group attribution bias can easily turn us racist or sexist or homophobic or whatever. That’s pretty self-explanatory assholish behavior (or at least it should be).

But the peculiar thing about the group attribution bias isn’t so much that we fall victim to it—we all do pretty easily. (And if you think you don’t, there’s probably some bias to explain that too.)

What’s more interesting is it’s how we try to leverage the group attribution bias to our benefit. The group attribution bias is such an ingrained feature of human nature that not only do we judge others for being parts of perceived groups (even if they’re not anything like those groups) but we also try to identify ourselves socially with groups to raise our own status.

Put another way, we actively attempt to manipulate other people’s group-attribution bias in our favor.

We buy clothes and cars and club memberships and fancy cocktails to show the world that we’re sophisticated or edgy or just so fucking cool that it hurts. We will hang around groups that we want others to associate us with, thinking it will make us look rad by extension. We use slang and idioms and expressions that match our preferred group of choice in hopes that others will identify us as part of that social cohort.

There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with people who raise your status, by the way. It’s when you’re using them for the sole purpose of raising your status that makes you an asshole. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with noting that some people are part of some broader group or category. It’s when you judge them as individuals as you would judge the group (i.e., bigotry) that you run into trouble.

Simply put, treat each individual as an end in and of themselves, not as a means to some other end.

If this bias were a family member, it would be: Your racist grandpa, who says something awful at a family holiday and then everyone puts their head down and pretends they didn’t hear him say that awful thing he just said.

Can We Overcome Our Cognitive Biases?

Great, so now we know about our cognitive biases, so they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, right?

Wrong.

The truth is, these cognitive biases are an ingrained feature of human nature and can’t be turned off with the flick of a switch. Becoming aware of them is not enough—we must stay aware of them, especially in the triggering moments where we fall victim to them.

Therefore, probably the best tool for managing your biases is your ability to be more mindful in your life.20,21

I know “mindfulness” has become a catch-all buzzword that’s supposed to cure society of all its ills or whatever—and the jury is definitely out on that—but what we’re talking about here is developing a consistent state of self-awareness where you’re able to identify, consider, and question your own thoughts and beliefs consistently.

Noticing your biases is the first step in handling them more effectively. But not only does being more self-aware mean catching your biases as they kick in, it means going deeper and understanding why you seem to lose control of your own thoughts and feelings in the face of them.

A few examples:

  • Why are you so prone to the negativity bias and only see the downside of everything? Maybe you have some unresolved resentment you need to work through.
  • Why do you get so sucked into believing you are right all the time? Maybe you have deeper-seated insecurities around your own intelligence that you’re trying to cover up.
  • Is the group-attribution bias serving some desperate need for superiority? Is the desire to feel as though you belong to some group so strong that you’re willing to demonize some other group in order to feel it?

Our cognitive biases are fundamentally embedded in our cognition. They will not go away. The best we can do is learn to tame them, to wrangle them under control so that they serve us. Otherwise, we are doomed to serve them.

Footnotes

  1. Hoffman, D. (2019). Do we see reality? New Scientist, 243(3241), 34–37.
  2. You can find a more complete list of cognitive biases on Wikipedia’s Cognitive Biases article.
  3. Confirmation bias – APA Dictionary of Psychology
  4. This is known as the “Backfire Effect.” See: Wood, T., Porter, E. (2019). The Elusive Backfire Effect: Mass Attitudes’ Steadfast Factual Adherence. Political Behavior. 41, 135–163
  5. Quattrociocchi, W., Scala, A., & Sunstein, C. R. (2016). Echo Chambers on Facebook. SSRN Electronic Journal.
  6. In the context of dating and attraction, confirmation bias is part of the “assortment effect,” where people tend to attract and date people similar in beliefs to themselves. See: Watson, D., Klohnen, E.C., Casillas, A., Nus Simms, E., Haig, J. and Berry, D.S. (2004), Match Makers and Deal Breakers: Analyses of Assortative Mating in Newlywed Couples. Journal of Personality, 72: 1029-1068
  7. Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is Stronger than Good. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 323–370.
  8. Rozin, P., & Royzman, E. B. (2001). Negativity Bias, Negativity Dominance, and Contagion. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5(4), 296–320.
  9. For an exhaustive argument of all of the ways the world is better, see: Pinker, Steven (2018) Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
  10. Holmstrom, B., & Milgrom, P. (1994). The Firm as an Incentive System. The American Economic Review, 84(4), 972–991.
  11. The most famous instance of this was Milgram’s infamous shocking experiments. See: Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371–378. Please note that the results of Milgram’s famous experiment have recently come under question. For critique, see: Perry, Gina. (2013). Deception and Illusion in Milgram’s accounts of the Obedience Experiments. Theoretical and Applied Ethics. 2.
  12. A golden parachute is a term used for when a company executive is given a lump sum of money after they’re forced to leave before the end of their contract, usually due to poor performance. The rationale is that the executive was hired to take risks and, therefore, shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes—i.e., they get a “parachute” to bail them out. But it’s not hard to see how this might lead to some badly-structured incentives that cause a CEO to be selfish at the expense of the rest of the company.
  13. Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons. The Sentencing Project.
  14. For a famous account of this, see: Arendt, Hannah (1963) Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. New York, NY: Penguin Classics.
  15. Jones, E. E., & Nisbett, R. E. (1971). The actor and the observer: Divergent perceptions of the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
  16. A related bias is the fundamental attribution bias (aka, the fundamental attribution error). It’s similar in that it tends to make you explain others’ behavior in overly simple terms of their character and personality while disregarding any external factors that might influence their behavior.
  17. Group attribution error – APA Dictionary of Psychology.
  18. See also the gender bias, which is kind of the same thing as the group attribution bias, but applied only to gender.
  19. Haselton, M. G., Nettle, D., & Murray, D. R. (2015). The Evolution of Cognitive Bias. In The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 1–20). American Cancer Society.
  20. Kiken, L. G., & Shook, N. J. (2011). Looking Up: Mindfulness Increases Positive Judgments and Reduces Negativity Bias. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(4), 425–431.
  21. Frewen, P. A., Evans, E. M., Maraj, N., Dozois, D. J. A., & Partridge, K. (2008). Letting Go: Mindfulness and Negative Automatic Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(6), 758–774.