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Chip Heath and Gretchen Rubin

What a day!

I recently finished collaborating with Chip Heath, coauthor of Switch and Made to Stick. Next year is Hilton’s centennial, and Chip and I just spent several months researching the company to write The Hilton Effect together. It was exciting to learn so much about its history and impact on the hospitality industry.

Why has the brand been so successful? Social psychology came to the rescue with a compelling explanation. Travel is infinitely beneficial: it expands our worldview and self-efficacy, increases our cognitive flexibility, and can make us happier by giving us more memories and peak moments. But

How to Make Smarter Decisions About What You Eat

Forming opinions about things is a process of noticing good/bad information until we’ve crossed a magical “I have decided what I think about this thing!” threshold. When you’re selecting between two different kinds of food—a salad or a brownie—how do you decide what to eat?
Your choices depend on the marbles you pick up, information you notice, or which criteria you pay attention to. Over time, information supporting one side starts to outweigh information for the other side, which is supported by your intuition/gut/emotional response. (Newsflash: your intuition is not always smart.)
Two different criteria we might use to

How do we develop attitudes? The Scale: My favorite model explaining how we process information

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.” – George Box

One of my favorite models explaining how we make decisions, evaluate things, and process information is the scale. When we have no opinion about something, the scale is empty, like so:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning about something is a process of collecting evidence. Each piece of information we get about something is like a marble: negative information goes on one side, and positive information goes on the other side. If we see a pile of free money, it’d be all positive information:

 

If we

How to build a better future

It appears that in one of the final round of edits, I deleted my favorite bullet point from the book, in the chapter on self-control. I’ll put it in the paperback version, but in the meantime:

Compared to people who stick with the salad, those who repeatedly eat the brownies severely undervalue their future self in the skinny jeans. Compared to people who keep hammering away studying an idea that they don’t understand, people who get distracted and start playing a game on their phone are underestimating how good it would feel to finally understand that concept.

Every smart decision

Ready to get lucky?

Joan Didion

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

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Can You Learn to be Lucky: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others by Karla Starr

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