Why do people always want what they can’t have ?

Found this on Quora

 

People always want what they can’t have.
Here are three reasons why this is so:

1. Heightened attention:  When something is hard to get (or forbidden) you immediately pay more attention to it. Notice that when you are on a restricted diet, you sometimes get too focused on what you “can’t” eat.  This heightened attention — which can escalate into obsession — makes the forbidden food seem very important.  Your inner brat takes advantage of this, and tries to convince you that you MUST have that chocolate or pizza.

2. Perceived scarcity:  When something is scarce or in short supply, its perceived value increases.  You want it more because you think other people also want it.  If you’ve ever bid at auctions or on eBay, you know the experience of that last-minute excitement as you watch the bids spiral upward.  The more people who bid, the more you’re willing to pay for the item.  Your inner brat wants it at any price.

3. “Psychological Reactance”: People don’t like to be told they can’t have or can’t do something.  It’s related to not wanting to be controlled by others, especially if the situation feels unfair or arbitrary.  The “reactance” is both emotional and behavioral.

The emotional part is your inner brat saying, “Oh yeah? I can’t have what I want?  Just try to stop me!”

The behavioral component is what you do about it, which usually involves some type of rebellious reaction.  You see this with teenagers whose parents have forbidden them to date certain people.  Reactance also explains why a “Wet Paint” sign always invites unwanted fingerprints on the newly painted surface.
Next time you don’t get what you want, ask yourself whether one of the above factors has influenced your desire.  If so, let go of the pursuit.  Your inner brat won’t be happy, but ultimately (in the words of the Rolling Stones,) you “might just find [that] you get what you need.”

 

 

Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent – Forbes

Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent

Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Yahoo!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or Home Depot, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house. Recently, GigaOM discussed the troubles at Yahoo! with a flat stock price, vested options for some of their best people, and the apparent free flow of VC dollars luring away some of their best people to do the start-up thing again.

Yet, Yahoo!, GE, Home Depot, and other large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent and don’t. I’ve seen the good and the bad things that large companies do with talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent :

1. Big Company Bureaucracy. This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact fromdisenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and really talented people say “check please.”

2. Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion. Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people. 

3. Poor Annual Performance Reviews. You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4…. 

4. No Discussion around Career Development. Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.

5. Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities. I applaud companies trying to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.

6. Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs.Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.

7. Top Talent likes other Top Talent. What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.

8. The Missing Vision Thing. This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.

9. Lack of Open-Mindedness. The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.

10. Who’s the Boss? If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.

It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.

[At the time of writing, Jackson was long YHOO]

How To Sell Yourself

How To Sell Yourself

Earlier this week, I posted “She Got the Promotion. You Didn’t. Here’s Why.”

One reason I suggested you may get passed over for a promotion is if you’re not selling yourself.

“You forgot to sell you at work,” I wrote. “She sold herself like a pro and the boss bought it.”

In response, one of my Twitter followers, Natalia, tweeted, “@iamsusannah How do you sell yourself? Teach us!”

I’ve always been good at selling myself. Why? I’m not sure.

Because I figured no one else would. Because I’m a natural born hustler. Because I’ve spent a fair amount of my career hanging around pimps, prostitutes, and porn stars, and, boy, do they know how to sell themselves.

Here’s how you can sell yourself — at work, in life, to the world.

TIP #1: It’s not you, it’s “you.”

One of the biggest challenges for those who are selling-themselves challenged is an inability to separate who they truly are from who they are as a product. There’s you — imperfect, conflicted, fallible — and then there’s the “you” you’re selling — awesome, cool, superhuman.

Don’t sell yourself well? Think of “you” as a superhero version of yourself. Make a list of your best qualities. Dress the way SuperYou would dress. Talk the way SuperYou would talk. Be SuperYou. Role play. It’s a part. Experiment. This is play.

 

 

When I used to be on TV, I would get very nervous beforehand. Then I would think about how I only had to be “Susannah Breslin,” not Susannah Breslin, for 22 minutes on a half-hour TV show, if you subtract the time they need to run the commercials. I can be my idealized self for 22 minutes. That’s how it starts.

TIP #2: Annoy others.

It’s not enough to just be. There’s too much competition. You need to network, communicate, and engage with people as the “you” you want to be, and you won’t get there by hiding.

Recently, I heard about a job opening. It would be a very cool job working with a very cool group of people. The situation gave me the opportunity to suggest anybody for the position. I suggested one person.

It was the person who had annoyed me the most.

I’ve known her for about a year, and it was because she kept bugging me, kept sending me emails, kept reaching out to me — and, in doing so, selling herself to me — that she was the only person who came to mind and the only person I suggested.

This is stupid. Because I have 4,000 followers on Twitter, and I have a blog on Forbes.com, and there should be way more people who I should have been able to suggest. But because she was the only who waspersistent, she was the only one I suggested.

She is young. She is a millennial. She gets it.

TIP #3: Be a unicorn.

People try to sell themselves, their products, and their services to me all the time. Mostly, they do this through emails. I would say 99% of them do it wrong.

They’re boring.

They pitch dull ideas, uninteresting products, unoriginal versions of themselves. They think they’re adding a new spin, or a groundbreaking product, or a forward-thinking service, but it’s the same old thing.

One thing that’s great about the internet is that it’s a marketplace where anyone can sell anything. One thing that sucks about the internet is that this digital marketplace gives everyone the opportunity to hawk their crap.

You want to be a freelance writer? Wow, nobody’s tried that before. You have some new app that’s like five others before it? Congratulations. You’re working with an expert in a field wherein better experts already exist? I fell asleep reading the first sentence of your lame pitch.

Be a unicorn.

What is original? What is unique? What does it mean to be a unicorn? Find something nobody else is doing. Create something that did not exist previously. Be that new chimera the rest of us are too afraid to dream is real.

BONUS TIP: I wrote this post and this post the same day I did chemo. What’s your excuse? Stop thinking about all the reasons you can’t start today and just get started.

Email me. Follow me on Twitter. My personal blog.

 

  • Gloria FeldtGloria Feldt, Contributor 2 days ago

    You are right, Susannah, No Excuses (see www.GloriaFeldt.com if you don’t get the humor). And good wishes to you as you go through your chemo.

    The unicorn metaphor is a good one. But how does one become a unicorn? I think women are so socialized to be helpful, responsive, and to care what others think about them that conformity is the default position. What specific tips can you offer for deciding what sort of unicorn one wants to be and then becoming it?

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  • joshakruschkejoshakruschke 2 days ago

    Buy hooker clothes and act sexy…. Wait maybe I should read the article, not just the title, before I comment.
    😉

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  • jpbrodyjpbrody 1 day ago

    If you’re going to thrive, you had better learn how to sell yourself.

    Fairly early in my career, I was the Director of Development for a small non-profit. I did the direct mail appeals, arranged special events, re-designed the pitiful collateral materials and made them more money than they had made in a while in their direct mail.

    One problem: The president’s name was on everything I wrote. I ghosted for him, as is customary in those kinds of situations. I was the writer and I was good at it.

    The first inkling I had of a problem was when the chairman of the board wrote the president, congratulating him on the wonderful materials that he (the president) was putting out.

    Not much later, my contract was not renewed and even an offer of a freelance type of arrangement was refused.

    I guess the president continued his usual fine job; meantime, I was out hustling for work.

    You don’t have to be arrogant (although it helps). But you had better make SURE you’re getting credit for the work you do.

    jpbrody

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  • AnonAnon 22 hours ago

    I know a fellow that recently took a job as the executive chef at a 5 star hotel in Dubai. During his 2 first weeks he just observed the staff. In the beginning, some workers would come up to him, introduce themselves and tell him how impressed they were with his credentials and how happy they were to be working for him. Others stayed in the background and just went about their duties. As it turns out, the most competent workers were the ones that stayed in the background. The weakest were the ones that approached him after his first days on the job. Selling yourself is done by doing a good job, not being the first to kiss the new boss’ feet.

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  • Robert JacobsenRobert Jacobsen 21 hours ago

    Susannah –

    It took me about 10 years of my career to understand that selling and marketing yourself was vital to my career.

    I discovered this by accident – I was extremely competent doing something that was not valued or even respected by company management and had difficulty breaking out of that box. I had allowed others to define who I was which limited my value and opportunities.

    I transferred to a different division, which set my career back more than a few years, but one that exploded the box. To avoid being put into the same situation, I re-branded myself and sold myself as a unique value proposition and backed it up with action, which now is a widely-recognized reputation.

    The principle of offering unique and outstanding value, building a reputation for delivering it across the management team (not just my manager) and reinforcing it through your day to day behaviors.

    A key point though is that you must walk the talk. Promises don’t cut it – consistently great performance which backs up the sell message must happen for it to be effective. Integrity is essential.

    Never underestimate the value of a monthly status report with your accomplishments. Not only does it help you manager know what you’ve accomplished, but it also helps you focus on accomplishments that matter.

    Briefly for me, I approached it this way.

    1) Find a area of unique and essential value which you are able to do. I call it “the next big thing”. If there are none, find an area. Ideally, that area should be one that is growing or is expecting to grow, should be business-critical and essential, is an area you have skills in or can build those skills, is something you would enjoy doing and is something you can be passionate about doing.

    2) Show interest and initiative. In most cases approaching your management about interest and need may be advised – in some cases, just gradually move in that direction, building your skills in any way you can and focusing on filling the need and providing value.

    3) Raise the value bar through exemplary service, quality, responsiveness. Deliver beyond expectation every time.

    4) Broaden the scope of the unique value area – can you do more of this, add other things of unique value which can be combined with it.

    5) Continually build your skills and experience, while watching for new areas of unique value to leverage. Always look for the “next big thing”. I work in a technology field and some of these NBTs can take years before they get adopted so there is time to learn skills and knowledge.

    Susannah, I wish you the very best in your struggles. You are an inspiration.

    Bob

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What’s a simple thing that can improve a first impression? — A handshake – All about a handshake

A handshake really does make a difference.

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2012/10/simple-improve-impression/

“a handshake preceding social interaction enhanced the positive impact of approach and diminished the negative impact of avoidance behavior on the evaluation of social interaction.”

“We found that it not only increases the positive effect toward a favorable interaction, but it also diminishes the impact of a negative impression. Many of our social interactions may go wrong for a reason or another, and a simple handshake preceding them can give us a boost and attenuate the negative impact of possible misunderstandings.”

 

5 things people can tell about you from your handshake:

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2011/12/5-things-people-can-tell-about-you-from-your/

1) There is a connection between the quality of that handshake after a job interview and whether or not you get an offer.

2) People can tell how extraverted and conscientious you are by your handshake.

3) Touching in general has incredible power: it makes us more persuasive, influences risk-taking, and improves team performance.

4) You can judge someone’s overall health by a handshake.

5) Your handshake says a lot about you sexually as well.

 

What can we tell about someone’s personality from their handshake?

We examined whether handshakes improved the accuracy with which participants judged a set of targets. Handshakes are interpersonally coordinated behaviors that require motivation and practice to perform well. Therefore conscientiousness may predict how well handshakes are executed. If so, a person’s conscientiousness may be more accurately perceived at zero-acquaintance through a handshake. Individual female and male participants rated the personality of five, same-gender targets after each had introduced herself or himself. Half of the targets offered and shook hands with the participant as part of the introduction, half did not. Extraversion was judged most accurately, regardless of handshake condition. Handshaking moderated impression accuracy of conscientiousness, especially between men, which may explain the importance business professionals place on face-to-face interviews.

 http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2011/04/what-can-we-tell-about-someones-personality-f/

 

What does your handshake say about you?

People with high grip-strength scores are usually healthier than those with weak grips. “They live longer and recover faster from injury,” Gallup says. “They have reduced disability, higher bone density and greater fat-free body mass.” And in a study published this year, Gallup and his son Andrew — at the time an undergraduate psychology major — found that males with high grip-strength scores reported being more aggressive and dominant and had more masculine body types (broader shoulders, narrower hips). They also had “increased sexual opportunities,” which resulted in an increased number of sexual partners, and younger ages of first sexual encounter. (For women, handgrip may be more about sexual protection than prowess: Gallup has found that women’s hand strength increases when they’re most fertile, a trait he says may have evolved to prevent forced impregnation by unwanted mates.)

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2011/06/what-does-your-handshake-say-about-you/

 

What does your grip say about you?:

A hell of a lot, especially if you’re male:

Handgrip strength (HGS) is a noninvasive measure of physical health that is negatively correlated with disability, morbidity, and mortality rates in adults. Highly heritable, HGS is indicative of blood testosterone levels and levels of fat-free body mass. In this study, we investigated whether HGS was related to measures of body morphology [shoulder-to-hip ratio (SHR), waist-to-hip ratio, and second-digit-to-fourth-digit ratio (2D:4D)], aggressive behavior, and sexual history in 82 male and 61 female college students. Results showed that ‘Handgrip strength’ was correlated with SHRs, aggressive behavior, age at first sexual intercourse, and promiscuity in males but not in females. HGS appears to be an honest signal for genetic quality in males.

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2010/03/what-does-your-grip-say-about-you/

 

How much does a firm handshake matter during a job interview?

Quality of handshake was related to interviewer hiring recommendations.

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2010/01/how-much-does-a-firm-handshake-matter-during/

What’s the sweet spot for optimal improvement?

 

 

 

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/whats-the-sweet-spot-for-optimal-improvement

 

While practicing, you want to be succeeding on 50-80% of attempts.

Fewer than that and you’re going to be confused and feel like it’s all luck.

More success than that and you’re not pushing yourself.

Via Daniel Coyle’s excellent book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills:

Comfort Zone

Sensations: Ease, effortlessness. You’re working, but not reaching or struggling.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: 80 percent and above.

Sweet Spot

Sensations: Frustration, difficulty, alertness to errors. You’re fully engaged in an intense struggle— as if you’re stretching with all your might for a nearly unreachable goal, brushing it with your fingertips, then reaching again.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: 50– 80 percent.

Survival Zone

Sensations: Confusion, desperation. You’re overmatched: scrambling, thrashing, and guessing. You guess right sometimes, but it’s mostly luck.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: Below 50 percent.

 

What 3 techniques does the Army use to instill mental toughness?

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/what-3-techniques-does-the-army-use-to-instil

Via Annie Murphy Paul‘s very interesting article in Time:

1) “Mental toughness comes from thinking like an optimist.”

The program’s key message: Mental toughness comes from thinking like an optimist. “People who don’t give up have a habit of interpreting setbacks as temporary, local and changeable,” notes Penn psychology professor Martin Seligman, describing the intervention in a recent journal article. When such individuals encounter adversity, they think to themselves: “It’s going away quickly; it’s just this one situation, and I can do something about it.” Sergeants learn to analyze their beliefs and emotions about failure, and to avoid describing failure as permanent, pervasive and out of their control — all characterizations that undermine mental toughness.

2) “Resist “catastrophic thinking” — the tendency to assume the worst.”

Another pillar of psychological fortitude is the ability to resist “catastrophic thinking” — the tendency to assume the worst.
3) “Practice gratitude and generosity”
Lastly, the drill sergeants in Seligman’s program are taught two capacities that might seem at odds with mental toughness: gratitude and generosity. Participants learn how to “hunt for the good stuff” — to look for and appreciate the ways in which they are fortunate. And they learn not to judge too hastily subordinates who themselves seem to lack grit.

What type of practice produces peak performance?

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/what-type-of-practice-produces-peak-performan

It’s “Deep Practice” (or Deliberate Practice) and I tend to focus on four parts:

1) Make your practice as similar to the real life scenario as possible.

Via The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How:

“One real encounter, even for a few seconds, is far more useful than several hundred observations.”Bjork cites a psychologist Henry Roediger at Washington University of St. Louis, where students were divided into two groups to study a natural history text.Group A studied the paper for four sessions. Group B studied only once but was tested three times. A week later both groups were tested, and Group B scored 50 percent higher than Group A. They’d studied one-fourth as much yet learned far more.

Via Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To:

Practicing under the types of pressures you will face on the big testing day is one of the best ways to combat choking…

And:

During the initial shooting practice, all the officers missed more shots when firing at a live opponent compared with firing at the stationary cardboard targets. Not so surprising. This was true after training as well, but only for those officers whose practice was limited to the cardboard cutouts. For those officers who practiced shooting at an opponent, after training they were just as good shots when aiming at the live individuals as they were when aiming at the stationary cutouts. The opportunity to “practice under the gun” of an opponent, so to speak, really helped to hone the police officers’ shots for more real-life stressful shooting situations.

 

2) Don’t be passive. Testing yourself is far better than reviewing.

Via Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success:

Good decision-making is about compressing the informational load by decoding the meaning of patterns derived from experience. This cannot be taught in a classroom; it is not something you are born with; it must be lived and learned.  

Testing yourself is the best way to learn — even if you fail the tests.

3) Practice is not just repetition. Be ruthlessly critical and keep trying to improve on the constituent elements of the skill.

Via Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else:

Deliberate practice is characterized by several elements, each worth examining. It is activity designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher’s help; it can be repeated a lot; feedback on results is continuously available; it’s highly demanding mentally, whether the activity is purely intellectual, such as chess or business-related activities, or heavily physical, such as sports; and it isn’t much fun.

Via The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How:

“Our predictions were extremely accurate,” Zimmerman said. “This showed that experts practice differently and far more strategically. When they fail, they don’t blame it on luck or themselves. They have a strategy they can fix.”

Via Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success:

When most people practice, they focus on the things they can do effortlessly,” Ericsson has said. “Expert practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all. Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.”

A negative attitude, not a positive attitude, makes you more likely to learn from your mistakes. In fact, the shift to focusing on negative feedback is one of the marks of an expert mindset.

Ruthlessly critical in practice, blindly optimistic on game day.It’s irrational, but it works.

4) Practice a lot: 10,000 hours worth.

Via Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else:

One factor, and only one factor, predicted how musically accomplished the students were, and that was how much they practiced.

And when the big day comes, make sure you know the methods to resist choking under pressure.