Puzzle.blog

The New Puzzle.blog

By Christian Staal

Thanks to those of you who responded to my latest post. Puzzle.blog will continue, but at a slower pace. Instead a new post every week, there will be new posts once in a while.

Would You Miss This Blog?

By Christian Staal

Here’s the thing: I’m doing too many projects at the same time. I’m thinking about stopping puzzle.blog. If you’re loving this blog, and would be sad if it was gone, please let me know.

The Hedonic Treadmill

By Christian Staal

Most people assume that getting what we want (promotions, romance, world domination) will bring us happiness. But in most cases the effect is short-lived. This is because of The Hedonic Treadmill: Humans rapidly adapt to new circumstances, and therefore take things for granted, once we have them. The bright side is, that this same mechanism protects us, when something bad happens.

More:
Hedonic treadmill (Wikipedia)
Reprieve (essay) by Tim Kreider
For a different perspective: read the chapter on happiness in Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

How to get attention

By Christian Staal

If you want people’s attention, there are two methods you can use:

  • The Megaphone Method: Be loud and force them to listen. (Examples: spam mails and paid advertising.)
  • The Gift Method: Offer something of value, that people would miss if it disappeared (Examples: TED Talks, free podcasts and many blogs.)

Which method are you using?

More: 

Noticed vs. missed (article) by Seth Godin

 

 

What is the Meaning of Life?

By Christian Staal

Imagine asking a chess master about the best possible move in chess:

Asking about the meaning of life is the same thing. There is no universal meaning of life – it depends on the circumstances of your life.

More:
Man’s Search for Meaning (book) by Viktor E. Frankl (I totally stole the analogy from this brilliant book!)

Primary Pain vs Secondary Pain

By Christian Staal

Psychologists distinguish between two types of pain:

  • Primary pain relates to a specific event (e.g. worrying about a job interview)
  • Secondary pain is emotional gasoline thrown into the fire (e.g. being sad/angry/worried about being worried)

Secondary pain accounts for more misery than primary pain. You can reduce secondary pain by accepting – rather than fighting – primary pain (one way to train this is meditation).

More:
What do you carry? (Puzzle.blog)
The Upside of Your Dark Side (book) by Robert Biswas-Diener and Todd Kashdan

Pre-Mortem

By Christian Staal

When conducting a post-mortem, you look at what went wrong (why did the patient die? Why did the project fail?). In a pre-mortem you imagine that your project has failed, and then ask yourself:

  • Why did it fail?
  • How can you prevent it from actually happening?

 

More:

Performing a Project Premortem (Article, Harvard Business Review) by Gary Klein

Meaningful Work: Building a Cathedral

By Christian Staal

A traveller came upon two bricklayers, and asked them what they were doing:

Your perception of your work influences your motivation, productivity and happiness. Are you laying bricks, or building a cathedral?

More:

Man’s Search for Meaning (book) by Viktor Frankl
Want To Make Your Work More Meaningful? (article) by Michelle McQuaid

 

 

Tony Robbins’s Secret Weapon: RPM

By Christian Staal

Tony Robbins’s RPM-model helps you stay proactive in tough situations:

R – Results. (What do you want out of this situation?)
P – Purpose. (Why is this important to you?)
M – Map. (Write down everything you can do to achieve your desired results. Then identify the 20% that will produce 80% of the results.)

The trick is to start with why, and follow through with massive action.

More:
The James Altucher Show: 217 –  (Tony explains it right here)

Decision-Making Hack: Which problem do you want?

By Christian Staal

Problem: You have a decision to make, but can’t make up your mind, because you don’t know what you really want.

Solution: Turn the decision on it’s head. Ask yourself which problem you prefer to live with (which negative consequences are you best equipped to handle?). In some cases, this exercise gives you a new perspective.

More:
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (book) by Mark Manson

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