Sunrise, Kristin Davis & Tall Poppy Syndrome – Why Australia Has Such A Shitty Attitude

Have you ever talked shit about someone more successful than you to make yourself feel better?

Have you reveled in social media comments, laughing at some celebrity for the fact that their movie tanked, or their album flopped or that they looked disappointed because they thought they’d win an award but didn’t?

Have you ever taken delight (however small), in the fact that someone’s business didn’t get off the ground and they have to keep working at their day job just like everyone else?

All of that is what we in Australia call “tall poppy syndrome”, and we’re the worst in the world for it. We do it to celebrities, to work colleagues, even to our family and friends. If you want to think of it another way, we are all a bunch of crabs in a box. Every one of us is scrambling to escape over the lid, but the second someone starts making progress the other crabs pull him right back down. What’s worse is that for the most part, we do it to each other (ie other Aussies). Continue reading “Sunrise, Kristin Davis & Tall Poppy Syndrome – Why Australia Has Such A Shitty Attitude”

There Are No Rules, There Are No “Best Practices”

To have a successful company, it needs to be open, collaborative and architecturally designed to encourage people to run into each other in order to breed ideas. Except Apple was the complete opposite of this – closed and separated.

A small business owner doesn’t get days off or public holidays, they need to always be there to maximise revenue. Except the most successful bakery I know closes Sundays and for 6 weeks over Christmas. They don’t care about huge profit, they care about their craft and running their business as they see fit.

If you sell any kind of food, you need to cater to people’s allergies, or you could get in legal strife. Except the best gelato in the country, they put up a sign saying they don’t cater to any allergies, so if you have them, don’t eat their gelato.

If you’re going for a job interview you shouldn’t wear a red tie, it’s too bold. Except for when I landed my last job, where being bold helped me stand out and get it.

You shouldn’t be a demanding employee who is a pain in their bosses ass. Except top salespeople are often pains in their boss’s ass, but they bring in so much money they’re worth it.

Some of the most revered “best practices” are, in fact, utterly pointless and stupid. But they sure did sound good at the time to a manager looking for credit.

Even the most obvious rule, that you shouldn’t be a jerk to people, has been successfully broken thousands of times.

There are no rules. There are no best practices, and what worked for anyone else may or may not work for you.

Self Handicapping: How We All Do It, Why We Do It and How to Stop It

“My relationships never seem to work out, no one ever wants to commit to me”.

“I can never get to the gym, I’m always just too busy”.

“I feel like I just can’t get ahead in my finances, something always comes up”.

“I hate my job, but in this economy I should be happy to have one at all”.

“What’s the point of starting my assignment so early? I work better under pressure”.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard every single one of these from your friends, family, and you’re probably guilty of a couple yourself. They’re so typical that we don’t even give it a second thought when we’re saying them, because “that’s just life”, right? Well, in one sense you could think of it that way, because it’s an incredibly widespread problem. Most people don’t realise that all of those statements represent different symptoms of a single cause. You’ve probably already noticed something about most of them – they’re all said in a passive voice. It is as though the universe itself is conspiring to stop them getting what they want. Continue reading “Self Handicapping: How We All Do It, Why We Do It and How to Stop It”

The War In Your Mind: How Your Subconscious Prevents You From Getting What You Want

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

If you look at any media at this time of year, there is one thing that takes prominence of place — New Year’s resolutions and why we don’t keep them. The typical morning TV show guest will tell us that it’s because people make vague resolutions rather than setting specific goals with an action plan. That’s true to an extent, but even if everyone actually made a realistic and specific plan, do you think even half of them would follow it? We both know the answer to that. The problem with their advice is that it’s always tactical, always a simple “how to” guide that says “if you want this, then do that”. They’ll even tell you not to set resolutions. Continue reading “The War In Your Mind: How Your Subconscious Prevents You From Getting What You Want”

Psychology and Marketing: Why Self Defence Classes Are a Scam

Have you ever thought of taking a self defence class?

I know you have, because everyone has, whether they are male or female, black or white, Chinese or Polish. Everyone’s thought of it because wanting to feel safe is a universal trait.

Guys will say they want to learn to defend themselves or get in shape, in reality they want to be a badass. They’ve seen a billion Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Jet Li movies and want to be the guy that kicks the living shit out of 10 attackers while everyone looks on in awe of his God like powers. Continue reading “Psychology and Marketing: Why Self Defence Classes Are a Scam”

You Aren’t Weak – Decision Fatigue Screws Us All Over, But It’s Beatable

How many of you have given into that afternoon craving to eat something sweet? You’ve had a rough day dealing with customers or coworkers, you’re tired and stressed and the end of the day is still a few hours away. Then it happens – it’s someone’s birthday and there’s cake, or your friend offers you a muffin since she bought a couple at the store when she was out. Maybe there’s a box of Krispy Kremes sitting in the coffee area. Your willpower is at its absolute lowest, so despite your best efforts to stick to that diet you reach for that forbidden food and chow down, both loathing yourself and rolling your eyes back in ecstasy at how good it is.

Continue reading “You Aren’t Weak – Decision Fatigue Screws Us All Over, But It’s Beatable”

Why Art is Important for its Own Sake

“Why would you read fiction? It’s just made up stories”

“I don’t have time for fiction, you learn more from non-fiction”

“Yeah but Grapes of Wrath wasn’t that successful, they only made one movie out of it”

I’ve heard all of the above said before and it saddens and disappoints me each and every time. The last one was recently when speaking to my mastermind group about me coming to grips with my own aspirations of writing a great piece after reading such a piece of perfection. The response “yeah, but GoW wasn’t that successful, they only made one movie out of it” perfectly encapsulates the current zeitgeist and the fact we have lost appreciation for what matters. Nowadays unless something has become commercially successful it is looked down upon by the masses and the creator ridiculed as a starving artist. Commercial success has unfortunately become the default measure of whether a piece of art is any good, and it completely misses the point of why we produce art in the first place. Continue reading “Why Art is Important for its Own Sake”

Who In Their Right Mind Wouldn’t Want to Be a Celebrity?

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Don’t worry, it isn’t a trick question.

We tell our kids and each other that being a celebrity isn’t something to aspire to. They are vacuous, are “famous for being famous” and do nothing for society.

And yet, recent surveys show that at least half of teens and even pre-teens don’t want a career, they want to be famous. What is going on here?

We need look no further than the celebrities themselves. Last week it was announced that Channel Ten’s Bachelorette Sam Frost would be joining 2Day FM with Rove McManus as part of the new morning team. Getting a breakfast gig is the most coveted in radio, and Sam Frost clearly earned that position with all her years in…finance?

That’s right. Frost was offered the position people work years and years for because she was on a TV dating show. No radio credentials, no years of experience, no evidence whatsoever that she would even suit breakfast radio. Continue reading “Who In Their Right Mind Wouldn’t Want to Be a Celebrity?”

Don’t Skimp On The Coffee

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Mark Bouris said it really well on his podcast one day – coffee is so important to people because it’s like being a baby. When you were a baby you’d wake up in the morning and your mother would come and hug you and give you something warm to drink. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, whatever, is a throwback to those biological needs of safety and security being met. It’s little wonder that people are so particular and serious about the specifics of how their beverage is made. Continue reading “Don’t Skimp On The Coffee”

Small Improvements, Big Results

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This is a guest post by Jeremiah Boehner. Jeremiah is the Director of Sales at MyLikes and you can find out his contact info at the bottom of the post.

For most Americans and maybe the rest of the world the desire to improve one’s self bites them every year leading up to New Years. New Years and other important moments in our lives serve as touch points where we feel we can change ourselves more easily than in other times and society seems to support that. If not New Years it could be after a divorce/breakup, major health scare, a big promotion at work, a move across the state/country, or something similar. But as you’ve probably seen on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and other social networks there are always jokes about people packing gyms for the first month of the year then dropping off come February or March. Continue reading “Small Improvements, Big Results”