How Dan Ariely Turned Tragedy Into Discovery

The Fire and The Aftermath
At 17, Dan Ariely, Duke Psychology professor and best-selling author, was badly injured in a magnesium fire at a graduation ceremony in Israel. 70% of his body was covered with burns.

As anyone can imagine, severe burn rehabilitation treatment is intensely painful. The process involves enduring a daily soaking bath, removal of bandages and the excruciating scraping away of the patient’s dead skin.

Was there any way for this young student to achieve some sort of respite and distraction from the agonizing treatments?

The daily bandage removal was torture. Why did the nurses have to so rapidly rip the bandages from his wounded body?

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A Trip to Pluto: 3 Lessons from the New Horizons Team

On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons space probe flew 7,800 miles above Pluto mapping its surface, studying its atmosphere and sending never-before-seen images back to earth.

How does one begin to contemplate, plan and execute a 9 billion mile mission across our solar system?

Moreover, what can we learn from the New Horizons mission and apply to our daily work?

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Jon Acuff’s WDS Keynote – 3 Vital Takeaways

Last weekend, Chris Guillebeau’s WDS conference welcomed 3,000 global citizens living remarkable lives in a conventional world to downtown Portland, Oregon.

World records were made. Ideas, insight and inspiration were shared. (And, I’m now on a first name basis with Bacon. So…success.)

Perspective changing thinkers, doers, leaders, writers, digital media outlaws, magicians, founders and entrepreneurs all gave the participants much to consider.

Here are my favorite takeaways from Saturday morning’s first keynote speaker, best-selling author, Jon Acuff.

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Two Questions You Must Answer Today

How you answer two simple questions will lead you down two very different paths in your career.

The first path is filled with growth, clarity and fulfillment.
The second path is a thorn-filled trail of misused time and energy.

1) Is there someone (at work or school) who encourages your development? 

2) Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

If you can’t answer yes to either question, that’s ok—for now.

You’re not alone. Millions of people can’t answer yes to both questions.

As Gallup Executive Director Brandon Busteed demonstrates in his commencement speech at Augustana College, getting these questions right is crucial to your success.

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How To Collaborate Like The Beatles

Spring, 1967 – Abbey Road, Studio Two

As even casual Beatles fans know, Paul McCartney’s lyrics lean towards glass-half full optimism: “It’s getting better all the time,” “I’ll follow the sun,” and “We can work it out!”

Paul supplied an upbeat, hopeful lyrical ethos to the greatest selling band of all time. John Lennon, on the other hand, was a bit of a cynic…

This juxtaposition and the beauty of its outgrowth is wonderfully illustrated on the first day of recording “Getting Better” on March 9, 1967.

As McCartney tells it: “I was sitting there doing, ‘getting better all the time’ and John just said in his laconic way, ‘It couldn’t get no worse’ and I thought, ‘Oh, brilliant!’ This is exactly why I love writing with John…It was one of the ways we’d write. I’d have the song quite mapped out and he’d come in with a counter-melody…”

Paul sang, “It’s getting better.” John sang, “It couldn’t get no worse.”

The yin and the yang. Partly sunny and partly cloudy. Jab, Hook, Repeat.

Collaboration at its finest.

What can we learn from one of music history’s most prodigious examples of teamwork and how can we apply it in our own lives?

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3 More James Altucher Tips to Choose Yourself and Boost Your Wellbeing

A few weeks ago, we mashed-up James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself” mindset with Tom Rath’s jarring research about our tragicomically low levels of wellbeing. (Rewind here.)

Rath diagnoses our wellbeing which needs improvement. Altucher offers a vaccine.

Read on for three more key takeaways from the middle third of Altucher’s “Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth.”

Improving your physical, financial, social, community and career wellbeing may depend on it.

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Trying To Win The French Open With A Stringless Racquet


Not understanding the link between employee engagement and performance outcomes is like trying to win the French Open with a stringless tennis racquet.

Good luck with that.

As we see from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report, addressing and improving employee engagement directly impacts our businesses, customer satisfaction and success.

Here are three ways to put some actual strings on your organizational racquet and drive superior results.

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“Pretty Good Syndrome” – First You Have to Diagnose It. Then You Have to Kill It.

I could tweet out my margin notes from the first 100 pages of “The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth”, but it would take a really long time and my Twitter hand would shrivel up into a gnarly case of de Quervain’s tendinitis.

So, if you’re not yet familiar with James Altucher, you need to change that.

There are few modern writers who will challenge your old ways of thinking and spur you to improved outcomes better than Altucher.

Discover if you’ve caught a dangerous strain of “Pretty Good Syndrome” and how his latest can help you begin to cure yourself…

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