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To succeed, plan to fail (occasionally)

Do Vale conducted a pair of diet-related experiments. A ‘straight striving group’ was asked to adhere to a strict regimen of 1,500 calories per day with limited food choices, while an ‘intermittent striving’ group was given an even stricter diet of 1,300 calories with limited choices; however, after six days of strict dieting the second group was allowed one day of 2,700 calories with unlimited food choices. Do Vale found that the ‘intermittent’ strivers had higher self-regulatory abilities, while generating a greater variety of strategies to overcome food temptations: they were more motivated to see the diet through. Participants in the ‘straight striving’ group, meanwhile, were more likely to quit the diet and report emotional setbacks when they accidentally overate. It follows that, so long as it is planned, it is often good to be bad. ‘The only way to get rid of temptation,’ Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ‘is to yield to it.’

Plan to fail (occasionally)

Rita Coelho do Vale is an assistant professor at the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, where she researches the human decision-making process with respect to self-regulation. She says that we not only can but should engage in behaviour antithetical to our ultimate goals. In experiments conducted with Rik Pieters and Marcel Zeelenberg, and published in January 2016 in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, do Vale surveyed the way people go about achieving their goals. She concluded that it is better to make plans to fail intermittently – to splurge on occasional luxuries when saving for a house; to have a slice of chocolate cake when trying to shed a few pounds – than to end up failing anyway and getting so demoralised you give up your goal altogether. ‘It’s something that’s so obvious, but no one has ever studied these phenomena,’ do Vale told me. ‘We all plan for breaks during the day – coffee, a nap – and we know that we will feel better after these rests. But with goals we simply don’t think like this.’

Even when not threatened, some bacteria specialize as antibiotic resistance

"It's costly from a metabolic standpoint for a cell to express the proteins that enable it to be resistant," said Mary Dunlop, assistant professor in the university's College of Engineering and Mathematics Sciences, and the paper's corresponding author. "This strategy allows a colony to hedge its bets by enabling individual cells within a population to assume high levels of resistance while others avoid this extra work." Previous research has demonstrated that, when exposed to some antibiotics, all the cells within a bacterial population will use the protein cascade strategy, activated by a mechanism called MarA, to become resistant. But the new study is among the first to show that colonies use the protein cascade strategy even when they are not under threat. "This transient resistance, distributed in varying degrees among individual cells in a population, may be the norm for many bacterial populations," Dunlop said.

Use Your Mind To Reach Your Running Goals | Runner's World

Athletes are said to have two types of mental strategies: association (tuning in) and dissociation (tuning out). Those mind-sets are further defined as internal (focusing inward) or external (focusing outward). Runners who internally associate pay attention to how their body feels while running by monitoring fatigue, muscle soreness, and breathing. Those who externally associate also home in, but on things that are important to the race going on around them, like checking a pace band or watch and looking for mile markers. Internal dissociation is a form of self-distraction, using song lyrics, mantras, and mind games. And people who externally dissociate use their surroundings--scenery, spectators, chatty running partners--as diversion. Competitive runners tend to associate more than dissociate; runners who are less concerned with time often rely more on dissociative techniques.

Murakami’s advice on business and writing: make (at least) a few customers very happy | pullquote

If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he’d come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. To put it the other way, it didn’t matter if nine out of ten didn’t like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place really liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what.

How to hack your way to the top of any Amazon bestseller category with free and cheap books | Creativindie

The “Feel Good Myth” is only 21 pages! You could write it in a day or two! You don’t need to price aggressively with your main book. Instead, write a bunch of mini-books like this, or “long form essays’ with a nice cover and keep them at free or 99cents (they are different lists, so you really want content in both). Dominate the top of every category related to your niche. Get them to sign up to your optin by promising free stuff on your website. Use the strategy to grow your list and keep visibility high – use these little books to drive traffic and sales of your main book. Here’s a book I put out yesterday, without much fanfare, at #1 in the “Time Management” category (also pretty competitive). I’ll stay at #1 for the next few days, and then I’ll be #1 in the paid list after I switch to 99cents.
Zhijian and co say that players who win tend to stick with the same action while those who lose switch to the next action in a clockwise direction (where R → P → S is clockwise).This is known in game theory as a conditional response and has never been observed before in Rock-Paper-Scissors experiments. Zhijian and co speculate that this is probably because previous experiments have all been done on a much smaller scale.“This game exhibits collective cyclic motions which cannot be understood by the Nash Equilibrium concept but are successfully explained by the empirical data-inspired conditional response mechanism,” say Zhijian and co.In fact, a “win-stay, lose-shift” strategy is entirely plausible from a psychological point of view: people tend to stick with a winning strategy.
Harold Ramis was born in Chicago on Nov. 21, 1944, to parents who worked long hours at the family store, Ace Food and Liquor Mart. He loved television so much, he said, that he got up early on Saturday mornings and stared at the screen until the first program began. In high school, he was editor in chief of the yearbook and a National Merit Scholar. He then attended Washington University in St. Louis on a full scholarship. Dropping pre-med studies, he went on to earn a degree in English in 1967.After graduation he got a job as an orderly in a psychiatric hospital in St. Louis and married Anne Plotkin. The two moved to Chicago, where Mr. Ramis worked as a substitute teacher in a rough neighborhood while writing freelance articles for The Chicago Daily News.In 1968 he was assigned to cover Chicago’s Second City improvisational troupe, which included Mr. Belushi and Mr. Murray.“I thought they were funny,” Mr. Ramis told The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983. “But at the same time I thought I could be doing this. I’m that funny.”Soon he was hired as jokes editor at Playboy magazine, where he moved up to associate editor. He also began attending an acting workshop and, after two audition attempts, joined Second City’s touring company.
It’s no secret that in many industries today, upstream activities—such as sourcing, production, and logistics—are being commoditized or outsourced, while downstream activities aimed at reducing customers’ costs and risks are emerging as the drivers of value creation and sources of competitive advantage. Consider a consumer’s purchase of a can of Coca-Cola. In a supermarket or warehouse club the consumer buys the drink as part of a 24-pack. The price is about 25 cents a can. The same consumer, finding herself in a park on a hot summer day, gladly pays two dollars for a chilled can of Coke sold at the point-of-thirst through a vending machine. That 700% price premium is attributable not to a better or different product but to a more convenient means of obtaining it. What the customer values is this: not having to remember to buy the 24-pack in advance, break out one can and find a place to store the rest, lug the can around all day, and figure out how to keep it chilled until she’s thirsty.