Friday, October 25, 2019

Should you follow your passion?

Most  of us have been told to follow our passion as we pursue a line of work,  but is it good advice? Only 20% of respondents to a recent survey said  they were passionate about their work. Research suggests that many  people fail to pursue their passion, often because they don’t know how  to do so. For better results, try to actively cultivate a passion for  something, rather than try to discover one and focus on what you care  about, not what you love. Researchers have concluded that many of us  don’t know how to pursue our passion, and thus we fail to do so. How do  we fix this conundrum? Research on passion suggests that we need to  understand three key things:

  1. passion is not something one finds, but rather, it is something to be developed; 
  2. it is challenging to pursue your passion, especially as it wanes over time; and
  3. passion can also lead us astray, and it is therefore important to recognize its limits.

One  common misperception people have about passion is that it is fixed: you  either have passion for something or you don’t. The problem with this  belief is that it’s limiting, leading us to think of passion as  something we discover or happen upon. Research has shown that believing  passion is fixed can make people less likely to explore new  topics—potential new sources of passion. It also leads people to give up  on new pursuits more quickly if they seem difficult. To better pursue  your passion, challenge your assumption that passion is something to be  discovered. Focus on actively developing a passion instead. (Harvard Business Review)

Another interesting case heading up to the Supreme Court  

The  Supreme Court announces that it will hear a case challenging the  constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a  regulatory agency established in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. A  decision in the case is likely by the end of June, meaning that the  fate of the regulator will be announced in the middle of the 2020  presidential campaign. That could be particularly significant for Sen.  Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate whose role in creating the agency  has formed a central pillar of her presidential bid. The case was  brought by Seila Law, a California-based law firm, which alleges that  the structure of the agency grants too much power to its director, in  violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. Unlike the heads  of many other federal agencies, the director of the CFPB may only be  removed by the president “for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.”  Given the CFPB’s broad law enforcement powers, that independence is  unconstitutional, Seila Law has argued in court papers. To date, the  CFPB has survived multiple court challenges. (CNBC)

The key to making big goals doable

We’re prone to give up on ambitious personal projects or goals at the sign of the first slip. This is referred to as the “what the hell”  effect, when an initial stumble makes us think we might as well take  the day off from our goal. Suddenly, one day off turns into forever. To  prevent such slippages, build in “emergency reserves,” say  researchers. Keep those ambitious goals, but build in a set amount of  wiggle room for occasional missteps. When we plan for the occasional  stumble, we can still feel like we’re on track. A key factor when  setting your emergency reserve limit is that there is enough guilt in  using it up. Our intuition tells us not to use up our emergency reserves  because we might have a greater need for them later. A lot of the time  you don’t end up using them at all. People are resistant to use them  unless they really have to. (BBC)

The right way to shake hands

There  are many ways to mess up a handshake. They can be too firm, too soft  and, perhaps most awkward of all, too long. In fact, researchers from  the University of Dundee in Scotland found that handshakes that exceed  three seconds can sully a social interaction. The researchers found that  those who were subjected to extra-long shakes laughed less and showed  signs of increased anxiety post-handshake. While long handshakes may be  considered a sign of dominance, if you’re looking to build a strong  bond, keep it brief. (Telegraph UK)

Cows want friends, too

They  may come across as indifferent, but don’t be fooled: they long for  companionship just like the rest of us. Cows are able to recognize each  other, and they have their preferred friends. And cows surrounded by  their buddies have lower heart rates and are less likely to stamp or  pace, probable signs of distress. The benefits even extend to cow-human  friendships, with a 2009 British survey finding that cows named by their  farmers produced 258 more liters of milk than unnamed cows. (The Atlantic)

Aluminum the greenest alternative?

Leaders  in the beverage industry, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, are starting  to ditch plastics for aluminum, as the former has caused up to $2.2  trillion a year in damage, according to recent data. One reason aluminum  is better? The Aluminum Association estimates roughly 50% of aluminum  cans in the U.S. are recycled, compared with only 29% of plastic  bottles. McDonald’s and Starbucks are meanwhile spending millions to  discover a recyclable coffee cup — cups they use currently are not  recyclable due to a plastic lining that prevents leaks. (Financial Times)

Controlling drones, with your brain

The  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking to develop  a brain-computer interface that’s capable of responding to signals in  an individual’s brain to control military technology, like drones,  without surgical brain implants. Researchers are experimenting with  sensors that can respond to electrical, magnetic and near-infrared  signals transmitted through the skull to interpret the physical  intentions of an individual. Such technology could also assist those  suffering from physical paralysis, without requiring invasive surgery. (MIT Technology Review)


The Long Haul

A  Qantas Airways Boeing 787 touched down in Sydney, Australia, after 19  hours and 16 minutes in the air. The 10,100-mile trip from NYC was a  test to determine the feasibility of operating ultralong routes as soon  as 2022. Qantas said tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves,  melatonin levels, and alertness, to exercise classes for passengers. A  total of 49 people were on board, in order to minimize weight and give  the necessary fuel range. Passengers did a lot of stretching and group  exercises at prescribed intervals, including doing the Macarena in the  economy cabin. The flight was part of Project Sunrise, Qantas’ goal to  operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia’s east coast  cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Two  more research flights are planned as part of the project evaluations –  London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney in December.  (AP News)

Friday Slams Down Using Authority With:

  • Chucky, The Notorious Killer Doll Day
  • Frankenstein Friday (Last Friday)
  • International Artists Day
  • International Bandanna Day (Last Friday)
  • National Breadstix (Bread Sticks) Day (Last Friday)
  • National Greasy Food Day
  • National Pharmacy Buyer Day (Friday of  Last Full Week)
  • Sourest Day
  • St. Crispin’s Day
  • World Pasta Day

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