Covey Habit #2 – Begin with the end in mind...

We all face the fact that our lives will end. Covey asks us to reflect on our activities of today and tomorrow in the light of this end. Having the end in mind gives insight: are the steps we take today in the right direction? You might be climbing really hard but your goal is atop of a different ladder. This is why you have to learn what your values and goals are first, in order to pick the right ladder towards your success and happiness. Covey’s second habit is about learning what values are important in your life and living accordingly. Double creation All things are created two times. 1) In the mind and 2) physical. Think about building a house: you will first create it in your mind, then in reality. When it comes to your behavior you can make the same distinction: 1) you plan how you act 2) you act. As a child you have little say in how things are done. By the time you get older a lot of designing has already taken place. How you plan and act have been determined for you to a large extent. Do not despair! There is a way out through adjustment, but it requires some work. Either you can leave your personality as designed by others, or you proactively redesign it yourself. Through self-awareness you can examine what your scripts look like and if you are satisfied with them. Be the first creator Through self-awareness you can understand the scripts that determine your current behavior. Some of these scripts do not fit the values we have in life. Conscience and imagination give you the capability to think about what a new script (or adjusted script) would...

Why Cialdini’s six work...

I talked about this imaginary friend, a fishing buddy, that tells you he only liked fishing yesterday. Being a holistic individual is of great importance to us. We count on it that our friends will be the same friends we know tomorrow and the day after that. We also plan what we want to do in future times. If our goals and ideas stay the same, it would be hard to understand that our behavior would change all of the time. Caring and being one person Philosophers like Bratman and Frankfurt talk about this aspect of human being and the importance of being one and the same person. Not only is it important for us to care about something, it also makes us whole and gives us goals in life. The impact of the need to be holistic is not only visible in the principle of commitment, it also means we want to be right. Being wrong might mean you have to change your opinion later on. That is why we are vulnerable to other people’s opinion (social proof) and experts (authority). Even scarcity can be explained through this principle, since scarce items are wanted by other people too. Liking yourself: positive self-concept We do not only want to be one (and not many) persons, we also want to like ourselves. This is most visible in the principle of reciprocity where we share and give back because we want others (and ourselves) to think positive about us. The principle of liking is, of course, also tightly connected to liking ourselves. Why else would we like others that are like us? Shortcuts The principles Cialdini describes work most of the time unconsciously. A lot of times they also make sense...

Tempting prohibitions – Scarcity...

Ever wondered why your cellphone appeals so much to you, even though you are having a nice face-to-face conversation with a friend? The unknown and the possibility of missing something you can never get back is pulling so strongly at us it triggers us to check who is calling. Hobfoll found that people are more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something with an equal value. Loss or gain of grade point averages that went up or down the same amount were not valued the same. The loss was seen as much less desirable then the gain was viewed positive (Ketelaar). They trick you with scarcity Whatever is scarce, we like and want more. Telling customers (you!) that the amount of products is low will make you want the products more. They call it the limited-number tactic. They tell you the production stopped, or the import stopped, or they changed the model/product line and you need to be quick to obtain the product before it is too late. Time limits also work great. Knowing that the time to see, visit, buy or get something is running out will make you want it more. The higher price you will have to pay afterwards, or the impossibility of getting the same product: both deadlines will work. Why does it work? The things we like will be liked by others too. This easily makes them scarce. We have an internal rule stating that things that are difficult to get are typically better than those that are easy to get (Lynn). A second, and very powerful, reason is the loss of freedom; whenever we are no longer capable of purchasing what we (might) want we lose...