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3 Cognitive Biases That Affect Our Decisions Every Day

3 Cognitive Biases That Affect Our Decisions Every Day
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Many people wonder how their life took a turn for better or worse. A person’s mentality often gets overlooked. There are several concepts including The Law of Attraction that people consider it being nothing more than fluff. As a society, we are faced with challenges that forms our cognitive biases. Those cognitive biases affect our everyday decisions. With those years of decisions, we start to have a better understanding about how our lives have become what they are today.

Here are three cognitive biases that affect our daily decisions:

1.  I Can’t Do That

“I spent the last 30 years of my life doing things that others can’t do or won’t do. [Many of my successes have been based on] people telling me that I couldn’t do something.

I was told that I couldn’t build a website development company. So, I built and designed websites for companies like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems,” says Chuck Blakeman (Serial Entrepreneur & Author of Making Money Is Killing Your Business).

Unfortunately, many people fall victim into believing that they can’t do something. Sadly, people are told such things from people that they admire. Like Chuck Blakeman, there are countless examples of people who have taken ideas and turn them into success stories. despite being in the midst of naysayers.

Your task is not to sulk in those beliefs but instead prove them wrong. Success is a journey that starts by taking one step at a time. In my younger years, I wanted to be an international bestselling author. It took me years to realize that I have to truly believe in something if I wanted to see it come to fruition.

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I had to first believe that it was possible to become an international bestselling author before becoming one. This year marks a significant milestone in my life, which is being a bestselling author in three countries.

2. I Don’t Need Anyone

“A lot of our happiness or unhappiness comes from the quality of our relationships. Human connection fuels happiness”, says Scott Crabtree (Founder & Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Brain Science).

There are a lot of people who carry around an ultra independent attitude. I personally admire someone who is independent. The problem is that independence can sometimes be used as an illusion for a person’s ego. Independence is obviously better than dependence. However, interdependence is better than both of them.

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There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Accepting the help of others will usually shorten the learning curve in anything you want to pursue in life. It does not make you any less independent. Stephen Covey (Author of the NY Times Bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) agrees that we function best when we recognize and works towards the role of interdependence.

None of us is perfect. We all have weaknesses. So, why not let someone who is strong in your weak areas to help you?

3. I Have No Purpose

“You have to decide your mission in your life. That’s your guide. What kind of impact do you want to have on the planet? Be very clear about it [because if your mission] is hazy, it will be very difficult”, says Aubrey Marcus (Founder & CEO of Onnit).

Many people can make different arguments about the origin of our nature. However, I think the overwhelming majority of us share the same theme on life: You only live once. So, make the most of it. I hope you are moving with the time because it will continue to move with or without you.

Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey are two examples of inspirational role models who left a legacy for us. My goal is to leave a legacy too. Since the Great Recession, I have helped over 2,000 people reach the finish line and you can too. My message is still the same.

Success is unavailable to the majority because the majority are unavailable.

Featured photo credit: Olichel via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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