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Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It

Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It

The most successful people in the world weren’t always successful. They were once nobodies who lived a mundane life. Everyone was once a child, everyone had to start somewhere. The common traits that successful people share is simply hard work and a determination to keep their focus on their goals and take steps towards achieving them every day. Every decision, every action is calculated and directed to take them one step closer to being the person that they want to be. In some ways, at some point in their life, they had to fake it.

To ‘fake it’ isn’t necessarily a lapse in authenticity

It isn’t that you have to make false claims or lie, it’s not about being superficial. It’s actually a matter of attitude. A way of living your reality in a way that manifests your deepest desires.

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The notion of positive thinking and the power of the mind to influence our lives is not a new idea. There is a long history of how happiness is a right and should be endorsed as a state of mind that can alter our physical reality. In Bhutan, they actually measure Gross National Happiness or GNH as a means of determining the prosperity of the nation. Rather than relying on data surrounding Gross Domestic Product or GDP to measure material affluence, a more western concept, they instead are more concerned with their spiritual and attitudinal health and wealth, which stems from their Buddhist heritage.

The idea that we should ‘fake it till we make it’ alludes to the notion that if we live as though our goals are already within reach, that we are already the person we want to be and have the success we envisage, then the reality will naturally manifest itself because every thought and every action will contribute to and shape the reality of its very existence.

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The Power of Placebo

The power of the mind to heal the body has been documented extensively. Placebo is a means of suggestion. It tells the brain what the outcome should be and tricks it into making it a reality. In medicine, doctors have given patients what they think are remedies, a sugar pill for instance, and because the patient believes that they are being treated, the brain and the body behaves in a manner that makes it a reality. Many alternative and complementary medicines rely on this very method.

The same principles of placebo or being willing to ‘fake it’ when it comes to achieving personal goals, works in much the same way. If you harness your state of mind and convince yourself that your goal is within reach; if you behave as though you are living the desires and ambitions that you dream about, there is no reason why it isn’t possible for those fantasies to actually occur. Within reason. It can be argued that factors such as luck of birth, inherited wealth, physical ability and genetic make up will almost certainly influence the reality of what you desire.

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Be Careful of What You Wish for

What you desire needs to be realistic and healthy, but that doesn’t mean that a positive attitude needs to be abandoned if your reality doesn’t match your goals. A positive attitude will in fact give you the tools to conquer anything that comes your way in life. It will also give you the clarity and strength to discover your true path and find your most authentic self. The end objective should always be personal happiness and satisfaction.

Whether you want to be a better partner or parent, live a healthier and fitter life, travel the world, climb a mountain, start a business, write a book, lead a country, change the world; whatever your ambitions, your mindset and the manner in which you conduct yourself and face adversity is half the work.

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Having a positive attitude allows you to ‘fake it till you make it’ while at the same time being the most genuine and truthful that you can possibly be. A positive outlook lets you see obstacles for what they are and makes you solution oriented so that you tackle each event of adversity with creativity and optimism.

Believing in yourself and having faith in your capabilities means not comparing yourself to others. It means looking inwardly to the self determination that exists within you and running a one person race. It means living each day being the best person you can possibly be and knowing that with every step you are one step closer to success.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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