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Are You Passionate About Something?

Are You Passionate About Something?

How often do you get up in the morning feeling excited about the day ahead? Not a once-off good morning, but actually feeling that way most days in a week? It’s not easy finding things to be passionate about, but it could be the determining factor as to whether or not you’re able to live the life you dream about. This article seeks to motivate you into self reflection in an attempt to help you find the things that excite you.

What Excites You?

It’s hard feeling happy and passionate about something you dread. Sadly, it’s one of the reasons many people struggle to get out of bed every morning for work. If a person actually had a forceful passion about the work he does, would he need 3 alarms to get him up in the morning? Highly unlikely. He’d be feeling so stoked for the day ahead that getting up is no issue at all.

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With that being said, find something in your day, something at work, something at home that makes you happy, and put your focus on it. Think about being back at school. Most kids feel annoyed about being at school; ask a kid if he likes school and he’s response to it is probably that he can’t wait to be done with it.The moment that very same kid meets someone in school that he likes, suddenly school excites him—he wakes up every morning feeling excited for the day ahead.

The key is to find a detail in your day that you can use as a reason to feel passionate.

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Make a List

Take some time off in your day and make a list of things that you like. It could be the most simplest of things. Write them down on a page. After doing that, start eliminating items in order of how passionate an option makes you. Keep this up until you find something that really makes you feel excited and passionate.

With that being said, if you’re unable to find something, do some research online. You may have always wanted to learn how to cook or make music with FL studio, so research things that you would like to learn. Make a similar list as mentioned above, and eliminate options until you have the “golden” one.

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Last but Not Least, Do it!

Don’t prolong or procrastinate—just jump onto the bandwagon. There’s no time like the present, and it’s best that you invest some of your time into finding a hobby or reason to feel passionate right now. If you’re not convinced as to why, try looking at it from a different perspective: most successful and happy entrepreneurs of today do the things they’re passionate about. The reason for this is simply because passion is known for evoking other positive emotions such as ambition, joy, and even perseverance.

Can you imagine the things you could accomplish if you were to have a passion filled day all week? It could be the reason why you excel at work. It could become the inspiration for a thriving social life and relationship. It could become the driving force that turns you into the next big entrepreneur of this decade.

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Don’t wait until tomorrow or the next day: get started right now. Dig deep into your mind and figure out exactly what you would like your life to be. Picture yourself 10 years from now and ask yourself what you would like to see yourself accomplish. Do all of these things and I promise you the results will be astounding. The difference and change you may seek in your life rests in your hands: you have the power to turn a sucky day or a sucky year into one that feels phenomenal.

Do this with Passion!

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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