How to Stop Falling for Your Own Tricks

How to Stop Falling for Your Own TricksHave you ever wondered why stores use prices like $99.99? Why not just sell the same pair of shoes for an even $100?

Ah, but you already know the answer. It’s a simple psychological trick. If the shoes cost less than $100, even by just a penny, they fall into a lower price bracket in your mind.

But there’s something really bizarre about this trick.

Almost everyone can explain why stores price things the way they do. So why do businesses keep using this trick if everyone knows about it?!

Because it still works.

As business consultant Ash Ambirge explains, “…it’s not because they’re trying to fool you. It’s because we need to fool ourselves.”[i]

And sadly, that makes sense, too. It makes sense because we trick ourselves into making poor decisions all the time.

Here’s how it works. Most of the time, we know what we really want to do. So instead of seriously analyzing the pros and cons, we trick ourselves.

We focus on half-truths. We call our unrealistic expectations “optimism.” We intentionally ignore warning signs, claiming we’re just being spontaneous.

And this doesn’t just happen when you’re shopping. It happens when you make profound relationship decisions, too.

That’s why your brilliant, strong friend ended up dating that complete jerk who took advantage of her awesomeness for months before she dumped him. She tricked herself into making that bad decision.

Because she wanted to.

If you don’t want to make the same kinds of mistakes in your own relationships, you have to learn how to stop falling for your own tricks.

Use the simple checklist below to become untrickable…even to yourself.

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Discover What Jealousy Can Teach You

learning from jealousyImagine:

The world has blown up. There are only two people left on Earth:

You … and Mr. Dreamy.

There’s no one else left. No rivals. No one thinner, prettier, or sexier. No one who’ll steal him from you.

Do you fall in love and live happily ever after?

It’s tempting to think that’s what it would take.

To get the attention of a Mr. Dreamy, you’d have to rid the world of other women. Other women are the problem. They’re the reason men look the other way.

Sounds a bit extreme!

But have you ever had thoughts like:

If only she wasn’t here, he’d pay attention to me.
She stole him from me, even though she knew I was interested in him.
I can’t compete with her. I’m no swimsuit model.

Jealousy makes a lot of sense when you operate from a “scarcity” mindset.

Scarcity is the idea that the dating pool is limited and there aren’t enough guys to go around. You have to fight to get in front, and then you have to fight to keep your man.

You’ll find a lot of support for that belief. It’s a popular one.

But if you stretch that belief to its logical conclusion—that the best way to snag a man is to get rid of the competition—you realize there’s a problem with scarcity thinking.

If the world blew up tomorrow, leaving only you and your ideal man, would you be happy?

Maybe you would. Maybe love is all you need. Maybe you don’t need other people.

But maybe Mr. Dreamy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. You’d be left until the end of time with no one but a man for company. Might get boring. You might end up wishing for another woman to talk to.

To be happy, we need more than love. We need our social network around us.

Without friends, who would we vent about our other half to? You can love someone to the moon and back, but still need your friends for heart-to-hearts.

As long as there are other women in the world, there’s a chance your dream man might shift his attention away from you. And that’s a chance worth taking.

Instead of eliminating the competition, a better strategy is to look at what you do when you start feeling jealous.

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My Friend Breathes Music

being in the presentDo you have this superpower? My friend is a social worker with a difficult job working on the inpatient unit of a mental health hospital. She has a forty-minute commute to work each day.

I was talking with her about an audiobook I was listening to while driving to my office one day. She seemed surprised that anyone would listen to a book while riding in the car. Her commentary was, “Music is like breathing for me. It’s life!”

That statement would not be so incredible if it were not for the fact that I could literally feel the joy emanating from her as she spoke those words. It was like happiness was dancing in her eyes, putting on a full Broadway production instead of the usual little sparkle that hints at joy.

She told me of some of the difficulties she faces at work and the way the music lifts her up, preparing her mind to embrace what good she can find during each workday. At least, that’s what I reflected back to her as I tried to practice good listening skills.

She corrected me by noting I had missed the point. “You’re close, James, but it’s a little deeper than that. I don’t use music as a tool to change my mental state. I become one with the music. I am the music. It’s my security and it’s my power.”

She went on to describe the way she rides the rhythms and the vibration of the music, experiencing it as a form of harmony or oneness. She explained how she rides that wave of power, security, and energy through the difficult interactions she faces during the course of each workday. All she has to do is let the fresh memory of the music play in her mind.

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