lazy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/865/all en-US 6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy_man_work_000010275265.jpg" alt="Man learning ways sloth is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sloth &mdash; probably the weirdest of the seven deadly sins. How did it make it onto a short list alongside <em>wrath </em>and <em>greed</em>? What's so bad about being a master in relaxation?</p> <p>English speakers tend to translate sloth as <em>laziness</em>, but sloth is kind of the super group of bad behaviors, encompassing not just laziness, but also apathy, dejection, and indifference. And, although Western Culture tends to reference sloth within the context of Catholicism's seven deadly sins, most cultures and religious traditions around the world think that sloth is really, really bad because it impoverishes people in so many ways. Here's how this sin is keeping you poor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people">25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People</a>)</p> <h2>1. It Destroys Professional Relationships</h2> <p>The main reason why sloth is globally loathed is that it often involves the exploitation of others. The slothful will turn in the bare minimum required at any job, forcing coworkers to pick up the slack. This willingness to squander other people's time, always results in hard feelings. No one likes to feel used. So if your professional growth is stunted by a sloth-like reputation, you can kiss any future raises goodbye.</p> <h2>2. It Degrades Potential</h2> <p>Work is worship. The journey is the destination. The reason why these maxims exist is because it is the hard process of many activities that results in enlightenment, not the end goal. For example, while regular yoga practice can result in a firmer butt, yoga was designed as a preparation for meditation.</p> <p>The demon of sloth is Belphegor. One of the seven princes of Hell, Belphegor tempts humans to the dark side by offering them time-saving gadgets. What a master of seduction, am I right? Because who doesn't want to find an invention that replaces real work? Alas, innovation and great achievement rarely come from taking the easy route.</p> <p>By yielding to sloth, a person is giving up personal and professional growth in exchange for mediocrity. And nobody becomes successful or wealthy by settling for mediocrity.</p> <h2>3. It Makes Work/Life Balance Impossible</h2> <p>Sloth sounds like the most un-American of vices. Say what you will about us, but we're nothing if not industrious. However, we all have that friend who constantly complains about his job. He could quit or switch to a less stressful gig, but his pride gets in the way. He humble-brags about never taking a vacation, and then calls into the office while on holiday, under the assumption that the world will fall apart without him. Sloths will often spend a lot of time just spinning their wheels, rather than creating anything of lasting value.</p> <h2>4. It Erodes Common Sense</h2> <p>I hate camping. Inevitably, I get stuck sharing a tent with the person who wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to pee. But, instead of putting on her shoes and going outside where she might have to be cold for a few minutes, she instead stays inside the tent and keeps me awake by tossing and turning for hours in discomfort. While common sense would dictate that a few moments of cold would be worth several hours of sleep, Belphegor is the devil that you know. And sloth is ultimately about pain avoidance, to the dumbest degree.</p> <p>On a more serious note, the inability to make tough, but necessary decisions can do serious damage to a person's future, when the devil that you know is a terrible job.</p> <h2>5. It Puts Pleasure Out of Reach</h2> <p>Dante describes sloth as a slow love that cannot uplift. Cloistered monks nicknamed sloth the &quot;Noonday Devil.&quot; The Latin translation for sloth comes closer to the word <em>acedia</em>, which Thomas Aquinas described as &quot;the sorrow of the world.&quot; Acedia is that low-grade feeling of ennui, that sense that life is just passing by. Sloth makes it hard to think big or dream of a better life. Which will make it impossible to chase those dreams and achieve personal and professional success.</p> <h2>6. It Harms Your Health</h2> <p>As it turns out, a sorrow for the world can also damage a person's physical and mental health. That &quot;Meh&quot; feeling is actually low-grade anxiety, which can raise levels of cortisol, the body's stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels are not only associated with mood disorders and depression, but also put people at a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037">greater risk for heart disease and diabetes</a>. And nothing destroys your finances like rapidly accumulating medical bills.</p> <p><em>Are you stuck in sloth-mode? Share in the comments section!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-peace-in-hard-times">Financial Peace in Hard Times</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-celebrities-who-live-large-on-a-small-budget">5 Frugal Celebrities Who Live Large on a Small Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle budgeting lazy money habits poor seven deadly sins sins Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Max Wong 1625889 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Low Key Jobs for People Who Hate Stress http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_video_games_000044435178.jpg" alt="Woman having low key career because she hates stress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know people who really seem to thrive in high-profile, high-stress stress occupations. They're the ones who voluntarily come in early and stay late, those who don't ever stop talking about work, and the people who seem to eat, sleep, and live for their jobs.</p> <p>And then there are the rest of us.</p> <p>I don't know about you, but I don't love to work. When I have to do so because I need the money, I try to find jobs that are cool in some way and don't leave me all stressed out at the end of the day. Sound like you? Here are five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress">low-key jobs</a> that pay the bills, and probably won't leave you a ball of nerves at the end of your shift.</p> <p>A note to remember: While these jobs are often fairly low-key, they too, like any other job, demand a strong work ethic and your ability to handle stressful situations should they arise.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Teach English Abroad</h2> <p>In many countries, but especially in China, there aren't terribly high standards for someone who wants to <a href="http://www.internationalteflacademy.com/china-english-teaching-jobs-abroad-asia">teach English</a>. Sometimes the only requirement is to be born and/or educated in an English-speaking country. As long as you have a good reputation, you can often choose your clients and your hours (so sleep in every day &mdash; why not?), and you can make enough to live a a pretty decent lifestyle.</p> <h2>2. Become a Security Guard</h2> <p>If you can land the right gig, being a <a href="http://study.com/articles/Security_Guard_Requirements_for_a_Career_as_a_Security_Professional.html">security guard</a> can be fun while not requiring a ton of energy, especially if you're guarding a posh country club or a gated neighborhood. You might get to sit in a guard shack monitoring camera feeds, walk through areas looking for people acting inappropriately, or drive around a neighborhood periodically. While there <em>is</em> a lot of training involved to teach you how to react in certain dangerous situations, luckily it's pretty rare &mdash; and you can get the police involved if need be.</p> <h2>3. Be a Professional Foreigner</h2> <p>In some countries, having white skin bestows status, all on its own. This means that &mdash; believe it or not &mdash; some companies will <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/rent-a-white-guy/308119/">recruit white people</a> to dress in a suit and represent them at formal functions, even if that person doesn't actually hold any official job in the company. You might have to give speeches, buy official clothes, attend parties, or hold a meet-and-greet. But you can make $1000 a week, just for standing around and looking like yourself.</p> <h2>4. Video Game Tester</h2> <p>Love to play video games? It's good for you, then, that &quot;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-be-a-video-game-tester-2015-6">video game tester</a>&quot; is a job that actually exists. Your salary will probably start low &mdash; between $10 and $18 per hour &mdash; but since you won't have to buy work clothes or eat out, your expenses will also be low. And, after six years or so, you could make over $70,000 annually. For someone who has gamed all their life, it could be the best career you've ever had. Just keep in mind that when it's &quot;crunch time,&quot; it can require a lot more of your time and energy.</p> <h2>5. Power Plant Operator</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/power-plant-operators-distributors-and-dispatchers.htm">Operating a power plant</a>, especially for the government and if you're willing to work the night shift, often means a 12-hour shift with as few as two hours spent actually working. And you can make up to six figures with a few years of experience, simply because you have the right knowledge and you are there in case something gets out of whack. (Which, on second thought, may be a pretty stressful day!)</p> <p><em>Do you have a job that is both cool and not a lot of work? What do you do and how did you get into it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job">Video Resumes and 5 Other Cool Tricks to Land the Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting career easy work employment hate working lazy Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:15:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1608487 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Why Science Says It's Okay to Be Lazy http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-science-says-its-okay-to-be-lazy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-why-science-says-its-okay-to-be-lazy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy-guy-462324311-small.jpg" alt="lazy guy" title="lazy guy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many of your Facebook statuses read, &quot;Should be [insert productive activity], but instead I'm lying here watching the 'Storage Wars' marathon&quot;? Some blame human laziness on modern technology &mdash; conveniences like cars and pre-cooked bacon strip us of the need to be active, while inventions such as television tempt us into immobility. But laziness has been with us much longer than such inventions; after all, Catholic tradition lists &quot;sloth&quot; as one of the seven deadly sins, Buddhism warns against lying around, and <a href="http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2002/08/The-Spiritual-Side-Of-Sloth.aspx?p=3">many other ancient religious texts</a> deride indolence. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-personal-finance-for-lazy-people?ref=seealso">Easy Personal Finance for Lazy People</a>)</p> <p>So maybe we were born to laze? The next time you're feeling bad about being lazy, consider these five scientific excuses for sloth, arranged in an easy-to-read list.</p> <h2>1. You Come From a Lazy Family</h2> <p>University of Missouri-Columbia researchers successfully <a href="http://biomed.missouri.edu/couch-potatoes-may-be-genetically-predisposed-to-being-lazy-mu-study-finds/">bred lazy rats that took it easy all day</a> and annoying rats that went to the gym every morning before showing up at the lab, demonstrating that our genes predispose us to high or low activity levels. So if you lie on the couch a lot, chances are, your forefathers put in a lot of time on the divans in their parlors, too.</p> <p>Rather than kick yourself for wasting another afternoon, recognize that it's hard to overcome laziness, and practice <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/habits-arent-boring-theyre-the-secret-to-happiness-heres-why">developing some new habits</a>.</p> <h2>2. You Are a Teenager</h2> <p>When teens hit puberty, their <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teens-health/art-20046157">body chemistry pushes them to stay alert</a> until late at night, like 11 p.m. or midnight. But they still need about the same amount of shut-eye they needed as children &mdash; nine-plus hours. To get the sleep they need, teens need to sleep the morning away, a behavior that earns them the reputation of being lazy on weekends and vacations, and leaves them exhausted during the school week when early starts are the norm.</p> <p>Some schools have reacted to this news by <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/to-keep-teenagers-alert-schools-let-them-sleep-in/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">rescheduling the mornings</a> to accommodate drowsy students.</p> <h2>3. You Are Human</h2> <p>We human beings naturally conserve our energy unless we have a reason to expend it &mdash; even though we tend to be happier when we are busy. This might seem like common sense, but it's also science: In 2009, a team from the University of Chicago and Shanghai Jiaotong University proved that unless given a reason, most <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/christopher.hsee/vita/Papers/IdlenessAversion.pdf">people prefer to sit idle</a> rather than to perform a task or take a walk, even though sitting idle drives us bonkers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso">6 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <p>The paper's authors posit that this paradox is rooted in evolution, writing, &quot;human ancestors had to conserve energy to compete for scarce resources; expending energy without purpose could have jeopardized survival.&quot; Indeed, our primate relatives, orangutans, <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orangutans-burn-fewer-calories-than-lazy-humans/">avoid expending calories</a> whenever possible, coming in second for slothfulness to only one mammal: the actual sloth.</p> <h2>4. Your Ancestors Grew Easy Crops?</h2> <p>In his book &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ANYDAO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001ANYDAO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Outliers</a>,&quot; Malcolm Gladwell asserts that students of East Asian heritage outscore students of European heritage in math because the former's ancestors worked hard all year cultivating rice paddies, while the European ancestors only farmed <a href="http://www.1reads.com/outliers-gladwell-malcolm?page=0,93">206 days a year</a> and spent winters sitting around the fireplace.</p> <p>In a world where other ethnic groups have more often been unfairly called lazy, it's sort of refreshing to hear white people targeted for once. But that doesn't make it true. Gladwell's hypothesis has come under heavy criticism. One reviewer pointed out that if the rice paddy theory were true, then students from southern China's <a href="http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/book-review-outliers-malcolm-gladwell/">rice-producing areas should outperform</a> northern China's wheat-growing areas, but Gladwell offers no data to support such a conclusion.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that another East Asian, rice-growing culture, Japan, was once <a href="http://www.anthonyworlando.com/2012/08/02/the-myth-of-the-lazy-poor/">maligned as lazy</a> before its economic revolution. Apparent differences between cultures in activity levels probably have more to do with economic conditions than genetics, bringing us handily to the next excuse.</p> <h2>5. You Are Following the Laws of Economics</h2> <p>According to economists, people do what they do because they are rationally responding to incentives. People work hard when presented with incentive to do so and work less when such incentive is absent.</p> <p>&quot;For instance, people are motivated to work hard <a href="http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/jared-diamond/">if they have opportunities to invest</a> their earnings profitably, but not if they have few such opportunities or if their earnings or profits are likely to be confiscated,&quot; writes Jared Diamond in his New York Review of Books piece on the book &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307719219/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307719219&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty</a>.&quot; (Diamond himself spilled plenty of ink on why some nations become wealthy while others languish in his book &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VDUWMC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VDUWMC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies</a>.&quot;)</p> <p>In the United States, people are more likely to work long hours if doing so <a href="http://www.nber.org/digest/jul06/w11895.html">can garner them bonuses and promotions</a>, according to The National Bureau of Economic Research. Those who have no such opportunities will rationally work less and might be perceived as lazy.</p> <p>In other words, when there's nothing in it for you, why bother? And if you want to overcome a lack of motivation, look for some other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">motivations to get you started</a>.</p> <p><em>Any other good reasons to explain away sloth. Please get up off the couch and share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-science-says-its-okay-to-be-lazy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity indolence laziness lazy science sloth Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:00:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1142401 at http://www.wisebread.com Beat the Nirvana fallacy: why doing something is better than nothing http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-nirvana-fallacy-why-doing-something-is-better-than-nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beat-the-nirvana-fallacy-why-doing-something-is-better-than-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/legotton.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever found yourself in a position where you were going to contribute to a good cause: for instance, volunteering at a women's shelter to directly help victims of domestic abuse, only to find yourself rebuked a friend who went, &quot;Why bother? More women will just get beat up everyday.&quot;</p> <p>It probably stung. Do you remember how <em>you</em> reacted? Did you decide not to help, or did you press on ahead?</p> <h2>The Nirvana fallacy is for people who waste their lives.</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy">It</a> basically states that if you can't do something perfectly (like solve all spousal abuse problems or world hunger in the twinkle of an eye), then you shouldn't bother at all. The problem with that is simple: <strong>there's NEVER a perfect solution</strong>, only shades of choices that are better than others, and mistakes you make and can hopefully learn from. Most mistakes aren't grievous and are fantastic &quot;Lego blocks&quot; to build progress upon.</p> <p>Ramit Sethi, author of the new hit book <em>I Will Teach You To Be Rich</em>, makes this point. He was recently <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestselling-author-ramit-sethi-giving-free-trip-anywhere-in-the-us-to-one-lucky-wise-bread-reader">blogged by Will Chen on Wise Bread</a>, and this quote from the book is the moment I knew Ramit was onto quality (as opposed to being just another yappy guru):</p> <blockquote><p>It sounds sexy, but when individual investors talk about complicated concepts like this [referring to buzzwords like &quot;hedge funds&quot;], it's like two elementary school tennis players arguing about the string tension of their racquets. Sure, it might matter a little, but they'd be much better tennis players if they just went outside and hit some balls for a few hours each day.</p> </blockquote> <p>Ramit doesn't specifically cite &quot;Nirvana fallacy&quot;, but that's what he's talking about. <strong>Everyday progress in increments, even when you don't feel like it, is far better than delaying and waiting for a &quot;perfect day to start getting rich&quot;.</strong> That day will NEVER come. Ramit also compares personal finance to weight loss &mdash; the latter being plagued by buzzwords and too many arguments over which diet works best. I connected fad diets to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-spot-a-social-media-snake-oil-salesperson">social media snake oil salespeople</a> earlier, so you can clearly see all these fields have a strong commonality:</p> <p><strong>Too many words, not enough action. </strong></p> <h2>Words are overrated.</h2> <p>Yes, they have many uses but they're often used as an excuse for action. <strong>Words are often a stall tactic to debate points that disintegrate once you begin moving.</strong> Just like Tiger Woods must follow through on his golf swing after observing the scene and knowing what he has to accomplish, you must follow through on your plans &mdash; which are just theory. Words set the scene for what's to come, but will NEVER be a substitute for making progress, even if it's small victories.</p> <h2>9 steps to combat the Nirvana fallacy:</h2> <ol> <li><strong>The vast majority of criticism is useless</strong>, <a href="http://www.changethis.com/53.05.CriticalPublicity">as I've written before</a>, so throw away those doubts like you treat email spam. Critics don't like to hear this (and look where they are).</li> <li><strong>Ditch unsupportive friends and family</strong>, or at least distance yourself. Harsh, but they need to be contributing positively to your life (and you to theirs).</li> <li>If you find yourself in the middle of an argument, whether it's offline or on the Internet, quickly <strong>consider (trust your gut) if it's worth continuing</strong>. The answer is most likely NO: feel free to stop in the middle of a sentence and leave. Humans are drawn to many self-destructive behaviors and you need to be keenly aware that artificial conflict is bypassed by acting; blabbing on is stupid slop.</li> <li><strong>Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day to a goal, that's substantially better than 0.</strong> True, many things require intense focus, so ask yourself: &quot;What can I chop out of my day? What would I not recall fondly on my deathbed?&quot;</li> <li><strong>Accept that the biggest gap lays in between not doing something and getting started:</strong> your mind may be set against exercise, but once you're mid-routine, it feels easier to climb higher. Think, but don't overthink: always be observant of how your words can flow into actions, and over time, you'll be more confident. The impact of growth becomes most relevant in hindsight, so <em>dive in!</em></li> <li><strong>Be biased towards iterating swiftly</strong>, which means making many changes in a short period of time so you can spot mistakes and adapt quickly. Do cheap, lightweight experiments to test the waters so even if you fail, it won't destroy your dream. For instance, if you have your sights set on being a master painter, buy an affordable kit and dabble. Not just casually, but make the most out of your tools &mdash; really MacGyver 'em! Then, you can tell in weeks, even days, if you're ready to move up.</li> <li><strong>It pays to be prolific.</strong> You simply can't gain experience in work or play without putting yourself through a variety of life situations. Some of these can be accelerated (making productivity more enjoyable), others can't (pregnancy). The effectiveness of nearly all experiences can be improved by your attitude towards them.</li> <li><strong>Live with your fears.</strong> Things don't turn out the way you expect, but they might turn out better if you allow yourself to be more playful than worried. When I composed music, I was under the pressure to deliver a masterpiece. Then my counterpoint went: &quot;If I have a great idea that doesn't make it into this song, I'll include it in the next one.&quot; The ongoing result of pairing courage + prolific-ness was that I had plenty of ideas and plenty of songs, instead of freezing at the starting line.</li> <li>Realize that combating the Nirvana fallacy, in turn, leads to a heightened state of consciousness &mdash; not just a spiritual one, but you can apply that if it suits you. And you'll be more aware of others' failings in the world around you due to lack of action, which means you <strong>should give back and encourage more achievements</strong>. However, be graceful about how you help others (don't lambast them with words, that's hypocritical).</li> </ol> <p>The above isn't an end-all (like I said, words are overrated), but will help get you started.</p> <p>The Nirvana fallacy may not be well-known yet (shy of 3,000 Google hits as of this writing), but its effects &mdash; too much talk, too little action are a common inhibitor to human potential. In fact, it almost stopped me from writing this article. That's when I ran through the list above, which I've had floating around in my head for some time now, and didn't just decide to do something about it &mdash; I <em>did</em> it.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you see the Nirvana fallacy taking a foothold in your life? Then it's time (now, not tomorrow) to make your move. Let me know your experiences!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-nirvana-fallacy-why-doing-something-is-better-than-nothing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-how-to-change-that">10 Reasons Why You&#039;re Not Reaching Your Goals (and How to Change That)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity achievement action diet fallacy goal iterate lazy nirvana perfect procastination productivity progress rich task words Sat, 28 Mar 2009 14:10:18 +0000 Torley Wong 2985 at http://www.wisebread.com Would You Stop Coloring Your Hair? http://www.wisebread.com/going-gray-grey-hair-stop-coloring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/going-gray-grey-hair-stop-coloring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/144577104_035a66e548_z.jpg" alt="owl" title="owl" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My hair started turning gray when I was a teenager. At first, it was just a weird little wiry white hair here and there. Then, a few longer strands. But it wasn't until I was 21, living on my own in the big city, that I noticed that I was really, really going gray. It wasn't a big deal &mdash; I was young and favored home coloring kits. I went from black to blonde to brown and over to red. It was fun.</p> <p>As I got older, I started caring a bit more about the kinds of chemicals that I was putting on my hair and skin, so I decided to grow my gray out for a while. With shortly cropped hair, this didn't take long, and before long, I was able to march into the hairdresser and have the remaining colored ends trimmed away, revealing my now natural gray and light brown tresses. What should have been a fairly liberating moment was dampened only by the fact that I suddenly looked, after a few snips of hair had fallen away, about 15 years older than I actually was.</p> <p>My face was suddenly washed out. Crow's feet that I had never noticed waved happily from the corners of my eyes. My cheeks, normally rosy and flushed, suddenly looked wan and sallow. Not only was I gray, I was unevenly gray. My dreams of having great streaks of white and gray strands across the top of a chic hairdo were crushed when I realized that I had inherited my father's hair color: white and gray in a big band that stretched from temple to temple along the back of my head, in a definite mimicry of what I would look like with male pattern baldness. To make matters worse, I only had some gray (mixed with a pale, mousy brown) on the top. I was no <a href="http://www.realistichair.com/store/images/helen_mirren.jpg">Helen Mirren</a>, that's for damn sure.</p> <p>I gulped, smiled bravely at my stylist, who was gazing worriedly at me in the mirror, and then ran home to dye my hair back to a flattering shade of chestnut. That was about three years ago.</p> <p>Recently, I decided to give it a second try. Gray hair is tricky &mdash; it does age one's face. Men seem to get away with gray hair more readily than women. Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, and Anderson Cooper are just some examples of men I see in the media who wear gray hair very well. It's harder for women to get away with, partly because the popular media considers us largely past our prime by the time we hit 35, whereas men are still considered foxy and desirable well into their 50s (or... well, however Paul Newman was.... rrrrowr).</p> <p>But even without cultural idiosyncrasies dancing around in our heads, there are certain indicators of youth that, when removed, are shocking. (Check out this doctored photo of what <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1658058,00.html">Condoleezza Rice</a>would look like with gray hair.) Other odd things that make or break one's youthful look? Longer canine teeth and full lips. Who knew, right?</p> <p>Anyway, this time I am sticking with the gray, both for the sake of saving $75 every three weeks, and also to be free from the tyranny of having to constantly alter so much of my appearance to suit society's needs. I already shave my legs and wear makeup and style my hair and wear deodorant and all other kinds of things to make myself societally acceptable (you're welcome). In a way, I feel like I'm giving myself a break.</p> <p>I won't say that I'm 100% comfortable with my hair right now. When I wear my tan trench coat, I am convinced that I look like Colombo. Whenever I put on reading glasses, I truly feel like I am channeling my inner, elderly librarian (not that librarians don't rock &mdash; they do). At 31, I sometimes feel like I should be wearing bold, daring colors and multiple nose rings, but the truth is, I'm too lazy to maintain an eccentric personal style. I wear black not because I am chic, but because I spill coffee down the front of my shirt every single morning. So allowing my body to do the things that it seems ready to do is a natural choice. And easy choice. A really, really lazy choice.</p> <p>And I'm happy with lazy.</p> <p>Below are some beauty tips I've compiled from a variety of other online articles about how to decorate your face once you let your grays grow out. These actually do make a bit of a difference in countering the slightly aging effect of my hair.</p> <ul> <li>If you have fair skin, you may need to consider a slightly darker foundation. Just a smidge darker, nothing too orangey.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You will need more blush. Period. Highlight those cheekbones and don't be afraid of those slightly iridescent highlighting creams that are meant to make you look all dewy and youthful.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't fake tan or apply bronzer. Unless you have an olive complexion or very warm tones in your non-grey hair, brown and tan tones look oddly muddy against white or gray hair.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some people will tell you that you can no longer where bright shades of eye shadow or lipstick. This is certainly true for me, but there's no reason why you can't experiment a bit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Try colors that never looked good on you. I could never wear blue mascara before I went gray. Now, it actually looks really good, and not at all like a throwback to the 1980s. I used to favor burgundy eye shadows, but now they make me look a bit like a vampire, so I've toned them down to warm mauves and lots of soft pinks, which make me look all glowing and lovely.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Devote effort to your eyebrows. They now work to frame your face more than ever. Keep them professionally manicured (this, fortunately, doesn't cost more than $15-20).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gray hair can be coarse and brittle. Condition it like mad, and rinse it well.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-gray-grey-hair-stop-coloring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-beauty-tools-that-arent-worth-the-money">7 Beauty Tools That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-makeup-brush-cleaners">The 5 Best Makeup Brush Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-lip-glosses">The 5 Best Lip Glosses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-lip-stains">The 5 Best Lip Stains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty colorist going gray going grey gray hair hair color hair dye lazy makeup natural beauty personal style salon stop coloring Fri, 21 Nov 2008 01:01:29 +0000 Andrea Karim 2593 at http://www.wisebread.com Switching Addictions http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/switching-addictions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000061360910_Large.jpg" alt="man running sunrise" title="man running sunrise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hi, my name is Andrea, and I read <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/" target="_blank">Runner's World</a> magazine.</p> <p>[Hi, Andrea].</p> <p>I started reading it a couple of years ago. At first, it was just a glance or two when I was at Barnes and Noble trying to pass a cold, rainy Sunday. Then I started looking at it more carefully, actually reading the articles and analyzing the nutrition charts. After that, I maybe tried a few of the lunges and ab crunches. Finally, I bought and issue and took it home. I was hooked. I even started subscribing, and I read it religiously for two years.</p> <p>What I love about Runner's World are the inspirational stories and columns that seem to come standard with every issue. And these are my guilty pleasures; pleasures, because I feel inspired by the stories of the struggles and victories of people who have faced much harder circumstances than I have, and guilty because despite the inspiration, I never quite seem to get myself in gear.</p> <h2>The Shame! The Joy!</h2> <p>Because I'm not a runner, I hide my issues of Runner's World from everyone save a few people who already know me well enough not to laugh. It's sort of my Chicken Soup for the Lazy-Ass Soul.</p> <p>It was the Warmup article in the March 2007 issue of Runner's World that really made me think. &quot;Home Run&quot; introduces us to Brent Ion, a marathoner who is also a part of a homeless advocacy group in Palm Beach County, Florida. Brent started a running group for the homeless citizens of Palm Beach County, hoping to reach people with drug addictions and teach them about how structure and discipline can lead to accomplishments and self-confidence.</p> <p>Homeless people who have joined Ion's group, known as the HomeTeam, have found that running and marathon training has helped them overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol. Even though many of them admit that they only joined because each HomeTeam member gets a free pair of sneakers, these people have overcome meth, cocaine, and alcohol addictions as a part of their training and friendship.</p> <h2>Switching Addictions</h2> <p>Something that isn't mentioned in the article, however, is the idea of switching addictions. There is such a thing as a positive addiction. I know this, because once in my life, for a very limited time, I was addicted to running.</p> <p>When I say that it was for a limited time, I mean really limited. When I got addicted to running, I was in high school. I started running around the inside of my school after class was out. A lot of sports teams did this when the snow got too deep outside, and I sort of went at my own pace and pondered the meaning of high school life. It wasn't too bad &mdash; I found that if my mind wandered to other things, I could run a mile without feeling it.</p> <p>After a few weeks, I was feeling pretty good. And then one day in gym class during our jogging warm-up, I experienced a runner's high. It felt GREAT. I had never had one before, and it was so exhilarating. Even though we were supposed to be lifting weights that day, my P.E. teacher allowed me to just run laps around the gym for the whole hour. The strange thing was that I didn't want to do anything BUT run, and the elation that I felt when running stayed with me for a long time.</p> <p>About a week later, my appendix burst, and that pretty much put an end to my running career. It took me a long, long time to be able to climb the stairs again without seeing spots, and I never really started running again.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Such Thing as a &quot;Good&quot; Addiction?</h2> <p>But back to the addicts in Runner's World. Brent Ion, the guy who headed up the group, started running in 1998 to help him kick his addiction to nicotine. From what I can tell, it seems that Brent traded one habit for another - he took up a positive addiction in lieu of a negative one. And all of his recruits seem to be doing the same thing.</p> <p>Running as an addiction isn't a new idea.&nbsp;Other people have managed to form different positive addictions. Many smokers find that their nervous fidgeting can be calmed by crafty undertakings.</p> <p>Of course, calling yourself a &quot;running addict&quot; can be construed as annoyingly cutesy, or a sign that someone has an exercise addiction. If someone can't stop running, then that's not a good thing either, but my guess is that exercise addiction is more rare than, say, alcoholism. And it's probably not a stretch to say that people who replace a bad addiction with a good one, like running or knitting or whatever, probably have the need to keep participating in their good addiction, less they feel the pull of the old, bad addictions too strongly.</p> <h2>Moo-lah</h2> <p>Thus, addicts have an impetus for remaining active, or crafty. The best part, from my standpoint, is the money saved.</p> <p>The best part about a positive addiction (or a replacement habit, or whatever you want to call it) is that the replacement habits are usually inexpensive. Unless you go from, say, cocaine addiction to model train obsession, then you're probably saving a bundle.</p> <p>The cost of smoking varies depending on how much you smoke, but a conservative estimate of the yearly cost in cigarettes alone is upwards of $1,700 a year. And that's among the cheaper addictions, really. Alcoholism is an even more expensive addiction to suffer from, even before counting the cost of healthcare associated with treating the disease.</p> <p>Running, juggling, knitting, bird watching, obsessive Scrabble playing; these habits are virtually free after initial investment of maybe $100 or so (knitters: stay away from the alpaca yarns &mdash; that's where they getcha).</p> <p>I don't have any truly health-threatening addictions, unless you count caffeine and sloth, so I'm hoping to replace sloth with running. I went for my first run last night. Maybe &quot;run&quot; is a bit of a stretch. I went for my first &quot;jog for a block, walk and gasp for a block,&quot; but I'm hoping to turn it into an addiction if I can.&nbsp;</p> <p>I should mention that I obviously don't advocate that people with very serious drug addictions merely get up and start running all over the place. Even more common addictions, such a nicotine, can be helped immensely through medication and medical intervention. And they always say that you should start an exercise program only after consulting your doctor, so consult away.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switching-addictions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout">7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">Exercising in a Winter Wonderland: How to Be Fit and Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">How to Run Your First 5K</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty addiction alcoholism drug abuse exercise jogging juggling lazy nicotine quit smoking race Runner's World running sloth training Tue, 06 Feb 2007 18:28:56 +0000 Andrea Karim 252 at http://www.wisebread.com