When Dan Pink published his bestselling book "Drive" in 2009, he wrote about the importance of cultivating in your employees a sense of purpose. In other words, people should feel that they're making a difference in the world and acting in the service of something larger than themselves.
Recently though, Pink has broadened his definition of purpose to include "purpose with a small p," or making a contribution and doing something that others care about.
It's the feeling that, if you didn't show up for work one day, something wouldn't get done around the office and your coworkers or clients would be disappointed.
In 2014, researchers at Harvard Business School designed a two-week experiment at a college cafeteria. The researchers wanted to know in which condition the customers would say that the food tasted best and the food would be prepared fastest.
What likely happened, according to the researchers, is that the cooks realized their work mattered to specific people, rather than the vague and faceless "customer," and were motivated to improve the quality of their product.
This study isn't the first to demonstrate that, when people connect with the recipients of their work, their performance improves. In 2007, for example, Wharton professor Adam Grant and colleagues had call center employees meet beneficiaries of the scholarships they were trying to raise funds for.
Pink suggests that managers go out of their way to point out employees' contributions, no matter how small. Most companies offer 401(k) plans a€” a type of retirement account that gives you large tax advantages and allows you to compound more money over time a€” and in many cases, employers will also offer a 401(k) match.
The company match is a simple concept: your company will match whatever contribution you put towards your 401(k) up to a certain amount. In this example,A "If you start at age 25 and earn 8% on your money, you'll have more than $2,700,000 with the 401(k) match when you retire a€” or just over $1,350,000 with no match," explains Sethi. If your company does not offer a match, open up the 401(k) anyway, but don't contribute any money towards it right away. Even making sure you're waking up a few hours within when you usually wake up during the week would be a lot better than waking up at 2 p.m. Like our ancestors, our bodies evolved to be awake when it's light out and asleep when it's dark.
It's hard not to feel nocturnal when you leave for work before the sun has risen and you comeA home after it sets.
As much fun as it is to scroll through social media before snoozing, the light our smartphones and computer screens emit confuses our body clocks because they wans to keep running as if it's still day time. Instead of powering your body down, the light causes you to be more alert and ready to keep on going a€” even if it's way past your designated bedtime.
What this boils down to isA sticking with to a schedule and making sure you're getting enough sunlight during the day. Three quarters of online shopping carts are abandoned, which translates directly into lost sales for retailers.
To recoup some of those losses, many retailers offer deep discounts to customers with full, idling carts.
In order to get the deals, customers need to simply register an email address with a retailer, fill an online cart with goods, and wait for an email, which tends to arrive within 72 hours. Kyle James, a writer for the blog Rather Be Shopping, has compiled a list of retailers' promotions for abandoned carts and what they offer.
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When you don’t have clarity, it is easy to end up feeling stuck, frustrated and not knowing what to do. It can also trigger all sorts of other negative feelings like self-doubt, self-criticism and feeling unfulfilled, to name but a few. Those things will fuel that cycle of lack of clarity even more and can create more confusion. Put your computer, phone, gadgets, apps and any other gizmo you use to micro manage yourself down.
The reason this is important is because all too often a big part of the problem with lack of clarity is that you just don’t have time and mental space to think and process.
When it feels right for you, start to write your thoughts and whatever is coming up for you down on the paper. Use what comes out of this exercise to inform the next small steps you could take to move forward. Have fun playing with this simple but powerful way to break the cycle and take the first steps to getting on the path to clarity. Let me know how you get on with this exercise in the comments below, and any other views and experiences you have on getting clarity. Hi Lisa, totally with you on the going outside in the fresh air and nature – food for the soul!
Today, I wrote about my absence from my blog for the last month and how much of my struggle came from a lack of clarity.
This sounds like a wise strategy – getting back to the basics of pen and paper and really listening to your thoughts. Includes a step by step process to get on the path to the life and results you really want.


Good news: Chances are, potential employers might actually see you in a more positive light if you share that info than if you withhold it, at least according to a four-part study from Harvard Business School researchers Leslie John, Kate Barasz, and Michael NortonA andA highlighted in a recent NPR story from science correspondent Shankar Vendantam. What they found was that when others can tell we might be hiding something a€” or at least not telling the full truth a€” they tend to perceive us as less trustworthy than people who reveal more about themselves.
First, they looked at how peoplea€™s dating preferences would be affected by prospective dates' tendency to either hide or reveal personal information.
In the questionnaires, the fake prospects had answered how frequently theya€™d engaged in each of five a€?unsavorya€? behaviors, like having a fantasy of doing something terrible to someone else using the scale: Never, once, sometimes, frequently, or choose not to answer. Overall, 79% of people chose to date the revealer when his or her answers varied from a€?nevera€™ to a€?frequentlya€™. Researchers also randomly assigned them to either imagine that they smoke weed a€?frequentlya€? (defined as smoking regularly a€?and occasionally using harder drugsa€?) or a€?occasionally.a€? Finally, researchers asked them to choose between answering yes (revealing) or picking a€?choose not to answera€? (hiding). Overall, the vast majority of the participants (71%) chose to withhold information about what drugs theya€™d used and how often theya€™d used them, suggesting that most of us think revealing potentially negative information would be perceived negatively and make prospective employers less likely to hire us. Other research backs up this idea: AA meta-analysisA from the American Psychological Association found that people who engage in what they called "intimate disclosures" tended to be liked more than thoseA who disclose less about themselves.
For his study, Aron separated two groups of people, then paired people up within their groups and had them chat with one another for 45 minutes.
Not surprisingly, the pairs who asked the gradually more probing questions felt closer and more connected after the 45 minutes were up. Many people with credit card debt complain of harassment and humiliation by debt collectors who constantly call them at home and even work to demand payments. Reddit users with that dilemma recently sought advice from California attorney Eric Ridley, who answered a slew of debt- and bankruptcy-related questions in a popular Reddit AMA under the name ridleylaw.
Ridley, who has suedA abusive debt collectors, made his Reddit audience aware of a law that makes it illegal for debt collectors to continue calling them at home and work, as long as the borrower follows a couple simple steps. The only permitted exception is to inform the consumer that the debt collector is ending further efforts or resorting to "specified remedies," the law continues.
In other words, the creditor or the debt collector can still sue debtors; they just can't keep contacting them at home or at work.
People like Jossel can escape this treatment simply by knowing their rights according to this law and voicing it. Specifically, the researchers focused on the grill station, where students typically placed and retrieved their orders without seeing or interacting with the cooks. Sure enough, those employees' performance improved significantly, compared to employees who didn't meet any beneficiaries. But taking the time to acknowledge how and why they contributed to the company can make a huge difference. If your salary is $100,000 a year and you choose to contribute 5% of that ($5,000) to your 401(k), your company will also put in $5,000, making your actual investment $10,000 each year.
If you have an employer match, calculate how much you need to contribute to get the full match.
Set up your account so that the contributing money is sent directly to your 401(k) account, meaning you'll never even see it in your paycheck. While it is important to eventually be contributing to a 401(k) and a Roth IRA, Sethi says to prioritize the Roth IRA over the 401(k) if your company does not offer a match, as it will be a better long-term investing deal than a non-match 401(k). It works just like theA jet lag you get from crossing multiple time zones, only it happens when our body clocks get thrown off by the gap between our weekend and weekday sleep schedules.
Think about it this way: The jet lag from a New York-to-Chicago flight isn't nearly as bad as a flight from New York to San Francisco.
Dim offices with artificial light can mess up that cycle and trick our bodies into thinking it's later than it is. The more sunlight you get in the morning, the earlier your central clock will want to get up. So while those late-night Netflix binge sessions seem like a great idea for a relaxing Friday, it's best to switch off screens at least an hour you plan to go to sleep. The more sunlight you get during a€?naturala€? waking hours, the earlier your body clock will be set.
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Yes, the humble and simple paper and pen is going to help you break the cycle and take the first steps to getting more clarity.
Let it flow and morph into ideas, self-questioning, considering options, working through pros and cons. The more clear and specific the action you take is, the better the results you want to achieve will be. I find myself very scatter brained often and I know it’s because I have too much clutter in my little pea brain. I so easily lost my desire to continue because I had allowed things to go in the wrong direction.
And you are so right, about how simple it can all be – simplifying like crazy makes a big difference.
I like the idea of putting all tech aside and just spending some time with you and a notebook.
Usually when I feel overwhelmed, I close my eyes for about twenty minutes and go into a very light sleep state, almost like hypnosis.


And you are right in what you are saying – powering down and stepping back and giving ourselves some mental and physical time and space is really powerful.
My work life is connected through the Internet and I am with it more than my family and friends!
Taking time to ask ourselves questions is a very powerful way to get clarity, focus and meaningful answers.
I can relate to what you are saying about the internet – a lot of my work is done that way too.
And their findings dona€™t just apply to job interviews: The research suggests that potential dates, too, prefer people who share personal information over those who try to hide it. They asked participants to choose between people who confirmed theya€™d frequently engaged in suspect behavior (a€?revealersa€?) and people whoa€™d simply chosen not to disclose this information (a€?hidersa€?).
The revealer always answered all the questions but varied his or her responses, while the hider only answered three questions and chose not to answer two. Even when the revealer answered a€?frequentlya€™ to all of the embarrassing questions, 64% of people preferred to date them over the hider.
While the first group of pairs spent the 45 minutes engaging in small talk, the second group got a list of questions that gradually grew more intimate. Six months later, two of the participants (a tiny fraction of the original study group) even found themselves in loveA a€” an intriguing result, though not a significant one. CodeA A§ 1692c, applies specifically to communication related to debt collection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Ridley told Reddit users he is concerned about young people's lack of knowledge about finance in general, especially their rights when they find themselves in debt. If you can afford to have that amount taken out of your paycheck and still live comfortably, do it. To fix this, find a way to get as much natural light as possible during the day by sitting by a window or taking walks outside throughout the day.
Having a regular wake-up and bedtime should help you avoid as much social jetlag as possible. After that, collating your thoughts onto paper can be a very powerful way to bring it all together and move it into something that creates change or moves you forward. I need a break, to step away and write down my goals (although I know most of them.) Going back to paper and pen, and quieting my mind, will be an wonderful relief. I use evernote to keep all my ramblings in one place and it’s often helpful to go back and read what I wrote and see how frequently I ended up being spot on. These are great ideas which I need to implement – especially stepping away from the gadgets! They tested several variations of this experiment by seeing how a€?revealersa€™ who unintentionally left questions blank would be perceived as well. The fake employers were more interested in hiring the people whoa€™d answered a€?yesa€™ compared with the people whoa€™d opted out of answering. She entered a common vicious cycle of debt through so-called payday lenders, who typically give loans under $500 due on the borrower's next payday. Frank Scheer, a professor at Harvard Medical School told Science News he has virtually no social jet lag thanks to early morning wake-ups from his kids.
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Still, participants tended to choose the revealer (even if theya€™d accidentally failed to answer some questions) over the hider. That led to constant phone calls from collection agencies at the office where she worked as a paralegal. Here you can browse and download any number of pictures for your social networking sites purpose only.
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