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Things in Life That Arent Fair - Printable Version

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Things in Life That Arent Fair - Moamar Qazafi - 07-30-2011

Life#8223;s not fair. Our thought processes are controlled by brains that are not always strictly rational. Social and economic forces beyond our control can toss us like plastic bags in the wind.

People prefer to do business with people they have relationships with, rather than the ones offering the best deal. We#8223;ll drive miles out of our way to support a local store or a friend#8223;s shop because of the relationship we have with the proprietors. We#8223;ll spend more money on services from friends of friends rather than coldly evaluating all the possible vendors. Again and again, social relationships balance and even outweigh other considerations like cost and convenience.

What to do about it Develop your social network! While you should certainly focus on providing value in every other way, developing social relationships will often be the thing that gives you the edge over your com-petitors.

We trust other people, even when we think theyre wrong. Far too often , we#8223;ll go with the crowd, even when we think the crowd is wrong. The classic example is a psychological study in which several people, only one of whom is not in on it, view three lines of different lengths and asked which is the longest. Everyone says the shortest one is longest, until they get to the actual subject who knows they#8223;re all wrong but agrees with them anyway so as not so make waves. Other examples include people#8223;s willingness to join lines even when they#8223;re not sure what the line is for, and people#8223;s unwillingness to enter restaurants that are empty.

What to do about it It#8223;s easy to say don#8223;t be a sheep but it#8223;s part of our social nature. We don#8223;t generally want to rock the boat; it#8223;s socially dangerous, and can even be physically dangerous at times. The best we can do most of the time is ask ourselves what, exactly, we have to gain from following other people#8223;s leads. The point isn#8223;t to avoid doing what other people are doing, but to avoid doing it because other people are doing it. If we can determine that, we#8223;d do something whether or not others did it, and would also enjoy doing it!