Why we make mistakes: Winging it, too few constraints, greener grass

In this and a couple of preceding and subsequent posts, i’ll be excerpting  the 13 reasons from:

Why We Make Mistakes, Joseph T. Hallinanm, Broadway Books

Grass look s greener

Today, we finish the list … ending with an old standby: The Grass Looks Greener …



The errors we make can be explained through 13 lessons:

1. We look but don’t always see.

2. We all search for meaning.

3. We connect the dots.

4. We wear rose-colored glasses.

5. We can walk and chew gum — but not much else.

6. We’re in the wrong frame of mind.

7. We skim.

8. We like things tidy.

9. Men shoot first.

10. We all think we’re above average.

* * * * *

11. We’d rather wing it.

Over time, winging it just doesn’t work. Knowledge and deliberate practice do.

When performed correctly, prolonged, deliberate practice produces a large body of specialized knowledge in the mind of the person doing the practice.

Having this large body of knowledge allows an expert to quickly recognize patterns that other people don’t.

12. We don’t constrain ourselves.

One way to reduce errors is by introducing constraints. Essentially, these constraints are simple mental aids that keep us on the right track by limiting our alternatives

13. The grass does look greener.

Researchers have found that when it comes to well-being, neither social states, education, income, marital status, nor religious commitment accounts for more than about 3 percent of the variance in people’s reported levels of well-being.

Nonetheless, it’s human nature to overvalue the unknown and, in the process, chase elusive dreams that turn out to be less fulfilling than what we have.

All done …


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