Category Archives: Hobby

Angels In The Hallway

The Either Or Pattern

We humans like choice, but not too much.

Choosing between 3 or maybe 4 things is pretty easy.

Which makes sense.

They say we can hold between 5 and 9 (7 +/- 2) things in mind at once.

So looking at three kinds and choosing one means we’re really thinking of six things at once.

The pros and cons of each choice (pro and con times 3).

When we get up to four, it’s kind of stretching our brains.

Looking at five things, it starts to get difficult.

This is what marketers have found when experimenting with different choices on supermarket shelves.

Three variations seems to be the sweet spot.

But there’s another way to look at choice.

How we compare things to one another.

Students were asked to put their hands in a bucket of water, and guess the temperature.

The “test bucket” was always the same temperature.

But their “guess temperature” was dependent on what their OTHER HAND was doing.

If their other hand was in warm water, they under-estimated the test bucket.

If their other hand was in cold water, they over-estimated the test bucket.

So when offering a choice to somebody, how you present that choice will have a HUGE impact on how they choose.


A marketer was trying to sell a kitchen gadget. It had a few features and was $150.

People would look at it on the shelf, all by it’s lonesome, and only a few people would buy it.

All he did was take a much more expensive gadget ($400 or so) and put it next to the $150 gadget.

The $400 gadget had only a few more features.

So the $150 looked CHEAP by comparison.

Simply by rearranging his shelves, he sold WAY more stuff.

There are tons of ways to leverage this.

Especially if you already have two choices, and there is ONE that you prefer.

Just present the costs of the other choice (the one you don’t want them to choose) as being disproportionately higher than the associated benefits.

Then when they choose, it will be THEIR choice.

Even though you “helped” them make it.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to do conversationally.

Just take a little bit of thought before presenting your ideas, and present them accordingly.

Learn How:

Seven Laws

What Is Your Ideal Skill?

Do You Have What It Takes?

The Power of Focus

​There’re lots of hobbies you can have.

And a lot of reasons for having them.

Some people have hobbies to help them relieve stress.

Other people have hobbies to have fun.

Some hobbies are exciting, in the moment, and don’t require any kind of goal, other than a short term one. Something like cycling, or playing competitive sports. Other than physical fitness, most hobbyists of this sort don’t have a specific long range goal.

On the other hand, some hobbies are much less “in the moment,” and have a very specific long range goal. Putting together jigsaw puzzles, knitting, painting, model building. One particularly interesting hobby is building those ships inside of bottles.

You’ve got to spend quite a bit of time on very controlled, very precise movements. At the same time, you have a VERY specific outcome in mind. One that you focus on for months at a time.

There’s a story of this town in ancient China that was about to come under attack. So they hired this martial arts trainer, and he was supposed to get them ready.

He said he needed to find somebody to become the town “fighter,” who’d take his place after he left.

He chose the guy who served him tea in the local restaurant. When asked why, he said that guy had the most focus. When he poured the tea, he could tell there was NOTHING ELSE on the guy’s mind.

This, he said, it’s what’s required to be a martial artist capable of defending the town.

That’s kind of the same focus those ship-in-a-bottle builders have.

And it’s the kind of focus you need to develop if you are going to create something magnificent in your life.

Almost everybody dreams of greatness. Few take the day to day actions required to get there.

But consider this:

Experts say that if you practiced something for a certain amount of time, you’ll be the best in the world.

How much time? Well that really depends on what you’re doing, where you’re starting, and how “great” you’d like to become.

Take something simple like playing the piano, or the keyboard. How good would you be if you only spent 30 minutes a day for the next three or four years?

How about the next ten years?

The idea is to take something you enjoy doing, that can also make you some money, in some capacity.

And the better you get at it, the more opportunities you’ll start seeing.

So, what would you like to master in your life?

What skill? What talent? What ability?

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