Moral Grey Area

Taking Advantage of the Human Laziness

laziness

If there is one thing we can always count on when it comes to the human species, it’s our laziness.

People are just inherently lazy. Whenever we’re faced with a choice, we will almost always feel compelled to take the easier way out.

Hell, if we had the choice, half of us would probably stay in bed and hide under the blankets for the rest of our lives.

And no, this isn’t because the internet generation screwed us up and made us all lazy, irresponsible layabouts. As much as we like to blame recent inventions for all our shortcomings, our laziness goes deeper than that.

It’s literally in our genes to be lazy.

It’s always been an evolutionary advantage to find and take the easiest way out of any situation. This allowed our ancestors to get through the day using as little effort as possible, and save their energy for when they really needed it.

But this article isn’t going to be some long rant about how lazy we are. Anyone who has ever spent an entire weekend in bed with an iPad already knows this. Instead, we’re going to look into how we can actually use this laziness to our advantage.

Because once we realize that laziness dominates human decision-making, we can start tilting the scales in our favor. We can stack the deck and make sure this laziness works for us, rather than against us.

Because if people can be counted on to choose the easy way out of any situation, why not make sure your way is that easy way? (more…)

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Acting With Authority

mathias ostlund authority

A long time ago, I spent some time working in a hospital. Or, more specifically, I was working for one of the patients who happened to be at that hospital.

At the time, part of my job involved getting food from the hospital kitchen once a day. There was only one problem though; I wasn’t actually allowed in the kitchen. Only nurses and permanent hospital staff were allowed to go in there.

So, whenever lunchtime came around, I had to stop outside the kitchen, shout in what I needed, and then wait patiently outside as they prepared the stuff for me.

Obviously, this wasn’t an optimal solution. I knew exactly what I needed, and I knew where to find it – all that stood in my way was some stupid rule.

So, on the second day, I asked the nurse who was working if I could just come into the kitchen and get the things myself, since that would be so much easier for everyone.

She just looked at me as if I was insane. Rules were rules – only nurses were allowed in the kitchen, damn it!

It looked like I was doomed to spend those precious minutes waiting outside that kitchen every single day, for as long as I worked there.

Yeah, fuck that.

It was also around this time that I started to get interested in social psychology – and I decided to try a little experiment.

So the next day, when the time came to get my stuff, I simply walked right into that exclusive kitchen. I didn’t ask, I didn’t give any explanation. I just walked in, held my head high, and acted like I belonged.

And holy crap, it worked! There were several people working there that day, and not one of them thought to ask what the hell I thought I was doing. I simply acted as if I had every right to be in there, and everyone treated me accordingly.

After that day, I just kept on walking right into that kitchen whenever I needed to. People got used to seeing me there, and no one ever questioned my self-imposed right to be in there.

That is, until that first nurse returned (the one I had asked permission from), and promptly threw me out.

This whole experience taught me two valuable lessons:

  1. First impressions matter. With that first nurse, my lack of authority was firmly established the second I asked for her permission. After that, it didn’t matter how much I acted like I belonged. She knew for a fact that I didn’t, and she was never going to let me back into that kitchen.

But far more important than this was the second lesson I learned:

  1. If you act with authority, people will treat you with authority. During those days, there must have been at least 30 different nurses who saw what I was doing, and only one ever decided to stop me. None of the others even asked if I should be in there – they just saw a guy acting as if he belonged, and treated me as if this was true.

(more…)

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How to Take Advantage of the Flaws in Your Brain

mathias ostlundYour brain is stupid.

It’s constantly getting fooled into believing dumb things, like how it thinks that approaching the opposite sex is dangerous, how working a job you hate for 40 years is normal, and how it needs whatever products those TV commercials tell it that it needs.

And let’s not forget how your brain is most likely completely convinced that it loves fast food and hates vegetables.

Your brain sure is easy to fool!

But hey, I’m not saying this just to make you feel bad – I’m telling you this because this knowledge might change your life.

Because if your brain is stupid enough to believe that you need that new tech gadget you just saw on TV, then surely it can be tricked into believing whatever you want it to believe, too.

And if your brain is so easy to manipulate, why shouldn’t you take full advantage of that yourself? (more…)

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3 Reasons You Need to Cheat in Life

breaking the rulesAll your life, you’ve had it beaten into your head how bad it is to cheat. You’ve learned to always follow the rules, and that cheating is a sin that will destroy your life and send you straight to hell.

This conditioning has most people walking through life with a notion that cheating or breaking the rules is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t all black and white, and not all cheating is the same. Walking around with an attitude to never ever break the rules or cheat in any way is a very limiting mindset.

Let’s have a look at some common misconceptions people tend to have about cheating, and why they’re pure bullshit. (more…)

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The 4 Principles That Dictate Human Behavior

human behavior principlesWe’ve all been in that position where we are completely perplexed by a person’s behavior. Sometimes, it just seems completely impossible to understand why people act in certain ways!

But the answer is actually quite simple – it all comes down to four basic principles that dictate our behavior at all times. Understanding these principles is the key to understanding – and predicting – human behavior.

 

Of course, these are all basic principles that are actually quite obvious – in fact, you probably already know most of them on some level. The only problem, however, is that very few people seem to actually understand these principles, let alone make any use of them.

These are the four universal principles that dictate how our minds operate. (more…)

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