What I'm Reading, Vol. Thirty-One

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why Germans Work Fewer Hours But Produce More: A Study In Culture (via Knote)
German business culture is one of intense focus and direct communication. While Americans tend to value small talk and maintaining an upbeat atmosphere, Germans rarely beat around the bush. German workers will directly speak to a manager about performance reviews, launch into a business meeting without any "icebreakers", and use commanding language without softening the directives with polite phrases. Whereas an American would say, "It would be great if you could get this to me by 3pm," a German would say, "I need this by 3pm". When a German is at work, they are focused and diligent, which in turn leads to higher productivity in a shorter period of time.

Nobody Wants to Be the Girl on a Diet (via The Huffington Post)
It's hard to grasp, on a psychological level, just what is so unappealing about someone monitoring her food intake. Maybe it has something to do with phrases like monitoring your food intake. Or maybe watching someone pick discriminately at lettuce leaves subconsciously upsets our pleolithic impulse to consume. Whatever the reason, when it comes to thinness, "effort" is unbecoming. No one actually wants to be seen as the lady on the diet, even though half of us are the lady on the diet at any given time. Maybe it's just that food is enjoyable. Thus, regularly abstaining from large categories of it makes one seem kinda joyless. Who wants to seem joyless? Or worse: the kind of person who pretends to find joy in a bowl of thrice-massaged kale.

The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Life Changes (via Zen Habits)
The mind is a wonderful thing. It's also a complete liar that constantly tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us, and stops many great changes in our lives. Scumbag, mind. The mind wants comfort, and is afraid of discomfort and change. The mind is used to its comfort cocoon, and anytime we try to push beyond that comfort zone very far or for very long, the mind tries desperately to get back into the cocoon. At any cost, including our long-term health and happiness.

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