Factoids For Cool Scholars

When you add the suffix ‘oid’ to a word like anthropoid, the meaning becomes
human–like. Factoid is appearing like a factual piece of information. It includes
knowledge that is brief and trivial, but that conclusion is in the eyes of the beholder.

Speed Walking

Dr. Stephanie A Stidenski, Pittsburgh School of Medicine trailed 500 senior citizens
for ten-years. Those who moved slowly found Death tracking them. The
consequence of Speed Walking was a measurably longer life.

So? Your gait (walking pace) is a super predictor of your long-term survival and
outliving your competitors for oxygen. This information is approved by the
Gerontological Society. In November ’07 the Journal of the Geriatrics Society
reported, folks who improved their walking speed, lower their risk of cashing-in
their chips to the Grim Reaper.

Wait. Almost ten-years after the 500 seniors had their gait measured, 77% of the slow-pokes had passed-over. Get this: 50% of those labeled medium-gait were
knocked off, while only 27% of the Speed Walkers had been burned-off by the
Grim Reaper.

Will you quickly delete this speed-walking factoid from your 3-pound coconut?

In Denial

Homo sapiens and capuchin monkeys have two-eyes and a nose in the middle of their face, and one other thing, both rationalize their decisions, Yale calls it self-delusion. This research by Louisa C. Egan, Yale University appears in Psychological Science November ’07.

Why We Rationalize

Could our pleasure-pain brain structures drive us to fulfill our positive
instinct for being right? Maybe being wrong leads to our tribe (team
members) to opt for Social Distancing and not Social Bonding. There are
serious consequences to not having someone covering your back, perhaps

Could being wrong be a genetic marker and cause us to be deserted at the
side of the savannah? Is it fear of the Grim Reaper again?

The Yale researchers offer three reasons to rationalize. The need to impress ourselves, impress others, and protect our feelings.


Successful people realize problems in life and career are inevitable, and terminate
only with your demise. These same cool folks know your ability to solve your life and career problems through persistence, research and determination, are also inevitable. Do not quit ten-feet from the top of Mount Everest.

Coping has within it two-concepts: struggling and success. Check it out, if you
cope you wrestle and persevere over your problems. It is from Old French meaning
to strike.

Cognitive Dissonance

Humans get a headache from hold two conflicting ideas in their mind simultaneously. We need closure, a decision and a rationalization for that
decision. Don’t we feel better after we decide, than in the choosing process?

Is decision-making rational (cognitive) or emotional? Cool folks want to be
seen as rational beings, logical and organized; in fact we are mostly emotional and
directed by our amygdala and our limbic system.

We justify our feelings being the decision-maker by having a list of 1-2-3 rational reasons to justify our emotional decisions. Do you believe the Gallop statistic that 10% (only accountants) of car purchases are based on facts and figures?

The rest of us are influenced by our senses of smells, color, touch, and the need for admiration by friends and neighbors. Is there a more beautiful sound than a purring engine?

Evolution: rationalization has survival value. If you sit and second-guess yourself,
and suffer the pangs and arrows of Buyer’s Remorse, you are wasting time instead
of producing something useful. Maybe today it is not about hunting and collecting
for the next meal, but second-guessers are not decisive career problem-solvers.

Believing Intelligence is Fixed Loses

John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil, the first American billionaire, had a
sign posted at the inside entrance to his offices at 26 Broadway, NYC. He asked all
executives to stop to read it daily.

“If you are not failing enough, you are not taking enough risk. No great risks,
no great successes.” John D. Rockefeller

There are two-mindsets options available to cool folks. Both have scientific researchers to support them so it is not black-or-white.

First, human intelligence is fixed by about age 21 and like your eyes, degrades and suffers deterioration decade-by-decade to the end of your days.

The second scientific principle is: intelligence has a potential for growth during your
entire lifetime, if you work at it. This is called the Growth Mindset. It is my life experience, not based on a burning desire for wish fulfillment. Learners survive,
thrive, and enjoy life more.

Deliberate Mistakes

One prominent researcher, Paul J.H. Schoemaker, author of The Wisdom of
Deliberate Mistakes, had an article published in the Harvard Business Review.
He says, losers pay too much attention and waste their time focusing on the
outcome (result), than on the process (journey) of solving their problems.

He agrees with Rocky – if you are not making a certain number of mistakes,
you are playing it too safe. Sure, but making mistakes, being wrong, goes
against everything we have learned from experience since 1st grade.

There are three methods of learning new skills and knowledge.
a) observation – see the efforts of others – apprenticeship.
b) listening to the accumulated wisdom of scholars.
c) trial-and-error

The optimal method: getting in the zone, in the flow and having peak
experiences requires a) b) and c). Some say if you avoid making errors,
you lose out at how your brain learns. My own experience, practice not freezing up
when you are found to be in error. Plow ahead to the top of Mount Everest.

Endwords: what you have just finished are mere factoids, not holy writ.
You will remember and use information emotionally-charged, and
quickly forget the logical, reasonable, and ordered knowledge. It is brain science,
and called Surprising Broca’s Area. Google: Dr. Paul Broca, 1861.

Choose and then get on with it if you are part of the Vital 20%, instead of the trivial 80% folks. Google: Professor Vilfredo Pareto and his 80/20 rule.

We suggest you become a life-long-learner because it is fun, reduces Alz
by up to 40% according to Dr. Yaccov Stern, Columbia Medical School,
and some scientists believe can add up to 9 years to your longevity.

If you 3x your learning-skills, and 2x your long-term memory, you
gain mysterious benefits including the aforementioned. Ask us how.

See ya,
copyright 2007 H. Bernard Wechsler www.speedlearning.org

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Baron's,
original business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed
reading, graduating 2 million including the White House staff
of four U.S. Presidents.