This won’t be the last time I tell you, I am blessed to have some of the most incredible and inspiring friends.
Today I was able to connect with two of my best friends who never fail to bring new ideas and a new sense of appreciation into my life. Maria and Esteban spent all summer in Panama doing good (creating teaching programs with locals, mentoring Kalu Yala interns, and spreading joy) and dreaming of ways to do better (from phone apps to healthy recipe cards these two never stop).
So what are these amazing people up to next? Their current goal: Make goodness attractive and make making good decisions easier.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about making decisions, learning why we make certain decisions, and wondering how we can make better decisions. But their approach provoked me to think of this problem as much more of an opportunity: how can we make making good decisions easier for each other?
In Predictably Irrational, Ariely talks about designing incentives for ourselves to encourage good decision making. Pair things you have to do with things you want to do. So if you have to do rehab exercises schedule time every day where you can watch a TED talk or listen to your favorite music while you do them. Or if you know you indulge in fast food too often buy your favorite dessert and only allow yourself to eat it after you’ve cooked a healthy meal for yourself.
Now lets go social. How can you encourage friends and family to make good decisions? Research has proven that we are influenced by others around us more than almost anything else. In what ways do you influence people around you for the better? What about for the worse? Consider this:
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Identify people who make you better. Learn from them. Identify people who you help. Team them. Let’s make each other better. Let’s make making good decisions easier.
Semi-related tangent story: Allison (my roommate) just shared a quote from an article she is reading about sugar, without really thinking I then grabbed a piece of candy next to me. (bad influence) She then shared a few facts about how much sugar is in coke (10 oreos worth!) reminding me how much sugar can sneak into our diets if we aren’t careful (good influence).