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There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, Unless …

By Bigg Success Staff
07-03-08


Bigg Success in Business

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The University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities. Among other notable accomplishments, it is home to a large number of Nobel laureates, many who won their prize by advancing economic theory.

One of those theories is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a price. Or does it?

Free lunch for Nobel laureates

There’s a story about a small restaurant near the campus of the University of Chicago. In the window was a sign that read, “Free lunch for Nobel Prize winners.”

So, it turns out, the same people that postulated that there is no free lunch were able to get a free lunch!

Now this story may be folklore. We couldn’t confirm it. If you know of this restaurant, we’d love to hear from you. But real or not, it still illustrates the point we’re about to make.

Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

If the story is true, one would be tempted to say that there is. After all, these Nobel Prize winners ate without any cost, right?

But it still cost the restaurant owner money for the ingredients that went into the lunch and to prepare and serve the food. So, while the Nobel laureates didn’t pay anything for the lunch, it still wasn’t free.

Costs with benefits

The restaurant owner paid for it. Why would a restaurant owner do that?

For a benefit. Having Nobel laureates frequent his restaurant, which made other people interested in eating at his restaurant. And it got people talking!

For a very small cost. 

Is there something you can do that won’t cost you much, but will get people talking? Use a portion of your marketing budget to influence the influencers. Sure it costs you a little, but the benefits can be significant!

 



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Does Your Hobby Work For You?

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07

Work – Life Balance

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Like most of us, you face pressure to meet deadlines at work, fulfill family commitments, give back to your community, and so on and so on …

With all that going on, it’s easy to forget about yourself. However, you need to renew your spirit. One of the best ways to do that is to take up a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Something that demands your complete concentration and captures your soul.

Finding your flow
When you do that, you enter into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “chick-sent-me-high-ee”) dubbed a “flow state”. You completely lose your sense of time as you enjoy the task at hand with effortless concentration.

Csikszentmihalyi, a Professor of Psychology and Management at The Drucker School at Claremont University, wrote an excellent book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He says that flow occurs when you have clear goals that require appropriate responses.

That’s where your hobbies come in. When you’re doing something you love, you enter into a self-contained universe. So your hobby is a great way to develop flow, which you can use at work also.

Hobbies of the winners
Robert Root-Bernstein, a professor of physiology at Michigan State University, conducted a study on the hobbies of Nobel Prize winners. He compared them to a group of members of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

He found that more than half of the Nobel laureates had a long-standing hobby. By contrast, less than one percent of the Sigma Xi members claimed to have a hobby. He also looked at what the Nobel winners’ hobbies were. 25% were musicians. 18% painted or sketched. Writing and poetry were also common hobbies.

Dr. Root-Bernstein has written a book, with his wife Michele, called Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People. It’s a great book; we think you’ll find it interesting.

Your 5-minute hobby
The best way to make time for your hobby is simple – schedule it. You may think that you’re too busy to fit one more thing into your already-too-busy life. That’s the beautiful thing about the hobbies of the winners – you can steal a moment here and there and get your flow going.

When you do that, you’ll find you come back to your work reinvigorated. You’ll bring a fresh perspective to your challenges. So go ahead – play a tune, draw a picture, or write in your journal. It’s five minutes that will work wonders for you!