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Master the Art of Business

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This is a preview of a key idea from The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. Order your copy now...

Akrasia

“Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.” — Ezra Taft Benson, former US Secretary of Agriculture

Key Ideas:

  • Akrasia (pronounced “ah-KRAH-see-ah”) is the experience of realizing an action would be in your best interest… but you don’t do it.
  • There are seven primary causes of akrasia:
    1. 1. You can’t define what you want.
    2. 2. You feel the task will bring you closer to something you don’t want.
    3. 3. You can’t figure out how you’re going to get from where you are right now to where you want to be.
    4. 4. You idealize the desired End Result to the point your mind estimates a low probability of achievement, resulting in Loss Aversion.
    5. 5. The “should” was established by someone else, not you, prompting Persuasion Resistance.
    6. 6. A competing action in the current Environment promises immediate gratification, while the reward of the task in question will come much later.
    7. 7. The benefits of the action are abstract and distant, while other possible actions will provide concrete and immediate benefits.
  • Akrasia is one of the primary barriers to getting things done, and it’s tricky to resolve.

Questions for Consideration:

  • When do you tend to experience Akrasia?
  • What do you do when you notice an akratic situation?

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