Have you ever heard of Jerry? I doubt you have, unless you spend your time watching chess videos on YouTube like I do. As far as I know, Jerry, who goes by the YouTube and Twitch personality ChessNetwork, is the most well known chess personality on the Internet, aside from a few of the top players in the world.
On December 16, 2013, a Taiwanese tourist was walking along St. Kilda pier in Melbourne, Australia. The pier offers a beautiful scenic view of the ocean, so I’d imagine many tourists have their cell phones out to take pictures. As expected, this female tourist had her phone out too, except she wasn’t saving precious memories–she was checking her Facebook newsfeed. She walked along the pier staring at her phone, and it was the distraction that did her in. KERPLOP. She fell right into the ocean.
One of the privileges we have living in the 21st century is spending large percentages of our time searching for happiness. We try to choose enjoyable jobs to make us happy, we eat delicious foods to feel happy, we play and watch sports to be happy–generally we do stuff to be happy.
If you eat a whole package of Oreos in one evening, it’s probably because you believe, at that time, that doing so will make you happy. And maybe it does make you happy. In fact, most of the goals we set, or the good habits we try to create, are intended to help us be happier.
Thanks to Apple’s recent release of HealthKit, it won’t be long before everyone with an iPhone has access to health and quantified self tools, whether they want them or not. Of course, hundreds of apps have offered similar features and functionality for some time, but with HealthKit as a default in iOS, a large new audience will be introduced to behavior change technology.
At the same time, hardware technology is finally reaching its potential in behavior change: GPS works better than ever, battery life finally lasts long enough to be useful, and accelerometers are able to gather pretty incredible data about movement throughout the day. Because of these reasons, the Apple Watch should create a lot of momentum in the industry. The technology is up to speed and behavior change apps are mainstream–are we on the verge of seeing gym attendance reach all-time highs and the national BMI statistics drop back into a healthy range?
If you spend enough time learning about habits, behavior change, and psychology, you quickly realize that there’s much more information than you could possibly implement in your life. There are hundreds of theories, models, and studies; often what seems like a basic principle has a vast library of research behind it. But the truth is that often you can dramatically change your life by applying just one or two simple strategies. So–if you could only choose one strategy from all the mountains of psychological data, what should you choose to have the biggest impact?
Every once in a while, you might put on a piece of clothing that you’ve recently purchased from the store and find a small sticker on the inside of the fabric. It’s usually a small circle with a number on it, that looks something like this:
You probably know that the “QC” stands for “quality control” and the number refers to a specific individual who personally inspected your piece of clothing at the manufacturer. The quality control process is a very important step in the manufacturing of many products, especially foods, like meat or eggs, that have the potential to spread harmful bacteria and diseases. “Quality control” also refers to the process of teaching and training new employees to make sure items are produced efficiently and no accidents occur.