A big benefit of my job is that I am able to interview a variety of different people about the topics that are most interesting to them.
These authors, journalists, and filmmakers take what may seem mundane or complicated and bring it to life through engaging storytelling. Each year, I highlight those interviews that stuck with me throughout the year – and beyond.
Here are the standouts for 2022:
Daniel H. Pink
I first met Dan after he had written When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. His research from the fields of psychology, biology, and economics, illustrated why the timing of certain decisions is more within our control than we would think.
In 2022, Pink followed up with The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. In our conversation, we discussed the paradox of how we frame past experiences.
Pink calls it the At Leasts/If Onlys and it goes something like this: “‘I didn’t get that promotion, but at least I wasn’t fired’. At Leasts deliver comfort and consolation.” Contrast that sentiment with this one: “‘If only I’d taken a few more stretch assignments, I’d have gotten that promotion.’ If Onlys deliver discomfort and distress.” Why choose discomfort and distress over comfort and consolation?
Because doing so may allow us to dive deeper into and take accountability for our decision-making. It can also help us be more forgiving to ourselves and importantly, can help us make smarter decisions, perform better at work and school, and bring greater meaning to our lives.
Duke is a data scientist-turned professional blackjack player-turned author of two books, Thinking in Bets and How to Decide.
In her most recent work, Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, she tackles two opposing forces: grit and grace. In our high-powered, achievement-oriented culture, Duke notes that “grit is a virtue, quitting is a vice.”
She explores why quitting is seen as negative, when in fact quitting allows you to incorporate new information and make better decisions. “Having the option to quit is what will keep you from being paralyzed by uncertainty or being stuck forever in every decision you make.”
Duke underscores her thesis by citing cognitive biases which can help explain why people stick it out far too long, whether it’s a job, an investment, or even a relationship. “If you feel like you’ve got a close call between quitting and persevering, it’s likely that quitting is the better choice.”
Perhaps you never really understood what the heck happened amid the pandemic “meme stock craze.” That was the period when investors used social platforms and discussion board sites like Reddit and Twitter to discuss and ultimately pile into companies like Gamestop and AMC Entertainment, ostensibly to punish short sellers – and stick it to the elites.
Lucky for you, Wall Street Journal columnist Jakab’s engaging book, The Revolution That Wasn’t: GameStop, Reddit, and the Fleecing of Small Investors, tells the story of the GameStop squeeze, and the surprising winners of a rigged game.
Far from democratizing the financial world and markets, Jakab shows that the ultimate winner was the inside Wall Street crowd that feasted on retail investors.
Activist and filmmaker Abigail Disney may have had a tough Thanksgiving.
In her documentary, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, she is pretty tough on the company that her father and uncle started decades ago. Disney interviewed Disneyland custodians over a two-year period (2018-2020), to shine a light on the disparity between workers, executives, and shareholders.
The film serves as interesting walk down memory lane of American capitalism.
Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is a CBS News business analyst. A former options trader and CIO of an investment advisory firm, she welcomes comments and questions at [email protected] Check her website at www.jillonmoney.com.
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