What’s the Downside to Being Goal-Oriented? (NSQ Ep. 16)
Also: how does a cook become a chef? With Gabrielle Hamilton.
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Relevant Research & References
Question #1: At the end of your life, will you wish you hadn’t worked so hard?
- Angela and Stephen discuss the Pomodoro Technique, a method of time management developed by software designer Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo is also the author of a bestselling book on the subject, The Pomodoro Technique: The Acclaimed Time-Management System That Has Transformed How We Work.
- Angela explains that the human perception of time can be distorted during a state of “flow.” To learn more about this unique condition of productivity, we recommend checking out psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
- Angela and Stephen are skeptical of the findings of Australian palliative care provider Bronnie Ware who famously reported that many of her dying patients regretted spending so much time at work. Ware is the author of the 2012 memoir The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.
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Question #2: What is the difference between an art and a craft?
- Angela speaks with award-winning chef and writer Gabrielle Hamilton. Hamilton is the owner of Prune restaurant in New York City, the author of Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, and a columnist for The New York Times Magazine.
- Angela references this 1957 study on productivity outliers by physicist William Shockley. It should be noted that later in his career, Shockley supported racist genetic practices like eugenics. To learn more about Shockley’s personal history, we recommend checking out this 2017 piece from Wired.
- Hamilton tells the story of a party for chef Wylie Dufresne, which she describes as an “unreal ‘who’s who’ of the greatest chefs in the world.” She recalls that Danish chef René Redzepi was in attendance, along with Swiss chef and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, Daniel Humm, as well as the “chef of chefs,” French restaurateur Daniel Boulud. You can read more about the event here.
- Angela refers to two contrasting motivational tendencies — approach motivation (working toward a desired outcome) and avoidance motivation (working to avoid an undesired outcome). If you want to learn more, we recommend checking out the research of psychologist Andrew Elliot, author of the 2008 Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation.