Top Wharton professor Adam Grant: Before you follow your passion, do this

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Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author Adam Grant has spent his career studying ways to find more motivation and meaning in life, and he says a great place to start is by looking for purpose at work. Join us to find out how. Subscribe today to stay up to date with he latest videos!

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Adam Grant is a professor at Wharton and author of "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success" and "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World." He explains why we are more likely to give better advice to our friends than to ourselves. Grant also outlines the shortcuts we use to make better and faster decisions and how they sometimes backfire. Watch Adam Grant and Business Insider's Sara Silverstein in "Why Are We All So Stupid?" on Facebook: -------------------------------------------------- Business Insider informs you on what you need to know in business, finance, tech, science, retail, and more. Follow Business Insider on Twitter: Follow BI on Facebook: Read more: -------------------------------------------------- Business Insider is the fastest growing business news site in the US. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI Video team focuses on technology, strategy and science with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders – the digital generation. -------------------------------------------------- Following is a transcript of the video: Adam Grant: Have you ever given advice to a friend where you just felt like, "I just gave the best advice ever," and then you found yourself in the same situation a few days later, and you made a horrible decision? Sara Silverstein: Absolutely, I do it all the time. I'm a very good advice giver, very bad life-decision maker. Grant: Yeah, what's that about? Because they're the same skills, right? Giving people advice on what to do and then making your own decisions. It's the exact same thing. Except it's not. It's called Solomon's Paradox. Solomon's paradox: we can see solutions to other people's problems more clearly than our own Grant: And the idea is that when you give other people advice, you look at the problem through a telescope, and you see the big picture, you focus on the two or three criteria that are really important. Whereas when you're making your own decisions, you tend to look at it through a microscope, which is how we end up with these Excel spreadsheets that have 19 different columns, and then you're adjusting the weights, how important is each factor in order to get the decision that you want. And I think that this illustrates: it's one thing to know what a good decision is; it's another thing to be able to make that decision yourself. And because it's so difficult, if you were to actually sit down and analyze every decision in your life, you could spend hours deciding, "Well, what time should I wake up? Should I wake up at 6:01 or 6:02? I mean, my whole life could be different because of that. What should I order to eat? Who should I call first this morning? Which way should I take to work?" These decisions, we could spend all day just making these potentially paralyzing decisions. We don't want to do that. We don't want to waste our time. So what we do is we develop what are called heuristics, which are sort of mental shortcuts. Heuristics: mental shortcuts that help us make decisions but can be flawed and lead to cognitive bias Grant: If I can say to myself, "Well, experts are usually correct." I don't have to analyze a bunch of decisions where there's already expert opinion. And a lot of times those heuristics make us smart, and they make us much more efficient decision makers. The problem is we overapply them. And so we might end up in a situation where the heuristic was good the last nine times we tried it, but you know what, now the expert is wrong, and we haven't really stopped to think about whether we can trust that expert in that situation.

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Top Wharton professor Adam Grant: Before you follow your passion, do this
Top Wharton professor Adam Grant: Before you follow your passion, do this

"Follow your passion" is common career advice — and who does't want to pursue what they love? But Wharton business school professor and organizational psychologist Adam Grant says it is a bit more complicated than that. "It's easy to follow your passion if you've found it," Grant says. "But a lot of people struggle to find out what they are passionate about." Someone might be passionate about reading Harry Potter books or playing soccer, for example, but "Is that a career for [them]?" says Grant...

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