All Posts By Bassam Tarazi

Why Do We Believe In…Anything At All?

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Putting specific religious or philosophical beliefs aside, have you ever wondered why we humans have a propensity to believe in anything at all? What could that teach us about the things holding us back (limiting beliefs), and why some people can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds? To get a better understanding of what makes us us, we have to go ...

50 Miles From Nowhere

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Nothing is more damning in the mountains than hubris, yet hubris is fundamental to climbing mountains. All serious mountaineers possess big egos. You cannot take on the risks and constant suffering of big mountains without one. We may talk like Buddhists, but don’t be fooled, we’re actually narcissists—driven, single-minded, masochistic narcissists. Nearly all of us, ...

Why Thinking Positively Can Ruin Your Chances Of Success

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In some of the most fascinating behavioral research I’ve ever read and a blow to the global “puppies and rainbows” market, Gabriele Oettingen and her colleagues conducted numerous studies over the past two decades and discovered a powerful link between positive thinking and poor performance...The more that people ‘think positive’ and imagine themselves achieving their ...

A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self

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Daniel Jackson shot supermodel Christy Turlington and Calvin Klein creative directors Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli and Kevin Carrigan for WSJ. Magazine. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful.

“Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain…”

But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

Oh, The Asses You’ll Kiss

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It wasn't that Dr. Seuss got it wrong. Oh, The Places You'll Go (read the entire book,here) is still a timeless, fun read, but recent high school or college graduates need more advice than a children's book that essentially says, "Work hard, and when things don't go your way, brush your shoulders off." Knowing how to politic, and understanding that ...

On Finding Your Purpose

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A few months ago, we found ridiculously cheap plane tickets for Boston and off we went. It was our first visit to the city and, believe it or not, Stockholm in February was more pleasant than Boston in March. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that we arrived completely unprepared. That I, in my converse and thin jacket, did not end up with pneumonia is honestly not even fair.