Neuron Culture

Via Tyler Cohen’s Marginal Revolution comes this amusing anecdote — and, perhaps, helpful example — from the life of Peter Orszag, Obama’s very brainy budget director. To motivate himself to train for a marathon, he somehow set up a penalty if he didn’t hit his training targets: His credit card would make a contribution to a charity or cause he hated:

]”If I didn’t achieve what I wanted to, a very large contribution would automatically come out of my credit card and go to a charity that I very much didn’t support,” Orszag says of his training strategy. “So that was a very strong motivation, as I was running through mile 15 or 16 or whatever it was, to remind myself that I really didn’t want to give the satisfaction to that charity for the contribution.”

Original source is here.


  1. #1 sondaze wybory demokracja
    April 14, 2009

    Still I find it not convincing – even if it works and creates required habits there is lack of positive emotions connected to it. So after a while it’s going to be rather unplesant and upsetting part of life, I guess. Probably it’s good for some time but for long-sighted aims I would rateher try something else.

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