Why does food positioning matter?

It turns out that by simply re-positioning food in a certain way, it can sell better.

The question is Which food goes in the best spot?

Healthy food? Junk food? Popular food?

Which goes first?

Well, if the goal is to make more money then you should position your best sellers. But if the goal is to create a healthy customer then you should sell healthy food in a space that sells. Or maybe you are trying to stay neutral and just randomly choose.

These are design choices.

As Richard Thaler has pointed out, the people to make these decisions are Choice Architects.

It’s not just with food, of course.

Think about how traffic lights are programmed, the way that an architect chooses where a bathroom is located in her blueprints, or how someone designs a school’s curriculum.

Every choice creates a feature. Every feature has a consequence.

For better or for worse, we can design our lives to do less harm simply by being conscientious of the choices we make when we design something we love.

That’s the key. With love.

Where do big ideas come from?

It turns out, it comes from regular people just like you and me.

Someone had to have the guts to say everyone needs a car to drive or a computer in their home.

So, who is going to have the guts to say everyone needs clean water or clean air? Who is going to have the stomach to build a culture of second chances? Who is going to say enough to teen suicide epidemic?

The next big ideas come from people like us doing stuff like this.

It’s your turn.

(It always is.)

Nothing lasts forever

That’s the problem.

We try to make everything that is labeled good or pleasant last forever. We squeeze tighter, hold onto moments longer than we should.

As a result, we fall victim to believing, “Whoa is me! How can such a thing happen? Everything was going so well.”

Intuitively, we know the ups can’t last, and yet, when we fall in love with the attachment of “good” outcomes, the “bad” seems way worse.

Bad isn’t worse because of the suffering, the pain and affliction. No, we make the so-called bad worse because we long for the good.

Paradoxically, those complex challenges are what makes our lives meaningful. It’s not when we are sailing the calm waters but when the torrential storms hit we take action and make memorable experiences.

The good news is the hardships don’t last forever either. Storm clouds always seem to pass.

You can’t solve complex problems with convenient solutions

With every tough decision, the first thing we do as human beings is think What does this look like?

We search for familiarity in an unfamiliar world. We piece together similar scenarios and rehearse in our minds what could possibly happen. All in a hope to create more predictable outcomes.

The problem is, when we begin to believe that problem solving is like choosing off a menu…

Here are your list of options. Now pick. Pick the one that does the least amount of damage or brings the greatest amount of pleasure.

Life isn’t so fixed. There are many choices available with an infinite amount of possibilities and outcomes.

To make things worse, some people will treat their list of options like a dollar menu. Because, Hey, why not pick what is fast, convenient and cheap.

Complex problems need more complex solutions. At least more thought and care than a list of conveniences.

Work and service

I talk about doing the work often on this blog, but what I’m really talking about is service.

Service—not the things you do by the hour for money—no, I’m talking about the kind of acts you do that help bring people closer together.

Jonas Salk freely gave away his cure for polio (worth seven billion dollars today). Salk famously said, “Can you patent the sun?” In that moment, he’s no longer doing work but service.

Each of us can make that shift.

Work is something we have to do. Service, on the other hand, is something we get to do.

How responsibilities grow

Some of us respond to power.

While others by fear.

But how well do we respond to agency?

What’s frightening to think about is the amount of choices each of us have, and yet, we are so quick to pass them along, to let someone else make tough decisions.

Here’s the thing, until you learn how to use the agency you got, the opportunities for more responsibilities are left behind closed doors, untouched.

Responsibilities grow by growing with the responsibilities you got.