Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Article on Summer Goals

We've noticed a theme in this article: successful people work really hard. They can't even meet their summer goals:

The difficulty of achieving summer goals has even been the object of academic study. In her paper, "Competing Demands and Complementary Motives: Procrastination on Intrinsically and Extrinsically Motivated Summer Projects," Regina Conti, associate professor of psychology at Colgate University, found that since summer goals tend to be more intrinsic (personally satisfying) than extrinsic (such as a requirement set by other forces), people tend to procrastinate more. It isn't enough to just want to improve oneself -- there has to be some other motivation, such as money or a deadline, to make people act.

Indeed, "too much work" was a common excuse this summer. Lee Cooperman, chairman and chief executive of the hedge fund Omega Advisors, had one extremely modest goal -- spending a long weekend at his son's rental in the Hamptons. Explaining why he didn't expect more time off, he tallied up his long hours: up at 5:20 a.m., on the 6:29 a.m. ferry from New Jersey to New York's financial district, at his desk by 6:45 a.m., not home and in bed until 11:30 p.m. When his wife asked him to go on a cruise of the Greek Isles, he reminded her of his daily ferry ride to work. "That's my cruise, and it only takes six minutes," he told her. (Her reply? "She called me a jerk."

Read more here.

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