August 18, 2014

EP. 44 — Why Your Brain Is Sabotaging You

Why do we listen to self-help gurus? It’s not because they’re all so much better at living than we are — it’s because we want to believe the path to success starts by asking “how” rather than just nutting up and starting. On today’s podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin discuss the myths we build around self-improvement. Diets focus on cutting carbs or sugar or fat, while all that really matters is being willing to sacrifice the part of yourself that loves eating to build a new person who loves being skinny. The method doesn’t matter as much as the resolve to start doing something.


Some cultures have no future tense in their languages. You’d think that might be a handicap, but people who use languages like English, with a future tense, are more likely to be obese slackers who wind up in debt. It seems insane, but the weird fact is our brains perceive future-us as a different person than now-us. That’s why you’ll eat a whole carton of ice cream at midnight, because obesity and diabetes aren’t YOUR problem. They’re some future asshole’s problem, and screw that guy.


See? Our brains are programmed to betray us. And media that shows off the absurd lifestyles of the wealthy and famous don’t help matters. Rather than focusing on our actual options and the paths to success that are really open to us, we look at Kim Kardashian and secretly set ‘born into wealth and celebrity’ as our unstated, unachievable life goal. But if you throw on your headphones and click play above, we’ll teach you how to fight back.

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