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There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their goals against all odds.

—DR. JANE GOODALL

4The “No-Willpower” Myth

In a series of educational cartoons created by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s, the comic bunglings of an incompetent mechanic named Murphy were used to make various learning points. This is the fictitious Murphy after whom Murphy’s Law is named. Most people can recite at least the first part of Murphy’s Law without hesitation: “If something can go wrong, it will—and even if it can’t, it still might.” The principle is known as “Sod’s Law” in Britain and is also sometimes referred to as Spode’s Law. It appears to have been inspired by an earlier mythical fourth ...

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