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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 4

Best-Fit Thinking

Square-ish Pegs—Square Holes

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

—Douglas Adams

Today you’ll tame:

  • Knocking the rough edges off of everything
Back in 1994, my best friend, actor Shaun Prendergast, was offered a role in the movie Frankenstein, starring Robert De Niro.
Shaun has long been inspired by (and even a bit obsessed with) De Niro. So he knew there was no way he was going to miss working with his hero, even after he discovered that the movie shoot would clash with the London run of a Stephen Jefferies play he was currently performing in. His solution was to buy every seat in the theater for two nights and then cancel those shows.
But that’s not the impulsive behavior we’re going to focus on here.
Before De Niro arrived in the United Kingdom for shooting, Shaun got to know the film’s co-star, Aidan Quinn, well. One night they went to Shaun’s home, where they sat and drank and talked; the conversation eventually led to a discussion about the cultural differences between American and British swearing. It had shocked Aidan to hear one of the film crew cheerily refer to another as a %@*&, as though it were a term of endearment.
The next morning, when Shaun walked into the makeup room, he recognized his new friend Aidan from behind, sitting in the makeup chair being prepped for filming. Shaun punched him hard in the arm and ...

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