athletic

Illustration: Peter Arkle

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"A woman I met in the PTO asked me to help her cold-call executives to invite them to a luncheon. I was good at it—a real surprise—and she offered me a job doing a bit of sales work at a railroad software company. I wasn't sure what it would be like, but I felt open to change."

The takeaway: Unfamiliarity can make us say no to an experience simply because it's beyond our comfort zone. Build a bridge between your past and the opportunity ahead by identifying three ways that it's similar to things you've already done.
—Ellen Langer, PhD, Harvard University psychology professor
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