Adam Grant author or “Originals, How non-conformist move the world,” was asked this question in an interview about his book. What does a person’s Internet browser says about their level of nonconformity?
“I love this study. So I’m sitting at a conference one day and this economist, Mike Housman, presents a study showing that we can predict your job performance and your commitment at work just by knowing what Web browser you use. And I was stunned to find out that people who use Chrome and Firefox — this is in customer service and call center jobs — were better performers on the job. They also, on average, stayed around in those jobs 15 percent longer than their poor Internet Explorer and Safari peers.
And a lot of people hear this study and think: Well, great, if I want to get better at my job I should just download a new browser. Not quite the point, right? The point is: What browser you use signals something about the way that you tend to live your life. If you use Firefox or Chrome, you have to download those browsers; whereas Safari and Internet Explorer — they come pre-installed on your computer, they’re the default. And if you’re the kind of person who just accepts the default, you tend not to take as many original steps as the rest of us.
If you’re somebody who had that instinct to say, you know, “I wonder if there’s a better browser out there,” that’s just a tiny clue that you might be the kind of person who’s willing to reject other defaults in your life too.”
As humans we default to the path of least resistance or our defaults. This is what makes change and improvement so hard. When we can understand this in our lives and then make active choices to overcome our default settings then we have a chance to do something truly special. To do so you need to evaluate what you do each day, your routine. What things do you do that are automatically? Are these automatic defaults helping you or hurting you in your progress?
Changing our defaults can be hard because it is what we are familiar with and the unknown scares most people. Often we will settle for what we have rather than try for something greater because of our fear of loss.
For most people, the fear of loss is much greater than the desire for gain. Which would drive you more: keeping someone from stealing the $100,000 you’ve earned over the last five years, or the potential of earning $100,000 in the next five? The fact is that most people would work much harder to hang on to what they have than they would to take the risks necessary to get what they really want from their lives.
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t life controls you.”
If you truly want to be great, you need to analyze your default settings and maybe just maybe install some new programs. Or as they say, “you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting.”