Do you periodically wake up on the wrong side of the bed, dreading the inevitable reality of having to go to work? If your company were to offer you a lot of money to quit your job, would you do it? Every year, workers at Amazon each receive a memo with the headline “Please Don’t Take This Offer.” And the offer is plain and simple: If you want to quit, they’ll pay you in cash to walk out the door and never come back. Employees in their first year are offered $2,000, and that number increases by $1,000 every year until it reaches a maximum $5,000 payout to those who decide to leave.
The gods of Greek mythology could be brutal when angered. Of all the punishments given by the gods, the one given to Sisyphus stands out above the rest. Sisyphus was a king and a trickster. He was so clever that he actually cheated death – twice! As punishment for his hubris, he was forced to push an enormous boulder up a mountain for eternity. Again and again, he would struggle under the weight of the rock only to watch it roll back down. The punishment was a recipe for meaningless frustration. According to behavioral economist Dan Ariely’s research, the Greek gods must have known something about the human psyche.