In Part 1 of this series (Here) we discovered that struggling is a choice.
Struggle is a mind state – and we sometimes choose to remain in the struggle state – even when we become (again) aware of it.
And in our first part it was simply suggested that we increase our awareness of it, uncover what benefits having a solid story about “how hard we are working/tough we are doing it” give us, and then decide (and commit) to doing struggle less.
On occasions I will meet up with business owners at random social events, and “chit-chat” will reveal they are “struggling”.
Over the years my approach to these conversations has changed dramatically. Initially my head would immediately move to questions that suggest ways to improve their business lots. Over time, decades even, I realized that the first step was not to find the answer to their marketing or systems or cashflow or whatever.
The first step was to uncover if they wanted something other than what they were getting. In the absence of desire for a change – it is irrelevant (and frustration creating) to attempt to guide or advise anyone on anything. I am sure you know what I mean.
Think of someone who has a problem to which you know a great solution. It might be health, it might fertilizing a lawn, it might be tuning a car that blows black smoke. YOU know your solution will work – yet the person who “needs” it – just wont even give it a decent go.
I call this “Rejected Help Syndrome”. And what it does is affect YOU more than the “problems” of the person you want to help affects them. This means that you try to “help”, they listen but then do nothing different. This affects YOUR state – you may become bitter and twisted about it. You may even choose to stop offering to help people.
The answer for me? Never offer a solution unless I have confirmed that the other person has confirmed they are wanting to change or transform. Nope – just keep quiet.
What has this to do with “struggle”? Hang loose Mother Goose – we will get there soon!
So – now when normal conversation leads to someone admitting (often proudly like a badge of honour) that they are struggling (valiantly struggling) – I simply take a sip of my drink, nod if appropriate, and count to 20.
There is a saying that people do not like to be wakened. Having a nap, or just daydreaming. You are sitting in school, staring peaceably out the window, calm quiet reverie. WHAM the teacher slams a book on your desk and loudly spouts “Will you be joining us today Mr Hooper?” Does that cause me to have kind thoughts about the teacher, or be in a better state for learning?
While a friend (or acquaintance) is reliving how tough things are for them, rebuilding and strengthening their “hero” status in their story – “grinding” and “battling” and “inching one step forward and two steps back” – they are ASLEEP. In a sense anyway.
They are in their own movies. In a cinema you can forget you are sitting there watching – your attention and awareness are IN the movie. Being woken from your own movie is NOT likely to be happy with the person who WOKE you.
And some smart arse at a Barbecue who responds to your dismal tale of struggle with comments like “Wow, awesome. How are you managing to get such constant poor results? My clients are all kicking butt all the way to the bank. Why did you choose to struggle instead of doing things properly? Maybe you should write a book on how to struggle in any economy?”
And there you have the school teacher slamming the dreaming student. The person behind you talking loudly in the movies – causing your attention to fall out of the movie. Or just someone waking you on a long flight just after you nodded off to serve you a meal at midnight. Are you going to listen closely – or are you going to defend you story, your position, your reasons.
There is a saying that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”.
I think more accurately that when student is awake, the paths to solutions appear. And to get the solution – I have to take a step along the path. Movement is essential. When I take even one decisive step, I TRANSFORM our view of my world and myself.
And that is the secret to Part 2 of Escaping The Struggle of Work.
Transform only those who are ready and willing to be transformed. And this includes ourselves.
In reference to the “act of struggle” – if YOU have been struggling – and all of us do to some degree – then look a full-length mirror and ask yourself “Am I awake to struggle, and ready and willing to be transformed?”
And the path to freedom from struggle of work will appear, ready for your first easy steps. (Part 3 soon, so be sure to subscribe).
uʍop ǝpısdn sɐʍ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ǝɥʇ – sɹǝʇndɯoɔ ǝƃuɐɥɔ oʇ pɐɥ
and then everything went backwards
ɥɐp ʇo ɔɥɐuƃǝ ɔoɯdnʇǝɹs – ʇɥǝ ʞǝʎqoɐɹp ʍɐs ndsıpǝ poʍu
Because the answer is a very strong predictor of your future.
From decades past comes the term: “I knew he/she would end up badly – he was mixed up with a bad crowd.”
You may have been told about concepts like “Your income will average to around that of the 5 people you most associate with.”
Network science infers that not only do our friends have immense effects on our self perception/image – but staggeringly – the friends of our friends exert even more impact on us than our friends do directly.
For example – if the friends of your friends smoke cigarettes (or drink alcohol to excess, or are more obese than average, or ANY variable you can name) – then YOU are strongly affected by that. If you want to stop smoking – ensure that your friends (and their friends) are NON-SMOKERS…
In your business – do you hang with people (and their friends) who accept that you cannot excel in a tough economic environment? Maybe they accept that having a business that is not thriving is “OK”?
Consider the way that schools of fish suddenly change direction – the pressure on any individual fish to conform for the safety of the school is enormous. In the same way – the associates of your direct associates keep YOU in the behaviour that protects the group.
Click Image To Play Video
Trouble is that “being safe” can mean not achieving.
Take time now to consider your full network – and decide whether your current exposure to group culture is in your benefit – or if now is a great time to made some “adjustments”.
Ps – also consider the implications of this idea for your marketing…
In this article:
1. What stops you from achieving your stated goals
2. The only way you can actually fail to achieve once you have a reliable strategy and an action schedule
3. A secret about airplane food selection that improves your communication skills.
So, just for fun I am changing the format of this website. Look for differences over the next couple of weeks. The themes to the changes – “People resist unwelcome attempts to persuade them”, “People cannot resist what they cannot detect”, and “People sometimes believe what they are told – but always believe what they conclude”. These are borrowed from a master persuader Blair Warren.
There will be nothing sinister or damaging to anyone, and I will share the results with you when we finish stage one. You will enjoy that.
Now – a simple quote from Jordon Belfort – the wolf of wall street:
The way I see it, with reference to whether you continuing to act in the direction of your goal or not, there are TWO STORIES in our heads.
First story is why you are doing the prescribed actions. You know – why you are keeping on doing the steps needed.
Second story is why you “should” stop following the program. You know – the “becauses”. Stop because you are tired, you are not sure it will work anyway, it is raining/cold/hot, you found something more interesting or maybe works better, it is expensive, no one cares, you don’t think you can get to the end anyway, your friends are visiting, you have not seen results yet (after 3 days), etc etc.
So think of these stories as being on a see-saw.
When story one has the balance – you continue. When story two in your head has enough weight – you stop. This means as soon as your STOP story is good enough – you will give yourself permission to stop.
So – you want the single “secret” to goal achievement? Providing your strategy is valid – there is only one way you can not reach your goal. Are you ready – only three words.
Alter your approach from “just keep going” to “don’t freaking stop!” And the simple way to do that?
Are you ready?
Become aware of when you are creating the “Stop Story” in your head – and replace it with your “Goal Story (why you are doing it). You know – you are lying in bed rehearsing the reasons for not going to the gym – STOP it. Because as soon as the story you are rehearsing has enough weight – bye bye gym visit.
Maybe your goal is to learn to play the piano or learn Spanish. The ONLY way you can fail to achieve this is to stop doing the lessons. And we stop ONLY when the STOP STORY is good enough.
So – catch your mind doing rehearsals and brainstorming reasons to stop. Thank it for helping – and focus, focus, focus on what you get after your goal is done. Remember who is in charge here.
There you have it.
Next step – uncover some interesting goals. If none come to mind – change your state. Why? Because values and beliefs are state dependent. More on that in a future post.
Here is your choice – you can be not moving, and experience a life that is not mundane, uninspiring, declining (in your own eyes). Or you can be in motion, and experience a life that is fulfilling, satisfying, exciting to the degree that you want. When you are really old and about to snuff it – and your loved ones are around you – will you have to say “I stayed alive all this time”.
Or will you be able to say “I lived all this time.” Will you be a lump of almost dead wood stump clinging on? Or will you be a magnificent redwood who has grown and lived fully?
The difference is why we have goals. Goals are the tools to get us in motion. Once we are in motion, we grow. At any time we are either growing or dying. We get to choose how we use goals. Choosing to not use them – is a choice.
To quote myself: “If you don’t have a goal, you cannot have a plan. If you do not have a plan, you WILL only be part of someone else’s plan – and you may not like it.” It is your choice.
Here ends the sermon!
Ps – so what food should never be eaten on airplanes and has something to do with communication skills? Look for the next post to discover it…
This was written in 1784 as part of Franklin’s Autobiography. This is the thirteenth “Virtue” – and is the one that immediately reared and bit me on the nose. I considered myself a pretty “smart” fellow – and for several decades believed that just being consistently “right” was sufficient to work with people.
You know – once I explained clearly and comprehensively in a friendly and forthright manner exactly how others were wrong and I was right – they would rationally just agree with me and we could move forward together…
Ha – yeah right! Epic fail!
Now I have moved to a place (most of the time) where I fully accept that all the beliefs I have now have a very real probability of being abandoned by me within a decade. By this I mean that within 10 years I will be able to look back and consider things I believe are correct right now – to be not correct.
I know this is true – because I can look back 10 years right now – and know that what I believed back then is NOT what I believe to be true now. This allows me to have less resistance to change, and means I no longer need to DEFEND my beliefs when a person raises a contrary one. Instead I can explore this new possibility knowing that I can adopt it if it proves viable.
But read now how Ben Franklin applied a related concept to further himself back in the 18th Century. From “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”.
But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled. I did, indeed, from time to time, put down short hints of the sentiments, reasonings, etc., to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me: But the necessary close Attention to private Business in the earlier part of Life, and public Business since, have occasioned my postponing it. For it being connected in my Mind with a great and extensive Project that require the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen Secession of Employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remain’d unfinish’d.
In this piece it was my design to explain and enforce this doctrine, that vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone considered; that it was, therefore, every one’s interest to be virtuous who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should, from this circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes, who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare), have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man’s fortune as those of probity and integrity.
My list of virtues continued at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud, that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation, that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances, I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.
I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it.
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own.
I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so, or it so appears to me at present.
When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this charge in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.
The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with other to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape me. And to this habit (after my character of integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my points.
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
Yeah Baby!! This is a simple rule that cannot fail to improve how we interact with others. Thanks Ben Franklin…
Got your listening ears on? Here is the Commandment:
ALWAYS have an end time for every task. Meetings – state the end time before you begin. For example: “I have allocated 45 minutes for this meeting today, then I have another commitment immediately after.”
Similarly – when you have a task to do – estimate as closely as you can how long it would take if you stay focused BEFORE you begin, and set a timer, and then beat it.
If you estimate the time for every task, you will begin to get more accurate with your estimates. AND your productivity will fly. But the REAL productivity turbo gets ignited when you add a column next to your estimated time for the task – where note the ACTUAL time it took. This is your feedback loop – and reality check. And if you want to put a supercharger next to your turbo – then add another column where you score your performance on the task from 1 to 10. This prompts you to improve your output as well as speed it up…
Ideally, you will do the process of planning your tasks for the day at the beginning of your day – after considering what is most important to get done – which means you can put your tasks in the order of their importance.
Remember the key is not just to things faster, but to do the most important things first, faster and better.
I have a form my clients use to help them lock in the this habit – email me if you would like a copy.
Do life on purpose,
ps this process works not only for your “work”, but can also add a ton of zip and a bucket of fulfilment feelings to your “non-work” life. Try it..
Hey – you want to know a obvious secret?
If you take a beginning period balance, line it up with the P&L for the period, then next to the cashflow for the period – then you can follow the changes the transactions in the end of period balance sheet!
This means that if your balance sheet is properly set up – and for example you make a $300k profit – then you can use these four documents to see WHERE YOUR PROFITS WENT!!! (Or – how you have financed for your losses if you don’t have a good coach?)
If you ever wondered where all the money disappears to – this is the answer. I apologise that it involves accounting – but accounting done right can be pretty darned exciting…
I estimate that less than 1% of small to medium businesses use these tools – and I believe the businesses that do not fail (the majority fail) – are the ones that know their numbers including where the cash went, and where it will go in the future.
Businesses go out of business because they run out of money – understanding cashflow needs to be on the examination you must pass before you can open a business. No, wait on. That compulsory training and examination does not exist…
I wonder why up to 90% of businesses fail in the first couple of years?
And I wonder how many accountants or bookkeepers would have the skill and understanding to do the analysis above and show you where the money went in your business?
How many accountants and bookkeepers insist their clients have and use a cashflow forecasting tool?
Judging by the business failure rates (in all parts of the world) – the answer to these questions is “Very, very few.”
You can download my Cashflow Forecasting Tool Excel Spreadsheet free by joining my Newsletter list at seminar.com.au – it is in the right hand column.
Might be time to update that photo too – was taken at the start of my business coaching career about a dozen years ago…
Thank goodness the election is called. When you look at the likelihood of Australians investing (or spending) there is often a decrease during an election campaign. It seems that a percentage of our population either consciously or unconsciously defers spending decisions.
So it was not really helpful for Julia Gillard to state her September election date months ago, and then have Kevin Rudd further ignore the “wet blanket on spending” effect while he pranced around (re-)building his image.
I am certain that all of us have had enough of the “minority government” test – I would call it an epic fail. And if after this coming election there is not a clear majority government – have another poll. Management by committee has a snowflakes chance in hell of working unless there is alignment within in it. Groups with radically different ideals should not be allowed to take turns at steering our nation on a daily basis. And that is what minority government did. We zig-zagged wastefully without getting anywhere. These groups can vie for control of steering every 3 years.
So what will be your criteria for who to vote for? Or will you take an “avoid the responsibility” position and vote for a minor party? If you are considering that – I implore you “citizen-up” and vote for one major party or the other. Giving up your vote to a minority party because no one else deserves it gave us the hung parliament, and three years of reactive mush leadership. So make a choice, please.
My vote choice criteria will be based on trust. Trust is based on the making and keeping of promises. In the case of government, this delivery of promises should be well planned, organized, well-considered and with minimal waste.
It will not be based on the political spin adroitness of the leaders or on how they shine (or not) during any debate. Ability to win a debate does not correlate strongly with ability to govern sensibly, in fact it more clearly shows ability to react and “spin” for short term popularity.
And it will not be based on the horror that is called “parliamentary debate” but on actual policy selection application of government. For example the role of the ATO forcing business owners to make super contributions for contractors (and determining IF they are contractors or “employees”). http://www.ato.gov.au/General/Contractors/ [“For individual contractors, you must also make super guarantee contributions for them if more than 50% of the value of their contract is for labour.”] A “turbocharged” uncertainty/mess/waste generator?
So let the “Spin-fest” begin, and roll on the eternal polls and poll analysis. Let loose the dogs of warty TV commercials – feed the ball to the media scrum, and run the gauntlet of taste and ethics.
Remembering always as JFK said “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.” And if it is on Twitter – it must be true…
You know how you sometimes see an idea that has been “borrowed” from somewhere else and applied to create a marketing “hook” that is hard to resist chomping on? And how sometimes a little light shines in the darkness that reveals a mountain of gold?
I saw this cool idea from visiting guru Demartini who has a great workshop/course/books/all the stuff. Go see him.
A study was done back in 2011 from the Journal of Marketing Research at Stern Uni at New York with the unimaginative title: “Increasing Saving Behavior Through Age-Progressed Renderings of the Future Self”.
The study itself is a bit lame and hard to read – they asked people if they were likely to “save” for retirement, and how strong the decision was. One group was shown a photoshopped photo of themselves – made to look like retirement age. The other group was not. Guess what – the ones with the “oldered” photo – decided to save more!
Now – let’s convert that into Demartini sales copy:
“Breakthrough Study by New York University Reveals How to Save up to 33% More Money By Looking at a Photo of Yourself.”
And: “Nothing to do with ‘Vision Boards’.
Everyday Dr Demartini is discovering more about how YOU can use your mind to double your income… your vitality… your relationship intimacy and your inspiration.
And at the New Science of Achievement evening seminar he’s going to reveal the latest ‘brain science’ breakthroughs YOU can use to transform your life.
For example, he’ll show you how to harness the power of your mind to save up to 33% more money… drawing on the latest brain science studies.” Here is the sales page http://global1.com.au/new-science-of-achievement?cc=CC1001023 (this is not my affiliate link)
How good is that??? Just add some “specific” stats to your claims (that include “doubling” your vitality!), restate the “stats” again – and everything is more believable and attainable. Cool?
So – what is the light in the darkness?
For the last 30 years (!!!) I have been studying the “success gurus”. And you know who I mean – everyone from Napoleon Hill to Norman V Peale to Tony Robbins to Neville Goddard to Charles Haanel to other greats like Bucky Fuller and Deming.
And you know what?
The wisdom has some “core” elements. The one I want to share today is that of “using the power of the wish fulfilled”.
There is the “magical” approach, and the “motivational” approach. The magical is championed by “The Secret” guru flavours – who hammer away at using work based on Haanel to create the outcome, feel it, live it, taste it – and then fully “expect” the wish to appear.
The “motivational” approach is to take yourself PAST the time of the wish fulfilled – in the above case it is after retirement (when you look like the oldered photos) – and look back at the futures that are possible from that place in time. This can be the powerful cause of “motivation” to act differently back here in the present.
For example – you are now 50 years old. Look at the photo of you at 70 years. Let that reality sink in. You are 70 years old. How strong is your desire THEN to have sufficient savings or investments in place so your life is comfortable THEN? Pretty bloody strong.
If you did NOT do the things 20 years ago that you needed to get done for your 70 year old self to be comfortable – your life at 70 is gunna suck.
How will you FEEL at 70 years old, if you did NOT do everything possible back you were 50 years old to create a “not-suck” future?
Then when you stopping looking at your “old” self photo – and you look at your calendar for today, this week, month, year, decade – you still have your 70 year old eyeballs on. Will that adjust your priorities and urgency? You bet. And if you review that photo frequently – will you develop in your mind the “ideal” for you life at 70 years onwards – will you think about WHAT YOU WANT – and compare it to what WILL HAPPEN unless you have certain priorities when you are in your fifties? Will you have GREATER motivation than before to ACT today? Very likely.
And if you have even a small increase in your key actions every day for a reasonable – will your future be different? You bet.
Is this a bit negative? Maybe.
Consider the situation where you are on the Olympic Team for say – gymnastics. If you think forward in time to the day AFTER your Olympic events – will you want to be able to say “I did everything humanly possible to win! There was nothing else I could have done to prepare better. I trained to my best every single day. I stand erect.” ?
Or will there be part of you that looks back from that day and says “I only gave it 90%. I could have done more. I allowed distractions to reduce my focus. I feel shame.”?
Which FEELING do you want at that time? And if – every morning you visit the future and MAKE THE CHOICE – how will that affect your priorities and training intensity for that day?
We can ADD IN THE “Magical” POWER of your seeing yourself looking out from the top podium, hearing your anthem, the scent of the winners bouquet, the stinging of the tears forming in your eyes, and the smile that is giving you a cramp in your jaw – forming the definitive feeling of your “wish fulfilled”. And allow that “magic” to happen in parallel.
But on the daily grind of training (as in business) – it is the CHOICE of the “non-magical” kind that gets you up early to train or work at your very best – for today.
Nutshell: When we control our own focus on a regular basis – with the use of questions or tools (like aged photos) – we are using Parkinsons Law to our advantage. If we do not choose to control our focus – our day will fill itself with the “non-important, non-valuable” stuff.
For me it is part of the definition of “victim” to know that this is how it works – but then refuse to apply apply the Law for the benefit of all concerned. The only way to NOT apply this is to accept the belief that we CANNOT make a difference in our worlds. Acceptance of this “no-power” position is the mantle of “Victim”.
I believe our choices are our source of power, and we can make or change them at any time. By changing any choice, we change our self concepts -which alters our actions, our outcomes, our learnings.
You want to have MORE motivation to make your business a success? Choose it. Or even better, choose it knowingly and enthusiastically – every day. There is no more work in creating a great day than a sad, mediocre one. Choose it.
Ps – See Dr DiMartini is you are in the cities he visits.
Firstly – I just want to say that social media is something you can use or not use.
You can tell me that it is great for keeping in touch with people, for sharing, for building relationships. And that is cool. But I don’t really care about using it for that. You may – you may love it. Great.
What I do care about is using these networks for business. There are ways, measurable, predictable ways to use FB, Twitter, Pinterest (more on that in a minute), Youtube (yep), and a few of the other networks – to MAKE MONEY for your business.
Over the next few weeks I will add posts on exactly how to do this.
Today – I want to introduce you to Pinterest. When I first saw this – I thought “another time wasting tool for people with not enough to do in their lives.” After some research, thinking and testing – I have changed my mind. It is a very useful tool that can be used to grow most businesses.
So – to get you started – go to Pinterest for 15 minutes and check it out. Here the link to my “boards” (where I PIN things apparently). http://pinterest.com/callmetrimtab/boards/ I suggest you create an account https://pinterest.com/ – and also join as a business http://business.pinterest.com/setup/ Or you can wait until the next post on this and do it them.
Remember to keep your wandering around in social media to a time limit.
Decide to be LEGENDARY today