Archive for April, 2007


Going First with Flogging Molly

I’m sweaty, half-deaf, and feeling great!

Flogging Molly just got done with a great show and I was reminded again of how important it is to “go first.”

I went with great expectations and, being the social creature that I am, hung at the back looking for anyone I knew. As the concert started I was moping a little since I never found any familiar faces. Then I realized what I was doing and decided that I was going to have a good time in spite of myself! I started jumping and got my arms up in the air and threw myself into the experience head first.

It took me a few moments to get past the fact that the people around me were not moving but I was encouraged by the other three quarters of the crowd that were. So I bounced and found myself really enjoying the whole event — even songs I’d never heard before that would not typically enthuse me.

This is the same principle that makes rollercoasters more fun when you wave your arms and scream. Brother-in-law and his kids helped me test this theory a few years ago in a giant barrel at the ren faire. An otherwise sad little ride was actually fun when we yelled and flailed our arms.

The moral of the story is if you want to jump start your attitude get your body going first and let your emotions follow.

What physiology can you lead with that will jump start the mental state you would like today?

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Attention or Time

Awareness, along with knowledge and behavior, can transform your life.

I have not always paid enough attention to the world around me. This week I realized that I was pages away from a major discovery.

A long time ago (in a galaxy far away) I was going through the motions as a network marketer. Even today I think the company has great products and yet I never went very far as their salesman. In spite of my lackluster results I did receive some value from my time on “the team.” One gem in the rough stands out now. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the value at the time.

My sponsor recommended a book by Tony Robbins so I picked up a copy and started to read it before one of our meetings. Unfortunately I got interrupted in the introduction and put the book on my shelf basically untouched. Had I read a few more pages (and been aware of their importance) I could have started down my current path several years sooner.

It turns out that one of Tony Robbins’s primary tools is NLP. Today I’m an NLP Trainer. Who knew.

“Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
–Winston Churchill

Do I have to ask or are you aware of your own valuable question?

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Comfortable or Accomplished?

I love it when I beat an author to the punch.

This time I was reading Built To Last and started pondering comfort. (I don’t know if it was well foreshadowed, I tapped into some “collective unconscious,” or just used my Blink skills…)

My train of thought led me from comfort to contentment to complacency to a crash. I realized that my emphasis on growing does not leave much room for being comfortable. Being comfortable and content does not lead to stretching and growing. It often leads to sitting around and not getting things done.

In chapter 9 (Good Enough Never Is) Collins and Porras got there too:

COMFORT is not the objective in a visionary company. Indeed, visionary companies install powerful mechanisms to create discomfort — to obliterate complacency — and thereby stimulate change and improvement before the external world demands it.

One construct I use in my own life is iteration — a cyclical process of continual improvement. With an iterative approach “good enough” turns into “good enough, for this pass” with the certainty that it will be refined with the next iteration.

So what have you left unstarted because you “don’t have time” to do it perfectly the first time? (Ha! Perfection, another myth for another day!) And if you did a “poor” job but it was started? How much time can you “squeeze in” to do a little here or a little there? And when will it be be done? (And done well!)

Now go do a poor job of something!

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You Must Be Right

I’m sure you can think of a time that you were right. (Usually involving someone else being wrong.)
I’m also sure you can think of a time you were adamant that you were right and it caused tension. (Usually because you told them they were wrong!)
How many other times can you recall that were more difficult because you had to be right?

Notice how shifting which definition of right is used changes our perception of these situations.

adjective: correct in opinion or judgment
adjective: appropriate for a condition or occasion

(These two are a small sample of definitions of right.)

In the situations you came up with above I’ll bet you needed to be right in the first sense — “my opinion or judgment is the correct one. “
What all changes when we shift to the second definition? Many (if not all) of those situations show behavior that is not “appropriate for the occasion.”

Imagine how much more will you accomplish in a given day when you let go of being right (correct) and actively acknowledge people’s inherent value (appropriate for every occasion)!

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Broken, Twisted, or Stuck?

Have you seen the t-shirt that says “I’m twisted not broken. Don’t try to fix me.”

That’s what I thought of when I read what Wayne Nance’s book Thin, Rich, and Happy. He says that people need to know who they are to be able to understand what they do. I agree that it is helpful to have some self-reflective insight. However, he goes on to claim that people have fixed “attitudes” that determine how they respond. Here I call bullshit. (I’m starting to get the hang of this confrontational thing!) I agree that people have default ways of responding to situations but the default is not universal — it is very dependent on the situation!

He has a quick profile in the book. (This is where I was heading with my profile post last night.) It is fairly insightful for being a 3-minute profile. Although the results, like most of the profiles, depend on your self image when you answer. Using your results you are supposed to work around why you may be fat, broke, and/or divorced. Unfortunately for Nance (and fortunately for me) my results came out fairly balanced and I fell outside the scope of most of his advice.

I did read far enough to catch his rant about the connotations of “change.” He feels that people hear change and imagine a “180 degree turn.” I disagree with his projection, but I did take his intention to heart. Watch for a renewed emphasis on the synergistic effects of simple changes.

I can’t fix anyone because people aren’t broken
— they are just stuck in bad patterns.

What will it take to get you unstuck so you can be thin, rich, happy, etc?

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Profile Junkie

“Hi. My name is Wayne and I’m an addict.”

My most recently discovered addiction is personality/attitude/style profiles. I love reading my results for the Kolbe Index, Strengths Finder, and all the alphabet soup of MBTI, DISC, etc. I even like the Enneagram (minus the voodoo). They are fun as long as you don’t take them too seriously. (Even the ones that tell you which Star Wars character you would be!)

I love the insight that I gain into how I choose to behave. But I know that these are just patterns in my behavior that were “true” for the situations I imagined when I answered the profile. I also know that the human mind maintains it’s plasticity as long as it is still being stretched. (Check out The Myth of the First Three Years where John Bruer calls bullshit on the claim that we are “hard-wired” at age 3.)

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"It’s Not My Fault" — Bullshit!

If you don’t like where you are now — get up and move!
If you don’t like what is happening — do something different!
If you don’t like people’s reactions — change your actions!

I have recently been inspired by Larry Winget to be more direct, mayhaps even in-your-face. There are people making themselves miserable and if all it takes to break them out of self-defeating patterns is me calling “bullshit” then I am willing to break out of my own complacent patterns and be lovingly confrontational.

Winget’s book It’s Called Work For A Reason is not a “feel good” book. He starts by warning that you won’t like what he has to say and proceeds to fulfill that promise. He is no nonsense, to the point, and more than happy to call “bullshit” on things that people ignore in business and life.

When you grab a copy of this book for yourself make sure you think of someone else that needs a wake-up call. That way when Winget really pisses you off (by hitting too close to home) you can immediately pass along the book and feel better about staying stuck right where you are. Or not.

I can’t change you — only one person can.
However, when you are ready I’m waiting to help.

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