Archive for February, 2008


Three Types of Action

All distinctions like this are artificial, but they often help us to respond in more appropriate ways.

When we act there are three (nearly) distinct modes in which we can approach the action: learning, practice, or performance.

Learning – As we progress from unconscious incompetence into the realm of conscious incompetence we are learning. We now know what we didn’t know and are observing others to begin understanding their actions. Once we have the basics down and are developing conscious competence we tend to change over to practice mode.

Practice – When we know how to do what we want to do and just don’t have the behavioral flexibility to execute on that knowledge we spend time practicing. This is where athletes and musicians spend 95% of their time. Practice takes us from conscious competence into mastery mode.

Performance – This is where we execute the behavior “for real”.  We are exercising our mastery and performing to the best of our abilities. Ideally the performance mode is preceded by substantial practice so that our current best is well into the competence stages.

What have you learned and are performing without adequate practice?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | 11 Comments »

Best-Selling Author (How Not To)

I created a video entry for a writing contest (sounds weird, I know) and you should too. Well, if you have any interest in becoming a best selling author you should enter.

Go invest two minutes right now and make your video. Then submit your entry and collect a prize just for entering. While you are there grab a copy of Rise of the Author. It is a paradigm shifting report.

And now for the “How Not To”. Here is my entry:

What is no longer preventing you from becoming a best-selling author?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | 1 Comment »

Knowledge, Will, & Means

Warning: This post refers to MJ’s recent report Rise of the Author. I do not believe there are any significant spoilers below. Even so, you will want to read the report to get the full effect and the full benefit available.

While the report is intended for authors there are several patterns that compliment what we cover here. Today’s topic is what MJ calls Knowledge, Will, & Means. This parallels my Knowledge, Awareness, and Behavior model and extends the ideas in a slightly different direction.

The basic idea of MJ’s trio is that in order to make any significant change to the world we need to apply all three of these key aspects at one time. If you are somehow missing the knowledge of what to do there isn’t much hope for making any impact on the world. If you have the knowledge but no means by which to bring it into existence then, again, you will have a hard time making improvements in people’s lives. And even if you have the knowledge and the means if you aren’t willing to apply that knowledge and those means you will not affect those changes in your world.

Now MJ talks about how having all three of these factors in play at once creates what he calls the Great Nexus. The Great Nexus is the only place that these significant changes can take place. There is also some great background on when previous Nexii have formed and some of the changes affected. This is all building up to crescendo with the Great Window for print authors that may shut at any time.

I can not stress enough how much you will benefit from reading the whole report for yourself. If you are in a time crunch you could start with the executive summary/action plan and then go back and start from the beginning for the full briefing. In the mean time:

What do you need to generate your own personal Nexus?
Knowledge? Means (Time/Energy/Money)? Will or intent?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | 3 Comments »

More “Winning” Tips

Terry Dean posted an interesting set of tips that complements yesterday’s post on how to “win”.

While he works with entrepreneurs his nine success principles are applicable to everyone.

If you are struggling with the self belief portion you may want to  check out the recording I made:

3 Questions 3 Steps — Change your State and Change your Life!

How much of what is holding you back is in your head? (Hint: almost all!)

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Great Nexus, Great Window, Rising Authors! Oh My!

Wow. That’s about all I can say about the newest report circling the net.

MJ has brought together an amazing number of facts and pointed out their significance in creating the Great Nexus we are currently living through. He also points out the Great Window available for Authors to turn print books into respect and recognition (and likely into fame and fortune, if that’s what you’d like).

Even if you are not a writer you still qualify as an Author if you create consumable information or art. Of course the print book thing still requires some amount of writing…

Go find out for yourself what has me blathering in excitement:

Mark Joyner’s Rise of the Author

Stay tuned as I analyze more reasons you want to read and reread this 71 page report now.

Should becoming a best selling author be one of your goals? (MJ thinks so.)

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How to “Win” in Life

Assume for a moment that life is a game. Like all superb games it is not zero-sum — there is a way for one player to win without another player having to lose. As I mentioned previously the upward spiral of win-win-win is achieved by being valuable and serving others.

So maybe you have identified your value and you headed off to serve people and got stuck in “paralysis by analysis”.

Who should I serve? How do I find them? Which of my valuables will serve them? What if they don’t know they need to be served?

Or better yet, you took the first step and picked somewhere to start from and “failed” to reach your goal (you did set a goal, didn’t you?!). Then once you had “failed” you decided it wasn’t such a good idea any way and you’d be better off sulking in the corner with Eeyore.

For those stuck at the first step some blunt advice (that I give myself often): Get over yourself and get moving. The only reason you haven’t acted yet is that you are afraid of looking like a fool. Or afraid of getting stuck at the next step. Or afraid it might work too well! The first is easy: the only people who matter in your life already know you aren’t perfect and are still with you — now get started!

And what about those sulking with Eeyore for “failing” (or afraid they’ll “fail” so badly that even Eeyore won’t like them). The key here is a little word magic. Richard Bandler was the first person I heard make the distinction between “failing” and feedback. Everything is potential feedback if you are paying attention and doing something with the new information. The only way to fail is to give yourself a time limit or otherwise artificially constrain your resources.

This is not “if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you!”
This is “if at first you don’t succeed, duh!”

How many things worth doing have you done perfectly the first time and every time? (Or perfectly any time?!) Everyone I know learned by “failing” many, many times before they “succeeded”. (Dr Martin has a nice mind bender that questions “success” if there is no such thing as “failure”.)

Okay, so here is the step by step method:

  1. Identify your value.
  2. Pick a goal.
  3. Do something relevant.
  4. Observe what happens.
  5. Did it get you closer to your goal?
    • Yes! Keep going.
    • No. Go back to #3 and do a different something relevant.
  6. Did you reach your goal?
    • Yes! Go back to #1 and notice your new value, then pick a new goal.
    • No. Go back to #3 and do more of the things that got you closer to your goal.

Notice that there is no way out of this sequence. That is because winning is a process goal not an outcome goal.

I will be the first to admit that I make my life more complicated than this. However, when I stick to this plan (or similar) and choose goals that serve others I consistently “win” all the “prizes” in life. What happens when I do something relevant and that something doesn’t get me nearer to my goal? I pick a new something — any something that is still relevant!

What goals are worthy of your talents and value?
Which something will you start with today?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | 7 Comments »

Sick And Tired (Of Hearing The Same Advice)

The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated. ‘Tis the flu season and our household has been defending for the most part, or maybe we just exhibit the symptoms less fully than most people. Either way I’m glad to be back here sharing with you.

I am continually amazed at how often we “know” things but still need reminders. I keep running into this when using lab equipment. I find myself very carefully following the manual. For a while I was only consulting the manual when I hadn’t used that particular machine for a while. Then I would get over zealous and miss a step. Now I’ve gotten into the habit of running down the list of steps even when I “know” the process.

I also “know” that writing everyday is important for improving the quality and quantity of my writing. And I “know” a number of tips and tricks for staying motivated. And I “know” how to change my mental/physical/emotional state. Yet, somehow, I let myself lapse in posting here and in other daily writing. Some of it I externalized and blamed on feeling under the weather. Some of it I gave myself an out saying “I’ll do it tomorrow morning when I’m fresh.” Some of it I just plain blew off.

What did it take to get me back in the saddle? Hearing it again from someone else. Being reminded of the things I “know” and allowing that little nudge to get me moving. In this case it was a number of small nudges, but I finally took the hint and got moving again. And just like after a lapse in physical exercise I feel so good that I wonder how I managed to convince myself to stop in the first place.

And it’s not just me, is it.
What do you “know” that you need to put into action today?
What small action will you use to start the avalanche of subsequent actions and results?

P.S. It often starts with a small shift in mental/physical/emotional state. For a nudge in that direction check out the 3 Questions 3 Steps technique.

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Ambiguities – Quick Intro

I was browsing through some videos with my daughter today and came across a unique introduction to ambiguities. Pay attention to all the phonological ambiguities (words that sound the same but have more than one meaning). They snuck a few in there beyond the central noun/verb ambiguities.

Are these the most profound ambiguities? Certainly not.
Can you learn a lot from our feathered friend? Most definitely.

What ambiguities will you notice in your own speech today?

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Age of Conversation Continues

I recently ran across the call-to-action for an interesting project: Age of Conversation 2.0.

This is a follow up volume to the original Age of Conversation collaborative book. Not only do they tap the brains of dozens of business/marketing bloggers but they give all the proceeds to Variety the Children’s Charity.

Take a look. And if you hurry you can influence the content by submitting your vote for topic and/or by becoming a co-author.

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan | No Comments »