Who Controls Your Thinking?
What is it that makes the successful, successful . . . Is it education, good looks, luck, length of service? Have a look around at the people you class as successful (if you feel successful look in the mirror). Are they better looking, educated to a higher standard, had a lucky break or just been there forever? . . . Probably not!
What sets them apart is their attitude — in fact most research shows success is 80 percent attitude 20 percent knowledge and Skills. Interesting most companies spend almost 100 percent of their time on Knowledge and skills. Why? Probably because they never thought attitude could be developed.
Let me proof it can. Close your eyes and imagine half a lemon in your hand, notice the texture and contour. Now bring the lemon to your mouth and take a bite.
If done correctly everybody experiences some sensation of biting a real lemon — saliva in the back of the throat, pulling a funny face etc. Why, the lemon was never there. Your Brain is a magnificent creation, unfortunately we were given limited instructions on how to use it, and therefore we usually live our lives on what has happened rather than what could happen. If your brain can taste a non-existent lemon you can develop attitude, the following gives you a little taster
This story follows two days in the life of Brian, in this case a salesman, the reality is he could be a manager, C.E.O. or administrator just like you and me. Before the story can be told a brief explanation of Brian’s brain may help you empathise . . .
A “10 out of 10? day for Brian can be visualised as a clear pint of water — in this state everything is achievable, targets are set by pussycats, worlds can be conquered. Akin to a Luke Skywalker experience.
On the other end of the scale, a “1 out of 10 day” for Brian represents those kinda days where making a cup of tea seems as achievable as scaling Mount Everest on a space hopper. This can be visualised as a pint of Cola — The Dark side.
Brian’s eyes open to the light fluttering of his cream linen curtains playing with the summery breeze. A waft of rich coffee fills the room as his drop-dead gorgeous partner prepares breakfast downstairs. Brian feels fantastic and alive, life couldn’t be any better, last night he was captain sex, a tiger, grrrr!!!
He jumps out of bed and stands in front of the full-length mirror, “looking good, feeling good” — A 10 out of 10 clear pint of water.
As he leaves the bedroom, his bare foot stands on moist dog poo. He looks down to see the korma coloured splurge push up through his toes. The stench makes him recoil in horror. A quick trip to the hand held shower sorts the mess out.
His 10/10 pint glass day has only had a few drops of cola dripped in, leaving a still pretty clear, focused upbeat Brian. After all, today is the day when he picks up the big case that will not only make his target but take his team into 1st place and at last appease his Area Sales Manager who always seems so keen to front end load Brian’s development needs.
Bounding downstairs with his 9 /10 mainly clear pint glass he says a fond farewell to his partner, jumps in the car and drives. The sun is up, Radio Pants FM are playing his favourite song which encapsulates everything from his teenage summer of all summers (the one where he got outside top with Liz Hawkins watching Porkies 2 in the back row of the Monico cinema).
This is it, the big client.
He walks with a confident swagger down the path and raps on the door like an FBI agent. The client opens the door and as soon as Brian sees him his 9/10 pint glass is under attack as cola drips into it at an alarming rate 8,7,6 . . . . 5/10. The client hasn’t said a word but his body language spells trouble.
“Sorry to mess you around Brian but we went to the Boat show yesterday and I know it’s probably not a wise thing to do but . . . .. we bought a rather large boat with the money we where going to invest with you”
“Don’t worry, you only live once” is the weak response as he crawls up the long and winding road to his Vectra.
No use fighting the dripping Cola, . . . .finally it settles at a depressing 2/10.
The Boss isn’t pleased. Whereas he would usually try to express Brian’s development needs in a “I’ve just been on a training course” kinda way, this time more colourful language figures highly in his appraisal of the situation.
Brian drives home in the pouring rain. On arrival, he kicks the dog up the bum and throws his 2/10 pint glass over his unsuspecting partner. A night of banter ensues where both parties tell each other what the truly feel about each other.
Waking on the couch the next morning Brian drags his sorry 2/10 backside to work — 1st appointment with a new client.
The client had no idea why she didn’t want to buy from Brian. After all, he came across as clear and professional. There was just something about him made her feel down and depressed. To Brian, the client was clearly just an idiot.
Time heals all things and his mood has now moved to a 4/10 fuelled by a burger and fries and the saucy way the waitress asked if he would like to go large.
The phone rings — it’s the big client from yesterday. “Brian sorry to mess you around again, we’ve come to our senses and signed the cooling off notice on the boat. I took the cheque into your office this morning as we’ve decided to invest with you after all.” 10/10. Back to being Luke Skywalker again.
The boss apologises for his minor outburst the day before, suggesting you both go to lunch – his treat (clearly unaware that you and the whole world know he claims it back).
Bottle of bubbly, some flowers and a big “its all my fault, when I said you look like a Hoover I meant it in a caring way” ensures Brian enjoys his 10/10 experience well into the wee hours.
The question is : Does your day control your thinking like Brian or do you control it?
Some simple steps to stop the slide into the Dark Side:
Activate your environment
If you feel yourself sliding toward the Dark Side: do something stupid to break the slide. Run around naked, bark like a dog . . . anything that breaks the thought patterns of doom.
Before you see a client or attend anything important do something that makes you smile. Once you really start smiling you can’t help but move up the scale towards 10/10. Personally, I moo like a cow (best to do it in private – people might think you’re weird).
Play music that gives you energy –you probably spend a lot of time in the car, use it well.
Control your environment
Some people seem to permanently live in the Dark Side and take every opportunity to drag others into it — they can’t help it, they know not what they do!
Two ideas to deal with them:
- Try several times to make them see the positive
- If this fails, tell them to leave you alone, in a nice way of course.
Ever been happy and then spoken to someone who tells you what’s wrong with the universe? It’s like washing in a sink with brown water. The dark side sucks the life out of you. Spending time with the Luke Skywalkers of this world invigorates. Choose carefully who you spend your time with.
What you think is what you are — you wear knickers and a Bra (sorry help from my 6-year-old son)
Your brain is magnificent. Unfortunately whatever god you follow forgot to leave instructions. Your Brain is like a Bio computer — type in a question it will search for an answer.
e.g. You – “Why does this always happen to me?” Your brain – “hang on let me check for reference. Ahh yes. You are a loser and you always have been. You couldn’t walk until you were 3, didn’t talk ’till you were 5 and were always picked last for the playground football team etc etc..”
Ask yourself a different question:
e.g. You — “Not a good result. Okay, what can I learn, how can I do better and have fun?” Your brain — “Gosh, interesting question. How about trying this . . . or that . . . or try asking that person over there who’s doing it right”
The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of questions you ask yourself. Rubbish in rubbish out.
Do you run the majority of your life on a conscious or sub-conscious basis?
Remember learning how to drive, there you are in charge of a 1 tonne killing machine trying to master 15 things at once. This is done at a very conscious level. You have to think about everything you are doing. These days, you probably drive to work without even knowing you’ve been in a car. I suggest your sub-conscious got you there.
Your sub-conscious holds all your experience, values, beliefs that make up who you are. If you create a visual picture of what you want frequently enough your sub-conscious will accept it as reality, and thus start you working toward it.
This technique is so simple most people don’t bother because they think they need a complicated solution to achieve their dreams.
Think about something you really wanted that you got. The chances are before you got it, you visualised yourself with it. Future thinking works. You just may not have realised you did it.
Spend a few minutes a day in a quiet place, close you eyes and picture yourself in your desired outcome. Sorry I can’t make it more complicated and expensive.
Have a positive brain wash — like a number 3 wash on the car but cheaper
Choose a day to start being positive — go on treat yourself today.
Here is the plan . . .
- Day 1 — Treat yourself to a fully positive day, anything bad that comes along turn it into a positive.
- Day 2 — Firstly don’t worry that people think you are a bit odd. Do the same as Day 1
- Day 3 – Ok people are starting to stare, have you been abducted by an alien? Do the same as Day 1
- Day 4 & Beyond — Do Day 1 as long as you can.
By achieving a fully positive Day 1 you have started to program your brain to be positive (sorry – no going back now). Day 2 and beyond just reinforce that program. If you only do Day 1 you will personally see a difference. Beyond that, if you continue, people around you will see the difference.
Good luck, the future’s so bright your gonna need shades.
Visit Think Training & Development and download the Motivation Podcast
About the Author
Think Training and Development ltd was founded in 2003, by Wendie Michie and Gavin Aubrey. Since then, we have had the good fortune to coach and train thousands of people in more than 10 countries, across 4 continents.
We employ a fabulous team of like-minded associate coaches and trainers from a variety of walks of life.
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