I was going through my phone the other day deleting old text messages. I like a tidy inbox
It is quite easy to delete a text message or even and email – just a click of a button. But what about the meanings and the feelings that were associated with them.
I love tests and categories; I am Cancerian and yellow and a series of letters and a star – whatever. I also rebel against labels. This dichotomy is easily explained because the labels help me quickly judge and sort situations and people based on their labels BUT I don’t like to be limited by the labels and I hope I don’t limit others. So I don’t see them as permanent just as a quick judgement based on whether you are male or female is convenient to know but not limiting (in my opinion).
In the seminar the presenter then explained the results and as he started to talk about my top scoring category he said and these people (insert colour, shape – piece of fruit!) – can’t make decisions and I would never work with them.
I was shocked! Then something horrible happened to the lining of my brain, to my emotions and to my core reasoning. These words started to filter into my being and seed and multiply. Within seconds I was challenging this opinion of me, reasoning that I was only 1% different from my second category (which apparently made good decisions) and accepting that “no-one” would do business with me.
How were these judgements having such an effect? I am confident, capable and successful – what was happening?
The presenter was on a stage, they were in a position of implied authority. I sat in the audience – student-like – listening and learning, what I thought to be knowledge, insights and business critical tips. I unconsciously enabled the presenter to influence me and I allowed their words to pass unchecked into my brain!
What a shock, I started to recognise a pattern. I frequently listen to speakers without challenging – open to all ideas that I usually take away and process.
Of course in the early days I would fall foul of the “salesman” that would trance me into a buying frenzy – I soon learnt to prepare for that. This was the first time I experienced a clearly negative personal message from the stage. Others in my audience would not have noticed – in part because they had different results – in part because they were not listening as I was. Maybe some were affected – what became of them?
I have taken this bland statement, I can explain it. Now I like to consider my options before making a purchase or a decision. There are some situations for which I have the known facts (like buying an investment property in an area I know), there are other situations or opportunities where I do not know all the facts. At that point I consider my options.
What are the benefits of this decision? What are the consequences of doing or not doing this activity? Are there other variations of this decision to be considered – is there another way – a different cost?
Once I have my answers I will make a definite decision – that is not indecision that is good business sense. So now when faced with a course of action I ask what benefit do I want to achieve and is this the best way to achieve it. I also ask when will I get a return on the money I have invested!
So, note to self – listen and enjoy the talks and trainings of others – listen with a defining ear – evaluate as you go. And above all others – the labels people use to define you are their labels not yours.
What you do today will change what you can do forever
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