The Information Age has reached what I like to call the "Spinal Tap Era"
Manufacturing and service industries continue to "right size", which means doing more with less human capital, leading to more and more conversations that go like this:
Boss, "Sally. You have probably heard rumors already, so I want to confirm with you. Budget cuts have forced us to eliminate one of the positions in your department."
Sally, Gets a very shocked look on her face as she wonders how to tell her husband she's been fired and how to keep food on the table.
Boss, waits a few seconds for dramatic affect (as coached), then, "Oh, no Sally, I am so sorry. Relax, relax. It's not you. Management is very pleased with your great work, and wants to keep you. It's (implied slacker) Tom who's position has been eliminated."
Sally, breathes a HUGE sigh of relief and is now ready for the drop...
Boss, "The thing is, we need someone to help pick up the duties of Tom's position, and management thinks you are the right person for the job. What do you say?"
Sally, feeling immensely relieved, "Why yes, of course, I am the right one for the job. Just say the word and I will get it done. You can count on me!"
Boss, "Thanks Sally. I knew we could count on you. I'll have Mary fill you in on the details, and I know you won't let the team down."
Sally, "Well Thank you for thinking of me Mr Boss. I'll prove you made the right decision."
Now what REALLY just happened here?
Imagine, briefly, if, instead, the conversation went like this:
Boss,"Sally, we are firing Tom to save money, and we need you to do the work we were paying him to do, and we are not going to pay you anymore than we are right now."
Sally, "WTF??? How does that make sense? I have too much to do right now!"
Conversation 2 is the reality. Conversation 1 uses emotional manipulation tactics to make Sally ripe to agree to anything, as long as she keeps her job.
The result is, a person with too much to do already, takes on more.
On top of that, the world is now filled with a buh-zillion experts and comedians and news channels and tweets and texts and facebooks.. everything sopping up time that is too short.
Al Gore invented the internet and the internet made everything FREE. Thus reversing the concept of the Time Value of Money; and giving birth to our concept of the Money Value of Time (tm), or MVT.
Continuing on my Groundhog Day vision.
The concept, of course, is simple. I am going through the day, thinking about how I want it be on an everyday basis, avoiding the big vacation fantasy and escapes from reality.
I want my everyday to be days I don't want to escape from.
To achieve this state, I need a crystal clear, defined vision. I can only bring into reality those things my mind can see and focus on.
When I quit smoking, I only did so by visualizing myself as a non-smoker - not a smoker trying to quit. Once I re-defined myself as a non-smoker, my body followed and conformed to the new vision.
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Folks, I take this seriously. I take this as a personal assignment. It's one I task myself with, because I know that by doing the hard work of visualizing my future, I am laying the required groundwork to make it happen.
Fun experiment: Where ever you are right now, find something to blindfold yourself with. The experiment is simple: Blindfold yourself, then just try getting up and going to use the bathroom. Make it a good blindfold. No peeking.
The value of vision. QED.
As I define my Personal Ground Hog Day, I am defining my vision for the future and painting that picture in my mind. (There's a super-powerful, hidden force at work here. To fully understand and utilize that force, please go to the Napolean Hill Foundation website and get the book Think and Grow Rich. Read it at least three times in the next 6 months.) Once I have the picture painted in my mind, I have the power to achieve it. It's that simple. Now let's get down to the hard work of defining it.
I want a notebook and pen, iPad, computer, or some easy, non-distracting way to write out in detail the answers to all these questions.
Start of the day:
What time did I wake up? How?
Where, and with whom?
What were my waking thoughts?
How did I feel when I woke up? How did I feel about the coming day?
What did I do before I got out of bed?
When did I get out of bed?
What did I do between getting out of bed and eating breakfast?
Who was I with?
What was I wearing?
What were my thoughts?
What did I have for breakfast?
Where did I eat and with whom?
What was I thinking about while eating?
What was going on around me?
How did I feel about the day ahead?
This is phase one. I want to take my time and think about these and write down my answers in detail. As I do, I know that nothing is set in stone, and I am free to come back and re-write my future anytime I please. A funny thing about this, is many folks have thought about bits of future goals and desires, but not the big picture of the life they want to live. As I did this, I will say, things changed. Things changed a lot. Revision number 437 came around pretty fast, when I never expected a revision number 3.
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New Year's Day is one of those days when a lot of folks spend time thinking about where they are, what they'd like to do, setting goals and making resolutions. We do the same. Like many people at this time of year, we want to get back in shape, lose a few extra pounds - or alot of extra pounds (Bob) - spend more time with family, etc, etc.We make New Year's Resolutions. Great!
Setting and writing down Goals. Better.
Painting a vision for the future. Best.
I'm no artist, but I know that when I first visualize the outcome of an endeavor, it is far more likely to come in to being. A properly "painted" vision becomes an emotional, spiritual, psychological, intellectual, and even physical flag I plant high atop the mountain of my future, and it draws me up towards it.
It's my point of hope when the present situation seems dim.
It's my point of focus, when allocating resources.
It's the thing that all my efforts must be working towards, all the time.
My vision is the thing that rises above the volume and crud of everyday life, 24 hour news, flat tires, high taxes, hang-overs, illness, dirty clothes, and invading space aliens.
SO for those of us who are maybe a little rusty when it comes to painting the big picture, here's a little trick. It's a fun trick, I promise.
Before trying to paint that big picture for the future I want, I am going to go and rent or buy that movie GroundHog Day - you know, the one with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, and watch it a few times. Here's a handy link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107048/
Note: I say rent or buy, because we are talking about our future and it must be built on solid ground. We have to be willing to invest in it. Personally, I'd buy it. It's a great movie. It's funny. It's great for keeping focus.
Now that I have the movie, I am going to make some popcorn and watch that rascal a few times.
Then I am going to let the idea of living out the same day over and over again sink in for awhile.
This, dear reader, is the method of the madness.
Many folks, myself included, set goals and resolutions, like, "lose 20 pounds", "Get in shape", "Finish my degree", "Go to Spain", "Run a marathon", "Buy a car", etc. We generally accomplish these goals. The problem is, they become individual events and aren't tied in to an overall quality of life.
A two week vacation to Spain is wonderful, unless the rest of my life is a living hell that I can't stand and can't seem to change. Far better to skip the vacation and focus on getting the rest of the 50 weeks of my year closer to something that doesn't have me tired of life, but instead has me excited to get up everyday, happy, fired-up, and fun to be around.
It's a lifestyle focus. Skip the events (at first) and focus on the day I want to live everyday - my personal Ground Hog Day.
Where do I wake up?
Who do I wake up with?
What do I do between getting up and eating breakfast?
What do I eat for breakfast? Where do I eat? Who do I eat with? What do I do while eating?
There's a whole list of these guiding questions that I will detail in the next posting. For now, I am thinking about it and having some fun watching movies.
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