CategoriesObserveProgressReframe your thoughtsThink About It

Judging Me Too

A build on yesterday’s post about judging. The opening line was, “It’s something most people do to others”. I should have added, “and ourselves too.” because we know we are frequently our own harshest critic. We take the worst comments people have said about us and absorb those as reality rather than dismissing them as the outliers that they really are.

Use the bell curve, for all comments, to asses where on that spectrum you might realistically be and hold that as your minimum truth. Your mother might think you are amazing so that is an outlier at the one end of the spectrum and your worst critic might say the harshest things, creating an outlier at the other end of the spectrum. Then most of the other people are generally in the middle. Use their commentary on you: Not the worst critic.

Criticising is similar to assessing, though they tend to be the negative and positive word for the action. Then you judge and lock in a conclusion. So be super careful which area on the spectrum you lock in your own judgement. This is not a time to be self-deprecating or shy or to play down anything. This is you, talking to you, and about to pass judgement on yourself. You’ve heard from the various witnesses and you’ve weighed up their comments, within the context they were given, and now it is your turn to assess whether you lock away your potential for a lifetime sentence or if you can see the greatness in you, beyond a reasonable doubt.

If your past has not been well constructed, in the context of all people that have ever lived (not just the saints), then you can start again with a restart. If it has been fairly normal with a mix of good and less than great, you can make things better from this moment. But give yourself a break today. Judge the Whole You, over your lifetime, and not just a few silly mistakes.

You deserve the best mind coach in the world. Start with the one inside you already.

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CategoriesThink About It

Judging

It’s something most people do to others. Though, my hunch is that few of us may like being judged ourselves. This may have more to do with the negative association of judging, that of criminality and being guilty, than actually having someone, “form an opinion or conclusion about” us. (It can be positive, such as in the case of selecting a life partner or date, or noting someone’s positive attributes such as “the most amazing brown eyes”.)

A preferred term for the activity of judging may be assessing. Mainly because it may feel less, well, judgy. However, it does lack the decision or conclusion element which may remove the power behind judging. Assessing seems to indicate you are still working out what to think. Whereas judging seems to have drawn a final conclusion.

So when you hear someone say, “don’t judge me”, or “you have no right to judge me”, it probably tells us more about them (possibly feeling guilty), than anything else. The person may also be demonstrating that they do not fully understand the deep survival mechanism inherent in judging.

As humans, as with probably any living species, we are constantly assessing and evaluating our surroundings for dangers, opportunities, threats and means of survival. This assessing, and then judging, is an in-built, hard wired, millions of years DNA thing. Not something that is easily changed.

Maybe everyone should just learn to get more comfortable with being judged. I’ll start.

If you like what you’ve read, click the ? below.

Go ahead and do the same on my other posts you’ve enjoyed.

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CategoriesObserveReframe your thoughtsThink About It

Stories We Tell Ourselves

Stories are often easier to remember than just the facts on their own. Additionally, stories tend to have more depth and nuance than facts, so they tend to invoke specific feelings. Stories can also be embellished, intentionally or unknowingly. With stories, we can highlight different elements depending on our mood, our audience or our intent.

A simple example of this is how you describe the big party you attended Saturday night. It is usually a little differently highlighted when retelling it to your friends rather then your boss or mother-in-law.

Stories are also personal. Those that strike a chord with us are more easily remembered. Given that decisions are based on emotions first, and personal stories are in our lives because they invoke an emotion, we probably allow stories too much influence over many of our own decisions in life.

“I would do that, but I am not smart enough.” “I have always struggled with my weight.” “My mother always said I was like that.” “I won’t go for that promotion because my teacher said I wasn’t very good at public speaking.” “I’m too old.”

These are all examples of the type of stories that hold people back from achieving their personal potential.

However, as with a tv (or website), we can change the channel and thereby the story that it is playing. Although we can choose to stay on this channel, while we believe and live out the current stories we tell ourselves, we can also choose to change the channel and change the stories we tell ourselves. You always have a choice.

Listen closely to those unhelpful stories that swirl in your head and are too readily voiced.

Then, create new, more empowering, and exciting stories for your life. And repeat.

Go on. Change the channel.

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CategoriesProgressThink About It

The Finish Line

Where is the finish line? For many things, it’s hard to tell where the finish line is. If you were running in an athletics event on a track, you would know where the finish line was. This is important. Knowing where you must push hard to, before you can rest, is usually critical in getting the best result.

In athletics, I was taught to run through the finish line. It was suggested that I run an extra meter or two so I didn’t let up at the line and allow someone to pass me by a nose.

Life’s like this too. You should make sure you know where the finish line is: precisely. Then you need to go really hard at it and run through it.

Without a finish line, you could find yourself going around and around (like on a track) and not ever feeling finished. This can become disheartening.

With a finish line, you know exactly what you need to cover (100m, 200m, 3,000m, etc.). Like in athletics, you should be clear with your activity and what you must complete to cross the finish line.

When you cross the finish line, celebrate!

Life is a series of 100 meter sprints which, when combined, are the distance of a marathon (or ultra marathon). Remember to celebrate completing each one, not just the very last one.

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CategoriesActionProgressThink About It

Start Me Up

The first step often can feel like a giant leap for mankind: Too big. Getting started can be such a challenge. And yet, it is instrumental in getting to the second step and then ultimately success.

There are different ways to get started. You can countdown if you are NASA or Mel Robbins – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… You can put it in your calendar and block a specific time on an exact date. This is described as the Seven Day Success Cycle in my video “ETRR 13” on the Videos page of this blog site. There are other ways too.

Whichever method you use to get started, remember that your environment should help support you. If you go for a run in the morning, make sure your clothes are out and ready and your shoes are at the door before you go to bed. Any other items you need for the run should also be set out neatly the night before. Set up your environment for absolute success while the intentions are high. Do not wait to see how you feel in the morning, you’ll rarely feel like it.

Once you’ve taken that first step, be sure to celebrate. This is the hardest step so it deserves the most celebrating. Every time you start something new or start on the next step, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Well done.

Now Get Started! With a little momentum you’ll start to feel unstoppable: Like a rolling stone.

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CategoriesObserveThink About It

Sample Size Of One

There is incredible power in one data point.

One data point can shift people’s views, swing elections, give great hope, inspire, raise spirits, destroy ambition and generally mess with your mind.

I am sure many of us will have come across the sample size of one in every day use. “My friend said she knows him and that he’s a bit of a psycho. She wouldn’t date him.” This one data point could steer you clear of your soulmate. Or maybe you’ve heard something like, “My brother went and he said it was fantastic. You’ve got to go!”. Or perhaps even, “The man said he knew someone that tried that once and it didn’t turn out very well”.

In these scenarios, a person has referenced only one opinion and yet it can create quite an impression. This is exacerbated when the sample size of one is an extreme example, either good or bad.

Very often the sample size of one is based on unsubstantiated claims, with no context and you are unable to assess the source’s bias. However, despite these limitations we can see people frequently use just one data point to their advantage.

It’s fascinating to watch yourself, or others, get convinced in a conversation or while consuming media. Listen to people use it to strengthen their argument. Many of us will have done this frequently over the years.

Seven billion-ish people on the planet and we can use one data point to sway a position. It may not be right or wrong, but it is fascinating. And powerful.

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CategoriesReframe your thoughtsThink About It

200 Years Ago

History repeats itself. Or, more accurately, as Bon Jovi sang, in his 1980’s mega hit, Wanted Dead Or Alive, “It’s all the same, only the names will change”.

People, things, events, activities and outcomes, tend to be very similar to those in the last 200 to 2,000 years. We still eat, communicate and travel, though maybe we’ve swapped hunting for grocery stores, telegraphs for mobiles and horses for aeroplanes. It’s all the same thing, just faster, better, shinier – but you still get the same outcome.

I have to look back about 200 years, at least, to remind myself of a truer sense of the basics of life: how things were without the modern world overlaid on it.

If you only looked back 50 years, you’d still think Final Salary Pensions were the norm and home ownership should be in the region of 70%, etc. You could fool yourself into thinking that things are getting worse or that this new generation is missing out on all the great things that the last one had.

The reality is though, that the last several decades have dramatically skewed many people’s view of the world and what expectations people might or should have. Now if you want to suffer the deep challenges of the Expectation versus Reality Gap, go right ahead and think about life based on recent history.

However, if you want to overcome this ER Gap trap that can lead you into darkness and a depressive state, then I highly recommend thinking about things through a 200 – 500 year lens to remind you how far things have actually progressed. And yet, it’s all the same.

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CategoriesActionThink About It

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

  – Andrew Carnegie

I love this quote. It is such a useful thought. It is a great way to understand people’s intent, sincerity and desire.

Replace “men” with “people” and it’s even better.

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CategoriesPropertyReframe your thoughtsThink About It

Property Perspectives

How do you decide what is most accurate? There are so many different views on property. This is mostly because there are so many different people with different experiences. People, generally, will find what they are looking for. If they don’t like renting, or landlords, or banks, they will find ideas and data to back up their perspective. And if a person likes investing, DIY or moving around a lot, they will find data and ideas that will support those perspectives.

However, let’s ignore, for the moment, all of the opinions about property that are being expressed these days, based on the current situation. Remember to take things back 200 or even 500 years ago to get some real perspective. 500 years ago, people used houses as shelter, to protect themselves from the elements.

I would imagine most people, save for the hardened cynics, would agree housing is better now than it was 500 years ago. Electricity, heating systems, indoor plumbing, fresh running water, television and wi-Fi to name just a few modern miracles.

Preferences for owning your own property or renting one, is based on emotion and your desires in your imagined perfect world. But when it comes down to the very basic idea of having shelter from the wind, the rain and the cold, you probably wouldn’t care too much about the mechanism for having access to that property.

Have a look at this video put out by The Economist a couple of days ago. Try to watch it unemotionally. There are quite a few comments and points that could be debated. See if you can challenge your own perspectives and see the other points raised.

Think about the points you have been programmed to agree or disagree with. Think through the alternate view and try to own that view, if just for a minute.
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CategoriesActionThink About It

Horse to Water

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him* drink.”

I love this proverb. I simply say “Horse to water” as I don’t think people need to hear the whole thing anymore. People quickly grasp what you are saying. (And it eliminates the whole gender issue that way, so double bonus.)

It’s amazing how many people are swimming in water (i.e. lots of opportunities), but they won’t commit to a drink (i.e. they don’t act on them).

We live in the most amazing period of time in all of history. The most opportunities for the greatest amount of people, with the least friction and fewest obstacles to get in the way.

99% of the obstacles people see are just mirages in their mind. Focus on the opportunities and those mirages will disappear.

I wish you could all see the opportunities before your eyes. Focus more attention on coming up with the Results! Not reasons.

The next time someone gives you a valid piece of advice, or suggestion, think about it. Go for it.

Don’t be that thirsty horse. ?

(*this is the original quote. Sub in “her” if that makes it better for you)

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