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About Time

by Rick Baker
On Jan 6, 2011
I don’t have enough time to do that!
 
How often do you say that? How often do you think that?
 
Do you ever question whether or not that is true?
 
I have been thinking about Time quite a bit lately.
 
I started thinking about Time a couple of months ago when, one after another, I heard a number of people say they did not have time to do this or to do that. It expanded when a friend asked me if I had read anything by the [Canadian] author Eckhart Tolle1. It expanded more when the people in the LinkedIn group called Positive Thinkers started to exchange ideas about Time.
 
While this was going on I wrote Thought Posts expressing an opinion Successful people have more time2. Some people argued this was absolutely impossible. Other people said they agreed with the view. And, the LinkedIn group discussion of Time continues. And, I wrote and asked Eckhart Tolle if he would share his thoughts about Time. I know, in one of his CDs, he said “Time is an illusion”. Perhaps, that’s enough said?
 
Eckhart Tolle teaches the Power of Now and the Art of Presence:
  • We only have the present.
  • When the present passes, it becomes the past...and it is gone. It is at best a memory.
  • The future is not guaranteed to any of us. If it arrives then it arrives as the next piece of ‘the present’.
 
So, I am about ready to set aside the question “What is Time?” Although, before I do that I will restate my views:
  • Time is an organizing-tool designed by Man.
  • Time is an introductory effort at measuring the incomprehensible [universe].
Setting aside the definition of Time, most people would agree each of us has ‘the present’. And, during our lives we have a string of pieces of ‘the present’. As each piece of ‘the present’ passes it becomes the past. As the next piece of ‘the present’ arrives it ceases to be the future. We do not know how many pieces of ‘the present’ will come to us. All we know for sure is we have ‘the present’.
 
We can succeed if we make the best use of the present. Successful people have 2 good habits:
  1. They do better at defining what success means to them
  2. They make the better use of the present
I continue to think successful people have more time.
 
Footnotes:
  1. I have now listened to several Eckhart Tolle audio books. A link to .Eckhart Tolle
  2. Successful people have more time links Successful People Have More Time and About Time

Successful people have more time….sharing another thought

by Rick Baker
On Dec 8, 2010
Who is your biggest critic?
 
Who consumes a huge chunk of your time…day after day after day?
 
If you are like the vast majority of us then the answer is…
  • that nagging, incessant voice of dissatisfaction in your head
  • that little voice which, for most of us, sounds like our own voice and seems to talk at us from a place just inside our heads behind the base of our nose
That little voice keeps rehashing our past errors and reminds us of past difficulties. That little voice repeats and repeats would’a’, could’a’, should’a’ and that little voice never runs out of topics to talk about.
 
That little voice keeps telling us we must worry about future problems.
 
That little voice talks on with unwavering insistence in its ability to predict the future…I mean, predicting the negatives that will visit us in the future: the problems, the difficulties and the what ifs.
 
We listen to that negative-chatterbox voice…it is so tough to ignore it.
 
We let it mess up our concentration during the daytime.
 
We let it mess up our sleep at night.
 
We let that little voice consume huge amounts of our time.
 
To the extent you can quiet that little voice you will be more successful and you will have more time.

On the realistic side of optimism

by Rick Baker
On Nov 30, 2010
Considering optimists and pessimists, optimists are more fun to be around.
 
That applies except, according to some, when one is in misery...then, similar company is enjoyed.
 
The point here: optimism is most valuable when it is within the zone of realism
 
Optimists can be annoying and disruptive.
 
The most extreme optimists can annoy almost everyone they deal with.
 
For optimism to contribute value it must fit within the bounds of realism.
 
The challenge is: realism is subjective (1).
 
Apparently, some of Guglielmo Marconi's relatives, including his father, thought Marconi was a bit of a lunatic. Marconi, of course, became an acclaimed inventor and a pioneer in the science of wireless transmissions. In that situation, the realists were wrong and Marconi's thoughts were prescient, not the imaginative rantings of a lunatic. Realism is subjective.
 
To the extent realists wish to influence optimists, realists need to base their influence on accurate thinking.
 
To the extent optimists wish to create change for the better, optimists need to accurately focus their optimism.
 
The balance between optimism and realism…. thought provoking.
 
Footnote:
 
(1) Realism is subjective. And, regardless of how well it is packaged in logical argument, subjectivity is often at the mercy of emotions.

Tags:

Hero Worship | Optimism & Pessimism

New People = Opportunities

by Rick Baker
On Nov 4, 2010
We have a few ways of thinking about those ringing phones, those buzzing emails, those stacks of incoming paper.
 
The first thought that crosses our mind can be: I am too busy.
 
Or, the first thought can be: Here come some New Things laced with Opportunities.
 
From time to time I remember the lesson taught in a sales management course, several years ago…when I was a young sales manager.
 
The lesson went like this:
  • Sales Manager “A” receives 20 customer phone calls a day, cringes every time these customers call to complain about product problems, sales staff problems, delivery problems, etc. Sales Manager “A” can not wait to get home at the end of the day. Sales Manager “A” can barely manage to get out of bed in the morning and come into work.
  • Sales manager “B” also receives 20 customer phone calls a day. Yet, Sales Manager “B” enjoys a dream job…loves to come into work, hates to leave, etc.
The instructor then asked,
 
“Why is Sales Manager “B” doing so much better than Sales Manager “A”?”
 
Totally stumped me…
 
How could that Sales Manager “B” possibly enjoy all those days on the phone dealing with all those complaining customers? [I knew I didn’t enjoy it.]
 
Perhaps:
  • Sales Manager “B” had some innate problem-solving gift?
  • Sales Manager “B” had some problem-solving tool like P=2S+O?
  • Sales Manager “B” had some other trick up a sleeve?
“No”, explained our sales instructor, the customers of Sales Manager “B” were calling to compliment Company “B” on the amazing performance of its sales force.
 
I often think of this lesson when I see a stranger’s email address in my Email Inbox.

Tags:

Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Leaders' Thoughts | Optimism & Pessimism

Believing it makes it true

by Rick Baker
On Oct 27, 2010
Seth Godin wrote a book titled 'ALL MARKETERS Tell Stories, The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works - and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All'. The title was 'ALL MARKETERS ARE LIARS' and the words 'ARE LIARS' are crossed out and replaced with two handwritten words, 'Tell Stories'.
 
Here’s a sample of Seth…
 
Yes, the revised cover of the book is catchy...
  • ALL MARKETERS ARE LIARS (in big capital letters) catches our attention. It appeals to the side of us that is inundated with poor marketing messages.
  • The handwritten 'Tell Stories' softens the blow and
  • The subtitle about 'Authenticity being the Best Marketing of All' takes us to a really nice place
I think the book cover alone confirms Godin is worth reading.
 
At the inside of the front cover flap, we see Seth Godin's three essential questions for every marketer:
  • "What's your story?"
  • "Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?"
  • "Is it true?"
"All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them."
 
"And believing it makes it true."
 
The cover flap then states:
 
"But beware: if your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse."
 
This is a great example of advice that passes the Seek Simple test.    
 
We should understand how experts such as Godin reach their conclusions and we should understand the real-life examples they provide to illustrate 'what works' and 'what doesn't work'.
 
That will allow us to make best use of the advice provided by experts.
 
That will allow us to train our people.
 
For example, we should train our marketers to ask Godin's three essential questions:
  • "What's your story?"
  • "Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?"
  • "Is it true?"
Footnotes:
  1. Here’s a link to a closely related blog https://rickbaker.ca/post/2010/09/28/Sticky-SUCCESs.aspx
  2. Napoleon Hill said: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hA-7aq6OXI

Tags:

Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Marketing | Optimism & Pessimism | Personalities @ Work | Sales

Procrastinate For Success

by Rick Baker
On Oct 21, 2010
The first two, equally-important, Rules of Procrastination For Success are:
  • You must minimize, with a view to totally eliminating, the annoyance factor
    • for others and
    • for yourself
  • You must set aside the common wisdom of the time-management gurus and give yourself a fair 60-day trial period [including the time you feel you need to cover your procrastination].
Why these Rules of Procrastination For Success?
 
To Procrastinate For Success
  • You must not over-promise and under-deliver...that's poor form...that annoys other people and, because you have pride in your performance, it causes you to annoy yourself with anxiety or worry.
  • You can not stress yourself because that reduces your ability to be effective...you are a procrastinator or else you wouldn't be reading this. So, procrastination aligns with the natural state of your character and your talents. Don't fight procrastination. Make the most of it.
How does one go about Procrastinating For Success?
 
Action Steps to Procrastinate For Success
  1. First, spend some time every day telling yourself you Procrastinate For Success. Make that a daily affirmation...write it on a mirror, repeat it at least twice a day, say it, sing it with emotion, scream it from an open window - I procrastinate for success, I procrastinate for success, I procrastinate for success…
  2. Next, tell other people you procrastinate for success....tell your boss, tell your co-workers, tell your Clients...and explain to them how your acceptance of this fact will benefit one and all.
  3. Once you have completed those first 2 set-up-for-action steps Take Action. Take Action as follows:
    • First, immediately, drop every thing you are doing and finalize your To Do List:
      • Ensure your To Do List is complete
      • Force-rank your Most-Important work items: as you do the force-ranking consider the urgency of the work, consider the time required for each item, and set the limit for your total available time at 8 hours/week. This step creates your work plan.
    • Next, immediately following the setting of your work plan – Do Absolutely No Work…do nothing. This is a critical step. This is the procrastination step.
    • Then, when you hit the point where you must do the work under your procrastination plan, do that work at lightning speed, with laser-like focus, and with genius-like concentration.
Benefits of Procrastinating For Success
  1. It builds trust. And, trust is right up there with time - a truly precious commodity. Trust begins to build immediately because you will no longer feel the need to tell fibs about getting stuff done under unrealistic time lines.  Since you will be comfortable talking with others about your procrastination, your over-promising will stop, your on-time delivery will increase, and trust will build all around you.
  2. You will be aligned with rather than fight against (Pareto's) 80/20 Rule. Knowing and accepting 80% of your production must happen in 20% of your time, you will stop wasting the remaining 80% of your time thinking about, worrying about, and fighting the natural laws of the human condition, i.e., you will not struggle with procrastination. You will be a comfortable procrastinator and you will make the most of it.
  3. You will free up a huge amount of time. Embracing (Pareto’s) 80/20 Rule you will free up 32 hours of prime time per week. And, this freed-up time will be devoid of the problems linked to having to be productive.
  4. You will never complain about being too busy to do this or to do that because:
    • 80% of the time you will not be busy at all and everyone will know it so you will be very reluctant to claim otherwise
    • the other 20% of the time you will be far too busy to complain and everyone will know it so they will not lay trivial requests on you
On top of this, you will reduce your overall stress and, all else being equal, that will prolong your life so you will have even more time to Procrastinate For Success.

Tags:

80/20 Rule | I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Optimism & Pessimism | Solutions & Opportunities

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