Monthly Archives: November 2012

i want it now …

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller


Best Milkshakes on the East Coast … it’s true!
We live in a society where withholding gratification is no longer seen as something worth doing.   Instead we chip away at our ability to withstand challenge by succumbing to the idea that we should be happy and free of stress all of the time.

You can see self-gratification play out on our roads where people decide that passing on the shoulder is acceptable.   We live in a time where our video game mentality is played out in real life.   We strive to get more and more dopamine (the feel good hormone) released into our brain.

Let’s say you want something, something nice, how long will you wait until you have it?   For most people the anticipation of waiting creates a strong desire to have it now.   It might be that we are driven by primitive urges to satisfy our cravings quickly before the opportunity has been lost.   We are still thinking that we are going to be chased by a large cat and if we don’t take care of our urges now we won’t be able to ever.   How true is that?

Sale, 50% off, today only!   It’s cool, it’s hot, and you have to have it NOW!   These are tricks that your brain plays on you to get you to do things that you don’t really need to do.    The promise of a reward is powerfully alluring and marketers know precisely which buttons to push to get you to act on desire rather than need.    The message is if you have this thing today you’ll be happier, you’ll be satisfied,  and you’ll gratified.

Test yourself and see what your resistance is to waiting for something you desire.    What are the tricks being used to cause you to make a decision to trigger a release of dopamine?

Black Friday, shopping early and even earlier is a big rush for many people, the thrill is in the purchase and ultimately a dopamine rush.     If our tasks and our work doesn’t fill us with dopamine we wait, we wait and wait and wait until we don’t have a choice and then it gets done.

What are your “feel good” things you do?    What do you notice about them?  What is your level of resistance to withhold self-gratification?

To learn more about the brain and the production of dopamine look at this video.

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live a longer life …

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. JoyBell C.

What if you could live longer?   Would that be something you would be interested in?   Some people would be.  Some people would love to live a few years longer.

Jane McGonigal, a game developer would argue that playing games can add time to your life.   She uses the premise that people who are at the end of their life often have some regrets.   The Guardian reports that people do have end of life regrets.  They regret working so hard. They regret not spending time with friends and family.   They regret not the person they weren’t meant to be.   They regret not being happier.

If you could do your life over again what would you do different?   Well today is that day you can start living the life you want to do.     Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are reasons you can’t do what you really were meant to do.   There are reasons you can’t live a happier life (you like being miserable).   There are reasons you can be the person who you really are (you’ve developed a persona that every one knows and you don’t want them to know the real you).    There are “buts”, lots of buts why you can’t do what you really want to do.

Think about it.   How many times during the day do you use the word “but”?    Just try observing the number of times you use the word “but”.     I could …. “but”.    How many times do you use the word but?     But’s become a convenient way for not something that would move you forward in life.     But …

If you can live without “buts” then you can live a longer life.

Now, what can you do to add more to your life?   Take a look at Jane McGonigal’s TED talk,  and add minutes to your life today.  TODAY!

epistemic closure … thinking inside the box

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
-Mark Twain

Epistemic closure has been described as being locked into  your own narrow world view.   It has been described as the unwillingness to look outside the box because it may mean change or it may mean throwing away something that you are holding on to for security.

Recently I talked to a person who was locked in a box,  a box called a terrible career, a career that created stress and tears.   There was no energy going into work and there was less leaving work.   How many people are trapped into doing what they dislike because they believe there is nothing else for them to do.

Then I have heard people say, “Today I got fired”.    The job was so miserable it couldn’t be faced and now there is nothing but a sea of opportunity available.  It may not look like opportunity when a job is taken away or given up until there is a realization that there is more to life than a job.   Certainly work is important, if the work you are dong is important.   If you are making a contribution, if you are feeling significant and appreciated doing what you are doing and if it gets you out of bed in the morning than you are doing what very few people do.

Take a few steps to find out what you really want.

1. Observe.   Observe your thoughts.  Observe your feelings.   Listen to your internal language.   What do you hear, see and feel?    Write those things down.

2. What is your level of stress today?   On a scale of 1-10 (1, being low and 10, being high).   What is your stress level?

3. Notice what you have time for?    Notice what you don’t have time for?  Is it what you want to be doing?

4. Pay attention to your words that you speak to others.   Are you telling them the truth or are you hiding behind your truth?

Take a safari through your heart and discover what is inside.   Is it what you want?   Observe, listen, pay attention and feel your life.   What is it telling you?

If life is a dance, are you dancing or waiting?

Think about thinking … take a look. (It is business focused, but think about it in your context)

the common man

“I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but in one respect I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul and for me that has always been enough.” ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Today I have a guest who wrote the following  poem  it is written by a man who lives in Christchurch, NZ.   Let James tell you the story of the common man.   Do we really live in this type of world?

Common Man  by James Wilkes

We’re all different and we’re all the same
Life, living, loving, it’s not a game.
We have one world, one chance and if we don’t change this could be our last dance. The rich strive for more and more, the poor do with less and less….what a mess.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

We arrive and leave through the same door, it’s just some of us get so much more. How did this happen I hear you pray, we’re the same aren’t  we, that’s what I heard you say. Maybe George did have insight; some of us are more equal by birth right?  If I’m here and you’re there, surely we both breathe air. We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

You ride in a Rolls, I ride on a bike and some others I know, they just hike. As silly as it sounds we’re all going the same way; it will just take some longer than others on this day.

We all step on the planet, we all look up at the sun, it just seems that some have all the fun.  It’s not hard to share and it’s not hard to care, all we have to do is just dare.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.

Creativity is key, imagination is free, we can do something about all this, just wait and see.  We learnt to fly, we went to the moon, surely we can manage to get some food on a spoon.  Black and white, yellow and brown, we’re all in it together so come on down.  Feel inside, feel around and look up, not down.  We’re all different and we’re all the same. Why can’t we change, it’s such a shame.