Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's Not Okay With Me That I Don't Understand That

"It’s not okay with me that I don’t understand that." Seth Godin made a great point about being a noticer during yesterday's presentation. I can relate. There's this relentless mechanism inside of me that demands to know things. Like when the cashier at the clothing store asks me what kinds of things I plan to do in my new shorts. I need to know why she asked that question. Was she trained that way? Was she genuinely curious about my life? Was she just shooting the shit until the credit card receipt printed out? Why that question? Why now? I want answers. Find me the nub of why or there will be hell to pay. 

"Boundless susceptibility to suggestion is just another form of intelligence." Hypnosis scared me at first. The idea of being under the spell of a shrink made me feel uneasy and out of control. And then I tried it with a doctor I knew and trusted. And to my delight, the experience was completely relaxing. Not what I thought at all. No dangling pocket watches. No spontaneous chicken dances. Just a safe place to let go. Six years later, I don't even remember why I needed hypnosis in the first place. Mission accomplished. Inspired by an article on quitting smoking.

"Choose the hard path that leads to the life you want." When I was in college, my academic advisor gave me the option of sticking around for a fifth year. It would've been the easiest two semesters of my life: Light course load. All classes in my major. Part time job in the marketing department. Sounded pretty cush to me. And I seriously considered it, too. But ultimately, I made the decision to graduate on time. I had this book inside of me, itching to get out into the world, and there was no stopping that train. Little did I know how well that decision would pay off. The point is, when we sit at the feet of that thing that sticks inside of us and says now, we should listen. Thanks for the advice, Steven Colbert

"Easily wounded by constructive criticism." When I ran my own business, it was easy to insulate myself from criticism. But now that I work with a team, I have to face the music daily. And most of the time, it hurts my feelings. What can I say? I'm a sensitive guy who takes things personally. Fortunately, that pain only lasts for about five minutes. Once I realize people are both correct and helpful, I'm happy to make the change and get on with my life. Inspired by an article in Bloomberg.

"In the absence of an empathetic witness." Most of what we do in life has no witness. We’re all just winking in the dark, hoping somebody will make us feel seen. The secret is to point our passion in the service of that need. For example, anytime we meet with a prospective client, I always take furious notes. I can't help myself. I'm a writer and I love sentences. But before the prospect walks out the door, I print out a copy of my notes, in the raw, in real time, look them in the eye and thank them for all the interesting things they said during the meeting. People remember stuff like that. Inspired by a book on trauma.