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Savoring

Savoring

Why does the mind so easily attach itself to the negative, fearful, or hateful? Why is it so much more difficult to cling to the positive, joyful, or euphoric?

Neuroscience: 
According to research by Dr. Rick Hansen and his team, the amygdala uses about two-thirds of its neurons to look for bad news. Once it sounds the alarm, negative events and experiences get quickly stored in memory (within mere seconds). In contrast, positive events and experiences usually need to be held in “awareness” for a dozen to fifteen seconds to transfer from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage (Source).

Interpretation:
To remember the negative, no effort is required. But we need to completely reprogram our brains and the way we savor moments to remember the positive. This takes at least twelve seconds of us intentionally contemplating the good stuff. Use this to ensure your Christmas celebration is focused on the many blessings around you.

Reminder: 
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” – Paul of Tarsus (written thousands of years ago)

Inspiration: Your future self is watching you right now through your memories – so make sure the future you looks back fondly at today’s you.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. We are grateful for you!

Disruption

Disruption

Disruption:

In 1999, an Israeli research team assembled a group of 200 highly regarded ads – ads that were finalists and award-winners in the top advertising competitions. They found 89 percent of the award-winning ads could be classified into six basic categories.

The same group of researchers also tried to use their six templates to classify 200 other ads – from the same publications and for the same types of products that had not received awards. Amazingly, when the researchers tried to classify these less successful ads, they could only classify 2 percent of them (Source).

TLDR: Almost all captivating messages resemble each other but each dull message is boring in its own way.

What’s even more remarkable is that most of the successful advertisements relate to a concept that I call Strategic Disruption (Pictorial Analogy – extreme analogy, Extreme situation, Consequences – extreme consequences).

Why Strategic Disruption:
When we communicate a message, we all want our audience to listen, but they don’t.

This is often because they think they already know your message, so it glides quickly in one ear and out the other. In other words, common knowledge is the enemy of compelling.

When we want to deliver a compelling message, we need to break someone’s prediction algorithm first. If they already intuitively understand what you are trying to say, then why should they focus on your message? It is your job as a communicator to expose the parts of your message that are uncommon knowledge or the parts that produce the epiphany. This is the art of strategic disruption…

The Anatomy of Strategic Disruption: 

Part 1: Lead with the counterintuitive part of your message.

  • Example: Most people think that the employees are a company’s greatest asset – but this isn’t true.

Part 2: Then share the unexpected reality.

  • Example: Not all employees are created equal, it is only our good employees that qualify as a company’s greatest asset. Some are a liability, and some are so good they are nearly irreplaceable.

Part 3: Explain why it matters.

  • Example: But our managers spend 70% of their time focusing on their lowest performers – leaving very little time and energy to invest in our greatest assets (Source).

Part 4: Unpack the implications.

  • Example: If we neglect and lose a low-performer, it costs about 6-month’s salary to replace them. If we neglect and lose a top-performer, it costs about 2-year’s salary to replace them – or more (Source).

Part 5: Offer your solution. 

Final Thought: Strategic disruption precedes active listening.

Thank you for the time, energy, and attention you send in this direction!

Busy

Busy

Being busy all the time isn’t impressive. It is not a badge of honor. In fact, it is usually the opposite.

When you are busy, here are ten questions to ask yourself:

  1. Trust: Why don’t you trust people enough to delegate your work to them?
  2. Focus: Why do you still try to multitask even though you know it never really works?
  3. Ego: What made you believe that you are the only person capable of doing this work?
  4. Remove: Are you competent enough to know which of your daily tasks are unessential?
  5. Sociotropy: Why is it easier for you to say ‘no’ to your family than say ‘no’ to your co-workers?
  6. Develop: Why haven’t you invested the time and energy to develop and teach people how to do this task?
  7. Automate: Why haven’t you taught yourself how to make technology work for you instead of the opposite?
  8. Prioritize:  Why do you use work as a pacifier while the more important things in your life suffer from neglect?
  9. Complaining: Why does complaining about ‘working so hard’ and ‘working long hours’ give you a dopamine hit?
  10. Perfectionism: Why won’t you give yourself permission to leave the office even when you haven’t reached inbox zero?

Reflection: Which question do you need to ask yourself more consistently?

Thought: Beginners say that busy is better than bored. Experts say that bored is better than busy. Selah.

Reminder: Use work to build skills. Use skills to win money. Use money to buy freedom. Don’t forget the errand.

Corollary: Working hard is not only virtuous, it is essential – and no successful person would ever argue against it. But the ongoing question I keep asking myself is why do people work so hard on their career but won’t put the same amount of effort into their marriage, their kids, their physical health, their spiritual life, their financial wellbeing? I’ll never understand why people give so much energy to their work and then turn into complete slobs the moment they return home? To me, this is the ultimate paradox of American culture.

-MV

Champions

Champions

One of the best ways to grow is to help others grow. To help others improve, you must improve yourself. But helping others is difficult because it requires you to share your insights, products, tools, best-practices, processes, or ideas with them.

Question: Why do most people keep their ideas to themselves?

Answer: Fear of judgment or fear of rejection. Scared of looking stupid or being criticized.

In other words, we get so consumed by those who don’t get it, that we never reach those who do.

Two Sides: Yes, there are many people who don’t understand or even care what we do… So what? On the other hand, there are many people who do. Our goal is never to please everyone or win every possible customer. Our goal is to positively help people as much as we can.

Champions: Stop trying to convince everyone of something or waste time worrying about the opinions of people who just don’t see what you see. Instead, go find those you resonate with. Invest your energy in finding one person who needs your expertise. When you find one, give them your best and watch what happens.

-MV

Support

Support

Something crazy happened recently. Before we discuss, consider these quotes…

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
-Thomas Watson (former CEO of IBM)

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
-Western Union Internal Memo (1876)

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
-William Thomson (1895)

Today, I have more computers in my home than Watson said were needed in the entire world… I personally do not know one person who doesn’t own a phone. And flying was impossible until it wasn’t.

Interesting Request: The crazy thing that happened was one of the people who told me not to start a company because it is too difficult texted me and asked me if I had a job for him. Perhaps he forgot about that conversation where he tried to tell me I shouldn’t pursue my dreams. But I didn’t forget.

Before POC: Yes, before proof of concept, most will call you insane… After proof of concept most will call you something nicer than insane. But as a friend to someone who has a crazy idea without any proof of concept, why wouldn’t you encourage them? Why would you ever do anything other than support them?

Support (Always Support): There is literally no downside to supporting and encouraging your friends when they are just getting started. If you support them and they fail, they will appreciate that you believed in them. If you support them and they succeed, they will never forget you.

Success: When success comes, people come out of the woodwork to be a part of it. More hands reaching for the pocketbook, and it becomes more difficult to know who to trust. So what do we do? We all go back to the people that believed in us before we were successful. Now we get to return the favor.

Final Thought: “Support your friends before it becomes popular to support them.” -probably Joe Burrow’s naysaying friends from high school

Happy Super Bowl weekend! Let’s go Bengals!