Archives December 2010

Why is it Okay to get Fat Over Christmas?

Man I ate over Christmas.  I mean really ate.  I think I ate about $45 worth of Chocolate myself and at least $20 worth of Potato Chips on top of it.  Even though I “Lemon Fasted” the weight off so I am now break-even (with Pre-Christmas) – I really justified to myself that it is “Okay” to overeat.  Normally, I don’t overeat to this extreme – however, psychologically I made up a great “Story” to tell myself to justify my behaviour.  That is, I said to myself:

– Well, it’s my parents so it’s okay.

– It’s only 1 time a year.

– It’s Christmas and you are meant to over eat.

– I will lose it after Christmas.

The thing that I learned is that many people who put on weight over Christmas, don’t end up losing it.  That is, even though one may come up with a “Story” giving them “Permission” to overeat, they often don’t lose it. And unfortunately, life then gets in the way.  That is, I have made up great “Stories” such as:

– [Wifes Birthday] – It’s a celebration so I will lose it tomorrow.

– [Easter] – It’s Easter and you are meant to eat lots of Easter Eggs.

– [Weekends] – Well, I worked all week – so I deserve a break.

– [Ed’s Birthday] – Well, come on?

And So On.

These are some of the stories I have told myself previously and after speaking to lots of people – I have seen very similar “Stories” come up.

Another word for these “Stories” is actually “Excuses” or put more elegantly – “Reasons”.

This Christmas, I actually did much better than previously.  Still – not happy with my performance, but it’s okay.  When I brought “Conscious” attention to the “Subconscious” reasons I was giving myself to indulge – I really had a close think as to why I am coming up with these reasons to begin with.

Overeating…….

It relaxed me and calmed me.  But, addictions always have some type of “Short Term Payoff”. I totally understand why people with addictions can say:

– I can quit anytime I want.

It’s a great “Excuse” “Reason” to justify a something that delivers a “Short-Term” payoff, with heavy consequences.

Everyone is Out to Get Me: I have Proof!

“Everyone is out to get me” – used to be one of my key beliefs.  That is, deep in my subconscious (and conscious mind) I was totally convinced that people were out to get me.

In fact, I had lots of proof.  Bosses being mean to me.  Kids beating me up at school.  Girls using / leaving me.  Teachers marking me unfairly. The list goes on.

Also, if someone was nice to me I had all this “Proof & Evidence” that this was untrue.  Now, guess what I wasn’t collecting evidence on? The amount of people who were very kind – and not out to get me.   After all – come on? If someone was “Acting Nice” – surely it was some scheme to take advantage of me?

Do you pick up a pattern? Years later I had.  What I was doing was that because I “Just Knew” people were out to get me, I was:

– Only Focusing on the bad stuff that happened to me.

– Deleting / Ignoring the positive things that happened to me.

I have really started to get into Neuro Linguisitic Programming (NLP) which teaches one about the power of beliefs.  That is – it makes the old cliche true:

– If you are Right or Wrong you are right.

Regardless of what you believe, i.e. there is a god, there isn’t a god, white people are bad, white people are good, people hate you, people love you etc – your “Ego” & “Mind” will justify it for you by selectively focusing you only on the “Evidence” in the world that supports it.

This can be good and bad.  The beliefs I had above did to some degree keep me out of danger, however it had the unwanted side-affects of isolating me – and worse; making it hard for me to relate to other people. My new belief is that:

– There are good and bad people out there. Just be careful.

This new belief protects me from the “Sharks in the fishing tank” as well as allows me to really build quality relationships. Not bad huh? I wish I learnt this stuff 10 years ago. Now…What other crappy beliefs do I have to take care of?

* Many thanks to Cynthia Lou from Flickr for the Poor Teddy Pic.

Does my Subconscious Mind Make Me do Stupid Stuff?

The short answer is Yes.  My Subconscious Mind also makes me do quite brilliant things. One point of interest that I have found fascinating lately is how powerful our subconscious minds are in terms of controlling what we do. That is:

– Our Subconscious mind controls 90%+ of our behaviour and then our “Ego” claims responsibility for it.

I find that incredibly amazing in that with the old cliche example: Driving a Car.  When you first learn it’s like performing open heart surgery on a Live Tiger, but after several years you can drive a car, eat a Big Mac (or in my case a Falafel Roll being a Vegetarian) and talk on your Mobile Phone while picking lint out of your pocket – and still make it home in one piece.

Sometimes, I have noticed that I do some really stupid stuff and I think “Where the hell did that come from?”.  For example, at least once a week I drive on “Autopilot” and try to “Drive Home” when I am clearly going somewhere else.

Conversely, sometimes at work I do quite complex actions while half asleep or thinking about what I am going to eat for lunch or dinner that night. That is totally amazing yet scary, 90%+ of our behaviour is not controlled by us consciously! Besides learning this in my current Coaching Course, it has been repeated many times in that you have to be careful what you feed your mind.  That is if you:

– Watch TV Ads too much.

– Watch Biased News too much.

– Listen to the “Wrong” people too much.

You can get subconsciously brain washed and do things against your own interest! A good example of mine previously has been letting some unethical colleagues or bosses influence me on “What I am capable of and what I am not”.

I have some good friends that “Buy unnecessary stuff” as a result of clever Marketers and Advertisers getting into the mind without their conscious awareness.

The good news is that by putting the “Right Stuff into your mind” and spending time watching the “Right Stuff” and hanging out with the “Right People” is that you can program your subconscious mind the other way. It looks like I better stop (or at least limit) watching South Park. Rats!

Is Being Too Competitive Making Me a Loser?

I have a bit of an Inferiority Complex.  Yep – I said it.  In writing, so you have proof that I said it.  One thing that I have realized in myself is that if I am working in an area and someone is way better than me – I tend to “Shut Down” and think along the lines:

– If I am not the best, it means I am pathetic and worthless.

Really positive stuff! I really deserve a Tony Robbins Positive Thinking Medal for this one! As part of my Business Coaching Course I have been working through these exercises that are designed to uncover “Unconscious Junk” such as this in our thinking.  That is, 90%+ of our actions are controlled subconsciously we have a great deal of “Hidden Beliefs and Views” of the world that shapes our thinking and our actions. By bringing them to the conscious level, it really gives you a change to change them – so you don’t act or think like this anymore!

Don’t get me wrong, I am a friendly guy and I don’t put people down or anything like that – but if someone beats me too much it just bums me out.  It got me thinking, no matter what area we have in our lives there is always people better and people worse! In fact, one of my good Trading Mentors Vic Noble advised me on how to correct this thinking.  That is, you:

– Need to focus on your own personal best. That way you will always be improving.

Will you have the body of Hugh Jackman in Fitness? Will you own as much property as Donald Trump? Will you trade like George Soros? Will you have the connection to God as like Mother Theresa or Saladin? (An ancient Arab Leader known for his chivalry, against people that deserved the sword).

Maybe, maybe not.  The thing that I am learning is that no matter what area we work in – chances are there are people on both sides of your success level! It taught me a good lesson, in that if you are “In competition with people” around you, you will always be a “Loser!” Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not advocating a hippie view, suggesting you start a commune, get high on marijuana or L.S.D or listen to Peace Songs – in fact I am suggesting quite the opposite.

That is, some of the top performers I know actually don’t care about people around them and having to beat them.  Their focus is lifting their own personal best each day.  In a day it may only lift say 0.5% – but after 100 days – that’s a 50% improvement! It’s time I stop “Keeping up with the Jones” and straining myself unnecessarily!

* Thanks to DVIDSHUB from Flickr for the image of the poor guy!

Job Interviews: Didn’t you read my resume first?

Job Interviews – you got to love them.  The phone calls, endless rejections, keeping the resume up to date and trying your best to appear “Confident” without showing “Desperation”.

I have read dozens of books and probably been to 90+ Interviews in my life time and I can honestly say that many of these books are written by people who I doubt have had to apply for a job in a long time.

That is, I found many of these texts to really be providing “Pre-Internet”, “Pre-GFC” type of advice with the complete assumption that you are only going up against 1-2 other candidates in a given job.

I know some very good recruiters in Sydney and I have a lot of respect for the pain and suffering that many of them go through.

Unfortunately, like in any profession – you get your occasional “Rotten Apple in the Cart”.

I had this very enthusiastic recruiter call me up and offer a job to me that was 2 ranks below what I was doing at the time.  The role offered less than what I was on and to make things better – it was for an industry that I have never worked in before.

I politely told the recruiter all the pertinent facts and that I was not suited for this role and not interested.  The recruiter kept “Pushing & Pushing” and saying I would be great for it.

They then said they will put me to their client for a higher wage.  I then said, “I don’t think so – it’s not just me”.

But the recruiter kept insisting on me – so okay, I could be wrong here? Ed – just keep an open mind.

So anyway, I rock up at the interview and it was clear in the first 3 minutes that this job wasn’t for me.  So anyway, I continue talking to the client and they started just becoming very rude and harsh with me.  I quite realized that this wasn’t going anywhere, so I simply asked “Look, you don’t seem to be too thrilled with me – Can I ask what your concerns are?”.

The client then replied “Oh, we are just keeping their options open”.  The client then started asking me quite personal questions about my business and personal life.  Although I have no problem in answering these, the complete process from the Recruiter to Client was strange to me.

The client then got very rude with me and started winding things up and then turned it on me asking “Do you have any questions as we are very busy?”.  I then a second time, went to excuse myself and said “Well, it looks like you are busy – so I won’t keep you”.

So then the client replies “No it’s okay ask away” after really being rude with me.

It was a very strange experience, no-one listened to me when I said it wasn’t me.  In fact, my resume clearly stated exactly who I am – and still to this day I wonder why they even bothered to talk to me?

Having been a hiring boss and also the poor candidate looking for work – I found it was really bad form.  It appeared they didn’t even read my resume and for whatever reason, they completely ignored my protests.

After thinking it through, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Recruiter just wanted me there as a “Filler”.  Either that or they are completely daffy! A good lesson here is an old cliche “Time in Money!”.  Just ask for what you want and don’t mess around I say!