While this article seemingly has nothing to do with weight loss, it actually is the foundation from which your weight loss project is constructed, as well as most everything else in your life. Why? Because these three keys reveal how you are making decisions as the CEO of your life.
There are loads of people and organizations who actively hijack CEO titles for their own gain. Don’t be one of them. This article will help you understand how to stay in the driver’s seat as CEO of your life by shedding light on three important areas.
- You are a hair away from being fooled at any given moment – so keep your eye on the ball
- Allowing so called experts, popular social figures, media, advertising and trends to carry you up up and away to Cloud 9, has a price
- Information offers a perspective, but there is always a much bigger picture available, if you keep looking
Key #1 – Keep your eye on the ball or you will be fooled
It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them that they have been fooled
The most challenging moment for me is when I am working with someone and I know they have been fooled. I have to gently nudge them hard enough to wake them, but soft enough that they want to stay awake.
It actually feels really good to be fooled – blissful, secure, successful and drug like. You check out of reality and go straight to Never-Never Land (pun intended) thinking that the meat hook on which you were lodged has been magically removed. In truth you just landed on a bigger more intrusive one. Let me give you a classic example of being fooled. Anna gets wind of XYZ as the miracle solution for joint pain (or weight loss or some other ailment), is instantly spellbound and goes blind while believing “GREAT NO MORE JOINT PAIN”. She goes full throttle and integrates the XYZ into her daily regime. Then she notices she has a health condition she never had before. On visiting an inquisitive professional she learns her miracle solution XYZ is often the cause of her new condition. Worse still, Anna still has the joint pain.
It is all too easy to be fooled by communication magicians. They know what to say, how to say it, what to do, have perfect timing, offer compliments, make you laugh, smile and relax. Think politicians, salesmen, sex industry workers, addicts – you know who I am talking about, you have met them. You become so comfortable that you relax yourself right out of your common sense and are led right where the magician wants you, like an innocent lamb.
Being “Fool Proof” isn’t rocket science, but it does require you to stay in the center of your square (or circle if you prefer). Look at high stakes sports – coaches work to keep their players “fool proof” by calling time-outs to release the tension and get their players back in their squares. When I feel tension in the air or my body or am feeling pulled out of the center of my own square, I create a break. Sometimes I have to force the time out. I get some water, ask to use the restroom, go outside, take a walk, sleep on it or permanently disconnect. Forcing space and distance gives me a chance to get back to my center to see clearly, get in touch with my common sense, reach out for additional information (especially counter opinions) and to contact people of substance. People of substance are heroes in my opinion because they are clear, honest, and have the courage to wake a sleeping fool or disrupt tunnel vision.
Key #2 – How often are you trading in your backbone for a wishbone?
Wishbone advertising is everywhere because it works. The strategies are so cleverly constructed that their diabolical undertones go unnoticed as they zero in on the sensitive soft spots of human nature, by overtly or covertly promising love, beauty, acceptance, belonging, success, money, health & happiness. Popular words that remove your backbone one vertebrae at a time are often in BOLD, underlined and/or accentuated. Effective hook words are “ONLY”, “Always” “Forever” “Clinical/Scientific”, “Proven”, “Guaranteed”, “FREE or your money back”. Appealing to a person’s fear of being left out (or there not being enough) is easy with “Limited time”, “only 10 offers”, “this won’t last forever”. Plucking your heart strings of compassion is direct with a heartwarming or heart wrenching story. Seduction is used everywhere. Spiritual. religious and charity drives are good examples of how guilt and social responsibility are used. The incredible success story that sold you – that might have been the only success story.
Begin listening and watching media, TV, advertising and social media as a spectator and do it without taking sides. Notice both the person who is pitching and the person at bat. You will see some pretty dark ruthless tactics at play. Page through print media whose images are chosen specifically to bypass your common sense and speak directly to your driving instincts (the ones you have no control of). Online dating profiles are fascinating “advertisements”. What is a person’s photo and profile selling? Who is buying? What is true or illusion?
Wishbones are fun for a fleeting moment. Enjoy them, but don’t act on them. Make decisions using your backbone by asking yourself 3 questions:
- Am I in my square right now?
- Does this resonate with me and my life?
- Do I wish this to be true so much that I am an innocent lamb… unable to see the danger?
Key #3 – Information is one angle of seeing. What’s the bigger picture?
Nothing exists except atoms and empty space. Everything else is opinion
Be careful not to use information like a drunk man uses a light post, for support and to lean on. Use information as the wise man – for the illumination.
The more powerful the messenger (big title, noteworthy diploma, social trends, media figure) or social stampede, the easier it is to get caught up in the information as if it were fact. Information is often presented in biased and incomplete ways (the early bird gets the worm). Actively look for the strong counter arguments (the second mouse gets the cheese). It is crucial to make personally appropriate decisions. There is a time to be an early bird and a time to be the second mouse. Only you know where you need to be positioned.
Welcome opinions and information, no matter their source. Let them sit and simmer. Information is valid for different people at different times. The best is when you stand in the center of the BIG picture, clearly seeing all the options without having any attachment to any of them. This will allow your gut instinct the space it needs to guide you in the best direction for most successful outcomes.
These three keys will help you recognize where your efforts may be unnecessarily thwarted. Next week we will tackle something else.
Should your weight loss objectives appear to be too big a mountain to climb on your own, or you are looking to cut out the scenic route in exchange for a quicker personalized passage to your weight loss objectives, then give me a call – I’d love to work with you.