Tag Archives: Skills

Drill Into Some Cookies

Hammer Out Your Skill Zone

There are a lot of good metaphors about our comfort zone.

The elephant that was tied up as a kid, for example.

Then later, they removed the rope, but he still was afraid to go outside of his rope-zone.

That’s all he was comfortable with.

Or the shark whose growth was stunted because he was kept in a small tank.

But the thing about comfort zones is they distort our reality.

Sure, we can see things just on the outside of them, recognize that they make us uncomfortable.

Which means we can sort of define the “boundary” of our comfort zone.

You can think of a small area just outside our comfort zones as a kind of defining “outer limit” of what we MIGHT be capable of.

But beyond that, we really can’t perceive of anything at all.

I had a friend once who was baking cookies. She wanted to make three times as many, but she absolutely COULD NOT do the math required to do so.

So she was stuck.

She had an IDEA of what she wanted, but she couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Imagine somebody, on the other hand, who could EASILY complicated arithmetic in their heads.

They could plan things with a lot more accuracy.

Therefore they could SEE things in their future with a lot more accuracy.

We can only see based on what we MIGHT be able to do, in the case of the comfort zone and the cookies.

Imagine walking down the street in a foreign country, where you have NO IDEA what any of the signs meant.

Imagine that same scenario but with a HUGE “to-do” list.

Shopping, laundry, getting a haircut, buying shoes, etc.

Simple things would be difficult.

The more you are comfortable doing, the more clearly you’ll see MORE options.

The more things you are capable of understanding, the more clearly you’ll see all the opportunities outside of your SKILL zone.

If ALL you have is a hammer, you’ll only find nails.

But if you have a MASSIVE set of tools in your brain, you’ll find a lot more things to use them on.

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Get Lucky

Knock Three Times For Luck

We humans are pretty goofy with our superstitions.

There’s a pretty funny TV show where a guy was staying at his friends house.

The friend’s name was Charlie. Charlie’s mom came downstairs to lock the front door, and then turn out the lights.

But she did everything in threes.

Meaning she locked and unlocked the door three times. Turned the light off and on three times.

Each time counting, “one, two, three.”

Finally Charlie’s friend asked Charlie’s mom why she did that.

“So Charlie doesn’t die,” she said matter-of-factly.

Charlie shrugged, like it was no big deal.

While that was a pretty funny scene, we humans are pretty crazy when it comes to superstitions.

Like “knock on wood,” which means “good luck” originates from back when they thought evil spirits lived in trees, and by knocking the tree, you’d chase away the bad spirits.

Scientists believe that we humans “connect” feelings and emotions to things pretty easily.

It helped us survive when we had to chase food, and sometimes food chased us.

Back in those days, you couldn’t afford to sit around and reason things out.

Yet here we are, connecting goofy feelings to things that don’t really make sense.

Of course, you can use this if you want.

(Just be careful!)

One way is to get people talking about things they really want.

Their ideal future. How they imagine it happening.

The more you get them speaking in specific detail (using their ideas and their words) the better they’ll feel.

And you can easily “connect” those good feelings to pretty much anything you want.

So long as you aren’t overtly cheating them, they’ll love you.

Especially if you’re selling anything.

Why?

Because if the product is anywhere close to being a good fit, they’ll ALWAYS associate it with their deepest desires.

Of course, you don’t need to use this to sell things.

If you just want them to feel really good, and associate those good feelings with you, it will work just as well.

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The Mechanic

Trust Your Instinct

Once there was this guy that was a well-known mechanic. He was pretty well respected in his community, and people would come to him whenever they needed something fixed. He’d opened his shop many years before, and had slowly gotten a reputation as somebody that could look at pretty much any machine, and within just a few minutes, know exactly what was wrong with it.

He was one of those old school guys who firmly believed in the old adage “measure twice, cut once.” Often he would look at a piece of machinery or equipment, and depending on the size, listen intently to the owner describe the problems they were having, as he turned it over in his hands or walked around it depending on it’s size.

One thing people always found particularly intriguing about this guy was that he seemed to many questions, some that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the piece of equipment or the problems they were having with it.

For example, once this relatively young homeowner brought in a large gas operated lawn mower. The mechanic spent a good twenty minutes asking the homeowner various questions about when and how often he mowed his yard, as well as things like what kind of grass it was, weather it was there when the homeowner moved in or did he plant it himself, and even if he had any plants surrounding the grass, or was it just grass in his yard. The entire time he asked these questions, he examined the lawnmower intently, from several different angles.

Once somebody asked him why he asked so many questions, and he said it helped him to “get a feel” for the particular piece of equipment, that it helped him to “understand its personality.” People didn’t usually complain, because he almost always fixed it within a few minutes, and he usually didn’t charge very much. He wasn’t one of those “five dollars for tapping, and five hundred dollars for knowing where to tap,” kind of repairmen that always seem to figure out a way to convince people to give them a lot more money than they’d expected. This guy was smart, quick, and extremely affordable. He rarely needed to keep a piece of equipment overnight.

Another fascinating thing about this guy was that he had hundreds and hundreds of tools. He was the first to admit that he loved acquiring and using new tools. Some say his income that he generated from fixing things must be nearly completely spent on buying new tools. His workshop was huge, and had tools in every possible place imaginable. What’s even more, because most of the time he got the root of the problem relatively quickly (at least when he finished asking all his seemingly oddball questions) he would use a tool that most people had never seen before? Then with the tool, he would reach in and make a minor adjustment, and the machine would be running smoothly again.

But it wasn’t always that way. When he was younger, much younger, he was under the impression that only a few tools were required to get the job done. Once after he was finished fixing a vintage printing press (in under an hour) that had been inherited by yet another young homeowner, he was asked how he got all of his tools.

He explained that when he was younger, he knew he liked fixing things, but he was very poor. All he could afford was a basic tool kit. His dad would let him play with things in the garage, and before long he knew he had knack for taking things apart and putting them back together again. But whenever he bought tools, he would only buy them in sets. And because sets were so expensive, it took him quite a while to save up enough money.

He was very impressionable, and he would only buy tools that had a specific purpose. Screwdrivers were for driving screws. Hammers were for hammering nails. Saws were for sawing, and so on. In order to fix something, he had to have a tool that was designed to fix that particular problem. As a result, he could only solve problems that other people had already figured out how to solve, and had designed tools specifically for that purpose.

This, of course, limited him in his abilities to solve problems and fix things. Because he could only do things in a way that was already determined by somebody else, there was always somebody that was better than him, with more experience, that could usual get the job done quicker and cheaper. This was always a source of frustration. He didn’t know how those people got to where they were. He supposed it was just the natural course of life. You always learned from others, and then when you were older, others would learn the same things from you. He wasn’t quite sure who and how people came up with new ideas.

Until one day, this fellow brought in a small piece of equipment he’d never seen before. When he asked the fellow who brought it in, he seemed reluctant to explain it’s true purpose. Because the mechanic was so intrigued by the new machine, he kept asking various questions about it, some that were answered, and some that weren’t. After a while, despite not knowing the true purpose of the machine, he got a pretty good idea of what was wrong with it. But it wasn’t a problem that he’d ever seen before, and therefore he didn’t have any tools that were designed for specifically for that problem.

He was puzzled, and then had a thought. Since this was a machine that he’d never seen before, why not use a tool that he’d never used before. He suddenly had a flash of insight, of recognition. Not unlike Edison felt when he finally found a filament that didn’t burn out, or when Einstein imagined himself riding on a beam of light. He had what alcoholics refer to as a “moment of clarity.”

He rushed inside, and got a hole punch and a nail file. The hole punch he’d used only once before, as a gift he’d received. Something about making belts that he was completely uninterested in. The nail file, was a nail file. When he brought the two unrelated tools back into the workshop, the particular customer was immediatley intrigued. While he didn’t know exactly what the mechanic was going to do, he could tell by the look of his face that he did. And only five minutes later, this contraption, whatever it was, was working perfectly. The customer was astounded.

And ever since then, the mechanic refused to be constrained by mainstream logic and accepted methods of doing things. By asking questions, and trusting his instinct, he found that he never failed to fix any piece of equipment presented to him.

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Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Lessons From An End Of The World Marketing Genius

Do You Really Know What You Are Getting Into?

I was hanging out downtown the other day, and ran into this particularly strange character. He was one of those guys that have the big signs warning of the impending end of the world. Sometimes his sign will say “The End is Near,” and or other similar messages. Sometimes though, his signs don’t make any sense whatsoever. Like the other day he had a sign that said “They are aware of all of what you think you don’t know,” which I had to read a couple times before I realized it really didn’t make any sense.

So naturally, being the curious guy that I am, I went and asked him. I was kind of half expecting him to be a complete nutcase, and give me some wild reason that masked his complete and utter detachment from reality. But what I got was something altogether different.

It was kind of like that time when I was a kid back in boy scouts. Our troop would go on these yearly hikes. They were about fifty miles, and took about a week. To make sure we were all up to snuff, we would have to go on three “qualifying” hikes prior to the big one. There would be five successive weekends where we would the troop would leave early Saturday morning, hike for eight or so miles, camp out, and then return on Sunday. You had to go on three of these five in order to go on the long one. The scoutmasters that went along didn’t want to be stuck carrying some kid’s stuff because he couldn’t carry it himself.

That had happened a couple years before. They didn’t have the three-trip rule, and just went straight away into the weeklong hike. There was this one kid that joined up, and his mom assured the scoutmaster that he would be able to handle it. After about two miles in, everybody realized this kid should be anywhere but on a hiking trail with a thirty-pound pack.

The scoutmasters divided up his stuff until his pack was maybe five pounds. Even then he struggled. Hiking up hills in high elevation where the air is thin is not the easiest thing in the world, and this kid was proof. His mom had unloaded this kid on the troop to take care of him for a week, and the adults all had to unload him of his stuff. And the rest of us kids had to pretend to be nice to him while we walked slower than normal so he wouldn’t be left behind. Talk about a burden.

I read this book once that was talking about business success. It said that the most successful people are one’s that are able to carry their own weight, as well as offering something to the organization. There is a certain winning combination. It gave several examples of different job interviews, and some of the answers people gave. Several of the unsuccessful candidates were keen to find out things about the job like vacation time, benefits, how often they can get raises, and so on. Managers naturally weren’t to anxious to hire these people.

Others on the other hand were a little too much in the opposite direction. They were about how good they were, how many massive skills they had, and why they should be hired. Managers didn’t really like these people because they didn’t really take much of an interest in the particular organization. They seemed to have a one size fits all ego that expected the world to bow down in awe of its skills.

The ones that were the most successful were the ones that were confident in their abilities, and were able to elicit certain aspects of the business, and then explain to the interviewer how their particular skills would be of specific benefit to the company.

The conclusion of this book was that if you are ever interviewing for jobs, to first make a list of some skills you have, and keep a mental list of several examples of how you demonstrated those skills in the past. Then when you are in the interview, find out what kind of person they are looking for, and then give examples from your own past that show you are an obvious choice for the organization. Obviously it helps to do a little bit of research before going to the interview, but with the amazing amount of information at your disposal through the Internet, that should be fairly easy.

The bottom line is to not only know your skills, but be able to find several examples from your past, and be able figure out as many creative ways as possible to show how they are applicable to as many situations as you can. This will get you a lot further than showing up with your proverbial hat in your hand asking about benefits and vacation time.

After we finally made it back after what seemed like the longest week in backpacking history, we never saw that kid again. He was quiet all the way back, and after a few polite and subdued goodbye’s that was that. I did see our head scoutmaster having a word with his mom. It didn’t appear to be an angry exchange, but he did seem to be explaining several things to her, and she appeared to be listening as though she had made some kind of a mistake. She kept nodding her head in what looked like sincere appreciation.

Perhaps she didn’t pawn him off to the troop after all. Maybe she just misunderstood what she was getting her son into. Many people don’t have a good idea of what they are getting themselves into. Which is exactly why the troop instituted the three qualifying hike rule to make sure everybody knows what’s coming when we went on the week long fifty mile hike.

I have to admit, thinking back to those fifty-mile hikes, I had some of the best times of my childhood. Fishing in pristine lakes, being in huge beautiful valleys surrounded by snow capped mountains without any other people in sight except for my friends and me. Seeing bears and deer and all kinds of other animals in their natural habitat is something you don’t ever forget.

It turned out this guy was doing marketing experiments for a church. There was a certain church in the area, whose name he made me promise I wouldn’t repeat. They were testing different marketing slogans. It was a rather big church, a non-denominational Christian church, and they were always trying to expand their members. They hired this guy from an advertising company, and would come up with different slogans for his message board, and simply note people’s reactions.

He would measure their reactions by how often they did double takes, if they slowed down when they passed him, or if they came up and talked to him. He told me that so far, the message that had a positive spin had the most effect on people, with messages of imminent world destruction coming in a close second.

So if the marquee messages at your local church alternate between peace and love, and threats of eternal hell bound damnation, now you know why.

Nurture Vs. Nature – Why It Doesn’t Matter

How To Program Yourself For Automatic Success

There has been an ongoing debate for a while among people that study human development and potential, and believe it or not, linguists. There is one camp that believes that when humans are born, we are completely blank, and don’t know anything about anything. It would be the equivalent of buying a brand new computer with no operating system, not software, nothing.

Similar to the computers of many years ago. They didn’t even know how to start. So every time you had to start up your computer, you actually had to insert a punch card that was configured to give the program the start up parameters.

There are those that feel humans are completely and utterly blank when we come into the world, and that all we are is a result of our environment.

From a purely physical standpoint, that seems a bit ridiculous. As a general rule, and maybe you’ve noticed this, but children of Asian parents usually grow up with Asian features (e.g. black hair, brown eyes). Same with people from other parts of the world. Of course you could likely explain that different climates in different parts of the world gave rise to different physical features over hundreds of thousand so years of evolution, but you could hardly say that this process is repeated for each generation.

So at the very least, it appears that we come pre programmed for at least some kinds of things, such as certain physical traits, which are based both on our ethnicity and our parents. Tall parents usually produce tall kids, etc.

On the other extreme is those that argue that we come in with pretty much everything all configured, and life is nothing more than a discovery of that configuration. People will usually point out cases of twins who although separated at birth, grew up into mysteriously similar lives. Same lives, same names of their wives, same habits, down to the brand of cigarettes.

Of course, these cases are few and far between, they are anything but the norm. Those that study statistics will tell you that you can prove any theory, no matter how hair brained, by choosing certain data to represent your case. Nostradamus, and the appearance of the twin towers on a folded twenty-dollar bill to name a couple.

But along those two endpoints of the spectrum, we have to lie someplace in the middle. We do seem to come pre programmed with some kinds of pre-determined characteristics.

Despite how this seems to suggest that we are doomed by fate, there is a ray of hope in something called meta programs. These are a shorthand collection of decisions the brain groups together to conserve valuable processing time. The reason I say ray of hope is because although in many people these usually go undiscovered and therefore unchanged, once you find out your own metaprograms you can change them to improve your results. Here are a couple important ones. As you read, ask yourself which “endpoint” resonates most with you, and just be aware of it as you go through your daily life, to determine if it serves you, or if you want to change.

The first one is motivation. Are you motivated more by fear of pain, or the promise of reward? Many people are motivated by the fear of pain, and take action in the right direction. But as soon as they make progress, the fear of pain diminishes, as does their motivation. This is one of the main reasons it’s so hard to stick to a diet once you start it.

In order to overcome this, focus on the end results, and make it really big and compelling.

Another one is sorting. Do you see similarities in things, or differences? If you see differences more so than similarities, the world can seem to be a dangerous and confusing place. The human brain is more comfortable with similarity. If you want to try to something new, and only see how it’s different than what you are used to, it might be hard to get started. However, if you train your self to find similarities it will make doing new things easier.

For example, starting a new job can be a frightening experience, if you are always comparing how different it is to your old job. But if you consciously look for similarities instead, it will be much easier to adjust.

Another important one is verification. When you choose something, how do you know it’s the right choice? The two options here are internal and external. If you seek external verification for all your choices, you will always be following somebody else’s lead. What diet to go on, what to order at a restaurant, what movie to rent at the video shop, all these decisions will require you get somebody else’s opinion first.

On the flip side, if you only need to rely on yourself, then you’ll have much more freedom to choose. This can be the toughest one to change because it is very easy to rely on the opinions of others. If you find yourself asking others opinions often, try choosing by yourself, and be happy with your choice. Take small steps, and as your confidence continues to increase, it will become easier.

When you start to examine your own meta programs and how the help you achieve what you want in life, it opens up a huge realm of possibility. Just by noticing how you choose things, you will be far ahead of most other people.

To summarize here are the three main ones:

Pain or Pleasure – Which motivates you the most?

Same of Different – What do you see the most?

Internal or External – Do you always need others opinions, or is yours enough?

After you get skilled with these, there are about twenty other ones I’ll be writing about later on to help you make success automatic for you.

How To Maximize The Golden Feedback You Get From Others

Sometimes when you are in the process of learning something new, it can help tremendously to get an objective, outside opinion on your progress. I say sometimes, because obviously if you are doing something like practicing your T-shot, you can pretty much check your progress yourself.

But when you are doing things that are much more personal, and much more subjective, it can be hard to tell if you are making any progress. This is largely due to how the brain processes, stores and uses information. This is also the reason that when people successfully apply things like the “Law Of Attraction,” it seems like the world has magically fulfilled their wishes.

No matter what changes you’ve made, small or large, they will seem normal.

Let me explain.

Lets say you are terribly afraid of elevators. Every time you approach an elevator, your palms get cold and clammy, your heart starts to palpitate, you imagine plunging painfully to your death, and then decide to take stairs. All this is happening inside your brain, due to your own particular history and how you’ve decided to code your experience. This is all normal for you.

Then you go and see a hypnotist, or watch some guy on Oprah who helps people overcome irrational fears, and are vicariously cured. Or maybe you even see some seemingly disconnected event that helps you to unconsciously reframe whatever past experience gave you your fear. Whatever the reason, suddenly you are not afraid of elevators any more.

Now the first time you approach an elevator, you might notice a difference. But more than likely, what has changed is your idea of what is “normal.” All of a sudden it will just feel “normal” to get on an elevator without any feelings of fear or anxiety. You will obviously remember taking the stairs before, but you won’t likely remember the actual fear, since it’s gone.

To get an idea of what this is like, try and remember first learning how to read. Try to remember the feeling of looking at a bunch of squiggly lines on a piece of paper, or on the board at school, and having no idea what they mean. Or try to remember riding bike for the first time, and not being able to keep your balance.

While you may remember the actual event, sitting in a chair at school, or riding your bike for the first time, you’ll likely have a difficult time remembering the feelings of confusion, difficulty, or anxiety that often comes with learning.

As you become more skilled, your brain simply readjusts what is “normal.” It continually updates your definition.

The upshot of this is that you have an unlimited capacity for learning and improving skills in virtually all areas of your life. The drawbacks to this is that in many life skills, (social skills, public speaking skills, writing and persuasion skills) you may be improving drastically, by leaps and bounds, but it doesn’t feel like it because you are always “normal.” This can lead to frustration if you aren’t seeing specific results, like when you improve your T shot, or free throw percentage.

The best way to keep your motivation high is to figure out some way to measure your progress. This can be done by soliciting the advice of people that can be objective.

For an example of public speaking, Toastmasters is really good for this. They have a system where after every speech; you are critiqued objectively by a sometimes-complete stranger. So you can be sure that any feedback you get is useful and helpful in drastically improving your public speaking skills in a relatively short amount of time.

Feedback is perhaps the most valuable thing when you are improving anything. One of the traps of feedback is that many people avoid it, due to a fear of being judged, or rejected, or having their deepest, most secret fears laid bare. Many people feel that if the feedback they receive isn’t one hundred percent positive, then it means they are a failure. This attitude only keeps you stuck in your present level of skill.

But in reality, feedback is simply feedback. It only has meaning that you give it. And when you consistently use feedback to help you improve, you’ll be light years ahead of most people on the planet.

How To Exploit Juice Underneath Your Desires – For Sex, Love, And Money

Have you ever chosen a goal, only to find out that you really didn’t want it, or once you got it you thought maybe it wasn’t all that you thought it might be?

Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have had a goal, tried really hard to achieve it, and then failed. And after you’ve failed, you realized that you really weren’t after that goal after all, but something deeper, and by doing things that were moving you closer to the goal you thought you wanted, you were actually developing your skills that would make it much easier for you to achieve a much larger, more satisfying goal.

Huh?

Example.

I know a guy that really wanted to be a standup comic. He had watched comics as a kid, and really enjoyed him, and really wanted to be onstage telling jokes, and getting people to laugh. So he read books, went to trainings and seminars. He studied the structure of humor so he could write his own material. When it finally came time to get up on stage and burst onto the comic scene, he failed miserably.

He was literally booed off stage again and again. His jokes were horrible, his delivery was terrible, and his timing was awful. For a while he was completely demoralized. The he started learning about personal development and motivation. As it turns out, studying the structure of comedy is closely related to the structure of human understanding and how we humans view the world. Which is very closely tied to our own motivational strategies and our beliefs about what we are capable of.

So he started studying and learning more and more. And he found out there was a huge demand for this kind of seminar. He started giving seminars that quickly sold out every time.

The skills he had picked up along the way, studying about human nature through comedy, and practicing public speaking skills against a ferociously unappreciated audience gave him incredible understanding of other peoples pain and fear, and incredible effective public speaking and motivation skills.

Had he not tried and failed as a comedian, he would never have succeeded as self-development coach. His seminars still sell out whenever he gives them, and he is making quite a bit of money today.

But the point of this essay is not to encourage you to chase after a goal and then fail. If you started out with that mindset, you’d likely not chase it with near as much gusto as is you were expecting to win.

The point of this is to encourage you to really examine the goal you are chasing. Really really examine it. What is it about that goal that is so appealing to you? What will you have, feel, and experience when you achieve that goal? Is there and even better, quicker, and easier way to feel, experience and have those same things by choosing a different goal?

In the example above, the underlying criteria of becoming a comic might have been to make people feel good, and happy, and feel good about oneself for delivering those emotions to others. There are many ways to do that. Being a comic is certainly one way, but is it the only way? Is it the easiest way?

There is one very powerful motivating factor in psychology called commitment and consistency. This has been proven to be a very powerful social influence technique. People that publicly claim they are Republicans will never vote democrat, but people that never commit publicly to either party are much more likely to vote for a candidate not based on his party, but on his or her qualifications.

In the jury system, studies have shown that juries where they publicly voice their opinion (guilty or innocent) before deliberation have a much harder time coming to a consensus. Those that indicate their initial opinion anonymously (writing G o I on a slip of paper) have a much easier time agreeing on a consensus. The people that publicly claim either guilty or innocent have a much harder time changing their minds.

This same dynamic is in place when setting goals.  Sometimes a goal that should have been abandoned a long time ago is still pursued, only because the person made a decision to get it, no matter what.

Of course, this is not to be confused with simply giving up on chasing a goal due to some adversity or difficulties in achieving it. This is about a goal that has lost its relevance.

When you can really dig down deep inside your mind to discover the real reason behind your goal, and go after that, the goal itself can become a temporary placeholder in your mind for your deeper, and more important criteria. Once you identify what that is, you will realize that there are many more ways to get there.

This can take some time and person introspection, but it is well worth the effort.  When you realize that the underlying structure of your experience is something worthy of your attention, you can be assured you will be successful.

How To Change Beliefs To Skyrocket Your Capabilities

If you’ve ever been hampered by a limiting belief about your capabilities, you are in luck. Today I’d like to show you an easy way to gradually shift your beliefs from limitation to enhancement. Although it may take some time, from a couple days to a few weeks, its simple to do, and the results can be absolutely profound.

First, a little bit about how beliefs work. Beliefs are the sum total of labels or meanings that you’ve given to your past experiences. The stronger the emotional response to any past experience, the stronger the belief. For example, if you had to give a speech in third grade, and the teacher corrected you in the middle of it, you likely would have felt pretty bad. Then maybe later, when you had to speak in front of several people in fifth grade, and something else bad happened, like maybe nobody really listened to you, or maybe somebody laughed at you. Then maybe in high school you tried to tell a joke to people that you weren’t really familiar with, and it didn’t go over well.

These experiences will add up to the idea that you suck at public speaking. When you think of public speaking, your brain will quickly reference all the instances in your past, and come back with the belief that you suck at it. This happens in microseconds much quicker than the conscious mind knows.

When you project yourself into the future, you will filter any possible future through this belief. So when you think to maybe giving a best man speech, or giving a presentation at meeting at work, you will likely get nervous because you are projecting your future through this filter.

The good news is that you can easily change this belief. In the example of public speaking you can slowly shift the belief to a positive one where you will not only believe that you are a good public speaker, but you will actually seek out and enjoy opportunities of public speaking.

The easiest way to do this is through journaling. Sit down and start from as far back in your memory as you can go, and recall any positive experience of speaking in front of other people. Describe each experience in as much detail as possible, to the point of reliving it as you are describing it. You can even make stuff up if you want, and add really cool things that happened. (Just make sure to make them plausible, like people clapping, or strangers smiling).

If you do this for a few days, or even a couple weeks, your brain will automatically access these memories whenever the idea of public speaking comes up, and your fears will slowly start to vanish. Pretty soon, you’ll get to a tipping point where the good memories outweigh the bad memories, and you’ll suddenly feel like speaking in front of a huge group of people is as easy as chatting with your best friend on Skype.

This only takes a few minutes every day. The best time is to spend five or ten minutes journaling at night, just before bed. After a couple of weeks you’ll be amazed at how you can dramatically shift your beliefs about your capabilities.

And when you start to do this on a regular basis, and choose a new enhancing belief to reprogram every month, just imagine how powerful you will be a year from now. Pretty much any belief you want you can easily reprogram into yourself. For example:

Good a public speaking
Make money easily
Easy to persuade people
Natural seducer of the opposite sex
Learns quickly and easily
Lose weigh easily

These are just a few examples of things that are absolutely easy to reprogram yourself to believe. It’s simple, and quick and can powerfully enhance your life.

Have fun with this.

Skills, Pleasure and Money

Once there was this guy who was a professional auto mechanic. Not just a professional auto mechanic, but he was considered the best in his area. He had built up a huge clientele base through several years of dedicated service. One thing that made him stand out was his brutal honesty.

He usually had a flat fee to inspect a car, and then would lay everything out as clearly and specifically as he could. He wouldn’t make any suggestions, he would merely let his experience and the prices speak for themselves.

For example, if somebody had a problem with their engine starting on cold mornings, he would charge fifty bucks to take a look, and then give a full report. He would say exactly what it would take to get the car fixed to the point of starting ok on a regular basis, at a bare minimum cost, and explain exactly what the chances of and how long this “fix” would last.

He would then give another report about how much it would cost to virtually guarantee that this problem would be completely fixed, and how long that would last (usually two or three years, which was the life expectancy of the parts he would replace).

He would then give another report of other problems he found with the car, and what the chances is that they would be a problem, and how likely they would to be happening. Of course he would explain exactly how much this would cost to make sure the problem didn’t happen.

He would, naturally, fix specific problems, to satisfy specific requests. For example, if someone came in saying only that they wanted their timing belt replaced, he would do exactly that.

Because he was so honest and upfront with his costs, he never had any want for business. It wasn’t uncommon to find that you needed to wait a week to have your car even looked at because he had so many customers lined up.

There were several other auto repair businesses in the neighborhood that didn’t do so well. One of the reasons was they because they were always worried about their business, they would sometimes make repairs that weren’t really necessary, or they would rush through and not do a thorough job, making it necessary for some people to come back to get their car repaired. It was no wonder than these other shops didn’t get a whole lot of repeat business from loyal customers.

A lot of people wondered why this guy didn’t branch out, and open up shops that operated on the same principle, as he certainly could. Perhaps it was because he really, honestly enjoyed working on cars so much that he didn’t want to spend time in an office trying to manage multiple businesses and people. He seemed to be extremely happy, and was always quick to remember a customer’s first name when he saw them at the grocery store.

If there is any moral to this story, it’s that if you can combine honesty, a needed skill, and sincere pleasure in performing that skill, you can make a lot of money, and make a lot of people feel satisfied because of your work.

How To Ace a Job Interview Even if There is Tough Competition

If you’ve ever had a job interview, you know now incredibly nerve wracking it can be. Suddenly you are sitting there, feeling completely under the microscope, as the interviewer looks over your resume with a passive look on his or her face. You have no idea what he or she is thinking, but you can’t help but wonder.

The good news is that interviewing is a skill, and like any other skill you can improve with practice. Of course, some people are fortunate enough not to have to go on many interviews, but many others have to go through several to land an even mediocre job.

So what is the secret? A mixture of self-confidence and criteria.

You need to be confident enough to give an honest assessment of your skills and how you can help the company’s bottom line. You do yourself no service whatsoever by being shy or reserved. If you have skills you need to make sure the interviewer knows about them, and believes you. If you don’t have skills, don’t say you do, otherwise you might find yourself in a difficult situation.

I was once in an interview for a technical position that was over my head. The interviewer asked me a question that required a specific knowledge of statistics to answer correctly. He asked the question, and without hesitation, I confidently said “fifteen.”

He paused, looked at me and asked: “Is that based on your knowledge and experience, or did you just make that up?”

Busted.

You’d be surprised how many people go into an interview with a “please hire me I’ll do anything for you” mentality. Employers don’t like this. They are in business to make money, and they need skills, not somebody looking for an opportunity.

That is where criteria come in. This is an almost magical technique that you can apply in areas much wider than job seeking. And the less technical the position, and the more “people skill” oriented it is, the easier you can leverage criteria, even if you don’t have any particular experience in the field.

Here’s how it works. Once you establish some rapport in the interview, and you get past the “tell me about yourself” part. You’ll likely come to a part where the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Most people ask things like “when are the holidays,” or “what are the health benefits,” or “do you have dental,” or other things.

What most people don’t realize is that this part of the interview is a near perfect opportunity to leverage the employers criteria to almost guarantee you the position.

When it’s your turn to ask questions, as the employer to describe exactly what they are looking for in an employee. Make sure to really listen, and pay attention to words and phrases that he or she puts extra emphasis on. Especially vague phrases like “people skills,” or “dedication,” or “focused on the final product.”

Then simply ask follow up questions about those particular words or phrases that they “lean on,” so to speak. The more they talk about their ideal employ, with you sitting there in front of them, they will start to subconsciously imagine you as the ideal employee. Especially when almost every other prospective employee is asking what’s in it for them.

The longer you can draw out that part of the conversation, the better. And any time you feel an opportunity to work in a person story or anecdote about yourself, try and use some of those phrases mentioned above. It will go along way to putting you at the to of the list.