Networking for radio sales professionals from Grace Broadcast Sales.
There have been 13 recessions in the United States since the Great Depression ended in 1933. The average time in a recession is 10 months. The average time between recessions has been 57 months. Historically, there are more good times than bad. Unfortunately, the pace of growth in this economic recovery from the Great Recession has been much slower than in previous recoveries. Here are five ideas than can help you have a more prosperous New Year and a brighter future.
Step 1 – Develop a Positive Self Talk
Your brain is talking to you. Your brain is talking to you at a very rapid pace. Neuroscientists estimate that your brain is talking to you at 300 to 1,000 words a minute. If you pay too much attention to the news you can easily develop a negative attitude about the future. When that happens, your Self Talk becomes dominated with negative topics.
In the business of reporting the news, there is an old saying “If it bleeds, it leads”. The saying means that the news media will report the bad news first, at the beginning of the newscast. Media studies show that bad news far outweighs good news by as much as seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report.
Psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that humans instinctively seek out news of dramatic and or negative events. Our brains evolved in a hunter-gatherer environment when something that was novel or dramatic had to be dealt with immediately in order for us to survive. Thankfully, our world has evolved but our brains still have this instinctive behavior. So while we no longer defend ourselves against saber-toothed tigers, our brains still have the same basic instinctual characteristics.
Negative news has a cascading effect on consumer behavior that can lead a person to feel as if there is no hope. If a person can’t rationalize the cause and effect of the bad news, they can develop a condition known as learned helplessness. That’s when a person becomes paralyzed by the bad news to the point they lose their ability to recognize new opportunities for relief or gain when those opportunities present themselves. In other words, the person suffering from learned helplessness develops the perception that things are always going to be bad and there is nothing they can do to change the situation.
You don’t have to let the bad news lead you to lose hope. Human beings have the remarkable ability to imagine things that don’t yet exist and then take steps to turn that imagination into a reality.
Take control of your Self Talk and populate it with positive news, positive stories. You may have to go looking for positive topics but they are out there.
Don’t become a victim of Stinkin’ Thinkin’.
Step 2 - Start Planning to Be Better Off
Whenever someone sells a stock on the stock market, they think the time is right to get out of the stock. But on the other hand, the other person buying the very same share of stock thinks it is a good time to get in to the market. There are two completely different opinions about the very same transaction. In other words, one person thinks the glass is half empty and the other person thinks the glass is half full.
Start paying attention to what you are planning to do with your future. If the future is going to be tough, then plan accordingly. You don’t have to be a victim of circumstance; you can make specific decisions today about how you are going to deal with forecast conditions tomorrow.
In his Theory of Evolution, Charles Darwin maintains that it is not the strongest or the smartest species that survives change but it is the species that is the most adaptable to change.
Planning for future events is the most effective way to create a better future. It’s a proven fact that the better the plan, the better the results will be. Unfortunately for many people, they don’t make enough plans for the future, especially for the holidays and special events. We are so busy with our daily activities that for many, our plans for these important events come together at the last minute and we don’t have the opportunity to enjoy the planning and the anticipation of those plans coming to fruition.
Start making your plans now about what you want to do during the holidays, on birthdays and anniversaries throughout the year. What about planning to take a vacation? Don’t fall into the trap of repeating “that’s want we’ve always done”. Maybe the significant others in your decision circle are eager to try something new. Maybe they are tired of the same old thing year after year.
Don’t let “we can’t afford it” to creep into your thinking! That’s why you are planning! You have time to redeploy your resources in such a way so that you can afford to do what you want to do during the holidays or on a vacation.
Make your plans and then decide what you need to do to make those plans a reality. Then do everything you can to turn those plans into a reality. If you need to cut back on this or that to afford the new plan, then do it.
A few years ago, in the middle of July, I started making plans to be sitting in front of my fireplace playing board games with my family at Thanksgiving. I didn’t have a fireplace when I made those plans. I had always wanted a fireplace in the family room but I didn’t have one. I didn’t know how I could afford one either.
Making plans to sit in front of the fireplace and play board games at Thanksgiving was my way of visualizing my goal. A lot happened between that day in July and Thanksgiving Day. My father came down with cancer and died on Sunday November 14, 2010. My father-in-law had suffered from Parkinson’s for years and died on Friday November 19, 2010. Despite all of our tragic challenges, on Thanksgiving Day, my family and I were playing Scrabble in front of the fireplace, just as I had planned. As an added bonus, my sister-in-law, who was in town for the funeral, was able to be a part of the plans. It was one of the best Thanksgiving get-togethers we have ever had.
Step 3 - Start Doing Something New
One of the most effective ways to create a brand new future is to start doing something new that will help turn your future plans into your future reality. There are many productive things you could start doing today that can have a significant impact on your future. The one you choose is a personal decision that is up to you. That’s right; you must decide what it is you will do to make your dreams come true. But that is the key; you must do something new and do it consistently well if you want to achieve something new.
Albert Einstein once said, “You can’t fix today’s problems at the same level of thinking that created them”. You have to elevate your level of thinking if you want to elevate your level of success.
Motivational Speaker Jeffrey Gitomer encourages people to get up an hour earlier each day and devote that time to self-improvement by either reading or writing.
Expanding your knowledge base through reading is the most productive way of elevating your level of thinking to handle today’s challenges. When you make a commitment to a routine of continuous self-improvement you quickly learn helpful new information that you can begin using immediately. Positive change comes more quickly when you have more positive options to choose from. Educating yourself to the many choices you have can quickly eliminate any feelings of learned helplessness and get you back on the road to a positive future.
Make better use of the time you spend in the car by listening to audio books. Think about how much time you spend in your car every day. Zig Ziglar says that researchers at the University of Southern California have found that the average person spends so much time in their car that listening to audio books in your car for just one year is the equivalent to two years of formal study at a university.
A commitment to continuous self-improvement is not easy to make. After a few days you may be filled with enough new information to see some immediate improvement in your life. In fact, the improvement you feel may be so significant that you could easily become complacent and abandon your new commitment to continuous self-improvement.
Most experts on self-improvement coach us that it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a new activity turn into a new routine. You must stick with your new self-improvement program for a minimum of 21 days if you want to have any hope of making it a habit.
Pick something new to start doing and then stick with it if you want to see a more prosperous fourth quarter.
Step 4 - Stop Doing Something Old
Human beings are creatures of habit. That means we keep doing things long after we conclude that it’s not helpful or productive. If you want to have a more prosperous New Year, identify something that is holding you back and STOP DOING IT.
If you’re going to start doing something new then you have to stop doing something old. You only have so many hours in a day. If you are going to get up an hour earlier each day to read and write then perhaps you need to stop staying up so late to watch the news. Most of the news is negative as we’ve already established.
Step 5 - Stop worrying!
One of the major symptoms of learned helplessness is the feeling of having no control over the events around us. Someone suffering from learned helplessness can make their situation even worse by worrying about those things they cannot control.
One of my mother’s favorite Bible verses came from the Book of Matthew. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" appears in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Its meaning is the philosophy that one should live in the present, without a care for tomorrow. A more modern translation means "There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings".
You should only worry about the things you can affect. Don’t take on the worry of the world. Just stay focused on your own plans. Devote your attention to those things that are important to you and leave the rest for tomorrow. When you pay too much attention to the negative news in the world, you open the doors in your mind and let the seeds of learned helplessness take root.
If you want to have a more prosperous New Year and set the stage for a brighter future, make some specific plans for your future prosperity. Start by doing something new that will help you turn your plans for future prosperity into a reality. Stop doing something old that is holding you back.
Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. . . . Explore. Dream."
Talk to you soon.
Excellent piece Spike .. we can all learn something from this!
Happy New Year