Thursday, July 26, 2018

Can you slow down?

Can You Slow Down

Tim Connor

A question – do you think driving faster, eating faster, walking faster, working faster etc. or doing anything faster gives you one more minute of life?  Do you think it really adds value to the quality of your life?  If your answer is – yes to either question – don’t bother taking the time to finish reading this article cause it will be a waste of your time.

Everywhere I go or am I see people who just can’t do everything faster and it amazes me that they all think this life approach is working or shall I say giving them more time to do other stuff in a hurry or to get somewhere else in a hurry or to – whatever – in a hurry.

Now, don’t get me wrong I am all for – efficiency, planning, working hard, working smart, playing – you name it and I’m for it or will consider it but one thing I have learned travelling the world for over 35 years, no matter how fast you want to get there you can’t rush the traffic in front of you.  No matter how much of a hurry you are in, in the restaurant you can’t speed up the delivery of your meal.  No matter how fast you want to get out of the hospital you have to wait till they tell - it’s ok to leave. Still with me or are you just disagreeing with everything cause you think I am lazy, na├»ve or maybe even stupid.

OK, how about getting someone to respond to your email, text or telephone message because they need to be on your time-frame, not theirs? Or, waiting to board the aircraft for your flight thinking that if you stand near to entrance door it will happen faster?  Had enough of my examples cause I could go on for pages if you want me too.

My point, and then I’ll let you get to your next “rush in a hurry” activity, project, decision etc.

Yes, rushing might help you get more done, but I have learned when I don’t rush what gets done - gets done better.  I have learned that when I don’t let other people’s need to be in a hurry or to assume that I should be in a hurry cause they want or need me to be, or they are as slow as a turtle forcing me to wait or be patient, I keep control of my stress, my behavior and yes in the end, my health.  Just curious – do you know the number one contributor to stress?  Impatience and/or the need for control.  Know the number one contributor to illness, disease, and death?  Stress.  Get the connection?

So, when I create an activity or project pace – whether it’s writing an article, writing a book, packing for a trip out of town or preparing for my next keynote that permits me to make the most of the time I have for this project – it always ends better than when I rushed it.  Ever rushed getting ready for a trip and then discovered you forgot something?

Years ago, when getting ready to speak for a large audience I discovered I forgot to pack my dress shoes so here I am in a sports coat, dress pants, and sandals.  Ever experienced anything like this?

My other point is simply that rushing usually) not always) in the end is a waste of time as you now have to fix something, change something, apologize for something or do something all over again.

So, so I don’t waste any more of your time, consider – slowing down and moving with purpose, passion, preparation, patience, persistence and yes, fun.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Thinking does not equal knowing.

Thinking does not equal knowing.

Tim Connor

Are you the smartest person in the room?  Wish you were?  Used to be but age or some other factor have stolen your influence?

There was I time as a global speaker that I believed I was the smartest person in the room until after one speech many years ago I discovered I was probably the dumbest person in the room. What a wonderful and life-changing experience that was.

Let me ask you – what do you actually – know – other than the basics; your name, address, relatives, job position etc.?

If I was given the opportunity to question media folks, politicians, religious leaders, educational people etc. – “How do you know that?” I will personally guarantee you that 99% of the time they will give me opinions, prejudices, feelings or anything that has become a part of their mental “makeup.”

Try it the next time you are having a conversation with anyone – boss, customer, spouse etc. “How do you know that?” And watch as they search for random information that in most cases will not be grounded in truth, facts or evidence.

What am I trying to say here?

Well, for starters there are some things we know but there are a lot of things we believe we know but we don’t.

Take this article for example – there is no way I can know how you are reacting to anything I am sharing.  Yes, I can guess but it will be just that – a guess and not grounded in facts.

Let me give you just one quick recent example.

Listen to any politician answer most questions and I will guarantee if you could personally follow-up with a – How do you know that, you would get a strange stare.

So what is the difference between knowing and thinking?

First of all, just because you learn something – from a book, seminar, class, friend, boss etc. doesn’t mean what you are learning is true.

Second – just because something has now been etched in your mind that you learned and now believe or think – doesn’t mean it’s true or fact.

So how do we know anything?

Well, I know when I hit G on my keyboard G is coming up on the screen.  When I hit – Save – I know it’s saved.  This is technology.  When I put my car in reverse I know I’m going backward.  When I set the oven to 350 degrees – the same.  Again, these are technology issues.

However, when I am driving 70 MPH on the highway and I am separated by 25 feet from the person in front of me I don’t know that I could get in an accident.  It’s called assumptions.  I am assuming his or her car won’t break down in front of me while we are driving.  Been there?

Just because I order a meal in a restaurant doesn’t mean it will be cooked properly or is even clean.  Now, I’m not making wild accusations here just simply that there is more in life that we don’t know than we do but most people believe because they think something – they know it.

So, let me ask you – what do you think you know that you think you know but you don’t really know?

Freedom Isn't Free

Over 750,00 + Americans have died in wars since 1941. Do you think their relatives believe freedom is free?

There are currently over 130,000 + homeless American veterans. Do you think their relatives believe freedom is free?

Over 500 + American veterans commit suicide every year. Do you think their relatives believe freedom is free?

Had enough statistics? Because I could go on.

If freedom didn’t have a price there would be no one in the world who didn’t have it. I’m going to keep this short and to the point. But do me a favor if you decide to read it – take off your Political Hat for the next 5 minutes and just be an American. Can you do that?

Having served in the Air Force overseas at the beginning of the Vietnam war and while President Kennedy was assassinated I can tell you none of my friends thought freedom was free as we faced danger every day.

How about you? Take your freedoms for granted? Believe you deserve them just because you live in the US? Let your politics, religion, age, gender, race or anything else dictate how you feel about freedom?

If you bring a political mindset to this discussion my suggestion is simple, go to any other country in the world (with the exception of less than 10 - 15 of them) and protest something, anything and watch what happens to you.

Walk down the main street of any major city in the world protesting anything (the color of the sky, the temperature or the color of the grass) and watch what happens to you.
If you are an American, you live in the best country in the world. Period. No, as a country we are not perfect. Yes, we have flaws. Yes, we need to change some things. But abandon our fundamental constitutional rights? I can tell you from a historical perspective this is not a wise direction to go.

Here is what I believe is one of our major current issues as a nation. We are letting the 1% of the population determine the quality of life of the 99%. Just a few examples.

Five people in a town or community don’t like Christmas trees in public places so none of us now get to enjoy this privilege.

One parent objects to the T-Shirt a student wears so none of us can now wear a similar T-shirt.

Three people object to a statue that has been present for over 100 years so now we take it down.

Less than 15 people blow up a few buildings in New York so now 350,000,000 of us have to undress to get on an airplane.

Want more or have I made my point?

Until the 99% of us reach a point where enough is enough our lives will continue to be determined by the 1%. I don’t know about you, but I have had enough.

In closing – I will guarantee some of you on either side of the aisle are putting me on one side of the issue. Folks, this is not a Conservative or Republican, Liberal or Democrat or Independent issue. This is an American issue.

If you don’t like it here, again we are not perfect as a nation, do us all a favor and leave.

But, if you want to stay – celebrate your right to be a US Citizen and follow the law, respect the Constitution and vote.

PS: you don’t have these rights if you are NOT a US Citizen – sorry. – Remember, a lot of people have paid the ultimate sacrifice, death, during the past 75 years for you to enjoy these rights. I encourage you not to take them lightly.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Learning vs. unlearning.

Which is better for success –

unlearning or learning?

Tim Connor

Learning is either a passive or active process, but unlearning must be and can only be an active process.  But first a few important questions.

What if you are learning stuff you don’t need, will never use or is a waste of time and resources? What if you are learning stuff that is wrong or just really temporary?  What if you are not learning what is or could be the most valuable lessons of your life as you move forward?  What if some of your prejudices, opinions, history, attitudes – whatever – are preventing you from learning what you need to learn to be happy, successful or contented?

Stupid questions?  I don’t think so.

One more – do you need to unlearn some stuff to finally achieve the dreams, success, happiness or goals that you want to be part of your future?

What do I mean by unlearning?  Two quick and probably dumb examples but they will make it clear what I am talking about.

The Earth is flat.  Well, that’s what everyone thought for a long time.  Then they had to unlearn that as the old information was proven to be wrong.  So, unlearning old or learning new – it’s really a moot point, what matters is that old information was replaced with new stuff.

Second example. When I was in college (long, long time ago) in a pre-med program one of my professors at the start of the first class said the following. “All of what I am going to cover during this semester will most likely be untrue by the end of the semester but if you want to pass the course you better learn it, so you can pass the exam and then just forget it all.”

Wow, what a valuable lesson and not just for that three-month course.

A quick fact (I was once told by a well-respected medical, psychological and scientific expert many years ago – who will remain anonymous -  but maybe it wasn’t a fact, but just his/her opinion based on his or her learning, experience, agendas or views.

Everything we will ever need to know in life to achieve happiness, success, inner peace etc. is already stored in your sub-conscious and was put in your mind before you were born.”

If this is true, I don’t ever have to read another book, attend another seminar, take another class or learn another lesson.  I already have it all to achieve what I want and am capable of in life.

Trust me, some things we have all learned are stupid, untrue and useless and the key to our success etc. may be to let go of some of this crap and replace it with valuable, current and needed wisdom and stop relying on outdated examples, experience, teaching etc.  Don’t believe me?  The oldest part of the human brain (the reptilian brain) is over 25 million years old and it is still the default mechanism for most people when it comes to attitudes, behaviors, decisions, choices etc.  So, we all need to unlearn something or a lot of things or what I like to refer to as “replacement learning” if we want to achieve the goals, dreams etc. we desire.

I’ll keep these short.

What is unlearning?

Think of unlearning as upgrading the software in your computer or iPad.  The older version of the software works but doesn’t give you all of the benefits, potential, and advantages of the newer version.  Yes, you could keep using the older one but what would be the cost?  Loss of value?  Wasted time or resources? We all, let me repeat, we all have information in our minds that is sabotaging some area of our life, career or relationships and until we upgrade to new information – we will continue to experience the same outcomes, status quo, and results.

What do we need to unlearn?

What gets in our way of unlearning?

This one is simple – the stuff we have learned – see above.  Think about it.

What do you need to unlearn?

This is the work that only you can do and believe me it isn’t easy, fast or painless.  But in the end, it is well worth it if you can achieve it – the unlearning.

How do we unlearn?

Let me give you just 4 approaches (but, yes, there are many others).

1)   Start spending some quality time in retrospect, revisiting your past experiences, teachers (this includes parents, siblings etc.).  In other words, start asking yourself a lot of serious questions.  For example – what’s working in your life and why?  What’s not working in your life and why not?

2)   Start exposing yourself to new and different people, circumstances, learning etc. and pay close attention as to how you feel, think, behave when you are around them or it.

3)   Start a serious “I want to know” journal and write in it every day.  What?  Anything and everything that makes you happy, sad, angry, fearful, annoyed, nervous – get it – everything.

4)   Hire a coach – not a superficial one (there are thousands of them out there and most of them need to hire a coach more than they have a right to be a coach.)  I’ll leave it with that.

If you want change in your life I will guarantee that something in your life needs to change.  The questions are – do you know what you want to change?  Do you know what to change to get there?  Are you willing to do the work to achieve the changes you say you want?

Tough questions?  That my friend is where the whole process of unlearning begins – the willingness to face the tough issues, questions, changes necessary.