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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dangerous Discs

This is a warning-Frisbees have potential to cause great harm. There you go; you have been armed with knowledge. Apart from the obvious ability to partially decapitate you if you are looking the wrong way, there is a nasty sport called ‘Ultimate Frisbee’. Think of American Football with a disc and no contact. Think of two hours of non-stop running. Think of pain in muscles that have not done that amount of work in a long time. See, I told you it was dangerous. So, yes, I am in the throes of self-inflicted, muscular pain and yet am looking forward to next week’s game (bit of S and M there methinks).

Trying new things can be a blast, in this case including the meeting of a new group of people that I would normally never come into contact with. The truth is that until about 2 years ago I would never have bothered to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. That was forever altered by a run in with ‘The Pacific Institute’ who taught me the tools to visualise yourself into new environments with ease. The best part is, the more I do it the easier it becomes, opening increasingly larger volumes of opportunities and fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The WoW Factor

You have to admire the Blizzard creators of World of Warcraft. Not only have they produced some incredible strategy games, but they have created an incredible MMORPG. As they approach the launch of the next expansion of the WoW universe it is worth reflecting on the aspects that make them successful. I had the pleasure of indulging in a little game playing when last in the UK. I would say that central to their success have been two main points.

The first is that they have always pushed the boundaries of gaming normality, always bringing in new ideas (e.g. the concept of heroes in strategy games in Warcraft3). The second is their creation and nurturing of a brilliant storyline. The world of Azeroth has its own history and has grown over time. The little sub-plots of the game are entertaining, each feeding into the bigger picture. Characters have a history (if you care to look them up on the web) and you fit right in with your own.

These features ensure a loyal following in what would otherwise be a rather repetitive experience (there are only so many ways to kill something) and to be honest the graphics are not spectacular.

Their story wins and wins consistently. For any business trying to succeed it will be the best story that wins. The same often holds true for individual lives. If the ‘story’ of the way you see your life in your mind is believable to your brain you are more likely to achieve it, and the more you reflect on it the more your brain will believe. For your life to be a best seller, you have to write the story well.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Going Bumpers

Seriously, do ‘Jesus’ bumper stickers really work? Or, are they just a major marketing gimmick to appeal to well meaning Christians who can use them as an alternative to opening their mouth and speaking the gospel of the Kingdom into the lives of those around them?

Apart from giving me another reason to be rude about your bad driving and increasing the chance of a rear end collision as I try to read the small print, I fail to see how effective they are as a tool to enhance the cause of Christianity. But I’m willing to do a little research. So, if your life has been radically, positively altered by the presence of a ‘Jesus’ bumper sticker (and the satisfaction of punching someone’s lights out after a rear end collision does not count as positive) please let me know. You can mail me or post a comment here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Countername

Companies and Salespeople have long recognised the impact of using a client’s name during a sale. They will get your name, either by reading secretly from your debit card or from your loyalty card, or just plain ask you, and will use it as a matter of principle. The effect-to make you think that they know you, this increases their chance of a higher sale and that you will come back again. The customer (i.e. you) is not without their own similar weapon- which I have termed the “countername”. Many places have their staff wear a name badge that proudly displays their chosen moniker to all and sundry. While this can be a total embarrassment to the salesperson if their parents had the misfortune to name them after a long extinct species of buzzard, it has its uses. This display of friendliness can be exploited to get better service. It’s really simple-you read said name badge and use their name in conversation. Ah, now you have a relationship developing; good for you in better service, good for company in loyal customer.

Do you know the name of the doorman at your company/favourite hotel/restaurant? How about the guy who always serves you coffee at your usual caffeine stop? Sometimes it’s the ‘small’ people who can get you a bit extra. Need a table at the restaurant quickly-do you know the maitre’d? Need an urgent cab-do you have your local cabbie on speed dial? It starts with a name and just gets better from there.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Action-No Action

Summer has fired its first salvo into Zimbabwe with a sudden spell of dry heat that, unless you are protected by good cooling system, dulls one into a languid state of inactivity. In a nation where many are already lulled into lethargy by the political and economic situation energy sapping heat is paralysing.

Action. Activity. Doing. Implementation. Creativity. Lots of words that can be about as paralysing as the heat. I have lost count of the number of courses, conferences, sermons and inspirational talks that I have attended that leave you with a mind blowing tingle that fades after a few days/hours/minutes with no resulting, lasting change. The simple fact is that without implementation all the knowledge in the world achieves nothing. To be a doer and not a hearer only can be the most challenging experience. Hearing in general is a passive process whereas doing requires action, and action that will bring about a change in our environment. Can you imagine the phenomenal change that might occur if we applied just one practical aspect of what we have learnt each week and then made it a lifetime habit?