Posts Tagged ‘Effective Thought’

What Matters NowI am privileged to have had the opportunity to preview Seth Godin’s upcoming ebook What Matters Now prior to its launch. First off, there is little I can write here that will be of any substitute for reading the actual ebook.

This is a brilliant work and you must read it for 4 key reasons:

  • Timing – It is the end of the year and those pesky new year’s resolutions are upon us. This book will provoke your thoughts, stimulate your ambition and orientate you for action in the coming year.
  • Power – Seth Godin has brought in 72 thought leaders to provide their version of “What Matters Now.” This is providing us a sneak peek into the minds of these thought leaders with minimum time investment from us.
  • Network – Through this book you get access to the recognized thought leaders of today, what they are up to and how to tap into their networks – very valuable.
  • Diversity – Each contributor has presented their work in their own desired format, which in conjunction with the powerful messages produces a lesson in the art of communication.

The eBook comprises a page per topic word, with diverse topics as Strengths; Poker; Harmony; DIY; Change; Confidence; Productivity, to which a contributor per topic has shared their insight and knowledge, primarily producing a sense of reflection and thought to each topic.

I found it triggered many emotions and thoughts associated with each topic. As fast as they were triggered, when I flipped the page to read the next topic, the sensation was repeated – it is like being in a conversation with the author of each topic.

Later in the  day after reading the book, as I moved about I found I was pondering my situation and reflecting back on what I had read earlier. I think this is one of those books you keep with you as a guide. The format makes for a very easy read and great if you need to read in byte-size slots.

To give you a little insight to the content and contributors – Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App: How to win business and Influence Friends wrote on the topic of Confidence – Tim speaks of confidence as the “Rocket fuel for your business life”. He then exposes the problem in confidence – “Most people don’t cultivate confidence – it just lands on them due to favorable conditions… Good times make for confident people. Bad times crush them, along with their daring point of view”

How true has this been over the last year? Tim then prescribes some sensible action to avoid this situation.

To demonstrate the contrast in presentation Jessica Hagy, author of the blog Indexed drew a simple picture on an index card and it produced just as much thought on the topic of Facts!

facts-by-jessica-hagy

Do yourself the favor and download the ebook – but more importantly read it! If you can’t do that then please send the link to someone you care about because they will appreciate it.

Download free now –What Matters Now

Think for the Future

by Guy Ralfe on September 29, 2009

thought-and-art-the-thinker1Have you noticed how on occasions you may have done something and it occupies your mind for days wondering what the outcome will be? It continues to consume your thought when you are at an unrelated place doing something else. Have you noticed how your body tenses in response to the thoughts of situations you are not in? All these are reactions to thoughts you are not in a position to act  to rectify or change. Often these are related to actions and situations that are in the past.

All this does is rob us of valuable limited energy and time we have to think, which in turn reduces our ability to act and take care of what really matters to us.

I was recently back in South Africa with my laptop and thought it would be a good idea to catch up on my e-information habit after 10 days of abstinence.  I was told that where we were staying had a high speed broadband internet connection and I couldn’t wait to get on (with) it. So I connected my laptop and then the world seemed to stop… everything just seemed to take forever.

It felt like someone had sold me out on a dial-up camouflaged as broadband, but the speeds were 300/800kb. My analytical mind persisted… the next thought was: “Maybe speed is just relative to what you are used to”. For those on dial-up it would have felt very fast, where as my 5/15Mb home connection made it feel ridiculously slow. I began to ask myself how do they work with this connection, this must be costing so much in productivity?

As I got more and more frustrated with the experience I started to turn off all the ancillary messengers, auto update and other background tasks running on my computer. It took a while but slowly it began to feel like the connection was representational of what I had become accustomed to in the USA. It wasn’t the connection that was the issue but how I used it that made the difference!

I like to think of our brain as being a bit like an internet connection, we are given a set amount of bandwidth that we can utilize at any given time, but we decide how we utilize this bandwidth and that is where the power of our judgment comes into play. For most of us, I speculate, we do not even think about the consequences of our thoughts, it just happens much like we breathe and our heart keeps pumping. Making the best use of our brain’s bandwidth is critical to ensure we make effective actions, which is what ultimately determines our future.

Here are some actions to help manage these bandwidth thieves:

  1. Start to notice when you are being gripped by these interrupting thoughts – particularly those beyond your control, relate to situations that have already occurred or will have little consequence on your future.
  2. Make an assessment of the impact on your future – spend a short time, no more than 15 minutes, concluding what you should have done or will do in a particular outcome. If it has no impact on your future then be at peace with your decision, close the thought and agree with yourself this is what it is. If it does have an impact on your future then it is a thought you need to act on. You need to find help if you cannot resolve it yourself.
  3. The next time the thought enters your head – you revert to your conclusion from step above. Do not reevaluate your conclusion as that is just adding fuel to the fire and ultimately utilizes more unnecessary thought.
  4. Be at peace with yourself and your decisions – it is highly unlikely others are affected the way you perceive the situation. Do not worry, worrying has never solved a situation to date only action has!

Think of your brain as a pipe through which you have to pour water, the more water through the pipe (representing active thought to produce action) the more effective you will be in your life. Do not let residue build up in the pipe that slows the flow of thoughts, especially when this residue produces no actions towards your future.

Make every thought count, keep thinking about the future!