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  • Bob Burg

“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

My Hypocritical Judgement

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

My Hypocritical Judgement - Bob BurgThe other day, I witnessed a young man say something insulting and hurtful to the person he was speaking with.

I’m almost 100 percent certain he didn’t mean for it to come across the way it did…mainly because his comment appeared to have come from a total lack of any forethought whatsoever. It was thought-less of him to say.

And, I felt myself judging him. I literally (not figuratively, literally) said to myself, “What a stupid thing of him to say!”

Then, out of nowhere, some thoughts began to flood my mind. They were vivid memories of times from as far back as my boyhood to as recently as…well, much too recently, when I said or did something just as unthinkingly or maybe even just as hurtful. Perhaps the only difference is that while I’m still ashamed and embarrassed* by the realization of the hurt I caused, I don’t believe the young man is yet aware of his.

I do know that I immediately stopped judging him.

This does not mean that what he said was any less wrong or that he is any less responsible for his words and actions. Or, that I am any less responsible for mine. It just means that it’s part of the human condition that we probably all participate in at one time or another.

While we can learn from everyone (even by noticing their mistakes) we probably don’t need to judge them as much as we need to be consciously aware of what we ourselves say and do.

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* Yes, I realize it does no good to continue to feel ashamed and embarrassed. We all have our mishegas to work through.

 

The Continuum of Thought

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Feel Good!Yes, thoughts are things. And, each act of human creativity, every invention; indeed, all progress is preceded by thought.

Thought, combined with correct action and fortified by burning desire, belief, determination, and dogged persistence is almost unstoppable.

However, on another level, in this case an emotional level, let’s look at three different types of thoughts and how they serve or do not serve us.

Productive Thoughts: These make you feel good; they are empowering. Thoughts with positive, uplifting feelings put you in a good place for personal productivity, accomplishment, and overall happiness. While these good thoughts can simply happen on their own, by and large they are the result of choice and conscious awareness (and, in my case, a yellow sticky note on my computer that says, “FEEL GOOD!”)

Productive thoughts are also seeing the good side of something rather than the bad (congruent with reality) such as judging someone favorably when you don’t know their intent. And, very importantly, feeling gratitude for the many blessings in your life, big and small.

Neutral Thoughts: These bring forth neither good feelings nor bad. They’re not negative and they’re not positive. It’s not so much that they are realistic as much as they are without conscious thought.

Counterproductive Thoughts: Anger, resentment, ingratitude, grudges, etc., can absolutely eat away at a person. They result in bad feelings and, unchecked, can only undermine happiness. As one who for many years lived like that it’s still very easy for me to allow myself to fall into the trap. When this happens, I am now able to catch myself quickly (usually) and consciously interrupt the pattern.

These negative thoughts and feelings are fed through actions such as gossip, complaining, judging others unfavorably, victim-hood, accumulating debt and more. They also go hand-in-hand with poor self-esteem.

Every morning I read the brief email from Abraham-Hicks. Nearly 100 percent of the time, the message has to do with allowing yourself to feel good; consciously deciding to feel good. I read it so that I remember it. Without these reminders I find it too easy to forget; yes, despite the above-mentioned sticky note.

So, in the continuum of thought, from helpful to harmful, where do you usually stand?

How do you keep up the productive thoughts and good feelings? Any suggestions?

Actually, That’s What Makes It Bragging

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

That's What Makes It BraggingIt’s a well-know phrase I recently saw tweeted.

“It isn’t bragging if it’s true.”

I’ve also heard it said, “If it’s true…it ain’t bragging.” Either version might be based on the late St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Dizzy Dean who reportedly said: “It ain’t braggin’ if ya’ can back it up.”

However…it’s not correct!

Actually, if it’s true, that’s what makes it bragging. One brags about something they’ve actually done, acquired or accomplished.

If it’s false, it’s…lying!

Seems to me it’s one of those sayings that’s been around for so long it’s simply become accepted as fact.

This post isn’t questioning why people brag, boast, or in any way toot their own horn.

Rather, it’s to not accept something as fact, even when it’s been repeated so often it appears to be self-evident. It’s often good to question those long-held “truisms.”

Are There Others?

What similar phrases, sayings or lessons can you think of? You know, the ones “they” have always said but, when thinking about it, are just not true.

Okay, I’ll start. They say that, “If it’s true it ain’t gossip.” Actually, the fact that it’s true is what makes it gossip. If it were false it would be slander.

You’re up! :-)

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism - Bob BurgIn a Facebook group run by my friend, Dov Baron, he posed the following question:

Capitalism…Do you see a difference between Capitalism and Corporate Capitalism? Should we keep either, both, and if so how do you see us repairing the system?

Many responded. One I found to be particularly interesting was from someone we’ll call Steve who replied:

“The ‘elephant in the room’ difference is that Capitalism can use guns to enforce their will.”

Since that, by definition, is actually the very opposite of Capitalism, and I feel that understanding this concept is so vital to our future as a country, I responded to Dov’s question and “Steve’s” comment with the following:

“Corporate Capitalism” (a/k/a “Corporatism” or “Crony Capitalism”) is a misnomer and is actually not Capitalism at all. As I often say, “Crony Capitalism is to Capitalism what Chinese Checkers is to Checkers…nothing!”

That’s why I don’t even use that term “Crony Capitalism” and simply call it “Cronyism.”

The entire premise of Capitalism — aside from private ownership — is that it is the exchange of products/services between two or more willing parties with both sides coming away from the exchange better off than they were before the exchange. Otherwise, neither party would willingly participate.

Cronyism, on the other hand, is where corporations or other special interests purchase special favors, rules and regulations from politicians (usually via lobbyists and through campaign contributions and other goodies) in order to provide themselves with an unfair advantage over the competition.

This ultimately hurts the consumer in many ways as well as the country as a whole.

Freedom vs. Force

Responding to Steve, I must respectfully disagree and say that the difference is not that Capitalists can use guns to enforce their will; it’s Cronyism that employs “the guns of government” through the buying of politic favors from politicians.

Key Point: With true Capitalism, companies can only get people to buy from them by providing value in such a way that a consumer chooses to do so. In a truly free-market environment the consumer is the ultimate boss and votes with their dollars.

In other words, Capitalism is based on freedom of choice. Cronyism is based on manipulation, politics, and ultimately, force.

Capitalism — while not utopian or perfect — has been the driving force in an increase in the standard of living for everyone living under that system. The more economically free a country is, the higher standard of living for the masses (including the poor). The less free, the lower the standard of living.

In answer to Dov’s question about how to repair this situation, the citizenry must insist its elected representatives do not participate in Cronyism or they will be voted out of office.

Of course, for this to happen, the citizenry must first understand the difference between Cronyism and Capitalism. I’m afraid that at this point most people think they are the same. And, that is a huge problem.

We cannot repair what we don’t understand.

Want to weigh in? Feel…free! :-)

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature - Bob BurgLast post we saw that to attain a desired outcome you must first see the situation as it is, not as you wish it were.

Not to be confused with a lack of vision, it’s simply understanding that in order to manifest that vision we must acknowledge current truths.

Want to design a device that flies despite physical universal laws such as…gravity? Then, first understand and accept the laws of physics and how they operate. Only then can you work within those laws in order to create its opposite effect.

The same is true when dealing with those often-difficult beings known as…humans. :-)

In other words, the laws of human nature are just as true as the physical laws of nature.

Do you ever hear yourself thinking:

“He doesn’t care about the facts” … “She’s only looks at the price, not the quality” … “His ego is so big” … “She argues even when she knows she’s wrong.”

Or even,  “All he cares about is himself!”

The above are some of the effects of Human Nature. Different for different people, they deal with decision-making, emotion, ego, etc.

There are also some immutable Laws of Human Nature that apply to everyone. What I believe is the biggie of them all was eloquently summed up by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“Ultimately, people do things for their reasons; not our reasons.”

Even if those reasons don’t make sense to us! As we’ve discussed in previous posts, people will do what they believe will make them happy, as they understand happiness and within the available options they believe they have.

And that is the overriding Law of Human Nature that only after one understands and accepts can they ever be an effective influencer.

When you embrace that law and work within it in such a way that you help the other person achieve their reason, you’ll find yourself to be one of the most powerful and influential people you know.

Great influencers don’t waste their time wishing people were different or that human nature wasn’t what it is, but rather work within the laws of human nature to benefit everyone involved.

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If you have additional questions, we have arranged a brief Q & A call for Thursday, September 18th. You can register for it here: http://bit.ly/1y7UgYv