Weekend Challenge: Fight Your (Normalcy) Bias

And when we say “bias,” we are not referring to any social, political, or class-based biases.  We are talking about something very specific: the normalcy bias.  The Normalcy Bias is the condition that the normal human brain defaults to when faced with unprecedented, even dangerous, situations.  There is a tendency in humans to assume that “since it has never happened before, it won’t happen now.” 

It is this mentality, perhaps, that is to blame for many tragedies throughout human history.  For instance, imagine these sentences from the 20th century:

:surely this boat is big enough and strong enough that that little chunk of ice out there poses no real threat

:He can’t really mean it when he says he wants to exterminate the Jews

:That’s weird–all those planes with the zeros on them flying overhead on a Sunday morning

The Normalcy Bias slows down, or even freezes, the survival instinct, and situations that could be relatively easily sidestepped become extraordinarily dangerous.

But the ability to overcome the N.B. is a remarkably powerful tool.  For instance, did you know that there were (as a percentage of the population) more millionaires created during the Great Depression than at any other time in U.S.History?  We’ll explore this topic more in later posts;  for now, consider what it would take for you to get “outside the box” of your normalcy bias.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Traits We Admire: Balance

For thousands of years the Chinese have ordered their lives around the Yin and the Yang–the hard and the soft, the strong and the gentle, the powerful and the humble.  And, for good or bad, the Chinese culture has survived for thousands of years with many elements intact.

The idea of balance is a foreign one to many westerners.  We like to define ourselves, to press onward at the point of least resistance and “give it our all.”  And that’s great–that mindset has built the modern world.  But it also leads to high blood pressure, terrible eating habits, and significant strain on relationships.

So as summer begins to move into its last month, take advantage of the traditional habits of summer.  Perhaps you can’t take days off to go on vacation, but maybe you can slip away from the office for an afternoon to take in a ballgame; if Disneyworld isn’t in the cards, maybe a nice day with your significant other at Six Flags will yield some grand results.

The point is this: balance isn’t just a philosophical abstract; it is the foundation of mental health from which your dreams can launch.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

The Power of Hope

We have long believed that people are motivated by hope or fear.  Unfortunately we also believe that most people fall into that “fear” category.  People live their lives worrying about everything from whether or not they can take care of their family to will they ever find Mr./Ms. “perfect” (and everything in between.)   A healthy dose of reality can always be good, as long as we are not letting fear run our lives.

Our hope for all of you is to make that shift, alter your thinking and relieve some of that fear from your lives.  Is it always easy, No, but it could be a simple adjustment of thought.  You can go from “I am scared I will not be able to provide for my family,” to “ I am hopeful (or know) I will be able to take care of my family.”  A simple shift in thought may make all the difference.

And, by the way, just thinking good thoughts is not enough.  You now need to take those new hopes and match them with a plan (vision, goals, etc) to make sure they happen for you.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 8:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Enjoy Simple

We were trying to watch the World Cup over the course of the last month, and we were surprisingly interested (sorry, soccer fan: we didn’t grow up with it so . . . ).  But our interest is likely to disappear now that the big event has gone away. The thing about soccer is, at its highest levels, it’s a very complex sport, which makes it hard to follow; on the other hand, your basic little league soccer game is fairly simple, which makes it a little easier to follow.

I think that’s part of the problem with adults–we tend to complicate things.  Even when we’re just “playing” we make up rules and expectations that sap the fun out of a lot of our lives.  And the problem with that approach to life is that we never let our brains just shut off and “be”–it causes brain fatigue.

So this weekend, find something simple to enjoy.  If you’re playing with your kids, don’t keep score (they’ll do it, anyway!); if you’re our for some exercise, don’t set a time goal and give yourself permission to wander off the normal path. 

Relax, and enjoy something the way a kid enjoys things.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Whole Point Of Having A Roadmap

We’ve recently had some work done on our home, and part of the calculus of home improvement projects is whether it’s better to spend your time working on projects or to spend your money to hire someone else to do the project.  In this case, it was better to spend the money.

One of the beautiful things about skilled workers is that their experience teaches them the smartest way to do things–not necessarily the easiest way, but the smartest way.  So a good worker executes a plan–otherwise they waste time and materiel.  Imagine a bricklayer building a wall without a plan and without ever stepping back to look at the wall: each individual brick may look perfect, but it’s easy to imagine the wall wandering in several crazy directions without ever accomplishing its purpose.  That’s why good workers take time to lay out a plan before they start working.

Your life is the same way.  You may make all the “right” choices and seem to be doing a great job, but if you’re not trying to execute a plan and you’re not stepping back to see the big picture, your life could wander off in crazy directions.  THINK IT THROUGH!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Be Flexible!

We talk in our program about thinking outside the box and reference (as an example) the art of having a flexible body.  We discuss how, if you are not flexible, it will hurt for a while.  This one simple word can be incredibly powerful in different parts of your life.

We all know those people who are “stiff”.  We are not just talking about any problems with touching ones toes.  We are talking about those who follow a very rigid routine, the ones who believe “there are NO exceptions to rules” and of course the ones who cannot see past their proverbial blinders.

Our hope for you is that you be flexible.  Learn how to best work with the individuals in your life (everyone is motivated differently).  Change up that stale routine.  If you are in a funk, take some time and come up with a way to think outside the box to spark some excitement and passion in your life.  And, if it is a problem, work on touching those toes.  All of this will help to make you feel better and give you a little more bounce to your step.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Stop Digging

This challenge, of course, refers to the First Rule of Holes:  What’s the first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole?  Stop digging.

We all dig a little bit in our lives.  How many of us stay in a relationship longer than is useful because it seems like the right thing to do?  Or worse, enter into a marriage only because it’s the next logical step?  Or how about going to college, not because there’s any great passion for a subject that college could provide, but because it seems like the next logical step? 

This same thinking applies at all stages of life.  Think about staying in dead-end jobs, or chasing meaningless promotions for the title or the money, or continuing to pile up debt just waiting for things to turn around.

Holes, at their early stages, are what are commonly referred to as “ruts,” and nobody likes them and tries to get out of them.  But if you keep digging at that rut, it will become a hole from which it is very difficult to escape.

This weekend, identify the holes you’re digging and resolve to STOP!

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Because Humor Is Good

Every once in a while it’s good to break from the serious for a laugh.  Sadly, sometimes that happens at someone else’s expense–which, I suppose, proves the idea that you can learn a lot about who you want to be by realizing who you DON’T want to be.  Like these guys, the winners of the 2009 Darwin Award:

The city of Dinant is the backdrop for this rare Double Darwin Award. Two bankrobbers attempting to make a sizeable withdrawal from an ATM died when they overestimated the quantity of dynamite needed for the explosion. The blast demolished the building the bank was housed in. Nobody else was in the building at the time of the attack.

Robber One was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma; he died shortly after arrival. Investigators initially assumed that his accomplice had managed a getaway, but the second bungler’s body was excavated from the debris twelve hours later. Would-be Robbers One and Two weren’t exactly impoverished–their getaway car was a BMW.

The BMW is really the critical detail, don’tcha think?   Have a laugh, and a good day tomorrow!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Awareness and Action!

We have been talking a lot about traits necessary to make a move and go after your perfect life.  We also talk about the importance of knowing yourself so you can effectively move ahead.  These are all incredibly important to build a solid base you can move forward.

Once that is done, taking those first steps seems very daunting.  Remember, going after your passion, something you love may be a career, a hobby or just doing something better.  It may be something that you have been thinking about doing for a while.  It may be that with all of your current responsibilities it just seems “impossible” to start.   Procrastinating and putting it off will not get you any closer.  It is imperative to become aware of what you want to do and than take the appropriate actions.

Nothing good will come of sitting around and “wishing” that things will be different.  Now is the time to create your vision (awareness) and write down those appropriate action steps to get it done.  As we say, a journey of 1,000 miles starts with just one step.  Our challenge to you is to take that step and take it today!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Be Free!

We write in the book that the first step to achieving your Perfect Life is to Know Yourself.  And one of the elements of that is figure out what about you is holding you back from becoming your Best Self.  Whether that’s a lack of knowledge, a lack of motivation, or some other pathology that sets you out to sabotage yourself, there is nothing and nobody that will get in your way as much as you do.

So on this weekend where we in America celebrate what would mark the beginning of a great and terrible struggle for Independence, we encourage you to take on the terrible battle to be independent from your own restrictors.  Think about your Perfect Life; now when you hear that little voice in your head say “but . . . ” figure out where it comes from.  Whether that’s from a doubting parent, a too-harsh former mentor, or some place more dark like an addiction or abuse, discover where that doubt comes from.  You have to know what ties you down to know how to cut the cords.

Hey, the Founding Fathers pledged their “Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor” to have the opportunity for self-determination; isn’t that same opportunity for you worth a little discomfort?

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on July 3, 2010 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment