Thursday, 6 January 2011

Weapons of Mass Distraction ....

I am easily distracted.  And those devils at Google know it.  They have started to make work for my idle hands to do.  On my Google Homepage they have now started to recommend YouTube video clips that I might want to waste yet more time with.  I duly oblige ...
Video 1.  A scientist from Harvard talks about the power of synthetic happiness.  He gives examples of people who have had to endure hardship and then quotes them afterwards.  All effectively said it was a blessing and that they were glad the proverbial had hit the fan ... in the end it made them happy.  He used the statistic that a year after two groups of people had a major event happen to them ... both groups scored the same for happiness ... one group had won the lottery ... the other had lost the use of their legs.  Basically there is something in us that convinces us we are happy with our situation ... however bad, we can adjust.  Synthetic happiness is as powerful and “real” as actual happiness.
Video 2.  This big guy I’ve never heard of - Tony Robbins - speaks ... he has a lot to say!  He suggests people think he is Mr Motivation ... he denies this ... then proceeds to motivate.   I am wary of Self Help Gurus.  They tend to be heavy, Max-Strength American types which my shallow Scottish Lite attitude finds hard to embrace.  But he said something that was particularly pertinent for those on the farming ladder.
He reckons that when we don’t achieve something, we convince ourselves that the reasons we didn’t are things like ... lack of time, lack of money, lack of opportunity.  Basically what we are convincing ourselves of, is it was due to a lack of resources.  He says the REAL reason we don’t achieve something is lack of resourcefulness.  

Big Tony

It brings to mind the gnarled old army veteran ... like Clint Eastwood but with less reliance on rude words ... that showed our Nuffield group round the Gettysburg battlefield.  His catchphrase ... his ultimate message was there are barriers to everything, many circumstances seem impossible and all of those that succeed do three vital things - they 1. ADAPT; 2. INNOVATE and 3. OVERCOME.  Clint actually mentioned this in the true classic film that is Heartbreak Ridge but he termed it as Improvise, Adapt and Overcome ... It must be a US Marine thing.

Foul mouthed Clint

This in turn brings to mind the first farmer I met in Australia and his reaction when I moaned about the system in the UK that prevented new entrants progressing.  The look he gave me suggested I may as well have said my favourite singer was Liza Minnelli, I loved West End Musicals and had strong opinions on male fashion. 
The point is ... ultimately it has to be up to the person on the ladder to find his or her way up it, despite the lack of rungs.  Lack of opportunity is really annoying but this annoyance can lead us to defeat ourselves ... to convince ourselves it can’t be done. 
Big Tony also spoke of what we want as human beings.  He boiled it down to two things - achievement and fulfillment.  The two aren’t necessarily the same and its fulfillment that is the most powerful.  Many make the mistake to assume achievement will provide fulfillment but quite often it doesn’t.  Maybe climbing all the way up the ladder isn’t the be all and end all.
So we can convince ourselves we are happy; we can convince ourselves its not our fault for not getting to where we want to be and we can even convince ourselves that the final achievement will provide us with ultimate fulfillment.  Perhaps we should be wary of the salesman inside us all ... be less convinced ... and look at things a bit differently.
My brain is overheating ... I’m going to have to stop now ... but soon I’m going to have a weak stab at resourcefulness ... I have a plan which hopefully I’ll tell you about soon.  Not sure if Clint would approve but I’m sure it will be my very own Heartbreak Ridge. 


Rona Amiss said...

Don't be too hard on yourself Michael.
1. if new entrants brings innovation and energy into an industry, the industry should be making opportunities to benefit from that talent.
2. don't believe what the aussies say, it is way more complicated here.
3. remember small is big!

and I thought the distraction was being head travel agent.

Michael Blanche .... bless said...

You are meant to say "Thank you Self Help Guru, you've changed my life!". I think its just as hard down under but perhaps the challenges are different. The chap that wasn't impressed with my whinging had just had 8 years of persistent drought to deal with! I'm all for getting things changed here but we can't wait around for it to happen.

PS I am not ABTA registered ... be warned!

Rona Amiss said...

OH and thank you you've changed my life, but not half as much as you will change it if you lose me at one of those airports.
I am looking forward to hearing about your resourcefulness....