I experienced a stark reminder this week while I was teaching my weekly Customer Service training. I’m not following my own advice. Or rather, what I’m doing when I tell myself a story is dramatically skewed in the opposite direction. Let me paint the picture for you.
One of the building blocks I consider critical to providing great customer service is choosing to have a positive attitude. For the most part, I think I do have a positive attitude. That isn’t where things begin to crumble for me in not following some of the messages I teach. I tell the employees I’m going to provide three tools to help develop the habit of choosing a positive attitude. I even cite one of those tools as my favorite. But I don’t use it nearly as often as I should.
This favorite tool is telling yourself a story to change your perspective and create a brand new reality. For those of you who have seen Life is Beautiful, this movie is by far the most astounding example of this tool. In the movie, a father weaves an elaborate tale to convince his young son that their presence in the concentration camp is all part of a game. The game is hard and requires many sacrifices, but in the end, whoever manages to rack up 1,000 points wins the prize. A tank. Not a toy tank, but a real live tank. The clip I show is powerful. People remember it. I also talk about a famous experiment where teachers are provided the names of students who are considered gifted or “bloomers” and expected to perform better than others. At the end of the class, those gifted students do indeed “bloom” but amazingly it’s all a ruse because those students were randomly selected.
So what’s the point? We can use this trick to positively influence our lives. Some people call it visioning. Others talk about self-fulfilling prophecy. If I believe I will make it as a writer, I will.
I haven’t done that. In fact, I think I’ve done the exact opposite. It’s no wonder I remain relatively unknown with anemic sales. Here’s the story I’ve told myself. I’m an “acquired taste”. My books probably don’t appeal to the masses. I have a very loyal, but small following. I’m not talented enough to make it as a full-time writer. And guess what, with that perspective, I never will!
Maybe I should reframe everything and tell myself this story: My next book, Dream Catcher, will be my breakout book because it’s unusual enough to catch people’s attention and is a rocking good time. The cover is awesome. The story moves along so quickly, the reader won’t want to put it down. Those same readers will tell everyone else how fun the book is and voila’ a smashing success. After that, readers will gobble up my backlist and I’ll tell my wife it’s finally time to consider retirement, travel around in our RV and slide into retirement in relative comfort! My bucket list has an item that I hope to someday experience…the top spot on Amazon’s top 100, or I’ll even take in the top 10. With the above story…it’s possible!
Okay peeps….I’m counting on you to ensure my new story creates this new reality. Wanna help…you know the drill…click the links below! Hot off the press….it’s available for pre-sale: Dream Catcher
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3 thoughts on “Tell Yourself A Story”
Self fulfilling prophecy, I’m going to win the lottery…
I always forget this lesson until someone brings it up again, so thanks!