The Common Denominator of Success plus the Science of Forming Habits

Aside

Six hundred members of the California Assisted Living Association made their way into the main ball room at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County, California for lunch and my 45 minute keynote speech titled, “The 1.2% Factor-How One Small Change Leads to Large Results”.

I was a bit apprehensive because of the time frame. I usually present a 90 minute program so I was challenged as a professional to deliver value in half the time. It’s rare that I have a local program close to where I live since I present all over the USA. I invited Jeff Golan, Regional Managing Director for Principal Financial Group to come hear me. I wasn’t sure if he could make it.

The program went off very successfully! The audience raved about the talk and only I know what I had to leave out because of the time frame. Breakout sessions followed 15 minutes after my program so I went outside where I had some flyers on a table and visited with those who wanted to speak with me. One of those was Jeff.

After the crowd dispersed Jeff and I found a quite place to chat. We talked about what he was in the beginning stages of building at PFG and what some of his challenges were. He explained how he already had a solid structure and system for teaching the advisor the “what to do and the how to do it” logical information. What he liked about what I do is that it is directed towards the most important issue, the individuals’ ability to form habits and to consistently do what they need to do to generate results. He promised to send me an old white paper, “The Common Denominator of Success” by Albert Gray.

A couple of days later an email with an attachment from Jeff arrives. I opened it expecting it to be some outdated boring what you can believe you can achieve type of stuff.

I am happy to say that this paper caught my attention immediately with the first quote:

“The common denominator of success-the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful-lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

Wow! This was written in 1940 and it is still a core underlying necessity today! Albert Gray delivered this at the NALU annual convention in 1940. Remember National Association of Life Underwriters?

What I plan to do with this paper is to add some of the scientific discoveries of the 2000’s on forming habits to the wisdom of Albert Gray. I’ll first reveal some of the most profound statements from Gray in his address.

“I had become convinced that hard work was not the real secret even though in most cases it might be one of the requirements.”

In one of my presentations I ask for a volunteer to come on stage. I ask them to state a goal that they have such as increase assets under management. Next I ask them what they need to do to reach this goal. For the sake of simplicity let’s say prospecting. Next I ask them to tell me three things that might stop them. One, busy with current clients, two, need to prepare for meetings with prospects, three, not enough time.

Now it gets interesting. I bring up three of the biggest guys in the audience. Each one of them represents one of the three obstacles just mentioned. Two guys stand in front of my goal setter and grab his wrist with their outside hand and hook their inside arm under the persons arm and the third obstacle stands behind the goal setter and puts their arm across the persons throat. I instruct them to resist and not to let him break through.

Here we go the competition. A person’s desires and commitment to action versus their obstacles. The person tries as hard as they can yet they will not break free. I yell “work harder” yet still no results, the 3 obstacles are just too strong. (You can watch this in action on my website, www.bobdavies.com demo video).

This is a perfect example that hard work is not the key. I ask the audience, “Did he try? Did he try hard? Did you cheer him on? Did it matter?”

I do give a solution here. The solution is to accept that he does have limitations and obstacles and to negotiate. Even though he has to prepare for prospective clients, meet with current clients and has limited time, here is what he commits to do this week.

To highlight Albert Gray’s first point;

  1. Hard work is not the difference.

Gray also made this statement;

 “Success is something which is achieved by the minority of men, and is therefore unnatural and not to be achieved by following our natural likes and dislikes nor by being guided by our natural preferences. We don’t like to call on people who don’t want to see us and talk to them about something they don’t want to talk about. Any reluctance to follow a definite prospecting program, to used prepared sales talks, to organize time and effort are all caused by this one basic dislike.”

This is as simple as I have ever heard the core issue stated. We are going to avoid doing things that we view as being uncomfortable. It’s that simple!

There are a number of scientific experiments that clearly show this. Put a rat in a cage with a gate. Place food at the end of a corridor and open the gate. The rat runs up the corridor and starts to eat the food.

However, we don’t let the rat eat. Instead we place it back behind the gate. Next we place a metal grid on the floor separating the rat from the food. We also place a shock on this grid; it’s called a “shock grid”. We open the gate; the rat sees the food and starts to run over this grid. It gets a tremendous shock and instinctively retreats away from the grid.

Now we take the shock off of the grid but leave the grid. When we open the gate this time the reality is that there is nothing stopping the rat from reaching its goal. However, what will the rat focus on? Will it focus on the opportunity to get the food or the past painful experience with the metal grid? The rat will remember the shock and will never go over that grid again. This is called learned helplessness.

It doesn’t matter what the truth is. The only think that matters is what is the rat paying attention to? The rat has what is called a “cortical limbic loop”. This is a protective memory where the outer area of the brain associated with wants, needs and desires and is linked to the middle area of the brain, known as the limbic system, which is associated with emotion, fear, avoidance and threats to survival. Just the sight of the metal grid triggers the limbic area and the rat is in automatic avoidance.

We are genetically coded to avoid activities that we view as being threatening. Our instincts trump our intentions.

Gray goes on to state that the biggest producers also do not like to do this prospecting either. It’s just that they have a purpose and have formed habits.

“Successful men are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods. It is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of a poor living than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making a better one. Just think of all of the things you are willing to go without in order to avoid doing the things you don’t like to do.”

I couldn’t believe what a profound insight that Albert Gray had in 1940 that is as true today as it was then.

Again, Gray says;

“Every single qualification for success is acquired through habit. Men form habits and habits form futures. If you do not deliberately form good habits, then unconsciously you will form bad ones. He success habits in life insurance selling (and all selling) are divided into four main groups. Prospecting habits, calling habits, selling habits, working habits.”

Now the question is how do you form habits? I have the answer. This was helped by another 21st century discovery, brain plasticity. Go ahead and “Google it”. Isn’t that amazing? Google is now a verb!

Brain plasticity is the brains’ ability to form new neurons and neurological networks. A neurological network is a habit. In its simplest form it’s no more complicated than stimulus response. The alarm rings in the morning and off to the gym you go. You plan at the end of the week you execute your plan in those four areas as identified in 1940 by Albert Gray, it really is that simple.

A habit is a neuron that has dentritic growth to the cortex and to a structure in the limbic system called the amygdale. The cortex is the thinking and planning area of the brain and the amygdale is the emotional area. A habit also has dentritic growth to the hippocampus are of the brain which is now the wiring for memory.

The rat is hungry. It looks at the food but it has a protective instinct, a memory involving the hippocampus that links the metal grid with the amygdale as dangerous and to be avoided.

Humans have another layer to add to this. We use language to rationalize our avoidance and believe that the truth is that we were just too busy to make those calls.

I’ll end this by giving you a quick method to rewire your brain and form a new habit. Use behavioral contracts. Make one commitment to one activity this week they you are capable of doing but also know you won’t do unless you are held accountable to complete. Tell one other person that if you don’t take this action you will give them $100. You will instantly create a cortical limbic loop where the cortex, amygdale and hippocampus will view this penalty as the highest level of pain and instinctively compel you to avoid this pain by doing what you said you would do.

Yes it does take about 30 days for these dentritic projections to remain solidified and permanent so use this consistently and wisely and you will rewire your brain forming the habits you need for success. Albert Gray was absolutely correct even without knowing the science of it all!

How to Become A Success: The Big Picture Over the Long Term.

I had a conversation with one of my long term coaching clients who was preparing to give a presentation to an industry group. Her topic was to give some wisdom on how she had become so successful in her 30 years in the business. It went something like this;

Take care of your health.

Get a coach.

Set goals, measure and reevaluate.

Have a referral based business.

Create, sustain and lead a strategic alliance.

Become an author.

Volunteer in the community.

Be committed to constant learning and growth.

Share with your peers.

Have a legacy product.

Take care of the succession of your business.

Take care of your health.

What good can you be for your family, your clients, and your friends if you are not in good health? Being in good health is by design, not genetics. Good DNA will predispose you towards good or ill health but it is the sum of the choices that you make that will determine your outcome.

This is supported by scientific research. It’s about the environment and your behavior that turns on or off the expression of your genes.
There is an 80% correlation between being a deca millionaire and being in a health and fitness program, according to Dr. Stanley, author of” The Millionaire Next Store”. One of my coaching “commandments” is to put your self first. Not your children, not your spouse, but you. Another commandment is” my lifestyle is an asset, not a liability”.

A true marker for success in the financial services industry is your being in a consistent exercise and fitness program. You need to have the energy and “look” to generate the confidence in your clients to be their financial coach. When they look at you they need to see someone who has it together and is on track. How else are they going to have confidence to make you their one stop financial coach?

Get a coach.

Yes the cliché does apply to financial services. Great athletes can only be great athletes by having a coach who challenges them to be their best.

The word coach is so abused that my office has stopped using it. Any time you have an “ease of entry” into an unregulated business then you get the good and the bad that all call themselves a coach. So here is what to look for.

Look for credibility. Look for someone who has related academic credentials in addition to coach specific training. Look for someone who has business acumen and who has a track record of success within financial services.

The coach has a role. First I’ll discuss what the role is not. The coach’s role is not to tell you how to do your business. For that you’ll need an industry mentor. There are lots of trainers who can help you there. Your broker dealer will have practice management experts who can help you segment your book, find markets for guaranteed living benefit annuities, term-life conversions, products with long term care or disability riders, or even how to prospect.
This is the coaches’ role, three phrases;

New Perspectives

Challenge

Accountability

As a result of a consistent conversation with your coach you will (should) see things differently and from a perspective that you can not have on your own. Your coach should be a source of challenge for you to strive and achieve beyond what you think you can do. Lastly, your coach should be a very strong source of accountability where there will be enforced consequences for non performance. Now that is a rare conversation!

Set goals, measure and reevaluate.

The financial services business is a journey. You must be oriented from your purpose, your vision and your mission. Why are you in this business? What problems do you solve? Who needs you? Why you?

You can write a mission statement that will keep you on track. The mission statement follows this format;

I am_____
Who does_____
So that ____

Once you have clarity on why your are in this business you need to ask and answer the following questions;

What am I building? Why bother? How much is enough? Regardless of your age you need to know what your end game is. This is the same approach you take with your clients because after all you are their life coach, not just their financial coach.

There is a principle in quantum physics, the laws of the subatomic, that states the act of observation changes what is being observed. Imagine that you are measuring atoms that you can not see. Visualize balls on a pool table. You want to locate a ball so you roll the cue ball and when you strike a ball you have found its location. You have “measured it”. However, the act of rolling the ball and striking another one causes the ball to rebound in another direction, hence, the act of measurement changes what is being measured.
Any goal worthwhile has measurement so decide what you are going to measure and then track as specifically and weekly as you can. You can measure anything from assets under management, number of A level house holds to the number of calls you make on a daily basis. Get measuring!

Have a referral based business.

This doesn’t mean that you stop prospecting. I may mean the end of cold calls however. The top of your industry have referral based businesses. However, they are not asking their clients for referrals. They are creating value that their clients want to share with others.

Create, sustain and lead a strategic alliance.

This is a premier source of new house holds for the experienced wealth advisor. The traditional teachings for forming a strategic alliance include the financial advisor, estate planning attorney and an accountant.

This has quickly become old school however. Today’s perspective is to ask who shares my clients. Who else market’s to and solves the problems that my target clients have? One approach is to identify who else sells to the high net work senior marketplace. Identify and interview those people. Find the experts in those industries and select them to join your group. Then lead the group. Have monthly meetings where you educate each member on a variety of topics. Teach them how to give referrals. Have alliance events where each member markets to their own data base as well as to the public.
Be creative on who you select. Think about adding a P&C agent, a lender, a funeral director, nursing home owner, a SEO expert, a videographer, etc. You will have the most sales and marketing orientation of any one in your group so it is up to you to lead and sustain this alliance and it will require your constant attention.

Become an author.
That’s right, write a book. That is of course if you can considering compliance restrictions. I don’t recommend this with my wire house clients.

Nothing gives you more credibility then being an author and speaking. Just the fact that you have a book, self published, gives you instant positioning as an expert. You have something to say. You have a platform of beliefs and strategies. Put them on paper and self publish a book.

Volunteer in the community.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “It is one of the most interesting facts that you can not help someone else without helping your self.”
An old song from the rock group, Jethro Tull, has this line;

“It’s only the giving that makes you what you are!”

Not only are you doing an honorable thing by serving on the hospital foundation, or the charity for the poor’s board, but you are also solidifying relationships with people of high net worth. You get by giving!

Be committed to constant learning and growth.

Another physics statement, “there is either growth or decay, there is no middle ground.” Top performers are constantly looking to improve and grow. Not only that, but constant learning is fantastic for your brain. A new discovery called brain plasticity states that you can continue to grow new neurons, rewire your brain and form new habits for a lifetime, so keep learning. Be passionate and excited about this business until you die.

Share with your peers.

This is an open versus a closed philosophy. It is very healthy for you to contribute unselfishly to the success of others then it is for you to be more shut down and keep your best practices to yourself. Share freely, for your own health and state of mind.
One of the best ways to share with your peers is through speaking at industry events. Be selfless. You never know what will come back to you by doing so.

Have a legacy product.

Your clients need a source to impart their wisdom, their philosophies, what they’ve learned, mistakes that they’ve made, their values, and what their wealth means to them to their heirs. The leaders in your field have developed a legacy product that goes beyond an ethical will. This gives your clients a structure to communicate to their heirs.

Take care of the succession of your business.

What have you built? I do not recommend ever retiring. Yes, you will dramatically change your day to day activities but it is so very important that you remain active, engaged, passionate and excited about building something until you die! You will live longer and have a better quality of life if you do.

So what have you built? Are you positioning yourself to sell your business? Have you groomed a younger advisor to continue on with your clients and continue to grow your business? Have you asked this question?

How to Avoid Getting Fat Over the Holidays

There seems to be a mindset of disorder over the holidays. Perhaps you have been disciplined and ate clean, worked out, watched your caloric intake and did good deeds all the way up to now.

I is only natural for you to say forget it; I deserve it and then just bust out and binge. I’d say you can just about count on that happening unless you get M.A.D.

That’s right, get M.A.D. Make a Decision. It all starts with the intention. Who says that you’ve got to gain weight and that if you don’t you will be depriving yourself?

Reality is in the mind of the observer. You get to declare what your waist line is going to look like during and after the holidays. Here is how.

First, know your numbers. Take your body weight times ten and that’s how many calories you can have on a daily basis and you won’t lose or gain weight. There are 3500 calories in a pound of body fat. Divide that by 7 days and that number is 500. Subtract 500 from your body weight times ten and that’s what you will need to net out daily to lose one pound per week. Your net can be either calorie restriction or a combination of exercise.

That’s the left brain information. Now you need to right brain input. This is your attitude, your intentions, your why. You do need to identify your “why bother?” Why should you actually lose weight this holiday season? What is the benefit for doing so?

You might have a tough time identifying the Why. It doesn’t matter. You can tap into the latest in brain research and create a winning combination of right and left brain input through the use of one small intervention-behavioral contracting.

Try this and I know it will work for you. Keep your commitments to one week. Make a commitment to how many calories you will have, what types of food you will eat, how much you will allow yourself to divert, how much exercise you will do over the next seven days. Make specific and measureable statements of your promise. An example would be “I will exercise 4 times by Sunday”. Of course I assuming that you can specifically define what “exercise” means and that it is verifiable.

Next place a penalty, say a $100 fine if you don’t do what you said you would do. That’s right, for each promise you make place a $100 penalty if you don’t accomplish the commitment. Have someone else check in with you and be able to prove your results. Now you will be tapping into your genetic coding of avoiding the highest level of perceived pain. Your human instinct will compel you to avoid the pain of the consequence by taking the actions you committed to.

If you apply this and if you have someone who will hold you accountable and enforce the consequence then you will lose weight over the holidays.

I’ll hold you accountable. Send me an email at info@bobdavies.com and tell me what your weekly commitment is. I’ll keep you on track or it’s a $100 fine.

You have far more capability to create the events and circumstances in your life then you are aware of or are using. This is a start.

Happy Holidays.

Coach Bob

 

 

Best Effort Every Day

It’s a chilled October day at the stadium and it’s perfect for this rivalry game. The home team is trailing 7-3 and there’s three seconds left in the game. They have the ball on the two yard line and it’s 4th and goal. This is the last play of the game. If the defense succeeds at their goal line stand they will win. If the offense can punch it in then they will win. This is it, last play, winner take all.

The reticular activating system of the brain is on fire. It is sending signals to flood the basal ganglia and the limbic area of the brain and generates a “flight or fight” physiology. Nor-epinephrine is released and the pupils are dilated to improve vision. The heart pumps faster, increasing blood pressure to accelerate the delivery of oxygen. Breathing increases as the lungs take in more oxygen. The sweat glands are working to cool the body. The adrenal glands secrete cortisone, blood moves from the extremities to your major muscle groups, digestion stops, you are ready to go. There is a narrow focus of attention as each member of the each team will have maximum effort or best effort on this last play.

This is the goal line stand. Best effort from everyone. Why doesn’t each player on each team put forth this type of effort on every play? Is this possible? The answer is yes. It just takes a certain type of brain input to generate the goal line stand physiology and effort. If you can do it once, you can do it every play. It takes focus.

Let me say this a different way. My son Tyler is taking tennis lessons. He’s seven years old. He’s learning good motor skill habits at a young age. Many times he’ll swing with correct technique coming from low to high but he’ll miss the ball. His swing and follow through were correct but he just missed the ball. He’ll get it.

During one lesson he hit a nearly perfect backhand. What a sweet and smooth almost effortless stroke with the ball going deep into the court, a winner! He had a neurological firing to produce that muscular movement resulting in the perfect shot. If he can do it once it means that he is capable of duplicating it again. If he can keep firing those same neurons they will wire together and he will have a pattern or a habit. If the athletes can have supreme effort on one play then they can have it on every plan.

I’d like to think that I’m in the speaking, training and coaching business. The truth is I’m in the marketing business. Without marketing a terrible thing happens, nothing! The other day I made 85 calls, 48 contacts, 53 actual dials and 32 emails. That’s an A rated activity day. If I can do that level of activity one day, then I can do it every day.

How about you? What is your level of effort every day? Do you want to make more money? I’ll assume yes. Then see more people. The insurance folks have a saying, Seymour Sellmore. If you see more people you will sell more people. Every industry has their numbers. The insurance folks say that you need to make 100 calls to get 10 prospects from which you will set appointments with 3 and sell 1.

At one time the pressure washer industry had this ratio;

See 15 people a day to get one demo. Make 4 demos and you’ll have one sale with the national average being $4000 per machine sold. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of these numbers but I’ll bet you could get them from CETA’s best practice program.

If you want to make more money you need to put more energy into the system and see more people. The receipt is to be very precisely prepared, well researched meaning know who uses pressure washing equipment in your territory, map out each day for efficiency and then simply execute with passion. You’ll need to have excellent measurement and tracking. You’ve got to know the score. You can’t control the mind of the marketplace but you can control your own efforts. Let me put it this way, you must control your own efforts.

Let’s go quantum!

Using two villages on opposite sides ofGenevaas their lab, Swiss physicists have taken one of the strangest phenomena of quantum physics to new heights. They sent a pair of photons along fiber optic cables, one to each village. When they measured one photon upon its arrival, the other changed instantaneously-though it was 11 miles away. This strange relationship is called quantum entanglement.

Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that governs the very small. Your thoughts are in the quantum realm. Classical physics governs the large, the movement of the planets, and the effects of gravity, action-reaction, cause and effect.

This means that you must operate within the probabilities of both branches of physics. You must obey action-reaction, cause and effect by having enough effort and energy put into the system (classical physics) and you must obey the laws of the quantum world by having thoughts of possibilities and success. Together, you can not be stopped. Success is a certainty.

The quantum world says that everything from an inanimate object such as wood to a live entity such as man is all made of the same thing, energy. In fact Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2 states that energy (effort) and matter (results=sales) are the same. It’s like water and ice, two different states of the same thing. Everything is energy. Everything is entangled. Everything and every one is interrelated.

What you seek is also seeking you. If you want more sales then go out there and execute your plan, see more people and you too will act at a distance. You will become entangled and have an impact on another meaning you have the solution that someone is seeking. It’s all about you, your effort, your preparation, your attitude and your consistency.

Any questions?

Coach Bob

Bob Davies, B.S. Health, M.Ed. Psychology is a speaker, author, trainer and coach. His principles of performance excellence are scientifically based and guarantee results. He is a corporate CEO coach and works with individuals  to help them to coach for best effort every day.

www.bobdavies.com 866-262-3284 info@bobdavies.com Author of the book, “The 1.2% Factor-How the Small Change of Accountability Leads to Large Results!”

Motivational Speaker and Behavioral Expert Gives a Key: “You’ve Got to Have Your Why!”

You’ve Got to Have Your Why!

Imagine there is a two foot wide by twenty foot long board on the ground and I place a $100 at the end and ask you to walk across to the other side. Would you do it? Most people would answer yes.

What are you paying attention to? You are focusing on the desired result. You are focusing on successfully reaching your goal and getting the money. This is a positive “moving towards” strategy.

Now imagine that I take that same plank of wood and place it twenty stories high between two buildings. I tell you that this is a no wind day, gravity is not a factor and you have just as much of a chance to be successful walking across that board twenty stories high as you had on the ground. Would you do it? Most people answer NO.

What’s different this time? It’s all about how it occurs to you. Its how you observe this and the “story” you tell yourself about it. Your focus is different. At twenty stories high now your focus is on failure. You have a “moving away” strategy. Your thoughts are consumed with “I might fall off the board and die”.

Manifestation will occur either way. Your thoughts are electrical to chemical processes and the chemicals produced, neural transmitters have a charge and like attracts like so you manifest into reality that which you are dwelling on. You make it happen either positive or negative.

If you could change your observation, how this occurs to you, then you could change your outcome. It has to do with your WHY. What would need to be on the other end of that board for you to shift your focus from failure to success? It certainly is not the $100. What if it was one million dollars? For some that amount would create the shift but for most the answer still would be NO.

What if it was your family on the other side and the only way you could save them would be to cross that board? Would you do it then? For most that is the perceptual tipping point. No longer are you concerned with your own safety. There is a bigger purpose or WHY. Once you find your WHY you will also experience a shift in what you pay attention to.

Lets’ apply this to a common theme that many people can identify with, weight control. Doctors can talk about the obesity epidemic, the negative health effects of being over weight such as cardio vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other life threatening circumstances all attributed to being overweight. Doctors can tell you that you’re going to die if you don’t lose weight and this still will not cause the perceptual shift for most people.

This has to do with immediate versus delayed gratification. You can overeat today, skip exercise today and tomorrow you will still be alive. Since the negative impact is an accumulative effect over a long period of time it’s just too easy to “start” later. It’s the starting that stops most people.”

You need to develop your WHY that is linked to right now, the present. I’ll use myself as an example. This may sound strange but it will illustrate my point.

For a long time I wanted to lose weight. It was a good idea but the problem was that I wasn’t heavy enough to make it much of a big deal. I just wanted to lose about 40 pounds to look and feel better. I was always exercising and my food choices were outstanding, low fat, high fiber but I just ate too much. Grilled chicken and non fat cottage cheese are good choices but four chicken breasts and an entire container of cottage cheese at about a thousand calories is just too much.

I’ve got to have my WHY that is related to the present. I found it with skydiving. I’m a pilot and skydiver. I fly out to the drop zone twice a month to make a few jumps. I jump with a group of people ranging from four to twenty. This is called formation skydiving. The most exciting position to have is to be the last one out of the plane and “dive” to the base formation that has formed in advance. You really are flying like an eagle and it’s a blast.

However, when I was heavy I would fall too fast and “go low” on the formation. This means that I was not able to slow my fall rate and I would just go right on by the rest of the group. This is a bad thing.

This became my WHY that was linked to the present. Right now I see the impact of being heavy creating a result that I didn’t like. When I lost my weight it all changed. At two hundred pounds I can dive on any skydive and be able to adjust my fall rate to match that of the slower falling group. At two hundred and ten I am guaranteed to go low.

This has been the incentive that I needed to keep the weight off. No matter what your goal is there needs to be a focus of the benefit for right now. Behavior is all about cost versus benefit, time delay versus immediate gratification.

If you can’t find your why you can use behavioral contracting to get yourself to comply with the behavior for the short term, this week. Make a specific commitment for the next seven days and designate a severe consequence for non performance. If it is more painful then the pain of the activity then this will work to shift your attention and get you to take the action over the next seven days. This will at least buy you some time to figure out your WHY!

I’m always only an email away from accountability, info@bobdavies.com plus a hundred bucks if you don’t do what you said you would do!

W T F

A friend of mine knows that I am writing a new book on weight control. In fact, he is creating the cover. He sent me an article titled, “MSG, a Slow Poison” which is about MSG causing obesity and he wanted to know my opinion about the article.

 Here are some of the article highlights.

The food additive MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate) is a slow poison. MSG hides behind 25 or more names, such as Natural Flavoring.” MSG is even in your favorite coffee from Tim Horton’s and Starbucks coffee shops!

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, and so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government. He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called “The Slow Poisoning of America”.

In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so scientists have to create them. They make these creatures morbidly obese by injecting them with MSG when they are first born.

The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and perhaps humans) to become obese. They even have a name for the fat rodents they create: “MSG-Treated Rats.”

When I heard this, I was shocked. I went into my kitchen and checked the cupboards and the refrigerator. MSG was in everything – the Campbell’s soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, and Kraft salad dressings, especially the “healthy low-fat” ones.

The items that didn’t have MSG marked on the product label had something called “Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,” which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate.

It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. MSG is hidden under many different names in order to fool those who read the ingredient list, so that they don’t catch on. (Other names for MSG are “Accent, “Aginomoto,” “Natural Meat Tenderizer,” etc.)

But it didn’t stop there….however I will. The article continued to say that the food manufacturers are aware of the scientifically proven addictive properties of MSG and in fact that is one of the reasons that they use this ingredient, to get people addicted to their product.

This blog is not about the ill effects of MSG. This blog is about accountability. The information about MSG supports a person going victim and blaming food manufacturers for their obesity.

My response to my friend was the MSG is not the cause of obesity. YOU are! Obesity is a
behavioral issue. It’s about your habits, how much food you eat and whether you exercise or not.

I am not making a statement about MSG. My statement is about taking full responsibility
for the results in your life. You are the cause of all that you experience, not Mac Donalds or food manufacturers.

Now I’m not saying that this should be allowed to continue. Of course we need to have
protection for our food supply and to ensure compliance with healthy ingredients. However,

W T F

Yes, I said it. This doesn’t stand for Why the Face or Where’s the Food. It stands for
“What’s the Focus?”

If the focus is on blaming food manufacturers, or fast food chains, or the media then it’s not likely that you are going to take full responsibility for the results that you are creating in your health.

I’d recommend that you apply W T F to every aspect of your life. What is your focus in your business? Are you focusing on the economy, the scandals and frauds that are happening, the problems in Europe? Are you focusing on world events, interest rates, the real estate market, inflation, the job market, consumer buying or any other “indicators”?

The focus needs to be on the most productive “required daily activities” that you need to
be doing to give you the highest probability of predicted results, period.

When I asked the attendees from an elite level conference that I recently presented to, the International Forum, now Forum 400, what their biggest challenge was they said seeing enough people. That’s what they were focused on!

At the end of your day ask yourself the question, “what did I focus on for most of the day?” If the answer is your most productive actions then the results are a certainty.

Don’t get seduced into being a victim and get sidetracked in terms of what you are paying
attention to. Take full responsibility for the results in your life. Take full responsibility for what you pay attention to on a moment by moment basis. Your family and the families of your clients will thank you!

What Motivates You? What Are You Committed To?

What Motivates You? What are You Committed to?

 When I ask that question I get a variety of replies such as, my family, doing the right thing and world peace. For the commitment part I hear answers such as prosperity, health, to give to others, gratitude.

This may be the illusion that people are operating under but let me restate that it is an illusion, a lie. If you want to know what someone is committed to all you have to do is look at what they have.

If a person is miserable then they are committed to misery. If a person is in a struggling relationship then they are committed to being in a struggling relationship.

If a person lives in clutter and chaos then that’s what they are committed to. All the rest is a lie!

I’m having this conversation with you without judgment. This is not good or bad, it just is. It’s all about genetic coding and pattern recognition. We are genetically coded to recognize what can hurt us and to avoid. We are coded to save time in our response by recognizing patterns and responding well before we are conscious of the threat.

Our five plus million year’s evolution has us coded for survival, not prosperity. Any trait that favors survival, thus the passing of our genes is copied and passed on.

Consider these numbers. It has been estimated that we have 100 billion brain cells, each capable of tens of thousands of interactions with other neurons. We are bombarded with 100 billion bits of information per second. Of this we pay attention to only 2000 bits of which seven can make it into our short term memory and we can take action on only one input at a time.

Humans have a very limited perceptual capacity. We can see only certain wavelengths of light whereas other species can see frequencies that are beyond our abilities. Same with sound, hearing and all of our senses. Since we have such a limited capacity evolution has taken our small bandwidth of perceptual ability and dedicated it to seeing danger. We are predisposed to be negative and see what can hurt us, not opportunities.

I can put what motivates all of us into one phrase;

All human performance is the avoidance of pain or the seeking of comfort.

This is what dictates what makes it into our bandwidth of awareness. We are coded to see danger. Our brain is designed to recognize the highest level of perceived pain and then compel us to avoid.

So what does this mean to you on a daily basis?

It means that you will have a difficult time having your actions match your intentions. I’ll assume that you have a business plan for next year. You have your goals, objectives, and activities that you need to accomplish to reach those goals.

Now you plan for the next seven days. Before you can take an action your brain searches like a computer for any link of those actions to pain. When you find the link to pain, and you will, your brain compels you to avoid and then you justify the avoidance with rationalization and you never know that you are doing this. You think that the truth is you were just too busy!

Do dogs love bones?

No, they love MEAT but they settle for bones. We are all avoidance machines. We avoid making prospecting calls, calling on potential high net worth house holds, developing strategic alliances with attorneys and other financial experts all in the name of being too busy.

The reality is that we are settling for mediocrity because of human nature’s limitations. Make not mistake about it, we are all driven to avoid pain and seek comfort.

You can not fight this human genetic coding. All you can do is surrender to it and use it to your advantage. Here’s how.

Identify one activity that you give your word that you will do by the end of the week. This should be an activity that you are capable of doing. It must be realistic. It should also be an activity that you most likely would resist tacking action on and would not do without some special treatment.

Now let’s leverage human nature. Since we know that our genetic coding is to recognize the highest level of perceived pain and avoid it, let’s leverage this by placing a higher pain on the activity.

For example, imagine that your commitment is to call a wealthy individual who is on the board of the city hospital foundation along with you. This person knows who you are, what you do yet is not a client.

Your brain searches this activity and links it to being very dangerous. That’s right; being rejected or embarrassed is viewed as dangerous. You are therefore compelled to avoid this dangerous activity and then you justify with rationalization.

This is the way that it should be unless there is an intervention.

Let’s change your approach. Send someone an email that you will call this person by the end of the week and if you don’t you will pay them $100. Send it to me; I’ll hold you accountable for $100! (info@bobdavies.com)

Now your brain acts in this manner. The outer cortex is the executive thinking area and it contemplates making the call to this person. Immediately there is a connection to the hypothalamus (memory of past experiences) where you search for any past experiences of prospecting and danger. You find an example of great rejection and there is a shot of excitement in the limbic area of the brain referred to as the limbic system or more specifically a structure called the amygdale. This is the emotional area of the brain and it creates this tremendous non-conscious command to avoid. This is called a cortical limbic loop.

After you place a $100 consequence on this action, you will have a different cortical limbic loop. You will still be avoiding the highest level of perceived pain but this time the avoidance will be the avoidance of the fine by taking the action and you make the call.

Guess what, it was easy. The prospect tells you he is glad that you called.

Try this. It is called Behavioral Contracting. It works almost 100% of the time. Avoid your way to the top. Remember, I’m only an email away.