It’s just gone past 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon in October 2021 and I’m logging in to an online networking event, because I’d already committed to doing it this time block. But the reality is, I’m not enthused: a recent bout of insomnia, the idea of time slipping away from me and other circumstances out of my hands have all led to me sitting here at my desk in the wrong frame of mind, realising I’ll have to drag myself through the next 2 hours of this meeting because I’ll kick myself if I miss out on a great connection. After all, half your success is just about turning up, right?
Now if you’ve never had the fortune of attending a bX online event (and if you haven’t I highly recommend you do) the meetings start with every attendee doing a 40 second intro: you introduce yourself, share what you sell/ do for clients and who your ideal referral is today. Fairly straightforward. Every meeting, whoever is conducting the day’s special presentation gets the privilege of choosing the best 40 second intro and awarding them a prize of some description. I’ve got my 40 second intro fairly well memorised by now (the basic details at least) so that won’t be a problem. But like I said, I hardly feel enthusiastic as I’m sitting there. I feel anything but enthusiastic. I don’t know if Big Kev had a cousin, but if he did I would be it. In that moment, I would be Cranky Kev (“I’m pissed off!”).
Then, as the first person chosen by the meeting leader went ahead and did their 40 second intro (with another 35 or so attendees to get through, one by one), a funny idea popped into my mind:
I am going to win the best 40 second intro today- watch me do this.
Imagine that. Today of all days, me of all people. Soon enough, our group leader announces I’m next. Then: my turn. Despite the lingering threat of a time limit, I manage to warmly welcome our new members and guests, outline how I make the magic happen for my lucky clients and do all this patiently, with only the conscious effort to speak loud and clear. I sign off by repeating who my ideal referral is today and thanking people in advance for helping me make these connections (assuming the sale). Done.
Once everybody has done their 40 second intros, the time comes for the guest presenter to nominate today’s winner. And of the 30+ attendees on this live Zoom meeting, he decides that the best one, of course, was mine. Somebody on the call then describes me as “charismatic” and another person notes that I had “great energy”.
Humblebrag? Maybe. But more importantly- how did this happen? How did I manage to turn things around so quickly? Sure, memorising a reasonable amount of your elevator pitch is always a useful guideline to follow but there’s more to it than that…
Quite simply, in that moment where I thought watch me do this, I immediately thought of how I was going to do it. And I summoned one of several states I can select at will and commit to, any time I like. Here’s how it can work for you, too:
Tony Robbins needs no introduction. As I’ve talked about quite recently, I view the man not as a guru but a conduit for useful information. In his book ‘Unleash The Power Within’, Tony talks about developing a personal code of conduct. This is where you think about certain ideal character traits or aspects of your personality you want to exemplify. You get clear on the definition of these, you list them and then (when required) you can commit to them. In total, I now have 13 of these definitions and to make it easier to memorise, they all begin with the letter P. Here I’m going to share 7 of mine and explain how they’ve helped over the years:
#1. Be Passionate
For this definition, I have written: Invest my time, wealth (in its’ numerous forms) and energy into the pursuits that really make the difference, pursuits that inspire me, pursuits I easily get lost in, the ones that energise me. Identify these and pursue them, whatever it takes.
Basically, if there is something I have chosen to devote time and energy towards on a consistent basis, then I should consider it an honour to do so and give it the respect it deserves. Of course, we all have limited amounts of time and energy. When you think of being passionate, you get clarity on what’s really worth investing both into vs. what you could delegate to somebody else. If you don’t have a passion for something, then is it really worth committing to?
#2. Be Patient
Remember that things or people of real value seldom come quickly or easily. Long-term with my thinking and actions, I trust in my ability to learn, to do and also the timing and guidance of Infinite Intelligence, itself in possession of foresight and timing far beyond the reaches of my own, immediate abilities. Approach my goals with a spirit not of desperation, but detachment.
This was a quality it took me a while to develop- maybe longer than it should’ve. Call it youthful immaturity or inexperience, but in my younger days I had an idea of when certain personal/ professional milestones should’ve happened and if I reached x point in my imaginary timeline with lesser results I could get flustered about it and veer off into self-destructive habits as a distraction.
But as the saying goes: nothing of value comes easily. There’s a reason cask wine is cheaper than the finest bottles, which often takes years in storage before they are fully matured and ready to be enjoyed. It’s a delicate balancing act between thinking you can cruise and things will work out vs. the temptation to push too hard trying to make it happen. I actually think of that scene near the end of Disney’s ‘Cinderella‘ where one of the step-sisters is trying to force her foot into the glass slipper and claims “I’ll MAKE it fit!” That scene flashes into my mind when I begin wondering if I am trying too hard in a certain situation? Yet, when Cinderella finally gets her chance, she doesn’t just sit there and wait for somebody else to put the glass slipper on. No, she makes an effort, but she doesn’t try TOO hard. She gives it enough of a push, and you know how that story ends.
As a less mythical example, look at this flying lap from Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna, referred to by many as “the greatest qualifying lap in F1 history”. British commentator James Hunt (famously depicted by Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s classic ‘Rush‘) mentions that during the previous days’ practise, Senna “tried too hard” and had been “ragged” as a result. But watching this effort from Senna? Clearly he is trying, but not trying too hard. There is a rhythm, a flow to it. The car almost glides around the corners, on the edge of control but never over it. As a result, it’s poetry in motion:
Timing is everything, and so far I’ve come to notice that as long as I put in a consistent effort and am willing to take new information on board and act on it, the rest generally lines up. Opportunities present themselves at the right time, when I am ready to handle such obligations. Meetings and circumstances play out that I could not foresee but fit so incredibly well with where I am at that point in my journey. This is where infinite intelligence comes into play- trusting in it to see the unseen, to act FOR you and to deliver the wind once you have built wings strong enough.
Just keep doing and evaluating. Don’t try too hard. Believe in the timing working out. Be Patient.
#3. Be Personable
I am open and candid with people when I engage with them. I constantly give insight into it’s like to be who I am, think as I do and go about my life. Likewise, I listen to people especially when I engage with them using the conversational skills I continue to master.
Maybe you’re thinking “I’m not a people person” or “I’m an introvert”. This might be so, but I know plenty of self-proclaimed introverts who are a hit at networking events or other gatherings because they have an adequate understanding of human interactions. There’s any number of free material out there on improving your ability to relate with colleagues and new introductions. Wherever it feels like you’re falling short, there’s plenty of easy tools to help. I’ve discovered a great deal from watching different videos on a YouTube channel called Charisma On Command, which does a great job of looking at well-known entertainment/ media/ political figures, highlighting what they do well and why they get positive responses from people.
The great news is this: Yes you CAN still “be yourself” but be personable. No matter your business or your story, you can make your particular brand (professional AND personal) a big hit.
In those times where I don’t particularly feel like interacting much, I just remember to be personable and what this looks like for me- then I go and interact.
#4. Be Positive
My destiny lies within my mind. The more I ruminate on what I want and how I will feel and what I will be like when I have what I want, the more I will become that person and the stronger my powers are to attract it into my life.
Sometimes, like everybody else, for whatever outside reasons, I can feel that pull of the dark rabbit hole. You know what I’m talking about. That black vortex where nothing is going to work out and it’s not going to happen for you because of a family curse, a character trait that’s fundamental to who you are, the same old self-destructive habits, your star sign or whatever. You get stuck in the flow and that sucker feeds on itself.
But as the saying points out: If you go with the flow, you end up in the sewer.
I admit this principle remains a work in progress. I wish I could snap out of that flow sooner than I sometimes do. But as long as I remember to be positive and how much more enjoyable it is to think about:
a) What I actually want
b) How I felt in the past when I’ve got what I wanted
c) How it will feel in the future when I am getting what I want in this moment
Then there’s a branch I can grab a hold of and use to climb out of that flow- instead of slipping down the waterfall into the lake of shit.
#5. Be Prepared
Plan ahead as much as I can, using my knowledge, wisdom and intuition as guided by infinite intelligence. Being prepared is the quiet rehearsal in private that is necessary in order to take the stage later and kill it, with everybody cheering me on.
This is the old Boy Scout motto at work, and the difference between this and the other states is it’s not one you can enact off the cuff. It’s more something you need to memorise so you can set yourself up to…be prepared. This comes in handy when figuring out how to spend your time- are you going to be doing make-work tasks, or are you preparing yourself for something more important?
#6. Be Proactive
This one often inevitably follows being prepared, and I went into more detail about this state, here
#7. Be Persistent
As long as I am working or aiming for a greater cause or state of being, keep moving forward and fixate only on getting what I want or where I want to be. Failure is inevitable- but what happens after is my choice. Choose to keep going forward, learning and becoming more dangerous to anybody or anything that would rather I kept passive and gave up. Being persistent is the nemesis of failure and the haters.
As Napoleon Hill said in ‘Think & Grow Rich’: Failure doesn’t know how to handle persistence. Set-backs are inevitable to everybody, nobody (on a long-enough time frame) has only wins in their attempts column. In fact, you can reach a point where failure becomes so commonplace you get to this sick state of mind where you expect it. It’s then you need to ask yourself a question:
Is this worth doing- do I really care about the end result?
If the answer is yes then- be persistent! A big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting.
So as I sat there during that bX meeting, I knew what I needed do with my pending 40 second intro. I knew the states to turn to:
I had to Be Prepared (which I did just by stating I am going to win this and then working out what I needed to do for this to happen)
I had to Be Personable
I had to Be Professional. (Okay, I didn’t mention this one but as a bonus, here’s what that means for me. You’re welcome to adopt it or tweak it to mean something special to you):
In my career and professional exploits, I conduct myself with honesty, respect and give my endeavours my full effort, focus and attention to detail. I am the ultimate professional with a passion for providing outstanding value to everybody I serve.
I committed to these 3 states, turned it around and you know what happened next…
This is how I aim towards my desired goals on a daily basis. It’s how I go from relying on outside sources to change my state and my focus to being self-sufficient. This is my code of conduct that acts as a lighthouse if circumstances or my emotions risk engulfing me and suspending my ability to behave/ think rationally and short-change myself.
Develop your own code of conduct. Memorise it. Then use it to your advantage every time.
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