Thursday, January 24, 2013

Plans and Life Scripts

Whips ‘n’ Things, Part One

Since most of you have already read and discussed 50 Shades of Grey, I’ll fill you in on the other books I’ve been reading lately. All right, I’ll admit I haven’t read Grey yet. I’m waiting for the movie.


For now, my mind is spinning thanks to three business books I’m in various states of finishing:

The Sandler Success Principles: 11 Insights That Will Change the Way You Think and Sell by David Mattson and Bruce Seidman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan


A person’s life script often determines the way he or she reacts when faced with problems and choices. The Sandler Success Principles explores the concept of The Child, The Parent and The Adult to explain how our attitudes are formed very early. The book uses comparisons to Transactional Analysis to explain how and why people make buying decisions and why we, as folks attempting to sell our product, tend to get in our own way.  

The Child and The Parent are the earliest inputs telling us what we like, what we hate, and instills the values that shape our lives. These scripts replay over and over again in our minds, filtering the emotions and attitudes that form our behaviors, and explaining why I still can’t pass up cotton candy at a carnival.

 The Adult is the rational and examining part of ourselves. It can enable or disable the natural instincts of us all so that we are not relegated to living a hard-wired life. We can will our Adult to grow, change, be selective, and to operate with or in spite of our inner Child and Parent.


Willful Blindness makes it apparent that the scripts we have imprinted in our minds lead us to be blind to many things. Thinking, Fast and Slow reveal that the scripts reside in our fast-thinking mind and can prevent us from applying constructive filters as we engage the "effortful mind." 


Attitude, behavior, and technique are the factors that make up effective planning. If you’re missing any of those ingredients, you’re left with a half-baked loaf of bread. Not unlike how some women describe men younger than 35.


Let’s define each factor through David Sandler goggles. Attitude relates to beliefs, outlook, and expectations. Behavior relates to goals and action plans. Technique is the way skill sets are brought to realize the goals that are shaped by our attitudes. It would be pretty foolish to plan to fail, but that is what so many business owners and individuals do when they are not attentive to each element.

What are the attitudes that you bring to the table when you plan? Do you really believe in the project or company you are thinking about? What are the limiting assumptions that you are bringing to the table? Can you imagine the company or yourself in a different reality?


Engaging your Adult in a “What if?” kind of exercise might open you up to new possibilities. Over the next few days, observe your thought processes and the scripts that accompany them. You may find doing so gets you to a completely different place. I’m hoping eventually this will take me to a place called Aruba.

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