You Create Your Reality

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies as YOUr Thoughts manifest into Reality

Often we’ve heard about ‘Self-fulfilling Prophecy’ and the resultant outcomes. We’ve heard/ read about them since The Secret hit the stands. We heard of Laws of Attraction and about thoughts changing our destiny. Norman Vincent Peale mentioned about thinking certain things that will make them appear in ones’ life. Your thoughts manifests into reality. Does it work?

We’ve sportsmen thinking about the forthcoming event and how they prepare for it. The 100 metre race is the most popular and prestigious event for an athlete. Many of the champions, including Usain Bolt, have said, and its a well documented fact, that they run the race, many times over in their mind. The start, the mid-race and the finish including the raising of their hands in the ‘V’ictory pose. They run it over and over again till it becomes part of their muscle memory.

How does it work? Well, it works at many levels.

Let me elaborate. While in the uniform, we had an excellent Commander as our boss. During the annual appraisal, the pen-picture he had written was jaw dropping. Reading it, one felt one was reading the pen-picture of FM Manekshaw. He saw the consternation on my face, smiled and quipped, “I know you’re not this, BUT I WANT YOU TO BECOME THIS”. My life was never the same thereafter. One learnt a lesson for life. Set high benchmarks. Give your subordinate an image to live up to. The subordinate strives for it to manifest. And it does.

In one of leadership training program, we had to select a name for ourselves. The only requirement was that the adjective selected should be the same alphabet as your name and preferably describe you in a word. It should resonate. That day, each one of us earned a moniker which has gone on to define our lives. We have a Vibrant Vishwas, Awesome Anu, Kewl Kerry and I was Passionate Prabir. Even after so many years the name has stuck and people call me Passionate. And each time someone calls me Passionate, I cannot but be one. What is your Good Word?

And last but not the least. Say you have an issue and you keep talking/ thinking about it. The kind of energy and neural connections you make goes on to make that habit more pronounced. Say, you are planning to quit smoking and all your efforts earlier to quit smoking have failed. And the next time you try, with a thought, ‘Oh! it gonna fail. All my previous attempts have failed. What makes you think it’ll succeed this time around?’ By such self-fulfilling prophecies you’ve already sown the seeds of failure. And the worst is, when it does fail, you reinforce it by stating, didn’t I tell you so?

Your mind is a very powerful weapon. Use it with care. Sieve the kind of information (and thoughts) that you’re planting. It is THE MOST IMPORTANT activity of your stay on this planet. Make it worthwhile. The power of your mind works when you think of (and supplant) the outcome. Images of what it’ll be like to quit smoking, for eg. You are habitually late in your official capacity. Plant a thought of being on time. Keep repeating it. And slowly the change happens. It works.

Monkey Business

The dreadful behaviour of the Monkey in your Head

Why don’t you achieve things you set out to do? Thought of quitting smoking, but don’t seem to be able to do so? And you always blamed it on, ‘your poor will power’. Thought of exercising but that tomorrow just doesn’t seem to come, neither the Monday … or the next week; while in the meantime your waist has taken over your belt, and is headed towards your work table now 😉

So, what prevents you from getting the job done? From following your diet? From following your exercise regime? From getting up in the morning? The answer is ‘THE MONKEY IN YOUR HEAD’.

What monkey? Well, the one that keeps delaying timelines, procrastinating, the one preventing you from getting up from your bed in the morning, the one telling you, ‘Tomorrow’.

Let me ask you a question? How many men did you see from the Defence Forces having these issues? Don’t we like those additional minutes under the quilt? Truth be told .. yes, we do. Then how do we overcome these issues? Let me share a couple of pointers. The monkey loathes discipline and that discipline has to come from within (not when mom, dad or someone else says it). Take these steps forthwith:

a. Always jump out of bed (to begin with) AND fold the quilt/ bedsheet and make your bed.

b. Organize your workspace/ work station. Neatness and orderliness pains the monkey. It of course, improves your efficiency.

c. Set deadlines/ targets. Lose two kilograms by 30 May, 2020. The monkey dreads deadlines. It knows it doesn’t have ‘excuse’ to offer. Targets pushes you.

d. When the monkey says tomorrow; confront it with, “Ok, give me a time!”. It fears commitment.

Believe me, it takes just ten days to develop a new habit. Once you start seeing the benefits, and the fact that you start achieving small targets; you start feeling good about it. It spikes your self belief, you get self motivated and your self esteem sky rockets. In the Army we used to say, “Winning is a drug – once you taste it, you seldom give up on it”.

Get Addicted to life. Get Addicted to achieving. Get Addicted to success.

First Impression is the Last Impression

First Impressions

Having been in ‘Talent Acquisition’ for an MNC, now-a-days, when I interact with students, I disclose to them that during your ‘personal interview’ (PI), you are ‘short-listed’, in the first five seconds!! Period. And sadly, you’ve not even had the opportunity to get across your views/ thoughts/ ideas to the interviewer/ panel. A very small percentage of times does one change the initial prognosis. I see a number of daggers being drawn. Well, let me amplify with some research.

Some years ago, an experimental psychologist at Harvard University, Nalini Ambady, set out to examine the impact of non-verbal aspects of our interactions. She used ten second (later five seconds) videotapes of teachers with the sound off, reviewed by outside observers on the effectiveness of teachers by their expressions and physical cues. A two second silent video clip of a teacher they have never met, will reach conclusions about how good the teacher is, are ‘similar’ to those of a student who sits in the teachers’ class for an entire semester. We make a snap judgement which are invariably accurate.

Recently, Frank Bernieri, a psychologist at the University of Toledo and Neha Jain, conducted a similar study (videos), with 98 interviewees from various ages and background. Two interviewers were trained in the art of interviewing. Subsequently, these videos were shown to random people off the street, who just saw the greetings and their ratings were no different from the interview results.

Tricia Prickett, a undergrad Bernieri’s student, used the videotapes to test “handshake is everything“. Purely based on the handshake clip, a series of strangers were asked to rate the applicants. The ratings of selections were similar to those rated by the interviewers. Apparently, human beings don’t need to know someone in order to believe that they know someone. Ambady, Bernieri and other researchers believe in the power of first impressions. What we conclude after two seconds is pretty much the same as what we conclude after twenty minutes of interview or even a semester.

The fact remains, that people who simply see the handshake arrive at the same conclusion as people who conduct the full interview; also perhaps that initial impressions colour our other impressions that we may gather subsequently. The first impression becomes a self fulfilling prophecy; we hear what we expect to hear. Thus the interview is hopelessly biased in favour of the nice. Psychologist call this tendency to fixate and overlook the influence of context to “The Attribution Error”.

Be Nice

But YOU must be aware that YOUr PI is done and dusted in the first five seconds. First impression is indeed, and rightfully, the last impression.