Talking Monkeys on an Organic Spaceship

January 26, 2017 Tarmo Tamm

Let’s make an experiment that I learned at an Anthony Robbins seminar.

> Look at your surroundings for the next five seconds and try to find things that are   brown.
> Were you looking for brown? Did you find anything? Good!
> Now, without lifting your eyes from the book, try to remember all the things that are blue. Quite difficult, isn’t it?
> Raise your eyes and see how many things around you are blue.

When I asked you to look for brown, you started to notice that colour more and ignoredthe objects of any other colour. When I directed your attention to blue, you started seeing more of that too.

We are surrounded by tremendous amounts of information, which is why our brains cannot process it all at once. Out of millions of data units, dozens are filtered out, as otherwise you would go insane. The filtering process is subconscious, but it can be influenced.

Some people subconsciously look for more negative details and some focus on the positive. If you learn to channel your focus knowingly on good things instead of focusing on the bad, it will soon become a habit. At some point the brain will filter out the negativity, focus on the positive, and your feelings and quality of life will improve considerably.

This process can be influenced by using questions. Thinking is nothing but a process of asking and answering questions. The danger lies in the fact that all questions that you ask your brain will be answered. So if you ask yourself bad questions, then you get bad answers!

If you ask yourself good questions, you get good answers. You can try asking yourself:

  • >   “What do I like about my job?”
  • >   “Why do I believe that I can do   this?”
  • “What positive aspects can I find in this situation?”
  • >   “What do I like about this person?”

This technique has helped me the most in difficult situations. Sales, enterpreneurship, and public speaking are not emotionally easy. Without knowingly directing my focus, a lot of complicated situations might have turned out differently in a negative way.

Exercise

  • Ask yourself the following questions and answer them in writing.
  • What do I like about sales?
  • What do I like about my company?
  • What do I like about my products and services?
  • What do I like about my clients?
  • What do I like about myself?

QUESTIONS HELP PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE

People give evaluations emotionally and the evaluation is often based on comparison. Small things are often overly emphasised and too much energy is spent on them.When a current or future situation seems unpleasant, you could take a step back and think about how serious the problem really is. Ask yourself: “Will I remember this situation or task in five years?”

When I started with telemarketing, it was quite unpleasant for me. I wasn’t very experienced and my customers were mainly company executives, so calling them seemed psychologically difficult. I often found myself procrastinating on making calls.

What helped me out of that situation was putting things into perspective using questions. The dialogue in my head looked like this:

  • “What am I doing now?”
  • “Sitting behind a desk.”
  • “What happens if I call someone and that someone turns me down? What will I do then?”
  • “I will still be sitting behind my desk.”

This simple dialogue helped me understand how meaningless my problem really was.

 

PUT YOUR CONCERN INTO A UNIVERSAL CONTEXT

American stand-up comedian Joe Rogan has said: “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe”.

I have been a founder of several companies, and in entrepreneurship there are, as you might expect, plenty of problems, or in a more positive phrasing: plenty of challenges. During my toughest times, I became interested in astronomy. Why? Because when problems grow, it helps to widen your scale or reference system when putting things into perspective.

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in all the beaches on Earth. In our galaxy there are 300 billion stars. There are at least 100 billion galaxies. The farthest visible stars are so far away that light (which could circle Earth seven times in one second) takes 15 billion years to get to us. Approximately 20% of  the stars have planets nearby that could support life. Let’s add another fact: planet Earth has had a total of 107 billion inhabitants, yet every other person thinks that he’s the centre of the universe.

During difficult times I think about what someone else would give to have the problems that I have. What would I have given for these so-called problems two years ago?

Think about your current concerns. Maybe you will find that a few years ago you would have been happy to have these challenges.

As a salesperson you need to focus on the positive aspects of the job and interpret your work from a certain angle.

  • If you think that your products aren’t worth anything and that you are a nuisance who is bothering people, then you can’t be successful.
  • If you interpret your work by thinking that your job is to make people’s day betterwith your  friendly communication and good products or services, then you will do the job with greater confidence and enthusiasm.

The next time you think that you don’t like your job, think for just a moment that you’re getting paid for finding new friends!

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Tarmo Tamm

Tarmo has sold at least 12 different products and services and worked as a Sales Manager on at least 14 projects. The efficient practices described in this book have been successfully implemented for B2B and B2C. These principles have been tested over the phone, in conference rooms, implemented in retail business, at shopping malls as well as in door-to-door sales.