The DREAM Process

Setting the Right Conditions for Success

The other day I had the typical office encounter, the one whereby you want to let your inner voice shout out loudly how much you’re not impressed or amused with the stupid behavior you face every day from the same people. Yet, you forcefully restrain yourself because you have to eat the next day and don’t want to taint your future in the organization. Their demands grind on you and you find yourself running from one task to the next, never fully completing one, and never getting recognition for all the hard work you undertake. You’ve become Pavlov’s dog, jumping at each request without even blinking because that’s the way it is. Besides allowing the stress to build and hatred to fumigate there are other options.

Science has a funny way of creeping up on you and providing some real sense of usefulness. This was certainly one of those occasions. I certainly realized that I was just like one of Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the first ring of the bell. Darn, it occurred to me that I was conditioned in the workplace to simply react with compliance. It was a sad realization, but one I was determined to change.

This was Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, a Russian physiologist who in the 1890s, who reminded me of the notion of conditioning through his research on the digestive system of dogs and the study of what signals triggered the secretion of saliva. Quite simply he conditioned the dogs to produce saliva by the ringing of a bell just prior to giving them food. What this did was to condition the dogs to produce saliva solely upon the sound of the bell. This was referred to as a conditioned reflex.

So, here I was being conditioned like the dogs, but then if I was being conditioned, I could certainly condition those around me to follow a new learned behavior, one that I’ve created.

How could I make this practical? Some thoughts were that I would lean more on controlled access to me using email and the telephone. I would limit my physical interaction and condition people to contact me at certain times during the day.

People will begin to be conditioned so that when they call they’ll receive a response by email or when they email they’ll receive a response at predefined times during the day. Part of the conditioning process is to be consistent in your response to maintain the conditioned behavior. This is a mighty powerful tool, one that they’ve been using on you all along, as they conditioned you to immediately respond to them. What you’re doing is breaking your conditioned response and redirecting the conditioning back to them. Most often, they won’t even realize what you’ve done, since they’re only acting in a conditioned way.

The second simple act you need to do is to manage your time. You need to book time for yourself to either think or to simply do tasks. In your electronic calendar, “book” time for these activities so they appear as “busy” when someone tries to arrange a meeting. This will control and eliminate interruptions while you’re trying to complete tasks. These simple conditioning techniques can be used in all sorts of ways; the important thing is to find what’s right for you.

Are you conditioned for success?

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

Other Time Trading Gurus

Time

Jana presents How To Create More Time posted at Wisdom Ink, saying, “Time is something that is always available to us but that many of us forget to ‘tap’ into. Creating time is as easy as aligning yourself to the belief and perspective that you always have more than enough, and here we show you how to do it. Many are surprised that they can take on more work and responsibilities and still have more than enough time for themselves.”

Matt Barnett presents Are you Open for Business? – Matt Barnett – Expert in Personal Change posted at Matt Barnett – Expert in Personal Change, saying, “What are your opening hours? Do you operate 24 x 7 with a phone glued to your ear? Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt from the High Street. Perhaps its time to turn the shop sign to ‘closed’ if only for a while”

Flexibility

Kaitlyn Johnson presents 6 Strategies for Becoming a Morning Person posted at Newborn Care, saying, “You’ve heard it before, even to the point of it becoming annoying. It’s something bears repeating though, because it’s got a lot of wisdom: “The early bird catches the worm.””

Money

Bryan Chau presents A Must Read For Anyone Interested In Becoming An Entrepreneur posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “entrepreneur, business, strategies, success, chinese proverbs, etc.”

John Schmoll presents Why So Many People Fail at Becoming Debt Free posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “If you’ve ever been in debt you know how difficult it can be to climb your way out of it. That success is generally tied back to having a plan and vision to become free of it – which is something many people miss out on and thus why they fail at ridding themselves of the debt.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
work life balance and goal setting using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

The Kaizen Principle for Life

While out for a short walk, I could see frustrated and stressed out faces and thumbs pecking at blackberries as they hurried by. No one was casting their eyes skyward to marvel at the flock of geese, flying in a peaceful and flowing formation. Nor did they gaze upon the flowering blooms, spilling color from grey concrete containers. Least of all, they did not stop to bath in the aroma of the coffee beans drifting from the store onto the street. These people were so consumed in their stressed induced lives that they couldn’t experience all the murmurs of life around them.

Alas, how can we remove this clutter and begin to feel the senses of the life around us. Change can be hard, yes I know. But, change begins when you begin to change. And, to progress toward the more simple things in life you only need to lean on the Japanese kaizen. The developer of this principle is Masaaki Imai. His principle states that small incremental changes will lead to productivity improvements and the minimization of waste. In this regard, if we embrace kaizen, we embrace small changes in our behavior that in turn lead us to improve our outlook and minimize the complexity in our lives. This principle is at the heart of the Japanese manufacturing sector and the one principle that has made it such a strong force in the world economic order.

So what is kaizen?

Kaizen is simply:

  • To consider the process and results
  • To view the entire process and evaluate the way to get the job done
  • To blame no one and choose the best process

The principle is rudimentary and simple at best and has led to dramatic improvements to Japanese manufacturing by reducing waste related to inventory (Where do you think just-in-time delivery originates?) and work-related processes in manufacturing. Effectively, it does a one-upmanship on Ford’s assembly line. These improvements lead to better utilization of space and lead directly to improvements in product quality. And, of course, all these improvements lead to happy workers.

Now that you understand kaizen in the business context, let me tell you how it can help you in getting simplicity back into your life. First, by taking time to consider how you’re doing something in relation to why you’re doing it will give you valuable insight to the situation you find yourself in. Secondly, by looking at the way you’re doing things in the broader context will help you evaluate how best to really get things done.

Okay, you have lots of work to do, so you have to use your blackberry to keep in contact and keep on top of things. But, do you need to be tied like a tether to your work 24/7? You may think you do, but in reality you actually don’t. Most often you only need to be connected. Yes, but not at all costs. The point is to be connected in an accessible way. When you recognize this difference you can then evaluate other ways you can be connected. Is it not better to have a pre-determined time that you connect? This will allow you to devote the right level of attention to the task at hand and give people the confidence that at this time you’re engaged?

Finally, blame no one and choose the best path. In this instance, the best path is to plan your engagement. This will allow you to be focused and this focus will free you to enjoy the murmurs of life.

Life is only as complicated as we make it. By resisting the temptations of others perceptions of us we can leverage kaizen to better control and experience our journey through life. This approach will give you the confidence to simplify how you view things and to make the changes you need to move forward.

Have you done your kaizen today?

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

Other Time Trading Gurus

Time

Diane Mottl, MSW presents Daring to dream… posted at Being Truly Present, saying, “Out of the comfort zone, my confidence building, I was not prepared for the back slide into the fear zone…(post includes Inknowation video, quotes & links)”

Jana presents How To Create More Time posted at Wisdom Ink, saying, “Time is something that is always available to us but that many of us forget to ‘tap’ into. Creating time is as easy as aligning yourself to the belief and perspective that you always have more than enough, and here we show you how to do it. Many are surprised that they can take on more work and responsibilities and still have more than enough time for themselves.”

Flexibility

ebele presents Are you feeling uninspired and stuck? How doing nothing can win you a Nobel Prize posted at Street-side convos, saying, “How to turn periods of rest and doing nothing into the most productive time of your day”

Matt Barnett presents Are you Open for Business? – Matt Barnett – Expert in Personal Change posted at Matt Barnett – Expert in Personal Change, saying, “What are your opening hours? do you operate 24 x 7 without a minute to yourself? maybe its time to take a lesson from the high street and get used to turning your shops sign to ‘closed’ if even only for a moment”

Money

Stacey D presents 9 Steps To Running A Fun And Successful Home Business posted at The Traveling Vineyard, saying, “Knowing the necessary steps to successfully start and maintain a thriving business helps you set goals for the future. The proper foundation makes it possible to achieve your dreams in the future.”

DREAM Process

Sarah Bernstein presents Meditation Schmeditation - posted at YourZenFriend, saying, “This is a funny and encouraging look at a meditation practice. Balance your relationship with your mind!”

Jim Jones presents For Increased Career Satisfaction, Identify Your Purpose posted at Critical Financial, saying, “What is it you want out of life, identify your purpose and it will become clear!”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
work life balance and goal setting using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

How to Kick Yourself in Gear

Procrastination is a trait for the feeble and weak. It is a slow mutating disease that eats away at our potentiality in life. It feeds on itself like a cancerous tumor, encroaching on everything around it and stymieing the growth of our living being. To begin to live life, you must resist the urge to block yourself from moving forward. Find the courage to set aside your fear and apprehension to take the necessary step forward.

It is far too easy to find excuses and then to use them as a force to stop ourselves from acting on a desire. Our minds act very much like gas in a bottle. We have the means to ignite passion, but rarely do we use it. It’s important to seek out a spark to ignite the passion. The feeling it gives us will provide endless fuel to reach our passion and beyond. It’s just that we have to ignite the passion first. And we can’t ignite this passion without motivation.

Motivation is in itself a complex phenomenon as it’s unique to each and every one of us. What motivates me may not motivate you and vice versa. There are many motivation theories that try to explain this key human behavioral aspect. We have two key levels of needs, our personal or primary needs, and our psychological or secondary needs. Our primary needs are those biological behaviors that we can’t do without; food, water, safety, and so on. Our secondary needs, however, are largely determined by our experience. We have needs or desires for achievement, power, relationships, and so forth.

There’s a guy name Abraham Maslow who defined need as a physiological or psychological shortfall that needs to be satisfied in some way. Tension created by this deficiency influences our attitude and behavior.

Maslow ranked our needs in five categories and in order of precedence. A need at any given level can only be satisfied after the lower level need is satisfied. We must first satisfy our physiological needs before we can satisfy the higher order needs. In the work context we become more focused with satisfying our higher order needs as our careers progress. This is why motivating ourselves to reach our goals is so essential to our well-being.

Find the energy to kick yourself into gear, get motivated, and reach for your dreams.

Are you ready to take the step?
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

Other Time Trading Gurus

Flexibility

Ken Lange presents Ben Franklin: 5 Tips for an Effective Day posted at Kenneth Lange.

Diane Mottl, MSW presents Living an authentic life posted at Being Truly Present.

Bryan Chau presents Tips For Succeeding In Life – SuccessPenPal posted at Success Pen Pal – Bryan Chau.

Money

Jana presents How To Master Our Finances By Mastering Ourselves posted at Wisdom Ink, saying, “How much money one earns and keeps is a direct reflection of their inner state of being on this topic. Read here to discover more deeply how mastering ourselves can support us in mastering our finances.”

John Schmoll presents How to Invest in the Stock Market With Little Money posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Many believe that you need to have a lot of money before you can begin investing in the stock market. That, however, is a myth. By starting out with a little, you can begin to develop your investing discipline, but you also begin your path to growing wealth sooner.”

DREAM Process

Jessica Clark presents 7 Strategies for Forgetful Folks posted at Kenney Myers, saying, “From remembering where you put your keys to keeping a mental note of your grocery list without leaving an item out, it’s not always easy to remember the details of everyday life in such a hectic, fast-paced world. Some people tend to be more forgetful than others, though, potentially causing stress and anxiety when important tasks and items fall to the wayside.”

ebele presents John Maxwell broke my heart :( posted at Street-side convos, saying, “Sharing about my meeting with leadership genius John Maxwell and on rejection as an opportunity for self improvement rather than an excuse to give up.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
work life balance and goal setting using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.