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


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”


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.””


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.”

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