When it comes to creating life-long positive change in our world (that is, forever results), most people won’t and don’t – despite their constant attempts to re-invent themselves and ample access to an ever-increasing range of information, inspiration, resources, specialists and facilities to help them through the change process. That’s not to say that they can’t transform or don’t have the potential for greatness and forever results, it just means that typically, they won’t do it. And no, that’s not some negative spin, it’s a realistic snapshot of people’s mindset, behaviours and results over the long term. Just take a look around. Most people know what to do, but for a range of reasons, don’t do what they know. Not consistently anyway. Great at starting, crap at getting the job done. Most people who get motivated, lose focus. Most people who lose weight, regain it. Most people who get fit, get unfit. Most people who make a New Year’s resolution have thrown in the towel by about now (January 15) and most people who give up that bad habit have done it twenty times before. Which means they’ve never really done it at all; they’ve just taken a temporary break.
Friends of Yours?
Here’s a group of people that will continue to under-achieve and waste their time and talent unless they change their thinking and their behaviour. For good. I’ve worked with all of them at some stage. You might know some of them. You may even be some of them.
1. The Over-Thinker. We’ve all read about the Over-Thinker here at me-dot-com. She makes a regular appearance. She over-thinks, under-does and typically dies from analysis paralysis. She often has a facial expression which is a mix of constipation, confusion, desperation, exhaustion and fear. She will periodically have smoke coming from her ears and can often be seen talking to herself. Sometimes audibly. She may have a twitch. Her over-thinking will affect her physical health and reduce her lifespan by ten years. Or so.
2. The Procrastinator. The Procrastinator is always about to start something. If only he would. He is a world champion when it comes to almost doing things. Sadly, he will die waiting for the mythical right time.
3. The Rationaliser. The Rationaliser is first cousin of the Excuse Maker. They spend a lot of time together and as a result, look and sound very similar. The Rationaliser has an amazing ability to justify and explain her pathetic behaviour and consistently poor results. She is both delusional and entertaining.
4. The Reactor. The Reactor does just that; react. And usually badly.
5. The Defender. The defender will defend his actions, behaviours, results and mistakes, no matter what. He is arrogant, annoyingly self-righteous and a first cousin to the Blamer. He is an expert at responsibility transferal and shifting focus. He has the social appeal of herpes.
6. The Bullshitter. Never one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, the Bullshitter can be found in the workplace, the home, the sporting club, the gym and of course, where ever politicians hang out. Every family has at least one Bullshitter and while they can be somewhat amusing, they also prove to be tiresome and annoying; especially when alcohol is thrown into the mix. For some unknown reason, a disproportionate number of fathers over the age of fifty have a PhD. in bullshit. This phenomenon is still being investigated. In some cultures the Bullshitter is also known as the Wanker.
7. The Dreamer. It’s great to dream but not when that’s all you do. In order to produce positive and lasting change in our world we need to attach our dream to an action plan, wrap it in some logic and then turn it into a reality with some sweat, discipline, courage and commitment. Most dreamers have at least one tie-dye T-shirt in their wardrobe.
8. The Reminiscer. Aaaah those were the days. The Reminiscer is always reminding anyone stupid enough to listen about her historical exploits and achievements. How amazing she once was. And curiously, the older she gets, the better she was. If only the Reminiscer would pull her deluded head out of her (largely fictitious) past and invest some talent and energy into the ‘now’, she might just turn her sad life around. And stop annoying the rest of us.
9. The Genius. The Genius is insecure, loves to be heard and is compelled to demonstrate his intellectual and academic superiority as often as possible. Ironically, he’s usually not that smart. While he may possess a moderate level of academic intelligence, he typically demonstrates zero emotional intelligence, has no social awareness to speak of and will take every opportunity to re-direct any conversation back to himself.
10. The Complicator. The Complicator has a gift for making the easy, hard. If there’s a long way around, she’ll find it. With her, the most simple task can become a major drama and a sixty second chat can easily be turned into a sixty minute hair-pulling exercise in frustration and confusion.
11. The Victim. The Victim is incredibly misunderstood. In his mind anyway. He sees himself as something of a martyr when in reality, he is a self-centred, attention seeking tool who wants sympathy not solutions. He is exhausting to be around and makes the Bullshitter seem almost appealing.