Never Allow The Past To Interfere With The Present

Don’t Allow The Past To Interfere With The Present

Researchers placed some fleas in a transparent canister and then put a lid to close the canister top. In a bid to escape from their prison the fleas would jump, because jumping is the only thing they know to do. Every time the fleas jumped they hit their heads against the lid of the canister. Every hit on the lid brought with it excruciating pain and possibly headaches. The fleas, being good learners soon adjusted their strategies. Instead of jumping high, they would jump in such a way that they would not hit their heads against the lid at the top. With this strategy they succeeded in avoiding the pain of crashing their heads against the lid, but they also forfeited the possibility of ever escaping out of the canister.

The researchers kept the fleas in the closed canister for many days. After a while they noticed that the fleas had adjusted their life styles and were not making any attempts to jump beyond a certain height. At this juncture the researchers removed the lid from the top of the canister. An amazing observation was made, instead of the fleas jumping to freedom, they just kept jumping to the heights they were used to. The headaches and the pains of bashing heads against the lid had taught the fleas to quit jumping so high, enjoy the comforts of jumping low and avoiding pain. Although the lid that once held them captive had now been removed, the mindset that said to them, “This high shall you jump and no higher” still imprisoned them.

This little experiment has very profound lessons for us all. Let us unpack them.

The Normalizing The Abnormal Syndrome

If perfectly normal human beings are put in abnormal situations, their survival instincts kick in immediately. They learn very quickly to adjust their behaviors in a way that minimizes pain and suffering. This is similar to the way the fleas learnt how to adjust their jumping habits. However, when this stay in abnormal conditions is prolonged the survival habits set in and the people become fossilized in those habits-what started as an abnormal response to an abnormal situation soon becomes the norm. People forget that they never used to do things that way, and soon begin to say “this is how things are done here.” We will call this tendency the tendency to “normalize the abnormal”. There are several everyday examples to illustrate the prevalence of this phenomenon. People who stay in problems for prolonged periods begin to see no problem with the problems. Most people born in poor families under very adverse conditions soon adjust and begin to feel very comfortable in their poverty. Most oppressed servants and spouses are inclined to acquiesce than to rebel. The above examples are extreme cases. However, there are numerous less graphic but equally tragic examples.

Here is the great catch! Survival is instinctual, a kind of reflexive response meant to minimize pain and make it from one day to the next without little regard to the quality of life. The key words here are, “little regard to the quality of life.” On the other hand winning in life is a productive of conscious endeavor, the product of deliberate consistent application of certain learned habits, attitudes and skills with deliberate regard to the quality of both life and results. The big question is-Are you living in a survival mode or a winning mode.

The survival mode is designed to minimize pain, failure and inconvenience. Often, but not always, it begins as a response to adverse circumstances which is so prolonged that it soon sets in as a habit. At the beginning it serves a useful purpose because it grants survival, but because it is now a habit it becomes the way of doing things even in the absence of threatening circumstances. It becomes a prison where people and their potentials are imprisoned. The most tragic part is that, like the fleas in the experiment, people are not even aware that the real prison is the mindset and not the initial limitation. Well after the lid had been removed, the fleas were still not jumping to freedom. The fleas were living in the past.

It is very tempting and easy to dismiss this flea behavior as irrational and nonsensical, yet the truth is that most of us are trapped in the past just like the fleas were. Like us examine the evidence.

There is a strong positive correlation between success and the tendency to engage in adventurous efforts. This is a proven truth. The other proven truth is that children tend to be more adventurous and more successful at what they do than adults. The reason is that most adults become less and less adventurous as they grow old because of the painful experiences that they experience while attempting to achieve something. People fall in love and sometimes get heartbreaks and in response they become less inclined to fully commit themselves in future relationships. People attempt some business ventures and most of those that fail become too cautious and less inclined to try again in future. Their past failures follow them and in a way influence their current behaviors.

The biggest casualty in all this is human potential. When the fleas learnt to jump to only the comfortable heights, they learnt to do less than their best and consequently never fully realized their potential. The same is true of you and me. Our current heights in life are not indicative of our potential but of our past conditioning. Each one of us can do better that we are currently doing, but we are stuck in the flea syndrome. Some of us are stuck in a strategy that served us well in the past but is now outdated. Some are stuck in a heartbreak that occurred in the past but is now over. To some the prison is the fear and caution carried over from a long gone and forgotten event. Together we are driving with our hand breaks on.

The Debt Negotiation Process

The debt negotiation process is a strategic and a timely matter. There are many contributing factors to consider, in order of ACHIEVING successful negotiations. First off, you must verify the delinquency status. A creditor is more likely to engage in negotiations according to the age of the account, in an attempt to avoid a net loss. (A debt is written off around 180 days to 220 days) During that time period, you can achieve a significantly lower settlement offer. Once the debt has been written off, it is no longer an active asset. At that point, the original value of the debt has depreciated, and the creditor must recovery net gain in order gain profit and maintain a financial relationship with investors. In order to obtain a net gain, the creditor must either employ a collection agency at a fraction of the cost, or sell the debt to debt buyer. Secondly, if the debt has to be negotiated with a collection agency or debt buyer, the third-party collectors are directly regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act administered by the Federal Trade Commission.

It’s for these reasons that consumers oftentimes seek the help of a debt negotiation company. Professional debt negotiators are thoroughly trained and learn effective and strategic negotiations skills to arbitrate debt settlement with creditors, collectors and attorneys on behalf of the consumer. Professional debt negotiations is the most effective alternative to reduce the total outstanding balance on an average of 40%; the payback is considerably less and the time frame for the payback is shorter; which enables the consumer to regain control over their personal finances, rather than just reducing interest and fees.

An Easy Guide to Creating Powerful Presentations – Grow in Confidence and Reputation!

Are you stressed about an upcoming presentation? Would you like to create powerful presentations that are both effective and interesting? This article helps you create inspiring presentations which will boost your standing as a public speaker.

From the start, treat your presentation planning as a specific project. As a project, the process order will be: Think, Plan Your Story, Design, Optimise, and Present. Following these guidelines will help you strengthen your weaker areas so you approach the task with more confidence.

Think

Set goals for your presentation. For example, consider the following: What is the point of my presentation? Why does my audience need to hear this? What are the outcomes or benefits they will experience as a result? Have I provided value?

Next, think about your audience…

What do you know about your audience profile? What are their education level, age, profession, job title, attention-span, their level of existing knowledge and experience of the topic? A good understanding of your audience will help you develop appropriate content.

Also, bear in mind any restrictions you might face when presenting your presentation (time limits, technological, logistical, language, space and even time of day). Weigh up additional materials or resources you’ll need (hand-outs, projector, laptop, memory stick, business cards, laser pointer, etc.) and how to get them in place for the event.

Remember: Goal, Audience, Restrictions, Resources

Plan Your Story

Firstly, create the right mental and physical setting to concentrate on the task in hand. You must be able to work without interruption or distractions. Many of the best presenters insist that the best and most successful approach is to begin with pen or paper/post-it notes/white-board to jot down ideas and link them using arrows and lines.

A diagrammatic approach with additional rough notes gives you an unparalleled sense of the entire presentation through its key ideas and concepts. This can later be organised into more understandable whole. This initial thinking and creating process cannot be done as effectively on your computer so don’t be tempted to start here thinking you’re saving time!

Lastly, when thinking and creating this way, don’t forget to cross-check this rough draft against your planned goals so your ideas remain focused. Your points must be pertinent, relevant, and concise as well as offer value as defined by your goals.

Design

A presentation is used as a means of communicating with your audience. A good presentation is simple/easy to follow and it gets the point across in a way that they understand. An excellent presentation does so in a way that they actually enjoy the experience.

Now having scoped out your ideas and put them into a logical progression, you can use the computer to create the documents, slides, images, or spread sheets which will illustrate or enforce the points to be made. When designing visual material, avoid an abundance of content or you’ll end up with an overwhelmed audience fatigued from information-overload.

Your visual material should be simple, informational, elegant, and pleasing to the eye. Use entertaining images, uncomplicated diagrams and other visual tools that neatly summarise or highlight the point you are making. Remember the audience can contact you directly for more detailed information so show your contact details at the start and at the end of the presentation.

Be aware of consistent formatting (font type, size, colour, etc.) and keep your business branding visible without detracting from the information presented. Let the slides flow coherently and as a complement to your narrative. It is always worth watching the finished presentation on a similar screen if possible before the event to iron out any deficiencies.

Optimise

Key to your performance on the day is practise! Proofread for any errors or incoherence, cross-check against your stated goals and objectives to confirm that the presentation is still on track. Then practise until the material seems natural and familiar – this helps the audience retain the key information you want them to hold.

Timing yourself to keep you on track of time restraints and if need be, set appropriate timing protocols on your slide show to match your narrative. If producing hand- outs, allow time to create, print, and package them to a good standard.

Present

It’s time to present your masterpiece presentation. Using your resources checklist, you’ve all the equipment and materials you need. Remember you’ve planned, prepared, and practised – trust now in your ability to perform with confidence!

Maintain regular breathing, keep an eye on time, keep it simple and remember that you do know your material. By focusing on three or four individuals in the audience (in the front, one in the mid-distance, and one each in the right/left far distance), you can reduce a large crowd into a more intimate group. Smiling at these key faces both relaxes you and increases audience rapport.

By planning, preparing, andpractising, you’ve the ability to become an authoritative and entertaining public speaker. I wish you all the best in your future presentations and I’d love to hear feedback on your success.