I’m here to talk about a subject which to me is very important.
As people are putting off what they need to be doing today and putting it off I don’t know when.
I’ve been doing this more than most people in this particular field in this country and I’ve been speaking generally in public now for 35 years so I get to see patterns in human beings, and one of the fascinating things that has been happening in the educational market, i.e. talking to people and people have an aspiration to do something like changing their life, but when it comes actually making a decision to do it, they’re not doing it.
Let’s say it’s a growing concern for me watching it because it’s a result of the circumstances and the environment in which people are living at the moment. Meaning that yes, I think people want to change.
Yes, I think people want to improve their financial situation, maybe their relationship, they want to start a business, they want to change from being stuck in a freaking job being controlled by the government and when we can go out, can’t go out. When we can go back to work, how we go back to work. What we wear when we go back to work, all that stuff.
What concerns me most is that if you get subject to something enough, if you hear something enough, if you start to live in an environment or set of circumstances around you, and you experience it enough times and your body absorbs you literally become that which you live.
If you’ve read my turning point book, you’ll know that one of the six steps to change is actually changing your environment.
There’s the internal environment and the external environment and unfortunately the external environment is having a huge impact on people’s lives at the moment. I want to talk about what I’m seeing and what I think are the five reasons people are not making decisions.
I’ve been teaching for example real estate for close to 20 years now and personal development 30, 35 years and the last time I saw this type of restrictive and apathetic, withholding, procrastinating, behaviour was 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 when we went through that recessionary period.
There are patterns to this. The difference here is the backdrop of Covid and the fact that is really hammered into people’s lives. For example being on furlough for six months, 12 months, I’m actually noticing people’s behaviour changing it’s a little bit like when people lose their job I used to do coaching in job centres and places like that a long time now, maybe 15, 20 years and I noticed that when people first lost their jobs they were really frustrated. They went to job centres trying to find a new career, or at least another job in a similar company, similar career and I would go and do some coaching and at the beginning they were driven and after four to six months if they hadn’t got a job a two-dimensional thing was happening one their confidence was knocked. Secondly, apathy was creeping in meaning, I’m home at the moment.
Every day is mine, stuck in front of the TV but no sense of direction or sense of purpose after seven or eight months. It was really like the island fever in the Caribbean, if you stay there long enough everyone just chills and I’m seeing that now with people who have been furloughed for six to eight months.
You can imagine what could happen coming to the back end this year we’re going to go in a serious meltdown for some people so there’s that huge backdrop to this, plus you’ve got controlling statements from the government. There is information that could mislead or has maybe given people a sense of this is happening, this is happening so wear this don’t wear this, go here, don’t go there so people have conformed to this following a set of rules.
When that happens, and people are growing up in that environment two things happen. People kickback or they regress backwards and then go into this kind of conforming mindset and I’m seeing an awful lot of that. Here are five things and I’ve just come off a weekend and I saw this in the audience that I was in. Back end of last year going right through to April was very different.
People are really aspirational now as things have dragged on with the whole situation with Covid it’s really having an effect on people’s minds and these are five things I’m seeing.
Number one is fear. That is probably the number one reason that people are not making decisions, not stepping up, not doing what they need to make changes to their circumstances. I am astounded when there are parents who want a better life for their kids. Parents who might come to a class and say I want to learn this subject start a business whether it’s trading the stock market or building property business or launching a new online business, at that point there, they have to invest in themselves further.
You might need a business coach, you might need to specialise in that area, take advanced classes or whatever it is which you would do in any career you’re doing. Like starting to study a subject in doing a degree it’s a natural course of human growth, and if you look at the learning pick model you go down before you come back up again. This is the growth mindset in education right now, so it’s been really nurtured for children and teachers, et cetera.
Fascinatingly, I saw it this weekend that those who have kids are backing off but you need to make an investment in you and in order to grow to be able to expand and so their children will model them. Kids will model parents, so if you are someone who is a procrastinator, makes excuses and all sorts for not making an investment in you, how can you ever expect your children, for example, to do that because they will model what you do.
So this fear that some people are really holding them back. People are fearful and conditioned by old mindsets.
Bloody scary to watch and it’s happening.
The message is this, you have to make the reason why you want to do this bigger than the stop sign that’s in your brain.
Secondly, apathy goes back to what I said already. The sun is out, lockdown is being released, being locked away for the whole year, being paid my salary by the company, the problem is, what’s going to happen in three to six months’ time? Apathy is exactly opposite to a sense of urgency.
If you’ve gone into business with somebody one of the most frustrating things to me is a sense of apathy in another human being. We have 24-hour a day, and in those 24 hours we can make every hour magnificent. Apathy seems to be really coming through people, because it’s driven by what do I do? I feel powerless, it’s easy to regress back to a sense of apathy.
Number three is lack of vision.
I think what’s happened is people live year-to-year for a two-week holiday. I think the important thing right now is to not worry about a staycation or a getaway but think if we can build a business or create supplementary income, or whatever it is or change direction, what would I do and spend time working on it for the next couple years? What would that do for my life in two years’ time?
What is the vision? People’s vision has gone from out in the future to here, let’s go away for a weekend, I need a break. We’ve had a break for a year. The difference is now we can get out and have that break which is fine. I think we all need that. But don’t lose vision, don’t drive to the next cone in the road, drive to the future destination. Describe it in detail, magnify it, put colour behind it. Where would you stay? Who would you go to? When would you get there?
How would you travel first class, business class, economy class? Without a vision nothing is going to happen. This is literally the order I’m seeing things in. That vision has to be absolutely crystal clear, and people say to me surely vision comes first. It does but what I’m noticing is people are so fearful right now so withdrawn. It’s like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, everybody needs to survive before they can thrive.
The whole hierarchy of needs goes to growth and actualisation at the top, but to get there we have to survive first and get connected with other people. This whole thing about fear is blocking the sense of vision and then you’ve got to break the apathy.
It takes an hour to sit down and write down what your vision is but people are too apathetic to even do that, so it has to change and then we’ve got procrastination. That’s like you know what, I’ll just put it off. We had a lot of people booked onto this weekend, close to 100, but then on the last day or the night before a bunch said it’s sunny this weekend I’m just going to have a nice time, which is lovely. But what they didn’t realise is I did something this weekend which I have not done before, so they missed out on an incredible opportunity. Those people lost out and the ones that actually were there would have taken advantage of it.
So the procrastination is a result of all of the above, plus a sense of, and this I think is the trouble with what’s happened with lockdown. My concern is where the economy is going at the moment, some of the opportunities that we have right now may not be around six to eight months’ time.
The truth is, if you have a habit of procrastinating at a small level and keep perpetuating it, it’s like watering a seed. It will start to grow. If you’ve got kids, what are we teaching your family, people around us about how to grow and thrive if we are procrastinating, that has to stop.
Start putting noticeable daily actions in small actions that move you progressively towards that. There is a lovely quote I used to use 25 years ago, success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal that came from a gentleman called Earl Nightingale back in the 60s back in the 50s.
Progressive realisation of a worthy goal, not success is an end result.
And finally, my partner has stopped me from doing it and they put the blame on somebody else. They’ll make up any bloody excuse that has to stop. If your partners have fears or any of the above, if your partner is living by a sense of absolute security and they’re not prepared to go and do the work or support what you’re doing, you have to do it anyway.
Whether it’s buying properties, raising money, getting people to come and join your business, writing a book whatever it is you are going to have to not worry about what other people think and what your partner thinks.
This is your life and yes, it’s their life there with you, but what kind of person are you if you are not going to live by your vision and you’re going to control what you want as a result of what their fears are. In other words you live by their values and their fears that shrinks you down and it will kill you in years to come.
There are five key things stopping people right now moving forward in their lives and they’re getting bogged down with it and nothing will change unless they make positive changes in one of these areas.