Yesterday at work, I was asked to help a new teammate get some things set up on her computer and show her how to navigate some of the programs and collaboration sites we use. Having just come back from five weeks of convalescent leave, it was a good refresher for me as well. You know the old phrase – use it or lose it.
I was able to get her pointed in the right direction, but I have little doubt she walked away thinking, “He’s certainly no expert.” Okay, no argument here. But I remember the first few days on the job, feeling completely lost, and how grateful I was for any help at all. And as we begin using what we’ve learned, it’s easy to find those areas where we still need a little more help.
One of life’s greatest truths is that we never stop learning. Hopefully we’re learning something useful, but as long as our brain is accepting input, all of that input is stored away for future use. Not some of it, or even most of it … all of it. So, it’s important to be careful what goes in. If you seek knowledge from unreliable sources, that’s pretty much what you can expect in return.
As a technical writer, I had a sign over my desk – “Garbage in, gospel out.” It was a constant reminder that, to the person on the receiving end of my work, it was their primary source of truth. If I told them to torque a set of bolts down to 22 foot-pounds in a certain sequence, they did it without question. And, since I was writing aircraft maintenance manuals, there was a lot at stake.
The same is true when we’re talking to family, friends, and co-workers about pretty much anything. Everything they say goes in the ears, and right straight to the brain. There’s no filter and no fact-checker – just a straight path to the part of our brain that stores information for later recall. And, much like a computer, the brain will spit that information back out exactly as it went in.
Yet sometimes, the information we’re receiving may contradict something that’s already stored in the brain. Maybe we have an opinion of our own, or something we’ve experienced in the past suggests another reality. So, the brain has to sift through those thoughts and combine it all together. At that point, the best we can hope for is a plausible average.
And that’s okay, if your goal in life is to be average. But if you want to step it up a notch, you have to actively seek out information that raises the average. You need more of the good, and less of the bad. Keep doing that, and all that garbage starts getting pushed to the bottom. Then, when you need to tap into your bank of knowledge, your brain will pull the good stuff from the top.
And you can’t find that positive input in negative situations. There’s a reason a lot of companies will simply let an employee go when they resign, instead of letting them hang around another two weeks. Because misery loves company, and people are only too happy to share their “wisdom” with anybody who will listen. Before long, several others are questioning their own satisfaction.
But people love sharing their successes as well. Have you ever seen a woman wear an engagement ring at work for a week before anybody notices? Never. You’ll know as soon as she walks into the office, because she’ll be showing it off to everybody she knows. And, for good reason. That is definitely something to celebrate.
Hang around happy people, and after a while your brain starts to produce happy thoughts. Hang around successful people and you start thinking like a successful person. Sure, there will be some who question your motives or make a few unflattering assumptions regarding the color of your nose. But whose opinion counts the most? Theirs, or the person you’re hoping to emulate?
Fill your brain with positive thoughts. Read some inspirational books, listen to some motivational speakers, and spend a little more time with people who are achieving their dreams. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang around your old friends. But, if they’re not raising the average of positivity in your brain, spend more time with people who do.
You can’t plant weeds and expect to grow roses. And, even when you’ve planted the best seeds, you still have to nurture them on a regular basis if you want to produce something of beauty. The weeds will always be there, doing their level best to take over. It’s a constant struggle, but if you keep your focus on the good, sooner or later it’ll rise to the top. It always does.
That’s all for now. Be safe and have an awesome day!
© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved