Air traffic controllers don't live in a state of fear. They live in a state of management. Because management lands planes. Fear doesn't.
If there is a fear of falling behind, you will always fall behind.
If you look in the Cave, I was going to start a Brain Audit Trainer program in 2005. Last I checked, it was 2011. But that's how things are. You have to keep going, just to stay level, and then sometimes you get ahead.
Falling behind is almost certain for so many things that we do today, because as we complete one task, technology decides to dump seventeen hundred tasks on our heads. We fix the blog, then along comes some Kindle something. We fix the Kindle, along comes the iPad. And that's just technology, not even the content to keep that technology going.
We can fight, but we can't win.
Where we can win is in the battle of fear. Fear will consume us and kill us long before any technology can. So the key is to treat the constant state of seeming overwhelm as a kind of ‘heart disease'. You can't ever get rid of it, you can only ever manage it. And manage it as well as you can, without going nuts.
There's also the other issue of what to focus on
To me, focus is “landing one plane at a time”. It's like being a traffic controller at Heathrow. There are fifty three planes circling, but you land the plane, then the next, then the next. I've never ever read one book at a time. Or done one course at a time. I'm landing one plane (sometimes it's a light plane) and then along comes an Airbus A380 with 555 people. I have to land them both, one after the other.
People expect that focus will help them.
But the brain rarely learns in a focused manner. It takes what it can, then sleeps on it. When you let the content percolate, the same stuff is better the next day. If you implement it, it gets even better. The brain must go through several steps of learning, implementing, making mistakes, and lots and have rest time so that the concepts solidify. You can learn something today, do nothing all day, and then the next day as you review it, you'll find you're way better at understanding the concept. This is your brain at work.
But the brain doesn't deal with fear well
It goes into panic mode. It starts bleeping and stalling. In fact current brain knowledge tells us that we can only deal with about one or two emergencies at any given time. This emergency factor is diverted to the reptilian brain, that is largely designed to take those scary decisions. When faced with fifty three planes circling the airport, our brain goes waka, waka. Therefore the air controller brain must come in.
The air controller must take over
You can do several things at once. You just have to land one plane. Focus on that course that you're doing, that book you're reading, knowing fully well that once you've gone through a good chunk of that course/book and have gained competency, it's like having a landed plane taxiing to the hangar. Now the landed plane isn't in the hangar yet, but another plane can land. At any given point in time, there will be taxiing planes, landing planes and planes taking off.
It's just life.
It needs management, not fear.
Be an air-traffic controller. It's not an easy job, but you stop the planes from crashing all around you.
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I would've liked to cite specific results, but I've been using the Brain Audit for so long I can't keep score any more. I used it in my sales copy for selling manuals, trainings, seminars,
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Thanks SO much for this, Sean. Wow, just what I needed. 🙂 “Do the next thing” is my mantra at the moment, and it’s serving me well, helping me focus on the little niggling things that MUST be done and not get overwhelmed by all the stuff that will have to be done another day. Onward! 🙂
Leon Noone says
I think that you’re spot on. It’s so easy to be distractedby all sorts of things.
For a long time, I’ve suspected that lack of a clear business focus and target market is a major reason why so many busineses never reach their full potential
Colleen C says
I realized this weekend that I had something in the order
of 6 plus books on the go. Insanity. I decided enough was enough
and sat down and finished one on Saturday and then another on
Sunday. That sense of completion and accomplishment can’t be
bought. Great article! Well presented…now I just need to tackle
all the planes circling in my office…
Arlene Griffin says
Hi Sean, Your links to your store for your products
advertised above are not working. Thought you’d like to know 🙂 I
have been following you for a long time – am just getting my act
together now that my kids are teens; also looked after my mom who
had Alzheimer’s so business is shifting to the forefront now. I
think you do a fabulous job of making sense of marketing and
writing. Thank you, Arlene
Laura Balcom says
Great article. I especially like the concept that when it
comes to rapidly changing technology, there is no winning, just
managing. So just take a deep breath…and focus on one thing at a