What you focus on is what you create
Here’s a fun little question. What color is a yield sign? When I ask this question in my seminars I always hear the audience call out, “Yellow.” But many years ago the United States adopted the International Signage Standards, and the yield signs you and I have seen for all these years are not yellow. They are red and white!
I have a hunch you might be thinking something along the lines of, “Well, maybe they’re red and white out there in Asheville, North Carolina, where you live, Brian. But not here!” That’s exactly what I thought when I was in the audience at a seminar and was asked the question the first time. My answer was an immediate, “Duh . . . yellow!” But, son of gun, by the time I finished that seminar that day they managed to change every single yield sign I’ve seen ever since!
The truth is we rarely use our vision to see! Instead we use our memory and our conditioning. The challenge is, when we use our memory to see, we don’t see what’s here now. We see the past. Now, I hope you’ll chuckle as I do every time I see a yield sign. But there are far more important areas in which to apply this understanding and use our present vision. Where does it really matter to awaken our true vision, and no longer depend on our memory to see?
If it’s not working, try something different
You’ve undoubtedly heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, and over, and over again—and expecting a different result! Yet how often does that silly definition perfectly describe our actions and choices? What habits do we continue to follow though the results they create are not only ineffective, but even painful, damaging, and self-defeating?
You need look no further than the light that’s illuminating the room you’re in right now as you read this book (unless you’re outside on a sunny day) for shining proof of the power of this simple principle. The genius who developed the electric light, Thomas Edison, was the king of “if it’s not working, try something different.” Edison was the Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Wayne Gretzky of innovation all rolled into one, with more than a thousand inventions and patents, more than any other individual in history.
Carpe woo lesson 3: be a world-class buddy thinker
I’ve asked this question in every seminar I’ve ever taught, and have always heard similar responses. The people we most often forget to thank are those to whom we are the closest—our spouse, children, parents, or the people we work beside every day. When triggered by the question, we see how easily we can fall into the habit of taking the people we love most for granted. We can rationalize that we don’t need to tell the prized people in our lives how we feel about them because they should already know, but the end result of neglect is decay and diminution. The more we fall into the habit of taking others for granted and withholding our appreciation, the more disconnected we become from the countless blessings in our lives.
Do you know whether someone is actually fully with you in mind, body, and spirit? Can you even tell over the phone? The answer is clear. We have a definite sense of whether others are right there with us, giving full concentration or drifting off and not truly connected. When we make the conscious and consistent decision to be fully present to the very best of our ability, we open ourselves to more joy than we’ve ever imagined and create the possibility to make the difference for which we were put on this earth.
Being present is not something you can fake. It is not a technique. It is a decision. Do you know whether someone is actually fully with you in mind, body, and spirit? Can you even tell over the phone? The answer is clear. We have a definite sense of whether others are right there with us, giving full concentration or drifting off and not truly connected. When we make the conscious and consistent decision to be fully present to the very best of our ability, we open ourselves to more joy than we’ve ever imagined and create the possibility to make the difference for which we were put on this earth.
Finally, the N in ESPN is simply to do it now. The street sign with the words “as soon as” leads directly to an endless loop called never. Seize the WOO now! It is the one sure way to leave regret in the past. You may never pass this way again. If you knew you had only 24 hours left in your life, who are the people you absolutely could not leave before telling them how much you loved them, how much you appreciated them.