Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Posts tagged ‘Behaviour & Relationships’

Lucky Charms

Some of us will recall a TV commercial for a heavily sugared breakfast cereal named Lucky Charms, declared to be ‘indescribably delicious’.  Well, their consumption, no doubt, has been beneficial over time to the dentists whose clients have overindulged in such candied cereals when younger.

The more general concept of lucky charms, also known as talismans, has been widespread for ages.  I can remember as a youth having a yellow rabbit’s foot.  For many years they were quite a popular, inexpensive trinket to carry around.   (If they were real, perhaps the afflicted rabbits lived in abodes for damaged fauna, along with frogs in wheelchairs.)

In an article on the subject in the April edition of Toastmaster magazine, talismans are divided into two foundation types: rituals and objects.

Illustrating the first of these, there’s the story of one member of a Toastmasters club in India, who gazes into her own reflection in a mirror for confidence in speaking; she “calls her deep gaze routine her talisman – a ritual to empowerment”.  For many others, relaxation and breathing exercises done intently can also serve the purpose.

Object types stem from the concept of being “items believed to protect against evil forces”; they can also focus on the purpose of being lucky charms.

In Eurasian countries, the Evil Eye Amulet not only looks to ward off harmful effects of exposure to an Evil Eye, but also to bring happiness.  In Native American lore, there are dreamcatchers.  Individuals, of course, can and do produce their own material versions of talismans.  A Distinguished Toastmaster in the U.S. created a personal logo involving the heart, which she believes inspires confidence and connecting; she has turned this into a side business of logo-adorned jewelry (which she wears herself at important events) and t-shirts.

While it would seem almost anything could become a talisman, it is uncertain how auspicious some charms or rituals may be…

  • Painting red spots around one’s eyes does not ensure immunity if arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour
  • Squeezing soft toilet tissue for relaxation is unlikely to be encouraged in a public wash room
  • When preparing an effective amulet, if crystals aren’t available, one can try energy-efficient LED bulbs
  • Ice cubes with subliminal messages may cause drinkers to float some unintended proposals
  • A lucky hat is worn most successfully by someone who brims with confidence
  • Carrying a favourite medallion will be less effective when dealing with a magnetic personality
  • Wearing a lucky tie is more impressive when combined with wearing socks
  • A chain holding extracted wisdom teeth can help provide inspiration to compose biting satire

Remember, a lucky break isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be!

When Sales Skills are Life Skills

Many are the skills we can develop which help us to grow, making a positive ripple effect of our efforts on others, gradually wider and fuller.

Some aptitudes have wider applications than others – consider cooking versus negotiating skills.  The significance, the impact, of some talents may expand beyond the borders of their logical environments.

Take characteristics of time management and effectiveness, discussed in an ‘advice’ column in the March edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal.

Long-time speaker and advisor coach Jim Ruta examines how top life insurance producers maximize their business output, i.e. their sales success, by efficient use of deadlines and persistence in their practice.

For instance, what industry leaders do is, “They squish years of average advisor production into one”.  A major component in achieving this is adhering to creative, meaningful deadlines.

A good example of how having a deadlines mind-set is valuable is in connection with vacations.  Anecdotal evidence indicates that people accomplish more going into and coming out of vacations than if they’d worked straight through.  (I wish I had followed this adage more.)

Using his tips to advisors as guide, there are practices which can benefit many others in society, including…

  • Address a high priority opportunity or issue each day
  • Start each work day in front of an opportunity
  • Establish limited time periods in which to accomplish basic requirements, such as administrative
  • Bypass the basic ‘to do list’ concept, in favour of directly slotting in the activity in one’s calendar
  • Record measurable achievements, and use them as implicit motivation to keep improving with higher numbers, on an ongoing basis
  • Maintain using deadlines to getting things done in a quicker manner

Insofar as the precipitative ingredient of persistence, the value of this behaviour is illustrated in an anecdotal truism: sometimes prospects do a better job of selling ‘no appointments’ than advisors do in gaining appointments with them.  In that context, there’s a sale made in every such encounter.  This can be in part due to assumptions made by the advisors about the viability of eventually converting certain prospects.

As with other versions of fishing, a focus combining patience with persistence will periodically land a prize, perhaps even a big one.  The formula for advisors to absorb, namely a strong approach + inspiration + persistence = success, applies to those in the much wider ripple.

Opportunities to apply these techniques, be they relating to work, family, or leisure, are as discoverable as ever.



What about other special days which coincide?

This weekend we see the unusual calendar coincidence of Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day falling on the same day.

Thus, whether one is religious or a trickster, there will likely be synergistic opportunity for some celebration and/or mischief.  One can get away with being both good and bad (within reason) on the same day.

Just about every day of the year has more than one internationally recognized event occurring, but many of these are lower profile, or much less widespread in observance.  What if some of these happenings in the rest of April developed their own synergies?

  • April 2nd Love your Produce Manager & Ferret day = it is likely easier for many to love a pet before being able to love a store manager; bring a ferret to the produce department, and see what happens
  • April 3rd Find a Rainbow & Chocolate Mousse = for some, chocolate can be like gold at the end of the rainbow, except it’s lighter and edible, but not as collectible
  • April 5th Deep Dish Pizza & Tell a Lie Day = those who consume too much of the former may have indigestible excuses to take advantage of the latter
  • April 7th No Housework & Beer = need we say more…
  • April 11th Barbershop Quartet & Bookmobile = a bookmobile is not necessarily a magnet for crowds; the sound of a barbershop quartet coming may be enough to drive some people inside to look at books
  • April 16th Save the Elephant & Wear Your Pajamas to Work = one good deed for nature may be enough to earn a mulligan at the office
  • April 17th Blah Blah Blah & Cheeseball = if one’s mouth is frequently open, spouting nothing of substance, might as well fill it with delectable morsels
  • April 19th Bicycle & Garlic = one can ride a bike to the store to get garlic, bike home to eat the garlic, then bike back to the store to get breathe mints and air freshener
  • April 21st Tea & Chocolate Covered Cashews = most people will go for at least one of these, so put them out together and let those with differing tastes mingle
  • April 22nd Jelly Bean & Earth = for a truly challenging contest, hold a bean counting contest based on covering a portion of the globe
  • April 26th Pretzel & Richter Scale = if the latter reports a seismic event, having some of the former could help ensure that one’s salt intake doesn’t suffer during recovery
  • April 28th Go Birding & Blueberry Pie = bird-watching can be a time-consuming activity, so might as well consume something delicious
  • April 30th Honesty & Oatmeal Cookie = if honesty being its own reward is not sufficient, cookies can be an inexpensive back-up plan

No wonder so much of life’s minutia can snowball with the right mix.

What is ‘Independent Advice’?

An article in the current edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal raises the age-old conundrum of receiving ‘independent advice’. It should be noted that the report is in support of the idea.

Why has this been such a prevailing issue, frequently a hot topic of reportage? (more…)

Being Mindful

It would seem superfluous disputing that the mind is the most important cognitive part of the body; assuming that’s so, being ‘mindful’ should be at least in the highest echelon of good default positions.

What does mindfulness mean? An article in the February edition of Toastmaster magazine gives this a thoughtful (as it were) look. (more…)

A Hurdle is not a Stop Sign

Perhaps all of us, at one time or another, have been tempted to feel discouraged, perhaps quickly, by setbacks on the long journey to accomplishing major goals.

Indeed, if looking at statistics, one can easily be ready to throw in the towel, especially if that towel is frequently coated with rejection.

Many of us are familiar with the 80/20 rule, which anecdotally applies to a wide range of endeavours: (more…)

You Know It’s Time to Move On

I have a friend who is being compelled to move from her longstanding residence shortly, due to a very unfortunate set of circumstances. She is quite unhappy, having to give up the apartment, albeit in a creaky old house, given its scenic, multidirectional view, but the environment has become untenable.

One of the constants of life is change – but some changes are much earlier to adapt to than others. (more…)