The Salesman in My Head

by Scott - No Comments

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Last night I read a post about the difference between pain and discomfort on Jason Shen’s blog. The paragraph and highlighted sentence below particularly resonated with me as I turned off the light following my google reader ritual:

Only for the first night did I think I would have trouble getting up at 5am for a full inspection in subzero temperatures. Only on the first day did I think there was no way I’d run a 2.4 before and after each meal of the day. If you are the kind of person who rolls over each morning and hits ‘snooze’ so you can throw away another 10 minutes of opportunity, this man had a practice grenade he would casually throw into your dorm to help you see the light. 

As I lay in bed I thought about all the times I have hit snooze and why I did. I realized that sometimes I’m more focused on how I feel in the moment then the fact that by hitting snooze I’m missing an opportunity 

When my alarm went off at 7am this morning to go to the gym, I momentarily contemplated hitting snooze…just 10 more minutes. Then I recalled my thoughts from the prior night  and without hesitation catapulted out of bed to swiftly get ready. 

At a high level, this example reveals the incredible effects our personal paradigms can have on our decision making. I’ve come to realize that our decision making is like any sale. The process is characterized by the rapid assessment of ROI on our time, resources, and energy. In this vein, how we internally frame things can dramatically effect our assessment of personal ROI, thus our ensuing actions.  

In this example, I formerly may have assessed the ROI of hitting snooze within the frame that 10 more minutes of idleness would make me feel better. Contrast this when this morning my decision was framed within the context of me frittering away 10 minutes of my life. The resulting action was dramatically different due to the shift of my internal paradigm.

As I briskly walked to the train, I smiled thinking about this “cognitive” transaction and the notion that their is a salesman in my head. The most powerful paradigm shift that I’ve been contemplating is how we frame our career choices in the context of considering it a “job” vs. “my life’s work.” I cannot wait to write about that soon.

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