Here’s a quote that’s resonated for years. Wrongly attributed to a university commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut, it was written by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune in 1997. It included the line:
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
As the title of the article was ” Advice, like youth, is wasted on the young”, it most likely referred to the callousness of youth falling in and out of love and littering their wake with broken hearts.
But I felt it had a wider sense as a plea to treat people well. And not to put up with being treated badly.
So here’s the problem. You have an innate understanding of how people work—that we are often fearful and that fear is frequently around not having enough money.
That’s because so many of us are governed by our Reptile and Old Mammalian brains. They are there for a purpose. To help us survive. And they are brilliant at the job. They work in tandem to make sure that every decision we make determines our safety.
The real purpose for all this activity is to ensure our genetic survival. It’s in the business of meeting and mating that they’re really engaged, hence youth’s callous disregard for heart breaking.
But in determining safety and comfort they are past masters at fear and greed. They want whatever they can get, no matter the cost,, to ensure abundant safety and comfort for you their owner, and your progeny, until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
You know this. And trade on it with equal skill.
I thought the ‘Disneyland with the kids’ gig was long gone. But recently an online marketer who I’d admired put out a video with the same ploy.
When you pose in front of Disneyland with your kids, or your double story mansion, and boast ofyour success; when you tell us your rags to riches story; when you show us your millions on a bank statement with your personal details coyly –greyed-out; you’re playing with our minds.
It has the same effect as the trout tickler has on the trout, lulling it into a narcotic sense of reality. Any second now he’s going to scoop us out of the water and into his net. Just the same as when someone hits the Pay Now button.
When you present us the very latest, cutting edge technology without which we cannot possibly be successful, or invite us to an event where the music, lights and promises mess with our minds, you’re doing just that, tickling the trout.
Your aim is not to serve. Your aim is to boost your bank balance. You too are pandering to your inner reptile.
More, you’re doing harm. People believe you. They pay you vast sums of money, but their lives don’t change, they don’t get rich, they don’t visit Disneyland with their kids. They just get onto a never-ending roller coaster ride of believing they’re at fault, not clever or resourceful enough to make it work like you do.
I’ve been through this.
At the end of a four day seminar, a personal coach delivered the last session. He warned us that if we didn’t succeed with the remarkable tools we’d been given, the fault lay not with him, but with our mindset.
That was clever. And devious. The trade they were teaching us had worked for them, four years before. In the scheme of the internet, that’s a black hole away.
I wasted too much time, effort and soul searching before the penny dropped and I understood that what had been promised was no longer possible.
These people were reckless with our hearts. Our fault was being driven by the gold and not walking away months before.
More recently, I’ve experienced something entirely different, working with a group of mentors to benefit my business in a structured program where the culture was to lean—both ways. Ask and be helped, give help and keep helping until success is ensured.
This is about serving. This is about truly changing people’s lives. This is about humanity. Not about greed and fear. Not about a trip to Disneyland, but about community and making a difference and genuinely caring.
Those who work this way—delivering, caring, serving,—will be abundantly rewarded.
We don’t need to be A-listers. People of influence, yes, but gurus? No.
This is a one in a series of monthly Word Carnival events, hosted by Tea Silvestre, The Word Chef. This month’s topic is ” Have your say to an A-lister
If you would like to find out more about building your clan, you can read the book, Clans, Supercharge Your Business By Harnessing the Passion of People Online, or attend Clans. The Workshop.