A short post today owing to yet another long appointment with the dentist, rain, traffic a hectic schedule.
Being a Baby Boomer and having lived in several countries, means that I have had a fairly long and interesting life, while I might have lost some of the energy and impatience of youth, I have a huge store of experiences. Some were good, some bad, some life-threatening and several absolutely terrifying. They all add up to who I am and how I see things. Just like your experiences provide you with your perspective on life. Our different experiences and values are responsible for the beliefs we hold.
Although any of us might share a similar education, religious, cultural and even political views, we could still hold on to beliefs that are poles apart.
Let me give you an example:
Last night at our Toastmasters meeting we were privileged to hear an inspiring presentation by Tim Gibney. He spoke about beliefs. Before his speech, another member mentioned that now summer was over, every one would get back to work, attitudes would change, we would see greater attendance at meetings, we could expect more guests to attend meetings.
As a relative newcomer to North America and a temperate climate, I have always found it surprising that the majority of people here hold on to that belief that all business is slow during summer. I have heard it hundreds of times from on and off-line sales people, network marketers, coaches, pizza store owners and just about every one except garden maintenance contractors and farm supply stores.
Obviously, for certain industries, like snowmobile dealers and winter clothing specialists, business will be slow during the summer. The same for those busy lawn trimmers in winter unless they double up as snow clearing contractors, which many do.
I also accept that a two or more month break for students will have an effect on family’s lifestyles. But I don’t believe that all businesses have to experience a summer long slow down.
Why don’t I believe that?
Because in the tropics, where I spent most of my life, there is very little difference in daylight hours between summer and winter. Except for a few periods of a few days in the colder parts, there is not a huge difference between summer and winter temperatures. The difference is mainly between hot and dry or hot and wet. Most farms would cultivate some winter crops, cattle would remain on pasture all year round. Equipment did not have to be winterised. Winter tyres and heating furnaces were unheard of. There were seasonal differences in activities, some sports were played in winter, some in summer. Schools and universities did not have a summer long break, schools had a four-week holiday over Christmas and New Year (mid summer).
With that background, my belief is that there is actually not much difference between summer and winter for my business activities. If I find it difficult to contact people because they are away on vacation during summer, my belief system tells me exactly that. He or she is away on vacation, not it’s summer therefore it is difficult to contact any body, hard to do business etc. etc. It is a subtle but very important distinction.
My belief that business does not have to be slow just because it is summer, means that my attitude does not change with the seasons. Because my attitude does not change, I do not handicap myself by assuming that summer is difficult for business. The result is that I just keep moving along as I always do.
I know that I hold on to beliefs that born North Americans find strange, like my habit of locking my vehicle whenever I get out even if I am keeping it within view. I do that because I lived in areas with very high crime levels, cars broken into or stolen within minutes, for most of my life. My belief that unlocked cars get stolen is a hard one to change, I happen to think it is a good habit to keep so I am not going to try.
What do you think? Do you notice beliefs that limit you or others?