Slogans and Labels

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We are more inclined to read slogans than labels. We like sound-bites rather than information. We’re drawn to quick wins rather than long-term solutions.

During the US Election campaign, some Trump supporters bought hats bearing the slogan “Make America Great Again”.  Reports suggested that some of the hats available online had labels stating they were made in China. These may have not been official Trump merchandise, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with hats made in China. But, if you believe buying domestic products is an important aspect of making your nation great again, it’s important to check the label, as well as read the slogan.

Politics has always favoured slogans. And all too often, the electorate vote for the soundbite, not caring about the truth behind it. It seems that, as long as it fits on a cap, t-shirt, or can be plastered in massive letters on the side of a bus, many people don’t care about the truth behind the slogan. In fact some commentators have gone so far as to say that we are living in a “post-truth era”. (Another “sound-bite”, I guess).

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Shuffle and Skip

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The music industry has transformed at an inconceivable rate over the course of the last few decades. The MP3 player, the iPod / iPhone and all manner of streaming music services have completely changed how we listen to and consume music.

Gone are the days of buying an album and listening to it all the way through, carefully listening to every new note and nuance by an artist you loved. It would sometimes take several listens for you to appreciate an album; you might not have liked some tracks at first, but through an investment of repeated listenings they would grow on you in time.

Now we live in a world where everything is on constant shuffle. We are all too quick to skip a track, hoping something better will come along. Quick! If a song hasn’t grabbed you in the first ten seconds, skip and move on.

The advent of music streaming services exposes us to music that we wouldn’t previously have committed to purchasing. It presents opportunities to easily discover and explore different performers and genres. But for the artist it also becomes a tougher world. As listeners and consumers we can all sit like judges on a talent show panel, ready and able to dismiss with one click of a button if we’re not instantly impressed. What if this mentality seeps into other aspects of our lives?

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Choose Your Words Carefully

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Our use of language, and the words we choose, reflect our thoughts and motivations. That’s why it’s so important to choose your words with care, to be mindful of the language you use. Becoming conscious of the words you use, and then changing them, is the first step to adjusting your mindset and taking full ownership for all aspects of your life.

Many years ago I began to eliminate the word “need” from my vocabulary and replaced it with the word “want”. The word “need” suggests an external pressure and perhaps a lack of motivation; by changing it to “want” I found I could take full ownership for whatever it is I’m aiming to achieve.

So the phrase “I need to exercise” becomes “I want to exercise”. In a work setting the phrase “I need to achieve my targets” becomes “I want to achieve my targets”. The phrase “I need to spend more time with my family” becomes ” I want to spend more time with my family”.

This very small change in language can trigger an incredible change in attitude and outcomes.

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The Power Of Our Thoughts

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Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start the habit of thoughtful wishes.
– Mary Martin

Action or thought? What bears the greatest impact on our ability to achieve our dreams?

The two notions are so intertwined that it can be difficult to separate the two or establish exactly which is the most important. I’m certainly a fan of the ‘do more’ concept – sometimes it’s important to stop thinking and to start doing, otherwise we never move beyond our thoughts – ‘paralysis through analysis’.

Over the years, this focus on taking action has enabled me to achieve many of the dreams and goals that I have worked on. But, equally, I have had other goals which still evade me.

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