I had a long drive in the car today. I love this time of year, a couple of days before we break for Christmas, everything goes quiet. The mobile, the e-mail, the problems! On my run in the car, I had one journalist interview for about an hour, then nothing else. Bliss!
I spoke recently about Alpha/Beta thinking, view this slideshare to see what I talking about. My drive today was mostly Alpha time.
I got thinking about how you should compare your own development to that of technology. The example that came to mind was music, which has always been a great love of mine.
My musical journey started with a turntable and vinyl records. When I was about fourteen my dad got my sister and I Sony Walkman portable cassette players, with orange headphones. At the time a technological breakthrough. We used to walk through Bracknell town centre, listening to tape cassette of the Top 40 from the previous Sunday -pirating old school style!
Only a few years later, something called “CD’s” started to hit the news. Allegedly holding a full album of songs with studio quality on this disc the size of a saucer – no way! I had to have one.
I set my goals on a Technics stereo system that I’d seen at John Lewis, which did everything – turntable, amp, radio, tape cassette and CD player. I saved for a whole year, stashing away every penny from my Saturday job at Waitrose until the day when I got this system from John Lewis. My pride and joy, which I still own to this day (now with updated turntable which converts my vinyl to digital). I still have every LP from my teens too, some classics there. Wake me up before you go go….
Then something called MP3 got mentioned. Music didn’t exist on vinyl, cassettes or CD’s anymore, you could download and never see it. Just pressing a button – magic! My first incarnation was a digital river MP3 player, then the i-Pod and we’ve all never looked back from that.
So, on to my point. In that time, in twenty-five years, at least four major iterations of single technology have taken place. Vinyl, Tape Cassette, CD and MP3. Each time, we (the buying public) have upgraded to the latest version. The music sounds the same, however the delivery technology has changed.
So if we update our technology in this way, are we updating our own technology (cognitive programming) in the same way?
You hold on to pre-formed thoughts and actions from your programming growing up and often revert back to those in the present day as the basis of your decision making and action. Like using the logic from a 1980′s Commodore computer.
Thinking back in my life, 20′s, 30′s and 40′s have all been distinctly different for me, each decade have seen improvements in my knowledge of self. In terms of my own personal development, I’ve taken this much more seriously in the past decade. It’s during that period that I realised most that my programme (thoughts and actions) was out of date and I was still bound by the cognitive distortions of my early years.
By reading, networking, reflecting, digesting and learning, my software has been updated. I’ve kept pace, not got left behind. I better understand my own development pathway, like a technology roadmap. I’ve recognised which bits of my metaphorical software were redundant, which bits were good and what new bits I needed to add.
It’s never too late to update. I think I’ve learned more in the last ten years about myself than at any point in my life – literally. If I were to graph it, it just keeps going up and up. Point being, learning is lifelong. So, what are you doing about you?
What’s the last book you read? Which cognitive distortions kick in based upon the way your parents raised you, past experiences or pre-formed behaviour? Which bits about your personality would you like to change most? Because it can all be changed. All that is requires is your courage, openness and desire. Software gets a patch update, so patch yourself, update your own firmware. Do something to evolve.
Merry Xmas and have a Fantastic 2012
As I sign off for the seasonal break, I’d like to thank you all for continuing to visit the blog.
It pleases me no end when people mention to me that they read the articles I write and how much it has helped them, in different ways – it’s a real buzz. Blogging takes time and is a big commitment, once you’ve started, you shouldn’t stop. I never thought that the blog would be read by so many people across the globe.
In closing, I posted this blog three years ago, I read it every year as it reminds me of how we should all be grateful for what we have at this time of year and the importance of friends and time.
Have an amazing 2012 – Phil