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Archive for May, 2012

THE POWER OF ‘GOOD MORNING’

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 6, 2012

– It’s much stronger than you think.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

Shortly after college as I was beginning my career, I happened to visit my doctor’s office for a routine checkup. I took a seat in the waiting room and began to look around. There were, of course, the usual nondescript magazines and newspapers from years ago, with titles I didn’t recognize, some were even printed in foreign languages. I guess today’s edition of the local newspaper or the “Wall Street Journal” was out of the question. There was also a television set tuned to a channel featuring a local yokel talk show. Some of the people just stared at the screen mesmerized like zombies. I hesitated to change the channel as I had visions they would turn and attack me. Most of the patients though just sat quietly looking at the ground awaiting their turn with the doctor. Some looked a bit nervous and apprehensive about being there, kind of like prisoners on their way to the gas chamber. It was all rather depressing. Then suddenly the front door swung open and in strode the postman delivering the mail with a brisk step. “Good morning everyone,” he said with a loud and cheerful voice, “How’s everybody doing today? What a beautiful day isn’t it?”

He then dutifully delivered the mail to the receptionist, turned and left with a tune on his lips. As the door closed behind him, everyone snapped out of their trance and began to talk. “What a nice guy, didn’t he have a nice way about him? He was like a burst of sunshine,” and they all agreed.

In a matter of a few scant seconds, the postman had lifted the cloud of despair off the heads of the patients and got them chatting away seemingly without a care in the world. It was probably more therapeutic than anything the doctor could have prescribed for them.

This lesson was certainly not lost on me. Whereas I had been hesitant to talk to strangers in a public setting before, I began to greet people more openly both in and out of my office. Remarkably, the postman’s trick worked, and I’ve been able to build some good rapport with people over the years by doing so.

I have also seen many offices where the inmates either reluctantly give a token “Morning” in the most doleful tone or say nothing at all. The token “Morning” is almost as bad as saying nothing at all as it is devoid of any sincerity, just a mechanical reflex action. Whether a person is a customer, vendor, or co-worker, it’s important to make the person feel as welcome in the office as they would be in your home. After all, it is basically the same thing. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks this way anymore and people tend to see work more as drudgery as opposed to their livelihood. Consequently, there is a tendency to take people for granted. Regardless whether you love your job or not, we have to recognize work is performed by and through people. A simple and sincere greeting like “Good Morning” goes a long way to expressing your interest in others. Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the reactions you get and how people will want to interact with you. Naturally, there will be people you do not get along with at work, thereby preventing you from extending such a greeting. Fine, but this should be the exception as opposed to the rule.

Consider this, how did the patients view the postman as he left the doctor’s office? Did his stock go up or down with them? Now ask yourself how you want your stock to go. At the very least, you’ll likely be remembered, just like the postman.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
IS AMERICA STILL GREAT? – Or are we on the verge of becoming irrlevant?

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FOR THE LOVE OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 3, 2012

– The finest two minutes of horse racing on the planet.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

Tomorrow is Derby Day (Saturday, May 5th), the 138th “Run for the Roses,” a favorite of mine since I was a pre-schooler in Wilmington, Delaware. Back then, all of the neighbors would congregate at somebody’s house to imbibe on Mint Juleps and watch the race on a black and white television set. Since then, which was back in the late 1950’s, I have seen over 50 Derby races, including attending the race twice in Louisville.

What impresses me about the Derby is not really the pomp and pageantry, but the race itself. Even as a youngster, while other kids were still playing in the sandbox, I found the spectacle of the race fascinating. To watch these magnificent creatures exerting every sinew of muscle around the track, expertly commanded by small men with nerves of steel and the grit of the track in their teeth, where man and beast seemed to fuse into one, has always been awe inspiring to me. No wonder I caught the fever at an early age and rooted for my favorite horse which I considered no different than any other athlete. For me, it has never been about the southern belles adorned with fancy hats, or the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” It is about the athletes who I study carefully just prior to post time. Fortunately, I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of picking a winner. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t pick at least one horse that didn’t finish in the top three positions.

I consider the Derby as the best assemblage of race horses you will see for the year, primarily because it is a bigger field than the Preakness or Belmont Stakes, representing the other two jewels of the Triple Crown. Since the Derby is the “first jewel” there is more excitement and an air of optimism by all of the contenders who are desperately trying to make a name for themselves. Whereas in the other two races, the Derby winner is the focus to be challenged, in the first jewel everyone fears everyone else. Winning a preliminary race prior to the Derby is nice, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee the horse can withstand a full field for 10 furlongs (1+1/4 miles).

Twice during my college years I made the pilgrimage to Louisville with my buddies. As young men we watched the race from the infield which resembled more of a beach atmosphere than a race track. Yet, there were betting facilities, fast food, and portable restrooms available, and of course the Mint Juleps were everywhere.

During one of these visits, I had the good fortune to see the great horse, Secretariat, win in 1973. When you saw this animal, you knew there was something special about him. While the other horses looked handsome and svelte, Secretariat looked like a hardened boxer entering the ring with rippled muscles ready to do battle. I couldn’t imagine anyone betting on another horse that day, he was simply too magnificent a creature to lose. Not only did he win the race, but set the track record which stands to this day, 39 years later, with a time of 1:59.40. Frankly, nobody was surprised when Secretariat won the Triple Crown that year, he simply ran away with it and I was pleased to bear witness. I have never seen a horse like that again.

The Derby also seems to bring the best out of jockeys and there have been a number of good ones who have ridden to victory multiple times at Churchill Downs, including: Bill Hartack, Calvin Borel, Gary Stevens, Pat Day, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero, Jr., and Ron Turcotte, who rode both Secretariat and Riva Ridge to victory.

Today, I’m content to sit back in an easy chair in front of a high-definition color television set and watch the Derby from the comfort of my home in Florida, usually with some friends. The Sunshine State has its fair share of horse farms and race tracks and has produced some serious contenders over the years, so the Derby is a race to be taken seriously down here. I also make it a habit of smoking a good cigar and having some form of libation nearby to enjoy during the race. If I feel a little ambitious, I’ll make a Mint Julep to celebrate the event, but I’ll settle for just about anything. After all, it’s not about Mint Juleps or hats worn by the ladies, it’s about “the finest two minutes of horse racing on the planet.” Good luck.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
THE POWER OF ‘GOOD MORNING’ – It’s much stronger than you think.

Posted in Life, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING POLITICAL BRAINWASHING

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 1, 2012

– how mind control is implemented in America.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

There is little difference between brainwashing for politics, religion, subversion, or any other purpose. The intent is to manipulate the minds of the masses through various control techniques, be they subtle or overt. Like it or not, we have all been manipulated by some form of mind control, be it in school, through advertising to form purchasing habits, to form a devotion to a religion, cult or some other order, or to form political opinions. Without some form of mind control, the masses can become easily distracted and form conflicting opinions which potentially can lead to rebellion, as vividly seen in the Middle East of 2011.

Mind control is predicated on the general belief the masses have limited intelligence which, to a certain extent, is true. Thinking requires work, something most people are willing to let others do for them. As I wrote in “Increasing Brain Power,” people typically spend more time in an “autopilot” mode of operation as opposed to fully engaging their brains which they may only exercise for a few scant hours each day, if that. Further, it is impossible to stay informed about everything. Consequently, people tend to allow others to filter information and do the thinking for them. By doing so, they develop a reliance or trust upon such people, a key component to brainwashing. The more people trust the brainwasher, the more inclined they are to implement the views and opinions of that person. Such trust means they will accept and parrot whatever doctrine the person espouses, regardless if it is true or false.

Key to mind control is the creation of perceptions which may or may not be based on fact. Again, the more people trust their leader, the more they are inclined to accept his/her interpretation of reality. Even when the facts point to a contrary position, the followers will refuse to accept it as reality. For example, the public generally believes Governor Sarah Palin made the erroneous comment, “I can see Russia from my house,” when in reality it was comedienne Tina Fey of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” who coined the phrase as a Palin impersonator. Even when this is pointed out today, most people still attribute it to Palin which they claim denotes her alleged inferior intellect. This quotation alone, even though Palin had nothing to do with it, continues to haunt her credibility to this day. Again, perceptions take precedence over facts.

After a person’s trust has been established, the next step is to break down the moral values and allegiances and replace them with a new set of values. Intellectual harassment casts doubt upon the status quo and plays on the insecurities of people. Such harassment must be constant and unrelenting thereby wearing down the people and causing them to question the legitimacy of the status quo. Only after the evils of the current status quo are accepted can enlightenment begin. To do so, it is necessary to appeal to the primal wants and needs of the people which is why such things as entitlements are popular. Promise them anything, even if it is not feasible to deliver it. Once the masses buy into the concept, it is almost impossible to revoke it. Social pressure is extremely useful to encourage acceptance among the masses. If something is generally regarded as the will of the people, the individual is more likely to accept it.

Creating perceptions requires the “3D’s” – deny, distort, and distract. Denial is required to displace fault; distortion modifies the facts to suit the needs of the message, and distraction misdirects attention away from a sensitive subject. It is quite common for politicians to deny wrongdoing even when found guilty of an indiscretion. They will also twist facts to suit their needs, thereby turning something negative into something seemingly positive. Major accidents such as an airline disaster, a devastating hurricane, a horrific bombing, or a foreign incident are often welcome distractions to divert attention from a political problem or scandal. Politicians are also adept at sleight of hand to avoid answering tough questions and shifting focus to another topic they feel more comfortable. It is commonly referred to as “creating a smoke screen.”

One of the most commonly used techniques to implement the 3D’s is the “Pavlovian effect” of repetition and reward. Here, simple catch phrases are carefully crafted to deliver messages. Whether they ultimately represent a truthful or honest idea is immaterial. The intent is to plant perceptions in the minds of the masses. This typically originates from the leader and cascades down to lieutenants who repeat it incessantly to the masses through the media. The catch phrase then becomes so embedded in the psyche of the people, they not only believe it but can recite it as gospel to outsiders. At this point, the masses so fervently believe in the doctrine, they are unwilling to accept anything deviating from it, regardless if the facts support it. They even become agitated when a different perspective is suggested and attacks it viciously with a mob mentality intolerant of any objection. Clever catch phrases told repetitively are more quickly embraced by the masses and tend to stifle original thought and casts doubt on reality. It is the “Kool-Aid” drunk by the masses.

As we live in an age of electronic communications, it has never been easier to distribute “the word” to the masses. Now through the use of such things as television, radio, the Internet and social networking, communicating a message to all members of a constituency can be accomplished in less than 24 hours. Actually, it can now penetrate the lion’s share of the membership in a matter of a few scant minutes. An alliance with the media also becomes useful to help spread the word, thereby becoming willing or unwitting accomplices in the dissemination of “the word.”

Any proposal deemed in conflict with doctrine is carefully scrutinized before an official comment is made. Spontaneous answers are avoided at all costs in order to devise a strategy to refute the proposal. After which a formal argument is delivered condemning the proposal complete with catch phrases and arguments that are to be mimicked by the lieutenants and followers. Negotiations are considered unacceptable.

The Achilles’ heel to brainwashing is to break the trust between the leader and the people. Only when the populace realizes “the emperor has no clothes” will they be willing to abandon the leader and follow someone else. To do so, the credibility of the leader’s perceptions must either be convincingly debunked or altered. Doing so is extremely difficult as you are asking people to accept a different interpretation of reality, something they are trained to resist. Here, counter brainwashing techniques must be applied as incessantly as the master’s word. Not only must the leader’s credibility be questioned, but also that of his lieutenants and the aligned media must also be put into doubt, thereby questioning the status quo of the cult. Those who also master communications technology will have a better chance of ruling the day.

Whether we are cognizant of it or not, we are being bombarded by a multitude of spin and catch phrases aimed at distorting our perspectives. Some people will peacefully accept the spin like sheep, others will resist. There are still many Americans who believe in the necessity of morality, capitalism, and the U.S. Constitution which they regard as sacred. This is their perception of reality and the basis for their values; it is their status quo. Forcing people to deviate from this will be strongly resisted as they perceive it as the proper way to lead their lives. In order for them to reject such notions it will be necessary to trivialize their sense of religion, distort their perspective of right and wrong, and malign the principles of capitalism and the Constitution as antiquated concepts that are no longer applicable in today’s world. As of this moment, the majority of Americans still believe in such principles, but are slowly losing ground as public perceptions are being manipulated to force a shift to a disparate sense of reality.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
FOR THE LOVE OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY – the finest two minutes of horse racing on the planet.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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